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TEASER: Omaha, Nebraska
Inside an old-style office building, a custodian is mopping the floor in a corridor at night when a young woman passes by him, looking for an office number. She finds the door she’s looking for and enters. Inside the room, a man wearing a lab coat greets her. The woman is responding to an advertisement for lab test subjects, and she has come to the office for an interview. Apparently, the woman was told that the experiment has to do with vision, because she brings documents showing that she is in good health and has excellent vision. The woman is a student and is interested in making some money participating in the study.
The man in the lab coat looks over the woman’s paperwork approvingly and then approaches her to examine her eyes. He takes her face in his hands and looks into her eyes. At first, his demeanor is clinical. But quickly his expression changes and he tries to kiss her. The girl screams and struggles, but the man in the lab coat cuts her throat with a knife. As the girl slumps into a chair and bleeds to death, the man removes some surgical tools from his case and begins removing the girl’s eyes. He puts both of her eyes into a chamber containing ice and seals up his case hastily.
The custodian in the hallway hears the girl scream and rushes to the door. At first he knocks loudly and asks if everything is alright. When he doesn’t hear a response, he unlocks the door and bursts through it in time to watch the man in the lab coat jump from the window, which is several stories up.
SAM AND ROWENA
At the abandoned distillery, Sam is furiously shouting at Rowena. He tells Rowena that it’s been days since she told him that the codex would help her crack the Book of the Damned’s code; but she still hasn’t produced any results. Rowena protests that she is not at full strength because she’s chained up, and that what she’s doing is “art “ and will take time. Sam refuses to release her and accuses her of stalling. Rowena insists that she wants to be free from her shackles and out of her dismal prison, so she is not stalling at all. She also reminds Sam that he agreed to kill Crowley as part of their deal, but hasn’t yet. Sam protests, saying that he will kill Crowley.
Rowena continues, saying that the language Nadia used in the codex is itself encoded and indecipherable. Rowena must crack the code in the codex in order to use the codex to interpret the Book of the Damned. Sam reminds Rowena that Dean is getting worse day by day, and orders her to hurry.
At the Styne mansion in Shreveport, Louisiana, Monroe Styne (the family patriarch) is chastising his son, Eldon (whom we recognize as the man who killed the young girl and removed her eyes) for straying from his mission and attempting to assault the girl before his job of harvesting her eyes was done. He further derides Eldon for leaving a witness, and for leaving the girl’s body behind. He insists that the Styne family’s survival depends on secrecy, which must be maintained.
Eldon, in his own defense, says that he hasn’t been himself since Jacob died. But his father derides him further for using his brother’s death as an excuse for his failure. Monroe orders Eldon to “clean up his mess” in Omaha, and track down the Winchesters (believing that they may have the Book of the Damned).
After Eldon leaves the room, his cousin, Eli, asks Monroe if he thinks Eldon can be trusted with such an important assignment, considering his recent lack of judgement. Monroe berates Eli for letting the red-headed girl (Charlie) get away – he was apparently tasked with finding her after Jacob was killed. Eli tries to defend himself, saying he’s been trying but there’s no trace of the girl. Monroe tells him that if the Winchesters don’t have the Book, the red-headed girl must have it. Monroe tells Eli to work with Eldon, since their tasks overlap. He then orders Eli out of his study.
DEAN AND SAM
At the bunker, Sam comes home after apparently having been out for a long time. Dean asks what’s going on, noting that Sam has been keeping odd hours and going out a lot on his own for a few weeks. Sam is evasive, saying that he hasn’t been sleeping well, but doesn’t offer any details about where he’s been going or what he’s been doing. Dean is unconvinced, but doesn’t press the issue further.
In an effort to distract Dean from his line of questioning, Sam asks Dean what he’s doing. Dean replies that he has been investigating the Stynes, since Jacob Styne bragged about having a big family. Dean reports that the Stynes have manipulated financial markets, helped the Nazis, and been involved in other nefarious activities throughout what he could find of their history. He also reports that, oddly, the family’s history abruptly begins during the 1800s. He looked back further, but there are no any reports about them before that time, as if the family never existed before then.
Later that night, Dean has apparently gone to bed. We see Sam arrive at what looks like a park, and Charlie is waiting for him; Sam apparently arranged a meeting with her. Charlie asks why they’re meeting at a park instead of at the bunker. She also notices that Sam is being cryptic and asks what’s going on. After an exchange and further questioning from Charlie, Sam admits that he did not destroy the Book of the Damned. He also tells Charlie about Nadia’s encoded codex and how he needs her to work with a powerful witch to break the code and save Dean. He also tells her that Dean doesn’t know anything about their plan, and that they can’t tell him. At first, Charlie doesn’t want to go behind Dean’s back. But Sam convinces her that Dean is getting worse and has given up, and that they’ll lose him if they can’t figure a way to remove the Mark. Charlie reluctantly agrees to Sam’s plan.
CHARLIE AND ROWENA
Later that night, Sam is at the deserted distillery with Charlie and Rowena. Rowena is annoyed that she has to work with Charlie and is even less impressed when she learns that Charlie is not even a witch. Sam tries to convince Rowena that Charlie’s technical skills can help speed things along, while Rowena’s skills can prevent unintentional witchcraft mishaps.
As this is happening, Castiel arrives. Sam has apparently called him to watch Rowena and Charlie, because Dean is becoming suspicious of Sam’s frequent absences from the bunker. Cas and Charlie both try to convince Sam that keeping this secret from Dean is a bad idea, but Sam doesn’t think they have any choice. After Sam pleads further, Rowena, Charlie and Castiel all reluctantly agree to work together and not tell Dean because it seems like the only way to save him.
In Crowley’s lair, two of his demons report to him that they have lost Rowena. Crowley kills one of the demons for delivering bad news, and sends the other one off, ordering him not to return without news about Rowena. The frightened demon scurries off.
Later, we see Crowley talking to Olivette (who is now a hamster) asking her about any “dirt” that he can use as leverage against Rowena. Olivette squeaks a reply that we can’t understand, but Crowley quickly writes some notes, indicating that Olivette has given him some very useful information. Crowley then hands the slip of paper to one of his demons and orders the demon to locate the person whose name he has written down. The demon hurries off.
DEAN AND SAM
Dean and Sam arrive in Omaha dressed as feds. As they’re talking to the office building manager, they examine the office where the murder took place. The manager shows them security camera footage of a man (Eldon Styne) jumping from the third-story window, landing on his feet, and running off down the alley. A camera closeup of the man’s arm reveals the Styne family crest tattoo, which Dean recognizes from his research into the Styne family.
The manager tells the Winchesters that the man had been renting the office space for about a month before the murder happened, and that the man was conducting clinical trials using student volunteers.
As the three men are talking, Sam gets a phone call from Castiel. Realizing that Dean will suspect something if Sam takes the call, he ignores it, telling Dean it was a telemarketer. Dean gives the manager his card and the Winchesters leave. Once the manager is alone, Eldon Styne shows up demanding to know what the man told them. The manager denies telling them anything, but Eldon stabs him with a knife anyway and kills him.
ROWENA AND CHARLIE
At the distillery, Charlie is trying to break the code, but not having much success. She asks Rowena for background information about the book of the Damned’s author, thinking if she understands the person who created the code, she’ll have an easier time trying to break it. As they’re talking, Castiel arrives with food.
Rowena replies that Sister Agnes was an insane, hermit nun who made it her business to undo curses. She explains to Cas and Charlie that, as with any struggle between good and evil, balance is required, so to cure one curse, Sister Agnes had to know how to inflict another.
Charlie comments that Agnes was ahead of her time, and Rowena adds that she and Charlie are also both ahead of their time. Charlie argues that she and Rowena don’t have anything in common, but Rowena points out that they both had difficult and lonely childhoods marked by tragedy, absent parents, and always being outside the mainstream of society. Rowena goes on to say that she read Charlie the moment she met her, and that she knows Charlie is learning that the line between good and evil is flexible. Rowena adds that Charlie is blindly devoted to the Winchesters, and that she has made them into the family she doesn’t have. Charlie retorts that she loves the Winchesters and they’re her brothers; and Rowena replies that Charlie’s loyalty to them will be her undoing.
DEAN AND SAM
Later, Dean and Sam are driving and discussing the case, trying to figure out why the Stynes are harvesting eyeballs. They can’t determine the family’s motivations, but Dean adds that he’s glad the Book of the Damned has been destroyed, so at least they can’t get their hands on it again. Sam, eager to change the subject, asks how Dean is doing. Dean replies that he is having dark thoughts and urges, and violent visions, but he’s used to them now and he’s also happy that he has a case to focus on. As they’re driving, we see headlights behind them and see that Eldon Styne is following them.
Back at the bunker, Dean is alone in the library. Sam’s cell phone is on the table and begins to ring. Dean picks it up and sees that Castiel is calling, so he answers the phone.
Just then, Sam enters the room and notices that he left his cell phone on the table. As he puts it back into his pocket, Dean casually asks him if he’s talked to Cas recently. Sam says “no”, but Dean says that he wonders what Cas has been up to. Sam avoids eye contact with his brother and evasively suggests that Cas is probably up to “angel stuff”. He then hastily reminds Dean that it’s his turn to pick up dinner and he wants pizza. Sam walks away before Dean can continue the conversation, but we can see that Dean suspects something is going on.
Later, Dean is in an alley behind a pizza parlor. He exits the building carrying a pizza and is heading to his car when two cars approach him – one from each end of the alley, cutting off his exit. A man gets out of each car and walks toward Dean. Dean orders the men to stop, but they continue, so he fires a warning shot into the air. Afight breaks out and Dean drops his gun. One of the men grabs Dean from behind, but Dean removes a knife from the man’s coat and kills him with it. As this is happening, the other man, Eldon Styne, fights with Dean. Dean overpowers Styne and takes him prisoner.
Back at the bunker, we see that Dean and Sam have Eldon Styne chained up in the bunker’s dungeon and are questioning him.
Styne is dismissive, unintimidated, and willing to talk. He admits killing the girl in Omaha, and as he’s talking he notices the Mark of Cain on Dean’s arm. He comments that he understands why the Winchesters want the Book – to remove the Mark. Sam retorts that they want the Book because bringing down people like the Styne family is what they do. Styne is unimpressed and tells the Winchesters that they’re in over their heads. He tells them that the Styne family is vast and spread all over the world, and that the Book facilitates what they do. He adds that his family was behind stock market crashes, the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, Arab Spring, and other world-altering events.
When Sam asks why the Styne family does all those terrible things, Eldon replies that chaos breeds fear, which leads to panic and desperation, which is profitable. The Stynes have been “creating” crises for over 1000 years so they can profit from cleaning up the messes. Eldon says that for the past 80 years, his family has not had the Book, but with the Book, they are unstoppable.
As they’re talking, Sam’s cell phone rings again. It’s Castiel calling. Dean looks at Sam suspiciously as Sam steps away to take the call. On the phone, Castiel reports that Rowena and Charlie are at each other’s throats, and Cas is having difficulty maintaining order. Charlie insists that Rowena is evil and is making her crazy; but Charlie is worried about letting Dean down, so she wants a few hours away from Rowena to think straight. Sam insists that there are dangerous people looking for Charlie, so she can’t go off by herself. Cas offers to go with Charlie, but Sam says Cas can’t leave Rowena alone, either, so he’ll have to separate them and handle the situation.
Back in the dungeon, Dean continues questioning Eldon. Dean asks why Eldon took the girl’s eyes in Omaha. Styne replies that the situation was unfortunate, and that they never leave a body behind when they “harvest”. When Dean asks what Styne means by harvesting, Styne replies that bio-engineering and surgical augmentation are the Styne family specialties. He shows Dean a large scar down the center of his chest and brags that he has two hearts, additional muscles in his legs, and other improvements, and that every male in the Styne family has been altered in some way.
Eldon comments that, considering the family tree, the surgical enhancements are to be expected. When Dean asks for clarification, Eldon tells him that the “real” Styne family name is FRANKENSTEIN and that the name was altered to protect the family’s secrets. When Styne adds that the Frankenstein family is one of Europe’s oldest, Dean argues that Frankenstein isn’t real. Eldon replies Mary Shelley was a family acquaintance who spent a few nights at castle Frankenstein, discovered the family secret, and wrote a book, which forced the family to change their name to remain in hiding. Styne argues that nobody believed Mary Shelley, and if the Winchesters go public about the Stynes, nobody will believe them, either.
Eldon brags that the Winchesters can’t defeat his family, because for every one they kill, there’s an army to replace him. Dean wants to know where the family is based, but Eldon refuses to tell him. Instead, Eldon suggests that if Dean will return the Book of the Damned to him, he might be willing to give more information. Dean replies that the Book has been burned. But Eldon tells him that the Book is protected by a powerful enchantment, so it cannot be destroyed. Dean realizes that Sam has been lying to him and leaves Eldon alone to go look for Sam.
Dean finds Sam in a corridor talking hastily to Cas. Dean approaches Sam in time to overhear him telling Cas to “handle it” right before hanging up the phone. Dean confronts Sam, asking what he’s doing. Sam replies that “something came up”, but won’t say what. Instead, Sam deflects the question, asking Dean what Eldon has been saying.
Before Dean can reply or ask Sam any questions, they hear a crash from the dungeon. They both rush to the room to find Eldon gone, and his dismembered arm hanging from the shackle where he ripped it off to escape.
In an effort to manage the situation between Charlie and Rowena, Cas takes Rowena to another room in the building and chains her up there. Rowena protests, but Castiel reminds her that Charlie is having difficulty because she feels like she’s betraying Dean. Rowena retorts that once Charlie has children of her own, she’ll understand all about betrayal. When Castiel looks at Rowena curiously and questions her further, Rowena reveals that she’s Crowley’s mother. Castiel only seems mildly surprised, commenting that their being related “explains a lot”.
When Cas returns to the main room, he finds Charlie and her laptop gone.
DEAN AND SAM
We see that Eldon Styne is bleeding badly and sitting on the ground in an alley to rest, when his phone suddenly rings. It is Eli calling him to report that he has found the red-headed girl (Charlie). Eli gives the name of the motel where Charlie is staying and Eldon agrees to meet him there.
Back at the bunker, Sam is sitting at a table in the library. Dean has been out following Eldon’s blood trail, but returns to report that he lost him and the trail seems to have stopped abruptly. Dean comments that Eldon revealed a lot of information during interrogation, and Sam adds that he’s been going through the files they have on the Styne/Frankenstein family. Sam’s findings confirm what Eldon was saying, that the Frankenstein family has a long history of evil acts, including making money from the Black Death, and starting the Hundred Years’ War.
Dean is convinced that Sam has been misleading him about his activities and begins setting up a confrontation. He talks about the Stynes and comments that things would be much worse if the Book of the Damned hadn’t been destroyed and they got their hands back on it. He asks Sam for confirmation that destroying the Book was a good thing. Sam doesn’t really respond, so Dean continues -- telling Sam that, according to Eldon, the Book of the Damned can’t be burned or otherwise destroyed. Dean tells Sam that he saw “something” burn back at the cabin, and he wants to know what it was.
Before Sam can come up with a reply, his cell phone rings again. It is Castiel, calling to report that Charlie has run away.
Next, we see Charlie at a motel. She has continued trying to crack the code and finally breaks it. As soon as this happens, she hears banging at the door. It is Eldon Styne demanding that Charlie give him the Book. Charlie runs into the bathroom, slams the door, and calls Sam.
Back at the bunker, Dean is furious! He now knows that Sam didn’t destroy the Book, that he endangered Charlie by pulling her into his scheme and leaving her with the Book, and now Charlie is missing. As Dean is railing at Sam, Charlie calls Sam. She tells him where she is, and that she has cracked the code, but there’s someone trying to break through the door because they think she has the Book.
As the Winchesters race from the bunker to help Charlie, Dean grabs the phone from Sam and orders Charlie to give whoever is at the door whatever he is there for. Charlie replies that she can’t do that. She hangs up, sends an emergency email message to Sam that delivers the solution to the code, then destroys her laptop so the Stynes can’t get it. Then, she draws her knife and prepares to fight whoever is breaking through the door. Eldon hears the crash of Charlie smashing her laptop, and comes through the door.
In the car, Sam is driving and Dean is still angry. He can’t believe that Sam lied about the Book, and put Charlie in such danger. He is also angry that Sam pulled Castiel and Charlie into his lie. Sam tells Dean that he, Charlie and Cas all love him, and they did what they needed to do to save him from the Mark.
The Winchesters race to the motel and find the front door to Charlie’s room kicked in. They search the room, which has been ransacked. They are both shocked to find Charlie’s bloody, dead body in the bathtub.