Supernatural – “Torn and Frayed” Review

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After a well deserved holiday break, America’s favorite monster hunters (well now that Buffy and crew hung it up) Sam, Dean and Castiel are back on the job. In the last episode (“Citizen Fang”) we as an audience were left with as many questions as the characters were. Sam was confronted by Amelia, the one he let get away, but what does she want exactly – is it Sam or is she in some danger caused by getting a little too close to a Winchester; she certainly wouldn’t be the first to have that problem. Dean on the other hand is now questioning how much he can truly trust his “blood brother” the vampire Benny, who now has no family or home to keep his predatory desires in check. Castiel is randomly getting abducted by a mysterious woman named Naomi that is “hell-bent” (pun not intended but hey it works) on keeping him out of heaven and on earth. Who is she and what is she up to?

These questions and drama linger in the minds of our heroes but in keeping with the philosophy that has driven the show since the beginning, they have to put in the background and keep on fighting. This week we have a classic example of a Supernatural “part quest” where the brothers are arguing over something usually trust issues (which is the case here) and part company briefly to work on their own problems before being reunited for “one last case”.

Castiel is given a job by Naomi to rescue the Wiener Hut working Angel – Samandriel/Alfie from Crowley who is torturing him for information about the tablets. Needing help he quickly employs Dean since he simply cannot do it on his own. Sam on the other hand is wrapped up in his issue with Amelia. It seems that Amelia found Sam because of Dean’s interference in the previous episode (Dean spoofed a text from her saying she was in danger) which caused Sam to rush over to her place to check on her which she found out about. As soon as they are reconnected the sparks fly instantly. She issues an ultimatum saying that she is willing to leave her husband for him if he is in “100% in it”. The then make a date and time to meet which will decide how far they go as a couple one which doesn’t work out well…but more on that later.

When Castiel and Dean’s drive and investigation takes a little too long for the angel with a screw in his head he decides to bust out a biblical classic – the burning bush to speed things up. After finding where Alfie has been kept Dean and Cass team up with prophet Kevin Tran and of course a doubtful Sam to pull off the rescue. However before he can be saved Alfie reveals the existence of an Angel Tablet which seemingly works as the counter point to the Demon Tablet which tells how to trap them in Hell for all time. What follows is a pretty standard operation for the boys. They break in kill some demons, pull off the rescue and ultimately save the good guy. However while the battle is going on we experience a flashback through Cass’ eyes where he is laying back in a dentist chair while Naomi has a drill pointed at his head.  After the escape Alfie informs Cass that he has let Crowley know horrible secrets. Upon hearing this (presumably through Cass) Naomi orders him murdered as a “traitor” which Cass seems literally compelled to do against his own wishes.

Now that the case is over Sam and Dean each have a tough choice to make. Even though they are fighting and once again having doubts about each other they both make the same decision to abandon someone who is important to them. Dean calls Benny, who is jonesing pretty hard for a “bite”, that he simply cannot see him anymore. Sam opts not to make his meeting with Amelia. Instead he sits in silence with his brother drinking beer as they both ponder once again what they must give up to do “the job”.

<I> “Torn and Frayed”</i> as a stand alone episode doesn’t really sparkle since there is not much humor, great lines, challenge or even drama for the main characters to face. This is understandable since this is a “bridge” episode where they have to do the grunt work of any TV series and put a cap on plots (Benny, Amelia) while laying the ground work for new ones (Angel Tablets, Cass’ “Surgery”). That being said it is not a bad episode but one of the ones best watched when you have your hands on the full season and can go rolling on to the next episode and not having to wait a week to do so.

<b>Great Moments and Lines</b>

–Dean’s Asian fetish gets a brief nod

–The burning Bush

–“Great. Our 9th abandoned factory. Ain’t that America” – Dean

–“I have given you every torture item on the planet…well minus a Neil Diamond Album” – Crowley

 

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