Season 8 Episode 14

Trial and Error

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Feb 13, 2013 on The CW

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

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out of 10
231 votes
  • brought me back to the good seasons past :)

    it's so nice to see them be all domestic and finally have a place to settle and call 'home' :)

    I just know those pills are going to backfire

    love Sam tell Dean not to give up on a future
  • Awesome episode. Perfect supernatural from start to finish.

    Good episode... and we finally get to see what a hell hound looks like.
  • Don't deal with the devil!

    I just finally caught this episode, I still have 2 or 3 to catch up on, and thought it was great. While I am not a huge fan of the grand arc the show takes at times, this was a great episode along the current arc, closing the gates of hell. The story itself with the pitiful family and the hired hand was interesting and it was great to find out they had sold their souls to Crowley himself! It was also interesting to see Kevin going bonkers trying to find the solution to closing the gates and the reason he was running himself dry doing it. And finally there was Dean's and Sam's brotherly love showing through although it didn't turn out the way Dean planned it. Just a great episode and I wonder if this is setting the show up for the grand finale and end of the series this season? I'll hate to see it go but not too many shows make it to eight seasons to begin with. Now I have to update that last statement as Supernatural has been renewed for a 9th season, woohoo!
  • Trail and Error

    I saw this episode and had very high hope for it and the episode managed to deliver on my high expectations of it. The highlight of the episode for me was the brotherly bond between Sam and Dean that we havent seen in a while and i havent felt that since the end of season 5. The graphics were amazing and both brothers sacrificing themselves for their brother was awesome. Jeremy Carver you have returned Supernatural to basics. Cant wait to see what the other trails are and how they face them and what will the consequences be.
  • Finally the stakes are raised!

    With the last few weeks being centered on the Men of Letters, we FINALLY get back to the main plot of the season- closing the gates of Hell. Kevin manages to decode the tablet and tells Sam and Dean that one of them needs to complete three trials before gaining the power to close the gates. Dean, being the angsty suicidal guy he is, decides to do the trials, the first being to kill a Hellhound. This makes sense because he knows how they operate, given that he made a deal himself and was torn apart by one in season 3. To everyone's surprise, it's SAM who kills the Hellhound, completing the trial, and telling Dean that unlike him, Sam isn't planning on dying and plans to have a life after it's all over, and wants to share the post-hunting life with Dean.

    This is a great episode because it actually gives Sam something to do now. Sam was originally the main character of Supernatural; Dean wasn't even introduced until 10 minutes into the pilot, and only about three episodes of season one centered around Dean. After the season premier of season 2, though, I noticed that the seasons slowly began shifting the focus off of Sam and more onto Dean. Dean was the one who killed Yellow Eyes, saved the world from Lucifer by snapping Sam back to reality, killed Eve, killed Dick. What really has Sam done in the series? Killed Lilith and jumped in a hole with Lucifer inside him. That's pretty much the major accomplishments that Sam has done. Heck, after season 5, the series could've been called "the Dean Show" because Dean seemed to do EVERYTHING while Sam stood on the sidelines watching. But in this episode, Sam now has the responsibility to ultimately beat Crowley and close the doors, leaving Dean as the helper for these trials. The show has gone back to the mechanics of season one with the focus on SAM, not Dean, though there are plenty of issues that Dean needs to resolve on his own as well. Cas is being manipulated by Naomi, and Benny has a bloodlust now that he may or may not be able to control.

    I also like how the trials for closing Hell are explained mid season instead of the last for or 5 episodes like the past few seasons. It gives the boys more time to come up with a strategy for facing the Big Bad, instead of the typical "we get a Deaus ex Machina way to deal with the problem as the season ends!"
  • Trial and Error

    Not the best episode by any means but still was a leap forward in terms of the major storyline of the season. Getting into Kevin's routines and seeing his miserably monotonous attempts at deciphering the tablet was a nice change of pace and I was a little worried when he collapsed on the floor. But Sam and Dean's different approaches of giving Kevin advice were amusing. Sam telling him to slow down so as to not kill himself and Kevin's rebuttal about wanting to get back to his life with no demons after him anymore. Dean's giving him pills for his headaches as glue to keep him together rather than actually prescribing actual rest and down time. But Dean wants the exact same thing that Kevin wants and that's to shut the gates of Hell. Kevin deciphering the first of 3 challenges by God is decoded and how the champion must bathe in the blood of hellhound. So Sam and Dean head to a place where signs point to a crossroads demon appearance a decade before and find a family that struck oil where there was none ten years ago. They begin work there as supposed drifters and do grunt work while one of the sons who had traded his soul to be with a woman he was infatuated with is killed by a hellhound meaning but the strange occurrences keep happening which means that there must've been more who had made deals at the same time. Dean is determined to face the hellhound and save Sam the trouble since he is the one who "sees a light at the end of the tunnel" and how Dean wants to sacrifice himself doing this. The brothers' hot worker overseer offering sex to Dean when they hold the family captive to know which one also sold their soul was a red flag for me. She should've just said, "It's a one night offer. Because I sold my soul to I would've liked to see Dean be a little more afraid of the hellhound after his being killed by one in Season 3 or at least a little more hesitance but seeing him the glasses bathed in God's flame was humorous. The farm worker boss had sold her soul for her mother who had Parkinson's and is now happily retired. Her explanation of family sacrifice is no stranger since this show operates on that kind of familial sacrifice being the Winchester kryptonite. When another one of the family is dispatched (making three deals) Sam and Dean are in much more of a hurry (this one having traded her soul for the wealth). Hearing how Crowley was the "suave businessman" who came into town ten years ago was a little on the nose but believable since he wasn't always top dog and would be ambitious enough to get three deals or more in one corner of the world. Sam is the one that ultimately kills the hellhound and tells Dean that he needs to have faith and see the light at the end of the tunnel too. I like that Sam is doing it instead of Dean, causing there to be some more tension between them. They make a hex bag so that the girl that wasn't dispatched could hide from Crowley and other hellhounds. Granted, this was the main plotline but this is only one of three which Kevin hasn't translated completely yet so expect a few monster of the week episode before we get back to this. Not a perfect episode, although that thing with Sam's arm after having cast the spell could be problematic down the road. Nice to see the season arc continue and be a "Godly obstacle course" as Dean puts it. And all of Dean's pop culture references to the hellhound as "Huckleberry Hound" and "Clifford the Red Dog" were much appreciated.

  • Trial and Error

    Trial and Error was an exceptional episode of Supernatural. I really enjoyed watching because the story was swell written and very entertaining. There was also some great character development for both Sam and Dean. kevin is pushing the limitations of his body and mind in order to translate the tablet and though he has done good so far I fear for his future. Ellie's role was somewhat predictable but still awesome nonetheless. It what's intriguing to see the conflict between Sam and Dean as to who would perform the tasks required. I liked how everything played out and I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!

  • I wanted it to be Dean

    It was a great episode. First thing I thought, "they are sure going to kill this kid in this episode" but I guess I'm plot was good. I'm really perplexed now and ambivalent. So far the past two episodes are better than the others...
  • Missing the point?

    Some of these reviewers are clearly missing the point of this episode. Especially the chick (dude?) that stopped watching the episode before seeing the end. This episode is not "Make everything about Sammy," this episode was we're going to stop dangling the boys' lives as the big suspense of each season because in a show that would end with either of them dead, clearly they are not in any peril with a 9th season pick up. This was to show us that it's no longer a "give up my life for my brother" endgame, but a "we are BOTH coming out of this alive" thing. Which would be refreshing to have a season where one or both of them is not whining about how they're "just tired" and wouldn't mind if it all ends.

    Also, S8 continues with the squint or you'll miss it (or sometimes shut your eyes it's so bright) queer-baiting for those fans that are desperately searching for it. Almost every review (on other sites) is all like "Dean turned down sex? That's so weird!" The implication being he "can't" because he's emotionally involved with a damaged angel, but the overt reason (and therefore the reason it can all be shrugged off later) is that he was busy hunting a hellhound--not time for sexy times! I know the shippers see the signs of S8 pointing to the writers finally making Destiel canon, but with an early pick up for S9--it ain't happening this season. (Not that I wouldn't mind being proven wrong. Wait, what? Who said
  • Dean, Dean, Dean

    Another brilliant episode in a superb 2013 run! And can I start this by saying a massive congratulations to Supernatural for getting a 9th season!!! Unbelievable guys! Who'd of thought it, back in season 1.

    Most shows do appear tired by the season 8/9 mark. Maybe it's because they've pretty much done everything the mythology can stretch to. Season 8 of Supernatural was slowly starting to fall into that category. But then they pulled the rug out from under us. They gave us the Men of Letters stuff... and more importantly, they gave the boys a home.

    Seeing Dean finally able to have a room to bunk down in is just awesome. I defy anyone who loves this show not to love that scene. Many times in this episode I was laughing out loud at Dean. He seems the happiest he's been for a very long time, and it shows. He truly would be happy dying to close the Gates of Hell, as long as he can ensure Sam will live out a long, happy life afterwards. He's driven, he's motivated.... and then Sam stole the spotlight from him. It seems a few people are unhappy with Sam being the one that will be put through the God trials. I, for one, think it was a nice way for Sam to remind Dean that he doesn't have to accept death, or going out in a blaze of glory. Dean truly is the greatest hunter alive, there is no getting away from that. He's even surpassed his idol, his father, and he should never loose sight of that.

    Sam, for his part, has embraced being a Man of Letters completely, yet is still prepared to do what needs to be done. The annoying Sam of the early season is gone, and thank God for that. In short, I loved this episode because, probably for the first time all season, I really felt the brother dynamic that made us love this show in the first place is finally back. Dean wants to die for Sam. Sam won't let him For the past 2 years they have been trying to recapture the earlier seasons vibe, last year by killing off pretty much the entire cast, this year by hitting the reset button and trying to make the brothers act like they are back in season 1. This episode managed where the rest have failed. It used what the brothers had been through before to motivate their actions, while still keeping true to the characters. It seems that, finally, they have gotten the balance right. It took a massive shake up to the mythology to get there, but they did it.

    The Tablet Plot returned this week, and it was a welcome return. Poor, poor Kevin. Waking up early, going to bed late, not eating, being utterly obsessed with deciphering that tablet... It's a mighty shame I really hope he doesn't. Imagine Supernatural without Crowley, or demons in general. We came close to that last year..... *shivers from the memory*. I like the trials plot. It adds more to the season arc, giving us more story before the inevitable showdown in the season final.

    What a perfect place for the show to be at for them to announce a 9th season. I've enjoyed the past few episodes so much that the absence of Cas has, probably for the first time like ever, has not bothered me. With the Men of Letters stuff doing wonders for the characters of Sam and Dean, with the Tablet plot suddenly becoming very interesting and entertaining, with the Castiel plot still left to be resolved and the sinister Benny in the background, season 8 is looking very good indeed. Roll on, Supernatural. And congrats again.
  • argh seriously

    I was so into this episode loving it. I even jumped when she hallucinated Dean as a monster, which hasnt happened in a while! The effects, story, everything was brilliant. Then Sam goes and kills the hellhound. I had one of those crazy fan moments when I wanted to rave and declare I'm never watching again. Actually, I did stop watching right then and dont know how this episode actually ended. Just when it looked like Dean was going all in with action, they pull him back out. And right after they go and clarify for us that Sams the brains and Deans the grunt! I'm praying this is just a sick twist to get us all frustrated and ranting, cos I seriously dont want to watch sam going around slaughtering things. What the hell is Dean good for if that happens? I'm all one for eye candy but for the love of God let the man have a purpose!
  • hopefully not everything is Sam

    I'm hoping Dean kills a hell hound in an episode, not necessarily by mistake, but without hunting for one, to give him a chance to be the one who finishes the trials. No one said they can't both do all three, or that only one could say the spells afterwards. And I like how Dean clearly spells it out for Sam how he has lost all hope for a peaceful life after hunting. And while it may sound sadistic, but that is another reason I want Dean to do the trials. Every time he thinks it is over and can't get any worse it does, and he picks himself up, dusts off the fatigue jacket and moves on. You can see the pain for a minute, then he pushes it down and keeps going. Somewhere along the line he is bound to go Apesh!t, butwhen or how, i don't know, so I can't stop watching. And this is a character with a short fuse for everything else, so it would have to be epic!

    Good episode, brought Kevin back nicely, now they just need to plant his butt in the bunker like a good little prophet/man of letters-to-be. Garth should be there too.

    I like tha Crowley was the bargainer who sent the hell hounds, means they may see more hell hounds in the future because he knows how Dean hates them *hint, hint* And I don't want the story of closing the gates of hell to stray too far from Crowley, the Amanda Tapping character and story can be a big part of next year, but I'm not feeling it for this season.

  • Everything is about Sam ... again.

    I really liked this episode. Well, I really like all episodes.

    But it seems like every single season is dedicated to Sam. This episode clearly shows what direction the show is turning towards and that's everything about Sam ... again.

    Sam doesn't wanna hunt.

    Sam doesn't wanna stop hunting.

    Sam is wanted by yellow eyes.

    Sam has to be the Lucifers vessel.

    Dean found Lisa and Ben ... then lost them.

    Sam is crazy.

    Sam is better.

    Now Sam is going to complete the 3 trials.

    Anyone see a pattern here? I wish there was at least one season dedicated to Dean.