Season eight of Supernatural begins with Dean’s return from Purgatory one year after having killed Dick Roman. He doesn’t return alone, however, and Dean’s first order of business is to return Benny’s soul to his remains. While it’s a bit shocking to realize that Dean has a vampire for a friend, we learn through flashbacks that Benny was a loyal friend to Dean in Purgatory and was the one who showed him how to get out. Dean and Sam are finally reunited back at Rufus’s cabin, though it’s never quite explained how Sam knew to come to the cabin. We learn that Sam has quit hunting and didn’t look for Dean or try to get him out of Purgatory. Sam hit a dog, met a girl, and settled down with her.
While they search for Kevin, the brothers look into a few other cases. They find a group of transplant recipients who have received organs from an ancient Mayan who received eternal life from the God Cacao. They also come across a video made by three young people who were investigating a werewolf attack and then became werewolves.
In “Southern Comfort,” the brothers team up with Garth to hunt down the spectre of a Confederate soldier. They learn that Garth has taken over for Bobby as a mentor and resource for the hunting community. Tension rises between the brothers over Benny, whom Sam thinks shouldn’t be trusted.
“Hunteri Heroici” is a mostly light-hearted episode in which Castiel tries to become a hunter and finds a case to work with the brothers. It seems cartoons are coming to life, but turns out that it is the side-effect of a psychic, retired hunter. In flashbacks, Sam remembers meeting Amelia’s father and learning that Amelia’s husband who was presumed dead was actually alive.
Sam sees Amelia, who is now back with her husband Don, but they both still want to be together. In “Torn and Frayed,” Sam considers giving up hunting to be with her. Meanwhile, Dean and Castiel try to rescue the angel Samandriel from Crowley. Ultimately, they enlist Sam’s help too. They rescue him only for Naomi to command Castiel to kill him. Crowley learns that there is an angel tablet like the demon tablet. Dean ultimately decides by the end of this episode that he has to cut himself off from Benny, and Sam decides not to go back to Amelia.
In “Freaks and Geeks,” Sam and Dean are reunited with Krissy Chambers. Krissy’s father has been killed and she and other hunter-kids have been taken in by a Fagin-like hunter who is training them to be super-hunters. However, he’s turning innocent people into vampires for the kids to kill for false vengeance. Victor kills himself and the kids decide to live on their own. Another stand-alone episode, “Remember the Titans,” has Sam and Dean helping Prometheus break the curse that will see his son Oliver die every day. In “Man’s Best Friend With Benefits,” Sam and Dean help James Frampton, someone they’d helped before, who is now a witch.
In “Trial and Error,” Kevin finally deciphers the demon tablet enough to discover that there are three trials that must be performed to shut the gates of Hell. Deciphering the tablet is taking an incredible toll on Kevin, and as the season progresses he becomes more and more haggard. The first trial is to kill a Hellhound, so Sam and Dean go in search of one. Dean is determined that he is the one who will do the trials because he sees himself as dying in the line of duty, while Sam sees something more for himself. In the end, Sam is the one to kill the Hellhound and take on the burden of the trials which begin to take an incredible physical toll on him. At first, he tries to hide this from Dean, but eventually, once he realizes Dean knows anyway, he admits to his growing weakness.
In “Taxi Driver,” Kevin reveals that the second task is to free an innocent soul from Hell. They learn that Bobby is actually in Hell, not Heaven as they suspected. The brothers find a demon who will take Sam into Hell. The portal leads through Purgatory. Before the demon can get Sam and Bobby back out, he is killed by Crowley. This forces Dean to ask for the ultimate favor from Benny. Benny agrees to let Dean kill him so he can get into Purgatory and show Sam how to get out. When it comes time to get out of Purgatory, Benny refuses and decides to stay in Purgatory as he wasn’t happy back on Earth. Both Naomi and Crowley show up and face off over Bobby’s soul. Naomi is victorious and helps release Bobby’s soul back to Heaven.
This week’s episode, the season finale, is titled “Sacrifice” and is written by Jeremy Carver. Do you think the brothers will complete the trials and seal the gates of Hell forever? Will Crowley survive if they do? Do you think we’ve seen the last of Naomi? Do you think Metatron is being completely honest with Castiel? Will Castiel complete the trials? Let me know what you are most excited for going into the finale in the comments below.