Despite the title of the midseason premiere of Supernatural, this episode didn’t seem to be about things torn & frayed as much as it did tying up or eliminating loose ends. Sam and Dean both have decided to jettison some personal emotional baggage to steam ahead full power in trying to find the demon tablets and help the Prophet, Kevin Tran, eliminate demons from the world once and for all. To this end, Sam has put an end to his relationship with Amelia and Dean also tells vampire pal Benny that it’s time for the pair to go their separate ways.
This doesn’t come without a good deal of angst between the Brothers Winchester. Sam is upset with Dean using Amelia to distract him from possibly killing benny in the midseason finale. Castiel comes to Dean requesting his aid in locating Samandriel, the angel who dresses as a hot dog vendor who has been captured by Crowley. While Dean is content to go on his own without Sam, Castiel will have none of the boy’s nonsense and zaps Sam along for the ride.
Crowley is torturing Samandriel and soon makes a startling discovery…under torture the angel begins to uncontrollably give up Heaven’s divine secrets, including the knowledge that there is an angel tablet that can be used to eliminate all angels. Sam, Dean, and Castiel have to go on a daring raid against Crowley’s stronghold where they are severely outnumbered.
This was an exceptionally strong start to the second half of the season. In order to move the season forward the writers made the decision to (apparently) make a clean break from some of the secondary characters and plot threads. It might have come somewhat abruptly, particularly Dean’s break from Benny, especially when Benny seems to be teetering on falling off the “not feeding on live people” wagon.
Right now the major mystery is just who is this Naomi who is giving Castiel his marching orders? While hearing Samandriel cream in agony, Cas experiences flashbacks where he was tortured by Naomi. Samandriel also seems to indicate that she is not what she seems and yet Cs is unable to disobey her commands. The introduction of an Angel tablet now means there are two prizes out there for the taking and Crowley is after both as well.
The pace of this episode was brisk and it got the second half of the season off to a flying start!