We’ve come to the ¾ mark of season eight for Supernatural and things are slowly building up towards what promises to be an epic finale as Castiel, the Winchesters (with the prophet Kevin), Crowley, and Naomi race to obtain the tablets for Heaven and Hell.

There are no time outs in demon interrogations…

Running for his life and translating tablets on a forced deadline are starting to get to Mr. Tran. Crowley’s bouncing in and out of his head, messing with his sanity. The Winchesters come calling and, despite his four steps closer to Looneyville, Kevin gives them the necessary info on the second trial; rescuing an innocent soul from Hell. That’s not too hard, now is it? Of course, there’s the small nugget of just how to get there. Enter a Crossroads Demon. They summon one up, sucker him into a Devil’s Trap–I don’t think these guys/gals ever learn—and get the intel. They need to find a rogue reaper, a Coyote for the supernatural world and Mr. Crossroads gives them Ajay, a reaper moonlighting as a taxi driver. He knows the Winchesters well, being the Coyote that stole away Bobby Singer and escorted his soul to Hell. With the new information at hand, Sam’s objective just happens to coincide with helping their dear old Uncle B. There’s just a small catch; Sam has 24 hours to get in and out and, oh yeah, he has to travel through Purgatory first.

With nothing else to do, Dean goes back to see Kevin. The prophet’s pretty tweaked out and Dean gives him some tough love advice. He gets the urge to crack but “you suck it up and you push through…because that’s what we do.”

Back in the city, Ajay’s trying to enjoy a bit of a snack with Crowley joins him for a bit of 20 questions. After trying Crowley’s severe bout of “non-patience”, Ajay is put out of his misery, and life, with a nice Angelic sword to the back. Things don’t look too goo for Sam now that his ride back to the other side is DOA.

Speaking of Mr. Hellbound, after getting his first Purgatory kill, Sam finds to rabbit hole to Hell. Not five seconds in and I’m getting the heebie jeebies as the screams of pain and torment reverberate throughout the entire dungeon (Hell is a prison, after all). It doesn’t take long for Sam to find Bobby—let’s suspend belief just a bit here—and promptly gets socked in the nose. The deceased hunter doesn’t think this is the real Sam but after offering up some hilariously disturbing details on the life-changing pedicure and such, Bobby knows it’s the real Sam.

Seems like everyone’s freaking out in this episode. Crowley’s pissed none of his minions can find Kevin or the tablet and

Crowley’s losing his cool with the help

he lays into his glorified secretary. Meanwhile, Kevin’s nearly off the tracks and believes the best course of action is to hide the tablet, a prospect that pisses Dean off and grants the latter a visit from Naomi. She does her best job to sell her side of things and though Dean’s not buying most of her crap, she filters in enough seeds to get him to doubt things, at least a little. When she tells him about Sam having to go through Purgatory, it perks up his ears. Even more, when he finds out Ajay’s no more than a rotting stain in a taxi cab, well, he knows he’s going to have to call in a huge favor from his former vampire bestie, Benny.

After escaping back to Purgatory, Sam gives Bobby the 411 on everything that’s happened over the last few months, some of which surprises the hunter. A bit more immediate is their lack of a ride out of town, so to speak. It’s not long before they get something’s seriously wrong and if Ajay’s not coming their bacon is effectively cooked.

You will be missed, Benny

Back in the city, Benny arrives and pretty much knows what Dean’s going to be asking. He welcomes the chance to help his friend and Dean’s nearly heartbroken to ask this of his friend. He promises Benny he’ll have everything ready for when the vampire hitches a ride back with Sam but Dean’s not thinking clearly and misses just how bad off his friend really is. He lops off Benny’s head and the vampire arrives just in time to save Bobby and Sam from a mauling—again, we’ll suspend a bit of the logistical belief here—and ushers them to the Purgatory exit. Sam does the incantation for Bobby to hitch a ride and prepares to do the same for Benny but the vampire’s not willing to return to a world where he doesn’t fit in. He casts himself as bait when a trio of vamps arrive looking for payback and gives Sam the time he needs to cross back over to our world.

Dean’s waiting in the 100 Mile Wilderness when Sam arrives. He’s ecstatic to see his brother back and in one piece though the news on Benny really hits Dean hard. Still there’s a job to do and they are ready to send Bobby’s soul to Heaven but Crowley shows up, ready to reclaim what he paid good quid to obtain. Thankfully for the white hats, Naomi arrives and shoos Crowley off. She helps usher Bobby’s soul to Heaven all the while throwing in a little nugget about being on the side of heroes.

Kevin’s still hearing Crowley’s voice in his head and it gets to the point where the King of Hell finds his prey—or does he? All we know is that when the Winchesters return to the ship, Kevin and all his notes are gone.

“Taxi Driver” really helped move along this season’s story arc but came across as a bit too rushed for my tastes. The scene between Dean and Benny was one of my favorite scenes from this season’s Supernatural. And then there’s Crowley. Mark Sheppard’s presentation of Hell’s resident King never gets old. With only four episodes left, there isn’t too much time left for the Winchesters and their gang of do-gooders to find the wares to shut down Hell’s shop for good.