We’ve got a little over a month before we reunite with Sam and Dean, and believe me, as much as I love me some new Supernatural, I think I need that time to give my poor heart a break. “Citizen Fang” was an incredibly stressful hour, and I think I checked my watch three or four times, expecting the time to read 9:59 pm since there were so many major developments that could have been the midseason finale cliffhanger. And I was constantly shocked to learn we still had 30 minutes to go, 20 minutes to go, 10 minutes to go... There was so much action, it was like four different episodes were combined into one! Now, that’s some quality writing.
But when we did finally get our cliffhanger, it wasn’t what I expected. Instead of leaving us in the middle of a life-or-death-or-hell-or-purgatory moment, our cliffhanger was emotional. The brothers, it seems, are at war. No more hinting at the issues separating the Winchesters, no thinly veiled warnings. Everything is out in the open now, and this is the first time that both brothers were in the wrong.
First, we have Sam. Obviously, the fact that he couldn’t trust Dean’s judgment of Benny isn’t all that surprising. He sent fresh-from-the-loony-bin hunter Martin after Benny, and wouldn’t believe Dean’s explanation that Benny was actually the good guy in this scenario: a rogue vampire was leaving bodies all over Benny’s hometown to try and entice the reformed vamp back into the fold. This didn’t sit right with Benny, since he was trying to lay low and get to know his great granddaughter, Elizabeth. Dean and Benny offed the rogue vamp, but Martin couldn’t let Benny go free. He pushed Benny to his limit, holding Elizabeth at knife point, and Benny did the only thing he could do: he killed Martin. It’s strange how the tables have completely turned and we were rooting for a vampire to kill a hunter instead of the other way around. But good and evil have become shades of gray in the later seasons of Supernatural. Benny was in the right: he was terrorized by a monstrous force, and the right thing was defending himself and his family. Had Martin just left town, none of this would have happened. Unfortunately, Sam doesn’t see it that way. Benny killed a hunter. That means Sam has to hunt Benny. And there you go: Sam’s half of the blame of this sibling war.
But Dean also made choices that make this his fault as well. I’m not talking about his loyalty to Benny over his own brother – though that sure didn't please Sam. Dean’s mistake was actually a lot more calculated, and I was extremely impressed with his scheming. A while back, Dean had secretly replaced Amelia’s number with his own in Sam’s phone, in case he ever needed it. And when Sam went off with Martin to hunt Benny, Dean used his ace in the hole. He sent Sam a 911 text from “Amelia,” and Sam literally dropped everything and sped off to check on Amelia (she was actually fine, cozying up to Don, but later saw Sam in the bar, leaving us with that cliffhanger). The fact that Dean would exploit his brother’s emotions like that speaks volumes: he didn’t care that he was hurting Sam, as long as Benny was okay. The brothers have stopped fighting for each other, and have begun to fight each other.
We leave Sam and Dean in a place that mimics the Season 7 finale, but in a much darker way: the brothers are separated, not by space but by their choices. While we began this season with Dean in Purgatory and Sam living a normal life, they were still brothers who cared about each other. Now, they are enemies. The lengths with which they might go to win this war worries me. What is with this trend of sibling rivalry on steroids on The CW this season?
Supernatural returns January 16, 2013.
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[Photo Credit: Liane Hentcher/The CW]