Supernatural: “Sex And Violence”

It’s small-town Iowa, where a lovely young wife is tenderizing a steak with a mallet. (Why is it that in this genre, a close-up of an otherwise standard household object always smacks of foreboding, before anyone has said a word?) Her husband comes home late from work, and the wife’s innocuous attempts at small talk rub him the wrong way. Waaaaaaay the wrong way. He tenderizes her with the mallet.

Well, we can strike “Violence” off the list of things promised in the episode title. Now for the other part. I mean, this is the demon stripper episode, right?

Dean awakens in the morning to catch a glimpse of Sam on the phone. He pretends to still be asleep when Sam re-enters the room, and upon awakening, when Dean asks whassssup, Sam insists he was just answering the call of nature, not the call of Hades.

Hear that creaking sound? It’s the wedge between the two brothers growing a few millimeters wider.

Sam has caught wind of the guy in Iowa who cleaved his wife. And he’s the third homespun, good folk, no-rap-sheet local within two months to do so for no apparent reason.

Dean and Sam are posing as lawyers and have landed a prison meeting with the hammering hubby from episode’s outset. They go through the demonic possession checklist, but aren’t able to check off too many boxes. Which isn’t to say they don’t have a lead – they have the guy’s credit card bill, on which he’s racked up an impressive 9 Gs of debt payable to a strip club.

“Her name was Jasmine,” begins the hubby by lieu of explanation. The still-so-innocent-you-could-pinch-his-cheeks-and-I-mean-the-ones-on-his-face Sam queries with, “She was a stripper?” Dean needs no such confirmation. “Dude, her name was Jasmine,” he points out. Hubby insists he was hypnotized by Jasmine. She was “perfect,” only he can’t begin to explain why. So when Jasmine said they’d be together forever, if only his wife was out of the picture, well……..what’s a lovestruck schmuck to do, except tenderize his wife with a mallet?

Cut to a foxy lady doctor named Cara Roberts whom Sam barges in on under the guise of FBI agent business. She handled the autopsies for the wives and the tox screens for the murderous spouses, the latter of which revealed that there was an anomaly in the blood work of all three men. Namely, the presence of the hormone oxytocin – which is normally present during childbirth and breastfeeding – but also during sex. Or as the lady doc puts it, it’s the hormone that makes you want to tattoo someone’s name on your chest when you’re caught up in that initial rush of love and lust.

The good doctor’s own oxytocin levels are clearly skyrocketing around Sam. Dean walks in. Sam introduces him as his partner, but Dr. Roberts barely glances in Dean’s direction. They leave her office. Dean can’t believe Sam totally “c-blocked” him. (Me, I can’t believe Dean isn’t allowed to say the “c” word.)

So Dean has done some research. The other two bludgeoning husbands were also high on that special stripper-imparted dose of oxytocin, too! Only each guy did it for a different dancer. The only apparent similarity between the three femme fatales was the fact that the men all described them as “perfect.” Whatever. Dean is just stoked that they “finally get a case involving actual strippers!”

Cut to “The Honey Wagon.” Dean isn’t making much progress in his attempts to glean information from the club proprietor. Sam has meanwhile checked in with Bobby, and they have a theory. Sirens. The kind from Greek mythology. Where Sam wants to wax poetic about the metaphor of the siren song, Dean chalks it up to girls “shaking their thing, and the guys zombie out.” Same diff. Sam explains that sirens are shape-shifting man-eaters, so it’ll be tough to narrow down who the killer really is. Dean seems up to the task of shaking down every last girl sporting six inch stilettos with wads of money stuffed in her G string.

Pan over to a table where some Midwestern guy is drooling over a babe named Belle. She goes home with him. As she performs a different sort of pole dancing, we get a glimpse of (cough) “her” (cough) in the mirror, and it turns out hair extensions and acrylic nails can go a long way in transferring even the most desiccated demon into Maxim material. She lays it on pretty thick in the post-coital cuddle: if he weren’t burdened with taking care of his elderly mother, they could totally be together forever. He picks up a fireplace poker and visits his mom’s room.

Dean is alone in the motel room, and Sam has left his cell phone behind. Dean can’t resist poking around Sam’s list of last calls dialed. An unidentified number proves to be Ruby’s. Dean puts the phone down and ponders this.

Sam walks in and gets a call from Bobby, who is researching the siren’s M.O., and more importantly, what K.O.’s ‘em. All it takes is a bronze dagger doused in the blood of a sailor under her spell, or so says the dusty old book on Bobby’s tabletop! They’ll probably carry that in the hunting goods section at Wal-Mart, right?

But back to strategizing. The sirens must secrete some sort of toxin during sex, Bobby and Sam theorize. “Supernatural STD,” marvels Dean. But seriously – where are they gonna get the blood of an entranced sailor? Sam has an idea, and it involves the hot lady doctor.

They visit Dr. Roberts, only – DOH! – they aren’t the only federal agent to have that same idea. Nick Monroe is on the case, too. Awkward. Dr. Roberts steps aside and lets the boys puff out their chests to determine jurisdiction. Nick starts nitpicking about badge numbers and other such credentials. Sam hands Nick a card and tells him to call their AD to confirm their presence here. Fortunately Bobby has a designated phone line for that very purpose.

Nick apologies for doubting their legitimacy. He shares his theory that the perps were all banging strippers from the same club. Sam and Dean pretend to be awed by his stellar police work. Nick suggests they collaborate, and when Dean tries to brush him off with the “lone wolf” excuse, Sam pulls him aside and says Dean should keep Nick out of the way while Sam makes inroads into Dr. Roberts the blood work angle. Dean decides he can probably suffer through this geek’s company if it means covering the stripper angle.

Nick is stoked by the very sight of Dean’s Impala, which he ogles much like other men might ogle exotic dancers. He can’t believe Dean talked the Bureau into letting him drive his own wheels. He thinks Dean is extra super cool.

Meanwhile, Sam and Dr. Roberts find that the samples of blood from the perps has disappeared from her office.

At the club, Dean is finding that Nick isn’t half the schmuck he appears to be, given that he possesses an impressive knowledge of classic rock, and that he thinks Dean is extra super cool, of course. Nick shares that he visited the latest crime scene this morning, and found the local cops bagging a flower, which he hands over to Dean. The same flower has been at every crime scene. Nick can’t make head nor tails of it, but Dean can. He’s seen this blossom before.

Cut to Dr. Roberts’ office, where a nice big bouquet of the flower in question provides a romantic backdrop as Cara and Sam ‘work the case.’ They’re reviewing security footage of her office, and given that the camera hasn’t captured a culprit removing the vials of blood from his office, she figures the footage has been tampered with. She wants to know why he wants the blood anyway. He shares a vague theory that the culprits were all drugged. She’s not sure he’s on the right track…….she thinks it’s not uncommon to want to hurt – maybe even bludgeon – the person you love the most. She brandishes some heavy liquor, proposes a drink, and talks about her ex-husband. She asks Dean if he knows what it’s like to wake up next to someone who is suddenly a total stranger to him.

Yeah, he might know something about that.

Then she decides that Sam is past due for a physical. In the interest of being extra diligent, she performs a check for colon and testicular cancer. She’s pretty thorough about swabbing his tonsils with her tongue, too.

Sam returns to the motel room, which is dark and empty. He calls Dean, who is pissed that Sam hasn’t been picking up his phone. Plus he thinks it’s weird that Cara has a hyacinth flower plant in her office, which is the same sort of flower that bloomed in Greece where the sirens lived. And she’s only been in town two months, and her ex-husband is dead, dead, dead. Sam defends her. Dean can’t believe Sam slept with her. “Middle of Basic Instinct, and you bang Sharon Stone?” he asks. Dean doesn’t want to tell Sam where he is now. He doesn’t trust him. Despite Sam’s insistence that he’s fine, Dean thinks that’s the siren talking.

Dean calls Bobby and tells him he thinks Bobby is under her spell. Then he calls Nick and asks for help.

Cut to The Honey Wagon, where Nick and Dean case the parking lot. Dr. Roberts shows up, having been dropped off in a cab. Nick wonders if they should follow her in, but Dean wants to hold back and not tip her off. Nick thinks Dean’s theory so far is “crazy on toast.” Four different guys claim to have been entranced by four totally different strippers, who prove to be one doctor, who is drugging them? Dean asks Nick to trust him, and Nick agrees to. Which Dean finds refreshing for a change. He takes a swig from the flask of alcohol that Nick offers up. Nick wants to know how Dean thinks the lady doc might be poisoning her victims. Injecting them? Or could it be….. shared saliva, maybe? Dean glances at the flask he and Nick have been sharing.

Doh! Nick glances into the rear view mirror and we see one heck of an ugly set of peepers looking back. Nick thinks he’d be a better brother to Dean than Sam. He says Dean really needs to get Sam out of the way. Then he and Nick can be brothers. Forever. Hopefully this won’t involve any pole dancing, but you never know.

Sam walks into the motel room, and is surprised to see Nick sitting there. He’s even more surprised when Dean suddenly jumps him with a knife from behind. Nick explains that he gave Dean what he really needed – a younger brother who looks up to him and trusts and appreciates him. Dean cuts Sam a bit with the knife. Because Nick asked him to. It’s just a fun power trip thing. Then Nick hocks one heck of a wad of demon phlegm into Sam’s mouth, and decides it would be even more of a fun power trip to have the two brothers fight to death over who gets to be Nick’s BFF forever! (It’s like that Paris Hilton reality show, only with slightly less scary participants…..)

The brothers go mano a mano as they say mean things to each other under the influence of demonic truth serum. Dean nearly cleaves Sam in half with the ax that the motel has courteously mounted on the hallway wall and made available “For emergency use only.” I guess killing your brother to appease a demon while under its love spell qualifies as such.

Only Bobby isn’t about to let it come to that. He grabs the ax from Dean and stabs him in the arm with a bronze knife. He then lobs the knife neatly into the fleeing demon. Case closed.

Sam and Dean see Bobby off, who tells the boys in parting that sirens are tricky bitches, and they shouldn’t feel badly for having been duped. He leaves and they prepare to make tracks themselves. They apologize for the mean things they said to each other, and chalk it up to the siren spell, though the awkward silence between them suggests that the bygones won’t be staying gone.

Despite what the episode’s title may have led us to expect, and miraculously despite the presence of strippers from hell, we wind up with a surprisingly poignant little installment about sibling rivalry and love instead. Go figure.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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