8.19 Taxi Driver: No Reason To Think I Won't See You Again Somewhere Down The Road
Reaper shows the way.
Sam frees Bobby's Hell-trapped soul;
Benny says goodbye.
Commentary and Meta Analysis
I was thoroughly caught up in the emotion and rollercoaster nature of this episode while it was playing â€“ tribute to all the actors and highest marks to the VFX crew â€“ but once it ended, all the logic and plot holes weakening the script became glaringly obvious. I'm still going to treasure this episode despite the script issues, though, precisely because the characters' emotions were so profound and true.
In this discussion, I'm going to explore Reapers; speculate about Kevin, Crowley, and Naomi; celebrate Benny; and theorize about Sam and the trials.
Rogue Reapers Smuggling People
For me, the absolute weakest and worst part of this story was its use â€“ or rather, misuse â€“ of Reapers. Almost the first thing we learned about Reapers back in Faith was that only the dying or dead could see them, at least among humans. That remained true through In My Time Of Dying, Death Takes A Holiday, Abandon All Hope, Appointment In Samarra, and Death's Door. We learned in Death Takes A Holiday that demons could see them, which made perfect sense to me given that demons were the souls of humans who died and went to Hell. It also made sense that angels â€“ celestial beings created directly by God with sensory abilities far beyond human ones â€“ could see Reapers. However, their invisibility to living, not-on-the-edge-of-death humans was a key aspect of their essence and a major specific plot point in every episode in which they appeared. Death himself could appear at will and had a solid physical presence when he did, but his Reaper servants never displayed that ability, and Dean wearing Death's ring in Appointment In Samarra had to take it off to become visible to the man whose life he was trying so desperately to save.
Reapers evidently didn't even have true physical bodies. They could appear to be anything or anyone to the dying; they presented a suitable image of themselves, but unlike angels or demons, they don't possess human hosts. Dean was able to grab Tessa even in her true, diaphanous form during IMTOD, but only when he himself was a spirit, and every touch he exchanged with her happened in the veil when he was dying, astral, or wearing Death's ring; as incorporeal as Tessa herself. The only time we saw a â€œcorporealâ€ Reaper was in Death Takes A Holiday, when Alistair captured Reapers, held them bound with magic, and grasped them for execution with Death's own scythe, which could presumably kill anything in whatever form â€“ but Alistair was a high-level demon able to interact with things beyond the physical, so I'm thinking the Reapers were simply trapped by magic, and still not truly embodied.
Given all that history, the very corporeal Winchester brothers walking up to perfectly visible and solidly corporeal Ajay the Reaper taxi driver on the street made no sense at all, especially when Ajay went on to interact with ordinary humans to buy and eat pizza. The script didn't even try to offer an explanation, and this was a situation where an explainer â€“ however lame â€“ really would have been warranted. If it was in the script and got cut for time, that was a mistake.
My second issue with Ajay was the whole idea of a rogue Reaper, because, well, what could anyone â€“ demon, angel, or mortal â€“ offer a Reaper that would have enough value to it to prompt the Reaper to step sideways from the duty it owed to its master, Death? And how would Death not know? Death likely would not care about the fate of any given soul â€“ he's been quite clear that mortals are insignificant to him, and he did nothing to intervene when both Castiel and Crowley bartered souls for power, simply obliquely directing Dean's attention to the power inherent in souls â€“ but he doesn't strike me as being forgiving of disobedience. I don't know about Ajay, but I as a Reaper would have been much more afraid to disobey Death than to refuse a deal from Crowley! Perhaps Death was neutral as long as souls died in their proper time, and paid no attention to whether they went to the place deemed appropriate for them by God's plan â€“ but a servant who is dishonest in small ways wouldn't inspire larger trust, and I can't see Death winking at insubordination. He's been oddly considerate of Dean, but I don't see him extending that temperance broadly to others.
Ajay himself couldn't make sense out of flesh and blood humans wanting to do business with him, so making a deal with a corrupt Reaper evidently wasn't something a human soul ever managed to do to change its intended destination. Ajay had obviously done business with Crowley in the past, including hijacking Bobby's soul and diverting it from Heaven to Hell, but â€“ in exchange for what? And had angels other than Castiel engaged in soul horsetrading before? It just doesn't seem like there would have been much of a viable market for the services of a being who ferried individual souls from this life to the afterlife.
I was intrigued by the thought that Reapers, in addition to being the psychopomps for humans, evidently did the same for monsters â€“ at least for those such as vampires, shifters, wendigos, and werewolves who had started as humans â€“ and thus knew the way to Purgatory; something neither angels nor demons had known, and didn't discover until the end of season six. However, one would think that, especially if there had indeed been demonic and/or angelic dealings with rogue Reapers in the past, Purgatory would have been discovered long before Castiel and Crowley finally managed it â€“ and it would have been accomplished through them dealing with Reapers, not by using a spell the conspirators obtained from human sources. I'm guessing the idea of Reapers reaping monsters and thus having access to Purgatory simply didn't occur to anyone in the season six or seven writers' room sessions.
The one thing that didn't bother me was Crowley killing Ajay with an angel blade. Since we first encountered them, it has always made sense to me that a weapon capable of killing angels would be potent against anything as or less powerful than an angel, so demons, hellhounds, most monsters, and Reapers all seem fair game. I would guess the only beings immune to death by angel sword are those who predated angels and hold more power than angels, particularly God, Death, and the Leviathan â€“ the latter being why Sam failed when he tried to kill Castiel in The Man Who Knew Too Much.
As you can tell, I had real problems with this episode's take on Reapers, and nothing I've heard or seen since the episode aired has provided answers or explanations that make any kind of sense in the context of all the information on Reapers the show provided before. Sigh.
Crowley. He's In My Head.
I think Kevin's hallucinations of Crowley were just that â€“ hallucinations â€“ and were most likely brought on by a combination of terror, stress, and pills. From what we saw of Crowley's frustration during the episode, he had no intelligence on what the brothers were trying to do until his demon minion reported seeing Sam Winchester going off with Ajay, so he obviously wasn't in Kevin's mind. With Garth's boat being thoroughly warded with symbols against magical scrying and demonic intrusion, Crowley couldn't have found Kevin unless a demon physically discovered the boat or his mother, the Winchesters, or Garth unwittingly led a demon to the boat â€“ and it's a fair bet that all of them are similarly protected by hex bags against magical or demonic scrying, meaning that a demon actually observing them is their only likely means of detection. I think Kevin hallucinated his greatest fear â€“ that Crowley killed his mother to find him â€“ knowing that his human connections are his greatest security weakness.
It's also distinctly possible that Kevin's hallucinations were either engineered or augmented by Naomi, who has demonstrated a nasty capability for manipulating mental realities and who helpfully pointed out that the brothers hadn't warded Garth's boat against angels, given Dean's hope that Castiel might return. I could see Naomi using fear and falsehood to get Kevin to flee the Winchesters, or even to abduct him, setting up a situation where she could either continue to manipulate his reality to pressure him or use angels to â€œrescueâ€ him and offer him safety as a means of bringing him under her control. Whoever has the prophet has the power â€“ and I think Naomi would love to hold Kevin in her grasp. I do think she wants to see the gates of Hell closed, but on her terms and at her discretion. And I think the very last thing she wants is to leave the prophet with the Winchesters, because if they acquired the angel tablet and still had the only translator able to read it, they would have power over Naomi and the angels.
We learned from Castiel in Reading Is Fundamental that angels â€“ evidently with the singular exception of angelic scribe Metatron â€“ couldn't read the Word of God on the tablets because it wasn't meant for them; it was meant for the protection of humans, and the human prophets were its designated guardians and intended readers. Metatron is apparently the only angel who knows what all the tablets say; and that assumes God didn't take the knowledge from him after he finished transcribing God's dictation. In the absence of Metatron, I believe Naomi would be as dependent on having a prophet to translate the angel tablet as the Winchesters, the Leviathan, and Crowley have been for the translations of the Leviathan and demon tablets.
Kevin is a rare commodity. Naomi and Crowley both want him for their own power and to keep him away from their opponents â€“ and they both want him away from the Winchesters, who have demonstrated the ability to act effectively on what they learn from prophets. I could see both non-human sides choosing to kill Kevin and every other successive prophet if they couldn't guarantee being able to secure and control them, electing to preserve the status quo if they couldn't be assured of being the one to hold the keys to Heaven and Hell. I think Crowley and Naomi will both try for control of Kevin, but if they think they're losing, the attempt to control could readily change to a two-pronged attempt to kill Kevin while securing for themselves the remaining prophets-in-waiting, assuming they survived A Little Slice Of Kevin and haven't already been confined. And now Kevin's half of the demon tablet is missing; who will find it first?
I must confess, I have wondered why the brothers didn't take Kevin to the Men of Letters bunker, when they were told it was warded against every form of evil. It would have to have been easier to guard and protect him there â€¦ unless I'm missing something. And if Crowley actually did snatch him, and somehow magically set the boat back to rights â€“ complete with anti-demon symbols all over it â€“ well, then there's obviously a lot I don't understand about demon powers.
I Don't Belong. And After A While, That Starts To Wear On You
Benny's story arc became a circle, and that â€“ more than anything else so far â€“ spoke to me of the planning that went into creating this season. If the writers were going to trap Sam in Purgatory, they needed a way for him to escape. Even if Dean had told Sam all the gory details of his escape from Purgatory, he wouldn't have been able to give Sam any kind of map or direction on how to find the gate. Purgatory was trackless and vast; Sam would need a guide, and only monsters had guaranteed easy access to Purgatory. Thus, Benny. There and back again. One monster to save and to comment on both brothers. I perceive a certain economy and elegance, there.
I love Benny. He's a stellar part of the Supernatural tradition of challenging assumptions about monsters and painting characters in complex shades of grey. He's not the first â€œmonsterâ€ who turned out not to be purely monstrous: look at Lenore in Bloodlust and Mommy Dearest; Madison in Heart; Jack Montgomery in Metamorphosis; Lucky in All Dogs Go To Heaven; Elias Finch in Frontierland. He and Dean could never have bonded if Benny hadn't been basically good to begin with. Benny was even better than Lenore because he hadn't sworn off killing humans just to avoid attracting hunter attention and preserve his own life and nest; he stopped killing because, as he said in Blood Brother, he started seeing something in humanity that shouldn't be taken. I'll never forget him saying, I drink blood. I don't drink people. It took a while for Dean to believe him, but his core was true. And I'm grateful Sam got to see that in action and finally understand at least a little of the bond Dean shared with Benny. I wonder if Sam has figured out yet that Dean feels some of the same sense of not belonging, of not fitting into the world, that afflicted Benny.
I'm devoutly glad Benny's arc didn't have him falling. He killed Martin in Citizen Fang, but that was in defense not only of himself, but more importantly, of Elizabeth. He struggled with his blood addiction and with being a man out of time and place: a man fifty years out of date who'd returned from Purgatory â€“ where he hadn't felt the blood craving â€“ only to find that the woman he'd loved and given up everything for hadn't died, but had become more of a monster than he had ever been. Every place he tried to build for himself imploded, leaving him only a craving he refused to indulge and a lonely, absolute absence of friends. It says so very much that he considered dying and returning to Purgatory to be something easier than continuing to walk the world. For him, Purgatory was pure; he knew he'd only meet monsters there. Things would try to kill him and he would kill them back. It would be simple, free of questions, free of temptation, free of the fear of falling and failing. It was binary: kill or die. And he didn't much care which, but being who he was, he wouldn't just lie down; he'd fight.
I do hope Benny's door might open again; there's more story there. Back in my commentary on Torn And Frayed, I threw out the idea of Benny setting himself up to oppose the vampire Alpha, essentially trying to do what Lenore had done but on a broader scale, to get other vampires to see humans as more than food. I'd still like to see that.
And this time, he'd have friends â€“ one blood brother, and another principled man.
I Wish I Made The Rules
I've been thinking a lot about the trials and what they may do to Sam. I still think the changes within him resulting from the task completion spells might be purging all the taint of demon blood and what it did to his physical and mental development ever since Azazel infected him when he was just six months old; that just feels right to me, somehow. And it fits with Castiel observing in Goodbye Stranger that Sam's changes were on the subatomic level, affecting even his electromagnetic field; Castiel never observed Sam closely before he was an adult, so to him, Sam being purged of the demon taint would be a profound change from what he had always considered Sam's normal state.
But this episode made me think about something else. All season, we've seen Sam confronted by people telling him he'd made the wrong choice in not looking for Dean after his brother vanished at the end of Survival Of The Fittest. Dean was just the first; Meg in Goodbye Stranger and Bobby in this episode were the most recent. The fandom has been up in arms about Sam's seemingly inexplicable failure of brotherly love ever since We Need To Talk About Kevin.
And I thought this: losing Dean has been Sam's most demanding and most destructive test, every single time. Every time Sam has lost Dean, he's made wrong choices. Every single time.
What if the third and final test will force him to recognize that, and choose anew â€“ this time, making the right choice?
Think back. The first time Sam lost Dean was in Mystery Spot. When Sam began reliving multiple Tuesdays that always ended with Dean dying, he understandably lost it. He became so fixated on not letting Dean die that he lost all perspective. It wasn't until he shared what was happening with Dean that Dean made him think like a hunter again, prompting him to break down the situation the way they would handle any other case. Only then was Sam equipped to notice the elements in the pattern that pointed to the Trickster being responsible for the series of events. Then Dean died on Wednesday â€“ and Sam truly lost it. Where before he had fixated on keeping Dean from dying, he became fixated on getting revenge, and in the process, he lost himself: he became robotic and mechanical, virtually soulless, even being willing to kill an innocent or someone who might have been Bobby to defeat the Trickster. When the Trickster finally revealed himself, Sam broke down and begged, and the Trickster/Gabriel relented, giving up on the lesson he'd been trying to teach.
Sam saw Dean die again in No Rest For The Wicked. We didn't learn what happened afterward until I Know What You Did Last Summer, but then we discovered Sam had tried to make a deal to sell his own soul to get Dean back, and when that failed, he embarked on vengeance against Lilith, and got seduced and deceived by Ruby into drinking demon blood and developing his psychic abilities. Once he set out down that path, he became convinced it was the right thing to do, and even after Dean returned in Lazarus Rising, Sam remained committed to seeking revenge on Lilith, repeating to himself what Ruby told him: that Dean had come back broken and weak and it was up to him to prevent the apocalypse. Instead, Sam wound up triggering the very apocalypse he had been trying so hard to prevent. It wasn't until too late, when Ruby revealed her duplicity as Lucifer began to rise, that Sam realized what he had done and joined with Dean to kill Ruby. By then, however, the die was cast; it took the beginning of the apocalypse and the scary decision to try trapping Lucifer in his own body and mind for Sam to resolve his conflict, save his brother, and save the world by sacrificing himself to imprison Lucifer back in his cage in Hell.
In the aftermath of that, Sam came back soulless through no choice or fault of his own, then regained his soul but not his memories, and finally was overwhelmed by all his memories, including his torture in Hell. Castiel, who had triggered Sam's breakdown by removing the wall Death had put in Sam's mind, finally took on Sam's insanity in an effort to make amends for what he had done. Sam was freed from the hallucinations he had suffered, but he retained all the memories of the horror and pain he had experienced.
The last time Sam lost Dean was Survival Of The Fittest, when Dean disappeared along with Dick Roman and Castiel in an explosion of black ooze. This time, according to all we've been told, Sam made a different choice. Overwhelmed by this last loss on top of everything that had gone before, and not knowing what had happened to Dean or even where or how to look, he said he fixed the car and just drove, empty and aimless, until he accidentally hit a dog. Shocked back into thinking, feeling, and caring, and challenged with his responsibility for the dog, he stayed â€“ and met a woman nearly as emotionally damaged as he was. They leaned on each other and both started to heal, until the return of her presumed-dead soldier husband prompted Sam to yield the field and return to Rufus's cabin, where he unexpectedly found Dean alive and returned from Purgatory.
Dean, Bobby, and Meg all made a point of telling Sam he'd been wrong not to look for Dean and try to rescue him. Many fans have been extremely vocal about Sam's failure to look for Dean being unacceptable and out of character, especially given the way he had turned obsessive when he'd lost Dean before.
And all this makes me wonder whether the point of the whole exercise might have been to set up a situation in which Sam's last trial might involve him losing Dean yet again, and this time, having to come up with a way to get him back that doesn't involve any of the obsessive, vengeful, or non-action wrong choices he made in the past.
I don't believe the nature of the trial itself would require Sam to kill his brother. These trials were engineered by God to select a candidate worthy of sealing the gates of Hell. So far, the trials themselves have opposed evil; the first one involved killing a Hellhound up close and personal, and the second required freeing an innocent soul from Hell and conveying it to Heaven. I don't have a clue what the third trial will be, but I don't think its nature would be so inherently evil as to call directly upon Sam to kill his brother, or any other human. True, in the biblical story of Abraham, Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac, but his trial ended when he simply demonstrated his willingness to obey; he was actively prevented from following through, and was given a substitute sacrifice to use in place of his son. The divine command there was only a test, never intended to have effect.
I do think, however, that the heartbreak choice Dean faced in this episode of sacrificing his friend Benny in order to save his brother from Purgatory could foreshadow another similarly necessary, differently tragic sacrifice to buy Sam the chance to succeed in the third trial, whatever it turns out to be. Crowley's interference with Ajay jeopardized Sam's completion of the second trial; had Bobby's soul not reached Heaven, Sam would have failed, even if they weren't both killed in Purgatory. Dean can't do the trials for Sam, but we all know he'll do whatever he can to help and to keep his brother safe; I could see him deliberately getting in the way if Crowley or anyone else tried to stop Sam. And I could see Sam faced with the choice of completing the trials, closing the gates of Hell, and seeing Dean die â€“ or trying to save Dean, knowing the chance to close Hell might be lost forever. What would be the right thing to do then, with the world at stake?
Hey: I'm not in the writers' room, but â€¦ that kind of result would seem in keeping with the way this show works, wouldn't it? It could also make for one hell of a cliffhanger â€¦ and it could just as well be totally, absolutely, utterly wrong. This could just as easily end with Sam dying or being transformed by the trials, with Dean left to sort out the consequences â€“ or even with both of them getting flung â€¦ elsewhere, and maybe not together.
Well, we'll know soon, since the season is roaring to its end.
I really don't care at all for the script team of Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner. I know that series writing is very much a communal affair, so everyone in the writers room shares the blame for glaring plot issues that should have been caught and addressed during the process of breaking the story, and I suppose it's possible that some of the holes in the script might have been due to things being left out for time â€“ this really should have been spread across two episodes, given all that was going on â€“ but these two writers have consistently disappointed me. Every writer occasionally falls into the trap of believing him or herself to be the story's god, able to do whatever he or she wishes whether it makes sense in the context of the story-world or not â€“ that's why writers need editors and beta readers to point out when the god-emperor is wearing no clothes â€“ but these two do it on a regular basis. They've made witches and now Reapers whatever they needed them to be to make their stories work â€¦ but because of that, they DON'T work, and for me, that's the point.
My other big problem with this script was the uncanny convenience of it all. The second trial involved rescuing an innocent soul from Hell â€“ hey presto, turns out Crowley had soulnapped Bobby when his flask was burned, so they knew someone definitely meeting the â€œinnocentâ€ requirement. (And by the way, we never HAD learned what happened to ghosts whose bones or other links were burned. If burning a demon's bones totally destroyed the demon, rather than simply sending it back to Hell [and remember, Crowley hadn't known what happened to the crossroads demon Bobby burned in Weekend At Bobby's, so she evidently hadn't just wound up back in Hell], why wouldn't burning a ghost's remains do the same to the ghost, rather than just sending it on to Heaven or Hell? Or send a ghost â€“ having become a monster â€“ to Purgatory, since the soul had refused its Reaper's proper escort to either Heaven or Hell? The brothers admitted back in Roadkill that they didn't know what happened to burned ghosts, and nothing since has provided an answer; I thought it odd here that they simply assumed he'd gone to Heaven.) Sucked down the rabbit hole from Purgatory to Hell, Sam wound up exactly where Bobby waited in an unlocked cell with no guards â€“ and the rabbit hole worked in reverse to suck them both from Hell to Purgatory. Sent to Purgatory to rescue Sam, Benny arrived exactly where he needed to be, and knew the way from there to the escape gate to Earth, which apparently wasn't far. Where was the effort and struggle? How did going from Earth to Purgatory to Hell and back become so simple, quick, and straightforward, easily accomplished in a single episode? Why did it reportedly cost angel lives to rescue Dean from Hell and Castiel from Purgatory, when unguarded back doors simply waited for Sam to slip through? That cheapened all the earlier struggles in the series and made a mockery of the whole quest to find Purgatory.
Despite my script issues, however, I loved this episode because of what the performers and the production crew brought to it. Director Guy Bee paced it brilliantly; the story raced along, hitting point after point dead on the mark, but he still left time for all the character moments to never feel rushed. Dean and Sam, Dean and Kevin, Sam and Bobby, Dean and Benny, Sam and Bobby and Benny, Kevin and Crowley, Crowley and Naomi â€“ all those personal connections were packed chock-full. Editor Donald Koch assembled it all with precision and flow.
And that brings me to performances. In the farewell scene between Benny and Dean, Ty Olsson and Jenson Ackles presented a veritable acting master class in finding far more to the characters and story than was contained in the script. In their hands, what could have been banal, clichÃ©d, and too convenient for words turned into something of profound depth and connection. We felt Benny's soul-deep weariness and displacement, his sense of inevitability and willingness to take on a suicide mission to Purgatory in preference to continuing his struggle on Earth, his deep and enduring bond with Dean even though Dean was asking permission to kill him to save a man who wouldn't have given Benny the time of day. We shared Dean's conflicted grief and loss and desperation, we understood the impossible but inescapable choice he was making and his need to believe it could all somehow come out right in the end despite everything apparently being against it. We lived those moments right along with those characters as something real and true and overwhelming. And that's a very big part of the reason I do truly want to see Benny again; inhabiting their characters, those two actors were magic in that scene, bringing each other to places they hadn't consciously intended to go and taking us right along with them.
Jared Padalecki gave us Sam finally learning firsthand what Dean had found in Benny, and later admitting that to Dean, finally giving his blessing to Dean's friendship with Benny as Dean had earlier in Torn And Frayed offered his blessing on Sam's desire to live a normal life and find happiness with a woman. And Sam's adventure with Bobby in Hell and Purgatory brought a sweet closure to the story of the brothers with Bobby, while also recognizing that death in this show is no real barrier to stories and relationships continuing. Jim Beaver has always delighted me as Bobby, and his performance in this episode did not disappoint. The chemistry between Jared, Jensen, and Jim has been phenomenal all along; they're as good for each other as actors as their characters are in the show.
Osric Chau took Kevin off the deep end in a thoroughly believable fashion. If the boat and its windows hadn't been perfectly intact when the Winchesters returned to find him gone, along with all of his notes, I would have been coming up with ways to explain how Crowley had been able to reach Kevin's mind despite all of the demon-proofing on the boat and despite all the frustration he had evidenced during the episode at his inability to fathom the Winchesters' plans or do anything about the prophet. With some help from the makeup crew, Osric has really sold Kevin's deterioration. His reading of the line, â€œUntoâ€ That's â€“ that's how God talks had me in stitches at the very same time it made me ache for Kevin's fatigue and dissociation.
Mark Sheppard and Amanda Tapping are clearly enjoying playing Crowley and Naomi and teasing us with what these two characters know of each other. I don't trust either of them half as far as I could throw them â€“ and given their demonic and angelic powers far outstrip my human ones, that's an inconsequential distance. Naomi lies and twists the facts every bit as much as Crowley does; they suit each other well.
The production crew knocked this episode out of the park! I lost count of the VFX shots, and so many of the effects were just jaw-droppingly cool, especially the graffiti on the alley wall (huge props to the set decoration team!) swirling into the doorway of light Ajay opened; Sam and Ajay being sucked through the door and smoking into existence in Purgatory; Sam being sucked down the rabbit hole into Hell and later through the escape hatch from Purgatory to Earth; Sam absorbing and releasing Bobby's soul, and Crowley and Naomi dueling through it with shadow and light. The practical FX were spectacular too, especially Crowley's invasion of Garth's boat with air cannon blowing out the windows. Speaking of Crowley, I have to give major props to the sound crew for the brilliant way they placed Crowley's voice whenever Kevin was hearing him; if you don't have surround sound or weren't listening through good headphones, you missed some subtle work in building fully three-dimensional sound with great depth of field as Crowley's voice came from left, then right, then behind or ahead â€“ he was all around Kevin, inescapable, unpredictable. Also in the sound world, I always love the episode scores, but the piano and strings cue Chris Lennertz used in the farewell scene between Benny and Dean was particularly notable and made the heartbreak even more powerful.
Director of photography Serge Ladouceur got a major workout on this episode with all the different lighting moods required for Hell, Purgatory, and multiple spots on Earth. Something that never fails to amaze me and catch my eye is the way he paints faces with light even in dark scenes, like the cells in Hell and the PMP rig used for the Impala night-driving scenes. The show would have an entirely different feel if another cinematographer designed the lighting; I love Serge's work.
I'm excited for this season's endgame and wondering where they're going to take the story, and fearing what prices all our major characters will pay by the time the season ends. As ever, whether my speculations are right or not doesn't matter to me; I just have to see where Sam and Dean will go, and how they'll get there.
I don't think they'll let anyone else drive â€¦