‘Supernatural’ Recap: A Couple of Key Choices, Goodbyes and Heart-To-Hearts

Some hard decisions were made on Wednesday's episode of The CW series, "Torn and Frayed."

'Supernatural': A dark heart-to-heart
'Supernatural's' Return
'Supernatural' returns in 2013
Secrets and some closure on the show's winter premiere. Read More »

All season long on The CW's Supernatural, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) have been working side-by-side but not seeing eye-to-eye. Finally, on the 2013 winter return, the brothers were forced to talk it out and make the tough decisions on who they’d put first going forward.

Not surprisingly, they chose each other. But it wasn’t without a whole lot of heartache first.

Note: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t yet watched Wednesday night’s “Torn and Frayed.”

Poor Samandiriel (Tyler Johnston). We thought Sam had it rough, being manipulated by his brother into thinking Amelia (Liane Balaban) was in trouble on the winter finale. We thought Castiel (Misha Collins) had it rough, being manipulated by Naomi (Amanda Tapping) ever since returning from Purgatory. But, Samandiriel was captured by Crowley (Mark Sheppard) and being tortured and experimented on by one of his minions.

The point was to see what made the angels tick. And through some kind of early-surgery-lobotomy device, the part of Samandiriel that acted as a programming board was tapped into. Crowley could potentially reset him to carry out other plans, all while learning what the angels had in store for him and others like him.

Of course, the more pain Samandiriel was in, being an angel and all, the more went wrong in the world. Freak occurrences like tornadoes and spontaneous bush fires cropped up, but not before Samandiriel could send a distress call to Naomi, who used Castiel once again to step in and save him.

Castiel called upon Dean for help, and the two of them brought Kevin (Osric Chau) into the mix, but he was too focused on decoding the tablet to be of much help. We got a good, hard look at what Kevin in college would have been like, unshaven, pulling all-nighters to study for tests that in the end didn’t really matter. Only this time, what he is studying makes all of the difference. If the demon tablet has a way of shutting the demons back in Hell forever, well, the Heaven tablet has similar instructions for angels. And Naomi will not have that. But, we’ll get there in a second.

Since Kevin was no help, and Garth (DJ Qualls) and Mrs. Tran (Lauren Tom) were nowhere to be found, Castiel dragged Sam back into things, even though he had reconnected (and yes, physically) with Amelia (Liane Balaban). The three of them headed to Crowley’s warehouse to spring Samandiriel, who unfortunately, had been “read” by Crowley already. With the help of some demon bombs, Castiel got Samandiriel out to safety, but the angel-turned-delivery boy revealed that Crowley knew about Naomi and the angel tablet. This was news to Castiel, of course, but he didn't have time to process it. Naomi zapped him upstairs to her office to tell him to take Samandiriel out and simply tell the Winchesters that the kid was compromised.

And even though Samandiriel had warned Castiel that “they’re controlling us,” Castiel did it anyway. He has been trying to pay his penance all season long, and it just feels unfortunate that his way to do so is to listen to this so-called higher power. We have seen Naomi interact with no one else but Castiel. And every time she’s with him, she’s manipulating him, so we have no reason to believe she’s one of the good guys. Sure, any angel should worry about the tablet if it means they won’t be free to roam, but she seems obsessively controlling about it. Angels fall; just look at Lucifer. I don’t trust her for one second!

This episode was book-ended nicely by scenes of the brothers having their heart-to-hearts. In the opening, Dean and Sam were basically having it out from the remnants of Benny (Ty Olsson) and Amelia. They each had to make a choice on this episode. And after some soulful moments, they closed with a scene of them together, in this fight against all odds and all others for as long as it takes.

While it was great that each brother got an element of closure, I have to admit I’d be sad to never see Benny again. On this episode, he was pretty much any guy who belongs in AA after falling off a wagon. And he reached out to Dean for help, and Dean told him help would be no more. Not because he didn’t want to help him, not because he didn’t still care about him or believe in him, not because he had been let down one too many times by an addict — but because he was choosing his biological brother over his “blood brother,” so to speak. It hurt both men greatly, but it might only make one completely backslide and return to his old fanged ways.

Sam, on the other hand, faced Amelia and the fact that he really did love her and could possibly build a real life with her. Don might be alive, but he was always going on the road, leaving her alone. And so far, she had been kept off the radar of the angels and demons (maybe Sam made her get an anti-possession tattoo in the “lost year,” even without telling her its full meaning), so she wasn’t going to up and die on him. The two came up with a plan to meet at the motel if they both wanted to be together. But when the fateful time came, only Amelia showed up. Sam gave into the fact that he and Dean had a lot on their plate and that it really was their plate. They both have a part to play, and now they’re finally on the same page and ready to go after it.

Buzz Moments

OMG!: I think Dean might have actually made a compromise here. He’s usually pretty stubborn, in that “big brother knows best” sort of way, but his call to Benny to say goodbye was a big step. He could have just continued to help his friend and hid it from his brother, but he didn’t. That’s growth. Even if it makes us sad to see Benny go.

Thank you, TV gods: Dean and Sam’s conversation about Amelia was the perfect brother moment, but the two of them sitting side-by-side in silence on the couch after was even better. They both knew the weight of their decisions, and they also knew what was in store for them, and they were both preparing and relishing in a few quiet, somewhat normal moments first.

Awk-ward: Did anyone else think Mrs. Tran was going to walk up behind Dean when he was trying to get Kevin’s attention by saying his mother was hot?

Hotness: Seeing Sam in bed was good, but too brief. Here’s hoping for an extended/deleted scene to hit the internet tomorrow. Or the DVD in a few months.

Fab-u-lous: Sam’s hair on this episode looked like he had stepped out of the salon minutes before every scene. Seriously, seedy motel shampoos cannot possibly give highlights and volume like that!

Can. Not. Wait.: Will Sam grow to resent his decision? And seriously, what is Naomi’s deal!?

Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 8

What did you think of “Torn and Frayed?” Let us know in the comments below!

-- Danielle Turchiano

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  • Amy

    After everything the boys have been through...everyone they have lost to violent deaths.... its petty and immature to think Sam'ws mind wouldn't go there from Deans juvinile text.

  • Karen Kaiser
    Karen Kaiser

    Sam once again gets his way and doesn 't aplogize for anything The crap that he thought she could be dead was just that crap. It was an attempt to play on Dean's emotions and guilt.

  • Elle

    Dean and Sam chose the job, not each other. There was still a palpable layer of tension between them and they had not resolved all their issues. It will be interesting to see how the show proceeds, but I'm a little disappointed at the show once again getting rid of supporting characters. I would have liked to see more of Samandriel. I'm not a fan of Benny so I was happy to see him go, but I was warming up to Amelia (finally!) so I hope she returns in the end. Lastly, I'm definitely worried about Castiel's fate. I want him included more in the show, but this season I have been disappointed that even in the few episodes Castiel is in (with exception to one or two) he's hardly been given much screentime. I feel I've seen more of Benny and Amelia than Castiel and I don't see the point in that.

  • Ally

    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.

  • Jess

    This episode was so depressing! Dean and Sam both looked so sad at the end. I was just warming up to Amelia and Benny, and they both got cut off so tragically... Benny was down to his last bag of blood, poor guy. And Amelia was so sweet with her 'plan' to meet at the motel and it was heartbreaking how she showed up and Sam didn't. Poor Castiel was already suicidal and now he's killed Samandriel, the one angel he hoped he could save, too! And Samandriel.... poor little guy! The brothers both looked miserable at the end of the episode both having lost people they cared about... and they didnt seem happy together or content. I just hope things get better for them both. And that they can find/save Castiel soon!!

  • Pili

    I liked the episode! Its promising to look Dean and Sam together and on the same page(though im sad they had to do take such tough decissions to reach that point). And since their relationship seems more solved...can they focus on Castiel and whats happening to him? I liked Samandriel (how i liked him!) and im glad he was able to tell Castiel what he knew was going on. Hope Cas reminds this. Hope he can fights Naomi back! Great season, btw.