This week on Supernatural the boys finally start to figure out how to close the Gates of Hell forever, only it’s a three-step process. That means three different episodes, and part one is all about killing a Hellhound. It also sets the stage to decide which brother will complete the trials, Sam or Dean. Given that every big thing they’ve ever done has ended with one of them dying, this opens up some old wounds and gives Sam and Dean a chance to give big, emotional speeches.

Home Sweet Home

Sam and Dean are settling in quite nicely at the Men of Letters HQ. Dean even has his own room for the first time ever, which he decorates with plenty of guns and a photo of his mom. It’s nice to see him nesting. Sam, however, is still in nerdvana, reading through everything in the archives. But he does get some perks in the form of Dean’s cooking. Yes, when given an actual kitchen, Dean is quite the Top Chef.

How to Close the Gates of Hell

Teen prophet Kevin Tran spends his days waking up at 5am, fueling up on coffee and hot dogs and taking Aspirin to cure the increasingly painful headaches that come with translating his half of the Demon Tablet. He goes to bed around 2am and then does it all again, for several months.

It’s all worth it when he finally figures out how to close the Gates of Hell forever. Someone must complete three trials from God and recite a little spell after each one. The first trial involves killing a Hellhound and bathing in its blood.

Supernatural Meets Dallas

Sam and Dean track down a Hellhound by looking for someone who made a deal with a Crossroads Demon, leading them to Idaho and a family who struck it rich with oil. The family is like a cross between Dallas and King Lear, with a crazy old patriarch and his three daughters. It turns out there were multiple deals made with Crowley when he paid them a visit 10 years ago.

Two of the dealmakers die and the third was the woman who runs the ranch, the horny lady throwing herself at Dean the whole time. I realize a woman desperately wanting to sex up Dean isn’t that strange, but the fact that she was acting like there was no tomorrow should’ve been a clue.

We also learn, courtesy of Kevin, that looking through an object scorched with holy fire can allow you to see the invisible Hellhounds. Thanks to this we learn that Dean looks even sexier than usual while wearing glasses. Sam, not so much.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Dean gets to give a powerful, awesome speech in the episode about how he’s going to be the one completing the three trials because, after Azazel, Lucifer and Dick Roman, he knows that this is going to end with someone dying. Or worse. He wants to protect Sam and let him grow fat and old with grandkids while Dean is totally fine with going out swinging. Oh Dean, have you learned nothing from the many, many times you’ve sacrificed yourself to save your brother?

It’s during that speech that it becomes incredibly obvious that Sam is going to be the one who has to complete the trials.

Indeed Dean does battle with the Hellhound, but it scratches him and is about to kill him when Sam shows up to save the day. He struggles with the Hellhound then slices open its belly so the dog’s blood spills all over him. The visual of Sam in a blood-soaked t-shirt afterwards is actually sort of amusing. That was A LOT of blood.

Dean wants to go find another Hellhound to kill, but Sam gets to deliver an awesome speech of his own where he says that he wants to live, but he also wants Dean to live. It’s a great moment as Sam promises that he is going to fight to finish the trials and survive because he loves his brother and doesn’t want him to die. Again. I literally got chills when Sam delivered the line about Dean being a better Hunter than their dad.

So Sam recites a quick spell and suddenly something powerful shoots through his arm. It kind of looks like what happens when Popeye eats spinach. These trials aren’t going to be easy and they’re going to change Sam. I really hope he doesn’t die and go to Hell again. Maybe, just once, for the first time ever, something good could happen to the Winchesters.

Next week on Supernatural: The boys deal with a dude-witch. I hate to say it, but it kind of looks like a filler episode while we wait for Kevin to translate the second trial.

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(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.