It’s been a legitimately long time since I’ve begged a television show — out loud — to continue after it finished airing an episode. It’s not a logical request by any means — that I know. There’s no point in me using vocal power to say “NO! Don’t STOP! Show another episode now!” But sometimes it just comes out against my will, and that’s what happened tonight after Supernatural.
I went into tonight’s episode thinking I knew everything that was going to happen. (Dean saves Benny; Benny is thankful but needs more help; Dean calls Sam; Benny meets Sam; Sam hates Benny.) At it’s core, that’s what happened, but the beauty of a great episode is that even when you think you know what’s going to happen, it delivers surprises (Oh, Benny…), great moments (brotherly bickering between Sam and Dean!) and lots of storyline advancement! Of course, I’d expect nothing less since the episode was written by Ben Edlund, a fandom fave. And he’s a fave for a good reason…
So, to get this recap on the road: Dean did go save Benny. He had called Dean after getting into a fight with four members of his old “crew.” At first, it wasn’t made entirely clear why there was so much hostility between Ben and these people from his past, but later, a much deeper backstory was revealed.
Prior to going to Purgatory, Benny had been a vampire pirate — or “vampirate!” as Dean called them — and he spent his days sailing the seas looking for yachts full of yummy victims. But one day, while prepping it for attack, he fell in love with a woman named Andrea on a yacht. It was true love — so much so, that he never called in his crew, went on a “vampire zone” diet, and disappeared. Well, until they found him, beheaded him and killed the love of his life.
Benny shared this info with Dean over a car ride to his family’s vampire’s nest, where he was going to kill them all for hurting Andrea. Sam wasn’t along for the ride because Dean took a personal day to deal with Benny. (“What does that mean — ‘personal’?” Sam asked. Dean’s response? “Personal, as my own grown-up personal crap.”)
Normally, I wouldn’t like pulling Sam and Dean apart for an episode, but in this case, it completely worked because they were really hanging over each other the whole time. (If that makes sense…) Also, it gave us a chance to see flashbacks from each brother’s time apart. We got to see more of Dean’s Purgatory (mostly fights, Cas bonding a bit with Benny, and the coolest Leviathan encounters) and more of Sam’s first encounters with Amelia (she made fun of Sam’s clothes, called him creepy, and hinted that she might have a few secrets of her own).
In all, I can’t decide whose flashbacks I enjoy better because they both inform important parts of the brothers’ personalities and motivations right now. (Also, there’s no reason to choose a favorite, so why bother?) But this episode was perfect in that it all the backstory was perfectly balanced with the present-day action.
Once at the vampire home base, a realization caught Benny by surprise: Andrea hadn’t died. She was turned! Pissed, Benny went to confront his “father,” who looked about as old as any Secret Circle extra. “Father” had a lot to say but I was frankly just waiting for Benny to chop “father”‘s yappy head off. He did. And just when I thought Benny and Andrea would live in happy bliss, the truth came crashing down on Benny: Everything he once loved about Andrea died when she did. Vamp-Andrea was not his Andrea, so he stood by and watched as Dean wasted her.
Once back on shore (Dean and Benny had to boat there), Dean and Benny met up with Sam, who was waiting after being called by Dean while he was back at the house. (Seems like a waste of a trip, no? Sam had no boat!) The scene when Sam and Benny shook hands was by far one of my favorite scenes thus far in the season. Sam, realizing that Benny was not human, reached for his weapon ever so slightly, but with a tiny nod of the head, Dean stopped him. It was so intense and so subtle. Perfection!
“Seems like you two have a lot to talk about,” Benny said. And they really do. The bummer? We’ll have to wait until next week. (Hence, my vocal opposition mentioned above.)
So, Burning Questions: What did you think of the episode? Did you like how Benny’s story was sort of a combo of Dean and Sam’s in a strange way? (Always served the family, but wooed by the desire for more.) How great was all the Sam-Dean back and forth in this episode? I can’t even choose a favorite moment. (Lies; yes I can. When Sam scolded Dean over the phone.) Why was Andrea wearing mom pants? How cool were those Leviathan bombs?! And did you enjoy the creative way Sam’s flashbacks were worked into the fold? I did, especially the handyman stuff. Although, I chuckled a bit when Sam started fixing the AC. “Look who’s all good with tools now! Once upon a time, Sam, you weren’t even allowed near a car hood,” I thought, thinking back to the early years of the show. Then, I told myself to get a life.
Dean: Well, that is twice he burned us. Shame on you.
Sam: No, no, no. I’m the one who said he set us up!
Dean: No you said “I wonder if Kevin set us up?”, then you started with the techno-babble. And that was two states ago.
Dean: Kid’s like rain man. He’s like a crappy, credit card-counting, criminal prodigy rain man.
Sam: Well, he was in advanced placement.
Dean: Shut up.
“Mind if I take the Toblerone?” — Dean
“You’re a wascally wabbit Mr. Tran.” — Sam
“Concerned — not stalking. Concerned.” — Sam, re: his Amelia stalking
“Most wounds short of an amputation will mend up — vampiraclly speaking.” — Benny
“You and that whole ‘friend’ thing, man.” Benny (If there was ever a quote that should go on Dean Winchester’s tombstone…)
Benny (to Dean re: Cas): This is the crazy aunt you want to take on the road?
Cas: I. am. not. your. aunt.
Benny, sarcastically: Really?
Dean: Vampire pirates? That’s what you guys are? Vampirates!
Benny: You know, all the years we ran together I can’t believe none of us every thought of that.
Dean: What do you mean? It’s like the third thing you say!
Benny: [looks at Dean like he's the freak] No, it isn’t…
“Seriously, was Fabio on the cover of that paperback?” — Dean
Dean, on phone with Sam: I’m sort of in the middle cleaning out a vampires nest and it’s sorta gone a little sideways on me.
Sam, yelling: WHAT?!
[Dean takes phone away from his ear.]
Sam: Are you an idiot, Dean? You know better than to go into a vamp’s ALONE!
Dean: I’m not alone. I’ve got backup. Guy has been tracking the nest for a while.
Sam: What guy? Garth?
Dean: What? No! You don’t know him, he’s a friend.
Sam: You don’t have any. All your friends are dead.
Dean, whisper yelling: This is not what I called to talk about!!
[seemingly much, much later...]
Sam: …I get that we have that separate-lives thing, but this is a hunting thing. We need to find that line…
Dean: God, stop talking!
Sam, flashback: Dog, dog! [Dog runs into Andrea's OPEN room]Don’t bother the… angry lady…
Amelia: “Dog”? That’s what you’re calling him?
Sam, seemingly genuinely concerned in a cute-Sam way: So…you think I’m creepy?
Amelia: You buy all your clothes at Army Surplus. White supremacists do that.
Sam: But I’m not!
Amelia: Serial killers do that…