'Supernatural' Recap: The Frat Diet
February 5th, 2014 11:15am EST
After nearly 200 episodes, the "Supernatural" masterminds are adept at tempering emotional angst with slapstick humor. "The Purge" tried to walk that artistic tightrope, balancing the emotional angst between Sam and Dean with the humor surrounding the weekly case. Due to the workout Yogi Sammy gave our feels, fans are bound to be sore well into the Olympic hiatus.
Grab your yoga mat, and let’s downward dive in, shall we?
The case was fairly entertaining with a slew of colorful characters ranging from a cheating competitive eater to a sheriff with a love of donuts that rivals even Dean. Karma may have been too harsh for the competitive eater who pocketed a hot dog into order to win an eating contest. In a twist of irony, a phantom figure emerges from the backseat and literally drains the 316 pound down to skin and bones.
Sam and Dean arrive in Stillwater, Minnesota to investigate. After a few misleading clues, the boys go undercover at the posh Canyon Valley Wellness Spa. Sam and his biceps land the job as a personal trainer. Dean is given kitchen duty. He glowers and gripes about doling out kale smoothies and tofu scrambles, and still manages to smolder in that friggin’ hairnet.
Dean's obsession with food--pudding in particular--actually breaks the case. The pudding was laced with roofies. The patrons are dosed with spiked pudding before they undergo a procedure calling Cupping, which rids the body of toxins, which is the rave of many celebrities. You might remember those famous pictures of Gwyneth Paltrow sporting some alarming circular bruises that made her look like she’d been attacked by a kraken. But I'm almost positive even Gwyn wouldn't consent to having her fat sucked out by a Peruvian Fat Sucker. That's right, the smokin’ hot Maritza is actually a parasite that feeds on the fat of her victims. And her hunky (albeit doomed) husband, Larry knows. It's a win for everyone involved. The clients wake up a few dress sizes smaller and Maritza gets fed and paid. The wrench in this well-oiled machine is Martiza brother, Alfonso. He began to feed more and more. He got addicted, and thus sloppy.
The fat also made him insanely strong, and having handing Sammy a wicked beatdown in another epic fight scene, Dean steps in and saves the day by cutting off the sucker's...sucker. Martiza, who never harmed anyone and lost her entire family, must return to Peru and compete with all the other fat-sucking spas. It’s so unfair. I secretly hope she takes her skills to Los Angeles.
The State of the Non-Brotherhood
While there is no further development in The Mark of Cain or the location of the First Blade, Dean is still consumed by it and for the hunt for Gadreel and Metatron. He's not sleeping and drinking most of his meals. In what deserves an Oscar, an Emmy and probably a Grammy in Make-Up, Dean actually manages to look like par-boiled crap. Sam, despite his ‘we can’t be brothers’ speech last week, immediately shows concern about Dean's insomnia and when he finds him half-conscious in the basement at the spa. The brothers manage to work the case with little friction. And it's Sam who gets to wear the shorts and muscle tee while he fakes his way through teaching a yoga class with scraps of knowledge he too gained from dating a "bendy" babe. Sam has shoulders and legs! Who knew?! It’s a shame that a show with some of the hottest actors keeps them swaddled in layers of clothing like Victorian dames.
Dean still wants to kill Martiza, which may be a mercy-killing at this point. Sam rightfully stands up for her, and uses his own struggles to do so. "What if I had crossed paths with a hunter back when I was possessed by Gadreel? I could have ended up dead too. Would I have deserved that?" He askes Dean. Touche, Sammy.
Back at the Batcave, Sam and Dean's discussion of their issues turns into an emotional purge. "I saved your hide by there, and I saved your hide at that church and the hospital. I may not think things all the way through, but what I do, I do because it's the right thing," Dean argues. "I'd do it again."
"And that is the problem. You think you're my savior. Even when you mess up you think what you're doing is worth it. You convince yourself you're doing more good than bad, but you're not. Kevin's dead. Crowley's in the wind. We're no closer to beating this angel thing. Please tell me what is the upside of me being alive." Ouch. For Sam, who is very logical, losing one life is far better than losing millions.
"You and me, fighting the good fight together." Dean answers.
Sam replies with a long unsaid truth: "You didn't save me for me. You did it for you. I was ready to die. You didn't want to be alone. That's what all this boils down to. You are certainly willing to do the sacrificing as long as you're not the one being harmed."
"If the situation were reversed, if I were dying, you'd do the same thing." Dean hedges.
But we know that Sam wouldn't (or thinks he wouldn't) even without his confirmation. I took a long time to process this scene for a long time even as I heard the cries from the fandom boasting that Sam would save Dean or that Sam is an ungrateful jerk. I understand Dean's perspective that he had nothing but good intentions when he manipulated Sam into agreeing to be possessed by Gadreel. But I also thought about it from Sam's perspective. He views death in a vastly different way than Dean. When Dean died, he went to hell where he was the savagely tortured for decades. Death for Dean is endless suffering and the knowledge that you'll become the monsters you spent your life killing.
Contrarily, Sam died at the end of season 2 and we don't know what happened to him. The mythology (particularly from this season's "Slumber Party" and season 5's "Point of No Return") tells us that Sam went to heaven, and experienced his perfect life. Then he was ripped from that when a grief-crazed Dean made the crossroads deal. Since his resurrection, Sam has watched his brother die, gotten addicted to demon blood, been possessed by the devil, endured 180 years of torture, had a supernatural mental breakdown, lost his soul, and endured the trials. For Sam, death represents the unattainable peace and a resolute ending, which are leagues better than the continuing slide down his rabbithole of suffering. So I understand why he was so ready to go, why he resents Dean for taking that choice away from him, and why he's so honest about it now. I also wonder if the Mark Of Cain will give Dean some insight into Sam’s point of view. If it does, I might cry a little.
"The Purge" definitely lived up to his name. The case-of-the-week was pedestrian, but the brotherly arc was more than worth the price of admission. Sadly, we will have to wait until after the Olympics for another new episode. It gives me enough time to digest that Snooki is guest-starring in an upcoming episode even though it kind of makes me want to hurl.
What did you think of the episode? Do you think Sam is being too hard on Dean? How much did you love the plucky sheriff? Hit up the comments section below.
Photo Credits: The CW Network