Review of Episode 8×10: “Torn and Frayed”
Overall: Kinda hard to hate an episode that ends with the boys sitting side-by-side on a couch, sipping beers. 🙂 In a season that’s been uneven in terms of the brothers’ relationship – from Sam not looking for Dean to Dean siding with a vampire – this episode, which brought the boys together and forced them to examine their priorities, is definitely a keeper.
Dean: He drove all the way to Kermit, Texas just to finish a conversation with Sam. You have to give Dean some points for that. Also, he apologized for the Amelia texting scam, even after explaining why he thought it was necessary to take such measures. Also, Dean honestly admitted he wasn’t sure if he was done with Benny. In other words, Dean acted pretty darn mature. His only immature moments were with Cass, when Dean insisted that Sam’s help wasn’t needed – that was pure, idjit-brained stubbornness. Which is pretty in-character, so I can’t fault the writers, there. And then, in the end, Dean made the ultra-mature, difficult-but-necessary decision to cut Benny out. It had to hurt, and I don’t think Dean would have done it if he’d known how close Benny was to diving off the wagon, but in the end, Dean chose his brother. Well done, Dean!
Sam: He didn’t slam the door in Dean’s face. You have to give Sam some points for that. He had an honest – but not heated or irrational – discussion with Dean about priorities. They both came away from the conversation knowing that they had some tough choices to make. Also, Sam stepped up to help as soon as Castiel called on him. When an angel is being tortured, Sam can’t stay on the sidelines while others go into battle. That is the Sam we know and love. The only time Sam wasn’t the Sam we know and love was when he slept with Amelia. If he had decided to remain with her after her husband showed up, I would have had no problem with it. Back then, hubby was aware of the awkward situation and willing to let Amelia sort out her feelings. At this point, though, Amelia had re-committed to her husband, and he had no knowledge that she went out and slept with Sam. That’s an affair, and Sam is too good of a person to have an affair. That said, he did make the right decision in the end by cutting Amelia out of his life. It had to hurt, letting go of that relationship, but Sam did the right thing and chose his brother. Well done, Sam! My only question: does closing the door on Amelia mean closing the door on the pursuit of normal entirely? Or does Sam still want to go to college when the demon gate is closed? Hopefully, upcoming eps will make this more clear.
Castiel: Ouch! OMG, what did they do to you? Naomi is not only controlling Cass, but is physically torturing him. Someone needs to put one of those shiny angel-swords right through her skull. (I vote for Dean.) Poor Castiel’s fear and confusion were palpable in this episode. He is trying to do the right thing, and keeps getting controlled by an outside force. His heart is still his own, but his mind is Naomi’s personal remote control. Scary stuff.
One thing I loved in this ep, though, is how Cass was the one to bring the boys back together. When Cass said, “I got what we needed,” you just knew he had brought Sam! He gave the brothers a reason to stand united. And later, their concern for (and fear of) their favorite angel is what gave Sam and Dean the final push to cut ties with Amelia and Benny and refocus on the importance of The Job. (Incidentally, it was pretty hilarious that Sam and Dean probably had to drive a hundred miles together in silence before finally arriving at the cabin, drawing the appropriate symbols, and then getting to say what they’d been wanting to say since the moment Castiel murdered Samandriel: “What the hell???”)
Samandriel: Those angel-torture scenes were pretty darn brutal. (It was cool how he made the burning bush, though). After everything this guy went through, I really wanted him to make it. Having Castiel kill him was heartbreaking. Apparently, Naomi’s been torturing and controlling numerous angels, not just Cass, and she did not want the fact of her existence coming to light.
Crowley: Gruesome fun, as always. Interesting that he can speak Enochian, but the other demon present apparently couldn’t. The reveal about the Angel Tablet wasn’t that mind-blowing. Many people had guessed it already, or at least considered it a strong possibility. Question: Would locking angels in heaven be a terrible thing, considering the likes of Uriel, Zachariah, Raphael, and Naomi? Or could the tablet do something worse, such as killing them all?
Naomi: No idea what her motives are, but her methods are pure evil. She needs to die. Soon.
Amelia: No respect for her in this ep – she cheated on her husband. I’ll admit that she didn’t get a fair shake – when her hubby first came back, she still wanted to see if things could work with Sam, and Sam took that choice away by leaving. Nonetheless, the choice was made. She didn’t look for Sam or come after him. She just settled back into her life with her hubby, and therefore had no business sleeping with Sam in a motel room. And really, if she’s thinking about Sam all the time, she should just get a divorce. It isn’t fair to her husband, if she’s in love with someone else. Anyway, the whole thing’s gotten way too domestic for my tastes. The show didn’t spend half this amount of screen time on Dean’s relationship with Lisa – we got a two-minute montage of their year together, not lengthy flashbacks. I was disappointed at the time, but maybe this is why they chose not to show more Dean/Lisa domestic scenes. Right now, I’m hoping the Amelia storyline is over. If it’s not, then somebody needs to sprout hair or fangs or show black demon eyes…quick. Supernatural isn’t a soap opera.
Benny: I felt bad for him in this ep. Clearly, the Martin incident has rocked Benny’s boat. Benny was barely clinging on to the wagon when he talked to Dean the first time. I was amazed to see Benny still managing to hang on the second time they talked. You could tell that the hope of seeing Dean was the only thing that was keeping Benny going. Then, when Dean said he wasn’t coming, my heart broke a little. Dean made the right choice, but Benny is doomed because of it. Citizen Fang is about to fall off the wagon, and this storyline ain’t gonna end well…
Final thoughts: The strife between Sam and Dean this season had a manufactured, OOC quality that never quite rang true. If the rift had been more well-written, the ending of the episode might have brought a tear to my eye, or at least made me say, “Awwww.” As it was, I just said, “Thank Heaven that storyline is over, and the boys are back where they belong: together.” I am truly and whole-heartedly looking forward to the rest of the season.