This week on Supernatural, Sam goes to Hell to rescue an innocent soul, the second trial in the triad of quests to close the Gates of Hell forever.
Oh, who am I kidding, there’s only one thing you really need to know about this episode. Bobby Singer is back!
There’s no other emotion besides pure joy at seeing Jim Beaver back on Supernatural. And it’s really him, not some evil mind game perpetrated by Crowley like I thought it might be halfway through the episode. I apologize in advance for my excessive use of exclamation points in this recap.
The Crazy Prophet
Teen Prophet Kevin Tran is going insane, hearing Crowley’s voice and imagining his limbs are falling off. It really doesn’t pay to be friends with the Winchesters. He calls up Sam and Dean and lets them know that he translated the second trial and it involves getting an innocent soul out of Hell and placing it in Heaven. Oh, is that all?
How to Go to Hell
To complete the second trial, Sam and Dean interrogate a Crossroads Demon and learn that rogue reapers can help move souls between Heaven and Hell. They reach out to a Reaper Coyote who just happens to be the same reaper who took Bobby’s soul to Hell (burning his bones doesn’t help when Crowley, the King of Hell, doesn’t like). Sam’s new mission, which he decides to do solo, is to find and save Bobby.
Sam takes a trip with the reaper, but he only takes him to Purgatory, which has a secret backdoor entrance to Hell. After getting a first-hand glimpse of the horror his brother survived for a year, Sam goes down the rabbit hole into Hell.
Hell is like a medieval torture chamber with souls begging to be saved. Sam walks through and finds a room with a guy wearing a hat. He walks in and asks, “Bobby?” And then…
BOBBY TURNS AROUND!
Yes, Jim Beaver came back to Supernatural, which is the most amazing, shocking, awesome thing ever. Kudos to the show for not putting his name in the opening credits or giving any hints that he was returning. I’ll admit I hoped this would happen, but I didn’t think it actually would. It helps that I adore him even more since he just finished up an AMAZING run on FX’s Justified that, in my opinion, should earn him an Emmy nomination for Guest Actor.
In true Bobby fashion, the first thing he does is punch Sam in the face. It seems his version of Hell is demons posing as Sam and Dean to torture him. But with some very personal details (including an excellent callback to his love of Tori Spelling), Sam proves he’s real and takes Bobby on the run. Bobby hasn’t lost a step as a Hunter and before long they reach Purgatory.
Bobby gets the debrief on the trials and offers to help, but Sam says they burned his bones and, in order to complete this trial, Sam needs to take Bobby’s soul to Heaven. Bobby reluctantly agrees, but he promises chaos if he has to sit in a rocking chair for eternity.
Back on Earth
Crowley tracks down the reaper who helped Sam and kills him. Elsewhere Kevin decides to hide the Demon Tablet because he’s so crazy and Dean gets a visit from Naomi, who says she wants to work with him to close the Gates of Hell. She even tells him about Sam having to go to Purgatory. Wait, is Naomi ACTUALLY good?
When Dean learns the reaper is dead, he calls up Benny to ask for the biggest favor ever. He wants to kill Benny so Benny can return to Purgatory to help Sam escape. Benny agrees, seemingly because he just doesn’t fit in and wants to go back to Purgatory. So Dean kills his friend. It’s surprisingly touching.
Saving Bobby’s Soul
Benny shows up in Purgatory to help Sam and Bobby escape. Bobby is a little confused that Dean is friends with a vampire, but there’s no time for that. Benny leads them to the portal, but stays behind because it’s where he belongs.
Sam cuts himself open to keep Bobby’s soul safe in his body for the journey. They zap back to Maine where Dean is waiting for him, and Dean has a pretty big smile when he learns Bobby was saved. I feel kind of bad that Dean didn’t get to see Bobby again, but as Bobby’s final words to Sam suggested, he’ll probably be back since nothing is permanent. I will now amend my current theory of “Sam will turn into God after completing the trials” to “Bobby will come back as God after Sam completes the trials.” I just really want to hear God say “Balls.”
Sam releases Bobby’s soul, but Crowley shows up to stop it. Thankfully Naomi turns up (I NEVER thought I’d write that) and does her little angel mojo to send Crowley away, thus allowing Bobby’s soul to go to Heaven. The second trial is complete.
In the epilogue, Crowley finds Kevin, a result of torturing and killing his mom (off-screen, so it’s hard to tell if it’s true). Whatever the case, when Sam and Dean show up, Kevin and his notes are gone. That’s gonna make the third trial a lot harder.
Next time on Supernatural: The show is on its final hiatus of season 8 until April 24, but when it comes back, Felicia Day returns as Charlie and she and Dean are trapped in a video game together. Good, I need some comedy.
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(Image courtesy of the CW)