Perhaps as some kind of fall finale bonus, we get not one but two episodes tonight. One episode is suspenseful and emotionally intense, while the other is plodding and agonizingly boring. Unfortunately, both of these episodes are crammed into one time slot, shuffled together like a mismatched deck of cards.
The suspenseful episode: Benny the vampire has taken a job as a cook at a diner in his hometown of Carencro, Louisiana. He seems to be keeping his nose clean and even has a lovely friendship with a co-worker named Elizabeth. Nonetheless, a hunter is on his trail and it's Martin Creaser, whom we last saw in the loony bin several seasons ago. One night when a diner patron ends up dead and chewed up about the throat, Martin calls Sam Winchester with the news. Why? Because Sam is the one who sent Martin -- fresh out of the psych ward -- to keep tabs on Benny. Martin didn't actually see Benny kill the guy, but he's convinced of his guilt. Sam confesses all this to Dean, who is understandably upset, but manages to finagle some time to check up on Benny himself. Benny says that a vampire named Desmond is in town, blackmailing him into joining his nest by framing him for murder. It's all pins and needles as Dean and Benny go to hunt down Desmond because the story could go in either direction. Is Benny off the wagon or is he telling the truth? It turns out it's the latter and the two friends dispatch Desmond together. That's not good enough for Martin and Sam, though. Martin knocks Dean out cold and chains him up while he and Sam go after Benny. Lucky for Benny, Sam gets a text from Amelia and speeds off into the night to go after her. Martin, left to his own devices, threatens to kill Elizabeth, who turns out to be Benny's great-granddaughter. For some agonizing amount of time, it seems that Benny is going to sacrifice himself in order to save her.
The boring episode: Sam has more of his haze-filled Kermit, Texas flashbacks. He wants to stay with Amelia even though her dead husband Don isn't dead anymore. Then he actually meets Don, who seems like a real stand-up guy and has a change of heart.
The reality: Of course, there aren't actually two episodes. It just feels that way. In an effort to blend the disparate plots together, it's revealed that it was Dean who sent that text to Sam. He smartly used a burner cell phone to mimic Amelia's in order to draw Sam off the hunt. When Sam arrives in Kermit, he discovers that Amelia seems quite happy with Don.
At the end, Elizabeth summons Dean back to Carencro, where he discovers Martin dead -- his throat ripped out. Benny is nowhere to be seen, but presumably still alive somewhere. Martin totally had it coming, but Sam is predictably pissy about the whole thing, even though he's the one who set events into motion. Dean tries to explain, but Sam won't hear it. He would rather drown his sorrows at a local bar, where Amelia finds him so they can possibly attempt to reignite the soaking wet box of matches that was their relationship. That, for some reason, is the cliffhanger that's supposed to tide us over until January. In the meantime, stay tuned for the full recap.
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THEN! Sam and Dean got themselves locked up in the looney bin to help out a sort of endearingly nutty hunter named Martin, who was locked up in same. This was three or possibly four (by the show's time line) years ago. In the more recent past, Sam entered into the world's dullest romance with a crabby veterinarian named Amelia. After a night of tepid, fully clothed passion, Sam learned that Amelia lost her husband Don. Then, just as Sam and Amelia were finally getting settled into their humdrum life together, they found out that Don wasn't so dead, after all. Sometime after Sam left Amelia, he met Dean's new friend Benny. Benny, it turned, was a vampire, the discovering of which made Sam whip out the bitchiest bitchface you ever did see. He more or less threatened to kill Benny someday, which Dean did not especially appreciate. Then, for two episodes, they acted like absolutely nothing was wrong.
NOW! To the strains of "Born on the Bayou" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, we arrive at a quaint little diner. Its exterior seems in need of a good paint job, but the neon sign is almost ridiculously perky as it identifies the place as Guidry's Cajun Cafe. There's even a neon alligator in a neon hat, rubbing its paws over its satisfied belly. The town, we're shown, is Carencro, Louisiana. As two patrons exit the cafe, they helpfully hold open the door so the cameraman can head inside for a peek. The interior looks a bit scruffy, too, with mismatched chairs and peeling walls. A man, his back to us, works the grill. A pretty young woman behind the counter rattles off a list of instructions for the cook so he can close up for the night. "Be sure to lock up the door and set the alarm, turn off the A/C, check the burners, check the grill --" The cook finishes the thought for her: "-- and clear off the cold table." He turns around to give her a smile. It's Benny, but she calls him "Roy" as she thanks him. They have an obvious rapport, which does not go unnoticed by an old man sitting at the counter.
"Hell of a girl, that Elizabeth," says the old man once she's left. "Yeah, she really is," Benny agrees. He's damned near beaming at the mention of her. "You got designs?" asks the old man. Benny pours the man a cup of coffee and says he thinks of Elizabeth more like a little sister. When the old guy asks to take a shot at Elizabeth himself, Benny kind of laughs because the codger has about much chance of making it as a crawfish in Breaux Bridge. "She's all yours," Benny says. The only other patron taps his coffee cup on the table, signaling for a refill. It's only when Benny goes over to him do we see that he's Martin, to whom we were recently reintroduced during the THEN! segment.