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Supernatural Round Table: "Man's Best Friend With Benefits"

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We're back with a new edition of the Supernatural Round Table.

This week, panelists Carissa Pavlica and Sean McKenna - along with joined by Alice Jester from The Winchester Family Business - analyze the witchy ways of "Man's Best Friend With Benefits," breaking down their favorite scenes, issues of trust and a lot more...

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Was this an interesting stand-alone episode or a wasted hour?
Carissa: It wasn't wasted, but it was a shame there wasn't more fun, as the stand alone eps usually provide that.

Alice: I would call it a wasted 45 minutes. There was mild entertainment value in the last 15 minutes of the episode (starting with the astral projection) but the rest was borderline unwatchable. Way too slow for my tastes. 

Sean: It wasn't the most interesting story we've seen on Supernatural, and the helping out a friend concept didn't feel personal. It wasn't horrible, but I would really like to see a more exciting plot surrounding witches and not one about a silly lovers quarrel.

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What did you think of witch-cop James and his familiar, Portia?
Carissa: I have three familiars here at home, female felines Furbie and Georgie and a male rat named Dagwood. Our relationship is not at all like the one portrayed. People have called me a bitch for years. Oh...wait a minute. I see the mistake. Carry on!

Alice: The most I know about witches comes from The Vampire Diaries and Bonnie never had a familiar. Come to think of it, though, if anyone ever needed a pet/human more. Anyway, I’m not really sure why they had to have a physical relationship, but I liked them and having two more allies with some sort of power out there can only benefit Sam and Dean. We didn’t get to know them all that well though and there was plenty of room for that in this sluggish script. Maybe we’ll see them again, who knows? At least Portia was a pretty girl/dog. 

Sean: James was fine, but Portia was more interesting. That said, the most we really got to know about them was their relationship and super bond. They were okay for the stand alone episode, but not sure if I really care about seeing them again.

Were the familiars a good addition to the witch mythology?
Carissa: I seem to recall them from Charmed, but not in the same capacity. All of my witch knowledge comes from Charmed, Bewitched, The Witching Hour or Beautiful Creatures, and none of this was banging any gongs. I guess I need to expand my repertoire  

Alice: You lost me at “witch mythology.” Sure, I found the familiar angle to be interesting, but this show has never really tackled witch mythology well. There have only been a few episodes that had witches in them, and they were all weak. Just like this one! So I would say that showing a familiar was good for the overall mythology of creatures we’ve met before, but I didn’t care much for the witch story.

Sean: I liked the familiars and found them to be intriguing despite the fact we didn't really get into depth with them. But like Alice said, unfortunately most of the witch focused episodes have been weak ones and the witch mythology hasn't been the most fascinating.

What did you think of Sam and Dean discussing trust issues?
Carissa: Honestly, i thought we were done with that. The boys beat their chest and had it out, had a beer and put their feet up. Get over it already. Who doesn't have some trust issues? If I talked about it all the time, I'd bore people to death. If Sam and Dean weren't hot, we'd have to have a little discussion.

Alice: Ugh, don’t get me started. Aren’t we beyond this? To be honest, I was extremely disappointed that the writers went there. It was a major step backward after all the progress the brothers had made the last few episodes. Of course Sam and Dean have trust issues. They always have. Do we need to go there again? It’s false conflict drummed up by writers desperate to chew up scenery because they suddenly realized they hadn’t watched the show all season. Perhaps the last few.

Sean: I totally agree about being done with the trust argument. I understand the brothers have to have some conflict at times, but I thought we were through with those issues. At least Dean said he finally does trust Sam and I hope that closes the book on that one.

What does Sam coughing up blood mean and what might be in store for him with the other trials?
Carissa: I'm wondering if it might mean the wrong brother took on the first trial. There's only one down the hatch, right? We did discuss the possibility that Dean should have been the one in the driver's seat. Maybe it's a destiny thing and if the wrong brother hits the ground running, death ensues. That would be extremely bad for season 10 - something I think we're all thinking about already.

Alice: It means he’s totally screwed! Nah, I wouldn’t have told Dean either. He’s too uneasy about this whole thing. I just hope that this doesn’t bring up another “Why didn’t you tell me, why are lying to me, why oh why don’t you trust me?” conflict. Otherwise, I’m really scared for Sam. Sounds like he’s not going to have an easy road ahead and needs his brother. 

Sean: I'm worried about a trust thing brought up again with him not telling Dean. Beyond that, I do think that the God Trails having consequences is a good thing. I wonder what completing the next one will do to Sam, and I hope that both brothers can work together in overcoming that additional obstacle as well. Sam and Dean really work well together and I'd love to see that follow through the rest of the season.

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I won't believe the brothers are truly back on good terms until I hear a round of "b**tch", "jerk".

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I'm suprised that Carissa came up with the 'wrong brother doing the trials' theory, why would you not think that the same thing would happen to Dean had he been the one to enter in a binding contract with God to complete the tasks? My thoughts were that the side affects are essentially part of the test, completeing them at full strenght would be hard enough but with a your body weakened through 'desease/virus' like symptoms that could potentially kill you would be that much harder? Like a true test of ones strengh and determination to get the trials done? Also I'm not sure how Sam could be the 'wrong brother' given how he has been the one the most screwed with by hell and the destiny it layed out before him?

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And why not download this to Google Drive or Dropbox just in case, 64 bit encrypted, ha ha... :-P Of course if they took a phone pic of the tablet before it got busted and uploaded it - er, moot point. Hmm, I must be a female canine familiar as well, i.e. bitch.

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As to the Sam thing...I actually had thought that considering the language the spell is in (angel language) that he might actually be turning into one (either because Kevin missed something (or it is on the part that Crowley has) and Cas was really supposed to be the one to do this or the curse just readjusts). Either that or there is a time limit on the trials, and they should have all waited until Kevin was done.

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