Supernatural Review: What is the Third Trial?

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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!

The Great Escapist Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (129 Votes)

Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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