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Supernatural: Trial and Error

Sam: "I want to kill a hellhound and not die. How about you?"

The return of the Crossroads hellhound stuff was cool. But the highlight of this episode was the interaction between Dean and Sam. I don't think I've said that in awhile, and I used to say it a lot.

Dean's joy at having a room of his own for the first time in his life was genuinely touching. His new interest in cooking something healthy and delicious was also dear. I do love my Dean, and still do, after all these years. But what was even more touching was Dean telling Sam about his dreams for him – wife and kids, a long life, old age – while Dean, quite understandably, didn't see a future for himself.

And then I loved Sam throwing it all back to Dean. Sam told Dean he was a genius of a hunter, the best he'd ever seen, he believed in Dean, and that Dean had family and friends to live for. I think these two conversations might have included the nicest things the two of them have ever said to each other. It got to me.

I didn't care at all about the Cassitys. They were just a bit too over the top dysfunctional. I even thought fairly early on that all of them had made a Crossroads deal and we were going to get a "And then there were none" sort of deal. Plus it was telegraphed fairly early that Ellie had made a deal, too, so I was surprised that Dean didn't pick up on it. At least her deal was made for unselfish reasons, like Dean's. I hope she makes it and the Winchesters find a way to release her from her contract. (It seemed weird that she didn't even know about the ten year clause.)

It was nice to see Kevin again, and I get that he really wants his life back. But his current eating, sleeping and God-Rock-studying habits have made me worry that he'll collapse. Why did Dean give him pep pills? Seriously?

At least Kevin made the big break through with the God Rock, and now we have these three tasks, God's obstacle course, that sound like the labors of Hercules. The killing of a hellhound was like capturing Cerberus, the multi-headed dog that guards the underworld. The scene with Dean and Sam mucking out the stalls reminded me of the Augean Stables, too; I'm sure that was deliberate.

I liked that Sam took on the trials for himself, but I hope that doesn't mean Sam will die at the end of this season. (Although if Sam is now taking on the role of Hercules, doesn't that mean that it's Dean, Hercules's relative and companion, who will die?) Dan said that Supernatural can be unrelentingly grim. Wouldn't it be cool if the season ended on a triumphant note this time?

Bits and pieces:

— Dean's room contained albums (Led Zeppelin rules!), guns mounted on the wall, and an old snapshot of himself with his mother. The furniture was a lot like a bedroom set that my grandparents had.

— I absolutely loved the hellhound-detection glasses. And not just because it made both Sam and Dean look like Clark Kent. (Jensen nearly played Clark Kent. He was runner-up to star in Smallville.)

— Why can't they stash Kevin in the Men of Letters bunker?

— Alice Cassity spent ten years under a love spell, and doesn't remember what that love felt like. That was sad.

— Too much black oozy hellhound goo. It reminded Dan of the taun-taun in The Empire Strikes Back. It's too bad Dean didn't get to kill the hellhound, since hellhounds killed him.

— This week: Shoshone, Idaho, and Lebanon, Kansas. And where's the houseboat again?

Supernatural got early renewal this week: there will be a ninth season. Can you believe it? I've been reviewing this series since the second season. This is the longest I've ever reviewed anything.


Dean: "I haven't had my own room... ever."
I have ten photo albums. Dean has one snapshot.

Dean: "Memory foam. It remembers me."

Sam: "I didn't think you knew what a kitchen was."
Dean: "I'm nesting, okay?"

Sam: "So, what? God wants us to take the S.A.T.'s?"
Kevin: "I guess. He works in mysterious ways."
Dean: "Mysterious douchy ways."

Dean: "Did you know there are, like, six thousand kinds of tomatoes?"

Ellie: "I gotta warn you. It's crap work."
Dean: "Crap. She literally meant crap."

Ellie: "Her last album was a bunch of holiday songs for dogs. My favorites were 'Jingle Bark Rock' and 'Don't pee on this tree. Happy Arbor Day'."
Dean: "So she's the devil."
Ellie: "Pretty much."

Dean: "Impressed?"
Ellie: "I do like a man who can handle his meat."

Dean: "We both know where this ends. One of us dies. Or worse."

Dean: "So you're Crowley's bitch. I guess pets really do look like their owners."

The hellhound and the return of the Crossroad deal was great and merits three out of four tomatoes. The Cassitys probably rated a two. The brotherly interaction was four out of four, though. So, an average of three out of four tomatoes?

Billie Doux has been reviewing Supernatural for so long that Dean and Sam Winchester feel like old friends. Courageous, adventurous, gorgeous old friends.


  1. I think the houseboat is in Warsaw, Missouri. I cought it becsaue I live in the original Warsaw. :)

    1. I just watched this episode and saw that on the boat and had to look it up just to be sure bc I only live like 25 mins from Warsaw lol

  2. Thanks, Patryk. I usually keep track of these things. Oh, well.

  3. A ninth season? Is that a good thing?
    Sure, I like where all this is going with men of letters and all, but still. A ninth?

  4. I'm willing to hope for a decent ninth season. I am always amazed by this show. You expect things to get tired and then they pull something else out of the hat. I thought the closing of the demon gates would be the end and this would be the last season but of the Simpsons can do it.....

  5. I agree, Doc. By the eighth season of Smallville, I was still watching because I had committed to reviewing it, and not because it still blew me away. My two favorite actors had left, too. I actually groaned each spring when it kept getting renewed and I had to decide whether or not I was going to keep reviewing it.

    I don't feel the same way about Supernatural at all because nearly every episode is a quality episode that I have something to say about, and as you say, Doc, they keep pulling something else out of the hat. And my favorite actors are still in the show; they're the leads. And Cas is still around. I do miss Bobby, though.

    Not to tromp all over Smallville. They had some really good seasons. They just exceeded their shelf life. I don't think Supernatural has done that yet. Although I'm sure some people think so. :)

  6. I loved this episode, for all the reasons you mention in your review, Billie. The scenes between the boys I found enormously touching. It feels as though it has been an age since they said something to each other that was not snarky or downright nasty. I guess having a home is taking its effect on them.

    I've been commenting for a while about how the past few episodes felt like the beginning of the end to me. Guess I was very wrong. I'm of two minds about the ninth season. I love this show and would hate for it go; but, on the other hand, I would prefer that it go out on a high and not limp to its demise.

  7. I really liked this episode, it was fun and I loved, loved Dean´s immense joy of having his own room and cooking.
    I love Dean!

  8. Dean was so cute nesting. He decorated...with guns. He cooked...burgers. Very Dean. I loved his little boy joy at having a room of his own.

  9. The expression on Sam's face as he looked around Dean's room broke my heart.


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