There was so much to love about this episode. I’m not even sure where to start. As the season winds down (only two more episodes!) it looks like everything is coming together into the perfect storm of awesome. Not only did we get answers about what happened to Kevin but we also got to see Cass and Crowley and finally learn what the third trial will be.

We’ve all been wondering what happened to our friend Kevin for the past few weeks. I was 60% convinced that he had finally lost it. I thought that he was imagining Crowley in his head as a result of the terrible way he’s been treating his body. Looks like I was wrong and I’m actually glad because I like it much better this way. Turns out Kevin has been getting his brain scrubbed while he unknowingly stars in Crowley’s production of The Tablet Diaries. I knew that Kevin was smart enough to put the pieces together, I was just hoping he could do it fast enough to not give anything away. Thankfully he did. And I’m happy to see that he is no longer afraid of Crowley. It seems he has nothing left to lose and he’s taken on a devil-may-care attitude that I’m pretty sure he picked up from Sam and Dean. And I like it. It was hilarious watching Crowley in the director’s chair giving his “Sam” and “Dean” pointers on how to be the Winchesters. Even more hilarious was Crowley’s bitterness that he wasn’t able to act in his own play.

Crowley: “Of course if I wasn’t running everything I could have played Dean myself.”

Brainwashing seemed to be a theme in this episode. For much of the season we’ve know about Naomi controlling Castiel’s mind. But we didn’t know how long this has been going on. Turns out it’s been centuries. According to Naomi, Castiel participated in the plagues of Egypt referenced in the Old Testament. He, of course, has no recollection of this. Naomi also revealed that Castiel has never really followed the rules. This made me happy. For a while now I think we’ve been told that Castiel rebelled against heaven because of his relationship with the Winchesters, especially Dean. I think they were a big influence of course, but I’m happy to see that some of that rebellion was just Cass being Cass. Even if he didn’t realize it.


I absolutely loved the was Cass was hiding from the angels; popping in and out of Biggerson’s all over the country so they weren’t able to track him down. That is one smart angel. Also smart was the fact that Cass was carrying the angel tablet inside his stomach. That’s one way to never stop touching it. I am so curious about this tablet. What is it about the tablet that can snap Cass out of his Naomi trance? And now that Crowley has stolen the tablet, will Castiel be susceptible to Naomi’s mind control again? Crowley does still have the angel tablet, right?

There is a lot of weird stuff going on with Sam. Not only are these trials breaking him down physically, but they’re also causing him to remember, in great detail, things that happened when he was young. Like Dean riding a “farty donkey” which was a hilarious story, by the way. But he also remembered Dean reading The Knights of the Roundtable to him when they were young. It started out as such a nice memory. And then this happened:

Sam: “I remember thinking I could never go on a quest like that because I’m not clean.”

It is so sad that Sam knew subconsciously that something about him wasn’t “pure”. I always wondered if he did, and maybe that’s why he’s gravitated towards the kind of women he did. Women who weren’t exactly “pure” themselves. (And I don’t mean that in a sexual way.) What makes this so sad to me is that Sam is a hero. He has sacrificed so much to save people and I think he still sees himself as unclean.

But what’s interesting is that Sam says these trials are purifying him. What does that mean? Is it like penance in his mind? I remember when he got back from his time in the cage, he said something about having a clean slate now. That he did his time and finally forgave himself. So is this a different sort of purity? I’m starting to wonder if Sam is sick because his body is purifying itself as he goes through the trials. Maybe his body is physically rejecting the demon blood. I mean, he has been coughing up blood, right? What do you think, too literal?


Well, we finally met Metatron who was a lot less impressive than I expected. I thought he would be a powerful, scary, archangel. It turns out he’s just a coward hiding away, trying to avoid conflict. He knew the truth about God’s word the whole time and he chose to cut himself off completely to save his own butt.

Sam: “Wait, you really haven’t hear of us? What kind of angel are you? We’re the freaking Winchesters.”

Seriously, what kind of angel is he? I was glad that Metatron came to his senses and saved Kevin from Crowley. And I’m glad to see that he is on the Winchester’s side in the battle to close the gates of Hell. It will be nice to have someone there that can interpret the word if need be. But as a whole, I’m underwhelmed by Metatron and he has a lot to make up for. What did you guys think of Metatron? Was he what you expected? Do you trust him?

But because of Metatron, we now know what the third trial is. Sam has to cure a demon. This seems like a lofty task! I have no idea what to expect but I am excited to see what curing a demon entails. Any non-spoilery ideas?

I feel like I just scratched the surface of this episode. There is a lot to discuss so sound off below!

There were some really good lines in this episode. And as usual, there were other moments worth mentioning.

Crowley: “I was born to direct.”


Dean taking care of Sam seriously melted my heart. I can’t believe Dean even knows how to make soup!

Castiel: “In the words of a good friend, ‘bite me’.”

Sam: “I’m gonna follow the hotel manager, Dr. Scowly Scowl. He’s like a villain from Scooby Doo.”

I gotta know how Dean got Sam into the tub after he fainted. I know he’s strong but Sam is huge!

Poor Cass is wounded badly. How do angels heal if they can’t heal themselves?

Sam is resonating with the word. Is that the name for everything that’s happening to his body or is it just an explanation for the ringing he heard around Metatron?

Crowley:”So, my demons were too polite?”

Metatron can erase angel proofing because he is a scribe of God. I wonder if that’s going to come in handy again?

Metatron: “You’re gonna have to weigh that choice. Ask yourself what is it gonna take to do this and what will the world be like once it’s done?”

This is something both Sam and Dean have been weighing since they took on this task. They both know that it could cost Sam his life. What we don’t know is what the world will be like when it’s done. Will it be worth it when it seems the angels are just as bad as the demons? I don’t know. I’m partial to Sam and I’d like him to stay alive! What do you guys think? Do you see potential downsides to closing the gates?


# CAL 2013-05-02 15:55
I was totally impressed with Jared's acting. Always have loved him, but he keeps getting better!
# njspnfan 2013-05-02 17:00
Excellent episode all around; a little choppy on cutting between the story lines but that's a minor quibble.

All the actors brought their A game to this one but Osric and Jared really knocked it out of the park.
# Manstrad 2013-05-02 17:10
Great review as always Sofia! I imagine Metraton to be a man version of Fate (MHWGO). I was please they put a "real" nerd. LOL

I knew that the scene with Naomi and Dean at the boat, when she mentioned wasn't angel proof, meant something more than waiting for Cass, for some reason got stuck in my head.

Now a lot of things in my head make sense, that moment, rouge supernatural things, double agents, understanding Enochian, etc. I just love this show, intelligent writing, excellent acting, crew that pay attention to every single detail. Did anyone notice the dust in the hotel hallway? ha! maybe it's just me.

I said it in another place, I don't think they are going to close hell, too many things will change and who knows what other evil will come out. But, if the trials are not finish then Sam will be ill forever?Maybe that's the sacrifice for the last episode. They sacrifice their revenge for humanity.
On the other hand, Carver said that the cliffhanger will shake the fans with a "brand new world and lots of changing are coming" maybe they will close those gates...
# sofia 2013-05-03 09:55
Good memory about the conversation between Naomi and Dean!
# Trucklady 2013-05-02 19:00
I've been thinking about this process ever since they started the trials, and I have to wonder if they just decide not to close the doors after the third trial is done. Just because they complete all three trials does not mean that the doors automatically shut so maybe they could just get Sam through them and hopefully be healed or "purified" as he puts it.
I just don't see them going that far because just what does happen to all the hellbound people if the doors are closed?
Will the PTB really write Crowley off since he has been such a strong character up till now?
Did Metatron pick up the Angel tablet when he rescued Kevin or does Crowley still have it?
Now that Cass is no longer hidden from Naomi, what is in store for him in the future?
Will Metatron help Cass and the guys with Naomi and Crowley? He has the power, will he have the inclination to do so?
So many questions and with only 2 episodes to go so how many will be answered and how many will be held over to Season 9?
Just my thinking out loud. Love the review Sofia as always!
# elle 2013-05-02 19:15
Great look at a great episode. I agree with about everything you said. I think Metatron was supposed to be somewhat underwhelming, giving the build up he's had all season by the other characters. They've made him out to be this great heavenly being only for him to basically a bookworm recluse who shirked his duties (and he's not the first angel to do that, let's be honest). I'm hoping this is because they have something lofty in store for him later on.

Loved this episode so much! Good question about Dean getting Sam into the tub - guess it's like mothers lifting cars off kids? Gotta do what you gotta do?
# KELLY 2013-05-02 20:31
Elle, I agree, I think he was supposed to be anticlimactic.

Great review, Sofia.
# debbab 2013-05-02 21:00
Dean is strong and we have to believe, he ain't heavy, he's my brother kinda plays a role here. Great scene. Brave of Jared to let us see him with his hair all wet- If he really had 107, he would die. The thermometer at the beginning was so funny except it was so serious. Dean the mother hen. Cayenne pepper? Chicken soup works better, but hey Dean was following John's recipe. So, I agree with you, you gotta do, what you gotta do.
# debbab 2013-05-02 20:55
Agree with the review. Very dense episode, worth rewatching for details and full digestion. Such misdirection with the fake Winchesters and Crowley as a director- Edlund knows how to play misdirect and we gain insight into his perceptions of Sam and Dean thru Crowley's comments about them as he directs his players. Kevin did not go nuts, in fact it was Crowley who got him, but Edlund knew enough to write him as strong and finally showing his brilliance to figure out D and S were fakes. Metatron casting was a good callL a dweeb who needs Dean to reset him. Dean saying to him, and I paraphrase, We're the Winchesters, was classic Dean. Jensen' reactions to Jared's strong performance, and Jared finally getting some strong scenes- again Edlund knows the characters and gave them a great script. Yes, the crew did a detailed job. I did think that Dean never saw the Grand Canyon, but he may have over the past few years in his travels,, in any case, it gave a great memory for Sam-not sure all of Sam's memories are real. The Sir Gallahad story leading to the purity issue-OMG. Again, the theme of perception is constant. The ice bath- cool in so many ways- ha ha.So, kudos- This is the SPN I love. Did anyone read TV GUIDE? Saw it in an office, and the end of season 3 SPN is rated in the top 50 all time TV finales.
Dean Grimly
# Dean Grimly 2013-05-03 14:13
Did anyone read TV GUIDE? Saw it in an office, and the end of season 3 SPN is rated in the top 50 all time TV finales.
Yes! Read the TV Guide about Top 50 all-time finales. I refer to it as "Dean Goes to Hell," which sounds worse than the episode's actual title. Horrifying season-ending angst attack!
# KG_SPN 2013-05-02 23:58
I’m partial to Sam and I’d like him to stay alive!
Me too :lol:

This was an incredible episode... there was so much to take in that I think I'll have to watch it a few more times (which isn't a hardship lol).

I did wonder if closing the gates of hell might mean Sam would also be locked away in hell (again) because of his demon blood... (even though he doesn't crave it anymore, I think it's still in his system)... and that would be the sacrifice. But I much prefer the idea that he is being cleansed of the demon blood. I would be so happy for that! But I do wonder what will happen to Sam if they can't finish the trials - how heartbreaking for him.

Speaking of heartbreaking, that scene where Sam talked about feeling 'not clean' when he was 4 years old was such a poignant moment :cry:

I also cried while watching Kevin's video and agree with the comments above - Jared and Osric gave brilliant performances. And Ben Edlund remains my favourite writer - I think he and Robbie Thompson should write all the episodes in season 9 ;-)
# sofia 2013-05-03 09:58
That scene with Kevin's video was some of the best acting we've seen out of Osric so far!
# dashnjo 2013-05-03 00:45
Great review! I had to watch the episode a few times because there was so much going on! Yelled YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT at the TV after Cas said "Bite me"! I'm a little less worried about Sam since he's just resonating with the word and not changing into something terrible. Metatron's last words about closing the gates do have me wondering what he means though ... it might not be good in the end although it does seem like the thing to do.

Plus, angel blade bullets? Surprised no one ever thought of that before ... Crowley would be the one, his is a crafty devil!

Glad Kevin's back safe and sound and with the whole tablet and Cas is back with the boys, although not in good shape. Only two more episodes left and I'm scared for all of them!
# Sylvie 2013-05-03 08:41
Thanks for the review Sofia, it was such a great episode. I was actually quite happy to see that Metatron was just a nerd! :D Makes perfect sense to me that God would have chosen one of his lesser angels to be his scribe, he probably knew that the archangels were self bloated pin heads with delusions of grandeur! :lol: And I loved that he was the biggest bookworm on the planet and that he decided to just sit this one out and read everything that was ever written. Hey, if Gabriel could hide from his family, why can't Metatron? But I'm glad he did the right thing and helped the Winchesters get Kevin out of danger. Maybe he'll be the one to cure Cass?

When I think that we have only 2 episodes left and so much information to glean, I get butterflies in my stomach. :eek:
# LoveMyCas87 2013-05-03 10:55
Random thought....Henr y Winchester told the boys there was always hope as long as there were always Winchesters...D o you think maybe Sam or Dean has a child out there or in future episodes will have a child? It seemed like an important line and instantly made me think either they have family out there (maybe more Winchesters since we know the Campbells are gone) or that one of the boys would have a child....Though ts anyone?
# metallicar 2013-05-03 14:00
Does anyone else think Meg is still alive? The boys saw her in the rear view mirror getting knifed by Crowley. Maybe Meg and Crowley wanted the boys to think she was dead and just set up that stunt? I think she will have something to do with the final trial.

I also don't think the boys will shut the gates of hell. The baddies need someplace to go after all. And what about the souls in hell that don't really belong there? Sam wanted to help others when he saved Bobby, but didn't have time. I don't think he wants to seal their fate like that.

The end of this season is definitely more intriguing than last. :-)
# LoveMyCas87 2013-05-03 14:58
I wish Meg was still alive. She was on the Winchester's side and she was falling for Cas/Cas was falling for her...I would have loved to see them cure Meg...unfortuna tely by the promo I assume they are curing Abaddon.
sharon pence
# sharon pence 2013-05-03 20:59
I keep promising myself to just stay on this site because it is usually up beat, reasonable and very rarely negative; but alas I did put my foot in some negative waters and wonder why people on these sites even watch the show.

However to get to the point of my ramble does anyone know anything about Jensen and Warner brothers and David Nutter
is there anything to get panties in a bunch about his visit there.

What if just what if he has something lined up and they kill off Dean temporaily so he could persue another venture for awhile. A reason why they are adding so many new supporting characters and giving Cas (Misha) more.

Anybody know anything? Alice?

Some say it has something to do with a new voice over for a Batman and others for an actual movie remake or sequel to Dare Devil .
# elle 2013-05-04 00:23
Hmmm....while I do not have any kind of line to the WB or anything, I wouldn't put much faith into that information chrisgranny....

I'd heard the boys were signed for the next two years (though so far SPN only has a season 9 greenlit). To be clear, I do not allege to have any authority, but I saw a recent convention video where Jared was saying this. He also mentioned that the current CW head is very supportive of SPN doing it's thing.

Those sound a lot like some untrue rumouring to me. In particular, given that he has a new baby coming very soon- I can't see why Jensen choose to add another project to the already pretty full docket.
sharon pence
# sharon pence 2013-05-04 00:45
Well like I said this is just some rumour out there but there is a pic out there of him at the Warner studios last week. Of course nobody knows what is really in there contracts escape clauses ect or anything for that matter except the actors and studio reps.
If there was any truth to this the only reason I could think of would be that Jensen would want to stay in La and is wanting more downtime with his new family member. Oh well it's fun to speculate .