In this episode we delve deeper into the Dean and Benny story...
Dean: "Kid's like Rain Man. He's like a crappy little credit card counting criminal prodigy Rain Man."
Dean: "When's that kid going to stop running from us."
Benny: "Hey Dean, you got a minute? I'm 'fraid I messed up, buddy."
- I think a lot of this episode is about what it means to be friends/in love with a monster. Actually, really there's a whole group of episodes in the beginning of S8 that are about that, 8x03-8x05 all touch on the theme. Anyway, in Dean's case, it's like there's constantly this shoe waiting to drop in his and Benny's friendship.
Sam: "And what exactly is that supposed to mean, 'you've got to go'?!"
- And this is where Sam starts losing it, because Dean basically chastised him for not devoting his entire life to hunting, and yet Dean's leaving when they're still on the case that Sam is using as his "one last case." Also, Dean's basically using the fact that Sam has FAILED to find Kevin as the reason why he can afford to take off in the middle of the case.
- Dean, meanwhile, is just being gruff for gruffs sake. He's not actually mad at Sam, or at least, not about not being able to find Kevin. I just love how Dean asks Sam if he can take the Toblerone in the middle of what Sam perceives to be an argument.
Sam: "Wait, Dean, seriously!?!"
- Again, this dialogue is interesting for a couple of reasons. 1) When have the Winchesters ever had personal business that didn't involve each other? For godssake, they shower with the bathroom door open! (see S7's Of Grave Importance). 2) Dean's 'did you have a stroke' line would have been awesome if they went the direction that I was hoping they were going to go with Sam's S8 opening story-arc. In that, I really think that Dean SHOULD be questioning if something had gone wrong in Sam's head at some point. Sadly, they didn't go there, so I guess this point is moot. 3)Dean uses the whole took a year off as a jab to get what he wants because he KNOWS it'll make Sam feel guilty and give in. Dean, as we find out next episode, is still hurting from not being looked for (and who wouldn't be?) and he DOES want to hurt Sam right back, and if he can get what he wants at the same time, he's going to use that. It's basically emotional manipulation.
Flashback Timez! - Purgatory Edition #1:
In The Hall of the Mountain King! I looooooooooooove that song. My sister used to play it on the piano all the time when we were kids, and I once saw a symphony perform the entire Grieg suite and it was one of my favourite symphony concerts ever. Also, we used to sing/hum it in the car, because we thought that the turn single made a nice metronome... perhaps my family is weird. I think in this case, it's actually a reference to something or something? I don't actually know.
Sam changed his shirt while Dean had a flashback. That's kind of odd. "Well, my brother's gone - I'm going to put on my COMFY PLAID, not this stifling OTHER plaid." :P Oh, maybe it's the next day. Nevermind. Sam got some sleep and then put on clean plaid in the morning. Sam's wearing his "resurrection" plaid now. TIME TO LIVE!
"Concerned. Not stalking. Concerned."
Flashback Time! Sam's weird year edition #1:
Sam: "Everette, hey buddy, you still on duty?"
- I think it sucks that we all know what's wrong with Everette's dad. Someone should cure that stupid disease. :(
Sam: "Listen, I'm going to stay another week, but I need you to run it on this card, because I just cancelled the one you had on file."
- I wonder if Everette ever questioned Sam's credit cards... I wonder how many he had to cycle through while he was there, or if eventually he just ended up switching to paying in cash.
Sam: "You got any tools?"
Sam's so proud of himself for fixing things. It's kind of sad, given how obsessed he is with fixing things.
Meanwhile, Dean's helping Benny out... who has been sleeping in his truck. Ah, it's a fine life for resurrected monsters.
Dean: "Wow, you ah...look okay."
Benny drank half a cooler of AB-... that's the universal recipient. Nice choice. It's actually the blood type that is least likely to be affected by a blood donation shortage.
Dean: "Benny, what's going on?"
- I love how Benny is actually taken aback by the ferocity of Dean's friendship. Like, the same devotion that Dean will put into killing you, he will put into loving you.
Cas kicking ass in Purgatory.
Dean: "Before we found Cas, you said it was my humanity that was drawing too much attention"
- You have to wonder at what it was like to be Benny walking around purgatory with two monster beacons. :P
- Personally, I just think they're resurrected in another part of purgatory.... but that if something had happened to Dean, he would have actually died - seeing as how he was there as a living being.
Benny: "And this is the crazy Aunt I want to take on the road?"
Cas: "I have to agree with the vampire, Dean. The risk of crossing purgatory with a seraph - it's less than strategic - certainly when we have no reason to believe that I can pass through the door that your heading for."
- This is the first time, I believe, that Cas actually names what kind of angel he is.
Benny: "See you're an intact living human being stuck in Purgatory's craw. This dimension wants to spit you out, which is exactly what's going to power our escape pod. Now I'm pretty sure I can squeeze through too, because after all, you take away the fangs and the fun, I was born human too. But..."
- This is another penny in the "Jimmy is dead" jar. I really think that Cas is the only one in that vessel - that the vessel isn't LIVING without him.
Benny: "You hear what he's telling you, Dean, your buddy is saying-"
- And this is also interesting, because as we know, Cas really is trying to tell Dean something - he's trying to tell him to LEAVE him that Cas doesn't actually want to escape... and part of me has to wonder if maybe Benny is picking up that message on some level. Maybe he's not, who knows... but it's interesting that Benny is trying to get Dean to LISTEN to Cas, and Dean just shuts him down and reiterates that it's Dean's decision, not anyone else's... and yeah, I can't help but think of Sam's line "So, Free Will, that's just for you?"
End of flashback!
Benny: "Well, it's good to know you're still dumb as ever."
- And Benny calls Dean's devotion to his friends dumb... mainly, I think, because he doesn't understand what he did to deserve it.
SAM FLASHBACK TIMES! (It's hard to keep track of all the flashback times.)
Amelia: "What the hell are you doing here? I knew there was something off with you - with your creepy Army Navy and your sideburns-"
- And we get our second "meet cute" if you can call it that.
Back to Dean and Benny, as Benny regales him with his origin story.
Benny: "My nest, that's how we fed, how we always fed. We kept a tiny little fleet [...]"
- I love this conversation, because Dean is a DORK - and Benny kind of says his line like "Dean, you're a dork, but I can't help but find it ridiculously endearing." And then Dean is all embarrassed because he feels like a dork. It's adorable. Also, VAMPIRATES! Oh man, I miss Edlund.
*As Dean talks, he takes the money out of a wallet, counts out the cash - looks around and then shoves it in his pocket.*
Benny: "When you get turned, it's like you're reborn into a vampire nest. Your maker, he means everything to you, you even start believing he's God. Now, if your maker happens to believe the same thing..."
- It's interesting, because again, we're exploring what it means to be friends with a monster - or what it means for Benny to be friends with a human. I can't help but think that Benny's use of the term "brother" for Dean relates to his use of the term "father" for his maker... he's treating Dean like Dean's a fellow supernatural being - whereas Benny drinking blood shatters Dean's own illusion that Benny is human. That's just my opinion though.
Benny: "Anyway, our father was a jealous god. He kept the family together, but he kept us apart from the rest of the world - always at sea. I always did what was best for the nest - until I met her [...]"
Dean starts to compose a text to Sam, then deletes it. I can see why - he must have known Sam would flip out.
Benny: "It's weird, being back, in the world, I mean, isn't it... I mean, what do you do with it all, all the everything? I mean, I don't know if the world is real, if I'm real."
And Andrea is still 'alive'...not dead, but turned. And Benny is heartbroken. Awwwwwwww...
Dean *as Benny is taken down after being distracted by Andrea*: "Idiot"
- It's interesting that Dean is so unsympathetic to other people's love this season. He's not sympathetic to Kevin about his girlfriend or his mother, he calls Benny an idiot for being distracted by the love of his life still being around... I'm not sure what this all means. I'm just pointing it out.
More Sam flashback!
Amelia: "I thought you were leaving town"
- It IS pretty neat, from a character standpoint, that Sam and Amelia meet at a motel - when they REALLY meet. Because Sam's right, a motel isn't part of anywhere - Sam is still drifting, lost, after Dean's death. But it's kind of fitting, for Sam, that he would "settle down" at a place that is "not part of anywhere" and he would learn people's names, and treat it like home - because Sam is not part of anywhere too.
End of flashback times! Back to Dean chopping off heads and not taking names...oh, and calling Sam.
Dean: "Why did you call me?"
- And here is, again, where they had a great set-up for what really happened to Sam when Dean "died" but they end up squandering - because Sam FREAKS when he finds out that Dean is in danger without him there.
Sam: "What guy? Garth?!"
Benny: "All this, it's my fault..."
Sam: "I get the separate lives thing, but this is a hunting thing, and we need to find that line-"
*Dean's phone gets smashed*
I love the reveal of Benny's father - being this effeminate twenty-something, who isn't scary at all. It's kind of ridiculous, but in a way that drives home the fact that this is all psychological.
More purgatory flashbacks!
Benny: "I get it, you're worried what I might do if I make it topside, start eating little piggies, but I'm telling you man, by the time I got iced, I was strictly on blood transfusions [...] I drink blood, not people."
- Again, it's only on the rewatch that I realize how much Benny actually calls Dean on his own shit - because Dean DOES have his head up his ass when it comes to what's really going on with Cas in purgatory. Dean wants to see things a certain way, so that's how they are. It's Dean's beliefs that are the most important. It's Dean that makes the decisions and screw anyone else for suggesting otherwise.
Dean: "Do I need to remind you of our deal? Of what you committed to?"
- That being said, I think Benny is less concerned about Cas' free will and more concerned about the fact that he IS going to get them killed.
More Sam flashbacks!
Sam: "Dog! Don't bother the angry lady... sorry."
- I love how Sam doesn't correct her on that one...because technically SHE IS RIGHT.
Amelia: "You come from nowhere, you seem to be going nowhere, and you've quote 'seen a lot of stitches' - it's all pretty solid creepy."
Sam: "You have no idea where you're going either, do you?"
Vampire: "Where the hell you learn to fight like that?"
- I did love the slow-mo on the fight.
Vampire: "You're right. I've been here so so long, Benny [...] it all means so little. This universe is a pyramid of despair, nothing else."
- This is a very interesting character point for Benny. Because basically, what his father is telling him is that Benny's problem was that he couldn't accept the fact that he was evil and just revel in it like the rest of them. That Benny is tortured because he tortures himself, and for no other reason. Benny, fundamentally, was a shitty vampire, because he never lost his morals...or he only suspended them briefly, anyway. Whereas Benny's maker here just embraced the fact that he was evil and did what evil does - and that was enough of a purpose for him. THat was enough to keep him going.
- Now, I know what you're going to say - he sounds like he's tired of it all and WANTS Benny to kill him. And that's what I thought at first too, but then I remembered what Andrea had told Benny - that their maker was SCARED of him. And then there's there's the next line that I'm going to copy out:
Vampire: "This is my story you gnat, it ends the way I choose! Not you!"
- I think this is about him needing to feel that he is God - like Benny said - that he is the agent of his own life. That nothing happens that he doesn't choose. He finds out Benny has returned from the dead and is set on revenge, and he is scared that Benny will succeed - will kill him - and so he decides that maybe he's tired of it all. Maybe he WANTS to go. It doesn't change the fact that Benny kills him, but it changes his own feeling of helplessness/powerlessness. He feels powerful until the end.
Benny: "I wanted to put your memory to rest."
- What Benny loved was humanity. What Benny loved was LIFE, and like his maker just reminded him, that's not what he has - and that's not what Andrea has any more either. I think while he was with her before he died, he was able to convince himself otherwise... and he probably held onto that the whole time he was in Purgatory. And he probably loves Dean as much as he does because Dean is human too.
Benny: "Why'd you do it, Dean?"
Dean: "What the hell are you talking about? Hey, are you good?"
- And with his revenge plot achieved - Benny has to confront the fundamental problem of his existence: Is he good or evil? I think it'd be easier for him if someone else made the choice. On the one hand, he's a monster, like the monsters he just killed - on the other hand, a monster HUNTER saw fit to resurrect him - does that mean that he's good?
Dean kept his promise because Benny saved Cas. Even though Benny had JUST been complaining about how Cas was going to get them killed and it would be easier if he were out of the picture. And before that, Dean had been yelling at Benny - telling him he didn't believe that Benny would be good when they got topside. But with one simple selfless decision, Benny earned Dean's trust through his actions, not his words. And, I think I've made this argument in seasons gone past - Dean is very much a man of action. It's people actions that matter to him, which is why Sam's WORDS never solve arguments between them... Dean doesn't understand why Sam didn't look for him, because all Sam can offer are words, while his actions (or lack there of) are what Dean has the problem with.
Benny: "I'm Benny. I've heard a lot about you, Sam."
- I love this ending and the complete lack of words between Dean and Sam. Sam is LIVID. I kind of feel bad though, because it would have been nice if Sam had met Benny under better circumstances. I really think that if Dean had come back and said, "a vampire showed me the way out of purgatory in exchange for bringing him with me - but don't worry, he's cool." Sam would have been a lot better with it all - but once again it's the secret keeping that makes it into a problem. Oh Winchesters.
And I'm done!
I'll try to do another one tomorrow. But they really do take me all friggin' day, it feels like.