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Demented Daisy

S08.E09: Citizen Fang

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Benny seems to be attacking innocent people and only Dean believes he's innocent.

 

 

The episode I've been dreading.  The less said about it, the better, in my book.

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No, just no. I'm trying to take example from my grandmother...can't think of anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

 

Ooh, I thought of one...the actress that plays Benny's granddaughter is always a pleasure to see.

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I feel like I must be missing something here. I didn't think it was so bad. I mean it wasn't great but it's certainly not as bad others. Anything with Benny makes me happy. And I just LOVE the actress that plays Elizabeth. And I shipped her with Dean.

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Discalimer: the following is my opinion only...

 

Who is that person who is looks like Sam, because he certainly doesn't act like Sam? At all. A whole bunch of plot-driven (vs character driven) angst for angst's sake.

 

Elizabeth could have been interesting, but instead she is just another thing "taken away" - this time from both Benny and Dean - because of "crappy brother Sam"...

 

Haaate. (are we senseing a theme here ; ) )

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Maybe that's why it doesn't bother me as much because it's consistent with Sam being a douche from ep 1 regardless of whether I think he would have looked for Dean or no. 

 

And even going back to s1, Sam can be pretty judgmental. But I get where you are coming from AwesomeO4000

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I agree with you that Sam can be pretty judgemental at times. And I can see why you enjoyed the Benny and Elizabeth parts here as well (althought kind of mean, considering they were only going to take her away in an unsatisfying manner after having us like her).

 

For me, my complaint here was more Sam's "he's a vampire, so of course he should die" attitude that seemed odd. Generally Sam was the brother who wanted to give monsters a chance, and considering Benny helped Dean, and Dean trusted him - which if anything should've convinced Sam a monster should be given a chance first it would be Dean of all people trusting him - it would seem Sam wouldn't usually have made a snap judgement here. But it seemed Sam deciding he hated Benny from the moment he met him and insinuating even then that Benny should die is what to me seemed out of character. This was supposedly the same Sam who in season 7 agreed to leave Castiel with Meg of all people and gave her the benefit of the doubt with watching Cas and then later talked/commiserated with Meg. His anger with Benny just seemed way out of proportion* from his usual reaction. And bringing in Martin seemed an odd choice all around. Wouldn't someone like Garth have been a more logical choice?

 

And it's too bad, because I think this could have been a really good episode - especially with Elizabeth - without all of the Sam wanting to kill Benny stuff. Why was that even needed? Crazy Martin could've gotten out and caught the trail of the other vampire and been on Benny's trail, and Sam could've watched from the outside watching Dean trying to help Benny - with Sam watching both and trying to figure out the real story and what the connection was between Benny and Dean... conflicted but waiting and trying to solve the case (like he used to do). He could've sneaked around, not quite trusting either side, only getting pieces of what was going on, and it might've been interesting to see something from Sam's POV in that regard... with us the audience trying to figure out the real story with Sam, knowing he was supicious of Benny, but still trying to find out the truth first. I don't know maybe I'm reading too much into it, but to me, I would've found that much more satisfying.

 

* More like something you'd expect from a jealous lover in a soap opera than something Sam would actually do. And I can't really buy that Sam was angry/jealous that Beny saved Dean when he (Sam) couldn't, because Sam didn't react that way with Castiel in season 4. In fact he was grateful that Castiel had saved Dean. So for me, Sam's over the top anger reaction here just seemed odd.

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And I can't really buy that Sam was angry/jealous that Beny saved Dean when he (Sam) couldn't, because Sam didn't react that way with Castiel in season 4. In fact he was grateful that Castiel had saved Dean. So for me, Sam's over the top anger reaction here just seemed odd.

 

See, that part actually rang true to me.  For one thing, S8 Sam has been through so much more than S4 Sam that I wouldn't expect his reaction to Benny to be the same as to Castiel.

 

Also, at the risk of giving the story far more complexity than it to gave me, it didn't feel like Sam was just looking at Benny like Yoko was about to split up the band - it was more of an unconcious mix of guilt (because Benny had done what he hadn't even tried to do) and hatred (because he had worked out a lot of his Souless ya-yas on vampire nests and the team has never before had a good interaction with the species), combined with at least some jealously over Dean's obvious affection for Benny as a person. Castiel doesn't disrupt the equilibrium between the boys, where I could see Sam sensing Benny had "distruptor" written all over him.

And, ironically, I think Sam only fully realized that at the end, when he knew Dean had tricked him into thinking Amelia was in danger - a brutally efficient move that Dean would never generally pull on Sam to help someone else. To get Sam out of harm's way, yes, but not to get someone else out of Sam's way. If that makes any sense?

 

What didn't ring true was that he would choose Crazy Martin if he was really worried about Benny, and I still don't understand why the whole Amelia story required the old "oh, you mean my husband didn't die in the war?" plot device that hasn't made any sense since, like, the 1980s.

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I still don't understand why the whole Amelia story required the old "oh, you mean my husband didn't die in the war?" plot device that hasn't made any sense since, like, the 1980s.

 

 

Military spouse here.  Don't get me started.  If nothing else, the military would make absolutely sure because of the death benefits they pay out.  Between it and life insurance, Amelia should be paying back close to half a million.  The military (and the insurance company) aren't going to give her that money without being certain.

 

But anyway....

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And even going back to s1, Sam can be pretty judgmental. But I get where you are coming from AwesomeO4000

 

 

I agree with you that Sam can be pretty judgemental at times.

 

For me, my complaint here was more Sam's "he's a vampire, so of course he should die" attitude that seemed odd. Generally Sam was the brother who wanted to give monsters a chance, and considering Benny helped Dean, and Dean trusted him - which if anything should've convinced Sam a monster should be given a chance first it would be Dean of all people trusting him - it would seem Sam wouldn't usually have made a snap judgement here. But it seemed Sam deciding he hated Benny from the moment he met him and insinuating even then that Benny should die is what to me seemed out of character.

 

 

* More like something you'd expect from a jealous lover in a soap opera than something Sam would actually do.

Taking response to all episodes.

Edited by trxr4kids

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and the team has never before had a good interaction with the species

 

Well there was Lenore, and I would argue that Sam at least respected Lenore: enough to trust her enough to keep control of her nest. Sam made a point to Gordon that he let all of Lenore's nest go. I argue that Sam might have even had a fondness for Lenore. In season 6, Sam was the one to ask about the rest of her "nest" wondering what happened to the other vampires in her family, and he tried hard - along with Dean - to see if she could be saved from Eve's influence and was willing to give her a chance again despite her having fallen off the wagon due to Eve's influences.

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For me, my complaint here was more Sam's "he's a vampire, so of course he should die" attitude that seemed odd.

Thank you for pointing out what has been bugging me except making Sam look like the worst person ever. It makes no sense. This is the guy who hoped that even 'freaks' could be ok since he himself was one.

I

 

it was more of an unconcious mix of guilt (because Benny had done what he hadn't even tried to do) and hatred (because he had worked out a lot of his Souless ya-yas on vampire nests and the team has never before had a good interaction with the species), combined with at least some jealously over Dean's obvious affection for Benny as a person.

I wish they had shown THAT. As it is, I don't see it. Instead they have Sam side with an unstable and crazy hunter. Right.

 

God, I hate season 8 even more than I thought.

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n

season 6, Sam was the one to ask about the rest of her "nest" wondering what happened to the other vampires in her family, and he tried hard - along with Dean - to see if she could be saved from Eve's influence and was willing to give her a chance again despite her having fallen off the wagon due to Eve's influences.

 

 

I had forgotten all about that with Lenore. Geez, Sam, hypocrite much? He's willing to give Lenore a chance but not Benny. Why change of heart Sam? That's just another bit of fuel to add to my viewpoint that Sam's issues with Benny were primarily because he's jealous of Benny being Dean's friend/brother in arms and that Benny did was Sam didn't/couldn't and that was save Dean.

 

ETA: Because I was apparently very sleepy and unable to form coherent thought when I posted this.

Edited by catrox14
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Also, at the risk of giving the story far more complexity than it to gave me, it didn't feel like Sam was just looking at Benny like Yoko was about to split up the band - it was more of an unconcious mix of guilt (because Benny had done what he hadn't even tried to do) and hatred (because he had worked out a lot of his Souless ya-yas on vampire nests and the team has never before had a good interaction with the species), combined with at least some jealously over Dean's obvious affection for Benny as a person. Castiel doesn't disrupt the equilibrium between the boys, where I could see Sam sensing Benny had "distruptor" written all over him.

 

Yes, this is what I think they were going for with the Sam and Benny bristle. And at the risk of giving it more complexity yet, I'd add that Sam was also seeing himself and Ruby and possibly some shades of what happened with Cas. First of all, Dean comes back from Purgatory with a vampire frienemy, that if you dig under the surface doesn't look to be all that cute and cuddly. Benny didn't help Dean get out of Purgatory because he was such a great altruistic guy that just wanted to do the right thing; he wanted to get out himself and take vengeance on his creator. And, I don't really think he cared if Dean survived the experience as long as his soul got humped to the other side. I do think that Benny grew to like, respect and care for Dean, but probably that was more after Dean fulfilled his end of the bargain and then came to help Benny with his creator later. I'm just not sure that Benny was the " best brother" that Dean thought he was anymore than Amelia was the "best love" that Sam thought she was. So, Sam was probably channeling all his mistakes he made with Ruby here. Plus, if you look at the last time Dean came back from the dead with a frienemy--Cas--things weren't all that they seemed then either. From the outside, Cas in S4, looked to be an ally, but since the angels were found out to be working their own angle, he really wasn't until he made his own choice to go against the angels at the end of S4. So, I can see why Sam may have had concerns about Benny, but what he did about those concerns was plain wrong.

 

And now we get the place where I'm going to give the story even more complexity than it ever deserves...I think that's precisely what they were trying to do with this episode--I think they were saying that neither Sam and Dean were wrong in their thinking, they were wrong in their actions and other people ended up paying the price. Sam wasn't necessarily wrong in thinking that Benny might need some watching, but out of his own jealousy and anger he sent the worst possible person to watch Benny which forced Benny to become the monster that Sam was fearing he already was. And, Dean wasn't wrong in thinking that Sam needed to back off and see the bigger picture, but out of his own jealousy that Sam had hooked up with this woman and found some peace in his life without Dean (even though he really didn't, Dean thought he had) he used Amelia against Sam, leaving Martin on his own, which ended up putting Benny in the situation to become the monster that Dean believed him not to be.  I think they were trying to say that they had both got so lost in their own hurts that they lost sight of who they used to be--they no longer hunted things and saved people. I think the attempt was to point out how childish their lives had become and they needed to regress back to their more grown up selves when they used to work together and help people. Or that's what I tell myself they were trying to do, so I could give my head a little relief from the pain the first half of S8 was inducing.

 

I think the biggest fail for them not being able to pull this off is that they never really hit Dean's jealousy side hard enough nor did they give us enough of Sam's point of view about how Dean's judgment shouldn't be trusted here. I think they got so lost in trying to make Sam's normal-life story hold water, when it obviously didn't, that they lost sight of what was happening with Dean once he was out of Purgatory. I also think this is one of those instances when social media and the way TPTB like to be so accessible to the fans really hindered them. It seemed to me they got too caught up trying to respond fan backlash, that they lost sight of what they had originally set out to do which was give them a more mature and grown up relationship.

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think the biggest fail for them not being able to pull this off is that they never really hit Dean's jealousy side hard enough nor did they give us enough of Sam's point of view about how Dean's judgment shouldn't be trusted here

 

 

I don't think jealously factored into Dean being angry with Sam about Amelia on any level. IMO that was all about Dean being abandoned left for dead by Sam for reasons that Dean didn't think were sufficient. And IMO for Dean the only sufficient reason would have been Sam being severely injured and or dead.  I think Dean focused on "for a girl" because IMO even when Dean was with Lisa he still looked for Sam. (aand even Sam looked for Dean when he was messing around with Ruby but just another continuity fail/intentional canon destruction in s8).

 

Benny's original motivation was to get out of Purgatory and he needed a human for that because it was a human portal. If Dean died, Benny didn't make it out, so if only for that reason alone Benny would care if Dean made it through alive.

 

Maybe I have the timeline wrong but they had to have been looking for Cas for a good portion of that year together. I don't think it was like a day or two that they were fighting alongside each other. There is a loyalty because they both protected each other for a common goal. I think Benny was Dean's friend because he promised Dean he would live a straight life as a vampire and not kill for blood. Dean also knew that Benny could give into his vampire ways and kill humans for blood and he accepted that someone else might kill him. But it wasn't going to be him.

 

IMO if Sam was that worried and concerned for Dean because Benny couldn't be trusted even though Sam had literally no way of knowing that, IMO it did not come across in Jared's performance.  To me Jared played it with defensiveness, jealousy and resentment that Dean had a vampire friend that protected Dean. I thought a lot of that was Sam projecting all over the place about his failure to look for Dean.

Edited by catrox14

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@DittyDotDot, @Amerilla, you are far more forgiving than I could ever be with this episode.

 

Oh, I'm not forgiving it anything...I don't like it. Mainly I don't like that I had to work so hard to make any sort of sense out of it and even then it still doesn't really make sense. I don't think I will ever like it. What I think they did wrong in S8 is they made it so hard for me to see why these two people would consider climbing into a car and driving around the country together. I always had to work to make some of the silly plots or monsters work before S8, but Sam and Dean always made sense before. The show really became a chore to watch when it used to be a pleasure.

 

 

I don't think jealously factored into Dean being angry with Sam about Amelia on any level. IMO that was all about Dean being abandoned left for dead by Sam for reasons that Dean didn't think were sufficient. And IMO for Dean the only sufficient reason would have been Sam being dead. I think Dean focused on "for a girl" because IMO even when Dean was with Lisa he still looked for Sam and even Sam looked for Dean when he was messing around with Ruby.

 

That was my point, though.  I think TPTB's intention was that Dean was jealous of Sam finding a substitute for Dean as just as Sam was jealous that Dean had found a Sam substitute with Benny, but they never hit Dean's side of it hard enough to sell the idea so it failed miserably.

 

This show loves it's symmetry and so I think they were trying to show how they were two different sides of the same coin and both found reasonable substitutes for each other when separated and both allowed themselves to believe they were better versions of each other because their own hurts got in the way of seeing the truth to who those people really were. Benny was no more substitute for Sam than Amelia was a substitute for Dean. Benny had his own agenda and wasn't looking to be a long-term brother in arms with Dean that Dean thought he was. Dean was a means to an end for Benny, that's why he kept trying to get Dean to dump Castiel since Castiel's presence threatened the goal. I don't think Benny ever intended to see Dean again after they got out, but the real world was so overwhelming to Benny that he reached out to Dean to help steady himself. That's not to say that Benny didn't have a fondness for Dean, but it's not the same level of "brotherhood" that Dean gets and craves for with Sam. Flipping the coin, Sam may have found some solace in Amelia, but she had her own issues and her own pain she was using Sam to hide from. Sam felt like they were in it together, like he does with Dean, but in reality it was Sam who found them a house and moved them into it and it was Sam that was trying to keep them together when Amelia kept saying maybe it wasn't meant to be. Or at least that's what I got from those really boring flashbacks of Sam's.

 

The other reason I think failed miserably was because neither of these guys were what they needed them to be to make the story work in the first place. Dean needed to be someone that would be jealous that Sam found some peace in his life even if that meant Dean would be dead, when we know that that's all Dean had ever really wanted for Sam. And Sam needed to be someone that still craved to be normal when we know that Sam had long accepted that "normal" doesn't exist and wouldn't have abandoned anyone for his own perceived "happiness" however real he might have made it out to be. This is one of those many times that TPTB had an idea they wanted to do, but given the characters they had it didn't quite work right so they tried to reshape the characters and the universe to fit the idea rather than reshaping the idea to work with the characters and the universe--which always results in a fail in my book.

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That was my point, though.  I think TPTB's intention was that Dean was jealous of Sam finding a substitute for Dean as just as Sam was jealous that Dean had found a Sam substitute with Benny, but they never hit Dean's side of it hard enough to sell the idea so it failed miserabl

 

I understood that was your point :).  I just don't agree that it was a failure to show jealousy on Dean's part because I don't think they were trying to make it about jealousy. Not because they failed to make it work

 

I thought they were trying to flip the script on the s6 opener. Sam made Dean promise in Swan Song to not look for him. Dean pretty much refused to do that but he kept the promise to live an apple pie life.  Dean still tried to find a way to get Sam out but as far as Sam knew Dean had kept that promise until he found out that he hadn't. I thought the idea they were trying to communicate that is okay that Sam took care of himself and kept the promise that Dean didn't keep and tried to live the apple pie life with Amelia that Dean did with Lisa.

 

That's why I don't think they were going for jealousy with Dean about Amelia but more of "WTF dude. I did that for you, why the fuck didn't you do it for me? ". To what end, I still don't quite understand.

Edited by catrox14

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That was my point, though.  I think TPTB's intention was that Dean was jealous of Sam finding a substitute for Dean as just as Sam was jealous that Dean had found a Sam substitute with Benny, but they never hit Dean's side of it hard enough to sell the idea so it failed miserably.

 

This show loves it's symmetry and so I think they were trying to show how they were two different sides of the same coin and both found reasonable substitutes for each other when separated and both allowed themselves to believe they were better versions of each other because their own hurts got in the way of seeing the truth to who those people really were.

Can I just say yuck, I'm sure you're right that's what they were going for and seriously show, Dean has never been jealous about Sam and Sam has never been jealous about Dean so just stop trying to sell the homoerotic codependency crap you keep shoving down our throats to pander to a hopefully small but vocal group of fans. No offense intended to those of that group, everyone is entitled to their opinions, feelings, etc.

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That's why I don't think they were going for jealousy with Dean about Amelia but more of "WTF dude. I did that for you, why the fuck didn't you do it for me? ". To what end, I still don't quite understand.

 

Isn't that jealousy? According to dictionary.com--I know, bad me for citing the internet--jealous: resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another's success or advantage itself.

 

I think they intended for Dean to be angry that Sam could walk away when Dean never could, which would mean that Dean would have resentment that Sam successfully did something he could not = jealousy. But they basically dropped it after a couple of episodes and had Dean appearing to be okay with Sam's choice to abandon everything. However, Sam wasn't anymore successful at walking away than Dean thought he was; which I also thought was their point, too--not everything was as they perceived it to be.

 

 

Can I just say yuck, I'm sure you're right that's what they were going for and seriously show, Dean has never been jealous about Sam and Sam has never been jealous about Dean so just stop trying to sell the homoerotic codependency crap you keep shoving down our throats to pander to a hopefully small but vocal group of fans. No offense intended to those of that group, everyone is entitled to their opinions, feelings, etc.

 

Yes, another reason to despise S8...the beginning of the never-ending supernatural soap opera. Yuck, indeed.

Edited by DittyDotDot
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This is probably just semantics on my part.

 

I guess I cant see it as jealousy on any level.  Dean felt abandoned. Feeling abandoned does not necessarily equate to being jealous over what another person has. You just cannot understand how someone could leave you behind with absolutely no contact and apparently no effort which equates to "I mean nothing to you". And it's especially jarring for Dean because Sam was willing to work with a demon in s4 to get him out of Hell. I'm sure if Sam had a least TRIED for all of 5 minutes, I don't think Dean would have been as hurt and angry.  And it's all mitigated by the fact of where Dean was for that year.  He was in Purgatory, fighting for his life 24/7 and trying to save Cas and he had someone willing to help him for a deal.

 

I can imagine that Dean would have some fucked up feelings about ANYONE having something pleasant whilst he was suffering in Purgatory and that would be expected. I think what Dean can't process is Sam not doing anything at all no matter the reason. It's just that Dean will put Sam above everyone else and his own happiness and Sam didn't.  To me it more that Dean felt rejected than jealous of what Sam has now. Because the expectation had been that Sam would be looking for him. 

 

I don't know if I'm making any sense LOL

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Oh man, is this episode just terribly stupid and nonsensical--and there's so much potential here, IMO. Sigh. I had totally forgotten about the stupid text message of stupid. I still get what they were trying to do here, but man did they totally fuck it up or what?  Who are these people?

 

I understand Sam feeling like Dean might not have the right angle on Benny after his stint with Ruby, so I don't have a problem he was keeping an eye on Benny. In that sense, he was being cautious and smart even if most of it was born out of jealously. I don't even care that Sam doesn't believe Dean about Benny--I mean it seems out of character, but I can understand why he might be wary of Dean suddenly having a vampire friend and to all appearances Benny looks good for the kills; and jealousy. I'm not too keen on him working with Martin after Martin knocks Dean out, but I can see how Martin is off the rails and Sam is just trying to handle two opposing forces. Whatever, fine. 

 

What sticks in my craw is how Sam abandons Martin when he gets that text message. Which okay, someone he loves is in danger so he goes to help--that's reasonable, I guess, whatever. But in the many hours of driving to Kermit, Texas, Sam doesn't, at any point, use all that free time to call Martin or Dean and let them know what's up or make sure they didn't get killed in by a vampire or anything? Okay, he was in panic mode, fine, whatever. But, then he sees Amelia is just fine and dandy and his next course of action is to go get a beer and think things over rather than returning to the mess he made in Louisiana or even making a phone call to see what happened with the case. Confused, needed a moment, okay fine, whatever. But then, he figures it all out and still acts like he had nothing to do with what happened in the end. What the fuck?

 

I'm sympathetic that Sam thinks he loves Amelia and Dean used her against him--which seems rather out of character for Dean too. It was a shitty move, but seriously, was it really all that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things?

 

Sorry for the rant. I'm going to try and block a lot of this episode out again. Hey, we got some Born on the Bayou, didn't we? Okay, a little on the nose. How about the Feel Alright moment, though. That's a nice bit, don't you think? Musical interludes can make almost anything bearable. ;)

Edited by DittyDotDot
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I didn't see it as jealously with Dean, I saw him dealing with his abandonment issues and rejection.  Pretending that he was fine when really he was having a difficult time returning to the normal world he left and the only friend he had left from that place was Benny.

 

So, Benny longing for peace, and living with his only relative he had left, hit Dean with the you don't leave family.  That's been Dean since Season 1.

 

Now the Sam part of the Story, with Martin...sheesh, yikes...awful.  Do I think they failed as much as some, no...but the first half is the only part Dean has for this season.  It was his only interesting part for me.  I can agree to disagree, but Sam did do some of these things many times over the years, but it is like the put the worst part of Sam on speed. 

 

I can agree that TPTB, tried to fix an earlier fail, and made it worse.  Dean didn't like Ruby, but for a time he did try to accept her and Sam doesn't even try.  Which does sort of in a weird way fit Sam, because whenever he didn't like what John or Dean wanted him to do, he would rebel by running away. 

 

I think the problem is that TPTB, forget that have made the characters more complex and sometimes they just forget what they created over time.  I think Carver might have felt that since so many fans hated 6 & 7, he would just skip those years and connect the dots to season 4 and early 5.  Not that it worked...and what was he thinking....So do I love this ep, no, but I like Benny and Dean

and I really hate the 2nd half a more.

 

But I really do hate the divide it put the fandom in... for really not a good reason.  So it's a mixed bag for me.  If that makes any sense.

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Do I think they failed as much as some, no...but the first half is the only part Dean has for this season.  It was his only interesting part for me.

 

I guess I feel differently in that a character not doing much actively doesn't necessarily bother me if I like the character's personality and actions towards others.* I'm more character orientated, and a character can do all sorts of exciting things, but if I don't like or relate to him/her, I could care less that he/she has exciting things to do; I'm not going to want to watch that show. (It's why I disliked House - I disliked the character House, so was annoyed that he was always right and didn't care that he got to do "exciting" things. I wasn't engaged with him or his story. I tried watching a few episodes, but found my opinion didn't really change, and so gave up).

 

And up until this episode not only did Sam have almost nothing important to do - in that the Amelia story had almost nothing to do with the current storyline - he was also acting in ways that I hated and made little sense to me, so there was nothing there for me to like with Sam's story at all. At least in the second half of the season I liked how Dean's character was in terms of his personality, so even if he wasn't doing anything active per se at least I liked him, so the net result was at least a little better.

 

And since this episode was a pinnacle of Sam acting crappily in addition to doing nothing of interest himself, I hated it. For me, making the Dean and Benny storyline more dramatic / tragic / whatever they were going for in this episode was not worth making Sam act like a complete asshat to do it. This episode ended up making me resent Dean / Benny for that reason. Instead of enjoying it, I was getting more and more "over it" by the time of this episode. I understand why some really enjoyed Dean / Benny, but for me, it wasn't worth the character-trashing or the almost soap-opera stuff that came out of it, so that I wasn't really sorry that it was over.

 

* For example, currently (season 10), even though Sam is doing very little actively in the present storyline, I'm enjoying his story better than I have in the past 2 seasons, because for me at least he's Sam again.

 

(As an aside, one of my favorite television characters ever had a very passive, quiet role on his show. I actually thought it made him fascinating. That character was Pvt. Samuel Beckett from China Beach played by Michael Boatman. Another fairly passive character, and probably my favorite non-Supernatural character ever was Garak from Star Trek: Deep Space 9. I agree with Bobby on that one. It is the best Trek series. ; ) ).

Edited by AwesomO4000
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I didn't see it as jealously with Dean, I saw him dealing with his abandonment issues and rejection. 

 

Right, and I agree with you that's what we saw. But what I was saying is, I think TPTB thought they were showing us something different. That was my entire point, they screwed it all up so the balance was all wonky, in the end.

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Watched this for the first time and I won't echo what so many have said above.  I hated Sam here and really felt bad for Dean and Benny.  I don't know how anyone could come away from this ep being over Denny.  I will say I got caught up in the story and noticed how Dean turned his back on Benny when he got in the trunk of the Impala. He trusted him as much as he could.

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Watched this for the first time and I won't echo what so many have said above.  I hated Sam here and really felt bad for Dean and Benny.  I don't know how anyone could come away from this ep being over Denny.  I will say I got caught up in the story and noticed how Dean turned his back on Benny when he got in the trunk of the Impala. He trusted him as much as he could.

 

I can't answer for anyone else on that point, but for me personally, the answer is in the rest of your description. "I hated Sam here and really felt bad for Dean and Benny." (Warning: somewhat bitter opinions ahead.) Exactly. I felt severely manipulated by this episode. From the very beginning of Benny being introduced - actually from the beginning of the season - it was all set up for this. First we had Sam not look for Dean - which in itself made no sense to me. * Then we have Sam immediately hate Benny for little reason. Especially since Sam has previously had good interactions with and given the benefit of the doubt to other vampires (Lenore and her nest and as recently as late season 6) - and he's shown no jealousy/bitterness towards others previously saving Dean (Castiel). I understand Amerilla's point above that this wasn't the same as Castiel, but, in my opinion, there was little reason for the plot to have Sam act like this jealous asshat except to manufacture this almost romantic, us-against-the-world, bro-ship feeling for the Dean and Benny friendship. Because for me, it would have been just as much in character and supported by previous behavior - maybe even more so - for Sam not to act this way (i.e. look for Dean and give Benny some benefit of the doubt), but I guess that wouldn't be as dramatic. So the more the writers pushed the "Poor Benny and Dean. Sam is being such an unsympathetic ass to them, and all they want to be is friends," the more I felt manipulated and completely over it. For me, the Benny / Dean bromance wasn't worth trashing Sam's character for. Not by a long shot, and this made me feel even more manipulated and a little bitter. Miles vary.

 

In addition to that, there was an undercurrent message that annoyed me. The parallels to Sam / Ruby were a bit too close for me. There seemed to be some "aww poor Ruby, Dean just doesn't understand her," fleeting moments in season 4, too (and I disliked those just as much). But of course there, Ruby turned out to be evil. So for me it's a little annoying that the message here seems to be: monsters / demons / angels / etc. are evil or the bad guys ** ...unless Dean thinks they aren't at that moment. Then they are good and/or helpful even when there's little evidence that that should be the case, and actually other evidence that says they shouldn't be. Benny wasn't the only example here - and he was at least believably good-ish. There was also Meg, Crowley,

Naomi, and Gadreel.

The

Naomi

one was especially frustrating, because there had been at least a half a season of evidence to contradict trusting her at all, so it was perfectly reasonable when

Castiel

didn't.

 

I'm not saying that I wanted Benny to be evil. I'm saying that it was annoying that we have Sam time and again throughout the series hoping or wanting a monster to be potentially good only to have him/her be a monster in the end ***, and then the one time we have a monster who turns out to stay good, of course Sam has to hate him, misjudge him, and threaten to kill him. What was the purpose of that?

 

Oh how I hate this episode. I'd say let me count the ways, but it would take too long.

 

* Just the season before in "Time After Time After Time" we saw a similar situation where Dean worked tirelessly to find Dean and get him back with much less clues than we had at the end of the season. So many fans didn't think it made sense that quite a few thought that something else was going on - like Sam was hiding something he did to try to get Dean back - and/or Amelia and Sam's memories weren't even real, but he'd gone a bit crazy. But nope, it wasn't either of those potentially interesting things.

 

** Even Lenore succumbed in the end.

 

*** With the one exception being Jesse, the antichrist.

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I just wanted to let Dean have a friend outside of his hunter group for a change and it is not Benny's fault that the writers didn't know how to portray it without negatively affecting Sam.

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Honestly, I just didn't like Benny. The vampire thing creeped me out, because I had thought (especially after S6) that in the SPN world, vampirism was a pretty direct metaphor for being a sexual predator. So when I heard "vampire," I was thinking "rapist." Or maybe "pedophile." I was pretty repulsed that Dean was hugging a vampire and getting sentimental over their friendship. And then Benny was supposed to be genuinely not-dangerous and not-a-monster-*really* once he got out of Purgatory anyway? Despite spending who knows how long just hunting and killing monsters in Purgatory, which came after spending something like a hundred years hunting and killing humans as part of a vampire gang? The character just didn't make sense to me. I was surprised to hear that he was so popular.

 

But in general, Dean's supposed bromances don't do anything for me. I don't really see Destiel, either. Even with Bobby, I was always like, "really Dean? Isn't this relationship like 85% in your head? Where is this coming from?" Which is OK, that's in-character for him.*** But I can't take the relationships themselves seriously as ~deep connections~, even if I can take Dean's feelings seriously (or in the case of Bobby, Bobby's feelings as well). YMMV.

 

***I preferred when Sam used to call him out about that, though. Like when Sam got on Dean's case for spilling the family secrets to Cassie, even though Dean only dated her for a couple weeks and Sam had managed to keep his mouth shut to Jessica. Or like when he got on Dean's case for reaching out to Gordon right after John died, and told him flat out that Dean was just trying to fill this void that John had left but that it wasn't a good idea or going to work to try to use Gordon to do that. Those were other times when I could take Dean's feelings seriously, even though these were clearly people he didn't know particularly well and it was more likely that they were triggering and focusing feelings that he was struggling with in general, than that what he was feeling was really about them specifically. Although I run a little hot and cold about Sam's tendency toward brutal honesty and bluntness, I also liked that Sam and Dean's relationship was genuinely so close back then that Sam would have insights like that, and could warn Dean about them and have Dean actually listen.

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I just wanted to let Dean have a friend outside of his hunter group for a change and it is not Benny's fault that the writers didn't know how to portray it without negatively affecting Sam.

 

Dean would be the first to say that doesn't work. Very early on after they got back together, Dean strongly suggested that Sam dump all of his old ties with his college friends because the hunting life and outside friends just didn't mix.

 

I more agree with rue721, that it was almost too late in the game to introduce a "good" monster - especially since not too long ago, they showed that even Lenore slipped - and in that context Benny just didn't work for me either. To me, it would have been maybe more complex if given the circumstances, Benny was still more maybe questionable, but due to their time together in purgatory, Dean had become somewhat attached to him anyway, and was having a difficult time letting him go. I would have entirely understood that and would have found that an interesting conflict for Dean and an organic storyline. Benny and Dean's friendship still could've been about mutual respect even if Benny couldn't resist falling off the wagon, and then Dean sending Benny back to purgatory could've been an act of contrition on Benny's part - sort of Benny accepting that Dean had to kill him and vowing to make something good out of it by saving Sam ("I'll make it up to you, Brother.") rather than Dean once again having to sacrifice for Sam, this time a friend.

 

But maybe they feared backlash from fans if they had Dean feel a connection with or have a friendship with a "monster," so instead in direct conflict with everything that went before, they had Benny be "good," and instead manufactured conflict by having Sam act like a complete jerk. And made it so that once again Dean had to give up something  for Sam - making Dean and Benny more like a star-crossed, soap-opera bromance (in my opinion) than a friends forged in the heat of battle connection. And this episode was the epitome of that with all of the soapy convoluted things that had to go wrong for "oh noes, Benny had to kill him." Just ugh, for me anyway.

 

Ironically I would've liked Benny better if he had fallen of the wagon and without all of the sappy "power of love" backstory stuff *. I'll accept that for a demon such as

Cain

, okay, but not also for every monster that comes along. Just let Benny have been a vampire who learned to like humans and not just see them as food through his experience with Dean, but then fall off the wagon under temptation. No messing with canon, organic conflict for Dean, and no trashing of Sam's character for the story to work. I would've liked Benny better for his struggles to try and do this for Dean but just not being able to in the end, because he would've been - to me - more relateable (wait what do you mean that's not a word? Because it should be one), still fit with canon, and I would've connected with his struggle more than a generic "power of love" thing which would already be pushing it maybe with a human, nevermind a monster. But that's just my opinion on that.

 

* Even Lenore had a somewhat practical reason for abstaining from eating people, and wasn't a "yay humans!" fluffy bunny vampire.

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Since I like Benny and I like Dean and find them both to be palatable this season, I actually like this episode...

 

...as long as I watch and pretend that Sam is soulless or pretend he's someone else in Sam's meat suit.  Cause that's the only thing that makes it watchable.

 

Hate. hate. hate. Sam's whole storyline and whiny, bitchy, hypocritcal attitude.

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Since I like Benny and I like Dean and find them both to be palatable this season, I actually like this episode...

 

...as long as I watch and pretend that Sam is soulless or pretend he's someone else in Sam's meat suit.  Cause that's the only thing that makes it watchable.

 

You know, I think what annoys me about this episode is that it has so much potential to be great. The directional style; they have some great guest actors and the performances are spot on...but damn if the writing isn't nonsensical and annoying. I'm with you, if you pretend Sam is possessed it makes a lot more sense.

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God, I hate season 8 even more than I thought.

 

I didn't realize how much I truly hated it until this episode. Sam is such a whiny bitch!  Y'know how there are episodes where a character literally sees a ghosts but doesn't believe in them or is attacked by a demon but doesn't believe in monsters, because if they acted rationally, you'd have to actually write something interesting into the script to move the plot forward (*cough* Henriksen)?  Sam has become that idiot.  None of his actions make sense in this episode.  I can buy the jealousy over Benny, but his complete inability to even hear reason, and then dooming Crazy Martin to death on top of that?  WTF.  And who knew lovable Crazy Martin was really White Gordon?  Ugh, I hate this shit.

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I hate this episode. I don't understand any of it.

 

If soulless Sam makes more sense as Sam, then you did something wrong, Show!

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Well this episode sucked ass.  And I mean it sucked dirty rotten moldy smelly old sneaker ass.  

I'm not even sure what else to say.  I don't even want to watch the next episode.  I don't even want to watch the show any more. It was that bad.  Oh, I probably will.  I'm going to have to wait a couple, few days though.  And pick back up on a night when I don't have to go to work the next morning.  See, I usually sit down to unwind and watch an ep of SPN to put me in my happy place before I go to bed.  Well, that didn't happen with this one!  I might even have to rewatch an ep from S1 or S2 where the boys were happy and smiling first.  Just to fortify me enough to get me through.

Was this aired out of order?  I seriously think it would have made more sense if this episode had happened before ep.8.  Especially the Sam stuff.  See, in E8, he seemed like he'd gotten to some sort of resolution or at least made peace with how his relationship with Angry Lady ended.  And then in this ep, he wasn't.  In fact, Sam seemed to flip flop a lot in this ep.  He flippity flopped in the Sam-backs and then he flippity flopped in the present  WTF.

And the guys were such dicks to each other.  I get what people have been saying about the whiplash.  (Hence my suspicion that it should have aired before ep8.)

I will say - probably unpopular opinion ahead - so be forewarned - yes, Sam went behind Dean's back in having Benny followed (dick move).  But at least he gave Dean the chance to take care of the problem himself and when Dean asked for some time, Sam did trust him (Dean) enough to let him have it to go talk to Benny.  That was more than Dean gave Sam with Amy Pond.  Just saying.

While at first I really liked that they brought Martin back, I cannot believe that Sam just ditched him out in the middle of freaking nowhere with a rogue vampire on the loose. Dick move, Sam   WTF.  (I think I'm going to be typing that a lot in this post.  I should make a shortcut key.) I thought he was going to end up a vampire himself for sure.  

But that was really a dick move of Dean to send a fake AL text to Sam.  

Dick move of Sam to just go to a bar and start drinking instead of heading back to Louisiana to finish the job/check on poor Martin.  WTF, Sam.

This episode still sucked ass.

Edited by RulerofallIsurvey · Reason: Took out non-relevant episode stuff because I realized that I watched a bit of 10 ahead and confused myself. It's not hard to do...
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27 minutes ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

This episode still sucked ass.

Suckage major!!! Hee!

28 minutes ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

Was this aired out of order?  I seriously think it would have made more sense if this episode had happened before ep.8.  Especially the Sam stuff.  See, in E8, he seemed like he'd gotten to some sort of resolution or at least made peace with how his relationship with Angry Lady ended.  And then in this ep, he wasn't.  In fact, Sam seemed to flip flop a lot in this ep.  He flippity flopped in the Sam-backs and then he flippity flopped in the present with AL.  (Angry Lady gets too long to type after awhile.)  WTF.

Nope, not aired out of order. This episode was the mid-season finale...seriously. 

31 minutes ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

I'm not even sure what else to say.  I don't even want to watch the next episode.  I don't even want to watch the show any more. It was that bad.  Oh, I probably will.  I'm going to have to wait a couple, few days though.  And pick back up on a night when I don't have to go to work the next morning.  See, I usually sit down to unwind and watch an ep of SPN to put me in my happy place before I go to bed.  Well, that didn't happen with this one!  I might even have to rewatch an ep from S1 or S2 where the boys were happy and smiling first.  Just to fortify me enough to get me through.

I totally get this! I don't know if this will make you feel better, but if you can get past the next one, things sort of improve. I mean, there is a huge shift in mythology coming up and the show kinda makes another shift in tone slightly, but the bitchiness and such is at a minimum after that. So, they kinda go back to their standard nonsensical plots, but Sam and Dean start making more sense...somewhat...um, I think anyway. ;)

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1 hour ago, DittyDotDot said:

I totally get this! I don't know if this will make you feel better, but if you can get past the next one, things sort of improve. I mean, there is a huge shift in mythology coming up and the show kinda makes another shift in tone slightly, but the bitchiness and such is at a minimum after that. So, they kinda go back to their standard nonsensical plots, but Sam and Dean start making more sense...somewhat...um, I think anyway. ;)

Bring alcohol or your best coping mechanism to the next episode though, because unless (just a general tone spoiler, but tagged just in case)

Spoiler

you enjoy torture porn

, you're going to need it.

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3 hours ago, DittyDotDot said:

Suckage major!!! Hee!

Nope, not aired out of order. This episode was the mid-season finale...seriously. 

Seriously Sucked.  I still can't get over the Suckiness Suckage.

And this was the mid-season finale?  Sheesh.  Am I ever glad I wasn't watching the show live back then.  I don't think I would have been back after the winter hiatus.  Did they lose a lot of viewers, do you know?  It wouldn't surprise me if they did.

3 hours ago, DittyDotDot said:

I totally get this! I don't know if this will make you feel better, but if you can get past the next one, things sort of improve. I mean, there is a huge shift in mythology coming up and the show kinda makes another shift in tone slightly, but the bitchiness and such is at a minimum after that. So, they kinda go back to their standard nonsensical plots, but Sam and Dean start making more sense...somewhat...um, I think anyway. ;)

1 hour ago, AwesomO4000 said:

Bring alcohol or your best coping mechanism to the next episode though, because unless (just a general tone spoiler, but tagged just in case)

  Reveal hidden contents

you enjoy torture porn

, you're going to need it.

Well...thanks for the warnings and advice!  If I'm going to need alcohol (no doubt after this ep! and No - not into torture porn) then I definitely have to wait until I don't have to work the next day to watch 10.  Maybe a day when I can binge several in a row, to get through the next and onto a better one which DittyDotDot promises me is on the horizon.  :)

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4 hours ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

And this was the mid-season finale?  Sheesh.  Am I ever glad I wasn't watching the show live back then.  I don't think I would have been back after the winter hiatus.  Did they lose a lot of viewers, do you know?  It wouldn't surprise me if they did.

This show is really weird when it comes to viewership. It seems like they lose some every year, but also gain some to make up for the loss. The ratings have been pretty steady, for the most part, for years now. I didn't start watching the show until 2010--while S6 was airing--watching the end of S6 and on in real time. I mostly remember there being a lot of frustration coming from the long-time viewers with S8, but giving some leeway due the the changeover in showrunners. But, I also remember some folks saying S8 was the best season in years.

4 hours ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

Well...thanks for the warnings and advice!  If I'm going to need alcohol (no doubt after this ep! and No - not into torture porn) then I definitely have to wait until I don't have to work the next day to watch 10.  Maybe a day when I can binge several in a row, to get through the next and onto a better one which DittyDotDot promises me is on the horizon.  :)

UH, now I'm worried I set expectations... . ;)

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11 hours ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

And this was the mid-season finale?  Sheesh.  Am I ever glad I wasn't watching the show live back then.  I don't think I would have been back after the winter hiatus.  Did they lose a lot of viewers, do you know?  It wouldn't surprise me if they did.

Watching live was the pits for me back then. Even worse, as I mentioned in the earlier episode thread, I got really angry after the third episode of the season and stopped watching live for the first time in seven seasons (I'd been watching since the first episode, since it was on after Gilmore Girls back then, so that's how I started watching.) But I caught a few scenes of "Hunter Heroici" the week before and thought "well, that seems more promising. Maybe I'll check in for the midseason finale and see if things have gotten better," and then this episode happened. You can probably imagine my disappointment.

As for the fans, I think that there were some who just hated season 7 - I was definitely not one of those as season 7 is in my top 5 of SPN seasons - and so they just convinced themselves that anything was better than season 7. And then there was the faction that thought that Dean had been shut out of the action, so got excited about the purgatory arc and so just hadwaved the horrible Amelia arc and just fast forwarded through it. (I can't enjoy watching that way myself. I want to watch the whole episode or not watch it). Other than that, I couldn't say why some fans enjoyed season 8... it was mostly awful for me, especially the first half, since everything I loved about the show had been taken away, and there were so few fun episodes to lessen the dreariness (I think there might've been 1 in the first 10 episodes).

6 hours ago, DittyDotDot said:

Maybe a day when I can binge several in a row, to get through the next and onto a better one which DittyDotDot promises me is on the horizon.  :)

An awesome episode - in my opinion - is coming up in 4 episodes. There's a somewhat fun one in two, and barring a few annoying plot contrivances, things got better for me after the next episode - which I ain't gonna lie, it's painful. There are a few more bad episodes (one so bad it's insulting... and it's offensive to boot - we'll see if you can identify it when it comes up), but by the last 5 episodes of the season, I was back in it again, and even starting to feel for Sam again.

... Which thank goodness, because up until this season, Sam Winchester had been one of my favorite television characters ever, but after this episode, I almost hated him. That's a pretty depressing thing to have happen, I'll tell ya. Despite this current season, I still don't think I can ever entirely forgive Carver for that.

Edited by AwesomO4000 · Reason: because 1 technically isn't none.

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14 hours ago, DittyDotDot said:

UH, now I'm worried I set expectations... . ;)

Don't worry!  Expectations aren't too high - especially after this episode.  :/  As long as they don't completely suck ass, I guess I'll be able t hang in there.  heh.

8 hours ago, AwesomO4000 said:

Watching live was the pits for me back then. Even worse, as I mentioned in the earlier episode thread, I got really angry after the third episode of the season and stopped watching live for the first time in seven seasons (I'd been watching since the first episode, since it was on after Gilmore Girls back then, so that's how I started watching.) But I caught a few scenes of "Hunter Heroici" the week before and thought "well, that seems more promising. Maybe I'll check in for the midseason finale and see if things have gotten better," and then this episode happened. You can probably imagine my disappointment.

Good grief.  If you were watching live and then quit but came back only to catch this crappy episode?  Yeah, I'm surprised you managed to hang in there at all.  Honestly, if it wasn't for you guys saying it will get better (even if only a little) I'd quit right now and live in the past SPN.  Or just totally skip the next seasons and catch up on 11 and go from there.

Especially since I do so agree with what you said here:

On 1/6/2015 at 1:59 AM, AwesomO4000 said:

I'm more character orientated, and a character can do all sorts of exciting things, but if I don't like or relate to him/her, I could care less that he/she has exciting things to do; I'm not going to want to watch that show. (It's why I disliked House - I disliked the character House, so was annoyed that he was always right and didn't care that he got to do "exciting" things. I wasn't engaged with him or his story. I tried watching a few episodes, but found my opinion didn't really change, and so gave up).

I couldn't stand House either.  I tried watching it; had some good friends who loved it, but after a few eps, I realized I didn't like the character.  He was a jerk and even his addiction/disabilities didn't make him a sympathetic enough character for me to care about him and keep watching.  And because he was so bad (and the main character) I couldn't watch for the other characters in the show either.

I like the characters of Sam and Dean.  So if one of them becomes and unrepentant jerk, I'm outta here.  That's why S4, I think it was, was so bad for me, and I nearly quit watching while binge watching then.  I couldn't stand Sam for most of that season.  

And it's not even just Sam who was so bad in this episode for me.  It was both of them.

8 hours ago, AwesomO4000 said:

As for the fans, I think that there were some who just hated season 7 - I was definitely not one of those as season 7 is in my top 5 of SPN seasons - and so they just convinced themselves that anything was better than season 7. And then there was the faction that thought that Dean had been shut out of the action, so got excited about the purgatory arc and so just hadwaved the horrible Amelia arc and just fast forwarded through it. (I can't enjoy watching that way myself. I want to watch the whole episode or not watch it). Other than that, I couldn't say why some fans enjoyed season 8... it was mostly awful for me, especially the first half, since everything I loved about the show had been taken away, and there were so few fun episodes to lessen the dreariness (I think there might've been 1 in the first 10 episodes).

  I liked Season 7 myself.  Not sure I would put as one of my all time fave seasons, but I haven't watched them all yet.  :)  I'm not usually concerned about the overall myth-arc or which brother gets all the action, as I think that usually balances out, and I can hand wave away a lot of the silliness.  I thought S7 had several good episodes that I really enjoyed - fun episodes (for me anyway) like you said - and that's what I go by when judging whether or not I like the show as a whole.   

8 hours ago, AwesomO4000 said:

An awesome episode - in my opinion - is coming up in 4 episodes. There's a somewhat fun one in two, and barring a few annoying plot contrivances, things got better for me after the next episode - which I ain't gonna lie, it's painful. but by the last 5 episodes of the season, I was back in it again, and even starting to feel for Sam again.

(Deep breath - and release.)  Okay, past this next one and a somewhat better one after that?  I might be able to handle that.  :)  I'll have my alcohol ready.

8 hours ago, AwesomO4000 said:

There are a few more bad episodes (one so bad it's insulting... and it's offensive to boot - we'll see if you can identify it when it comes up),

Lol!  Okay then...we will revisit this in the future...

8 hours ago, AwesomO4000 said:

but by the last 5 episodes of the season, I was back in it again, and even starting to feel for Sam again.

... Which thank goodness, because up until this season, Sam Winchester had been one of my favorite television characters ever, but after this episode, I almost hated him. That's a pretty depressing thing to have happen, I'll tell ya. Despite this current season, I still don't think I can ever entirely forgive Carver for that.

Yup, know what you mean.  Like I said above, for me it's not even that only Sam was so horrible this episode.  I thought both brothers were horrible this episode.

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I like the character Benny, but his deep bond with Dean I find implausible.  Sure he helped Dean find the place where he could escape Purgatory, but in exchange for taking him along for the ride.  So what exactly transpired along the way to the exit where Dean developed this deep friendship with Benny, when all Benny was doing was helping Dean out of his own self-interest?  Sure, it turns out that Benny was sincere, but how would Dean be sure of that to the point where he could get over Benny being a vampire and believing that he wouldn't go back to killing?  It just goes against Dean's character.

I liked the episode (well the Benny parts of it), though it felt a little bit True Blood (though I didn't watch that show much).  What Dean did to Sam was shitty, but was an obvious plot device to keep that soap opera going.  The way things go for women on this show, it doesn't bode well for Amelia.  What Sam did to Dean was also shitty, leaving him handcuffed to a radiator after Martin cold-cocked him.  Really?

I've noticed I'm slowing down my pace of watching this show.  Part of it is that I have until October before season 11 begins on Netflix.  But I also am kind of burning out on it a bit too.  I think this show has definitely gone past its shelf life, and I'm plodding along since I've watched so much of it already.  Sure they can still come up with entertaining episodes and monsters of the week, but how many times can you do the whole Sam/Dean dynamic?  Guilt, resentment, mistrust, misunderstanding, ad-nauseam.  Even the light-hearted episodes almost always end with one of them alluding to their latest interpersonal drama.  It never ends with these two, they're like an old married couple.  Castiel is a train wreck one way or another each season.  They've also saved the world enough times where that gets old too.  Keeping the major arcs smaller where they're just matching wits against Crowley works better, IMO.

Edited by Dobian
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2 hours ago, Dobian said:

I like the character Benny, but his deep bond with Dean I find implausible.  Sure he helped Dean find the place where he could escape Purgatory, but in exchange for taking him along for the ride.  So what exactly transpired along the way to the exit where Dean developed this deep friendship with Benny, when all Benny was doing was helping Dean out of his own self-interest?  Sure, it turns out that Benny was sincere, but how would Dean be sure of that to the point where he could get over Benny being a vampire and believing that he wouldn't go back to killing?  It just goes against Dean's character.

I liked the episode (well the Benny parts of it), though it felt a little bit True Blood (though I didn't watch that show much).  What Dean did to Sam was shitty, but was an obvious plot device to keep that soap opera going.  The way things go for women on this show, it doesn't bode well for Amelia.  What Sam did to Dean was also shitty, leaving him handcuffed to a radiator after Martin cold-cocked him.  Really?

I've noticed I'm slowing down my pace of watching this show.  Part of it is that I have until October before season 11 begins on Netflix.  But I also am kind of burning out on it a bit too.  I think this show has definitely gone past its shelf life, and I'm plodding along since I've watched so much of it already.  Sure they can still come up with entertaining episodes and monsters of the week, but how many times can you do the whole Sam/Dean dynamic?  Guilt, resentment, mistrust, misunderstanding, ad-nauseam.  Even the light-hearted episodes almost always end with one of them alluding to their latest interpersonal drama.  It never ends with these two, they're like an old married couple.  Castiel is a train wreck one way or another each season.  They've also saved the world enough times where that gets old too.  Keeping the major arcs smaller where they're just matching wits against Crowley works better, IMO.

Season 10 gets better and I loved season 11.  Season 9 has some good episodes if you can hang in there.

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18 hours ago, Dobian said:

I've noticed I'm slowing down my pace of watching this show.  Part of it is that I have until October before season 11 begins on Netflix.  But I also am kind of burning out on it a bit too.  I think this show has definitely gone past its shelf life, and I'm plodding along since I've watched so much of it already.  Sure they can still come up with entertaining episodes and monsters of the week, but how many times can you do the whole Sam/Dean dynamic? 

The funny thing is, prior to the season, Carver was talking about the whole "toxic, co-dependent" relationship Sam and Dean had and how they were going to move past it.  That they would be more mature in season 8.  HA!  

Frankly, I hate season 9 -- that's the only season I can say that.  10 is okay, and I loved 11.  9, though....  I watch one episode from season 9 

Spoiler

Dog Dean Afternoon

and skip the rest during my re-watches.

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18 hours ago, Dobian said:

I've noticed I'm slowing down my pace of watching this show.  Part of it is that I have until October before season 11 begins on Netflix.  But I also am kind of burning out on it a bit too.  I think this show has definitely gone past its shelf life, and I'm plodding along since I've watched so much of it already.  Sure they can still come up with entertaining episodes and monsters of the week, but how many times can you do the whole Sam/Dean dynamic?  Guilt, resentment, mistrust, misunderstanding, ad-nauseam.  Even the light-hearted episodes almost always end with one of them alluding to their latest interpersonal drama.  It never ends with these two, they're like an old married couple.  Castiel is a train wreck one way or another each season.  They've also saved the world enough times where that gets old too.  Keeping the major arcs smaller where they're just matching wits against Crowley works better, IMO.

This always happens to me on re-watches too. I breeze through S1-3, always wanting to watch one more. S4-5, I slow down a bit knowing the next episode isn't necessarily a favorite, but also knowing the one after that is pretty darn good. S6 slows down a bit more, knowing there may be stretches of 3-4 episodes that overall I don't care about, but usually do have one or two moments in them I adore. S7 usually sucks me back in a bit and I get back on a roll...but I kinda hit the breaks mid-S8. It's so tiring and exasperating to watch all that melodrama. 

Anyhoo, I won't tell you it gets better or worse in subsequent seasons; IMO, S8, S9, S10 and S11, quality-wise, are pretty much the same. I prefer the tone of S11, but I don't think the episodes themselves are any more engaging in S11 than S9 or S10. (If you're attached to the overall mythology of the show, S11 is probably better in that regards, though.) I'd say they have a few good episodes and a few...well...not so good, but they all have their moments.

Don't get me wrong, I still love the show, more for what it once was than what it's become, and will be in it till the end, but if I'm honest, I agree, it's past it's shelf life. I do keep hoping the show will start taking risks again, though...well, at least I know I'm a fool, right? ;)

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re Dean and Benny's friendship.

This is one of the sad parts about the lack of interest and effort in expanding Dean's SL in Purgatory. 

But for me Dean and Benny were brothers-in-arms.  They had bonds that were forged in war essentially. . Dean lost pretty much everyone in some way shape or form before he went to Purgatory.  He wasn't about to lose Cas too. And since Dean is more or less a soldier he spent a year in combat without a break. Literally. And Benny proved to be a loyal brother in arms.

Dean would likely NOT have chosen a vampire as a compadre under normal circumstances but  he had little choice. It was certain death if he didn't have an ally and his loyalty to Cas was not going to let him leave Cas behind. Benny was the only person Dean could relate to about that year of his life other than Cas and Cas was dead as far as Dean knew. To me, it was the story of soldiers who realize they were war buddies who are not the same people at battle front as they are on the homefront. And Dean felt guilty because of Amy and he was compelled to choose between his loyalty to Sam and his loyalty to Benny.  But that's just how I see it because once again.....Supernatural, thy name is lost opportunities :(

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I'm with @catrox14 here in that I totally buy Dean's bond with Benny.  What I don't buy is the angsty dickish way Sam and Dean treat each other for the whole first half of the season.  And this episode sucks.

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I think Sam is still totally pissed off at Dean for killing Amy, who was sortof in the same boat as Benny, once Sam essentially sicced Martin on him.  Benny had to kill to save his family, Amy did the same thing.  Yeah, maybe Amy could have done what Benny did, get "donated" human blood (and being a  mortician, she really should have thought of that), but I certainly felt that she was as sincere in her saying she'd never kill again as much as Benny has been. 

It was a bad decision on Sam to use unstable Martin, but then the vast majority of hunters are not 'stable.'

And it was a bad decision of Dean to trick Sam to leaving the area, thereby abandoning Martin, which didn't help.

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10 hours ago, Hanahope said:

Yeah, maybe Amy could have done what Benny did, get "donated" human blood (and being a  mortician, she really should have thought of that)

Amy was a kitsune, They feed on pituitary glands, not blood. 

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7 hours ago, DittyDotDot said:

Amy was a kitsune, They feed on pituitary glands, not blood. 

Oh that's right, it was different.  Maybe she could have tried to get some a bit fresher?  anyway, I still think she was sincere in her statement to Dean, but I suppose there always is the question of what would she have done if her son became sick again.  Then again, how's the son surviving?

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