Supernatural reaches its mid-season finale with plenty still up in the air. Here’s Caroline’s review of Citizen Fang…
This review contains spoilers.
8.9 Citizen Fang
We’ve reached the mid-way point in this season of Supernatural, and it’s a strange episode to leave with. Away until the middle of January, we’re departing with the brothers fighting, Castiel nowhere to be seen, and the show no nearer to the end-game point of closing hell’s gates. Citizen Fang revolves around tensions between Sam and Dean over Benny, as a violent attack in his vicinity seems to suggest the friendly vampire has fallen off his wagon. There’s also the small matter of Amelia to deal with, as Sam’s flashbacks reach their conclusion.
Sam has had formerly-crazy hunter Martin (who we met way back in season five) on Benny’s tail for the past couple of weeks, and Dean is none too happy that this has been arranged behind his back. Without Bobby there to remind the boys of their familial bond and such, disagreements don’t fizzle out the way they used to. When a relatively small issue gets in the way, those guys can pout and whine with the best of them. After what they’ve been through together, you’d think some perspective would be applied, but they also screw each other over with alarmingly regularity.
Martin and Sam assume that Benny is behind the murder, which is the obvious conclusion to everyone but Dean, and they part ways. Dean goes to find out the truth before his brother can start hacking and slashing, and I liked that the writers haven’t made Dean an idiot over his new friendship. He still goes to Benny armed with a massive blade primed for beheading, and waits for definitive proof before ringing Sam for an ‘I told you so’ conversation. There’s a grudging respect when he tells Benny not to underestimate his ‘little brother’, but at this point he’s immediately more willing to trust his new friend over his flesh and blood.
In general this year, its fun to watch Sam and Dean swap places on the moral spectrum. When we met them, Sam was far more likely to see the grey area in a situation like this, and things have only just switched around. Season seven’s argument over Amy Pond proves that, and it’s an odd shift given that the last year has seen them resume their pre-season one roles in a peculiar way. Dean had to once again become the ultimate hunter coping on his own, and Sam went back to a normal existence, apple pie and all. Coming back together has not been the bond affirming adventure that it was before, and I’m curious as to where the show goes from here.
Remember the satisfying end to season five, when Sam, Dean, Castiel and Bobby had fought their way to the very end, brothers in arms, and the death and destruction that followed felt like the only they could ever have gone out? Can you imagine Supernatural ever becoming that show again? The brothers don’t even like each other anymore, let alone trust or rely on each other. Their only other family, Bobby, is gone, and Castiel’s allegiance is always going to be to Dean. How can the writers bridge this gap before the show’s end point? That may be seasons in the future, of course, but it’s hard to imagine such a happy ending for them.
But will there be a happy ending for Sam and Amelia? Probably not, but she has turned up in present day to confront him. There were various theories online that speculated Sam’s flashbacks were actually dream sequences or something similar, but her presence at the end of the episode seems to shoot those down. It’s a shame, really, because without a big twist this storyline just isn’t going to interest me. We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time with their love story already, and to have her be the big teaser before a month break was an odd choice.
And where was Castiel this week? I, like many fans, have enjoyed seeing the three guys reunited over the last couple of episode, and definitely missed this element in Citizen Fang. We’ll certainly see more of our favourite angel in the second half of the season, and the mystery of Amanda Tapping’s character is one thing I’m looking forward to exploring. See you on January 16th!