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The scene opens with a hooded figure hastening through an alley at night. The hooded figure suddenly hides behind a dumpster, and we see that two men are also in the alley and appear to be following the other person.
The hooded figure removes his hood and we see that it is Charlie Bradbury. She hastily looks around her for an escape route. Meanwhile, one of the men removes an antique compass from his pocket. The compass spins rapidly at first, but seems to eventually point in one direction. The man closes the compass, removes a handgun from his jacket, and proceeds in the direction the compass was pointing. His associate pulls his gun and the two head down the alley in the direction of the dumpsters where Charlie is hiding.
The men suspect Charlie is hiding inside one of the dumpsters, so they begin opening the lids to search them. When one of them gets to Charlie’s dumpster, she jumps out with a knife and stabs him through the throat. The other man is standing close by, so Charlie cuts his hand with the knife, which causes him to drop his gun. She holds him at knife point and demands to know who he is and why he is following her. The man says he isn’t following Charlie, but he is following what she has in her bag. He says that what she has doesn’t belong to her, and that it belongs to his family and is beyond her understanding. Charlie refuses to give him the object and threatens him with the knife. The man tells Charlie that she can cut him down, but that “his people” will never stop chasing her. He tells Charlie that they will eventually find her and kill her. As he is talking, Charlie notices a tattoo on his wrist. She is temporarily distracted by it enough for him to knock the knife out of her hand and pick up his gun. Charlie picks up her knife and runs, but he shoots her before she can get away. Injured, Charlie escapes through a hole in a fence and keeps running.
Castiel and Metatron (with a bandage around the bullet hole in his leg) are in Castiel’s car. Cas is driving, but refusing to talk to Metatron or make eye contact. Cas is clearly irritated by Metatron’s presence and constant talking, but Metatron seems to be enjoying his new experience of “being human”, enjoying music, experiencing feelings, etc., and is behaving like he wants to be Cas’ friend. As Metatron drones on and on, Cas calls Sam to ask if he can kill Metatron. Sam tells Cas that until they find his grace, they still need Metatron. Sam tells Cas that he still hasn’t found anything about a cure for the Mark. When Metatron suggests that Dean is more interesting now and maybe they shouldn’t cure him, Cas punches him in the face.
As Cas and Sam are talking, Dean enters the room. Sam pretends that he is talking to someone who dialed a wrong number and quickly hangs up. Metatron teases Cas about Sam hanging up on him, which earns him another punch to the face. Meanwhile, Dean and Sam are talking in the bunker’s library. Dean sees Sam researching the Mark and tells him what he learned from Crowley (via Rowena) about the Mark – that it is a curse. Dean also tells Sam that Rowena is Crowley’s mother, and that she tried unsuccessfully to kill him, but the Mark protected him from her.
As they are talking, Charlie calls Sam from a phone booth. Dean answers and puts her on speaker phone, and she tells them that she’s been shot, but she stitched herself up with dental floss. Sam tells Charlie to go to a hospital, but she tells him that she needs to get somewhere safe because men are chasing her. She refers to them as “Southern-fried d-bags” who have been after from the time she unearthed the Book of the Damned. The Winchesters are surprised to learn that she found the Book. Charlie tells them that she found the Book at an abandoned monastery in Spain. When the Boys ask her if the Book says anything about the Mark, Charlie says she can’t read the language the Book is written in, and she’s never seen anything like it. She tells them that she found research notes at the monastery that say the Book is a spell book for creating or undoing any kind of damnation. Charlie thinks if they can translate the Book, they can remove the Mark. Unfortunately, she also tells the Boys that the men chasing her are well trained and relentless. She tells them what the man in the alley said about his family, and she also tells them about the tattoo she saw on the man. Because Charlie was chased from the moment she found the Book, she surmises that the men are tracking the Book somehow.
Charlie tells the Boys that she’s near DesMoines, Iowa. Dean tells her about a cabin/safe house nearby; they agree to meet her there. As Sam gathers books to help decode the book, Dean finds a warded, lead-lined curse box to keep the Book in so it can’t be tracked.
Next, we see the Winchesters driving to meet Charlie. Dean seems very upbeat because they finally have a shot at removing the Mark. Sam is cautious, because they still are dealing with a spell from a Book that they can’t read, and that is being tracked. Dean tells him that if they are actually able to remove the Mark, the two of them will take a vacation – neither of them can remember ever having been on a beach.
Castiel and Metatron:
Meanwhile, Cas and Metatron are at a diner, and Metatron is hungrily eating a stack of waffles with berries and whipped cream, still droning on about how wonderful it is to be human – including experiencing the process of digestion. Metatron tries to convince Cas that they have a lot in common, because he has also been human. Cas rejects that, and Metatron’s attempts to behave like Cas’ friend. Cas angrily reminds Metatron that he killed Dean and he will never forget about that, but Metatron insists that Dean is fine. Cas also reminds Metatron that they have been to three locations where his grace was supposedly hidden, but they still haven’t found it. Cas accuses Metatron of stalling, or suggests that he has lost his grace. Metatron admits that the minute he hands over Cas’ grace, he’ll be killed, but Cas tells him that his “bed is made” and nothing will help him escape the consequences. As they are talking, Metatron’s stomach starts to gurgle loudly and other strange noises come from Metatron’s body. Because he is handcuffed, Metatron asks Cas to help him in the bathroom. Cas reluctantly agrees, and rushes Metatron to the mens’ room before he has an accident. As they walk past the counter at the diner, a man in a trucker cap notices them. He watches where the go, and as he opens his jacket, we see that he has an angel blade.
Dean, Sam and Charlie:
Elsewhere, The Winchesters arrive at the safe house cabin. They greet Charlie, who has fallen asleep while researching the Book. Charlie tells them that 700 years ago, a nun who was driven insane by visions of darkness locked herself away and emerged decades later with the Book. Each page is made from pieces of her flesh and the images in it are written in her own blood. The Book has been used by cults and covens, and was even held by the Vatican for a time. Charlie hands the Book to Sam, but it immediately has an effect on Dean; he seems to space out for a moment, and when we see him it appears that he is somehow across the room holding the Book. Realizing that his connection with the Book is not good, Dean hands it back to Charlie and returns to the car to unload the rest of their gear.
When Dean leaves, Sam tells Charlie that Dean is trying to cover, but is getting worse. He takes the Book from her, and says they need to find a cure – fast.
Castiel and Metatron:
Back at the diner, Metatron apologizes for making a mess, telling Cas that he didn’t know he was lactose intolerant. As they are leaving through the back door of the diner, the man in the trucker cap is waiting for them at Cas car. He pulls his angel blade and calls them out, saying he’s a cupid and he’s angry with them because they both corrupted heaven. He attacks Castiel, who has also pulled his blade. As they fight, the cupid knocks Cas down and goes after Metatron, who is unarmed. Castiel fights him off, and in the process, the cupid loses his blade. As they fight, Cas is knocked to the ground and the cupid tries to take Cas’ blade to stab him with it. Before the cupid can kill Cas, Metatron stabs him in the back with Cas’ angel blade. Metatron surrenders his weapon, and Cas takes it as he gets up, saying “this changes nothing”.
Dean, Sam and Charlie:
Back at the cabin, Dean researches the tattoo Charlie saw (based on Charlie’s drawing) and looks through the Men of Letters’ files on occult families, while Charlie and Sam work on the translation. They discover that not only is the Book written in a strange language, but it’s written in code. So now they have to decode the language that they can’t read. As Dean looks on uncomfortably, it’s clear that he’s drawn to the Book. Sam notices it and puts the Book into the curse box, using his notes instead to work on the translation.
Elsewhere, we see the man from the alley, but he has another henchman with him. They have pulled into a gas station and stop to check the compass again; it doesn’t seem to be working. They realize that the Book is being cloaked somehow so they can’t track it directly. They choose instead to check along the highway to see if anyone remembers seeing Charlie.
Next, we see that Metatron has brought Cas to a library (currently closed). Cas is suspicious at first, but when he enters the room he says he can feel his grace, so he realizes they are close to the place where it is hidden.
Metatron tells Cas that one of his angels hid some clues inside some of his favorite books. Castiel removes Metatron’s cuffs so he can search for the clues. They find the first clue, but it’s a riddle. Metatron tells Cas that the answer to the riddle will lead to another book, and his grace is inside the second book. They read the riddle, but can’t figure it out. However, it’s a trick – as Metatron and Cas look through different shelves for the right book, Metatron uses the blood from his leg wound to paint a series of sigils onto books on the shelf. When Cas isn’t looking, he activates the sigils, and Cas collapses onto the floor in pain.
As Metatron keeps looking through book shelves, we learn that he has hidden the demon tablet as well as Cas’ grace in the library. Metatron finds the demon tablet, but before he can find Cas’ grace, Cas figures out the riddle and finds it himself. Cas opens the small jar and swallows his grace as books explode from the library shelves and bright light fills the room. When Metatron realizes this is happening, he takes the demon tablet and runs away. As the scene ends, Cas stands up straight, we see his eyes are fiery blue and we see the shadow of his tattered wings on the wall behind him as his grace is fully restored.
Dean, Sam, and Charlie:
Back at the cabin, Dean has learned that the people following Charlie are the Styne family. The MOLs have files on them that date back to the 1800s. The family has a history of doing evil – using spells to create disease, destabilizing markets, and helping the Nazis, as examples. They profited financially from their evil deeds. And all the spells they used came from “a book of unspeakable evil” that the family lost about 100 years ago.
Dean also tells Sam and Charlie that when the Book is used, there is a negative reaction – a price to pay for using such dark magic. He also tells them that the Book has been calling out to him – and the Mark -- since he arrived. He tells them that the Book wants him to use it, but not for good. He tries to discourage them from continuing to pursue translating the Book. He suggests that they burn the book or bury it, to stop it from falling into the wrong hands – including his. He also says they have to find some other way to remove the Mark that doesn’t involve the Book. In the meantime, he will keep fighting the effects of the Mark.
Sam resists, saying there isn’t another solution. He also says he will not allow Dean to become a demon again. Sam insists that they translate the Book, find the cure, and deal with the consequences later. Sam says “I can’t lose you” and Dean reminds him that that isn’t what he said before. Refusing to discuss things further, Dean leaves to go get provisions.
After Dean leaves, Sam and Charlie are alone doing research. Charlie asks Sam what Dean meant when he said Sam had changed his mind about losing him. Sam recounts some of the events from season 9 – how Sam was dying and Dean did something Sam didn’t approve of to save his life; when Sam learned what Dean had done, he was angry and said some things to hurt Dean. Charlie tells Sam that during her limited time as a hunter, she has learned that the life is filled with terrible choices. She also says she never expected hunting to become her life. Sam agrees, saying that when he left Stanford, he thought once he and Dean found John, he would return to his “life”, but each “job” led to the next one, and now he understands that hunting with Dean IS his life. He says that he loves his life, and he can’t continue it without Dean.
Elsewhere, the Stynes are checking gas stations and other shops along the highway looking for Charlie. Dean enters one convenience store just after one of the Stynes has finished killing store clerk. Styne is standing behind the counter, so when Dean walks in, he thinks the man he sees is the clerk. Dean grabs some provisions and brings them to the register. Dean hands Styne money to pay for his purchases. As he does so and Styne reaches for the money, Dean notices the tattoo on his wrist is the same one he has been researching for Charlie. As Dean makes small talk and stealthily looks at the security mirror behind the register, he notices the dead clerk on the floor behind the counter.
Suddenly, Dean pulls a gun on Styne and tells him to raise his hands. Styne throws the money into Dean’s face, distracting him long enough for Styne’s goon to disarm Dean and get him in a head lock. As Dean wrestles with his other man, Styne notices the Mark of Cain on Dean’s arm. Styne recognizes the significance of the Mark and surmises that Dean is connected to the woman they are looking for; he presumes that they hid the Book and plan to use it to remove the Mark. Dean denies everything. As they speak, we learn that the man’s name is Jacob Styne; Styne tells Dean that the Book can remove the Mark, but messing with its power will do more harm than good. He demands that Dean tell him where the Book is. Dean tricks Styne into coming close enough for him to hit him. The three men fight. In the melee, Styne runs away, and Dean shoots the other man in the chest, but realizes he has to shoot him several more times to kill him.
Later, Dean arrives at the cabin and tells Charlie and Sam that the Stynes found him. He tells Sam that he emptied a whole clip of rounds into one of them to kill him. As they are talking, Dean throws holy oil on the fire that in already burning in the fireplace. He tells Sam and Charlie that there is a cure for the Mark in the Book, but it will come at a price. He says the Book is calling to him and to the Mark to take it and run away with it. He orders Sam to burn the Book. Before Sam can protest, an SUV pulls up outside the cabin and three men step out and approach the cabin.
In the fight sequence that follows, Dean and Charlie fight with two of the men and kill them. We see Sam throw a book into the fireplace as Jacob Styne attacks him. Styne calls Sam a “silly Boy” right before Sam stabs and kills him. As the scene ends we see the book burning in the fireplace.
Back at the Bunker:
At the bunker, Sam and Cas are sitting at the table in the war room talking. Cas is disappointed in himself for allowing Metatron to escape with the demon tablet. But Sam reminds him that it’s more important that he got his grace back. Sam insists that Cas did the right thing. Cas also tells Sam that destroying the Book was the right thing to do, and they will find another way to save Dean.
As they are talking, Dean and Charlie arrive with pizzas and beer. Charlie greets Castiel with a hug – they have never met. She asks Cas to heal her carpal tunnel syndrome, which he does (as well as healing her bullet wound). She also asks if he can heal Dean, but Cas says he can’t do that.
Dean is thrilled that Cas is “back” 100% and asks how it happened. Cas and Sam exchange glances (Dean doesn’t know about how they broke Metatron out of jail, and how that led to Cas finding his grace). Cs lies, telling Dean that Hannah managed to get the location of his grace from Metatron. Dean accepts that explanation and the four of them sit down to dinner.
As a montage plays, we see Dean, Charlie and Cas eating and joking during dinner, but Sam is clearly troubled (but faking being happy). We also see a flashback to what really happened at the cabin, and realize that Sam switched the books at the last second, so the book we saw burning in the fireplace was not the Book of the Damned. Styne was calling Sam a “silly Boy” for switching out the books. As Styne is dying, he whispers to Sam that his family will never stop looking for the Book.
As the episode ends, we see Sam at a diner talking to someone. He’s telling the person that he doesn’t trust them, but he believes the person can decode the Book and find the spell that will remove the Mark from Dean. As the scene ends, we see that Sam is talking to Rowena, who says “Shall we discuss terms?”