Mark Watches ‘Supernatural’: S08E09 – Citizen Fang

In the ninth episode of the eighth season of Supernatural, NOPE. NOOOOOPE. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.

Trigger Warning: For ableism

LORD, THIS WAS GREAT. I mean, obviously I am not deriving a sick sort of joy out of seeing people suffer or watching the Winchesters treat each other like dirt, but this was a great story. How is Benny even real, y’all? He’s such a rich character that’s both likable and kind of scary. (Let’s have a moment of silence for Amy Pond, who could have had a similar story to Benny, but nope. UGH, I JUST WANT JEWEL STAITE IN EVERYTHING.) I somehow care about him and his attempts at living in the world without doing any more evil. Part of that might be because Ty Olsson is just so good in the role, but I think the writing for his character is compelling and interesting.

And amidst all of that, Dean and Sam treat each other TERRIBLY. I honestly don’t think the Winchesters have ever been at a worst point in their relationship with one another, though I kind of regret saying that because I imagine this show is only going to one-up that. LOOK, I’M TRYING TO LEARN. “Citizen Fang” might be focused on the possibility of Benny killing again, but I think it’s just as deeply about how Sam and Dean no longer trust one another. Which is sad and upsetting to watch! I think both of them believe they’re doing the best thing, and in some sense, they are. But they’re both a victim of their own perspective. Dean can’t understand Sam’s anger at his hypocrisy, and Sam can’t understand why Benny gets to be the exception.

Of course, that’s a gross simplification of what we see here. Sam’s decision to have Martin Creaser track Benny was a sign that Sam didn’t trust Dean’s judgment, though, again, it’s complicated. I understand why Sam would do something like that, even if it hurts Dean’s ego. He can’t trust a vampire, regardless of what they’ve done or not done. Plus, Sam has an entire history of heartbreak and betrayal specifically associated with trusting supernatural monsters to not be monsters. WHEN HAS THAT EVER WORKED WELL FOR SAM WINCHESTER? On top of that, he’s still dealing with the dissolution of his dream with Amelia, so it’s perfectly sensible to me that Sam would look upon Dean through this lens. Sam cannot believe in a world where he gets to be happy. Love is an exception to the rule, and the one time he’s tried to pursue it, fate made it pretty damn clear that it wasn’t for him. I think what we’re seeing is a projection on Sam’s part. He is conflating his relationship with Amelia with Dean and Benny.

Sort of. I wouldn’t say that’s the only thing going on here because Benny IS a vampire, and the threat of him becoming a killer again is incredibly real. It’s exceedingly rare and nearly impossible for a vampire to resist their nature, so I do want to acknowledge that when talking about Benny. But then this show goes and gives us Benny as a waiter at a diner and it’s LITERALLY A DOMESTIC AU COME TO LIFE and fuck Supernatural, I can only take so much of this at one time. Lord help me, I am absolutely certain that without having done a lick of research, the Denny ship was taken by this fandom and ridden into the sunset. (Which… bah, it’s totally queerbaiting. COME ON, THAT SCENE WHERE BENNY STARED SEDUCTIVELY AT DEAN’S THROAT. I am not imagining this I am not.) And as entertaining as this was to watch, I appreciated that this was remarkably consistent with Dean’s characterization over the course of this show. He appreciates loyalty, which is why he’s still hurting from the betrayal he sees in Sam and why he so openly states that he trusts Benny. Is it shitty? Yeah, it’s a little cruel of him to say that the only person he can trust is a vampire he’s known for like a year. At the same time, this has to happen. We have to see Dean and Sam mistrust one another. We have to see them grow apart to understand just how different their paths are.

I don’t know where this is headed, though. Are they going to continue to move apart, or will something bring them together? I don’t quite know, and unfortunately, the events of “Citizen Fang” don’t exactly make Benny look like a saint. I think he had to defend himself before Martin killed him, but he did so by biting Martin, making it look suspiciously like he just did it to feed on the man. And look, it’s actually kind of sad to me that by the end of this, Martin is the one who dies. I do understand the role he plays in the story, since he’s meant to contrast Dean. But Dean (and the show itself) makes it feel like Martin was punished for what he did, and it has really uncomfortable implications given that he was mentally ill. I mean, Dean outright claims that Martin can’t ever be involved in a hunt again due to this, and then Martin is written as unstable and foolish, and it was a little too over-the-top for me.

I don’t think Sam is going to believe that Benny truly is good after this unless Benny is able to demonstrate that this is the case. It doesn’t help that Dean TRICKED SAM INTO GOING TO SEE AMELIA, which is undoubtedly one of the most fucked up things he’s ever done. Dude, do you have any idea how traumatic that sort of thing can be??? And I imagine that Dean had some semblance of understanding of how poorly Sam’s relationship with Amelia ended. But let’s say he didn’t. This is still awful. Again, it’s clear that both brothers aren’t ready to trust one another, and this is how that manifests. It’s ugly and sad, y’all, AND I DON’T SEE A SOLUTION ON THE HORIZON. Puppies??? Maybe? Mostly, I just care about Riot. RIOT IS THE BEST.

Lord, this episode was messed up.

The video for “Citizen Fang” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

Mark Does Stuff is now on Facebook! Feel free to Like the page, which I’m running myself, for updates and SILLINESS.
– If you would like to support this website and keep Mark Does Stuff running, I’ve put up a detailed post explaining how you can!
– Please check out the All Mark Watches videos for past shows/season are now archived there!
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features will be The Legend of Korra, seasons 2 – 4, series 8 of Doctor Who, and Kings.
– The 2015 Mark Does Stuff tour is being announced!!! Check my Tour Dates / Appearances page often to see if I’m coming to your city!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Supernatural and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.