The CW, 16 & 23 January 2013
Sam gives up his life with Amelia to return to hunting, then the Winchester boys reconnect with Charlie Bradbury in a medieval role-playing scenario…
Picking up after the season break, ‘Torn and Frayed’ largely wraps up many of the recurring plot strands of the season so far, and may have better served as the final episode before the holidays rather than the first one after.
The Winchester brothers reconnect, but in doing so they have to give up the ‘others’ in their lives, namely vampire Benny (who we last see definitely falling off the blood wagon) and Sam’s love-interest Amelia. Sam’s the loser here: at least when he was missing for a year, Dean got to play the ‘family guy’ role for a while. Sam didn’t really stand a chance.
Amanda Tapping’s Naomi is turning out to be a rum sort, forcing Castiel to eliminate the angel Samandriel almost as a punishment as he’s already blabbed to Crowley. At least Sam and Dean are finally wising up to the fact that there’s something wrong with ol’ Cass, but whether they’ll ever go one-on-one with Naomi is unclear.
After that heavy episode, ‘LARP and the Real Girl’ is the kind of lightweight funny outing that Supernatural often does so well. As predicted here after her appearance last year, guest star Felicia Day is back as Charlie Bradbury, still hiding out after her involvement with the Leviathans. The introduction of a human-shaped fairy (not the Tinkerbell sized thing Dean once chased around) smacks of True Blood’s recent seasons, but the live action role-playing community is a great setting for some knowing fandom in-jokes and laughs at others’ expense. While the villain of the piece is obvious, it doesn’t detract from the fun on offer here. It does appear that Day is in danger of becoming a semi-recurring guest star, which’ll serve to nicely shake up the show in-between those deadly serious episodes.
Verdict: Supernatural seems to be back on form after a dodgy start to the season…
Episode 10 ‘Torn and Frayed’: 7/10
Episode 11 ‘LARP and the Real Girl’: 8/10
Brian J. Robb