Supernatural Review 8.14 - "Trial and Error"
Posted by Joseph Lee on 02.14.2013
Step 1: Kill a hellhound and bathe in its blood. Step 2: ???. Step 3: Profit!
The Road So Far: I forgot one of these last week. Sam and Dean discovered a secret society called the Men of Letters, which deals in the supernatural world like they do. After meeting their grandfather, they gain access to a new hideout with all of the world's top occult information which last week I dubbed "the den of letters". In between all of this they fought Nazis.
Season Eight, Episode 14: Trial and Error Directed By: Kevin Parks Written By: Andrew Dabb
For those who may not have heard the news, Supernatural has been renewed for season nine. This means that we won't be ending things this season but we also don't have to worry about a sudden cliffhanger leading to no conclusion. I would assume that the people in charge now have to be coming close to an end game as I see this thing going ten seasons max before its time is up. With all the talk of closing the gates of hell forever, I would have also assumed this would be the perfect season to finish things up with.
This episode sees Kevin finally make a break in his translation of the demons tablet. He reveals to Sam and Dean (while fighting off mini-strokes) that there are three trials for successfully closing the gates of Hell forever. He doesn't know the other two but the first seems hard enough: you have to kill a hell hound and bathe in its blood. The same hellhounds that are invisible. The same hellhounds that killed Dean in season 3.
This leads Sam and Dean to the closest victim to sell their soul to a crossroads demon and that's where the story picks up. Actually, it's kind of where the story drags. We are introduced to this weeks characters and most of them are either dull or completely unlikable. So we have to listen to them banter (and it's not funny, just annoying) while the Winchesters roam around trying to do their job.
I think I was hoping the entire episode would be devoted to the trials, and I should have realized that it wasn't going to be that easy. This is a big season plot point so naturally we're going to spread it out over the course of several episodes. I wouldn't be surprised if trial #2 took two or three episodes to complete and trial #3 ended the season. They're going to draw this story out as much as they can while juggling all of the other plot points (Cas, Benny, Amelia) along the way.
Even though this was at times a dull watch, there was a lot that I liked. I liked the fact that it seems all problems are finally behind Sam and Dean once and for all. Both brothers got big speeches (Dean was sad, Sam's was hopeful) that hit the mark and really drove the point home that through thick and thin, they will always have each other. I'm hoping Sam's right and there's a light at the end of the tunnel for both of them, but this show tends to be a crapsack world so I'm guessing Dean's right and only one is making it out alive.
I guess now is as good as time as any to throw my official prediction for the end of the season out there. Lucifer returns. I said something similar last year but it's going to happen eventually. He's the only big bad Sam and Dean haven't killed and you know they're not going to completely rid the show of demons. If anything, I would say that these new trials from God aren't really from God. Washing in the blood of a hellhound? That doesn't even make sense for a trial from Heaven.
Next week, I'm not sure what's going on from the preview. The episode is called "Man's Best Friend with Benefits", so I'm going to assume it's about shifters of some kind. Either way, it looks like we're back to standalone after three storyline-focused episodes in a row. I'm fine with that.
The 411: Trial and Error was dull for a good chunk of the episode, but the interaction between Sam and Dean and the two big important speeches moved it up a notch. We're moving along in the story and that's always a good thing. Where they go from here is anyone's guess.