Supernatural "Man's Best Friend With Benefits" Review: In the Dog House

Supernatural S08E15: “Man’s Best Friend With Benefits”

So that was, uh, interesting. Super sad to ditch the main storyline for a case-of-the-week that wasn’t even particularly great, but thems the breaks. There’s always one terribly awkward and vaguely problematic episode each season and I think we hit ours for Season 8 with “Man’s Best Friend With Benefits,” which sounded like a really bad idea from the title alone. Once it became apparent that the title wasn’t chosen solely for the giggles—it was an entirely accurate description of the episode—it was over. It was all over. The writers really should have stopped at the title. Then they should have stopped at the part where they put a dog collar on a sexy lady and had her refer to her loverboy witch-with-a-special-bond as “master.” It was like some sort of effed-up lost episode of I Dream of Jeannie. You know the part where doggie Portia slipped into the Winchesters’ motel room and all the blood drained from Sam’s face when Dean returned from his grocery run because he knew Dean would be pissed to find a dog camped out on the bed and all Sam could say was, “Oh no”? That was me.

Add in all the beastiality references and, well, this is why you can’t have nice things, Supernatural. Now go stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done. The rest of us are going to try to pick our jaws off the floor, dust them off, and try to find nice things to say about the collective stroke the entire production seemed to have this week.

But FIRST, despite the unified front Sam and Dean managed to develop in the wake of the Men of Letters/Batcave stuff, it appears that we’re back to keeping secrets and flaunting our trust issues. Dean was still fiercely against Sam taking on the God trials required to close the gates of Hell, but a little headtrip through their worst memories—courtesy of this week’s evildoer, Spencer—somehow inspired him to back Sam’s plan? Is that how this works? In what basically amounted to a revised version of his speech back in Season 5 when Sam decided jumping into Hell was a GREAT idea, Dean said he trusted Sam and would support whatever decision about the trials Sam made. Excellent. We’re all on the same page.

Then, LITERALLY TWO SECONDS LATER, Sam coughed up a wad of blood that was way too conveniently timed to NOT be somehow related to his neat glowing appendage trick from last week’s hellhound bubble bath. When Dean asked if he was okay, Sam pulled out his signature move: pairing an unconvincing “I’m fine” with the patented Sam Winchester Guilt Face. Oh no. HELL NO. I am not ready for this shit. I. AM. NOT. READY. FOR. THIS. SHIT.

Okay, okay, GOOD THINGS. They exist! They do! Wedged between James and Portia’s Bella/Edward romance-mind-meld-bondage-whatever and the admittedly semi-interesting world-building that explored the inner-workings of the witch community, there was that awesome confirmation that Dean’s trust issues aren’t so much about not trusting Sam as they're about a general inability to trust ANYONE who isn’t Dean. A lot of that stems from the fact that Dean’s been repeatedly burned by supposed allies, but I think that sense of unwavering independence is also something that's probably been drilled into Dean’s head since the Winchester family hit the road after mom got toasted on the ceiling. We know from flashbacks that John Winchester wasn’t around much, that his idea of taking care of his sons consisted largely of “Here’s some Spaghetti-Os and a shotgun. Don’t talk to strangers. TTYL.” Dean was entirely in charge of caring for Sam and himself. Later, his responsibility grew to include the whole freaking world and we witnessed him struggle over a similar case of the trust cooties leading up to Sam leaping into Hell. Back then, Dean’s protest was only slightly influenced by a lack of faith in Sam’s ability to overcome Lucifer. It was mostly fueled by the realization that he was no longer part of the equation. He was powerless to stop Sam, powerless to stop Lucifer and Michael, and for a guy who was raised to take charge of every situation, bred to be the “good soldier” and the “hero” and the one who got the job done, that was tough to accept. He clearly floundered through Seasons 6 and 7 in the aftermath, pinballing from Lisa to Bobby to Sam to Castiel, always reacting and never fully leading. Even the problematic Lisa-memory-wipe thing, as "bad touchy" as it was, was born out of the idea that no one but Dean could protect her, NO ONE, and unfortunately, Dean couldn’t be with her and Ben all day, every day. In a weird, awful way, Purgatory was probably a good thing for Dean in that it gave him back that confidence that we hadn’t seen for so long in his ability to fight and win, save himself, and even save others.

For that fleeting period between Sam’s speech about how BOTH brothers deserve happy endings and Dean's own monologue about accepting Sam’s invitation to come into the liiiiight, Dean had found that happy medium between being the self-sacrificing hero and being the reluctant binge-drinking damsel and for an instant everything clicked. This season has come so far in putting the Winchesters’ fractured team back together: first by having them actually CHOOSE to be together, then by revealing their complimentary legacies of hunter and scholar, and finally, by pointing them toward the season’s epic battle on an uncharacteristically positive note—victory without death, dismemberment, heartbreak, or... more death.

So I’m sure you understand my concern.The series has been riding a good, quality high since returning from hiatus, feeling more fresh and alive than it has in years... only to fall back into the same tired pattern of keeping-secrets-for-the-sake-of-perpetuating-trust-issues. And just to rub a little salt in the wound, it did it all on top of a generally lackluster episode.

But it’s okay, Supernatural. I’ve been braced for this inevitable stumble since Henry Winchester tumbled out of the closet and blew our minds with the shiny new mythology. It happened. It’s okay. Now pick yourself back up and go back to being awesome (and try not to take two whole seasons to do it this time.)


What did you think of this episode?



CASE NOTES

– Dumb Winchester Sighting: Are you telling me that Dean and Sam Winchester seriously don’t know what astral projection is? Even if they thought it was hokey (but why would they?), I would've thought they’d at least have a vague understanding of it, right?

– If you strip away all of the cringe-y details, Portia was actually kind of awesome, mostly for her refusal to indulge Dean’s awkward curiosity and the fact that she was ultimately responsible for saving everyone.

– Shep vs. Curly FTW.

– Dean (understandably) dislikes dogs and he’s allergic to cats. Guess there are no pets in the Batcave’s future, though I could see Dean getting really pumped about, like, an iguana or something.

– So coughing up blood, eh? You know, Sam, WebMD says you should go immediately to the hospital when that happens.

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my husband of 9years left me just because i could not give him A child, i did all i could to make sure i give him a child, i even went to an extent of forcing him to have sex with me every night but could not work. not untill one evening when i was browsing through the internet, i saw a comment on how a woman in same problem like mine was made home by A man called Dr onofe. i read about him and decided to contact him for help, i did as he ask me to do but i was still wondering how can someone just bring back my love he don't even know but i keep doing as he ask me to do. i was very surprise one morning my husband came and started begging me to come back to his life. at first i pretend to be angry then i accepted him back. Dr onofe also cast a spell for me to make me have children and as i speak right now i am a mother with 3kids. if there is any one out there who needs his help you can contact him through his personal EMAIL: onofetemple@yahoo.com or onofetemple@gmail.com website: http://onofetemple.wix.com/http i wish you good luck

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my husband of 9years left me just because i could not give him A child, i did all i could to make sure i give him a child, i even went to an extent of forcing him to have sex with me every night but could not work. not untill one evening when i was browsing through the internet, i saw a comment on how a woman in same problem like mine was made home by A man called Dr onofe. i read about him and decided to contact him for help, i did as he ask me to do but i was still wondering how can someone just bring back my love he don't even know but i keep doing as he ask me to do. i was very surprise one morning my husband came and started begging me to come back to his life. at first i pretend to be angry then i accepted him back. Dr onofe also cast a spell for me to make me have children and as i speak right now i am a mother with 3kids. if there is any one out there who needs his help you can contact him through his personal EMAIL: onofetemple@yahoo.com or onofetemple@gmail.com website: http://onofetemple.wix.com/http i wish you good luck
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I Met a Powerful Spell caster and Psychic from India by name Dr Bully, He is very real, Honest and Genuine.. He helped me get my lover back, there is no bad or negative effect.The Psychic uses white Magic and he helped me get my Lover back, it worked in 2 days.. My lover came back to me, apologized for leaving and now we are back together and as happy as ever… I will encourage and recommend anyone to contact the spell caster and ask him for help.. He does all kinds of spells asides love spells. just tell him your situation and he will help you… you can email him directly on bullytemple@yahoo.com (his Facebook name is Kareem Abhida and his Facebook page is Dr Bully Temple""" he is the answer to your problem..once again the email address is bullytemple@yahoo.com get back your divorced Husband/Wife back now with his help
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i wasnt compelled to share this but i feel i need to say it out cos some persons out there might be suffering from what i have experienced in the past .
my name is cynthia moore ,am from Texas ,USA
after dating my boyfriend charles for about 4 years ,like every woman i was expecting him to ask the big question.when i was already planning a family with Wayne something terrible happened .he started acting funny and sometimes out of control..i was devastated and lost for words because i could not ascertain what was happening .after thorough investigation i figured out that my man has fallen head over heels for another woman .for days i was confused ,i tried talking to him but things got worse .
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now we are happilly married and since then i have peace with my man .
i know some women out there are gong through what have gone through .dont give up just yet .there is hope
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i wasnt compelled to share this but i feel i need to say it out cos some persons out there might be suffering from what i have experienced in the past .
my name is cynthia moore ,am from Texas ,USA
after dating my boyfriend charles for about 4 years ,like every woman i was expecting him to ask the big question.when i was already planning a family with Wayne something terrible happened .he started acting funny and sometimes out of control..i was devastated and lost for words because i could not ascertain what was happening .after thorough investigation i figured out that my man has fallen head over heels for another woman .for days i was confused ,i tried talking to him but things got worse .
i came online and started looking for solutions ,i met so many spell casters but they were only interested in my money .After spending so much on fake spell casters , came across Dr aruya ,i thought he was just like the others .out of curiosity i gave him a try and to my surprise he cast a spell without collecting a dime from me .i was not sure the spell would work but to my greatest surprise my boyfriend came home that day begging and asking for my forgiveness .
now we are happilly married and since then i have peace with my man .
i know some women out there are gong through what have gone through .dont give up just yet .there is hope
.you can contact dr aruya on ......
draruyasolutiontemple@gmail.com or http://draruya.webs.com
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What the H*LL is up with all the weirdo comments here all of a sudden? Does somebody think that because we watch Supernatural, we're gullible idiots who'd believe anything? And so many of them? Jeez!
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Hello, My name is Jessylynn harvey. i want to share to the whole world on how Dr Keke Odin the chief Priest of all the spell casters in India Helped me reunite my marriage. To cut the long story shot, after 2 years of break up with my Husband with no phone calls or email messages. i was so frustrated because i have contacted so many other spell casters with no results. when i read about Dr Keke Odin (The Chief Priest Of all the spell casters in India) on his website at http://greatkekespelltemple01.webs.com so i decided to contact him for help. to my greatest surprise, in just 24 hours later my Husband called me and started begging for forgiveness. i am now a happy woman with a beautiful baby girl.all thanks to Dr Keke Odin. You can contact Dr keke Odin On contact him directly on his email at greatkekespelltemple@gmail.com or contact him through his website at http://greatkekespelltemple01.webs.com. his help is assured and guaranteed once again email him directly at greatkekespelltemple@gmail.com
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i am here to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr alli baba for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he Dr alli baba casted on him that make him comeback to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you Dr alli baba for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact allibabaspelltempletemple@gmail.com and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay
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Hello, My name is Jessylynn harvey. i want to share to the whole world on how Dr Keke Odin the chief Priest of all the spell casters in India Helped me reunite my marriage. To cut the long story shot, after 2 years of break up with my Husband with no phone calls or email messages. i was so frustrated because i have contacted so many other spell casters with no results. when i read about Dr Keke Odin (The Chief Priest Of all the spell casters in India) on his website at http://greatkekespelltemple01.webs.com so i decided to contact him for help. to my greatest surprise, in just 24 hours later my Husband called me and started begging for forgiveness. i am now a happy woman with a beautiful baby girl.all thanks to Dr Keke Odin. You can contact Dr keke Odin On contact him directly on his email at greatkekespelltemple@gmail.com or contact him through his website at http://greatkekespelltemple01.webs.com. his help is assured and guaranteed once again email him directly at greatkekespelltemple@gmail.com
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i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses okorospell@gmail.com

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I was crushed when my lover of three years left to be with another woman. I
cried and sobbed every day, until it got so bad that I reached out to the
Internet for help.And i saw a testimony of a spell caster who help a girl
called michelle and i said let me give it a try so i contact him for help
and he cast a love spell for me which i use in getting my love back and now
i am a happy woman.For what you have done for me,i will not stop to share
your goodness to people out there for the good work you are doing.I hope
God blesses you as much as you have help me to get my Love back,visit him
on lalapumena@gmail.com is the only answer to your problemS
EMILIANO BABARAH_USA or cel phone +2348158270343

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i want to say a very big thanks and appreciation to chief priest Great okoro for bringing back my husband who left i and the kids for almost three months within the space of five days after following all instruction given to me. i am very much grateful for restoring peace in my marital home’ i pray God almighty give you the strength and wisdom to help more people having similar problem like mine. for help you can CONTACT HIM on this email okorospell@gmail.com or cel phone +2348158270343
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My ex an I broke up about 3 years ago and he was my first love so it was pretty difficult to get over. Our relationship was immature but there was no denying this crazy connection. Since our split I have only seen him 4-5 times each time we say hello chat a little he smiles at me and we part ways with my heart left fluttering. His ex girlfriend and I work together and since she has started at my job all she does is talk about him. For the past 3-4 months I’ve been having these dreams where I’m either just meeting him and all in love all over again or he has a new girlfriend and I’m fighting for him to be mine like I had done after our break up in the past. I had though I was over him but her constantly talking about him, me seeing him recently, and these dreams have me questioning my true feelings.email extremlovespell5@yahoo.com,
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HELLO:
my name is CAROLEN ANDREW from USA, i want to testify to the general public how my relationship was restored back by the great power’s of Dr.Agbazara after three months of loneliness, my ex-lover called me after my contact with Dr.Agbazara that he want us to come back and start a good home, now we are happily married with two kids. All thanks to Dr.AGBAZARA for his spiritual help. You can contact him onif you have marriage or relationship problem, or any solution you may need,.you can Contact him via email: (agbazara@gmail.com) or you can also reach him directly on his cell phone number +2348104102662 and you experience his great power
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HELLO:
my name is CAROLEN ANDREW from USA, i want to testify to the general public how my relationship was restored back by the great power’s of Dr.Agbazara after three months of loneliness, my ex-lover called me after my contact with Dr.Agbazara that he want us to come back and start a good home, now we are happily married with two kids. All thanks to Dr.AGBAZARA for his spiritual help. You can contact him onif you have marriage or relationship problem, or any solution you may need,.you can Contact him via email: (agbazara@gmail.com) or you can also reach him directly on his cell phone number +2348104102662 and you experience his great power
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My Name is SANTO WESTLEY..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster when i contact this man called okutemple@hotmail.com Execute some business..He is really powerful..My wife divorce me with no reason for almost 4 years and i tried all i could to have her back cos i really love her so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 5 years with no kid and she woke up one morning and she told me she’s going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when she came back from work she tender to me a divorce letter and she packed all her loads from my house..i ran mad and i tried all i could to have her back but all did not work out..i was lonely for almost 4 years…So when i told the spell caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for her full name and her picture..i gave him that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a try cos have tried so many spell casters and there is no solution…so when he finished with the readings,he got back to me that she’s with a man and that man is the reason why she left me…The spell caster said he will help me with a spell that will surely bring her back.but i never believe all this…he told me i will see a positive result within 3 days..3 days later,she called me herself and came to me apologizing
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I just totally love this episode. Dark mystique leaves me feeling a sense of awe...and this episode has plenty of it. Man's best friend with or without benefits feels like a lead in for a new series. Please let it be. I would love to see James and Portia battling evil every week.
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Also, "Man's Best Friend with Benefits" episode completely blows, including the title. I can't even begin to list the reasons. Lose the melodrama, campy, filler, half-baked ideas thing. This isn't Twilight.
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I agree that Sam and Dean would know what astral projection is. Considering Sam has been a psychic demon killer and all. I mean, that's like not knowing what sea salt is used for!
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So this is what happens when the writers take fanfic and make an episode. Really a hot black chick with a collar. In the hotel and then chaining a man to a bed they really did waste the witch lore with this one.
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Don't know why, but I enjoyed this episode.
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If you have to give the writers credit for ANYTHING in this episode, it was showing restraint by not having Sam or Dean make a "doggy style" joke. I kept waiting for it.
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Yeah, me too.
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I just love Supernatural. The poor guy is pouring his heart out : "I trust you Sammy", aaaaaaaaaaaaaand guess what? He's still not telling you that despite the fact that he said he was fine, Sam is NOT fine and he didn't think that mentioning that he was coughing up blood was too important to mention. I mean when am I gonna learn to not be surprised and not get angry that they're still hiding things from each other like every other week.
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I never thought I would say this ever... "PLEASE let it be the last season" OMG
I love you WInchesters, but what is the wrong?!!!
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Oh my god...I was thinking today about Supernatural and it hit me out of nowhere. If someone already posted this question,tell me,so I will go and read it(don't really wanna read all comments for "nothing" :D).

Do you see irony with, which Supernatural has hit us?? Hint Sam...like SAAAM :D




Sam has DEMON BLOOD in him(I think he still has it in him) and he is doing these trials. Is Sam human? I remember at one point he drank so much demon blood,he got black eyes. Is that the reason he is coughing up blood? If he does these trials and completes them,will he go to hell...forever!?!?!?!? :D And if I figured this out,when will WInchesters figure it out?!?!

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im pretty sure the demon blood was cleaned out of him at the start of the fifth season when they get put on the plane, but ya it is ironic that the man who housed lucifer is going on a holy quest to seal hell
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Yeah, but don't forget that AFTER that, he drank demon blood to kill famine (5x14) and then again to make himself ready to be Lucifer's vessel (5x22).
We can say he detoxes both times, but Sam had one drop of it as a baby, and it never left his system, even 20+ years later. So can you ever really be free of it? That's the question, and they never really addressed it.

I don't think the blood he's coughing up has anything to do with the demon blood, though. If it does, I'd lean towards it being more of a 'you're being purified to undertake these trials' thing than a 'you're going to Hell no matter what' thing.
More likely, I see it as a sign that whatever happens, whatever will happen with the trials, it will take tremendous strain on Sam's body and endurance. My guess is it will kind of act as a 'time limit' incentive. Dean mentioned that Kevin is still fine tuning the translation of each trial, so we don't know the full Terms of Service, if you will. A ticking time bomb is a very good way to add an extra sense of urgency to the plot, as well as a way to hook the audience and get them invested in the plot. The show has spent so much of mid-season dithering about on MotW stories and plots that unrelated to the overall arc that they will need something force the Winchesters back to it--and with a drive to complete it that has been missing until now.
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They'll never bring this show back to its S1-S5 glory...really hating that they've renewed it for another season. At the rate their going they'll end up having this show burn out instead of have it end gloriously like it should have at the S5 finale!
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I posted this as a reply to theopratt further on down the page but I'd like other people opinions.

"Good point about the brothers being or becoming supernatural themselves.
They've died and gone to heaven/hell/purgatory. They chant spells, make magical items, summon demons and angels, time traveled and so much more...are they "witches" or some other more vague "supernatural being"?

Are witches born or made? If made then how? some say that they are made by demons but if so then what is the strict definition of a witch because Sam and Dean do "witchy" things

Is "heaven" really good? Naiomi is there and bad things have happened there...

Personally I would be happy if the brothers closed the "gates" to the "christian" version of heaven and hell and explored the men of letters and other mythos.... but I would miss Castiel.

I like how they are moving away from the "kill them all" mentality. They let the warlock snitch live and a bunch of other witches...

I like the idea of killing "bad" supernaturals and working with "good" supernaturals.
Personally, I think Dean and Sam are "good supernaturals"....

not the best episode but not horrible either~~but I'm getting tired of the "trust" drama
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I know,that some witches sold their soul to demons and those are made. I think it is both...they are born and made.
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WTF??? Just as I was beginning to look forward to these episodes again.
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I'm surprised you got this much to write about out of the episode. "generally lackluster episode"? Really? It sucked so much ass, I couldn't even get my palm off my face before the next stupid turn came around. As for Sam coughing up blood, that shit came a bit out of the blue, didn't it? Like, let's have Sam face some troubles cause, you know, stuff.
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"Season 7, Time for a Wedding" set the standard for suckass in this series for me, but yeah, this was pretty bad. As for coming up with anything to say, my old roommate, who was also an English major, used to joke that we majored in "the fine art of writing circles around the actual subject," and, alternately, "the fine art of pulling bullshit out of thin air."

"Like, let's have Sam face some troubles cause, you know, stuff."

Basically.
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I couldn't make it past the first 20 minutes of this episode. I felt like I was watching Charmed. Winchesters, you know I love you, but yuck.
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Ignoring the bestiality thing I thought this was a pretty good ep. It was /nice/ to see the Winchesters acting like goofy brothers again at the start, instead of the near constant angst and Sams disregard for anything to do with his brother that filled most of the first half of the season. I enjoy a bit of 'monster of the week' in between all the 'dear god, here we go again, destiny and prophets' eps we seem to get so much of.

My only real beef with this ep? WHEN ARE WE GOING TO SEE SOMETHING WITH CASTIEL?!? It's been how many eps now since Sam and Dean were all 'golly gosh, seems a baddies got their hands (minds? evil powers?) on our Cas!' and we've seen them do exactly... squat. Its just been shoved aside like it doesn't matter to them at all. Which after Deans mega-angst about Cas been stuck in Purgatory, and the rather brutal reality that Cas is pretty much the only sudo-family they have left, it all seems so unlikely. And more then a little bit annoying.
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I don´t see any problem with this episode..it was great. 1) I love that writers finally started to discover NEW supernatural world (golems, men of letters, familiars)..it´fun 2) I really like the concept of witch and familiar relationship... holy shit - she wasn´t a dog! She was supernatural creature with feelings and all.. I didn´t find it weird..more like really sweet and touchy - how they take care of each other. He didn´t abuse her..I´m a girl but sometimes I feel like people defend our rights where we don´t need it..where it is ridiculous and these same people are blind to real problems of emancipation. 3) But I have to agree with the last part... when Sam didn´t say anything to Dean AGAIN I wanted to scream at him..and writers. Not. Again. Oh. My. God.
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What did I think of this episode? 1) Dumb Winchester sighting, Pt. 2: Not only did they not know what astral projection was, which is dumb since they've done it before while an attacking Alastair told them "It's not so easy when you're not in your meat-suits, is it?" in season 4, they also didn't know much about Familiars. I thought it was very implausible that they didn't know where Familiars come from, and worse and even more out of character....they didn't even try to find out. Dean asked Portia which came first, the dog or the woman? She didn't answer him, and......nobody cared? Bobby would whip their ASS for not getting to the bottom of things like that, because a Hunter's job is 90% knowledge. I find it very unlikely that neither Winchester knew all about Familiars, and even more so that neither of them cared about finding out what they didn't know. Um, hello.....knowing about and understanding Familiars would kind of be key to all the witch-hunting you plan on doing in the future, right? 2) Sam got all up in Dean's grill about Benny, but he wants to give this witch guy the benefit of the doubt? I don't think it's even hypocrisy, I think its crap, forgetful, non-continuital writing which this show has been plagued with for over 2 years now. I'm glad at least Dean busted him on it a little at the end, saying Benny didn't have a choice, but if these characters (and consequently their character traits) were being handled better, Dean would've lit into Sam's ass about that immediately, and not been so "Oh well, Sam wants to give the witch a chance. Ok, whatevs." 3) So....what's our season's arc, exactly? We started Creation User-Manual Tablets and using them to close the gates of hell, but...not really....it's really gonna be about a mysterious Angel Commander co-opting Castiel (where the hell is Cas??) and wiping his memory and making him do her bidding, that must be....whoops, no, it's the Men of Letters, the rest of the season will be about---lol jk, no, it's about doing these trials to close the gates of hell. Look, I can get on board with any of these things, I like all those ideas and find them intriguing. But they need to either focus on one or else tie them all in together somehow. Right now it feels like the writers have a hodge-podge of ideas and each week they throw shit against the wall to see what sticks. And the characters, the continuity, and even the writing, are all suffering for it. Bright spot: It's still better than season 7.
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Season 8 is having the same problems season 6 had: too many storylines. Closing up Hell, Cas being mind controlled, Benny the friendly vampire, the Men of Letters and their enemies, four separate storylines that will no doubt be jumbled together in to one clustercrap of a season finale, like season 6. I would've liked the Men of Letters to be the main focus of season 9 (there WILL be a season 9) but putting it in a season that is more personal than the last season just seems like a waste.
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I'm glad I'm not the only one who is kind of worried about the huge pile of storylines we still have going this late in the season. I feel like Benny they could probably push into season 9. Like, I'd like to see him again, but if we don't, it doesn't really affect anything at the moment. As much as I looooove Men of Letters, it can also go on the backburner for now. I can't believe they've waited this long to come back to Cas and Naomi though, and that's the one I'm most worried is going to get a crappy rushed ending, especially if the writers just forge ahead and try to finish ALL of the stories before the season ends. :/
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Oh, yeah, forgot to say, more continuity/bad writing problems. We learned in season 3 that witches get their power from demons. So how in the hell would the Winchesters be cool with witches under any circumstances? If witches were just stand-alone monsters and could be trusted on an individual basis, yeah, maybe. But though most witches don't realize it, according to s3, demons are the source of all their witchcraftishness. By this point we pretty much know that demons don't do stuff out of the goodness of their heart. No hunter who understands this would be cool with witches, especially not when they're trying to close the gates of hell. And if they succeed....will witches lose their power with the power-supply cut off?
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I thought that while it was afiller episode it was not horrible. I mean I think the point was more blowing the stereotypes out of the water. Here we had a "witch" and his familiar not being bad guys and actually using the power for good things. I think that its part of the season's overall story line that not all mystical and supernatural creatures are evil and that some times people or creatures can overcome their natures and do good instead. At this point Kevin hasn't figured out what the next two tests are so while he is doing his thing the brothers do theirs. I do hope that with filler episodes that there would be at least some contribution to the overall story, like maybe they go back to James for some help or maybe he decides to show up and give them a hand closing the gates of hell. I don't think it would be smart to have a powerful character show up and then have him never show up again. Makes sense when its a victim of a monster attack cuz usually the vics have nothing to offer the brothers other than a thank you.
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Some great jokes... :D ha-ha
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The show is getting boring!
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Agree with all the "filler" comments.
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A filler-ish type of an episode. Not particularly great, yet not particularly bad either (the overall reception might depend on your tolerance levels and/or tastes, I guess). If anything, you can be certain of one thing - Supernatural writers live to surprise; even if not all of their surprises are as pleasant as one might hope.
I probably would've judged this little adventure harsher if it had happened in the first half of the season. But seeing as it's coming off the back of the previous three strong episodes, I've been willing to cut it some slack. It was mostly sidetracking, without great consequences to the main storyline, and nothing major's been botched (although the misgiving at the end has not been lost on me).

So, witches. Not a great fan of. I don't remember a single spectacular witch-themed episode. I think one of my main problems is how easy it is for an individual in the show to become a witch and wield all these powerful powers (and this observation is based not only at what was demonstrated in this episode). Hell, in essence they are just regular humans who did some studying on the subject, and yet they are often capable of putting many supernatural beings to shame.
I also feel like this might've worked out better if the character of James had been known to us. But he was seemingly pulled out of nowhere, having (seemingly) assisted the brothers before (some crazy alchemist case?) and even ended up saving their lives in some way that was rather conveniently not elaborated on. It made it hard for me to relate. This is a show with a long history and many seasons under its belt - something like that kind of cheapens the whole legacy, I feel. Yeah, I get why it was done - bet you regret killing off the vast majority of your recurring characters at moments like this, eh, Supernatural?

This was an interesting take on familiars, from the lore point of view. The animal element was a given, but the mostly human side was kind of unusual. Not unlike shapeshifters, all in all. Ah well, I guess that means no talking imps in the future.
I did like Portia. One spirited woman (err, dog-woman?). She had some good interactions with the boys. Her relation with James the Witch Cop didn't really bother or offend me in any way. She wasn't much of a slave and he wasn't much of a master, so let's chalk it up to a consenting adults play (of words). And despite a few semi-bestiality jives throughout the course of the episode, the steamy scene between James and Portia was about two human beings as much as it could be, with no animal undertones inserted anywhere. Besides, they could do what they want in their bedroom for all I care.
In the end, it all amounted to some hilariously awkward time with Dean, given his heightened interest in all matters sexual (and no, I don't believe he could be so dim-witted not to know the meaning of "intimate"). Sam's reactions got a chuckle or two out of me as well.

I never enjoy when Winchesters are reduced to a role of punching bags that are being thrown around from wall to wall, and so I did not like it this time either. I prefer when they can get out of a tough spot on their own rather than be completely nullified and forced to await some miracle (outside help) to happen.

In the end, I think my main and only worry comes from that final scene that MaryAnn called out in her review (and many commenters pointed out as well). I am so not ready for that, either. The trust issues and silly bickering over trust issues are just groan-inducing at this point. Has been for a longer while. So over it, don't want to ever get back there. Way too tiresome, and not what the show really needs in order to move forward. Sam coughing up a little blood at the most (in-)convenient of moments did elicit a reaction from me - but somehow I'm not convinced whether a dismay coupled with disbelief (and a dash of annoyance) was what the showrunners were going for.
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CHRIST this episode was a chore to get through. Where's Cas and why the need for this filler episode?! Any episode's involving witches and hex bags are terrible....
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Is it just me or are the Winchester brothers gaining a large group of people to be in their army in the battle to close the gates of hell? A boy and his golem, charlie, an angel(if cas ever comes back), a warlock cop and his familiar, garth, kevin, etc...
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Not just you. It seems like they'll all return in the finale....and probably get roasted too. LOL
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Lol. Sad, but true.
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I could see Dean getting excited by a parrot that he could train to say things to Sam :p This episode was okay, and I especially liked the talk that they had at the end - but I'm not looking forward to finding out what's wrong with Sam - I agree with what you said Mary Ann : "I am not ready for this shit!"
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I was kinda bored by this episode, I spent most of it thinking

'Ok guys, seriously now, Where the hell is CAS?'

So yeah I miss Cas and I's like to get back on the story line now please.
Some of the witchy fight stuff at the end was pretty cool though!
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I guess nearly everyone misses Cas. Seriously, WHERE THE HELL IS CAS?
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The only thing wrong with that episode is that it was not a Supernatural story at all. Take away the brothers and the plot would still hold , unchanged. In the whole run of the series, there was bound to be uneven episodes; but here -nothing. honestly, don't you feel as if this episode did not really happen?
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Watching this episode I kept thinking maybe the story was orginally written as a backdoor pilot for a spin off that never got out of the development stage.
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After a run of good episodes, they hit a snag with this one. I thought that this ep was weak and the only thing that kept me from eye-rolling at the sappy love story was the brothers' humorous banter.

P.S. #SAVETHEBATCAVE
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#SAVETHEBATCAVE!!!

The banter was good! Everything else was pretty much a cringe-fest.
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Totally agree! I hope next week's ep is better than this because the writers have shown to do much better.
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I haven't watched the episode yet, but Sam and Dean even DID astral projection once (and called it that, I believe) with what's-her-name-again, the medium who lost her eyes thanks to Castiel.
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Pamela?
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Exactly!
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I actually had no problem with the beastiality, as long as the sex is between consenting adults in full command of their mental faculties I'm fine with it.
Still it was awkward, especially the episode title, but it also provided for an awkward Dean, whom I liked.

I found it strange that her clothes disappeared when she changed into canine form but the collar stayed on no matter what, but hey, magic.
What I really found strange was that since familiars are obviously so common, how come we never heard about them before?
Another strange thing: It's absolutely believable that the brothers would try to kill a witch on grounds of very scanty evidence, but a guy that saved their lifes?! Come on. I don't remember him at all btw, was he in an actual episode?

Even though I don't know The Three Stooges I liked their debate in the beginning.

How can anyone have no idea what astral projection is?

Bobby left them notes?

I don't like that Sam is back to keeping secrets from Dean, he should have learned from Lilith that that is a bad idea, the only excuse I can think of is that he assumes he's going to die and that he's worried Dean might choose to die instead.
But it wasn't the first time I felt like the writers are negating charakter development and to top it all Dean didn't even react to this incredibly well timed death rattle, I mean that almost sounded as if he was taking his last breath.

I seem to have missed the Twilight reference.
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I enjoyed the episode overall. With the golem episode, it felt like the story and characters could lead to spin-offs. Though obviously, once one gets past the white guy with a black woman who turns into a dog, who's his pet and lives in his closet. Only Supernatural could make me look past that one. :-)
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