Reading Is Fundamental is the 21st episode of Season 7. It aired on May 4th, 2012.
The episode begins with a young Asian honors student named Kevin at home practicing his cello and talking with his friend on the phone about an upcoming test. At the same time, Sam and Dean secure a new hiding place. They wonder what could be in the slab of clay they stole from Dick Roman, and Dean starts whacking at it with a hammer. This sets off a sudden lightning storm in the area. Dean remarks that someone is trying to tell them to stop, and Sam agrees, then Dean resumes hammering the clay. It breaks open, revealing a stone tablet with symbols carved into it. At the same time, a lightning bolt strikes Kevin, sending him into a seizure and filling his mind with the symbols on the tablet. He then falls unconscious. Meanwhile, back at the mental hospital, Meg, while reading a magazine in Castiel's room, looks up to discover that he has woken up.
Meanwhile, at the construction site for the Leviathans' slaughterhouse, Edgar and another Leviathan are going over the plans for the plant. Edgar is commenting that the line might panic when they see the blades, when he receives a call from Dick Roman. He takes the call, musing out loud why someone would want to name themselves "Dick".
Kevin wakes up in his room, which is in a state of complete disarray. His phone rings and it goes to voicemail. It's his mother, who believes he's at school about to take the test. Kevin is alarmed to realize it's morning and he's late for school. His mother hangs up, and suddenly he begins seeing visions of glyphs.
At the same time, Dean wakes up at the hiding place. There's a report on the radio about the strange storm that occurred last night. Also, Bobby is present, but they can't see or hear him. Sam speculates that Bobby used up a lot of his energy attacking Dick. The brothers turn their attention to the stone tablet, but are unable to interpret it. Sam also adds that every maternity ward within a hundred miles got filled by women in the last month of their pregnancy. They decide they should head for Rufus' cabin for safety. Just then Sam's phone rings. It's Meg. She tells the Winchesters that Castiel has woken up and that they'd better see him now.
Kevin, now driving his mom's car, gets a call from his friend, Channing, who's ranting about how he missed school, a student council-meeting, and his test. His eyes glow...again, and he keeps driving, while claiming he's been chosen - but he doesn't know for what.
The Winchesters meanwhile arrive in Indiana during the night. They go into the psychiatric ward, where they're stopped by a nurse, as it's after visiting hours. Meg, however, shows up and covers for them, saying she's been expecting them. She takes the brothers to Castiel's ward. The fallen angel is waiting for them and greets the brothers happily. He then asks Dean to pull his finger. Dean does so, and all the lights in the room shatter, and Castiel laughs.
While Meg replaces the lights, Sam and Dean speak with Castiel - who has clearly gone crazy. Though he remembers who he is, he seems to be more interested in talking about watching honeybees and in making fond comments about Meg, which seems to make her uncomfortable. Sam gives him the stone tablet, and Castiel reveals it is one of the Word of God. He is unable to translate it, however. Meg wants to look at the tablet, but Dean refuses to let her. They start to argue, which causes Castiel to teleport away, dropping the tablet in the process. It breaks into three pieces. Meg tells them that Cass has probably gone to the dayroom. Dean goes down there to check on him, while Sam collects the pieces of shattered tablet. Meg questions Sam, and when he doesn't answer her, she threatens to leave and take Castiel with her. While they're arguing, someone breaks into the room and steals Sam's bag containing the pieces of tablet.
Outside the hospital, Kevin is running away with Sam's bag. Sam and Meg give chase, and Meg eventually catches him. They quickly figure out he's not a demon or a Leviathan. Kevin tells them his name and that he's in Advanced Placement. He begs them not to kill him and apologizes for stealing the tablet, but continues to hold onto it.
Back in the dayroom, Dean figures that taking on Sam's damage from the Cage has cost Castiel his mind. He tells Castiel that he wants him to help them defeat the Leviathans. Castiel responds by holding up a board game "Sorry!" and asking Dean if he wants to go first.
Meanwhile, Sam and Meg have brought Kevin and the tablet back to the ward. Kevin doesn't understand what's happening but insists that he somehow knows the tablet is for him. He takes the pieces of tablet, puts them together - and the tablet repairs itself.
In the dayroom, Castiel and Dean are playing "Sorry!". Castiel talks about how all the angels made bets on which species of prehistoric monkey would come out on top. Dean wants to know more about Metatron and the Word of God, but Castiel's only response is that they live in a "sorry" universe. Eventually, Dean loses his temper and knocks the game off the table. He tells Cass to forget the game, and Cass says he's sorry, but Dean retorts that he's only playing "Sorry!"
In the ward, Kevin is looking at the Word of God - which he can read. He manages to translate part of the tablet, which tells the story of the Leviathans and how God locked them away. He asks Sam if the Leviathans are real, and Sam says they are real and they're here. He then asks if there's anything about killing the Leviathans. Suddenly Meg's eyes turn black and she senses something. The lights in the room flicker and a man and a woman appear. The woman recognizes Meg as a demon and uses telekinesis to slam her into a wall.
At the same time in the dayroom, Castiel senses that Sam is talking to Angels.
Back upstairs, the female angel is commenting on Meg and Sam: "A demon whore and a Winchester... again." and tells them to step away from the Prophet - Kevin. She says that they are here to take the Keeper of the Word. She then orders the male angel to kill Meg and Sam. The male angel advances on Meg, who responds by drawing an Angelic Blade and slashing the angel's hand, forcing him to back off. The female angel is outraged that Meg has an Angel Blade, but before things can get further out of hand, Castiel suddenly appears and greets the angels.
Both angels are shocked to see Castiel alive. The female angel, who Castiel identifies as Hester, demands an explanation for his actions in Heaven just before he disappeared. Castiel admits it was "rude". The male angel, Inias, is happier to see him and asks where he's been. Castiel, however, is unable to explain himself and instead asks Hester to pull his finger. Hester says he's insane. Suddenly Dean shows up and activates an angel banishing sigil which banishes all the angels in the room.
Dean tells everyone that they have three or four hours before the angels return. Sam asks Meg where she got the Angel Blade. Meg's only reply is that a lot of angels have died this year. Kevin starts freaking out and asks what's happening. Sam awkwardly introduces Kevin to Dean. "He's in Advanced Placement," he says.
After Kevin has calmed down, he tells them that the tablet appears to be an emergency note regarding what to do if the Leviathans escape. He also says he doesn't want to be a Prophet. Dean agrees he shouldn't. Meg then announces that they'd better leave before the angels return. Dean is reluctant to take her with them, but Meg points out they have safety in numbers. Dean decides they should go to Rufus's cabin.
The next morning, the Winchesters have stopped off at a gas station to refill on gas and gather supplies. While buying groceries at the mini-mart, Sam sees a news broadcast regarding Kevin's kidnapping. Outside, Meg finds trouble of her own when she notices she's being watched by a pair of demons posing as truck drivers. She doesn't tell the Winchesters about this, however.
Back on the road at night, the Winchesters get a call from Castiel, who was transported to Perth, Australia, where he's surrounded by "large, unhappy dogs." He appears in the car (scaring Kevin) and, after first verifying that Meg is unharmed, explains that the angels, Hester and Inias, were from his garrison. He further explains that when the Word of God is revealed, a keeper will be chosen - Kevin. According to the Heavenly Code, the angels must take the keeper away to the desert to learn the Word. Dean says they can't let that happen, as they need Kevin and the tablet to defeat the Leviathans. The group eventually arrives at Rufus' cabin where they set up shop.
At the cabin, Sam asks Castiel if he is still seeing Lucifer. Castiel says that he did at first, but it was really just an "aftertaste" of Sam's memories. He says that taking in Sam's pain has helped him deal with his own guilt and pain. Sam assures him they're going to help him get better.
At the same time Dean is with Kevin, who is continuing to experience visions as he attempts to translate the tablet. He protests that he doesn't want to be a Prophet and questions what's happening to his life. Dean calms him down - by putting a paper bag over his head - and then tells him that it sucks being chosen, but there's no use in asking, "Why me?"
Meanwhile, Meg sneaks out of the cabin and into the woods where a truck pulls up and two demons from the gas station get out and confront her. The first demon, Rosco, tells her she'd better start talking if she doesn't want to be taken to the King of Hell. Meg tells him she has something that Crowley wants more than her - Castiel, the angel that double crossed him. Rosco is surprised since Castiel is supposed to be dead, and asks her where he is. Meg tells him she first wants to know how many other demons they brought here. When Rosco reveals that he and his partner are the only ones here, Meg pulls out a knife and kills both demons.
When Meg returns to the cabin, she finds herself caught in a Devil's trap with Sam, Dean, and Castiel waiting for her. When Sam and Dean question her motives, she protests that she just saved them from Crowley's men and that she could have gone the other way. She argues that she only wants to find a cause to serve, which is why she worked for Lucifer and Azazel. Right now, her goal is to kill Crowley, and she's going to need Sam and Dean's help to do it. Dean points out that Crowley isn't the problem right now, but Meg counters that Crowley is just biding his time. Castiel verifies that there is demon's blood on her weapon and, convinced that she's telling the truth, Sam breaks the trap and frees her.
Castiel suddenly warns them that by killing the demons, Hester and her soldiers will be able to track them here. Before they can erect defenses, however, the door suddenly bursts open and Meg is thrown out of the room. Hester, Inias, and two more Angels appear moments later. Hester is furious that they have taken the prophet from them and has Inias get Kevin. She then announces that they will take the Prophet to the desert tonight.
Dean and Castiel try to convince the Angels that they need Kevin to help them defeat the Leviathan. Hester, however, refuses to listen, and accuses Dean of having "corrupted" Castiel. She moves in to kill him, and when Castiel tries to stop her, she loses her temper and turns on him. She beats him up and then draws an Angel Blade to kill him. Inias pleads with her to stop, telling her that there are already too few Angels left, but she knocks him away. Just as she's about to kill Castiel, light bursts from her body and she falls dead. Meg has stabbed her from behind with her own angel blade. The others all look at her in surprise and she tells them someone had to do it.
The next day, Inias and his Angels prepare to take Kevin back to his home now that he's finished translating the tablet. Inias remarks that these are strange times. He then asks Castiel to join them, but Castiel declines. The angels then take Kevin away. Dean mentions he can't find Meg, and Castiel says she's lying low.
Sam then reads the translation which informs them that the Leviathan can only be killed by a Bone Of Righteous Mortal Washed In the Three Bloods of Fallen. They need to start with a fallen angel's blood. Castiel conjures a bottle of his blood and gives it to them. He then disappears, leaving the two brothers to get to work on the rest of the weapon.
Back at Kevin's home, a detective is talking to Mrs. Tran, when Kevin appears, accompanied by two Angels. Mrs. Tran is overjoyed to see her son alive and hugs him. She then asks the angels who they are, and Kevin reassures her that they're going to keep him safe. The detective walks up to the angels and says he doesn't think that's true. Without warning, he slams his fist into the first angel's chest.
"Rock beats scissors," the detective says coolly, as black Leviathan ooze pours from the dying angel's mouth. The second angel tries to stop him with a Killing Touch, but it has no effect. "Leviathan beats Angel," the detective continues, and plunges his fist into the second Angel, injecting him with black goo as well. With the two angels dead, the detective turns his attention to Kevin and his mother, who cower in terror. The detective morphs into Edgar. "Hello, Kevin," he says.
Cast and CharactersEdit
- Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester
- Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester
- Misha Collins as Castiel
- Rachel Miner as Meg
- Osric Chau as Kevin Tran
- Benito Martinez as Edgar
- Emily Holmes as Hester
- Bob Frazer as Rosco
- Adrian McMorran as Inias
- Michasha Armstrong as Abel
- Eric Floyd as Detective Collins
- Khaira Ledeyo as Linda Tran
- Lissa Neptuno as Channing Ngo
Featured Supernatural BeingsEdit
- Castiel and Meg last appeared in "The Born-Again Identity".
- This episode marks Meg's 10th appearance in the series.
- This is the first appearance of the Angels (besides Castiel) since The Man Who Knew Too Much.
- This is the first appearance of Edgar since "How To Win Friends And Influence Monsters".
- Upon seeing Meg and Sam together, Hester remarks, "A demon whore and a Winchester... again." referring to Sam's relationship with Ruby.
- The piece of clay the Winchesters stole from Dick Roman in The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo is revealed to hold The Word of God.
- Kevin is the second Prophet to appear on the show. The first was Chuck Shurley, whose last appearance was in Swan Song.
- Antagonists: Hester, Edgar, Demons.
- Misha Collins is billed as a Special Guest Star.
- Technically, Bobby is in this episode, but he cannot be seen or heard since he used up a lot of his energy in the previous episode.
- Leviathans are shown to be capable of killing angels.
Trivia and ReferencesEdit
- Sam confuses the angel Metatron with "Megatron" - the leader of the Decepticons and the main villain of the Transformers series. This may actually be an early indication of Metatron's role as a "Big Bad".
- Castiel's new hobby of watching the bees is a reference to the character of Sherlock Holmes.
- Jared Padalecki's son was born while this episode was being filmed.
- This episode was originally titled "In Case of Emergency".
- This episode's title is a reference to a nonprofit organization of the same name that promotes children's literacy.
- This episode marks the first time we see a demon kill an angel.
(The Winchesters are breaking open the clay, which starts a thunder storm outside)
- Dean: That sound like someone saying, "No! Wait! Stop!" to you?
- Sam: Uh, yeah.
- Dean: Oh well. (resumes breaking the clay)
- Meg: Right? 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.
- Sam: Metatron?!? You're saying a Transformer wrote that?
- Dean: No, that's Megatron.
- Sam: What?
- Dean: The Transformer, it's Megatron.
- Sam: What?
- Meg: Look, I'm simpler than you think. I've figured one thing out about this world – just one, pretty much. You find a cause, and you serve it. Give yourself over, and it orders your life. Lucifer and Yellow Eyes – their mission was it for me.
- Dean: So, what? We should trust you because you wanted to free Satan from Hell?
- Meg: I'm talking cause, douchebag. As in reason to get up in the morning. Obviously, these things shift over time. We learn, we grow. Now, for me currently, the cause is bringing down the King. And I know we'll need help to do it.
- Dean: Crowley ain't the problem this year.
- Meg: When are you gonna get it? Crowley's always the problem. He's just waiting for the right moment to strike. I know what I'm supposed to do. And it isn't screw with Sam and Dean or lose the only angel who'd go to bat for me.
- Meg: (after killing Hester) What? Someone had to.
- Castiel: Well, you know me. Always happy to bleed for the Winchesters.