Supernatural (season 8)

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Supernatural (season 8)
Supernatural Season 8.jpg
DVD cover art
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 23
Release
Original network The CW
Original release October 3, 2012 (2012-10-03) – May 15, 2013 (2013-05-15)
Season chronology
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Season 7
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Season 9
List of Supernatural episodes

The eighth season of Supernatural, an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric Kripke, premiered October 3, 2012, and concluded on May 15, 2013, airing 23 episodes.[1] It is the first season headed by Jeremy Carver as executive producer and showrunner.[2] It aired on Wednesdays at 9:00 pm (ET) on The CW.[3] The season was released on DVD and Blu-ray in region 1 on September 10, 2013,[4] in region 2 on October 28, 2013,[5] and in region 4 on September 25, 2014.[6] The eighth season had an average viewership of 2.12 million U.S. viewers.[7]

Cast[edit]

Starring[edit]

Special guest stars[edit]

Special appearance by[edit]

Guest stars[edit]

Episodes[edit]

In this table, the number in the first column refers to the episode's number within the entire series, whereas the number in the second column indicates the episode's number within this particular season. "U.S. viewers in millions" refers to how many Americans watched the episode live or on the day of broadcast.

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
150 1 "We Need to Talk About Kevin" Robert Singer Jeremy Carver October 3, 2012 (2012-10-03) 3X7802 1.85[21]
A year after he was sucked into Purgatory, the afterlife of monsters, Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) finally escapes with the help of a vampire named Benny Lafitte (Ty Olsson). As part of their deal, Dean smuggles Benny's soul out of Purgatory and resurrects him before they go their separate ways; Dean's friend Castiel (Misha Collins), who had been trapped in Purgatory with him in the previous season finale, is conspicuously absent and Dean later reveals that the angel did not make it out of Purgatory with him and Benny. Dean travels to the safe house in Whitefish, Montana, where he meets up with his brother Sam (Jared Padalecki), who he learns had given up the "family business" of hunting monsters to lead a normal life with a dog and a girlfriend named Amelia Richardson (Liane Balaban) while Dean was gone. Tension springs up between the brothers because Sam did not even try to save him, Castiel, or the prophet under their protection, teenager Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) who had been kidnapped a year ago by the demon Crowley (Mark A. Sheppard). When Dean checks Sam's discarded phones, he discovers that Kevin has in fact escaped from Crowley on his own and is now on the run, and he and Sam track him down. Kevin explains that Crowley took him to make him translate the Word of God tablet about demons and help him unleash all demons onto Earth, but that he had managed to escape with the tablet, which he has hidden elsewhere for safe-keeping. He also reveals that the tablet has a way to send all demons to Hell and lock them away forever. The Winchesters immediately want to find the tablet and use the spell to banish the demons, but are interrupted by the arrival of demons who have been following them to find Kevin, including Crowley himself, who is being accompanied by Kevin's possessed girlfriend, Channing Ngo (Lissa Neptuno). Crowley demands that Kevin come with him and return the tablet, but Kevin once again outwits him and escapes with the Winchesters. Crowley then murders Channing to spite Kevin. The episode ends with Dean receiving a secret call from Benny, who seems to be questioning life outside of Purgatory. The two try to maintain some distance from each other, but Dean tells Benny he should call in an emergency.
151 2 "What's Up, Tiger Mommy?" John Showalter Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin October 10, 2012 (2012-10-10) 3X7803 2.51[22]
Kevin demands that Sam and Dean take him to his mother, Linda Tran (Lauren Tom), to make sure she is safe. They find that she is being watched by demons, and kill the demons and rescue her. The group then goes to retrieve the tablet Kevin hid, only to find that it has been stolen by Plutus (Gerard Plunkett), who is auctioning it off along with other rare supernatural items. Sam, Dean, Kevin, and Linda attend the auction to find a way to get it back. Crowley comes to the auction as well, also seeking the tablet. When the tablet and prophet Kevin (who is involuntarily included in the auction to raise bids) are sold to Linda for the price of her soul, Crowley possesses her and steals the tablet. He is forced to flee her body when Dean comes close to killing him, but still manages to get away with the tablet. Angry that Dean tried to kill his mother, Kevin decides to take his mother and leave for fear that their association with the Winchesters will get them killed. Meanwhile, Dean has recollections from his time in Purgatory: after much searching, he and Benny locate Castiel. Benny demands to know why Castiel had abandoned Dean when the two of them first landed in Purgatory, and Castiel reveals that it had been to keep the leviathan hunting him away from Dean. Though Castiel warns Dean that he should stay away from him, Dean is adamant that he won't leave without Castiel and the three of them start to look for the way out of Purgatory. However, the last shot of the episode is a disconcerting flashback of a screaming Castiel being left behind at the portal out of Purgatory.
152 3 "Heartache" Jensen Ackles Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming October 17, 2012 (2012-10-17) 3X7801 2.13[23]
Although Sam wants to focus on finding Kevin and the demon tablet, Dean suggests that they take on a case involving a murderer taking a human heart every six months. Tracking down the crimes from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Boulder, Colorado, the Winchesters discover that all the murders were committed by different people, all with no prior history of violence, and that each likely suspect had an alibi for the other murders. After one of their suspects (Paul Boyle) stabs himself in the eye, Dean learns that each killer had received an organ transplant from the recently deceased athlete Brick Holmes. The Winchesters also learn that "Brick" was actually a Mayan athlete who had made a deal with an ancient god to live forever and excel at various sports under different aliases over the centuries in exchange for sacrifices of human hearts each year. When Brick fell in love with a mortal woman (Patty McCormack) in the 1940s, they stayed together even after she became so old she had to pose as his mother. Eventually, he committed suicide because he couldn't stand the thought of living without her. The recipients of his organs enjoy the power they are suddenly bestowed with and are eager to carry out the murders to fulfill Brick's deal with the god. Brick's wife tells the brothers that they must destroy Brick's heart to end the murders. Upon tracking down the woman who received Brick's heart (Kyra Zagorsky), Sam and Dean stab her in the heart, sparking a chain reaction that results in the deaths of not only the woman but also the recipients of Brick's other organs. Meanwhile, Sam contemplates returning to normal life after they have sealed the gates of Hell, though Dean, having come to re-embrace and enjoy the violence of hunting while in Purgatory, refuses to entertain the notion and wants to keep hunting with Sam.
153 4 "Bitten" Thomas J. Wright Robbie Thompson October 24, 2012 (2012-10-24) 3X7804 1.86[24]
Most of the episode is presented as found footage from the perspective of three film school students: Brian (Leigh Parker), Michael (Brandon W. Jones), and Kate (Brit Sheridan). The episode starts with Sam and Dean finding the footage edited into a movie and waiting to be played for them in the middle of a crime scene at the students' home where there are two unidentifiable bodies. They watch the movie. Brian and Michael had begun making it to depict the details of their lives in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Michael is bitten by a mysterious creature and begins exhibiting supernatural traits. Things get out of hand when he kills a bully (Eric Banerd) in a fit of rage for threatening Kate. Trying to find out what's happening to him, Michael, Brian, and Kate spy on Sam and Dean, who are trying to find a werewolf who's been biting and killing people at the college Brian, Michael, and Kate attend; this werewolf, Sam and Dean reveal, is a "pureblood" werewolf that possesses some unique qualities, including retaining a greater degree of awareness when it transforms than other werewolves. Brian privately realizes that the pure-blood werewolf is one of his professors (David Lewis) and blackmails him into turning him into a werewolf, too. He tells the horrified Michael and Kate what he's done, revealing that he did it because he is jealous of Michael for having power and Kate's love. Brian and Michael fight and Brian kills Michael in the struggle before turning Kate into a werewolf against her will so that they can be together. However, a vengeful Kate kills Brian instead; the two bodies Sam and Dean found at the house are Brian and Michael. Kate edits all their footage together into a movie for Sam and Dean to watch and understand what happened, finishing with a promise that she will feed off of animal hearts and not harm humans, asking for a chance to live in peace. At that point, Sam and Dean (having killed Brian's professor before tracing one of Brian's cameras to the students' home at the start of the episode) finish watching the video. Because Kate is a pureblood werewolf who can control herself and hasn't hurt anyone human, Sam and Dean agree to give her the chance she asked for.
154 5 "Blood Brother" Guy Bee Ben Edlund October 31, 2012 (2012-10-31) 3X7805 1.78[25]
After searching out and getting beaten by other vampires, Benny calls Dean for help. Dean immediately leaves to meet with Benny at Eagle Harbor in Bainbridge Island, Washington, though tells a confused Sam that he needs to take a day off and deal with some "personal" issues. After Dean meets with Benny and gives him blood bags to help him heal, Benny confesses that he is going after his Maker (Patrick Stafford) to get revenge. Fifty years earlier, Benny had fallen in love with a human, Andrea, and had left the vampire nest for her, but his Maker had killed him and told him he was going to rip Andrea's throat out. Dean agrees to help Benny and remembers the times Benny helped him and Castiel in Purgatory killing monsters as well as Leviathans. Meanwhile, Sam thinks about his time with Amelia and more about how they got together is shown. When Andrea is revealed to have become a vampire and Benny is captured, Dean calls Sam for help. Dean and Benny kill the vampires and Benny's Maker while Sam is on his way. Andrea helps Benny, but it is revealed that she simply wants to take over and Dean kills her before she can harm Benny, devastating Benny. Later, Sam meets Benny for the first time, and upon realizing that he is not human, Sam has a difficult time not trying to killing Benny.
155 6 "Southern Comfort" Tim Andrew Adam Glass November 7, 2012 (2012-11-07) 3X7806 2.32[26]
During the investigation of a murder in Kearney, Missouri, in which a wife killed her husband for an incident from 30 years earlier, Sam and Dean run into fellow hunter Garth. They learn that Garth has stepped into Bobby's role, organizing and leading hunters over the past year. Teaming up with him, they investigate the case. During the investigation, more murders occur over seemingly small incidents, leading the Winchesters and Garth to discover that the murderers are possessed by a specter, similar to a ghost, but possessing people to get revenge for them rather than its own gain. The specter does this through people touching an old penny. Dean, angry with Garth for doing and saying things Bobby would say (such as using his catch-phrase "idjits" and wearing Bobby's hat) eventually lashes out at Garth. Meanwhile, in flashbacks viewers learn that Sam's former lover, Amelia, lost her husband Don, and the two begin a relationship. Eventually, the specter forces Dean to touch the penny, which leads Dean to want to kill Sam for not searching for him over the last year. Garth breaks the Winchester brothers up by taking the coin from Dean and burning the coin to destroy the specter. Because Garth is a naturally passive person with no wishes for revenge in life, the penny has no effect on him. The episode ends with Dean seeing Garth off, giving him back Bobby's old hat. Sam later tells Dean off about his grudge, warning him that if he can't let go of his anger, Sam will leave.
156 7 "A Little Slice of Kevin" Charlie Carner Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming November 14, 2012 (2012-11-14) 3X7807 2.32[27]
The Trans pay a witch to gather ingredients for a demon bomb to use against Crowley, but the witch betrays them and helps Crowley kidnap Kevin. After Sam and Dean investigate a series of demon abductions, a weakened Castiel appears to them with no memory of how he escaped Purgatory. The abductions turn out to be known future prophets, as only one prophet can exist at a time, meaning that one of them will become the new prophet if Kevin dies. Dean has flashbacks of his escape from Purgatory and deals with his guilt for not saving Castiel. Meanwhile, Kevin is tortured by Crowley into translating the tablet and reveals to Crowley that there are more tablets. Sam, Dean, and Castiel intervene and save Kevin from Crowley. Castiel breaks the tablet in two pieces and Crowley flees, taking one half of the tablet with him. Kevin and the remaining prophets are rescued. Castiel reveals that he chose not to leave Purgatory with Dean, telling Dean that remaining in Purgatory was his penance for his previous actions. Dean is distressed to learn that Castiel stayed behind of his own volition. Castiel then "checks in" with a mysterious angel named Naomi (Amanda Tapping), who asks about Sam and Dean and tells him that an army of angels rescued him from Purgatory and that he will not remember these periodic check-ins.
157 8 "Hunteri Heroici" Paul Edwards Andrew Dabb November 28, 2012 (2012-11-28) 3X7808 2.00[28]
Sam, Dean, and Castiel (who has decided to become a full-time hunter) investigate a string of deaths in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma that appear to have been inspired by cartoons – a man's heart literally bursts out of his chest when near a woman he likes, a man hovers in midair for a moment while jumping off a building, and an anvil crushes a security guard. Meanwhile, Dean and Castiel have a heart-to-heart about Castiel's mental state and the ramifications of his actions as "God." The Winchesters and Cas determine that the cartoonish effects are caused by an old man, named Fred Jones (Mike Farrell), who has reality warping powers, and is currently living in a dream world inside his mind while residing in an assisted care facility. Fred is being used by a doctor at the assisted care facility to rob other elderly patients of their valuables. While Dean confronts the doctor, Sam and Castiel enter Fred's mind to speak to him. Sam is able to convince Fred to give up living in a dream world and come back to reality, causing the reality warping effects to end. Fred forces the doctor to kill himself and has Castiel remove his powers so he is no longer a threat even though it leaves him in a mentally damaged state. Castiel decides to return to Heaven to face up to his actions, but is forbidden from doing so by Naomi. Instead, Castiel decides to watch over Fred for a while. In flashbacks, Sam meets Amelia's father who is initially cold towards him, but eventually warms up to him just in time for Amelia to learn that her husband is still alive.
158 9 "Citizen Fang" Nick Copus Daniel Loflin December 5, 2012 (2012-12-05) 3X7809 2.06[29]
Sam asked Martin Creaser (Jon Gries) to follow Benny, because he doesn't trust him, once the old hunter is released from the mental hospital in which he has been residing. While following Benny, Martin finds an apparent victim of Benny's and calls Sam. Dean refuses to believe that Benny did it and sets out for Louisiana to find Benny. When Dean finds Benny, he is burying another victim and claims that it is a rogue vampire, named Desmond, who is trying to draw Benny back into the fold by killing a victim each time he refuses. While Dean believes Benny, who is staying in the area as it is his hometown and to look after his great-granddaughter Elizabeth, Sam and Martin refuse to believe him, and Martin knocks out Dean and he and Sam take off to hunt Benny. Before finding Benny, Sam gets a distress text from Amelia and takes off for Texas to find her, leaving Martin alone while Dean teams up with Benny to kill Desmond. Benny's story is proven to be true when Desmond attacks and nearly kills Dean, but Benny saves Dean and kills Desmond. Benny and Dean leave, but Martin, who is mentally unstable and refuses to give up the hunt, takes Elizabeth hostage and forces Benny to return so he can kill him. Elizabeth calls Dean who returns to find that Benny is gone and Martin is dead. In flashbacks, Sam is shown leaving Amelia to give her a chance with her husband Don. Upon returning to Texas, he finds Amelia fine and living with her husband, and realizes that Dean tricked him to get him out of the way, a realization that greatly upsets him.
159 10 "Torn and Frayed" Robert Singer Jenny Klein January 16, 2013 (2013-01-16) 3X7810 1.99[30]
When the brothers meet again in the aftermath of the last episode, a furious Sam issues an ultimatum, telling Dean that unless he cuts ties with Benny, they may not be able to work together anymore. Dean chooses to leaves instead and is contacted by Benny, who talks to Dean about Martin's death in the previous episode and asks Dean to come see him and lend him moral support, as Benny is having a difficult time managing life on Earth alone. Dean agrees to come see him as soon as he can. Meanwhile, having spotted Sam at the end of the previous episode, Amelia comes to his motel room and they end up having sex. They discuss their feelings for each other and, tired of her uncertainty in her relationship with Sam, Amelia proposes a test to settle things once and for all: if they both show up at the same place in two days, they will continue their relationship, even though that means Amelia will have to leave her husband; if they're not both there, they know their relationship is over for good. At the same time, the angel Samandriel (Tyler Johnston), who is being held captive and tortured by Crowley's forces, sends out a distress call to Naomi and Naomi sends Castiel to rescue him. Castiel asks Dean for help and they track Samandriel to Geneva, Nebraska. As they are outnumbered, Castiel goes against Dean's wishes by bringing in a reluctant Sam to help. The group assaults Crowley's base and rescues Samandriel, but not before Samandriel's unintentionally reveals to Crowley that there is a tablet about angels. Samandriel tries to warn Castiel about their superiors controlling them and Castiel has a flashback of Naomi apparently lobotomizing him, but at that point an agitated Naomi forces Castiel to kill Samandriel for telling Crowley about the angel tablet. After the rescue, Sam ultimately decides to not renew his relationship with Amelia and Dean likewise cuts off future contact with Benny so that they can re-commit themselves to their relationship with each other and their mission of sealing the gates of Hell.
160 11 "LARP and the Real Girl" Jeannot Szwarc Robbie Thompson January 23, 2013 (2013-01-23) 3X7811 2.01[31]
Sam and Dean investigate the mysterious deaths of two LARPers (Live Action Role Players) in Farmington Hills, Michigan who were playing a game entitled Moondoor. There, they discover that the Queen of Moondoor is none other than Charlie Bradbury (Felicia Day), who had previously helped them against the leviathan. However, she is reluctant to help them again because she believes she will have to leave again if she does. They link the murders to a mysterious Celtic symbol that magically appears on the victim's wrist. While trying to discover what the symbol means and who is causing it, Charlie is taken by the fairy Gilda (Tiffany Dupont), who is the killer, having been forced to harm people against her will. The only way to stop her is to find her master. While spending time with Gilda, Charlie develops feelings for her and they share a kiss. Sam and Dean learn that one of Charlie's "subjects", named Jerry, put Gilda under his control and had her taking out his "enemies" so that he could win Charlie's heart, not knowing that she is a lesbian. Charlie destroys his spell-book. Now free from Jerry's control, Gilda takes him to face punishment from her people. Charlie decides to stop running and remain in the life she has built for herself. She also offers Sam and Dean her help if they ever need it. The episode ends with Sam and Dean having fun and joining Charlie's "kingdom" in battle against its "enemies".
161 12 "As Time Goes By" Serge Ladouceur Adam Glass January 30, 2013 (2013-01-30) 3X7812 2.12[32]
In 1958, a man travels to a secret gentleman's club for initiation into the secret order, but finds the members there being slaughtered by the demon Abaddon (Alaina Huffman). When he is given a mysterious box to protect from her, the man uses a spell to travel forward in time and arrives in Sam and Dean's motel room in the present, demanding to see John Winchester. All three of them are forced to flee after Abaddon follows the man into the present and Ruby's knife fails to work on her. To Sam and Dean's surprise, the man explains that he is Henry Winchester (Gil McKinney), their long-absent grandfather, and he is part of a secret order known as the Men of Letters, who record and guard supernatural secrets. Shocked that John is dead and that Sam and Dean are oblivious to their family legacy as Men of Letters, Henry clashes with Dean. After he reads about his son's bleak life from his journal, he attempts to return to his time to prevent any of it from happening, but is foiled by Dean, who fears what the consequences would be for him and Sam if Henry changed the past. Meanwhile, Sam learns from the only surviving member of the order (George Touliatos) that the box contains a key to the greatest storehouse of supernatural knowledge ever known. Unfortunately, it is at that point that Abaddon reveals herself, kills the surviving Man of Letters, and takes Sam hostage, forcing Dean to do a trade: the key and Henry for Sam. After Dean gives Henry and the key to Abaddon, she fatally wounds Henry, but, having planned for this with Dean on their way to the exchange, he shoots her in the head with a bullet engraved with a devil's trap—a symbol that prevents demons from leaving the symbol or using their powers—thus binding her in place and within her body. Dean then decapitates her; unable to kill her, he plans instead to dismember her and bury the pieces to keep her incapacitated indefinitely. Henry dies in his grandsons' arms while making his peace with them. They bury him near his dead friends from the order and contemplate their family's history and how they are now the keepers of the storehouse, if it still exists.
162 13 "Everybody Hates Hitler" Phil Sgriccia Ben Edlund February 6, 2013 (2013-02-06) 3X7814 2.29[33]
In Belarus, a giant man decimates a Nazi concentration camp while the camp guards desperately try to stop him. The Commandant, Eckhart, casts a spell to escape that burns down the camp and a briefcase the Nazis were trying to protect. In the present, a rabbi, Rabbi Bass (Hal Linden), searches through a college library and finds a book that scares him. He makes a phone call before a mysterious man following him causes him to spontaneously combust. At the same time, Sam and Dean find the abandoned—but still intact—storehouse of the Men of Letters, in Lebanon, Kansas. After two weeks there, Sam discovers the death of Rabbi Bass in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and that he was a member of a secret order of rabbis, called the Judah Initiative, that worked with the Men of Letters during World War II, and they decide to investigate his death. Sam and Dean find themselves followed by the man that decimated the camp, but a young man named Aaron stops him. Aaron is Rabbi Bass' grandson and the last surviving descendant of the Judah Initiative. He was sent the man, a Golem (John DeSantis), after his grandfather died, but lacks the knowledge of how to properly control him. Sam and Dean learn that Rabbi Bass always told tales of battling a society of Nazi necromancers, called the Thule Society, and find the book Rabbi Bass had found and hidden for Aaron. The man who killed Rabbi Bass attacks Sam and Aaron and nearly kills them before the Golem kills him. The group learns the book is the Red Ledger, a logbook of ultimately successful experiments that the Thule performed to learn how to resurrect people. Eckhart and three Thule arrive, disable the Golem, and take back the Ledger. Eckhart reveals to Aaron how to take full control of the Golem, but before he can kill Aaron and the Winchesters, Aaron creates a distraction that allows Sam and Dean to kill two of the Thule. Eckhart then taunts them with the fact that the Thule can't be stopped, and they kill him. After disposing of the Thule bodies, Aaron takes full control of the Golem to continue the fight against the Thule, and Sam and Dean return to the storehouse, where Sam catalogs the Red Ledger, taking on the duties of a Man of Letters.
163 14 "Trial and Error" Kevin Parks Andrew Dabb February 13, 2013 (2013-02-13) 3X7813 2.41[34]
Sam and Dean have moved into the Men of Letters bunker. After weeks of work, Kevin finally cracks the instructions on how to close the Gates of Hell and calls Sam and Dean. Kevin states that in order to close the gates, someone must complete three trials. The first trial is to kill a hellhound, bathe in its blood, and recite a spell. The same spell is recited after the completion of each trial. Deciding to track down a hellhound, Sam identifies the Cassity family in Shoshone, Idaho, who, ten years ago, struck oil where there should be none, indicating they made a deal with a Crossroads Demon. At the Cassity farm, Sam and Dean take jobs, while keeping an eye on the family, with the intent of killing the hellhound sent to collect the person's soul. Believing it to be the owner, Alice, Sam and Dean miss the hellhound, who kills Alice's husband, Carl, who they learn made a deal with a demon to get Alice to fall in love with him. Realizing that there is still someone else who made a crossroads deal, Sam and Dean remain so that they don't have to start over. Kevin calls and tells them that only the damned, or an item scorched by holy fire, can see a hellhound, leading Dean to find glasses he can wave in a fire made with holy oil. The whole Cassity family arrives to comfort Alice. While Dean tries to find the hellhound, Sam focuses on finding which one of the bickering family members made the deal. Along the way, Sam learns that the deal was made with Crowley himself. Eventually, while trying to hunt what she believes is a wolf that killed Carl, Margot, the youngest family member, is killed by the hellhound, and it is discovered that she believed her family would be happy if they struck oil. The hellhound continues to hunt around the house, indicating that someone else made a deal, as well. Dean learns that the ranch manager Ellie (Danay García) made a deal to save her mother from Parkinson's disease when she was 15. Dean battles the hellhound when it goes after Ellie, but when he fails, Sam kills it and is coated in its blood, making him the one to complete the trials. Sam and Dean give Ellie a hexbag and send her on the run from Crowley, believing that if she keeps hidden, Crowley won't be able to send another hellhound to kill her. After convincing Dean that there is hope for life to continue after Hell is closed, instead of it being a suicide mission like he believes, Sam casts the spell needed to start closing the gates.
164 15 "Man's Best Friend with Benefits" John Showalter Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming February 20, 2013 (2013-02-20) 3X7815 2.10[35]
Sam and Dean receive a text from James Frampton (portrayed by Christian Campbell), a cop who helped them on a previous case, asking for their help. Traveling to St. Louis, Missouri, they learn that James has become a witch since they last met and is using magic to solve cases as a police officer. Sam and Dean are unhappy due to their previous encounters with witches, but decide to give him a chance. James' familiar, Portia (portrayed by Mishael Morgan) approaches the Winchesters, revealing that she sent the text, and stating that James is having dreams of killing people who, in reality, are actually dying. Though Dean wants to kill James, Sam convinces him to investigate first, convinced that someone might be committing the murders and placing the memories in James' mind. Sam and Dean chain James down, but while having sex with Portia, who he is in a relationship with, James opens his mind to her. Portia sees his dreams and realizes that all he is seeing are the murders, with no intent or planning to it, and convinces Sam and Dean that James must be innocent. Dean finds a spell in Bobby's notes that a witch could be using to implant false memories in James' mind. Realizing that the police detective investigating the case, Ed Stoltz, is hiding something, Sam, Dean, and James use astral projection to visit the station and discover that Stoltz, who has a grudge against James, is building a case against him using the familiar of another witch as a witness. James questions the familiar, who admits that he was doing so on his master, Spencer's, orders. Spencer kills his familiar and reveals he was jealous of James and Portia, wanting her as his familiar and lover. James battles Spencer to no avail, but when Portia creates a distraction, Sam and Dean kill Spencer with a witch-killing spell from Bobby's notes. James and Portia decide to leave town and start a new life together, rather than fight the case building against him. Dean finally decides to trust Sam's judgment, realizing that Sam can handle the trials after being reminded how important family is due to a psychic attack Spencer inflicted on Sam. However, Sam starts coughing up blood, an indicator that something is seriously wrong with him, which he does not share with his brother.
165 16 "Remember the Titans" Steve Boyum Daniel Loflin February 27, 2013 (2013-02-27) 3X7816 2.13[36]
In Great Falls, Montana, a man is hit and killed by a drunk driver, who abandons the scene. The next morning, after being found by a deputy, the man comes back to life, heals himself, and leaves. Sam and Dean, waiting for Kevin to call with the next trial, find out about the apparent zombie from a magazine, and head off to investigate. The man is found dead, again, of a bear attack, and while Sam and Dean are visiting, he comes to life again and they take him with them to determine what's going on. The man, who tells them to call him Shane, explains that after an avalanche seven years earlier, he dies every day, comes back to life, and has no memory of his life before the avalanche. After a mysterious woman attacks him, Sam and Dean realize that Shane is actually the Greek Titan Prometheus who is cursed to die every day as punishment from Zeus for giving mankind back the gift of fire. The woman is the Greek goddess Artemis, who is hunting him down. Things get complicated when a young woman, named Hayley, shows up with a young boy, named Oliver, who is Prometheus' son and has the same curse. In order to free both, Sam and Dean decide to summon Zeus and force him to break the curse, learning how to trap and kill him from the Men of Letters books. Zeus tricks Hayley into freeing him from the trap and then proceeds to torture Prometheus, planning to kill him and Oliver over and over again to make him pay eternally for what he did. Sam and Dean convince Artemis to intervene, as she is secretly in love with Prometheus, and she tries to shoot her father with one of her arrows, which can kill a god. Zeus uses Prometheus as a shield, but Prometheus pushes the arrow through himself and into Zeus, killing him. Prometheus dies permanently, and with Zeus dead, the curse on Oliver is broken. Sam and Dean cremate Prometheus and Dean prays to Castiel to look after Sam who he knows is not doing as well as he pretends. Despite Dean's pleas, Castiel does not appear.
166 17 "Goodbye Stranger" Thomas J. Wright Robbie Thompson March 20, 2013 (2013-03-20) 3X7817 2.16[37]
A fully brainwashed Castiel is sent by Naomi to locate and retrieve the angel tablet. At the same time, Sam and Dean find a case where people die of having their eyes burned out and organs liquefied and checking it out, discover that all of the people were possessed and digging for something. Trying to find out what the demons are looking for, they find out that Castiel is looking, too, and is in fact the one killing the people. Per Naomi's command, Castiel lies about what he and the demons are trying to find, causing Sam and Dean to become suspicious of him when they discover the truth. The trio finds and rescues Meg (Rachel Miner), revealed to be the one who knows where the crypts are, from Crowley, who has been torturing her for the crypts' locations. Meg brings Sam, Dean, and Castiel to the right crypt, and later sacrifices herself to hold Crowley off. Meanwhile, Dean and Castiel find the tablet in the crypt. Resisting Naomi's orders to kill Dean, Castiel ultimately breaks free of her control, and leaves with the tablet to keep it safe from everyone. Dean, having learned the truth about Sam's illness from Castiel, tells Sam to stop pretending and that he will help him carry the burden.
167 18 "Freaks and Geeks" John Showalter Adam Glass March 27, 2013 (2013-03-27) 3X7818 2.23[38]
Hunting vampires in Conway Springs, Kansas, Sam and Dean encounter a rather unusual team of hunters composed of orphan kids, including Krissy Chambers (Madison McLaughlin) who they met in season seven's "Adventures in Babysitting." The kids, Krissy, Aiden and Josephine have lost their families to a nest of vampires they are hunting and they live under the protection of an adult hunter named Victor who is training them while letting them also live a normal life. However, Dean grows suspicious as one of the vampires acts out of character and claims innocence. Investigating, Dean finds evidence that the vampire can't have been turned more than a few weeks before and is thus innocent and searching for the nest, he finds a vampire that the kids were sent after that supposedly killed Krissy's father, but has just been turned. Sam and Dean realize that Victor has been trying to create the next generation of hunters by hiring a vampire to kill their families and turn people so they can get "revenge." Victor kidnaps Sam after he figures it out and in the confrontation that follows when Dean and the kids return, Krissy manages to take down the vampire with dead man's blood and Victor kills himself when he realizes that he is going to be left alone. Using the vampire's blood, the group is able to turn the last victim back to human using the cure from "Live Free or Twihard" and the kids decide to stay together and be hunters, protecting the town they live in, but not actively seeking out threats. While Sam and Dean accept this, it just increases Dean's determination to close the gates of Hell as the kids are in serious danger as hunters as long as they are open.
168 19 "Taxi Driver" Guy Bee Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming April 3, 2013 (2013-04-03) 3X7819 1.90[39]
Kevin starts hallucinating that Crowley is talking to him in his mind and contacts Sam and Dean to let them know about it and that he has deciphered the second trial which is to free an innocent soul from Hell and release it into Heaven. Torturing a Crossroads Demon, they learn that a rogue Reaper can take mortals and souls in and out of Heaven and Hell for a price and track down Ajay (Assaf Cohen), who reveals that he took Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) to Hell on Crowley's orders when his flask was burned. Sam heads to Hell with Ajay on a mission to rescue Bobby while Dean is forced to stay behind and deal with an unnerved Kevin who hides his half of the tablet. Ajay takes Sam to Purgatory where a back door to Hell exists and tells him to meet him in twenty-four hours, but Crowley learns of this and kills Ajay. Sam manages to rescue Bobby, but the two are stranded in Purgatory without Ajay to bring them home. While with Kevin, Naomi visits Dean and claims Castiel is still crazy and that he misinterpreted her orders and that she is on their side. Though Dean doesn't trust her, Naomi reveals that Sam traveled to Hell through Purgatory. Finding Ajay dead, Dean calls Benny to ask him to sacrifice his life and get Sam out of Purgatory the same way he got Dean out. Benny agrees and rescues Sam and Bobby from vampires in Purgatory, but stays behind to hold off some more as they escape, having never intended to leave as he doesn't fit in on Earth. Sam releases Bobby's soul into Heaven, but is stopped by Crowley who has figured out their plan. However, Naomi intervenes, drives Crowley away and allows Bobby's soul to go to Heaven. Despite more precautions, Crowley finds Kevin through his mother and captures him and all of his notes on the tablet. But when Sam and Dean arrive, they find no signs of struggle and the windows Crowley broke still intact, leaving Sam and Dean with no clues on the third trial and no Kevin who they believe is on the run.
169 20 "Pac-Man Fever" Robert Singer Robbie Thompson April 24, 2013 (2013-04-24) 3X7820 2.38[40]
Charlie brings Sam and Dean a case in Topeka, Kansas where the victim's insides have been liquefied. As Sam is still recovering from the second trial, Dean benches him and decides to teach Charlie how to hunt. After the coroner refuses to let them see the body, Dean decides to break in that night, but before he can, a second victim is discovered. At the crime scene, Sam shows up, refusing to stay behind and together they investigate only to learn that the coroner has cremated the bodies and they determine the monster is a "bastard offshoot" of a Djinn. Charlie leaves to secretly donate money to a brain-dead woman, but is captured by the Djinn who is actually the coroner and put into a fear-induced dream. While searching for Charlie, Sam and Dean learn about the woman who is actually Charlie's mother. They locate Charlie and kill the coroner, but are unable to free her from the Djinn's poison, so Dean enters Charlie's dreams to break her out. Dean finds her trapped in a nightmare of a video game she stole and sold as a kid where she must endlessly defend her mother from super-soldier vampires. Dean realizes that Charlie's fear is of losing her mother and he gets her to realize that her mother is long gone and let go. Once she does, she returns to the waking world where Sam has killed a second Djinn, the coroner's son and the true culprit behind the deaths. Charlie leaves, but is invited to visit again to look through the Men of Letters' archives. Dean finally agrees to let Sam hunt again and start the search for Kevin. Charlie decides to let her mother go and has her taken off of life-support, but first reads The Hobbit to her one last time like her mother used to do to Charlie when she was a child.
170 21 "The Great Escapist" Robert Duncan McNeill Ben Edlund May 1, 2013 (2013-05-01) 3X7821 2.07[41]
Kevin is held captive by Crowley in an illusion of Garth's houseboat and is brought Crowley's half of the demon tablet by two demons pretending to be Sam and Dean to translate. At the same time, the real Sam and Dean receive a message from Kevin saying he is likely dead and sending them all of his notes on the tablet. Though they are unable to figure anything about the third trial out from the notes, a symbol in them points to a Native American tribe in Colorado that they think Metatron might be connected to. At a casino, they find the tribe is apparently gifted with immortality in exchange for giving Metatron gifts of stories and locate Metatron himself (Curtis Armstrong). Metatron explains that after God left, the Archangels decided to take over the universe themselves and not wanting that, he left and cut himself off so completely that he is unaware of who the Winchesters are or that the Archangels are all either trapped or dead. Sam and Dean try to convince Metatron to help them with their task. Kevin figures out Crowley has captured him and confronts Crowley who tries to kill him as he is no more use to him, but Metatron rescues Kevin who takes the second half of the tablet with him. Kevin and Metatron both reveal the third trial: to cure a demon. At the same time, Castiel hides from the angels by visiting restaurants in the Biggerson's chain using their similar layout and his ability to teleport to evade capture. One of the angels, Ion, reports to Naomi that, "we try and orient ourselves, but it's as if we are in every Biggerson's at once, trapped in a quantum superposition." Castiel is eventually caught and Naomi reveals that she has wiped Castiel's memory many times and he has taken part in many atrocities he can't remember (e.g. Death of the firstborn from Plagues of Egypt). However, Ion betrays them to Crowley who forces Naomi to flee and Crowley retrieves the angel tablet from Castiel's torso. After Kevin figures out the truth, Crowley leaves Castiel to Ion who Castiel eventually kills and escapes. He ends up on the road in front of Sam and Dean, badly injured and asks for their help.
171 22 "Clip Show" Thomas J. Wright Andrew Dabb May 8, 2013 (2013-05-08) 3X7822 2.07[42]
Searching through the Men of Letters archive for clues on how to cure a demon, Sam, Dean and Castiel locate a film of a strange exorcism. Investigating, Sam and Dean learn that the priests were testing out a theory that a demon could be cured of being a demon and that one continued his efforts until he was brutally killed. Listening to a recording of his last attempt, Sam and Dean learn that the priest succeeded and turned a demon back into a human and learn the process from his notes and the recording. They put Abaddon back together to try it on her, but Crowley calls to reveal that he has begun killing people that they have saved and while they are distracted, Abaddon escapes. Sam and Dean race to protect Sarah Blake (from season one's "Provenance"), but despite all of their efforts to protect her, they fail as Crowley has set up a spell to do the job rather than send demons. As Sarah dies, Crowley calls the Winchesters and taunts them, telling them that unless they surrender the demon tablet and stop the trials, he will kill everyone they have ever saved and will be keeping his demons away from them as insurance. Despite this, Dean is determined to continue despite them having no demon to cure. At the same time, Castiel is approached by Metatron, who reveals Heaven is in chaos and wants to seal it up to prevent the war from spreading to Earth. He suggests Castiel do the three trials needed to seal Heaven and reveals that the first requires killing a nephilim, the offspring of a human and an angel. Although reluctant to kill the nephilim (Linda Tomassone) because she has done nothing wrong, Castiel does so to protect Metatron when she fights back against them.
172 23 "Sacrifice" Phil Sgriccia Jeremy Carver May 15, 2013 (2013-05-15) 3X7823 2.31[43]
Pretending that they want to give into his demands, Sam and Dean capture Crowley so they can use him for the third trial. They take him to an abandoned church and Sam begins injecting Crowley with his purified blood as part of the demon-curing process. Elsewhere, Castiel and Metatron, staking out Cupid's next target Dwight Charles, try to complete the second Heaven trial by retrieving the "bow" of a cherub (in Supernatural, an angelic version of Cupid), but Naomi and her forces capture Metatron. Castiel enlists Dean's help in completing the angel trial. They discuss Castiel's return to heaven, and they succeed in persuading a cherub to give them her bow. Meanwhile, Crowley uses a blood spell to call upon other demons for help, only for Abaddon to answer his summons by trying to kill them both so that she can overthrow Crowley and rule Hell herself. Sam forces her to retreat by engulfing her in holy fire, and a tearful Crowley begins showing signs of becoming cured. Naomi appears to Dean and Castiel to tell them that she has learned that Metatron seeks revenge for how he was forced to leave to escape her breaking into his mind after God left and that he is actually tricking Castiel into helping him perform a spell that will expel all angels from Heaven. She also tells Dean that completing the demon trials will kill Sam. At Dean's insistence, Castiel brings him back to the church before returning to Heaven, where he discovers that Naomi has been killed by Metatron, who then takes him hostage. Finding that Sam is willing to die to atone for how often he has let him down, Dean talks Sam out of finishing the trials anyway, but the effects of the trials continue to ravage Sam's body and his life is left hanging by a thread. Meanwhile, Metatron completes his spell by extracting Castiel's grace (the essence of an angel that gives them their power and status as an angel), then sends the now-human Castiel back to Earth. Sam, Dean, Castiel, and Crowley look up into the night sky as thousands of angels begin to fall.

Production[edit]

It was announced on April 4, 2012, that showrunner Sera Gamble was leaving the show to work on developing other projects. Jeremy Carver, a longtime writer on the series, took over as showrunner for the eighth season.[44] On May 3, 2012 The CW officially renewed Supernatural for an eighth season.[45] It aired on Wednesdays at 9:00 pm on the CW. Series star Jensen Ackles directed the first episode to be produced for this season but the third to air.[46][47] "Trial and Error" was the thirteenth episode to be produced this season but the fourteenth to air.[48]

Casting[edit]

Ty Olsson was cast as Benny, a dark and dangerous vampire who helps Ackles' character Dean Winchester escape from Purgatory,[11] where he ended up at the end of the seventh season. Olsson previously appeared in Supernatural as the vampire Eli in the second season episode "Bloodlust". Liane Balaban was cast as Amelia, a love interest to Jared Padalecki's character Sam Winchester.[49] Amanda Tapping appears in seven episodes as the angel Naomi, described as being different from any other angel to have appeared in the series so far.[12] Even though Khaira Ledeyo played the role of Kevin's mother in the seventh season, Lauren Tom was cast in the role for season eight.[17] DJ Qualls returned as the hunter Garth in "Southern Comfort".[8] Felicia Day returned as hacker Charlie Bradbury in "LARP and the Real Girl" and "Pac-Man Fever".[16] Jon Gries returned as Martin Creaser, a hunter and old friend of the Winchesters, in "Citizen Fang", he previously appeared in the fifth season episode "Sam, Interrupted".[18] Jim Beaver reprised his role as Bobby Singer in "Taxi Driver".

Writing[edit]

"Why use flashbacks? Because fans usually hate it when the brothers are separated, so that's why they're being reunited quickly."

—Robert Singer.[50]

The season features two flashback stories in parallel to the episode's main story, one showing Sam's relationship with Amelia and another showing Dean's time in Purgatory. Jeremy Carver said he will keep the "evil always forward" at least for a few more years. Originally, series creator Eric Kripke planned only five seasons, but Carver drew up a plan which would carry the series through a total of ten seasons.[51] With the ending of the Leviathan story arc, the Winchester brothers will again deal with angels and demons. However, Carver says this approach to angels and demons is completely new.[52] Executive producer Robert Singer described the inspiration for the season as "Raiders of the Lost Ark".[50]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception to the season has been mixed to positive. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 63% approval rating, with an average rating of 7.3/10 based on 8 reviews.[53] Diana Steenbergen of IGN gave the eighth season an 8.5 out of 10 and called it an improvement over the seventh season, writing, "What we got was a solid season-long mythology storyline, some great supporting characters, and of course, a lot of the always reliable backbone of the show – Sam and Dean Winchester." She commented positively about the return of the demons/angels storyline and addition of new recurring characters such as Benny, Naomi, and Metatron, but criticized Sam's "regular life" storyline that got "fizzled" and dropping the tablet trials at the last minute.[54]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]