Season 7 Episode 21

Reading is Fundamental

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM May 04, 2012 on The CW

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

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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!
  • 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 :)
  • From Heaven With Love

    A surprising re-invigoration of this season occurred when Sam and Dean chisel out the stone that Dick Roman was trying to get his hands on. Inadvertently they manage to wake up Cass and create a prophet in the form of a teenage academic overachiever Kevin Tran. Kevin is struck by lighting and is drawn to the stone. Meg calls Sam and Dean that Cass is awake and they go for a visit. Upon visiting Cass tells them that the rock is a Word of God and that a Prophet is meant to read it away from humanity in the desert by guardian angels. While trying to assess how Cass is dealing with Sam's mental problems inside of him now and avoiding Dean's advances for information angels from Castiel's old garrison arrive to take Kevin to read the Word away from them. But when the Word is revealed to have a way to kill the Leviathans Sam and Dean banish the angels temporarily. Meg does away with two demons while trying to lay low who know about her and Castiel and would be willing to take her to Crowley who is her sworn enemy. Cass and Meg's bond has certainly become much stronger which is something that could be somewhat infuriating to Sam and Dean. Kevin had the most grounded reactions this episode as the the unlikely Prophet who is chosen against his will. When the angels return Hester (an angel friend who thought Castiel was dead) gives some great insight into Cass's downfall that he was Fallen the minute he dragged Dean out of Hell way back at the top of Season 4. It's good to see Ben Edlund, writer extraordinaire and director too responsible for oh so many good episodes of this show expand even further on the show's mythology and make it interesting and character insighting. Kevin manages to translate it and give the information to kill the Leviathans to Sam and Dean and is taken away by angels and they need the blood of 3 Fallen one a fallen angel which Castiel gives them obviously but the other 2 will have to be found more creatively next week. In a way this episode was a throwback to the good ol' days of Seasons 4-5 where this show wasn't just Sam and Dean's now that even Angels with their dwindled numbers can't even stand up against Dick Roman and the Leviathans gives us a good sense of the power dynamic still felt in Heaven with no Civil War anymore and a tumultuous Earth as the place of all bad happening.

    One of the best episodes this year
  • Reading is Fundamental

    Reading is Fundamental was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Supernatural and I really enjoyed watching because the story was awesome, the characters were perfectly played and the ending was spectacular! It was great to watch Sam and Dean reunite with Meg and Castiel. Kevin Tran was an interesting choice for a prophet and he did pretty well so far in his new role. Castiel's new consciousness makes it unclear as to exactly what or who he really is. His power has yet to be really tested other than we know he may be subject to spells affecting Angels. I liked the ending and certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • A Little Offf

    I think that Meg/Rachel Miner stole the show. This is really bad. I feel so badly for the bad writing that made Castiel/Misha Collins into a pathetic character. I am so happy that Sera Gamble will not be show runner for season 8. I think that it could be the last season. The new showrunner from Being Human may not be able to save the show. Being Human is not that great either.
  • another great episode

    wow another great episode loved it the winchester boys were awesome as always can't wait for the two final episodes of the season can't wait for season eight Go supernatural you rock