Episode: Supernatural 8.10 – “Torn and Frayed”
Original Air Date: January 16, 2013
Screencaps by spn-caps
The Winchester boys are twisting my heart into knots again, but somehow I don’t mind so much this time. Perhaps it’s the fact that their current set of issues has reached its inevitable conclusion and opened the door for a whole lot more possibilities. Or perhaps it’s the fact that, no matter what Sam and Dean do to me, I’ll keep coming back for more emotional ups and downs.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
First off, before we get into Heaven and Hell and unhealthy sibling bonds, let’s all take a moment of silence for the passing of an angel that we knew only briefly, but who proved to be an interesting character nonetheless. I’m speaking of Samandriel, or Alfie as he was known to his Earth-bound friends. His vessel was a man whose appearance would cause you to underestimate his worth, but beneath the surface beat the heart of a true soldier. Samandriel has been going through unimaginable torture since Crowley kidnapped him and he tried so very hard to resist breaking. And when he felt himself slipping, he even tried to send out a message to hopefully bring help his way. Granted, his method of communication involving a burning bush worked better in olden days when people knew not to lean their face too close to a talking plant.
But, in the end, even the strongest man is bound to break when Crowley’s giving out the torture. What makes the case even more tragic is how Cas was manipulated into the situation. He was sent on the mission to save Samandriel by Naomi, but he was unaware of this fact. Remember, it’s that handy angelic amnesia thing he’s got going on every time he visits the pretty, white room. So, without knowing his true reasons, Cas sets off to save his angelic brother. Of course he needs help with that mission and who better to recruit for the job than the Winchesters? It’s their thing, it’s what they do. I’ll delve more deeply into that whole mess of family drama in a second, but Cas’s family situation isn’t much better off. He’s got an angel mind-controlling him, forcing him to first retrieve and then kill Samandriel. I know he wasn’t under his own control when he did it, but still, I had hoped that Cas could fight back before he did something so deadly. Poor, dead Samadriel. He held a whole lot of answers about Naomi and we won’t get them now, at least not yet. Instead, we’ve got weird-acting Cas, seemingly evil Naomi, and a prophet that is carrying too much weight on his young shoulders.
Kevin is never going to be able to be a college kid, with few worries. No, instead he’s been tapped to be a prophet, been sent on the run to fear for his life, had his finger cut off, and now has been forced to send his mother away because he can’t take the distraction. All of this so that the world can one day, hopefully, be free of demons. Doesn’t that whole destiny thing remind you of two other guys who never had a chance at normality? Yeah, poor Kevin’s life sucks as much as Dean’s and Sam’s, but he keeps moving forward. Get the job done and don’t focus on anything else. It’s a sad comment on his life at the moment. Will he ever get a chance to return to his former life? Not likely. I just hope he and his mom don’t die too soon. I’d like to keep them around for a little while longer.
Two Winchester-related storylines seemed to come to an end in this episode, or at least came to a suitable conclusion for me. First there was Benny, who I suspect we may see again. He and Dean had their unbreakable bond, to the point where Dean was willingly ignoring Benny’s true nature and even siding with the vampire over his own brother. Not good at all. And Sam is tired of having to pull at Dean and make him see the situation for what it is, so he issues an ultimatum. Either Dean cuts ties with Benny or he cuts ties with Sam. He can’t have it both ways. It took Dean a while to make his decision, but in the end he did the right thing. Benny’s off on his own now, without Dean to serve as a leash, and I fear that at some point Benny’s going to break and drink from an innocent victim. If that occurs, I hope Dean can be strong enough to do what needs to be done.
The other concluding storyline, in almost a mirror image of Dean’s, was that of Sam and Amelia. Sam was being pulled between the life he had with Amelia and the life he has with Dean. The back and forth was never going to work and Dean knew that. Of course he wants his brother to be happy, but the messed up situation Sam was in at the moment wasn’t doing anyone any good. Dean’s ultimatum was simple: either go back to Amelia full-time or stick with Dean full-time, no more half-commitment to either. Amelia pretty much gave him the same choice. She was trying to build a life with Don, but it just wasn’t going to work if she kept thinking about and hoping for Sam to return. I get that they both thought they were in love with one another, but I saw that. Instead, they were two damaged people who were clinging to each other during trying times and now they’re having to deal with the aftermath of the world they thought they knew being upended again. In the end, Sam made the only choice he could, and Amelia was left to move on with Don.
Let’s reiterate this fact, Dean chose Sam and Sam chose Dean. Despite their arguments and strained relationship, the bonds of brothers could not be broken. Of course we knew it had to happen, since it’s the way it always happens. Even if Dean wants to pretend he can have a normal life, even if Sam keeps returning to that dream, the sad fact is that it will never happen. The Winchesters have the most codependent, messed-up, soul-bonded relationship you’ve ever seen. They’re going to share Heaven when they die for the final time, but until then they’re going to share a life together. It’s the way it should be, the way it will forever be. Live or die, they’re going to do it side by side, and I’m very much okay with that. Now to go save the world… again.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars