Mark Watches ‘Supernatural’: S08E05 – Blood Brother

In the fifth episode of the eighth season of Supernatural, Dean assists Benny in a revenge plot while Sam reflects on the life he left behind. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.

Trigger Warning: For blood and gore.



I know that most of this review will be devoted to what happens with Dean in this episode, but I did want to address the glimpses of Sam’s life with Amelia. I suppose that’s not even an accurate way to label what we see here, since at this point in the flashbacks, there’s no relationship at all. It’s the start of something more, and it’s spawned entirely out of loneliness. Still uncertain where to go, Sam dawdles about the motel where he’s been staying, and it’s a surreal thing to witness. It’s odd to see Sam as a handyman, but any sort of domesticity attached to this character is always going to be weird, you know? As much as Sam may truly want to leave hunting, I must admit it’s a challenge to think of him as anything but a hunter.

However, I can sense that Amelia and Sam grew close to one another out of their loneliness, though we don’t know why Amelia feels so alone or why she’s living in a motel in small town.  I also don’t know if the show is going to address why Sam chose to drift around the country instead of searching for his brother. I suppose the easiest explanation for that can be found in the same reason Sam and Amelia were drawn to each other: Sam didn’t have anyone to turn to. Yes, it’s difficult to imagine Sam away from the hunting lifestyle, but he was never as committed to this as Dean was. What happens when you take Dean out of the picture? I think Sam more or less fell apart because he relied so much on Dean for direction and guidance that he doesn’t know how to hunt anymore, at least not on his own. Hell, even after the events in season 5, Sam finds other people to hunt with.

Of course, this is all rampant speculation with little basis in canon. I can interpret Sam’s history and some hints from this episode, but I can’t speak with any certainty. So what made Sam leave the domestic life behind? Why abandon that if he wanted it so badly?


Hahaha, SO MANY EMOTIONS. I’m thrilled with the moral complication written into this specific episode. It is not a simple story, not for Benny and DEFINITELY not for Dean. Through the Purgatory flashbacks, we learn how Benny comes to be valued by Dean, which is important to explain how Dean is able justify his relationship with Benny.

To himself, that is. It’s clear that he knew all along that Sam would freak out over Benny, and, again, that’s probably because he knows he’s being hypocritical here. But why risk it at all? To me, that’s what the show needed to tell me. Something had to have made Dean relinquish one of his long-kept rules of hunting. What was it about Purgatory that made Dean trust a vampire, so much so that even after escaping Purgatory, Dean is willing to stop one hunt to go help him. Dean is fiercely loyal; we know that. We know that he can be single-minded at times, but when it comes to those he loves and cares about, he’ll do pretty much anything to do right by them. (Need I point to all the Purgatory sequences, where Dean insists on saving Castiel, even if that means all three of them die?) At this moment in the story, we only have two possible explanations for Dean’s affinity for Benny:

1) Benny was instrumental in helping Dean escape Purgatory.

2) Benny saved Castiel’s life from a Leviathan.

Both of them could be part of something more, but it’s enough to understand why Dean is making the choices he’s making here. He trusts Benny because Benny demonstrated genuine concern for him and genuine appreciation. As far as Dean can tell, Benny is also not killing anyone. (Which, of course, is what Sam wanted to do with Amy Pond: give her a chance to live a life free from killing.) So when he calls Dean for help, Dean doesn’t hesitate to do so. I feel like that’s a huge deal, you know?

What’s so great about “Blood Brother,” though, is that the dynamic is not the sole reason why this episode is so satisfying. The backstory for Benny himself? hahahaha WOW EVERYTHING HURTS. First of all, V A M P I R A T E S. Did we need this? Yes, we fucking did. Mostly so that Dean could look utterly pleased with coming up with the name. But VAMPIRES FALLING IN LOVE. A VAMPIRE TRYING TO BE A GENUINELY GOOD PERSON. VAMPIRE. PIRATES. And the thing is, it’s nowhere near as silly as the idea sounds! The coven of vampires that Benny belonged to would rob and devour rich people on their own boats and yachts and then cover it up by calling in an alibi/explanation for the boat sinking and disappearing. But how satisfying was that, particularly for Benny? Initially, it’s all he needed, and that’s why he stuck so closely to his maker. However, Benny fell for a woman, and he left his maker behind, which is how he ended up in Purgatory in the first place.

The narrative works for Dean, too, who is certainly a big fan of revenge. Just… lord, the fanfiction WRITES ITSELF. I want more, and not even because I appreciate the show exploring this kind of relationship. When I watch a television show, I want it to make me long for more of the story, and that’s what this does. (Admittedly, I desire for more of Dean’s story at this point than Sam’s, and Y’ALL KNOW WHAT I FEEL ABOUT SAM.) I want to know how Benny is ever going to work in the future of Supernatural now that Sam knows who and WHAT he is. I want to know how Castiel was left behind in Purgatory and why. I want to know if there’s anything more to explain how Dean came to trust Benny this much.

What an exciting and satisfying episode!!!

The video for “Blood Brother” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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