SUPERNATURAL: Unforgiven - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


February 12, 2011 by  

Last night we got a bit more insight into what Sam had been up to in the year between coming back from hell and meeting up with Dean, and it wasn’t pretty. We’ve seen Sam with no soul, we’ve even seen him use his own brother as vampire bait, but we haven’t seen him quite this cold before. Even Samuel thought he took things too far.

I figure that all of this must have happened before Samuel made his deal with Crowley, since he actually seemed to be primarily concerned with doing the right thing. He didn’t seem intent on capturing any alphas, even though they were dealing with a new and different monster, the arachne, a sort of spider-human hybrid.

The episode was structured really well, so that we learned the truth as Sam did – in bits and pieces. With the memories juxtaposed with the present day, it was a striking reminder of the differences in Sam with and without his soul. Jared Padalecki’s performance really sells it too –the device of showing the past in black and white was almost unnecessary (although it lent a nice sinister vibe to all of the memory scenes), because his take on each Sam is so uniquely different that you’re never wondering which version you’re watching.

When Sam last hunted the arachne, he came into town, slept with seemingly every woman he encountered (even without a soul a guy’s got needs), beat a cop unconscious and used the sheriff, who he and Samuel had befriended, as bait for the monster. When the arachne took the sheriff, it led them to find all of the victims, still seemingly alive, but sick from the arachne’s poison.

Sam, without a call to Bobby or any further examination of the situation, decided the logical thing to do was put all of the victims out of their misery, starting with the man they had set up as bait. It was absolutely chilling to watch Sam heartlessly execute a dozen or so innocent people, poison or no poison. The look of stunned disbelief on Samuel’s face echoed the look that I’m sure was on my face while I watched.

In the present, the sheriff’s wife remembers Sam and desperately wants his help trying to figure out what happened to her husband one year earlier. The more Sam learns in the process of helping her, the more he begins to remember. Dean isn’t happy because he’s living in constant fear that Sam is going to break the mental wall that’s protecting him from remembering hell and suffer whatever consequences that entails.

In the end of course, the truth comes out, and Sam, in his quest to right the sins of his past, tries to earn forgiveness for his actions. All Sam wants is to make things right, but some things can’t be fixed. He can’t explain to every person he’s wronged what was really going on with him, and some of the things that he did truly were terrible. He’s going to have to settle for doing what he can to move forward and accepting that forgiveness won’t always be an attainable goal.

The episode ends with Sam in convulsions on the floor, with a quick memory of hell, all pain and fire and torture (so far not so different from Dean’s hell memories). It’s hard to imagine what they could come up with that would be even worse than Dean torturing people, and being tortured, for decades. It seems inevitable that if the wall isn’t completely broken now (which I doubt it is), it will be at some point. The only question is, will Sam survive it?

It was an unquestionably dark episode, but there were a few choice lines of dialogue:

* So…Mel Gibson really took a turn this past year, huh?
* Where’s your partner? Big, bald guy? Sex rehab. You’ve heard of plushies, right?
* We know that this is a monster with opposable thumbs and unlimited text messaging.
* Let’s Memento this thing, shall we?
* I’m just trying to make you feel better, don’t be a bitch.

As always the promo for the next episode is below, and as always it pretty much renders the cliffhanger redundant, so watch at your own risk:

How did you feel about Sam, past and present? Are you as impressed as I am by Padalecki’s transformation between the two Sams? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the episode, so hit the comments!

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3 Responses to “SUPERNATURAL: Unforgiven”

  1. riley on February 12th, 2011 1:38 pm

    I am hoping the hell flashback is a “warning” for Sam to stop scratching at the wall. I don’t think he will be quite as eager to try to jog his memory from now on.

    I agree with you that Jared sold the two Sams quite well. He certainly brought his A game. Kudos for a jov very well done.

  2. Mary on February 13th, 2011 2:18 pm

    This episode impacted me much like “Swan Song” did at the end of last season. I watched with dread as the dark side of Soulless Sam was revealed, as was Lucifer in Sam before. Jared’s fine performances in both Sam personas were nicely contrasted in this episode. Being able to be such completely different characters with a change in voice, carriage and expression, without reliance on external props, is proof how talented an actor Jared is. (I also believe the same of Jensen.)

    Some other discussions made note of surprise that memories of hell popped up so soon, but Dean’s flashes also were almost immediate. My only fear is that it might be that, with the uncertainty of renewal hanging overhead, the writers want to lay groundwork so the arc can be wrapped up earlier than planned if necessary. I sincerely hope for a 7th season as I believe there is much left that can be explored in the Supernatural universe.

  3. Wally on February 14th, 2011 5:02 pm

    got no problems with their flashbacks coming back so soon,cause I don’t think hell would hold so much regard if it were easily or quickly mentally blocked, but I don’t see how they’re going to resolve all this by the end of this season….be fun to watch them try….