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Supernatural - 6.13 - Unforgiven - Recap by Selina

This episode, titled so aptly in honour of a great Metallica song (and a fan-favourite music connection on the show), explores that very idea - of all that Sam has done for which he is unforgiven, despite assurances from Dean and Bobby that all might be forgotten. This is an episode so distinguished by its style and direction that I hate not focusing my recap solely on that, but I'll try to remember the actual storyline too - though, really, wow.

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Let old acquaintance be forgot?

One year ago, soulless Sam is doing the dirty work of Sammy Sr. Suffering a bad wound to the arm, Sam leaves with Sam Sr., but they are pulled over by the police. I'm sensing this won't end well for the police.

When their agent con fails, Sam continues to beat the snot out of the poor cop, and though Samuel shows a little regret, it's hardly enough. On my part I'm still wondering what the hell Samuel is even doing back on this plane of existence - it's almost anticlimactic at this point, with him having been back this long, but their grandfather coming back to life is after all still a big deal!

After a Mel Gibson quip (I sometimes worry for these two actors burning all their bridges while on this show!),
present time Sam and Dean get a text from a mystery benefactor, sending them to Bristol, Rhode Island. More girls are missing, like last week, but Dean is hesitant that they follow this strange lead.

When Sam drives past the sign, he begins to have flashes of what he did... oh man, Sam, don't start scratching at the wall to remember something that'll save these girls... please?

Sam meets some of the people he met when he was last there and soulless, alias Agent Rorrick. The woman knows about the disappearances, and it's all a big mystery! Coming back from the poop deck, Dean sees something interesting on the wall: Sam in the background of a picture

And Sam has another flash.... of this woman, in a most compromising position INDEED! You go Sam!

Gender bender monster

Last year it was five guys, this year it's five girls who go missing - hmm. Dean doesn't want to stay in town because of what Sam might have done last time he was there, and they argue about what Daddy Winchester used to tell them... ah the good old days. Aaaand here we have Sam's guilt, that he needs to redo what he did, though it may scratch at the wall. Damn it Sam, what did I just say!?

But oooh, it looks like there's some connection to Sam that goes deeper... because one of the missing girls had Sam's card, and it turns out Sam had "been by" quite a few times to see her. Wow, Sam gets around when he has no scruples!

Sadly not all his old friends are on as amicable terms with him - his policeman punch bag finds and arrests him, and believes that Sam was behind the disappearances then and now. Poor Sam! I hate when one or both of the brothers go to jail, cause some really unreasonable part of me thinks great, there's no way they'll get out of that one, it'll be Prison Break from here on out!

At night, one of the disappeared men's wives comes to see Sam. This woman knows his name, and who he is... and Sam remembers her and her husband, as he and Samuel tell them the truth. I like the black and white overcontrastedness of the memories!

Lolol amnesia is lame

At least the show has enough self-understanding to make the Days of Our Lives quip about memory loss before some harsh critics go and do it. Sam reassures the woman (Brenna?) that he doesn't remember anything, but that he wants to find out what happened.

The woman believes him, and helps him escape - and it's a good thing that Sam is soulful once again or this might have ended very differently! Oh and she asks to be tied up - what's with the women in this town?!

Meanwhile the woman Sam met at the bar is attacked in her basement... and aaaahhh!!! Is it her husband? The monster? Who knows! I'm intrigued.

Dean goes to investigate the missing persons dispatch, since Sam is a fugitive once again... but though Sam promises to stay, he leaves as soon as Dean drives away. Dean found the connection between the girls: they all had sex with Sam! Well, we knew that was high-risk since the Pilot.

It turns out to be a trap set for Sam to come back to the town, but from who? Sam goes to see Brenna, to convince her to help him further and get him the case files... and Sam remembers more.

Sam remembers Samuel talking about Mary, Sam saying that "family just slows you down." But hey, he was soulless, let's give him a break.

Sam remembers the missing people - remembers tuft from an old extinct monster - and where they were going to capture it.

"I've got a frickin' soul now, and it won't let me just walk away!"

Ah, and as Sam leaves the house and sees something like a spiderweb around Brenna's house, he hears Dean's voicemail - and almost shoots Dean again! Many close calls right? And damn it, Sam leaves Brenna with the freaky monster spider?? Why does he see the web, and then leave?! Unless he thinks that Brenna is safe cause they didn't canoodle.

Sam is truly back in all his glory, and does anyone else feel like I do that they didn't realise how much they'd missed him?! This was always meant to be the Sam and Dean show, and for the past few years it has honestly felt like the Dean show, with Sam as the perpetual, mystical big bad, who we for the sake of the mystery couldn't associate with like we used to. That's different now, for however long it's going to last, and I am enjoying it to the fullest.

One really awesome pictures-and-string montage later, and Sam has a eureka. Eureka! he exclaims, as the pieces come together... Sam used Roy as bait, to lure the monster out. (Sidenote: we also learn that Samuel is 89 years old. Yikes!) Samuel is worried that something will go wrong... and yeah, he does have his good sides, as we know by his determination to get his daughter back (despite his screwed logic that it's okay to sacrifice a grandson to do it).

Samuel - a Star Trek fan?

Samuel calls Roy a "redshirt", and is appalled at Sam's cold-bloodedness.

They find the monster's lair, and Roy... and the other lost men, caught in the webs. They are still alive, and call for Sam and Samuel's help. Sam beheads the monster, and Samuel goes to help Roy. But Sam says that the guys are too ruined by poison, and kills them all. Damn it, Sam. Samuel doesn't approve either. But he goes with it - I wonder where Mary got her independence and strong will, cause it sure wasn't from him!

Meanwhile, Brenna is visited... by a very deformed, zombie-like Roy. HELLA SCARY! But Sam calls, and snow is falling serenely on the scene as they go to check up on her. Sam and Dean enter the (surprisingly large) shed, and find Brenna hiding in a corner... she knows what happened, and he is confronted bu the Spider-Roy. Gross grossgrossgrosssssss!!!!!

Sam and Dean are caught in the web, though with their heads free, and while Roy does tough-man talk and says that he was turned before Sam shot him. Hey, notice the awesome camerawork in this episode, the quick cuts to extreme closeups? Congratulations, David Barrett! First time directing an episode of SPN if I'm not mistaken, and I hope they keep him around cause he is amazing.

Also, sad times for Sam, that though he killed one monster he made loads more! Dean gets free and while Roy tries to kill him, Brenna sets him free and Sam kills Roy, for realz this time. Poor Brenna! She doesn't give Sam the time of day to apologise... and his poor soul suffers.

By the end, Sam is sad and depressed. Dean tries to alleviate his guilt by saying that it wasn't him who did these things, but Sam refuses the sentiment. Dean says again that "everything is gonna be okay"... only to fall to the floor, convulse, and disappear into himself, where he finds himself burning up with a terrible scream.


Scary times - I was expecting that we'd get more time before this happened. It's like an old-fashioned Loony Tunes, before you know it that's all, folks! Also, we never did find out what happened to Sam's women: did Roy kill them, or turn them? And in particular the woman who we met early on in the episode, who was attacked in her basement, I half suspected it was her own husband whodunit. But we'll never know now. All in all a great episode though! I'm scared and excited for the next one.

Rating: 4/5
One star higher than last week because I must confess that I loved the directing of this episode, with the eclectic cutting of shots and the unsettling flashbacks. The story was very well constructed, to set up a mystery which - while we might have suspected the reveal all along, since Sam did start off beating the snot out of that cop after all - really paid off. It was a good, old fashioned season 1 style monster, and most importantly gave us some GREAT Sam time, which I think we've all been itching for. This is one of the episodes you could display to prove how good quality the show (which is so often overlooked stylistically) actually is.

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