Ben Edlund wrote Repo Man and Ben is a funny guy! But there is nothing funny about this episode. Edlund regards “Supernatural” writing as a format to squeak over boundaries. He states in past interviews that he’s surprised how far the show can push the envelope. Sera Gamble wants “Supernatural” episodes to be lore based. Allowing Lucifer to access one’s psyche by permission is the lore du jour. So focussing on Repo Man, I didn’t like the episode’s darkness. I loved the show but the content made me very uncomfortable! Let me explain.
Repo Man begins with flashbacks of a previous hunt. The Winchesters doing really bad stuff to a demon possessed man, Jeffrey(Russell Sams). I didn’t like watching it and I don’t like being aware of it. I know the boys have tortured possessed people but we’ve never seen this before. Denial point: the Winchesters are capable of committing atrocities. The tortured man Jeffrey later counts off to Dean, how badly he was hurt and his injuries were awful. In the beginning, when Nora(Nicole Oliver) confronts Jeffrey/demon, she’s scared poopless and runs for her life. That’s what normal people do, they run for their lives. But not the Winchesters. They slog around in the nastiness and then we as fans have the audacity to complain about their drinking! I drink because of the Winchesters!
Awful crap is revealed from this one hunt. Hurl forward four years and the same modus operandi shows up, the same demon is killing people again. And now we also see Lucifer(Mark Pellegrino) taunting Sam who can get rid of Luci by squeezing his scarred hand. The Leviathan are still at the forefront but this demon has to be dealt with right now. Nora from the past hunt leads the boys to Jeffrey who has a crap life but who is alive. After talking with Jeffrey about his life ordeals, Dean tells him, “And we’re the good guys.” The point taken here is WHAT the Winchester heroes do for humanity. I score one for the good guys.
Throughout the episode, Lucifer entices Sam to talk with him. Sam refuses. Why? Because he doesn’t want to acknowledge Lucifer? Or because when Sam does acknowledge him, then Sam has given in. During the library scene, Lucifer taunts Sam because Luci is bored. He moves in front of Sam to the point that Sam has to actually look around him to see the girl he’s watching. Sam also hallucinates people viciously bashing their own heads bloody on their table. Has Sam hallucinated like this before or is this par for his “precarious wall” course? When Sam calls Dean to no avail, Lucifer really just wants to help Sam get into touch with Dean. And Lucifer really wants to help solve this case, that’s all. Listening but not responding to Lucifer, Sam heads back to Jeffrey’s place. Sam pieces together what he has heard from Luci but his fear mounts over not reaching Dean. At Jeffrey’s squat, Sam finds a phone scrambler and demon summoning spells which throws him into fear factor overdrive. This fear forces him to listen to Lucifer. He has no choice. The same bond that has landed three Winchesters in hell, has driven them to make deals with demons is the same tie that binds Sam to listen to Lucifer right now. A bind that the Winchesters won’t break, family.
Jeffrey has guided Dean to the demon’s nest where they find a guy tied up. Dean never believes in coincidences but he seemingly follows Jeffrey with no hesitation. From behind, Jeffrey drugs Dean with a needle and ties him up. Dean quickly figures out the hunt. Jeffrey is a serial killer who can’t kill without the demon Merrick and Jeffrey wants Merrick back. The only way to bring Merrick back is to use Dean’s blood for a summoning ritual. Jeffrey also needs animal blood so he kills his newly rescued dog. Edlund really pushes emotional boundaries here, our love for pets. I know the dog had far more people crying over it’s death than did Jeffrey. After the demon enters the bound captive, Nora’s son, it hugs Jeffrey and then dances with him in celebration. The demon then slaps Jeffrey to the ground because he’s not using him again. Poor serial killer Jeffrey.
Sam makes his way to the warehouse with Lucifer’s niggling help. The demon has slapped Jeffrey down and Sam arrives just in time to fight the demon. Dean gets loose to then shoot Jeffrey, a human, not a supernatural monster. Nora is with Sam, chants the demon banishment spell and the demon is gone. Edlund really brings a moral issue front and center. When is it ok to kill? Who makes the decision about who lives or dies. Dean murdered a human, the same man he’d previously badly tortured to get to a demon. The same man he dumped at a hospital to get cared for. So what exactly does that make Dean?
The boys enter their motel room with Dean collapsing on the bed. He opts for unconsciousness but not before he mumbles how psychopaths act, that’s all they do is act. They act like everything is normal until it isn’t. Dean describes Sam. As Dean falls to sleep, Lucifer is so excited to play with Sam. Sam rubs his scar to disintegrate Lucifer but it doesn’t work. Lucifer informs Sam that he’s let him in and with that, flames erupt surrounding Sam. The lore factor is based on giving the devil access to a your psyche. And Edlund goes there. When Sam responds to Lucifer out of sheer brotherly fear for Dean, listening to Lucifer, Lucifer wins.
So I ask this question, “does the end justify the means?” Edlund has given us this moral fodder to ponder. I believe the Winchesters are walking a very fine line with the death of Amy/monster, Emma/monster and now Jeffrey/human monster. Where are the lines drawn and at what will the Winchesters draw their line? Please share your thoughts. I give you what I think from my eyes, my life, and my views. Until March the 16th…. stay supernatural.
Ben Edlund info: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0249421/