I am not only saying this because I am a diehard Supernatural (and I know I say this week in, week out), but this week's The Great Escapist is another solid episode. It challenges me, you know. It is one of those episodes that gets me thinking! Last week, I used the words 'sweet' and 'adorable' to describe Pac Man Fever. My word choice for this week's episode is: clever. Not only The Great Escapist is a clever episode, most of our characters have a clever moment or two. There are multiple arcs in this episode, so let's get to it in a logical order, or whatever.
So, the episode started with Kevin in a replica of Garth's safe boat. The Crowley film crew had the prophet under surveillance in the spirit of the Truman Show. I just love how Crowley paid attention to details about his demon's performance as fakeDean and fakeSam. He couldn't risk of erasing the wrong part of Kevin's brain. I thought that was really clever of him to put Kevin under surveillance and let things unfold. I knew Kevin wasn't dead when he told Dean and Sam otherwise in the video. Kevin has a crouching tiger hidden dragon thing going on with him. It's a set of survival skill he's been gaining ever since he became a prophet. And because this prophet wasn't being protected after by an archangel, he has to look after himself. Kevin knows about casting a spell and how to make demon bombs. He is a little clever vegemite, well, he is in advance placement! He can fight demons with a Potato Gun Mark II if he wants to!
Kevin used his tech skills to send Dean and Sam a message and all the files. I thought that was so cool! Kevin has been more busy than we realise! While he was at the replica of the safe boat, I think he was just messing with Crowley, making a statement -- "screw you!" The fakeSam and fakeDean thing was brilliant! If I asked for all these food and I get them without any problems, I know my sisters are demons! I am in agreement with Dean when he said they should have moved Kevin to the MoL bunker sooner! Like… HELLO? The MoL bunker needed to become CTU or Watch Tower like.. NOW!
Kevin prepared to die and he was OK with that? Ah!! Poor guy! Turned out, Kevin was saved by the angel Metatron. I thought this Kevin arc in The Great Escapist is so cleverly written and planned. Kudos to the great Ben Edlund! This is probably Osric Chau's best episode in my opinion. His performance has been so consistent and he totally owns the role! So, where is Kevin now? He is probably reading Shakespeare or Iron Man comic to Metatron. Assuming he survives this season, what role will Kevin play in season nine? Will he go back to his old life, his mother and go to college? If he becomes the president, wow, he will be like Lincoln the Vampire Hunter? Or will he move into the MoL bunker and continue to help the Winchesters? But Kevin always wanted to just get this tablet things over and done with and move on. But will he get what he wants?
Am I the only one who is listening to the Spanish Flea right now?
So, King Crowley has brought his A game. He is full of surprises! Put him in the Westeros and the seven kingdom will crumble within a day. The whole Truman Show idea was brilliant! Too bad it didn't turn out quite perfectly for him. Crowley worked smart! I was actually surprised he showed up and 'helped' Castiel. OK, he didn't really help but... glad he showed up to get his hands on the angel tablet. It's 1-1 between Crowley and Naomi. What about Crowley's newest creation? His R&D team melted the angel blade and turned it into bullets. OMG! That's so Samuel Colt! The third trial is revealed -- to save a demon. Who will it be? Am I the only one who thinks this demon will be Crowley? Read Jeremy Carver's interview! Of course, if it was up to me and if Meg is still alive, it would also make sense to save her.
A big shout out to 'Kara' the waitress at the Biggerson's.
Castiel used a clever tactic, trapping himself in a quantum super position. (Quantum -- that's just so SG1 talk!) Even the Biggerson's got a nice call back! This must be like the tenth appearance of Biggerson's? Awesome! Castiel was smart to hide the angle table inside his body, but Crowley was smarter in working out the hiding place! That was awesome! Painful to watch, but awesome! So, there was a bit of an insight into Castiel's past -- Egypt and how many times Naomi has reprogrammed him. Castiel had never done what he was told. Good on him! Castiel wasn't afraid -- "In the words of a good friend, BITE ME!" Naomi said Castiel never do what he was told and he didn't even die properly every time. Do you think Castiel is special or something? May be Castiel is Mark 42?
The A&F model, Ion, didn't help Castiel. Oh well, his hair gel and nice suit were wasted anyway.
Metatron couldn't have a better introduction. My immediate reaction is that, I like this guy! He reminded me of Gabriel. Gabriel loved family, he cared about his brothers and father. He couldn't stand the fighting, so he left and went into hiding as a demigod. Metatron left because he didn't want to help the archangels by providing them the word of God. Without God's word, the angels couldn't pull a massive operation to take over the universe. Metatron didn't stick around to help. But upon Metatron's departure, the angels still managed to start the apocalypse! I thought, OK, there is NO WAY Metatron didn't know about that, right? Then I thought, if the apocalypse happened, he'd know. But it didn't because Sam and Dean stopped it!
If you know about Metatron in the Bible, you'd know about his Twin Brother, Sandalphon. Just saying!! Shawn and Arron Ashmore could've played the role! Or Nina Dobrov.
"We are the friggin Winchesters!" -- Metatron is like WHO? He didn't seem to care, he was being very careful (not careful enough, the Winchesters found him!) Metatron claimed that he didn't know about anything. He has been 'entertained' by books and stories, while his father's creation was in the toilet. The monologue by Metatron about stories and people almost have a tone of sarcasm. It's like 'this is what you naked apes do with free will'. If he read Victor Hugo's Les Miserable, he must be wondering, all that for a loaf of bread?
Which brings this review to God. So, God was worried what may happen to his work after he left. The tablets are for safety, if things go crap, these tablets provide instructions to close the gate of Heaven and Hell. Perhaps it was about God's experiential projects -- which project will be successful -- angels or humans or monsters? God created an army of angels with divine power, and they must be programmed to obey because they are so powerful. With monsters like Leviathans, perhaps it was an experiment that went wrong from the get-go, that's why God put them in Purgatory. Lucifer created demons, and wanted to take over earth and destroyed the one thing he hated the most -- human. God created human because perhaps he wanted to put free will to the test. People are the variables. Human are free to make their own choices, they have to decide what's right and wrong. I think God put a lot of faith in human -- he didn't give the angels the option! But when the archangels have freedom to make their own decision, they started the apocalypse. Danger! Danger! It always comes back to free will. Many of the choices have been made by the Winchesters to save their family, the world and innocent people, and they are about to make another very important decision.
Which brought me to the Winchesters. Yeah, like I've forgotten about them! Sam was as sick as a dog. It was heart breaking to see Sam's 'flu' got really fugly. Like, the giant could barely walk! Poor guy! I mentioned in my last review that the more I watched Sam this season, the more I realised how much crap he's been through in his head, and the more I understood why he wanted a normal life. It totally seems logical to have Sam to do the trials relating to the demon tablet and closing the gate of hell. These trials are giving him pain, but they are also purifying him. These trials mean to much to Sam. It's not about how the writers position Sam in the story as the 'oh Sam is not the better brother and he has to prove himself' blah blah blah. It isn't about the writer's perspective, it isn't about what the writers want, subjectively. It's about Sam's perspective within the story -- he needs to do the trials, it feels right to do it, it helps him. This is almost like his constant.
At the end of the day, saving the world isn't the motivation in season eight. Sam will get better when the trial is completed. That's the major motivation for Dean (and Sam). This season started off with Dean returning from Purgatory, Sam returning from his gap year, there were some trust issues etc. But when the trials were in the picture, things got more personal. It almost felt like the brothers needed the trials to remind themselves (and fans) how important they are to each other as brothers. Things got a little out of hand sometimes and something big needed to happen to reconnect the brothers and the family again.
Different episodes give us insights into the brothers and their motivation, showing us different perspectives. The writers put the brothers into different situations, interacting with people and monsters. From these events and the choices that they've made, we see what the brothers are made of. I think season eight has been very good from this point of view. It's actually more focused than we realise. It's not something that can be easily told in just one episode. Once things got personal, it all makes sense. The story telling has been top notch this season.
Dean is worried sick about Sam. He can't help it! Get over it! It's in Dean's big brother DNA -- Dean has no problems with doing the laundry and cooking for the 'little big man', reading comic books to Sam, going to hell for Sam, sacrificing for Sam. Dean simply cannot help it! That's him. That's what he does! Dean is selfless. Taking care of Sam is like breathing air to Dean. Metatron gave Dean the heads up in the dialogue with Dean about sacrifice and choices. Dean has to know if Metatron is going to help or not. There is no faffing around. No matter what the situation is, Dean will always make sure little brother is safe first. I won't be surprised if Dean sacrifices again for Sam. Or may be everyone will sacrifice something in order to get this trial done. It's logical that if Sam is connected to the demon tablet, Dean is connected to the angel tablet. That may be the storyarc for season nine. But I think there will be a big cliffhanger at the end of the season.
Overall, the episode was pretty epic. I really enjoyed it. Though, I thought the editing was a little choppy, like mainstream chopping. That's what big shows do sometimes. But I can live with that. I can really feel that an end is near, because the story is being wrapped up nicely, unlike the previous two seasons in which the story was dragging a little. I do like the multiple arcs in The Great Escapist -- everyone has a mission, everyone has a battle to fight and everyone has their own motivation. But everything will come back to the same point -- the Winchesters. In Metatron's word, when one creates a story, that person becomes a god. (Yeah Ben Edlund! No one will argue with you! You're a god with a cool hairdo.) It's about choices and consequences. Everything just feels bigger and more epic all of a sudden!
8.22 Clip Show
FAMILIAR FACES RETURN AS THE THIRD TRIAL NEARS — Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) reunite with Castiel (Misha Collins). Digging through the Men of Letters’ files, they stumble upon an undiscovered film which could be the key to the third trial. Metatron (guest star Curtis Armstrong) enlists Cass to mull over problems at home. Meanwhile, Crowley (guest star Mark Sheppard) digs into Sam and Dean’s past. Taylor Cole, Graham Wardle, and Cindy Busby also guest star. Thomas J. Wright directed the episode written by Andrew Dabb.