Recap: Supernatural, Episode 8.14 – Trial and Error


Kevin’s days are filled with getting up at 5am, drinking coffee, eating hot dogs, popping pills and trying to decipher the tablet. After weeks and weeks, he seems to finally have a breakthrough, but collapses.


At the batcave, Dean fixes up his room. The first one he’s ever had to fix up. He makes burgers, but they get a call from Kevin and hurry over to the houseboat.

They find him and he looks like crap, but he has good news. He might have figured out how to close the gates of hell. He says there’s a spell in Enochian, but for it to work, the person wanting to close the gates of hell must pass three trials.


He’s only got one of them so far; one must kill a hellhound and bathe in its blood.

Well that sounds easy. Dean heads out to get some supplies and non-hot dog food for Kevin while he showers and changes into non-smelly clothes.

Sam tells a freshened up Kevin to get some sleep. But Kevin says he needs this to be over. He doesn’t want to live like this anymore. Sam says still, Kevin should take better care of himself.


Dean gets back and he and Sam head to Shohsone, Idaho to see a family who looks like they’ve made a crossroads deal after their land suddenly sat on top of an oil bonanza. They meet Ally, the woman who takes care of the property. She thinks they’re here for the job, so she takes them in and gets them shoveling poop.

They see Alice Cassidy, the owner of the property and think she’s the one hellhounds could be chasing. But it’s her husband, Carl, that gets chewed up. Seems like this chance is a wash, but through Sam’s digging, he realizes Carl had made a crossroads deal to get Alice. So there’s still another deal out there needing to be paid and the whole Cassidy family is flying in for the funeral. Perfect.


Ally gives them a rundown of the family; old man Noah who just married a 20 year old, the middle daughter Cindy who had a single on the country charts before becoming a drunk and recording albums for dogs, and the youngest daughter MARGAUX who left home and now lives in Paris just before Alice and Carl got married.

“I do like a man that can handle his meat.”

Dean takes care of the grill while Sam helps serve dinner inside. There’s some snippy banter between the father and daughters including Noah and Cindy happily hoping each other dies and MARGAUX revealing she had sex with Carl in the barn before he got together with Alice.

They also reminisce about the last time they had a meal together. It was at the old house and Noah had invited a charming English salesman to eat with them. His name was Crowley.


Sam tells Dean about it and Kevin calls with info on hellhounds. They can be seen, basically, through a window or glasses burned with holy oil. Dean goes to find glasses he can make x-ray, while Sam sees Noah and MARGAUX are heading out into the woods with rifles hoping to find the wolf that ripped Carl’s head off.

Sam offers to join them.

Meanwhile, Ellie offers to have sex with “hot” Dean in her room, but he passes. She’s shocked and embarrassed. A raincheck maybe? No, one night only deal, she says.

Sam, Noah and Margaux head into the woods, but she gets separated from them and ends up hellhound food. Sam hurries Noah back to the main house and he and Dean lay it out on the table.


Noah, Cindy and Alice all deny having made any deal with a demon, so Sam and Dean handcuff them to the coffee table and seal them in the living room. Dean says he’ll go out and see if he can find the hellhound, but Sam says they should both go.

Dean wants Sam alive to complete the three trials. They’ve been through all this kind of crap before. Sam’s the brains of the operation, but more importantly, Sam sees a light at the end of this tunnel. Dean doesn’t. If Dean goes down, he’ll go down with a gun in hand, but he wants Sam to get out after all this.

So he’ll do all the trials himself, he wants Sam to stay safe. End of story.

Dean heads outside and puts the Jesus glasses on. He hears music coming from the barn and heads in to see Ellie dancing and drinking. He tells her to stay inside no matter what because there’s something evil out there.

I know, she says, it’s coming for me.


Back in the house, Alice squeezes her hand out of the cuffs and runs out. Sam chases after her and with his Jesus glasses, he sees a hellhound prowling around. Alice wants him to let her go, but she hears the growling and he tells her to run back inside.

Ellie tells Dean about having made a deal herself to help her mother. She had remembered a drunk Carl tell her about some crossroads magic and she figured she was next. Suddenly, she sees Dean’s face morph into the creepiest face ever and he tells her that means the hellhound is near.


He tells her to get in the hoodoo circle and heads out. He sees the hellhound, but loses focus and gets jumped. His chest is ripped open, but Sam arrives just in time. He shoots the hellhound then grabs the knife just as it jumps on him. Grabbing it by the neck, Sam stabs it and blood comes pouring out over him.

So despite Dean’s big speech earlier, it’ll be Sam that goes through the three trials to seal the gates of hell. He recites the spell and a surge of energy runs through his arm. But he’s okay. And he’ll do it, if only so he can be sure that Dean gets to the light at the end of the tunnel too.


Episode Thoughts
Alright. Damn. That scene of Dean’s morphing face had to be the scariest, creepiest thing I’ve ever seen in all my 7 and a half seasons of watching Supernatural. Plus a season and a half of Grimm. I was freaked the f*ck out by that scene. I think it might have been how unexpected it was, it really just happened out of nowhere. Because looking at that scene again after the episode, it wasn’t as scary, just creepy looking like how the eyes gouged out of the teacher’s face is still creepy and scary to me from The Birds.

Anyway, it was an otherwise tame episode. I hope Kevin doesn’t overdose on pills or something. Or, knowing Supernatural, make him susceptible to Crowley or whatnot.

It was also a predictable episode since it was pretty obvious Ellie was going to have something to do with the whole crossroads deal from the beginning.

But I guess the episode was mainly about Kevin’s findings and Sam ending up being the one that will go through the three trials despite Dean continuing his “I have no life outside of being a hunter” belief. (And considering season 9 is confirmed, he might be right.)

I do think that whole sequence of events was done very well. Of course Sam would end up being “the one” after that big speech by Dean.

So, the story moves forward. A solid, work-like episode with a horrible, creepy, scary scene just for fun.

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