Supernatural: Reading is Fundamental

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

While Kevin Tran, advanced placement student, is quietly studying for his SATs in his room, he is suddenly struck by a bolt of lightning. It may seem like it was a freak occurrence but it will change the rest of his life in ways he never could have imagined.

By a strange coincidence, Kevin rides the lightning just as Sam and Dean crack open tablet they stole from Dick Roman; it is also the very moment when Castiel awakes from his torment from Lucifer (coincidence?). Suddenly Kevin is driven to get to the tablet and Meg gives the Winchesters a call to tell them their favourite angel is conscious. After speaking with Castiel and letting Meg clothesline Kevin to the ground when he makes a grab for the tablet, Sam and Dean learn that Kevin is the new prophet chosen to read the Word of God (the tablet). But this is the Winchesters and nothing is ever that simple. Castiel may be awake but his mind is broken from Lucifer's torment and things don't get any easier when a few more angels come for Kevin and they aren't happy. After all, what could go wrong with when you have an angel with no grip on reality, a demon with a focus on self preservation and an advanced placement student?

Not even the word of God could prevent this episode from being a complete disaster. Reading is Fundamental suffered from so many flaws, it is down there with Frontierland as being one of the worst episodes in years. The concept that the word of God holds the key to destroying the leviathans makes sense but another young, witless prophet doesn't necessarily making the story feel fresh (although the last prophet was God, I know).

Humour may have distracted from the lackluster plot but guest stars only made it worse. Kevin Tran (played by Osric Chau) could have been the comedy Reading is Fundamental desperately needed but instead, Chau repeatedly came across as annoying and does little to make me excited to see him again in the following episode. Also lacking any redeeming qualities in her role as Meg is Rachel Miner. Considering Meg wants nothing but to see Crowley dead, Miner delivers all of her lines as if Crowley was her mentor. Whereas Mark Sheppard can elegantly toes the line between sarcasm and anger, Miner continues to recite her lines with a dull enthusiasm that fails to impress. Does every demon need to have a sarcastic sense of humour? Ruby (when she was played by Genevieve Padalecki) had a sense of honest and a (seemingly) genuine desire to help the Winchesters but Miner can't convey either sentiment.

Even reading about how to kill the leviathans is painful and Reading is Fundamental was just more proof of that. My expectations are low but with any luck, Supernatural will end this latest streak of weak episodes as season seven begins to close out. We'll see if that happens in next week's There Will Be Blood.

Tags: Supernatural, Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Kevin Tran, Meg, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Osric Chau, Rachel Miner

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