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Season 8 of Supernatural got back on track this week with an episode that further developed the relationship between Dean and Benny while also filling in the gaps of Sam’s year spent with Amelia. Benny’s been absent since the second episode, but his quest to kill his maker took center stage in “Blood Brothers” and Dean quickly became involved once Benny got severely injured. Dean was forced to walk a tightrope in this episode. On one hand was his unwavering loyalty to Sam. On the other was a newfound loyalty to Benny, whom he views as a brother after their experiences in Purgatory. Dean had a good reason to keep Benny secret from Sam. The nuclear meltdown between the brothers that awaits us in next week’s episode was something Dean had to expect once Sam found out about his new vampire pal. Given their strict “kill all monsters” policy (with the exception of last week), Sam has every reason to rip Dean a new one for his deception. It’s one thing to let a vampire live. It’s another thing entirely to trust a vampire and come to its aid.
Muted tones and rolling heads.
The Purgatory flashbacks have been stellar this season. They’re effective in so many ways – the way they’re shot with a washed out color palate, their flawless implementation into episodes and the way tension is packed into every scene make me want to see more of Dean’s time “right next door to Hell.” This episode showed us the uneasy alliance between Dean, Benny and Cas as the trio trekked across Purgatory. Benny hated the idea of walking through monster paradise with a flashing neon sign walking next to him, and Dean hated the idea of leaving Castiel behind. But his loyalty won out as Dean insisted that the trio would escape together or die trying. And come on, being friends with an angel who can smite monsters by looking at them has serious perks.
Despite Benny’s animosity toward Castiel, the vampire saved the angel once the gang was ambushed by Leviathan, who were so much cooler in Purgatory than on Earth. Their crater-causing entrances and the way they formed from black goo really bumped them up the badass chart. I still have a problem with the oldest beasts in existence looking like humans, but you can’t fault a show too heavily when its budget is as hamstrung as Supernatural’s has always been. Back to Benny and Castiel – do I think they’ll ever be best friends? No, but there seems to be a mutual respect there now that made Dean and Co. a force to be reckoned with in Purgatory. Especially given the way Dean has been eviscerating baddies this season. Post-Purgatory Dean is the equivalent of soulless Sam, only he still loves cheeseburgers.
Benny and his merry band of pirates.
I was really into Benny’s backstory this week. The writers did a great job giving this vampire a fresh spin on what’s already been established within the realm of Supernatural. The idea of vampire pirates hijacking yachts, draining their victims and sinking the ships was such a unique take on the idea of a vampire nest. We learned that life on the high seas led Benny to find a soulmate in the form of Andrea, whom Benny thought dead after he was beheaded by his master. Speaking of the master, did anyone else get a Twilight vibe from this well-coifed, sweater-wearing vamp? Appearance aside, the master showed some depth of character when he revealed that he’d grown weary of the universe, describing it as a “pyramid of despair.” I fear that this is the fate Benny has resigned himself to in coming back to Earth. You could see it by episode’s end – Benny was lost in a world he didn’t understand, searching for meaning and finding none. The next time we see Benny, I expect the situation will include a higher body count.
Troy and Sam fixing AC units!
I had to chuckle at Sam’s story this week. With Dean off helping Benny, Sam was stuck at the hotel with nothing but his memories to keep him company. Well, that and a broken AC fan in his hotel room. The plot device used in this episode – hotel items triggering Sam’s memories – was a little clunky but worked since Sam actually worked at a hotel prior to moving in with Amelia. We haven’t seen too much of Sam’s year with Amelia, at least not as much as we’ve seen from Dean’s time in Purgatory. It’s easy to see why Sam was attracted to Amelia, though. She gives off the same strong, confident vibes that Jess did. She’s also not afraid to call Sam out on his creepy behavior, including that he buys all his clothes at army surplus stores. I find Amelia endearing thus far and I look forward to seeing her and Sam interact in the future, especially if she doesn’t know about his family’s profession yet.
“Blood Brothers” was the true follow-up to the first two episodes of the season. Sam and Dean even made mention of the fact that we were dealing with a mythology episode as they talked about the mission to close the gates of Hell and finding Kevin. I hope we can get a solid run of episode dealing with the season-long arc before having another one-off episode thrown in there.
Line of the week
“Vampire pirates. That’s what you guys are? Vampirates.” – Dean
Next week on Supernatural
Garth’s back! And he’s playing mediator!