Oh, Supernatural, that’s more like it! After last week’s misstep, the show rebounds this week in ratings and quality with the excellent “Blood Brother.” I knew we would be in for a treat as soon as I realized the episode had a Ben Edlund script.
Edlund is an incredibly talented writer, and while he’s mostly known for his wonderfully wacky episodes, he is just as capable of writing textured dramatic stories. “Blood Brother” is one of his serious outings and beautifully constructed. I have to give director Guy Norman Bee props, too, for knowing how to let his actors tell the story as much with the look in their eyes as the words on the page. Kudos also to the actors, who capitalized on a stellar chance to dig deep and really communicate how their characters relate to the season’s theme of identity.
In this episode, the most obvious character struggling with identity is Benny, played by the talented Ty Olsson. We learn a lot about Benny’s backstory, which helps us to understand even more Dean’s bond with him. Benny is a conflicted vampire, struggling with his lost humanity well before meeting Dean in Purgatory. Like Sam, Benny tried on a new identity to gain love, swearing off hunting humans once he met the beautiful Andrea.
However, leaving his vampire family was easier said than done. Benny’s Maker has no intention of losing his children, keeping them segregated even from other vampires by sailing the high seas as vampirates. He dealt with Benny’s stab at reinvention by killing him, which gives Benny a goal now that he’s topside again: revenge.
But while revenge is a good tangible goal, Benny is not finding being back on earth an easy fit. He’s not human, but his lifestyle means he’s not really living as a vampire, either. He’s a creature between worlds, and as I like the character, I’m worried for him. My fear is Benny will eventually choose suicide by Dean as his way back to the simpler environment of Purgatory. And from what we know so far, that will devastate Dean.