Supernatural "Taxi Driver" Review: What the F*ck Are You Doing, Show?!

Supernatural S08E19: "Taxi Driver"

You know, I suspected we might be in trouble when I realized that the writers of this episode, Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner, are the same duo that brought us the infamous "racist truck episode" from Season 1, and in more recent seasons, the mind-numbing "Of Grave Importance," the painfully bad "The Slice Girls," and the cringe-filled "Man's Best Friends With Benefits." I made an effort to stay positive, though, because after the suckass first half of the season, the second half of Season GR8 has actually, for the most part, managed to live up to its name. Ross-Leming and Buckner have even, on occasion, given us good episodes of the series with the rather enjoyable "Shut Up, Dr. Phil" and the pretty solid "A Little Slice of Kevin." 

So what I'm trying to say is that it didn't have to be this way, SupernaturalAnd by "this way" I mean WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU DOING? 

How did you mutilate your own mythology? Let me count the ways:

1. Kevin Tran, in the middle of his most recent and most colorful nervous breakdown, called Sam and Dean to tell them that he'd figured out the details of the second trial. Sam had to break into Hell and send an innocent soul to its rightful place in Heaven. The boys wracked their brains to figure out how to bust in downstairs before calling an expert—a demon. Because, you know, it's not like they're friendly with an angel who plucked BOTH of their asses out of Hell or anything. 

Okay, granted, Castiel is AWOL with the angel tablet at the moment, but they could have at least tried to get a hold of him before resorting to a crossroad demon. At least give us some lip service about how, "Gee, too bad Castiel is off doing whatever he's doing because we could've totally used him here." Just something, anything, to make the Winchesters look like they aren't suffering from a form of amnesia that conveniently makes them forget Seasons 4 through 6. 

2. Sam's "So this is Hell?" when Ajay clearly parked him in Purgatory. Granted, Sam wouldn't know what Purgatory looked like, but he's technically been to Hell. And admittedly, the Cage has never actually been confirmed to be in Hell, unless we're counting that interview Sera Gamble gave that one time where she said it was in Hell. It's just that when you have Sam himself referring to it as being "in Hell" and DEATH telling Dean he had to "go to Hell" to retrieve Sam's soul way back in Season 6, the implications are pretty clear. 

3. Bobby. Oh, Bobby. His send-off in last season's "Death's Door" was so good and yet Supernatural refuses to just let the man rest in peace. (Just a thought, but maybe ya'll shouldn't have killed him? Am I sensing some executioner's remorse? Hmm?) Don't get me wrong. I love Jim Beaver. I was delighted when he was revealed to be the guest star in this week's episode. My love of Bobby Singer and Jim Beaver has usually managed to outweigh the questionable uses of Bobby since his death,  But then we just sort of ignored the fact that Bobby was a vengeful spirit for the last few episodes of Season 7. I'd also like to pretend it never happened, but the sad fact of the matter is that it DID happen and now we have to live with it. 

The fact that Bobby was eager to get out of Hell but still hesitant to actually call it quits and go to Heaven was totally in line with his character as a dedicated hunter of evil sumbitches and surrogate dad to those idgit Winchesters, but his request that Sam and Dean find a way to bring him back from the dead was not. "What's dead should stay dead." It's like, rules numero uno and dos in the Hunter Handbook and Bobby knows that. That we had to resurrect the Great Sam Winchester Guilt Trip of 2012 and agonize over his decision not to look for Dean in Purgatory just to somehow sort of almost justify Bobby's stance was the icing on the poop cake. I understand now why we had to soldier through the ridiculousness that was the first half of the season in order to position ourselves for the general awesomeness of this half with the Batcave and the Men of Letters and the trials, but it's done and over with now and don't you make me go back there, Supernatural. Don't you do that. I just can't, okay? 

But, flaws and all, "Taxi Driver" was an important episode in the grand scheme of things. Obviously, it covered the second Hell trial, which was ultimately completed successfully, giving Sam more glowy action and Dean more Wangst to wallow in. With Castiel MIA, Naomi has apparently turned her sights on Dean and subsequently spent most of Amanda Tapping's screen time trying to buddy up to the eldest Winchester brother. Dean was hesitant at first, and while I'm fairly certain he'll never entirely board the Team Naomi bus (barring mind-control) given his history with "dicks with wings" and his generally distrustful demeanor, Naomi's assist when Crowley crashed the "Escape from Hell" party seemed to make at least a small impact. I'm actually still torn on her true motives. She's probably just another evil angel, but wouldn't it be kind of great if she really was what she claimed to be? A guardian of Heaven, afraid of the implications of the Winchesters closing Heaven in addition to Hell? One-dimensional, definite baddies are boring. 

That brings us to Benny, who seemed be back on the straight-and-narrow following his (admittedly justifiable) ripping out of Crazy Martin's throat. Sam's rescue of Bobby was entirely too convenient once he followed the yellow brick road into Hell and back out into Purgatory, and Benny's eagerness to let Dean chop his head off so he could help Sam escape from Purgatory after Crowley killed Ajay seemed... too easy? Sure, Benny was depressed and having a hard time fitting in since the vampires disowned him and he could barely pass for human, but if we're being brutally honest here, most of that was Sam's fault. I wouldn't begrudge Benny a, well, a grudge

But Dean came calling and Benny came running and in the end, Benny made the valiant, noble, and convenient decision to stay behind in Purgatory because Dean isn't allowed to have friends who aren't Sam. Though, to be fair, Sam isn't allowed to have friends who aren't Dean, so hooray for co-dependency?

At least they didn't burn his bones, leaving the door open for an eventual return. Probably. I mean, this IS Supernatural. The only dead character who never gets to come back is Papa Winchester, and that's only because Jeffrey Dean Morgan is too busy making blockbusters and flashing his bare butt on Magic City to be bothered with the C-Dubs. (Sorry, C-Dubs.)

Concerning Kevin—I'm actually totally feeling his story. I appreciated that Crowley's real/not-real status was left hanging right up until the end. That's what you get for stealing Dean's pie, son. 

Supernatural returns on April 24th. What did you think of this episode?


CASE NOTES

– The melting graffiti passage into Purgatory was actually really cool-looking. 

– Dumb Winchester sighting: So I guess we just decapitate vampires in broad daylight within sight of busy urban streets now? Okay then. 

– It still doesn't sit well with me that Dean and Sam are totally okay with bastard bro Adam burning in Hell for all eternity. Could we please address that, Supernatural? Please? Even if rescue is out of the question, could we at least turn him into a demon or something? Idk. 

– I hate how Season 3 becomes less and less relevant as Hell becomes less and less awful, traumatizing, and permanent. 

– What do you think the third trial is?

– Since he cut and run, is it only a matter of time before Kevin gets kidnapped by the real Crowley? 

– Naomi theories? Certified psycho or misguided guardian?

Comments (267)
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WTF!!!! NOT COOL!!!!! First Meg, now Benny, I am not ok with this. I'm also getting tired of the score keeping the writers seem to be trying to maintain. Dean dies and goes to Hell, so Sam has to die and go to Hell. Dean gets stuck in Purgatory so Sam visits Purgatory. The pattern is getting a little old. I loved the first 5 seasons of this show but 6 was terrible and 7 was bad (not as bad as 6, but still), and this season is slowly killing me. I mean at least it has a consistent plot unlike the horrible cluster f*ck that was season 6 but it is starting to try my patience once again.
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How did sam find bobby so quick in hell? Hell should host billions of souls, yet bobby was just around the corner?
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Did the writers forget the fact that all prophets have an archangel guardian?
Ever since they introduced Kevin, I kept waiting for an archangel to appear whenever Kevin was threatened......guess that went by the wayside like so many other things the writers forgot once it interferes with the plot...
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I may be wrong but I think there were only 4 archangels and they are either dead or gone. Lucifer, Gabriel,Michael, and Raphael.
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Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Uriel, Raguel, Remiel and Saraqael.
as far as i can remember, Raguel, Remiel and Saraqael have not been on the show, and therefore could still be used if the writers choosed so...
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and lucifer, but hes just not "gurdian" matrial, if you know what i mean
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Supernatural had a good run. But the story is told, the creative tank is running on fumes...
Please writers, make it go out with a bang, while there is still fumes in the tank to do so... dont let it run empty and crash... plz plz plz
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agreed as much as I loved this show and continue to watch it out of pity support, I would like it to go out with some dignity not just run itself into the ground and get cancelled. Sadly I hear they signed on for another season or 2, I'm not optimistic.
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supernatural has let itself down by- making it look so easy to talk to reaers, without being dead, also the fact that it was never easy getting in and out of hell! it would have been ok if they went into more details. but never did.what a waste of 7 years of spn mythology!!
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I'm really pissed that they completely ruined a perfect chance to bring back Bela Talbot (Lauren Cohan) for a cameo appearance. Her storyline ended kind of sadly when her demon deal was cashed in and she went to Hell. Not only would it be a nod to the 'Golden Years' of Supernatural, but with Lauren Cohan's success in The Walking Dead it could have brought some of her fan-base to check out SPN if only for that one episode. Oh well, I guess when they close Hell for good, Bela will just be trapped down there. What a waste of a good character..
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One big plot hole I realized... HOW THE HELL CAN SAM AND DEAN SEE COYOTE REAPER WITHOUT BEING DEAD? Whenever they saw reapers in the past, they were either dead or close to being dead. The first episode with a reaper fully established that a normal, healthy human can't see them even if they're standing right in front of them. In season 2 Dean met Tessa only because his injuries from Yellow Eyes put him in a near death state. In season 4 Sam and Dean had to be sent into the spirit world to save Tessa from Alistair. In Season 5 Cas and Crowley were able to see DOZENS of them even though Sam and Dean couldn't see any despite standing next to them. Heck, in season 6 Dean had to medically kill himself in order to talk to Tessa and Death, and even in season 7 when Bobby summoned his reaper in "Death's Door" it was in his head. And yet the Coyote Reaper can be seen as clear as day with no spells, hearts stopping or anything. How is that even possible?
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I'm not OK either with the third Winchester brother rotting in the Cage but Jake Abel is another former Winchester making movies. And he gets to look waaay better in those than he ever did next to Sam and Dean...
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Adam body is being controlled by an powerful archangel Michael, trust me Michael can take care of himself and Adam.
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I'm so glad you mentioned the brother. I am always thinking of that. He conveniently shows up to take Dean's place in hell and then he is never talked about again? Seriously jacked.
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I feel lost in this season, where were we going, what are we doing besides some trials, heaven and hell seem weaker and more when if ever will God just set them all straight. Thank Chuck.
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the third trial is to execute the king of hell!
I think
I love ure reviews, stealing Dean's pie...ehehehe
also was screaming at the TV when there was no mention of Cass
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Okay, I lied. I also enjoyed that they came across a bald demon. His baldness was very handy as the torture was all centered around holy water being poured on the poor fella's shiny head!

Or am I just weird for noticing something like that?
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I noticed that too! That holy water steam coming off the guys bald head was the funniest part of the episode :)
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Personally I was disappointed with this episode. Bobby had a nice death, the period which belonged there turned into a comma this this one, and his story continued. I hope now it ends for good.

Someone please give Sam a tour of hell, or break that wall down in his head.

I did like one thing about this episode though, Benny. What a bad ass, would have liked more of him on the show but oh well.
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I agree, Bobby should have stayed dead after his perfect (second) send-off. It was poignant and he got to say good bye in a way he didn't the first time and he affirmed their whole principle about dead things staying dead. And now this?!

As soon as Kevin said the next trial was smuggling an innocent out of Hell, I was chanting "Adam, Adam, Adam..." and wringing my hands in anticipation.

Because Dean TOTALLY promised Adam AND Sam he'd get Adam out of there. I understand why he chose Sam when he made that deal with Death - Sam's body was after all already topside, but COME ON! Perfect chance to go get lil' bro outta there in this episode and it totally drove me nuts that they just threw in that "oh, by the way, Crowley highjacked Bobby's heaven-bound soul just to stick it to the boys"!

I know I should let the Adam thing go - I mean, Jake Abel is doing Stephanie Meyer movies now for god's sake - but I just can't get over it. It's totally out of character for Dean to just forget about his own flesh and blood, even with all the crap the boys are dealing with these days.

Even if they just brought him back briefly or even mentioned the fact that, yeah doesn't it really suck that Adams still in the pit? Just an honourable mention, that's all I ask.

And yeah, I'm getting sick of this whole Sam-and-Dean-together-forever-to-the-exclusion-of-EVERYONEELSEONTHEPLANET!!!

I love the brothers' relationship, but this is getting weird....

Anyways, that's my rant. I'm done now. I still love the show and I'll still be tuning in next week as per usual :)
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I know a lot people were commenting on trying to get Adam out of Hell, but I don't think they could have. Lucifer and Michael are in a special section of Hell that people or even other Demons can't just waltz into.
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The third trail? The trials are escalating in the demand of "Sam input", so the logical step would be a total commitment.... the death of a family/friend or Sam's sacrifice???

Naomi? Certified misguided psycho guardian :)
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Considering how terrible both Hell and Heaven are supposed to be, how awful it was that Daddy Winchester had to crawl his way out, how hard it was for Sam to find Dean after season 3 only for him to be saved by Cas, that Dean had to get Death to save Sam's soul from the cage... it kind of sucks all they had to do was hire a taxi driver.
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I'd caught a glimpse of this review (mostly just the very apt - as it turned out - headline) before I had time to properly sit down and watch the latest episode, and so I was left with two choices: brace myself for the worst or hope that MaryAnn had somehow gone crazy and just couldn't appreciate all the awesomeness laid out in front of her eyes. Alas (for the show, I mean!), I quickly found myself agreeing with our reviewer. What-the-fuck. Bad feelings were fully justified.

These writers really don't have a great track record... and that they hadn't been there when Supernatural was at its prime (seasons 2-5 especially), but came back for the worst season in the show's history (i.e. s7) is also telling. On top of that the only episode from them that I quite liked was "A Little Slice of Kevin". I hated "Shut Up, Dr. Phil" with passion (for the mythology mish-mash, due to Sam and Dean acting illogically and stupidly against the not-so-good witches, and for many other reasons), and I remember being angry with Tim Surette for placing it so high in his power rankings. In any case, I know whom I would like to be fired when Supernatural team heads into the next season.

I had so many problems with this episode. Everything crammed together and presented at an extremely uneven pace. A quick trip to Purgatory? Sure thing, it's not like it's a big deal to get in and out. Hell, you say? Of course, let's just casually head over, pass a few random cells filled with random more or less creepy residents and easily locate our target (ah, that Sam Winchester and his inner compass). I'm absolutely certain that we would've visited Heaven too had the episode lasted 5 minutes longer than it did.
Rogue Reapers? An interesting concept, and at the same time utterly wasted. Not shrouded in mystery like Reapers used to be, not even the same actor playing the Reaper who snatched Bobby. So normal, so casual. So... plain.

What bugged me the most though was the following question: why did the red-eyed demon and the Taxi Reaper both turned out to be such whiny "bitches"? A little holy water and he was already screaming for mercy - shouldn't he have been more resilient than your standard black-eyed version? And that Reaper, so bad at covering his actions and quivering at the sight of Crowley. Speaking of Crowley, I really have a problem taking him seriously as a bad guy. Out of the hundred meetings with Sam & Dean by now, he has hardly ever proved to be much of a danger. Rather poor for a King of Hell who would like nothing more than to eliminate Winchesters.

As much as I loved Bobby when he wasn't a stupid vengeful ghost, this particular version didn't do much for me. He just was there and I sat there unconvinced and not really feeling anything. I didn't even like his character in this episode, and most of the things he had to say. And of course they had to bring up the "Sam-didn't-look-for-Dean" aspect again, like any of the fans could believe it. Repeat it a thousand times more, and dumb character 'development' will still remain dumb.
I'm also bugged how much they've wasted the character of Benny. This was a really good one with his vampire dilemmas and potential relations with our hunters, and we were also subjected to a speedy acknowledgment process here - Dean finally realizing that he was being a stupid jerk once again for cutting all ties and Sam finally realizing that he was being an even greater jerk once again for not giving a non-human a chance just because.

Good points of the episode? Naomi's turn - she is playing another angle now that she has lost control over Cas, which is very fitting. Plus Kevin finally losing it played out rather well and made a lot of sense.
Still, it's nowhere near enough to salvage anything for me. This episode (and this pair of writers) has now managed to spoil the 2nd half of season 8 for me. It had all been really promising - until I was subjected to this.
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I think the reason Crowley has survived for 4 straight seasons is BECAUSE he's not the typical Big Bad. Azazel, Lilith and Lucifer had grand plans and thought of the Winchesters as pawns, which made them underestimate them and get themselves killed/trapped. (In Lilith's case, though, she was SUPPOSED to die, so I guess she was expecting Sam to overpower her eventually.) Dick thought of the Winchesters as mere obstacles for his grand plan, but he did do his homework and was way more resourceful than the other three Big Bads. It was just bad luck for him that Crowley decided to find a loophole in their contract and Cas was there to help. Crowley, on the other hand, knows the Winchester's motivations, has even helped them on occasion, and knows not to underestimate them. Heck, he even lampshades it in season 6 after Cas tells him not to worry about it, saying that the sole reason he's even alive is because he acknowledges that they could kill him. Unlike Azazel, Lilith, Lucifer, and Dick, Crowley has no real grand scheme anymore. Purgatory was a bust, so really all he wants is to maintain the status quo with him being on top and all other demons bowing to him. That gives him an advantage now, because he can focus all of his efforts on the Winchesters instead of working on his grand scheme and constantly looking over his shoulder. THAT, in my opinion, is what makes him so threatening.
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Ok, yes, that reminds me - Hell was totally lame, you're right! Personally I found the Crowley endless waiting line with creepy elevator music the most chilling version of Hell and would have liked to see that revisited or at least get a sense of that scale. Instead we get this cut-rate dungeon scene like something from Madame Tussaud's. SO disappointed.
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cant wait for the trials to finish
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"It still doesn't sit well with me that Dean and Sam are totally okay with bastard bro Adam burning in Hell for all eternity. Could we please address that, Supernatural? Please? Even if rescue is out of the question, could we at least turn him into a demon or something? Idk."

YES!!! Bring back Adam!!
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I agree
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Anyone else notice that aside from Naomi's 5-ish minutes of screentime, there were no women in the episode?
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There was that woman in hell that said she prayed to get rescued and believed Sam was there to save her.
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"It still doesn't sit well with me that Dean and Sam are totally okay with bastard bro Adam burning in Hell for all eternity. Could we please address that, Supernatural? Please? Even if rescue is out of the question, could we at least turn him into a demon or something? Idk."

This bugs the crap out of me too. Has done for ages. And now I'm not entirely certain we'll get any kind of closure because Jake Abel has gone off and caught the Meyer Train to Hollywood and may go the way of JDM and I have the feeling I'm going to feel cheated - CHEATED - forever. God DAMN it, Show.
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Aahh, but if Adam comes back as a demon he doesn't need to be played by Jake Abel, but it wouldn't be the same so 6 of one half a dozen of the other I suppose.
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Sorry but I think you are way off the mark..............while it wasn't a stellar episode it was still good. It carried on the run of 'tests' that Sam has to do to close the gates of hell (am I the only one who thinks he is in serious trouble here??) and gave us back Bobby Singer even if it was just for one episode.

As for 'what's dead should stay dead'......well I am surprised you still watch the show at all because from the middle of season one people ain't stayed dead. Dean and Sam have both died and come back more times than the average cat has lives (going to both heaven and hell), John Winchester was killed by Yellow Eyes and brought back, Mary Winchester killed by Yellow Eyes and brought back in spirit, Ruby and Meg (while both demons) have both 'died' and come back, even the Campbell line of the family died and came back so clearly what is dead does not always stay dead.

Hell is individual, I would have thought that much was clear from the differing experiences shown for Dean and Sam so Bobby's hell would be different again. What I was expecting was a few flash backs but I guess Castiel has all of those memories as well as the Lucifer hallucination. Bringing Bobby back was the only logical choice really, who else would they go charging into hell to rescue?? And Benny had to go, I mean what else could he do now he had the hunters back after him and vampires chasing him? He was a lame limp wristed story and it was about time it ended for him.

As for Kevin? well I have tried to like him but he is just a whiner and the sooner he goes the better. His mother has bigger balls than he does!!!

Naomi I am pretty sure is just another version of the God Complex Cas from the end of season 6 going into season 7 and will turn out to be just as bad as Crowley. The two of them should just get a room and sort it out the old fashioned way.
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"Concerning Kevin—I'm actually totally feeling his story. I appreciated that Crowley's real/not-real status was left hanging right up until the end. That's what you get for stealing Dean's pie, son."

Totallly!Q@W!@W!!!!! But on more serious note, I loved that they referenced to the fact that Dean loves pie. I miss the olden days of Supernatural where the boys would tease each other and Dean would always ask for pie....... :( :( :(

As for the Kevin storyline, the whole place was demon proofed/protected or w/e it's called, so I'm fairly certain Kevin has completly lost his mind.

"Naomi theories? Certified psycho or misguided guardian?" -- She is a complete psycho, she only helped with Bobby because she wants the gates of hell closed. <<

Episode was little below average for me, looking forward to the next one. I hate how the trials happen so fast.....I would have loved if they were more complex but alas the writers must be simply LAZY.
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I personally liked the episode. I am disappointed that Benny ended up being pretty much a useless character other than a "Get Out of Purgatory Free" card that the Winchesters could use. As a vamp fighting other vamps, I would've at least like to have seen him fight the Alpha, since logically that's the highest he could go for his cause. But really, after he killed Crazy Martin he suffered "Meg Syndrome" where he was pretty much pointless and didn't help the overall storyline. He was just.... there.

As for Bobby, I want to point out that him being in Hell kind of makes sense. Bobby's Reaper in "Death's Door" heavily implied that his good deeds guaranteed him a spot in Heaven, but ONLY if Bobby went with him. Bobby refused and chose to become a ghost, then got destroyed by Dean and Sam. I'm willing to bet that there are levels of Hell, much like in Dante's Inferno. There was a demon in season 3 who said that she nor any of her felow demons in Hell ever saw Lucifer, so I'm betting Lucifer's cage is in the bottom. The next level is the demon level, the level after that is the giant line from season 6, where most of Hell's occupants are (Dean probably would've been in this level because we really don't know what it looked like before Crowley took over, other than lots of chains.) and the last level would be Bobby's Hell, which seems to be occupied by crazies. I'm guessing this is where the vengeful ghosts go after they are destroyed. Bobby managed to stay relatively sane during his time as a ghost, but nonetheless by choosing not to go to Heaven with the "Death's Door" reaper, this is ultimately where he would've gone, since Purgatory is reserved for monsters. As to everyone moaning and groaning over Bobby being unnecessarily back, I prefer the rescue and ascent to Heaven to the pretty lame sendoff Bobby got at the end of season 7. I think the writers got the message that Bobby didn't deserve that, so they brought him back to give him the sendoff he deserved.
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I'm all for the layers of hell. It would go a long way to explaining the ease of the rescue of Bobby (ie he's in the layer where people have only been bad enough to deserve being locked up in a boring, dark dungeon, with only minimal amounts of psychological and/or physical tortue)
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Yes, season five was incredible but would you rather have no Sam and Dean than this? As far as I'm concerned they can stay for a couple more decades...
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I know filler episodes can go either way - extremely entertaining or let's get this over with and a move the plot along. However, why do the writers feel they have to move so fast when they are actually doing a plot filled episode. It's like, "oh, Bobby's in hell? whatevs lets just go get him no big." and then "i'm in hell, whatever, hi bobby." There's basically no suspense left. The Sam going to hell for this trial and rescuing Bobby couldn't have been at least 2 episodes. I have little interest in the plot moving forward if they're just going to throw it at you like word vomit rather than actually make you sit on the edge of your seat a little.
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I agree. Everything about this episode was way too easy. I thought it was a nice touch that Sam experienced Purgatory, but really they just marched right to the portal - no scraping, clawing, fighting their way out like they made it seem like Dean did for days. I'm not saying it should have gone down the same way, but Benny just basically pointed at it - "Yep, that's your way out." Plus, I expected a little more anxiety about just walking down into Hell, considering Sam went crazy pants after he was there the first time.
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Purgatory proved to be more of a challenge getting out of than Hell. That place at least had monsters attacking them. But, I wonder... where were the Leviathan? When Benny busted Dean out, the Leviathan were at the portal, and Dean had to fight his way out before the portal closed. When Sam went to Purgatory, there were only vampires. I'm actually getting sick of seeing so many vampires running around that place. Supernatural has other monsters than vamps, you know. Let's see a shapeshifter, or a werewolf, or a rougaru, or... a wendigo! I haven't seen a Wendigo since season 1, when the monsters looked like MONSTERS instead of humans with fangs and maybe long fingernails.
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Anyone who likes "Shut Up, Dr. Phil" episode shouldn't pass judgement on Season 8 episodes
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Shut Up Doctor Phil was hilarious. The Leviathan plotline that was tacked on was the only weak part of the episode. If they kept Chet out of it it would've been a great stand-alone episode. Plus you have the guy who played "Piccolo" doing a Kamehameha pose! How could you not like that?
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We are both talking about the insult to "Cordilia Chase" and "Spike" that was Shut up, dr.Phil episode? It wasn't funny at all, the plot was written by a 8 year old bored to death girl - then again from all the creatures in SPN universe, witches and leprechauns are my least favorites - and the whole Seasons 6 and 7 are by themselves the proof why you shouldn't keep a show alive more than what their creator had in mind
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It wasn't an epic episode, but it was worth a chuckle. War of the Roses, but with witches.

I like it when they have a funny episode or two every season. It lightens to mood.
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Good episode. Lucky thing Bobby was so close to the backdoor to Hell. With one of the trials completed, wouldn't it have been classic Supernatural to show frost in Hell, beginning to freeze over? Would've been nice to see some other characters from Supernatural past in the pit or Pergutory. #Seinfeldfinale

I don't know about rescuing Adam though, with Michael using him as a meat suit. Not to mention risking running into Lucy.

What do you think the third trial is? Gate sealed by the blood of an innocent that Sam loves: Sam must kill Amelia. Chuck then intervenes as he did with Abraham, and banishes the demons to hell, though never sealing the gate.

Since he cut and run, is it only a matter of time before Kevin gets kidnapped by the real Crowley? Of course

Naomi theories? Certified psycho or misguided guardian? Both. Isn't that what a zealot is?
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Chuck won't be back unless Kevin dies, which I hope isn't the case because I'm beginning to like his character. He really evolved from the whiny kid he was in season 7. I just wish he could learn to fight.

Naomi, in my opinion, has good intentions (reorganize Heaven after God!Castiel all but destroyed it) but her execution is severely flawed. I'm beginning to see her as a female Zachariah. Zach started with noble intentions (beat Lucifer) but the way he did it was so dickish that he lost Dean's trust, and basically losing Dean caused him to take more and more drastic measures until he became a full fledged bad guy. And all of it was completely unnecessary, too. If he wasn't a smug overconfident bastard, he could have kept Lucifer sealed (by letting Dean know that Lilith was the final seal) or could have actually had Adam be Michael's Vessel instead of tricking him into being bait, getting killed by Dean, and having Michael possess Adam anyway. Naomi's making the same mistakes Zach's making!
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Thoughts: Would love to see more Benny!!! Don't trust Naomi!!! Find Kenny!!! Why was it so easy to get in and out of Purgatory? Sure was more difficult before...
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I love Benny. He is so amazing and the best guest star (besides Castiel and Bobby of course) on the show so far. I usually trust Dean’s instincts anyway but I knew Benny wouldn’t stray from his ‘new diet’ and would be a good friend to him. However, I also knew that after a time his return would begin to become tougher- especially after Dean had to break contact with him. Benny didn’t fit in with his fellow vampires; he couldn’t be human...I think that perhaps Benny thought going back to Purgatory would be simpler to exist in than on Earth. It was a nasty place but it was Monster Park.
I don’t trust Naomi. The Winchesters have no reason to trust her just yet- she tried to get Castiel to kill Dean, used him as a go-between via manipulation. Yes she stepped in but Naomi is going to have to do a lot more to prove that she is on their side. I really hope she did send Bobby to where he is supposed to be. It would be nice if more angels were like Castiel but he’s in his own league right now.
People are speculating that Kevin is imagining Crowley’s voice and presence. The windows back that theory. One minute they are intact, the next they shatter, but when the brothers show up to check on him the windows were intact again. Translating the tablet has been taking its toll on Kevin for a while now, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he has broke and ran off. In theory the tablet- and Kevin too for that matter- is more exposed now; there were protective symbols on Garth’s boat but now that neither he nor the tablet are on it now...They could be anywhere with no protection. Crowley will find them if he can.
It is STILL difficult to get in and out of Purgatory. There are two ways that we know of and unless a person knows where to look there is practically no chance of getting in. Castiel and Crowley took two years to learn what they did, and the Winchesters had to go through a Crossroads demon and then search for what he told them (about rogue reapers) in order to get Sam into Purgatory/Hell.
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Each episode is getting to be drag. I love Amanda Tapping. Always felt it's beneath her to act in such a smal role here given she was the main star and protagonist in her own successful, (stupid SyFy network) now cancelled 5 season of Sanctuary. But it's a joy to see her at least as a senior Angel. I hope she gets her own series again.
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Just a question: Is this Supernatural's last season or are they renewed - and if yes for how many seasons?
Because if the Winchesters succeed - what is there to do for them despite casually hunting some shape shifters and wendigos and stuff? Fighting Amanda Tapping and the Silver City?
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Supernatural has been renewed for a 9th season. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have agreed to return for a 10th season if CW goes for it, but for right now, it's just the 9th season that was confirmed.
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Personally I would love to see season 10 of Supernatural. They can do it and I am sure,they could come up with crazy good stuff.
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I still hope that someone interfere and no one will be able to close the gates of hell! world without good vs evil?!! that is dull
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Demons are the reason the Winchesters are living the hunter lifestyle. It would be very boring and very weird if the Gates are closed before the series ends.
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Sigh...its like they couldn't decide what to do or what direction to go...I actually think, and yes, I love Bobby too, but really wouldn't it have been more interesting for Sam to go charging in and having to search and decide. Yes, that might have taken more than one episode, but really. And finding Adam might be a good idea (but I am pretty sure that guy is on another show right now, I am not sure which one).

The whole Benny thing was odd too (I get his reasoning) but you would think that Dean would have tried to find one of his reaper buddies by either trying to find Death again or trying to almost die himself.

I keep waiting for some character, and maybe Charlie will do it next new episode, to point out some of the problems if the gates to hell are shut (and maybe if the gates to heaven are too)...um, where do the souls go when they die? I fear we have a weird TVD cross over thing happening here where our heroes are accidentally letting the Purgatory creatures all back across into the living.

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Ooh, that's brilliant. Having Sam go in and have to choose which soul he pulled out? That would have been interesting....
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Sam searching Hell for Bobby is what the writers had for us; we got it. Just because we saw a minute of the search doesn’t mean it took a minute to find Bobby. The episode isn’t long- the writers have to fit lots of events and details in, and some things are left to the imagination.

Dean had to get Sam and Bobby back. Death threatened to kill him last time- he isn’t any use to anyone dead- and how long would it have taken Dean to find a reaper. Where is he going to find another moonlighting reaper? Enlisting Benny was the quickest way to getting them back. Dean had it worked out. Benny would go into Purgatory and he would piggyback Sam back to Earth.
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Well, if you followed the time line set out, it took Sam 7 hours to find the Hell opening, say it didn't take him and Bobby as long to find where they were supposed to meet the Reaper (still, I would guess at least 3.5 hours) but that was the 24 hour mark. So, it was likely between 14 and 15 hours Sam was in there. But my point was that was the best scene in terms of the audience in the episode, it was down right creepy and chilling, maybe cut down some of the initial part of the episode with the boys and Kevin and devote five more minutes.

It wouldn't take Dean long, there is a contingent of the reapers that like him and would deal with him. Yes, this plan made sense, but I guess it was so abrupt.
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The reason Sam journey seem like a hop, skip and a jump into hell and out, because each days or hours in Hell, turn into a year or month, according to Dean and Buffy. And Sam spends a months or years looking for Bobby within 24 hours. Remember the Reaper told Sam that he will be back in 24 hours but never did. However, the show is only an hour and Budget cuts. Furthermore, I believed Naomi's help Sam to find Bobby. Just a thought
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I figured out what Sam becomes... After seeing his hand glowing like that after the spell i figured it out.. Hes becoming Marvel super hero Iron Fist
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Benny can't be gone. He seems to be the perfect friend for Dean. Theys both struggle so much with their role in this world. They basically have the same inner conflict, just started on different points. And they are soo great actors. The goodbye/decapitationscene was stunningly awesome. I nearly cried
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I have a question -
Why is everyone talking about how easy it is to get to hell and not how easy it was to get to PURGATORY?!?

Didn't the entire point of season 6 was that Castiel and Crowly went through hoops to open a portal into purgatory? Now anyone can get there instantly?

Also, didn't Crowly said he changed hell to be "standing in line"?
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I find it hard to believe they wouldn't have thought about consulting the reapers...I think the writers could've thrown in a line or two saying the reapers have only been able to get in an out of purgatory since Cas opened the doorway (even though he did close it back up again...still, the reapers could be slipping through the cracks now). I'd have bought it, or any lame explanation really, as long as they attempted to show that they were aware of the show's history and tried not to diminish the weight of previous seasons' events.
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Crowley and Castiel were trying to break into Purgatory the hard way because they didn’t know about moonlighting reapers like Ajay. They can’t get there instantly- not unless they agreed on a price. It’s the reapers or the portal.
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They made the whole escape from the Hell way too easy, when Dean was in Hell it took an army of angels to save him but now Sam with the knife was enough?I'm sorry but after the great episodes for the man of letters this season is going downhill again.
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When Dean was in Hell,it was hard,because demons and I think it was Alastair,who was torturing him,they knew he would "break" and broke 1st seal on Lucifer's 66 seal. So I am sure demons were guarding him and triple guarding him. That's why it took so many angels and all.
And angels were "bombing" Hell head on. Sam used back doors to get there. Even reaper said,he ain't gonna smuggle Winchester DIRECTLY into Hell,so that is another thing. Sam went into Purgatory and through there to Hell. All seems reasonable to me.
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I thought it was a good episode and seeing Bobby again was great!
But ... my first thought did turn to Adam when they said they had to rescue an innocent soul from Hell and I was even hoping for Jake Abel guest starring until they brought up that Bobby was in Hell!

I do hope they do address Adam ... granted its a TV show but they cannot forget stuff like this three seasons down the line ...
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Adam is still trapped in the Cage. That is an area not even Michael and Lucifer can escape from. There's gonna need to be a story arc.
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It took Death himself to free a soul from"the cage." Cass couldn't and supposedly Crowley couldn't. Sure they could free his physical body, but not the soul. And the trial required a soul. So how was Sam supposed to?
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This ep had it's flaws for sure, but I didn't think it was that bad. I am with you though on the depiction of hell diminishing season 3. The more we learn about hell the less horrifying it is. I'm not saying they shouldn't have used it thematically because I have loved the heaven/hell arc...it's unique and ambitious. But generally speaking (there are a few exceptions) the more you understand something the less scary it becomes. That's just the way it works. Part of what made hell so terrifying was that we didn't know what it was like and just how bad it is. But that's part of the trade-off for exploring that fertile storyline which I found intellectually and dramatically interesting.

I've used this example before-- the Borg on ST:TNG. They were great villains because they were so foreign and relentless. Once they started humanizing them they simply were not as scary. While it posed interesting questions to explore, I still missed the badass intimidating threat.
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It was pretty obvious that Kevin snapped and ran off. He was not taken by real Crowley. The windows that Kevin was painting shattered when "Crowley" showed up, but when Sam and Dean arrived, the windows were intact. The whole incident was in Kevin's mind, going mad from the constant translating.
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I think you're right, but I also think the King of Hell could magic back some windows if he wanted to.
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They figured many would be so thrilled to see Bobby again that we'd forgive inconsistencies. It worked for me, until Bobby asked if they could revive him―that was uncomfortable. Benny gave it up too easy IMO, so hoping there's more to that, otherwise I'm calling SLOPPY!
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Benny didn't feel like he fit in on Earth anymore. I think he knew his place in Purgatory even if it was a nasty place.
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Too easy.... but what if it wasn't really Bobby?! What if someone big and bad wanted to get into heaven and that was Naomi's plan all along? jk
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Inconsistencies aside, I think the final trial will be to kill the King of Hell aka Crowley. Sam killed the hellhound (drags you to hell), entered and escaped hell and finally it makes sense that he would have to kill the leader of Hell. What could be harder, especially in his diminished capacity?
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On point with this review, on point for this tragic excuse for an episode. I'm sorry, I tend to give this show A LOT of leeway on continuity and plot creation but this was just RIDIC. And it seems like the more reviews I read, the more plot holes and continuity disasters that people are finding. There was no indication that this episode was even remotely tied to the show's history. Hell was literally over the river and through the woods. Another aggravating thing: Why didn't Dean take Kevin to the bat cave where NO ONE WOULD BE ABLE TO FIND HIM?? Even if he thought Kevin was losing it with the voices in his head and wasn't really in danger, he could have at least given that poor boy some measure of piece of mind. THAT would have been my "Dumb Winchester Sighting" for the episode.

It was wonderful to see Bobby, Benny is my third love and the scene between him and Dean gave me chills (really, Jensen and Ty brought their A games to that scene), but this episode will go down as one of the worst of the season just for its utter disrespect of the storyline we've all invested our time into.
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Crowley has the power to change the appearance of Hell, which explains the numerous appearances of the place. Purgatory is Hell adjacent, so it makes sense that the portal would be IN it. The Bat Cave is TOO protected- in order for Crowley and Kevin’s story arcs to have more depth Kevin needs to be somewhere Crowley can find him.
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1. Why not talk to an Angel about hell? Oh I don't know maybe because they only know how to break into hell while diminishing their numbers into doing so. Sam and Dean didn't want to bust down the front door, they wanted to sneak through the window in the basement.

2. Is this hell? No, of course not silly.....Now hold on a moment, have seen this show at all? Did you not see the episode where Crowley altered hell to look like a long line and that when you got to the front, you got headed onto the back for a grueling never ending cycle, or did you think Crowley was lying when he said he and Castiel were in hell at that moment. My point? Hell isn't always going to look the same all the time, everwhere, ESPECIALLY when you're not there 24/7. And where was it stated that hell had to be exactly the same everywhere. Even if you argue Sam knew about hell, he's not going to identify it, I mean really they were sneaking into hell, do you think sneaking into hell the backdoor way is going to look the same in the middle of hell or the front door version of hell. No, it's not, Sam just didn't know where he was, and asked, you may think it's a stupid question because hey Sam's been there, but what if Sam DIDN'T ask, and the reaper just left, how the hell was Sam going to get anywhere, you think the reaper would've been forthcoming about where to find the portal to hell, if Sam didn't ask and assumed he was in hell. He would've been stuck in Purgatory, That would've even been the less intelligent option, since you can't do the second trial being stuck. And I know this, but a lot of people aren't going to be forthcoming until someone asks a question. Do you really think the same would've occurred had Sam not asked if he was in hell..

3. I don't get your point on three but I had no problem with Bobby asking for them to find a way to bring him back to life, I don't see the problem. "The Dead should stay Dead" really only applies to the potential coming back as a bloodthirsty monster. Which we clearly know that's not the only possiblility. Or Sam and Dean would be killing innocent people left and right with eyes glowing, or becoming a different color, blood dripping down their mouths, and wouldn't have a friendly conversation with humans. Like a prophet which if it was a sure thing to only come back as a monster after being dead would look tasty, you get it? You know what I'm saying?
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Your 1) makes no sense. You are saying that angels would choose to die in great numbers rather than use an approach that is not at all fatal. Backdoor or frontdoor, Sam relatively navigated hell like he was in Target. And these are angels, they have been alive for ages, so they would have more information than an average creature. Sam going to hell shouldn't have been done at all. C'mon, this is supposed to be hell!
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I'm not saying they lose in great numbers, I'm saying they don't choose the easiest path. I mean look at how long it apparently took for the angels to rescue Dean, surely he wasn't THAT protected.

Plus look at how Sam got into hell, he went to hell through purgatory. Plus what Angel could they have talked to? I mean it was obvious in the other episode, Castiel was too busy hoarding the Angel Tablet, keeping it safe, why was it necessary that for the reviewer's satisfaction that Castiel be mentioned not coming to them, it's pretty obvious why Castiel would never have come to them. Castiel didn't even come to them prior to the whole Meg/Angel Tablet episode.

So I don't know why it was important to ask an Angel, since a demon should theoretically know more about hell, since I'm sure hell is a place Angels want to stay away from, thus limiting their intelligence.
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" Backdoor or frontdoor, Sam relatively navigated hell like he was in Target." LOLOL, I DIE. Great line.
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Agreed! Great line, but I also agree with Dman's point 1. Angles are not subtle in their approach. As Ruby said in the beginning, "smite first, ask questions later", is more their style.
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I think maybe you were too harsh with this episode, MaryAnn. I liked it well enough, and it seems most of the commenters did, too. I'm not going to speculate as to why you seemed to react differently than everyone else. Instead, I'm going to tell an unrelated story.

When I was a teenager, I worked a food service job and most of my coworkers were girls in their teens and twenties. As a teenage boy, this was basically heaven, as most of the jobs were worked in pairs, and I would trade duties to work with my favorite girls. After some time, I noticed that these girls were kind of negative and grumpy on occasion. When I figured out the pattern, I started changing my schedule to work one of the solo jobs, or simply trade to get those days off. Some might call this sexist, I called it survival.

BRB, marking a little red M on my calendar (also unrelated).
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There is nothing sexist about telling us the unrelated story of you figuring out how to "survive" your time at McBlowjob. Or at Kentucky Fried Pussy. Or at Bendy's.
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Last week, bro. LAST week.
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i) How could a mortal break into hell so easily, save a soul so easily, and then escape so easily while so many full fledged angels died while attempting to do the same?

ii) Purgatory is not a place that one can easily access, as evidenced from the troubles everyone in the Supernatural universe had to go through in Season 6 in order to open it.

iii) Given this representation of Hell, I'd confidently say that almost every sane person would choose to suffer in Hell than to suffer in Guantanamo, if given the choice.

iv) Death has absolutely no meaning in the Supernatural universe. It has lost its sting, for we all know that the writers could conjure up some deux ex machina in order to bring back any beloved character.

v) The biggest problem ailing Supernatural is that they can't top the Apocalypse. Indeed, how could they? Who or what is more evil than Lucifer? Who or what is more dreadful than the end of the world? Even the Leviathans were less scary than common demons. Supernatural should have saved the Apocalypse for the final season.
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i) Because Angles don't have a sense of subtlety.
ii) Perhaps purgatory is "now" easy to get into because it was breached :D
iii) I am not too sure, it seems that this hell adapts to each person's personal nightmares. For example Bobby's hell was being beat up repeatedly by dark eyed Winchesters.
iv) agreed
v) True but also remember that the apocalypse was supposed to be the final season.

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Season 5 WAS SUPPOSED TO BE the final season. It came as a huge surprise that the show got renewed. The original ending had Lucifer in Sam's body permanently killing Cas and Bobby, then Sam jumping in the hole and Dean quitting hunting forever and start a normal life. The ending we saw was written days after they announced it was renewed. The writers had to come up with new ideas, since re-releasing Lucifer would take away the impact of a near perfect season 5, so Purgatory was introduced and the Leviathan were made to essentially be the monster forms of Lucifer and his demons. That's the problem some shows have, they get so popular that their "final season," which is so near perfect (I didn't like the Paris Hilton episode or the Sam body switch episode), that they are always shocked that it's renewed and can't improve a perfect storyline.
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i was kind of hoping to see Bill and Ted running around hell's hallways
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Nah, no way! This was one of the better episodes of the season by miles! Especially compared to a few of the last stinkers. Yeah there were a few plot holes but everything from The Dark Knight to Breaking Bad has plot holes and continuity avoidance.
I think you're being too critical, it was a sound episode, a step up from crap like 'Remember the Titans'.
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I actually liked this episode. I'm sorry for the loss of Benny though I was really digging his accent.
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maybe he'll make an appearance in Bon Temps
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Sigh. On its own, I thought the episode was enjoyable enough, but some of this episode truly diminished the weight of previous seasons. First of all, Hell didn't seem really so scary whatsoever. It was kind of just a damp, basement dungeon of some typical bad-guy hideout...sad to see it depicted this way, when Hell was so creepily portrayed in the final scene of season 3 with Dean suspended in chains. Beyond this, it was stupid easy to get in to Purgatory and proceed on in to Hell, especially considering all the angst, cross-roads deals, angel sieges, etc etc it took to get one of the boys back in the previous seasons.
Similarly, I bet Castiel and Crowley wish they'd met Mr. Rogue-Reaper back in season 6. I seem to recall getting in to purgatory was rather a tough thing to do, considering they built the entire season on that premise...
Basically, I'm trying to say that I agree with an earlier poster, and that a trial such as this deserved a minimum of two episodes (probably more, but most of us would get bored I think) to wrap it up. That said, the brothers have been to and saved eachother from Heaven and Hell so many times before, that maybe it truly is such a cakewalk for them now...
Once again, I still enjoyed the episode and have been enjoying the season for the most part.
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In mythology, it's always been quite easy to get into Hell, it's getting out of it with the person you want saved that's the problem, Hell is possibly scariest when it's in your imagination, and depictions will always be problematic, however I feel the scariest hell was Crowley's in season 6, the queue that never ended.
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The episode wasn't that bad, but like you said, the mithology is becoming all twisted...
People come to me saying that Supernatural is now a terrible show and I always defend it, but, with episodes like that, it's kinda hard to keep my position.

The task was terribly easy, Benny was too condescending... Really, really complicated.
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