THEN! The Winchesters learned about crossroads demons. People made deals with these special demons in exchange for their souls, which were then collected by budget-friendly invisible beasties called hellhounds. Sam called them "demonic pit bulls," which is hardly fair to pit bulls. (Sadly, they do not show us the time that hellhounds dragged Dean to Hell. Remember how intense and suspenseful and emotional that was? Remember how horribly beautiful? It seems odd they wouldn't bring it up at all, doesn't it?) They also learned at some point that Crowley could control the hellhounds, which makes sense, since he was a crossroads demon himself, once upon a time. The show also wants to remind us of a bit of anti-demon hoodoo called "goofer dust," so that the brothers don't have to engage in endless exposition about it later on. A bit more recently, Kevin Tran holed himself up in Garth's house boat and got to work on translating his half of the demon tablet. The Winchesters, too, found themselves some new digs, in the form of the Men of Letters' abandoned (but well-appointed) hub. Larry Ganem, a former Man of Letters himself, called it the "supernatural mother lode," and spoke in awed tones of its amazing power.
NOW! Kevin Tran wakes to the sound of his alarm clock beeping. He's still on Garth's house boat, which is still not remotely a house and only barely a boat. Kevin's clock says it's 5:00 AM, which is kind of weird, given how bright it is outside. He rolls out of bed with a grunt and crosses the day off on his calendar. We're two weeks into January at this point. He pours himself a cup of coffee and sits down to stare at his tablet chunk. As usual, it warps and wobbles before his eyes, because God forbid God makes anything easy to read. Stumped, Kevin fries himself up a hotdog. He gets back to work, stares some more at the chunk, downs an aspirin with a swig of coffee. His stomach lining can be heard faintly but plaintively wailing. When he finally collapses into bed, it's 2:45 AM. The days continue like this, as the regular intake of aspirin and hotdogs increases. So, too, grow the stains on Kevin's shirt and the fuzz on his chin as he systematically ignores his own body. He jots down notes, pins them to a board, repeats the process again and again. The calendar is now filled with marks to the middle of February. Every morning seems depressingly the same until, at last, he stands before his board full of notes and has an epiphany. "Holy crap," he whispers, nearly giddy with relief. "Holy crap!" Feeling a spot of wetness at his nostril, he reaches up and touches blood. He sways on his feet and drops to the floor. The next morning, Kevin still lies bleeding and unconscious, oblivious to the insistent droning of his alarm. Supernatural!