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2006, TV Show

Supernatural Episode: "Unforgiven"

Season 6, Episode 13
Episode Synopsis: Sam and Dean are lured to a small town, where they learn some disturbing facts about Sam's behavior when he previously lived there and worked on a case with his grandfather.
Original Air Date: Feb 11, 2011
Guest Cast Mitch Pileggi: Samuel
Full Episode
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Season 6, Episode 13
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Length: 40:50
Aired: 2/11/2011
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Supernatural Episode Recap: "Unforgiven" Season 6, Episode 13

In Season Four's "I Know What You Did Last Summer," we got a taste of what went down with Sam while his brother was in hell. "Unforgiven" was kind of like that. After all, we finally found out a little of what Robo Sam was up to for the year he was without Dean and was working with the Campbells. It wasn't pretty. Not even a little bit.

"Unforgiven" was intense, brutal, super-creepy and surprising. It featured pure, unadulterated, soulless Sam. He was hardcore about hunting (with Samuel); about playing (with every pretty brunette in town, apparently); and about doing whatever it took to bring down the monster-of-the-week (MOTW). I'm actually somewhat stunned right now because I figured the flashbacks to that time would be bad; they're actually worse than I imagined. This one's going to take a while to shake. It was super-dark, darker than I think we've ever seen this show go before -- and that's saying a lot. I almost saw attempts at humor as an unwanted interruption. I said almost. Because any time Dean or Sam said anything remotely funny, I welcomed the comedy.

It all started out with Sam mysteriously receiving coordinates on his phone -- they led the Winchesters to Bristol, R.I. Three women disappeared there in the last week. It was clear this case had something to do with Sam; it most probably had to do with a case he couldn't remember. As the two drove into Bristol territory, Sam began to scratch the wall; he began to get flashes of memory.

Once in town, people recognized Sam as a federal agent. Poor guy. How difficult must it be to have these people know your name (or alias, whatever) and you not know them? Dean wanted to leave town, but since there would be no "Unforgiven" episode if Sam listened to his brother, the decision was made to stay and figure out what was going on with the missing women.

 

Dean was completely right about hunters hitting the same town again: They do leave a mess. The cop that Sam bashed over and over and left for dead? He arrested Sam and put him in jail in suspicion of killing those men a year ago. It didn't look good that he turned up in town just when those women disappeared too. Thankfully, the sheriff's wife showed him sympathy and let him out just like that. She'd come to regret that decision, however.     

Dean figured out the women all had one thing in common: Sam. Last year, the busy guy hooked up with all of them. So someone had it out for Sam big time. Someone or something lured him to town for a reason. As the episode continued, Sam would flash more and more. We already knew Robo Sam was cold and unfeeling. While he and Samuel were talking to the sheriff and his wife, they asked him about family. He said family just "slows you down." Ouch.

He was also keenly focused on achieving the endgame without worrying about the collateral damage. As mentioned before, when the Sams wanted to get out of Dodge, a cop pulled them over and threatened to take the suspicious pair claiming to be feds to the station. What did Robo Sam do? He brutally beat the cop to a pulp and left him for dead. That scene was so difficult to watch. I mean, he wailed on that guy. Kudos to the director, Jared, the guest star and whatever stunt people they may have used, if any. They do a good job of staging these fights on this show. I had to turn away; it was that brutal. It gave me a flashback to when Sam/Lucifer gave Dean the beatdown of his life. That was hard to watch too.

Sam remembered what caused all this. He also remembered there was more collateral damage than he thought. A year ago, Sam and Samuel let Sheriff Dobbs and his wife in on their real reason for being in town. The couple seemed to embrace the dangerous duo and their hunter existence. Well, they didn't throw them out the door. That didn't stop Sam from using the poor sheriff as bait for the Arachne that had been kidnapping some of the men in the town. She (I say she because she took the form of a woman) ensnared these guys in her webs and poisoned them. My heart broke here. Because after Sam decapitated the Mother Spider, he systematically ended the lives of the men because he knew they were doomed. He put them out of their misery.

But they didn't die, did they? The Arachne didn't want to kill them; she wanted to breed. Sheriff Dobbs was the one getting his revenge against Sam. And even though this MOTW was once human, his face looked all sorts of messed up. Lots of makeup was involved. I was happy that he looked appropriately monster-like. He looked really creepy. However, you can't fault him for wanting payback, right? He couldn't get away with it though. Sam decapitated the former sheriff and offed him for good, leaving his poor wife to lose him again.

And after all this drama and darkness and death (three pretty big "D" words in this Supernatural universe), all of the sudden, Sam dropped and looked like he was having a seizure. Then we got a peek at Sam's soul behind the wall. And, like I said at the top of this column, it wasn't pretty. I didn't expect to catch a glimpse of it in this way — all hellfire burning Sam up. Where is the show going with this? Is there going to be a way to save Sam from remembering not only the horrors he inflicted on Earth, but also the horrors inflicted upon his soul in hell? Shouldn't there be such a thing as being rewarded for making a big sacrifice? It seems like Sam keeps getting punished over and over again. I almost wish we didn't get this last shot just yet. He was already dealing with so all this trauma over what he did to Roy. Knowing Sam, he was probably feeling the guilt from Roy turning all those women into spiders too. That's just a lot for one man to bear, especially in one episode. And I'm not sure I wanted Sam's soul represented as Sam. I'm going to have to think about that a little more.

"Unforgiven" was a solid episode that finally gave us the chance to see soulless Sam in his purest form. Jared did a great job playing the Robo version as well as the version we know and love. Our Sam is feeling all kinds of guilt and remorse that's going to be hard to come to terms with -- I foresee a tough road ahead for him.

As for Dean, I'm really not quite sure what's ahead for him. Halfway through a season, I usually can see the path both brothers are on; this season's more difficult to tell. There have been little bits here and there, but nothing has added up to anything just yet. But there's still so much more story to come, I guess I'll just have to wait and see. I'm curious as to where this Mother of All Stories is going; the Arachne was breeding, so I assume that all these different monsters shoring up their masses this season means there's something big coming up. I'm also looking forward to more Castiel and Bobby.

Random Thoughts

-It was clear Samuel didn't know what to think about Sam. He came off almost sensitive in "Unforgiven."

-Loved the Days of our Lives amnesia reference. Jensen used to star on the NBC soap. Although I don't think his character (Eric Brady) ever had amnesia. However, Eric's mother (Marlena Evans) was possessed by the Devil at one point.

Once again, many things reminded me of classic seasons/episodes:

  • Sam received coordinates that led to Bristol -- Season 1 (Dad used to send them)
  • Sam and Dean pieced all the info about the case on the wall of the hotel room, just like Dad -- Season 1 (Pilot)
  • The scene where Sam took the late sheriff's wife home after she found out about what Sam did -- he tried to say sorry and she slammed the door on him. That reminded me of Lucky in this season's "All Dogs Go to Heaven." Was anyone else reminded of that?
  • Dean was eyeing the women again -- that's definitely Season 1.
  • Dean mentions Sam being a fugitive again -- Season 2 & 3
  • "Dad also said, 'You finish what you start.'" -- Season 1 ("Something Wicked")
  • Sam guilt -- That's definitely Season 1 when he felt guilty for Jessica dying
  • Sam's flashes of memory -- they remind me of the visions he used to get in Season 1. Remember those?

-Sam's smooth. He talked his way out of jail. He didn't need to be soulless to do it.

-I still don't understand why when Sam says family slows him down; he wanted Dean back hunting with him at the beginning of the season.

Five Favorite Lines

"What was that? She just cougar-eyed you."
"So, Mel Gibson really took a turn this past year, huh?" "Or he was possessed. Seriously, think about it."
"So, Roy's just some red shirt to you? Just spider bait?"
"I'm just trying to make you feel better... don't be a bitch."
"One of Dad's rules? You never use the same crapper twice." "Everyone uses the same crapper twice." "Not us."

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In Season Four's "I Know What You Did Last Summer," we got a taste of what went down with Sam while his brother was in hell. "Unforgiven" was kind of like that. After all, we finally found out a little of what Robo Sam was up to for the year he was without Dean and was working with the Campbells. It wasn't pretty. Not even a little bit.

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Premiered: September 21, 2006, on CW
Rating: TV-14
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Premise: Two brothers hunt demons, ghosts and other supernatural entities as they investigate crimes caused by paranormal forces.

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