SupernaturalSeason Eight Episode Nine “Citizen Fang” TV REVIEW
Episode 8.09 Writer: Daniel Loflin Director: Nick Copus
THE ONE WHERE Sam recruits a hunter to spy on Benny.
VERDICT For the most part, this mid-season finale is worryingly humdrum. After everything we’ve seen so far it’s obvious from the start that Benny isn’t to blame for the grisly murders, leading to a “Blood Brother”-light quest to behead the vamp causing all the problems.
Where this episode really impresses is the unbearably tense final confrontation between an off-the-rails Martin Creeser and Benny in the Louisiana diner. It’s a stunningly well-directed little sequence that has your heart doing backflips, despite the fact it features and a girl we’re only introduced to 40 minutes earlier and neither Winchester. Martin is a great little character – unpredictable but driven. Your sympathies constantly shift. At times he’s a figure of pity, at others, one of revulsion. It’s a shame he had to make a bloody exit so soon.
Sam also gets his own heart-breaking little sequence, running away to save Amelia and leaving Martin to fend for himself. That it’s all a double cross by Dean makes Sam’s out-of-character decision to stick with Martin despite the former inmate clocking big brother Winchester a little more palatable. With Crowley out of the picture (for the moment) it’s reassuring how much of the drama is character driven this year, and just how captivating it is. Aside from demon gates and prophets, the real motivators of season eight have been Amelia and Benny. Will the Winchesters ever be able to accept others getting in the way of their brotherly love? (Put the pens down, slash writers).
This episode also marks the conclusion to one of Supernatural’s strongest run of episodes in two years. Here’s hoping new showrunner Jeremy Carver can keep up the momentum in the second half of season eight when Supernatural returns in January.
DEAN WISECRACKING “You’re out of pecan? Story of my life.”
CONTINUITY Martin previously appeared in the season five episode “Sam, Interrupted” where he asked Sam to investigate a case of dead patients in their asylum. Actor John Gries is probably still best known for playing Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite.
BEHIND THE SCENES This is British Director Nick Copus’s first time behind the camera for Supernatural. Previously he worked on Alphas, Alcatraz, The Day Of The Triffids, The 4400, The Dead Zone, Painkiller Jane and Eastenders. A mixed bag then!
BEHIND THE SCENES 2 After writing 16 scripts together with Andrew Dabb, this is the first episode Daniel Loflin has a solo credit on. The inverse was true of Andrew Dabb last week. Perhaps they fancied some time apart?
SAM’S HANGDOG EXPRESSION OF THE WEEK
TITLE TATTLE The title seems an obvious riff on Citizen Kane, but is actually a closer fit to classic Simpsons “Treehouse Of Horror” episode “Citizen Kang”. Probably doesn’t mean anything, but thought we’d point it out.
IT’S WOSSERNAME! Kathleen Munroe played the Fraudrey Parker in Haven, Rush’s love interest Amanda Perry in Stargate Universe and Danielle Rosen in Alphas. She’s also previously appeared in Supernatural as Annette Doolittle in the episode 3.02 “The Kids Are Alright”.
(PEDANTIC) GOOF Sam gets the name of the institution Martin was discharged from wrong, it’s Glenwood Springs, not Glendale Springs.