Belatedly, Season Eight is gathering momentum as the finale draws ever nearer. Clip Show sees Sam and Dean investigating the meaning of the third trial: "to cure a demon" and they discover records of a priest affiliated with the Men Of Letters who claimed to have done just that with his own version of an exorcism.
However, while the Winchesters are following up on this, Crowley has hit upon his own method of distracting them from the task at hand - he's systemically killing off everyone they have saved over the years until the brothers surrender the demon tablet to him and quit the trials.
Meanwhile, Cas and Metatron has set off on their own to complete the three trials associated with the "angel tablet", so they can close the Gates of Heaven and try to restore order to the angels.
This was all good stuff, except for the one massive question at the heart of the Winchesters' endeavours: why Abaddon?
The brothers needed a demon to try out the "new style exorcism" on, but instead of simply summoning a lowly crossroads demon (as they did the other week), they decide to piece together the remains of Abaddon (Alaina Huffman from As Time Goes By) - the last of Lucifer's elite, a demonic Knight Of Hell!
What a surprise, she escapes! Of course, she - like Metatron - isn't up to speed on who's running things these days, so maybe she will end up, accidentally, helping the Winchesters anyway by taking on Crowley?
Oddly, I'm more interested in Cas and Metatron closing the Gates of Heaven than Sam and Dean's own exploits at the moment. Although the season has started to come into its own in these last few episodes, I'm really hoping for a satisfying wrap-up in the finale that allows us to put all this Men Of Letters nonsense behind us and go back to doing what the show does best.
Too much seemed to be happening this year because it served the needs of the writers rather than the truth of the story, which is a disappointment as Supernatural has - until this year - been excellent at letting character and story drive its plots.