S1 Episode 15: The Benders
Let’s set the stage for this one. Imagine waking up in a cage. Inch thick bars all around you, everything, is creaking. You see a dark figure enter through a creaking barn door to your cage. The bars slide open, but only to give you food and water. The dark figure leaves, and you’re left with your thoughts. Scared yet?
In this episode, we take a look at the darker side of human nature with the Winchester brothers. Episode 15 starts off with a bang, and of course as always Sam and Dean are on the case.
The episode kicks off when a young boy sees his neighbor disappear. He hears a whining growl, and the next day the Winchester brothers check in to see what’s going on. At first neither of the brothers can say for sure what’s been going on. They speculate on what kind of beast it may as they go out to the bar to do more brainstorming. Dean is playing darts, and Sam states he needs to go out to the car.
As Sam is walking out he hears something strange. He kneels down to look under a car and gets scared by an orange tabby cat. The cat hisses at him before Sam smiles to himself. Standing up thinking he just heard things. A split second later the screen goes black. Dean becomes concerned when Sam doesn’t come back inside and goes out in search of him. He even asks a few people if they’ve seen Sam, but nothing comes of it.
Dean reports to the police station the next day. He gives the policewoman a false name and a stolen police badge. Stating he’s looking for Sam and that he’s family. As the policewoman brings up the information, she notices the description for a deceased “Dean Winchester” matches the description of the supposed “police officer named George” sitting in front of her desk. She tells Dean he will need to fill out a missing person’s report, but Dean convinces her to take him along to go see the traffic camera where Sam went missing.
Sam, on the other hand, finds the man who he and Dean had been looking for to begin with. Sam quickly learns that people have kidnaped him. He does see a dark figure enter in to give the other man food and water. The man states he gets fed once a day, and scoffs at Sam when he says Dean will come looking for them. A while later the cage door for the other man opens up, and he gets out. Promising Sam he’ll send help. He leaves but is quickly hunted down and killed. Sam hears the man’s screaming but is unable to do anything.
The policewoman runs the badge number Dean gave her. When it comes back, she realizes her instincts were correct the first time. She shows Dean the picture of the police officer who owns the badge, and even points out that the report mentions the badge was stolen. Once again, Dean finds himself almost caught but convinces the police woman to help him find Sam. She agrees, and they continue their search. It’s not long before they find a back road where Sam maybe have been taken. She handcuffs Dean to the handle of her car and leaves him to go search out the area. The policewoman meets a young girl, and starts talking to her. Only to be knocked out a minute later, and locked in a cage as well. Sam can do nothing but watch from his cage, but he has been working on a way to break out.
Dean escapes his bonds and goes up the road the policewoman had taken. He breaks into what appears to be an abandoned, run-down house. Inside he hears music playing. As Dean makes his way through the house, he notices many disturbing things. For one, there are human bones everywhere. Dean even comes across a mason jar filled with human teeth. He runs into the same little girl the policewoman did and is knocked out from behind with a pan. He’s tied down to a chair and interrogated. Once Dean is forced to reveal why he’s there, the father of the two sons and the daughter gives him a choice.
Dean gets to choose who gets hunted that night. Dean attempts to refuse but is forced into choosing a person by having a hot poker pressed into his shoulder. Dean chooses the policewoman, and at first that seems like it would be enough. Instead, the father gives the order shoot the policewoman and Sam while they’re still in their cages. Stating they need to clean up this new mess.
Thankfully, Sam figures out a way to break out of his cage. He slips out and hides after the power goes out. He jumps the men allowing for the policewoman to escape as well. Together they take out the men as Dean comes in to help them finish the job. The policewoman shoots the father after demanding to know why the man killed her brother. When the father laughs at her, she decides to end his life and lies that the man was attempting to escape.
As Dean is talking to the policewoman, she agrees to let them go. Unfortunately for the brothers they have to walk the entire way. Dean warns Sam the next time he goes missing; he’s not going to go look for him. Sam just grins and lets Dean have his way as they walk down the road.
“The Benders” is certainly an interesting episode. It goes off the beaten path of the Supernatural episodes we’ve seen before, and with a bit of a twist. One thing Dean states in the episode is that demons he understands, but not people. It’s certainly sad to see that the people who kidnaped Sam had done it before. The father even saying he and his sons kidnap two people a year. They give the people a chance to escape while going to hunt them down. It’s disgusting they treat people like animals and sad that the others were not saved beforehand.
This episode as Supernatural can be seen as a lesson. Demons, werewolves, vampire, and other supernatural beasts aren’t the only monsters the brothers have to worry about.
Fun Fact: Dean and Sam’s last name “Winchester” is the same as the “Winchester Rifle”.
Fact: There was a family called the “Bloody Benders” who were a family of serial killers. They owned a general store and an inn in Southeastern Kansas in Labette County in 1871 to 1873. The family is rumored to have killed at least a dozen different travelers.
When the crimes of the family were discovered, they fled before they could be punished. Their fate is unknown to this day. For more information about the Bloody Benders here are some sources:
I remember this one. It actually reminded me of that Torchwood episode where they were capturing and eating people – yuck! It’s a lot easier to think of monsters as having no soul (demons) or no choice … when people are the monsters though its definitely harder to ignore.