“Trial and Error” was an amazing episode—and I don’t say that very often, despite what a huge fan I am of Supernatural as a whole. It was plenty funny, though still including the tension between the Winchesters. However, they seem to finally be back to being worried about each other instead of angry, which is a welcome change considering how the season has gone so far.
It also helps, I suppose, that this episode is extremely plot-heavy, introducing yet another layer to the arc that’s encompassing the season. See; the Winchesters are finally figuring out how to close the gates of Hell.
Well, I say the Winchesters, but it’s really all Kevin’s doing. The episode begins with showcasing his daily routine aboard the S.S. Fizzle’s Folly, which isn’t all that healthy; waking up early, going to bed late, staring at the Word of God all day, munching pills to keep headaches in check and subsisting mainly on hot dogs and coffee. But it all pays off, because he finally manages to translate part of the god tablet he has, and calls the Winchesters (deep in domestic bliss, it seems, Dean excited about having his own room and showing off some impressive cooking skills) to tell them the news.
The news being that, in order to close the gates of Hell, one of the Winchesters (and only one) will have to go through God’s Trials (hence the episode title), and the one trial that Kevin can make out is killing a Hellhound and bathing in its blood. Yay!
So, the Winchesters go looking for a hellhound, going after a lead of someone making an unlikely discovery of oil on their property about 10 years prior, only to discover that lo and behold, apparently everyone and their daughters had made deals when Crowley came poking around town at the time. Thankfully, this means Hellhounds abound, and they manage to kill one…or, Sam manages to kill one, in a way that conveniently soaks him in its blood. Dun dun dun.
Dean isn’t too happy about this, since he was the one who was determined to take on the trials and sacrifice himself for the cause, but it got to be a little too late and Sam recited the incantation to officially make him the trial-doer. Surprisingly, they come to something of an understanding at the end of the episode, and all seems well—or, as well as it ever gets for the Winchesters.
Also, Sam finally told Dean what we all knew all along—that the elder Winchester is an absolute genius at a ton of things, and needs to stop calling himself stupid. Hear, hear!
Catch the next episode of Supernatural next Wednesday the 20th on the CW at 9/8c!