My request for Season 11 is ACTION! LOTS and LOTS of it <3<3 That alone will make me very very happy.
Let's also talk about angst, which is an important part of SPN. There is lots of that too in this episode. Dean angst with regard to (soulless) Sam, and also toward Lisa and Ben. I personally have always had trouble with Dean going to see Lisa and Ben after being turned. But, it being at least my 9th rewatch, I'm starting to look at it a bit differently. I'm noticing different things that help me understand WHY he did. Even though it sure wasn't a good idea. And Soulless Sam is amazing in this episode. When I think of how Sam changes when he gets his soul back... I can only say KUDOs to Jared for his awesome performance.
And if you like vampire movies/books, then you will love the references to various works - not just Twilight ;)
"Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus (plays in the bar at the beginning)
So we start with our little Twilight-like scene of a cute girl, Kristin, and her vampire friend whom she met over the net. Except, this scene is not only full of references to Twilight but to other vampire works. For example, the Song Bela Lugosi's Dead, is also played in the film The Hunger.
Kristin dropping her apple phone and it getting caught by the vampire is of course from Twilight (where Bella drops a real edible apple and Edward catches it.) Then, as they are talking, she cuts her finger and the vampire reacts to the blood and leaves (which is also seen in Bram Stoker's Dracula). I'm not sure but Kristin wants to be turned, or just bitten? She follows him to the vampire nest, where the head vampire is waiting. He is the one who feeds her his blood. And with her scream, we have the title sequence.
Now to Sam and Dean. Dean is talking to Lisa on the phone.
It's a very loving phone call, and they both look very happy at the prospect of Dean returning for a visit after the hunt.
Sam comes up as Dean is finishing up his call and he teases Dean about how happy he looks. Then, he goes on to tell Dean about this case where girls have been missing in this one town. They decide to look into it by visiting the home of the most recent disappearance.
The dad is a bit reluctant to let them in her room, taking the time to explain how naive and difficult his daughter has been. Sam and Dean think it's about drugs or something but when they enter her room, it's obvious that it's none other than an obsession with Vampires.
Her whole room is full of fannish stuff - posters, life size character poster boards (whatever they are called - I'm sure many of our younger fans have one of Jensen or Jared LOL), and various other paraphernalia.
When Sam finds her computer under her pillow and opens it, the computer beeps have been changed to victims screams and the wallpaper is the face of a Vampire character. (I wonder if anyone in the SPN fandom has actually changed their computer beeps to Sam going "Dean!" or Dean going "Sammy!" LOL I kind of like the idea :D)
Dean finds a book with a cover where the vampire boyfriend Romero is gazing at his girlfriend as she sleeps and comments on that.
DEAN: Look at this. He's WATCHING her sleep. How is that not rape-y?
This is often used as proof that the SPN writers are making fun of Twilight. Dean sure is making fun of or is spooked out by the idea of a vampire staring at a girl as she sleeps. But, we see Dean acting exactly the same way later.
Sam and Dean seem to know quite a bit about Twilight LOL and the name of the actor playing Edward Cullin (Pattinson) turns out to be the password into the girl's computer. They find a bunch of e-mails and badly written poetry she exchanged with the vampire friend as well as the name of the bar that they met at, so although they think it might be just a normal guy trying to pick up girls by pretending to be a vampire, they go to check it out.
We have a scene here where the vampires are robbing a blood bank truck. And then Sam talking to Samuel on the phone:
SAM: Okay. So now, you're SURE it's vampires? A hundred percent?
SAMUEL: Definitely. We got a pattern now. Kids go missing, blood bank van gets jumped. This is the fourth town. Clincher is, this last hit? Driver was found, throat ripped out.
SAM: Okay. They grab kids, that's food, right? But if they already got a bunch of walking, talking juice bars...why bother with the blood mobile? It doesn't add up.
SAMUEL: Find the nest. Figure it out.
Sam and Dean notice two candidates as they check out the customers at the shady looking bar. As they both leave at the same time, Sam takes one while Dean takes the other. Sam follows the one guy into the storage room where the guy, who is actually a vampire, is waiting for him.
Sam is quick though and chops the vampire's head off before it can get at him. Dean on the other hand has been following a couple, who end up just being regular humans playing with the idea.
BOY: I only do it to get laid, man!
DEAN: Does it work?
DEAN: I'll be damned. All right, mmmbop your way outta here. Go, go! And use a condom!
I do love Dean asking the guy if the teeth help him get layed! And then calling out to him to use a condom!
As he's about to leave the alley though, the head vamp Boris comes out of the shadows and compliments him -
BORIS: You're pretty...
DEAN: I'm sorry?
BORIS: I said...you're pretty.
DEAN: Yeah, sorry again, pal. I don't play for your team.
Dean's totally not ready for being flung into some garbage. When he comes to and shakes himself awake, he finds that Boris is coming toward him. He picks up a metal pole and tries to get Boris over the head with it, but Boris is quick to duck and Dean is at the vamp's mercy. Boris has him against the garbage bins and bites his own arm to give Dean some of his blood just as Sam runs up.
Dean does not consciously notice Sam standing there making no move to help and even turning up his lips in a little grin as he watches Dean being fed the blood. Soulless Sam, here, is thinking this would be the perfect way to "find the nest" as Samuel put it. An inside man. And he knows about a cure.
When it's over, Sam runs over and halfheartedly "tries" to fight Boris, but when Boris runs, he lets the vamp go and instead turns to Dean with concern on his face.
They go back to the motel room and Dean is talking about how Sam (the Sam he knows) would never kill him so Samuel has to when he gets there. Sam tells Dean that's not necessary, but he doesn't say why and Dean thinks Sam is "just being Sam" but Soulless Sam doesn't know what to do. He's wondering what he can say to put Dean at ease and yet not show that he knows something Dean doesn't. He knows Samuel can cure him, but if he tells Dean that, then Dean might guess that Sam let him get turned and that would not be good for his charade. So he doesn't tell Dean anything. Instead, he is asking weird questions like, "how do you feel?" and his heart rhythm is totally normal and Dean is wondering why Sam is not panicking. As we mentioned before, Sam sure is curious, and he wants to know all about Dean's experience becoming a vampire!
SAM: How's it feel?
DEAN: NOW? Now you wanna talk about my feelings?
SAM: No, I mean...physically.
DEAN: How do you THINK it feels? Not good!
SAM: Where you goin'?
DEAN: Bathroom, okay? News flash, Mr. Wizard: vampires pee!
Dean sees his new set of teeth in the mirror and turns completely fatalistic. He's going to die soon. Who does he want to say goodbye to? Lisa of course. Just as in 99 Problems. He turns on the tap to make Sam think he's still washing, and escapes out the window.
When Sam starts wondering why Dean's taking so long and comes in, he finds the window open and Dean gone.
Soulless Sam totally lacks instinct. This is one of the reasons he wanted Dean to work with him but here we see it again in the way that he is not able to tell that Dean would leave or where he'd want to go if he found out he was going to die.
I'm going out of order a bit, but when Samuel arrives, he scolds Sam and asks him why he could not keep Dean from leaving. Sam with a soul probably could have. Sam without a soul lacks the instinct to know what to do in such a situation.
SAMUEL. Can't keep track of your brother now?
SAM. Well, I didn't think he'd just --
SAMUEL. He's not himself, Sam. He's a monster and he's hungry. You gotta be prepared to do the right thing.
The reason why I'm mentioning this now, out of order, is because I think Samuel's words here "He's not himself" are important to understanding Dean's actions below.
Dean is gazing at Lisa as she sleeps, exactly what Dean was making fun of the vampire in the novel for. I love this imagery and how it is exactly the same as the picture on the novel!
LISA: What's up? Are you okay?
LISA: What's going on?
DEAN: It doesn't matter. But I need you to know...you AND Ben...just, uh... Thanks. Okay? For everything.
LISA: Dean, you're scaring me.
He properly worries Lisa to death. It reminds me a lot of his good-bye in 99 problems.
DEAN: Oh, God, I'm Pattinson...
DEAN: Nothing. I...I gotta go...
LISA: No, you can't just show up here like this and --
DEAN: Believe me, I wish it was different.
LISA: Just stop, and explain to me what's going on out there.
DEAN: Lisa, I can't bring this crap home to you.
LISA: You're talking about your work?
DEAN: I'm talking about my LIFE. It's ugly...and it's violent...and I'm gonna die -- SOON.
He tells himself how he's practically become like the character in Twilight. This scene shows how similar Dean acts to the vampires in the book and it's actually more of a shoutout than making fun of the other vampire movies. I want to also point out again that Dean was human when he said that the vampire was "rape-y" for gazing at the sleeping girl. But now, he is a vampire and his thought patterns are different. What he considered to be rape-y before, is actually normal behavior. This also ties in with what Samuel says to Sam about Dean "not being himself." Samuel of course means that Dean is starving for blood, but we can also take it to mean that Dean is not thinking as a human. He is thinking as a vampire, and so his actions are not humanly logical. When I blame Dean for going back to see Lisa as a vampire, I am seeing him as a human being, doing something stupid, putting his loved ones in danger. But when I think of him as not being in his right mind at this point, it makes a lot more sense.
Dean also seems to be trying to break up with Lisa here. He's telling her that he can't come back to her because he can't leave his work behind. Because it's not his work, it's his life and he can never leave it behind. Of course it's an "I'm going to die" goodbye as well, but I think he also realizes that trying to do both had been a mistake.
When Lisa comes up to him to try to stop him from leaving and also get an explanation from him, Dean cannot help but fling her to the wall and ahhhh... love that fling. It actually sudddenly reminded me of the human guy with the false vampire teeth seducing the girl in the alley. Lisa looks like she's ready for that kiss too hmmm?
But suddenly Dean turns away as his teeth start to come through, and hurries out the door, leaving a frustrated girl(s) behind LOL This scene actually reminds me a bit of the similar scene between Sam and Ruby in Season 4.
As Dean hurries down the hall, Ben hears the commotion and comes out of his room. Dean tells him to stay where he is, but of course Ben doesn't know what is happening, and just comes closer. Dean pushes Ben away and hurries out of the house as Lisa grabs at Ben to make sure he is OK. This one little push scares and bothers Lisa very much as we see later.
It seems that by the time he gets back to Sam and Samuel, Dean realizes that what he did by going back to Lisa and Ben was a terrible mistake. As Samuel and Sam are talking together about what they have to do if Dean has fed, Dean comes out of the shadows and tells them that yes, they need to kill him, and now.
SAMUEL. Did you feed?
DEAN. I went to say goodbye to Lisa...which, for the record, was a lousy idea.
SAMUEL. (Sternly.) Dean, answer the question.
DEAN. You can relax, I didn't "drink" anyone.
Dean tells them to kill him. Then Samuel tells him sure, but if you haven't fed, you can be cured. Dean goes, WHAT? and Sam goes what? and Samuel looks back at Sam in surprise, because he remembers talking about this with Sam before. But then he turns back to Dean and tells him about his grandfather's recipe for a cure which only works if you haven't fed. One of the ingredients of this potion is the blood of the vampire that turned you.
Dean then tells them that he's going to go to the nest alone to get the blood because Sam and Samuel would be smelled out right away. Samuel gives Dean a syringe of deadman's blood to sink into the head vamp, and Dean is on his way.
Samuel turns to Sam as they get ready to go after Dean. He tells Sam about how he should have known about the potion because they had talked about it before, and if he HAD remembered, then it almost looked like he had let Dean get turned in order to get the alpha vamp that they were after. Sam denies this completely, pretending to be hurt by Samuel thinking such ill of him. But Samuel is still not sure. He's seen how Sam has acted before.
Sam and Samuel talking about the Alpha vamp here though, proves that Sam DOES know what Samuel is up to, at least the part where they are searching out alpha monsters. So that scene in the first ep... Sam's purpose WAS to draw out the alpha with the baby as bait. I don't think at this point that Samuel has told Sam about Crowley so Sam doesn't know who Samuel is working for or why he is searching out the Alphas.
Meanwhile, Dean finds the nest and gets in by keeping the door open with a wire when some vampires come out. He sneaks in and suddenly meets that Twilight-like vampire who shows him to the bloodbank blood.
(I love Dean's face here - totally longing for a sip of that stuff.)
Dean tells him that he's already "killed so many people" and is told that that is not "company policy." No killing. Only blood bank blood. An idea that's used in other vampire stories as welll. I am assuming that the Alpha has told them to do this so that they are not too conspicuous to Crowley.
Dean is taken to Boris, who willingly explains everything to Dean. Just as he's turning away to take Dean on "the tour" though, Dean takes out the deadman's blood, and a bit of the blood drips from the tip of the needle. Boris smells that little drop and knows instantly what it is. He turns around and grabs at Dean, holding Dean in a chokehold, and making Dean drop the syringe. But just as Boris is about to do something to Dean - possibly kill him - the Alpha Vamp sends a message.
I've been thinking of how everyone falls over unconscious during the message, and how if there had been just one hunter in the area, they could all have easily been massacred - but let's ignore such details. Dean also falls over and enters the dream in which the Alpha vamp is conducting a recruitment drive. He sees the Alpha Vamp here, as we will see him again later.
When he wakes up, the other vamps have been waking up already, and the alpha vamp has been opening the cages to set everyone free so that they had a chance to fight this hunter.
And then we have that wonderful scene with totally reminds me of Purgatory and some other scenes in the future. Dean goes through the whole nest and kills every single vampire. He then jumps down to the first floor with his vamp powers and goes for Boris, who is waiting for him there. We don't see how Dean kills him, but by the time Samuel and Sam get inside, Dean is sitting with his foot on the guy's head, which had (or had been) rolled away from his body. This scene I also love.
The camera cuts from Sam and Samuel on the second floor looking down, to Dean looking up with the Machete in his hand and the head under his foot.
When they get back to the motel, Dean is in a hurry to take the potion before he goes crazy with want and kills Sam and Samuel both. But Sam asks him "what did you see?" again, with the curiousity, but also of course for hints of the Alpha vamp. Dean is too wound up to tell Sam anything. He gobbles down the potion and then starts to spew out all kinds of black stuff and then his mind kind of rewinds and goes back through his memories to the time when he was given the vampire blood. We get to see all the stuff Dean went through in triple speed all over again, then at the end, Dean sees what he saw unconsciously as he was being fed the blood. He sees Sam standing there without lifing a hand to help and that little smile as he watches.
Dean recovers after this, and Sam grabs him and pats Dean's back for having made it through but Dean is disoriented after that vision.
When Dean comes out of the bathroom with his toiletries as the others pack up in front, Sam again asks Dean about what he saw. Dean tells them about the Alpha vamp and how he is building an army. He also tells them that even scarier is that the vamps are not afraid of hunters anymore. This little information creates a nice pause at the end where viewers may also wonder how much hunters are now in danger from vampires and other monsters. The effect on the episode is good, but there is no actual relevance to anything.
Dean is at the impala calling Lisa to apologize and explain as much as he can, but Lisa is not answering the call. Sam comes up and asks how it is with Lisa and Dean tells him it isn't. But that's ok because you have my back right, Sammy?
And Soulless Sam is not very good at that Sam face and we totally know along with Dean that something is wrong.