‘Supernatural’ Season 8, Episode 14 Review – The First Trial

Published 2 years ago by

supernatural season 8 episode 14 review Supernatural Season 8, Episode 14 Review   The First Trial

Fresh off a season 9 pick-up, Supernatural continues with renewed energy in this week’s episode, “Trial and Error,” by giving a helpful nudge to get this season’s early storylines on track. With the series now running at full power, the only thing standing in Sam and Dean’s way is God’s remaining trials.

Sam and Dean – now with instructions on how to close the gate to Hell – seek out someone who signed a deal with a crossroad demon, in hopes of killing a hell-hound and completing one of God’s trials.  However, when the Winchesters sign on to be ranch hands to a curiously wealthy family, the actual number of demon contracts signed puts everything at risk. After tracking down the true intended target, Sam and Dean must come to terms with who will actually be closing the door on Hell forever.

The introduction of Kevin, the Prophet, early-on in season 8 hasn’t exactly been playing out as well as producers originally hoped. For Supernatural, a show that’s known for its ingeniously unique characters, Kevin’s role in Sam and Dean’s adventures was generally that of a filler character, like Garth (DJ Qualls), whose role was meant to display some semblance of an over-arching, progressive seasonal story. Thanks to Kevin’s mother, among (many) other things, the heavy-handed use of the character early in this season had fans fearing a repeat of the Leviathan-filled season 7.  Thankfully, this week’s episode appears to have solved most of this season’s lingering questions – and not just Kevin.

supernatural season 8 episode 14 sam Supernatural Season 8, Episode 14 Review   The First Trial

For the past few weeks, Sam and Dean have essentially been part of three stand-alone episodes, “LARP and the Real Girl”, “As Time Goes Buy” and “Everybody Hates Hitler”, where the drama in Heaven and Hell was replaced with a set of stories that completely re-energized the series. The challenge, it seemed, would be trying to reintroduce the earlier season storyline without Supernatural losing its newfound energy.

Fortunately, not only did this week’s episode manage to reintroduce the Word of God storyline, but it did so by using the same ingenuity that returned Supernatural to its peak weeks. Along with Kevin and the tablet returning, a familiar fan-favorite tale of a crossroad demon returned to temper audience acceptance of the (now) not-so-new Prophet character. While it’s true that the use of iconic past elements is a sort-of “cheat” to help sell new, unproven storylines, the execution of this episode was so successful that nobody could fault the aging series from dipping back into its bag of trips.

supernatural season 8 episode 14 dean sam Supernatural Season 8, Episode 14 Review   The First Trial

As the game of “mix and match” with crossroad demon deals ensued, the story, surprisingly, kept focus on Sam and Dean over anyone else. Like any great episode of Supernatural, it takes an interesting tale and wraps Sam and Dean around it. Although the story is important, it’s the impact that it has on our protagonists, good or bad, that makes it memorable. With some helpful Bobby-like tips from Kevin, the characters of Sam and Dean wholeheartedly reclaimed Supernatural back as their show. That is, unless Bobby comes back. (It could happen – maybe.)

Now Sam and Dean find themselves at a crossroads with God’s trials. With Sam having completed the first against Dean’s wishes, the brotherly relationship will once again receive screen time – only this time it feels very real, almost final. Although Sam and Dean have been at odds before, this is the first time that an actual ending to the Winchesters had presented itself. In season 4 and 5, everyone died and came back to life so much that death lost is importance. This week, even if it was just a little glimpse, audiences saw what the final moments of Supernatural (season 10) will actually be like. Who will live and who will die? That, as they say, is something you’ll have to wait and see for yourself.


Supernatural returns next weeks with “Man’s Best Friend With Benefits” @9pm on CW. You can check out a preview below:


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  1. Such a good show

  2. Man they’re on a roll again. Haven’t caught this ep yet but the last two were awesome. As for an ending, I can’t imagine them both living happily ever after and retiring. It kind of would defeat the purpose of the show if they didn’t go out with a bang self-sacrificially, or at least one of them for the benefit of the other. I think the only way is if they both died so they finally wouldn’t have a reason to get back to the world of the living for the other again. Or, just end it with a shot of them cruising down backroads in the Impala blasting classic rock continuing their adventures after closing the gates

  3. I have a feeling the shows going to end with the gates of heaven and hell BOTH being closed off and sam and dean restart the men of letters and make it a base of operations while living a semi normal life happily.

  4. this was a good ep but it needs more cas!!

  5. Love this episode. Season 8 is so much better than season 6 and season 7. The Dean and Sam moments have so much season 2 feels to it.

  6. Season 8 is hands down the best season in the longest time! Reason being, the return of Jeremy Carver, he wrote many episodes in the early seasons of the show! So glad Sara Gamble stepped down as EP she just wasn’t doing it right.

  7. Everytime they talk about the show’s end, I’m afraid that Dean and Sam will be killed off. No reason why, just to go out with a bang. I hope not.

    In any case, enjoying this season, and this episode was a good one.

  8. This season keeps being awesome. I loved this week’s episode too. We finally got to see how Hellhounds look like. Hells yeah!

  9. Yet another great episode! They seem to have raised the budget as well…

    …because this was the first time that we actually saw a hellhound. And Dean’s face thing was pretty well done and creepy as well.

  10. did anyone else love the fact that Dean finally gets to gank a hell-hound? After all, the creatures cost him a great deal — Jo, with whom he could have actually had a decent relationship,but it was a hell-hound that drug him down to, well, hell. Hearing the dysfunctional Cassidy’s mention Crowley as though talking about a long-lost relative who’s name you can’t remember was fun…I enjoyed this episode even if it was a bit Sam-heavy. Also of note I think the character of Charlie on the last episode was so much like a female Dean that it would be fun if it turned out that they were related somehow. Am definitely enjoying this season more. Dean needs someone permanent whom he can rely on and who won’t betray him. (I’m available…lol)

    • If anything the episode was Dean heavy and it was Sam who killed the Hell hound not Dean.

      Agree Dean should be with someone who wont betray him, maybe he and new BFF Charlie aka Dean with a virgina can go off and LARP together while Sam can shut down the gates to hell with Cas, Kevin or all the other people who aparently arent in Dean’s ;ife and all about him.

  11. yet to find a show that is even slightly better than supernatural