A SUPERNATURAL Trip to Hell and Back

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Episode 819 “Taxi Driver”

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[photos: Diyah Pera/The CW]

This was a good one with plenty to enjoy and lots of cheerable moments. There were also some head-scratching moments, but nothing that ruined it for me. Spoilers follow.

Taxi Driver

Kevin Tran is cracking up and looks terrible. He’s hearing Crowley in his head, and nobody’s quite sure if it’s real or not. Kevin perceives it as extremely real, but the Winchesters dismiss it as the fantasy of an overly fatigued mind. But is it? This problem starts to affect the real world when Kevin, haunted by the voice of Crowley, hides his half of the demon tablet… somewhere. He won’t tell anyone where.

In this episode, the second trial looms, and Kevin informs the Winchesters that an innocent soul has to be rescued from Hell. Turns out Bobby Singer is in Hell, so this will be an easy rescue for Sam Winchester, because he doesn’t have to try and guess who to rescue.

They trap a crossroads demon (I assume? No explanation is given as to who the guy is) and torture him by pouring holy water over his head to extract information. He tells them how to get in, through a system of “coyote” reapers who smuggle people over.

Taxi Driver

The Winchesters, getting what they wanted, kill him with apparently zero remorse whatsoever. They don’t show the killing, it’s implied by what’s said and we cut away before they ever get there, but… that’s too cold for the Winchesters. I did not like how this was handled, as if they were doing little more than deleting some emails.

The brothers find their “coyote” (the wonderful Assaf Cohen, who played Peter’s EMT partner on Heroes in season 4), and he takes Sam down an alleyway that seems to be a dead end. The alley is covered with a massive graffiti mural, which seems to come alive as the door in the center opens up to a bright light. Sam and the coyote step through into… Purgatory?

Taxi Driver

It seems that his transport can’t or won’t go all the way into Hell proper, but he does arrange to meet Sam at that exact spot in exactly 24 hours, and he will take him and the rescued soul back over from Purgatory to Earth. Seems fine, right?

Not so much. Once the coyote is back on Earth, Crowley shows up and starts grilling him. Here, Crowley says a curious thing: “My Hell,” as in (paraphrased) “He’s not just in any Hell, he’s in my Hell.” This implies that there is more than one, perhaps? Maybe it’s a hint at the nine levels of Hell according to Dante? Or it could just be a confusing turn of phrase. Who knows? This is Supernatural.

In what must be the tiniest of hells, Sam sneaks around a couple of corners, goes past a few people in cells, and finds Bobby Singer within literally two minutes (and the crowd goes wild). They get back out to Purgatory with a minimum of fuss, then realize the coyote isn’t coming. Dean calls in a favor to Benny the vampire, and there’s really a very good emotional tug here as the two men part ways… and Benny parts ways with his head in order to get a one-way ticket to Purgatory.

Taxi Driver

Benny gets Sam and Bobby out of there, but chooses to stay behind because he can’t fit in with normal society. The poor guy. Seriously, he was driving me up the wall for a few episodes, but now that Dean had to lose one of his only friends, and he didn’t come back like they expected… it’s just plain sad. Now I kind of miss him. Poop.

The boys get back from their trial and go to check on Kevin, who has had another mental visitation from Crowley. Or is it? The windows have shattered on the ship he’s been living on, which also removes the sigils that were keeping him out. But when the Winchesters get there, the windows are fine, but the entire place is cleaned out. The whereabouts of Kevin, and the tablet, are unknown.

Taxi Driver

It looks like next week is another stand-alone episode not related to the main story arc much or at all, which is fine I guess. I’d like them to just resolve this stuff, but it does feel like there’s a natural passage of time between major events, which is good too (unlike Sam’s little two-minute jaunt to find Bobby). Felicia Day returns as the spicy geek girl, when it appears she and Dean are inside some kind of Castle Wolfenstein-like video game dream or alternate reality, where if you die in the game, you die in real life. A very tired scenario (as seen on Fairly Oddparents, Adventure Time, Futurama, and nearly every other fantasy or sci-fi show ever), but the characters are fun to watch being put through their paces in odd circumstances, so that should be entertaining at least.

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[Official Show Site at CW]       [Previous Recap: “Freaks and Geeks”]

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