'Supernatural' Recap: It's All Just a Little Bit of History Repeating (PHOTOS)
Stewing on individual personal strife for weeks before ultimately being forced to confront issues with your brother, that’s the Winchester way, right? At least, it has been every time something major has separated Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) on The CW's Supernatural — like one of them going to hell, or in Season 8’s case, Purgatory.
For the first portion of the season, Dean kept mum about Benny (Ty Olsson) and Sam about Amelia (Liane Balaban), but recent events required them to put it all out on the table. And on “Southern Comfort,” that’s exactly what they did—while dealing with a double blast from the past.
Note: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Wednesday’s episode, “Southern Comfort”.
“Southern Comfort” saw the Winchesters actually addressing many of the thoughts the fans were already rationalizing in their minds — from how or why Benny is different from Amy, to why Dean pulled Benny out, even if they were brothers in arms down in Purgatory.
Wanting to avoid the whole “touchy, feely emotions discussion” (because he’s a man, man, man, man, manly man!), Dean was eager to jump onto a new case, and he found just the one — a bunch of bizarre deaths that all seemed to be revenge-based. It wasn’t something the show hadn’t tackled before (avenging spirits have always been all the rage, after all), but the parallels between the case of the week and the boys’ internal turmoil matched up almost a bit too perfectly.
Here the boys met up with Garth (DJ Qualls) who in Bobby’s absence, stepped up to the plate and became the hub of communication for the hunter community. Unlike those who were killing people they held grudges against, though, Garth was not merely possessed by Bobby’s spirit (though he was wearing the guy’s hat). He was just trying to step up and do right by a man who meant as much to him as he did to Sam and Dean (even if we never saw that side to the story).
Their history was important, and it was a theme that rang true in a broader sense for the episode, because of where the killings were happening: In Missouri, which during Civil War times was split over whether or not the Confederacy should stay.
In some parts, that antiquated flag still hung. And when it came to the case, it turned out a soldier from that war’s spirit was sent loose after his grave was recently vandalized. A memento he left behind (a penny — apparently, they’re not always lucky) had been passed between the killers (you know, as change), allowing the spirit to take them over for a short time and enact revenge over those they felt wronged them.
Naturally, Dean got his hands on it and this took him down a rabbit hole that provided for a perfectly uncomfortable scene in which he pulled his gun on his brother, finally spewing all of the things he is mad at Sam for (even those that were semi-irrational and he should have gotten over years ago — you know, if he had the tools to properly move on from anything). Again, it’s not a sentiment we haven’t seen before from these two, but this time it may have made the most sense of them all.
This new hardened Dean can’t possibly imagine talking about his time “over there” in his day-to-day, which was a notion made even more heartbreaking when we learned Amelia confided in Sam about her own soldier husband’s death. Dean is resigned to believe Sam couldn’t possibly understand what he’s been through — and maybe he can’t firsthand — but he’s sensitive enough to at least give it a shot. After all, hearing Amelia’s story allowed him to understand her behavior, even if it did make him look at her with the sad puppy eyes Dean would reject.
Dean didn’t actually shoot his brother, though they did come to physical blows before Garth stepped in and broke them up — just like Bobby would have. Dean dropped the penny, and his possession was effectively over. But what was just beginning was a new chapter in his relationship with Sam, who Garth reminded Dean is the only real family he has left. Benny hasn’t betrayed him — yet — but if he ever did, Dean would put him down. His bond to Sam is much deeper than that.
As the brothers parted ways with Garth, it was Sam's turn to unload on Dean, though he didn't need the penny to do so. He made a strong point in that Dean had been holding so many things inside -- so many more than Sam probably even realized -- but he kind of ruined the power of his (this time metaphoric) punch when he boasted that some day he may "run into Benny and ice him." That just made him sound like the jealous third child that he in no way should be.
It was understandable in the sense that after everything Dean unloaded on him while possessed, Sam would want to get a shot in, too, but it doesn’t change the fact that it certainly started the cycle of anger and resentment all over again, and that's a darker place to leave these boys than Hell and Purgatory combined.
OMG!: Garth was actually good at Bobby’s job — who would’ve guessed?
Thank you, TV gods: Someone had to point out to Dean that Bobby belonged “to all of us”— and we believe that includes the fans!
Awk-ward: The people in this town held grudges over the most ridiculous things — taking someone else to prom more than three decades ago and a bad call in a pick-up softball game, really?!
Hotness: A little ectoplasm and a little blood go a long way for the Winchesters. It just means that even when they’re not perfect, they’re still pretty!
Fab-u-lous: OK, Garth can rock the cowboy hat!
Can. Not. Wait.: If the Winchesters aren’t willing to try to be ready… how and when can their relationship be repaired, even if not fully restored?
Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 8
What did you think of Dean airing his grievances to Sam in "Southern Comfort"? Sound off in the comments below!