Last night's Supernatural showcased the best development in the series in a long time — the fact that the brothers now have a home. I honestly thought I was going to hate this subplot, but it's really grown on me. Suddenly the brothers' relationship is fun again. And I'm intrigued to see where they're going. If the latest developments with Kevin's tablet-translating cram session actually bear fruit, it looks like we're going right back to the early days of the show.
That's right — Kevin translated enough of the demon tablet to figure out how to close the gates of hell. By the way, I loved the whole montage of Kevin's demonic dorm room life of studying, guzzling aspirin, and eating hot dogs.
I also loved the zany bit about Dean having his first room ever, and decorating it with guns and memory foam. The boys have banter again! I'm so glad they decided to move in together and have a retro-40s bachelor-hunter-magick pad. And finally, just to give the episode a full wanna-squee injection, the writers invented a reason why Sam and Dean had to wear glasses (dipped in holy fire so they could see the normally-invisible hellhounds, of course). Let's face it, though. This was pure nerd porn.
It was all about imagining Dean in dork glasses, planning his next LARP or anime marathon.
So anyway, Kevin has figured out that the only way to close the gates of hell is to undergo three tests "like Hercules." The first test is to kill a hellhound and bathe in its blood, so the brothers go hunting for people who signed their souls over to a crossroads demon ten years ago — which means they're due for collection via hellhound. This means we have to dip briefly into an episode of Dallas, where a bunch of rich people with bizarrely good luck (like, soul-sellout luck) are all being stalked by hellhounds. Also, we find out it was Crowley who signed the Dallas family up for hell, which is a nice callback to the King of Hell's early crossroads demon days.
But before they leave for the hellhound hunt, Dean tells Kevin not to eat so many hot dogs because they're just "ground up hooves and cow's anuses." Then he gives his best used car salesman grin and adds, "Not that there's anything wrong with that." I had to cling to my memory of this great scene to make it through the Dean guilt trip that accompanied the hellhound test. That's right, Dean wants to sacrifice himself to keep Sam safe and get him out of the life. Which — isn't this the same Dean who guilted Sam into leaving his girlfriend for the Aleister Crowley gang's magick bachelor pad? I am, as ever, automatically sick of Dean's whole "I wanna die for you, Sam" bullshit. Seriously, Dean needs to go make out with Bennie or something to feel better about himself, and quit it with the sacrifice talk. I'm not buying it, and luckily Sam wasn't either.
Anyway cue shenanigans with Dean almost getting laid, more of the Dallas show, more EYEGLASSES, and finally Sam manages to kill the hellhound and bathe in its black blood. Then there's a speech from Sam about how he has hope and Dean should too. I know I should be more compassionate about all this emotional processing, but I've just been through it too many times before with the Winchesters. Finally, Sam's arm glows and he breathes really hard and he says something like, "I'm ready for the next test!" Whatever — just put your damn glasses back on, boys!