TV REVIEW: Supernatural Season 8 Episode 19 & 20 Review: Taxi Driver & Pac Man Fever

Sam-Castiel-Dean-supernatural-16744455-1280-800We are back with the Winchester brothers and it’s the return of old friends as we see Kevin, Benny, Charlie and Bobby???!!!!

Episode 19: Taxi Driver

We open with Kevin being hounded by Crowley, a particularly bloody affair however when the boys arrive it seems like it might all be in Kevin’s head. Between translating and torture, Kevin has managed to figure out the second trial – an innocent soul has to be saved from Hell and sent to Heaven.  The boys manage to torture a cross road demon into revealing that rogue reapers or “coyote’s” can move people between the worlds.
The boys find a taxi driver named Ajay that can do this, not only that but they are given the revelation that Bobby Singer (last seen as a ghost in Season 7) is in Hell.  Sam goes with Ajay to rescue Bobby, finding that the way to Hell is through Purgatory.  Dean is left to wait while Crowley cottons onto Sam’s trip downstairs, and kills Ajay.  Sam finds Bobby, who has been tortured by demons appearing as Sam & Dean.  Dean spends time with Kevin, who appears to be losing it and proves it by hiding the tablet.  Naomi shows up, claiming she is on Dean’s side and Cas merely misinterpreted her instructions.

Dean discovers a dead Ajay and with Sam stuck on the other side, calls Benny requesting he make the ultimate sacrifice –  Dean kills Benny so he can go to Purgatory and see Sam to the portal.  Sam, Bobby and Benny make it to the portal but Benny elects to stay behind – to fight vampires and because he didn’t “fit” into the normal world.  Sam makes it through and meets with Dean, they release Bobby’s soul but Crowley prevents it from moving up.  Naomi shows up and forces Crowley away, sending Bobby’s to heaven.  The boys return to Kevin but he has gone…

Back to the season arc and another cracking episode.  Seeing Bobby again is a real treat, his cantankerous humour and willingness to be in the fight are truly missed.   We have more layers to the  duplicitous Naomi, who we have seen coldly drill Cas into killing Dean but here is nothing but helpful.  Amanda Tapping who plays Naomi is a class act and has been an asset to the season.  Crowley is also featured and despite being his usual wicked self, is clueless to the boys plans – you’d think he’d have the knowledge to figure it out by now but I like that we are seeing the cogs turning and the frustration as he still doesn’t realise.  We have yet another  mystery as Kevin is seemingly going down the path to madness or  is being mentally tortured by Crowley?  We also say goodbye to Benny, at least on the topside world, a noble sacrifice to our favourite southern vamp (including the True Blood vamps – suck it TB fans).  Lots of emotion between Dean and Benny, although it feels like we didn’t see everything in Purgatory between them that made the bond so strong, it is believable.  Benny has been a surprising asset to the season.
Once again the mythology episode proves to be one of the highlights of the series.

Episode 20 Best Lines: “Give me five minutes with some clippers”, “We need to find everyone of those books and burn them”, “Castiel…he seems helpful…and dreamy”, “Whatever you say War Games”, “I don’t want to miss the bro-ment”, “don’t quote me to me”, “deodorant…a little pee”, “I always wanted to be TRON-ed”, “I love you”.


Episode 20: Pac-Man Fever

Dean wakes up wearing a military uniform and lab coat in a seemingly abandoned hospital.  However Dean is not alone and comes under attack. Cut to flashback at the Men of Letters base we have Sam and Dean, with Sam suffering a lot more from the trials, so much so Dean forces Sam to do a shooting test before he lets him out – Sam fails.  The boys then receive an email from Charlie (Felicia Day) who has a case for them.
There have been a series of deaths with liquefied insides.  Charlie has also been researching the boys via the “Supernatural” books (now online) as well as all things Supernatural.  With Sam still suffering, Charlie passes the shooting test and joins Dean to investigate the case.  Initially obstructed by the coroner, they progress with the case including being joined by Sam.  When the body disappears and Charlie acts suspicious it turns out that Charlie is in town to visit her mother, who is in a brain dead coma since she was in car accident when Charlie was twelve.  The coroner is also not what she seems as she is a Jinn, but the usual run of the mill Jinn but one that feeds on fear.  The Jinn takes Charlie, locking her in a video game fantasy/nightmare from Charlie’s past.  Dean and Sam kill the Jinn but Dean needs to “go in” to Charlie’s nightmare to pull her out.  However Jinn had a son which Sam has to deal with while Charlie has to let go of her mother in the nightmare.  By the end the relationship between the boys and Charlie is truly solidified.

This is a really good episode.  Once again Felicia Day puts in a humorous and moving performance as Charlie.  We learn her motivations for being on the run, more then just the hacking skills she possesses and we have a realistic, original character that is nailed in performance and fits in the world of “Supernatural”.  To be honest, you could’ve done without the the video game fantasy part of the story, but it adds some action and fun lines without harming the rest of the episode.  While we don’t add much to the ongoing arc of the season, we have something just as valuable in the character of Charlie Bradbury and her relationship with the boys, especially Dean.  I really hope we see more of Charlie soon.  Also we get a montage, and you gotta love a montage…

Episode 19 Best Lines: “and it gets creepier”, “I booked a Hell tour”, “I believe the closet would be safest”, “that’s my pie”, “Winchester jumbo sized is trying to break into the mothership”, “50/50”, “Balls”.


Reporter: Steven Stone

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