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Dreaming of times in purgatory

By Stephen Skudlarek
On October 15, 2012


Riffing off of one of Woody Allen's classic comedies with its title, this episode of "Supernatural" mixes the old with the new, as has been seen for much of this season.  Season eight sees brothers Sam and Dean Winchester protecting a Prophet of the Lord from the demon Crowley, the new King of Hell.  The prophet, Kevin Tran, knows where tablets inscribed with the words of God are located.  During the season opener, the Winchesters discovered that these words could be used to exorcise all demons currently infesting the earth and seal the gates of Hell forever.  From what I can gather from this plot point, it seems like "Supernatural" is setting up its own end this season.   However, the show is known for its twist endings, so what could happen at the end of this season is anyone's guess.

While moving the story forward, this episode also focuses on the past.  The show has also been giving flashbacks to Dean's time in purgatory, where he had been trapped after the end of last season.  In this episode, the viewer finds out a bit more about his time there.  From the flashbacks, Dean's time in purgatory seems similar to a somehow more brutal version of "The Hunger Games" that never ends and has an endless amount of tributes.  

Dean somehow survived with the help of a vampire named Benny, and the show has been keeping his story secret so far.  Nothing new is revealed about Benny, but let's just say Dean had quite a dark side when he was trapped in Purgatory.  It's nice that this episode gives some answers to the questions that the last season's ending created.  Considering that this is only the second episode of this season, they're barebones answers at this point, but something is better than nothing.

As the story advances, the tablet that the Winchesters and company are looking for gets stolen and put up for auction by Plutus, the Greek god of wealth.  The brothers must attempt to win the tablet back.  I found this to be a hilarious scene, since most of the attendees don't bid using regular currency.  When the tablet finally appears for sale, the situation gets crazy when Crowley and an angel start making ridiculous wagers, like the Mona Lisa and the moon.  I won't spoil what happens next, but it all leads to a nice twist after the bidding, and the start of a gritty fight in which Sam kills two bad guys using Mjolnir, the Hammer of Thor

There isn't a lot that's noteworthy about this episode, but it's still an enjoyable one to watch.  The writers came up with an unusual setting that made the story play out in an interesting and hilarious fashion.  I'm glad to see that they can still create some distinctly original ideas even after all this time.  "Supernatural" may be on its eighth season, but it is far from tired.  

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