We Need to Talk About Kevin
Season 8 Episode 1
Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
Over the soundtrack of Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath," we get a montage of last year's Leviathan storyline. Not one of my favorites, even if the song is.
100-mile wilderness, Maine, one year later - In a tent, in a foggy, tree-filled place, a couple lies asleep. A bright white light light appears, awaking the woman. “Will, wake up,” she says, shaking him, “something just happened.” Something approaches their tent, then runs past it, a shadow. She urges him to check it out, but he's scared and doesn't want to. She sits up, breathing hard, scared. “Hello?” he calls, looking outside with a flashlight, hello? It was a deer or something, he assures her, relieved himself, just a deer. Then he spies a disheveled, blood-spattered Dean Winchester and is shocked. “Where am I?” demands Dean, pointing the gun at the poor man, who is joined by his equally scared girlfriend. “Where's the road?” roars Dean. “Twelve miles that way,” points the man. Still pointing his gun at them, Dean grabs their knapsack and runs off. The couple stares at him, stunned.
Clayton, LA - four days later - Dean has hitched a ride with a truck driver as Styx plays "Man in the Wilderness." He walks, cradling what might be an injured left arm, and arrives at the LaFitte residence, where, with a small shovel, he begins to dig. “This better be you, you son of a bitch,” he mutters, raising his sleeve to reveal his arm is burning underneath the skin, as if something alive is underneath. He reaches a buried skeleton. “Hold on, you bastard!” he says gruffly, “Hold on!” He slices into his roiling, burning arm with a knife and recites some Latin, letting his blood--and the creature--spill into the hole he just dug. He falls back, relieved. Someone stands behind him. “That was fast,” says Dean. “No thanks to you,” the other man says, “What the hell took you so long?” “You're welcome,” says Dean sarcastically. The other man cracks his neck. “Everything working?” asks Dean. “Well enough,” the other man says, revealing, then detracting, vampire fangs--”So, what now?” “Like we talked about, I guess,” says Dean. “Then this is goodbye,” says the vamp. “Keep your nose clean, buddy, you hear me?” says Dean. The vamp nods and they shake hands. “We made it, brother,” says the vampire, “I can't believe it.” They smile and exchange a big hug. “You and me both,” agrees Dean, smiling.
Kermit, TX - A woman lies asleep in bed. Sam packs a bag, then pets a beautiful, whimpering collie lying asleep beside the woman, whose eyes open. Sam gulps as though holding back tears and leaves. Sam leaves in the Impala, watched by someone in a black hat.
Whitefish, MT - Sam enters a cabin and is immediately tackled to the floor and dumped on with holy water by Dean. “I'm not a demon! Or a Leviathan!” protests Sam, but Dean slices into his brother's arm with silver, not taking any chances. “Or shifter,” says Sam. “Good--my turn, c'mon, let's go,” says Dean. He holds out the holy water and knife. “I don't need to, I know it's you,” Sam assures him. “Damn it, Sammy,” says Dean, dousing himself in the water and borax, holding out the knife. “C'mon.” “No, Dean, can I just say hello!” insists Sam. Dean cuts his own arm, smiles, says, “Let's do this.” “I don't know whether to give you a hug or take a shower” grins Sam. Dean laughs and they exchange a nice, long hug.
“Dude, you're freakin alive--what the hell happened?” asks Sam. “I guess standing too close to exploding Dick sends your ass straight to Purgatory,” quips Dean. “You were in Purgatory?--for the whole year?”asks Sam, stunned. “Time flies when you're running for your life,” says Dean. “How did you get out?” asks Sam. “I guess whoever built that box didn't want me in there anymore than I did,” says Dean. “What does that mean?” asks Sam. “I'm here, okay?” says Dean. “What about Cas, was he there?” asks Sam. “Cas didn't make it,” says Dean, “Something happened to him down there, things got pretty hairy toward the end, and he just let go.” “So Cas is dead, you saw him die,” says Sam. “I saw enough,” says Dean. “So you're not sure,” says Sam. “I said I saw enough, Sam,” says Dean. “Right,” says Sam, “Dean, I'm sorry.” “Me, too,” agrees Dean, grabbing beers from an ancient fridge. “You know, half your numbers are out of service. I felt like I was leaving messages in the wind.” “I didn't get tne messages because I ditched the phones. Something happened to me this year, too--I don't hunt anymore.” “Yeah--and Sasha Gray has gone legit,” quips Dean, smiling in disbelief. Sam tries to explain she was in a Soderbergh film and then gives up. “You were gone, Cas was gone, Bobby was dead,” says Sam, “Crowley shipped off Kevin and Meg to parts unknown.” “So you just turned tail on the family business?” accuses Dean. “Nothing says family quite like the whole family being dead,”says Sam. “I wasn't dead,” says Dean, “In fact, I was knee-deep in God's armpit, killing monsters, which is what I thought we actually do.” “Yes, Dean, and as far as I knew, what we do is what got every member of my family killed,” Sam reminds him. “I had no one--no one--and for the first time in my life I was completely alone--and honestly, I didn't exactly have a road map--so yeah, I fixed up the Impala (yeah, Sammy!) and I just drove.” “After you looked for me,” says Dean. Sam doesn't reply. “Did you look for me?” asks Dean. No reply. “Good,” says Dean, “That's good, we always told each other NOT to look for each other, that's smart, good for you--of course, we always ignored that because of our deep, abiding love for each other, but not this time, right, Sammy?” Sam looks down, ashamed. “I'm still the same guy, Dean.” “Well bully for you,” says Dean angrily, “I'm not,”--and he exits the cabin. Welcome back, says Sam, with a huff.
Later - Sam offers Dean dinner, but Dean passes. “Okay,” says Sam, stirring something on the stove. He eats it alone at the table while Dean goes through a box of old phones. Dean plays back a message on Sam's phone from Kevin Tran, who escaped from a warehouse where Crowley was holding him prisoner. “When was that?” asks Sam. There's a second message from Kevin, this one a week later, begging for help. “Okay, I get it, you wanna strategize, or something?” Dean plays back another message from Kevin, a drunken one where he tells Sam, “Eat me.” The last message is six months later and assumes Sam is dead, since he hasn't heard back from him, and assuring him he won't call him back. “He was our responsibility,” Dean reminds Sam, throwing the phone at him, “and you couldn't answer the damn phone.” Sam plays back Kevin's message and thinks the kid was on a bus heading to Centerville, Michigan, because his high school girlfriend goes to college there. “You were right,” he was our responsibility, so let's find him, says Sam.
They load up the Impala and Sam throws the keys to his brother. “No visual signs of douchery, I'll give you that,” says Dean, but he DOES notice the scent of dog. “In the car?” asks Sam innocently.
Dean stares into a vending machine containing snacks. Two kids shooting pretend guns run past him. He gets a Purgatory flashback of meeting a pony-tailed vampire. They ran through the trees and Dean caught him, pinned him to a tree, bringing out the vamp's fangs. “Where's the angel?” demands Dean. “You're the angel, human,” snarls the vampire. Dean beheads him with his own weapon, then takes it with him. He's attacked by a second vamp and saved by a third, who, apparently, became his friend.
Motel - Dean doesn't want to stay in the room, he wants to hit the road because Kevin isn't getting anymore found. “The kid survived a year without us,” points out Sam, “he'll be all right another 12 hours--besides, when was the last time you slept?” “Is that how you rationalize taking a year off?” asks Dean, “People will be okay?” “People WERE okay,” says Sam, “You're okay.” “Wow,” says Dean, not believing this. “We did what we promised,” Sam reminds him, “I moved on, I lived my life.” “I'm gettin' that,” says Dean. “I wasn't oblivious,” says Sam, “I read the paper every day, I saw the weird stories, the kind of stuff we used to chase.” “And you said what, not my problem?” asks Dean. “Yes,” says Sam, “and you know what?--the world went on.” “People died, Sam,” Dean reminds him. “People ALWAYS died,” says Sam, “or maybe another hunter took care of it, I don't know, but for the first time I realized it wasn't only up to me to stop it.” “What could possibly make you stop just like that?” asks Dean, “A girl?--was there a girl?” “The girl had nothing to do with it,” insists Sam. “There was a girl,” realizes Dean. “Yeah, there was--and then there wasn't,” says Sam, “Anymore questions?”
Later - “I know this is going to sound crazy to you, I don't even necessarily need you to understand,” says Sam, “but I need you to know, I didn't just drop out, Dean, I found something, something I've never had, all my life.” “What was her name?” asks Dean. “Amelia,” supplies Sam. “So, what, you dropped your peanut butter in her chocolate?” asks Dean. “I hit her dog,” says Sam. “I knew I smelled dog,” accuses Dean, “The rules are simple--you don't take a joint from a guy named Don and there's no dogs in the car!” “What about you?” asks Sam, “you still got that look--you're shaky, on edge--what was it like?” “You wouldn't believe me if I told you,” says Dean. “Try me,” offers Sam. “Bloody, messy, 31 flavors of bottom-dwelling nasties,” says Dean, “Most days felt like 360 degree combat--but there was something about being there. . .it felt pure.”
Flashback - “What, no thanks for saving your hide?” asks the vampire. “Sure,” says Dean, indicating the weapon, “I won't shove this up your ass.” “Awful strange way to punch a meal ticket, friend,” opines the vamp--”I got somethin' you need.” “What's that?” asks Dean. “A way out.” “No such thing,” says Dean. “There is if you're human,” says the vamp, “God has made it so, at least that's the rumor.” “Bull,” says Dean. “Maybe you like bein' man meat for every Tom, Dick and Harry,” suggests the vamp. “Prove it,” challenges Dean. “Nah, you're either in or out,” says the vampire. “So you're gonna just guide me outta Purgatory out of the good of your undead heart,” says Dean. “More or less--I'm hoppin' a ride,” says the vamp, “It's a human mortal jackass, only humans can pass through--I show you the door, you help my soul to the other side.” “So you're lookin for a soul train,” says Dean. “Sure, if that's what you're into,” says the vamp. “How do I know I'm not gonna end up like you're friend here,” says Dean, gesturing to the dead vamps. “He was my friend, now you are,” says the vampire. “First rule of Purgatory, kid, you can't trust nobody.” “You just asked me to trust you,” Dean reminds him. “See--you're gettin' it now,” the vamp says. “Plus we find the angel,” says Dean. “Three's a crowd, chief,” says the vamp. “Hey,” says Dean, “either you're in or you're out.” The vamp grins.
Campus - “The last time I saw Kevin was a year ago,” reveals his girlfriend, “He stole his mother's car because he thought he was on a mission from God or something--he was crazy.” “We know Kevin was here,” says Sam, “and we understand that you're trying to protect him, but nobody can protect him better than we can.” “He wasn't,” insists the girlfriend, “I hate Kevin, I wouldn't protect him.” “I thought you two had a thing,” says Dean. “Yeah, when he was going to Princeton,” she says. “Wow, just like that,” says Dean. “Yeah,” she says, and her roomie agrees. Leaving the dorm, the brothers wonder why Kevin would come there if not to see his girlfriend.
Back where the Winchesters had just come from, a demon inhabits Kevin's girlfriend's roommate. She slits the roomie's throat and lets the blood spill into a chalice, then recites, over the roiling blood, first in Latin, then in English, “The Prophet has not yet shown his face to me--but you should know, Dean Winchester is back.”
Spotting a gal walking a dog, Sam has his own flashback:
He runs into an animal hospital, a dog in a bloodied towel clutched in his arms. “He came out of no where, ran in front of my car,” babbles Sam. “The doctor's coming, sir,” the tech says, but Sam is frantic. “YOU SAVE ANIMALS, SAVE THIS ANIMAL!” The doctor enters and orders the tech to escort Sam out. “I did this,” confesses Sam. He comes out of the memory. Dean sits before him. “Don't judge me, I got bupkus,” he says. Sam has ordered him a burger and Dean is delighted. Sam is going through security footage and has found Kevin. “Dude, it's a burger,” says Sam. “It's a treasure, corrects Dean, mmmming over his food.” “Kevin comes all the way to campus and doesn't see his girlfriend?” asks Dean. Doing all kinds of fancy computer footwork and hacking, Sam found out where Kevin has been, computer-wise, for the past two months. Dean praises this as spectacular work and requests it in English. It's in a Fairfield, Iowa, coffee shop, reveals Sam.
His hideout turns out to be, surprisingly, a church. Sam knocks, telling Kevin it's the Winchesters; Dean goes for the lock pick. Kevin awaits them with a super soaker gun loaded with Borax. “Not Leviathans,” says Dean. “What the hell happened to you guys? demands Kevin.” “Cliff notes,” says Dean, “I went to Purgatory, Sam hit a dog.” “For real?” asks Kevin. “Want some towels?” Dried off, Dean asks who taught Kevin all this. “God,” answers Kevin. “God taught you how to trap demons?” asks Dean. Technically, yeah, the kid replies. Sam asks how he escaped Crowley.
Flashback: “First he took me to a warehouse,” says Kevin. A henchman brings Kevin before Crowley. “Look at you,” says the demon, “Manicure, pedicure, like a new penny.” “Will there be torture now?” asks Kevin. “No torture for Crowley's young prince, the sky's the limit--feel like a winner, be a winner.” He places Kevin before another tablet and tells him to interpret it. “So,” says Dean, “another word of God--how many are there?” “I just became a prophet a year ago,” Kevin reminds him. “Did the tablet have a name?” asks Sam. “Demons,” says Kevin, “everything about them.” “What are we looking at?” asks Crowley. Kevin complains about the heat, and Crowley orders the henchman to turn it up. Kevin sees hellgates in the tablet. “There's one in Wisconsin,” reveals Kevin, “the tablet told me how to open it--there are ingredients for a spell.” Kevin mixes up the ingredients as they are supplied by Crowley's minions. “You told a demon how to open a hellgate?” demands Dean, “so all the demons in hell could come out, all at the same time?” “No,” says Kevin. He actually got rid of the demons holding him prisoner and escaped while Crowley, waiting at the hellgate entrance, surrounded by goats, called to him over the phone. Kevin was really reading how to destroy demons. “You son of a bitch,” praises Dean. “Where's the tablet now?” asks Sam. “Safe,” Kevin assures them. “Safe where?” asks Sam. “As long as it's safe,” Dean says. Kevin also read about how to close the hell gates forever, banish all demons off the face of the earth, lock them away forever. “That could be important, right?” “Yeah, that could be important,” agrees Dean.
“If this kid is right, he IS the bombshell,” Dean tells Sam. “There's no way Kevin is getting out of this intact, is there?” worries Sam. “He's done pretty well for himself so far, “says Dean. “He got out,” says Sam. “Now he's in it, whether he likes it or not,” says Dean. “So, free will, that's only for you,” says Sam. “I can't believe what I'm hearing!” says Dean, “Sam, we have an opportunity to wipe the slate clean--we take Kevin to the tablet, he tells us the spell, we send every demon back to hell, forever--every single bastard that destroyed our lives--killed our mother, killed Jess--and you're not sure?”
Sam sits behind Kevin in a pew. “I owe you an apology,” he tells the kid, “When you and Dean disappeared, I needed to clear my head, and I'm thinkin' you were one of the pieces I should have been there to pick up.” “You've been a hunter since you were a kid, right?” asks Kevin. “Mostly, yeah,” says Sam. “Ever since I realized I was a prophet, it's been hard to realize this is my life,” says Kevin. “Yeah, it sucks right now, I know that,” agrees Sam, “It might suck for a lot longer, but, trust me on this, it gets better.” “You know I'm not gay, right?” asks Kevin. They chuckle. “If we can do this,” says Sam, “get you the tablet, get you everything you need to close the gates of hell, there's a world out there where no Crowley--no demon--is chasing you anymore.” “I guess I just don't see how I get from here to there,” says Kevin. “I used to not be able to see it either,” says Sam, “but there is a way.” Kevin sighs. “Just give me five minutes,” he says. He walks away. Sam sits there. Dean looks in.
Flashback - The vet comes out to report to Sam, who is sitting nervously, waiting. “He sustained some serious internal bleeding, there's at least two leg fractures I can see right now, but with some TLC he should pull through for you.” Sam sighs with relief. “You gonna take the dog?” she asks. “I would, he's not mine,” says Sam. “He's not anybody's,” she says. “I spend a lot of time on the road,” says Sam. “Don't you think you're responsible?” she asks. “Why do you think I brought him here?” asks Sam. “Roberta, could you hand this man his trophy on his way out, please?” the vet says, “or maybe, if you're such an upstanding guy, you wouldn't have hit him in the first place.” Sam gulps. “Fine,” he says, “I'll take him.” “There's my hero,” she says, and returns to the back room for the dog.
The church trembles; pieces fall from the ceiling. “We got company,” says Dean. Kevin looks at the brothers, nervous. Dean hands Sam the DKK (demon killing knife) and takes out the weapon he wrestled from the vampire in Purgatory. “What the hell is that?” asks Sam. “Purgatory,” answers Dean. The doors open. Two demons stand there. “Dean Winchester, back from Purgatory,” says one. “Spanky the demon,” says Dean, holding out his weapon, “I heard about you, you're the one who uses too much teeth.”
The battle ensues, the brothers using fists, Kevin, a squirt bottle of holy water. When it's over, the brothers are victorious, the DKK swiftly dispatching the demons. Crowley enters, a Kevin's demonized girlfriend at his side. “Purgatory didn't do you any favors,” Crowley remarks, “where's your angel?” “Ask your mother,” retorts Dean. “There's that grade-school zip,” snarks Crowley, “Missed it, I really did.” To Sam, Crowley says, “Moose! Still with the pork chops, I admire that.” “Let Channing go,” orders Kevin. “It's not Channing,” says Dean, not anymore. “What an awful thing to say to the boy,” chastises Crowley, “of course it's Channing. Last time we danced, Kev, you stole my tablet and killed my men--tell you what--come with me now, bygones, and I'll let the girl go back to What's-the-point-U.” “He's lying,” accuses Dean, “you won't get Channing back, she's probably dead already.” “Please stop saying that,” sighs Crowley, “Let the girl speak.” He snaps his fingers. “Kevin?” says Channing happily. “What's going on?” she asks. “There's a demon in you, and you're going to your safety school,” Kevin says. “What?!” she cries. “But it's gonna be okay,” Kevin assures her. Impatient, Crowley snaps his fingers again, sending Channing back inside her body. “I just. . .I can't,” Crowley says. “I'll do it,” Kevin agrees. “Kevin,” says Sam warningly. “Myself for the girl,” says Kevin, “but this ends, no fighting no nothing--this ends.” “Can't let you do that, buddy,” insists Dean. “Or what?” asks Kevin, “you'll kill me?” Dean looks resigned, Crowley smiles snarkily. “I'll get my stuff,” says Kevin, and leaves. “Chin up, gentlemen,” says Crowley to the Winchesters, “I'm a professional. This isn't over by a long shot,” promises Dean. Crowley says something here about a marshmallow that I couldn't make out, then, “Come on, Kevin, chop, chop.” When the boy doesn't appear, Crowley calls him again. No response. Dean pulls out the DKK, which Crowley makes too hot for him to hold; Dean drops it. “Really, boys?” says Crowley, and walks past them, Channing in tow, calling to Kevin. Dean picks up his knife. The two demons re-enter the room. Kevin, says Crowley as if ashamed of the lad, only to be doused with holy water that Kevin had rigged to spill on him and Channing. “Sam, Dean, RUN!” Kevin shouts to the Winchesters, and while the demons recuperate from their holy water bath, all three humans high-tail it to the Impala and motor away. “Find another meat suit,” Crowley orders the demon inside Channing. The demon plumes out of the host body and away.
As the Impala passes the porch, Kevin watches as Crowley viciously snaps Channing's neck. He sees her body fall, all in horrific slow motion. Crowley cleans the holy water from his face with a handkerchief, his face impassive.
They pull up to a gas station. Dean's phone rings. He answers. “Wrong number,” he says, hanging up. “Anybody want anything?” “I'm good,” says Sam. “Kevin, how you holding up?” Kevin shakes his head and looks morose. “The King of Hell just snapped my girlfriend's neck, how about you?” he asks sarcastically. “All right, listen to me,” says Dean, “I'm sorry about your girlfriend, okay, I am, but the sooner you get this, the better--you're in it now, whether you like it or not, that means you do what you gotta do--I'm hittin' the head.” Dean leaves the car and walks around the corner. He calls his vampire friend. “How did you get a phone?” demands Dean. “Would you believe they sell these things at convenience stores now?” asks the vamp. “A lot's changed in a year. Must be a hell of a lot to take in,” remarks Dean. “Mostly it's the choices,” says the vamp, glancing over at a funeral service--”so many choices.” “I hear that,” agrees Dean. “Listen, Benny,” says Dean, “not to beat a dead horse, but what we did down there is what we had to do, I don't regret a second, but, maybe until we both adjust, it's best we don't talk for a while--one day at a time, just like we talked about.” “I think you had it right,” says Benny, “Purgatory WAS pure, I'm kinda wishin' I had appreciated it more, ya know, like you?” “Listen,” says Dean, “you got an emergency, you call me, you understand?” says Dean. “I hear ya,” says Benny, “you keep your nose clean, too, brother.” “Yeah,” says Dean, and hangs up.
Wonderful to see Crowley back. I'm figuring he's going to be our Big Bad this year, and I have no problem with that at all. I think he's a terrific villain, snarky and fun, and a formidable opponent for the brothers.
The latest tablet appears to be the Deux ex Machina needed to get rid of all the demons once and for all, so if they want to end the show with season 8, that can tie things up in a neat bow. Should be interesting to see how it pans out.
I'm guessing the pretty vet is the Amelia Sam got involved with, even though we never actually saw what happened there. She certainly is Sam's type, and I can easily imagine them falling for each other. I enjoyed the flashbacks, both for Dean and Sam, and yes, even Kevin.
I don't want to get too much into the argument between the brothers about Sam's choices, because, you guessed it, that's going to be one of my major questions.
I liked this episode very much. I have been disappointed in the first episode in seasons 6 and 7, but not season 8. This was a very good beginning.
I find Benny to be a fascinating character. Scary, deep, trustworthy, untrustworthy, what's his story and was Dean wise to allow him to come topside or not?
1. What was your opinion of the first episode of season 8? Yay or nay?
2. Dean was furious with Sam for getting out of hunting and for not searching for him, even though this is something the brothers agreed to do! How do you feel about what Sam did?
3. Sam struck a dog. Did you, for one moment, think he would just leave that responsibility behind?
4. What do you think about the relationship between Benny and Dean. They seem closer than Dean and Sam right now. Wartime buddies? Was Dean smart to allow him to come topside?
5. The brotherly hug was a good one, but seemed blunted by their argument. Were you happy to see it or was it totally ruined by what followed for you?
6. After watching this one episode, how do you think the season looks to be shaping up so far?
7. It appears Kevin is going to play a big role in season 8. How do you feel about his character?
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