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So the “little slice of Kevin” referenced in this week’s episode title turned out to be quite literal. See what happens when you don’t listen to Sam and Dean? The King of Hell abducts you and chops off your pinky. There’s a cautionary tale for you, kids.

Let’s face it, Mrs. Tran and Kevin have not been making the best decisions lately. First they sneak away from Sam and Dean, then Mrs. Tran hires a shady witch off Craigslist and practically gives her the top secret recipe for demon bombs. But she didn’t give her the measurements so it’s totally safe, right? I've got to say I thought Mrs. Tran was a little smarter than that. Even Kevin realizes it's a bad idea. Although he does forget to protest as soon as he get's a look at Delta. All around, these two have really been asking for it. Now they'll be under Garth's protection which makes me smile. He must have proved himself to the boys in the last episode. That or he's their only living friend. I think I prefer option A.

I really enjoyed this new idea of generations of prophets. I like the idea that there can only be one prophet at a time and that there is a whole generation of future prophets in the event that something happens to the current one. It explains how Kevin came to be a prophet, which is something I’ve always wondered. But sadly, it means that Chuck must be dead. (I still don’t believe it!) My only question is, why the huge gap of time between Chuck’s disappearance (not death) at the end of season 5 and Kevin becoming a prophet in season 7. I would assume if one prophet dies, the next one is “born” pretty quickly after that. Maybe there just wasn’t the need for a prophet at that time? Or maybe, it just wasn’t part of the plot of the show that I’m constantly reminding myself is fake. Any thoughts on why Kevin didn’t become a prophet until much later? Anyone else love the fact that the future prophets thought they were on a spaceship? The table they were sitting around was a little Starship Enterprise...

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I can’t believe I managed to wait this long to mention the fact that Cass is back!! And there is a lot of intrigue surrounding his return. So Heaven saved him from Purgatory so that he can report information on the Winchesters. But what is it that they want to know about them? Are they only interested in what’s happening with Kevin or is there something else they’re hoping to achieve? And who ordered Cass’ rescue? Do we know who’s in charge at this point? Will God finally make an appearance this season? Will it be Chuck? (Wishful thinking!) So many questions! I loved the way they snatched Cass away mid-conversation but did it so that Sam and Dean didn’t even notice he was gone. And the room they brought him too seems to act as some kind of truth extractor. (The nerd in me want’s to call it
virtual veritaserum) Not only will he have to tell the truth, but he won’t remember doing it. This provides a lot of interesting plot possibilities. I can’t wait to learn more about what Heaven wants from Cass. Do you guys have any guesses?

There were some great conversations between Dean and Cass. It appears Dean was remembering his last moments in Purgatory incorrectly. Leave it to Dean to remember himself as a failure. It turns out Cass didn’t want to be saved from Purgatory. He didn’t feel he deserved to. Dean seemed to be fighting with himself about Cass being left behind. Out loud he was saying he did everything he could, that Cass wasn’t trying hard enough,

“It’s not about fault, it’s about will.”

But inside he was blaming himself for not rescuing him. But that’s Dean, isn’t it?

“You can’t save everyone, my friend. Though you try.”

Cass is right, Dean can’t save everyone. But he will never stop trying. It’s just not in his nature which is probably a big part of why he’s unable to understand Sam’s desire to stop hunting. But I digress...

So do you think Cass will ever forgive himself for his God-complex? It is so Winchester of him to feel that he doesn’t deserve a second chance. He would rather die seeking penance in Purgatory then let Dean save him. Sounds more like punishment then penance to me. And do you think Dean has forgiven himself now that he knows there was nothing he could have done to save Cass?

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Was it just me, or were Sam and Dean getting along surprisingly well in this episode? I expected a lingering chill in the air after last week but I wasn’t getting it from either one of them. Not that I want Sam and Dean to be mad at each other in every episode, but after a blow out like the one they had last week I did expect some lingering emotions. Maybe Dean took Sam’s “move on, or I will” to heart? Either way, that can’t be the end of it. These boys still have a lot to talk about. Neither one really knows how the other spent their year apart. Dean did open up a bit about Purgatory in this episode though.

“Sammy, I remember every second of leaving that place. I mean I remember the heat, the stink, the pain, the fear. I have that whole ugly messy right here...and he says he has no idea how he got out? I'm just not buying it.”

I don’t know how much Sam really knows about Dean’s experiences in Purgatory. He knows Dean has changed. I think he sees that Dean is more aggressive than he was. He has hardened as a result of his time in Purgatory but Sam hasn't really asked for the details. This strikes me as odd considering how much he tried to get Dean to talk about Hell. And Dean hasn't asked Sam about Amelia. It’s clear that this last year has softened Sam. (I’m not saying he’s less of a hunter, he has just found that his priorities now lie elsewhere.) And it seems that Dean doesn’t care to know the woman Sam spent much of the last year with because it meant he wasn’t hunting and he wasn’t looking for Dean. I think these guys would benefit from a nice car-side chat. In fact, I would love to know much of this myself! I’m still dying to see how Sam decided to give up hunting and give up on finding his brother. And I’m still anxious to see more of Dean’s time in Purgatory and his bond with Benny.

All in all this episode was chock full of plot development.  And while there was a lot going on I thought the pacing worked really well. There is still so much to tackle this season. Especially now that Kevin told Crowley about shutting the gates of Hell. (Well, there goes the element of surprise!) Oh, and Crowley made it out with half of the tablet! No doubt it was the good half! Hopefully Kevin has an excellent memory.

So what did you guys think of the episode? Did you like the explanation for how prophets come to be? Were you expecting Sam and Dean to still be angry with each other? What do you think Heaven is trying to learn from Cass?

Time for quotes and random thoughts!

Sam: “I was gonna say you look like you’ve seen a ghost but you’d probably be stoked.”

I laughed pretty hard at Sam quietly attempting to exorcise the teacher. It reminded me of the scene in ‘Phantom Traveler’ when Dean tries to use “Christo” in conversation.

Sam: “Dean, you did everything you could.”
Dean: “Then why do I feel like Crap?”
Sam: “If you let it, this is gonna keep messing with you. You’ve got to walk past it.”

This moment just felt so genuine to me. It wasn’t Sam telling Dean to get over it, it was genuine advice. Doesn’t feel like a conversation I’d be able to have after a big fight. But maybe that’s more of a reflection on me than the script.

Benny: “I lie, I don’t get lied to.” I am loving this guy.

Crowley: “So...read any good tablets lately?” This guy too!

Poor Kevin tried so hard to resist Crowley, but one pinky and he’s done for.

Crowley: “So far as a writer, God’s a snooze.”

Kevin: “From the archangel Metatron...”
Crowley: “The scribe...and suck-up. Took down God’s word, picked up his cleaning.”

Crowley: “It's all very West Side Story, but let's be logical. You look like hell, and I should know.” 

Comments  

shamangrrl
# shamangrrl 2012-11-15 22:36
I've never cared for these writers. They can't seem to be consistent in tone, character or... anything, really. The writing slingshot from serious to (supposed-to-be ) funny and back again, and the edit cuts for the scenes made the transitions even more harsh. Not at all crazy about the direction of this one, either. Even the Purgatory edits felt off.

If I take this episode as a stand alone, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed Cas coming back, every moment between Dean and Cas was absolute gold, I enjoyed getting some actual movement on the mytharc, and I did love Naomi (even though I think that *she* is going to end up the Big Bad, not Crowley. And Dean needs to shiv her, toot-sweet).

But taking this episode in context of the season, induces whiplash. None of the characters come out well. Dean's PTSD is gone, replaced by undeserved self-flagellati on and guilt (again), Sam is all sympathetic and supportive which is nice to see, but feels more like he's back on his bipolar meds because the reconciliation is totally unearned, Kevin has dropped IQ points (especially given his almost year surviving on his own), Ms Tran is a shrill caricature (and quite dumb and naive, having learned nothing from her first encounter with Crowley), Crowley just doesn't inspire Big Bad vibes, Cas is once again being manipulated by Heaven.

You get the picture.

Next week looks like filler, which I find annoying since this episode actually progressed things. I can't say I enjoy the stop-start mentality being employed (or should I say, abused?) this season. Maybe if there were several episodes in a row that progressed, and then we had a filler/stand-al one? But this one episode on/one episode off thing is just not working out for me. It makes everything too choppy and makes it seem that there isn't an overall plan for the season.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-15 23:14
I agree with a lot of this. These writers aren't the strongest and there were characterizatio n holes for every character. Even Crowley was off. Yes, he is evil, but he is usually more subtle. Ripping people's insides out and exploding people isn't his style. It made very little sense considering he didn't know which prophet was really next in line. What if he killed the next prophet and no one else could take over?

The filler is very annoying. I felt like Bitten was way too early for that type of stand alone episode, and the stand alones keep on coming. I hope this season comes together once we see the entirety of it.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-11-16 00:30
I found it a little distracting, actually, that there was no tension between the brothers right at the jump in this episode. But once I figured out Dean probably bought Sam some Midol on the way out of town last week, I liked the episode at lot.

Great visual effects throughout, and it really moved the mytharc along. I have no idea what Naomi is up to, but I smell bad guy all over her. When have the angels ever been anything but dicks in this show.

The Purgatory scenes are my favorite thing of the season. I hope that Cas being out doesn't mean no more of those.

Loved Dean, Cas scenes -- the acting from both guys was incredibly good. JA continues to tell us everything we need to know about Dean through his expressive acting. Throw a little Benny in with Dean and cas, and I'm totally happy.

The Trans are ridiculous and stupid -- Mrs. Tran more so than Kevin. Both can die now, but since that's not going to happen, I hope Garth keeps them busy for a very long time, and vice versus. I'd be okay with not seeing any of the three again. I thought the attempt at humor to lighten the tension with the Mrs. Tran scenes was totally out of place in this episode. The episode would have been and should have been played as powerful and dramatic. I don't even think the actress is doing that good of job in this role.

Despite the disconnect between raging Sam last week and supportive, caring and sharing Sam this week, I like caring and sharing Sam and it was nice to see some degree of him back. I have to ask, though, is Sam just mad, annoyed and unhappy all the time now? Is this the Sam we're going to see all season? I don't know if it's actors choice, showrunner choice, or multiple director's choices, but there is no fun in watching Sam anymore. He doesn't seem to care about anything.

I did love Sam's Latin-into-a-ph one-call scene and Dean covering up what that was, and I loved Sam giving Dean the manly pat on the shoulder and heading into the bathroom right after the 'survivor's guilt' speech. And, thanks writers, for not making that a 'suck it up' speech for Sam to deliver.

I really liked the episode, despite some sloggy Tran scenes, but I am disappointed that the next one we see will be a comedy stand-alone. I don't like the pacing of the stand-alones either. There's some really interesting stuff going on, and I really think they should deal with some of that before throwing in so many one-offs. It's not like we're learning anything about the Winchesters for those.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-16 05:35
I'm sure Dean popped some Midol himself since he was also having a hissy fit last week over crap that happened years ago; stuff he had supposedly forgiven.

Neither brother looked particularly good last week, IMO.

The writing was inconsistent for both brothers this week and frankly made no sense. The writers clearly don't collaborate to make the episodes flow from each other.
Chris_J
# Chris_J 2012-11-16 09:54
Dean didn't have a "hissy fit." He was possessed by an evil spectre who blocked its victim's ability to rationalize and also amped up their anger over even the most trivial issues.

I'm sure the guy who got called out during a 2nd grade baseball game had long gotten over it. But the spectre dug up any past issue, took away his ability to rationalize, and created an irrational response to that issue.

Possessed Dean was unable to rationalize past issues, but real Dean does possess the ability to rationalize, deal with, and forgive past resentments. That's why he hasn't brought up the whole Ruby/demon blood thing in a very long time. Because real (rational) Dean has actually moved on from those issues.

Now the Sam not looking for him in Purgatory issue is still very fresh. Hopefully once Sam opens up more about what he did in the last year, Dean can begin to rationalize Sam's choice to not look for him. I think he's already on the road to getting over it.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-16 10:12
The spectre wouldn't have been able to get to him, wouldn't have decided it especially liked him, even, if he weren't still feeling resentment, if the issues were totally resolved. It coudn't get to Garth, because Garth wasn't carrying that kind of unresolved anger. Dean isn't great at moving past things, either his own guilt or his resentment of others: he tends to repress, repress, repress. I think the point of putting the spectre episode back to back with this week's, in which Cas helped Dean see that he is literally misrepresenting reality in heaping guilt on himself, is to show Dean eventually making progress on both sides of that coin, learning to see that he's neither responsible for the weight of the world, nor the object of a laundry list of betrayals, but simply a flawed, forgivable human surrounded by other flawed, forgivable humans (or flawed, forgivable angels, as the case may be). All of them with limited perspectives.

At any rate, he's stopped needling Sam about his year away from hunting, and Sam in turn is being more present and empathetic, so I think they are making some progress.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-16 15:23
Quote:
Dean isn't great at moving past things, either his own guilt or his resentment of others: he tends to repress, repress, repress. I think the point of putting the spectre episode back to back with this week's, in which Cas helped Dean see that he is literally misrepresenting reality in heaping guilt on himself, is to show Dean eventually making progress on both sides of that coin, learning to see that he's neither responsible for the weight of the world, nor the object of a laundry list of betrayals, but simply a flawed, forgivable human surrounded by other flawed, forgivable humans (or flawed, forgivable angels, as the case may be). All of them with limited perspectives.

At any rate, he's stopped needling Sam about his year away from hunting, and Sam in turn is being more present and empathetic, so I think they are making some progress.
Yes, yes, yes! Great comment.

For the record I found both the "Midol" comment and the "hissy fit" comment were equally unbalanced and potentially inflammatory.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-17 12:05
Quote:

At any rate, he's stopped needling Sam about his year away from hunting, and Sam in turn is being more present and empathetic, so I think they are making some progress.
Exactly, I thought it was a natural progression and was completely welcome.

I hope now that Dean finally remembers what really happened in purgatory, he can stop projecting his issues onto Sam, as I believe that was the main source of the discord.
I hope Dean gets to think about what Sam said- both about survivor's guilt (and realize Sam sees it, because Sam had it) and about "walk past it" so it doesn't eat him up (because that is excellent advice).
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-11-17 12:20
Quote:
Quote:

At any rate, he's stopped needling Sam about his year away from hunting, and Sam in turn is being more present and empathetic, so I think they are making some progress.
Exactly, I thought it was a natural progression and was completely welcome.

I hope now that Dean finally remembers what really happened in purgatory, he can stop projecting his issues onto Sam, as I believe that was the main source of the discord.
I hope Dean gets to think about what Sam said- both about survivor's guilt (and realize Sam sees it, because Sam had it) and about "walk past it" so it doesn't eat him up (because that is excellent advice).
If what Dean had said last week was the average Winchester's going at it I would agree however it wasnt and Benny still remains a factor.
dinkwerks
# dinkwerks 2012-11-16 09:28
Next weeks scenes remind me of the "trickster"...t hink maybe GABE is making a return. I am also leery of the angels....think they are up to something....th e writers are keeping it hidden. The transition from week to week is kinda choppy....I always wonder about whether they read the next set of writers in on what happened the week before.
Chris_J
# Chris_J 2012-11-16 10:26
"Cass is right, Dean can’t save everyone. But he will never stop trying. It’s just not in his nature which is probably a big part of why he’s unable to understand Sam’s desire to stop hunting."


Yes I think this is a big part of it. I also think a lot of the anger he directed toward Sam for not trying to find him was actually Dean feeling angry with himself for not being able to save Cas.

My guess is that Naomi has something to do with Sam's strange apathy about Dean's disappearance. She/they may have messed with Sam's mind/memories about what he did during that year. I'm still not sure if Amelia is actually real or if she's something that has been planted in Sam's mind... maybe to distract him from looking for Dean, or maybe to get him to leave Dean now to live his normal life? I don't know. But I do think it was Naomi who was standing outside watching Sam as he left for the cabin in 8.01.

I thought this was a surprisingly well done episode. From the writing to the action and even the direction. It's probably my top episode of the season thus far.
sofia
# sofia 2012-11-16 13:05
I do agree that Dean's anger with Sam could have at least partially been misplaced anger with himself.

That is a really interesting idea that Naomi had a hand in Sam's apathy. It would be a very interesting twist, especially if Naomi turns out to not be real.
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-16 20:20
I like your slant on things. That outcome could be interesting. Many including myself had thought Amelia might be a figment in Sam's mind due to a breakdown or something. But Naomi putting it there would explain a lot, including shadow figure. Also loved the episode and it was my favorite so far
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-16 20:23
OOPS seems to be a lot of this going on!
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-11-16 14:28
I might be in the minority..here. ..but I really liked this episode! It was fast paced, full of information and for once, I didn't find myself going ...Huh?...after it was over. Actually, I haven't done that at all this year which is totally different than the last two seasons. As for Chuck, I've always thought that he was God which would make sense that he's no longer on Cass's list. He's no longer a prophet, but the real deal! That my opinion.... Anyway, still loving this year, it's so much better! :-)

BTW - Great article!
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-16 14:39
I was agreeing with someone else that Chuck could be Metatron, but then I was thinking that he was on Cas's list so he had to have been a prophet. But now I am having a rethink on my rethink since clearly Cas's list is wrong anyway when it comes to Chuck.

Chuck could be Metatron ... it is hard to know when you can consider something canon or not but if you never heard EK talk the show itself has not said that Chuck is God (I think) it just had him vanishing mysteriously.

It is only a point if you like RB and want him back in some guise :D It is hard to have a show where God sticks his nose in in person though. Of course if he is God he can come back as whoever he wants ... because he is God ... my head hurts.
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-16 22:07
Hi, elif. I am with you in thinking that Chuck could be Metatron.

You see it correlates with SwanSong. Where Chuck finished his Winchester's Gospel and packed his bag and vanished. All the prophet do after Chuck is reading the tablet while Chuck writing books. Books about the Winchesters.

Chuck is a writer, Metatron is a scribe.
Chuck leaves after Swansong, Metatron leaves after the end of Demon's tablet

Metatron is an angel, when angel walks the earth they need vessel. I bet Chuck is the perfect vessel for Metatron.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-16 23:34
Well credit where it is due it wasn't my idea - I thought that Metatron was the voice of God (and I wasn't even sure about that). Kristina, I think it was, said that Metatron was a scribe - as you did here - and that is just too neat a connection to pass up!
ilovehowyouletmefall
# ilovehowyouletmefall 2012-11-16 14:37
I actually thought the Trans had proven to be highly competent up to this point. They managed to evade the Winchesters and Crowley for ages, and Linda Tran managed to take down a demon on her own and stuff him in the trunk of her car. They made one mistake in trusting a witch, sure, but I'm kind of annoyed that they have to be babysat by Garth from now on.

I'm kind of starting to suspect that Chuck will turn out to be Metatron? Who maybe fell in the same way that Anna did?

Cas was awesome and it was so good to see him all badass again. His conversations with Dean were great. I love how they're actually communicating with each other. I hope they're not done talking though. Dean has to accept that he can't save everybody, but Cas has to accept that his life means something to the people who care about him (ie. Dean).

I love Naiomi so far. I can't wait to see what the angels have planned. I do feel sorry for Cas, it's going to kill him to find out he's being used against his will to spy on his friends. But it'll be dramatic anyways, and I love drama. :)

I wasn't surprised at all that Sam and Dean had mostly moved on from last week. Sam had said his piece, and Dean accepted it. I did enjoy how much understanding and concern Sam showed for Dean. Sam's at his best when he's being empathetic.
E
# E 2012-11-16 15:58
Here's my take on the Kevin prophet thing. I think a prophet has to be 'activated' for lack of a better word. When Chuck was no longer necessary (or revealed to be God) he left the mantle of prophet behind. Kevin was on deck at that time, but his prophetness had to be triggered by the unearthing of the tablets, which when Dean did that was found to have some pretty spectacular results. Since he was needed, he became activated at that time. That's how I took that part of the story anyway.

About the bro's: I didn't find a the lack of conflict between them jarring at all and here's why. I am very close to my sister who is only a year younger than me. She and I can fight like it's the end of the world, and then 10 minutes later we are fine. For me, this is how close siblings are with one another. It doesn't mean issues won't come back again at some point, but we generally get to a place of forgiveness pretty easily and quickly. To me Sam and Dean felt like that. It seemed totally natural to me.

I must say that I disagree that this episode was filler or that any episode has been filler so far this season. Some episodes are clearly more mythology centered and some are more MOW, but all of the episodes have had relevance to the overall arcs for the season whether than be purgatory, normal life, the tablets or the brother's relationship. Each episode had fed into one or more of these overall arcs in some relevant way. I was quite pleased with the way the episode went, its pacing and it's forward movement on several of the key storylines for the season.
Rebecca RGNYC
# Rebecca RGNYC 2012-11-16 20:06
Thanks for your review and the great comments. I loved the compassionate Sam with Dean scene--it really is Sam's nature to let things go. Next week looks like fun--I love Supernatural!
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-17 07:01
Does anyone else think that Naomi is an unusual name for an Angel? They usually have names like Samandriel, Azrael, Castiel, Gabriel, Mihael... Naomi seems like an unusually human choice for a supposedly Angelic leader. Unless it's her vessel's name, perhaps? I'm just wondering if there's some significance in the choice of name for this character....?
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-17 10:29
Well according to that never inaccurate online source, Wikipedia, Naomi means "Pleasant; agreeable; my sweet", and there is a Naomi who was Ruth's mother-in-law in the Old Testament Book of Ruth. Later, she called herself Mara, or "bitter"... "for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me," referring to the death of her husband and her two sons

Heh, I think that makes her Mary Winchester! Now there's a leap.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-11-17 12:27
Great review Sofia. I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn't any residual bad feelings from last week's episode. Sam was there for Dean, & Dean was actually opening up about his feelings. Makes me think they are heading to a better place with each other.

I was happy to have Cass back. What are the angels playing at now? Cass is now their pawn, or so it seems. This whole Naomi thing is very nebulous. And this in a nutshell is why I'm loving this season, it's slow, but the story is advancing nicely. Nice job with the prophets, kind of like on Buffy, there can only be one slayer, but they are all waiting in the background to take over. I'm thinking Chuck is God, so I don't believe he is dead. Or Metatron as a few have pointed out.

Two weeks before the next episode, and it looks like it's going to be hilarious. Happy Thanksgiving week to my American friends. :-)