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.


@Rachel. Great idea about Naomi being Metatron. I hope this is the case! Perhaps she is Lucifer, and that the room they are in is not heaven, but the cage? Love the angels, and want to see Michael and Lucifer back. I hope that Samandriel can be resurrected. Cas was great in this episode. So far S8 has been slow and lifeless, but I think it will pick up now. If they didn't waste time on the Amelia story we could all be biting our nails in the anticipation of the return of Lucifer.


Glad boring Amelia story ended. Sam said "the woman I love," what love? - most boring "love" story ever on television, poor script by the writers. If they wanted Sam to have a love interest it should have been with a hunter. The Amelia story had nothing to do with SPN, and took up way too much time. Sam's character has disintegrated - not only did he not look for Dean, but he was disinterested in Dean's whereabouts. There is no coming back from this. The writers have ruined his character, he is supposed to be the star of the show, so needs to be a hero, and needs a haircut. No more flashbacks or changing lightbulbs. Bring on Naomi!


I enjoyed this episodes. Some great, funny moments between Cas and Dean. I'm sad to see that Benny is gone but here's hoping that he will be back. I'm glad that Amelia is gone even though I was hoping her storyline would get better, but it's for the best that she's gone. The boys have bigger issues to deal with now, and I for one hope they soon find out about Naomi and her freaky mind control over Cas. Speaking of Naomi, she's one shady angel! I've said it once and I'll say it again, I for some reason think she's Metatron... I don't know why and there hasn't really been any evidence to support that... but it's just a feeling. Great episode, sad to see Samandriel go, but looking forward to next week with Charlie! :)


While I really liked the idea of Sam falling in love this season, I just didn't feel the chemistry or passion between the two. Whether it's the way it's written or just that the actors don't have the right chemistry, I'm not sure. I would've liked to at least see a good sex scene though. That could've helped liven their relationship up a little. I like the idea of Sam having a love interest though.
While I do like the character of Benny, I'm beginning to feel that he's just a little bit needy.


I adored Samandriel, and hope he can be resurrected. Hoping to see return of Balthazar and Gabriel, too. Naomi is interesting - as pointed out why can't she leave the room? Maybe it's not really heaven. Is she a demon? Agree that her character should have been explored more. (I hated the Amelia story). Torn and Frayed was the better episode of a so far boring S8. S7 wasn't much, with the Leviathan barely making a prescence, and with the killing of Bobby. Can we see the other archangels? Why didn't they come back to protect the prophets? S8 is starting to get a focus, keep it going. No more Amelia, Garth or Kevin, please. Benny was good, but didn't get a chance.


Best episode of S8, a season which has been disappointing. Hopefully Amelia is gone for good - her story did not work, took up too much time, and was incredibly boring. Also, her father should never have been in it. Hopefully we can see a better Sam who is a hunter instead of a light-bulb changer. Hope that Sam cuts his hair and comes to life. Writers - the main character, Sam, has to be a hero. Bring back Supernatural to canon. Loved Samandriel, and I'm sad he's dead. The mysterious Naomi character should have been at the forefront of S8, and not that Amelia rubbish.


Hope this is the end of Amelia but I hope to see Benny again and I hope Dean doesn't have to kill him. I don't know where the story is going but I hope its good.


it was intresting seeing crowly as ive just watched all 5 seasons of leverage recently and both characters are similer


Good point about no wings when Samandiriel was killed. I didn't notice that. I feel sorry for Castiel too. Now he has something more to feel guilty about, even though it wasn't his fault. And it looks like we will be in for another stretch where Sam and Dean distrust him.


I liked this episode. I think what happened to Benny and Amelia pretty unfair, but I understand Sam's and Dean's reason, they have the saving the world and helping Cas in first place and they want to concentrate on it, but I have a feeling this won't be the last we see of Amelia and Benny. I was so sad because of Samandriel, I take longer to like characters this much, but Samandriel was a exception, he was good and sweet and there weren't wings(I'm in denial), maybe he's still alive! I din't had a full opinion in Naomi, but my opinion now is clear, she needs to die, she made Cas kill Samandriel against his will and Cas is already feeling so guilty, how will this leave him? I loved the destiel moments in the episode, on a other note and I hope the boys don't forget Cas in the episodes he's gone.

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