Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
To complete his second trial, Sam will have to go to hell and back to save an old friend from eternal damnation.
First it was his health and now Kevin's mind is starting to break as he begins to hear Crowley's voice at all times, tormenting him with unspeakable punishment. The Winchesters arrive the next day and he tells them that he's translated the second trial, which involves going to hell and rescuing a trapped innocent soul meant for heaven. The boys summon and trap a crossroads demons who tells them that there are reapers that can smuggle them to hell and back. Sam and Dean then track down Ajay, a reaper willing to help them for a favour when he needs it. They agree to Ajay's terms but then Sam is transported to purgatory as Ajay can only take him so far before having to travel the rest of the way on his own. Back on earth, Kevin who continues to unravel with each passing moment. Dean gives him the usual speech to suck it up and keep going but that only makes things worse. Not willing to sit idly by, Crowley's spies tell him that Sam has made the trip to hell so he decides to have a chat with Ajay; just before putting an angel blade through his back. Now that Sam doesn't have a ride home, Dean has to call on Benny for a favour. As the only person that can go to purgatory and come back, Dean is asking a lot since Benny has to die to get to purgatory. Benny is glad to help as he still feels like he isn't a part of the world. By the way, the innocent soul that Sam has to save is Bobby, whose been trapped there by Crowley. If Benny can't get to Sam and Bobby soon, the three of them will be caught in purgatory's web forever.
Though it would seem like Taxi Driver was going to take it slow after last week`s Freaks and Geeks, it kicked things up a notch and delivered a fast paced episode that had a great story and brought back a friendly face. After seeing last week`s preview, I was second guessing what a trip to hell would be like but I was pleasantly surprised. With four episodes left of the season, I still don`t know how this season will end. Kevin Tran has lost his mind (after hiding his half of the tablet of course), Castiel is missing (with the other half of the tablet), Crowley is still plotting and Sam still has to complete another trial. It`s a lot going on but I`m very excited to see how those stories all come together this season.
The story maintained a solid pace and really kept us guessing and the biggest surprise was seeing Bobby again. It was bittersweet to see the surly old man that had been the glue of the show for so many years in hell. I do feel as that Bobby finally got a real farewell in being rescued from hell by Sam. Last season, Supernatural had the opportunity to send Bobby out on a high note when he was running from the reaper, trapped in his memories while trying to buy more time. Instead, Bobby became a ghost and eventually a tormented spirit. It tainted Bobby`s memory in some ways to see him like that but this episode made up for it. Bobby provided perspective to Sam and Dean's story and it was awesome to see him call out the two of them for losing that and how he wouldn't mind coming back if he could (I wish). Jim Beaver Is fantastic as Bobby and his presence is sorely missed but like he said, this probably isn't the last time we'll see him on Supernatural.
While they are few, the shortcomings of Taxi Driver are apparent. The first being that Kevin Tran's story has not been as engaging as it could be. This is partly due to how timid the character is but Osric Chau doesn't give the role the depth that it needs to connect with the audience. When Crowley told him his mother was dead, he shouted "no" with less enthusiasm than Darth Vader learning of Padme's death. It was weak. It was also difficult to see him lose his mind as his grip on reality just came across as increasing despondence to his situation. Chau really needs to up his game with so few episodes left. Unfortunately, the other set back was Benny. Hold on a second, before you get worked up I am not saying that Ty Olsson was bad as Benny; he is awesome. I am saying that Benny didn't get the attention he deserved throughout the season and I was expecting a lot more from such a promising character. Dean didn't burn his bones so hopefully that means that we haven't seen the last of Benny.
All in all, Taxi Driver is another great episode from Supernatural. We'll see if we get another winner when Felicia Day returns, again, in Pac-Man Fever.
Tags: Supernatural, Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Bobby Singer, Benny, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Jim Beaver, Ty Olsson
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