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TEASER: Portland, Oregon
As the scene opens, Rowena is attending a formal event at a modern art gallery. Her cell phone rings, and it’s the Winchesters and Castiel, who are calling her from the Men of Letters bunker in Lebanon, Kansas. During an amusing and snarky exchange (with the Boys on speaker phone), Castiel and the Winchesters ask Rowena for help rescuing Jack and Mary and fighting the evil alternate-universe (AU) archangel Michael. Rowena says that she’d love to help, but refuses, adding cryptically that she’s working on her own “project” in Portland. Then she politely hangs up on them.
Next, Rowena approaches a woman at the event. She tells the woman (Elizabeth Mahler) that she recognizes her from a story in the local newspaper. The woman bristles, because the story about her was apparently negative. Rowena continues talking, but then a tango song plays in the gallery. Rowena hastily hands the woman her purse (which likely contains a hex bag) to hold and begins dancing the tango with her bodyguard, Bernard. As Rowena and Bernard are dancing, Rowena looks at Elizabeth and utters an incantation. The woman bursts into flames as Rowena and Bernard watch, smiling.
At the bunker, Dean and Castiel are in the kitchen trying to figure a way to find Gabriel and get some of his grace to open the rift again. Castiel suggests that he contact the angels for help, despite the fact that they want to kill him. Dean is not on board with the idea, but as they’re discussing it, Sam enters with his tablet computer. Sam reports that he found a story in a Portland, Oregon newspaper about a woman who spontaneously combusted at an art gallery. Dean, Sam and Castiel surmise that Rowena is behind the death, since she admitted on the phone that she was in Portland, and they could hear party music in the background when they were talking to her. Dean chides Sam for giving Rowena the page from the Book, which she used to unbind her powers. Sam says that if Rowena is behind the death, he will deal with her. As the Winchesters prepare to leave for Portland, Dean tells Castiel that he can pursue his plan with the angels, but asks him to not die again.
Castiel arrives in heaven and doesn’t find anyone at first. He thinks the place is empty, but before long, Duma and two other angels approach him. As Duma and the angels listen intently, Castiel hastily explains that the archangel Gabriel is alive, but is missing; so Castiel needs heaven’s help to find him. Castiel also explains that he must find Gabriel before the evil archangel Michael from the AU arrives on Earth to subjugate and destroy humanity. Castiel also mentions the nephilim, who is missing, and Lucifer, who is back. As Castiel is talking, the lights in heaven flicker on and off. Castiel asks what’s happening, and Duma replies that they may be able to help each other, but she doesn’t immediately go into detail.
DEAN and SAM:
After Jessica disappears, the Winchesters wonder exactly what is going on with Rowena and how serious their problem is going to get.
In Portland, Rowena and Bernard are talking in Rowena’s fancy hotel room. They know that the Winchesters are on their way, but Rowena says that she’s capable of anything, so she won’t let them stop her.
The next morning, Dean and Sam are dressed as feds and inspecting the crime scene at the art gallery. Sam’s research has uncovered background information on Elizabeth Mahler. She was an executive at a local pharmaceutical company that sold thousands of mislabeled drug packages, which led to the deaths of many patients. Because of a technicality, Mahler escaped prosecution or penalty for the situation. As the Boys try to figure out Rowena’s connection to the Mahler woman, they inspect the spot where she died. They notice a burnt spot on the floor where Elizabeth died, but they also notice a second scorched area very close by.
Jessica admits that it’s the dead reapers they’re really concerned about. However, because Rowena is also killing people ahead of their scheduled times, she is altering the fates of countless other people. If it continues, Death will have to “reset” destiny in the form of a massive event similar to the Black Death or a terrible war that kills many people. When Dean asks Jessica why Billie and the reapers don’t handle the problem themselves, Jessica reminds them that reapers and Death aren’t “hands-on”, so all she can do is help the Winchesters without directly interfering. Jessica also tells the Winchesters that Death has books detailing all the possible ways any one person can die, and according to all of Rowena’s possible deaths, Sam Winchester is always the one who kills her.
Castiel waits in heaven’s throne room for what seems like a long time. As he’s waiting, the lights flicker off and on several times. Eventually, Duma returns with her two angels. She tells Castiel that if he can find Gabriel and bring him back home, the angels can help him with everything else. Cas replies that he can’t find Gabriel, which is why he came to heaven for help. When he asks Duma for a few angels to help him search, Naomi suddenly appears and begins talking.
Naomi and Castiel have a brief, hostile exchange during which Naomi admits that Metatron didn’t actually kill her (“Sacrifice” Season 8) and with the help of a handful of angels, she was able to go into hiding and heal herself over time. She is unapologetic for her history with Castiel, but tells Castiel that heaven can’t help him because there aren’t enough angels left to do that.
Naomi explains that angels are heaven’s power source, but there are currently only 8 angels in heaven and 1 or 2 more on Earth. Heaven’s lights are flickering off and on because there are barely enough angels to power it for much longer. She explains that there aren’t enough angels to help Castiel search for Gabriel, because the remaining angels must stay in heaven. She also says that if they had an archangel, like Gabriel, that would be enough to keep heaven’s lights on. Naomi says that without Gabriel, heaven will eventually crumble and all the billions of human souls in heaven will fall to earth, causing chaos on an unimaginable scale.
DEAN and SAM:
Later, Dean and Sam are researching Rowena’s victims. She has apparently killed most of the leadership team at the pharmaceutical company except for one person – CEO James Melford. Realizing that Melford is probably Rowena’s next target, the Winchesters rush to his home. But before they can arrive, we see Rowena and Bernard kill Melford and his reaper. Before Rowena kills the reaper, she orders him to deliver a message to Death. The reaper refuses, so Rowena incinerates him and Melford.
Dean and Sam arrive at the site later, and find scorch marks like the ones they found at the art gallery. As they’re examining the area, Rowena calls Sam's cell phone and tells the Winchesters to step aside and let her continue her work. When they refuse, she sets up a meeting with them at a local bar, offering to explain why she’s doing what she’s doing. Dean and Sam both know they’re walking into a trap, but agree to meet Rowena anyway.
After Rowena hangs up, she tells Bernard that if she can’t convince the Winchesters to stop, she will have to stop them.
Later, Rowena meets Dean and Sam at a bar as agreed. She defends murdering the corrupt pharmaceutical people, but when asked why she is killing reapers, Rowena replies that she wants Death to bring back her son, Fergus. Rowena blames herself for the choices Fergus made and for the way he turned out. She wants him to have another chance at life, so she wants to force Death to resurrect him. The Winchesters urge Rowena to stop, and when she refuses, they reveal that in all the versions of her death, Sam is the one who kills her, so they can and will stop her.
Sam pulls out a pair of warded handcuffs and tries to put them on Rowena, but her image shimmers when Sam touches her. The Boys realize they’ve been talking to an astral projection, but they also see Bernard and Rowena hiding near the doorway of the bar. They run away before the Winchesters can get to them. Bernard and Rowena separate – Sam chases Rowena outside into an alley, and Dean and Bernard begin fighting in a corridor.
Dean and Bernard fight aggressively, but Dean eventually overpowers the bodyguard and heads outside to look for Sam. Outside, Sam confronts Rowena in the alley. He urges her to stop, explaining that she’s altering the fabric of the universe; but she says he’ll have to shoot her. When Sam fires his weapon, Rowena stops the bullet in midair, displaying her impressive powers.
Moments later, Dean finds Sam’s gun on the ground in the alley, and Jessica tells him that Rowena has taken Sam upstairs. Dean rushes upstairs to find Sam.
Meanwhile, Sam awakens upstairs in Rowena’s hotel room, telepathically pinned into a chair by Rowena’s powers. Sam tries to convince Rowena to stop what she’s doing, arguing that her new powers are clouding her judgement. But Rowena replies that the things she’s done in the past, especially her pursuit of power, have caused her to lose the few things she loved, like Oscar and her son. She admits that she’s a terribly flawed creature, but she hopes resurrecting her son can redeem her.
Rowena apologizes to Sam, but insists that because he is the one who will eventually kill her, that she must kill him first to get Death’s attention. She works a spell and uses it to begin killing Sam.
Before Sam dies, Billie appears. She and Rowena talk. Rowena tells Billie that if she’ll resurrect Fergus, she will stop. Billie refuses, saying she will not bow to blackmail and essentially daring Rowena to kill Sam, but warning her that she will not like what comes next if she does it.
Exhausted from her effort, Rowena sinks to her hands and knees, crying. In her weakened state, she can’t keep Sam pinned to the chair, so he is freed. Billie tells Rowena that she was never going to kill Sam to begin with. She goes on to say that sometimes life is unfair, people lose loved ones, and people make mistakes, but sometimes those things can’t be fixed – no matter how powerful someone is. As they’re talking, Dean and Jessica burst through the door. Billie greets Dean and disappears.
DEAN and SAM: