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SUPERNATURAL Angels in Hiding

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Episode 821 “The Great Escapist”

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This is another really solid Kripke-riffic episode as we near the end of season 8. It’s solid, tight, full of surprises, gets slightly meta, delivers the laughs, and sets things up for the final two episodes. This recap is pretty long, so grab a snack and get comfy.

Spoilers follow.

We open on Kevin, much to our surprise, who seems to have miraculously found another unoccupied ship (or the same one) to set up camp in. Dean is pounding on the door and Kevin says, “What’s the point of having a secret knock if you’re just going to forget it?”

Indeed.

Shockingly, the Winchesters hand deliver the other half of the tablet, then ask Kevin where the first half is so that he can translate the whole thing properly. He waves them off, saying that it’s hidden nearby, and he has plenty of notes to work from. They depart, and to no one’s surprise really, they shapeshift into a couple of low-grade demons when they’re far enough away.

Somewhere nearby, Crowley has set up a command center, complete with closed-circut cameras watching Kevin’s every move on board the ship. Obviously, the idea is to trick Kevin into believing he’s merely dreamed his encounters with Crowley, that he’s perfectly safe, and that he needs to keep working on the tablet. In a slightly meta moment, Crowley directs the demons on how to better act like the real Sam and Dean, instructing them that Dean is the one who uses lots of nicknames and slang, not Sam.

Meanwhile, Castiel is being awesome in Santa Fe, NM. Which is not news, I realize, because he’s always awesome, but he starts chatting up a waitress about how he remembers when people first discovered coffee.

I want a Castiel show. Just him, being him. Maybe naked and covered in bees. But just Castiel. I would pay actual video-on-demand money for that.

Anyway, he realizes “they’re getting close,” and ends up vanishing right in front of someone in a Biggersons restaurant. The confused patrons are looking for him under the table when two young gentlemen in suits appear — two more angels on the hunt for Castiel.

They report back to Naomi that they can’t catch him because there are so many Biggersons, and they’re so identical, that it’s like a quantum restaurant that exists in thousands of places all at the same time. It’s making him impossible to track.

“There’s… just so many Biggersons…”

Back at the Batcave, Sam recognizes a symbol on Kevin’s notes that seems to be Metatron’s signature that matches a symbol from the (apparently fictional) “Two Rivers Tribe” of Colorado Indians which means “Messenger of God”. They both think that Kevin is dead, based on a prerecorded message they received from him, and, without Kevin, they can’t finish the trials and close the gates of Hell. Sam insists that they go to Colorado on the slim evidence of the symbol, because they have no other leads, possibly no Kevin, and no word from any of the other prophets who are in line to take Kevin’s place.

The Great Escapist

In a great series of shots, we’re close up on Castiel’s face as the backgrounds and cities keep changing behind him as he flits from Biggersons to Biggersons. We shift to Castiel’s point of view, of his hands on identical tabletops, only the food and the position of the silverware a tip-off that he’s moving between restaurants. Finally, however, bloody hand prints cover the table, and he finally looks up to realize that every single person in the room has been slaughtered. Naomi has found a way to make him stop running.

The sole survivor has had her eyes burned out, and is repeating, “make him stop… make him stop…” Of course, Castiel’s compassion is his downfall. He reaches out to heal this tortured soul, and then the other angels have him, finally able to pinpoint his location. In a brilliant bit of exposition, Naomi reveals that Castiel has always been the rebel against God’s plans. “You don’t even die right,” she tosses at him.

I may be completely off the mark in drawing this comparison (which my husband pointed out to me, actually), but in Legion, that was the entire point of what Michael did. By rebelling and doing what was right, rather than simply following orders, he was actually doing exactly what God wanted. I wonder if Kripke is lifting this idea. Time will tell.

By now, Sam is exceedingly ill and stumbling around the hallways with a fever of 107. Dean is out talking to the gift shop proprietor of the tribal hotel they’re staying at, who tells them the legend of their Messenger of God. He requires stories, it seems, and in exchange he grants them gifts. Sharp-eyed Dean spots a very old photograph of local tribe members, and realizes that one of them looks exactly like the man who checked them in. While Dean is doing that, Sam watches as box after box of books is delivered to one of the rooms down the hall.

Yes, we have a winner.

The Great Escapist

I hate having to jump around as the show does, but the timing of all this is important. We cut to Crowley suddenly shooting up the angel torture party with bullets made from a melted-down ancient blade, deadly to angels. Naomi escapes, of course. In a chain of brilliant logic (and I mean that sincerely — sometimes Crowley can be a little thick), the King of Hell figures that by touching the angel tablet, Naomi’s spell was broken over Castiel, enabling him to escape. Then he figures that, in order to stay free of Naomi’s influence, Castiel must still be touching the tablet. Unfortunately for Cas, Crowley has figured correctly and reaches inside the angel’s body, retrieving the tablet.

Keep in mind that if Crowley is off digging around in Castiel’s guts, he’s not minding the store. Kevin, being the very smart guy he is, has figured out that “Sam and Dean” are fakes, and easily traps them so they can’t return. Eventually, Crowley shows up to find a very serenely happy Kevin, who is feasting on all the take-out he had the fake Winchesters get for him—another tip-off that they weren’t real. “Not when there’s a couple of frozen burritos still in the fridge,” points out Kevin.

Crowley, at least partly enraged by how awesome Kevin is, pins him to the wall by his throat. Obviously, Kevin’s not afraid to die. The take-out was a doomed man’s last meal. He realized some time ago that his life was probably forfeit, and his mother is dead anyway. Curiously, as Crowley begins to strangle the life out of him, Kevin glows angelically, his eyes shining out white just as Naomi’s do when she’s using her power. This throws Crowley across the room, burning him inside and out.

Before the Winchesters enter Metatron’s room, Sam explains something to Dean. “I remember, when I was a little kid, those Classics Illustrated comics, and reading about King Arthur and the Round Table. There was this one panel with Galahad, and light was streaming over his face, and I remember thinking, ‘I could never go on a quest like that, because I’m not clean.’ Even as a little kid, I knew somehow. But these trials, Dean… they’re purifying me.” (Paraphrased, I don’t have a transcript handy.)

They go in, and are met by a humble-looking guy with a sweater and a double-barrel shotgun. Apparently, Metatron, the scribe of God, has been hanging out in a tribal hotel in Colorado because without the word of God, the archangels couldn’t take over heaven like they wanted way back when. So, basically, he has no idea what’s been going on for at least the past few hundred years, including who the Winchesters are.

The Great Escapist

They read him the riot act for hiding out while the world’s nearly been destroyed a few times over, and for what everyone has had to go through because he’s been MIA. One the situation has been explained, Metatron summons Kevin to his room, presumably for safekeeping, and presumably this is what the white angelic glow was that threw off Crowley.

He reveals the third trial: Sam must cure a demon. Unfortunately, nobody knows what that means, or how it must be done.

“This is all about the choices your kind makes. What will it take to do this, and what will the world be like when it’s done?”

Maybe, just maybe, it’s not a 100% fantastic idea to close the gates of hell. These kinds of things must be considered very carefully and, even then, there are always unintended consequences to every action. It’s a great moment of foreshadowing for the next season.

In another interesting meta moment, Metatron says, “When you create stories, you become like gods.”

Food for thought.

The Winchesters drive off but, a few miles down the road, they discover an injured Castiel laying in the middle of the road. Reunited, and it feels so good! Except for the bleeding and laying in the road part.

Only two episodes to go, and they look like those episodes will deliver a lot of punch, especially if they’re as tightly written as this one.

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