|It's Magic Week in Sioux City, Iowa, and The Incredible Jay, an older magician. is fumbling through a magic trick at a bar. Another magician, Patrick Vance, drunkenly mocks him from down the bar. Jay wanders over and ruins the trick. Later on stage, Jay reviews a young upcoming performer, Jeb Dexter with Charlie and Vernon, who aren't thrilled with the younger crowd. Jay admits that he's a joke and they're all three old dying magicians. He declares he's going to do the Table of Death illusion over the other two men's objections. It's dangerous, but Jay doesn't care.
Later, Jay performs the Table of Death, which involves him strapped to a table as a bed of spikes are lowered on him from above. Charlie warns that the bindings are tight and wonders if Jay can slip them. He draws the curtain and looks nervously at Vernon, then lights the rope. Outside, Vance staggers outside. Inside, Jay tries to get free while outside, Jay wanders down the street. The spikes fall on Jay.. and Vance collapses, dead from multiple puncture wounds. On stage, a surprised Jay emerges to applause and amazed looks from his friends.
Sam and Dean arrive in town and watch Jeb Dexter performing on the street, doing a card trick while faking demonic possession. Dean finds the idea of fake magic offensive, while Sam remembers when he did magic when he was 13. They talk to Vance's female assistant, who says that Vance stole material from other magicians. She did find one unusual thing in Vance's belongings: a Tarot card, the Ten of Swords, showing a man impaled. Vance hated card tricks and the woman doesn't know who it belonged to.
Jay is in his room when Charlie visits him and asks how he did it. Jay demonstrates his newfound talent and says he wants to do the Executioner, another death-defying illusion. Charlie warns that he's pushing his luck but Jay says it wasn't luck. Charlie says he'll do anything for him but he won't watch Jay die. Jay says that he'll be there, same as always for his friend, and Charlie gives in.
As Jeb Dexter interviews Jay, Dean talks to Vernon and Charlie and shows him the Tarot card. Vernon used to use Tarot cards in his act but says he hasn't touched a deck in years. The two magician direct him to a dealer, Chief, who Vance crossed a year or so ago. Dean goes to see the man and discovers the Chief is a sexual dominator.
Sam is doing research at his hotel room when Ruby comes by. She wants to know why he's wasting time when 34 of the Seals have been broken and the angels are losing. Ruby wants him to go after Lilith and says he's the only one who can stop her. She tells him to deal with Lilith but he's got a problem with what's involved. She tells him to admit that he likes using his powers but he refuses. She tells him to let her know when he's ready and leaves.
Later, Dean finds Sam at the performance. Vernon wants to know if Charlie tried to talk Jay out of performing the illusion, but Charlie says that there was something in Jay's eyes. Dean confronts the two magicians but he knows they're fakes. They claim they're aspiring magicians and Charlie tells them to stick around and watch. Jay presents the Executioner, where he is put in a straitjacket and has one minute to escape a hangman's noose. As Jay tries to escape, a noose in Jeb dressing room come to life. As Jay's time runs out, the noose drops around Jeb's neck and strangles him.
Sam is sure that Jay's escape was impossible. He checks Jay's background and discovers he was famous in the 70s but got old. They figure he's using magic to make a comeback. When Dean hopes he'll die before he gets old, Sam wonders if they'll still be chasing demons when they're 60, but Dean figure with their life they'll be dead long before then. Sam wonders if there's a way they could win once and for all, and Dean wonders if there's something going on. Sam denies it and Dean figures there's no end to the demons.
Back at the theater, Sam and Dean discover that Jeb is dead and Dean has found a Tarot card representing The Hanged Man. Jeb was a douchebag to Jay and Vance heckled him at the bar. They figure Jay slipped the cards onto his victims. Sam admits that Jay managed to slip him. They go to his hotel room and burst in, telling him about the Tarot cards. He denies knowing anything about real magic or that Jeb is dead. When he doesn't throw spells at them, they tie up Jay and try to figure out who is responsible. They prepare to ask him but discover he's escaped his ropes. They go out to look and once they're gone, he slips out of the closet and calls the police. The cops arrest Dean and Sam in the lobby.
Later, Jay talks to Charlie and explains what the Winchesters said. He wonders if they might be right, noting it was impossible for him to do all the things he's done. Charlie says the idea of real magic is nuts, but Jay considers backing out. Charlie tells his that for the first time in years he has a full house. Jay admits that he was planning to die during the Table of Death, and has no idea how he escaped. Charlie says it doesn't matter and he's happy to see Jay at the top of his act again.
That night, Jay performs the Table of Death again and succeeds. There's a scream and backstage Charlie is dead, punctured repeatedly through the chest.
Sam and Dean get out of jail after Jay drops the charges. He explains that Charlie bailed him out of trouble repeatedly when he was younger, and he wants to find who is responsible. Sam explains that the killer must be close to him and note that Vernon is the only remaining suspect. Jay doesn't believe it but Dean warns that using magic is addictive.
Vernon is in his hotel room when Jay calls and asks him to come to the theater. Once Vernon is gone, Sam and Dean break into Vernon's room and search for the Tarot cards. Meanwhile, Vernon arrives and tells Jay that he's the new headliner. Jay says he can't do it but Vernon insists that it's their shot at fame. Jay accuses Vernon of killing Charlie but Vernon denies it. He's interrupted when a man steps out from behind the curtain: a young Charlie.
In Vernon's room, Dean finds an antique poster of a younger Charlie as The Great Dessertini.
The young Charlie explains that he's been around since Barnum's time, and received a book of magic with a spell for immortality. He insists that Jay wanted fame, and is still his friend and always will be. He offers both of them youth and doesn't want to start over again by himself. Dean and Sam arrive but Charlie conjures a hangman's rope to strangle Dean. When Sam fires his gun, Charlie catches the bullet in his teeth then disappears off-stage. Sam tells him to give it up and Charlie fakes surrender, then shoves Sam onto the Table of Death and fastens him down. The rope holding the spikes starts to part. However, Charlie suddenly collapses, bleeding from the stomach. Jay has pickpocket his Tarot cards and left him the Magician, then stabbed himself. Charlie wonders how Jay could choose strangers over him, then falls over dead. Sam and Dean are freed just in time.
Later, Sam and Dean join Jay at the bar to thank him. The magician has lost his supernatural skill and wonders how they can thank him for killing his best friend. Vernon has left, refusing to speak to Jay again. Dean tries to reassure him he did the right thing, but Jay points out he has to spend the rest of his life old and alone and there's nothing right about that. Dean suggests they have a beer but Sam goes for a walk. Outside, Ruby is waiting for him in her car. Sam says she's in. She asks what changed his mind, and he says he doesn't want to be hunting monsters when he's an old man.