Man’s Best Friend With Benefits Recap

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This episode opens in St. Louis, Missouri. A woman, a hooker, is with a man in a dark alley. He pays her and then leaves. Someone in a car is watching her. She starts walking but she turns around when she hears a car door close behind her. She carries on walking and hears more noises and turns around anxiously, taking a long look. When she turns back again a man is in front of her. He takes out his detective’s badge and shows it to her. She is relieved he’s a policeman and says, ‘guess it’s not my night’ and he replies, ‘guess not’. She turns around so he can handcuff her and then faces him. He looks at her and then grabs her around the neck, squeezing hard. He must have ruptured her throat because blood paints his face red. Suddenly we see the same man, undressed, waking up in bed after a nightmare. We see the after-images of this ‘dream’ – he’s strangling her, then she’s lying dead on the floor. A dog who is on the floor next to the bed whines and jumps onto the bed with him and he pats it and then slowly lays back… Later, he gets up to make coffee but when he empties the coffee grounds into the bin, he sees a shirt covered in blood stuffed in there…

…The scene changes to Dean and Sam driving up to the ‘Sleepy Lodge Motel. They are arguing over who was the better Stooge – Curly or Shemp. Dean says it’s the ‘lame-assiest’ thing Sam’s ever said that he prefers Shemp because Curly’s too obvious! They go into their room and Sam asks if they should call James now but Dean says to leave it until tomorrow as the drive’s been a b*tch. Sam wonders what he (James) wants and Dean says the text said he needed help - he figures it’s work-related as James is a cop. Dean says he’s going on a beer run and he asks Sam if he needs anything. Sam says no but Dean asks him if he’s sure he’s alright as he’s just ganked a hellhound. Sam says he’s good but Dean goes on to say he could tag Sam and kill a ‘devil dog’ himself. Sam replies that Kevin doesn’t know what the next trial is and Dean should stop worrying. He says he’ll be ready to take it on. Dean leaves to get the beer… Sam is in the bathroom and he hears a scratching at the outside door. He opens it cautiously and there’s a dog there, alone. It’s the same dog with the man having a nightmare. The dog runs in and jumps on the bed. She’s friendly and Sam plays with her but then he sees lights through the window and hears the Impala...

Sam runs out and tries to explain to Dean about the dog before he goes in and sees her and gets mad. Sam says she just turned up and she hasn’t tracked any mud in and she just wants to have her belly scratched and maybe she can stay the night and they’ll find her home in the morning? Dean just looks at him and Sam opens the door behind him. Dean sees an attractive woman with a collar around her neck, on the bed! He says, ‘she can stay the night’ and Sam looks around and says, ‘two seconds ago she was a dog’ and he goes in with his knife drawn. She tells them she’s a familiar and Sam explains to Dean that a familiar is a companion to a witch and they spend their time between human and animal form. She explains she can read people better in her other form so she used that to approach them. She says her name is Portia and she belongs to James Frampton. Dean is stunned to learn their friend is a witch. She explains that James became interested in the Black Arts after a case he worked on with them and the Occult became the center of his world. Dean is shocked to find out James became a witch because of him and Sam. Portia then says, ‘you don’t like dogs’ to Dean, who is nonplussed by the statement. She goes son to say James is still a cop, a homicide detective and Sam asks her why he needs help from them. She explains that James started having terrible headaches, hearing screaming in his ears and having awful nightmares – he can’t sleep or think or work and it’s like he’s having a breakdown. Dean says he doesn’t want to help a witch but she’s angry and tells him James has only used his powers for good so he should put his ‘ignorant bigotry’ aside for two seconds. Dean looks half-away and says, ‘that was incredibly hot’. She makes a sound of disgust but Sam agrees with Dean…

The scene changes to a bar. James is having a drink at a table and a man comes to join him. He tells James he looks awful and asks if things aren’t any better, James says things are worse and he doesn’t know what’s happening to him. He says the dreams are torture. The man says he didn’t know about the dreams and James says they are dark, bloody. He tells the man, Spencer, that they scare the Hell out of him; they are so real, night after night. Spencer tells James he needs to see someone but James is skeptical and Spencer suggests some time away but James says it’s gone way beyond that. Spencer says he’s taken on too much, that he can’t reconcile what he is with the job he does. James tells Spencer Portia is missing; he thinks he’s pushing her away…

The scene changes back to Dean, Sam and Portia in the motel room. Portia’s explaining about the dreams and Dean asks her if James thinks the dreams are real, that he’s killing these people She says she thinks so, at least that was before he started blocking her. Sam asks her what that is and she explains that a witch and their familiar can communicate telepathically; she can get inside James’ head but now he’s shut her out. She tells The Boys there may be something dark in there he doesn’t want her to see… Something that’s destroying him. She says he can’t go to the police and he doesn’t trust other witches… Dean says he’s surprised James has contacted them as they are hunters and Portia admits she sent the text, James doesn’t know about them.

The scene changes to a blind man walking along a street. Someone is watching him. The man hears noises from the bushes and turns around asking, ‘is someone there?’. Suddenly James appears and grabs the man by the throat. James is splashed with blood again and he wakes up in his bed…

…Back at James’ place, he’s having an argument with Portia about involving Dean and Sam. The Boys are sitting in the living room listening to them fight in the bedroom; then Portia comes out in her dog form, looks at them and runs off. James comes in and greets them. Dean’s not happy with James being a witch and comments on it. Sam hears him out and then asks James about the dreams. He says he could feel his fingers ripping into the flesh, that he woke up in his bed but he’s not sure they were dreams. The Boys don’t understand but James explains that he checked with the precinct and those people he dreamed about did die. He shows them the bloodstained shirt from the garbage and tells them it’s his. He says he doesn’t know what’s happening to him and Dean suggests that maybe he pissed off another witch who’s hexed him and forced him… James says it’s possible but he’s never heard of it. He tells them he’s had four dreams; the last one was the previous night, about a blind man… Dean says they’ll help him but he has to do his part. James asks him what he means and Dean pulls some chains out of a bag. He says, ‘you’re going to have to stay put… House arrest, my friend.’

...Back at the motel, Sam is checking the reports on the murders on the laptop when Dean walks in saying he’s got the last of it – the ‘it’ being the ingredients for the ‘witch-killing’ spell. Sam tells Dean that James gave them completely correct information about the victims, which Dean says isn’t good, and from his police record Sam says he went from rookie detective to lieutenant overnight, plus his crime solve rate is 100%... Dean’s not surprised as James has the ‘bouga-bouga’ on his side. Dean starts talking about the ‘witch-killing spell’ from Bobby that he’s assembling, saying they’ve never seen it used and don’t know if it works, and that he wants to have the odds on their side and he’s concerned, and Sam half-smiles and asks him if he’s talking about the spell or the Trials… Dean looks serious and walks towards Sam, saying that if they get too far down this road they won’t be able to go back, and it will be too late for him to jump in. Sam’s annoyed. He asks Dean who says he’s going to have to (jump in)? …That maybe he’ll pull this one off? Sam says he’s gone over and over it, asking himself why Dean doesn’t trust him and he’s realised that it’s not that Dean doesn’t trust him, he only trusts himself to do it. Dean asks if he’s done and Sam says he’s done if Dean’s done, and he walks back to the table…

Dean says once he’s put this spell together, if they have to use it, they can’t hesitate. Sam asks him if he means the witch who’s done this to James and Dean says, ‘or if there’s no other witch…’
Sam says they could give James a free pass, that it wouldn’t be the first but Dean says that he likes James but people are getting ganked, and besides, Benny and Kate were forced to be who they are, but James chose this…

The scene switches to Sam entering the police station, talking to one of the lab technicians about the bodies of the victims. He’s pretexting as an FBI agent and the technician introduces to a detective, Ed Stolz, who’s leading the investigation. The detective is abrupt and doesn’t want to discuss the case with Sam; he says all the crime locations have been looked at but Sam gives him a small piece of bloodstained fabric which he says he and his partner found at one of the murder scenes. He asks the detective to run the bloodwork and see if it’s the victim’s or the killer’s and Ed hands it to the technician. Ed says a witness did see a man in a suit and white shirt but when Sam says that isn’t in the report and asks him about it, Ed cuts him off and won’t discuss it further. He tells Sam he’ll get back to him about the blood and walks off. Sam leaves…

Meanwhile, Dean is entering the same bar James was at. Portia is with him. He asks her why he’s getting the ‘stink-eye’ and she says they can tell he’s an outsider. He asks if they are all witches and she says, ‘and stuff…’ But she also says if anything is going on with James, they’ll know. Dean asks her how James found her and she tells him it doesn’t work that way, the familiar finds the master and they become inseparable. Dean makes a comment about that’s how people feel about their pets and she tells him she’s not James’ pet. He smiles and says, ‘not all the time’, but she’s angry and grabs him, saying ‘not ever! The master and familiar, there’s an unbreakable bond, like a melding of souls… We’d die for each other.’
Someone calls Portia over. She introduces Dean to someone called Philippe Le Chat. She tells him Dean is a Wiccan from Detroit and they sit down. Dean starts sneezing and says it only happens around cats… Portia asks if Spencer is around and he says yes. Philippe asks about James and says there’s a lot of ‘buzz’ going around.. Portia says it’s all gossip and that the community has a ‘little attitude going’. Philippe says he brings it on himself with being a ‘witch-cop’. Dean agrees with that sentiment, but then Philippe tells Portia that what she’s doing isn’t done, and she knows it. She doesn’t say anything and Dean asks what isn’t done, but then Spencer comes over. Dean introduces himself and Portia tells him Spencer’s the man to ask so Dean asks if he knows of a spell for a witch to control the actions of another witch. Spencer says no and he doesn’t think it’s possible. He asks Portia how James is and she says better. Spencer tells Philippe they have to go and he leans forward, staring at Dean and says, ‘so nice to meet you’; then he turns into a black cat! Dean says, ‘I knew it!’ to Portia and then his cell rings. It’s Sam, He tells Dean that the lab report from the blood on James’ shirt matches that of victim #3. Dean says that pretty much says it all…

Back at James’ place, Portia is manacling James to his bed. She doesn’t want to do it and tells him they don’t have to but James says if he’s innocent he has to do the right thing, and if he’s not, he still has to do the right thing.. She lays down next to him and tells him she loves him and they kiss… Suddenly she has visions of James attacking the victims and blood spraying everywhere as her telepathic link with James is renewed. She looks at him in shock…

…Dean and Sam enter a house quietly. Dean has a bottle containing the witch-killing spell. They go into the bedroom and see James, manacled to the bed. He’s awake and looking at them, silent. Dean flicks his lighter ready to light the rag hanging outside the bottle, ready to torch James when some sliding doors open and Portia comes out, shouting, ‘no, Dean!’ She tells him it’s not James…

Portia explains she was close to James tonight, without psychological walls, intimate… Dean doesn’t understand and he looks at Sam, who says, ‘they had sex’ hurriedly. Portia says familiars aren’t supposed to have a sexual relationship with their witches. Dean’s shocked and he starts talking, trying to understand and empathize with Portia but he can’t get the words out and he just ends up digging a hole for himself. He asks Sam for help but Sam just looks at him and Dean gives up (Jensen’s facial expressions here are truly hilarious!). Portia says this was the first time in weeks they had made love as James’ agony had eaten him up and he’d shut her out, but tonight she saw his memories but just the memories – no preparation, no thought processes, no anticipation, no motive… She asks them if that doesn’t suggest he’s under another’s control. Dean says Spencer didn’t think that was possible but she says that he hadn’t heard of it. She says that James is chained up, confined and she asks them to help… Dean and Sam look at each other…

Sam is back at the police station. He sees Detective Stolz with the tech guy he was talking to previously. Sam sees the tech guy has a folder with James Frampton’s name on it under his arm but he says nothing. The tech guy leaves and Sam asks if Ed has any new leads but he says no and that the case is drifting towards the back burner. Sam says it must have been tough to lose someone like Lieutenant Frampton but Ed answers he’s just on leave. Sam carries on pushing, saying he understand s James was the youngest person ever to make lieutenant and that must have made waves but Ed dismisses that and says the department runs like a dog sled – if one mutt goes lame another one just pops up. He walks off, leaving Sam alone. He tries the door of the office Ed and the tech guy were standing next to, but it’s locked…

…Back to Dean, who’s with Portia. He parks the Impala outside a warehouse and they go in to meet a warlock called Drexyl, whom James uses to get information when he suspects someone in the community. Dean is still curious about Portia. He starts to say, ‘I gotta ask… I… I can’t help but wonder…’ and she finishes the question for him, ‘which came first, dog or girl?’
‘Yeah, just curious which one you consider yourself, mostly?’ he replies. She asks him if it’s about what she said last night about her and James, if it’s to do with what he’s imagining, and he’s embarrassed and says no, but then he says yes. She shakes her head slightly and doesn’t answer but just then a car pulls up – it’s Drexyl. He says there’s no word on the street about any witch hexing another one but there’s plenty of chatter about James, saying he’s ‘gone ripper’ as in Jack the Ripper. He says someone is circulating the rmor that James is set at ‘full kill’ and if the cops get wind of it, arrest James and find out what he is, it will expose the rest of the witch community. Drexyl says the community is going to give James two choices – leave or full hara kiri. Portia says she won’t let him do that but Drexyl replies that the community might do it for him, and he leaves…

Back at James’ house Dean is going through Bobby’s data and he tells Sam, who’s just walked in, that Portia may be right; he’s found a spell for implanting images in someone else’s brain. He reads it out to Sam, ‘creating false memories into another witch’s mind.’ Sam says James could be convinced he’s killed those people without ever having touched them and there could be someone else doing it. Dean says they’re going to a lot of trouble to lay the blame on James and asks Sam what he found at from the cops. Sam tells him Ed Stolz said they haven’t got anything but he mentions the tech guy with the big folder on James… Dean says Ed didn’t mention that and Sam agrees. He gets up and says that he's got to hand it to Dean, it’s been fifteen hours since Portia told them about her night with James and Dean hasn’t made one bestiality joke. Dean just grins…

…Sam and Dean walk into the bedroom where James is still manacled to the bedposts. He says Portia’s told him that the community wants him burned at the stake. Dean says it’s getting ugly and Sam says the police may have more on the case than they are saying, including a thick dossier on him. James is surprised. Sam says he thinks it’s under lock and key at the precinct in room C110 James says they should break in and Dean scoffs, saying ‘sure, a locked room in a joint crawling with cops 24/7 – why didn’t he think of that?’
James says a witch can go to a place without going to a place. Dean says, ‘what, like phone sex?’ James doesn’t take the bait and says, ‘astral projection.’ He tells them they have to free him first though. Dean doesn’t want to release James but he says no irons, no magic, and no magic, no break-in. Sam agrees but only if they go with him…

The three of them are sitting on the bed, James in the middle. Portia expresses her doubt that James can even do astral projection at the moment, which sends Dean off the deep end for a moment, but they close their eyes and James says the spell… They are travelling at speed through the police station as if in a dream. They enter the locked room and see Ed and the tech guy there. There are pictures of the victims and James on the wall and there’s a witness statement signed by Philippe Le Chat… They reverse their course at super-speed and get back to the bedroom. James hurriedly stands up from the bed. Dean and Sam sway as they are woken abruptly and Dean asks James to give them some warning when he snaps them back at speed. James just says that Stolz is building a case against him. Portia’s shocked but James carries on saying that Ed’s always wanted a breakthrough case and one against a renegade cop qualifies. Sam says yes, especially one Ed holds a grudge against. James says they dropped Ed as lead detective on his first case and gave it to him instead. Sam asks if this is payback. Portia says he can’t just arrest James, he needs proof but James says he’s got it, he’s got everything he needs. She asks from who and Dean answers, ‘from Phil…The cat.’ James starts to lose control and Dean and Sam try and calm him down but he uses his magic to throw them hard into the corners of the bedroom and they are unconscious. James tells Portia it’s not safe for her and to go. She pleads to stay with him but he won’t listen and he shouts, ‘go!’ at her and she leaves, tearful…

… Philippe is at the witches’ bar having a drink when James comes in and lifts him up and throws him on the counter. He pins Philippe down by gripping him by the neck and asks him why he’s telling lies about him. Philippe denies it but James tells him he’s seen the evidence room and the sketch based on an eye-witness account. Phil tells him he had no choice – his master made him do it. James says he’s lying – Spencer is his friend – but Phil says it was a direct command and he asks James not to hurt his face. James starts to believe him and he lets go of him but then Phil’s neck twists violently to one side and he’s dead. James hears a voice saying, ‘he was always spineless… Now literally’ and he looks around and sees Spencer.

…They face each other. James accuses Spencer saying, ‘it was you? You were behind all this?’
Spencer replies, ‘I humbly accept credit.’
James asks him if Ed Stolz put him up to it. He asks if Ed found out Spencer was a witch and was blackmailing him but Spencer tells him he’s not thinking straight and it was crucial Ed didn’t believe in the Occult. He says Ed’s built a solid case against him. James said he doesn’t understand and Spencer tells him neither of them has ever considered his feelings. James realizes it’s all about Portia. Spencer says it was an insult when she chose James over him. He says he wanted her as his soul-mate the moment he saw her. James says she was meant to be his familiar but Spencer says she was way more than that. He tells James he endured it when she picked James as her master but when they went ‘all Bella and Edward’, letting their passions rule them and breaking the community rules he thought he’d ruin James completely.

Dean and Sam arrive but Spencer senses them. Dean says, ‘so James didn’t kill those…’ but then Spencer uses his magic to fling The Boys against the wall. James throws some magic at Spencer while he’s distracted but then Spencer attacks James and paralyses him, lifting him up into the air. James is grunting with the pain as Dean and Sam get up shakily. Dean goes to his pocket for the bottle with the witch-killing spell inside it but Spencer throws some more magic at them. He says he can get inside other heads as well…
Sam remembers falling into Lucifer’s Cage and burning there, and Dean sees his mother aflame; then he’s on the hook, being tortured in Hell too… Neither of them can move and Spencer turns back to James but then Portia comes running in in dog form and she attacks Spencer and knocks him to the ground, going for his throat. James falls to the floor and Dean and Sam are released from their spell too. Dean holds the bottle while Sam lights the wick and mutters the spell; meanwhile Spencer has thrown Portia off and has just stood up but Dean throws the bottle and it hits Spencer squarely. He’s wreathed in gray smoke and he shouts in pain, but then the smoke turns read and he disappears – he’s dead… James gets up and goes over to Portia, who’s back in human form…

… They are all outside the motel – Dean and Sam, James and Portia. Dean asks James if he’s sure he wants to go but James says Ed has built a case against him that would make things too difficult and the witches’ community doesn’t want any part of it so… Portia says they’ll start over, and she says she’ll miss Sam, and maybe Dean too… He says he likes dogs but she smiles and says he really doesn’t. She gets into the car and then turns back into a dog, and James goes into the driver’s seat and they leave.

…Dean’s driving and he tells Sam it’s possible he was wrong. Sam thinks he’s talking about James and says they were both ready to gank him but Dean says he’s not talking about that. He says he saw Mom burning and some other crap when Spencer messed with his head, and Sam says, ‘me too’. Dean goes on to say after all they’ve gone through, everything bad that’s happened to their family and everyone else, he realizes the only way they’ve got through this is by hanging together. He says, ‘I trust you, Sammy…And with this deal, locking those sonsob*tches up in the furnace once and for all, it’s too important not to… So if you say you’re good that’s it, I’m with you one hundred percent.’
Sam says he’s good but he starts coughing and when he puts his hand to his mouth he sees blood on his knuckle. He wipes his mouth clean but doesn’t tell Dean…

Editor’s note:
I think this is a good episode – witches episodes usually are – but it’s important for the exchange between The Brothers at the end. After the terrible time Dean endured in Purgatory and feeling that Sam effectively abandoned him to his fate – he didn’t even try and look for his brother – and knowing Sam doesn’t want to continue hunting, Dean is still backing Sam in the Trials. Sam however is still keeping secrets… Some of the dialog is verbatim where I felt it was important or where it was much easier to use it than to write about it.

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