Supernatural: Southern Comfort

Sam: "Burn a Confederate soldier's bones in a town full of rednecks? Sure."

Have Dean and Sam ever been this distant from each other, this bitter about each other's choices?

Dean couldn't help feeling betrayed, but isn't he being unfair to Sam? It's not like they haven't been separated and in different planes of existence before, and they did have a pact. And Sam apparently connected with Amelia because he was devastated after losing Dean, so it's not like he didn't care.

I think Dean is having a meltdown because Sam moved on and formed an important relationship with someone who wasn't Dean. "You left me to die for a girl?" The vengeful ghost plot about the two brothers on opposite sides in the Civil War was pretty transparent symbolism, and the pre- and post-job car conversations were adversarial, with the brothers sparring verbally on either side of the Impala. It feels like this one might be too much for them to resolve on their own over a beer by the side of the road.

Maybe something or someone from the outside will enable them to get past it, but it's not going to be Garth. I've enjoyed all of his appearances on the show, and he's a fun and enjoyable character and even surprisingly zen at times, and it was sad and cute seeing Garth doing Bobby's schtick with the phones, the hat and the idgits, but he is so not our Bobby.

It was nice to learn a little more about Garth, though. Dentist to monster hunter, killing the Tooth Fairy. (Not the same Tooth Fairy we saw before in the Jesse the Antichrist episode, I assume.) For a moment, I thought the possessed Dean was going to kill Garth, but fortunately, no. And Garth is a good hunter, I'll give him that. And I liked that he had to remind the boys that they weren't the only ones who missed Bobby, who was... well, "beloved" might not be the right word, but certainly important to the hunter community.

It was pretty obvious that the plot was working up to one of the Winchesters being possessed by the specter, so that wasn't a surprise. I even knew it had to be Dean. But was Sam actually threatening to kill Benny because of what Dean did to Amy?

And I have a complaint. Yes, it's difficult to transition into a flashback, but having Sam look off into the distance with a wistful look on his face and a dog barking in the distance simply doesn't work for me. The flashbacks to Purgatory have been a lot smoother (I missed Purgatory this week). They haven't consisted of Dean looking off into the distance with a pensive expression on his face. Or have they? My short term memory isn't what it used to be.

Bits and pieces:

— I liked the idea that the cursed object was an old Indian head penny, and backtracking it from hand to hand was fun. Although it didn't explain why the kid who initially stole it from the tomb and wasn't affected didn't immediately take it to a pawn shop.

— When Mary, who decapitated her husband, mentioned "bits and pieces," Garth started to giggle. Dean kept a straight face. Nice bit. So to speak.

— More about Amelia. Her husband Don died in Afghanistan.

— This week: Kearney, Missouri, with deaths that seemed a bit more gruesome than usual. (Or maybe that's my short term memory thing.) The Little Dixie Motel room had red wallpaper with white stars, and the kitchen table was white with red stars, so there was a general star theme.

— Garth was a Texas Ranger, and he actually does look better dressed like a cowboy than a fed.

— I've always wondered what happened to the poor souls who killed while under ghostly or demonic influence and got caught. Will Mary and her son go on trial and spend their lives in prison for a crime that they didn't commit and don't even remember?

Quotes:

Sam: "You want me to shut up and ride shotgun and pretend like nothing happened."

Sam: "So how does that make this our kind of thing?"
Dean: "Because, Sam, Kevin's in the wind, okay? You're sulking around like a eunuch in a whorehouse, and I can't help but ask myself, when is decapitation not my thing?"

Dean: "Is that gum, or is that ectoplasm?"
Garth tasted it. Gag.

Dean: "What's up with all the hillbilly hankies? These people know the Civil War's over, right?"

Sam: "You killed the Tooth Fairy?"
Garth: "Yeah, man. Not my proudest moment."

Dean: "What have we got, a ghost with an Oedipus complex? (pause) I don't know what that means."

Garth: "I kinda feel like we should say something, all right? Don't you? Just a little..."
Dean: "Sure." (to the body of the Confederate soldier) "We won."

Dean: "You should have looked for me when I was in Purgatory."

A decent episode, and I enjoyed it. Was this three out of four hillbilly hankies?

Billie
---
Billie Doux has been reviewing Supernatural for so long that Dean and Sam Winchester feel like old friends. Courageous, adventurous, gorgeous old friends.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

But was Sam actually threatening to kill Benny because of what Dean did to Amy?

I seem to be the only one who sees it this way, but no, I don't think Sam threatened to kill Benny because Dean killed Amy.

When Dean was talking about Benny, Sam questioned if they could trust Benny not to kill people. Dean said he did trust Benny and that if Benny fell off the wagon then ANOTHER hunter would have to take care of him. Sam did remind Dean that Sam trusted Amy and Dean didn't care, but he didn't threaten to go hunt down Benny or kill him. He just looked skeptical that Benny would hold strong and angry that Dean was willing to let Benny go even if Benny started drinking people again. Then Dean gets possessed and tells Sam that Benny is a better brother to Dean than Sam has ever been.

Dean is adamant that Sam stay in hunting. Dean has said that if Benny needs to be killed then a hunter who is not Dean will have to do it and if Sam stays in hunting Sam will be a hunter who is not Dean. He may be faced with a Benny who is killing people and he doesn't have the loyalty that Dean has toward Benny. So he asked the logical question. What happens if Sam is the hunter who takes down Benny, the brother that Dean said he values more than he values Sam? Now Dean probably doesn't remember telling Sam that Benny is his better brother, but Sam knows Dean feels that way, so it's not an out there question. If Benny reverts and some hunter Dean doesn't know kills him, no biggie that's the way the ball bounces. But if Benny kills and Sam takes him down, which is their job, what does happen to the relationship between Sam and Dean. Sam did admit that Dean may have been right about Amy, but in many ways Sam truly forgives more easily than Dean.

That's how I see it anyway.

Billie Doux said...

Percysowner, I think I followed that, but I'm not entirely sure. I'm going to bed now, and I will read your comment again tomorrow. :)

Gus Brunetti said...

I had the same understanding that was brilliantly explained by percysowner. (How is Percy, by the way?)

I thought this episode was excellent all around. When it was over, I said "f**k". Or "wow". I don't know which, I curse a lot and lose track.

I thought Garth was OK on his other appearances, but I LOVED him here. He was funny and competent, and I see him taking Bobby's place as the hunter everybody goes after for advice. He's not Bobby, but he can take his spot. When he showed up as a Texar ranger, I was intrigued. Do Texas rangers have jurisdiction over all US territory? What a crazy country! Then it was explained that it didn't really fit, and balance was restored in the universe.

The montage showing the penny going from hand to hand was terrific mostly because Soundgarden's Fell on Black Days is an excellent song, one of their best. It was not strictly necessary for the narrative, but it was a nice addition.

I always wondered what happened to the people who commit crimes under supernatural influence as well, Billie. I never understood why the existence of supernatural activity hasn't been revealed to the public.

I don't know if I said that in another post, but Amelia seemed familiar, so I looked it up and she played Gary's friend Anna on Alphas. She looks better as a redhead (but then again, 90% of women do).

Billie, it's not often that I like a SN episode better than you do. I give it 4 out of four buried soldiers.

CoolSid said...

Want to put this question across to the fandom, but is Amelia dead/cursed/possessed/left Sam? We've never seen Sam call her from the Impala and all we see of her are flashbacks which strangley seem to happen when Sam gets a little constipated.

Also, Billie, one thing that possesed Dean did not say was that Sam also could'nt save Dean from Hell, choosing to hunt Lilith with Ruby whereas Dean had a similar opportunity and made a deal with a demon.

Anonymous said...

In my review in Winchester Family Business, I gave this ep 6 out of 10. I'm not a big Garth fan; he just annoys me--although I did like him better in this ep than any of the others. I feel that Dean is being too rough on Sam. He knows how much his brother has craved normal from the day he went to pull him out of Stanford. Now that we know more about Amelia, I understand why Sam fell for her. They both had lost someone, were lonely, and have a shared love of dogs. I'm rooting for Sam to get what he wants. I think he's given more than enough to hunting and the supernatural. Dean should understand that. Love, Robin, columnist, Winchester Family Business

Austin said...

Can you imagine if the supernatural was made know to the public and the effect it would have on our criminial justice system? It would be chaos! Nobody would be convicted because they can just say they were possessed!

zob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Austin said...

Zob, you're right. Mass anarchy would insue. People wouldn't know what to do with themselves when they found out that every religion exists independently!

zob said...

Austin, thank you. It was unintentional, but you helped me resolve an ongoing issue.

Lik G said...

I dont like Amelia, she's weird, i don't like Sam's flashbacks the're dull, and Sam is being a major DICK. he should have looked for Dean, Dean would NEVER just let his brother disapear, never. Sam betraid Dean too many times, he allways blame Dean for whatever crap that he has going on in his life, forgeting that Dean did everything for Sam since they were little boys, Sam is getting on my nervs this season. Anyways i loved this episode ALOT, and Garth is awesome!!

Anonymous said...

A good episode but I don´t like how they seem to throw those Bobby lines into Garth´s speech. It just feels odd.

Jess Lynde said...

Funny, I'm having the exact opposite reaction to this season from Lik G. Even though I've been a Dean fan through most the series, I've feel like he's become rather unbearable these last few seasons. Incredibly self-righteous and arrogant, and this season he's being horribly unfair to Sam. (At least they are bringing a slightly different edge to his attitude than what we've seen in the past.)

They had an agreement, right? And didn't Dean go off and try to live a normal life while Sam was "in the box"? I think Dean's mostly upset that Sam actually found happiness outside the hunting, when he never could. He can't escape the life, and doesn't really want to anymore. He's happiest killing monsters, and he wants the comfort of knowing that Sam is there with him; happy to be fighting by his brother's side. At least then Dean wouldn't have to feel so alone.

What he really needs is someone like Jo. A strong fighter who will share the hunter's life with him. Then maybe he could let Sam go without all the resentment.

All that said, I agree that they are doing a terrible job integrating Sam's flashbacks into the story. They felt really jarring and out of place this week. Dean flashbacks seem to flow better with the story most weeks.

I really enjoyed Garth this week. I agree that giving him Bobby's hat and language quirks was a bit much and didn't seem to fit, but I think him stepping into the Bobby role in the hunter 'verse is wonderful. He seemed really well suited to it. I particularly liked him calling Dean out on his disregard for everyone else's pain at the loss of Bobby. Dean needs people other than Sam to call him on his bull, because he's incapable of truly listening to Sam anymore.

Gus Brunetti said...

I agree with everything Jess said. Dean's being unfair.

And I'd like to share this too:

http://9gag.com/gag/5811517

Hope you like it.

ChrisB said...

Another great review, Billie; and Jess, I agree with everything you said. I have always been Team Dean, but this season he is unbearable and he is being way too hard on Sam. I was so glad to see Sam finally stand up to Dean. He's been taking a lot of Dean's crap and I knew it all had to break sooner or later. Dean may not remember what he said, but Sam sure does -- and will in the future.

I really enjoyed Garth in this episode. While I thought the Bobbyisms were a bit much sometimes, I saw them as Garth just trying to fill a void. I actually think he and Dean helped each other; Dean is able to understand that others miss Bobby and Garth is able to understand that he doesn't have to be Bobby to fill the void.

Anonymous said...

After watching this episode I have to agree with Jess and CrisB, but being a die-hard Dean girl myself, I can´t blame him, so instead I touch reality and blame it on the writers. Hope they correct their path in future episodes. Cecile.

drnanamom said...

I think it's fun and interesting that people are taking sides with the brothers. They should both just grow up and understand that the live they live is hard and there aren't a lot of good choices. But that would make for boring TV and their confrontations are central to this show. They take turns being idjiots. I like Garth but I agree with Billie - he is not our Bobby. I would like to see more of "our Garth" ie. maybe he could find his own way into being the go to guy. He's smart - he was a dentist, he killed a tooth fairy , he's got his own cred.

Rui Machado said...

A Garth episode is always a good episode. 'Nuff said ;-)

Juliette said...

I think that Dean is being ridiculously judgmental, especially considering Amy and his year with Lisa and Ben.

And yet at the same time, I still feel for him more than Sam, because he went to Hell for Sam and all that's happened since just seems to reinforce the fact that Sam doesn't care as much about him as he does about Sam. Making deals with demons is clearly a bad idea so no blame on Sam for not doing that, but ever since the Heaven episode, Sam has failed to show Dean that he really does care about him (though the audience have been shown that he does - just not Dean himself) - Dan isn't part of his Heaven, he just assumed Dead had died after the Leviathan exploded and doesn't seem to have put much effort into checking, he had seemed to accept the life and it was him (albeit without a soul) who dragged Dean back in, yet now he wants to leave again. We know he left Amelia and came running the minute Dean got back, but he hasn't actually explained that to Dean.

I'm still upset about the necklace, basically!

Cas needs to come back. He may have made some of the worse choices of any of them (even beating the starting the apocalypse thing, since that was accidental) but one thing's for sure about him, he definitely cares about Dean and is quite good at showing it!