7.21 Reading Is Fundamental

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Title Reading Is Fundamental
Episode # Season 7, Episode 21
First aired May 4, 2012
Directed by Ben Edlund
Written by Ben Edlund
On IMDB Reading Is Fundamental
Outline The Winchesters visit Castiel in the hospital with the tablet, only to have it stolen by prophet Kevin Tran.
Monster Leviathans
Timeline May 4th - May 7th, 2012
Location(s) Neighbor, Michigan
South Chicago, Illinois
Whitefish, Montana
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Dean and Sam break open the piece of clay that they stole from Dick, unleashing a thunderstorm in the process. Lightning from the storm hits Kevin Tran inside his house, lifts him into the air, then drops him to the ground. Around the same time, Castiel awakens in his hospital bed in Indiana, with Meg sitting next to him. The Winchesters, meanwhile, have discovered that the piece of clay contains a small black tablet with strange writing on it. Elsewhere, Edgar receives a call from none other than Dick Roman.

The next day, Kevin wakes up and realizes he's late for an important test, presumably the SATs. As he leaves his house, which has been damaged by the lightning, he begins having visions of the mysterious tablet. The brothers notice an object move on its own, but Bobby doesn't appear, leading them to believe he's been drained of energy from his attack on Dick back at RRE. Meg then calls, informing them about Castiel. Kevin, driving his mom's car, continues seeing the tablet and heads to Indiana.

At the hospital, Cas begins to act weird, greeting Sam and Dean with a “pull my finger” gag and blowing out the overhead lights with his powers. He says Meg is beautiful, hugs the brothers, and talks of cats before finally revealing what the tablet is: the Word of God written by the angel Metatron. Unfortunately, he cannot read it. Dean and Meg start to argue, upsetting Cas, who then teleports away, dropping the tablet which breaks into three pieces. Dean goes to look for him while Meg tells Sam she'll take Cas away if the brothers don't answer her questions. Just then, they hear somebody in Cas' room: it's Kevin stealing the broken tablet. Sam and Meg give chase and catch him, trying to pry the tablet from his hands. Kevin holds on tightly, saying he cannot let go of it. Dean is still trying to talk to Castiel, who just wants to play a game of SORRY! Cas uses the game as a metaphor and talks of homo sapiens, while Dean get angry and knocks the board and game pieces off the table.

Kevin tells Sam that the tablet is his and manages to put its broken pieces back together. He says that the tablet talks about the Leviathans. Just then, Hester and Inias arrive, tossing Meg aside with a gesture. They're angels assigned to protect the prophet, Kevin. Meg fights back, slashing Inias' hand. Cas comes in and, after he rambles on again, Hester realizes he has gone insane. Dean then uses a angel banishing sigil to get rid of the angels temporarily.

The next day, after having told Kevin what's going on, the brothers and Meg head to Rufus's cabin and stop at a gas station along the way. Sam spots a report on the news about Kevin's disappearance and Meg notices two demons watching her. Later that night, Cas pops up and reveals that Hester and Inias are from his old garrison. Their job is to watch the earth and take Kevin the prophet to the desert to learn the Word of God away from man. He also says he cannot help them against his fellow angels.

After arriving at Rufus's cabin Dean begins unpacking his bag, then gets Kevin to translate the writing on the tablet while Sam talks to Cas. He's worried that his madness is now causing Castiel to be insane, but Castiel insists that he is okay. Nonetheless, Sam vows to help him get better, but Cas doesn't understand what he means by that. In the meantime, Meg meets up with the two demons from earlier, one of them named Rosco, and kills them. When she returns to the cabin, she gets caught in a devil's trap by the Winchesters who are wary of trusting her. She points out that she killed demons rather than give Castiel to Crowley, that she's still on their side. Sam lets her go and, all of a sudden, Inias and Hester bust in. They try to take Kevin and kill Castiel, but Meg stabs Hester with an angel blade. She then disappears. Inias sends two angels to take Kevin back home, after he finishes translating the Word, which reveals how to kill the leviathans: using the bone of a righteous mortal, dipped in the three bloods of the fallen. One of those is that of an angel, so Castiel gives Dean and Sam a bottle of his blood, then vanishes.

At Kevin's house, a detective named Collins is reassuring Kevin's mom that she can trust him to find her missing son. The angels arrive with Kevin, promising to protect him. However, they cannot protect themselves as Collins effortlessly kills them both, saying that "Leviathan beats angel." He then greets Kevin as he morphs into the form of Edgar.




  • Suite No. 5 in C minor, II: Allemande by Johann Sebastian Bach
(performed by Kevin Tran)
  • "Chaos" by Lazy Stars
(playing on Meg's mp3 player)


Edgar: Strange, isn't it, that someone would choose to be named "Dick"?
Meg: He's been like the naked guy at the rave ever since he woke up. Totally useless.

Castiel: Will you look at her? My caretaker. All of that thorny pain. So beautiful.

Meg: We've been over this. I don't like poetry. Put up or shut up.
Castiel: Did you know that a cat's penis is sharply barbed along its shaft? I know for a fact that females were not consulted about that.
Kevin: What's happening!? (pause) What's happening!?

Dean: (looks at Kevin) What is that?

Sam: It's uh... Kevin Tran. He's, uh, in advanced placement.
Dean: So, Kevin, you can, uh, read the chicken scratch on the God rock, huh? That is back in one piece, I see. And you're saying that there's some sort of a "how to punch Dick" recipe in there somewhere?
Kevin: I don't know what you're saying, but it seems kind of like an "in case of emergency" note.
Castiel: We were assigned to watch the Earth. Often it was boring. Your wars were very boring. Sex... repetition.
Castiel: I don't fight any more. I watch the bees.
Kevin: This looks like a sex torture dungeon. Is this a sex torture dungeon?
Castiel: (talking to Sam) You seem troubled. 'Course, that's a primary aspect of your personality, so I sometimes ignore it.
Hester: The very touch of you corrupts. When Castiel first laid a hand on you in Hell, he was lost!
Sam: It says we need to start with the blood of a fallen angel.
Castiel: Well, you know me. Always happy to bleed for the Winchesters.

Trivia & References

Reading Is Fundamental is a nonprofit organization that promotes children's literacy.
Castiel: This is the handwriting of Metatron.

Sam: Metatron?!? You're saying a Transformer wrote that?
Dean: No, that's Megatron.
Sam: What?
Dean: The Transformer, it's Megatron.
Sam: What?

Megatron is a Transformer robot, and is the leader of the Decepticon uprising.
Castiel: I don't fight any more. I watch the bees.
In the story His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle, it is revealed that after retirement Sherlock takes up beekeeping with the same passion and obsession he once had for detecting:
“Exactly, Watson. Here is the fruit of my leisured ease, the magnum opus of my latter years.” He picked up the volume from the table and read out the whole title, “‘Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen.’ Alone I did it. Behold the fruit of pensive nights and laborious days, when I watched the little working gangs as once I watched the criminal world of London.”
Dean and Castiel play the board game Sorry!, which originated in England in the 1920s. It is based on the ancient Indian game of Pachisi. Players draw cards which direct their movement around the board. One player's movements may result in another player being sent back to the Start - hence the title of "Sorry!"
Meg: What up, Bullwinkle?
Meg refers to Sam as Bullwinkle who was a large moose in the cartoon The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. Crowley has referred to Sam as Moose on several occasions.
Moose is often used to refer to Jared as well - see nicknames for more.
Meg: Hey Seacrest, not a nurse, just playing one on TV.
Seacrest refers to Ryan Seacrest who is best known as the host of American Idol. The comment is also a meta one, as it refers to the fact that Meg is pretending to be a nurse, but also that Rachel Miner is an actress playing one on TV.
Sam: We broke this thing open last night and every maternity ward in a five miles radius got slammed. Looks like any woman in their last month of pregnancy went into labor!
This could be a reference to the birth of Jared's son on the March 19th. The episode was filmed from Mar 15th to Mar 26th. At Roadhouse Con Brasil 2012 Jared said that Gen went into labor during the first day of shooting during the scene where Sam was running after Kevin.
Castiel: Boop!
In the movie Dogma God, as played by Alanis Morissette, says this while poking another character's nose in the same way that Castiel does to Kevin Tran in this scene.
Edgar's disguise, Detective Collins, is an reference to Misha Collins, who reappeared in the series after 7.17 The Born-Again Identity.


The Leviathan are building a slaughterhouse under the guise of a development called "GeoThrive."
The page containing the translated Word of God reads:
"Cut off the head, and the body will founder. Waste not thy time nor your breath upon the Leviathan herd. Point thy blade at the heart of their master, for from him springs all their messages. Leviathan cannot be slain but by a bone of a righteous mortal, as light and good as the Leviathan are hungry and dark, washed in the three blood of the fallen: a fallen angel, the ruler of the fallen humanity, and a father of fallen beasts."
Sam claims that angels have no wings, and strictly speaking they are "multidimensional wavelength[s] of celestial intent". An angel's wings cannot be perceived by human eyes, however a silhouette of the wings can be seen if an angel chooses to reveal its power. At this time, to our knowledge, Sam had not seen an angel manifest its wings. However, Castiel reveals his wings to Sam, Dean, Raphael, and Balthazar in 6.15 The French Mistake.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts