By: Bob Jackson – Supernatural Blogger

As we wait for the next episode of Supernatural, we can take a moment to reflect upon what has recently happened so far in the life and times of the Winchesters.

Kevin has completed the translation on the second half of the tablet; Naomi has made her presence known and Castiel’s contribution to the story lines seem to be a bit murky at the moment. This means we will all turn in to see what happens to Cas and how he resolves his issues.

Charlie, played by Felicia Day, made an appearance and will be back for at least one future episode, if not more. Love her or hate her, she is not going away. I, for one, enjoy her comedic lesbianic turns with Dean and Sam, as the one woman who cannot, and will not, fall for the charms of either brother. Could a romantic triangle be in the works between Dean, Charlie and some guest starlet? Eric Kripke I’m looking at you!

Castiel has taken a back seat as mentor and go-to guy for the boys as he has had to deal with his problems with heaven and his new boss Naomi, the sexy Angel played by Amanda Tapping of Stargate SG-1 and Sanctuary fame. Their loss is Supernatural’s gain. With Bobby Singer gone, the boys have had to rely on an often absent and unseen Garth (where the heck is he anyway??) who communicates by cell phone and messages. I get it, Garth is the kind of character you like but he is hard to take on a consistent basis. He is “an acquired taste” as Dean describes him.

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But by far, the most interesting and multi-leveled character has been the introduction of the character Benny, a Vampire with a cold, dead heart of gold, played by Ty Olsson. Benny showed Dean how to get out of purgatory and Dean repaid him by trying to help, in his twelve step program for recovering blood suckers, from tearing out the throats of unaware townsfolk. In this character, Benny has supplied the element of sage and elder statesman that used to be the domain of Bobby Singer. The Winchesters need someone as a surrogate father figure they can turn to in times of turmoil and who will help them without question. Despite the fact that Benny/Olsson is not much older than the boys, he has added the missing aspect of maturity that Garth and Castiel have failed to provide.

The whole premise of the show has been built upon the need for their father’s approval and the fact they missed a paternal role model growing up in motels, while their biological father, John Winchester, was off somewhere on his quest for finding the entity that killed his wife. Once he was gone, Bobby Singer slipped effectively into the role as the flawed and alcoholic keeper of the spiritual records for the Winchesters. He was the one who protected and gave guidance to his “idjits” but who would also die several times to protect them. We saw his willing sacrifice and saw the same thing with Benny who saved Sam and Bobby by helping them out of purgatory while he was being set upon by fellow vampires.

The same family dynamics have been established between Benny’s relationship with Dean and Sam as they had with their father. Benny was Dean’s friend who was disliked (hated??) by Sam. The elder Winchester was Dean’s cohort into the family business while Sam fought with his father over everything and did his best to get away from him. Only toward the end of both John Winchester and Benny did Sam come around. Now we are left with the missing assurance of Castiel’s current personality and how he might again become the friend/Angel the boys need, or slack off and immerse himself into his own celestial upheavals. Either way, without Bobby or the newly minted Benny, the patriarchal spot is still up for grabs.

I have to advocate that Benny is brought back and given a continuing status in the lives of Sam and Dean. Here we have a character in torment for what was done to him, just like John and Bobby, but we also have the supernatural element of being a vampire than can take on more than a few demons over the average purgatory escapee. He is not the soft metrosexual (are we still using that word?) vampire written about in diaries, or living with a furry friend and a ghost or even involved in Louisiana sexual escapades. He is the guy you want covering your back who will not run screaming into the night if his hair is mussed. He can drink beer with Dean and banter with Sam. And maybe, just maybe, threaten the relationship they have with Castiel sufficiently enough to make the season more interesting. And again, Eric Kripke I’m looking at you!

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