TV Recap: 'Supernatural' Episode 814 - 'Trial and Error'



supernaturalSupernatural Episode 814
“Trial and Error”
Written By: Andrew Dabb
Directed By: Kevin Parks
Original Airdate: 13 February 2013

In This Episode...

Kevin has finally had a breakthrough with the tablets. It seems that there is a gauntlet of three tests. After each test is completed, a spell must be said. In theory, after the third test, the gates of hell should be slammed shut. Kevin has the spell, and he has the first task, which he turns over to Sam and Dean. They must slay a hellhound and bathe in its blood. Doesn’t seem too hard - they’ve killed hellhounds in the past.

Sam does some research to see who may have made a deal with the devil 10 years ago. He finds it in the Cassity family, Idaho farmers who strike oil in a place that shouldn’t have oil, and become the real-live Beverly Hillbillies. The Winchesters head to Idaho where the groundskeeper, Ellie, thinks they are answering the ad for farmhands. The boys take the job.

Over dinner, the farm owners - Alice (a Cassity) and her husband Carl - hear a wolf in the distance. Worried about her horses, Alice goes to investigate. Sam and Dean follow, but it is Carl who is devoured by the hellhound. The boys are at a loss, but the rest of the Cassity clan is coming to town for Carl’s funeral. The walking reality show cliches include a 75 year old patriarch who married a 25 year old lingerie model; a drunk failed country singer; and the youngest of the group Margie, who ran away to Paris about 10 years ago.  Dad and Margie head into the woods to kill the beast that killed Carl, and Dean convinces them to let him come along. Margie is killed by a hellhound.

Sam and Dean go into hardcore hunter mode. The remaining family members - none of whom will own up to signing over their souls (even though they all remember dining with a man named Crowley 10 years ago) are handcuffed to the furniture inside the house, and sealed in with some voodoo powder while Sam stands guard. Dean heads outside with special hellhound x-ray specs that allow him to see the beast. He hears music and finds Ellie having a private party in her quarters. She admits that she signed up with Crawley, in order to cure her mother’s Parkinson’s disease. Crowley neglected to mention that hellhounds would come to collect her soul, and it is here now.

Dean goes outside to meet the hellhound. It attacks, knocking off his x-ray specs, knocking him into a wall, and taking a big gash out of his side. Luckily Sam ignored his brother’s dictate to remain in the house, so he is there to shoot the hound, wrestle it to the ground, and slit it open. Dean tries to read the inscription, but since he didn’t bathe in the hound’s blood, it doesn’t count. He reluctantly lets Sammy read it, which means that Sam must complete the other two trials. When Sam says the spell, he is overcome with pain, and his arm glows translucent red before everything goes back to normal.  

Dig It or Bury It?

I liked it. The story itself was kind of a means to an end, but I thought the interplay between the brothers was excellent. I think it is safe to say they are no longer fighting.

Sibling Rivalry

No rivalry at all here. Instead, Dean steps up as big brother and refuses to let Sam leave the house while he hunts the hellhound. Completing these trials is likely a death sentence. Dean sees himself as a grunt, as dying with a gun in his hand. But Sam sees a light at the end of the tunnel, and he wants his little brother to live in a world where the gates of hell are closed, where he can have a wife and kids and grandkids. But by the episode’s end, Sam explains that he believes he can pull Dean through the light at the end of the tunnel, and Dean can live in his sunny world. Dean won’t admit it, but he likes this idea.


An old friend returns with dreams of killing people - but were they just dreams?