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Dean and Sam are in the bunker’s library when they suddenly hear a loud sound. They rush toward the sound and see light coming from underneath the door of the armory. When they open the door, they see two well-dressed men who look exactly like them getting out of a modern day Volkswagen beetle-type car. There is an inter-dimensional rift open behind the men.
Before the Winchesters get a chance to talk to their doppelgangers, the rift closes and the alternate-universe Winchesters and their car disappear.
Back in the war room, Dean and Sam try to explain to Castiel what just happened to them. Castiel is clearly confused, but suddenly Billie appears and tells the group that the two men were running.
During a tense discussion with Billie, the Winchesters and Castiel learn that the “alternate universe” Winchesters are fleeing their world, which is being destroyed by Chuck. Billie says that when Chuck is done destroying all the other worlds, he will come for this one; so they need to be prepared.
As Billie announces that she has “the next step” for Jack, the nephilim enters the room and joins the conversation. Billie says that the first step (eating angel hearts) was to strengthen Jack’s body, but the next step is more spiritual in nature. She says Jack needs to find the “Occultum”, a powerful, sacred object that has been hidden for centuries. However, Billie says she doesn’t know where the object is.
When Jack announces that he’s ready for the next step, Billie adds that if Chuck finds out what they’re doing, their plan will all come crashing down.
Later, the brothers are in the library looking for leads to find the Occultum. However, none of the books in the bunker’s library mention the thing, what it does or where to find it. During a discussion, Dean expresses concern about their plan. He questions what being “messengers of god’s destruction” means, and wonders what will happen to the balance of the universe if Jack kills Chuck, but leaves Amara alive. Dean surmises that Jack will have to also kill Amara to preserve the balance. The brothers also question whether Jack will “take over” if both Chuck and Amara are dead. As they’re talking, Jack enters the room. When the brothers question Jack’s plan for going up against Chuck, Jack is vague and doesn’t really have an answer.
As the trio is talking, Castiel enters. He has been talking to Sergei the shaman, who said the Occultum has moved around a lot throughout history, but it ended up being owned by Hiram Jacobson, a member of a wealthy family. When Jacobson’s son fell gravely ill, the man went to a “healer” who laid hands (hands that glowed with light) on the boy to heal him. The healer demanded the Occultum as payment. Dean and Sam surmise that Sister Jo is the faith healer and they head out to confront her about the location of the Occultum.
Later, the Winchesters find Sister Jo at one of her healing locations and demand to know the location of the Occultum. The brothers tell Sister Jo that Chuck is going to destroy the world, and they need the object to stop him. During a hostile exchange, Sister Jo refuses to take their side against Chuck. However, when they threaten her with angel blades, she admits that she gave the object to Ruby, who may be the only one who knows its current location. Apparently, at some point in the past, Ruby (who had a friendship with Sister Jo) tracked down Sister Jo about the Occultum. Ruby said she had a buyer for the object and would share the profits with Sister Jo if she agreed to give it to her. Sister Jo gave Ruby the Occultum, and Ruby hid it until she could contact a buyer. But the Winchesters killed Ruby before the transaction could be completed, so the location of the Occultum died with her. Sister Jo tells the brothers that Ruby stashed the Occultum somewhere in hell.
CASTIEL and JACK
Back at the bunker, Castiel and Jack are talking. Jack comments that, after being dead, he remembers how being alive feels, but he doesn’t feel things anymore because he doesn’t have a soul. When he adds that he knows he hurt the Winchesters when he killed Mary, and he wonders if Dean will ever forgive him, Castiel replies that Dean feels things very acutely but may be able to move on at some point.
DEAN and SAM
Later, Dean and Sam return to the bunker. Their plan is to use one of Rowena’s spells to open hell. When they approach Castiel to tell him their plan, Castiel interrupts them to show them something in the armory.
When the brothers and Cas arrive in the armory, they see ghost-like figures of the Dean and Sam that crossed through the rift earlier. But this time, they seem lost and confused. Cas tells the brothers that because Chuck destroyed their doppelgangers’ world, they are now trapped in between dimensions. They’re neither in this world nor their own.
Dean suggests that, since the doppelgangers don’t seem to be in pain or in danger, that he and Sam continue with their plan to enter hell and find the Occultum. When Castiel hears about their plan, he questions whether they can trust Sister Jo and Ruby, and warns the brothers that hell is vast, so they could be searching for a long time. Cas advises the brothers that they need more information first, so they should talk to Ruby. Dean retorts that Ruby is dead. He tells Cas that they need him to keep the spell active (i.e. keep the door open) while he and Sam go to hell to search for the Occultum.
Later, Dean and Sam arrive in hell and are confronted by a demon. The brothers demand to see Rowena. The demon says he’ll take them to her, but relatively quickly, the brothers are led into a corridor and attacked by demons.
CASTIEL and JACK
Back at the bunker, Castiel has serious questions about Sister Jo’s story. He wonders who Ruby was going to sell the Occultum to, and why Jo didn’t try to get the item back after Ruby died. Castiel decides to ignore Dean’s request and go into the Empty to talk to Ruby. Cas tells Jack that if he is “near” death, he can be in both worlds (this world and the Empty) at the same time. He believes that if he’s only in the Empty for a short time and doesn’t die in this world, he’ll be able to find Ruby, get the information from her, and get out. Cas hands Jack a flask and asks him to draw out most of his life force and store it in the flask. Cas warns Jack to watch him closely, and if it seems like he is truly dying, Jack must bring him back so he doesn’t get stuck in the Empty. Cas thinks he can accomplish his task in one hour, after which time he suggests Jack try to bring him back. Cas also warns Jack that he must simultaneously keep the other spell active so the Winchesters don’t get stuck in hell.
Jack has concerns, but complies with Castiel’s orders. He touches Cas on the forehead and as the angel’s eyes glow blue, a bright light that looks like angel grace leaves Castiel’s mouth and goes into the flask. As this is happening, Cas loses consciousness.
DEAN and SAM
The Winchesters handily defeat the demons and restrain the demon who led them into the trap, demanding to know why he betrayed them. The demon says that Sister Jo told them that if they killed the Winchesters, she’d allow them to leave hell. As soon as the Winchesters get this information, they kill the demon. The brothers are angry to learn that Sister Jo set them up.
As these events are happening, we see Sister Jo hastily packing up her operation and preparing to flee to Florida.
In the Empty, Castiel searches for Ruby, but can’t find her. Unfortunately, his presence and his calls out to Ruby awaken the Shadow, who appears in the form of Meg Masters. Cas demands to know where Ruby is. When the Shadow refuses to comply, Cas reminds her that he knows she is working with Death, and his mission to find Ruby is related to that deal. Reluctantly, the Shadow complies, and Ruby appears.
During the discussion between Castiel and Ruby, Ruby tells Cas that Sister Jo lied and the Occultum is not in hell. She also tells Cas that Sister Jo called her – not the other way around – about the Occultum. Ruby tells Cas a completely different story about her meeting with Sister Jo. According to Ruby, Sister Jo told her that the Armageddon battle between Lucifer and Michael was going to destroy the planet. Sister Jo said that if heaven wins the archangel fight, there will be a new world order, and she and Ruby can capitalize on that. Sister Jo said that the Occultum is a place, not a thing – and that she and Ruby can hide there in safety until the Armageddon battle is over. Ruby will only agree to tell Castiel the location of the Occultum if he agrees to somehow free her from the Empty. Ruby laments that the Empty is a never-ending dream about all her regrets and she wants to leave. Castiel reluctantly agrees to Ruby’s terms, and Ruby tells him where to find the Occultum.
Before Castel can leave the Empty, the Shadow finds him and begins psychically torturing him. Cas reminds her (still in the form of Meg Masters) that they’re on the same side, against Chuck. But Meg replies that she is on Death’s side, and she only agreed to help Death in exchange for going back to sleep. She adds that Death never mentioned protecting Castiel as one of the conditions of their deal, so she continues psychically torturing him. Castiel falls to the ground in pain…
DEAN and SAM
Dean and Sam return from hell to find Castiel unconscious. When Jack tells them what is going on with Castiel, Dean orders Jack to immediately bring Castiel back. Jack complies and gives Castiel the blue, glowing substance. Castiel wakes up abruptly, much to the Winchesters’ relief.
Castiel tells the group that the Occultum was never in hell. He also says that the Occultum is the safest place in existence and Ruby told him the location. The Winchesters prepare to leave to get the object, but Jack reminds them that if Chuck knows what they are doing he’ll try to stop them. Dean comes up with a plan for a decoy. He suggests that they use their spell to open a partial rift and free their doppelgangers from their inter-dimensional trap. Then, if Chuck comes to the bunker looking for the real Winchesters, he’ll find the doppelgangers and hopefully be fooled into thinking they are the actual brothers. They use some of Castiel’s grace to free their twins, who arrive at the bunker very confused.
During a humorous conversation between the Winchesters and their alternate-world doppelgangers, the brothers learn that in the other world, John was still alive, their family is wealthy, and they own a hunting corporation (which John created by charging for their hunting services). The doppelganger Dean and Sam seem snobby and have little in common with their real-world counterparts, but they agree to serve as decoys anyway. They tell the real-world brothers that they got separated from John while coming through the rift, and don’t know where he is. Nevertheless, they understand that their world is now gone, so they agree to help.
Later that night, Dean, Sam, Castiel and Jack arrive at a small church in a remote area. Castiel tells them that this is where Ruby said the Occultum is kept. Before the group can get inside, they are attacked by hell hounds.
Dean hastily picks the lock and the group rushes inside just in time to avoid getting killed. While Sam blocks the door, the rest of the group searches for the Occultum. Using Ruby’s clue, they realize that the object is under the floorboards. When Dean digs the object up, it looks like a small egg-shaped sphere. Castiel notices and Enochian inscription on the object and reads it aloud: “In order to be in the Occultum, the Occultum must be in you.” While Dean and Cas try to figure out what the inscription means, and Sam continues to barricade the door, Jack hastily swallows the object.
ALT-WORLD DEAN and SAM
Back at the bunker, the doppelgangers have changed into jeans and flannel, and are at laptops in the war room, drinking beers, and pretending to be the real Winchesters. Alt-world Sam is very much at odds with the simplicity of their twins’ lives, but alt-world Dean seems to think it’s not so bad. In their world, they are still under John’s control, they depend on trust funds for money (which is under John’s control) and they must file quarterly reports and do other things that he’d rather not do. Alt-world Dean seems to like the simplicity of just being able to hunt monsters and live at the bunker.
DEAN, SAM, CASTIEL and JACK
Shortly after Jack swallows the object, he grimaces in pain. Dean, Sam and Cas watch in shock as Jack suddenly disappears.
Jack wakes up in a beautiful, sunny garden next to a tree. He is approached by a young girl, who looks at him curiously. The girl says that he must not be human, because humans are not allowed “here”. When Jack asks why humans must stay out, the girl replies that this place is “the garden”, which was mankind’s beginning. When Jack asks her about Adam and Eve, the girl replies that god loved them and they were his prized creations, until he banished them and all of mankind from the perfection of the garden, and hid the place away.
Jack tells the girl that he was told this place could change him. The girl says he will know soon enough, and she disappears.
Back at the church, Dean and Cas argue about their situation. Neither of them expected Jack to swallow the object like he did.
In the garden, Jack suddenly sees a large snake in the tree. The snake asks him “Who are you really? Who are you meant to be?” Jack has flashbacks of his life and the harm he has done to those around him. He falls to the ground and begins to cry.
Back at the church, a glowing ball of light enters the church. Just as the hell hounds burst through the door, the glowing light gets brighter and vaporizes the dogs. After the dogs are gone, Dean, Sam and Cas look in amazement as Jack suddenly appears, lying on the ground.
Back at the bunker, the doppelganger Winchesters say their goodbye’s and leave the bunker.
Castiel talks to Dena and Sam and tells them that nobody has been to the garden since the exile, and that the place is the crossroads between divinity and humanity. He also tells them that Jack is “different”.
Once Dean, Sam, and Cas are alone with Jack, Jack tearfully apologizes for killing Mary and asks their forgiveness. As the Winchesters watch in confusion, Castiel confirms that Jack has his soul back.