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TV Recap: 'Supernatural' Episode 721 - 'Reading is Fundamental'

Supernatural Episode 721

"Reading is Fundamental"

Written & Directed By: Ben Edlund

Original Airdate: 4 May 2012

In This Episode...

Dean takes a hammer to the slab he and Sam stole from Dick Roman. With each strike, freak lightning and thunder strikes across the country. One of these bolts of lightning strikes an overachieving Michigan honors kid named Kevin Tran. He convulses, blacks out, loses times, and is essentially possessed. Something else happens when Dean strikes the slab: Castiel wakes up. Meg calls the boys to come down - he is acting weird.

The boys head to the institution to see Castiel. He is definitely different. He is not vengeful god-like Castiel; he is not super-serious Castiel. He is something else all together. When Dean and Sam enter his room, the first thing he asks Dean to do is pull his finger. When Dean finally does, his "fart" explodes a lightbulb. Meg describes it best: "He's been the naked guy at the rave ever since he woke up." Anyway, the guys show Cas the slab, which is covered with ancient writings. Castiel says it is the word of god, but he can't read it. Meg wants to take a look, the Winchesters squabble with her, and Cas is upset. "I don't like conflict." In a blink, he disappears, dropping the slab and breaking it.

Dean goes after Cas (he is in the common room, which is where Meg always finds him when he is upset). Meg prepares to take off and Sam goes after her. They are drawn back into the room by a noise. The bag with the pieces of the slab is gone. Sam and Meg work together to chase down Kevin, who stole the bag.

Back in Castiel's room, Kevin cannot explain why he stole the slabs - he just knows he can't let go of it. When he puts the pieces together, they heal themselves. Cas and Dean come back, but so do a couple of angry angels, Hester and Anais, who try to take Kevin and the tablet with them. Dean sends them away with an anti-angel symbol, which also sends Castiel away. It's not permanent, but it will give them a head start. Sam, Dean, Meg, and Kevin head out to Rufus's old cabin so Kevin can transcribe the tablet. The Winchesters paint the cabin with invisibility symbols. Cas meets up with them and explain that when the word of god is uncovered, a prophet is chosen - in this case, Kevin. Hester and Anais were part of Castiel's old garrison. When a prophet is named, it is their duty to take said prophet into the desert so he can teach them the word of god. 

In the middle of the night, Meg sneaks out to meet a pair of demons she ran into earlier when they stopped to fuel up the car. She tells them she can give them Castiel to bring to Crowley. Instead. she kills them. She returns to the cabin and walks right into a demon trap. She convinces the Winchesters that she is on their side - if purely for self-preservation - and they let her go. Unfortunately, killing those demons set off a sort of beacon, and it is not long before Hester and Anais find them. Dean tries to compromise, promising to take care of Kevin until he has finished translating the tablet. Hester is power-mad and refuses, beating back anyone who tries to stop her from taking Kevin. Meg kills her. Kevin finishes his translation, and the not-crazy angels take Kevin home, promising to protect him there. Meg disappears; the guys discover that the translation does indeed include a way to kill the leviathans. The angels take Kevin home, where he is greeted by a very worried mother. Unfortunately, the FBI agent who has been helping her is a leviathan. He kills the angels who were supposed to protect him.

Dig It or Bury It?

Castiel is fun when he is crazy. Sam was worried that Cas taking on his crazy would ruin him. Cas thought it would, too, until he realized that taking on Sam's pain gave him a sense of purpose. He found meaning in that, strength, calm. It's very sweet, in a subtle way.

Spooky Humor

There was plenty this week. Besides the lightbulb farts, one of my favorite lines was when Dean comes back to the room with Castiel, and he discovers Kevin with Sam. "What's that?" he asks gruffly. "That's Kevin Tran." Beat. "He's advanced placement." I guess that is as good an explanation as any.


In order to kill the leviathans, Sam and Dean must enlist the help of an Alpha... and Crowley.