Supernatural: We Need to Talk About Kevin
October 10, 2021 5:56 AM - Season 8, Episode 1 - Subscribe

One year after the fight with the Leviathans, Dean escapes from Purgatory. After reuniting with Sam, they find out that Kevin has escaped Crowley with another Word of God that may hold the key to closing the gates of Hell forever.


Dean: Hey, the rules are simple, Sam. You don't take a joint from a guy named Don. And there's no dogs in the car!

Dean: Well... Let's do this.
Sam: I don't know whether to give you a hug or take a shower.

Dean: Standing too close to exploding Dick sends your ass straight to Purgatory.

Kevin: What happened to you guys?
Dean: Cliff notes? I went to Purgatory. Sam hit a dog.

Dean: Were you able to read anything else off the tablet before you stashed it?
Kevin: Only the stuff about the closing the Gates of Hell. Forever.
Dean: Come again?
Kevin: Banish the demons off the face of the Earth, lock them away forever. That could be important, right?
Dean: Closing the Gates of Hell forever? Yeah. Yeah, that could be important.

Dean: [a hamburger and fries have just been delivered to their table] Sweet mother of God.
Sam: [pushes the plate over to Dean]
Dean: For me? Seriously? [picks up the hamburger]
Sam: Check this out. [looking at his laptop]
Sam: So, I went through campus security archives around the time Kevin should've been here. Anyone look familiar? [turns the laptop towards Dean]
Dean: [eyes closed, chewing] Mm, mmm, mmm.
Sam: Dude. It's a burger.
Dean: [emphatically] It's treasure.

Sam: What about you?
Dean: What about me?
Sam: Look at you. You've still got that look. You're shaky. You're on edge. What was it like?
Dean: You wouldn't believe me if I told you.
Sam: Try me.
Dean: It was bloody. Messy. Thirty-one flavors of bottom dwelling nasties. Hell, most days it felt like 360 degree combat. But, there was somethin' about bein' there. It felt pure.

Kevin: You know, ever since I realized I was a prophet... it's just hard to believe this is actually my life.
Sam: Yeah. It sucks right now. I know that. Um... It might suck for a lot longer, but trust me on this, it gets better.
Kevin: You know I'm not gay, right?

Channing: The last time I saw Kevin was like a year ago.
Sam: When he disappeared?
Channing: Mm-hm. He stole his mother's car because he thought he was on a mission from God or something. It was crazy.
Channing's roommate: Shut up. My friend Adam got addicted to Adderall but got a perfs on his SATs... same thing.
Channing: Shut up.
Channing's roommate: Serious. "Mission from God".

Dean: So you turned tail on the family business.
Sam: Nothing says family like the whole family being dead.

Benny: A way out.
Dean: Even a dental apocalypse like you knows there's no such thing.

Crowley: [to Sam] Moose. Still with the pork chops. I admire that.

Crowley: Dean. Looking... well, let's just say Purgatory didn't do you any favours. Where's your angel?
Dean: Ask your mother.
Crowley: There's that grade-school zip. Missed it. I really did.

Benny: Maybe you've gone native. Maybe you like being man-meat for every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Sam: Maybe we should split up. Ask around. See if anyone's seen him.
Dean: Yeah. Asian kid. Yay high. At a university. That should be easy.

Sam: Kevin, how you holding up?
Kevin: Awesome. The King of Hell just snapped my girlfriend's neck. How 'bout you?

Channing: Kevin... what's going on?
Kevin: There is a demon in you and you're going to your safety school.
Channing: WHAT?

Dean: How did you get a phone?
Benny: Would you believe they sell these things in convenience stores now? A lot's changed in 50 years.

Sam: I don't hunt anymore.
Dean: Yeah, and Sasha Grey has gone legit.
Sam: [coughs]
Dean: What?
Sam: Nothing. Um, she did a Soderbergh movie.
Dean: What?

Crowley: Chin up, gentlemen. I'm a professional.
Dean: This ain't over by a long shot, Crowley.
Crowley: Really, Dean? Who writes your stuff? A marshmallow?

Sam: I saw the weird stories, the kind of stuff we used to chase.
Dean: And you said what? "Not my problem"?
Sam: Yes. And you know what? The world went on.
Dean: People *died*.
Sam: People will always die, Dean. Or maybe another hunter took care of it. I don't know. The point is, for the first time I realized that it wasn't only up to me to stop it.


Sam mentions that porn star Sasha Grey made a Soderbergh movie. That movie is The Girlfriend Experience.

When Sam tells Dean about meeting Amelia, Dean says, "So what, you dropped your peanut butter in her chocolate?" He is referring to the 1970's slogan for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

The episode title also refers to a 2011 movie, We Need to Talk About Kevin, which in turn was based on a 2003 novel of the same name by Lionel Shriver.

Dean's Purgatory chopping weapon has the appearance of a knapped flint or obsidian blade. Chipped stone knives and axes were the best thing around for thousands of years, before copper and bronze, and much later iron and steel. A properly edged obsidian blade is sharper than any steel, albeit brittle enough to be very prone to fracture.

Centreville, MI is an actual town, but the show misspells it as "Centerville". There's also no state college there though there is a community college nearby named Glen Oaks Community College.

When Dean is performing the tests with Sam to prove they're themselves, they've added soapy water to the routine to show they aren't a leviathan. However this is unnecessary because they cut themselves with a silver blade to prove they aren't a shapeshifter, and this would also prove they aren't a leviathan since they bleed black goo.
posted by orange swan (7 comments total)
Dean's nice new leather jacket, that he started wearing in episode 7.22, just before the end of season 7, was in tatters by the end of his year in Purgatory. I suspect that jacket was introduced as a way to show how rough his time in Purgatory had been, as it was a little out of character or him to buy himself something like that -- we've only seen him in his father's old leather jacket and khaki jackets. I am a little puzzled by how he could have come back with his haircut looking exactly the same as it always does, and only a little stubble. Does Dean cut his own hair or does Purgatory have excellent barbers?

It seems like a stretch that Sam wouldn't even check his messages during his year away from hunting, but then who'd have thought Kevin would be able to escape from Crawley.

I really like Kevin's new haircut, and it's really funny the show wrote it in having been done on Crawley's orders. Hell at least seems to have good hairstylists.

Channing seemed as bothered by the fact that she was attending her safety school as the fact that she'd been possessed by a demon.

Dean seemed unwarrantably furious at Sam for taking a year off given that the year Sam was in hell/had no soul, he spent it living a normal life. Granted, he did do research every day of that year, looking for ways to get Sam out of that cage in hell, whereas when it came to Dean's disappearance to realms unknown, Sam was all, "Well, this sucks but what can you do."

Dean gives Benny a hug. This is the first time we've seen him willingly hug a man he's not related to. (We've seen him get hugged by the Cupid against his will, and Garth reluctantly.)

Sam isn't a bad hacker, it seems. Not on Charlie's level, of course, but capable of doing the day to day stuff.

I see a pattern... whenever Sam's on his own without Dean, he gets a dog. He got one the time he ran away as a kid, and he got one for the year Dean spent in Purgatory. I guess it's as good a way as any to replace Dean's particular blend of neediness, protectiveness, and unconditional love and loyalty.

Now, about the role of Benny Lafitte and the actor who plays him. I really like Benny. Ty Olsson is another story.

There's not a huge amount of information on him, unsurprisingly for guy who's basically just a working actor and C-list at best. He's a little rough and ready in his exchanges with people on Twitter, but I haven't seen anything actually out of line. He's anti-Trump. He does some tweeting in support of LGBT issues. He's pro-vax, and doesn't have much patience with the anti-vaxxers, for which I cannot fault him. He seems to spend a lot of time doing Cameo vids/conversations. So far, nothing negative. But...

Ty Olsson attended a fan conference in Vegas drunk (not for the first time, it seems) in 2014, and behaved so inappropriately the organizers kicked him out and removed him from the guest roster for not only that particular convention but also all the rest of the conventions in 2014. He was apparently supposed to pick up DJ Qualls up at the airport and didn't, so DJ Qualls was late for his panel (probably for the best, if Olsson had been drinking -- better for DJ to be late than killed in a drunk driving accident). He was "lewd and crude" during his panel. He was seen drinking. He agreed to let an assistant get him a non-alcoholic drink, and when she came back with it, berated her because it did not have vodka in it. He asked how old a girl was and when she said she was underage, he said, "Fuck it, I'll do it anyway," and kissed her. He groped and kissed other fans -- it's said he was employing tongue, ewww. He wrote nasty things on autographs. Fans have said that they're ashamed of their photo ops with him. He was spotted at a bar after he got kicked out by Creation. Then he claimed on his website that he'd had very little to drink and that he was roofied. "Nor am I saying a fan spiked my drink … I don’t know how it happened. I just KNOW that it did."

He's attended fancons since and also jokes about drinking on his Twitter account, so it seems to be back to business as usual without any real accountability. I'm putting him in the "HOLY SHIT!!!" category of Supernatural actors.
posted by orange swan at 7:45 AM on October 10, 2021

Dry Drunk syndrome is a thing.

I am not a doctor and in no way think this excuses Ty's reported behaviour. Just stating it's a thing that occurs::

I didn't like Benny, but only because I thought the show was already stuffed with male dysfunctional co-dependent relationships at this point, add Benny was unecessary.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:35 AM on October 10, 2021

I... actually really like this episode.

But, shit, the arm and palm cutting thing keeps bugging the fuck out of me. They should all be scarred as hell and look like lifelong depressants/ self-harmers.

It resets the power creep problem with the Leviathans. Dean doing a Dante is cool, and promising to reveal in bits and bobs over the season the particulars is a nice touch; the writers might have leveled up, or they brought in some higher leveled ones. But something's bugging me about how familiar this is. It's not 'Rambo: First Blood' and not the Styx song 'Man in the Wilderness' (which is awesome). Is it 'Inferno' (1976) by Niven and Pournelle?

Sam's year, and the dog/ vet, felt really derivative of 'The One' (2001).

Kevin being brought to Crowley in the flashback - he still should have had long hair at that point. Ah, thanks orange swan for pointing out that it was at Crowley's command. But, he's been out of Hell for a while now - does his hair (like Dean's) not grow?

Kevin leveling up a whole bunch makes sense; it had been established that he was a high achiever, learning and mastering the technicals about being a hunter feels correct, and achievement reinforced by personal loss. If the show starts making him a physical wimp (to compensate against showing up the boys, especially given Osric Chau's background and physicality), I'm going to lose my fucking stack.

But that mall ninja supersoaker... yuck.

The Purgatory obsidian axe makes sense superficially, I guess if it's supernatural I guess it could have supernatural durability - but that's not what a paleolitic axes looked like, nor the general use of obsidian as a cutting edge for a weapon. But no, obsidian weapons were definitely not large pieces of material - it would be a ceremonial piece of jewelery to carry around to occupy a hand rather than a practical weapon.

The colour palette feels really different, was it a choice or was it a change in personnel behind the camera?

Dean's hair is about the same, but upgraded. Sam's hair just looks weird and colours him (moreso in the year this was supposed to be) as a weirdo. Lots more pancake makeup to de-age the actors.

Oh. Is this when "broadcast" in HD became a thing? A lot of actors looked like they had plastic surgery/ botox during the early years of the introduction of HD, but makeup got a lot better after a few years, and the same actors look even better and non-plastic-y now despite the tolls that the additional years have asked for.
posted by porpoise at 9:28 AM on October 10, 2021

Sorry to hear about Ty Olsen's grossness. I saw him & DJ Qualls do a panel together at DragonCon, not sure which year, though definitely after 2014. I think it must have been 2019, as I remember the Q&A touching whether they'd be in the final season, or what endings they hoped for. The main thing I remember from the panel was that the two actors had ended up becoming roommates, and seemed to get along great, in a slightly 'The Odd Couple' way.

In watching the broadcast run of Supernatural, Season 8 was the point at which I seriously considered giving up on it. Like, I hadn't particularly enjoyed season 7 by the end, and then season 8 starts and there's no Bobby anymore and no Castiel, and the thing with Sam angsting over having a normal life with the vet, and the boring flashbacks seemed to go on forever, and I just remember having a moment of "Why am I watching this show still?" But I hung in there, and eventually it got entertaining again. As seasons went on, I would see other fans rage-quit for various (entirely justifiable) reasons, but I felt like "I made it through Season 8, I deserve a series finale for my suffering, dammit!". Or that there would never be a series finale - that the show might go on long enough for the actors' children to take over the parts. Either way, I was in it to the end.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:58 AM on October 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

orange swan, I just love your comment about Sam replacing Dean with a dog, and the justification as to why!

Here are my random thoughts about this episode:

At least Dean bandaged his own arm. He didn’t bother doing that for Sam, and Sam didn’t do it himself.

Again with the secrets and the half-truths and the dodges. Hasn’t Dean learned anything by now? Not being truthful never ends well.

I find it hard to believe a year in purgatory had more of an effect on Dean than the time he spent in Hell. At least, that’s what he seems to imply with his line that he’s not the same man as he was before.

Living a civilian lifestyle means more time for Sam to highlight his hair. It’s a lot lighter and blonder/redder than it has been in the past. It actually has much more of a 1970s teen idol feeling than it ever has before.

Dean is certainly hypocritical. He stopped hunting when he was living with Ben and Lisa.

After the lessons in hacking Dean got, he shouldn’t have needed to ask Sam for a translation into English about Kevin’s Internet activity.
posted by sardonyx at 10:45 AM on October 10, 2021

As seasons went on, I would see other fans rage-quit for various (entirely justifiable) reasons, but I felt like "I made it through Season 8, I deserve a series finale for my suffering, dammit!”.

Man I feel this. I was barely half-watching by this point so a lot of this stuff I don’t even remember, I’m curious if I’ll feel any more generous to it this time through.

This season is where Jeremy Carver picked up from Sera Gamble as the showrunner, a job he did through season 11. I recently read somewhere (so, like, all due grains of salt for thirdhand info via Fanfare rando) that they wanted to take the start of S8 as a kind of remix—not starting from scratch, but putting Sam and Dean in positions comparable to where they were at the start of season 1, filtered through everything they’ve been through since then, which I guess maybe explains some part of the awkward weirdness of the setup and how the characters react to it, but it sure is awkward at points.

That…might? go to some of why Dean is separately so incensed not only that Sam didn’t look for him, but even more that Sam wasn’t hunting at all. I think Dean does think that hunting is inherently worth doing because they save people and they have a responsibility to use what they know, and that’s a non-zero part of it. But for Dean, Sam leaving hunting feels like a rejection and abandonment of Dean in a way that just is not ever going to be true of the reverse.

You’re dead on that Dean is visibly much more different after a year in Purgatory than he was when he got back from forty years in Hell. I guess it’s because back in season 4 they were trying to hold back that he remembered the whole thing and we can see a lot more of Purgatory than we could of Hell? but the effect at this point is that Purgatory changed him more, which is...very odd.
posted by jameaterblues at 12:00 AM on October 11, 2021

Aw man. Sorry to hear that Ty is an obnoxious drunk IRL.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:47 PM on October 15, 2021

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