Supernatural: Taxi Driver
October 28, 2021 7:08 AM - Season 8, Episode 19 - Subscribe

The second trial in the endeavour to shut the gates of Hell is to rescue an innocent soul from Hell and deliver it to Heaven.


Dean: [brings lunch for himself and Kevin] Look, man. Other guys, they got it easy. You know? It's all backyard barbeques and bowling teams. But, you and me, we gotta carry a little extra weight.
Kevin: I can't take it.
Dean: Yes, you can. Hey. Look at me. Now this whole thing sucks. I know. But, you suck it up. And you push through because that's what we do. And when you get on board with that, the ride is a lot smoother. French fry?
Kevin: [picks up a tray with fries, a drink and the pie] I'm gonna be in my room. Let me know when there's a good day.
Dean: That's my pie.

Dean: [to Sam, after hugging him after he just returned from Purgatory] So, Purgatory. A real garden spot, huh?

Crowley: As you may recall, patience isn't one of my virtues. Well, I don't have any virtues. But if I did, I'm certain that patience wouldn't be one.

Crossroads demon: Winchesters.
Dean: What happened to the hot chicks?

Dean: Bobby was on the good side of things, and good guys go to the penthouse.
Ajay: Usually, mostly. Depends on who you know, what palms get greased. If you're on the King of Hell's no-fly list, no way you cruise the friendly skies.

Sam: What's the second trial?
Kevin: An innocent soul has to be rescued from hell and delivered unto heaven.
Dean: What?
Kevin: "Unto". That's how God talks.

Crowley: Something is going on. My hellhound has been killed. Winchester, jumbo size, is trying to break into the mothership... and that prophet of theirs is madly translating away.

Crowley: I need Kevin Tran and I need his half of the tablet. Apparently, his half has the good stuff, where mine has the acknowledgments and "about the author"!

Sam: If it's not Sam, then how do I know about you and Tori Spelling?
Bobby: What?
Sam: You're a fan. Yeah. Or, uh... Okay, what about your free pedicure at the Mall of America? You made Dean swear to never tell another living soul how it changed your life.
Bobby: [getting emotional] Sam?


The bumper sticker on Ajay's taxi reads "HOW'S MY DRIVING ? CALL 1-555-GO2-HELL". The cab door says K.C.'s Sunshine Cab Co., which references the disco band KC and the Sunshine Band.

When Sam was trying to convince Bobby that he wasn't a demon, he was referencing the episode "You Can't Handle the Truth" (ep. 6.6) when Bobby told Dean about being a fan of Tori Spelling and getting a pedicure.

Ajay is the first known reaper to go rogue. It is unknown why he turned against Death, or if Death even knew about his disobedience.

As of this episode, both Winchesters have been to Hell, Heaven, and Purgatory.

The giant Devil's trap at the crossroads in this episode is where "Supernatural Shake" was filmed.

Ajay's name is Indian, but he looks Middle Eastern. It's later revealed that Reapers can possess humans to appear on Earth and this discrepancy may simply be because the person he was possessing was Middle Eastern.

While Dean is on the phone with Benny, a couple walks by behind him. The camera cuts away and comes back to Dean and the same couple walks by again.

The Latin incantation Sam says to release Bobby's soul and send it to heaven is: "Solvo Haec Phantasmata in terram, et Inde ad Olympum." Which loosely translates to, "Release this spirit in the ground and then send it to Olympus."

The episode's title is from the 1976 Martin Scorsese movie Taxi Driver. The episode title could be referencing the rogue Reaper Ajay, who moonlights as a taxi driver. It could also be referencing Sam being a taxi for Bobby's soul.

In this episode, an angel blade is used to kill a reaper for the first time.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
Sam should have been more insistent that Benny come back with him. He could have helped him kill those three monsters and then they might have had a minute or two to argue about it. However, he didn't... but Benny appears in two more episodes after this one, so no need to be too regretful.

I don't understand why Sam and Dean didn't move Kevin and his mother to the bunker. They would have been safer and more comfortable there -- the boat was pretty awful.

Why on earth would a reaper need money and be freelancing to get it?

My favourite part of "Supernatural Shake" is the wrapped body wriggling around on the ground.
posted by orange swan at 7:11 AM on October 28, 2021

I can’t believe Dean just dropped a bloody knife in the trunk. That’s no way to treat either his weapon or his car.

I’m surprised Crowley killed the coyote reaper. I would have thought that the king of hell had no jurisdiction to touch reapers, as they work for Death and should be neutral parties in the Heaven/Hell/non-Christian-religion power struggles. If Death can kill God, as he claims, then the current office holder of the underworld shouldn’t even be an issue. Does Crowley want a ticked off Death after him?

Boy, this show likes to get rid of interesting, useful characters. Bye Benny. Sorry you won’t be sticking around.
posted by sardonyx at 8:52 AM on October 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

That's one comically large cast iron frying pan. But Osric looks like he could one-hand a real version of that irl. Must be at least 30 lbs, with a tiny handle.

Yeah, that boat has nothing on Duncan McLeod's houseboat on the river Seine in Paris (across from Notre Dame).

Maybe it's on the offchance that Kevin's trying to "lay low," but it would make much more sense to set him up at at the bunker (with the multitude of heavy duty wards and other defenses).

otoh, Kevin just wants better digs than the rusty boat, and from his pov, maybe the boat might be better than having to live with Dean and his Asian fetish (and at least someone from the OG MoL's*). Or maybe Dean doesn't want Kevin baiting the bunker and risk the bunker getting blown like the boat does.

*holy crap, given the era, that's even ickier; "mystical/ exotic" Oriental colonialism on top of race fetishization

I figure if Ajay (yeah, I don't buy the apologia from that IMDB trivia entry) likes cosplaying/ slumming as a mortal enough to give up being a reaper, being a cab driver at least lets you meet lots of people, and some of them might even be interesting. Being a night cabby in a rainy neon-lit seedy part of town is pretty sub rosa noir trope-y romantic.

I wonder if Purgatory has climates and geographies that mirrors Earth? Like, is there a desert Purgatory, or an Antarctic Purgatory (with virtuous penguins [if they had souls]*), like there is a PNW Purgatory? How about an urban decay purgatory?

*like, shit, was Purgatory semi-nice before the Christian assholes like God and Lucifer and Michael took over the place and turned everyone already there into assholes and started dumping all the other souls who didn't fit in Christian Heaven or Hell there? Jesus never shows up in this show, right? Did he just go "fuck all y'all, I'm outie" and is just kicking it somewhere?

Kinda digging that Dean has taken the love of cooking to heart and now supplements his takeout.

How convenient that some singleton low level mob aggro-ed Sam on his way to the save point before the level gate and drop an extra weapon so Sam could equip his temporary NPC followers? Must have been a scripted event.

If I was being super duper charitable, I'd say that it was that Dean was disgusted with himself for beheading Benny, and was performativey disrespecting himself and Baby for it.

All that cutting makes me wonder why there isn't a Hep H(unter) spreading throughout the community.

Sam coming back from Purgatory and Bobby's release looked straight out of The X-Files. All it was missing was a "doo wee doo wee Doo Doooo, Doo Dooo."

Wait, wait. Release an innocent from Hell? Balls. Bobby was only in Purgatory, and Crowley never got the chance to send Bobby to Hell. Sam didn't pass that test. Also, there's absolutely zero proof that Naomi let Bobby's soul to go Heaven, just... not nearby (or just visible) anymore.

posted by porpoise at 6:56 PM on October 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

yes, I know. OG - in the context of cannabis cultivar names, like OG Kush - didn't stand for Original Gangster, but rather, Ocean Grown
posted by porpoise at 6:59 PM on October 28, 2021

Once you notice how much this version of Hell is like a mid-tier haunted house staffed by stoned theater kids you can’t really unsee it.

If I were the Winchesters, it would freak me right out that apparently anyone can be whisked off to Hell when they die and you have no way of knowing, and if you ever do find out and go looking, there might be an unlimited number of duplicates of both you and that person just wandering around.

I’m not sure what kind of favor Ajay thought Sam and Dean could do for him, but I do enjoy that reapers, like basically everyone else on this show, can be bought.

It cracks me up that the angel tablet is apparently like a recipe blog where Kevin got the bit at the end with the spell to seal off Heaven and Crowley got chipper rambling about the farmers market.

I think they know they finished the trial because of how it hit Sam at the end. (Sam found Bobby in Hell, but it looked different than last time and they weren't there that long.) That did require trusting Naomi which they should definitely not make a habit of, but I think if she hadn't sent Bobby's soul to Heaven the spell just wouldn't have done anything.
posted by jameaterblues at 7:10 PM on October 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh... so the "rabbit hole" actually led to Hell?

You're right, the stoner theater-kid run mid-tier haunted house fooled me.

Ex-reaper Ajay - I figure he likes the socializing with the sub rosa and that's why he plays coyote - for the thrill/ street cred.

rambling about the farmers market

Or great-grandmama from the Old Country... but in this recipe we cut corners and buy highly processed ingredients because oh-so-precious can only spend 6 hours a day with the nanny before they need some real mommy-time.
posted by porpoise at 7:18 PM on October 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

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