The Gamblers Recap

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recap by kate38
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The scene opens at a pool hall in Alaska named Lurlene’s. Two men are playing pool while other people watch. One man (Leonard) is wearing a suit and sweating profusely. The other man (Joey) is wearing a cowboy hat and seems calmer and more confident. Joey wins the game easily, and Leonard is dismayed. As Leonard looks on, we see that there are two coins inserted into a chandelier that is suspended over the table. As Joey wins the game, both coins glow green. Leonard’s coin, which initially had the head of a woman on it, suddenly goes blank and both coins stop glowing.

Leonard is very upset and tries to hit Joey with his pool cue. Before Leonard can swing, another man (who seems to work at the bar) stops him and roughly escorts Leonard outside. Leonard begs the bouncer to let him play one more game, but the man refuses and tosses Leonard across the ground. Leonard lands on his hands and knees in mud, picks up his eyeglasses and his coin, and starts walking away. Leonard tosses his coin up into the air, but before it can land or he can catch it, a large truck suddenly comes along and runs Leonard down, killing him.

Castiel arrives at the Men of Letters bunker looking for Dean and Sam. Instead of finding the brothers, he finds a note from Sam saying they’ve gone to Alaska.

Along the way to Alaska, the brothers have a long time to talk. They discuss their situation, and they both seem to believe that finding the place Garth was talking about is a long shot, and the odds that the place can somehow fix their luck is an even longer shot – including the fact that there’s probably a catch. However, the brothers don’t think they have a choice. They know that Chuck will once again come for them, and if they continue to have the bad luck they’ve been having, they won’t stand a chance. So, they keep driving.

At the bunker, Castiel hears one of the fake FBI phones ringing and rushes to answer it. Castiel, pretending to be a fed, has a conversation with Sheriff Jeb Evans from Cushing, Oklahoma, who tells Castiel about a murder he’s investigating. The sheriff is looking for an agent “Watts”, but Castiel says he’s unavailable and offers to help. The sheriff reveals that Agent Watts started a file on Jack Kline and asked to be notified if any information turned up.

Using email, the sheriff sends Castiel a security video of the crime. On the video, Castiel watches Jack walk into a doctor’s office and grab the doctor by the throat. The pair goes out of camera range for a moment, but Jack returns later with a human heart in his hands. He sits down and calmly eats the heart.

Castiel is shocked and immediately leaves to investigate the case.

The next day, the Winchesters arrive at a diner, and Dean suggests they try to get some food, since the place they’re going is remote. When they go inside, they pull out a map and ask the waitress if she knows anything about the place they’re looking for. She tells them that there’s a local urban legend about a magical pool hall that can change someone’s luck if they go there to play. However, the waitress also tells them that most people don’t win. She also tells them about a former customer, named Leonard, who went to the place looking for good luck, but never came back.

After the waitress walks away, Dean and Sam talk privately. From the waitress’ description, the brothers assume a demon or witch is powering the place. But Dean insists that they’ve hustled plenty of pool, and they both play very well, so they should find the place and see if it can work for them.

Sometime later, the Winchesters arrive at the pool hall. The go inside and talk to the bartender (Evie). When they ask Evie if she knows Leonard, she denies knowing him, but it’s obvious from her behavior that she’s lying. When they ask Evie about how to get into a game of pool. Evie refers them to Pax, the man we saw throw Leonard out of the bar in the teaser.

When the Winchesters talk to Pax in his office, they learn the rules of the game: Each player gets a coin. Initially, the coin has a face on it. The intensity of the image is based on the person’s luck. If the player wins, the coin gives that person good luck. But if the player loses, the face on the coin gradually disappears as the luck gets worse and worse. The player can keep playing, but if the person’s luck runs out, the coin goes blank and the person must leave.

When Sam asks what the place is and who owns it, Pax refuses to answer. When Dean asks if his luck can be shared with someone else if he win (as he gestures toward Sam), Pax replies that a winner’s luck is his own, and he can do what he wants with it. Reluctantly, Dean agrees to play a game.

Castiel arrives in Oklahoma and investigates the crime scene where Jack killed the physician. While searching a locked closet in the doctor’s office, Castiel finds a sword that he recognizes as belonging to one of the Gregori.

Elsewhere, presumably still in the same town, we watch Jack follow a man down an alley. The man is carrying a sword case like the one that was in the doctor’s office. Eventually, Jack follows the man into a deserted building. However, the Gregori knows he’s been followed, so he pulls his sword on jack and demands to know why Jack is following him.

Initially, Dean doesn’t find anyone willing to play him. But eventually a woman (Moira) approaches. They each place their coins in the chandelier and begin playing.While Dean and Moira are playing, Sam talks to Evie. Evie says Moira has been at the bar for a long time, and she’s playing because her sister is in a coma. As Sam and Evie talk, Sam learns that most of the patrons are playing because they are desperate. She also says that some of the patrons actually won, but they kept playing until their luck went sour, so now they can’t win. When Sam asks the standard questions about smelling rotten eggs, etc. Evie says she is unaware of any of those things.Dean handily beats Moira, and he and Sam talk. Sam believes that Evie was trying to warn them to quit before their luck runs out. The brothers surmise that the place somehow sucks players in and if the person keeps playing, his luck runs out and he dies, like Leonard. Dean suggests a scam the brothers have used before to win one more game. Dean initially pretends he can’t play well, and tricks Joey into a game. Dean eventually wins, much to Joey’s shock and dismay. When Dean wins, his coin glows green and the image becomes more prominent. But Joey’s coin glows green and the image on it fades.As Sam looks on, Joey walks away from the table and seems ill. He goes outside and begins coughing up blood. Dean and Sam follow Joey outside and learn that Joey has advanced cancer and has been playing to try to stay alive. Joey say she won an extra year, but as the brothers look on, Joey gets worse.

Back inside the bar, Dean and Sam discuss their next move. They realize that the longer they continue playing, the more likely they are to lose. But they realize that if they leave now, with their luck in a good place, it means leaving desperate people trapped in the place. Dean decides to take a drive in the car, to see if their luck has improved (the car has been breaking down and having problems as an indication of the Winchesters’ bad luck).

While Dean is gone, Sam tries to convince another player to leave, but the man won’t. Sam speaks to Evie, and asks if people are trapped there. When Evie refuses to answer, Sam asks if she is also trapped there, and she walks away.

Moments later, Dean returns and says that the car is still having problems. The brothers deduce that Dean’s luck should be much better, since his coin absorbed the luck from Joey’s coin, and Joey had been playing and winning for a long time. The Winchesters surmise that someone – likely the owner – is skimming luck to keep people trapped; so even if you win, your luck doesn’t improve enough for you to leave. Sam examines the coin more closely and recognizes the image and inscription of Atrox Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck.Later, the brothers talk to Evie again and ask for her help. She says she can’t help them, because she is trapped, too. She say she played and lost, but the goddess lets her stay and work at the bar instead of killing her. When the Winchesters ask where the goddess is, Evie says she doesn’t know and she only talks to Pax, her son.

Dean and Sam confront Pax, which draws Moira, who is actually the goddess Fortuna, out of hiding. The Winchesters tell Fortuna that they know she’s skimming luck, and they’ll kill Pax if she doesn’t return the luck she stole from them. When Fortuna refuses, Dean challenges her to another game. Fortuna refuses to play Dean again, but agrees to play Sam. However, the terms are that if Sam loses, the Winchesters forfeit their lives.

Later, Castiel and the sheriff arrive at the building where jack and the Gregori were. They find blood on the floor, but nothing else. When Cas asks the sheriff about any other abandoned buildings in town, the sheriff tells him about an old church that’s abandoned. Castiel heads there.

At the abandoned church, the Gregori (Kabaiel) has Jack restrained and is preparing to torture him. The angel wants to know why Jack is killing Gregori, but Jack refuses to answer. Kabaiel begins torturing Jack, saying that it’s only fair after he killed his brother and ate his heart. Jack replies that the other Gregori was pretending to be a doctor, and feeding on the souls of humans he was supposed to be helping. Jack also accuses Kabaiel of preying on children, saying Death gave him that information. Before things go any further, Castiel intervenes, kills Kabaiel and saves Jack, and they have a reunion.

During the tense game, Fortuna asks why Dean and Sam need their luck improved. The Winchesters tell her that god is angry with them. Fortuna admits that she knows god and has had dealings with him before. Fortuna says that god created the world, but humanity (sort of) created the gods. She says that primitive man didn’t pray to god – they prayed to the sun, rain, stars, etc. Humanity’s failure to recognize Chuck’s greatness initially angered him. But eventually, Chuck created Ra, Anu, Hera, Mixcoatl, and the other ancient gods to take the blame for things like bad harvests, stillborn children, and other misfortunes that humanity encountered. Chuck also liked the epic stories surrounding the gods, but before long, Chuck’s ego couldn’t handle that, either. Now, Chuck hides behind organized religion, while the surviving gods rely on scraps from humanity. She adds that most gods have been forgotten, but she holds a grudge.

As the conversation continues, Fortuna tells the brothers that they’ll lose their fight against Chuck. But the brothers reply that if they lose, at least they’ll die fighting.

After a tense game, Sam defeats the goddess. She hastily challenges them to another game, offering double or nothing. If the brothers win, she offers to give them the luck of great heroes, like Hercules and Gilgamesh. However, Dean points out that “double or nothing” is how Joey died. Sam agrees to play again, but not for more luck. He says that if he wins, Fortuna must return the luck she stole from all the people trapped in the bar, so they can leave. Fortuna insists that the people in the bar don’t matter, but the brothers say they matter to them.

Fortuna plays again, but this time, she runs the table and Sam loses. Dejected, the Winchesters leave. However, to their surprise, the rest of the patrons follow them out. Evie reports that Fortuna shut the game down and released everyone, asserting that she thought heroes were extinct until she met the Winchesters. Evie also gives the brothers a message from Fortuna: “Don’t play his game. Make him play yours.” Evie returns the coins, which glow green indicating their power, and the brothers leave with their luck restored – the car is running well, Dean can safely eat junk food without becoming ill, and their credit cards are working again.

Dean and Sam return to the bunker to find Castiel there with Jack. After a reunion, the group is sitting in the war room, drinking beers. Jack tells them that Billie kept him hidden in the Empty to keep him safe from Chuck, and that even now, Chuck will find him and kill him if he uses his powers, so he must continue to remain hidden. He also reports that Billie told him that eating hearts is just the beginning of what he will have to do to become strong enough to kill Chuck. However, he believes Chuck is afraid of him, and he is confident that he can defeat Chuck.