Supernatural Review: "Unforgiven"
Supernatural took a trip down Memento lane this week, giving Sam his own glimpse at some of his soulless exploits during the past year.
While viewers have already had the chance to see Sam act like the T-1000 and display zero emotion for the first 11 episodes, “Unforgiven,” took it one step further to reveal some of his questionable actions.
Sam without his soul is calculatingly cold hearted and tactfully truculent. His fierce gazes, swift punches, and quick killings are enough to make even Samuel Campbell uncomfortable.
It was odd to see Samuel uneasy and following his grandson’s lead on the case. He has always acted confidently in charge around Sam, even ordering him what to do. Why the change in character would be understandable if I had some more background on Samuel.
Sure, I like that he doesn’t fall under one category of good guy or bad guy, but Samuel’s actions didn’t feel consistent with his appearances in other episodes. Maybe he was just getting used to his return to the living, and watching Sam act without feeling was not something he could understand. Perhaps it took him some time to get used to everything.
As for Sam’s libido, it clearly hit the top of the Richter scale. Nothing says sex like soulless sex.
Rather, it showed the contrast in personalities between the two versions of Sam. Much like the Clint Eastwood character, Munny, in the film Unforgiven, Sam too has the past of a ruthless killer with desires to do good. Unfortunately, those moments will always be with them, no matter what they do.
Yet, Sam wouldn’t be Sam without trying to atone for his wrongs. I’m pleased that the old Sam is back, but I can’t imagine having Jason Bourne-like amnesia and learning that I was a vicious killer for a year. That’s a lot to put on anyone’s plate.
Although this was relatively Sam focused, I do wish that Dean had a few more humorous lines to say. I understand the serious tone of the episode, but the brotherly banter is always fantastic.
Dean’s line about Mel Gibson being possessed? Perfect. Plus, let’s be honest. That really is the only explanation for his antics.
As for the creature of the week, the Arachne was another fresh variety of monster that seems to pop up for the boys to fight. Those international creatures are still appearing, as well as the plotline of each monster building up its own army. Why has everything gone so haywire after the apocalypse was avoided? Is there a monster war coming?
Frankly, I’m surprised that the episode ended with Sam in convulsions. Who knew that recovering that little amount of memory would be enough to scratch some of the wall keeping Sam’s flayed soul intact. I assumed it would have taken a little more time for something like that. Hell is clearly not the destination vacation.
Not the best of episodes, but it was ok just the same. I still have no idea where the season is headed and that’s kind of refreshing. However, it doesn’t mean that I’m not bursting with ideas and questions: Where do the brothers go from here? What is the Mother of All and what are her intentions? Will Sam ever catch a break?
I’m sure viewers will find out soon enough.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.