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Supernatural Review: What is the Third Trial?

by at . Comments

We're heading somewhere. The end.

Sam couldn't have spoken more true words at the close of this episode, something that reiterated that final destination and goal for Supernatural Season 8.

And yet, we don't exactly know what that end is going to be beyond trying to complete the third trial. There's as much pointed direction as there is mystery and stakes for the Winchester brothers, in addition to the potential repercussions of closing the gates of Hell.

Which, wonderfully, "The Great Escapist" was able to extend beyond something of a set-up episode for the finale. Not only did it focus heavily on the mythology, bring the factions of angels, demons and and also bring the Winchesters even closer... it managed to provide some real depth to the characters and meaning to their quest.

It looks like writer Ben Edlund did it again and gave viewers another quality hour of television.

Sam, Dean and Metatron

Sam continued to look like a mess, but rather than just a bad hair day, we got a real look into him trying to deal with the effects of completing two trials.

A lot of it looked like a really bad hangover, but there was something about Jared Padalecki's performance that really sold the situation. His hilarious delirium, his stumbling around and the way he gave a variety of emotions due to the varying circumstances of his predicament put Sam on a different level. It wasn't moments of moping or being silently angry or concerned.

There was a sincerity in the way he came out and talked about purifying his demon blood. It's an interesting twist for the character that's not only physically damaged him in the detox, but also emotionally. He's trying to do everything he can to complete the trials, but there's still that level of doubt.

Really, Sam had a lot of great moments and lines, including "You really haven’t heard of us? What kind of angel are you? We’re the freakin Winchesters!"

It was rather refreshing to meet Metatron, but not have him be another incarnation of the angels that seem to be a lot like the agents in the Matrix. More so, not having him give a mini-speech about the Winchesters or their destiny was a nice change.

Even the callbacks to Lucifer, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael not only illuminated the past that Sam and Dean had dealt with, but how solitary the messenger of God had made himself.

I'm always a sucker for the mythology, so hearing Metatron talk about God leaving and the archangels scheming all before he had to run away was enticing. I wanted to know more about it.

But I have to say that Metatron really brought the deep thoughts and heavy dialogue when he spoke with Dean about closing the gates of Hell: "It’s your choice. That’s what this has all been about. The choices your kind make. But you’re gonna have to weigh that choice. What will it take to do this and what will the world be like after it’s done."

That makes things so much less simple than before. It's a fantastic statement that gets you thinking about what closing the doors might mean, as well as the choices Sam and Dean have made through their entire journey.

The central idea seems to be stopping the demons by closing the doors, but Metatron's words implied consequences that could be worse. Is it like the whole balance thing with good and evil? You can't simply just get rid of it, right?

Of course, throughout all of this, Crowley was trying to trick Kevin into helping him decipher the tablets (with some great Sam and Dean impostors), while Naomi went on a rampage to get the angel tablet from Castiel.

Nothing felt like a waste of time, but rather integral to everything taking place.

It was great to see Castiel try and trick Naomi, but it was wild learning that he had been storing the tablet inside him all along. Looks like Crowley was able to get that out of him, and with a rather cool gun that could hurt angels.

Can Crowley ever be defeated? He always seems to get the upper hand on his opponents.

That said, it was definitely different seeing him blown across the room and essentially burned. No quick quip after that moment was there?

There was so much going on, but it all led to the revelation of the third trial: cure a demon.

Cure a demon? What does that even mean?

And of course, Sam and Dean rescuing Castiel on the road. Looks like it's going to be the trio saving the world one more time.

This episode was full of humor, drama, mythology, character, and pretty much everything that an entertaining episode of Supernatural should have. It definitely has me excited to see what's going to happen, as well as left me with plenty of questions and theories to mull over. Or maybe I'll go check out a few books while I wait until next week's episode. That's what Metatron would do.

What did you think? What did Metatron mean about choices? What about the third trial? Will Sam and Dean finally close the gates of Hell for good? Sound off below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (129 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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SPN is already walking on eggshells by portraying Angels as being just as evil as Demons or even worse. I don't think SPN has shown any Angels that are good. And didn't Dean in an episode in a previous season say he was going to hunt down and kill God? To stay true to form, if they introduced a Jesus character, they would have to portray him as evil, too. They cross that line, SPN would lose a lot of fans and it would be the end of the show. So I hope they don't introduce Jesus.

Ilkvomit

@ jrwt Crowleys revolver was loaded with bullets he made from his angel dagger....did you not catch when he himself said that ?

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I'm plus minus about this episode. I still don't like the whole "close the gates of Hell" storyline. At least know we know that it might not be such a good thing. They have taken way too long to give Dean this information. Duh good can't exist without evil. Still don't like the whole Sam centric story, I don't care if he's being purified and if they try to make him some kind of Angel I'll puke. Naomi is starting to get boring too and what's with the revolver that can hurt angels, come on. Glad to see Kevin figure his way out of something but still don't care for his character as prophet, he's no fun, nor does he garner much sympathy. though he could. I don't care about curing a Demon but if they tried it should have been Meg. But it looks like they're bring back the Demon from Henry's (their grandfather's) episode. It would have been better to save and cure a monster aka Benny. The writing is getting sloppy and repetitive. How many times have they chastised angels and how many times have angels let us know we messed up. It's getting old. If this is the best they can do for Metatron we're in trouble. The whole show has been off all season, the stakes aren't high enough and the dialog has been flat. This fan continues to be disappointed and I don't see that changing for the last few episodes.

Ilkvomit

@Betty they will never introduce a Jesus like character because it will cause a huge uproar no doubt.... I can practically see the hardcore Christians picketing against the show already with that thought.

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This eposide was different. Everybody keeps asking where is GOD? I want to know where is JESUS-you know the son of GOD???? Somehow the writers keep forgetting him. I think if they try to close hell with the 3rd trail that Dean is the one who is going to suffer. How can you cure a demon? They are already dead. They must have done something evil or really bad when they were alive that they were sent to hell when they die. They have no souls; so how can you cure or fix what they have done? What I really like to know is why poor Dean hasn't had a woman this season and why or they trying to turn him into a Top-Chief with all the cooking he been doing this season.

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There have been bad Angels, but no way is Heaven more evil than Hell.

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So far, Dean and Mary Winchester are the most innocent, becoz everything they've done is out of love and protecting others; they also have done some bad things (making deals deals with demons), but it was mostly to save lives... Unlike Sam, Dean never killed someone without thinking it through.

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The writers of SPN need to make us understand what they consider innocent/Good or Evil/Bad... Bobby did not have a real "innocent" soul; after all he killed his wife without trying to find out if there was a way to save her. Castiel is an "angel" who is not that good; he has done many evil things (bringing the levithians to earth and going on a killing spre; also killing poor Alfie... even though he wasn't himself, his subconstious should have warned him}. Neither Sam nor Dean are perfect; they both killed a lot of people who deserve to live (Amy/that cute bartender that Sam killed while he was missing his soul)... Also some of the demons are also kinda tolerable... Megan; even Crowley was helpful at some point... A real "innocent" soul would be someone who has never done something wrong that will hurt others. And a "demon" is someone who is constantly trying to hurt others! All the characters keep shifting to both, even the angels are evil sometimes...

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I see comments about the balance between good and evil being upset if the gates to hell are closed. Well heaven is bad too. The archangels started all of this. Lucifer created demons, and sent Abbadon to destroy the Men of Letters to keep humanity blind to all of this, while Michael instructed Cupids to breed the Winchesters to be vessels. Where is the balance between good and evil? Heaven seems more evil than Hell.

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Meg is not coming back, there is no reason for it, she was a villian for most of the show, and making her 'sort of good' has no point. Also, she was intrigued with Castiel because he was an angel, if Cas becomes human, as I suspect he will, Meg would have no interest in him. PS, if you want to see the demon they will 'cure' just check out scenes from next weeks ep, hint: its a character introduced this season.