Supernatural's Mid-season Finale: Blood on the Bayou

Supernatural S08E09: “Citizen Fang”

Who knew that silly, sad sack Martin had such potential to go so thoroughly off the rails? The last time we saw Martin was in Season 5’s “Sam, Interrupted” when a lot of lip service was paid to the fact that the dude was a great hunter—even though he was borderline useless for most of the episode. Some of that missing confidence (and competence) showed through in “Citizen Fang,” Supernatural’s mid-season finale, when Justifiably Paranoid Sam teamed up with Overly Paranoid Martin to track Dean’s Vampire BFF Benny in Carencro, Louisiana. Benny was working in a gumbo shack, dead bodies kept turning up with their throats ripped out, and we got a shot of Benny burying a body. The evidence was certainly on the incriminating side, as far as Sam and Martin were concerned, but Dean pleaded for a few hours to do a little bit of investigating on his own, and even though Sam and Martin were all geared up for a witch hunt (well, vamp hunt), Sam managed to pull his head out of his ass for half a second and allow it. Of course, none of that mattered when Dean returned to exonerate Benny and no one believed him anyway but it’s the thought that counts? I guess?

By the end of “Citizen Fang,” every single principle character who appeared in the episode had indulged in some level of shady business and general dickishness. Little mistakes and wrongs snowballed into full-blown disaster and while once again, the Winchester brothers appear to be on the outs, this time it feels sincere, timely, and appropriate. They aren’t fighting about Heaven and Hell, angels and demons, fate, or their responsibility (or lack thereof) to save the universe. This is about trust.

I know, I know. “But we’ve DONE the trust thing a bazillion times!”

We sure have, but it’s always been on a broader, much more epic scale. Will Sam get high on demon blood and make a playdate with Lucifer? Can Dean be trusted not to run off and let Michael wear him to the apoca-prom? The worst-case scenario for each possible betrayal had far-reaching effects, well beyond the scope of Dean and Sam. “Citizen Fang,” however, was a much smaller and personal story. While crazy hunter Martin and Benny the Formerly Friendly Vampire added supernatural fun to the mix, the core conflict between Dean and Sam as we head into the holiday hiatus has less to do with monsters and more to do with everyday human stuf, just amplified. No one is right and no one is wrong. Even Benny, who killed a guy, was forced into an impossible situation that left him with little choice but to either defend himself and his family, or literally lay down and die.

So let’s start with contestant numero uno: Sam Winchester, and contestant number one-and-a-half, Martin. Sam recruited Martin to tail Benny in secret because he was convinced that Benny would act on his biological vampire imperative and eat ALL the people. Sam wasn’t wrong to be concerned even though I thought that his justification to Dean was a bit flawed. Admittedly, he might have done better with an argument that didn’t hinge entirely on “BUT HE’S A VAMPIRE.” It’s not like he and Dean haven’t encountered “vegetarian” vampires before. Plus they let that werewolf broad go in Supernatural’s ode to motion sickness and neither of them knew her well enough to really trust her.

Still, one could argue that Sam sees Dean making the sort of mistakes with Benny that he made back in the day with Ruby and we all know how receptive he was to Dean’s interference that time around, right? What we have here is a classic role-reversal.

However, that brings us to contestants two and three, Dean and Benny. Unlike the Ruby situation where Dean was absolutely correct that Ruby was playing Sam and manipulating him in the name of the glory of Satan, Sam was, initially, wrong about Benny. Another vampire, Desmond, got wind of Benny’s return and wanted to recruit Benny to his nest. The trail of bodies was his way of saying, “I like you. We should go on a murder spree. P.S. Attendance is mandatory.”

Up until that delightful death fake-out at the end of the episode, Benny hadn’t given Dean a reason not to trust him—which he eagerly pointed out to Sam when Sam and Martin rejected his defense of Benny as emotionally blinded blah blah. Ouch, bro. Would you like some more salt to rub in Sam’s gaping emo-kid wounds?

“Must be nice to have finally found someone after all these years.” Oh, okay, so we’re going to do the bitter resentment thing on both sides of sibling pond. I don’t mind that at all, actually. I like Sam. I like Dean. I don’t want to take sides. I’m pretty happy just to watch this whole familial mess play out.

So, Martin punched Dean in the face. He and Sam decided to go chop Benny’s head off anyway, but in mid-hunt, Sam got a mysterious text message from Amelia asking for help and sounding rather desperate about the whole thing. Without so much as an explanation, he left “mostly okay” Martin on his own in the middle of the hunt, stole his car, and headed for Texas. Meanwhile, Dean had done the Houdini thing back at the hotel and met up with Benny to take on Desmond, which they swiftly did in a rather anti-climactic showdown at one of Supernatural’s stock empty warehouses. Up came the red flags. So many red flags. I actually ran out of them by the end of this episode.

Red Flag #1: Benny looked a little hungry while Dean bled all over the place after his tussle with Desmond. Have we seen him actively long for blood in the past, or is this like Sam’s demon blood thing where it’s a completely irrelevant plot point until circumstances call for it to be relevant again?

Red Flag #2: Martin proceeded to derail completely after Sam stranded him in the middle of Vampire Country. He sounded pretty unbalanced during his conversation with Dean where Dean told him to leave Benny alone and stop hunting altogether. Even though I kind of figured out where he was going to end up once Elizabeth’s connection to Benny was revealed, Martin’s phone call to Benny was actually quite scary.

Red Flag #3: Amelia looked pretty freaking fine, sipping beer with formerly dead Don, for someone who only a few scenes earlier had appeared to send Sam a cry for help.

Of all the dick moves prevalent in “Citizen Fang,” Dean’s manipulation of Sam through Amelia certainly took a huge chunk of the resentment cake, if only because the amount of preparation required to execute it revealed a level of calculating pre-meditation that is pretty horrifying coming from the guy who likes to wave the trust card in the air every freaking chance he gets. Dean went into Sam’s cell phone at some point this season when Sam wasn’t present and changed the phone number listed as Amelia’s to one of the Winchesters' burner phones. He then sent Sam a text message from that phone, wholly intending for Sam to panic and abandon the hunt to go “save” Amelia. Considering both of their personal histories with the women they've cared about and Sam’s own issues with trust and losing everyone he has ever held dear, that was really awful. That was so awful that I’m not even sure how I should take it. Was it a moment of out-of-characterness—the writers sacrificing Dean as we know him in the name of DRAMA? Or was it a sign of a newer, darker-er Dean Winchester—a natural progression for a character who, at times, is barely recognizable as the womanizing, pie-loving, annoying big-brother type of the earlier seasons?

I don’t know. I just don’t know—though I can’t wait to find out.

If it was a moment of character assassination, it was a very good moment. Jensen Ackles doesn’t get to play the “bad guy” very often even though we know that he has the chops to make Dean very scary when the need arises. From 2014 Dean to Purgatory Dean to the fact that even Default Dean, for all of his occasional bouts of self-righteousness, has occasionally revealed that he thinks of himself as a sort of monster—Dean has some darkness in him. Come out and play, darkness! ILU.

Speaking of good guys doing bad things, Benny fell off the wagon and he fell hard. Mostly Okay Martin, after a quick name-change to So NOT Okay Martin, went back to the gumbo shack to take Benny’s great-granddaughter, Liz, hostage. He was going to kill him a vampire whether that vampire was a homicidal maniac or not, dammit.

There was no way for that scene not to end badly. If Martin had killed Elizabeth, there would have been guilt-tripping and blood baths and angst. If Martin had killed up-until-that-point-innocent Benny, there would have been angst (and again, NICE fake-out, show. You’re two for two with me!). However, the extent of Benny’s relapse hasn’t yet been made clear. He killed Martin, and I’m thinking that the fact that he left his traumatized kin sitting in the blood-soaked aftermath of his rampage speaks to his apparent mindset, but we just don’t know. Certainly, he was justified in defending himself and Lizzie. His good guy/bad guy status can’t really be confirmed until we see what he’s doing with himself when we come back in January, though if I were him, I’d go after Sam and his ladyfriend since Sam’s paranoid employ of Martin was the big catalyst that blew up his happy little life on the bayou. And okay, and I’m desperate for the Amelia story to stop being boring, especially since our cliffhanger left those two in mid-reunion. Ugh.


Case Notes


– Dean: “You sent ‘mostly okay’ Martin to tail Benny?” I’m not sure why, but that one made both me and the fiance completely lose it, and he doesn’t even particularly like this show.

– “Sometimes it’s not easy to see things for what they are.” OMG was that an actual SEGUE into Sam Winchester’s stroke-induced flashbacks? Also, again with the taunting, show. You can’t give me a line like that and NOT follow up with a demon or a shapeshifter or something COOL.

– Speaking of Sam’s Stepford Life, we learned that his mysterious sneaking-out-the-door thing from the season premiere was because he felt bad about banging a dude’s wife when he ended up being less dead, less evil, and less un-dead than everyone initially thought. He left so that Amelia wouldn’t have to choose between him and her husband. Really? That’s IT? Half a season of the most amazingly boring flashbacks I have EVER seen on television and THAT’S IT?



Handy Dandy Mid-season Questionnaire


1. Dean’s pre-meditated manipulation: Out-of-character or a long time coming?

2. What do you think Benny is up to? Has he gone full bad guy?

3. Obligatory Sam and Amelia question: Free form! Give me your thoughts. I want to know who Jared Padalecki pissed off in the writers room to get stuck with this mind-numbing snoozefest.

Comments (86)
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Good point about Dean reminding Sam about Ruby to defend Dean's relationship with Benny.. While I was screaming at Dean to bring up Ruby and point out the role-reversal, it's likely too easy of a point to make.

I felt the same way in the series finale of Star Trek:VOYAGER when Admiral Janeway was arguing with Captain Harry Kim about the morality of changing the timeline. Why didn't Janeway remind Kim that it is exactly what ENSIGN Kim had done in the episode TIMELESS.

As far as Benny being the bad guy, I have soft spot for the actor who plays Benny. He was in DEFYING GRAVITY, but was really awesome as Deputy Andy in EUREKA. So I like the guy personally...
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Benny's awesome, but Ty Olsson did not play Deputy Andy on Eureka. That was Kavan Smith.
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Ty Olsson played Deputy Andy at first.. If I recall correctly (doing this from memory) Deputy Andy was "injured" quite badly and, after the repair/refit, he looked like Kavan Smith. :D
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So my crazy out there theory is that Benny is really a bad guy and has been all along. He's using Dean, because lets face it the trend is for everyone pretty much to betray Dean at some point. So my theory is Benny used Dean in Purgatory to escape and is working to slowly establish a power base but at the same time keeps up the goody-good vamp persona up so he can use Dean. I mean both Benny episodes have resulted in killing off another sorta well to do vamp. Taking out rivals?

Mind you I kinda just want Benny to be a good guy who'll pop in as a friend to Dean, but most likely he'll just backslide and Dean will be forced to kill him and it'll mess him up even more.

I may be the only one, but I have no issue with Sam's happy home life flashbacks. A little odd placements at times but I think the past story has been told now since we know why Sam left when he did and all that. Might be some more mess now that he's encountered her in the present, who knows. But I enjoy Sam getting a little normal action. I mean it's been a long time since he's gotten some down time in the show. Dean had his year with Lisa and Ben, let Sam have a few somewhat happy memories.
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This show is only good when it doesn't take itself seriously.
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I think Dean's manipulation was a long time coming, especially after he discovered Sam betrayed him and never bothered to try to look for him... It feels like some sort of vengeance, using the same person whom distracted Sam from looking for him or at least doing his job as a hunter as a distraction... I guess after Sam got Martin to spy for him, Dean must've felt more than justified for using this trick.
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Good Episode, sad to see Benny give in to his cravings due his hand was forced by looney Martin, seems to me like Dean will overlook what happened to Martin and move on with other hunt. As to Sam and Amelia, slow predictable and need to be wrapped up as it is dragging d show back.
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I don't know what ep you saw but it was not the same that i did!!!
Benny didn't gave in to his cravings, he didn't ate the guy, he just slashed his throat with the knife. Didn't you saw the knife on the floor? dint you saw his throat slashed? didn't you saw all the blood on the floor?
So, no. he didn't turned bad he just defended himself!
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I agree. Samelia flashbacks gotta go. Lets go back to Kevin, Tablet and Cas jokes! I'm okay on going drama in Supernatural but its getting boring.
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While I liked this more active glimpse into Benny's life that didn't involve mass amounts of exposition (and I feel for the guy, I LIKE him!) when Sam started getting that look on his face and the shot faded into dream-filter fuzziness, NGL, this has become the signal for me to start swearing at the screen. I'm so glad I watch this show solo. GOD, please let the snoozefest END!
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terrible episode, not sure why i'm still watching this haha....they should just stop milking every cent they can out of this, the story has just been stretched too far and it's whatever at this point
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"Speaking of Sam's Stepford Life, we learned that his mysterious sneaking-out-the-door thing from the season premiere was because he felt bad about banging a dude's wife when he ended up being less dead, less evil, and less un-dead than everyone initially thought. He left so that Amelia wouldn't have to choose between him and her husband. Really? That's IT? Half a season of the most amazingly boring flashbacks I have EVER seen on television and THAT'S IT?"

- I was going to say that. Thank you for doing it for me.

I loved the visciousness of Dean's phone number swap out. I miss him being an absolute jerk for the (to him) right reasons.
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stop with the flashbacks it's pathetic and makes Sam more pathetic and bring back Castiel
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Again a good episode was ruined by stupid flashbacks
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Ugh I wish that they would just drop the Sam/Amelia/Don storyline (aka love triangle) completely after this or make something interesting out of this mess (even though it's not looking like something interesting will happen atm). This is the most weakest aspect of a great season and I wish that they either ditch it since it's a failure or change things.
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I really thought Martin had become a vampire, possessed, leviathan, etc. or something because of his abrupt change in demeanor after Sam left him. I guess maybe he just cracked or something? Cracked into a more competent hunter? That part was kinda weird.
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EXACTLY my thought! I was looking at the side of his neck because I just KNEW he had to be bit or something. It was just such a COMPLETE change of character so quickly! Then wham! Dead! Guess that will stay a mystery.
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Ok, other than the still-lame flashbacks, this is the best episode of Supernatural since the one in s6 where Robert Englund flatlined Dean so he could go talk to Death. I swear, that was the last truly good episode this show has had that was as strong as something from the first five seasons. But this one was really top notch, imo (sans the flashbacks, plzstop, kthanxbai). I still don't love Sam's story this season, and I'm not sure about this season overall, but just as an individual episode, this one was just like old times. Compelling characters (hello, Sam-that-I-actually-care-about-and-has-a-personality), compelling story, good writing, good directing, good acting. I can only hope that the showrunners keep this season this strong. What's amazing to me is this episode didn't even have Cas, and those are usually my favorites.

As for whether this behavior from Dean is out of character or not, I say no, and in fact I say this kind of thing is long overdue. I never actually felt that seasons 4 and onward ever really dealt with the fact that Dean is really twice as old as his body, having spent 30 years and half of his existence either getting tortured or being tortured in hell. Hypothetically, this is a character who's spent as much time in literal hell with his existence as out of hell. And let's face it, Dean's ~30 years outside of hell haven't always been peachy either. I've always found it a little implausible that Dean was as normal and balanced as he is. Then add to all that that he spent time in purgatory--which, while the showrunners this season haven't done a great job of illustrating its horrifying-ness (imo), should probably be considered comparable to time spent in hell. Dean Winchester should be one absolutely angsty, f***ed up, pile of crazy, and borderline insane. I think Dean should have been a darker character ever since he got out of hell, even though Kripke et al have just chosen to go with "more angsty" for his character thus far. I mean......30 YEARS yall.....think about that.

The other cool thing about this ep was the Carencro setting, as I'm from near there. Although there's no real Guidry's Cajun Cafe (shame, placed looked yummy), I've been wondering when the show shot in Canada would finally get away from claiming to be in midwestern states and pay us a visit down here where we got real voodoo and witchcraft and vampires. Okay, we don't have real vampires, but go walking through the above-ground graveyards of NOLA at dusk and you'll swear we do.
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That should say "either getting tortured or doing the torturing in hell." Type fail.
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I prefer Supernatural when they hunt random monsters, my favourites are the pagan gods. Demons are boring, so is the whole heaven and hell-thing. Sam was my favourite the first couple of seasons, now he is pretty horrible. Cas is the best. Especially the Cas-Dean bromance. I wish they could just end these main storylines, and go back to Sam and Dean (and Cas) hunting weird random monsters.

I do love how almost all the female characters on Supernatural are strong characters though. Kevin's mother, Both versions of Meg and Ruby, Sam and Dean's mother, Ellen, Jo, Bela, Anna, and probably even more that I can't remember right now.
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I'd rather the writers bring back all the female characters that you mentioned (yes, even Bela and Ruby 2.0) than suffer having to watch Amelia on a weekly basis.
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-Long time coming! WTF is the deal with this Amelia storyline??? Are they for real?? This season has been good with this one glaring, annoying exception...I swear, if Amelia is only around to get kidnapped at some later date, I'm gonna lose it. Even Sera Gamble never came up with anything this lamewise gamgee...shit...

-Naa, he's cool. I totally vouch for him.

-Shh... don't tell anybody but...rumor is, he accidently killed Ben Edlund's pet weasel, Mr. Pricklypants. Revenge is a bitch my friends!!!
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There HAS to be more to the Sam storyline. Otherwise this is the biggest TV prank since the revelation of "Who Shot JR" Or the actor has seriously ticked off the writers sooooo much.

I mean, all of that lead-up to: everything's fine and she picked her husband over him? Really?

There HAS to be a reason. Either her husband is going to be a bad guy, or Crowley is going to kidnap her and use her as a bargaining chip to get Sam to do what he wants.

Otherwise, my head will just explode for how much time we've wasted on that.
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Yeah the flashbacks are so boring, couldnt care less about Amelia. I AM looking forward to dark-Dean and I like Benny as a good guy, hope he stays like that. It is nice to meet an actual nice and likeable character. Most of the time it seems like the Wichesters are the only normal people in the world. Especially after Ellen, Jo, Rufus and Bobby died, Castiel was a nice balancing character, but he is not there most of the time anymore.
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Also, I agree with other posters: a weak mid-season finale.

Wow, the big ender was "the Winchester brothers are ticked at each other... AGAIN" Seriously? They're recycling that old bit yet again?

:sigh: At least from the trailers, it looks like Cass calls them on their BS pretty early.
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I can't really blame Benny; a CRAZY guy was holding his grand-daughter (or whatever) hostage and had already cut her neck. He already felt out the guy as being a little unwound earlier.

So, from his point of view, who's to say the CRAZY Hunter wouldn't kill her anyway. Perhaps to cover his tracks.

Though I do like the ideas others have: that maybe SHE killed him.
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Oh, I so don't blame Benny. Honestly, I was pretty apathetic about the character until this episode and that last scene just endeared him so much to me. He was put in a terrible situation and I actually thought that Martin was going to kill Elizabeth anyway. Dude was off the rails.
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Yeh, the "can't blame" bit wasn't directed at you. Someone I was talking to by-the-water-cooler was like saying how he shouldn't have gone that route, or if a monster loved her he would die for her.

And I was telling him: the guy was off his rocker. If you were in a similar question with a crazy guy and your wife, would you really believe the crazy guy wasn't going to hurt her once you stepped down / put down the gun / etc? Best case scenario, she's a witness that could ID him. Worst case, well... the guy is violent and crazy.
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Don, back from the dead...not so much. This story is going to end up being Don is the thing that isn't what he appears. Perhaps Crowley tracked Sam down, found out the story, resurrected dear Don, filled him with demon and sent him in to tear down the relationship. Let us remember that Kevin had vanished, Crowley had no idea where he was and has proven desperate to have the tablet and Kevin together. Therefore, Crowley trying to figure out a way to get Sam to lead him to Kevin, without engaging Sam the hunter, would be masterfully played by sending dead Don back to life. Break up Sam from his safety nipple and he is bound to seek out another nipple to suckle. Hopefully that being something of his former life, which has zero part of his current life, which would lead back to Kevin. Sure, Crowley could have busted in with all demons blazing but then he would risk Sam going Rambo and forcing himself to be killed or he'd have to take him hostage and demand he lead him to Kevin...which Sam would never do. Don is the demon is my money at the moment.

I doubt it, but Benny may be dead. Nothing we saw tells us that Dean left him alive for certain. He did say that Benny was justified. He didn't say Benny was alive.

I like that you don't wish to take sides, but I'm fed up with Sam. I'm a strong lean toward Team Dean. Although he may be going further dark side, he is also still more in touch with sensibility than Sam. Just how much sympathy can we pour out for dear ole Sam's ravaged childhood when his brother Dean didn't have a bowl of cherries.

So many people seem to focus on Sam having lost both his mother and his lover...but Dean lost his mother and his BROTHER. The brother he was supposed to be the keeper for when their dad wasn't around. From the age of four, Sam had dead looking after him while dad ran head first into battle. Eventually Sam grew up, but that role doesn't just go away and is evidenced by Dean sacrificing himself for Sam as his father had for him. Only Sam clearly let Dean know that sacrificing his life was a selfish act.

Now, I love Sam's character when he is the brother to Dean that he should be after all of these years. I also don't mind when they have conflict and weakness that are unique to the show. But I can't stand the denial when Dean says that Benny has never given him a reason not to trust him. Hey, Sam, facts are facts. Busting Dean's balls because Benny has been what he should have been...and he knows it...is crap.

They both have something to apologize for, to a degree. Using Amelia was cold and premeditated BUT it wasn't something Dean would have used unless Sam went off the reservation AGAIN. I don't blame Dean for being prepared to defend someone he loves after facing purgatory together and surviving. I'd hope, because they are brothers, that Dean is apologetic, but what options did he have? The fact that his character put that kind of thought into things gives a good sign that he is more likely than Sam to survive a zombie invasion.

Sadly, I think there is little chance that Benny makes it out of Supernatural alive. I've begun to understand that my enjoyment of this show can't be allowed to invest too highly in characters not named Sam or Dean.
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Even though Benny might not survive, at least we have Cas (whether you like him or not).
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What's all this about nipples?
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I think he means a baby's bottle or maybe a pacifier. You take one away from a Baby, they whine and whine and whine until they get another. Then they relax and feel safe again.

A weird metaphor, assuming I'm reading it correctly.
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Sam's dropped the ball this season and I'm still not satisfied with any of the rationale that the show has given us for it. Dean's comment about Benny never giving him a reason not to trust him was a low blow, but like you said, the sentiment was rooted in some unfortunate reality this season, and even in the past. The thing is, in the past, even when Sam was being unbrotherly, I could at least understand what he appeared to be thinking. I got nothin' this season. He should have looked for Dean. "I thought you were dead" isn't a good enough excuse for me. I keep waiting for it to make sense and it isn't.

I try to be impartial as much as I can though. Nobody likes reading their favorite brother being bashed, right?
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The Sam & Amelia storyline has me eye rolling Liz Lemon style - seriously show WTF?!
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aren't "red-flags" #2 and #3 just a recap of what happened? You lost me in that part of review. For red flag #1... blood "calls" to vampires or they smell it or whatever. So anytime more then a tiny drop of blood appears, Benny has to fight his urges or how you wanna call them. You have to remember,he as vampire has to fight against his hunger all the time and when,that blood shows,it is full on control to not give into his lust for blood.

Did Benny kill Martin? Still guessing what happened,but my far far stretched theory is,that Elizabeth killed Martin. Love Benny though and can't wait to see more of him. Even more so,if writers remember,that they already used Ty in Supernatural before:D
UGHHHH...:ARGHHHHHHH....so those flashbacks were real and really lame ones. Come on Supernatural...wtf!?!?!?! I thought we gonna get something cool out of them and all we get is....is....is....yeah I am lost here,what did we get? Are we at least done now COMPLETLY with Sam's flashbacks? Show us Dean killing spree in Purgatory instead,if you need to do flashbacks and recap what Sam feels in a sentence.
It was a great episode,would be awsome minus Sam's flashbacks and reveal,that they were most boring scenes to date!!!!!
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They were indeed recaps of what happened. They were recaps of things that happened that made me throw up red flags. Sorry if I lost you. :/

Ugh. It appears that the flashbacks are real. Nine episodes of crap that could have been summed up in a sentence.
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what a downhill road has tjis show come to.
It looks like a soap opra show now a days.

we all remember the episode with the trickster when sam and dean playing there over the top roles as doctors and csi agents with sunglasses,well not that over the top because the show has evolved it's self to this.

im a big fan i like this show to run more seasons nex few years but step up the pase

not that whole brother crap flashbacks TEEN DRAMA

bring in angel demons world's!planets mr death
the bigger story lines.
Its because the gore you see in this show other wise it would be perfect for a disney channel pick up,in the state it now is.
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Am I and commentator Mate the only ones who found this to be extremely boring!?!? Ugh what a horrible mid season finale! Did the cliffhanger of Amelia showing up supposed to make me wait in aticipation? Mary Ann, Im so with you! PLEASE LET HER BE SOME KIND OF MONSTER!!!! Dont get me wrong, ill never stop watching, but what a blah episode... I think Im the only one who doesnt find the Benny character very compelling.. just bring back Cas, dont tease us with him every other episode!
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The Amelia cliffhanger didn't do much for me at all. Like, AT ALL, but I'm intrigued by Dean's actions. I know we've done the brothers fighting thing before but idk, I feel like it actually makes sense this time. It feels more personal.

I was pretty blah on Benny for the majority of the season but I really liked his story this episode just because I REALLY didn't know who was right, Dean or Sam, regarding his innocence, even though I was previously on the Sam-is-probably-right bandwagon.

My concern though is that there was already a lot going on this season: the Trans and Crowley, Cas and Naomi, Sam and Amelia, Sam and Dean being pissed at each other (again), that I don't know that we necessarily needed accidentally evil Benny right away. Dean can SAY that Benny is the bestest all he wants, but it means more to SEE it. I would have rather had Benny stay on the fringes for a while longer, prove himself, and then fall off the wagon or something.
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Yea I agree.. I just feel that there hasnt been enough screen time for Benny for me to really grasp and understand his and Dean's "friendship".. maybe if they had him at least pop up every episode or just one whole episode devoted to their time in purgatory maybe i would feel differently
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Actually, I'm not all that excited about Benny either. I don't hate him but he doesn't do anything for me and I don't see what he adds to Dean. It seems like he was barely holding on because of Elizabeth so how long before he gives in? I think they should keep Cas around as he's friends with both brothers, more with Dean but still ... Benny helped get Dean out of Purgatory and has brought out the once a season fight between the brothers. That's all folks
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Yep, Dean came back a lot darker and his fake-call was a bit dickish but this time Sam kinda deserved it - I was rolling my eyes to the back of my skull when Sam introduced "mostly OK Martin". What was Sam thinking? And what are we supposed to do with the Amelia storyline? Really a snoozefest with no connection to anything else on the show.
Padalecki has pissed off a/some/all writers for sure, it's almost a character assassination.
And I agree about the deeper, more personal rift between the brothers - in a weird way more troublesome than previous fights and even among brothers sometimes enough IS enough.
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I don't get why everyone so concerned about Benny now, I mean we already knew he was willing and capable of killing "people" to protect others. And he's been drinking human blood this whole time, I guess I don't get why drinking it "live" is going to be some big deal. I will be so annoyed if Benny goes dark side because of that.
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So true. I do not need this show to turn into TVD because of the fact that he might've drank live blood. It'd be a tad overdramatic if they do go down that road with Benny.
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I think Purgatory changed Dean . He was in a place were the only way to stay alive was by trusting his instincts. He went with his gut by playing with Sam's feellings so that makes him kind of dick but I think he also felt a little betrayed by Sam because he took Martin's side over his own brother and left him chained in the hotel room . The premeditation is the result of character development and I think the writers are trying to show us that new Dean trusts his instincts over anything or anybody else .
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1: I'm going with Dean having gone further to the dark side - yes he waves the trust card around a lot, and I'm guessing he feels justified in what he did, because Sam has given him so few reasons to trust him since he's come back.

2: I don't think they'll make Benny an all out bad guy. The best parts of this show come from moral dilemmas, ones which often push past those found in every day society - fraud, murder, etc, which was exactly what the writers did so well in this episode with Dean's manipulation vs being in the right and Sam's legitimate distrust of Benny vs - well, just being a dick really.

3: So disappointed to find out that Amanda was real. Her being a hallucination cooked up by Sam's shattered mind would have made a lot of sense, and made these incredibly dull flashbacks worthwhile. As is we are given memories with people being incredibly nice and boring to one another, in a situation which might be interesting on a soap, but not in the middle of Supernatural, unless Don had turned out to be undead. Unfortunately not.

Unless we get a twist sometime soon I may be forced to give up on this series, which I never thought possible. From the very beginning of Season 8 the disconnect between the 2 brothers and the lack of chemistry between Jared and Jensen was worrying - those two relationships are, after all, what the fans have been claiming make the show since season 1. Some of the relationship appears to have been salvaged - at least they're occasionally bickering like they used to, but my basic feeling is that it's all for show. Dean is holding on to what he believe he should want, and Sam is holding out until he can out of the game for good.

This is what really bothers me though, because it's not anything I thought I'd see from those characters. Sam not looking for Dean after his disappearance makes no sense, and because it's the premise the season is built on, the season makes no sense. They are not exactly acting out of character, because if Sam made the decision not to look for Dean, resulting in a huge rift in their relationship in which they began not simply to be angry with one another but to no longer care, then yeah, this is how they'd act. But those two big moments of OOC - not like the small moment of Dean's manipulation which can legitimately be linked to his character development, but genuinely just insane for these characters - have turned this show on its head, and not in a good way. If the fans don't get a good explanation for it soon I'm worried that Supernatural won't last to go another season - and to finish on a note like this would be heartbreaking for what was initially such a wonderful show.

And having got out all my thoughts because all my friends who are fans have given up on it - I apologise for such a long review. I just got pissed off.
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LOL Character assassination because Dean sent Sam a fake text message? After Sam tried to MURDER Dean's friend out of jealousy and spite? Because Sam's hated Benny from the minute he showed up, Sam "Mr Monsters Have Feelings Too" unless apparently they are Dean's friend. Sam was determined to kill Benny even though he wasn't the one doing anything wrong.

Did Sam forget about Lenore - Sam didn't feel Lenore needed anyone watching her and she didn't. What happened to Lenore was something extraordinarily out of the ordinary and, thanks to Dean's quick thinking, unlikely to happen again(he killed the Mother of All Monsters). So in fact actually Sam has never felt a monster they let go needed to be watched before including vampires, neither has Dean. Sam's "hunter's salt" speech was a contrived BS of the first order.

Yeah sorry I'm thinking Sam got what he deserved. After all, all he had was a few hours worry. On the other hand Sam was planning on killing Dean's NOT guilty friend and would have done so if Dean hadn't sent that message. The fact is Sam was far far more cruel to Dean than Dean was to him. All Dean did was give Sam a small taste of his own medicine

As well Sam allowed Martin to knock Dean out and they shackled him alone in the motel room, unconscious. But Dean's the one who did something dark. LOL What world do you live in? Dean's not dark, Dean's just smart because he knows Sam well enough that Sam would betray him and was thus prepared for it. Dean's always been like that and I don't mean with Sam. He just tries to be prepared.

Remember at the end of Season 3, Sam snuck out to see Ruby after promising Dean he wouldn't? Dean knew Sam would do that, so he had previously prepared the place they'd be meeting with a devil's trap which allowed Dean to trap Ruby and get the demon killing knife off her.

Dean's always prepared with contingency plans for various possibilities if at all possible. He needs to be in his job, he needs to be to protect the people he loves. Sam's been the beneficiary of this talent of Dean's on numerous occasions. It's not dark if Dean uses it to protect someone else he cares about against his wrong-headed brother when he's in the middle of a bout of tunnel vision. And we all know that Sam can be VERY tunnel visioned when he wants to be.

When they went after the Mother of All, Dean had a plan B just in case the original plan didn't work, because it was iffy at best - Plan A didn't work, Dean put Plan B into effect, he had Mother of All attack him, ingest the Phoenix ash through his own blood(he'd some of drunk it earlier), which thus killed her, broke her spell, allowed Castiel to regain his powers and could thus cure Dean of the effect of Mom's bite.

The fact is he knew what Sam would do, because he knows Sam, he knew that no evidence presented was going to be good enough for Sam and Sam would still go after Benny, so...he came prepared. He created a burn phone - he probably did it as soon as he found out what Sam was doing, it wouldn't have been very hard to Dean to do and it wouldn't have taken very long.

Actually I'd say it far more shows how dark Sam has become, that the brother who has loved him enough to die for him, who has faced impossible odds time and again to save him, is now so sure Sam will betray him that he had to be prepared with a back up plan to keep Sam from killing Benny, who hadn't done anything wrong.

The fact is Dean's "back up plan" would not even have been put into motion IF Sam hadn't betrayed Dean in the first place. You're blaming the victim here. Don't blame the victim for trying to be prepared with factors to mitigate their victimization.
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Gee, Saint Dean can do no wrong in your eyes, eh? I'm not going to go through and refute all your claims to Dean's sainthood (and Sam's apparent brutality) because I really don't have that kind of time. But suffice it to say, if Sam were really as heinous as you claim, he wouldn't be the fellow protagonist of the show; he'd be the villain. I think you might be going a tad overboard, here.
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I don't think the post says that Dean can do no wrong. The question in the review was, was it out of character for Dean to send the message to Sam. The answer is no, because it's not like Dean doesn't premeditate his actions, he usually DOES plan ahead as he has been taught all his life. So even though he appears to be casual, he's actually not. I think that's what the point of the above post was.

As for Sam in this eppy, he seriously had no business taking the high moral ground about Benny being a vampire, because historically Sam has been shown to be the one who's empathetic with monsters. For Dean, the friendship with Benny was forged under extraordinary circumstances and is out of character. Sam to hate Benny just because he is a vamp is ALSO out of character, and rightfully called out as being petty jealousy by OP.
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Preach brother, Preach!
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1. Out-of-character? Spot on! Brothers have been out of character ever since S05.
E.g: a) They were all about family (whatever is left) and that much love = absolute trust (yes to the point of blindness to the obvious). But they needed conceit, deceit and God knows what not.
b) One of their brother (even though half and even though a bit unfamiliar but still their blood) is rotting somewhere and beside a mere nod in S06 we have absolute no idea (There goes Dean over-protective big brother gig and Sam's guilty conscience)
c) Trials and tribulations forces you towards more trust but the brothers seem to wander farther (it might be S08 thing but S06 n S07 weren't spot on either)

2. Benny has been far interesting and sincere character since premiere. It would be shame for him to die un-honorably. Of course NO side character survive here, but still Benny should live at least till finale. And dibs on his being innocent (Some other Vampy offed Martin, alas Benny's maker/nest off the list)!

3. Amelia and Sam. No clue. Hopefully this may tie in to Naomi and Heaven or else it would be hell of a trolling red herring. It is so boring (up until now) that S06/7 will pale if this madness continues.

Other than above ramblings I liked the pace and light moments (I really shut out my mind for season arc). Overall it was ...um okay-ish. Nice review Ma'am!
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I HATE the fact that both the writers and the brothers have completely forgotton about Adam. It's like he never existed. At the start of every season after S5, I'd always hope that they'd get Adam out but I'm always disappointed that that's never happened. They just either don't care that their own half-brother has been tortured for a number of centuries or they've suffered from amnesia because I can't believe the brothers would be so cruel and cold to just let their own family suffer.
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Thank you. Now I know I'm not the only one appalled that Adam's character got left in the cage to be eternally soul-raped by Michael and Lucifer. For as much as I loved s1-5 and Kripke's time with the show, this loose end has always bothered me.
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3 things to say.

1: Old school, bad ass Dean is here to stay.
2: screw you Sam, bailing on your brother for some psycho exhunter.
3: Benny is a great addition
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Agreed, except I hate Benny. Just don't care about him - want more Castiel
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Adding to that. I do think Purgatory erased all Dean's emo crap, and brought out that bad ass hunter he was hiding. And also gave him a reason to trust beyond the hunter stigma.
For the first time since season 4, I like Dean again.
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aww,I never stopped liking Dean:D....1st place has Bobby(daaamn you for killing him!!!),Dean was 2nd and 3rd place goes to Cas. Even Benny beat Sam:D...so Sam at last place on my like-radar and with these flashbacks of his, he is staying there!:D
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I haven't watched the previous Benny episode and as soon I saw this one was also with him, I turned it off. Just don't see the point. Chop his head off and be done with it. Or not. I really don't care.
They bring in Amanda Tapping and they barely give her a few lines at the end of two episodes?? I want more!!!
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Don't worry about Amanda Tapping. She's gonna be in a new ep after this next year. We only have to wait a couple of weeks for more awesomeness.
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They had better not kill Benny off now. I'm sold on his character and if they knock him off now there will be a fight... with lots of hair pulling.
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Benny has to die. They've hyped his relnship with Dean too much to not have either Sam, but most like Dean himself, having to kill him once he goes full rogue vampire.
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Yeah I know what you mean. Now that the relationship is actually worth something they'll going down the tragic road of Dean having to kill his friend.
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Once upon a time, I had the only comment on this article, I would think I hallucinated it, but I got notification of it being liked. Now, both the comment and the notification are gone. Something is busted.
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Yeah, I saw your first comment, but by the time I posted mine the first 5/6 comments went missing.
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A-ha! I've been telling everyone that my comments were being deleted. So, now you know I was being serious. There's something really glitchy about this new site format.
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You are vindicated, to the extent that my word means anything (it doesn't). Can't imagine why it was disproportionately affecting you. Did someone give you an ancient tiki?
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Damn it! That ugly tiki! And my brother-in-law said it was for good luck...
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1. Long time coming. It was kind of awesome.
2. Martin kind of had it coming when he kidnapped Elizabeth. Of course Benny fought back to protect her and himself. Of course the way he killed might make the blood lust all that harder to control now. I'm hoping he can control it because I like Benny. If he goes all evil, crazy vampire guy someone might have to put him down. I don't think Dean's in the right state of mind to do that.
3. It was so boring. I kept waiting for something really cool to happen and nothing did. Maybe Sam can finally put this Amelia thing to rest and I will not want to bang my head against a wall every time he flashes back.
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Martin "kinda had it coming"? I don't know, I think when kidnap terrorize and threaten to murder an innocent. You most definitely have it coming!
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Except Martin presumably wasn't mentally stable. Which puts it on Sam for bringing in a mentally unstable friend to help him. Sam said that Martin wasn't a capable hunter, so taking him along on the hunt was even worse.
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Sam ditching Martin without so much as an explanation was seriously WTF. At least drop him off at a gumbo shack somewhere!
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completely good point. I still think Benny's actions were totally justified but you're right Sam getting Martin involved at all was not cool. He (martin) really should have retired after spending all those years in the nut house.
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I just don't think you can blame a mentally disturbed man for what he does. Given that, I don't think he had it coming at all. I'd put it on Sam, from dragging him in the first place (if he didn't think Benny was dangerous, why have him watched? - if he did, whatta pal) to abandoning him in the middle of a hunt.

Plus, I'm sure the Winchesters are paranoid after all the years of their loved ones being targets. But what did Sam _think_ was so dangerous to Amelia that he had to rush off and abandon a mentally disturbed man and not very good hunter in the middle of a vampire hunt? She said "immediately," but did he think Amelia need her dishwasher fixed? the air conditioner fan oiled? What? Granted, there were some hints that Don's the violent type, but still...
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First of all, MaryAnn, EPIC review. It's funny - as in LOL funny, and yet incisive as usual. I love you SPN reviews, but this is among, if not, your best of the season. You had me laughing out loud at so many points:
- no one believed him anyway but it's the thought that counts? I guess?
- contestant number one-and-a-half, Martin
- "I like you. We should go on a murder spree. P.S. Attendance is mandatory."
- Mostly Okay Martin, after a quick name-change to So NOT Okay Martin
- he ended up being less dead, less evil, and less un-dead than everyone initially thought
- OMG was that an actual SEGUE into Sam Winchester's stroke-induced flashbacks?

Basically, yeah, I really enjoyed it. As for your questions:

- Dean's premeditation - the AMOUNT of it was whoa, esp since it happened offscreen without a specific trigger, and in general he's colder after the Purgatory run... BUT Original Dean WAS kinda cold and matter-of-fact in S1 and such, so it's not entirely out of character. He IS cold and calculating when he needs to be, and Sam does need a shake-up right now, because as Bobby said once to Dean when he was moping about Lisa or something, being half-assed about hunting can get you killed. This was probably some sort of 'tough love for Sam' type of stunt, going by the way he said a rather defeated 'damn it' when Sam disconnected the phone. Plus, he hadn't actually checked up on Amelia, so he didn't know what Sam would find once he got there - there was a 50% chance that Amelia MIGHT have been alone and miserable, and his plan would have totally backfired. Dean was operating on a reasonable hunch, bad luck for Sam that it turned out right.

- Benny was having trouble with his human blood urges, and now that he has actually tasted blood, he's probably fallen off the wagon. Sometime along this season Dean will have to kill Benny.

- I cannot believe Sam's flashbacks ended this lame. What happened? Did actually nothing happen? Why did Sam not puke this info out to Dean in ep 1 in a 5 min exposition????
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Thank you!

It was definitely the premeditation on Dean's part that stuck out to me, more so than the actual act of texting Sam. The premeditation was COLD-- and I totally loved it. I mean, I had to pick my jaw off the floor and I haven't vacuumed in a while, so that was gross, but I loved it.

I'm with you on the flashbacks. I kept holding on and thinking "This has to pay off. This has to get better. This can't possibly be IT." I mean, what the HELL?
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Once, a friend payed an escort to play with my balls for a couple of hours and then just leave. Well, no, that didn't happen, but now I know what that feels like.
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Wicked! LOL This Sam plot was truly supernatural... it defies explanation even today!
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I don't think Benny killed Martin...we have not seen the actual kill!!! I think Desmond turned Elisabeth and she was the one who did Martin in.
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That is tooooo farfetched. Where is Benny then, and there's no reason to believe that Elizabeth is a vampire, because Dean must have interacted with her after he found the body at the gumbo shack and after that he was driving away talking to Sam.
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Yay Supernatural mid season finalZzzzzzzzzzz.

Seriously, that was it. Martin the schizophrenic hunter who was and I am pretty sure of the quote. "feels better in the here." Him? After all of the people they have run into throughout the seasons, HIM? Why, what, out of all the people to bring back who could have conceived him. And why. And tailing Benny? Who can smell you coming from a mile away because vampires apparently have a cray good sense of smell. That was just dumb. I am not saying Sam was in the wrong for keeping tabs on Dean's blood brother. But why would you choose an incompetent. At least choose someone fun like Garth.

The whole thing with Benny was just a colossal waste of time. Are we to believe that Benny, who is evidently a pretty old Vampire, can't beat what looked like a reject from the Backstreet Boys. Come on Supernatural, you are capable of better things. Lots better things. Benny shouldn't have needed Dean and thus didn't need any of this. Especially Martin.

Sam and Ameila. Out of all of the ways you could conceive the bringing of Don and the breaking of them. That was possibly the lamest, anticlimactic way of going about it. A meet up in a bar. And that is it? Seriously, what the hell was with all the soft lighting if that was it. For crying out loud make him a vampire, make him a shifter, make him Same and Dean's brother that was supposedly in the cage with Lucifer and Michael. That would have been a twist. It would have been cool. But no.

This was just bad all around.

?aire

1.Well obviously it was premeditated, the question is why and for what reason. Because I highly doubt it was just in case Sam wanted to go choppy choppy on Benny. So there had to be another reason. I like Dean doing it. But honestly Sam no longer gives me the feeling that he would have been capable of killing Benny when there was no reason to. A reason, yes. But when it was figured out that he didn't do anything? No. And then he would have been able to take care of Martin and none of that would have had to happen. So I kind of want to know the real reason Dean did that. Also. What kind of hunter is Sam anymore when a girl that knows nothing of what he does spots him in the window.

2. Honestly does it matter? He is just a vampire, he isn't an alpha and other than his connection with Dean, nothing of his story is exemplary. Either Sam or Dean should be able to dispatch him rather easily.

3. Unbelievably stupid. To the point where I am still questioning if it is in his head. Because that is the only thing that I can give reason to why it is so lame. And the reason for the soft focus camera in all of the flash backs. If this is it. Then Supernatural has really lost everything it once as.

Probably not the worst midseason finale in the history of TV. But it is close.
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Martin is about the only hunter Sam could control to some point. If another hunter had been used, the phone call about the killing would have included the news that Benny was already dead...or Benny would have had to kill the hunter...either way, that wouldn't advance the storyline in the direction intended. Martin was the only hunter who could fit the part needed.
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You have a point. However I still maintain Garth would have been better. Despite he watching the prophet and his mom.
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I thought that it was a great tense episode. But, what are they doing to Sam this season?! I'm liking him less and less as the season goes on. It was heartbreaking what Dean said about not getting a home and a family. This shows how bad things are between the brothers. I hate it when the brothers fight but I understand that in order for their characters to grow, they have to go through conflict and all this so they can come out the other end stronger together. I just think that the brothers need to communicate more and talk to each other because choosing to go down this route will send them down on a path of destruction. Also, glad that Benny is alive. He really grew on me and it was nice to see Dean's trusting of his instincts finally paying off.
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1. Long time coming. I think that Sam tends to let Dean down when he least expects it, so he put a contingency plan in place. Plus I think that being in Purgatory had to have changed him a little... I mean he was killing non-stop for a full year.
2. I REALLY like Benny. I think he adds a new flavor to the show, and I really like his character (and that accent!!) I think he will be okay... or at least that's what I am hoping for...I think it would send Dean totally over the edge if he had to kill him.
3. I hate the whole Sam and Amelia storyline... I keep waiting for it to get better and it doesn't...and they have less than zero chemistry. I have to admit that I am a little excited to see their reunion - just the girly part of me that enjoys drama :)

I also think that Dean is totally justified in having issues with Sam - I really can't believe that he just didn't look for him and basically left him for dead... I mean in season 3 (?) when Dean ACTUALLY died, right in front of him, Sam kept on looking for a way to save Dean. Now when his brother just disappears (and there is no reason for him to have believed that he was dead), he just doesn't look for him? I mean, WHAT THE FREAK?
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