|Sam & Dean are pulling weapons, including two stun guns, out of the trunk of the Impala. Dean says he wants "this rawhead extra friggin' crispy" because you only get one shot with these things, so make it count.
They head down into a basement with flashlights and stun guns drawn. They see a cabinet and unlatch it to find two small children cowering inside in the corner. Sam asks the children, "is it still here?" and they nod "yes". Dean tells Sam to get the children out of there. As they head up the stairs, something grabs Sam's foot and he falls back. Dean aims and fires the stun gun into the dark area under the stairs and Sam's foot is released. Dean again tells him to get the children out of there. Sam tosses Dean his own stun gun and heads up the stairs with the children.
Dean stalks the monster in the basement. Suddenly, it rises up from behind a pile of crates and pushes Dean down into a puddle of standing water on the floor. Dean manages to reach for the stun gun and fires it at the monster, but the monster is standing in the same puddle and the water conducts the stun gun's current from the monster back to Dean. Both are electrocuted.
Sam comes back down to find Dean laying motionless in the puddle.
Next, Sam is at the hospital. The doctor is telling him that when Dean was electrocuted, it triggered a heart attack and his heart has been damaged. Sam asks, "how damaged?" and the doctor says they can try to keep Dean comfortable, but that's about it. Dean may live a couple of weeks or months. Sam doesn't want to believe it. He goes in to see Dean.
Dean looks a wreck laying in his hospital bed, weakly complaining about how bad daytime TV is as he flips through the channels (funny, since Jensen used to act on a soap opera). He is creeped out by the "little fabric softener teddy bear" in the ads and comments that he should hunt that little b i t c h down. Sam tries to get serious saying he talked to Dean's doctor. Dean knows what the doctor said and tells Sam that it looks like Sam will have to leave town without him. Sam says he's not leaving Dean. Dean tells him he needs to take care of the car or he'll come back and haunt his ass. Sam tells him that's not funny. Dean says basically that it's a dangerous job and this sort of thing can happen. Sam tells him not to talk like that; they have options. Dean tells him that, at this point, the only options for him are burial or cremation. Dean says he's going to die and Sam can't stop it.
Sam says, "Watch me."
Three days later, Sam tries to call their father from his hotel room and gets his voicemail. Sam leaves him a message telling him that Dean is dying but he (Sam) is going to do whatever it takes to get him better. There's a knock at Sam's hotel room door. It's Dean. He says he checked himself out because he's not going to die in a hospital where the nurses aren't even hot. Sam tells him that Dean's whole, "I laugh in the face of death" attitude is crap; he can see through it. He tells him he's been on the internet for days looking for a way to help Dean. Sam says he's not going to let Dean die.
Some time later, the Impala drives down a muddy rutted lane towards a large tent. There are other infirm people getting out of cars and making their way to the tent. Dean realizes they've come to a faith healer holding a tent revival meeting. He's mad. He expected that they were going to see a doctor, but Sam says he only ever told him they were going to see "a specialist" and that this guy is supposed to be the real deal.
On the way in they pass a man having words with a deputy because he is trying to protest, saying that the faith healer is a fraud just out to take people's money.
Sam tells Dean that maybe it's time to have a little faith. Dean tells Sam he has faith in reality. Sam asks how he can not believe in something unseen after all the strange things they see every day. Dean says exactly, you can SEE those things. There's someone walking with an umbrella in front of them and she turns around to tell Dean, "maybe God works in mysterious ways". Though near-death, Dean is interested in this attractive young woman; Layla. She asks what Dean is doing there if he doesn't believe. He says his brother believes enough for the both of them.
Dean's very suspicious as he enters the tent. He wants to sit in back, but Sam makes him sit up front. Dean looks agitated and Sam looks concerned. Sam notices an odd-looking cross among several crosses up on the altar.
The preacher (Roy LeGrange) starts preaching. He is blind. He says the Lord tells him who to heal. That the Lord helps him see into a person's heart. Dean mutters under his breath, "yeah, and into their wallets". The pastor says, "you think so, young man?" Dean can't believe the preacher heard him and he apologizes. The preacher says it's okay; just watch what you
say around a blind man because they have real sharp ears.
The preacher asks Dean his name. He asks him to come up to the stage. Dean declines, but Sam and the rest of the congregation encourage him to go up. The preacher says the Lord picked Dean. Sam tells him to get up there to the applause of the congregation.
Dean tells the preacher he's not exactly a believer. The preacher tells him he will be. The preacher asks the congregation to pray. He puts a hand on Dean's head. Dean starts to swoon and falls to his knees, then passes out on the stage. Sam jumps up and runs to him. He shakes Dean. Dean starts awake and as he does, he sees a very pale, wrinkled old man in a suit standing next to the preacher. This man turns and disappears into thin air.
Next, Sam and Dean are at the doctor and she is confirming that there is nothing wrong with Dean's heart. He's completely fine. The doctor mentions how strange it was the just yesterday there was a very healthy young guy who just dropped dead of a heart attack in town. Dean immediately thinks that's weird. Dean says he has a "feeling"; that he felt wrong when he was healed. He says he's been hunting long enough to trust a feeling like that and asks Sam to go check out the heart attack victim while Dean goes to check out the preacher.
Dean is sitting down to tea with the preacher Roy and his wife Sue Anne. Dean asks when Roy's ability to heal started. Roy tells Dean that he woke up blind one day. The doctors told him he had cancer and had maybe a month to live. He prayed for a miracle and when he became too weak, his wife kept praying. He slipped into a coma, but he woke up and when he did, the cancer was gone. Soon after, the preacher discovered he could heal people. His wife seems very happy that the congregation has expanded so much thanks to Roy's ability to heal folks. Dean asks why the preacher chose him. The preachers says he just looked into his heart and knew it should be him. Dean asks what he saw in his heart. Roy says he saw a young man with an important purpose and a job to do that isn't finished.
Sam is talking to someone who knew the heart attack victim. He tells Sam that the guy was running saying something was chasing him before he collapsed, but there was nothing there. Sam notices that the clock stopped. The guy confirms it stopped right at the time his friend died.
Back at the site of the tent revival...
Dean sees Layla as he leaves his meeting with the preacher. The preacher's wife tells Layla that Roy is resting now and can't see her. Layla's mother starts to plead that he has to see them. The preacher's wife says that they are aware of Layla's "condition" and they want to help her when the Lord guides them to do so. Dean overhears everything. Layla's mother is mad a Dean for being healed on his first trip to the revival. Dean asks Layla what's wrong with her. Layla's mom tells Dean that Layla has a brain tumor that will kill her in 6 months. Layla tries to tell Dean it's okay. But her mother asks Dean why he deserves to live more than her daughter.
Dean meets Sam back at the hotel room. Sam tells Dean he's sorry (for doubting him) because Marshall Hall, the heart attack victim, died at 4:17; exactly when Dean was healed. Sam made a list the 6 people preacher Roy has healed over the past year and checked local obituaries. Every time someone was healed by Roy, someone else in town died. Each time, the victim died of the same malady that someone was being healed to cure. Sam realizes that Roy is somehow trading one life for another. Dean is angry that someone had to die to save him and he tells Sam he never should have brought him to the faith healer.
Sam wonders how Roy is doing it. Dean says it's not Roy that doing it. Something else is doing it for him; the old man he saw when he was up onstage. Dean says there's only one thing that can give and take life like that; a reaper.
Next we see a young woman jogging on a trail while Roy is healing an elderly man. The young woman sees a pale, wrinkled, ominous-looking man in a suit appear in front of her and she starts to run from him. (Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reapers" plays in the background; great song!). The girl runs, scared. The old man who was following her, suddenly appears in front of her and she falls to the ground. The old man puts a hand on the side of her head and she starts to struggle for air until she goes gray and dies. Simultaneously, Roy has a hand on the head of the elderly man onstage with him. The reaper's unseen hand also appears on the man's head and as it does, the man falls to his knees from his wheelchair and pulls the tubing to his oxygen tank from his nose. He's been healed. The congregation applauds.
Back at their hotel, Sam and Dean are researching reapers. Dean says there could be more than one reaper. Dean points out that reapers stop time (the stopped clock Sam saw) and that you can only see them when they are coming at you which is why Dean saw it when he was onstage with Roy and Sam didn't. Dean wants to figure out how Roy's controlling it. Sam remembers the weird cross he saw on the altar and finds an image of the same cross in a tarot deck. They theorize that Roy is using black magic to bind the reaper to him. A very dangerous thing to do. Dean tells Sam they have to stop Roy. Sam asks, "how?" Dean tells him, "you know how". And Sam tells Dean they can't kill Roy! But Dean is upset that Roy is playing God and that makes him a monster as far as Dean is concerned. Sam tells Dean they aren't going to kill a human being. If they do that, they're no better than Roy is. Dean asks Sam if he has a better idea, "college boy". Sam tells him they have to find out what sort of spell Roy is using on the reaper and break it.
They head back to Roy's revival tent. Dean tells Sam to go look for a spell book in Roy's house while Dean tries to stall Roy from starting the service.
Sam sneaks into the house and starts looking around. He goes to the bookshelf and finds some dust that was disturbed when a book was removed. He pulls out that book and flips through it, but finds nothing until he looks behind that book and finds another, smaller one with the image of the strange cross in it. He finds an article folded up in the small book about an openly gay teacher and another about a local abortion rights advocate. He finds a third clipped newspaper article about the guy who was outside the tent protesting that faith healing is a scam. Sam realizes that Roy is targeting those who die in order for others to be healed. He's essentially punishing those he doesn't like or whose behavior he finds offensive.
Sam calls Dean who is inside the revival tent. He tells him Roy is targeting those he sees as immoral and the protester is probably going to be the next to go, so Dean can't let Roy heal anyone. Dean isn't sure how to stop the service.
Sam is out in the parking lot looking for the protester.
While Dean is inside, the pastor calls Layla up. Now Dean's in a pickle. He tries to tell Layla not to go up, that she can't let Roy heal her. She doesn't understand. Why was it good enough for Dean but not her? Dean tells her that if she does this, something bad is going to happen and she just has to trust him. The preacher's wife is encouraging her to come forward. Dean begs her, "please" not to go. Layla looks back at her mom and tells Dean she's sorry; she has to go up.
Out in the parking lot, Sam hears the protester cry for help. He's being followed by the pale, wrinkled man. The reaper.
Inside the tent, the healing for Layla starts as Roy prepares to lay his hands on her.
Out in the parking lot, the protester is terrified and calls to Sam to help him. Sam can't see the reaper, but the protester tells him where it is.
Just as Roy is about to lay his hands on Layla's head, Dean goes to the back of the tent and calls out that there's a fire; the tent's on fire. Roy pulls his hand away from Layla and the healing is interrupted. Dean looks wracked with guilt and calls Sam on the phone.
Sam's out in the parking lot with the protester. Dean tells Sam he stopped Roy and Sam thinks it's okay since the protester has calmed down. Then the protester turns to see the reaper only feet from him, coming at him with his hand extended. Even though Sam can't see the reaper, he sees the protester fall to his knees and yells into the phone that it didn't work, the reaper is still coming. Sam tells Dean that Roy must not be controlling this thing. "Then who is?", asks Dean into the phone.Dean sees the preacher's wife, Sue Anne. She's the only one left in the tent. He hangs up the phone and goes over to her. She seems to be reciting a spell and has the same strange cross on a chain around her neck. When Dean interrupts her recitation, the reaper outside lets go of the protester. Sue Anne screams for security and they come to take Dean out.
The reaper in the parking lot disappears. Sam helps the protester up from the ground.
As Dean is thrown out of the tent by security, Sue Anne steps in front of him and tells him she can't believe he'd act like this after Roy healed him. She says the Lord will deal with Dean as He sees fit and she walks off.
Next, Dean is confronted by Layla. She is angry and can't believe Dean would interrupt her healing; perhaps the only chance she'll have. Dean tells Layla that Roy is not a healer. She points out that Roy healed him. All Dean can say is that Roy is not the answer. Layla tells him "goodbye" with hurt in her voice and tears in her eyes, saying she wishes him luck. Dean says, "you too" and as she leaves, he says under his breath, "you deserve it a lot more than me".
To the side, Roy is talking to Layla's mother promising her that he will heal her daughter in a private session that night where there will be no interruptions.
Back at the hotel, Sam and Dean realize that Roy really believes he can heal people; that he probably has no idea what his wife is doing with the reaper and the binding spell. Sam pulls out the small book he took from Roy's house. He says that in order for this spell to work on the reaper, you have to have an altar with lots of specific objects on it. Sam says that what the preacher's wife is doing is truly evil. Dean points out that it was more like desperation. Her husband was dying and she'd do anything to stop it.
Kind of like Sam with Dean.
Sue Anne had been using the binding spell to keep the reaper away from Roy when we was in a coma. But Roy's alive now, so why is she still using the spell? Sam tells Dean that now she's using the reaper to kill people she thinks are immoral. Dean says, "Then God save us from half the people who think they're doing God's work."
Sam says they have to break the binding spell. Dean noticed that when Sue Anne let go of the cross around her neck, the reaper backed off. They figure they need to find the cross and destroy the altar. All before Roy tries to heal Layla that night.
They head back to the tent revival. Dean is conflicted. He wants Layla to be healed and wishes it had been her instead of him. Sam tells him he can't play God.
They peek into the tent, but Sue Anne is not there. Dean tells Sam to go find Sue Anne while he distracts the security guards who run off chasing after him.
Sam circles Roy's house and sees light coming out from around the doors to the storm cellar. He opens the doors and heads down. Sam finds Sue Anne's altar. On it, there's a photo of Dean with a red "X" over his face. She obviously has it in for him. Sue Anne walks up behind Sam saying she gave his brother life and she can take it away. Sam overturns the altar and everything on it goes flying. As he does, Sue Anne leaves the storm cellar and locks Sam inside. As Sam struggles against the locked doors, Sue Anne sits outside explaining to Sam that God chose her to reward the just and punish the wicked...Dean is wicked and he deserves to die while Layla deserves to live.
Sam grabs a piece of lumber and breaks out the side of the storm cellar.
Back in the tent, Layla's healing begins.
In the parking lot, Dean notices that the parking lot lights are blowing out, one at a time. Then he sees the reaper.
Roy is starting to heal Layla. Sue Anne is outside the tent reciting her incantation. Out in the parking lot, the reaper lays his hand on Dean's head and Dean struggles against him. Layla in the tent, and Dean outside the tent both fall to their knees. Dean starts to go white as the reaper takes the life from him.
Sam, having escaped from the storm cellar, appears next to Sue Anne and grabs the cross from her neck, throwing it to the ground where it breaks into many pieces. As he does, the reaper lets go of Dean and Roy lets go of Layla saying he "doesn't understand". Apparently healing Layla didn't work.
Outside, Sue Anne says, "My God, what have I done?" and she sees the reaper across the parking lot. The reaper smiles and is instantly beside her with his hand on her head. She gasps, turns pale, and falls to the ground dead.
Dean struggles back to the car where he meets Sam. Dean says it's been a hell of a week.
Back at the hotel, Dean is still unsure that they did the right thing. There's a knock at the door. It's Layla. Dean asks how she knew where to find them. Layla tells him that Sam called to say Dean wanted to say goodbye to her. Sam leaves to give them some time alone.
Layla tells Dean that her last attempt at healing didn't work and that Sue Anne is dead. Dean says it must be hard for Layla to believe in something so much only to have it disappoint her. She tells him that it may sound weird, but she's really okay. She says that if you're going to have faith, you can't just have it when the miracles happen, but also when they don't. Dean's expression shows that he is impressed and touched by her grace.
Deans asks Layla what's next for her. She says she doesn't know, but that God works in mysteriously ways. She tenderly reaches out and touches Dean's face as she tells him goodbye. Dean stands, tears in his eyes, and tells her he's not the praying type, but he'll be praying for her.
"There's a miracle right there," she says.