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Supernatural

Supernatural Round Table: "Torn and Frayed"

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Fans were awarded for their patience last Wednesday, as Supernatural Season 8 returned from hiatus with a strong "Torn and Frayed."

What were the best scenes and quotes? What is the deal with Castiel? Round Table panelists Carissa Pavlica, Sean McKenna, Carla Day and Alice Jester (from The Winchester Family Business) debate those topics and many more in this week's feature. Gather around below!

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Favorite scene or quote from the episode?
Carissa: When the Winchesters were resigned to their fate at the end of the episode, sitting on the couch, watching TV and having a beer. I hate that they forfeited happiness for the bigger picture, but love that they did it for now, because it means there is a chance they can repair their broken relationship. In the end, there is nothing more important than what they are to each other.

Carla: When Amelia showed up to see Sam. In an otherwise dark world for Sam, she provides a brightness and happiness. She gave him hope of a better future, whether he took her up on her offer or not.

Alice: My favorite scene is when Castiel came and got Sam. It's the most amusing part of the episode, which isn’t saying much considering how much of a downer it was. I laughed when he told the feuding brothers to “stow your crap.” Someone needed to give them that kick in the rear, and I’m happy it was Cass.

Sean: I agree with Carissa about that final scene. As much as their decisions might have been ones they don't want to make, that coming together was important. Plus, it was kind of nice seeing them relax for the time being and just watch some TV before getting back on the job. The life of a hunter is a hard one.

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Is Castiel being controlled? What did Samandriel/Alfie mean?
Carissa: Cas is definitely being controlled. I've been suspicious of Naomi all season. We've never seen Heaven, nor has Castiel, so we don't know if it's been repaired after the damage he did or if she's just taken over where he left off. She could be on her own power trip, using the angels to her own ends. Considering what she did in Cas' flashbacks, and Samandriel's obvious fear of her discovering he had leaked information, she's not at all forgiving.

Carla: Castiel is absolutely being controlled and that's scary. No idea what Alfie meant, but it's a mystery that's intriguing.

Alice: Yes. That’s the frustrating part though, who? I was hoping we would have gotten more clues this episode. Samandriel/Alfie just stated something obvious to the viewer.

Sean: Now, it seems very very likely. I guess the next question is to what end? Alfie's comment is a real brain teaser because it makes you wonder what the fate of the angels might be. It's not just demons vs angels anymore.

What is up with Naomi? Good guy? Bad guy? Something else?
Carissa: As I mentioned above, I'm going with bad guy. Perhaps she snagged control of Heaven and has her own goals for it's future in mind. Whoever she is, since Cas hasn't been able to see what's beyond her office when he's with her, doesn't remember who she is once he's back on earth and is killing his own brothers at her bidding, she's up to no good.

Carla: Who is Naomi? I doubt she has altruistic goals. We've seen through Castiel's fall that being an angel doesn't necessarily mean good. My guess is that there is a sect of angels that want to gain power and they want the tablet for that purpose. Or, something similar, but probably more creative that the writers have come up with.

Alice: Bad guy! Or bad girl. Or bad, um, different entity. Naomi’s evil to the core that’s for sure. Can’t wait to find out who her boss is. I’m not convinced she’s an angel at all.  She’s probably one of those demon scientists that worked up poor Samandriel.

Sean: We still need to learn more about her. I guess we've all been under the assumption that she's an angel, but is she? Her motives are not good ones, clearly, because she wanted Alfie dead. That mysterious type of bad guy is fun to watch because you have no idea what to expect.

What did you think of Sam and Dean's final decisions?
Carissa: I hated them but found them ultimately necessary for their lives and purpose. I believe they will find happiness again, but it will not be the happiness they expected.

Carla: Heartbreaking. Sam turned down a happy, normal life to continue on this dangerous path with Dean. That choice will haunt him forever. Dean turned on a friend in order to keep his relationship with Sam. In the big picture, not as tragic as Sam's choice, but still sad. The brothers chose each other, but at what cost?

Alice: You knew they were going to choose each other, that’s for sure, so the entertainment value came in the path getting there. It felt so...empty. Granted, I liked how their decisions were made with a high level of maturity and came without pressure or ultimatums from the other, but they looked so miserable together in the end. This wasn’t the happy reunion I was hoping to see.

Sean: The brothers have gone through so much and so far, that really the whole hunter status is weighing heavy on them. I think neither of them wanted to make those decisions, but they knew what that big picture was and put everything else aside for the sake of saving the world. I just hope that they can find a way to be happy again.

Will we see Amelia and Benny again?
Carissa: I don't think so. Unless they need to hunt and kill Benny, he'll be gone. As for Amelia, Sam won't have the heart or desire to break hers again.

Alice: Amelia, probably not. Benny, oh yes. The writers can’t resist an old fashioned drama where Benny turns and Dean has to kill him. Or Sam has to kill him making Dean sad. It seems inevitable.

Carla: I agree with Alice, Benny will turn up again. He's part of the world the brothers live in. Not sure about Amelia. Sam will honor her wish to stay away, but that doesn't mean their paths won't cross again. I'd prefer we not see either of them again. The brothers made their decision and leave their choice hanging over their heads forever.

Sean: Yeah, I think Amelia is done, but because Benny is a part of the monster world, he's bound to show up again. Although, I've got a feeling that the way the season is progressing that Benny's return will not be one full of hugs.

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Carla: Heartbreaking. Sam turned down a happy, normal life to continue on this dangerous path with Dean. That choice will haunt him forever. Dean turned on a friend in order to keep his relationship with Sam. In the big picture, not as tragic as Sam's choice, but still sad. The brothers chose each other, but at what cost? Sam didn't turn down anything. Sam never had any intention of going to stay with Amelia. Benny knew Dean was ending their friendship and yet he handled it so classy unlike Sam who came across as a petulant child. I'm so tired of Sam's I want/I don't want a normal life and using it to guilt Dean into anything Sam wants. Benny killed Martin in self defense to protect Elizabeth an innocent and himself yet everyone is pissing on Dean for atext he sent to get his brother out of the way of danger. Sam caused Dean to assualted, Benny who was dealing with demons going MIA and dealing with more demons because of what Sam did, Elizabeth an innocent he swore to protect traumatized. Sam's actions ould get him tossed n jail. Knowing his actions might lead to what did happen and followed his path anyway is called depraved indifference. Despite Benny killing Martin in self defense. Benny has apologized for killing a 'friend' in self defense, Dean has apologized for the text and said goobye to a friend who was classy about it yet Sam hasn't even admitted he screwed up yet alone apologized at the very least to Elizabeth, Kevin, Cas.

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I hope never, ever to see Amelia again. I understand why they wanted a love interest for Sam but come on I could write a better character than Amelia. I hope to see Benny again and not just for one of the boys to have to kill him. I think it would be great for all three to go hunting and for Sam to maybe realize that this guy is not so bad. I hope they keep it a friendship and not turn it into something else. Sam wanting Dean to let Benny go had nothing to do with Benny it had to do with him being vamp, a creature from Purgatory. It's purgatory that Dean had to let go of to be back in the world with Sam. The scene at the end was sad and it doesn't really show real togetherness. It's two guys eating grumb, having a beer and just acknowledging that they are there, present.

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In a way I am glad that Dean broke up with Benny and Sam broke up with Amelia so they can focus on the problem at hand (the demon tablet, angel tablet, and Cas being controlled) and getting back to being brothers. I think we will see Benny again but probably not under good circumstances. And when Sam was with Amelia in the motel (shirtless Sam!) I know Sam looked conflicted but I just didn't see any chemistry that showed he would have wanted to really be with her, I mean, I saw no gesture of affection towards her, I don't know, weird. So glad we don't have to watch that painful pairing again.

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Sam loved Amelia? She could have been good for him? Providing light and happiness for Sam? Rot. I saw not a hint of love between Sam and Amelia. What is worse, however, Amelia is a loathsome woman. Her husband, a WAR VETERAN, no less, returns home and what does she do? Sneak behind his back to see Sam. Loathsome, vile, repugnant character. She was introduced to us as a bitch and became worse with every episode. Whiny, bland. The actress is a very poor one, which made Samelia excruciating. And she dragged Sam down, as well. Jared deserves better writing for his character. Abominable season.

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I am not sure why Sam has to see the good in Benny ? I dont like the idea of Sam being taught again how wrong he has been. He learnt how wrong he was to trust Ruby now the goal posts get moved and he is supposed to see the good in Benny and trust him ,his wrong if he doesand he is wrong if he doesnt seems unfair to me. Amelia was what could of been but never was because the writing was so indifferent and unsympathetic and now we are where we are with the brothers and waiting for round 3.

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This season has been an epic failure on almost every level. Sure, it's watchable and entertaining, but all the character work with Sam and Dean, the two leads, has been bogus and false. Jeremy Carver wrote the first scenes with Amelia that made the audience hate her, and he made no efforts to fix that impression afterwards by letting us see her fleshed out as a person, he didn't use Amelia to show us how Sam felt about anything in his life - we saw more grief from Sam for Dean in IKWYDLS in Season 4, so this is just unbearably lame on his part. Not to mention, he's worked for 2 seasons on the US Being Human, which is all about character and relationships moving hand in hand with plot. But wow, none of those skills showed up for Sam and Amelia, when Sera Gamble had originally planned for SAM to save Dean, not some fake'n'bake monster brother. That Dean chooses monsters over his own brother over and over again, showing them loyalty he doesn't give Sam, just makes me vomit. Seriously, every scene between Dean and Benny that's meant to show how loyal Dean is to Benny, only high lighted how disloyal and unfeeling Dean is towards his own brother, Sam. I feel sorry for Sam. He got that home with Amelia, he had a dog of his own, he had a love of his own (even if we don't buy the chemistry, this is what we're supposed to believe, unless we're not), but he's dropping ALL of that to be with his brother who doesn't like him, never cares how Sam feels about anything ever (esp. when Sam is in pain), and who he manipulates and controls like an abuser. Sam gave up everything for Dean, because Dean doesn't like it when Sam has female friends, but we all know Benny will be back, because Benny already got more episodes devoted to his character than Sam has, so Dean gave up NOTHING AT ALL. If they want to bring the brothers back together, they can't keep repeating this abusive BS every single season. They split the brothers and the audience in Season 4, and they don't know how to come back from that. They repeat the Dean is Angry At Sam Plot Every Season. After 8 seasons, I want Sam and Dean to be closer together than ever, not this manufactured bull. The producers created the fan reaction towards Sam and Amelia, and Dean and Benny. So any positive fan reactions for Denny and negative ones for Samelia are just a load of manufactured crap - again. I don't want Benny back unless he gets killed off for killing or hurting someone innocent. Or, he'll just be like Castiel, he'll hurt Sam, and Dean won't care at all. And he'll get a huge sympathetic story out of it while Sam's Pain is completely ignored. Sam is one of the most neglected and abused characters I've ever seen on tv. A monster may kill Sam's body, but the person whose been killing Sam's Soul all this time, that's been Dean. Think about it, Dean cuts Sam off from Amelia all this time, then frightens Sam half to death that she could have been hurt or killed. Then he gets mad at Sam for being angry with him, drives all the way down there to yell at Sam for hanging up the phone on him. At the end of the episode, when Sam chooses to be with Dean, he doesn't know that Dean's told Benny it's the "end of the line" at all, but Dean damn well knows what Sam's given up for him, for Castiel, and for the fight for the Tablets. This whole all in or all out business only really applies to Sam, because Dean's been waffling over home and hunting for most of the series, and it's pretty obvious that Sam got burnt out on hunting in a bad way at the end of last season, if we're to believe Jeremy Carver (even though nobody believes Jeremy Carver about Sam, sorry). But Dean clearly couldn't give a crap, because it's all about Dean and his feelings on this show.

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It was obvious the boys were going to choose each other and, personally, think Dean's decision to turn his back on Benny was a much more powerful one than Sam's decision about Amelia. Yeah, he loved her, but I really don't think she was good for him. Flat out telling him after they had sex that it was a bad decision, that she loved her husband and he loved her, and that she'd leave it all behind for him even if it was against everything she knew was right? That's not love, that's selfishness and self destruction. I think they'll both be better off. And OBVIOUSLY Castiel is being controlled. He didn't want to hurt Samandriel. I don't know who Naomi is or what she's up to, but I'm not entirely convinced she's an angel either. I'm looking forward to answers where she's concerned.

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All the boys ever had growing up was each other--they will always go back to that dynamic, regardless of what happens. Dean always sacrificed for Sam--that will always happen, as well.

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I am wondering if Carver and his writing team ever watched Seasons 1-4. Sam HAS NOT wanted a normal life since Season 1/early Season 2, and I am infuriated when so called fans drag this up time and again. Sam is a hunter, and Season 8 was the perfect opportunity to show a more heroic side of him. Unfortunately no, what we get is a self-absorbed twat. I do not recognize this Sam. It will take a miracle to redeem Sam now. So much wasted potential. Season 8 could really have been great if Jeremy Carver had run parallel Purgatory/Earth stories instead of the trite soap he dished up to us and slammed us with episode after episode. I feel sorry for Jared Padalecki for what they've done to Sam Winchester.

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@Hana - I see Sam & Dean's relationship as dangerously codependent. Two grown brothers who can't be happy with anyone but each other? Is this right? Healthy? Definitely not. They aren't even allowed to have any sort of relationship, romantic or otherwise, outside their immediate sphere, hence the need to break up with Amelia and Benny. "Both feet in or both feet out" is quite an exclusive ultimatum.

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