Sunday the 13th was Kim Manner’s birthday.  Even though he passed away back in 2009, I can’t help but wonder when I watch a scene what Kim would have done with it.  On Saturday the 12th, really with not much prior plannning, a few of us decided to watch a few episodes in honor of the occasion.  I probably should have tried to make a bigger thing of it, and certain friends voiced their displeasure that I didn’t make the rewatch more known, but I also had surgery scheduled for Monday the 14th, so I wasn’t completely focused. I bring up the Kim rewatch and my surgery because I think they factored into why my first watch of this episode was so negative...and why my review took so long to write.


For the Kim Manners rewatch, I chose two X-Files (Kim directed 54 episodes if memory serves correctly).  For those of you who are X-Files fans, we watched season two episodes “Die Hand Die Verletzt” and “Humbug”.  The rest of the episodes we watched were Supernatural episodes: “Scarecrow”, “In My Time Of Dying” and “No Rest for the Wicked”.  The Supernatural episodes other rewatch members helped choose.  The X-Files episodes I chose.  I did choose “Scarecrow” however...and “No Rest for the Wicked”, since I love Lilith 2.0.  Why do I bring up what we watched?  Because it shows what episodes are always my favorite, whether we are talking about the X-Files or Supernatural or even Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I love the stand alone monster of the week episodes.  I love the episodes that delve into the personalities and the relationships.  I feel a lot of times that these stories get bogged down under the weight of the mythology.  For me, the X-Files were about finding out that “truth” in all things, Mulder and Scully, out there kicking alien, monster and mutant ass.  On Supernatural, I love Sam and Dean out there hunting things, saving people, the family business.  Angels and demons, heaven and hell, they cloud the issue in my opinion.  If I want to watch a show so heavy on mythology that if I miss an episode or two I will be lost I watch LOST or Revolution. For me, Dean summed up this episode, and my feeling so far on this season, quite succinctly, as an Aquarian is wont to do:


“I’m just tired of all the fighting.”


I just want Sam and Dean to stow away their crap ( as Cas so beautifully put) and get back to work.  They have work to do after all.  Let’s get back to it.


I’m also thinking that my weakened recovery situation also played into my general disgruntlement over this episode. On rewatch I wouldn’t go so far as to say I loved it, but I would say that I felt the episode brought up stuff that needed to come out so we could lay some things on the table and hopefully put some of them away for good.  Admittedly, I wish certain things they had laid on the table hadn’t been done in a way that made them seem like bright shiny epiphanies.  I think we were smart enough to know, or at least highly suspect, that there was an angel tablet floating around out there for example.


This episode was the first solo effort for writer Jenny Klein, with Robert Singer directing.  Samandriel/Alfie, the world’s most adorable angel, isn’t dead as suspected, but is actually being tortured by Crowley for information.  In his severely compromised state, he turns on “angel radio” alerting Naomi that he has been taken. Naomi sends Castiel out to find Samandriel/Alfie, but since the exact place in which Alfie is being held is not known, Cas will need to do some investigating.  To this end, he asks for help from Dean, only to find out that Dean is on his own and Sam has taken off. Although Dean is willing to help Cas out on his own, Cas insists that both brothers are needed and they are just going to have to put their differences behind them...


And on to the analysis...


I found it very interesting at the end that Cas had no idea who Naomi was.  I knew she was playing with his mind, but based on what Alfie said, it doesn’t appear that any angels consciously know about the existence of Naomi.  Also, in farther away shots of Naomi’s office, it appears that Naomi is actually transparent.  I’ve been wondering for a while if Naomi is maybe Metatron, or perhaps even another incarnation of god, but now we know for sure she is something different, possibly something different from an angel entirely.  If no angels know of the existence of Naomi, maybe that room doesn’t actually exist in heaven.  Could it be the gateway to heaven?  Is it somewhere else entirely?


Alfie also inferred that the angels were all being controlled.  This fact Naomi clearly wanted to hide.  I am very intrigued to find out what is going on with this storyline! Yes, I am aware that is a little hypocritical considering my Sam and Dean family business take!  But what can I say?  Cas proves himself to be an empathetic character no matter how far he seems to diverge from the path.


That was something that really interested me too.  Upon first watch, I was mortified that Cas killed Samandriel.  By far the nicest angel we have met and in my opinion the only angel other than Cas that has seemed worthy of a second thought. (sorry guys, I wasn’t an Anna fan).  Why does he have to sink this low?  Haven’t we already explored Cas as bad guy?  I have to admit I am still worried about this.  I loved the Cas remorse, and I guess I have to say that the only person I really felt sorry for in this whole episode (other than Alfie) was Cas, in being powerless to stop himself from killing Sam/Alfie.  But I guess that is what is getting me about it. Now Sam and Dean know that there is a problem with Cas.  I think it is great that Sam and Dean again only have each other to rely on, but I worry for what this means for Cas.  I fear what he is capable of when he feels he is backed against a wall.  Remember the whole Crowley thing?


Questioning the heroic nature of an important character leads me to want to discuss Sam, because I’m having a difficult time settling out this one.  Before when Sam slept with Amelia he didn’t know she was married.  Then he knew, but also knew they had been apart a long time and they weren’t actually acting like “husband and wife”, but here Sam sleeps with a woman who by her own account is trying to and allegedly succeeding in putting her marriage back together.  Not that I’m getting on a moral high horse about relationships or how people should conduct themselves in them.  I’m the first person to say when someone says, “Too bad he’s married”, “Well, that doesn’t always matter.”  But I guess with Sam, it does bother me.  I question why the writers are writing the character who supposedly was the one the most in his superego, the one who would muddle through things worried about something being wrong, would be the one sleeping with a married woman.  I feel like we have been down this path before.  I want to see Sam the Hero, Sam making the noble decision.  Sure, the Winchesters are only mortal men, but I can’t help but want my heroes to make the righteous decision.  I want to know that they will make the right decision when I cannot.  


I did like where Amelia laid it on the line though.  It’s interesting to see the Amelia situation after going through the Lisa one.  Sam can lie to the women he is in love with, can keep the truth of who he is from her, but Dean could not.  It probably had to do with what Dean said about how he could never completely pry himself away from the job (thank you so much for that line, Jenny.  I’ve been saying that about Dean for years). Sam always hoped to be completely done with the job.  It appeared that with Amelia he did just that. So here, Sam admitted to Dean that he was in love with Amelia, but then decided to stay with Dean and end it with Amelia because they have too much to do. 


Amelia told Sam to stay completely or to leave and not come back.  Lisa gave Dean an option.  But you know that was because she understood Dean.  She knew that Dean could never really let go of the life.  He needed to be out there, and she respected that.  She couldn’t hold him back from being who he was.  Even though she tried to end it, she never would have completely shut the door on him, which is why Dean felt he had to end it the way he did...But with Sam, it seems different. He never told her the truth about hunting.  I wonder how much she even knew about Dean. Is the Amelia story truly over?  I hope so, But I suppose as long as she is breathing, it could possibly come back.  


Dean ended the friendship with Benny because Sam can’t trust him.  Since Benny’s calls seemed a lot like the way an AA member would call his/her sponsor when he/she is in rough shape, I wonder how long it will be before Benny falls off the wagon.  He seems to be hurting already.  I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Benny.


I feel like I should say more about Dean and this episode.  We see a lot of old Dean here.  He is joking with Kevin, checking in on Busty Asian Beauties, but feeling like he should hide it from Cas, and doesn’t really make excuses for himself when Sam calls him out on the text trick.  Actually, the way Sam put it did make it sound really mean. But they were talking honestly with each other, and even though that initial conversation at the hotel didn’t particularly go well, they were still getting their feelings out there in the open.  


I guess a part of me is hoping the way this episode finally went means that Sam and Dean have put aside their crap and are ready to fight the good fight together again.  Part of me worries though.  I worry that Sam will resent Dean because he didn’t go to Kermit, TX to meet up with Amelia and leave this life behind forever.  I worry that Dean will blame Sam when Benny finally falls off the wagon because Dean will feel he could have saved Benny if he hadn’t left him high and dry...


So anyway, I have a list of things I really liked about the episode:

  • an episode about stowing crap away...and Sam is watching a show on the dung beetle      

   in the hotel room

  • Crowley saying he has used every torture device short of a Neil Diamond album.
  • Fizzles’ Folly ‘nuff said.
  • The Burning Bush was GOLD.
  • “You saw nothing”, Busty Asian Beauties, and Dean trying to get Kevin’s attention talking about Kevin’s mom being hot.
  • Dean’s blazer when he and Cas are visiting the guy who was “ambushed”.


...and things I could really use a little help with about the episode:

  • Crowley knows enochian?  Is that from when he was working with Cas?  Did we know he knew more than just angel banishing sigils???
  • Since when has the angel blade killed demons?  The angel blade can kill hell hounds, but I don’t remember it ever being used on demons.
  • From the pomp given the moment, it seems we were supposed to be surprised that there was an angel tablet.  It kind of seemed obvious that there would be one.
  • Why does Kevin now have such a hard time reading the word of God?  It seemed like a pretty automatic thing before--almost like Harry and Parseltongue. It seems to be more than just because there is only half a tablet there.
  • The angel torture.  It was very hurtful.


I’m not really sure how I felt about the song used in the opening Road So Far.  There are very few Seger songs I really like.  Katmandu is not one of them.  I did like the info given in the sequence however.  I felt it was well put together.  The song, although making sense wordwise, seemed a little too upbeat in my opinion.


The title, “Torn and Frayed” is a Rolling Stones song. “Well his coat is torn and frayed/ It’s seen much better days” reminds me of that lovely trench coated angel that we all know...


Let me know what you think of the episode!  I’d love to hear your views on the episode as a whole and what you have wondered about regarding the season.  Thanks for reading!



# Jean 2013-01-22 01:05
Nice review! I hope you are in better health after your surgery…

Samandriel is the only angel other than Cas to seem worthy of a second thought? What about Gabriel? I miss him :'(

About Crowley knowing Enochian, I thought that was weird too at first, but with further research it seems that Alastair knew Enochian as well (I believe he tried to send Castiel back to heaven with an Enochian spell).
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2013-01-22 01:20
thanks Jean! I figured many demons know some spells, but enough to understand it spoken? Sam and Dean know that demon exorcising spell but no one suggests they actually know Latin, you know? Good idea though. Maybe!

Gabriel totally slipped my mind. That kind of says a lot about how I felt about him I guess. I did love what they did with him being Loki--ingenious since Loki really isn't part of the Asir and no one is really sure where he is from...

Thanks for the well wishes! I'm doing pretty well :D. Thanks for reading!
# Jean 2013-01-22 07:14
Ohh! I get what you mean now...Darn, seeing Crowley flash his red eyes and become red smoke made me stop thinking about the whole Crowley's-not-a -demon theory, but now I can't stop thinking about it again!!
# Tiny 2013-01-22 02:23
Nice review Nicole.

I thought this episode is solid and things are in where they are supposed to be. Dean and Sam stowed their crap, the whole Amelia thing is done (I hope!), and we are moving on with the angels, demons and tablet arc.

While it may not be a super strong episode and nothing too super shocking was revealed, I am still happy with where things are. I have just repeated myself!

You're not the only one who doesn't like Katmandu! I like the opening montage. It's good to be back.

# anonymousN 2013-01-22 03:17
allegedly succeeding in putting her marriage back together.
Not really if she thinks about Sam first thing in the morning and last thing before she sleeps.I don't condone sleeping with married people but as far as Amelia goes I think this will help her not think about Sam...hopefully .I don't know why they went here with Sam without more exploration of Sam Amelia Don dynamic.
# Ginger 2013-01-22 08:48
I'm going to make a lot of people mad, knowing full well that what I have to say is not going to be well-received. This episode, while not bad or horrible in any way, pretty much sealed the deal on the mythical brotherhood for me.

I don't think either one of them talked honestly with each other. Dean conceded that he was wrong to hurt Sam's feelings with the text (while I think that it was Sam that made the choice to run out on a hunt) and Sam responds; not with acknowledging any role whatsoever in the latest incident causing their fractured relationship, but with an ultimatum.

The writer made Sam an adulterer, but not a homewrecker. That's good. But I'm left scratching my head over Amelia blabbing on about her good man and wonderful life, but she'll dump it all for Sam. What happened to being so devastated that her life was meaningless when she lost her wonderful man and life, so she ran away. Maybe Sam is just that awesome, but it's not coming through on my TV screen...and it's always healthy to build a relationship on lies and secrets, Sam. So what exactly worthwhile did Sam give up for the job...or the brotherhood, for that matter?

Dean made the ultimate sacrifice, his basic moral foundation and his integrity, and he's miserable for it. Sam gave up his fictitious love, and he's miserable for it. So the brothers are back together, miserable as always because they have a miserable job and can't expect anything more. Very unsatisfying, IMO.

The mytharc is being drip fed to us and, frankly, I'm no longer interested. Just can't get curious about Naomi or the Cas manipulation. He'll heroically overcome it and fight the good fight, I have no doubt.

Alfie, Heaven's most adorable angel, was a plot device and Benny was turned into a needy friend. Alfie's dead and Cas and Benny are parked until needed again. On to the boys having fun at ren fairs and with young cowgirls.

I'm left believing my faith in Carver's storytelling ability was misplaced. While the season is a lot better than the past couple of years, there is no energy in what is being shown, with the exception of Dean and his scenes., and really bad logic, pacing, and plot development.

I will continue to watch the show for Jensen's performances, and I am mildly curious as to why a showrunner would make the other lead so loathsome that I find myself tuning out or leaving the room when his Amelia scenes are on.

I'm glad others are finding enjoyment in the show as a whole. Maybe by the end of the season, my views will change and I can too. Or maybe with Amelia temporarily gone, I'll find something in Sam to connect to again, but I think I'm pretty well past believing in any "abiding" love they are supposed to have for each other.
# anonymous__N 2013-01-22 08:59
showrunner would make the other lead so loathsome that I find myself tuning out or leaving the room when his Amelia scenes are on.
Because the showrunner is not thinking specifically about you.
# Sharon 2013-01-22 10:18
Ginger you are entitled to your opinion and obviously your affiliation towards Dean however I do not think painting Dean has making the ultimate sacrifice because of Benny is exactly how I would look at it but maybe I am wrong however the whole thing the way it was done has made me uncomfortable . I do not like the way they have brought the boys together esp with Benny has it is prime Sam blaming material IMO.

Sam realized sleeping with Amelia was a mistake and is not like he generally has a habit of doing that and it is not like she was a unwilling participant and though I may not like how Sam's story has been written in fact I think it has been dreadful with very little insight into why or when with Sam however neither does it make him some horrible person for me at least. Of course you are free to see Sam as loathsome .

The text is something simple Dean arranged it , sent it to Sam and he achieved what he wanted . The fact it scared the jeepers out of Sam and he thought the dreadful memory of Jessica might happen again is apparently not in Dean's mind now of course the argument can be made that Sam behaved like a idiot left poor useless Martin to suffer his fate and in general as behaved like a cad however I do not really think it has simple as that .

I do wish the Amelia sl had been given the sympathetic focus Dean and Benny has had but it did not .I wish alot of things for Sam , he doesnt get a Benny , he gets a Amelia and Dean does not even know what she looks like or anything really about her .
# Ginger 2013-01-22 12:54
I seriously thought about not posting my opinion on this site, because I knew I would receive rebuffs. But, my understanding of site rules is that all opinions are welcome, so I gave my honest one. I refrain from rebuffing or snarking at others for their opinions, and I expect the same treatment.

I think I also made it quite clear in this post and in others, which I know you have read, that my dissatisfaction is with the writers of this program. This is not the place for a back and forth argument, but totally agree with you that I don't like what they have done to Sam this season, nor do I like what they have done to the mythical brotherhood, and I hate his Amelia love story. I equally hated Dean's Lisa/Ben one and voiced that opinion at the time as well in terms of 'houseboy' and 'emasculated.'

As to whether I will ever like Sam again, that's hard to say. We're not quite at the half-way point in the season, so maybe Carver has something in mind that will change my view.

As far as this episode, it wasn't terrible, but the logic fails were epic, IMO, and I found that distracting and unsatisfying.
# Sharon 2013-01-22 13:06
Well of course you would get reply's Ginger
My reply was as honest and as valid as you see your original post if you feel that my reply was not suited to your original post then I will refrain from replying to one of your posts in the future.
# Alice 2013-01-22 14:28
ENOUGH! I don't get why tempers are flaring here. Keep the posts to the topics, and stop getting so offended over what others write. I think there's too much oversensitivity here. This applies to both Ginger and Sharon. The next exchange like this here gets edited.
# Sharon 2013-01-22 14:42
ENOUGH! I don't get why tempers are flaring here. Keep the posts to the topics, and stop getting so offended over what others write. I think there's too much oversensitivity here. This applies to both Ginger and Sharon. The next exchange like this here gets edited.
My temper was not flaring Alice neither was I angry just taken by surprise because I do not feel I said anything wrong. But you are quite right I do not want to get into pointless arguments.
# st50 2013-01-22 09:02
My feelings on this episode where entirely backwards to yours, Nicole. I really enjoyed it on first viewing, but on subsequent rewatches... not so much.

On first look, the positives (for me) were:
Cas went to get Sam. CAS went to get SAM!
A Cas storyline that makes sense, is intriguing, and doesn't make him the all-powerful fix-it-man.
Amelia and Benny are both gone.
Sam and Dean chose Sam and Dean.

On subsequent viewings, my dislike of the entire S8 set up has come back.. Before I get to the episode, I'll reiterate.
I can accept that Sam "ran" initially, given his fragile state after S7, but he had a whole year! The OCD intellectual Sam from S1-7 wouldn't (imo) have been able to leave it alone completely. A little research here, a little poking around there... something... And I can't believe Dean wouldn't say anything to Sam about Benny.... I think Dean would've been looking for at least acceptance of his new best friend from Sam (who is still the most important person on earth to Dean)...

Anyway... about this episode...
I think that the first scene between Sam and Dean was the ONLY chance for them to talk about their time apart, and they blew it.
Dean needed to say, "sit down, Sammy. Can we just sit down and talk? Obviously there's more to this Amelia than I thought, and you need to know more about why I trust Benny."
Now... it's too late... Amelia's out of Sam's life, so it would be really awkward to have that conversation now. "Gee, Sam, tell me about the woman you love and how you left her to work with me."

Sam and Dean can't ever truly understand each other, because, imo, the opportunity to have a heartfelt discussion on the important people in their lives over past year is gone. So, they've become two guys who work together to save the world. Just not the same thing.
# Gerry 2013-01-22 10:25
I have so many of the same reservations about how the boys are being put back together. I haven't found anything satisfying about the Sam story line and now its bled into Dean's story and none of it feels good.

I don't understand why Sam's relationship was set up, particularly in Hunteri Heroici, as being an illusion, living a lie, but when he evaluates his choice, the relationship is his route to happiness, Amelia the real deal. I don't understand why Amelia's dad strongly suggests both Sam and Amelia are using their relationship to avoid processing the grief both feel at a loss, but that aspect doesn't come into the way the relationship plays out.

Given that Don went out of his way to give Amelia space to think things over and make the best decision for her, I had no sympathy for her lying to him as she tries to get back with Sam. The last thing I thought Don was, was "lucky" in being in a relationship with someone using him as a fall back option when he specifically let her know he didn't want to be that.

I really didn't like that Dean owned the hurt he caused Sam with the text and also that he felt some jealousy at Sam being able to separate himself from the life enough to commit himself to Amelia, but Sam owned nothing at all about their fights this year.

Sam has never held the position that monsters need to be killed because they are monsters--he's always felt the definition of monstrous is what you do, not what you are born. He felt this way as recently as Bitten, when he let Kate go with no feeling he needed to tail her, despite knowing nothing about her.

Yet he hates Benny so much he uses Martin to try and get something on him so he can get rid of him, and we have more than one fight between Sam and Dean showing Sam's biggest issue is that Dean feels so close to Benny. But there's no discussion on this point between the boys.

Sam makes a big error in judgement using Martin without caring about his mental state and whether he should be in the hunting world at all. Does Sam feel no responsibility or remorse for dragging Martin into something he wasn't ready for? Is there nothing at all he should apologize to Dean for in that whole scenario? Why did this episode only bring up the text as a mistake?

Benny has been presented as a sympathetic character and a real friend. Sam's ultimatum, which he never took back or modified or clarified, is going to linger and fester between Dean and Sam, unless loyalty to a friend is suddenly no longer a key characteristic of Dean's. If Dean has to kill Benny, and that certainly looks to me where the story is headed, how does he ever forgive himself not responding to that phone call? There's more real fodder for resentment there than in the unconvincing retcon that Dean resents Sam for being Soulless Sam.

I didn't end this episode feeling it was great the boys chose each other and now they are back on the same page. I ended it feeling like they are truly broken as brothers. How the writers repair what they have broken, I don't know, especially if this episode was supposed to be part of the repair.
# st50 2013-01-22 11:23
I have so many of the same reservations about how the boys are being put back together.
I don't even understand why they were torn apart in the first place. Still seems so contrived to me. I guess my lack of understanding of the beginning is bleeding into my enjoyment of the entire season.

None of it makes sense to me, and none of the subsequent action makes sense because of that.
# lala2 2013-01-22 12:59
I have so many of the same reservations about how the boys are being put back together.
I don't even understand why they were torn apart in the first place. Still seems so contrived to me. I guess my lack of understanding of the beginning is bleeding into my enjoyment of the entire season.

None of it makes sense to me, and none of the subsequent action makes sense because of that.
It was contrived. Carver said he wanted to explore what would happen if Sam didn't search for Dean. That's it. He didn't consider whether that action actually made sense for Sam. It's just what he wanted to do. Who cares if it's completely OOC for Sam . . . let's do it anyway! That's Carver's motto, IMO.

Sam and Dean were fine at the end of S7. There was no need to tear them apart, esp. in such an unrealistic manner.
# lala2 2013-01-22 13:02
Sadly, no real thought or care was put into Sam or his storyline w/Amelia. That's why there are so many questions re: the pairing and his actions. None of it makes sense.

As you said, the father talked about how they were using each other to get over their mutual losses but we see no scenes reflecting that. Sam said she saved him, but we don't see how.

The writing for Sam sucked, IMO. Hopefully, it will get better now that Amelia is gone, but I'm not holding my breath.
# Bevie 2013-01-22 18:10
Gerry - what a great post! And it's not because I agree with it wholly. Of course not! Really? ;-)

I don't get why so many don't see that Sam is not apologizing for siccing and abandoning Martin on Benny's tail. Sam has been acting more soulless than when he was soulless. I hope they clear that up for us and give Sammy his character back soon! :-|

Amelia is a pretty poor pick for a wife, just for keeping her darling Don in reserve in case Sam departs. What a great girl! I hope she gets ditched by Don and he takes the dog!

God forbid Dean having to kill Benny! Haven't they had more than enough pain to bear?

I felt so sad at the end with them eating and watching TV without the feeling of connection they always had the first seasons. :sad:
# Sharon 2013-01-23 02:40
Gerry - what a great post! And it's not because I agree with it wholly. Of course not! Really? ;-)

I don't get why so many don't see that Sam is not apologizing for siccing and abandoning Martin on Benny's tail. Sam has been acting more soulless than when he was soulless. I hope they clear that up for us and give Sammy his character back soon! :-|

Amelia is a pretty poor pick for a wife, just for keeping her darling Don in reserve in case Sam departs. What a great girl! I hope she gets ditched by Don and he takes the dog!

God forbid Dean having to kill Benny! Haven't they had more than enough pain to bear?

I felt so sad at the end with them eating and watching TV without the feeling of connection they always had the first seasons. :sad:
And if Sam says sorry for Martin who does he say sorry too? Dean , Benny . And what role does Dean take in all of this ?.
It is easy to keep looking at Sam but I am not quite sure why he is being painted as being the only one who is if you want to call it that wrong. Sam reacted to something that Dean set in motion , he didnt create the situation he merely reacted to it as Dean has frequently done in both this season and other seasons.

Sam could be solely blamed for Martin I do not agree with that but he can be if we ignore the personal responsibilty of both Martin and the text Dean sent. I see it has a whole load of reasons why Martin is dead and it wasnt because it was just down to Sam and the view some in the fandom have that Sam acted unreasonable and irresponsible in his response not only to Benny but the text Dean sent.

The problem is nobody told Sam he is supposed to see Benny as Edward from Twilight .
# Hades 2013-01-23 06:38
I have to agree with you here the arguement that Martin's death is Sam's fault because he left Martin in the woods without a word is reaching at best and the he shouldnt have gotten mental Martin involved in the first place is right up there with the arguement that if Dean hadnt brought Benny back from Purgatory in the first place none of this would have happened.

For me at the end of the day Martin being involved wasnt the issue, he could have easily been kept under control by Sam upon meeting Benny had they been together. The issue was that Dean created the situation knowingly, he sent that text to Sam knowing Sam would ditch the Benny hunt and go running to help Amelia if he didnt know that he wouldnt have dont it. Now he might assumed Sam would drop Martin off in the nearest town but there is no way he didnt think that Martin would go after Benny with or without Sam. Martin was after all a hunter and hunters kill monsters. His reiteration that Martin deserved to die was about as clear as you can get in an admission that Dean was quite ok with how things played out and off course he would be ok with the outcome, Benny was alive and that was all that mattered.

As for Martin's own responsibility, the guy used a civilian to get to Benny and paid the price. Thats what happens when you do immoral and unscrupulous things in order to acheive an objective like the one he had. The hunter Travis made a similar mistake back in season 4's Metamorphosis and Gordon Walker is a prime example of what lenghts a hunter would do in order to get their monster. Should we assume they were all nut jobs too? What about Sam and Dean? Drinking demon blood and torturing demons while in human vessels doesnt exactly scream moral high ground to me. Are Sam and Dean in actaul fact sane enough to be hunting?

At the end of the day Martins death was unfortunate but not anyones fault but rather down to a series of events set up by several players. Sam, Martin, Dean, Benny all played a part but it wasnt really any of their fault.

One thing that no one has pointed out I've noticed is that Benny knew of the killings and who was responsible but did nothing about it untill he was confronted by Dean. Why did he not kill the vampire responsible himself? Why did he not call Dean? Why didnt Dean question Benny on that? I mean would a good guy like Benny stand by and allow innocent people to be killed especially when he knew that he would be blamed and clearly he did know he would given how quick he was to proclaim his own innocence.
# PaintedWolf 2013-01-23 07:56
First off, this isn’t really meant to be a response to anyone in particular. I’ve read many comments about the whole situation with Martin, and these are just some thoughts I’ve had along the way. As always, mileage varies though.

1. It wasn’t like Martin was calling Sam from the parking lot as he left Glenwood Springs for a job. If I recall it was mentioned that Martin got out a month earlier. Considering he had the savvy to commit himself in the first place when he felt he needed help, that while committed, he recognized that something was going on and called for help and managed to actually help solve the case, if he wasn’t ready, I can’t see why he would’ve phoned in the first place until he was. In any case, I don’t see how we can blame Sam for not assuming Martin wasn’t OK. If, for all intents, Martin seemed OK, why would Sam just assume that he wasn’t just because he spent time in an Institution? I don’t see how I could blame Sam for pretty much taking Martin at his word that he was OK.

2. I don’t recall Sam siccing Martin on Benny. He asked Martin to keep an eye on him, a job I’m pretty sure even Garth could do, without getting into too much trouble.

3. Unless I missed a pretty large plot-point and Sam has his powers back, I don’t see how Sam could have known for certain that bodies would start dropping in Benny’s near vicinity. Martin could’ve spied on Benny for months and seen him do nothing but sit in bars drinking pinot grigio.

4. If Martin wanted to a job badly enough and Sam would have turned him down, he could’ve just moved onto the next hunter, or found a job himself. He could even have stumbled on the exact same case he ended up on anyway, and gone after Benny with Sam and Dean none the wiser, unless Benny called Dean for help.

5. This is something that only occurred to me recently but from some of the comments I’ve read I get the impression that a large problem with this whole thing is his being mostly-OK Martin. In other words, it seems that Martin’s decisions have by and large been directly linked to his ‘unstable’ mental state. I couldn’t help wondering, though, what if Martin hadn’t committed himself and still made the same decisions? What if he had made decisions like this before he was committed? To me, I don’t feel we can say for certain that things would’ve gone different before Glenwood Springs, or if Martin hadn’t been committed at all, so if Martin’s choices weren’t directly linked to his mental state, how is Sam to blame for getting a mentally unstable man involved, if it isn’t even certain his issues were the cause of what he did?

6. Next, the infamous Sam-left-Martin -behind scene. Considering Sam’s history, the fact that he is a hunter, has watched pretty much everyone he’s cared about die and deals with violence and horror almost every day of his life, I can understand him not thinking clearly when he receives a call for help from another loved one. Barring that, I also don’t see how we can assume anything still would’ve gone differently if Sam hadn’t left:
a.) He could have driven Martin to town, dropped him off and given him a stern talking-to about go after vampires by himself. Can we reasonably assume he would’ve sat in a motel room twiddling his thumbs until Sam got back?
b.) They could have gone after Benny, killed him, and hopefully got to Texas in time to hopefully prevent someone Sam loves from being, to his knowledge, possibly in danger and/or killed violently.
c.) Sam could’ve figured Martin wouldn’t keep his word, so he could’ve stayed behind and babysat him to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid, all while, to his knowledge, something awful could be happening to someone he loves.
d.) He could’ve taken Martin with him to Texas, even though that probably wouldn’t stop Martin going back for Benny at a later stage.
I guess my point here is, jerk move or not, I don’t see how if Sam had done anything differently once he got the message, that Martin would’ve done things differently.

I can agree that Sam set things into motion by giving Martin the job in the first place, but, being involved and being to blame aren’t the same thing to me. There is no way Sam could’ve predicted (without aforementioned psychic abilities) that things would’ve gone the way they did, or known what decisions Martin would’ve made after the fact. Martin is an adult, a competent hunter, and as far as I can see, gave us no reason too really think that he was seriously impaired by his mental health, other than that he was in a psychiatric hospital.
Admittedly, yes, Sam and Dean both had their less than shiny moments in that episode, and yes, leaving Dean handcuffed to a radiator wasn’t stellar move, but I don’t really feel Sam should carry the blame for Martin’s death, since I don’t feel that, had he done things differently, that Martin would absolutely, 100% be alive right now.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-01-23 09:04
Terrific post, PaintedWolf. Thank you.
# lala2 2013-01-23 08:32
And what about Dean's role in Martin's death? Dean knew Martin was still out there tracking Benny. He could have helped defuse the situation but he didn't. Dean stayed away while Martin died.

If Sam is to blame then so is Dean. Now, I happen to think Benny is responsible for Martin's death. I like Benny but he's the one who killed Martin for doing what hunters do.
# Sylvie 2013-01-22 10:28
Great review Nicole, I hope you're feeling better, surgery can be a bitch (to use one of Dean's catchphrase!) :-) I really enjoyed the episode, I've talked about why everywhere else, so I won't bore you with the details. 8)

OMG, that is so funny that you brought that up, I was thinking the same thing! And did Sam cook it? :lol: And Crowley speaking Enochian or the angel blade killing demons! Things that make you go Hmmmmm. :-?

Parenthesis: I love that you love Kim Manners so much. When I first started watching SPN and I saw him as director, I was so excited, he was always my favourite on "The X-files" and "Humbug" is my favourite Kim Manners directed episode. End parenthesis!
# PENNY JAIME 2013-01-22 12:44
I feel you on the angel blade killing demons. I was like, why the hell didn't you say that 3 seasons ago? Or why did they never try to kill Lucifer with it? BUT. I just chalk it up to , well this is a tv show & they are just trying to be entertaining.Tr ying to come up with stories we will ALL enjoy. Probably a new idea someone had. I am Loving the demon bombs!! It is actually pretty cool for them to have several ways to kill demons now.

I get what you mean about Sam sleeping with Amelia as well; but they have always tried to show the brothers human side-not just the hero side. People back slide with their exes. We just do. I give my 1st husband credit for the best pick up line ever. He is married;but he said that it was ok for us to sleep together because we were married first!! I told him I didn't think his wife would see it that way. But it was certainly original!! I will say even though I felt sorry for her when Sam wasn't there.
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2013-01-22 18:14
Hi Penny! I agree, I try to chalk up a lot to the fact that we are talking about the eighth season here and inevitably writers will forget things. After all, I doubt they watch the episodes as many times as we do! Still, when obscurities and misinformation begin to mount, I feel I have to at least point out the discrepancies. Other fans have helped me be a more careful viewer. Maybe if we call them out on discrepancies we will get more careful writing. thanks for reading!
# eilf 2013-01-22 20:33
But they knew that the angel blade would kill hell-hounds. It seems they would have expected it to kill demons too? I am not sure that they have ever been in the position where they had an angel blade and a demon to try it out on.

It is interesting that the angel blades keep vanishing - at one point they had at least 2 of them after some incident (maybe in Point of No Return?). Do the blades just vanish or does Castiel confiscate them?
# prix68 2013-01-22 15:17
It was six weeks, give or take, between episodes for us but only about a week in SPN time. That meant Benny was needing to see Dean after a very short time on his own. I felt that Dean's decision was based more on what Kevin said about his mother being a distraction he couldn't afford right now that caused Dean to end things with Benny. Benny was a distraction Dean couldn't have. I don't know what to think about Sam and Amelia. I didn't have a problem with them having sex but then Sam seemed angry with Amelia afterwards and that seemed off. I didn't see the ending as the boys reuniting as brothers but more as two mature adults with responsibilitie s for a job that needs to be done. I was glad that Dean was fully willing and supportive of Sam making his own choice about which direction to go about hunting. I liked the episode but found it also to be sad on so many levels. I'm still confused about Sam's character development this season but hoping for more development later.
# Bevie 2013-01-22 17:51
Hi - I can't anwer many of your questions, but I do believe I remember Meg killing a couple of demons near the end of season 7. They were driving a truck and followed Meg and the boys to the cabin. She left for a bit, found them down the road, scammed them and stuck them with the angel blade.

I'm like you in liking the so-called filler episodes and feeling as if the mytharc is getting in the way of the brothers' story. Since the second episode I ever watched, I was more interested in the relationship, saving people, hunting things, the family business than the mighty heaven and hell war, apocalypses, or leviathan taking over the world. Enough with the "world-ending". I think the writers don't believe the show can continue unless being topped season after season. If that is true, then I'm OK
with it as I certainly don't want the show to end (ever). :P

Hope you are feeling much better! :-)
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2013-01-22 18:11
very cool thought, Bevie! Your idea actually made me go back and check. Reading is Fundamental. trucker scene. Ruby stole the demon hunting knife and used that. it was still in her hand when she walked into the cabin and Dean demanded it back. Nice idea, but unfortunately no. Let me know if you can think of any other possibilities! there definitely could be one!
# Kristina 2013-01-22 19:46
I have been reading everyone's thoughts about the whole season thus far and this is my thought: Sam is supposed to be off. He is supposed to be a little OOC.

Now I have no idea at this point as to why but I really think we are supposed to be fully aware of Sam not being quite Sam. I could end up being totally wrong there but that is my thought about it thus far because I agree with everyone that has said, he's just not right.

This episode I thought was decent. We did make some headway with the Naomi story and how that relates to Cas. I like many others had already thought there would be an angel tablet. I think I read a few other posts that thought there would be a human and God tablet as well, which was my thought from the Demon one.

I also think that the Amelia story isn't quite done yet. I don't really like her and Sam together, because as others have said there is no spark. But again, I feel it's supposed to be that way. I was trying to recall if we have ever actually seen then kiss or have any other type of intimate moment, and I can't recall one. Yes they did snuggle in bed in the beginning of the season but there was a bit to much clothing for it to feel truely intamite.

Over all knowing that this season is about perception, I have actually thought that its about our perceptions. I think TPTB are only giving us part of the story. I have really been enjoying this season because the mystery is back. That was what I loved about S4 and S5. Do I love the lack of connection between Sam and Dean, of course not. I want the connection to return and I am with Dean, I'm tired of the fighting too. I do however believe that the fighting has a point, beyond just destroying the characters and the show.
# eilf 2013-01-22 20:36
Hi Kristina, yes I am hopeful for that too :D But a little bit more information about the rest of the story at this stage would go down really well!
# Kristina 2013-01-23 02:30
Hi Kristina, yes I am hopeful for that too :D But a little bit more information about the rest of the story at this stage would go down really well!
Oh yes of course more would be great :0)

I do agree at times with others that say things are moving slowly. For me though that takes on a different meaning. I'm new to Supernatural as in this season (S8) is my first season live. I watched S1 -S7 on Netflix in just over a month and was caught up the week that episode 3 aired. So for me I've never had to wait this long to discover what's going on.

It's a whole new experience and while I enjoy it I loathe it as well. :0)
Rick D
# Rick D 2013-01-23 02:09
I had a fleeting moment of happiness watching this episode, when Castiel went to bring Sam back into the fold. Of course, when Cas arrived and once again Sam had no dialogue, I was reminded that Sam is no longer a main character on this show. When my favorite parts of an episode are when Castiel is on screen, but Dean is NOT- something is very wrong.

Sam, of course, has already forgiven and forgotten that Dean sent him on a wild goose chase to Texas by implying the woman he loved was in danger. He's already forgiven and forgotten that Dean said, "What's he doing here? We don't need him." I am not as forgiving as Sam.

It doesn't matter that Dean broke off with Benny (not that Dean did it for Sam's sake anyway) because Benny was not the big problem. The big problem was AND STILL IS that Dean thinks it's okay to send Sam off on a wild goose chase because he considers Sam an impediment. Sam doesn't even rate an apology from Dean for doing so, because Dean just tolerates Sam now. Sam is not now, nor will ever be Dean's equal- not in Dean's eyes.

Dean not only does not NEED Sam, he really doesn't even WANT Sam around. Dean says, "It's okay, I got this," as if dismissing an employee who has overstayed his shift. At the end, Dean has NOT chosen to be with Sam- he is merely tolerating Sam's presence. Possibly out of pity at this point. When Dean needs help, he reaches out to Cas or Kevin or whoever- anybody but Sam, because Dean doesn't need Sam for anything anymore. People may say, "Well, that's good for Dean's character, he needs to blah blah blah"- I couldn't care less. Dean has left his "caretaker" role LONG AGO, so that argument has no meaning anymore. I watched this show to see Sam AND Dean fighting TOGETHER- and it seems those days are gone.

I absolutely WEEP for the memory of the characters I loved, for the Show I used to love more than anything. It's obvious to me, the show is written now solely for Castiel fans and masochists- and I am not the former and no longer the latter.

If it wasn't for Felicia Day in the next ep, I would never watch another episode of SPN, and I may still stop after than one. At least then I can let go of the tattered remnants of my lost love on a light-hearted note.
# paintgirl770 2013-01-23 15:57
Boy, mileage is varying all over the place on this episode. The way I see it, Sam has been drawn so (as Chuck would put it) so unsympathetic lately and especially in this episode. He blames Dean (correctly) for the text message, yet he never thinks to apologize to Dean for letting Martin knock him out, and then LEAVING HIM UNCONSCIOUS AND HANDCUFFED. How is that ok? Then he gives him an ultimatum to give up Benny, like a jealous girl. Why can Dean not have a friend? Sam also acted like a user by sleeping with Amelia who is back with her husband. I'm also not happy with Dean knuckling under and dumping Benny. What a mess. Really hoping the show doesn't go the obvious and predictable route and have Benny go bad.

The angel tablet - not a surprise. Still intrigued by the whole Naomi plot though. I've got no idea what that is about. That's a good thing. Looking forward to a lighter outing tonight.
# lala2 2013-01-23 18:35
But Sam didn't "let" Martin knock Dean out. Martin just did it! Sam neither instructed nor watched as Martin prepared to hit Dean in the back of the head. It happened quickly . . . way too quickly for Sam to intervene. Sam looked shocked and surprised when Martin hit Dean.

Sam did handcuff Dean. That wasn't right, but it's not the worst thing ever done on this show.

Just like Dean demanded that Sam give up Ruby, Sam asked Sam to give up Benny. They each decided that to only work w/the other under certain conditions. I think that's fine. Both Sam and Dean gave their answers to those ultimatums when they each walked out the door. Ultimatum given and answered. I'm not sure why that's a problem.

And how in the world did Sam use Amelia? Amelia came to Sam. Sam didn't come to her. Sam didn't bother her. He saw she was fine and left. He didn't even speak to her. Apparently, he left the bar as soon as she arrived. Amelia sought out Sam. She was hardly "used" by Sam.
# Sharon 2013-01-23 16:27
With respect how did Sam use Amelia? he had no intention of seeing her again it was only Dean's text that sent him anywhere near her and even then when he realized she was safe he had no intention of staying , she came and found him so I am not quite sure where that equates to using.

The radiator wasnt ok nobody as said otherwise anymore than the text was ok but neither one said sorry did they. As for Benny he and his relationship with Dean well my worry's about that and how Sam would be seen before season 8 started and because of the nature of their bond and how sympathetically Benny has been written and the history of the show and how they approach Dean characters have turned out to be correct.

I only wish Sam had been given a character written with half the sympathetic way Benny has been and one the fandom actually wants around. He should of kept Riot .
# lala2 2013-01-23 18:36
Sharon, this is why I was desperately hoping that Sam would have NOTHING to do w/the Benny arc. I wanted Sam completely removed from it. I didn't want him to even have an opinion on it.