Though fat and food start off this week’s ‘Supernatural’, its primary theme is not different than that of the series: family.
The weirdness begins in Stillwater, Minnesota, where Wayne McNutt, after using some sleight of hand, wins a hot dog eating contest. His personal gloating on circumvention of the rules is short-lived when he’s attacked and has the fat sucked from his body, causing him to drop 200+ pounds in his death. Maybe if he’d paid more attention to the adage of cheaters never winning, well…
Dean’s pulled an all-nighter at the bunker searching for any signs of Gadreel and Metatron when Sam gets up. He tells his younger brother of the Stillwater case and though Sam openly wonders if his words (paraphrasing: they can work together but can’t be brothers) had an effect on Dean but the latter scoffs at his inquiry and they make their way to Minnesota. They get in touch with the affable powdered donut eating Sheriff Hanscum who gives them a what’s-the-what on the competitive eating circuit, including McNutt’s “unfriendly rivalry” with Slim Jim Morgan. Slim Jim’s not too broken up on Wayne’s death though after doing a bit of snooping, they do find a Putsi hex bag in the house, courtesy of Slim Jim’s wife, Malla, who’s a gypsy. They take a hair brush that seems to have Wayne’s hair all over it so they believe she’s the perp, hexing McNutt Thinner-like…until she comes to visit and admits to having an affair with the dead man. The Putsi bag she had was to bring Wayne good fortune as they were going to use his winnings to fund her divorce and a quick wedding in Orlando.Sampling the goods is a no-no, Dean
If Malla’s admission wasn’t enough, when a second victim is found in a fitness center and Dean notices burn/suction marks on the trainer’s back, they get their first true lead: Canyon Valley Wellness Spa. After selling their fitness love (overselling in Dean’s case) to the owners, Larry and Maritza, the guys go undercover with Sam being inserted as Yoga instructor while Dean gets stuck in the kitchen, a less than glamorous position for the hunter. As they’re getting acclimated to their undercover roles, Sheriff Hanscum stops by for her own treatment with Maritza and, after the Hanscum falls asleep during the suction session, Maritza shows that she’s all to inhuman when her second tubelike mouth appears and latches onto the sheriff’s back.
Already unhappy with his current lot in life at that Spa, Dean finds even more complications when he imbibes in a ‘client’s only’ pudding that pretty much knocks him on his ass. He’s able to call Sam who, after torturing his Yoga class, helps Dean shake the roofie cocktails out of his system. As Dean recovers, Sam shares his observations on the entire Yoga class sporting suckage marks on their back with every last one of them displaying marked weight loss in a short time. They end up meeting Sheriff Hanscum (who earlier almost blew Sam’s cover) and she confirms eating the pudding, losing ten pounds in one day and sporting the same gnarly suction mark on her back as well.
Larry pulls his wife away and informs her that the Winchesters are not personal trainers, but hunters and she has to “get rid of the evidence”. Maritza goes to the fridge and starts through things out but Dean catches her in the act. She doesn’t sound like a heartless killer, though she is a Pishtaco—not to be confused with fish taco—a Peruvian fat sucker. She created the clinic as a way to curb her inclinations while offering help to those who truly need it. But she knows someone like her who’s not as reformed in his ways; her brother Alonzo, who’s been working in the kitchen with Dean. While his wife is unknowingly being questioned by Dean, Larry visits Alonzo regarding his murderous indiscretions and demands that he leave the Spa for good. Unfortunately, things don’t end well for Larry and by the time Sam arrives on the scene after hearing a pained shriek, Larry’s dead courtesy of his brother-in-law.Sam notices his yoga class participants all sport the same suction marks on their backs
Maritza is heartbroken over the news of her husband’s death and gives the brothers the info on how to kill Alonzo. They search for him in the basement, splitting up to cover more ground when he attacks Sam. Though the fight is even for a bit, Alonzo gets the upper hand and is ready to make Sam his next meal when Dean comes to the rescue, slicing off Alonzo’s sucker—yes, that sounds dirtier than it really is. The aftermath has the cops doing their thing after the psycho killer on the loose has been stopped and a crushed Maritza. “I lost my whole family today,” she laments to Dean and, despite her innocence, hardcore Dean still wants to send her to that Pishtaco cloud in the sky. Sam’s not about it and makes the point of his own predicament when he was being run by Gadreel. Dean hears Sam’s case and agrees to send Maritza packing back to Peru.
But the real drive is the brothers’ heart to heart finale. Dean admits that Sam’s ‘we can’t be brothers’ spiel did affect him. “I may not think things all the way through,” he tells Sam with conviction, “but what I do, I do because it’s the right thing.”
“And that’s the problem,” Sam counters. “You didn’t save me for me; you did it for you…you can’t stand the thought of being alone.” Sam’s words strike a sensitive spot as Dean’s only counter is that, given the same situation, Sam would have done the same thing.
“No, Dean, I wouldn’t,” is his rebuttal. “Same circumstances, I wouldn’t.”
Those words, Sam’s admission, whether true or not, drives a wedge deeper into the brothers’ already fractured relationship.
- Though a filler episode in most regards, “The Purge” is also one about family. Maritza would have done anything for her brother but stronger than her bond with Alonzo was her responsibility to do the right thing. She helps the Winchesters stop her menacing brother despite the love she still feels for him. Alonzo was not more important than the greater good and she saw that; it’s the message Sam tries to relay to Dean. Yes, family is important and you should do almost anything for those you love but there comes a point where you have to let them go, whether it be for their own good or those around you.
- So where does that leave television’s strongest brotherly duo? After facing hordes of demons, the Four Horsemen, Norse gods, angels and Lucifer himself, it seems the one thing that will do them in is love. Sam may have had a point in that Dean doesn’t want to be alone and his wish is selfish but isn’t Sam just as selfish? “I was ready to die, I was ready.” Though Sam may have been sacrificing himself for the right reasons, he was tired of the fight and felt it was his time. Confessing that he wouldn’t try saving Dean in the same circumstances is probably the biggest blow to their relationship and one can’t help but wonder if this is the beginning of the end for Sam and Dean.