Supernatural Newbie Review – Episode 120 “Dead Man’s Blood”

After eleven seasons, something possessed me (see what I did there) to start watching Supernatural from the beginning. If you are a fan of the series, feel free to go back and re-watch it with me. Please do not be a troll and post spoilers for future episodes in the comments section. If you have been wanting to start Supernatural, then I encourage you to watch with me. Spoilers for the series as I go.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

The Winchesters (all three of them) hunt some vampires. Buffy Summers would be proud.

“Vampires! Gets funnier every time I hear it…” Dean exclaims after learning about their existence. It is funny that in Supernatural lore, the Winchester sons didn’t know these creatures actually existed outside of horror movies and teen (abstinence based) fantasies. What brings Dean, Sam, and John to hunt vampires? The death of John’s friend, Daniel Elkins (Terence Kelly) at the hands of a pack looking for revenge. Sam and Dean read about the death of Elkins in a report about a bear attack and recognize the name in their father’s journal. They go to investigate and find their father.

At first John is there to find the blood-suckers who killed his friend, but after receiving a letter from Elkins, John finds an answer to his demon problem. There has been rumors about a Colt made to kill anything as long as it is firing one of its original thirteen bullets (half of them have been used already). John wants that gun to kill the demon who killed his wife. The problem is, the vampires have it.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

John being the John, he doesn’t tell his sons about the gun or clue them into a plan until it suits him to do so. This is very much a different meeting than the one he and his sons had the last time. In “Shadow”, it had been sometime since John has seen his boys (a few years since he and Sam had spoken), so it was all hugs and tears. This time around, John is hunting with his sons and his way of doing things is how things are going to go. He is the commander, they are the soldiers.

Except he forgot how much Sam likes to question and argue. Dean, wanting nothing more than for his family to be together, is caught in the middle trying to make peace even though John’s dismissive treatment of Dean and Sam’s experience they have gained in hunting on their own is difficult for Dean to deal with. And how dare John criticize how Dean has taken care of the Impala!

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

Eventually Dean stands up to him and calls him out on his need to face the demon alone. “We’re stronger as a family… You know it.” In the end, after his sons disobey a direct order (and save John’s life when everything doesn’t go to plan), John relents. They are going for the demon as a family with the colt.

One good thing that comes of John’s bossiness is he and Sam finally have the fight they needed to have. Sam may have come to terms with some things, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t take the opportunity to confront John about his telling Sam to “not come back” when the younger Winchester decided to go. To his credit, John does finally admit this was not what he wanted for his sons. He had started college funds for them when they were born (that would later be spent on ammo). But the evil he knew existed after the death of Mary made him revert to what he knew best. Be a soldier, raise his sons to be survivors. When Sam wanted to leave, John was afraid for his youngest being on his own and he lashed out.

In a wonderfully emotional moment John tells Sam that they two of them are different, but Sam knows better. “We’re not different,” Sam admits, “not anymore.” Sam knows the kind of loss John suffered, “we probably have a lot more in common than just about anyone.”

Something a commenter from my other reviews of Supernatural pointed out to me is John Winchester is not a loved figure in the series with fans. At first this shocked me, but then it made total sense. We fans (and yes, I am a fan of the show even though I haven’t even finished the first season) love Sam and Dean and are a bit protective of our guys. Seeing someone, even if it is their father, behave toward them the way we see John treat them in the beginning of the episode makes us angry.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

Despite the fact that they have made up for now, I’m willing to bet John, Dean, and Sam are going to be at each other’s throats again more over something. That’s what family does, they fight with one another. Plus, if John still has the ire of fans, he must have done more to piss them off. For now, John has my forgiveness and that is in large part due to my love for Jeffery Dean Morgan.

Every show, book, or movie that approaches vampires has to put its own spin on it or else the appeal of the creature gets really old. Supernatural stripped the vampire’s weaknesses down to the basics, but kept the blood lust which makes it a terrifying predator. Sunlight is bothersome, but not lethal. Nothing of a religious nature can hurt it (crosses, holy water, etc.). A stake to the heart will not cut it. Beheading is the only way to kill one (unless you have the Colt), but dead man’s blood (hence the title) can weaken them. The lack of vampires’ presence on a show where many other mystical elements are plentiful is explained as they have been hunted into near extinction.

I liked their take on vampire lore. Romanticism of vampires is fine in the occasional book or teen driven TV show, but I like my blood-suckers to be scary. The ones on this episode may not have been 30 Days of Night terrifying, but they are better than Twilight.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

What did you think of “Dead Man’s Blood”? Are you happy to see the Winchesters banded together for a fight? What do you think of Supernatural’s take on vampires? Let me know what you think in the comments section below and please do not post spoilers for future episodes.

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

2 comments on “Supernatural Newbie Review – Episode 120 “Dead Man’s Blood”

  1. Man, that fight between Sam and John may not be violent, but it sure was brutal. And my heart breaks for Dean, who just wants everybody to get along. For a while I followed someone else who was doing an episode-by-episode SPN watch, they kept insisting that Dean is this bro-iest macho man to ever macho little more, and I’m just like “What show are you watching?” Clearly, Dean has a lot of feels (that he tries really hard to bury).

    But I think the San and John make-up conversation here is what keeps me on the John train. Because I do think intent matters, and what John intended was to do what he thought was best. Now, some of his decisions and attitudes end up not actually being the best, but that’s part of being human.

    • That was a brutal fight between John and Sam, but like I said, it was a fight that needed to happen in order for them to move on and rebuild. I am glad the two men acknowledged how a like they are.

      It is funny to me how much my opinions of the brothers have changed since starting the show, but I’m going to talk about that more when I get to the last two episodes. Dean is brave and tough, but not at all macho like. He does cover his feelings with a joke, but he lets them out when it counts. Hence the “stronger as a family” speech.

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