Supernatural 8.10 – Torn and Frayed


The lyrics of Katmandu blare out an allusion to Purgatory and that brings us back from hiatus to the second half of Supernatural season 8. We open up with a bound and bloody Samandriel forcing a metal spike from his frontal lobe and praying for Naomi to rescue him. Unfortunately, he’s caught in the act by his tormentor who shoves the spike back right between Samandriel’s eyes and into his brain, cutting off his ability to radio for help.

If you remember, last we left our heroes they were none to pleased with each other. Though it’s been weeks upon weeks in our world no time has passed for the Winchester brothers. Sam is still in Kermit, Texas and he’s still really pissed off at his brother. Dean mans up a bit and goes to visit Sam in the motel room he’s holed up in, Sam ponders slamming the door in Dean’s face, but lets him in instead. We are not treated to the heart to heart that we’ve been dreaming of, oh no, no, no what we get is Dean trying to justify his actions and Benny’s actions and Sam being far to logical for Dean’s liking. Sam effectively tells Dean that the boy he’s seeing (Benny) is no good and that he should break up with him. Dean disagrees and leaves.

Up in heaven, Naomi is insistent that Castiel go rescue Samandriel from Crowley & Co. however, she Jedi mindtricks him into believing that it’s his idea and his alone. He can use whatever resources he wants, but he will have no recollection of Naomi’s pleas. Castiel goes to the best resource he knows, Dean Winchester. Dean is napping peacefully in Rufus’ old cabin cuddling a bottle of beer tenderly to his chest like an exhausted toddler. Castiel pauses to look at him endearingly. It’s sweet. Until Dean feels Castiel’s eyes on him in his sleep and jumps up like a vampire bit his ass. He’s not pleased that Castiel was watching him sleep again; he’s also now covered in warm, flat beer. What a waste. Dean agrees to help Castiel save Samandriel and gets cracking on research… right after he closes his Asian fetish internet porn windows while they both pretend Castiel’s eyes are too innocent for such things. Castiel explains to Dean that when an angel is in pain its screams of torment are so great that it creates butterfly effects of weirdness. Castiel also wants to know where Sam is. Dean would stick his fingers in his ears and start singing “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land”, but he needs those fingers to type his search into Google. No, wait, sorry, this is the CW, they use Bing.

Back in Kermit, Sam sits in his motel room. Alone. Watching a fascinating documentary on dung beetles. You can tell it’s fascinating by the way he’s fighting sleep. He’s interrupted by Amelia stopping by. She’s there to put words in his mouth, no wait, she says she’s finishing his sentences for him. Must be because they’re so in sync. She tells him that she was livin’ her life just fine until he long walked back into her life. He apologizes and offers to leave forever, she retracts her aggravation. They sleep together. No one is surprised about that. What we are pleasantly surprised about is that Sam Winchester finally took his shirt off to have sex. It’d been forever since he did that, I’m sure he realized what we’ve been saying is true: Sam Winchester’s shirts are cumbersome and unnecessary. Afterward, Amelia gives Sam her version of an ultimatum, which is to say she babbles on indecisively about whether they should rekindle their relationship. Nevermind that she knows nothing about what Sam does when he disappears. He could be a cartel head or a hit man, but whatever, what’s important is whether he may or may not show up in two days at 7:30pm to proclaim his love to her and whether or not she’ll show up to hear it or not. She’s not down with him wet-foot, dry-footing into her life at his leisure. It’s all super healthy.

Back in Crowley’s house of torture, Samandriel is getting more metal driven into his cranium. Thankfully, he’s been given some headgear to help support the spikes. His torturer drills another one in and he apparently hits a sleeper cell switch, because boom! Samandriel starts chanting like Judith Ivey tryin to raise Shelley Long in “Hello Again”. Whatever he’s saying must be big, because it’s enough to set a bush a-burning and a-talking. Dean raids Sheldon Cooper’s fancy clothes stash and he heads to the hospital with Castiel to the hospital to interview the guy who got charbroiled by the mesquite flames of the bush. The guy is able to tell them what he heard the bush say, Castiel is able to translate it, Dean has no real plan, but he is rocking his 5 o’clock shadow fabulously so we’ll let it slide.

Dean and Castiel decide to drive around the area looking for anything demony. They hit pay dirt when Castiel spies some hobos that he can see are demons. As much as Dean would like to tell them to derelict his balls, they don’t have the means or ways to storm Crowley’s current castle.

Plan B: go bother Kevin Tran.

Kevin’s been chilling out on Garth’s boat, Fizzles’ Folly, for a few eps now trying to crack his half of the demon tablet code. Spoiler: he’s not having any luck. Now Dean wants him to help whip up another batch of demon dynamite. Kevin scoffs at Dean’s cavalier request and starts listing the inconvenient at best ingredients. Luckily, Castiel knows all the well-stocked Wal-Marts on all the planes of existence and flits off with his grocery list.

Back at the lab, Crowley has been summoned to make heads or tails out of Samandriel’s ramblings. Crowley recognizes the Enochian word salad and offers to elaborate. Seems that Samandriel has been tortured into hard reset, which Crowley is going to use for his own nefarious knowledge gain. While he continues on with the torture, Dean and Kevin wait patiently for Castiel to return.

Well, Kevin’s patient. Dean is bored and taunty. Dean’s also curious, curious about where Mrs. Tran is. Kevin tells him that he sent her away to somewhere safe, Dean is sorta appalled until Kevin explains that he couldn’t concentrate on saving the world while worrying about her. That makes sense to Dean. During all this, Dean gets a call from Benny who is creepily watching a family have a picnic. Benny isn’t handling the world very well and wonders if Dean can meet him for a cup of coffee and a chat. Dean, aka the worst sponsor ever, tells Benny he’s busy then offers to catch up with him when he’s got more time.

Meanwhile, Castiel pops in on Sam, who’s sitting on a bench watching live theater reality programming. It’s Castiel’s favorite show, too. Apparently, Castiel pleads the current case to Sam and Sam’s on board, however when they flutter back onto Fizzle’s Folly Dean is none too pleased. Castiel doesn’t care about their emotional emotions emoting all over the place, he needs them to pack their issues in a box and toss it in the truck for the time being.

They do. At nightfall they head to Crowley’s hideout and Castiel teaches them how to tag over Crowley’s symbols so he can get past the angel blockers. Sam and Dean shake up their Kryolan cans and prepare for their graff-battle, but first Castiel passes down his angel sword to Sam. Now Dean has Ruby’s old knife and Sam has Castiel’s blade and there’s something over-thinkingly poignant about the whole thing. While Dean and Sam go all Banksy vs. King Robbo on the walls Crowley is finding out what secrets Samandriel is hiding. God definitely felt tit-for-tat on the whole tablet from because it turns out there’s an angel tablet ying to the demon tablet yang. Pretty sure Crowley wants it.

Sam and Dean keep fighting their way toward Samandriel’s screams when Castiel is finally able to enter the building though the sigils are screwing with his strength and his mind. As he struggles he starts getting flashbacks of being strapped down in the big white room while Naomi dentist drills into his eyeball. Unpleasant. Sam and Dean throw themselves against the last door keeping them from Samandriel while Castiel attempts to rally. They finally burst in, but Crowley’s long gone. While the brothers occupy themselves with a rousing fight against a henchdemon and the torturer, Castiel is able to rescue Samandriel and get him to safety.

(fun fact: when I was up in Vancouver in November my friend and I got to see this scene get filmed.)

Back to the freshly rescued Samandriel.

He and Castiel are taking a breather outside when Samandriel divulges that Crowley got into his head, literally, and now knows all their secrets. Castiel is confused, but intrigued. Samandriel tells him that he himself now sees everything and knows the angels are being controlled, Castiel wants to know the controllers, but in that moment Naomi flashes him up to the white room and brainwashes Castiel into killing Samandriel and lying to Sam and Dean, claiming Samandriel attacked him and Castiel had to take him out in self defense. Castiel then tells the Winchesters that he must return Samandriel’s remains to heaven where they belong. And oh yeah, Castiel is crying blood while this is happening, but he says it ain’t no thang.

Sam and Dean appear unconvinced.

The brothers hole up in Rufus’ cabin and, with the rest of their spray paint, decorate it with “Keep Out Castiel” sigils so they can talk about him without him eavesdropping. Dean offers to give Sam an out; he’ll figure out the Castiel thing while Sam goes back to his ladylove. Sam’s got some more thinking to do and goes for a walk. In the meantime, Dean finally calls Benny back. Benny is stoked, his loneliness washing away… until Dean tells him that not only is he not going to make it for that coffee date, but that despite their past he can’t see Benny anymore. Benny will be fine, though. I mean, nothing’s safer than a lonely, depressed vampire off the juice, right?

Over in Kermit, Texas Amelia the clock hits 7:30 and she lets herself into Sam’s motel room, but Sam isn’t there and neither is his stuff.

Over in Rufus’ cabin, the brothers Winchester silently eat dinner together.