Supernatural (opens in new tab) Season Eight Episode Seven “A Little Slice Of Kevin” TV REVIEW(opens in new tab)
Writers: Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner
Director: Charles Robert Carner
THE ONE WHERE Crowley kidnaps Kevin, and Cas suddenly appears topside.
VERDICT Last week it was Garth, this week Castiel returns for duty in the land of the living. Oh, Supernatural , you really are spoiling us! Fortunately for fans of the trenchcoat-sporting seraph he returns in one of this season’s best episodes to date.
It’s arc-plot heavy, as the presence of Castiel, Crowley, Kevin and his mum would imply. Crowley has kidnapped all the potential future prophets and gathered them together so that he no longer has to rely on Kevin to get his tablet translated. For once, the King of Hell gets to demonstrate just how nasty he can be: torturing angels, chopping a finger off Kevin and exploding potential prophets like water balloons. As a result, when Castiel confronts Crowley (who possesses his own angel blade) you’re genuinely concerned for the safety of the weakened celestial warrior.
There’s no need to worry though, because Cas demonstrates he’s more than capable of keeping his angel erection up. It’s a moment of pure badassery, mixed with a smattering of breath-snatching relief. It’s a treat to finally see Cas back to his old ways: sitting grandma-distance away from the TV, huddled in the back seat of the Impala like Winchester Jr, incinerating demons in holy light. The explanation for why Cas chose to remain in purgatory isn’t entirely satisfying (could he not have served some sort of penance on earth?) but the moment where he shows Dean the truth he didn’t want to see is a real lump-in-the-throat reveal.
Not to tie up one loose end without unravelling another, we soon discover how Cas was pulled out of purgatory (by angels) and why (to spy on Sam and Dean). Why the all-seeing Angels can’t just do it themselves, we’re not sure, but the more important question is why are the angels taking such an interest in Sam and Dean all of a sudden? Top marks for the superb, mid-word, jump cut to heaven, a lovely piece of editorial wrong-footing which disorientates us as viewers as much as Castiel is thrown off in the show.
Apart from a moment of demon-exploding cool, Sam gets the short-shrift, but otherwise this is Supernatural back at its best.
LMAO Mrs Tran is as laugh out loud funny as ever as Kevin’s strong-willed matriarch, but the sight of Crowley blowing a pin wheel round and round as Kevin sits, post-torture, is a delightfully surreal comedic touch.
DID YOU SPOT? Delta has the same black and white Zombie Jesus poster as Brian in “Bitten”.
IT’S WOSSERNAME Sci-fi mainstay Amanda Tapping stars as Naomi, the angel who calls Castiel to heaven at the end of the episode.
OFF SCREEN Castiel speculates that because Kevin Tran is now a prophet Chuck must be dead. If he’s right it’s a disappointing off camera climax to Chuck’s story. Or perhaps Chuck really was god all along, as many fans speculated . OR maybe he’s Metratron. Awfully convenient that they’re both mentioned for the first time in months in this episode...
WHAT’S IN A NAME? Hang on, is that pre-school called Randy Racoon Pre-School?
ALIAS ... Roth and Malloy – a reference to David Lee Roth of Van Halen and Mitch Malloy who auditioned for the band, but never joined. Geekiest alias yet?
"Save the Hallmark. It's gonna work. Nobody gets left behind."
SAM’S HANGDOG EXPRESSION OF THE WEEK(opens in new tab)
FEATURED MUSIC Dean is listening to “ We Gotta Get out of This Place ” by The Animals when he first sees Cas walking along the road.
GAFFE When Dean returns to the motel with a six pack while Cas watches TV, he throws the keys on the worktop, but in the very next shot they’ve disappeared.
TRIVIA This episode marks the 50th appearance of angels on Supernatural .
TRIVIA 2 The reporters in the stories about missing persons are Terry Ewasiuk and Kara Schwandt, who work in Supernatural ’s art department.
Crowley : “It's all very West Side Story , but let's be logical. You look like hell, and I should know.”
Jordan Farley (opens in new tab)
Read all our Supernatural Season Eight reviews here. (opens in new tab)