Supernatural Season 9 Review “The Purge” – A Relationship too Broken to Fix?

The Purge

In this episode of Supernatural, called “The Purge,” Sam and Dean take on a new case involving people at a spa who die from too much weight loss, while still dealing with their own internal demons.

I have to say that I had a hard time classifying this episode. The preview made it look like one of the classic comedy episodes, with Sam giving yoga classes and Dean snarfing down donuts in a hair net. But it turned out to have a little too much angst for a comedy episode, which also made it more than just a standard Monster of the Week episode. As it turned out, this one was a mix of everything.

After this episode, I think I may have joined the group who are angry with Sam. In my last review, I truly did feel like I understood where Sam was coming from and that both of them had reasons to feel the way they did. I wasn’t sure how they were going to get through this new hiccup in their relationship, but I figured they would work it out somehow.

But the coldness emanating from Sam in the beginning of this episode really started to get to me, just like I know it was getting to Dean even though he was trying to deny it. It made the episode harder to watch because underneath all of their normal banter, there was this unexpressed resentment coming from both of them that took a lot of the humor out of the scenes with the hairnet and the donut and the yoga.

The little bit of anger I felt in the beginning was switched on high when Dean and Sam had their final talk at the end of the episode. It was when Sam told Dean that everything he had done was wrong and that all of the bad stuff – Kevin’s death, Crowley’s escape – were because of Dean and his choice to save Sam. Dean has no problem with blaming everything that has gone wrong in their lives (all the way back to when they were kids) on himself, I really don’t think he needed Sam to add fuel to that fire.

Then Sam talked about being ready to die and how Dean kept him alive for his own sake. The thing is I don’t deny that, but for Sam to claim that he himself wouldn’t do that when he already HAS done it just made my blood boil. If Sam thinks that he would have let Dean die had the tables been turned – when he had a viable option to keep his brother alive – I think he is just plain fooling himself.

Then again, maybe I’m the one fooling myself. After all, Sam did move on and start a new life after his brother was sent to Purgatory. Maybe that’s what Sam meant when he said they had different ideas about their roles in everything. Maybe Sam really is willing to let Dean die now and, though the idea of them sacrificing themselves to save each other is painful, the idea that one of them is no longer willing to do it is even more so.

Will the boys ever be on the same page again? That’s a question I find myself asking, but sadly don’t have an answer to.

My favorite bits:

Dean claiming he didn’t sleep because Rudy was on.

“Witchcraft?”
“Or a heavy duty laxative.”

“About us not being brothers? Don’t flatter yourself, I don’t break that easily.” – Yeah, right Dean. Keep telling yourself that.

Dean and the powdered sugar donut. That is all.

“I hate to say it, but karma’s a bitch.”

Sam’s stare of death when Dean started talking about a “little extra cushion.”

Sam pointing out to Dean that he lied about his age, after Dean claimed all women lied about their weight. Aw Dean, 29? Really?

Dean telling Sam he was “Sam weird” around girls. It was all funny until the “being honest” part. Guess Dean was taking it harder than he admitted. Ouch.

Personal training brothers. OMG Sam and Dean would make a FORTUNE if they really did that.

Sam in his workout gear. That is all.

“Nice shorts.”
“Nice hairnet.”

“How do you know anything about yoga?” “You’re not the only one who dated someone bendy.”

Scary sucking tongue! Scary sucking tongue!! Ahhhh!! *hides eyes*

Oh yeah, Dean was soooo going to start snarfing down that pudding.

Dean going down like a sack of potatoes… onto sacks of potatoes.

Dean snuggling onto the potato sack after Sam left.

The entire roofie conversation.

“Okay, I’m no health nut, but that. is just wrong.” – I am definitely with him on that one.

“I’m a pishtaco.”
“A fish taco?” – I totally thought she said that, too.

Dean saving Sam at the last second. Whew! And also, ew.

“I wanted to keep things business between us, but I still have a heart.”

Feeling like my heart was being stomped on during that entire final conversation between the boys.

What did you think of this episode of Supernatural? Got any favorite bits or least favorite bits of your own? Sound off in the comments below, I love hearing from you guys!

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About The Author

Michelle is a freelance writer, editor and blogger who is a self-proclaimed geek and fangirl. She has always loved tv, especially action driven dramas and sci-fi. It all started when she was a little girl with shows like Tales From The Gold Monkey and the original Battlestar Galactica. She and her friends used to act out their favorite episodes using lawn furniture and stuffed animals as props. These days she still loves action driven dramas and sci-fi, with a little bit of comedy and horror thrown in the mix as well.

  • Caroll

    I’m angry with the writers for what they’re doing to Sammy or to the brother’s relationship…. “Conflict is good” sure, but this one doesn’t make sens!

  • Jessica Breaux

    “If Sam thinks that he would have let Dean die had the tables been turned
    – when he had a viable option to keep his brother alive – I think he is
    just plain fooling himself.”

    I don’t think that’s what he was saying. I think he was saying that if the tables had been turned, he would not have made the same choice for Dean that Dean made for him. And I think that’s true. Sam is under the misconception that Dean only made the deal with Gadreel and saved him because he (Dean) didn’t want to be left alone. That’s only partially true. There is so much more to it than that. The line between father and brother blurred for Dean long ago, and he’s really become more of a father than a brother. Because of that, Dean will do whatever he has to do to protect and/or save Sam. What parent wouldn’t? That blurred father/brother line has also caused Dean to be overly controlling and not respectful of Sam’s boundaries. That’s not an indictment of Dean. It just is what it is. That father/brother line was never blurred for Sam because he never had to take on the kind of protective and nurturing role towards Dean that Dean had to take on toward him. Therefore, Sam honestly cannot understand why Dean won’t just let him die. That is also why he believes that he wouldn’t have made the same choice for Dean that Dean made for him. I do think there will come a time (hopefully in the VERY near future) where Sam is forced to eat those words though.

    • Jeri Feldhaus

      Omg.. I love you. Really. I have continuously said the same thing so many times!! Dean is like Sam’s father. He would do anything to protect his “son”.

      I wish that would come up somehow. (Why we need Bobby back!)

      Also, Sam said, “Under the same circumstances… no, I wouldn’t” Everyone misses the UNDER THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCES part. lol. If the situation was different the decision would not be the same. :) You are so right on. Love reading someone who sees things like i do… the “right” way. :)

      • Jessica Breaux

        We need Bobby back for so many reasons! I love Bobby so much and I don’t think I’ll ever really get over the fact that he’s gone.

  • Joan MacLean

    Honestly, I feel like the current show runner is sacrificing the Sam character. I’m having a hard time thinking of a scenario that will satisfy me as the tone of this season. I felt the opening and closing scenes ruined last night’s episode for me. As you noted what should have been light moments appeared to have overtones of the tense relationship.
    The 1/2 half of 8 made absolutely no sense either (in terms of the brother relationship). The whys of why Sam did not looking for Dean never got explained. It was as of the writing staff had an “oh shit” moment and couldn’t figure out how to tie everything together. After a wonderful finale episode last season where the brothers chose each other, we are back to square one and again.
    Season 9 has seen little of Sam’s prospective and consequently he is the whipping boy again this season. I am finding that the last two seasons have been dreadful for a fan that watches solely for the brother relationship.
    Ackles and Padalecki have the most amazing chemistry as brothers on the show when the writing supports it. They are the shows greatest strength. My enjoyment of this show has dwindled with the absence of showcasing that.
    I am not sure the current writing staff fully appreciate the viewers response to the repeated rehashing/angst of issues of old that have been formally dealt with but the complete avoidance of many that have never been resolved. I suspect after the debacle that was Sam’s story in early Season 8 that they may not be best suited to effectively deliver him from this debacle. There have been repeated continuity issues last and this season. This is not S 1-7 Sam. Nothing makes sense.

    • Caroll

      Totally agree!

      • Joan MacLean

        Thanks….guess I should proof for spelling next time before I post huh? Yikes!

        • Caroll

          :) You got the message through!

    • Pakinam and Voice

      Trust me, it took me most of season 8, and an entire hiatus after to wrap
      my head around Sam’s decision to not search for Dean, lay off, and drop the hunter’s life, and not look back. I don’t think I understand it completely, even now.

      But let’s review some facts …

      Sam didn’t look for Dean from day 1. He met the girl (which people claim is the reason why Sam settled for not looking for Dean) three months (three!) after his brother vanished. He met her way AFTER he had made a decision to let him go. So the decision to fall back and not lift a finger to help Kevin or find his brother was not made neither in the pursuit of “normal” nor for “a girl and a dog.” Sam said his world has imploded after he lost Dean. We don’t even know how he was dealing in those first three months, on his own. God knows where his head was at. And Amelia (I hate her too fyi) was like a lifeline, and he held on to it. It’d be heartless to blame him for hanging in there.

      He was only with Amelia for a few months before her
      thought-to-be-dead husband resurfaced, and Sam was left alone again.
      That didn’t change anything. He still didn’t look for Dean. His cell
      phones were still turned off. He was still off hunting, and off the grid. So one could easily argue that these decisions were all divorced from his short-lived relationship with Amelia.

      His year away from Dean didn’t seem “happy” … even
      the way he explains how he was “happy” with her sounded miserable.
      There’s probably a reason why the flashbacks we saw with Amelia were
      over-saturated with color, almost like a dream, like an elaborate
      illusion. Something fragile. Unreal.

      Sam wasn’t exactly happy, I think. The truth was: the little brother who wanted so much to take the wheel, be his own boss, and hated his big brother’s co-dependency simply couldn’t function without him … but he also couldn’t afford to make stupid decisions (like making deals, following untrusted sources and/or shady characters who might or might not lead him to his brother, etc. He learned from his demon-addiction experience). There was no one around him to give him any hat tips or hints. So he stayed put. In other words, without his brother, or the right connections, he couldn’t trust himself to do the right thing, or to follow the right lead. That’s big. That takes courage to
      acknowledge, even if that was done on a sub-conscious level. It also
      produces a lot of pain.

      Does dropping Kevin seem like a rational
      thing to do? Something that someone like Sam, righteous, conscientious and compassionate, would do? No, but he did it. Why? Because he was at rock bottom. He was disenchanted. It didn’t come from a place of empowerment,but from weakness and an ugly self-realization; from the idea inside Sam’s head that Sam on his own
      cannot be counted on, or trusted. That he fucked up. And that he’s boundto fuck up again if he tries to fix things.

      So he let other people deal with the ghosts, and demons, and world’s end. And his brother? Last time he tried to avenge him, put his heart on a sleeve, and followed his own head, he started the apocalypse. So maybe his big brother was better off without Sam’s help (or so Sam thought). Or perhaps like Sam said, he simply didn’t know where to start, or secretly was so self-loathing, full of doubt, that he couldn’t pluck up enough
      will/energy to start anywhere. He was spent.

      Maybe he thought Dean was in a better place? Dead. He did mention that he thought Dean was gone. There was no reason he’d lie about that.

      On the surface, sure he might have justified it all differently (confusing us in the process); by saying he wanted normal, defending his decision not to look for Dean, or saying that hunting only brought him misery and ended his entire family, or that he’s not the only hunter in the
      world so why should he carry the burden anymore? But even if there’s a grain of truth there, and there probably
      is, it’s not the whole truth. He probably doesn’t understand the depth
      of it himself.

      When Dean was back, when Sam had his anchor again, he chose hunting and being with Dean over Amelia. And that was that.

      Almost a year later, I think I get it. Of course, I’d loved it if the writers elaborated. They didn’t. But they left some clues.

  • Rayanne

    I love Sam but his attitude about the whole Dean not letting him die is getting old. Dean did what he had to do. If Dean was Sam’s position, Sam would of done the same. Sam just needs to get over it before he pisses Dean off so bad, that the damage will be done and their relationship will broken. Get off your high horse Sam and be grateful your still alive. You got Dean to thank for that.

  • Jennifer Lundstrom

    I’m surprised we aren’t talking about Sam’s statement: “What is the upside of me being alive?” That was very revealing to me that he may feel victimized/traumatized by having his choice taken away by Dean and his body possessed by something that brought more harm than good. I’m not mad at Sam. I’m sad for him that he would feel that way.

    • Jessica Breaux

      Part of the problem is that we don’t really KNOW what Sam feels. We’ve
      never really known how Sam feels because he’s never really been the
      emotional center of the show. We’re very clear on Dean’s thoughts/feelings/motivations etc because the majority of the story is told from Dean’s perspective. We’ve only been privy to Sam’s thoughts/feelings/motivations etc. in spurts and pieces. Even though Dean used to poke at Sam for being overly emotional, Sam has never actually revealed much about his headspace. He always wants Dean to talk about his feelings, but Sam rarely does. Even during ‘First Born’ when Cas and Sam were in the MOL bunker, we learned more about Cas’s headspace than we did about Sam’s. All Sam did for the most part was listen. Sam has always driven the mythology, but he’s never driven the emotional elements of the story. As such, we’re left to try to infer what Sam is thinking and/or feeling. You may be right that he’s feeling victimized and/or traumatized, but we won’t know that unless and until he tells us how he feels.

      • Kelly Nichols

        I agree with you that Sam doesn’t say everything he feels. He keeps everything in and always has. Even in Season 5 he talked about all this anger inside of him. The boys really need to have a good long, serious talk about all this crap. I am a bit disappointed in this story arc.
        Sam seems to feel defeated in every way. There is no upside to him being alive? I know the trials kicked the crap out of him but he said he thought they were purifying him (the demon blood) and I thought (hoped?) he would feel better about himself. Now I think he regrets not closing the gates and is going to take the blame for everything that happens afterwards. The problem is..so does Dean. In the end, they end up blaming each other. Lets get back to them being brothers and fighting all the other demons, angels etc. Fix them already!!

        • Jessica Breaux

          Actually, I don’t see Sam taking the blame or responsibility for anything. He’s laying all the blame at Dean’s feet. When you listen to the conversation at the end of this episode, Sam essentially says that because Dean didn’t let him close the Gates, Kevin is dead; Crowley is free; Abbadon is running amok; and every bad thing that’s happened is Dean’s fault. That’s not true though. Not closing the Gates was Sam’s choice and he needs to own it. By blaming Dean for that, he’s absolving himself of any responsibility for the current state of things. Sam had complete agency in that church and HE decided that Dean was more important to him than closing the Gates. Now that he sees how everything is playing out, though, he regrets his choice. But blaming Dean isn’t going to change the fact that it was Sam’s choice. Furthermore, even if Sam had died in that church, Metatron still would’ve killed Kevin. Basically, Sam is blaming Dean for things that would’ve happened even if Sam hadn’t made the choice to live.

          • Kelly Nichols

            You might be right, I don’t know, I just know that the writers never seem to let Sam say how he feels. The conversation at the end of the episode, was harsh, true but what he says and what he actually thinks might be very different. Dean always says what he is thinking right up front but Sam has always been the deep one. Maybe he does feel guilty about Kevin, maybe not. Hard to read that boy. lol

  • katie

    I dont like where it is going. They have turned sam from the kind hearted loving guy into the asshole when it comes to the brothers relationship. Supernatural was built on their brotherly love and just with this season they have destroyed it.

  • sasi

    im getting sick of this. i mean come on. they are brothers and i love how dean says we are family. sam is being such an idiot. i mean dean saved him life. and it wasn’t entirely for himself. he loved his brother, his brother deserved a life. sam is blaming everything on dean and i hate it. dean doesn’t even know what to tell him. they should stop this fight. and in the next episode or so, the brothers should have a big conversation (unlike the last 3 minutes of they show that we have been seeing), and clear everything. and finally conclude that they are brothers, family and dean had to do what he had to do. and final. sam should just let it out. he never gives out his feelings. every season they have a fight. i mean fight isnt bad but they never clear it out. it makes me angry and really sad looking at dean. and i just wonder how much it would have hurt dean when sam said that if stuff were the other way around he wouldn’t save dean. his face tells us how shocked he was. it made me want to cry. sam shouldn’t have said that. i hope they end this and things are back to normal. i mean normal with demons and angels and etc etc :)

  • Kelpie

    The bad grammar in the title is annoying me. “Too broken”!!

    • Mokibobolink

      OMG most embarrassing typo ever. It is now fixed. I hang my head in shame. Thanks for letting us know!

      • Kelpie

        :)

  • Kelly Nichols

    Just to throw a small spanner in the works-because I can. lol Are we sure Sam is Sam? Dean did ask Cas to remove the anti-possession tattoo from Sam so that Crowley could get into Sams’ head and remove Gadreel. So…what if Sam isn’t all Sam??

    • Jessica Breaux

      I’m relatively certain that Sam is Sam. Everything that he’s said thus far, as harsh as it’s been, has been stuff that Sam has kind of been saying for years. Except that whole, we can’t be brothers crap of course. But the desire for Dean to stop trying to control his life and the belief that Dean won’t let him die because he doesn’t want to be alone are both sentiments that Sam has held for years. Besides, if Sam were possessed, I think Cas would’ve been able to see that when he was healing him.

  • ASHESS

    Its just sad the fact that the writers and people behind cameras are showing like sam just doesn’t give shit which even I am doubting right now.Dean sold his soul for sam,did everything to give sam his soul back that’s when he was soulless.Stopped him from dieing.Helped him with his Lucifer crap and what sam did was start a new life when his brother went to purgatory.
    This is just Crap.Sam and deans relationship is more than this and its time that they start showing it.The last scene of this episode was just heartbreaking.we watch the show because of these two brothers and their bromance its time these guys get it
    .