Supernatural Review 8.09 - "Citizen Fang"
Posted by Joseph Lee on 12.06.2012
The midseason finale is here as Benny appears to be back to killing people. Will Dean have to take out his own friend?
The Road So Far: Castiel decided to become a hunter, and worked his first case with Sam and Dean. It was a comedy episode that saw cartoon rules being applied in the real world. Once that was solved, Castiel had another meeting with Naomi, who informed him the only way he can return to Heaven is for her meetings. Meanwhile, it was revealed in Sam's flashbacks that Amelia's husband returned from war, very much alive.
Season Eight, Episode 9: Citizen Fang Directed By: Nick Copus Written By: Daniel Loflin
Sam fans should be pleased with this season, as it has devoted a lot of time to the younger Winchester and his time away from hunting. In fact I'd say both brother have had equal amount of time of developing their characters between the Purgatory flashbacks/relationship with Benny for Dean, and now the Amelia flashbacks for Sam, as well as the thing that happens at the very end of this episode. Throwing in Benny, Castiel and The Trans, it just seems like they've really got a handle on how to juggle multiple storylines, something that Sera Gamble had some trouble with during her time as showrunner.
This episode sees Martin Creaser, from Sam, Interrupted return as he's out of the mental hospital and back to hunting. What's worse, he's tracking Benny because Sam told him to. Dean takes it a little better than I thought he would, but maybe that's because he knows that Sam is just doing what any hunter would. Plus it's not like Sam ordered the death of Benny.
But Martin's crazy, and you just don't want crazy people doing these kinds of things. I think Garth may have been a better choice. This matters because Martin swears that Benny is doing what vampires do and feasting on the blood of innocent people. Benny swears to Dean this isn't true and we get an episode that pits Sam against Dean again, sort of.
The thing I really liked about this episode is how well Sam and Dean react to one another. They've really decided to let the small stuff go, at least that's my interpretation. Dean reacts well to news that Sam put a hunter on Benny, and Sam is more than willing to give Dean a chance to talk to Benny and clear things up. They've been through too much to not give each other a chance than jump to conclusions, and it tells me that eventually their relationship will work out.
I continue to enjoy Ty Olsson's portrayal of Benny. As we've learned before, Supernatural is not all black and white and there are some monsters who are trying to do good. Remember Lenore and her pack? At the same time, there is always a sinister undercurrent to Benny and you're not sure if you can completely trust him. I like that. It means even the monsters are in a way, human.
I enjoyed Martin when I saw him in season five, but in this episode he wasn't doing it for me. He went from a sympathetic guy with problems to a less dangerous version of Gordon. I don't buy him as a threat, just as a guy that will get our characters in trouble. So when I see him trying to stir things up, it just irritates me. This has more to do with the writing of the character than the performance of Jon Gries.
As mid-season finales go, Citizen Fang was fairly weak. Maybe that's because I'm comparing it to the greatness of Death's Door and Abandon All Hope. But outside of finally resolving what happened during Sam's year away from hunting, all we had was some progression in the Benny story and not much else. It felt more like a normal episode that just happened to air before the time the CW cuts off the season. It was solid, but not as impactful as we're used to from these episodes.
The next episode is on January 16, which means we have to wait a whole month. At least it's not until February. Stupid AMC.
The 411: While not the strongest of mid-season finales, Citizen Fang does wrap up the Sam flashback stories (and lead the way for some new ones) and put a new twist on Dean's relationship with Benny. I could have used some more impact, but it's a solid, if unspectacular, watch on its own.