Supernatural 6.05 Live Free or Twihard – Vampires Are Recruiting! Uncle Dracula Needs You!
How I missed Supernatural’s vampires. Fangs, blood and decapitations. ‘Blood lust’ (season 2) and ‘Fresh blood’ (season 3) were amazing but ‘Live Free or Twihard’ is definitely my new favorite vampire episode. A great ‘Twilight’ spoof, vampire Dean and drama between the Winchester brothers, what can a female Supernatural fan desire more? OK, maybe Castiel, Classic Rock and shirtless Sam but in a perfect world ‘Supernatural’ would be an hour long, have an unlimited budget and be on HBO with even more gore and blood. A little tip for the people of Mystic Falls (The Vampire diaries) if vampires give you trouble, you should call Dean Winchester – the new vampire slayer on TV, just saying. And be careful, if you’re young, beautiful and look like somebody from the ‘Twilight’ movies, they’re vampires out to get you!
If this episode would have been part of the previous seasons, I would have been worried. The writers would have raised interesting questions about monsters but drop them the following week in favor of the apocalypse storyline. But thanks to Sera Gamble and season six that’s no longer the case. This episode reveals that vampires are recruiting with the help of ‘pretty Twilight vampires’, creating an army and are no longer afraid of hunters, what a devious plan. These fictional creatures being a pop culture phenomenon fits into the world of ‘Supernatural’ as long as real vampires take advantage of their fake counterparts popularity.
This season ‘Supernatural’ introduced us to the concept of the alpha as the origin of monsters. The same as every story is supposed to have a grain of truth, every species has a legend about the first. Honestly, I found the shapeshifter and his breeding project underwhelming but the alpha vampire interests me. The psychic connection between him and his children was unexpected but interesting. His ability to send visions suggests that he must be very powerful. Using devotion to ensure the little vampires followed the master plan was clever. It worked for the demons and the angels, so it is definitely good enough for your everyday bloodsuckers. Both, shapeshifter and vampire alpha, obviously want to increase their numbers, which made me think. Maybe all the alpha monsters have a common game plan this season – taking control again. Demons and angels left monsters literally in the same box as humans regarding the apocalypse. Normally monsters have control. They are stronger than humans and except for hunters; they don’t need to fear anything. When the end of the world was on their door step, they became powerless. Humans would have gotten to survive in a world of paradise/hell or die and go to hell/heaven but what would have happened with the monsters of the world? Their world evolves around humans – victims, food source, entertainment etc. – without them monsters don’t have a purpose. I think the alphas of the world are planning to become so powerful – while demons and angels have their little civil wars – that both parties can’t threaten their existence again. I suspect the guy in Dean’s vision was the alpha vampire. He looked African and I hope we find out that the first vampire wasn’t European but much older which would be refreshing from all the Dracula origin stories.
Sam is like the boy who can’t feel anymore. He sometimes does a great job at acting like he still feels something – smiles and jokes – but in the next moment his behavior makes you wonder if there are any real feelings in him. Sam obviously knows what he is supposed to feel and acts accordingly but that’s all it is, an act without real emotions. I previously thought the vampires were going to be the creepy monsters this week but I was wrong. Sam’s little smile, when he let Dean get turned, was scary as hell. Everybody loves Sam, even Dean Fans since Dean wouldn’t be himself without his little brother. Of course, fans also still remember good-old season one Sammy in the back of their head which makes his behavior such a shock. Although we were repeatedly being told that he’s different – sorry, Sam with a hooker only means he’s a guy and has needs – nothing drove the point more home than this episode and Sam risking Dean’s life. No demon blood to blame. No Ruby who made him do it. Just Sam. I can honestly say I didn’t expect the change to be so profound in his character that Sam even lost his emotional connection to his brother. After he said that the wanted to hunt with Dean again, I assumed that Sam still had a few feelings left, that he felt more alive in Dean’s presence. I was so wrong. Samuel hinted that Sam must have known about the cure and still to achieve his goal – the infiltration of the nest – Sam didn’t tell his brother a single word about it on top of letting him get turned. That was cold. The writers’ are playing with us this season like the devil with his fiddle and I like their tune.
So my ‘Sam theories of the week’ are:
Sam – the alien: Not the real Sam. It’s not only an act but Sam is not Sam at all. His body is used by an alien lizard of the planet V.
Sam – the cylon: Not the real Sam.It’s even worse than we thought. The cylons have found earth and now they plan on destroying humanity. Sam is the first cylon.
Sam – Lucifer: Not the real Sam.Maybe Sam is possessed by Lufcifer again but I trust the writers when they said that the whole apocalypse Lucifer-Michael storyline was over. So I hope Lucy is still in his cage.
Sam – Michael: Not the real Sam. Sam is possessed by Michael this time, although I think that the writers promising the whole apocalypse Lucifer-Michael thing to be over includes Michael being on lock down.
Sam – heartless: The real Sam. It will depend on the definition of the writers. If they see a human heart as the center of emotions than Sam is definitely without one. Maybe he does know why he is out of the cage. He could have sold his heart/emotions to a higher power (angel, demon, alpha) to break free. It would fit with Sam’s refusal to talk about his time downstairs and his comment about being a better hunter than he ever was that it was his choice rather than a ritual without Sam’s consent.
Sam – soulless: The real Sam. It will depend on the definition of the writers. If they see a soul as the part which gives humans emotions than Sam is definitely soulless. If they see it as what keeps you alive than my best guess would be that a part of his soul is missing. It would fit with Balthazar’s comment that souls are a commodity. If the little boy’s soul was a good investment for the angel, I have no doubt that Sam’s soul or part of it, is worth something. Maybe somebody made Sam the offer of freeing him in exchange for his soul. If you think about living without emotions compared to eternity in prison that’s a good deal. So far my favorite theory.
Grandpa didn’t have a lot to do in the episode but he brought the vampire cure and through Sam’s behavior, he actually became more humane. In the previous episodes, he was always acted shady but not this time. There is at least one redeeming quality about Samuel, he cares about his grandsons. He immediately confronted Sam about lying and using his brother. Grandpa was clearly concerned about Dean being a vampire. That’s more than we can say about Sam who doesn’t seem to be capable of caring about anybody at the moment. It will be interesting why Sam actually chose to hunt. He is not doing it to save people: Maybe to keep himself busy or because the prize for being free is to deliver monsters to somebody. Their conversation also revealed that Sam knows about Samuel hunting alphas.
Dean would have made Buffy proud in this episode. He sliced and killed until no vamp was left except him. I naively assumed that Sam and Samuel would get to help taking out the nest but no. They only killed two lousy vampires. Super-charged vampire Dean did the rest and on top the poor guy even got a major headache when the alpha slammed him with a vision. Dean’s changed perception as a vampire was a nice continuation of what we saw when Gordon got turned in ‘Fresh Blood’. Gordon didn’t turn evil; he only got more determined to use all his skills to kill Sam, even if that meant killing other people. The same thing was true for Dean, his character didn’t change but become more determined and he had to fight the bloodlust. Dean’s flashback when he got the cure was amazing. I was glad that it didn’t involve killing the alpha vampire or the vampire that created Dean. In ‘Supernatural’ vampires spread via blood exchange like a virus, so it’s fitting that the cure would be like an anti-poison which only works before you ingest human blood and make the effect irreversible. It looked like the vampire blood got bound in the blood stream and ejected. I assume the flashback was caused by the body nearly dying when turning itself back human. I was unexpected that Dean find out immediately about Sam’s betrayal. The next episode is going to be very interesting.
The phone call between Dean and Lisa was cuteness pure. Dean testing if Lisa hasn’t changed her mind about him and Lisa telling him to get his butt home was absolutely adorable.
Their second talk was more dramatic but also funny since Lisa and Dean reenacted the book cover of ‘My Summer of Blood’ – the Supernatural version of Twilight. I hope we get to see her again but it will take a while since I doubt that Lisa is going to take it lightly that Dean attacked Ben.
New addition, Brett Mathews, writer of ‘Life Free or Twihard’, is either a Dean girl at heart or he hasn’t come across a prettier – I mean handsome – actor than Jensen Ackles. Sorry, but I have no other explanation for Dean being called ‘pretty’ so many times in his episode. Him and Adam Glass have been a pleasant surprise with the quality of their writing. It makes me look forward to Nicole Snynder and Eric Charmelo’s Supernatural’s debut as writers.
Was it my imagination or was the curly-haired vampire hitting on Dean? What else could the guy have meant by giving Dean ‘the private tour’ than having the sex with him? I understand, Dean is gorgeous, but it was like watching your cute little niece getting hit on by a gross old man. By the way I’m so disappointed. Vampires seem to be as terrible as humans. It’s discriminating that they only turn pretty people now. I’m gonna write your alpha, this is against the law. Don’t you know that ugly people have tasty blood too!
Director Rod Hardy did a great job with his first ‘Supernatural’ episode. The only problem was that a few shots were a bit too dark – you couldn’t see anything. I preferred Kim Manner’s approach of playing with darkness but still showing parts of Gordon’s face in the shadow in ‘Fresh Blood’. E.g. He talked in complete darkness but we could still see his mouth. The decapitations of the Efron vamp and Robby looked awesome. It didn’t trump Gordon’s death scene but it was a good effect.
Unfortunately, the vampire teeth in ‘Bloodlust’ and ‘Fresh Blood’ looked much more threatening and realistic but since all the teeth shots were short, you could ignore it. Teeth what teeth? I didn’t see anything.
‘Bela Lugosi is dead’ by Bauhaus is a popular gothic rock song from the vampire movie ‘The Hunger’ and was used in the first bar scene where Kristen and Robert aka Twilight’s Bella and Edward meet. What a pity that ‘Secret of Oz’ by G Tom Mac from the second bar scene from the web preview didn’t make it into the episode. You might remember G Tom Mac for ‘Cry Little Sister’ from the ‘Lost Boys’ soundtrack.
-The ‘Heroes’ fight scene. ‘Supernatural’, you don’t need to create tension by not showing a fight. We know Dean is a hunter, so he is obviously going to win when he’s a super-charged vampire like Gordon. It was absolutely unnecessary to cut the fight and make a big fuzz about Dean winning. It also looked ood and somehow out of character for Dean to have his foot on the vampire’s head.
-Not enough Meta. This episode was probably the one and only chance of ‘Supernatural’ making vampire jokes. Sadly, the episode only focused on ‘Twilight’. Don’t get me wrong, the episode was a great mix of drama and humor but I wanted a bit more variety in the mocking.
-Dark is not always good. I like it dark but I want to see something as well, staring at a nearly black TV screen is not entertaining. There were several occassions throughout the episode were you only saw black. E.g. The scene where Dean is in the bathroom was weird. A flash to Dean’s eyes for a second suggesting his change of mind would have been better. Also the use of shadows while Sam, Samuel and Dean talked was a bit too extreme.
That’s it. The first A of season 6. I didn’t really have any complaints about the episode besides some dark shots and the one fight scene. I expected more comedy, but it was definitely more fitting for ‘Supernatural’ to be dark with a hint of humor instead of trying to surpass ‘Changing Channels’ in hilarity. All in all, a great episode that was a nice mix of comedy and drama, showing how you can do a spoof but don’t get lost in it.
‘Supernatural’ airs Friday, 9/8c pm on the CW.
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