Supernatural, S8 Ep10 – Torn and Frayed

Sam, Castiel, and Dean standing around Impala
Dean and Sam having a tiff

As the Supernatural world turns. . .

Supernatural is back! It’s been a long, desperate month or so, wandering through the Winchester-less days, trying to go on with life despite the gaping hole in our Wednesday night television viewing, but we have survived! We may have tried some crazy things to fill the void: I nearly gnawed through my own leg, but…well that’s an unrelated story. But no more! Now, instead of socializing with our friends and family, we can return to crying over demon-hunting brothers and the trench coat-wearing angel who loves them.

So, “Torn and Frayed.” This was an episode for break ups and revelations, it looks like. Some interesting things happened in this episode, some very interesting things that are no doubt going to be a big part of the second half of the season. There was one thing I was really glad to see happen, one I’m really interested to see more of, and one thing that I DID NOT LIKE. AT ALL. The THING that happened I unfortunately saw coming from the beginning, but I still held out hope. Which is silly, because Supernatural fans don’t get nice things and I should know that by now, but still.

Castiel writing on Sam's hand, featuring the Impala

Cas heard that Sam was single again. . .

When last we left Sam and Dean, Sam had run off to Texas because he thought Amelia was in trouble, thanks to a fake text from Dean, and Dean had to deal with Benny having killed Martin the crazy hunter. This episode had both brothers end their new relationships because they don’t share very well. Sam and Amelia’s final goodbye was long and drawn out, and I stopped caring several episodes ago. I think it’s finally over for them, unless the writers decide to further rip off their own plotline and have Amelia used as bait at the end of the season like Lisa had been used against Dean in season six. But I think this might be the last we see of Amelia, and that is what I was glad to see happen because this plotline has been dragging for quite some time.

I feel bad for cheering its end because Amelia and Ms. Tran are the only two female characters we’ve seen regularly this season, plus I think Sam deserves some romance after all the crap he’s been through, but this plotline has been so boring. (Though their brief reunion scene this episode was made unintentionally amusing when I realized it featured the same music as that in the herpes medication commercial from season five’s “Changing Channels.”) I’m also not fond of how Amelia and Sam slept together after she and her husband had gotten back together. I know, I know, relationships and feelings and other human emotions are messy things, but I don’t like adultery, it’s one of those things that’s just too skeevy for me to handle. I want Sam to have a good story arc again, one that doesn’t make me want to fall asleep, because he deserves better than this. Even if this were a regular drama without angels burning demons out of people’s skulls, this particular romance has been a long meandering pointless trip to nowhere. So I’m hoping that this is the last we see of Amelia. Sam might pine for a bit, but if he doesn’t get back on the horse and get a decent story I’m going to be mightily upset.

Benny on the phone

You’re breaking up with me over the phone? That’s pretty low, Dean.

Moving on to something I actually care about: Benny! After Sam finally broke things off with Amelia, Dean made the decision that fair is fair and if Sam had to break up with his girlfriend, then Dean had to break up with his boyfriend. I mean, vampire. They both handled it well. Benny at least seemed to have seen it coming. Maybe he knew that one day Dean would come to his senses and realize that he can’t associate with the same kind of creature he hunts for a living.

But Benny had called Dean earlier in the episode because he needed some help. He looked like he was jonesing for some fresh blood, and after he killed Martin in self-defense I can see why. He’s tasted his first fresh blood since he’s been back on earth, he’s going through withdrawal. When Sam left Amelia, it felt like an end to that story, but when Dean hung up on Benny, it felt more like a shift. Benny doesn’t have Dean to help him out anymore when he gets in a jam; he’s on his own, and he might end up falling off the wagon. That’s how it felt when they hung up the phone, like the next time we see him it will be at the end of Dean’s machete. Benny has added an interesting element to the show and I hate to see him go, but I’m even more worried about how he might show up again, and that next time he won’t be a friend, he’ll be just another monster.

Dean and Sam eating their feelings

Dean and Sam eating their feelings.

After breaking up with their respective human and/or monster, Sam and Dean had their usual “we’re back together again” scene of brotherly camaraderie, but it felt forced this time.  They were clearly both thinking about something — someone — else. There was tension underlying their reunion, and I don’t think everything’s gone back to normal. They’ve once again given up their own lives to focus on the job, and this might be one time too many for things to slot back easily. The only reason they’re even on each other’s side this time was because of the central plot point of this episode’s story. Castiel needed their help to save Samandriel, something I’ll get to in a moment, and so he brought the boys together to fight off the demons that had captured heaven’s most adorable angel. Sam and Dean were forced back together, and it felt like they were just going through the motions when they later decided that they would stay that way. I don’t know if that was just bad writing or if that means that they’re still not all right with each other just yet. I guess time, and by time I mean the next episode, will tell.

Kevin Tran

Prophet of the Lord and next cover model for GQ.

Now, as I just mentioned, Castiel was sent on a recovery mission by Naomi to save Samandriel. Of course, his mind was altered so that he thought that he had come up with the plan himself. He called on Dean because he feared that his mission would require such difficult things as talking to people. I feel you, man, I feel you. Samandriel was being tortured by Crowley and one of his goons, so Castiel gathered together Sam, Dean, and the ingredients needed for some of those demon bombs that Kevin discovered through the demon tablet. Speaking of Kevin, he showed up basically just to give them the ingredients list, to give Dean some wisdom about focusing on the job, and to look surprisingly hot with a bit of scruff. We also got to see Garth’s boat — Fizzles’ Folly — because the writers’ seem to have an obsession with boats this season, but that’s O.K.

After Castiel collected everything needed to create Team Free Will, they went off to save Samandriel. And that’s where things got interesting. Crowley’s crony had managed to dig deep into Samandriel’s brain to his angel base code, which made him start speaking angel secrets in Enochian. Naturally, Crowley speaks Enochian and he translated Samandriel’s chanting to discover — dun dun duuunnn — there’s an angel tablet! What sort of things are on the angel tablet? And how bad would it be if the King of Hell got ahold of it? This is the thing that I’m looking forward to seeing more of. You just know that this is going to be the next big plot point of the season; we didn’t even need the completely unnecessary and ridiculous zoom in on Crowley’s face to tell us that. Crowley’s going to go after the angel tablet while Kevin tries to translate the broken half of the demon tablet, and we’ll see who gets there first. Things are going to get interesting.

Samandriel staring at Castiel in awe

Samandriel can’t believe he’s meeting Misha Collins. That dude’s a legend on twitter.

But then the big DO NOT WANT incident of the episode happened. Naomi did not like that Samandriel had let their secrets slip; she also probably did not like that he tried to tell Castiel about what horrible things were actually going on in heaven, so Naomi made Castiel kill Samandriel. Cue me screaming, NOOOO!!!! Not Samandriel, the angel of Wiener Hut! Alas, we barely knew thee, but thou were freaking adorable! So, yeah, they killed Samandriel, because killing beloved characters is what they do best, and the worst part is that Castiel had to be tortured into doing it. When he regains his marbles, he’s going to be so gutted at what he was made to do.

And then there’s the other big plot point that’s probably going to be explored: Sam and Dean have finally clued in to the fact that something’s wrong with Cas, and I imagine pretty soon they’ll figure out something is hinky in heaven. So I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen next, but I’m going to be over here in the corner eating marshmallow fluff from the jar and reading fanfic about how Samandriel is not dead and he and Kevin start a detective agency and solve crimes.

Other than the Thing That Totally Did Not Happen Because Samandy Is Fine, I Said FINE, I guess this was a pretty good episode. It was a bit weak in how the brothers got back together, and any scene with Amelia, sadly. Next week, though, it seems they’re going to try and make up for the pain in this episode with Felicia Day in “LARP and the Real Girl.” No doubt there will be much making fun of my people, but Dean will be dressed up in costume so I say it’ll be worth it.

Charlie, Sam, and Dean at a Ren Faire