TV REVIEW: Supernatural, Season 8 – Episodes 5 & 6 – ‘Blood Brother’ & ‘Southern Comfort’

It’s hunting time as the Winchesters return for another double episode on Sky Living….

Episode 5: Blood Brother

We open with Benny (played by Ty Olsson) who is on the hunt for his maker.  Seemingly outmatched, he takes on a group of Vamps.  Meanwhile the brothers are still on the hunt for Kevin but with no luck.  Dean receives a call from Benny, who is still alive but just barely.  Dean agree’s to go to Benny, telling Sam it’s “personal”.  We see more flashbacks to Dean’s time in Purgatory fighting side by side with Benny and Sam meeting Amelia again as he begins to build a life.

Dean meets up with Benny, bringing him blood.  We see flashes to Purgatory again with Dean, Benny and Cas.  Cas and Benny seem to believe thgat Cas won’t make it through the portal but Dean insists he will – his bond with Cas very strong compared with Season 6 & 7.  Benny fills Dean in on his past as a vampire and his nest used to attack boats – “Vampirates” as Dean coins them.  Benny reveals he gave up his vampire life after meeting a human woman on one of the raids.  He left his nest with her and settled on the mainland.  However his maker “Father/Old Man” caught up with him and killed him as well as his lover it seems.

Dean and Benny go on the hunt, but Dean calls Sam after a seemingly missed call.  Sam agree’s to join though it will take time to get there.  Benny is attacked by his nest and discovers his lover “Andrea” is now a vampire.  Andrea shows affection for Benny and implores him to kill “Father/Old Man” – who it turns out has a young appearance.

We get some more flashbacks of Sam and Dean’s time between S7 & S8 including a re-appearance of the Leviathans.   Back to Benny and he kills “Father/Old Man” although it is at the “Old Man’s” request.  Benny goes to leave with Andrea but she wants to maintain the nest and continue the operation of killing humans.  Benny states the woman he loved isn’t there and she is a monster as they all.  Andrea goes to attack Benny but is killed by Dean.

We return to Purgatory to see Benny save Cas before Dean and Benny catch up with Same.  Sam detects Benny is a vampire and makes a move to attack by but Dean signals not to.  Benny leaves and the boys need to talk….

This is a solid episode giving us plenty of insight into Benny.  A vampire who gave up on human blood before he died.  The old style Southern vamp is played very well by Ty Olsson with an accent of accuracy. We get to see the Leviathans briefly, who don’t talk but make up for it with a missile come liquid metal effect in Purgatory that is very cool.  The brothers are separate for nearly the entire episode but by the end we know there will be plenty of family tension to come, as we would expect from them.

Episode 6: Southern Comfort

Before we see the intro to the episode, it’s pretty clear from the catch up we are going to see the return of a very special quest…..

The intro in question has a very angry wife kick out a tyre jack from a car that her husband is underneath.  She then gets in the car and drives…another bloody classic intro.

The boys are still on the look out for Kevin with no luck.  Dean spies a case and we find out they still haven’t spoken about Benny being a vampire.  So they decide to speak now with Dean stating Benny is his friend.  Sam brings up Dean killing Amy (in the last series) with Dean replying he’s changed.  The boys end their argument (though with a feeling of ‘to be continued’) and move to the case.  Doing their usual FBI routine they discover they have been beaten to it by…….Garth! (DJ Squalls)

Garth is on the case as a Texas Ranger and is extremely happy to see the brothers.  Through discussions they find Garth is running phones and advising hunters…he’s the new Bobby.  Dean is impressed by this but is impressed by Garth’s skills as an investigator.  However the only clues are green Ectoplasam and “Allcott” carved into the victims chest by his wife.

Garth reveals that he went to college and used to be a dentist before his first case – the Tooth Fairy.  The body count begins to rise as “rage” attack strikes again with the green ectoplasam being present and we see a figure in the reflection of mirror.  Sam questions “Allcott” – a former squeeze of the first victim and it triggers a flashback to Sam’s ‘year off’ as we learn Amelia lost her husband in Afghanistan before she met Sam.  Dean and Garth work together – Dean clearly not happy with Garth “being Bobby” – taking his hat (formerly Bobby’s), correcting him on his phrases before snapping when Garth tries to be supportive of Dean.  Garth reveals that Bobby didn’t just belong to the boys and “belonged to everyone”, Garth is just doing what Bobby showed him and really stepped up while Sam & Dean were away.

Garth figures what they are hunting is a Spectre – a spirit that takes your unresolved feelings of anger & resentment and amplifies them to murderous levels.  The being comes from a desecrated grave – in this case the unknown solider.  The trio make their way to the tomb and do the usual – salting and burning the bones but it doesn’t work as a police officer is possessed the next day.  Dean takes on the possessed officer but is outmatched – the officer gives Dean a penny – the method by which the Spectre travels it seems.  Dean becomes possessed by the spirit.

Garth and Sam catch up with Dean and we see how the penny traveled from the grave of the solider, through the town and to Dean.  Dean is angry about Sam taking a year off and not looking for him.  He reels off a list of Sam’s mistakes or as Dean see’s them “choices”.  He accuses Sam of never wanting “the life”.  Both Sam and Garth try to get through to Dean to no avail – the brothers fight.  Garth attempts to talk Dean round with no success and as Dean is about to shoot Sam, Garth hits him, causing Dean to lose the penny.  Garth picks up the penny despite Sam’s warning but is not affected.

The trio depart with Dean giving Garth his blessing for being “Bobby”   by giving him back the hat.  The brothers are together again and while they stay together, Sam warns Dean he may be the hunter that kills Benny.

This was a really good episode with plenty of humour.  While the main story is not that compelling or original, the real magic is with the cast in particular DJ Squalls, who once again raises the game as Garth.  To see Garth with such confidence, care free manner, skills and ‘zen’ is a true contrast to the brooding brothers.  We can only hope to see more Garth in the future.

Episode 5 Rating: 3/5

Best lines: “Well he was in advanced placement”, “Concerned…not stalking…concerned”, “I am not your aunt”, “Vampirates”, “At least I had that to keep my cold at night”

Episode 6 Rating: 4/5

Best lines: “Eunuch in a whore house”, “You’re the new Bobby?”, “He’s the new Bobby!”, “If one of those things ring ‘hammer’, I’m throwing down”, “that’s not how you say balls”, “Don’t hate”, “Stop being an idjit”, “Balls!”

Reviewer: Steven Stone 

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