Supernatural Review: Major Secrets and Decisions

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I have to admit I was a bit hesitant about "Torn and Frayed."

I'm all for Supernatural going through its character arcs and seeing where they will take Sam and Dean, but I was worried we were going to spend a whole episode with the brothers simply bickering with the possible hopes of working together next Wednesday.

Except I was pleasantly surprised by what culminated in the hour.

Sam and Dean Scene

The show didn't start off with a real bang, and felt like it followed the usual path of the characters on their particular hunt (Sam for Amelia and Dean and Castiel for Alfie).

Nothing wrong with the course of action, but we got Sam acting moody after getting laid and Dean trying to act like he didn't need his brother. The tension between the two felt similar to their other arguments they've had over the years.

But Castiel really got things going by telling the brothers to "stow their crap" and focus on the major task at hand. Rescuing the angel, Alfie, was far more important than Dean being mad at Sam or Sam being mad at Dean. Glad someone was able to say it to them.

And yet it wasn't simply about rescuing the angel, but the situational problems that would arise if they kept letting Crowley take his time with torture.

Which is where the story aspect of Supernatural Season 8 pulled me back in, as Crowley began to tinker with Alfie's "program," discovering that there is an angel tablet out there somewhere.

A shocker for sure, but logical in every aspect. If something can lock all the demons away, it only makes sense that something can lock all of the angels away.

Of course watching Sam and Dean kick major ass as a team was fantastic. The brothers were throwing punches, kicks, knife stabs, to eliminate those pesky demons. These are the Winchester brothers I want to see!

Yet, defeating Crowley and whatever his new nefarious plans were seemed like the obvious major problem. But things aren't so black and white anymore. It isn't just angels vs. demons.

Really, that's the beauty of this transformation in story. While I'm scratching my head at the prospect of an angel tablet, the conniving and enigmatic Naomi busts in and starts commanding Castiel and tossing out logic that contradicts Alfie. Who to believe?

I've got a hard time believing the angel (is she even one?) whose name is "I moan" spelled backwards, especially when Castiel is having flashbacks of having needles shoved into him by her. And she's shouting for Castiel to kill Alfie to protect Heaven while Alfie is claiming that "they" are being controlled.

What does that even mean? Is Naomi controlling the angels? Is someone else? What is going on? Even Sam and Dean don't know what to make of Castiel's actions.

Things in Heaven are getting mighty suspicious and my fascination and curiosity for the mysterious story has been pulled right back in. I can't wait to see where this all goes.

At the same time, allowing the brothers final talk to involve major decisions was huge for this episode.

Yes, we always usually get a Sam and Dean heart to heart, but this one really seemed to wipe the slate clean and say, "Here we go. Let's get back on track." Dean was willing to let Sam go back to Amelia because he no longer wanted to fight, yet he acknowledged that Sam couldn't have his feet in both worlds. It just wouldn't work out.

At the same time, Sam brought up Benny (who it looks to be headed down a bad path) and the problems that arise from befriending a vampire.

It was nice to hear them both listen to each other, but it was the major letting go of their past, that time they spent away from each other, and coming back as a team that worked wonders.

Sam had to let Amelia go, even though he was the one that would have had the best chance of living that normal life. And Dean let Benny go, knowing that their friendship would compromise the one he had with his brother.

Those were huge game-changing decisions for their road ahead. Now, whether they stick with it is another question, but it looks like Sam and Dean have buckled down and are looking to face the big challenges together again.

Major kudos to them both, as their choices were certainly not easy ones to make. They might not be taking the path with smiling faces, but they're continuing that never-ending task of saving the world.

Even if the start of the episode was a little slow and at first felt predictable, the eventual transition for both character and story was a nice way to start Supernatural off in 2013. There's so much to ponder and question in regards to the angel conspiracy and I'm eager to see Sam and Dean reinvigorate that great brotherly chemistry. It looks like things are just heating up.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (126 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


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Im probably in the minority, but im sad to see Benny and Amelia leaving. I liked Benny, and although i wasn´t a big fan of Amelia, i liked that Sam seemed to have found something really good with her. Anyway, they´ve chosen each other and we´re back to "the family business".
Castiel´s storyline is really killing me, because he has fought for right will for everyone, including angels, and now he´s being manipulated in the worst way. I can´t wait to see Castiel fighting back (with Dean and Sam by his side, hopefully) and have the team free will victorius over Naomi (who´s her, btw?!)
Good episode overall. Castiel will be missed.


OMG!!! This was a roller coaster of emotions ride for the viewer. Supernatural always delivers. Loved everything except for Samelia soap. Hopefully that's over. Season 8 and Supernatural's still GREAT! This is must see TV for my family.


I think it was a good episode! Dean and Sam are back on the same page again, which its always a great thing to the show. And im truly intrigued about whats going on with Castiel. Its terrible to see him in such state and i can´t wait til Cas (with Dean and Sam preferably) can figure whats going on and give Naomi what she deserves.


At SMS-Sam was not whinny--Sam and Dean cannot have it both ways--they either stand beside each other in the fight or they part ways. We all know that when the brothers are apart things just do not work (RUBY?!??!) I am glad they both made decisions regarding the past year-- Dean being friends with a Vamp is just not matter the situation. (Even though I really like Benny!) And it IS typical Sam to want a normal life...every season he goes through this (except the season he lost his soul!)I would like to see Sam grow out of this desire and accept his destiny. OH--glad to see Amelia gone!
Cas.... This story line of Naomi is bugging me... maybe because I can't figure it I am definitely intrigued. And give me more Crowley ANYTIME!


So glad to (hopefully) see the end of Amelia. I was getting tired of fastwarding my PVR! Otherwise a great episode!


I'm glad we have Sam and Dean back together. I didn't like Amelia all that much, and I like that Dean is done with Benny (though I guess there will be a comeback), because the Dean I fell in love with doesn't make friends with monsters just because they helped each other get out of Purgatory.


The angel's name was Samandriel, not Alfie.


I think the biggest betrayal is Cass killing the angel. He says he wants to make amends but I'm pretty sure killing an angel was not it, especially after he had some hint that Amelia may not be what she claims. The Sam and Dean crap continues. Typical whinny Sam, if I give up something, so do you. Can't believe the ultra loyal Dean didn't race to "have a cup of coffee" with his battle proven friend. This episode seemed off balance.

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