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10 Great Moments From Supernatural, Season 9 Episode 13 | “The Purge”

It’s very hard to defend that I watch this show for the deep emotional impact it has on me when the previews show Sam in shorts and a tank top…and those arms…and the pretty…and…what was I saying again? Wait. Right. Deep emotional impact. This week’s episode had it. Plus humor. And a cool monster. And nods to past episodes. But mostly? The PadaArms. I’m not gonna lie. Until the last five minutes, it was all about the PadaArms.

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1.  It’s a Beautiful HuntCave Morning

Any scene in the HuntCave is a welcome one. I love learning more about the place, and seeing the detail that the set designers put into it. This week? It was all about the kitchen with it’s adorable olde timey-time fridges. Dean drinks there, alone, in both the opening and closing scenes, and somehow the starkness works for the painful revelations around the dinner table.  It’s heartbreaking to see Dean feeling so alienated from Sam, not sleeping, trying to drown his sorrows in alcohol to the point where he doesn’t even avoid research. Even the thought of him taking a “whore’s bath” doesn’t help the melancholy.

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2.  Honesty . . . Is Such a Lonely Word

The theme of this aptly double-entendre titled episode is honesty. When it matters and when it doesn’t. A vic lying about her weight? Dean telling a server he’s 29? Even Dean telling Sam he can’t question a female fitness trainer because he’s “Sam weird” around girls? Not a big deal. Other stuff? Massive. Crushing. In the opening scene, Sam asks Dean if he is still upset about what he said after Garth. Dean scoffs. “Oh, about that we’re not supposed to be brothers? Don’t flatter yourself. I don’t break that easy.” Sam’s just being honest, but Dean is lying through his perfect teeth. Of course he does. No one can break Dean faster than Sam.

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3.  Gypsies, Tramps and Leaves

The first victim we see is a 316 pound competitive eater who is mysteriously liposuctioned to death. Sam and Dean go to question his slender arch-nemesis, Slim Jim, who gorges on lettuce to stretch his stomach before a competition. “Yet another reason to stay away from salads,” Dean mutters, grossed out. As if he needed a reason.

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Anyway, the world’s most glorious/horrible wedding photo ever reveals that Slim Jim is married to Mala, who is Romanichal (aka: a gypsy). Mala has made a Putsi charm with the first vic’s hair and a “bag full of weird”. Interestingly? Not a curse. It was for good luck. She was in love with him, and, as Dean says, the cushion with which he did his pushin’. “Wayne used to call me his Princess Jasmine,” she says, and Dean smiles a little, fondly. His voice may be gravelly, but Dean’s heart? All velvet.

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4.  Monster of the Week

(Author’s note: My husband proposed calling this section “Lipo-ltergeist” or “ChubbyCabra” or “Puts the Die in Diet”. Can Cain come back and silence his horrible puns?)

Not everyone loves the Monster of the Week episodes, especially when we’re smack in the middle of so much angsty angst, so if you’re going to have one, make it a scary or gross one, please. This one? Mostly the latter. This creature takes all the fat you’ve got, showing you can, in fact, be too thin. The connecting thread of the vics is the weird suction marks they all have on their bodies. Turns out? Some happy, healthy living people have them, too. And they were obtained at the Canyon Valley Wellness Spa. Dean and Sam decide to go undercover and are hired by the founders, husband and wife team Maritza and Larry.

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Dean tries to convince the couple that he and Sam and the new Hanz and Franz, adorably failing, and ends up the handsomest man ever to wear a hairnet. And Sam? Sam is going to better, less clothes wearing places.

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6.  Sam Zenchester

Bare feet. Strong calves. Rippling biceps. That damned PadaHair on an exposed shoulder. The only thing I hated about the scene where Sam taught Ashtanga yoga was its brevity. There ain’t nothin’…NOTHING…wrong with Sam’s cover in this episode, even though he is about as talented a yogi as the bear. He walks around as the students perform downward facing dog and sees they all have the suction marks. Most unrealistic part of the episode? That Sam Winchester would lay his hand on your bare back and you wouldn’t pass out completely.

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Come on. Look at those DIMPLES! It can’t be only me.

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7.  All Kinds of Win-Jokes

This episode was a treat for us long time viewers. Dean mentions the movie “Rudy” (as he did in Season Eight’s “Goodbye Stranger”). We hear “Nice shorts.” (as we did in Season Four’s “After School Special”). We remember Dean’s old lady love, poor sad Lisa, as Sam says, “You’re not the only one who’s ever dated someone bendy.” And, of course, there is a hilarious Dean scene involving pudding (as there was in Season Five’s “Sam, Interrupted” ). Dean, it turns out, is unknowingly serving roofied salted caramel pudding to the guests. He indulges in it himself, because it’s the “Best of both worlds. Salty and sweet.” And all of us ever PMSd ladies shout, “RIGHT?!?!” And speaking of Dean and food…

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8.  Dean Dies…Wait. NO! I mean…Dean Dines

One of the best things about the ep? Seeing Dean’s twisted relationship with food. When the town Sheriff mentions eating your pain, I swear she was looking at Dean. It’s all hilarious. His disgust at the sight of tofu pancakes. Passing out after the poisoned pudding and muttering, “Sweet potatoes!”

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And, in one of the funniest scenes in recent memory, Dean eating a powdered donut, completely covering his face in sugar.

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Not only is it adorable to watch how much he enjoys his treat (and how chagrined Sam is as he tries to get him to wipe his face) it’s also a visual reminder of how childlike Dean is and always will be. Which plays into the final, emotional scene beautifully. Funny thought? Dean mentions that they are dealing with a “Thinner” situation, of course referring to the Stephen King/Richard Bachman novel. Which is about a cursed, killer pie. Dean’s nightmare.

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9.  Brotherly Love

So, get this? Maritza is the monster. She confesses to Dean that she is a Pishtaco. “A fish taco?” Dean asks, confused. Nope. It’s not a delicious dish, it’s a Peruvian Fat Sucker. A parasite. And kitchen worker Alonso, her brother, is one too. Alonso is the one who has been eating more than his fill and killing people, and his competitive eating streak now includes the chef and Maritza’s husband Larry himself. Maritza, who does not kill and tries to live “a better way” is devastated. She tells the boys how to kill Alonso, leading to an eerie and tense basement battle. (Props to the lighting department for this one!)

Sambasement

Sam looks down and out, but then Dean ends up killing Alonso by (grossly) cutting off his…lipo-sucker? (Never mind, Bill Nye, I know it’s a proboscis. Lipo-sucker is funnier.) Dean wants to waste Maritza too, but Sam stops him by asking how he would feel if someone had killed him while he was possessed by Gadreel, and Dean reluctantly agrees to let her go back to Peru. Maritza asks Sam what he told the cops. “The usual. Psycho killer on the loose. They usually buy it.” Don’t they just. She tells him, heartbroken, “I lost my whole family today.” Another one of Dean’s nightmares, that is slowly coming true.

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10.  The Famous Final Scene

(Moment of silence for Kevin Tran before we discuss. Sob.)

Back in the HuntCave, as in the beginning. Dean wants to talk it out. He says that saving Sam was the right thing and he’d do it again. “That’s the problem,” Sam says. Sam doesn’t want Dean to be his savior any more. He sees all that has gone wrong since his angelic resurrection and wants to know the upside of him being alive. “You kidding me?” Dean asks. “You and me. Fighting the good fight together.” You saved me for yourself, Sam counters, so you wouldn’t have to be alone. You would have done the same, Dean says. “No, Dean,” Sam replies quietly. “I wouldn’t. Same circumstances. I wouldn’t.” This honesty–the heaviest and most devastating of the episode–emotionally slaughters Dean where he stands.

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I have a lot of thoughts about this controversial scene, that is currently wreaking havoc with the fandom. My bottom line is this: the one thing that Sam consistently wanted in Season Eight was independence. To figure out where he belonged in the world, and to walk his path alone. Sam has always been an extension of Dean, and, now that he is a man, he is desperate to find who he is unto himself. I believe he is angry that Dean still treats him like a kid. That Dean lives in the past, and will always think of him as someone to protect. Choose for. In telling Dean he wouldn’t have saved him, I don’t believe, in any way, he is saying he doesn’t love Dean anymore. That Dean isn’t the most important person in his life. What he is saying is that he needs Dean to see him as a man, rather than just his snot-nosed kid brother. That he would have respected Dean’s wants as an independent entity, and let him make his choice (something Sam would not have done when he was young and didn’t have the experience he has now.) Does Sam really believe that? I think he does. Will Sam do so if presented with the choice? I don’t think he will. But I think, and it scares me to admit it, that we’re going to get the chance to see exactly what Sam would do in the face of Dean dying before this season’s out.

We’ll have a mini-hiatus to ponder the whole mess, I guess. I’m going to console myself by learning a very abbreviated version of Ashanta yoga. I have a video I plan to watch, over and over, until I get it just right. See you in a few weeks, when we discuss the upcoming episode, “Captives”.

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About Barbara Doyle (165 Articles)
Barbara Sirois Doyle is a Contributing Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee. She is a writer, mixed-media artist, and, most important, a wife and mother to her boyos three. She is a voracious reader, unapologetic uber-geek, and lover of all types of music, from Public Enemy to Rachmaninoff. If she's not watching Supernatural or Doctor Who, she is likely trolling the internet for amusing cat photos. She takes her coffee light with no sugar.

6 Comments on 10 Great Moments From Supernatural, Season 9 Episode 13 | “The Purge”

  1. I rarely “lol” at a review, and you got me twice! I had issues with this episode, but it also had a lot of great moments. I am a “Sam girl”, through and through, but this was a tough one. I know they’ll bring it back around. I just need some patience. Oh, and yeah, if Sam/Jared touched my back, I might not survive…and I’d die happy.

  2. I can’t remember what season it was but Dean was dying because he’d traded his soul for Sam’s life. Sam kept fighting for Dean. When D did die Sam tried to trade his soul to get him back. After that season there were a lot of shows where Dean kept having problems and it always came back to him saying what’s dead should stay dead…this leaked back to John trading HIS soul so Dean could live. …This is a recurring theme with the brothers. Sam is more like soul-less Sam, but only because he’s guilt ridden about what Gadreel did and, remember, his primary reason for doing the Trials was to be purified. He failed. So he’s added that to his list of failures and what if he’s right? What if he’d been allowed to complete the trials and had died and then the angels wouldn’t have fallen, Kevin would still be alive, etc…if he were dead. We need to remember that Metatron is a liar/story teller.

    Castiel said that he was the only one who had screwed up more consistently than Sam. He’s wrong, Gadreel did. And Gadreel, a tortured angel for screwing up at the garden. Probably a little psycho and confused…just like Sam. They have a lot in common; especially the desire for redemption. I think these things are going to play out interestingly. And in the side lines, the brothers might move beyond ‘the family business’ just being hunting and being more about each other as equals, as well as destiny in that nothing about their lives has ever really been a choice but a reaction.

    Too far? 🙂

  3. I really enjoyed your review of ” The Purge ” ! I want to agree with all you have mentioned about Sam and his desperation to seek independence ! This is something that everyone should see and know , that because Dean is not willing to do the ” Winchester business ” alone , doesn’t mean he can take Sam’s choices ! Sometimes love for your brother doesn’t justify the brutal outcome to the said brother and his life and even your friends’ lives !
    And i want to send a fruit basket to anyone who came up with the idea of Sam as a yoga trainer ! The man and his glorious body is a piece of art !

  4. This mindset is exactly the kind of place Dean stands in before he leaps off a cliff. I think you are right, I think Dean will cease to care about his own safety (even more than he already does), and do a lot of really foolish/suicidal things. Dean like this breaks my heart, and Jensen Ackles is an amazing actor. Sam.. I can’t tell if he really understands what he’s doing, or if he knows, and is just too angry to care. I re-watched the clip of Dean getting ready to commit suicide (Say yes to Michael, but that was how it was it was being written/acted out), and it was all on the heels of Sam leaving him alone. Something has to give, it actively hurts to watch every episode, and I can’t be the only one who cries every time.
    No wonder the actors are pie-ing each other in the face. It has to be really tense on set, especially with actors so into their craft. Looking forward to Season 9 blooper shenanigans.

  5. I love all the harkens back to older episodes. I so wanted Dean to quietly smile and mutter the word… “PUDDING!” But the fact that he ate it, and it was pudding was enough nod.

    Ugh, the ending was brutal. I think you’re right, in all you stated though. Sam has always wanted Dean to be proud of him and to know he could stand on his own two feet. It’s hard to go from being a father figure your whole life to just a “brother” though. Sam needs to understand that.

    While I adore Sam, I’ve always felt his character, as the baby brother has always been a little selfish. I don’t know how to word it correctly but let’s just say I feel like Dean is ALWAYS giving himself over to care for his kid brother and others, while Sam often becomes absent in both person and mind. Not saying he doesn’t care, I know he does but he went away quite a few times to try to get away from the life, for himself and no one else. Neither is right, neither is completely wrong. 🙂

    I always love your reviews, keep up the great work.

  6. I love your review! And I agree with your premonition about the direction this season will go in. But I have to say, I think Sam has already shown what he would do if Dean were dying when he didn’t even bother trying to find out what happened to him when he was in purgatory (never mind trying to save him, Sam didn’t even bother to find out where he went) – he would move on. Sam has always had an independent streak. Meanwhile Dean is almost codependent. It’s not healthy, but damn does it make for an awesome show. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out.

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