Friday, November 2, 2012

Supernatural: Season 8, Episode 5: Blood Brothers

 After missing him for a couple of episodes, we finally catch up with Benny, Dean’s vampire buddy he dragged out of Purgatory at the beginning of the season. He’s a vampire on a mission, he’s trying to find the vampire that killed him – which is also the vampire that made him. he finds someone who may know the answers, but he has some buddies and poor Benny is left rather mangled after he slices and dices all of his opponents. Who is he going to call?

Sam and Dean are still tracking Kevin who doesn’t want to be found (since Dean tried to kill Crowley who was possessing his mother at the time), leading them to another dead end in another empty motel; which is when Dean gets the phone call from Benny asking for help. Leaving Sam to do some research, he leaves to go help – much to Sam’s anger since he doesn’t tell Sam why and, when pushed, points out Sam had a year off, he gets a day, damn it.

Dean travels and we’re entertained by another awesome Purgatory flashback showing how much these 2 have been through together, fighting back to back against all comers. Dean even tolerates Benny’s annoying whistling.

Dean catches up with benny and gives him a cooler full of blood bags (we’re not asking where he managed to get them, he just has them, apparently) which heals benny up reaaaaalll fast and even Deans’ surprised by the rate of vampiric healing. Time for another Purgatory flashback – Dean, Benny and Castiel (Castiel! Oh how I miss ye! Come back, try and make this season good again!). Castiel and benny spent a lot of time sniping it seems, especially since Castiel is a beacon for all the nasties of Purgatory. Castiel, doing a combination of the noble-self-sacrifice-thing and his patented tell-the-truth-no-matter-how-stark-or-tactless thing points out Benny’s right, he does attract attention and the gateway will let out Dean because he’s human and Benny can hitch along because he’s almost human – they have no proof it would let an Angel through at all. Dean isn’t hearing that at all and refuses to accept the idea of leaving Castiel behind.

The very idea of leaving Castiel behind should horrify all right thinking people

Back to the present and Benny tells Dean what the plan is and, after discovering a list of yachts and times he also reveals how his nest used to hunt. They’d scout out yachts going to distant ports then ambush them at sea in their own boat, eat the people, burn the boats. Dean instantly coins the term Vampire Pirates having a proper understanding of how utterly cool that would be – Benny is bemused by the term and Dean, rightly, is aghast that none of them thought of it.

On the trip to the island, in between Dean asking Benny not to drink blood in his car, we get some more exposition on Benny’s history. He was there, being a vampire pirate (which must involve eye liner. After all, all pirates wear eye liner now as do a sizeable percentage of vampires. Vampire Pirates would have to buy enough to support Rimmel all on their own) and he met a woman, Andrea and lo she was sweet and special and – is there any need for me to recap this? He decided to follow her around instead of eating her, his maker caught up with them and had him beheaded and tore out Andrea’s throat. It seems a new vampire tends to look on their maker as a god – problem was, Benny’s maker looked on himself the same way and had issues with his progeny leaving him.

Enough exposition, they arrive at the vampire’s island. Dean starts to text Sam but decides against it and has to deal with Benny’s existential angst and wondering if he’s real or not since he came back from the dead – Benny, you get any angstier you’re going to start sparkling or, at very least, pick up a French accent.

They start moving around a very luxurious mansion and Benny gets himself lost in memories about a harpsichord (Dean wanders off, possibly fearing more angst laden exposition) and finding, to his shock, a picture of Andrea! Then she arrives with several vampires – his maker made her a vampire and she’s now his second command! Shock! I am SHOCKED by this totally-not-predictable development!

Andrea sends her fellow vampires away to tell the boss man that Benny is alive and really here, before kissing Benny and saying how much she misses him and how much she loves him. She serves the boss because she had to, none of them could ever take him down – but Benny? Benny who has come back from the dead, truly he can save them all and kill the head honcho? (Uh-huh who doesn’t see where this storyline is going?) Benny said he came back to kill the boss and stop the pirating – stop all the killing. She praises him and urges him to do what he came back to do.

To the head vampire pirate – who has a shocking lack of eyeliner! He wants Benny to know he really cared about Benny and deeply regretted the whole decapitation thing! (I think decapitating calls for at least an apology fruit basket) That’s why he brought Andrea back as a vampire, because she was so important to Benny.

Let’s have another flashback. Castiel Benny and Dean walking together in Purgatory and Dean wondering what Benny will do back on Earth – especially since he’s a vampire, questioning what he knows about the sanctity of life. Benny asks which species has killed more humans and Castiel agrees that, statistically, that would be humans (a classic Castiel answer. But still, a silly one on both Benny and Castiel’s part. After all, in the Supernatural world 99.9% of vampires kill to feed. There are very few who don’t and they have to resist doing so – even feeding and leaving prey alive doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s to-do list. This makes vampires obligate murderers – each of which lives for centuries and WILL kill many many times. The only reason they don’t kill as many as humans is they’re not as numerous. But I digress).

Benny claims to have found the value of humanity – when he gets out it’s going to be transfused, donated blood only (admittedly not donated to him, but still) and no more killing. Dean is sceptical but Benny says the whole thing is moot because they’re not going to get out with an Angel nearby attracting all the monsters like a beacon – such as the Leviathan.

Back to the clichéd present. Dean is having whispered conversations with Sam about clearing out a vampire nest and Sam can’t understand why he’s there with a friend and not him and killing any vampire he comes across quite casually. Andrea has left Benny’s arms uncuffed and, after all that time fighting for his life in Purgatory, Benny has major combat skills that are more than capable of killing Sorrento, one of the Boss’s side-kicks. His father fights back with philosophy, cynicism, jadedness and more existential angst but it’s no match for Benny cutting off his actual head.

He then turns to Andrea and says they can run away together. But, surprise! She doesn’t want to go! They can take over the Vampire Pirate organisation! They can be the ones eating rich people on yachts and having so much fun without a boss this time. Who didn’t see this coming? Anyone? Anyone at all? Benny goes back into full grief mode, he had come back to avenge her memory and kill the monsters that killed her. She says she’s still alive – he says she’s a monster and so is he – and Dean comes up behind her and kills her.

Benny asks Dean why he brought him back from the dead anyway since he could have spilled him out in any hole. Dean asks “you good?” and Benny replies with “I don’t know what I am.” Dean has shown remarkable fortitude in the face of incredible whininess here. I’m still waiting for him to say “40 years being tortured in hell, dude. Suck it up already.”

Let’s have another flashback  - Leviathans falling from the skies like bombs of tar that then form into people and try to kill the trio. There’s a fight, Castiel’s angel powers don’t work on Leviathans and he nearly gets eaten – but Benny beheads his attacker, showing Benny, despite the snark, is willing to save the angel

Back to the present where Sam has arrived – meaning he meets Benny the Friendly Vampire. Tension ensues and will probably be picked up later.

Oh wait, Sam was doing stuff as well, I guess. Let me take a moment to remember

Ah yes, he starts by trying to track down Kevin but gets sidetracked by checking up on Amelia (that would be stalking) because he’s concerned and concerned people check out their ex’s credit rating, y’know. We get lots of flashbacks to his life, living in a motel with the dog he ran over, then getting a job fixing things for the motel – which results in more awkward conversations with Amelia who also lives in the hotel. She also thinks he’s creepy – he can’t believe that what with all these convoluted coincidences that bring them together – oh and he can tell you’re alone Amelia, all alone, in this room, by yourself – and you’re not going anywhere (in a totally metaphorical fashion, of course) why would this ever be seen as creepy?

I think this is meant to show Sam and Amelia’s budding relationship, their love, the life he left behind and how important it is and why we should actually care and not just that he’s a creepy creepy stalker with the social skills of Gollum

Honestly I am so past caring about this character, this episode just underlined how pointless he is – Dean getting on with things in the episode – backed by Benny and (far too little) Castiel made for a good episode. Unfortunately it was interspaced by Sam and Amelia who wandered in from the soap on the next channel.

That said, when I complained last week about the plot not moving forwards, I didn’t mean “hey, give your new straight white side character – which, let’s be honest, is raaaaather a pattern for the majority of long – some angst to work through.” Apart from anything else, people working through their angst while sat in the same car as Dean just doesn’t work; he’s so cornered the market in incredibly awful things happening to someone. It wasn’t all that original. And we had another woman on the show appear entirely so the menfolk connected to her could be moved and suffer and cry when she, inevitably, dies. Join the club Andrea, they have t-shirts.

But we had some establishment of Dean and Benny’s bond as friends with both the flashbacks and the fact that Dean was willing to drop everything to help him – even leave Sam.