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Supernatural - 8.15 - Man's Best Friend with Benefits - Review and Recap

We open on a pair of people exiting a bar. The man hands a woman his card and they part ways. Another man gets out of his car at the end of the alleyway and comes toward the woman. She hears him before she sees him. He holds up a pair of handcuffs and she replies it’s not her night. Turning around, he then opens her throat. In bed, the second man awakens as if from a vision which his dog seems equally distraught by.In the morning, the man takes out a soiled shirt from his garbage bin.

St. Louis

Arriving outside another crappy motel, the brothers Winchester debate about the Stooges (not the kind with Iggy Pop) and discuss whether they need to talk to the man from the opening, apparently a cop named James. They decide against it and before Dean goes for beer, he tries to talk Sammy out of being the trial tester. While his brother is out, Sam opens the motel room door to a very nice looking Doberman. He rubs her stomach as she sits on his bed, looks for a tag, and tries to get ahead of Dean when he arrives back to explain. “She just showed up at the door.”Sam asks if she can stay the night. Dean looks past his brother to see a very hot woman in the dog’s place. The girl explains that she’s a familiar, a companion to a witch who splits her time between being human and being a dog. She says she belongs to James Frampton, their cop buddy. Their last case, James wanted to learn more about the witchcraft involved in the case they solved together and has since become a full-fledged witch. Dean sums it up when he says “witches, not real fans”. After which Portia explains how James became the not-vampire Angel.

The scene takes us to a witches club where James meets with a man who says he looks awful. James explains his dreams which are “scaring the hell” out of him and his friend tells him to see someone before they get any worse. His friend tells him that “life in the realm is life on the fringe” before asking him how he reconciles what he does with what he is. James says he doesn’t know where Portia has gone and thinks he’s pushing her away. If only he knew…

Portia tells Dean that she thinks James thinks that he’s killing those people or at least that was the impression she was getting before he blocked their psychic connection. Dean remarks they are the last ones that someone like James should be talking to but Portia, who sent the text, thinks they may be all James has to help him.

James’ next dream is of someone being attacked outside their house.

James argues with his dog while the brothers sit in the living room. Portia storms out in Doberman form and James greets his guests with Dean expressing his disappointment. Sam asks about the dreams. People were torn to bits and James could feel the bits of people’s flesh. He checked with the precinct and those people died for real. Sam thinks that maybe James heard of the cases subconsciously but then James pulls out the shirt from his bag. It’s his. “What’s happening to me?” Dean puts forth that maybe James pissed off another witch which is deemed possible but James has never heard of it. He’s had four dreams so far including the blind man attacked outside his house. Until they figure this out, James has to be chained up under house arrest.

Sam gives Dean the skinny on James’s career; he was promoted really quickly and has the highest solve rate of the department. Dean is more worried about the witch killing spell of Bobby’s. Or is it something else? Dean is concerned that Sam won’t be able to complete the trials and he won’t be able to jump in. Sam says that he doesn’t think Dean doesn’t so much trust him as that he only trusts himself. Dean thinks that James is special because he chose to be a witch as oppose to those who were forced to be unlike some of their other foes. But this is not a point in James’ advantage, this could prove James to be more dangerous.

Down at the precinct, the detective in charge thinks the Bureau must be awfully bored to take on his case. Sam hands him a small amount of James’ shirt to run analysis on and is dismissed by the embarrassed cop. Dean goes with Portia to the club where they can all sense that he is an outsider. Dean asks how James found Portia but it’s the other way around; she found him. And she doesn’t like being called a pet. It’s more of a melding of souls than a true ownership relationship. She introduces Dean to an outgoing Wiccan named Philip LeChat (French for cat) and Dean sneezes due to his cat allergy. I wonder why… He is under disguise as a Wiccan from Detroit. He asks about the spell they quite possibly made up. LeChat claims not to have heard of it. What’s that old saying? Never trust a nun, never trust a nurse, and never trust a cat...

Dean receives a phone call from Sam saying that the blood on James' shirt matches victim number three. They agree that that says it all. Portia ties James up saying that she doesn’t have to and the brothers won’t find out. He replies either way he has to do the right thing. She asks that one day the visions and the worry might be over before telling James she loves him and embarking on an oddly not creepy sex scene. It’s actually kind of sweet. Portia then gets a vision of James’ previous kills.

Dean stalks into James’ house with Sam in tow. They pull out the potion and open the bedroom door. James is still tied up. Just as Dean is ready to light the potion, Portia comes out of the bathroom and says that whoever is doing the killings isn’t James.Portia tries to explain how they were “close last night” before Sam translates “sex”. He’s not wrong but apparently this is rare. They hadn’t made love in weeks and tonight she saw his thoughts / memories of the murders but no other awareness of the crimes which to her suggests that James is under someone else’s control.

The detective in charge of the case, Ed, tells Sam aggressively that they don’t have any new leads. Sam questions him over the loss of Lt. Frampton. The man claims that he was easily replaced. Sam attempts to get into the storage locker room as Dean across town meets with a warlock snitch. Apparently James used Drexel as a contact in supernatural cases. Dean asks whether Portia considers herself to be truly dog or truly human. She accuses him of imagining the sex and is not wrong. Drexel has heard all about Dean but has heard nothing about one witch hexing another. He prides himself on having correct information. The council says that James has to either leave the witch community or commit hara–kiri and they might force the latter upon him.

Dean’s been going over Bobby’s data and has found a spell for creating false memories in another witch’s mind. Ed has a huge folder on James and after eighteen hours since the revelation, Dean has yet to make a bestiality joke. Sam tells James about the folder they think Ed has on him and James suggests astral projection but only if the chains go; because they’re iron, it prevents the magic from working. Sam agrees but only if they can go too. James says whatever he sees, he’ll pass onto them. He scans across the murder board and sees that one of the witnesses against him is Philip LeChat. The detective is using him as a breakaway case as revenge for James’ first case as lead which he had accidentally taken away from the man. James tells Portia to leave him because she still has a life without him and his ceiling is coming down.

LeChat asks if it’s too late for him to have braces and James whips him off the barstool so they can talk man to man before telling the people that come to Philip’s help to leave. Philip claims his master and James’ friend is the one behind the murders. James doesn’t believe this but then his friend comes in and takes his familiar’s spine out.

James confronts his friend and he says that this whole thing has been about Portia whom he wanted to be his soul mate from the moment he saw her. He says that when they slept together, they broke the rules so the total ruination of James seemed appropriate. Dean and Sam walk in and the bad guy lifts James with some magic. He then says that it’s not only James’ head he can get inside before replaying the brother every bad thing that’s ever happened to them. And it’s Portia to the rescue. In dog form, she bites the bad guy allowing the brothers the distraction needed to complete the spell.

Dean asks if James wants to stay but Ed has built enough of a case against him legally and the witch community doesn’t want them either. Portia says she’ll miss the boys and Dean tries to win her over by saying he likes dogs. She sees right thru that and gets in the car with her human. Dean admits that he could have been wrong but not about James, about the trials. When he looks back and sees all the pain the family’s been thru he realizes that the only way they can make it is if they stick together so yes, he trusts Sammy. If Sam says he’s good, then he’s got Dean’s support 100% and Sam says he’s good before literally coughing up blood. He wipes it away and the screen fades to black.

Next time:
we meet Prometheus in Remember the Titans when all hell breaks Zeus. Hey, don’t blame me for the bad pun, it was CW approved!

What worked:
♥ I loved Portia being as in control of the relationship as James was. With the way the episode was set up and previewed it would have been very easy to have her just be a slave as opposed to more of an equal.

What didn’t work:

Lots of things weren’t quite perfect in this episode such as the fact they didn’t really explain the purpose of a familiar in relation to a witch but as I was expecting something totally creepy from the title, I rather enjoyed myself. The biggest problem I had with the episode and still do is best summed up by commenter Lissie_Bee when she said “And the worst may have been that grown ass man comparing James and his familiar to Bella and Edward.” The bad guy wasn’t even notable for me to catch his name!

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