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8.05 episode reaction 
1st-Nov-2012 10:22 pm
Purgatory curious!face Dean

Now THAT was a meaty episode! \o/

Ben Edlund I take my hat off to you. That was a deep, twisty, satisfying episode. Ditto Guy Bee because I just love your directing (love LOVE!).

(Absolute bonus that Ben didn't direct his own episode. He's wordy and I think it takes tight direction to keep up the pace. Ben and Guy are a good combination).

Can I just get the Bro love SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE off my chest first!!!?!

OMG OMG! If those two aren't friggin' married or joined at the damn hip.... I can't even!

- Dean actually calling Sam in the middle of a hunt and then they argue like a married couple?! *dies*

- Dean texting Sam in the middle of a hunt and deleting it?! (seriously....!)

- Sam getting frustrated and throwing phones!! (Why is that so damn hot!?)

- Sam getting all growly and possessive after he meets Benny at the end. (OH GOD!! That ending! Those looks! The camera angle on Sam all looming and threatening...KILL. ME. NOW!)

- "I've heard a lot about you" (Dean talked about Sam ALL THE TIME!)

- I just love that everything they do concerns the other one. Joined at the hip I tell you! That episode was awesome for demonstrating that. <333 Thank you show for maintaining that underlying and underpinning it's all about their relationship thread.

Ok. There was other stuff. Some great stuff!

Dean and Benny make a great combination. I really believe this friendship and comradery. It's all linked to battle "mateship". It's their shared experienced that makes their friendship run deep. It brings about an unquestionable loyalty and it says so much about Dean. His familiar connection to a soldier (John) and his battle mentality.

Benny is a deep character (and Ty Olsson is doing a great job!). He has history and a good heart. This is about Dean making friends with the enemy and realising that no matter the blood (aka country you are from) there's a level of humanity that blurs the divide. It's seeing the fundamental good in others. I love that this was all about how important and how meaningful friendships are to Dean. "You and that whole friend thing man" as Benny says.

I loved the trio in Purgatory. There's a tussle of trust. Cas and Benny eyeing each other off and Dean coming in between them - keeping the peace (remind you of anyone?). Benny finally proving himself by defending Cas.

I really liked this Cas too. He had purpose and strength (and damn if that isn't more compelling than crazy!Cas).

Dean was smart and kickass. (thank you! God I love this Dean so hard).

And the direct comparison between Benny as a brother and Sam as his actual brother is done beautifully by the reference to not knowing what is real. Clever.

And then there was Sam. Oh Sam.

We got a little more of Sam's "normal" life. (Handyman!Sam might just be my new favourite thing!) Amelia is warming up and we begin to see why she might have been so stand offish around Sam. I really like her and I like the way that they are teasing her character out. There's obviously more than meets the eye. I just ADORED the comparison between her loss and Sam's. I figure they are talking about a deep love she has lost (much like Sam's loss *g*).

But what I really really loved is the way we were presented with three Sam's (what is it about three Sams?!). The flashback loner/drifter Sam, the researcher, getting-on-without-Dean Sam and the worried, protective, possessive, OMG don't be dead!Dean, Sam. Beautifully interwoven. No mean feat in writing a TV script me thinks.

Overall, there was a wonderful understanding of the characters in the writing. We saw many new facets which were skillfully woven into the MotW story (though Benny ain't no MotW).

I am sure there are connections to be made all over the damn place. There was a lot of thinky dialogue and knowing Ben Edlund there was a lot of underlying meaning. For example, the story of love and of abandoning the "nest". I felt a lot of Benny's dialogue could have been Sam's. I'm not sure that Amelia was "it" for Sam the same way Andrea was for Benny, but the notion of finding something that can take you away from it all is poignant.

It's also poignant that Dean killed Andrea. I'm not sure if this is about Dean "killing" Sam's attempt a normality or whether it's less meaningful. It just all feels so important. I need a bigger brain to bring all that together.

There's also the notion that the "maker means everything". This could be John to Dean or maybe even God to Cas. (arghh...too thinky for me at the moment - but it's there!).

I also loved the witty banter. That opening scene between the brothers was a classic.

And of course there was Vampirates. I am sure Ben woke up one night and said...OMG! I have the perfect thing!!! \o/ *writes the episode*

And finally, I have to say, I really love how this is a male story. The fighter, the brother, the hero, the lover. It's about what's important to men and how they see themselves fitting into the world.

Thanks again show. You keep reinforcing what it is I love about you.
Comments 
1st-Nov-2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
Peeking at your mood, not the content, and as always, I'm happy you are happy! Now I just need to watch the episode so I can actually contribute to a discussion.... :)
1st-Nov-2012 02:57 pm (UTC)
Hee...I don't always put my "mood" for fear of spoiling but I was actually impressed that Ben managed to cram so much into that one.

It's rich. And even though it's not all Sam and Dean, it is actually all about Sam and Dean.

Watch it! I'd love to know what you're thinking. *g* (Even if you're hating it...)

xx
1st-Nov-2012 02:49 pm (UTC)
This is about Dean making friends with the enemy and realising that no matter the blood (aka country you are from) there's a level of humanity that blurs the divide. It's seeing the fundamental good in others.

This, most of all, is what I love about Dean's relationship with Benny. It's wonderful to see Dean expanding like this. He's come such a long, long way from the "Kill all the monsters" attitude he had at the beginning of "Bloodlust." He's even surpassed the considering mindset he'd entered at the end of the episode. Purgatory and Benny have forged a "new" Dean, and I'm loving it.

Let's see how successful he is at explaining this new attitude to Sam, though. ;)


Cas and Benny eyeing each other off and Dean coming in between them - keeping the peace (remind you of anyone?).

OMG, I totally missed that! TOTALLY. And now I can't see anything but the scene where Dean steps between Sam and John. (And isn't the shot itself set up the same way?) EXCELLENT catch!
1st-Nov-2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
Let's see how successful he is at explaining this new attitude to Sam, though. ;)

Oh yeah. Isn't that going to be interesting? I just love the tension they built up at the end. And it wasn't Sam being all pissy, it was Sam being all worried. I would like to think Sam would be understanding of this (he's been a "monster" and Dean stood by him). He'll just be worried for Dean. Wheeee....such a delicious predicament.

And as soon as Dean told Cas and Benny to cut it out I thought of Sam and John. I seen Benny as quite the John character here. And the shot is similar as Dean literally comes between them (like he did in Dead Man's Blood).

1st-Nov-2012 03:29 pm (UTC)
I liked it too! So much better than the rest of the season so far, for me anyway.
2nd-Nov-2012 03:47 am (UTC)
Yeah - it might just be one of my favs so far. :))
1st-Nov-2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
I can't say that I liked this ep nearly as much as you did. It felt disjointed to me. Maybe I just need to watch it again. Sometimes I feel differently after a second watch.

I'm warming up to Benny, but I wasn't really engaged in his backstory. I was just 'meh' about it. The hunt even dragged for me. Although, I did like Dean's phone call to Sam, and Sam's race to Dean. Clearly, Sam knew the moment he touched Benny's hand that he was a monster. His impulse to kill what he perceived to be a threat to Dean reminded me so much of his killing of Emma. The one time Sam doesn't hesitate to kill is when he thinks Dean is in danger.

I am not warming up to Amelia. I get that she's been hurt, but boo-hoo, sweetie. It's not an excuse to treat other people like crap. She hasn't done anything to show that she actually has empathy for others. I get that her behavior is supposed to be a defense mechanism, but it doesn't make me sympathetic to her behavior. The fact that she's lived there three months and didn't know Everett's name, but Sam who'd been there a much shorter time did, speaks volumes about how different they are despite their similarities.

It think you're right about a lot of the parallels, etc. this ep tried to make. I liked the purgatory flashbacks too.
Anyway, I just felt like this ep tried to do way too much, but again, maybe it will be better on second viewing.
2nd-Nov-2012 10:41 am (UTC)
I have to admit I wasn't particularly engaged in Benny's back story either until I started trying to see how it relates to Sam and Dean. I always figure that detailed monster stories related in some way to them - it also helps make it a bit more interesting (for me).

Clearly, Sam knew the moment he touched Benny's hand that he was a monster.

Yeah - he would have been cold and I just loved how Sam was instantly wanting to kill him to protect Dean.

Amelia is a strange one that's for sure. I'm not sure what they are trying to do there actually. I don't mind her because I don't think we know everything yet. I hope we get to know more soon.

For me the strength in the ep was in seeing the way the brothers interact with each other and it was great to see Sam so concerned about Dean's wellbeing. I really don't think he wants to go through losing Dean again.

2nd-Nov-2012 10:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, I honestly think that everything that's going on with Sam is about losing Dean again. Sam knows what he's become the other times he's lost Dean. He's gone off the rails and become a killer -- almost Soulless!Sam in his relentlessness -- and I think he fears that, for good reason. If Dean is suffering from PTSD from Purgatory, Sam is suffering from it because he lost Dean again. I think his response was to retreat and become numb. He wasn't actually looking for normal IMO; he was hiding from the pain and grief. So I wasn't at all surprised to see his frantic pursuit of Dean when he realized something was wrong. Every time they've been in fights with demons or monsters this season, Sam's focus has been on Dean.
1st-Nov-2012 03:55 pm (UTC)
I'm LOVING this season so far!

I was a bit put off by Amelia and her jumping to conclusions - assuming Sam will take the dog, is a creepy serial killer, etc. Also, the fact that she's in a motel and is a vet feels so very off to me. I do get that they are trying to make a connection with Sam and their shared loss, but it feels forced? IDK, I'm full of conspiracy theories at the moment.

I am enamored of handyman!Sam and feel like it's stuff he learned from Dean and uses only when Dean's not around. Kind of like fixing the Impala.


Vampirates! LOL, yes.
2nd-Nov-2012 12:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah! I'm really enjoying it too. A little uneven, but it feels like they are heading in an interesting direction.

Hee... I'm usually the one full of conspiracy theories when the show starts up (man, I thought soulless!Sam was something impersonating Sam..), but I'm thinking that Amelia is just a girl. A girl fated to be with Sam. It is curious though, that they are making her unlikeable. I mean, I don't actually mind her, but she seems to have not found favour with many fans yet.

And yes...Sam has learned it all from Dean..;) It's interesting that they both fall back on work with their hands when they do "normal". I suppose it's easy to slip into.

1st-Nov-2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
OMG OMG! If those two aren't friggin' married or joined at the damn hip.... I can't even!

- Dean actually calling Sam in the middle of a hunt and then they argue like a married couple?! *dies*

- Dean texting Sam in the middle of a hunt and deleting it?! (seriously....!)

- Sam getting frustrated and throwing phones!! (Why is that so damn hot!?)

- Sam getting all growly and possessive after he meets Benny at the end. (OH GOD!! That ending! Those looks! The camera angle on Sam all looming and threatening...KILL. ME. NOW!)


Oh, yes. I love it when stories where they're hardly together are all about how utterly co-dependent they are. :) Also, they have a long history of conducting their complicated relationship by phone and there's a new layer of that here - the messages they send, the ones they don't, what it means to Sam when Dean is suddenly not answering his phone.

Benny is a deep character (and Ty Olsson is doing a great job!). He has history and a good heart. This is about Dean making friends with the enemy and realising that no matter the blood (aka country you are from) there's a level of humanity that blurs the divide. It's seeing the fundamental good in others. I love that this was all about how important and how meaningful friendships are to Dean. "You and that whole friend thing man" as Benny says.

I like Benny, although I admit I struggle a bit with his accent. He has really good lines, and I have to listen to some of them several times before I can work out what they are. I thought from the start that a vampire was an interesting friend for Dean to have. Vampires are all about loyalty. The whole 'bond of the nest, mate for life' thing. And then Benny goes against that, to get away and have his own life - a very Sam thing to do.

It's also poignant that Dean killed Andrea. I'm not sure if this is about Dean "killing" Sam's attempt a normality or whether it's less meaningful. It just all feels so important. I need a bigger brain to bring all that together.

Hm. It did look important, and I think there are layers here we can't possibly understand yet. But based on where we are now, I think it's that Benny's attempt at a normal life has ended suddenly for non-Dean-related reasons, and Dean doesn't see the tragedy of it because he comes in at the end. I mean - Benny got out of purgatory thinking he had nothing but revenge. But then Andrea was alive, and he had hope. Okay, she was a vampire, but that meant they had common experiences and goals. And maybe, just maybe, they could get off that boat together and have a life. But it was Andrea's humanity that attracted Benny, and she's given that up and embraced being a monster - and they make that really clear, because the very last thing we see her do is bare her fangs to attack Benny, even though she was still attracted to him.

Dean knows the backstory, because Benny told him, and he's picked up bits and pieces of things by eavesdropping, but he's not privy to their last conversation. He just sees a monster going for his friend, and takes her out. Simple, from his perspective; complicated from Benny's.

That really resonates with Sam's story. He bonds with Amelia the way Benny bonds with Andrea - the vampires talk about the cult-like experience of being turned, and their regrets, and Sam and Amelia are bound by isolation and loss. And yet we know Sam walks away from her without saying goodbye, and apparently doesn't even feel he can call her. We know it's not that he doesn't care for her, because they make it clear he does. But we've come in at the end, so whatever the tragedy is, we can't see it. Neither can Dean. One of the very first questions Dean asks Sam is whether there was a girl - but because Sam just says 'there was and then there wasn't', the story looks simple. But it's really not. Dean needs to find out what went wrong to understand. Because at the end, he doesn't quite get why Benny is so sad.

Er. Sorry, I ramble. I just really liked this one. :)
1st-Nov-2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
I like Benny, although I admit I struggle a bit with his accent. He has really good lines, and I have to listen to some of them several times before I can work out what they are.

Admittedly my reaction to Benny was that I appreciate Ty using the accent, but he has to stop mumbling because I'm going to have to watch with Closed captioning on to understand him. Or maybe the sound was off on my station. Either way, I missed half of what Benny was saying.
2nd-Nov-2012 12:34 pm (UTC)
Co-dependant boys are my fav thing ever!

although I admit I struggle a bit with his accent.

Ah yeah. Me too. In fact I was going to mention it and then I thought it might have just been my hearing. I had to go back and re-watch some of his scenes to actually make out what he was saying.

and I think there are layers here we can't possibly understand yet</i. Yes. I think it might be one to come back to once we know the full story. As usual (it seems) we are getting a lot of Dean's back story but not a lot of Sam's. I don't mind that, but I am very keen to see exactly what went on. We still need to find out what happened to Cas and Sam's (pretty much) full story. I think the notion of a changed monster is interesting also. Benny has changed (but maybe for the better?) and Andrea had changed for the worse. It will be interesting to see if the changes the boys have made are for the better or for the worse. I think Dean being loyal to a monster is going to come to a head at some point. rambling is good. You know I always love to hear your thinky thoughts. :)) xox
1st-Nov-2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
Can I just copy/paste your entiere post? Because I couldn´t have said it any better

I guess what I´m trying to say is: YES to everything you said ;D
2nd-Nov-2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
Oh yay! Glad you enjoyed the ep too hun! :))
2nd-Nov-2012 12:44 am (UTC)
I absolutely adored this episode as well! After it was done, I wanted to watch it again immediately. Then I stayed up because I just needed to react somewhere . I thought about posting to my journal but didn't feel that would be a good discussion place since I have, like, 3 friends who watch the show. So, I went to the first reaction discussion I saw and was agog that the first few posts were negative. I'm usually pretty open and accepting of others viewpoints, except when it is obvious that folks have reached that point where they only watch so they can moan bitterly about the sad demise of their show. But, for some odd reason, I was so gleeful and squeeful that I just couldn't believe there were people who didn't like the episode. I'll still paste my comment to my journal, even if that makes me feel ridiculous (and pretentious) but whaddaya do? It seems that online fandom has moved away from the discussion forum to blogs/blog communities which are great, too, but feel haphazard. But, off topic! Back to this fantastic episode. I'm gonna paste my comments,despite me feeling ridiculous. Handyman!Sam rocks my socks, too!

Well, I loved this episode, actually, but I do tend to always enjoy character driven eps more and after last week's episode, it was surely welcome. I even wanted to watch it again immediately after it was over. I liked getting Benny's backstory. I've been wondering why he came back and in order for there to be any conflict at all, we need to know something about him. We need to see what Dean sees in him; what made him drag a monster out of purgatory given that Dean isn't one to just let monsters go. Sure, we know that he saved Dean and they had a mutually beneficially relationship in the purgatory trenches but I think there should be more, if for nothing more than for us to feel conflicted about where Benny really stands before it all goes horribly wrong. I like his accent. I don't know where the actor is from, but it's a really good southern accent.

I liked that Benny's leaving his "maker" along with that whole conversation sort of parallels Dean and Sam to a great extent. I liked seeing a bit more of Sam's year. At first I though his flashbacks were oddly placed. Again, I think that is a conscious decision. What better way to remind Sam of his foray into "normal" than something as mundane as a rattling a/c window unit or an ice machine versus the life and death action going on in the purgatory scenes. I think it is a purposeful juxtaposition and it just just works for me. I think they are going somewhere with it. I like Amelia. We haven't seen enough to make a real assessment but she's not quite the apple-pie image of "heartache" Is she? There's a reason she's living in a motel. There's a reason she's mouthy and abrasive to Sam. And Sam, sharp cookie that he is, sees it, too. Sam and Dean can often be very intuitive about what makes other people tick, they just have blinders on when it comes to each other.</p>Sam's comment about motels gave me my "oh, Sam" (sigh) moment. How sad given that that was his life. I adored everything about Sam in this episode. I loved how frantic he was when he's going after Dean. Stuff like that makes me think that Sam's barely keeping a lid on it underneath that weary calm thing he's got going on.

What else. The dialogue was great! I had quite a few LOL moments but I'm hard pressed to remember any quotes at the moment except the whole "vampirates" thing and Dean's "it's, like, the third thing" I loved Sam and Dean bickering. I enjoyed the dynamic between Castiel, Dean, and Benny in the purgatory scenes.

I guess the only thing that was a letdown to me was Benny's maker. I expected more after that build-up. Benny seems to have more gravitas than his brothers and his maker put together. His time in Purgatory, perhaps? I was also disappointed that his love was not that person, anymore. I was disappointed for Benny, this brand new character. And given the parallels that I saw between Sam and Benny, if my perception here is accurate, it doesn't look too good for Sam, does it? But, yeah, my immediate reaction at the end of this episode was, "I love this show!" . I can't wait to see what happens next week, even if it pains me so


Edited at 2012-11-02 12:46 am (UTC)
2nd-Nov-2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
Hi.

except when it is obvious that folks have reached that point where they only watch so they can moan bitterly about the sad demise of their show.

Yeah. I'm seeing that too. It's like they keep wanting to find reasons to make them hate it. Someone said to be recently it's like breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend. You want to keep checking that they are doing badly - it justifies you leaving them. (hee...or something)

And "nods" to your review. Looks like we agreed on everything! :))
4th-Nov-2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
Someone said to be recently it's like breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend. You want to keep checking that they are doing badly - it justifies you leaving them. (hee...or something)

Good point! I just don't have the time to watch shows I've broken up with.

Thanks again show. You keep reinforcing what it is I love about you.,

Yes! And maybe it is because I'm not one of those fans who has watched since the beginning. I only discovered the show in March and I am still in love. Plus, no show is going to be 100% of what I wanna see 100% of the time and I am pretty accepting of the duds. What I like about this show is that there is no constant reset and repercussions are long felt. And this is a usually a character driven, mytharc thing. So, even a "dud" will often have something within it that speaks to the relationship and/or mytharc and that's just not something you always see in shows of this genre.

And I am always excited to read your reaction to an episode as well!

2nd-Nov-2012 05:00 am (UTC)
Finally watched and a resounding YES! to what you said...first episode that I've gone back and rewatched certain scenes. And remarkably, not just the scenes with Sam and Dean.

The fact that I liked Amelia feels nothing short of miraculous, and Benny was just so...interesting. That line at the end about being damned was very touching...it amazed me they could draw such poignancy from a character we just met.

Looking forward to next week...and I haven't yet felt like that this season! :-)))
2nd-Nov-2012 01:51 pm (UTC)
Oh yay! You liked!! \o/

I also like Amelia (I think we might be a rare breed). I like that she isn't an out and out cliche. I figure there's a lot more to her story yet and I can't wait to find it out.

I am completely unspoiled for what's ahead. I'm so curious to see what they have in store for us.

<33
2nd-Nov-2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
I like Amelia, too, and for much that reason: I love that for once she's not the woman who symbolically stands for normal, that's she's thrown out of normal almost as far as Sam, and that if normal is what they want they'll have to jury rig it together.

Benny, otoh, I found a bit boringly bland and clichéd. I like that the writers weren't going out of their way to make Amelia easily likable, but I felt like they were going out of their way to writer Benny as sympathetic, and I wish they'd trust me to find him sympathetic even without having every element of him set up to present him that way.
2nd-Nov-2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
I love that for once she's not the woman who symbolically stands for normal

Yeah. She's not an, um, easy character - not one who slots nicely in a box and is easily recognizable.

I'm in two minds about Benny. I actually really liked Dean and Benny's chemistry (I suppose that's Jensen and Ty) - I really got a good sense of their bond. I admit I wasn't exactly enthralled by his back story though - only I kept thinking about how it related to Sam and Dean and it made it more interesting for me.

2nd-Nov-2012 10:31 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this ep, too. But then again I alway do, don't I?! ;)
The freshly cut off vampire head flying across the hallway made me laugh. *g*
2nd-Nov-2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
Hee! yeah, I don't think I've ever heard of an ep you didn't like! I pretty much like them all - though some better than others.

Hee... the rolling vamps heads were hilarious. (Imagine saying that! Only SPN!)

xox
4th-Nov-2012 05:33 am (UTC)
I finally got to watch this all the way through. Yes to pretty much everything you said. I'm wondering if there might be a parallel between Andrea and Cas. We still don't know what happened to him. It makes more sense that it's Sam but Cas is what jumped into my head as it happened.

Sam is a panicky wreck without Dean around and Dean is oblivious. I wonder if Dean'll realize it. The subject of stalking came up more than once and I wonder where that will go.

People mentioned Benny's accent and there was one spot that I'll have to go back and find but it triggered Dean's/Jensen's I think and that doesn't happen very often.

The splats of black goo turning into people shapes were glorious. They came in like artillary fire. The ka-clonk of the head as it rolled across the floor...hee! Like a plastic bowl.

Best of all.....DEAN ON A FRIGGIN' BOAT! Yes, yes, pirates. Ships in stained glass windows, the sea...now we need a cannon in canon. Jeremy Carver, make that happen.

8th-Nov-2012 09:14 am (UTC)
Hey there!

Sorry for the late reply.

There were certainly some great moments in the episode. It would have been wonderful to actually have them on a real pirate ship. Now that we know vampirates exists it HAS to happen. Cannon in canon! LOLZ!!!

And Sam as a panicky wreck fills me with glee. ;)
xx
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