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Supernatural Watch: Season 7, Episode 21 - Reading is Fundamental

After an uneven seventh season, the chips are starting to fall into place for a pretty exciting finale. An already crowded chess board became even more jam-packed in “Reading is Fundamental” with the introduction of Kevin Tran, an AP student-turned-prophet who served a crucial function in Sam and Dean’s quest to take down Dick. Chuck Shurley was the last prophet the Winchesters dealt with and you can hear the lingering frustration in Dean’s voice when he’s told Kevin is also a prophet. But their awkward “get to know you” phase is ultimately worth it, as Kevin translates the Word of God on the tablet Sam and Dean snatched in the previous episode. The translation revealed how the Leviathans can be killed – a process that begins with taking Castiel’s blood and will continue in the final two episodes.

What happens when the devil scrambles your brain?

We’ve seen several different variations of Castiel throughout the series but his new persona baffles me. He seemed more carefree and once again unaware of the nuances that comprise human behavior. He was having Dean pull his finger, talking about cat penises and generally acting like he’d suffered some serious brain damage. I can’t put a finger on what the writers were going for with his new personality and the motivation behind it was a little murky. I liked the explanation of how Castiel only saw Lucifer for a short time because that hallucination belonged to Sam and I’m glad the angel was forced to deal with the guilt that came from his stint as God. Castiel’s time in the mental hospital appears to have freed him from all the burdens and convictions he’s accumulated since the fourth season. I guess we have a precedent for this version of Castiel – the hippy, drug-addicted incarnation from season 5’s “The End.”

Castiel’s awakening tied into the Kevin’s rebirth as a prophet in that both were triggered by Sam and Dean uncovering God’s Word. There was a lot happening when the four characters and Meg finally got together, starting with the arrival of angels from Castiel’s garrison who were determined to take Kevin into the desert where he could study the word away from everyone. Dean banished the angels and the group retreated to Rufus’ cabin to distance themselves from the angels, Leviathans and demons. Meg killed some demons but not before revealing that she was waiting to take Castiel to Crowley. Now, Meg could’ve been lying to the demons she killed. She might have every intention of using Castiel’s power to help kill Crowley. Then again, her master plan might be to get back in Crowley’s good graces by bringing him Castiel, who as she correctly pointed out, betrayed Crowley. This whole “trust a demon” storyline didn’t turn out too well for Sam and Dean at the end of season 4 and as much as I want to believe Meg has noble intentions, this show has taught me that demons are untrustworthy, selfish creatures.

So much for that rule!

After seven seasons, I’ve sadly forgotten a lot of the rules governing the creatures in Supernatural. That being said, I specifically remember the rule that angels can only be killed using the pointy silver swords. Yes, Castiel killed several of his angelic brethren in the seventh season premiere but he was God at the time so that’s an understandable exception. The ending to “Reading is Fundamental” crapped all over that rule as Edgar gutted the two angels escorting Kevin. While I’m not thrilled with this bit of retroactive continuity, I see a possible explanation: the angels were never told Leviathans could kill them because God never feared them escaping purgatory. It’s a lame explanation to be sure, but I’d like to think the writers just didn’t forget the angels’ place in the Supernatural hierarchy.

Don’t bother asking “Why me?”

Kevin was depicted as a likable character from the beginning and is a welcome addition to the show’s mythos for a myriad of reasons, perhaps most notably because he represents an unrepresented minority on Supernatural – Asians. I’m probably forgetting someone but I can’t remember any major characters on the show who were Asian. If I’m wrong, please politely remind me in the comments below. We’ll see how our newest prophet fits into the final two episodes after being captured by one of Dick Roman’s minions. If there’s one thing Supernatural consistently delivers, it’s amazing finales. I have little doubt Kevin and the dozen other players on the board will make for a spellbinding conclusion.

Lines of the week

Dean: “Does that sound like somebody saying ‘No, wait, stop’ to you?”

Sam: “Uh, yeah. Yeah.”

Dean: “Yeah. Oh well.” (smashes tablet)

Castiel: “Did you know that a cat’s penis is sharply barbed along its shaft? I know for a fact the females were not consulted about that.”

Kevin: “This looks like a sex-torture dungeon. Is this a sex-torture dungeon?”

Next week on Supernatural

The alpha vampire returns and the plan to kill Leviathans beings to unfold.