Sam and Dean are on good terms. What does this mean for Supernatural Season 8?
That question was explored in last Wednesday's "Trial and Error," and now again in the following edition of the TV Fanatic Round Table.
Below, staff members Carissa Pavlica, Carla Day and Sean McKenna are joined by Alice Jester (from The Winchester Family Business) as they break down the latest happenings and developments on this CW favorite...
What was your favorite scene or quote from the episode?
Carissa: Dean being uncomfortable being hit upon. For as much as he loves girls, finding himself in those situations sure throws him for a loop!
Carla: It was a pleasant surprise to see the brothers feel like they were at home so quickly. Dean with his room, personalizing it, and cooking. And, Sam seeing the picture in Dean's room. I hope they get to keep this home base for a while because it provides security that they need and provides a new avenue for them to grow.
Alice: While I loved the two brotherly speeches, my favorite scene was the big showdown with the hellhound. For one, who can resist both brothers wearing those glasses? Ultimately though, my heart broke for Dean. He was so adamant about being the one to kill the hellhound, thus taking on the burden of the trials, all so Sam could have that normal life. But in the typical twist of Winchester fate, Dean was bested by the hellhound and Sam had to kill it to save Dean from being it’s chew toy. When Sam was lying on the floor covered in hellhound blood, thus passing the test, I felt Dean’s devastation.
Sean: The final hell hound battle with Sam jumping in to save Dean. Not only was it cool watching the hell hound attack, but Sam gutting it to be covered by the blood was gross but perfect in that Supernatural kind of way.
What do you think of the new God trials?
Carissa: Kinda cool. But, with the Winchesters, there is always a trial of some sort they have to conquer. Closing the gates of hell will only be the end if the ratings fall.
Carla: In concept, it sounds like a positive creative direction for the show, I just hope that Supernatural doesn't become overwhelmed by all the new mythology: the tablets, Men of Letters, and now the God trials. If this quest ends up being well incorporated with the other two, it could reinvigorate the show.
Alice: I’m not sure. I think the first one was great, but why do I think the third trial involves the chosen one dying? The ultimate sacrifice of his life? That would just figure, since Sam’s goal is to complete the trials and live.
Sean: I like the idea and it definitely gives them another focused goal. The real question will be whether or not they add anything to say the Men of Letters or tablets, like Carla said. Hopefully it does reinvigorate the show especially now that we know there is going to be a season nine.
Are you glad we finally got to see the hell hounds?
Carissa: I never really thought about not seeing them. Was it a big deal that they were unseen? The reminded me of various werewolves we've seen on other shows.
Carla: While watching the episode, I didn't make the connection either that we hadn't seen them before. Even invisible, they were terrifying. With it being part of the trials, it worked well that Sam and Dean found a way to overcome them by being able to see them. It worked and the special effects were well done.
Alice: They were pretty cool and the VFX guys deserve huge kudos. I’m glad there was a clever and believable way to see them (still loving those glasses). Normally something heard but not seen is very scary but in this case, the hellhound was just as freaky when seen.
Sean: There really is some truth to things being way more scary when you can't see them, but I actually thought the reveal of the hell hounds worked great. The special effects didn't make the hell hounds look cheesy, but rather another addition of scary in that blueish ghost dog kind of way. And it got Sam and Dean to go hipster for the episode, so it all worked out.
Should it be Sam or Dean who complete the trials, or does it even matter which one?
Carissa: I think it matters which one only because of which brother is in the better frame of mind to complete them. For whatever reason, that's Sam at the moment. They go back and forth worrying about who should have the chance at a life when they should both get the opportunity. It seems Sam wants to make sure they both see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Carla: I'm glad that Sam's the one that will be doing the trials. I don't have a "favorite" brother, I like them both for their strengths and weaknesses, but Dean's proclamation that he should be the one to do the trials bothered me. It was both too martyr-y and self-righteous for me. Sam has a good balance of intelligence, wit, self-restraint and strength that should help him complete the trials.
Alice: There’s not too much to debate because it ended up being Sam. The choice was made by circumstance, aka by a bunch of writers in a room who love Winchester catch-22’s. It’s fitting Sam be the one to close the gates of Hell, considering his lifelong history with demons and Lucifer. I still think there’s a big twist coming that’s going to completely screw him. That would be true if Dean was the one. So, if I’m right, it doesn’t matter. They’re screwed either way.
Sean: Really, I've got no issue with either of them doing the trials, but I do think that fact that Sam has such a positive outlook might mean the brothers have that chance to make it out alive. He's really about the whole brother aspect rather than the singular, and as long as Sam and Dean stick together through those trails, the end result should be a good one.
What did you think of Sam's speech about the light at the end?
Carissa: Um...see the answer above! Sam wants them both to see a time when they aren't fighting demons and can have normal lives. Dean doesn't necessarily think that will ever happen. He's lost faith in things ever ending. Can't say I blame him!
Carla: It was honest and correct. Sam's positive attitude could be what allows him to make it out alive.
Alice: This show hasn’t been big on hope and optimism for a while, so I loved it. Things are finally coming together for them. Dean has his own room! He has a real kitchen where he can cook. Sam has his books, and presumably his own room too. While I’m sinking my toes into that carpet of warm fuzzies, I have this feeling some writer maybe one, two, or five episodes down the road is going to yank that rug out from under me. If that happens, then that light is really a flipping train.
Sean: Like I said before, having that positive outlook and recognition of working together is great for the Winchester brothers. They've come such a long way and to have a sense of hope that it can all work out is perfect for these two. That said, this is Supernatural, and nothing ever comes that easy, so I've got that sneaking suspicion Sam and Dean are in for one wild twist.