It took the actions of a violent, vengeful Confederate specter tied to a lucky penny, but the brothers finally opened up to each other and aired their grievances about the past year. And unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have helped them move past their issues and move forward in any way.
Yes, the Winchesters are still not in a good place, even when we left them in the wake of their victory against the specter at the end of the hour of Supernatural last night. How poetic is it that we still can’t get Sam and Dean to be truly honest with each other without the help of a supernatural spirit or force of some kind? Their lives are so entrenched in the evils of their world that it’s bonkers that Sam thinks he can really leave it all behind and have a normal life. Let’s get right into the story, shall we?
After Sam and Benny's tense handshake last week, I was dying to see how Sam and Dean dealt with the exposure of this secret and how it would affect their brotherly bond. And Supernatural didn’t let me down. Dean was still trying to play his bond with Benny close to the chest, but Sam wasn’t having any of it. Their argument the next morning made Sam’s frustration and lack of understanding extremely palpable, and Dean clearly didn’t want to open up about how much Benny meant to him after their time in Purgatory, especially when Sam’s decision to not look for Dean at all was still pissing him off. These brothers give passive aggressive barbs a whole new meaning.
The boys shelved their issues for the time being to concentrate on a case-of-the-week – since Kevin Tran/the word of God are both still MIA, Dean is continuing to try to impress upon Sam the importance of hunting and helping innocent people who can’t help themselves. And this case led them to the reappearance of fan-favorite Garth, who has become the “new Bobby” for all the hunters out there. He has taken this role seriously, too: his entire attitude has changed, he is extremely competent, and tries to help the brothers talk and actually listen to each other for once. Dean’s incredulous anger at Garth’s attempts to say “Balls!” and “You ijjit” was hilarious and extremely touching. He’s still grieving the loss of his father figure, and his protective attitude towards Bobby’s memory was the sweetest expression of emotion you’ll ever get from Dean Winchester.
Something I found quite compelling about this case-of-the-week baddie: once we found out that the revenge-craving specter was tied to a lucky penny, we actually got an in-depth look at the journey the cursed penny took from victim to victim, showing great detail about how it was passed along each time. I really enjoyed seeing that aspect of the case, as it is not something we normally get to see on Supernatural.
And of course, the one person harboring the most resentment and feelings of betrayal came in contact with the penny: Dean. He pointed his gun at Sam and gave a heartbreaking list of all the times Sam had betrayed him or let him down in the past 8 seasons: never wanting to hunt and join the family business with Dean, drinking demon blood, his unholy alliance with Ruby, spending an entire year out of Hell with Samuel before contacting Dean, his whole not-having-a-soul deal, letting Dean become a vampire that one time (yeah, remember that?), and not even attempting to look for Dean and help get him out of Purgatory. Yes, Dean has lied to Sam in the past, including about Benny, but Dean has never betrayed Sam. The saddest part of all of this was that even though we knew Dean was being controlled by the specter, his words were all 100% true. Even Sam knew it: "What, you didn't mean it? Oh please. You and I both know you didn't need the penny to say those things, own up to your crap, Dean." Dean really felt like Benny was more of a brother to him than Sam is. His biggest insecurity has always been that he doesn’t ever feel like he is needed, and in his eyes Sam proved that to be true when he promptly left the hunting world and played house with Amelia the past year while Dean rotted in Purgatory.
Sam tried his best to explain his side of things: he finally found a sense of normalcy with Amelia. The flashbacks helped us gain a better understanding of how much Amelia helped him and vice versa, but I was eager for more peeks at Dean’s time in Purgatory. Alas, looks like we’ll have to wait until next week for more of that story (including the return of Cas! Squee!). Sam admitted he made a mistake turning off his phone for a year, and that he should have tried looking for Dean, but he truly found happiness and he wasn’t going to apologize for that.
Obviously, Dean didn’t shoot Sam, and Garth helped the brothers defeat the specter, but in terms of the Winchesters’ relationship we didn’t get anywhere last night; in fact, the brothers are the furthest from reconciliation that they've ever been. Sam and Dean aired their dirty laundry but neither of them made any steps toward forgiveness. Dean didn’t accept any part of Sam’s apology, and Sam still doesn’t understand Dean’s friendship with Benny. Sam brought up Amy, the monster Dean brutally killed even though Sam begged him not to since Amy was trying to lead a good life. Sam brought up a good point: what’s the difference between Amy and Benny, and what’s going to stop Benny from acting upon his vampiric urges in the future? Dean said that if Benny acts up, he won’t stop another hunter from doing the right thing. And then Sam a line that chilled me to my bones. "Hear this too: I just might be that hunter that runs into Benny one day and ices him." You could tell right away something shifted in Dean's mind and he was seeing Sam in a whole new way. This was dangerous territory, and Dean sidestepped it with more bottled-in anger, a piercing glare, and a thinly veiled threat: "I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it then, won't we?"
Even though the brothers have reunited after a hellish (for Dean) year apart, they've never been so alone.
Supernatural returns Wednesday at 9 ET/PT on The CW.
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[Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW]