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The Benny drama came to a head this week in “Citizen Fang” as Martin teamed up with Sam and Dean to track the vampire after a dead body turned up in Louisiana. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Martin, who last appeared in Season 5’s “Sam, Interrupted.” The show wasted no time reminding us that Martin is still a bit unhinged following his time in the mental hospital, and that flaw proved to be his undoing by episode’s end. Overall I thought “Citizen Fang” was a nice attempt to continue the emotional story of Season 8 with both Dean and Sam’s year apart getting ample attention. But as a midseason finale, this episode fell flat with a cliffhanger that doesn’t exactly have me counting down until January.
Hello Benny/Roy. Or is it Benroy?
The opening scene of “Citizen Fang” shows us that Benny is working at a diner in Louisiana and we later discover that it’s his hometown and that his boss at the diner, Elizabeth, is actually his great-granddaughter. The writers have done a nice job humanizing Benny and this episode highlighted the vampire’s efforts to assimilate back into society. With his great love dead and Dean back on the road with Sam, Benny is truly a vampire out of time. Seeing him reconnect with Elizabeth (unbeknownst to her) was a nice move for the character and one that made sense.
It was pretty easy to deduce that Benny wasn’t the one killing those people. Combine the fact that we never saw Benny attack the victims with all the effort that’s been put into building up his character as a “decent monster” and you knew there would be another explanation. Turns out a rogue vampire named Desmond is attempting to coerce Benny into joining his new nest by leaving a trail of dead bodies. With Dean’s help, Benny takes out Desmond in typical Supernatural fashion by lunging from the shadows at the last second to save Dean from being bitten. The one interesting part of the scene was seeing how difficult it was for Benny to suppress his bloodlust after Dean got his neck cut by Desmond. Benny ultimately controlled his urges but not before Dean noticed the struggle that his friend was going through.
Crazy Martin becomes Bad Guy Martin.
The weakest part of “Citizen Fang” was how it set Martin up as the villain. I appreciate Season 8’s nods to other seasons, but bringing back a character with a strong tie to John Winchester only to have him go off the rails hunting Benny was a poor decision. I understand the need to keep Benny’s character sympathetic, and killing out of anything but necessity certainly would’ve damaged that sympathy. What I take issue with is how Martin was scapegoated so that Benny could remain a good guy in the eyes of the audience. Martin meant a lot to John, and although he was never quite right in the head, I didn’t buy that his was a guy who would take a person hostage in order to kill a vampire. It just doesn’t fit with the character we meet three seasons ago, and that doesn’t seem like the actions of a man John Winchester would consider a hunting partner.
Let’s arm wrestle for Amelia.
We finally get to meet Amelia in present day… right as the credits roll. I mentioned this last week, but it’s been tough to get invested in Sam’s relationship with someone we’ve only seen in flashbacks, especially since it was revealed in “Hunteri Heroici” that her husband Don was actually still alive. The whole story feels melodramatic and reminds too much of the other shows on the CW. Supernatural has never handled romantic relationships well and has wisely steered clear of them for the most part. We were even treated to the clichéd scene of Don saddling up next to Sam at the bar and asking that he respect Amelia’s decision, whatever it may be.
What’s interesting to note is that Sam decides to leave before Dean gets out of Purgatory. He wants Amelia to give Don a chance, and that’s admirable, but it also contradicts the scene we saw in the premiere where Sam crawled out of bed and Amelia was next to him. I guess Amelia didn’t want to make things work with Don and continued her relationship with Sam. How convenient then for her that Don was still hanging around after Sam left and that she fell into Don’s arms like Sam never existed. Thanks to Dean’s phone number switcheroo, Sam gets to see Amelia and Don snuggled up on the couch, but judging by Amelia’s appearance at the bar she still has those feelings for Sam. Hopefully the next episode will address their relationship and move it past the secrets and lies stage. Sam needs to come clean with Amelia or move out of the way and let Don be with her. Dragging the whole thing out reminds too much of other frustrating CW relationships.
Castiel will get things moving.
I had hoped that Season 8’s big storyline – closing the gates of Hell – would factor into this episode considering it’s the meatiest plot arc we’ve got right now. Alas, Kevin and Mrs. Tran were nowhere to be seen. It appears the next episode will get things moving in the right direction as Castiel returns to refocus the brothers following all this Benny drama. Let’s hope the writers don’t make the same mistake they did in Season 7 and bury the gates of Hell storyline for too long. I can’t take another season-long arc ending as lamely as the Leviathan storyline did.
Next time on Supernatural
Castiel plays Dr. Phil to a feuding Sam and Dean.