8.21 The Great Escapist

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Great Escapist promo pic.jpeg
Title The Great Escapist
Episode # Season 8, Episode 21
First aired May 1, 2013
Directed by Robert Duncan McNeill
Written by Ben Edlund
On IMDB The Great Escapist
Monster Crowley
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
Route 34, Colorado
Sante Fe, New Mexico
[[{{{prevep}}}|« Previous Episode]] | [[{{{nextep}}}|Next Episode »]]


Kevin is at work on Garth's boat, working on translating the demon tablet when Sam and Dean arrive, announcing that they have managed to trick Crowley out of the other half of the tablet. As they leave the boat, Sam and Dean transform - they are actually demons working under Crowley's direction. The boat is merely a construct of Crowley's to prevent Kevin from realizing he's been kidnapped.

In the Bunker, Dean is concerned about Sam's worsening health. Sam tries to explain to Dean that he's not just sick from the trials, they are transforming him. An email arrives with a video from Kevin - triggered to be sent if he didn't reset the password once a week. In the video a distraught Kevin reveals he's probably taken by Crowley, but he knows he will not reveal what he's translated to him. He also forwards all his translation notes to Sam and Dean.

While reading Kevin's notes from his translation work on the demon tablet , Sam notices a recurring symbol which appears to be Metatron's signature. It is familiar to him from a course he took at Stanford on Native American art. It's a petroglyph from a tribe in Colorado called The Two Rivers. As the tribe is supposed to be protected by the Messenger of God, Sam and Dean realize this is where they might find Metatron and head to have a look.

Naomi is continuing her search for Castiel and the angel tablet. Castiel has been hiding by choosing a different Biggerson's Restaurant to go to when the angels Ion and Esper get close, leaving them unable to locate him. Under orders from Naomi they murder everyone in a Santa Fe Biggerson's location to lure him there, except the waitress Kara whose eyes Ion burns out and gives the message of "You have to stop" to tell Castiel. They catch him, and Naomi arrives.

Ion is sent to search every Biggerson's for the tablet unsuccessfully. When he returns Crowley shows up and shoots Castiel in the gut, Esper in the neck, and Ion in the shoulder with a gun loaded with bullets made from a melted down Angel Blade. He tries to shoot Naomi but she disappears. Ion is revealed as an agent of Crowley's and together they teleport with Castiel to Crowley's headquarters. Crowley reveals that he knows where the Angel Tablet is, that he thinks that having realised its proximity protects him from Naomi's control, Cas still has the tablet with him. Crowley reaches inside Castiel's gut and pulls out the tablet.

Kevin has realized the truth of his incarceration and under the pretense of sending them for his half of the tablet, sends the demons posing as Sam and Dean into a Devil's Trap.

While Crowley goes to confront Kevin, Ion talks to Castiel about how the angels have been mind-controlled and memory-wiped for a long time, and it was apparent he was miserable and frustrated with the situation. Castiel digs the bullet out of his wound and catching Ion by surprise, kills him by shoving the bullet into his eye.

As they check into a hotel, Sam becomes more unwell, hearing noises, developing a fever, and having vivid memory flashbacks to his childhood. Dean visits a local museum, where the curator tells him that the Native American tribe was led by a man who gave them a bounty in return for their stories. Noticing an old photo features the hotel manager, seemingly unaged, Dean realises that they may be close to Metatron.

Sam and Dean find Metatron in a hotel room, surrounded by thousands of books. He is unaware of any of the events related to Heaven, or Lucifer and the Apocalypse and hasn't even heard of the Winchesters. He explains that he left Heaven to protect the tablets and himself from the Archangels who want to use them to take over the universe. Metatron further explains that as Sam has passed two of the trials, he is starting to resonate with the tablets, and with Metatron, allowing him to sense both when he is in close proximity. Sam and Dean are angry at him for ignoring all the suffering wrought by Heaven and the Angels and tell him about Kevin Tran who they believe is dead as a result.

Metatron decides to catch up on current events and as a result, decides to get involved. Even though Crowley has angel-warding protecting where he is keeping Kevin, as the Scribe of God, Metatron is able to simply erase it and he rescues Kevin as Crowley is strangling him to death. Metatron's rescue of Kevin leaves Crowley burned. Returning to the hotel, Metatron heals Kevin and talks to Dean about what happens next. He is willing to join them now, but suggests that perhaps closing the gates of Hell might not be a good idea, asking Dean what he is willing to do to achieve it and to consider what will happen when the gates are closed. Kevin wakes up and reveals he has the second half of the demon tablet and the third trial and before Kevin can reveal it, Metatron does: Sam must cure a demon. Kevin confirms it and asks who Metatron is.

Driving back to the Bunker, Dean is seeking reassurance from Sam that when he completes the last trial, he'll be well again, but the conversation is interrupted as they stop to avoid hitting a person lying hurt on the road. It's Castiel.




  • "Spanish Flea" by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
(plays when the demons call Crowley from the hunters trap; also known as the theme to The Dating Game)


Crowley: Remember, I want two distinct, authentic characterizations... I was born to direct!
Ion: It's as if we're in every Biggerson's at once, trapped in a quantum superposition.
Naomi: You're the famous spanner in the works. Honestly, you came off the line with a crack in your chassis. You have never done what you were told. Not completely. You don't even die right, do you?
Sam: You rode a farty donkey.
Sam: You really haven't heard of us? What kind of angel are you? We're the frigging Winchesters!
Metatron: When you create stories, you become gods of tiny intricate dimensions unto themselves. So many worlds.

Trivia & References

The title of the epsiode is based on the 1963 movie The Great Escape about Allied POWs escaping a German prison camp in World War 2.
Naomi: There was that day back in Egypt... not that long ago, when we slew every firstborn infant whose door wasn't splashed with lamb's blood. And that was just PR.
Naomi is referring to the story in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, of when Moses freed the Israelites who were enslaved by the Egyptians. He tried to make a deal with the Pharoah, and each time he refused to release the Israelites, God sent a plague. The ninth plague was the murder of all first born sons in Egypt by angels. The angels spared the Israelites' children, who they knew by the sign of the door lintel being marked with lamb's blood. The events are commemorated as the Jewish holiday of "Passover".
Demon Sam: So Special K, you keep your nose to the godstone.
Special K is a brand of cereal and also the nickname for Ketamine a veterinary tranquilizer also used as a party drug.
Sam: Hey, you remember when Dad took us to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on that pack mule ride and your mule kept farting, just letting go like gale force?

Dean: Dude, you were like four years old. I barely remember that.

Dean had obviously forgotten about that trip years previously when in 2.09 Croatoan he said "Yeah, you know, all this driving back and forth across country, you know I've never been to the Grand Canyon?
Fake Demon Dean: Okay, whats the 10-20?
10-20 is police radio code for "what is the location?"
Sam: You used to read to me when I was little, I mean really little, from that old Classics Illustrated comic book... Knights of the Round Table.

Classics Illustrated was a series which adapted literary classics into comic books. It was published from 1931 to 1971. Issue 108 was Knights of the Round Table.


The motel is called the Two Rivers Motel.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts