Supernatural, S8 Ep7 – A Little Slice of Kevin

Dean and Castiel

WARNING: This episode review may result in second-hand embarrassment via overt fangirling.

So, it has come to this.  Spoilers couldn’t prepare me properly for the feels that this episode wrought. I knew that Castiel was coming back, I knew that we were going to see Kevin and his mom again (I did not know that the title “A Little Slice of Kevin” was going to be taken so literally).  But nothing could truly ready my fannish soul for what I witnessed.  In this review, I shall refrain from screaming “MY BABIES” when referring to grown men who are several years older than me, but any more than that I cannot promise.  This episode killed me in a good way and I’ve come back to haunt you with how I felt about it.  Get the salt.

Kevin and his mom

“No, mom, that’s another part of craigslist.”

Now where to start?  Let’s dive right in to Kevin’s story.  It’s good to see Kevin and his mom again; I love them so much.  They are smart and kick ass and we do not see them enough.  Linda Tran has fully embraced the life of living on the run while trying to take down the King of Hell.  I bet she’s always been the sort of person who thinks that if they just put their mind to it they can accomplish anything.  And Ms. Tran was definitely putting her mind to it in this episode by trying to create an arsenal of those demon bombs Kevin discovered.  Unfortunately, she’s not enough in the know yet with the supernatural to avoid going to witches for help.  As we’ve seen before, witches are rarely good and they usually are in league with demons, which was exactly how Delta, our Evil Female Character for the episode, turned out.  Her true loyalties were obvious from her sassiness and blatant flirting with Kevin, and thus another powerful woman turned out to be bad in Supernatural.  I should start a running tally, or maybe a Venn diagram showing the intersection of female characters, evilness, and death.  So, thanks to that mistake, Kevin got kidnapped by Crowley, but Ms. Tran fought back against her demon attacker and trussed him up for Dean and Sam to torture information out of (note to self: never make Ms. Tran angry).

Kevin and Crowley, holding a pinwheelBut Crowley didn’t kidnap Kevin just because he’s cute and Crowley wanted to chat.  No, Crowley was still trying to translate the tablet containing the word of god.  He kidnapped people destined to become prophets–a list of people gathered by torturing Samandriel the Angel of Wiener Hut (he better not be dead or the writers and I will have words, words)–but he discovered that only one prophet can exist at a time.  That means Chuck, who got a brief shout out, is supposedly dead.  I don’t know if they mean that for real or if it was a wink-wink nudge-nudge to the viewers who remember Chuck disappearing into thin air at the end of season five.  Word on the street is that Chuck was supposed to be god, according to Kripke, but maybe Carver isn’t going to play it that way.  Either way, Crowley being Crowley, he went straight to the source when all else failed and nabbed Kevin.  Crowley and Kevin then have a wonderful interaction with Crowley being deliciously proud of his evil and Kevin trying to keep it all together as he resisted torture.  Kevin, poor, poor Kevin.  He’s been thrown headlong into this world of demons and prophecies, and though he keeps a brave front you can tell that it’s hard for him.  Hugging the TV screen didn’t help him for some reason, but I won’t give up.  When Kevin finally broke because Crowley sliced his finger off you could hear the roar of a million fans screaming “FIX IT!”  I don’t know, though, the Nine-Fingered Prophet kind of has a nice ring to it…  But anyway, bravo to the acting from Osric Chau.  And bravo to whoever on set decided that soaking him with holy water was a good idea.  Bravo, bravo!

So, the next big reveal in terms of the overall story arc this season is that there are more tablets–which I thought we already had figured–but they all deal with different topics other than demons and leviathans.  The rest of the chase this season I’m guessing will be to hunt down those tablets and deal with whatever new horrors they will reveal.  What other sorts of things did Megatron–I mean, Metatron–need to warn us about?  What other horrible monsters?  Or perhaps wonderful new powers?  This could be very interesting…

Now, one half of this episode was made up of Kevin, Crowley, and the tablets, and the other half was what most of fandom has been awaiting with bated breath: the return of Castiel.

Castiel showing off his clean suit

Ta da!

I just have to say it again, in case you didn’t hear it over my internal screaming: Cas is back!  Our first glimpse of him was set to the ominous musical choice “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” (but at the hilariously-timed line “Now li’l girl you’re so young and pretty”). But Cas doesn’t know why he’s back.  I was wondering how they were going to bring him back and worried that the answer might be unsatisfying after all these flashbacks of purgatory.  Instead of outright telling us, they’ve decided to draw it out with Cas having amnesia (again) and even when we think we get an answer at the very end we’re still left wondering about the details.  But whatever, Cas and Dean have been reunited.  Cas was dirty (*coughs* No comment) but now he’s clean.  He doesn’t seem to know how showers are supposed to work–they do not magically put you back in your old costume, Cas, they only clean you–but that’s okay.  And we got all the feelings that Dean has been dancing around this whole season.  The real reason he’s been angry at Cas was because Dean actually is a self-flagellating idiot who has been blaming himself.  He thought he had failed Cas, he thought it had been his fault that Cas hadn’t made it out.  Oh, Dean, if you weren’t a fictional character… I have the sudden urge to make him cookies and tell him everything will be okay while I pet his hair.  Is that normal?  But the best part of this heartbreak is that Cas explained that it wasn’t Dean’s fault at all–Cas stayed behind because he saw it as his penance for the damage he had done while high on god/soul-power.  I can’t really say much more on this topic without being reduced to incoherent noises and arm flailing, so let it suffice that I enjoyed it.  Dean has his Cas back and he doesn’t have to blame himself anymore…

Castiel showing wings and glowing

Hey, Cas, have you been working out?

Except that nothing is that simple, not in Supernatural.  Something doesn’t smell too good in Denmark and we got a whiff of it during Castiel’s showdown with Crowley.  Cas had been weak with the littlest thing making him woozy, but then suddenly he was glowing and his eyes lit up like we’ve never seen before.  I mean this in a literal way, not in a maybe he’s pregnant sort of way.  Did Cas level up when he mysteriously escaped purgatory?  After being left to wonder what the hell that was all about, BAM, in the last two minutes Amanda Tapping beamed Cas up to heaven and detailed her (possibly evil) plan.  Tapping plays the angel Naomi, who helped Cas get out of purgatory with the help of an army of angels. (How many angels are there left? They always lose huge numbers in every battle they fight.  I don’t think they’re as good at this thing as they think they are).  Castiel’s memory has been erased of his meetings with Naomi and how he was rescued from purgatory so as not to alert him to the fact that he is being used by the angels to spy on Sam and Dean.  Because Castiel is always being controlled by someone or something in this show, whether it’s his confused loyalty to heaven, the evil leviathans, or the crazy that he took from Sam’s head, and now some other order of angels are using him as a scruffy-looking listening device.  I realize that this is probably because Castiel is too powerful–he could fix every problem with a snap of his fingers–so the writers have had to come up with ways each season to restrict his power.  Cas is never just Cas, he’s always caught up in something that alters his personality and affects which side he’s on.  It’s a little infuriating that he can’t be developed on his own merit as a character–and by little I mean “extremely”–but I’ll wait this out to see where they go with it.  I’ve liked Carver’s handling of Castiel so far this season, so I’m going to trust that he knows what he’s doing.

Castiel and Naomi

I guess the SGC wasn’t interesting enough anymore.

The question now is: what’s Naomi up to?  When/how/why/etc did she rescue Cas?  And how is this new development going to intersect with the tablet storyline?  That last two minutes of the episode could have been really awkward with how it suddenly broke away from the story and threw in the fact that Castiel is being used against Sam and Dean, but I think it was handled well.  This episode has continued the awesomeness of the previous main story arc installments this season (Monster of the Weeks are a different matter), and I’m hooked.

In conclusion, I loved this episode.  It has the same exciting, action-packed adventure but still emotionally satisfying feel that the season started off with.  I’m not sure how I feel about what it’s setting up in terms of Castiel’s character, but I’m actually interested in seeing where it goes instead of shoving my fingers in my ears and humming loudly like I did in previous seasons, so that’s an improvement.

Unfortunately, there’s no special Thanksgiving episode next week where Dean explains to Castiel the importance of turkey and football in the founding of America.  Supernatural will return November 28 with “Hunteri Heroici.”  Just watch the promo for that one because I have no words…

Sam, Dean, and Cas stare at something crushed under an anvil