Are you feeling too happy in your life? Are you feeling overly fulfilled? Do peaceful thoughts take up too much of your time? Well, look no further than this episode for the cure! Within moments of tuning in, you'll feel your bile rising like lava from the earth's crust! By the end of the episode, you'll wail like a banshee in anger and despair!
Okay, look. Angst, when it's earned, is a powerful thing -- but that's not what happens in this episode. Instead, we have sloppy manipulation in order to get the characters into place for the next part of the story. It's obvious, predictable and annoying. Dean follows Sam to Texas, trying to explain what happened with Benny and Martin, but Sam is too busy delivering ultimatums and sleeping with Amelia. Sam and Amelia don't even seem to feel especially bad about it, because they are cheating cheaters who cheat. They decide they need a couple of days to figure out whether they're going to hook up again for a life of flat line deliveries and spark-free kissing.
Meanwhile, Castiel drops in on Dean and asks for his help in rescuing Samandriel, who spends most of the episode being tortured by Crowley and minions. Dean also gets a call from Benny, who feels like he's about to fall off the wagon. Dean's totally down with helping him, right after the angel rescue. Castiel decides they also need Sam for some damned reason and steals him away from his moping in Texas.
They succeed in setting Samandriel free, but not before the poor, adorable little angel has been tortured into revealing that there exists a Word of God: Angel Edition. Naomi is not pleased. She deems Samandriel a traitor and orders Castiel to kill him. Naomi is controlling the angels with her own little torture sessions, which Samandriel realizes too late and Castiel realizes not at all, because he's still under her control. He ends the poor, adorable little angel without even fully understanding why and it is completely heartbreaking.
At the end, Sam and Dean realize there's something fishy with Castiel. Sam also realizes there's too much going on for him to go be boring with Amelia, so he skips their rendezvous. At the same time, Dean breaks up with Benny by phone. Like, forever. Why? Because of Sam's ultimatum? Because the universe was out of whack with just one brother being lonely? It makes no real sense. It's just plot-driven angst to make sure the Winchesters are stuck together, like two sides of an infected wound that have been sloppily stitched together. For this and other rants, stay tuned for the full recap.
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The show is really getting a lot of mileage out of Dean's "exploding Dick" line, isn't it? (Or, rather, they're trying to get a lot of mileage out of it, but it's not exactly the Impala of dialogue.) Dean explains in the THEN! montage that that's how he got to Purgatory. I usually like to recap these things just in case the reader has given up on the show, but this one is kind of a mess. It's got lots of headache-inducing quick cuts and flashes and even a few special effects shots from episodes that don't really have anything to do with anything. I mean, there's a flash of that heart-eating lady from that terrible Maya sports hero episode, which this show should forever disavow rather than attempt to use as an enticement to viewers.
All you really need to know going into this week is that Amanda Tapping got Castiel out of Purgatory for some (probably) nefarious plan and is totally screwing with his head. All the while, Bob Seger is singing about Katmandu, which, incidentally, is one of the only places to which the Impala has never driven. Everything else will be explained in exposition along the way.
The episode starts with poor, doomed Samandriel, still wearing his vessel's perfectly awful Wiener Hut uniform. He is caked in dried blood and other grime of unknown origin. It looks like he's gotten a haircut since last we saw him, and it's not an especially great one. The torture just never ends for this guy, does it? Also, the handle end of an awl is protruding from his forehead. Samandriel, strapped into his chair but alone for the moment, sits up and concentrates. Through sheer willpower, he forces the awl out of his head. "Naomi?" he whispers. "Naomi, Crowley has me." The door opens behind him. Poor Samandriel looks petrified. His eyes fill with tears. A man in a white lab coat leans down over him and chides him for trying to dial into Angel Radio. Samandriel swears he did no such thing, but Lab Coat isn't buying it. "Now we're going to have to turn off the signal again," he says, and jams the awl back into Samandriel's beleaguered noggin. "NOOOOO!" screams Samandriel, partly from the physical pain, but also maybe partly because he senses we're heading next to...
... Kermit, Texas. Sam has checked into the very same motel room where he and Amelia once shared their nights of tepid passion. Sam sits around, drinking beer and looking unhappy. Someone knocks at the door. It takes him a full 15 seconds to answer it, like we don't have anything better to do than watch him mosey. He's displeased to find Dean standing there and starts to close the door. Then he thinks better of it, because how will Dean be able to see his flaring nostrils and pressed lips of disapproval if he closes the door? "Long drive?" Sam asks snittily. About as long as the drive you took in Martin's car, you dingus. There's a big neon "Motel" sign on the outside of the window, except it's facing the wrong way to attract motorists. The only person who'd be able to read it is the one in that very room. I have become distracted by this because my brain doesn't want to focus on what's actually happening in this scene, which is that Sam and Dean are having another one of their bitch fits.