Largest Review/Discussion Fansite for Supernatural and SPNFamily Shows! Plot/Character Analysis, Spoilers, Games, News, Gallery, Interviews, Fun!

After last week's happy place, guess what, PAIN! At least that's what it looks like and you've got to figure that it's going to be pain for the next 3 weeks! But we're used to it right?! (What's wrong with us?)
So, with that in mind, are we ready for this week's episode?
Let's preview!
The second trial has made Sam even hotter. Wait.
Let me start that again,
The second trial has made Sam even sicker.
He's shaky.
He's wobbly.
His aim is off.
He's sleeping for days.
He has epic bed-head.
And Dean's hugging EVERYONE! But mostly Sam,
Sam's looking even worse, if that's possible.
Dean's looking more freaked, if that's possible.
Cass is back.
Crowley is back.
Naomi is back.
The search for Kevin is on.
The Transformer angel is revealed.

OMG PREPARE THYSELF (that's how God speaks, though he'd not say OMG I guess, maybe OMM?)

Right. Let's look at the synopsis,
FEELING LUCKY TONIGHT?  When Sam and Dean receive a distressing video message from Kevin Tran (guest star Osric Chau), they set about trying to uncover the Third Trial. The boys make a discovery that sends them to a casino in Colorado, to find a mysterious recluse (guest star Curtis Armstrong) who may be able to fill in the holes in Kevin's research. Meanwhile, Crowley is on a winning streak. Castiel tries to elude Naomi and the angels hunting him. Robert Duncan McNeill directed the episode written by Ben Edlund.
I may have just squeed. Squeed I tells ya!

Firstly, Mr Edlund. I love him. I get so excited for his episodes. So excited. I love him. Oh, I think I just said that. (I love him.)

Secondly, Robert Duncan McNeill - he who hasn't directed an episode since 1.06 "Skin"! But "Skin" was SO GOOD. Of course Robert has been very busy on other shows, like Chuck, but it's great to have him back for another go after all these years. "Skin" happens to be one of my favourite episodes!
Great team. Amazing cast. I have a feeling this is going to sooooo gooooood!
Then, there's that pain thing,
Let's check out the CW promo.



Ok, so we see Kevin in a pre-recorded plea. This could mean anything. He could have recorded that while he was in his upmost freaked out, scared and paranoid state. But, if you jog through the promo frame by frame, in the first couple of flash frames, in what looks like a reflection in a TV monitor, you see Crowley, with Kevin behind a desk. Hmmm.
There are lots of dead and bloodied bodies in a diner! And bleeding empty eye-sockets – like angel burnt out bleeding eye-sockets!
Cass has been grabbed by Naomi and a couple of angel goons.
Crowley has a gun. Why does Crowley have a gun? Why does Crowley need a gun?!
Sam knows the trials are changing him. Does he feel it? Can he sense the changes happening? Is he hearing something, because in the shots where Jared is obviously wearing the body-rig camera, he's doing something with his ear, like he's hearing something painful.
Dean's super stressed out by Sam getting sicker, then, .
Let's look at the Preview clip.


This clip makes me epically sad. You know, it really reminds me of that scene in "The Born-Again Identity" where Sam is sleep deprived and in the hospital. Sam's being all realistic and Dean's being all, how can we make you better, we're going to make you better. Dean in de(a)nial. Helplessly wanting to help, to do anything to try and make Sam feel better, get better or something, anything, which he can't and Sam knows he can't and, oh man. That scene and this painful to watch.
I wish Sam didn't have to go through this, after all the other stuff, the crazy, the soullessness, the demon blood, the visions, now this. It hurts to see him all physically weakened and sick. Remember how I was saying at the beginning of the season how I was happy to see Sam unencumbered by the supernatural for a change? Damn. Spoke way too soon.
Is it going to get worse? How can he possibly perform the third trial if he gets worse? There seems to be no logic in that. (I'm looking at you, God).
I think it's incredibly interesting that Sam says he's "changing" not just sick, changing. This sounds more like what we've all been tossing around, that something inside Sam is changing as opposed to simply being damaged. And Sam can tell because he can feel that he's changing. Is it the purification of his blood, eliminating the demon element? Is it that he has to become something else, whatever he needs to be, to finish the trial? Is it just part of God's test, to see if he truly is worthy of completing the trials?
Oh course he's worthy. God should really know that by now. I mean, God knows about the Winchesters, he spoke to them via Joshua; he pulled them out of harms way when Lucifer rose. Do you think he's sitting back somewhere (wherever he is) going, ok, good, the Winchesters are on the case; they'll get this done. Or has he indeed, left the proverbial building.
One of the exciting things about this episode is that we'll finally get to meet Metatron, the illusive scribe of God's Word. How is he going to play into the final 3 episodes? Will he become an ally? Will he have insight into the trials and what they're doing to Sam? Or how they can complete them? Or what the final trial is? One would think he should! He did jot it all down, after all.
How does Cass get out of Naomi's grasp? Does she get the angel tablet, or has Cass got it stashed? Do the boys rescue Kevin - if he indeed needs rescuing? Does he lead them to his half of the demon tablet? Do you think the boys will get Crowley's half of the tablet? Do they need it? 

So much goodness to be revealed, all wrapped in an ouch.

Oh goody! The CHCH promo!


Hmmmm. I got nothin'. Except Sam is taking icebaths...really bad fever, or as Dean off heat waves? And it looks like Cass appears in front of a speeding Impala! 

I've given up on Carver ever previewing again,

I still have this little fantasy going in that happy Winchestry place in my mind, that the brothers when faced with - is all this worth one of us dying over or worse - are going to decide that isn't. That they decide not to sacrifice one of them or both of them or what they have together, for the greater good. Because they are needed, they are needed right here, for the greater good, both of them, together and they're worth it over closing the gates of Hell. In my little fantasy they choose each other over revenge. The Carver keeps saying they're going to be faced with, "how far are we willing to go?" Well, is this too far? Will the final trial, what is happening to Sam, what is being asked of Sam, what is being asked of both of them, is this going to prove to be too far? After everything they've been through, will they decide...not...this...time?

So, what are your thoughts? Epic. Painful. Excited. Terrified. ALL of the emotions?
Sound off in the comments with all your brilliant theories!
And, enjoy the episode!


# percysowner 2013-04-30 00:15
Well, is this too far? Will the final trial, what is happening to Sam, what is being asked of Sam, what is being asked of both of them, is this going to prove to be too far? After everything they've been through, will they decide...not...this...time?
As much as I like that, my question is how do they turn it off? Sam is getting sicker and sicker. There is no indications that Sam can SAY stop once he started the trials. Maybe there is something on Crowley's half of the tablet, but really I'm not sure Sam can stop. Keeping on he may die (or whatever) quicker, but it's not like he's getting better by resting.
# sweetondean 2013-04-30 00:24
Very true. I'm sure going cold turkey will not help.

I guess I meant, what if the final trial asks too much of them? Is it in their make-up to walk away? I probably worded it badly!
# percysowner 2013-04-30 00:58
I don't think you worded it badly. It's one of the writing issues I've had with this season. Dean originally wanted Sam to not recite the word in the first trial and that made sense, but then Dean suggested taking over and I never heard Kevin say that it was possible to quit once someone had taken on the trials. It's a actually a really good question, what happens if the final trial asks too much. Sam is getting sicker and weaker. If they decide that closing the Gates of Hell has too high a price can Sam stop whatever is happening to him? Or does he continue to deteriorate because of whatever is "changing" him.

I'm one who thought that closing the Gates of Hell is not going to be a good thing, kind of like killing Lilith broke the last seal. But I also don't know if it can be stopped once it has started. Or rather if Sam can return to normal even if he does stop. They kind of heard what I would call a "siren's cry". They got a hint that the creature that had ruined their lives could be cut off forever, but they didn't have an entire tablet, so who knows what warnings there were and also, since this is so what they see as unalloyed good, they haven't thought out the ramifications. Sam hopes if they do this then he can finally cross the goal line, win the game and finally get safe. He has forgotten that the goal posts have always kept moving back and he has never been able to cross them. Dean sees permanently shutting down the evil that killed Mary, and John and Sam and forgets that every time they have "gone for the gold", something worse has popped up.

Both boys are engaged in blinkered thinking, and the writing has (cleverly in this case) skipped over that part and presented closing the Gates of Hell as an unambiguous win. I don't think it's that easy and I wouldn't even if I didn't know the show had already been renewed. If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't.
# sweetondean 2013-04-30 01:34
Yep, that's the thing, everything they do has ramifications. Everytime they think they might get a win, something bites them on the ass. Closing the gates of Hell will not come cheap. It throws off the balance of good and evil in the Universe. What if closing the gates is another afront to the natural order? We know nothing good ever comes from screwing with the natural order.

As you say, the goal line keeps moving and they need to consider this task in relation to past successes. They seem to be so blinded by the possibility of the end game, that they aren't considering what the actual outcome could be. Both Universally, but also for the Winchesters.

That's why I wonder if when faced with the final trial, if it's too much, could they find it in themselves to walk away and if they did, what would that mean and what would that look like. What would be the outcome in regards to Sam's health.

This closing the gates of Hell thing really isn't life and death for the whole of humanity, not like the Apocalypse. It's personal, but probably not as personal as Azazel. Surely the sacrifices have to stop at some point. Could this be their line in the sand?

I wonder if "Sacrifice" refers to sacrifing their desire to see Hell sealed forever, sacrificing revenge, sacrificing a safe life because the personal cost is too great. The sacrifice is not sacrificing themselves and therefore not getting their dream results.

And now I'm rambling!
# novi 2013-04-30 11:15
God wouldn't have written those tablets if the killing of leviathans or closing demon gates threatens to break the natural order, no? Sure, His ways are inscrutable, but weren't the tablets made to help and protect humans if the spn powers got out of hand?
# eilf 2013-04-30 11:28
Pretty sure there is an apple tree in the garden of Eden that might contradict your theory! :D God likes to mess with people, well known fact ...
# novi 2013-04-30 11:42
Yea, God and his bright red apples - but for the life of me don't remember which of our angels actually said it.
So you think the whole tablet thing is a divine trick, or a joke? Cruel. Would be some bi-ig surprise for the boys.
# eilf 2013-04-30 12:03
Heh, no not really. I think you are right and that the tablets do what they are supposed to do when a pressure point is reached. It just struck me that what with 'here's an apple tree...don't touch!' and God asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and then saying he didn't really mean it that God seems to have somewhat of an - unkind - sense of humour.

Isaac means 'he will laugh' apparently.
# NOLANOLA 2013-05-01 08:36
# NOLANOLA 2013-05-01 11:44
# percysowner 2013-04-30 12:02
Well, TECHNICALLY, God didn't write the tablets, he just dictated them to Metatron. The Purgatory tablet didn't say how to close Purgatory, other than the H.P Lovecraft seance, the ceremony that released Eve, Cas's opening of Purgatory and Death providing an eclipse so Sam and Dean could open Purgatory, Purgatory has been pretty sealed off. The Leviathan tablet told the boys how to kill a Leviathan, not how to seal off Purgatory. Crowley asked if God was insane when he found out about the tablet to close Hell. We have no idea what the Heaven tablet says.

It isn't like we have never seen an angel "go rouge" and say that God said something that God never said. It is possible that Metatron was engaging in tablet fanfiction. Or a little joke on his part.

Plus, as I argued in a different post, I don't remember the "Gates of Hell" being open except for that small window of time after Jake opened the Gate in Wyoming. So I'm not sure what sealing the Gates will accomplish. Certainly before AHBL2 there were no open gates and demons managed to claw their way out. I suppose we are supposed to think that this is sealing off Hell, not just closing the Gates, but right now closing the Gates of Hell sounds like it leaves us where the world was in season one, Gates closed, cracks to earth open. It's just weird. And a symbol of how the writers lost track of canon this season.
# Valgal 2013-04-30 08:46
As always, SweetonDean, I enjoy your posts. The issues that are presented are so interesting and compelling complex. Over the course of eight seasons we have learned so much about what has happened to Sam Winchester. He was fed demon blood as an infant, developed psychic powers for a while, chose to drink demon power because he believed it was a way to "save the world," was addicted to demon blood. And all Sam wanted to do was be "normal." I don't remember Sam ever sharing how those experiences changed him aside from acknowledging the demon blood made him physically stronger.

We are being presented with a different Sam in Season 8. This Sam admitted he did not seek Dean when Dean disappeared, but he sought a "normal" life. This weakened Sam admits he will tell Dean the truth. He says he is changing. We see the physical ramifications-t he cough,blood, weakness and balance issues. We have yet to learn what is occurring inside.

But, what is really occurring? Is Sam a less capable hunter in terms of his knowledge base, his compassion, his ability to discern and ascertain situations? What is changing? What could be affected besides his physical body- his spirit, his soul, his heart, his intellectual capabilities?

We know Sam craves what he believes is "normal." We know he sees a light at the end of the tunnel and he wants that for both himself and Dean. For some reason, while I believe the trial is a physical one, I wonder if the sacrifice has less to do with the physical trial itself and more about what kinds of choices Sam will be asked to make and what he will draw upon from how he is being changed from within to make those choices?

I ramble. Such perplexing and intriguing conundrums.
# lkeke35 2013-04-30 13:00
@Valgal: A perfectly acceptable ramble. These are good questions. The sacrifice that we all keep mentioning may have nothing to do with the physical exactly. Could be emotional, or the future, we'll know soon enough.

And you guys are right, nothing in the tablets mentions being able to stop the trials once they've begun. It's very possible Sam may not be able to stop and pure speculation here: what if finishing or not finishing the trials isn't even much of a choice?

Not finishing could mean Sam becomes one of the monsters otrcauses the apocalypse they worked so hard to stop. Finishing may require them to be on the other side when Hell is sealed off, trapping the Winchesters in Hell. (This is where that shortcut to Purgatory would come in handy, but they'd have to fight their way through a very angry landscape.)Ther e may be no real upside to finishing. Or rather the ONLY upside will be Hell will be sealed.
# EireneS 2013-04-30 13:03

But, what is really occurring? Is Sam a less capable hunter in terms of his knowledge base, his compassion, his ability to discern and ascertain situations? What is changing? What could be affected besides his physical body- his spirit, his soul, his heart, his intellectual capabilities?

It seems that his mental abilities has not diminished from the way he works the logic in the cases, if anything his reading of the MOL information would enhance his knowledge. He is reacting physically but is that the only way he is reacting?. What is he reacting to? I know -the spell-but what is that? What does the spell mean when he says the finishing words after a trial?
# Alice 2013-04-30 09:07
Awesome preview sweetondean! Yep, I lost it at MOOSE DOWN! Good thing I was only in front of my family and not at work. :lol:

I cannot wait for this episode! I know it's going to be a stomach churner. It's Edlund. Oh, I say that, but I really don't know. I'm just so happy Robert Duncan McNeill got another chance to direct for Supernatural. He's so busy usually. I love his work on other shows, and he really defined Chuck. He got to do all their big episodes.

At least Wednesday is tomorrow. Only a day an a half more of torture waiting!
# st50 2013-04-30 12:43
Oh gosh yes. alice. "Moose Down" :D That one had me spitting out my morning coffee. :D

An Edlund episode! It has to be good, right? I'm actually excited for this one, and that hasn't happened in a while.

Is it Wednesday yet?
# Donna 2013-04-30 12:09
Every time I see "Cass" it makes me cringe. Especially when a fan spells it that way and not the channel.
# sweetondean 2013-04-30 16:34
I have chosen to use the spelling as represented in the official companions and tie-in novels and as represented by the show and the writers in scripting.
# Gwen 2013-04-30 18:09
I am very excited for this episode. There's nothing I like better on SPN than Sick!Hurt!Sam and Protective!Big Brother!Dean and it looks like there's going to be bucketloads of this in this week's episode. Love the preview clips: Sam taking icebaths; Dean making him stew (bless him - Little!Dean must have done the whole aeroplane thing to try to get Sam to eat when he was tiny); Sam collapsing (oh, my poor poor boy :cry: ).
I haven't been excited for many episodes this year but I am definitely excited for this one.
# Alice 2013-04-30 21:47
Holy crap! CHCH promos are short, but they usually give a little more. Sam in an ice bath made me jump! That's such an Edlund thing to do.
# njspnfan 2013-05-01 09:40
Holy crap! CHCH promos are short, but they usually give a little more. Sam in an ice bath made me jump! That's such an Edlund thing to do.
Yep, Sam's not looking so good but, then again, didn't Chuck say his temperature reached 150 when he took out Lilith? Always interesting how the writers find new ways to abuse Sam.

Dean doing the whole airplane thing with the spoon is hysterical.

Looks to me like the first 2 trials are also part of a cleansing process for Sam, preparing him for the final trial.
# Amyh 2013-05-01 12:35
Holy crap! CHCH promos are short, but they usually give a little more. Sam in an ice bath made me jump! That's such an Edlund thing to do.
Sam looked concious and very aware....could the ice bath be a form of torture instead of treatment for a skyrocketing fever?
# Alice 2013-05-01 20:48
It's a form of torture alright, but it's coming from Dean because Sam has an unbelievably high fever. I'm sure a cold ice bath is enough to knock some sense into anyone.
kerinda h
# kerinda h 2013-05-03 22:52
ok dean said that sam had a 107 temp so that's why he put him there.