Supernatural: Torn and Frayed

Posted by: Kyle Tetarenko  //  January 16, 2013 @ 9:17pm

After a short hiatus, Supernatural is back and when a secret is revealed, it may spell the end for the angels.

Now that he is one of Crowley's captives, Samandriel is being tortured for information about the tablets of the lord and also just for the fun of it. When a metal spike is driven into his brain, he utters some words in long dead language (Inokian if that is spelling it right) that speak directly to the tablets; piquing Crowley's interest. Elsewhere, Sam is with Amelia and the two of them are trying to sort out their relationship now that Sam just is back in town. The problem is that Amelia wants Sam completely; meaning he would have to give up hunting altogether if she was going to give up everything for him. Elsewhere, Dean and Castiel are trying to track down Samandriel and save him from Crowley. Castiel knows Samandriel doesn't have much time left and thanks to his heavenly guidance from Naomi, it's DEFCON 1 to save him. Though Dean is unwilling to admit it, Castiel knows that they need Sam to pull it off and brings the younger Winchester along for what may be his last mission. With time running out for Samandriel, the three of them will learn that they might not have as many options as they thought.

As a return from hiatus, Torn and Frayed had some surprisingly strong moments. Though the story with Samandriel was fairly weak and made little to no sense (I'll get to that later), the best moments were with Sam and Dean. Amidst their fighting all season about Dean's dishonesty and trusting Benny more than his brother, those issues finally came to a head. Sam's moments with Amelia were sincere and heartfelt as she knew he couldn't be hunting while she waited at home. Dean also had to face the reality that he couldn't continue to choose Benny over his brother and drop everything to help him. Their time together in purgatory may have forged a bond between the two of them but it was also keeping his brother at bay.

The distraction of Torn and Frayed was strangely, the central plot itself. The first issue I have is how physically intertwined an angel and their host are because that has never been fully clarified. In Castiel's flashes to his time in heaven being operated on by Naomi, he sat in a chair while she took a scalpel to his brain. It would have been much simpler and easier to suspend my disbelief if she had stood over him while a blinding light emitted from his head while he screamed. This would have utilized a mystical element over the practical and help retain an ambiguity to the nature of the angels. Secondly, how would Samandriel have little time left to live if he can only be killed by an angel blade or a more powerful entity (like a leviathan...ughhh)? Also, just because he couldn't escape Crowley's warehouse, how was it that Samandriel leave his body? I would have liked to have seen an angel hopping from body to body, destroying each inhabiting demon as he went before being trapped by Crowley and only able to wait for help.

Though Naomi (played by Amanda Tapping of Stargate: SG1 fame) has appeared in a few episodes already, I wanted to see where her story went before making a judgement. While we have yet to see what will come of her storyline, it still does beg the question how the angels don't already have their tablet if the demons never knew about it to begin with? Did anyone else find Naomi's dialogue militaristic? It didn't feel out of place (she is Colonel Samantha Carter!) but she said that she would die before she was a traitor like Samandriel. The language is very patriotic and an intriguing take on the material, but who does she report to?

Lastly, this may be a small quip but Benny should not have been wearing sunglasses in the brief scenes that we saw him in. Ty Olsson wasn't heavily featured in the episode and when Dean told him he wasn't going to help him anymore, we didn't get to see the pain behind the eyes that we needed to in that moment. Olsson has been a good addition to the season and we definitely haven't seen the last of him but his face should not have been covered up that much.

Though it was a mix of highs and lows, Torn and Frayed tied up Sam's story with Amelia and set up the rest of the season nicely. It looks like Supernatural will take a break from the serious side when Felicia Day returns in next week's LARP and the Real Girl.

Tags: Supernatural, Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Benny, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Ty Olsson, Castiel, Misha Collins

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