TV Recap: 'Supernatural' Episode 819 - 'Taxi Driver'



supernaturalSupernatural Episode 819
“Taxi Driver”
Written By: Eugenie Ross-Leming & Brad Buckner
Directed By: Guy Bee
Original Airdate: 3 April 2013

In This Episode...

Kevin is starting to crack up under the pressure. He believes Crowley is in his head and has taken to living in a tiny windowless closet on the boat. On the upside, he has transcribed the second trial: an innocent soul must be rescued from hell and delivered to heaven. So Sam and Dean summon a hell demon and torture him until he cracks. He says that rogue reapers will often smuggle people to hell for the right price. He directs the Winchesters to RJ, a taxi driver who dabbles in hell smuggling.

RJ will take Sam - only Sam - to hell for no upfront costs; the boys will simply “owe him one.” Big mistake on RJ’s part - this all but guarantees he will be killed (and he is, by Crowley, shortly after delivering Sam). RJ knows who Sam and Dean are because he is the one who took Bobby to hell. So clearly, Bobby is the soul that must be saved. RJ opens up a portal and takes Sam in. But it is not hell he is delivered to - it is purgatory, which is hell-adjacent. He gives Sam directions, tells him he will pick him up in precisely 24 hours, and wishes him well.

Sam makes it through purgatory with surprising ease and finds the rabbit hole to hell. Hell is pretty much what you expect: dark caverns outlined in glowing embers; tortured souls chained and bloodied. It pretty much looks like Diablo. Sam finds Bobby - and is greeted with a punch to the nose. Sam calms him down, and once Bobby realizes this is the real Sam - not one of the hundreds of demon Winchesters he is tortured with on a daily basis - he gives the boy a great big hug. They battle a few demons on their way out of hell. 

Up on the surface, Dean discovers RJ is dead, so Sam will have no way of getting out through the portal. His last chance is to call Benny. Despite having had no contact in quite a while, Benny is pleased to hear from Dean. He has been having a hell of a time making it in the real world; he doesn’t fit in with the vampires or the humans. Dean feels horrible asking Benny for such a monumental favor, but Benny is happy to do it. I think he is happy to be of use to someone.

Back in purgatory, Bobby and Sam take on a trio of beasties. Unfortunately, the odds are not in their favor, but Benny shows up just in time and takes out the third beast. Bobby tries to kill Benny, but Sam stops him. Bobby thinks the boys have gone off the rails without him around. Though Sam is a bit wary of Benny, Benny has proved himself to be loyal and leads them to the portal that he and Dean had once escaped through. Sam does his little ritual and Bobby hitches a ride under Sam’s skin. He offers the same to Benny, but Benny declines. He stays behind to slaughter some vampires who have just appeared, and Sam doesn’t argue.

Dean is relieved to see his brother return safely - and not too surprised that Benny didn’t return with him. Sam chants again and releases Bobby’s soul into the ether. A bright blue light flies into the sky - but is stopped by an ominous black cloud. Crowley is there and he wants his soul back. Just as it appears that Crowley is winning, Naomi appears. She is pissed off that Crowley is stealing souls that have no business being in hell, but she is more angry at being called a bureaucrat. She does away with Crowley, which does away with the black cloud, and Bobby’s blue spirit flies up to heaven. Earlier in the episode, Naomi had revealed herself to Dean, defending both herself and Castiel (she realized that when she told Cas to protect the angel tablet “by any means necessary,” Castiel’s fractured mind could have taken that to mean, “kill the Winchesters.”) but Dean did not trust her. Although I sure as hell don’t trust her still, Dean seems to be a little less untrusting. Naomi disappears, and Sam finishes the trial with an incantation and an excruciating pain that has him doubled over for a minute.

Dean and Sam head back to the boat to give Kevin the good news, but they are greeted with bad news of their own: Kevin is gone. He has taken everything and left.

Dig It or Bury It?

Dig it. First and foremost - Bobby!! I love that just because someone dies in Supernatural that doesn’t mean we won’t ever see them again. This episode had a lot of stuff going on, but it was impressively paced. Nothing felt stretched out; nothing felt forced or anticlimactic. We went through the second trial, got to visit with Bobby, got some closure for Benny, got a bit of insight into Naomi, and got a freakout from Kevin - but it wasn’t rushed. It was just a good, solid hour of television.

Sibling Rivalry

Sam finally admits that he misjudged Benny. I guess all it takes is a purely selfless act of heroism to gain Sam’s trust. Dean is saddened by the news of Benny - Benny was like another brother - but he didn’t burn his bones in case Benny ever wants to give life another go.


Felicia Day is back, so you know it is going to be a nerdy episode. She and Sam and Dean are sucked into a video game where, if you die in the game, you die in real life.