Sam and Dean Winchester have spent eight seasons of Supernatural saving people. There are literally hundreds of people who owe them their lives (and that’s not counting stopping various apocalypses). This week, Crowley, the King of Hell, uses that fact against them by targeting the people the brothers have saved. It’s definitely playing dirty, but what do you expect from a demon?

The set-up for the season 8 finale also gives us a lesson on how to cure a demon and introduces yet another storyline as Castiel begins three trials of his own.

The Third Trial

The boys hit the Men of Letters book for information on the third trial, curing a demon, whatever that means. Sam stumbles on a file marked “Weird!!!” That’s as good a place to start as any.

This leads them to the dungeon (of course the Men of Letters HQ has a dungeon) and a film. It’s from the 1950s when a priest tried a new form of exorcism that involved using his own purified blood to try and cure humans possessed by demons. And it worked.

Rather than tracking down a demon, Dean has the brilliant idea to use one they already have, Abaddon, who was shot with a Devil’s Trap bullet and dismembered. All it takes is a needle and some thread to put her back together again, minus her hands.

Before they can complete the new exorcism to finish the third trial they get a call from Crowley. This distracts them long enough so Abaddon’s hand can crawl out of a box, into her mouth, yank out the bullet and let her escape. That might be the coolest and most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.

Crowley’s Evil Plan

The episode opens with Tommy Collins, aka the guy Sam and Dean saved from a wendigo way back in the second episode of the series more than seven and a half years ago. He’s at a cabin with a girl, but he gets freaked out and explodes. He might also win the TV award for longest time between appearances by a character on any show.

Later Crowley calls up Sam and Dean to taunt them about the death of Tommy and leads them to another past character, the girl who almost died eating a heart-filled cupcake in season 7’s “Shut Up, Dr. Phil” (aka the episode with James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter). She’s also dead.

Crowley then lets the boys know that he’s decided to kill one person they saved every 12 hours until they give him the Demon Tablet and stop trying to close the Gates of Hell. And thanks to Carver Edlund, Crowley has books filled with their rescues.

He directs them to Sarah Blake, an art dealer the boys met in season 1’s “Provenance,” and they vow to save her. Unfortunately Crowley doesn’t use demons, but rather a witch spell to kill her right in front of them while he taunts them over the phone. Crowley figures since the first two trials were Hell-related, it’s best to keep all demons away from them.

The fact that Sarah actually dies, right in front of Sam and Dean, is haunting. They’ve dedicated their lives to saving people, and now that work is being undone. It’s enough to make Sam want to take Crowley’s deal and admit defeat. Luckily, Dean isn’t so easily persuaded. Well, luckily for them. Not so lucky for whoever’s next on Crowley’s list.

Closing the Gates of Heaven

In other news, Cas meets Metatron this week and the two angels talk about how bad Heaven is these days. There are plenty of factions all fighting with each other and Metatron wants to be the hero who fixes all of their problems by forcing the angels to talk things out. How can he do this? By closing the Pearly Gates of Heaven, of course.

Metatron urges Cas to complete the three trials to close the Gates of Heaven, which is a nice parallel to the Winchesters’ mission. I just wish they’d introduced it sooner.

The first trial involves cutting the heart out of a nephilim, which is the offspring of a human and an angel. There’s only one in existence and she’s a cute waitress who flirts with Cas. Our trenchcoat-loving hero reluctantly agrees to this, but when he does the nephilim fights back and threatens to kill Metatron. This makes killing her a lot easier for Cas.

Just like that, the first trial is done. I’m sure he’ll work through these faster than Sam and Dean because he has angel powers, he has the man who wrote the trials down and there’s only one episode left this season.

Next week on the Supernatural season 8 finale: Sam and Dean find Crowley and decide that he’s the demon Sam will cure to complete the trials. Will the Gates of Hell and/or Heaven be closed? And will Sam turn into God as I’ve been predicting for several weeks now? I can’t wait to find out.

Want to add Supernatural to your very own watch-list? Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.

(Image courtesy of the CW)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.