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Supernatural - Trial and Success! Recap/Review

Tonight’s Supernatural, in the wake of being renewed for a ninth season, deals with closing hell and the trials required to do so. Luckily there will always be enough earth bound creatures for the Winchesters to fight.

We start with Kevin Tran (Osric Chau). The scene shows his routine where aside from sleeping and eating, all Kevin does is translate the tablet and take aspirin so that his tablet-induced headaches go away. Discovering something big he exclaims "holy crap" a few times before passing out and missing his alarm the next morning. If not for the trailer for this episode, I’d be worried about him.

The brothers are still in their Men of Letters archive. Dean (Jensen Ackles) says hi to his photo of his mom as he sets it on the table. Sam comes in and Dean enumerates the perks of finally having his own room. Dean leaves to make some grub so Sam takes a look at the weapon adorned room. Bringing the food into the main room, Dean asks Sam about the research before Sam is completely blown away by Dean’s cooking skills. He’s nesting, apparently. And that hardly seems the worst thing for our boys to do. Dean gets a phone call from Kevin which is abruptly terminated. Fearing the worst, they set off.

Sam and Dean go into Kevin’s barge guns drawn. Dean finds him in the bathroom retching before telling him that his health habits are lacking. Kevin agrees but tells them that he thinks he’s cracked how to close the gates of hell. The spell he’s found is to be recited after completing each of the trials which are Herculean trials at best. The first is to kill a hound of hell and bathing in its blood. Dean has just the idea on how to find "Clifford the Big Dead Dog"...

Later after some coffee, Kevin feels a lot better but Sam still tells him to take a day off. Kevin tells him he hates it there. Sam gives an inspiring speech before Dean comes back in telling them about the various types of tomatoes. Dean bears “gifts” for Kevin telling him not to OD. He justifies his actions to Sam by saying they’re so close the finish line. It may not be the perfect course of action but being this close to the endgame for the show, it's hard to not understand where Dean is coming from.

They go to the ranch farm where they had heard about the farmers that struck it big by finding oil on their property. The husband, Carl, is a “trophy husband”. Dubious title, sure, but he’s on board with the brothers joining temporarily so we’ll let it slide. Dean is unhappy at the prospect of sharing a room with his brother again after just getting his own room. Dean’s given a job shoveling crap and overhears the owner fighting with the manager on how to run the farm.

That night the “trophy husband” is having what appears to an affair as the boys hunt the hellhound which Carl is killed by. Sam asks the sheriff what happened and the hot girl in charge of the farm, Kelly, knows that a wolf did not kill Carl. Sam goes to talk to the widow who says that she’s fine even though she loved her late husband but she can’t remember why she loved him. They apparently had gotten together on Valentine’s Day and the guy she had made fun of for years had become cute. They had been married for ten years and now she’s just fine.

Back at the hotel room, Dean asks about crossroad ingredients which Sam vetoes on the premise that Crowley, if he finds out, will send them all the beasts. He suggests that when the whole Cassidy family is there for the funeral might be the perfect time to see if the RED killed signed anybody else up when s/he was in town.

Kelly briefs them on the family history which she learned hands on since the age of thirteen. Sam is designated to be inside serving drinks while Dean cooks on the grill. Around the table the four family members try to prove themselves the most unlikable person there. Kelly tells Dean she loves the property so much that the crappy people don’t really matter. All the people around the table know Crowley from ten years ago to the day. Sam doesn’t know who “signed on the dotted line” but I think they all did. Kevin calls with the tip that they can see a hellhound if they burn holy oil onto a pair of glasses. Dean goes to do so while Kevin continues to work against Sam’s wishes.

Sam chases after the father and one of the girls, both determined to kill the thing that killed Carl. Sam offers to join them.

“You know anything about hunting boy?”
“A little bit.”

Understatement of the year. Dean puts on his Clark Kent glasses and scopes around. Kelly flirts with Dean a little too obviously leading me to believe she’s a demon. Dean turns her down and she steps back saying it was a onetime offer. While looking more than a little hurt.

Meanwhile in the forest, Sam and his companions hunt what will not be found. The girl goes missing before being ripped apart by one of the hellhounds. So that answers one question. Inside, the people get briefed by Dean about Crowley: “poncy guy about yay big; pile a dicks.” They think that the brothers are insane. Dean tells them that they’re not going to let any of the remaining trio out until the guilty party confesses to making the last deal. Dean levels his gun at the patriarch telling him to shut up. Amen to that.

They spread the goofer dust around the perimeter of the room and debate whether Dean needs backup. Dean tells him all he needs is for Sam to be safe. He knows that the god tests can only end with one of them dying. Dean sees himself as a grunt who will gladly die “with a gun in my hand” to save Sam and let him become a Man of Letters, have a wife and kids, and live until he’s old. So Dean says he’s going to do those trials alone and if Sam tries to follow him, he’ll put a bullet his is leg.

Dean puts on his glasses and wanders around Kelly’s spot. Sam is stuck with the bitching trio. I’m now certain that Dean has it easy. He walks in to find a drunken Kelly who kisses him and he tells her to stay in her room no matter what happens. She already knows there’s something out there because it’s coming for her.

Inside Sam is put on bathroom patrol with the father trying to escape to the bathroom. The widow makes a break for it and Sam chases after her. On their way back to the house, Sam hears the hound. He puts his glasses back on and we switch to Kelly and Dean. She says that Crowley seemed so nice. She took the deal because her mother was in the beginning stages of Parkinson’s. Dean asks about why Crowley didn’t tell her about the hellhound and realizes that he didn’t tell the others either. Dean asks why she didn’t run to which she replies that she doesn’t want to die but all she wanted a nice meal, some good tunes, and maybe some sex. She starts to hallucinate that Dean is one of The Walking Dead. He pours her a small circle and tells her to stay in it.

Dean goes out into the stables and attacks the hellhound. But Sam comes out and ends up stabbing the beast himself after trying to protect Dean. The blood gushes out onto Sam leaving little doubt as to who has bathed in it.

Kelly tells Dean to go to the hospital but he declines. He tells her to make a hex bag and start running because of Crowley can’t find her, he can’t kill her. Sam replies that even if she dies naturally, her soul is marked for hell. Dean takes the spell paper and chants it. He tells his brother he intends to get another one. Sam says he’s going to do it because Dean’s is a suicide mission. He’s going to shut it down and live. And he says that Dean should too.

“You’re not a grunt Dean, you’re a genius. When it comes to lore, you’re the best damn hunter I’ve ever seen. I believe in you Dean. So please, believe in me too.”

Beautiful speech. Dean hands over the paper and Sam chants it. A pulsing red light goes up his arm before disappearing. Besides being a little out of breath, Sam seems perfectly normal. Except he isn’t.

Next time: an old friend has dangerous dreams.

What worked:
♥ Dean was finally happy with the Letters Lair and has managed to turn his love of food into some formidable cookie skills.
♥ They brought back the angst dynamic without having the brothers fight like they hate each other.

What didn’t work:
I hated the Cassidy family! They were all so unlikable and the best one was killed at the beginning. But I think they were supposed to be repugnant.