After the latest filler, this week’s Supernatural installment firmly ensconced us back into the race for the tablets. And after “The Great Escapist”, I no longer wonder how hard-hitting the end to the season will be, rather how many more questions will we be wanting to be answered once the final credits roll on May 16th.

MIA since “Taxi Driver”, everyone’s favorite prophet, Kevin Tran, wakes up to the Winchesters screwing up the secret knock but handing him the keys to the demon banishment—the second half of the demon tablet. But things aren’t quite as they appear as everything surrounding Kevin is a sham (including Sam and Dean). The Great Adversary, Mr. Crowley is directing this show to coerce the prophet in giving up the goods on the first half of the tablet.

Kevin’s automated goodbye to Sam and Dean

So where are the real Winchesters? They are earning some down time in their Men of Letters Lair with a jacked up Sam who hasn’t eaten in three days. He and Dean have a quick argument regarding Sam’s condition but are interrupted by an automated message from Kevin, alerting them that he’s most likely dead. After raging at his fate, the message transmits all the data he had gathered studying the first tablet. They are now prophet-less and on their own.

Rounding out the third segment of this merry band, Cas is still doing what he can to evade Naomi and her angelic henchmen. Spitting out some history on the true evolution of coffee, Cas splits Biggerson’s, the café he’s ingeniously used to flub up his pursuers. When Ion, the lead pursuer, reports back to Naomi of Castiel’s gambit, she tells him there’s one way to make Cas stop and it’s pretty easy to draw the conclusion she’s come to in that regard. And she does just that, slaughtering everyone but the waitress; she just burns the pour lady’s eyes out. The carnage stops Cas in his tracks and gives the other angels time enough to catch up to him.

While the head of the angel Spec Ops division puts Cas through a bit of mob interrogation looking for the angel tablet, the boys go over the notes when Sam spots a marker of sorts in the notes that point to Metatron, ‘The Messenger of God’. He surmises they need to go into the mountains and find this angelic recluse and they do just that, setting up shop in a Native American (the PC term per Sam) hotel to start their search. It’s not long until Sam is again laid up—with obscure memories surfacing from his childhood—while Dean does a bit of recon through the hotel. In his dazed, feverish state, Sam stumbles out of the hotel room after hearing the screeching of an angel’s voice. He sees the hotel manager dropping of a giant shipment of books at the doorstep of one of the rooms. He tries calling Dean back in their room but promptly faints. He wakes up submerged in an ice bath (pretty necessary for a 107 temperature) and comes to the realization that he’s somehow connected to Metatron.

Despite his predicament, Cas is not giving up the location of the angel tablet and before things get too hairy, thus appears Crowley with an angel-killing sidearm spewing bullets. Using his “R&D” team, he’s had an angel blade melted into bullets and points it at Naomi who, quite predictably, disappears. When he approaches Cas, he brags about his newest henchman, Ion. “I cut me an angel on the payroll…it’s that kind of universe these days.” He puts a bullet in Cas and starts back up with the questioning. Cas tells him the tablet wasn’t meant for demons or angels but the King is a smart cookie; he puts together how coming into contact with the tablet removed Naomi’s control over Cas, so why would he stop touching it? Well, he didn’t and Crowley is less than gentle in ripping it out of his stomach. Before Crowley can do anything else, he gets a call from the Winchester rip-offs who Kevin’s suckered into getting caught in a devil’s trap; he leaves Cas in the care of Ion. The traitorous angel tells his sob story of how nothing really matters, how Naomi has been in all their heads though he was forced to remember too many things. His lamentations are greeted when death as Castiel pulls the bullet from his gut and shoves it into Ion’s eye.

Sam’s memories continue to pick up and, based on never truly feeling worthy even as a child (the demon blood taint?) he

Metatron: the Keeper of God’s Word

believes the trials are purifying him. Following on Sam’s hunch, the room’s occupant is, in fact, Metatron. A few glances and the angel reveals that Sam is resonating with the Word (or the source) of God. He gives the two a breakdown of his duty; God chose him to write down His instructions. When God disappeared and the archangels tried to make things for themselves. Since then, Metatron has been holed up, reading book after book, losing himself in the world humans have created on the pages. His excitement is properly doused by Sam and Dean’s castigations of his cowardice, not even paying attention to the destruction his angelic brothers have wrought.

Meanwhile, Crowley’s totting his victory though Kevin’s quite smug with his position. Though the King wants to boast, Mr. Tran has the demon’s number and Crowley tries to end Kevin’s life. Before he can choke the life from him, an angelic light flashes, burning Crowley over his exposed flesh and transporting Kevin to the hotel. Metatron has decided to help. When Dean asks if he’s all in for closing the doors to hell, he tells Dean “It’s your choice; that’s what this has all been about.” He goes on about consequences abounding for everything one does. Just then, Kevin wakes up and tells the group of the third trial: curing a demon.

On their way back to the Lair, the boys are talking about the third trial and what it means. Dean puts on the brakes when a figure appears on the road. It’s the injured Cas, looking for “a little help here…”

Two episodes left and things are truly building towards a crescendo. The boys are reunited with Cas but with him no longer possessing the angel tablet, will he be able to keep Naomi out of his head? Is Metatron all in for the good guys? How’s Crowley going to regroup? How’s this purification of the trials going to ultimately effect Sam and what the heck is this business about curing a demon? There are only two episodes left and it seems like these questions are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. As it stands though, we all know that business it truly about to pick up.