Season 8 Episode 21

The Great Escapist

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 01, 2013 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
202 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Supernatural "The Great Escapist" Review: Total Recall

    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, and I'm still not ready to condone the practice, but I will say this:…

  • Episode Summary

    Sam and Dean receive a video message from Kevin which leads them to a casino in Colorado, where they find a mysterious recluse that might help them fill in the gaps in Kevin's research. At the same time, Crowley is winning at the tables. Meanwhile, Castiel tries to escape from Naomi and the other angels that are after him.


    Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    • Mixing it up

      I loved how this episode had a little bit of everything and everyone and a new character!

      ... and it advanced the plot... with humour included.

      It's great to get things back on track and to see that the challenges are actually improving Sam (hell (pun intended) of a letters man now), rather than it all being negative.

      If anything it was a bit packed with explanations and subtext but I am happy to watch it again to catchup...moreless
    • Of Angels and Casinos

      Another season of Supernatural, another great episode written by Ben Edlund. The Great Escapist brought back the season arc rather cleverly as Castiel, Naomi, and Crowley were brought back into the fold rather nicely. We finally find out what's happened to Kevin, he's been put inside a giant illusion bubble where demons are playing Sam and Dean to con him into leading them to the other half of the tablet. Kevin plays along and Crowley thinks him none the wiser although his bit about having Sam be less pop culture referency was great. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean get a message from Kevin saying that he's dead because he didn't send the safeword as he was supposed to every week. He sent them back up scans of the tablet for them to decipher presumably with another prophet. While going over them Sam recognizes a symbol from a humanities course he took at Stanford about American Indians (nice callback to Season 1) and it turns out to be the symbol of the Two Rivers nation of Colorado. The two hit the road and rent a room at a casino that is really really empty and the guy that works there isn't all too talkative. Apparently the place hasn't had guests in years but their hopes are to find someone or something that matches the symbol to decipher the rest of the tablet. Sam has a bit of angel tenitis after the second trial and it turns out that there is an angel there who collects stories much like a great one that had come to the Two Rivers people giving them knowledge in exchange for stories. It turns out to be Metatron, the archangel, who humorously has no idea who the Winchesters are and has been hiding his head in the sand since God went MIA. He was an old secretary apparently and doesn't know about Michael, Lucifer, Raphael, or any other of the past developments. He can tell that Sam is going through the trials because of his sensitivity to his angel aura. The guy they got to play Metatron is perfect for the unsuspecting normal guy who you'd never peg for an angel. In other news Castiel goes to Biggerson's (the restaurant with the Turduckin Burger from last season) and keeps flying from one to another hiding from Naomi's pursuers. The clever way that this was put in was great since all Biggerson's look exactly the same making Castiel very smart in how he runs from place to place. Also, Naomi doing that whole mass slaughter just to get him to stop running was kinda gross as they finally caught up with him. Castiel refuses to give up the angel tablet and then Crowley arrives with a great device of a Luger pistol with melted down angel sword bullets that he scares Naomi away with. Crowley had Ion, one of Naomi's close friends, as a double agent who turned his back on Heaven. Castiel getting the tablet ripped out of him was gross but made sense that he would keep it that close to cut off his connection with Naomi. The whole brainwash thing is really interesting and Ion's justification for Cass not being outside of his garrison to see the worst of it over the years really shows how crappy the post-God bureaucracy has been. Cass manages to turn the tables, kill Ion, and escape. Crowley returns to Kevin with the angel tablet, who now knows that it's all an illusion and stands up to Crowley rather brazenly unlike he has before. Gone is the timid Kevin from Season 7, he's really grown up some over the past year and some change. Metatron teleports Kevin to the casino as he had grabbed the angel tablet and the other half of the tablet and that he knows what the third trial is: to save a demon. Metatron agrees to help them out and as they drive off Cass appears in front of their car injured and asks for their help. Now we've converged into the final trial story as we have to figure out how to save a demon I guess. Naomi really is an intriguing villain. Her speech to Cass about having never followed rules and how "you can't even die right" really show how resilient the angel is and has been in regards to disobeying Heaven. The fact that she has been wiping minds of angels for so long is a very interesting idea more fully fleshed out by Mr. Edlund who continues to deliver a great portfolio of episodes as he remains on staff. But this was a very great episode to get us on track for the third trial and all its madness and with only two episodes to go I hope that whatever demon they save makes for some great storytelling.moreless
    • The Great Escapist

      The Great Escapist was a great episode of Supernatural. I liked the crazy twist at the beginning as Crowley pulled a great stunt. Dean tries to help Sam and they have some good bonding scenes. I liked how Castiel was hiding from Naomi and the others. Naomi was awesome in a villainous way. Metatron was intriguing and I loved how he explained his fascination with our stories and how they create micro-dimensions or universes. I liked the various adventures and how they all came together. I liked how things played out and I can't wait for the next episode!!!!!!!!!

    • Absolutely great episode

      While I am not a huge fan of the big story arc with the tablets I must say tonight's episode might change my mind. We have Sam being sick as he proceeds through the three tasks and Dean truly worried about his condition. Then Kevin is just plain cool in this episode confronting Crowley and figuring out Crowley's schemes with his Sam and Dean impersonators. And also there is Cas and his confrontation with Naomi and her flunkies. Of course the primary plot line is the tablets and everyone's desire to get their hands on them. And the ending with the guy's meeting with Metatron and then Metatron rescuing Kevin is a perfect denouement. Now I am really looking forward to where this is going so maybe big story arcs are good after all.moreless
    • Wow, what an incredible episode

      Honestly, this episode just pushed season 8 into the upper echelons of the supernatural tv series. Everything, from the direction, acting, special effects, and narrative, was just downright fantastic. I had a really fun time watching Sam acting like a "little big man" and his comparison to the completion of the trials to his purification of the demon blood that was originally instilled in him was a nice twist. Rather than just all doom and gloom of all the negative effects that the trials are inflicting on Sam, it was finally nice to see Sam having a positive outlook on the whole thing.

      And let's not forget Castiel's and Crowley's superb performances, as usual. Naomi's attempts and eventual success to stopping Castiel's diner-hopping adventures were ruthless and dangerously effective. Watching Naomi finish off the waitress by snapping her neck, even after she had her eyes burnt out, was painfully brutal and cements Naomi's role as a villain in the series and shows the limits she is willing to cross to get what she wants. I was also horrified when Crowley literally ripped the tablet from Castiel's inner organs.

      And boy, now the Scribe of God has been introduced, much to the joy of the Winchester team. Kevin's rescue from Crowley by the Scribe was equally awesome. I just had a great time watching Crowley fall back, getting burned by angel dust, spitting and wailing.

      It will definitely be interesting now to watch the third trial, the curing of a demon, play out.

      I have to be honest here. This was possibly the best Supernatural episode I've had the pleasure to watch in quite a long time. Everything clicked so perfectly.moreless
    Josh Kalender

    Josh Kalender


    Guest Star

    Nelson Leis

    Nelson Leis


    Guest Star

    Artin John

    Artin John

    Demon Technician

    Guest Star

    Misha Collins

    Misha Collins


    Recurring Role

    Curtis Armstrong

    Curtis Armstrong


    Recurring Role

    Mark Sheppard

    Mark Sheppard


    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

      • While delirious, Sam mentions a time their father took them to the Grand Canyon. However, in "Croatoan," Dean says he's still never been despite them regularly driving across the country.

    • QUOTES (7)

      • Kevin: (to the Winchesters via video) I'm dead, you bastards! So screw you, screw God, and everybody in-between!

      • Castiel: (drinking coffee) You know, I remember when you first discovered it. Before you started brewing it, you'd just chew the berries. Folktale is true by the way, you learned it from the goats.

      • Naomi: Where is the angel tablet, Castiel?
        Castiel: In the words of a... good friend, bite me.
        Naomi: Oh, we'll bite. Don't worry.

      • Sam: You remember when, uh... when Dad took us to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on that pack-mule ride?
        Dean: The what?
        Sam: And your, uh--mule kept farting, just letting go, like gale force.
        Dean: Dude, you were like four years old. I barely remember that.
        Sam: (laughs) You rode a farty donkey.

      • Naomi: How dare you?
        Crowley: I am the daringest devil you've ever met, love.

      • Dean: So you've been holed up here or--or in a wigwam, or in some cave, listening to stories, reading books?
        Metatron: And it was something to watch. What you brought to His earth... all the mayhem, the murder, Just the raw, wild invention of God's naked apes... it was mind-blowing. But really, really... it was your storytelling. That is the true flower of free will, at least as you've mastered it so far. When you create stories, you become gods of tiny intricate dimensions unto themselves. So many worlds. I have read as much as it's possible for an angel to read, and I haven't caught up.

      • Dean: But are you in? With us, I mean.
        Metatron: You really intend on closing the doors of Hell?
        Dean: Seems like the thing to do, don't it?
        Metatron: It's your choice. And that's what this has all been about. The choices your kind make. But you're going to have to weigh that choice. Ask yourself what's it it going to take to do this and what will the world be like after it's done.

    • NOTES (3)

    • ALLUSIONS (2)

      • Title:
        Referencing the 1963 movie The Great Escape, based on the non-fiction book by Paul Brickhill telling of his escape and that of other Allied prisoners during World War II, from a German POW camp.

      • Sam: He's like a villain from Scooby-Doo.
        Referencing the Hanna-Barbera star Scooby-Doo, the canine star of several animated series who's teamed with the gang of Mystery Inc. in solving various cases involving (typically fake) ghosts and monsters. Typically the villain pretending to be a monster is the most obvious and odd-acting on-screen character.