“Benny … has never let me down”: Citizen Fang (8.09)
Whether we agree with Jeremy Carver’s decision to not have Sam look for Dean while he was in Purgatory or not, that’s what we got and what we have to work with. It’s understandable that Dean is hurt by that. It’s completely in character too for Dean to say hurtful things to Sam without ever seeming to recognize the pain he causes. He has a history of calling Sam a ‘freak’ and even a ‘monster.’ However, his behavior in Citizen Fang — from the comment that Benny was more of a brother than Sam ever was to the faked phone call from Amelia — was so ugly that I nearly quit watching the show. I know not a few fans who did.
With the benefit of distance and time from the first half of S8, I’m still having a difficult time understanding the choices that Carver made. In an interview, (sorry, the source is lost to memory) Carver said that he wanted to completely break their relationship down and then bring them back together. But why? Didn’t that happen in S4-5? It seems to me that on an emotional level he took the boys back to S1 with Sam ostensibly wanting a normal life and Dean just wanting his brother back as his hunting partner, and then he forced them through a ramped up emotional roller coaster summary of the previous seven seasons. I felt like Sam was cheated of all that character development. Dean forgot all of Sam’s sacrifices and latched on to grudges that didn’t even make sense — like Sam being soulless. Dean had never held that against him before.
Dean came out looking really petty and cruel to me in S8. His position of trusting Benny so implicitly, but apparently not Sam or Castiel who have both done so much for him, while never admitting that he may have been wrong about Amy, made him look like a hypocrite as well. So he fought alongside Benny for a year — a year! — and Benny never let him down. He never appears to recognize that Benny had an ulterior motive. Dean was his ride out of Purgatory, so yeah, Benny had every reason to keep Dean alive there. Deleted scenes from Taxi Driver reveal that Benny did in fact feed on humans after he came back from Purgatory, so Dean’s faith in him was misguided. Of course, knowing Dean as we do, he’ll blame himself for not being there for Benny, when for all we know he was doing the killing in Citizen Fang.
I don’t know, for a lot of reasons, Season 8 still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, the boys are back together, but Dean didn’t really listen to Sam in Sacrifice. He just told him he was wrong instead of trying to understand why Sam felt the way he did. That’s pure Dean. I’d like to think that they will further hash the issue out, but history doesn’t make me think they will. I’d like to have hope for S9, but Carver has given me no reason to trust him. What do you all think?
Cross-posted at LJ here.