I know I get grumpy about Supernatural's habit of screwing around for half the season before cramming an actual story into the last handful of episodes with about as much grace as a roomful of Honey Boo Boos, and I'm still not ready to condone the practice because we've been burned in the past. But I will say this:
THAT WAS SO AWESOME I AM SO EXCITED OMG OMG OMG.
Okay. I'm okay. I just needed a moment.
So Crowley had Kevin in his clutches after all and tried to get him to reveal the secrets of the demon tablet by orchestrating a highly elaborate ruse with two of his demons masquerading as Sam and Dean. This inadvertently led to him losing his half of the demon tablet when Kevin figured it all out—because the demon-chesters were "too polite"—and Booger Metatron (Curtis Armstrong!) swept in for the save.
Crowley was a busy dude, though, between his directorial debut and his saving-Cas-from-Naomi-just-so-he-could-torture-Cas-himself thing. He lost his half of the demon tablet, but managed to get the angel tablet away from Castiel—and it was a glorious display of fine Supernatural gore that made me really happy about the decision to eat dinner unusually early dinner last night. He had the word of God inside him. Literally.
Back in the Batcave, Dean tried to make the ebolarific Sam eat some soup and they squabbled like the married couple they are deep down inside before one of those "If you're reading this, I'm dead" emails popped up from Kevin. They assumed he was dead. Garth also appeared to be MIA probably because DJ Qualls is Legit now. Dean threw stuff because feelings.
Luckily, Kevin had uploaded all of his progress on the demon tablet and sent it along to the Men of Letters research mothership (Seriously, why wasn't he just taken there from the start?) and Sam recognized one of the symbols in the notes from a random elective he took at Stanford between eight and 12 years ago. I'm not sure if this was meant to be typical brainy Sam or just one more random memory spurred by his ongoing metamorphosis into... something. The memory stuff didn't seem as pronounced until after the brothers went to Colorado and Sam started "resonating" in Metatron's presence, so it could go either way, really.
Sam's randomly remembered, hyper-specific memories came as a result of resonance with the word of God, according to Booger Metatron. His memories came without much rhyme or reason and some were seemingly unimportant altogether, like the recollection of Dean and the farty donkey, but then there was the memory of Dean reading him a Knights of the Round Table comic and the revelation that even at an incredibly young age, Sam was aware that he was different than the rest of his family. He remembered thinking that he could never go on a noble quest like Arthur and his knights because he wasn't "clean" or "pure" (theoretically because of his demon blood) which is kind of a horrifying revelation considering he was supposedly, like, barely older than a toddler at that point. Those boys are sooooooo damaged.
Sam isn't/wasn't the only defective one at this party though. Naomi eventually caught up to Castiel and she was very frustrated with Castiel's long history of effing everything up. Apparently this habit goes all the way back to Egypt and Moses and the sheep's blood/kill-all-the-first-borns thing. Naomi's shenanigans in the first half of the season weren't her first foray into reprogramming everyone's favorite wayward angel and frankly, she's sick of his shit. Frankly, when Cas told her, "Bite me," I was kind of expecting her to actually do it. Idk .
When we met up with Booger Metatron (Boogertron?), we got that whole backstory at gunpoint: he was plucked from the secretarial pool to pen the God's word before the big guy left. After God departed, the angels whined about their father abandoning them for awhile, then decided to enter the bitter alcoholic phase of their daddy issues, which is when Metatron decided to hide among the hairless apes-- that's us!-- and that's where we are today. The angels want the tablets because one ring to rule them all, or in this case, at least two, possibly more, tablets to rule them all.
Despite the insane amount of exposition delivered via lip flapping present in "The Great Escapist," the pace never suffered from feeling bogged down (Ben Edlund <3) and it appears that the pace going into the final two episodes of the season has been set at breakneck. I'm okay with that. With Metatron plucking Kevin from Crowley's grasp and Castiel making a rather great escape himself, the gang is already back together and united, as Sam said, going forward in their chosen direction: pulling the lever, closing off Hell.
I'm excited, but also a little apprehensive, mostly due to Metatron's line right before Kevin woke back up. He told Dean that he had to think, "What will the world look like after it's done?"-- meaning the world following the closing of Hell. There wasn't time to go into it in better detail because then Kevin woke up and it was all "C'MON DEAN TIME TO GO SAVE THE WORLD NOW," but I'm starting to think that maybe this isn't going to happen after all.
Then again, we can't just leave Sam wandering around with a 107 degree fever indefinitely. Soooo...
What did you awesome kids think of "The Great Escapist?"
– Third trial = cure a demon. Hey! Ya'll should cure Meg! Meg is awesome and...oh...right. (Still bitter.)
– Metatron's blah blah about storytelling being the "true flower of free will" was a nice nod to Chuck's role in Season 5, especially after the reveal in "Swan Song."
– Smart Castiel Sighting: Hiding from his peers in Biggerson's because the sameness of the chain restaurants scrambled their angel radar was pretty ingenious until it got a whole waitstaff slaughtered.Oops.
– Badass Cas Sighting: Did he just shove a bullet into that angel's head with his bare hands? He did, didn't he?
– Oh, hey, angel bullets are a thing now.
– Nitpicky stuff: "You rode a farty donkey" is the new "You're bossy and short," but it was established in "Croatoan" a bazillion seasons ago that the Winchesters have never been to the Grand Canyon.
– "Are you on the crack again?"
– "He's like a villain from Scooby Doo." OMG Sam Winchester come watch Scooby Doo Where Are You? (the finest of the Doos) with meeeee.
– So the trials are purifying Sam (probably) and changing him. Changing him into what? Is the super-memory here to stay? That would be a pretty handy trait for a Man of Letters. Just sayin'.
– Kevin's sass is glorious. Osric Chau, why you so awesome? (Please don't kill Kevin, Supernatural, pleeeeease.)