Supernatural 8.05 Review: Vampirates Y’all

Supernatural, I am in love with you again. After last week’s highly disappointing episode, I really needed Blood Brother to be good, and it was. Ben Edlund never fails to bring the awesome, and Guy Bee has quickly become one of my favorite Supernatural directors. This was an excellent episode and it served as a springboard for what I’m hoping will be another fantastic episode next week. But before I start singing the praises of an episode that hasn’t aired yet, let’s talk about Blood Brother.

This week, we got a really good look at Benny. It usually takes Supernatural longer than 5 episodes to give us as much backstory on supporting characters as we got on Benny last night. Heck, we didn’t find out how Bobby got into hunting until about midway through S3. But last night, we got a real good look at why Benny ended up in Purgatory and why he was so anxious to get back topside. I just want to pause here and say that I found it particularly hilarious to have yuppie vampires (complete with polos and popped collars) feeding off the yacht club crowd. Like I said, Ben Edlund is awesome. But back to Benny. He ran into some trouble while he was hunting down his maker, and he called Dean to help him out. Dean, to Sam’s dismay, dropped what he was doing and went to help Benny out. Benny tells Dean that he was his maker’s favorite until he decided to ditch the nest because he fell in love with a woman named Andrea. Love will make you do some very strange things, and in the Supernatural universe it has led the characters to take drastic action (i.e. John selling his soul for Dean, Dean selling his soul for Sam, Sam taking control from Lucifer). In this case, love led Benny to stop killing humans and turn his back on his nest. Through Andrea he was able to remember the beauty and value of human life, so he walked away from the nest. For that, his maker hunted them down and killed them…or so Benny thought. Dean and Benny locate the nest only to find that the maker has turned Andrea instead of killing her. Long story short, Dean kills lots of vampirates while Benny takes out the maker and his lieutenant. He wants Andrea to leave with him, but she’s no longer the woman he fell in love with and she doesn’t want to leave. Dean ended up taking her out before she killed Benny.

Supernatural has tried on several occasions to tell the story of sympathetic monsters (i.e. Madison, Lucky, and Amy), and I think that it’s worked to a certain extent. But at the end of the day, all of those monsters had killed humans and were likely to kill again. So as sympathetic as they were, they still needed to die. I don’t think Benny fits into that category. Yes, Benny is a vampire and he had fed on humans in the past, but by the time he got sent to Purgatory he hadn’t been feeding on humans for some time. Furthermore, there’s no indication that he’s feeding on humans now. So the question becomes, does he need to die simply because he’s a vampire? Or should he be allowed to try to continue living off donated blood? One of the main themes of Supernatural is redemption, and I don’t think Benny should be exempt from the opportunity to redeem himself. Dean’s bond with Benny led to what was perhaps my favorite scene of the episode –Sam meeting Benny for the first time. There wasn’t really any dialog in that scene, but there was a whole lot said. Sam reaching for his machete and Dean shaking him off with just a look and a shake of his head. It was beautifully shot and wonderfully acted by Ackles, Padalecki, and Ollson. I’m not sure I trust Benny completely yet, but after last night’s episode, I want to trust him. I want to believe that the bond he and Dean forged in Purgatory is real. Speaking of Purgatory…

I am really loving the flashbacks to Purgatory. I especially like how they’re shot. The colors harsh and we’re generally given a 360 degree shot from Dean’s POV so we can see that he’s literally got monsters coming at him from all sides. I also like the fact that we’re able to see the evolution of the Dean/Benny relationship in those Purgatory flashbacks. Dean is initially very wary of Benny and rightfully so. Benny is, after all, a monster. But even after Dean and Benny make an agreement to get Dean out of Purgatory, Dean doesn’t fully trust him. They were fighting back to back, but even then, Dean kept Benny at arm’s length. It wasn’t until Benny killed a leviathan to save Cas that Dean finally trusted him. Now, the argument could be made that Benny killed that leviathan to earn Dean’s trust more than to save Cas. But I think Benny saved Cas because he knew how much Cas meant to Dean. Just as an aside, I got a pretty good chuckle out of the conversation about Cas being Benny’s aunt.

We also got some movement on the Sam/Amelia storyline this week. I’m glad for this because I was really leaning toward not liking Amelia. I didn’t like the way she was introduced and I didn’t like her first interactions with Sam. She came off as snarky and self-righteous. I was not impressed. Thankfully, this episode softened her for me. I’m really glad because if something hadn’t been done about her, it would’ve been awful to have to sit through that part of Sam’s story. But I like how she was presented here. She was a bit less snarky and a little more relateable. Now, I’d like to know more about her and about how she changed Sam. I’m looking forward to that storyline because we’ll learn more about not only what Sam did during his year away from Dean, but who Sam became during that year. When Amelia and Sam met, they were in the same place. They were both lost and full of grief. Their worlds had spun out of control and they didn’t know how they were going to find solid footing again. When they found each other, they found stable ground. I’m not saying it’s necessarily healthy to form a relationship based upon shared feelings of loss, but if that’s what it takes to help you begin to heal, then that’s what you do. I don’t think Sam wants to be with her just so he can quit hunting. I really believe Sam loves her as much as he’s able. Furthermore, he’s had a taste of normal with her and he liked it. It’s no longer just an idea or an unattainable dream. It’s something he’s actually experienced and something he is now willing to fight for. I also really like how Sam’s memories of his past year are shot. The colors are extremely bright and slightly hazy, like a dream. It’s in stark contrast to the sharp, harsh tones of Purgatory.

This was an excellent episode, and I am really loving this season so far. I think it would be beneficial to have a Dean flashback episode and a Sam flashback episode so we can get their past year from their perspective. But I like where Carver and Co. are taking us and I’m excited about next week’s episode. It looks like all the tension between the Brothers Winchester will be coming to a head. Good times. That’s all for now junkies. Until next time, peace, love, and joy. 🙂


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