In Review: Supernatural, Episode 208 “Soul Survivor”

Big storylines are wrapped up and new stories can now begin--Thank goodness!

Supernatural, Episode 208 “Soul Survivor” Broadcast on October 21, 2014

Written by Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming

Directed by Jensen Ackles

After a quick summary of the previous two episodes of Demon Dean’s plight, viewers see a priest blessing the contents of a blood bank which “Doctor” Sam takes back to the Winchester brothers’ bunker, and to captive Dean. As the younger brother begins to cure Dean, his demonic sibling says he doesn’t want to be saved. “Sammy, you know I hate shots,” he says. Sam quickly replies, “I hate demons,” and sticks him with the first round of blessed blood. Dean writhes in his chair. Cue the title card.

Still on the road, Castiel and Hannah are driving along in silence until she asks how he is doing. She says she worries about him. She’s showing human emotion. Back in the Winchester bunker, the shots continue. Dean tells Sam he’s already like him. Crowley told Demon Dean how far Sam has gone to find him. Sam looks pained as an outstanding flashback begins in a bar, showing a familiar face from last week. Sam talks this sorry individual into summoning a demon to sell his soul. The demon that appears is the same demon that Sam was torturing in the season premiere. With the guilty flashback concluded, Dean asks Sam if he’s got the stomach to do what must be done if the blood won’t cure him. The camera closes in on Sam, looking worried. Cut to first commercial break.

With the exception of one story element, this was the most satisfactory episode of the season so far. Crowley makes several appearances, showing what it’s like ruling in Hell, and he is completely lost. It was equally funny and cool to see how two demons respond to his indifference to the job. The King of Hell also plays a key roll in one character’s fate, and that was the highpoint of the episode for me. Castiel and Hannah have a surprising action scene that does not go as they had planned, with the conclusion of it being exceptionally neat.

The good: Crowley, Castiel, Sam being completely devoted to doing what it takes to get Dean back to normal, the return of a “rogue,” and super lighting during the lock down sequence. There were also several outstanding lines, including, “I could be your wingman,” “I’m not sentimental,” Sometimes enough is whatever you have,” and “Why can’t you people stay on clouds and play harps like you’re supposed to?”

The bad: How can Sam be surprised at what happens to Dean when he’s in brother’s room? This was obviously going to happen and lead to some pretty creaky dialogue for the next five minutes. This sequence felt like something the show had done years earlier and held no surprises.

The final line: Big storylines are wrapped up and new stories can now begin–Thank goodness! Overall grade: B+


Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.


Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
    3 Comments on this post.
  • Paula R. Stiles
    22 October 2014 at 4:13 am -

    I’d give this one a D+. And the plus is for Ackles’ direction and acting. The script was absolutely terrible, filled with linear plot, plodding pacing, and the usual lack of concern about logic and concern this particular writing team always brings to the table. It wasn’t quite as bad as “Taxi Driver,” but it came close.

  • Patrick Hayes
    22 October 2014 at 4:34 am -

    I was just happy to see the Dean and Castiel storylines ended. Now the series can go in new directions. I’m a sucker for Crowley and Castiel, so I was happy with their contributions. The Winchesters were the low point of the show, again, but since things concluded I didn’t feel so slighted with the story.

    • Paula R. Stiles
      22 October 2014 at 4:41 am -

      I thought they really ruined Castiel and his friendship with Dean this week. And I am beyond sick of Crowley. I don’t think I can make it through a whole season of him and his Bela Talbot Syndrome without liberal usage of the fast-forward button, so I sure hope he won’t be in every episode.

      Not too much of the “new directions” they’ve been talking about particularly interest me. Kate the Werewolf needed to come back never. I have zero desire to see Charlie. Hannah could have been good, but there is something very, very wrong with the writing for the angels so far this season. Speaking of which, I am in no hurry to see Metatron again.

      I’m kinda looking forward to the Jodie and Donna ep, but they’ll probably find a way to ruin it. Ditto the return of Jimmy’s daughter. The 200th episode sounds like a hot mess. And this new witch is probably going to be more attempted injection of bad Vampire Diaries stereotypes.

      It’s a real shame that they generated all of this excitement with Dean’s storyline and then blew their whole wad in such an anticlimactic way so early in the season.

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