|Dean and Cas escaping the Phantom Zone.|
I didn't think Eugenie Ross–Leming and Brad Buckner could do this. Secretly, I didn't think they could take on a mytho heavy episode the way star writers such as Kripke, Carver, Edlund and Gamble did. I was wrong.
Eugenie Ross–Leming and Brad Buckner were writers and executive producers for Lois and Clark in its season three and four. For Supernatural, they wrote 1.13 Route 666 (the show's worst episode except the sex scene). They didn't return until season seven for 7.05 Shut Up, Dr. Phil, 7.13 The Slice Girls and 7.19 Of Grave Importance. For season eight, they wrote Heartache. And what's with Ross–Leming and Buckner writing Dean's sex scenes? Interesting! Apart from the gratuitous fan service, their episodes are very hit-and-miss. I wasn't expecting anything when I saw their names attached to the episode. But good things do happen, my friends!
Season eight of Supernatural is starting to get really really intriguing! I know what I said last week about Southern Comfort being my favourite episode 'so far' this season. Well, Southern Comfort is now one of my favourite episodes this season because A Slice Of Kevin happened. There is no doubt I will have more favourites as season eight continues. I hope A Slice Of Kevin is not a one off epic thing for Ross–Leming and Buckner, and I hope they can keep up the good work and just keep writing better and better episodes! Don't do 'miss', just do 'hit'! Oh! And!!! They managed to make fun of themselves! "Doesn’t anyone ever edit this stuff? So far, as a writer, God’s a snooze. No fun at parties, I hear.” Oh Crowley!!
Before I continue, it's worth mentioning that this episode was directed by a new director Charlie Robert Carner. He has directed and written for a bunch of shows that I have never heard of. But he is good! He is very good! Basically if you don't know who wrote and directed this episode, you'd think Kripke, Carver or Edlund was the writer, and Singer, Bee or Beeson was the director! This episode is that good! I think it has a lot to do with the leadership from the top, Carver and Singer are doing an amazing job in holding the team together and everyone has to step up this season! There isn't many overnight successes in my book when it comes to Supernatural. Misha Collins is one. The Charlie Robert Carner/Eugenie Ross Leming/Brad Buckner team isn't one that I'm familiar with. However, there's gotta be the first! Carner is now on my radar, all I can say is this: Dude, keep up the good work!
I just had this smile on my face from start to finish. I wish I could've recorded my reaction so you could see it. I absolutely love the fact that Dean's hero complex is going to the direction it deserves; I love Sam being this caring little brother, which was missing in previous episodes; I love the fact that Castiel is back and angels are involved (like..hello..Col. Carter aka Amanda Tapping!); I love Crowley is back with his apron doing what he does best; I love Kevin and Mrs Tran; the prophets are great to see in this episode, and we get a bit of an insight into the selection process and learn a bit more about the prophets. Before I continues, can I just say I feel so sorry for Alfie the angel!?
I mentioned in my previous review that A Slice Of Kevin sounds like an epic mid-season finale on paper! But it is so much more than that now that I've watched it like four times! Any time you have all the season's key players returning for an episode, it's gonna be epic. More importantly, what makes A Slice Of Kevin so epically good is that the story is moving forward with a few things, which we will get into them momentarily. A Slice Of Kevin is the end of 'Act I' of season eight. 'Act II' is just around the corner. It's like Indiana Jones is now going to Nepal! to find the medallion.
A Slice Of Kevin is a great call back to the Dean and Cas story earlier seasons, in particular season four and five. I have been looking forward to see how Dean and Cas would interact this season with purgatory behind them. This episode delivers one of the best Dean and Cas scenes -- just like their first encounter in Lazarus Rising; in Lucifer Rising when Dean asked Cas to help him; the fall-out in The Man Who Would Be King; and the garage scene in Survival Of The Fittest. These scenes represent the different stages of their friendship. The Dean and Cas scenes in A Slice Of Kevin are so awesome, I am still processing it.
Jensen Ackles' performance and his on-screen chemistry with Misha Collins is unbelievably good. Jensen totally knocks this one out of the park again! Apart from his exceptional good look and kind personality, I always see Jensen as the greatest actor in his generation. Jensen really took his acting to the next level in season four and five. They were supposed to be his Emmys winning seasons. If Ryan Reynolds or Chris Evens can do it, Jensen can do it better, you know what I am saying?
“I don’t need to feel like hell for failing you like I’ve failed ever other God forsaken thing that I care about. I don’t need it!” ~~ Dean Winchester.Jensen is taking the whole Dean's hero complex thing forward in season eight. The 'I must save everyone', the 'I don't leave anyone behind' mentality is super well told in this episode. He has been on edge, angry, somewhat bitter. Dean always blames himself for every death. In Time After Time, he told Ness he didn't know what he was doing. Ness reminded him that as a hunter, he can make a difference. This is the only clarity he'll ever get. Dean questions his role all the time but he accepts his role better than Sam I think -- it is up to him and his brother to save people and the world. Not only Dean saves people from monsters, he saves his brother and his friends from their own darkness. Dean is a hero and he cannot not save people. In purgatory, Dean was confident that he could get Cas out of because his mind told him that. He tried so hard to get Cas out, but why didn't Cas try?
CHOICE is a bit of a recurring theme so far this seasons -- Sam chose to quit hunting and switch off his phones; Kevin chose to take a stand and defend himself, and to embrace his life as the prophet; Mrs Tran chose to be on the road with Kevin. Dean's hero complex position him in the middle of all these -- if Sam fails to live his normal life or if Sam gets hurt, it is Dean's fault for dragging him back to hunting; Kevin is the responsibility of Dean and Sam; and Cas is for Dean to save. That's his job! But what Cas did in this episode was to make Dean to understand he cannot save everything, he tried, but he cannot. And it's not his fault.
Let's put Cas under the microscope for a bit. I liked the return of Castiel in season seven, but Ross–Leming and Buckner have taken it to the next level. Don't get me wrong, I love the way Sera Gamble did it. Like I said I didn't think Ross–Leming and Buckner could top that. For that, I am surprise, but in a very good way. I think this 'Cas-thinks-he-doesn't-deserve-to-be-saved thing' is a great call back to season four. Cas was the one who asked Dean during their first encounter, "You don't think you deserve to be saved?" Easy question, but it is a very complex question. Cas is now on the flip side of this and his journey is filled with humanity, mistakes, friendship, forgiveness, understanding and much more.
|I like my Castiel with wings.|
It was Cas who gave up in purgatory because he believed he deserved to be in there. If God doesn't punish him, Cas will punish himself by staying in purgatory. Cas couldn't tell Dean how he felt, he couldn't tell him he was planning to stay all along. With Dean looking right into his eyes, Cas told him that it is not Dean's fault. It was his CHOICE! It was his WILL. Cas wanted to make sure Dean got to the portal safely, that's why Cas went with him. Cas pulled away in the last second and sent Dean home. I love this!
Now that he is back, there is no doubt that Cas wants to make Dean proud. He won't want to disappoint Dean because he knows how hard Dean tried to save him from purgatory and from his own darkness. It will take some time for Dean to process Cas' original intention to stay in purgatory, but this will only make him love Cas more. And it's not my intention to make Destiel fans happy! At least for now, it's a closure to the 'has Dean forgiven Cas?' story line. He has. Get over it! Having said that, I don't think Cas will ever forget himself as seen in Reading Is Fundamental and Survival Of The Fittest.
Is it just me or is Kevin is turning into a mini-Dean? His outfit and the way he checked out the witch's backside. That's so Dean! But in all seriousness, poor kid! I hope Cas fixes his finger! I like how Kevin tried to not to give in to Crowley. He is a good kid with a good soul. This is Kevin's life now and Mrs Tran is part of that life. I love that scene when Dean busted in to the torture room (yeah Kev, now THIS is a torture room!), Dean went straight to Cas and Kevin went for what was left of the tablet. And he wouldn't let it go from that moment on. So who is Kevin's father? George Takie? Or Ken Watanabe?
Osric Chau and Lauren Tom have a great chemistry as mother and son. I love how Mrs Tran is so involved she knows how to fight demons and make demon bombs. She is one tough cookie! Now that Garth is keeping an eye on them, the three of them can have a Supernatural comedy spin-off! I mean, Kevin is pretty serious, but you get what I mean? Stick around Kev! We love you! I also like the fact that Garth is mentioned. It's pretty safe to say Garth will be back later on the season. He has to. He must!
|Is it just me or do you find the Beauty and the Beast screen caption funny on this shot of Crowley?|
So now. I assume Dean and Sam know what Crowley knows. With Kevin on their side on Garth's watch and Cas is back, Dean and Sam do have the advantage. It's a matter of finding a compendium of tablets and sealing of the gate of hell. We don't know how involved the angels will be. But Naomi looked concern when Cas told her about the prophet, tablets Dean and Sam. Is she Metatron? If so, does she know where God is? What will happen when Dean and Cas find out the angels are involved? Is it possible that Naomi will help all along without them realising it?
|Gratuitous fan service!|
So now we wait. We have a one week break before the next episode. *Sign* Here is the description of Hunteri Heroici which airs on November 28 on the CW:
CARTOONS AREN’T ALWAYS FUNNY — Castiel (Misha Collins) tells Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) that he’s decided to become a hunter like them. Sam and Dean aren’t sold on the idea but agree to investigate a case Cas found where a man’s heart literally burst through his chest. The guys discover there has been more than one odd murder in the small town and all of them resemble cartoon deaths. Paul Edwards directed the episode written by Andrew Dabb.