Cupping with Benefits: Supernatural’s “The Purge” Review
By Erin Resnick
Tired of feeling fat? Want to lose weight but hate working out? Hate all the fad diets and juices that just make you gain weight in the end? Well, Supernatural can fix that for you! Yes! With Peruvian
fish tacos parasites you can lose up to ten pounds in one day!
Once again our boys Sam and Dean found themselves pulled away from their angel/Abaddon battle and found themselves smack dab in the middle of a fancy shcmancy day spa in “The Purge.”
After an awkward conversation reiterating the status of their relationship (Sam insists that they still aren’t brothers, only partners), the boys follow a lead to middle America where they find a competition eater has suddenly died. The catch? The competitive eater has suddenly shrunk from three hundred to ninety lbs. The boys try to wrap their heads around what could have happened, even following a dead end to a Gypsy Romanichal woman, who despite creating her own cultures idea of a hex bag, was only guilty of having an affair with our now deceased eater.
At the same time, our unknown monster strikes again. This time it’s a woman in a gym. The boys are called to investigate and find one startling mark unseen before: a red, suctioned circle on her back. After noticing the same mark on the still alive gym trainer, Sam and Dean are lead to an upscale, popular spa.
Canyon Valley Spa, owned by Maritza and her husband Larry, is a wonderful getaway for anyone just trying to shed some pounds. The married duo promise results without exercise and without healthy eating. The Winchesters pose as personal trainers and are hired at Canyon Valley. Sam becomes the new yoga instructor while Dean is relegated to kitchen duty making tofu pancakes.
In the spa, the sheriff from town is getting her own treatment. Maritza explains that the procedure is called “cupping” and will leave red circles on her skin. Everything seems legitimate until- OH CRAP WHAT IS THAT THING!? Maritza’s eyes roll back into her head and a long, suction tongue is released from her mouth. This is Maritza’s way of blending in: using spa techniques to cover the red marks that her suction tongue makes to eat fat (I’d actually be okay with this, so long as I didn’t wind up dead on the massage table.)
Back in the kitchen, co-worker Alonzo is bossing Dean around. He doesn’t care, though; he’s too fixated on the delicious salted caramel pudding. Dean begins to feel dizzy and eventually drops to the ground. Meanwhile, Sam is getting side-eyed and questioned while he pretends to teach yoga (didn’t you know that posing in downward dog for five minutes is relaxing?). He notices every person in his class have the same red marks. Time to put this mystery to rest.
Dean musters up enough strength in his semi passed out state to call Sam. Sam comes to Dean’s rescue and the two deduce that the supplements in the pudding are actually roofies. A quick chat with the sheriff brings their suspicions up as she has already lost ten lbs. in one day.
At the same time, Maritza and Larry have figured out that Sam and Dean are hunters. They seem worried as their cover is about to be blown. Maritza begins to dispose of evidence (fat) but is caught in the act by Dean. He ties her up but Maritza seems genuinely scared and upset. She explains that she is a Peruvian adipose fish taco pishtaco, a parasite that feeds off the fat of humans. Her only goal is to co-exist and provide humans with a new solution to lose weight while safely feeding herself. All would be okay except Alonzo, Dean’s kitchen co-worker and Maritza’s brother, is the one who has been murdering folk. He can’t control his urges.
Alonzo kills Larry and is about to dispose of Sam when Dean shows up to save the day again, cutting off Alonzo’s suction tongue and killing him once and for all. End of story, right? Except Dean once again bring out his hypocrisy as he wants to make Alonzo’s death a family affair. Who cares if Maritza is trying to do the right thing? She’s a monster and all monsters need to die in Dean’s eyes. Sam refutes him and tells him that he won’t let Dean kill her– she’s done nothing wrong. It’s a one-way ticket back to Peru for Maritza.
Back at the bunker, the brothers have one last conversation about the events that transpired. Sam insists Dean only saved him so he wouldn’t feel lonely, he saved Sam for himself. Dean says it’s because Sam’s his brother and he would do the same if the tables were turned. Except it’s not true. Sam wouldn’t save Dean this time around; he wouldn’t follow the same path as his brother. Dean’s face once again finds that heartbreaking frown we’ve come to know all too well.
This episode served as a filler to bigger events about to take place. Dean’s continued hypocrisy and inability to see the different sides of demons is tiresome. He’s actively seen and even befriended demons that know how to co-exist among humans. He knows that there can be an exception to the rule.
Sam’s confession to Dean was heartbreaking. The theme of the show has always been family. These two brothers have stood at deaths door for one another but Sam feels like he can no longer continue down the same road. He’s had enough lies and enough experiences to know that sacrificing himself again isn’t the option he would take anymore as he continues to grow as a person.
While filler episodes are necessary to complete a full season, I kind of miss the humble beginnings of exercising spirits. Peruvian parasites that feed on fat? SNOOKIE ON THE NEXT EPISODE!? Oh jeez. What is happening anymore? And where is my sweet angel Castiel? Two episodes without Castiel is two episodes too long. Bring on the angels!