Superb episode. Gorgeous sets, good characterisation, top class fighting on screen and off and exceptionally well cast actors- especially the 'Old Man'- not easy to give a convincing performance, especially in the current Twilight climate, but he really pulled it off.
Supernatural walks a delicate line between being able to take the mick out of itself and, conversely, dealing with relatively ridiculous subjects in a serious fashion. This episode exemplifies just how adept they are doing this.
Top marks and a bucketful of Thanks for making such great television.
I liked this episode quite a bit and a big part of that was the Benny back story. It was interesting to see a "good vampire" and the way Benny became this way was realistic whether vampires are a myth only or not. I like Dean's working with Benny and how they took on Benny's god's lair. It was also realistic to see how things ended up for Benny and Andrea. Dean's experiences with Benny and Castiel in purgatory helped to see what was going on better and I keep holding out hope for the return of Castiel. Now that said we once again get more of Sam's year off and his relationship with the woman. I'm not sure where this is heading but I am afraid it might ultimately lead, as I said in another review, to the ending of the series after this season. I've really enjoyed the show although not as much when it was on the grand arc series as much as when they do the monster of the week, particularly the monsters rooted in actual mythology, and if it ends I will miss watching it. I'm a bit surprised it has lasted this long but that is a testament to how good it is and it keeps its edge up even after 8 seasons.
He's chick-flicking all over the place, between Sam and Amelia, Benny and Andrea, and Brian, Michael and Kate last week. At least the latter ones have vampires and werewolves thrown in, but the Sam and Amelia story doesn't even have that.
The Purgatory flashbacks were the stuff I love, but I need more than just a few cool flashbacks sandwiched between chick flick moments.
I love the twist of Dean getting together with Benny and am totally not surprised- anyone following the series knows Dean to be loyal to the death or to a fault, however you choose to put it. This was an excellent episode- keep them coming!!! Eventually I'll buy every one of them (I had the first 5 seasons but homelessness is hard and I had to hock them to pay for moving).
Supernatural is far from what got me addicted in this show. This episode was about flashbacks and love, love, love.
THE GOOD: Castiel's still got me thinking about "If you murder a monster in Monster Heaven, where does it go?", I'm seriously looking forward to answers for this question. Also, Benny is a good kind of vampire and the boys are learning that some monsters are good. Okay, so maybe Sam is still not getting this part about Benny. Third, Castiel's whereabouts is making me crazy and that's good, it means I have something to look forward to.
THE BAD: That human-vampire love story is so cliched there was nothing to think about. I had no reaction when Dean beheaded her.
THE UGLY: There is still no explanation why Sam never looked for his brother. I mean, talk about cold-hearted. I seriously hate Sam for this.
Liked the episode and won't dwell too much on it as "Lost Boys' Below has pretty much covered it... but, please give Sam a bit more spine!
It is too unbelievable that he abandoned Dean to the wasteland of purgatory and went out fixing fridges, getting a dog and making lovenest so quickly.
Maybe there is some more flashback to resolve the "why's" but tioo date the only thing that makes sense of the "lost year" is Dean;s time in purgatory hanging with Benny forming a bond that goes beyond Dean hating anything that ain't straight human (reasonable to guess Dean has no love for a lot of angles).
Benny got center stage this week as he looks to get revenge on his coven/nest of vamps that killed him for betraying them for the woman he loved and believes dead. The opening scene where he takes on three by himself was really satisfying and his call to Dean for help was really badass how he was all nonchalant about crawling into a freighter by dawn. Dean never leaves someone he cares about behind so he ditches Sam to himself to have flashbacks about Amelia and his year off. Dean also has flashbacks to Purgatory and Benny is insistent that they should leave Cass behind since he "shines like a beacon" particularly the Leviathans being able to float down in clouds of smoke was much cooler than they were last season and Benny's save of one about to devour Cass was pretty awesome, but where do you go when you die in Purgatory? And can you kill Leviathans without the special weapon in Purgatory? And why do Sam and Benny carry around those same Purgatory club/blades, are they magic? They never really explained if those blades are enhanced or just reliable tools for decapitation. Sam remembers Amelia and connecting with Amelia after fixing her sink, although why was she shoving limes down her sink? Was it to get Sam there? And Sam calling his dog "Dog" and telling Dog to not "bother the angry lady" was greatly funny. The Benny storyline and him wanting to kill "The Old Man" and having the kid be young was predictable vamp fare, but the vampirate thing was a really interesting way for them to cover up their killings. The reveal of Andrea still being alive and setting Benny free was a nice twist in the otherwise typical revenge story and her letting him go was good. And the second in command "where did you learn to fight like that?" when Benny kicked his ass was great. However, I would've like to have the "Old Man" developed a little more seeing as they didn't give him enough time beyond being malicious and saying he is evil it didn't seem fitting enough to simply give him an offscreen death seeing that Benny clearly made him suffer before cutting off his head I'm sure. Dean calling Sam for help was a nice bit especially when Sam is lecturing him about going in there alone. Dean's timing was great for when Benny basically broke up with Andrea. Also, Sam meeting Benny and Dean silently communicating that he was cool was a well executed moment. Clearly Benny can sense that Sam knows nothing about him. We can only guess what happened in Purgatory but my guess is that Cass couldn't get through the gate and Dean and Benny had to leave him behind somehow. I'm excited to see what happens and I'm pretty sure we'll know Castiel's fate by midseason time just in time for the holidays.
Blood Brother was a superb episode of Supernatural and I really enjoyed watching. There was a lot of character development with the flash backs for each of the brothers. I liked the plot lines and their progression. It was great to see how Dean survived in Purgatory. I also liked learning more about Benny and seeing how he interprets the universe. It was awesome to see Dean and Benny working together and looking out for each other. I liked Sam's flash backs of falling into a normal life. I was entertained, there was action, drama and intrigue. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
Much better. Much, much better than the preceding two weeks.
There was a hell of a lot to like about this episode, as we finally found out a bit more about Benny, who's shaping up to be a Bobby replacement and a brilliant ally for the boys. I'm a bit surprised they gave it all away so soon; we pretty much discovered everything we needed to know about him in one fell swoop. While the pirates vampire idea was damn good, Benny's actual backstory was a tad cliche. Ancient vampire forms a cult of worshippers. One of them decides they don't want to be in the cult anymore, because they've fallen in love. The cult then turn the love into a vampire, and she turns out to be an evil bitch after all that. But hey... it was still entertaining. It seems that Benny genuinely wants to do good now he's out of purgatory, and the creepy vibe that we were getting at the start of the season was a nice red herring. Then again, season 8 continues to twist, turn and surprise, so I'm not going to conclude Benny is a good guy just yet. It's very rare on Supernatural that a monster lives, no matter how much they try to change themselves.
So. While this was very much Benny's episode, the flashbacks into Purgatory continue to be an absolute blast. It was awesome seeing Dean (a master Hunter), Benny (a kick ass Vampire) and Castiel (an Angel) working together to survive in that place. Equally awesome was the welcome return of Leviathans. I loved how they shot out of the sky as goo, before becoming human like. If there was one thing that seemed a little forced though, it was how easily they overpowered Cas. Yeah yeah. Leviathans beat Angels (as we found out in the penultimate episode of last season... ie the season where Leviathans were the big bad (have I mentioned that this made no sense to me, introducing it so close to the end of the season?)) but how can you have super strong, super charged Cas getting overpowered so easily and then have Dean, who is after all just a man, easily taking care of his attacker. I have no issue with Leviathans being stronger than Angels... I mean after all it gives Cas something to fear on the show. Just consistency would be nice. Saying that though, I suppose the point of that scene was to show Cas and Benny starting to form an alliance. It is pretty tragic to see that they both know what Dean won't accept... Cas will probably have to be left behind.
So.... there is a weak aspect of the episode, right? Yes. You guessed it. Sammy.
Oh Sammy. I don't want to be this mean with you every week. But until your story starts making an ounce of sense, mean I shall be.
So. Your brother is trapped in Purgatory. Your best friends are dead. There is still an army of Leviathans out there now under the control of Crowley, who you know is one evil bastard. And... you take a year out? No. Not buying it.
This same Sam was driven insane by the loss of his brother. The superb "Mystery Spot" in season 3 showed us just how much these brothers will do if one of them is in need of the other. Like I've said before.... if Sam wants to retire he's damn well earned it. He was Lucifer's bitch for a century, he's saved countless lives... he's earned it! But to see him travelling around, fixing things in a hotel, flirting with the nearest hot bird, getting himself a dog.... all while his brother is rotting in Purgatory... it makes him extremely difficult to like. Even soulless Sam wasn't this bad! Take out the fact that Dean is in Purgatory and this storyline would actually be okay. As it is... weak.
Anyway. Thank you for a very good episode this week!
On the positive side, once again the show has made something new out of something old--in this case, something very old, vampires. The "vampirates" angle was new, and more importantly, pretty damn cool. Benny's backstory was interesting, and I loved the twist that though he had given up his evil ways for the love of a woman, her love for him led her to evil. I liked that he recognized she was no longer the woman he loved and refused to go back down that road with her, and was sad but understanding when Dean beheaded her. It's easier to see now why Dean befriended Benny (in spite of the whole fang thing): he was telling the truth in Purgatory, he really had stopped killing humans.
I also liked the Purgatory flashbacks. The dynamic between the three characters was interesting, the tension between Cas and Benny and Dean stuck in the middle, and the fact that for all he didn't want to get killed because he was hanging with an angel beacon, Benny did save Cas's life when push came to shove. I also love the look and feel of Purgatory, it is chilling and creepy and primitive. And the Leviathan goo bombs were super cool.
And now for the not-so-positive part. I am not liking the Sam storyline for so many reasons it is not even funny. Even putting aside the character assassination of having Sam desert Dean, Cas and Kevin when they were in mortal danger. They haven't even shown us that Sam grieved for Dean yet. There is nothing interesting about it. It's mundane. When Sam was fixing the fan in the motel room, I thought maybe Kevin had hidden something in there or something bloody would come out. But no. He's just fixing the fan. That's it. Dean, Cas and Benny are off having epic supernatural adventures, and Sam is fixing a fan. How is that supposed to be interesting? At the end when Sam rushed off to the rescue, I thought finally he's going to do something, but he only got there in time to catch the rope on the pier.
To top that off, as I've said before, I'm not interested in romance in and of itself (that's why I'm watching Supernatural instead of Gossip Girl), and I don't like it when female characters are there only to be the romantic interest for a male character and have no role of their own to play in the plot. To boot, I don't like it when the female characters are written to be bitchy. She was pretty horrid to Sam in the first episode, but I thought okay, just first impressions, let's get to know her better. The second time she was nice, she even baked him a cake, and I thought maybe I could like her. But now we're back to her being nasty and insulting to Sam again. With 85% of primetime TV writers being men (according to a study at San Diego State University), we still get too many female characters stereotyped from a male POV. And bitch is one of my least favourite ones, along with damsel in distress and sex object. They wrote Sam as calling her "angry lady" so they have to be aware of how they're writing her. Do they expect me to like her anyway? Do they expect me to feel sorry for her that she's all alone when they haven't first given me a chance to like her?
(At this year's Comic Con, Ben Edlund said he was going to put more effort into writing female characters equally to the male characters and I liked the sound of that. He wrote this episode, but the season is young. Edlund wrote the episode where it's Jamie who shoots the vampire, for which I will always love him, so I'm still looking forward to seeing what he can do with female characters he gets to create.)
Furthermore, we've done this story before, with Lisa. And I liked it the first time around, but there were key differences in how it was handled. I loved Lisa: she was kind and caring as well as being calm and strong even in a crisis. The Dean/Lisa story was always integrated with the Supernatural stories, with djinn attacks, Dean returning as a vampire, Lisa and Ben being captured by Crowley, etc. And the real heart of the story was how Dean was torn between hunting and being with Lisa and Ben, and how he just could not reconcile the two.
This Sam/Amelia storyline doesn't even feel like Supernatural to me, it doesn't feel part of the same universe or the same show. In the first flashback with Amelia, the picnic in the park, it looked like a scene from a Nicholas Sparks movie had been spliced into Supernatural. Blood Brother felt like two episodes from two vastly different shows--one a romantic drama and one a fantasy action drama--had been edited together. Sam fixed a fan. And then he fixed an AC. And then he fixed a sink. And then Angry Lady bitched at him. And then they talked about their feelings. How is that supposed to be a Supernatural story? Now that we've been told it's "straightforward," "what you see is what you get" and "a human story" I can't even hold out hope there will be a supernatural twist.
On top of that dichotomy, this episode also felt very disjointed because it kept jumping around to four different places and times. I was constantly being jolted out of a story and dumped in another one. I was like "Pick a storyline! Pick a year! Pick a genre! Pick a plane of existence! Just pick something and stick with it!" I'm all for them experimenting with flashbacks, but I think they should stick with one present-day storyline and one lost-year-storyline per episode--so they're only jumping between two stories, and not four. Like have a present-day story with Sam and Dean, and alternate flashbacks to Purgatory and with Angry Lady. And also make Sam's flashbacks better. A lot better.
Finally back on track after a slow tease for 4 episodes. Small hints about what happened in the year- hope Sam's life was more interesting than fixing pipes! Overall with this type of writing and acting, esp from Jensen- I'll keep watching for years, but the characters have to develop with their age appropriate relationships as the series continues to be about the brothers. Benny was enjoyable third character. I thought the greyness of Purgatory and the angle shots contrasted with Sam's color laden scenes were a great directing addition to great script. Did Benny drink Dean's blood in Purgatory making them "Blood Brothers"? When Ty was Eli in season 2 Dean stated he killed those things and then agreed with Sam not to' 'cause these vamps had changed- good memories of season 2 thread picked up here. Dean centric episode is Sam's coming as well?
Blood Brother has been the strongest episode so far this season! We finally get an understanding of who Benny is and what he is after. His characterization is similar to the introduction of Castiel back in season 4...maybe he'll be another game changer to the series? We also get more of a window into Dean and Sam's time apart. My only complaint from the episode is that Sam isn't getting as much to do this season, which hopefully gets fixed as we find out why he left his girlfriend.
To be honest, this episode was the last chance I was giving the show. I didn't like the beginning with Dean popping out of Purgatory as if it was something normal, and being a Castiel fan, I didn't like the fact that we saw him less, actually we didn't see him at all during the last episode and I keep asking myself "WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM!" I just want to know.
Anyway, I really liked this episode, because I this Beny's a good addition to the show, he's a good badass character and it was cool knowing his story (even if the girlfriend turned into a vampire plot was pretty obvious from the moment he mentioned her). It's just a little bit hard for me to understand him sometimes because of his accent but that probably is because I'm French. Anyway good episode, we get to see Castiel etc...but I don't know why, I really don't like Sam's story, I just end up skipping those parts!
Finally, the best part of the episode: "Vampire pirates? That's what you guys are. Vampirates." ROFL
What can I say but I really don't care anymore about this show. This episode like this season has gone nowhere. Who cares about this Benny what is he? a bad Angel reject now they are going to say that he has a soul give me a break. What are they looking to give him his own show? Now Sam and Dean don't care for each other anymore. Now Sam wants out and Dean just wants to hunt and I say who cares.
It really doen't matter anymore this show is done, it's dated, long in the tooth.