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Supernatural Review: The Truth About Witch Cats & Dogs

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Sometimes I wonder how Sam and Dean would handle the Wicked Witch of the West.

While "Man's Best Friend With Benefits" didn't involve a technicolor trip to Oz, the brothers were called upon to deal with a little toil and trouble involving a friend from their past. Turns out, this pal had been dabbling in witchcraft while gaining a really hot dog as a companion. Oh, and he's having crazy murdering dreams.

Sam & Dean Help a Cop

Portia, James the cop-witch's familiar, was a decent addition to the show. In a lot of ways, she completely stole the spotlight from her magic counterpart. Yes, she was attractive, but there was a fiery passion not only visible in her love for James but her general demeanor with everyone around her. She was sexy, confident, loyal and able to hold her own against Dean.

Is this the second time in a row that Dean's been a bit speechless around a girl?

If anything, Portia's introduction - involving the hilarious lines from Sam about asking to keep the dog only to reveal her lying on the bed seductively - was perfect. As was Dean's response. She can stay.

I'm more indifferent when it came to James. He was fine as a witch, and even his willingness to do the right thing when he thought that just maybe he might be the killer, was a good touch for his character.

But overall, he felt less like a friend from the past who had saved Sam and Dean and more like a simple character falling in line with the story being told.

At least the concept of the familiar was intriguing. Having Phillipe be a cat also makes me wonder what other kinds of animals the familiars can be. Horse? Iguana? Or is it restricted to felines and canines?

Yet overall, the whole Creature of the Week storyline didn't jump off the screen for me. It was nowhere near as exciting as facing off against the hell hounds or even a scary ghost haunting a house. Maybe I'm just not a fan of witches.

True, I guess they can fill in on performing inception when Leonardio DiCaprio is busy, but I'd be more interested in seeing witches on a grander scale than small love quibbles with each other.

I did enjoy getting to see flashbacks to major events in the Winchester brothers' lives. I'm always a sucker for getting the call backs and witnessing Dean in Hell and Sam ablaze was fantastic. It's good to see the show hasn't forgotten its own past.

Unfortunately the argument about Dean trusting Sam and letting Sam complete the trials felt like a bit of a rehash.

That said, Dean did finally seem to get on board and say that he did in fact trust Sam. I'm glad he did, and I hope that conversation can finally be put to bed. These two are in agreement and on the same page, so let's keep it that way.

But Sam coughing blood? Not good.

I've got a feeling that not only the God trials going to get harder, but Sam's going to have a lot more problems that just a little blood coming up.

This was an interesting direction for Supernatural to take after last week's well-done "Trial and Error." While I did like some aspects of the hour, the story itself never felt as personal to the brothers as it should have, especially in them trying to help out an old friend. Too bad there weren't any ruby red shoes to click together to make this a better episode. Hopefully, Sam and Dean can kick it up a notch for next week.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (114 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I don't think that a witch's familiar (if they were true) would regard their companion as a "master", but more as an equal. The fact that the writers used the term "master" was poor writing (and they shouldn't have done it). The gender/race thing in this episode was not well thought out by the writers (the doberman wore a collar, so it was around Portia's neck, and I can understand why it was, but still it was a bit misogynistic). The sex bit was ultra creepy, (for all our sakes don't ever do that again). I thought Portia was good, but the male witches lacked charisma. The story was quite uninteresting. The doberman and the cat were the highlights in this episode.

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Also sick of Sam's crap! He is not a better hunter than Dean, but stole the glory and killed the hellhound last episode, when Dean did all the work. Sam is a nob. I cannot forgive the writers for making him not look for Dean. Also, Sam had no guilt about it. He didn't care when Martin tied Dean to the radiator. He mocked Dean's bedroom at the MOL headquarters (Dean had never had a room in his life). He mocked Dean's cooking. He told Dean that he has no friends (loudly, on the phone so the vampirates could hear). He tried to kill Benny. All Sam did in S8 was commit adultery in a motel room, fixed sinks and fans, and went into the occassional, annoying, blank-looking "reverie." S8 sux.

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Sam coughing up blood? Come on, writers! Personally, I am cick of Sam's antics. I can no longer stand to watch Sam moping around, trying to make Dean feel bad, and I'm tired of his whingeing. No more demon blood nonsense, psychic pain, or soullessness stories. Enough! Give Sam a haircut, make him a hero, and make him have some decorum. The way he talks to Dean is just plain, poor script writing. He left Dean in purgatory, led Martin to his death, abandoned the (insignificant) Prophet, and then has the nerve to think he is the "honourable" one who can do the Trials of God. S8 has wasted so much time on his antics - his maintenance work at the hotel and his incredibly boring romance was pure time-wasting. Jared Padelecki is supposed to be the star of the show. I don't want to see him "cough up blood!"

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Not a good episode. Also, I have to agree with Dean, the concept of the familiar and master having sex was just plain creepy...... What were the writers thinking? That bit ruined the story, IMO it would have been a better episode without that crap. IMO the writers need to be a bit more discerning with what they put out there (I don't like the idea of dog's blood in spells, and they go overboard sometimes in the torture scenes. They should be more careful with how they do things). The doberman was nice, and the cat, but the story wasn't very interesting.

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@Kim. No, Kim - Sam needs to be a better brother to Dean! He left Dean in Purgatory, remember? He was also indifferent when Dean returned! He left his post as a hunter, and left the leviathan loose. He is wingey and whiny in S8, and he let Dean feel responsible for "ending his extremely interesting romance." Sam broke up with Amelia because she went back to her husband (and Sam at the same time). Sam cannot hang out with the best of them - he was directly responsible for Martin getting killed. He also wanted to kill Benny (when Benny saved Dean's life). He needs a haircut, and he needs to start being a better brother to Dean. Dean is a much better hunter, and got stronger in Purgatory. (Also, don't forget, Sam let Lucifer out of the cage in the first place).

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Disappointing episode. The Doberman and cat were nice, but the script and story were LAME. Come on writers!! S8 is terrible! Only two episodes stand out this season (the Henry one, and the Golem). What is happening with Cas and Naomi? Why is Samandriel dead? Why can't S8 move along? We are having too many irrelevant episodes and not enough story. Is Benny just forgotten now? The Word of God is a good idea, but they shouldn't close the gates of Hell. The MOL is a good idea, but can we meet some of these MOL? Naomi needs explaining, and the writers aren't doing it. Bitten was woeful, as is Garth and Kevin. Sam's personality has been irretrievably destroyed by these writers (he should have looked for Dean! His search should have been the flashbacks. There should have been no Amelia!). Regarding S8, I agree with jrwt!

Shelly1

I enjoyed this episode. Yeah the black woman playing a dog and having a white Master did seem a bit racist. Why couldn't she have just been the witche's girlfriend or wife like in the episode with the poker playing witch that turned Dean into an old man after he played years of his life away. That was one of my favorite episodes. "The Curious Case Of Dean Winchester" Classic... But I still love this show. Sam coughing up blood has got me nervous. Lung Cancer perhaps? God I hope not. That would be tragic after all these boys have been through together.

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I confess I loved this episode because of the dobe. I'm a dobe fanatic and was delighted that this episode captured the nature of a doberman to a T, gentle and smart and loyal and affectionate, but ready to take down a bad guy when the circumstances called for it. Apart from that, I thought the Portia character was beautifully acted, and it was nice to see Dean meet a woman who could match wits with him. And some great effects, esp the taking down of that witch who was controlling James, loved the explosion of blood amongst the smoke!

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What has happened to the writers? They should torn this script up and started over. Sure the dog-girl was interesting but the male witches, well the female witches we've seen in better seasons make them look like the douches they were. Really a wasted episode, no interesting characters, a lame story and only one good sequence which was already previewed so we all saw it before the actual episode. Even the conversation between the brothers was lame. I'm not sure I liked all the recent flashbacks as it really points out how poor the present stories and episodes really are. I've gone back to watching the old ones because I can't take re-watching the new ones. I really am getting worried that Dean is getting tired of the whole thing. The purgatory flashbacks were Dean at his best and now their gone, Benny's gone and he has nothing to do but sit around waiting for Sam to mess up. They don't even get to fight these bad guys, no salt rounds, no knife,no sex for Dean. Frankly I'm as bored as he is.

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