Season 7 Episode 21

Reading is Fundamental

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 04, 2012 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
242 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Supernatural: In Case of Emergency, Break Cas

    The finale is totally in sight thanks to a course-correcting episode from Supernatural superstar Ben Edlund.

  • Episode Summary

    Meg summons Sam and Dean when Castiel wakes up. However, the brothers have other problems on their hands when they get word of a teenager who has been struck by lightning and become a prophet, and may hold the key to defeating the Leviathans.

    Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    • I have a long List of Awesome for this episode!

      -Ben Edlund wrote and directed this episode, so I'm going to go ahead and give that a bullet point on the List of Awesome right off the bat.

      -I love that we find out a lot about Kevin Tran packed into one minute of intro, just from things like a computer timer to tell him when to end Cello practice. So we know he's a superorganized obsessive-compulsive overachieving teenage student. And in spite of all that, he is somehow awesome. And so is his girlfriend.

      -Great contrasting juxtaposition of Kevin playing a beautiful piece of classical music (Suite No. 5 in C minor by Johann Sebastian Bach) and Sam and Dean roughing it in a dilapidated dump.

      -Dean: "That sound like someone saying 'No! Wait! Stop!' to you?"

      Sam: "Yeah."

      Dean: "Yeah...Oh well."

      -Ha, that line about all the women going into labour was either hilariously coincidental, or hilariously added in because Jared's wife went into labour during the filming of this episode. In fact, he got the call while filming the scene were he chases Kevin outside the hospital.

      -Awesome detail: when Edgar the Leviathan is going over the plans for the complex, he says: "I think here the line will panic when they come around the corner and see what's ahead." It's just slipped in there totally matter-of-factly, but it gives chilling insight into what the Leviathans are up to.

      -"Pull my finger." I don't know exactly what is going on with this new version of Cas, but I do know that I'm loving it. "Naked Guy at the Rave" Cas, as Meg calls him, is highly entertaining.

      -That one-sided three-way hug was both awkward and amusing.

      -Sam: "Metatron? You're saying a transformer wrote that?"

      Dean: "No, that's Megatron."

      Sam: "What?"

      Dean: "The transformer, that's Megatron."

      -Meg: "He doesn't like conflict. He'll be in the dayroom now, I guarantee it." I love that they really give an impression here of Meg and Cas spending time together and developing a bit of history while Sam and Dean were off battling monsters. It's both alarming and cute that Cas seems to have developed a bit of a crush on her. "We've been through this. I don't like poetry, put up or shut up."

      -That chase scene is hilarious. Kevin is making up for the fact Sam has longer legs by using his smaller size and greater maneuverability to zig zag across the slippery grass, leaving Sam looking about as graceful as a newborn giraffe.

      -"I'm Kevin Tran! I'm in advanced placement! Please don't kill me!" Hee. I really like Kevin.

      -When Dean asks Cas if he remembers what he did, and Cas holds up the game of Sorry, that's just a heartbreaking moment. And yet a little bit cute and funny too.

      -I love Dean's reaction when he sees Kevin cowering on the bed, like nothing will ever ever surprise him ever again. A purple crocodile could be tap dancing on that bed, and he wouldn't bat an eyelash. He just looks faintly annoyed.

      -Dean: "What's that?"

      Sam: "That's Kevin Tran. He's in advanced placement."

      -Dean: "You can read the ckicken scratch on the God rock?"

      -Kevin: "This looks like a sex torture dungeon. Is this a sex torture dungeon?"

      Dean [waving a scythe around]: "No, this is not a sex torture dungeon."

      -Meg is totally badass taking out those two demons. And she has attitude. I like her. I don't trust her for a second, but she's entertaining.

      -On the subject of Meg, I was a wee bit surprised at her speech about giving yourself to a cause. She always seemed more "chaotic evil" than "lawful evil" to me. But there's no denying she was working for Daddy Azazel right from the start. I guess it's just that she never had a problem mixing work with pleasure. And if you're a demon, I guess serving a cause could well mean sowing chaos all over the place.

      -Cas to Sam: "You seem troubled. Of course, that's a primary aspect of your personality, so I sometimes just ignore it."

      -Dean: "Looks like we're brownbagging it." I love Dean's reaction when Kevin is hyperventilating. He's not unsympathetic, and does and says all the right things. But he's so worldweary after everything he's been through he can't really get worked up about a teenager having a panic attack mid-translation of the Word of God.

      -Oh noes! The detective is really Edgar the Leviathan! And apparently rock beats scissor and Leviathan trumps Angel, their bright light being no match for his black goo!

      -ETA: I came back to add something I had forgotten and read mynameisjohnas's review. I have to agree, I have no problem at all with Leviathans being able to kill angels. God locked them away in Purgatory for a reason. When they were first introduced it was made very clear they are very powerful and destructive.

      -And now Kevin is in the hands of the Leviathan and dammit we have to wait until Friday to find out what happens to him. I sure hope Edgar isn't hungry. At least now the boys finally know how to kill them. Can't wait for some mass Leviathan ganking!

    • Starting to Get Interesting

      Where to many things to talk about.

      I personally loved this episode- great dialogue and great story evolution, which is nothing less than what I would expect from Ben Edlund. Up until now this season had been very slow developing but this seems to have moved it up notch (as would be expected 3 episodes before the season finale). Cas's "I don't like conflict" and "pull my finger" comments, and his attempts to still try and be relevant to his former colleagues were hilarious and a pleasure to watch. Likewise, the angels reactions to his return were quite interesting. Hestia being quite righteous and angry at Castiel's disappearance and his introduction of free will, and the other angel's comment about there being so few of them left, gives us a good indication of how things have been up in heaven since we last saw it.

      Furthermore, while everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, I have to disagree that Cas doesn't seem like Cas. Save for the fact that he swallowed Sam's insanity, and that it is now understandably manifesting itself in a different form, he is still very much Cas- awkward, caring, comical and a lynchpin for the brothers. He's been around for just about 4 seasons now and, as such, I would argue that some character developments, even if they are minor or temporary, are pretty much expected.

      When it comes to Meg, while I agree that it is highly weird seeing her help Cas, and even weirder that Cas would accept such help, when one thinks about it, it all does sort of make sense. First off, as many people have noted, Meg is self serving so if having an angel in her pocket serves her, of course she's going to help Cas (come to think of it, since Meg is going against Crowley, I can't help but wonder if Meg and Dick might be working together). More importantly, given Cas's history of rebellion, it's not that crazy that he would form a relationship with Meg. In fact, if any angel would, it would be him. It's just in his nature to do things other angels wouldn't.

      As far as the angel's being killed by Leviathan thing goes, while I do think there are those who have made some good points about it being weird, I'm going to go ahead and defend the end outcome. If rules had already been established about the powers of the Leviathan (E.G- Angels being able to beat them) what happened would be dues ex machina. However, because so little was known about them before, I don't have a problem with them being able to kill angels.

      To me, it's a lot like the movie Signs. A lot of people complained that it was stupid to create a species that would invade a planet that was made up with over 3/4s of something they were allergic to. However, if they had never encountered water before, how would they have known they were allergic to it? Same thing goes for the angels and Leviathans here. If angels had never encountered Leviathan before, how would they know how to fight them or recognize them? Furthermore, if anyone has ever been in fight, or a life or death situation, they probably know there are usually three responses one has- fight, flight, or freeze. Yes, after his first attack failed the angel could have just flung a table or a microwave at Edger's head, but he was understandably scared and realized he was probably about to die. Hence, with only a second or two to react, it's not all that surprising that the he froze. In a fair fight I think it would be much more even matched, but this was very much a "by surprise" attack orchestrated by a top level leviathan against two lower level angels.

      Lastly, I'm glad we finally got to see all three of the shows major supernatural beings in one episode- angels (Heaven), leviathans (Purgatory) and demons (Hell). It was about time and hopefully we'll get to see a bit of a three way stand off between all them at some point in the next few episode. Edger's comment about "paper, rock, scissors- leviathan beats angel", and Crowley's ability to teleport away from Dick in a previous episode makes me wonder if demons might have more of an edge against the leviathan than even Crowley himself seems to know (given that neither angels or demons seem to know much about them).

      Anyways, definitely a great episode and looking forward to the last two.

    • Ben Edlund never ever lets me down!!!

      Ben Edlund is such a great writer. I love his loopy sense of humour, but he is also capable of writing very smart, intense and dramatic episodes--with bits of loopy sense of humour thrown in. This episode was a great example of that. It kept me at the edge of my seat, and was intricately crafted besides.

      They have really been pushing the dramatic boundaries, which I know some fans have found difficult--they have not been going easy on us. But one of the rewards for that is that the characters never stagnate because they are constantly pushed into new territory, whether it be Sam dealing with soullessness, or Dean dealing with domesticity, or Bobby dealing with ghosthood, or Cas dealing with a God complex. In this episode, we see yet another facet of Cas, and Looney Tunes Cas was very well played by Misha Collins.

      Kevin was also well played, and an interesting new twist. And it was great to see an Asian character. In just one episode, I really cared about him (never has hyperventilating been so endearing) and after that last scene, I was like Oh no! Kevin! Don't end it like this, Kevin has fallen into the hands of the Leviathans!

      Two of the best scenes in the episode were Cas playing Sorry with Dean, and Sam forgiving Cas. I'm glad they are now including more moments between Sam and Cas--I think the trick to incorporating other characters in a way that will not bother some of the fans is to not exclude either of the brothers.

      It looks like it's going to take Dean longer to forgive Cas, which is understandable. Dean was closer to Cas, and so felt the betrayal more deeply. Also, if Cas had hurt Dean, he would forgive much more readily. But it was Sam Cas hurt when he tore down the wall, and if there is one thing Dean can't easily forgive it's hurting Sammy. It goes against his prime directive to always protect his kid brother.

      Furthermore, Sam can more readily understand how the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, because he too was lured down that path by a demon. Sam was tricked by Ruby into thinking he was averting the Apocalypse and he wasn't thinking clearly because he was hopped up on demon blood. Cas was corrupted by Crowley and thought he was preventing Apocalypse Redux and he wasn't thinking clearly because he was superjuiced on souls. If Cas did more direct damage, well, he's more powerful.

      There are a lot of parallels between Sam and Cas's mistakes, not the least of which is that it took Dean a while to forgive them.

      The Leviathan storyline is really heating up, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out over the last two episodes of the season. Don't forget there's a bonus 23rd episode this year, and if it ends on a cliffhanger, don't worry, Supernatural was officially picked up for season 8!moreless
    • Castiel!!!!!!!!!!!

      Can't get enough of Castiel. Please make him stay at the show!

      (Am I the only one think this?)
    • AJ Perth

      Loving this show! Could do with a bit more action but liking the plot very much this season. Liked the Chuck-style download Kevin had. I'm hoping it builds to something big final episode. Don't know where the Perth reference came from it totally shocked me hearing it, is it because we are the most random, isolated town they could think of? Those poor giant sad dogs lol can so picture Cas track side pouting. In fact, picturing dog races, I can only envision sad men in trench coats in the stands... So happy this show is going to see another season :)moreless
    Emily Holmes

    Emily Holmes


    Guest Star

    Bob Frazer

    Bob Frazer


    Guest Star

    Adrian McMorran

    Adrian McMorran


    Guest Star

    Rachel Miner

    Rachel Miner


    Recurring Role

    Misha Collins

    Misha Collins


    Recurring Role

    Osric Chau

    Osric Chau

    Kevin Tran

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (8)

      • Edgar: Strange, isn't it, that someone would choose to be named "Dick"?

      • Castiel: Will you look at her? My caretaker. All of that thorny pain. So beautiful.
        Meg: We've been over this. I don't like poetry. Put up or shut up.

      • Castiel: Did you know that a cat's penis is sharply barbed along its shaft? I know for a fact that females were not consulted about that.

      • Castiel: This is the handwriting of Metatron.
        Sam: Metatron?!? You're saying a Transformer wrote that?
        Dean: No, that's Megatron.
        Sam: What?
        Dean: The Transformer, it's Megatron.
        Sam: What?

      • Castiel: Oh, Inias, Hester. I-I know you want something. Answers. I... I wish it could be that... There are still many things I can teach you. I can offer, uh, perspective. Here, pull my finger. Uh, uh, Meg will get another light and I'll blow it out again, and this time it'll be funny, and we'll all look back and laugh.

      • Castiel: We were assigned to watch the Earth. Often it was boring. Your wars were very boring. Sex... repetition.

      • Dean: You've been chosen. And it sucks. Believe me. There's no use asking "why me," because the angels, they don't care. I think maybe they just don't have the equipment to care. It seems like when they try, it just... breaks them apart.

      • Sam: It says we need to start with the blood of a fallen angel.
        Castiel: Well, you know me. Always happy to bleed for the Winchesters.

    • NOTES (2)

    • ALLUSIONS (4)

      • Dean: That's a lot of fuss over a caveman Lego.

        Referencing the brand name and the name of the individual pieces of a construction toy set. The interlocking multi-colored pieces come in hundreds of shapes and sizes and with the aid of simple blueprints provided, can be constructed into either specific objects, animals, people, and structures, or made into anything the user can imagine. The product line has since spawned movies, books, comics, and clothing.

      • Meg: What up, Bullwinkle?

        Referencing the animated talking moose, voiced by Bill Scott, in the animated series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Dimwitted but lovable, Bullwinkle J. Moose is accompanied by his friend, Rocket J. Squirrel. He proved popular enough to be spun off into his show, The Bullwinkle Show.

      • Sam: You saying that a Transformer wrote that?

        Referencing the toyline, later spun off into comic books, movies, and television shows. The primary plot is of the Autobots and the Decepticons carrying out their war on Earth. Each side's robots can transform, typically into weapons and everyday vehicles. There have been several "generations" of Transformers

      • Dean: We need the tablet to end Dick Roman's Soylent Us crap.

        Referencing the 1973 science fiction movie Soylent Green, based on Harry Harrison's 1966 novel Make Room! Make Room!, is set in the year 2022 and shows Earth as suffering rom overpopulation and the destruction of many natural resources. the plot of the movie involve a detective investigating the case of murdered businessman who produces "Soylent Green," an increasingly rare foodstuff that turns out to be made from recycled human beings.