8.19 Taxi Driver

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Title Taxi Driver
Episode # Season 8, Episode 19
First aired April 3, 2013
Directed by Guy Norman Bee
Written by Eugenie Ross-Leming
Brad Buckner
On IMDB Taxi Driver
Outline In order to complete the second trial, Sam must rescue an innocent soul from Hell.
Monster Crowley
Location(s) Kansas City, Missouri
Warsaw, Missouri
100-Mile Wilderness, Maine
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On Garth's safe-boat, Kevin is startled awake in the middle of the night by hearing Crowley's voice taunt him. He looks around the boat for the source, but finds nothing. While the taunts warn Kevin about what further injury Crowley may inflict on him, he is distraught to notice that first one hand, then both feet and both arms have disappeared into bloody stumps.

Sam and Dean arrive at the safe-boat, and a fully-limbed Kevin tells them that the reason he has called is that he has finished translating the second trial from the demon tablet. Though panicking that Crowley has gotten into his head, Kevin relays that the second trial is to rescue an innocent soul from Hell and deliver it unto Heaven.

Sam and Dean go to a crossroads where they summon a demon. A male crossroads demon appears and immediately attempts to leave when he sees it's the Winchesters, but cannot as he is caught in a massive devil's trap painted onto the road surface. The boys take the demon to an empty building and torture him into revealing that rogue reapers can smuggle people/souls into and out of Hell and Heaven.

The boys drive into a seedy downtown neighborhood and walk over to a taxi driver named Ajay, who is actually a reaper. While they negotiate the possibility of Ajay smuggling them into Hell, he reveals that he knows who they are because he is the one who transported Bobby Singer to Hell, as ordered by Crowley. The boys are surprised to hear about Bobby, as they had assumed he was in Heaven. Dean wants Ajay to send both he and Sam to Hell, but Sam argues that he must complete the trials alone, and tells Ajay to send only him. Ajay lets Dean know that he and Sam will be back in exactly 24 hours.

Ajay and Sam, hand in hand, pass through a gateway into Purgatory. Ajay gives Sam directions to get to a portal which serves as a back door from Purgatory into Hell. He reminds Sam to be back at that spot where they landed in Purgatory in precisely 24 hours, then vanishes. Meanwhile, Dean has gone back to the safe-boat to bring Kevin some food. He finds Kevin hiding in a heavily-warded closet, convinced that Crowley knows where to find him. Dean gives Kevin a pep talk, and Kevin takes his food back to the closet to eat—along with Dean's pie.

In the seedy downtown neighborhood, Ajay walks up to his taxi and gets in the driver's seat, not realizing that Crowley is in the back. Crowley questions him about making a deal with the Winchesters, and Ajay reluctantly reveals that he assisted Sam in getting into Hell, although he does not know Sam's reasons for wanting to go. Once Crowley has gotten this information from Ajay, Crowley stabs and kills him.

Back in Purgatory, Sam continues to search for the back door to Hell. He is attacked by and kills a monster before finding the portal and getting sucked through it. Once in Hell, he makes his way through its prisoners until he finds Bobby, who at first mistakes Sam for another in a long line of demons wearing the likeness of Sam. He soon recognizes it is actually Sam and is relieved to find out that Sam is not there because he has died, but rather because he is there to rescue Bobby.

At Crowley HQ, the King of Hell angrily questions one of his demons, demanding that she help figure out what the Winchesters are up to and orders her to find Kevin Tran along with the other half of the demon tablet. Aboard the safe-boat, Kevin surprises Dean by returning from a trip to hide the tablet. He refuses to reveal its location to Dean, and retires to the closet. Naomi appears inside the safe-boat and introduces herself to Dean. She attempts to convince him that she is on his side, spinning the truth of her interactions with Castiel, and providing him with the information that Ajay took Sam into Purgatory in order to help him get into Hell. Dean then goes in search of Ajay, but finds him dead in his cab.

Sam and Bobby, having exited Hell, travel through Purgatory, look for the landing spot where Sam arrived with Ajay. Sam explains the trials to Bobby as they go, and Bobby tells Sam that if the boys can figure out a way to bring him back, he's ready and willing to get into the fight again. Sam is distressed to realize that Ajay has not showed up at the agreed time and place.

Back topside, Dean calls Benny Lafitte and tells him he needs a big favor. Benny meets him, and it becomes evident that Dean wants Benny to return to Purgatory in order to help Sam get out, now that Ajay is dead. Benny agrees to go back, telling Dean that he could use a break. Dean promises to help him once Benny gets back from Purgatory with Sam. They embrace, and Dean slices off Benny's head.

Just before Sam and Bobby are attacked by a trio of monsters in Purgatory, Sam admits to Bobby that Dean had spent a year there in Purgatory, and that Sam had not looked for Dean during that whole time. Bobby berates Sam for abandoning Dean. As Sam and Bobby are attacked, Benny appears out of nowhere and helps them fight off the monsters. Bobby assumes that Benny is also a monster, and Sam moves in to save Benny before Bobby can kill him.

When Benny, Bobby, and Sam arrive at the portal for leaving Purgatory, Sam absorbs Bobby's spirit into his arm in order to transport him out. When Sam goes to do the same with Benny, Benny refuses, choosing to stay in Purgatory. At that moment, a group of vampires appear and Benny goes to fight them, leaving Sam to exit Purgatory without him. As Sam enters the portal, he catches a final glimpse of Benny under a pile of attackers.

Sam exits the portal into Maine's 100-Mile Wilderness, and Dean is there waiting for him. Sam relates to Dean how Benny used himself as bait to save Sam. Sam then releases Bobby's spirit to make its way to Heaven, but as it is doing so, Crowley appears and prevents Bobby's spirit from ascending. He attempts to send it back to Hell but, just then, Naomi shows up, scaring Crowley off and allowing Bobby's spirit to complete its ascent to Heaven before vanishing herself. Sam recites the Enochian incantation to finish the second trial, collapsing in pain as he does so.

As Kevin adds some touch ups to warding symbols at the safe-boat, Crowley blasts through the windows and announces to Kevin that he has killed Kevin's mother.

As the boys make their way back to the safe-boat, Dean admits that he has buried, not burned, Benny's bones. Sam affirms that Benny was different than he had first thought, and that leaving the door open to bring him back is the right thing to do. When the boys arrive at the safe-boat, the windows are shown to still be intact, although Kevin is gone along with all his notes and belongings.






Kevin: An innocent soul has to be rescued from Hell and delivered unto Heaven.

Dean: What?

Kevin: 'Unto.' That's -- that's how God talks.
Dean: What happened to the hot chicks?
Crossroads Demon: Please... All right, look... For a price, y'all can be smuggled across Hell's border.

Dean: By who?
Crossroads Demon: Rogue reapers. They got secret ways, in and out. Not just Hell -- the Veil, Heaven.
Sam: Rogue reapers smuggling people?
Crossroads Demon: People, souls...

Sam: So, what? They're like Hell coyotes?
Ajay: Smuggling a mortal across the border is risky enough, but gate-crashing a Winchester into Hell seriously blows.
Sam: What do you mean this is Purgatory? This isn't what I paid for. I booked the Hell tour.
Ajay: Whoa, whoa, Winchester, detach. This is Hell-adjacent. Been down this highway many times before. Follow the stream to where three trees meet as one. Where they meet, there are rocks. Between the rocks is the portal.
Dean: No, like I told you before, this isn't going to end. Look, man, other guys, they got it easy, you know? It's all backyard barbecues and... bowling teams, but you and me? We got to carry a little extra weight.
Kevin: I'm gonna -- I'm gonna be in my room. Let me know when there's a good day.
Crowley: As you may recall, patience isn't one of my virtues. Well, I don't have any virtues, but if I did, I'm certain that patience wouldn't be one. So, sure there's nothing weighing on you? Nothing, say, about making a deal with the Winchesters?
Bobby: Balls.
Benny: I'm not a good fit, Dean. Not with vampires and, for sure, not with the humans. I don't belong. And after a while... that starts to wear on you. Right? Cry me a river. Like you need to listen to this.
Sam: He's a buddy of Dean's, Bobby.

Bobby: A buddy?
Benny: A good buddy.

Bobby: A frigging vampire? Well, you two really went off the rails while I was gone, didn't you?
Bobby: Already said goodbye to you once, Sam. Didn't seem to take. No reason to think I won't see you again somewhere down the road.
Sam: Dean, look -- Benny, uh... He got us out. A bunch of vamps showed, and he used himself as bait. I get the feeling that even if that didn't happen, he didn't want to come back, you know? I'm sorry.

Dean: You're probably right. So, uh... Bobby -- how -- how'd he hold up down there?
Sam: He's good, all things considered. Ornery as hell, of course.

Dean: As he should be. Let's put that old man where he belongs.
Crowley: Bureaucrat! You’re fighting outside your weight class.
Naomi: Don’t call me a bureaucrat.
Crowley: What you people never seem to understand is that you are nothing! Fleeting blips of light. I am forever.

Trivia & References

The episode is named after the 1976 Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver.
In Greek mythology, Charon was the ferryman responsible for transporting the souls of the recently deceased to Hades. A coin was placed in or on the mouth of the dead person to be used to pay Charon's fee.
Katabasis -- the epic convention of the hero's trip into the underworld -- is a recurring theme in mythologies of multiple cultures and religions. Among the most well-known figures in Greek mythology to have to go to the underworld were Hercules, Orpheus, and Odysseus.
Ajay: No one wants to get into Hell.

Sam: But could a coyote like you do it?

Dean and Sam refer to Ajay as a coyote, a term used to describe people who arrange to get people into the United States without going through official channels, most commonly over the Mexico/America border.
Sam: It's a rabbit hole -- this is nuts.
Sam is referring to the rabbit hole which Alice falls down to enter the fantasy world in Alice in Wonderland.
Sam's journey through Purgatory and Hell mirrors that of Dante Alighieri from the Divine Comedy, though Sam's journey is somewhat reversed. While Sam's journey begins in Purgatory, rather than Hell, both Dante and Sam traverse a dark wood before entering Hell proper. While Dante enters Purgatory from Hell through a mountain, Sam enters Hell from Purgatory through a grouping of rocks of which the portal to Hell is in-between. Also, like Dante, Sam's journey from his time on Earth to Purgatory and Hell takes around five to six days. With the death of Ajay, Sam lost his guide out of Purgatory, only to have Benny Lafitte arrive and lead him and Bobby Singer to the exit portal; which is not dissimilar to Virgil parting ways with Dante at the Earthly Paradise in Purgatory, where Beatrice di Folco Portinari then takes over as Dante's guide.


As in 7.18 Party On, Garth, Jim Beaver is not listed in the credits, presumably to catch fans by surprise with his return. This was also done with Mark Sheppard in 6.07 Family Matters and 6.19 Mommy Dearest.
Crowley: Last time you irked me, you lost a finger. Imagine what will happen this time.
Crowley is referencing when he cut off Kevin Tran's finger in 8.07 A Little Slice of Kevin.
Dean questions "What happened to the hot chicks?" when a male crossroads demon appears. Prior to this episode all crossroads demons that Dean had summoned were female, with one male being summoned by Sam in 4.09 I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Rogue reaper Ajay can be seen wearing a Bluetooth headset. Something that would allow him to converse with incorporeal beings without appearing as if he was talking to himself.
There is a bumper sticker on Ajay's cab that reads "How's my driving? Call 1-555-GO2-HELL."
In 2.16 Roadkill Sam tells Molly McNamara how John believed burning bones was like death for ghosts, but admitted he wasn't sure what happened. Similarly in 7.19 Of Grave Importance, Bobby and Annie Hawkins believed that once a ghost's bones are burned, they are just "gone." Sam even suggests this end for ghosts when he tells Ajay it was "end of story" for Bobby because they burned his bones. However, this episode revealed that when a ghost's bones (or object tethering them) are burned, the spirit is taken to their destined afterlife. In the case of Bobby, he was diverted to Hell rather than Heaven due to Crowley's machinations.
Ajay: Whoa, whoa, Winchester, detach. This is Hell-adjacent. Been down this highway many times before. Follow the stream to where three trees meet as one. Where they meet, there are rocks. Between the rocks is the portal.
Crowley had previously referred to Purgatory as "Hell-adjacent" in 6.07 Family Matters.
This episode continues the long tradition in which Dean fails to get to eat his pie.
Upon entering Hell, Sam uses his watch as a marker to find the entrance again. Sam removing his watch could also be seen as a reference to time having no meaning in Hell.
Sam: It's me! Okay, damn it. If it's not Sam... Then how do I know about you and Tori Spelling?

Bobby: What?
Sam: You're a fan. Yeah. Or -- or, uh... Okay. What about your free pedicure at the Mall of America? You made Dean swear to never tell another living soul how it changed your life.

In 6.06 You Can't Handle the Truth, the influence of Veritas meant that people could only speak the truth to Dean. Bobby revealed to him his love for actress Tori Spelling and her reality shows with her husband Dean. He also confided that he gets pedicures and loves having his feet massaged. Dean obviously passed this all on to Sam!
Crowley: Something is going on. My hellhound has been killed. Winchester jumbo size is trying to break into the mothership. And that prophet of theirs is madly translating away. Add it up!
The Mothership is the nickname used for the Los Angeles Supernatural offices.
It is approximately 1680 miles, and a 26-hour drive from where Dean killed Benny in Kansas City to the 100-mile Wilderness in Maine where Sam and Bobby re-emerge from Purgatory.
Sam spends at least two days in Purgatory and Hell; it takes Sam 7 hours to and 7 hours from the back door into Hell from the spot he arrived in at Purgatory, as Ajay tells Crowley he will be retrieving Sam in 17 hours when Sam arrives at the entrance to Hell. It is not known how long Sam actually spends in Hell looking for Bobby, but if we are to use the "real time" in the episode, he is in Hell for around 5 minutes, which would be around 10 hours in Hell time. It then takes Sam, Bobby, and Benny at least 24 more hours to reach the exit in Purgatory (in the script Sam makes mention to Benny that the three had been traveling for a day and a half), as it would still take Dean 20+ hours to make the drive from Kansas City to the 100-mile Wilderness even if he was speeding the entire way.
With this episode Sam, Dean, Castiel and Bobby have all been to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.
Deleted scenes: The deleted scenes included in the Season 8 DVD and Blu-ray for this episode were:
The Supernatural Shake was filmed at the crossroads where Sam and Dean summoned the crossroads demon.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts