Supernatural S8 Ep21 – The Great Escapist

Metatron pointing a gun at Sam and Dean

Things are really kicking into high gear on Supernatural now. This episode was, to borrow a favorite word from Dean Winchester, awesome. A lot happened, both in terms of plot and character, which presents some potentially big changes. There were plenty of interesting new things revealed, including the requirements of the third trial. I think I’ve had a sufficient amount of time to calm myself down from just shouting and flailing, so let’s get this thing started. I think I’m going to take this one character by character, because there were so many different things going on that all entwined with one another, but they all circle around a handful of our brave heroes–plus one snarky villain.

Kevin Tran looking smugly at Crowley

Kevin Tran: Advanced Bad Ass

I’m going to start with Kevin because the episode started with Kevin, but also because I have been worried about our little Advanced Placement Prophet of the Lord ever since Crowley took off with him. It turned out Kevin was safe in a mock-up of Garth’s boat, complete with fake Sam and Dean, all courtesy of Crowley of course. You could tell it was fake because for one, Kevin had disappeared from the boat a while ago so clearly something was up, and two, Jared Padalecki has a tell whenever he plays a version of Sam that’s not really him. I’m sure it’s something he does on purpose, so maybe “tell” isn’t quite the right word, but he gets this look on his face like he’s trying not to sneeze. It’s similar to his “I’m having a flashback” face and a little like his “I’m politely concerned” face. It’s very versatile.

But anyway, back to Kevin. Throughout the episode Kevin played along with Crowley’s deception, but you could tell that he had caught on. He was in advanced placement after all. At the end he faced down Crowley after trapping the demons playing Sam and Dean, and it was totally awesome. Not a fighting showdown, just a confidant “I outsmarted you” face-off that was a complete change from the Kevin that was having a mental breakdown the last time we saw him. He seems to be coming into his own, and the moment at the end really showed how far he’d come. He had no problem facing the King of Hell, who has tortured him, chopped off his finger, and murdered his girlfriend (and possibly his mom, but I’m still holding out hope that that was a bluff on Crowley’s part). Kevin faced him, prepared for his death. But thankfully he didn’t die this time.

Castiel beaten up

Someone that beat up should not look that good.

Now let’s talk about Castiel. Like Kevin he has also been absent for a while, though he left under his own volition to hide the angel tablet. And he had been hiding from the angels by using the sameness of each restaurant in the Biggerson’s franchise chain, where he continuously traveled from one to another so that they couldn’t trap him. It was a really awesome and brilliant plan. It was also hilarious that they made fun of commercial restaurant chains like that, making it possibly one of my favorite parts of the episode.

Unfortunately, Naomi wasn’t going to let him get away that easily. She stopped him by murdering everyone in one of the Biggerson’s so that he paused in his constant shifting from one to the next. Naomi then set about the usual interrogation route, but while trying to get him to tell her where he had hidden the angel tablet, she revealed something very interesting about Cas that I think opens up new doors for his character. Cas apparently has always been a troublesome angel, questioning things and requiring constant reprogramming. Naomi has erased his memory multiple times throughout his existence to keep him under her thumb.

I think I’m just going to talk about the angels in general here too, because we also learn in this episode that after God made Metatron write the tablets, God left (to only He knows where), and the archangels took over. They were sad because daddy was gone, so naturally their first course of action was to try to take over the universe. (It’s starting to sound like maybe they should be slamming the gates of heaven along with hell). Naomi, it seems, is one of those archangels, or at least in mid-level management, while Castiel is a grunt in the garrison, a tool for her to use and fix whenever he breaks away from the archangels’ hold. Why is Cas so special? Samandriel said that too much heart was always Castiel’s problem, but was that on purpose, or is Cas just malfunctioning in the Winchesters’ favor? As Naomi said, he doesn’t even die right. Cas always comes back to life, like he has an infinite number of lives in a computer game. Was that by design, or is that a flaw? I really hope that they start to explore more about Cas in the next season once he’s a regular again. Why is he the way he is? How many times has he rebelled; how many humans has he grown too close to? I need to know!

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