Trial and Error Recap

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Location: Garth's houseboat.

Garth's houseboat

Kevin's alarm goes off at 5:00am. He gets up and makes coffee. He starts working on deciphering the partial Word of God tablet. Time passes. He cooks a hot dog for lunch and gets back to work. After a full day, he tacks a note to a bulletin board full of other notes. It looks like he might have deciphered several words if that's what we are meant to gather from the note he tacks to the bulletin board.He gets to bed by 2:45 am.

He repeats this day after day after day, popping aspirin for his headaches as he goes.

Days pass, until one day, he stares at the bulletin board, exclaims, "holy crap" and he passes out as his alarm blares unattended.

At the Men of Letters bunker, Dean is setting up his room. A Led Zeppelin album, a photo of himself as a child with his mom. It's pretty touching. Sam shows up in the doorway, taking in the whole domestic scene and tells Dean it's not bad. Dean says it's awesome; he's never had
his own room....it's clean...it's not a disgusting hotel room with mysterious stains on everything and he even has a memory foam mattress. He says, with great emphasis, "It REMEMBERS me." For a guy who rarely sleeps in the same bed twice, somehow this has deeper meaning.

Now it's home.

Sam wads up a wrapper and throws it on the ground, missing the trash can. Dean can't believe he'd litter in his room.

Dean leaves to fix them some food and Sam looks around at what Dean's set up. He smiles.

Sam looks around Dean's room with satisfaction.

Out in the main hall, Sam is trying to read as much as he can in order to learn everything possible from the Men of Letters archives.Dean's glad it's Sam doing it and not him.

Dean puts a burger down in front of Sam and Sam can't believe Dean made it.Dean says he's nesting; now that they have a real kitchen.Sam is impressed.Dean can barely wait for Sam to take a bite as he hopefully watches for his reaction.The burger is delicious.

Dean gets a call from Kevin but it cuts out.They can tell it's urgent so they leave to go see Kevin, but Sam grabs his burger to go first.

Inside the Men of Letters bunker; Sam & Dean's new home.

...Sam & Dean walk into Garth's houseboat, guns drawn. They see Kevin's notes tacked up all over the place and open the door to the bathroom to find Kevin throwing up. Kevin looks bad. He says he's not sleeping and is only eating hot dogs. Dean says he can't believe he's suggesting this, but maybe Kevin should eat a salad and take a shower. Kevin says he's had headaches and maybe a "small stroke", but it's worth it because he's figured out how to close the gates of hell.

Kevin has figured it out.

Dean hugs him.

Kevin says it's just a spell, but it has to be spoken after you finish "three trials". Three tasks. The person who undertakes them should not fear danger or death. When someone completes all three tasks, the gates of hell will close. Kevin says He (God) works in mysterious ways to which Dean responds, "Yeah, mysterious douchey ways. "Dean wants to know how they get started.

Kevin says they have to "kill a hound of hell and bathe in its blood". Dean seems very eager to find a hellhound. (Surprising since he's always been afraid of hellhounds.) Dean is very gung-ho and immediately starts planning to get the supplies they will need in order to deal with hellhounds. Dean figures they can find hellhounds around an area where people made deals with crossroads demons 10 years earlier, and theoretically, the hounds would be coming to collect 10 years later. While Dean is out getting goofer dust and some other supplies, Sam tries to talk to Kevin, telling him he really needs to take better care of himself.

Kevin says no. He says he hates this life, but "nuking hell" is the only way he can get out of Garth's houseboat and get back to a normal life. He wants it to be over and he's going to work night and day in order to finish and get out. Sam says that saving the world is a marathon and not a sprint and Kevin REALLY has to take better care of himself.

Sam searches online to find demonic signs that appeared 10 years ago and tells Dean (who is back from his supply run) that there were a lot of signs around that time in Shoshone, Idaho. Some deals must have been made there. Dean asks if, since then, there have been any really lucky people there (or, as he put it, "Anyone with a horseshoe shoved up his ass.") Sam searches online and finds the Cassity family who struck oil on their land when surveys didn't show any oil in the area.

Before they leave for Idaho, Dean gives Kevin 2 bottles of pills; one for headaches and one for "pep". Sam is worried about Kevin, but Dean says he has to "play through the pain" since they are close to closing the gates of hell.

Sam is worried about Kevin's health.

Sam and Dean drive up to a mansion; the Cassity mansion in Idaho. They ask someone who is working under a tractor who runs the place. It's a woman. She says she manages the property and are Sam & Dean there for the job? They say "yes", of course. She asks if they've ever done farm work but she can tell they are lying when they say they have. Her name is Ellie (she's gorgeous).

Ellie

A middle-aged man walks out. Carl. He asks who Sam & Dean are. He introduces himself and says he's not a Cassity, but his wife is. He jokes he's just a trophy husband. He says Sam & Dean seem like good guys.

Ellie hires them.

Later, while Sam & Dean are cleaning horse stalls, they see Carl's wife Alice Cassity yelling at Ellie over what to feed the cattle. She seems rather b i t c h y and they figure she's the one who made the deal that made the family rich. They decide to keep an eye on her.

Sam & Dean work the farm.

Later that night, Alice and Carl are laughing over dinner. They hear a howl. Alice goes to check on the horses. Sam & Dean follow her. While she's away, Carl is attacked and killed by what looks like an invisible dog.

Next, the police are there and Carl's body is being taken away. Sam & Dean stand next to Ellie, watching. Ellie says he was a great guy. The sheriff will only say that "Carl died bad. "Ellie says she has to make some calls; all of the family will be flying in.

Dean thinks they missed their chance...while they were following Alice, the hellhound came for Carl; apparently it was Carl who made the deal and they missed it and therefore missed their chance at killing the hellhound. Dean thinks they should just get their stuff and leave.

Sam finds Alice in the barn with one of the horses. Sam asks if she's okay. She says she really is okay even though she knows shouldn't be (because of Carl's death). She says she knows she loved him, but now that he's gone, she feels nothing. They got together 10 years ago. She had never noticed him before then. She says she's not sad or angry that he's gone, she just feels fine. Sam heads back inside to tell Dean about his conversation with Alice.

Dean wants to summon a crossroads demon as "plan B" so that they can hold Ruby's knife on it until it calls up a hellhound for them.

Sam argues that it's a bad idea. Doing that could alert Crowley and they could end up with 100 hellhounds instead of one. Sam says that Dean's plan is suicide.

Sam tells Dean about his conversation with Alice. That Carl didn't sell his soul for oil or the money that came with it; he sold it so that Alice would love him. That means that the question of how the family discovered oil when none appeared in any of the geological records is still open. Dean and Sam both think that the demon made multiple deals; more than just the one with Carl.

Sam figures that since the whole family will be there soon for Carl's funeral, they should stay and check them out. Sam tells Dean he wants to kill a hellhound and not die in the process. He's suspicious that Dean isn't as interested in living through the first trial as he (Sam) is. Dean says they'll wait 2 days, then do it his way if Sam's way doesn't pan out.

The Cassity family starts arriving. They are a bunch of stereotypes. The patriarch (Noah) looks like J.R. Ewing; he's 71 with a young lingerie model wife. Then there's the middle girl, Cindy. She's an alcoholic washed-up country singer. The youngest daughter is Margot who lives in Paris and dresses like a nun. Ellie explains all of this; she's worked there since she was a teenager.

Ellie says she needs help entertaining the family that night; someone has to serve the wine (lots of wine) and someone has to man the grill. Sam serves, Dean grills (Ellie tells Dean she likes a man who can "handle his meat"). Sam is serving the family wine (Cindy tells him to "keep it coming, Ken doll"). The family argues. The drunk sister is a b i t c h and always says inappropriate things (at one point telling her father, Noah to, "Get cancer and die,
old man."). Margot admits to sleeping with Carl before he married Alice. Obviously, the family is a mess.

Sam can't believe Ellie can put up with this family. She says she loves the property and the animals and tunes out the people. Sam listens to them talking over dinner. They say that they haven't been together for dinner since they had that nice British guy over....Crowley.

Sam goes out to the grill to tell Dean.

Kevin calls Dean's cell phone. Kevin tells Dean that the tablet has told him that hellhounds can be seen through glass scorched by holy fire....like glasses scorched by burning holy oil. Dean and Sam both rummage around the property and find a couple pairs of glasses (Dean's are safety glasses from the barn). Dean thinks he still has some holy oil in the Impala.

Back inside the house, Sam sees Noah and Margot heading out with rifles. They are going to hunt down the "wolf" that killed Carl. Sam says he'll go with them. Noah asks if Sam knows anything about hunting. Sam says he knows, "a bit". Margot hands him her rifle.

Out in the barn, Dean holds the safety glasses over the smoke from the holy fire which is burning on the ground. He stomps the fire out when Ellie walks up to him.

Dean smokes the glasses over the burning holy oil.

She says she likes his "Clark Kent" look with the glasses. Ellie says she thinks Dean is really hot and asks if he wants to come have sex with her. Dean is caught off guard. He says he really wants to, but he can't (ostensibly because he is working ). Ellie is embarrassed. Dean asks if he can have a rain check, but Ellie says it's a "one night only" offer.

Out in the woods, Sam and Noah and Margot are looking for the "wolf" that killed Carl. Sam becomes separated from the other two. Noah comes up on Sam with his rifle pointed at him starling him and then they hear Margot scream. When they find her, she's being attacked by something invisible. Sam shoots at it, but she's already dead. Sam grabs Noah and tells him to run.

Back at the house, Noah asks what that thing was. Dean decides to tell them the truth. He tells them that their dinner guest Crowley, 10 years ago, was a demon. Dean wants to know who made a deal. Cindy and Noah both think that Sam and Dean are crazy. Alice is also shaking her head "no". It seems that all three of them have no idea why a hellhound would be there. None of them admit to making a deal. Dean tells them that he's the best at what he does and they need to sit down and shut up so he can save them from the hellhound.

Dean puts the Casitys on lockdown.

The Cassitys all look at Sam & Dean with suspicion. Sam & Dean figure that when the hellhound gets close, whoever made the deal will start seeing things; demonic faces and the other scary things that people see when the hellhounds are coming for them. Whoever, out of the three Cassitys, starts freaking out, that will let Sam & Dean know who made the deal.

Dean spreads goofer dust around the room. He tells Sam to stay with the Cassitys while Dean goes to look for the hellhound. Sam refuses saying that the Cassitys are fine (handcuffed and on lockdown) and Dean needs backup out there. Dean tells him to stay there and be safe. Sam replies that they're never safe. Dean says this is different...it's different because of the three trials from God. Dean says that in "save the world" situations like this, one of them
always dies...or worse.

Sam doesn't like that Dean has just declared that the one who will die has to be him. Dean says that he has to be the one. He's a "grunt". He says that Sam has always been the brains of this operation and that Sam sees a way out; a life outside of hunting. Dean says he doesn't see a way out of hunting for himself, so he'll go down with a gun in his hand because that's all he has waiting for him. He says he wants Sam to get out; become a Man of Letters with children and grandchildren. To know that Sam gets to grow old is what Dean would call his perfect ending, and, Dean says, that's the only perfect ending that he is going to get. Dean says he's going to do the trials. Alone. End of story. He says he'll shoot Sam in the leg if he tries to follow him.

Sam can't believe Dean thinks that he's just a "grunt".

Dean tells Sam he'll shoot him in the leg if he follows him.

Dean heads outside and puts on his "holy oil" glasses. He hears music..."I Touch Myself" by The Divinyls coming from the barn.

Inside the house, Sam has his holy oil glasses on and is just listening to the family argue. Alice says that Margot used to say that if only they were rich, they'd be happy.

In the barn, Dean opens the door to Ellie's room. She's in a tank top and jeans, dancing by herself. She thinks he's there to sleep with her. She kisses him and the kiss seems to be as good as she hoped it would be. Dean pulls back slightly and tells her that she needs to stay inside no matter what happens. He says there's something evil out there .Ellie says she knows; it's coming for her. Dean is surprised.

From inside the house, Sam sees a large, semi-transparent dog moving through the tree line outside (thanks to his holy oil glasses). As he looks out the window, Alice frees herself from her handcuffs. Sam runs after her as she runs outside. She tries to get in her car to leave. Sam grabs her and pulls her back towards the house. She thinks he's going to hurt them. Sam says he's trying to help them. They both hear a dog howl, and as Alice runs back towards the house, Sam heads towards the barn...towards the sound of the howling.

Sam sees the hellhound.

Back in the barn, Dean is talking to Ellie. She says that when her parents split up, her mom took a job at this ranch owned by the Cassitys. This was before the Cassitys had money. Ellie grew up there. She remembers the dinner with Crowley. She talked to him. He seemed nice. He asked what her one wish would be. Ellie said that her mom was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease and she wanted to save her, so she took the deal. As a result, her mom was healed and is now retired in the Southwest playing golf every day.

Ellie said she knew she wouldn't go to heaven when she died, but she didn't know she'd only have 10 years. Dean tells Ellie that Margot also made a deal and now she's dead. Ellie tells Dean that Carl told her that he had summoned a demon and made a deal as well. Ellie figured that when she saw what happened to Carl, she'd be next. Dean asked why she didn't run. She said she had nowhere to run; she just wanted a good meal, some good tunes, and
maybe....she trailed off (some sex with Dean). Dean understands. Ellie says she doesn't want to die.

They hear howling in the distance and Ellie sees Dean's face contort into a demonic mask. He tells her that whatever she is seeing, it isn't real; it just means that a hellhound is close and she needs to stay inside the circle of goofer dust. Dean goes out into the barn and puts on his glasses.

Ellie hallucinates that Dean is a demon.

What Ellie sees.

Dean sees the shadowy dog form and taunts it to attack him. It knocks him down, knocks off his glasses, slices his side (he starts bleeding and presses his hand against the wound) and knocks Ruby's knife out of his hand. Sam shows up and shoots at the hellhound to slow him down.

Sam dives to the ground and grabs Ruby's knife. He rolls over and finds that the hellhound is directly over him. Sam holds it by the neck with one hand as he slices it from throat to abdomen with the other (we don't see this; it's above him and out of the frame). Large quantities of hellhound blood pour down over Sam.

Sam holds off the hellhound.

Sam guts the hellhound.

Dean grabs at his injured side and rolls over to see Sam covered in blood. He and Sam are both battered but exchange looks before the adrenaline leaves them and they struggle to begin to get up.

Sam looks to Dean.

Later, Sam and Dean are in Ellie's room. Sam's t-shirt is completely soaked in hellhound blood. Dean is applying pressure to the wound on his side. Dean says they'll make Ellie a hex bag and then she has to start running. With the hex bag, Crowley can't see her. Dean says she's not going to go to hell "on his watch". He asks if she can give him a minute with Sam.

Sam tells Dean that even if Ellie can dodge Crowley, when she dies, her soul is earmarked for hell. Dean says, "not if we can shut it down first". He reaches to take Ruby's knife back from Sam. Sam gives it to him. Dean pulls out the spell Kevin gave them. Sam tells him it won't work for him. Dean tries anyway. Dean reads the spell in Enochian. Nothing happens.

Dean says it doesn't matter; they'll find another hellhound and he'll kill it the next time. Sam shakes his head and says "no". Dean says he (Dean) didn't pass the test. Sam says, no, but he (Sam) did. Sam says that he's going to be the one who complete the trials. Dean says, "My ass, you are!".

Sam tells Dean that closing the gates of hell is a suicide mission to Dean. Sam says he wants to accomplish the same goal, only he wants to survive it. He wants to live and so should Dean. Sam says he sees a light at the end of the tunnel and he's sorry Dean doesn't, but it's there and Dean needs to come with him this time.

Sam tells Dean he's not a grunt.

Dean listens.

Sam tells Dean that Dean is not a grunt, he's a genius. When it comes to lore, to hunting...that Dean is a better hunter than anyone; better than him (Sam), better than their father. Sam says that he CAN see a light at the end of the tunnel and if Dean will just come with him, he'll get him there too. He says that he believes in Dean, so he asks Dean to please believe in him too. Dean hands Sam the paper with the spell written on it.

Sam reads the spell. He acts like he is experiencing something like an electric shock and he falls to the floor. A strange light illuminates Sam's forearm from inside. It looks like this experience takes a lot out of him, but he stands back up and says that he's okay; he can do this.

Sam feels the jolt.

Sam's arm glows after reading the spell.

Dean looks at him with concern.

Dean is worried about Sam.

BONUS!:
Taken from another fan site (and they got it from Twitter, I think). Hellhounds; behind the scenes! The first one is the CGI version of what they imagine the hellhounds to look like; the second is the "real" hellhound; the cardboard cutout they use to help set up scenes and camera angles. Fun!

I thought they'd be bigger.....

Their stunt hellhound doesn't look that scary! :)

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