8.15 Man's Best Friend with Benefits

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Title Man's Best Friend with Benefits
Episode # Season 8, Episode 15
First aired February 20, 2013
Directed by John F. Showalter
Written by Brad Buckner
Eugenie Ross-Leming
On IMDB Man's Best Friend with Benefits
Outline Sam and Dean face an unusual situation when they are called to help a witch deal with killings happening around him.
Monster Witch
Timeline
Location(s) St. Louis, Missouri
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Synopsis

In St. Louis, Missouri, James confronts a hooker walking alone down an alley. He handcuffs her to arrest her, but then kills her. He wakes violently from the nightmare. Upset, his dog comforts him. In the morning, James finds his bloody shirt from the dream in his kitchen trash can.

Sam and Dean roll into a motel parking lot arguing brotherly about the Three Stooges (Dean prefers Curly, Sam likes Shemp). In the room, Dean decides to wait until the morning to call James Frampton – the cop friend who saved their lives and is now asking for a favor. He goes out to get some beer, but not before once again expressing his concern over Sam completing the trials. While Dean is gone, a stray dog comes to the motel room and finds Sam. Knowing Dean will be less than thrilled by their visitor, Sam tries to convince him to keep the dog for the night, but when they look back at the dog, it has turned into a woman, Portia, lying on the bed. Portia tells the boys she is a familiar, a companion to a witch that splits their time between human and animal form. She is James’s familiar and explains that James became a witch after the boys’ previous case (a lunatic alchemist) with him. Portia says James has been suffering from excruciating headaches, nightmares, and has trouble sleeping and thinking.

Meanwhile, James meets a friend in a high-end bar. He is suffering, drinking, and looking for help. Spencer, who is also a witch, urges James to see a psychiatrist, or take a break from the life.

Back in the motel, Portia gives the boys more detail. James thinks his nightmares may be real and he is actually killing people. Familiars and witches can communicate telepathically, but James has been shutting Portia out. Dean isn’t sure why James would want their help because they hunt people like James, but Portia confesses she is the one who reached out to them. James does not know Sam and Dean are in town, but they are his only hope.

Later that night, James wakes up from another nightmare in which he murdered a blind man.

The following day in James’s home, Portia and James argue in another room while Sam and Dean wait. When James comes in he tells them more about the dreams and that the victims are actually dead in real life. Dean is extremely unsupportive of James being a witch; Sam is a bit more optimistic, but then James shows them his bloody clothes. Sam and Dean put James on house arrest while they do some research.

The crime scene reports match James’s dreams. They also find that James has had a suspiciously successful career as a cop. Dean has gathered supplies for an old witch-killing spell they had from Bobby. James isn’t like Benny or Kate. He chose the life he has. Dean isn’t willing to give him a free pass if it turns out he isn’t being controlled by another witch. The uncertainty of the spell leads the boys to bring up the uncertainty of the trials. Dean tries to convince Sam to switch places with him before it’s too late. Sam accuses Dean of not being able to trust anyone but himself.

Sam as Special Agent Keith, visits the police department and meets with Ed Stoltz, the head detective on the case. Sam “found” some evidence, a piece of fabric, at the crime scene the police must have missed. It is actually the shirt that James showed Sam and Dean. Sam wants to test whose blood is on it. Ed tells Sam a witness matching James’ description was scene, but is not mentioned in the police report.

Dean follows Portia to the bar James was at before. It’s a bar of witches. Portia introduces Dean to Phillippe LeChat and then to Spencer. Dean asks Spencer if he knows of a spell that allows a witch to control another witch. He says no. Spencer and Phillippe leave; Phillippe becomes a cat. He is Spencer’s familiar. Sam calls Dean from the motel. The blood on James’s shirt matches the third victim.

At night, Portia chains James to his bed. They have sex and being intimate allows Portia to see into James’s mind. She watches the murder of the hooker. Sam and Dean sneak into James’ house with the Bobby’s witch-killing potion, preparing to kill James. Portia stops them just in time, telling them it isn’t James who is doing the killing.

Portia tells Sam and Dean that when they were intimate, she could see what was happening to him. She could see the kills and there was no preparation or motive from James. There was no context and no other awareness of the crimes.

Sam goes back to the police department. The lieutenant has been looking at James’s file, but tells Sam there is nothing unique about him or his career.

Portia and Dean meet Drexel, a snitch James trusts and uses regularly in his detective work. He knows nothing about hexing or witches controlling other witches, but tells them James is causing a lot of chatter and concern in the witch community with these murders. He says James either needs to leave or die. He is a threat to their security.

Back in James’s house, Dean has been reviewing Bobby’s notes on witches. He finds a spell on creating false memories and planting images. James is still chained to the bed, but Sam and Dean need to see that file on James from the precinct. He suggests they let him astro-project himself inside. Sam and Dean agree, but insist on going with him. It works, and inside the precinct they see the murder witness is Phillippe LeChat. Ed Stoltz is trying to frame James because he beat Ed out for the position of lead detective. James gets angry and attacks Sam and Dean. He makes Portia leave him, and he runs off. James goes to the club and attacks Phillippe. He questions him about the witness statement. Phillippe tells James that he’s sorry, but he was forced to by Spencer, who then appears and kills Phillippe. Spencer loves Portia and while he could allow James to be her master, he could not stand for their sexual relationship. James and Spencer fight. Sam and Dean come in to help, but James incapacitates them by planting images Hell, Mary, and Adam in their heads. Portia attacks Spencer, giving Sam and Dean a window of opportunity to kill him with the potion.

Dean, Sam, Portia, and James reconvene in the motel parking lot. James and Portia are leaving because the case the police have against him is still strong and the witch community doesn’t understand that he is innocent.

When Sam and Dean drive away, Dean admits that he was wrong about the trials. Dean is no stronger than Sam, but the two of them are strong together. He trusts Sam to complete the trials and Dean is ready to support him. Sam starts coughing and he notices blood on his hand.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Puerto de la Cruz" by Tony Osborne and His Orchestra
(plays at the witch bar when James meets with Spencer)
  • "Dark Night Groove C" by Paul Lenart & Bill Novick (Sonoton)
(plays while Dean and Portia meet with Phillippe and Spencer)

Quotes

Sam: Okay, okay, okay. Before you get pissed off, look, I-I just want you to know this isn't my fault. She just showed up at the door, okay? Didn't track in any mud. Just wanted her belly scratched. I-I figured maybe she could stay tonight, and we'd try and find her a home tomorrow.

Dean: She can stay the night.

Sam: Two seconds ago, she was a dog. All right, who the hell are you?
Portia: I'm a familiar.

Dean: A what?
Sam: Companion to a witch -- some witches. Split their time between human and animal form.

Portia: I get a more accurate read on people in my other persona. Approaching guys in a motel room like this -- well, it gets complicated.
Dean: Well, here's the thing. Uh, witches -- not real fans.

Portia: Really? Well, James is a cop with a spotless record. He's used his skills for nothing but good. So why don't you lose the ignorant bigotry for maybe two seconds and give him a shot?
Dean: (to Sam) That was incredibly hot.
[Portia looks at Sam]

Sam: It was pretty hot.
Sam: I know what you're saying, Dean. You've said it. You know, I've been going over this and over this, asking myself "why doesn't he trust me?" And it occurred to me, finally. It's not that you don't trust me. It's that you can only trust you.
Portia: James and I were close, without psychological walls -- intimate.

Dean: I don't --
Sam: They had sex.
Dean: Wow... I, uh -- I didn't expect that.
Portia: We have an unusual relationship. Familiars aren't supposed to be sexually involved with their witches.

Dean: Understandable, you know, considering that you're a... ...well, and that he's... That's... Little help here?
Dean: I got to ask. I-I can't help but wonder --

Portia: Which came first, dog or girl?
Dean: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I'm just curious as to which one you consider yourself, mostly.
Portia: This have anything to do with what I told you about James and me last night? How you're imagining it?

Dean: What? No, that's... Yes.
Sam: Oh, by the way, got to hand it to you. It's been 15 hours since Portia mentioned her night with James, and not one bestiality joke outta ya.
Portia: James, are you sure you're still even able to do this?
Dean: Oh, well, that's a confidence builder. Anything else I should know before I become some disembodied thing, completely at his mercy?
Dean: Well, kids, don't try this at home.
Dean: You know, when I look back at what our family's been through, what everybody's been through, seeing all that pain... I realize that the only way we've made it through it all is by hanging together. I trust you, Sammy. With this deal, locking those sons of bitches up in the furnace once and for all, it's too important not to. So if you say you're good... ...then that's it. I'm with you 100%.

Trivia & References

The title of the episode is a play on the term "man's best friend" that is used to refer to dogs and the 2011 movie Friends with Benefits starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis.
The phrase "Friends with benefits" refers to friends who sleep with each other without the hassle of a real relationship.
Sam: I'm sorry, but I happen to think Shemp was a funnier stooge than Curly.

Dean: Curly was a freaking genius!
Sam: I always found Curly's work a bit obvious.
Dean: It's supposed to be obvious, man. They're stooges!

The Three Stooges were a trio specializing in physical slapstick comedy from the first half of the twentieth century. The lineup featured Moe, Larry, and either Shemp or Curly. There is much debate over whether Shemp or Curly was the better Stooge.
Phillippe LeChat's surname means "the cat" in French, but is pronounced "chatte" which is the French term for "pussy."
Spencer: Oh, she's way more than familiar, isn't she? When she picked you as master, I endured it. But when you two went all Bella and Edward, broke the code, put your passions before the community rules, well, the arrogance, the entitlement was too much. Your total ruination seemed appropriate.
Bella and Edward is a reference to the Twilight characters Bella Swan and Edward Cullen.

Minutiae

Curtis Caravaggio, who played Spencer, previously appeared in 1.19 Provenance as Mark Telesca, one of the first victims.
Dean does not like dogs and he is allergic to cats. He sneezes when he sits across from Phillippe LeChat.
"Creating false memories into another witch’s mind" is the name of the image planting spell Dean finds in Bobby’s notes.
Dean: Man, you know that we've never actually seen this witch-killing spell of Bobby's work, right? I mean, this is not a sure thing.
Dean and Sam tried to use the spell in 7.05 Shut Up, Dr. Phil to kill Maggie Stark , but it failed because the chicken's feet had spoiled.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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