|Recap added by Journalbookbinder
A white church bus drives through the mist, the occupants singing a hymn as they go. The back of the bus proclaims that it's the "Melody Ministry Glee Club".
The bus pulls up in front of a biker bar and 12 women in white dresses and peach-colored cardigans get out and enter the bar. One of the bikers in the bar stands up defensively, telling the women "you shouldn't be here". One of the women responds, "We have just as much right to be here as you do, brother". They stare each other down. Suddenly both the bikers and the Glee Club women bring out angel blades. From the outside of the bar we see explosions and hear shouting. Windows blow out. When all is quiet, the women file calmly back out of the bar, their white dresses splattered with blood. They get back onto the bus, start singing again, and drive away leaving a bar full of dead biker-angels.
In the Impala, driving through the dark, Dean is talking to Ezekiel (in the form of Sam) asking if Sam is better. Zeke tells him that Sam is "much improved" and it shouldn't take much longer now. Dean points out that Zeke has made this promise before. Dean wonders why it's always "one more week" with Zeke.
Dean asks Zeke to retreat into the background and give him his brother back. Before he goes, Zeke informs Dean that he's uncomfortable with the trip they are taking. He doesn't want to investigate crimes (or anything else) involving angels. Dean points out that if they ignore this case, Sam will think something weird is going on. Zeke tells Dean he trusts he will be "discreet".
Dean realizes that if Zeke knows where they are going, it means he has been listening in and he wonders if Zeke has heard everything between him and Sam. Zeke says he only hears a word here and there; he's busy healing Sam. Dean tries to continue the conversation with Zeke, but suddenly Sam is back wondering why it's been so quiet with hardly a peep from the fallen angels. Dean says it must be the calm before the storm.
Sam looks incredulous as they drive past a sign that says "Fort Collins, 50 miles". Sam says that the last time he looked, liked 12 second ago, the sign they passed said they were 100 miles away from Fort Collins. He's noticing the time missing while Zeke "takes over" his consciousness.
Dean tries to chalk Sam's missing chunks of time up to his altercation with the goddess Vesta or maybe it's still a side effect from going through the trials, but Sam sounds increasingly freaked out about the fact that he's missing chunks of time. Dean continues to try to convince him that he's "off" because of the trials. He ironically asks Sam to trust him on this because, "would he (Dean) lie?". (Uh, yes.)
Sam and Dean arrive at the biker bar and are told that "one of their guys" is already there. They go inside and find Cas who greets them as "colleagues". Dean gives Cas a "WTF" expression. Sam seems amused to find Cas there.
Dean asks Cas what the hell he's doing. Cas says he still has the fake badge Dean gave him and he thought he might be of help. Sam points out that Cas left the bunker to try to hide from angels and lay low (not exactly; he left because Dean asked him to, because Zeke told Dean he had to get Cas out of there; but of course Sam doesn't know that).
Cas says that if angels are slaughtering each other, then he has to do what he can to help.
Cas says the biker angels were killed with much more violence than required. Dean asks if it could have been done by Bartholomew's people. Sam points out that even though Bartholomew is someone they know about, this could have been done by a faction that is new to them. Cas is confident that whoever it is, the three of them will find them. After Cas walks away from Sam & Dean, Zeke surfaces subtly and briefly and gives Dean a death stare; Zeke obviously does not want to be around Cas in any way, shape, or form.
Next we see two cars meeting in an abandoned lot at night. The driver gets out to open the door for the passenger (each in their own car). A female angel that we recognize as one of Bartholomew's assistants greets one of the angels from the other car as "Malachi". Malachi is accompanied by one of the Glee Club women.
Malachi expected to be meeting with Bartholomew and asks where he is. Bartholomew's assistant says that Bartholomew is much too busy to attend this meeting. He has such a large following and enormous responsibilities.
Malachi says he does not deal with "handmaidens". Bartholomew's angel says she'll convey his message. They start to get into an argument about respect. Bartholomew's angel brings up the bloodbath at the biker bar and suggests that was quite disrespectful (massacring those loyal to Bartholomew). Malachi says that Bartholomew's "grab for power" was, in itself, disrespectful. Malachi says that he and Bartholomew want the same thing; to take heaven back from Metatron.
Malachi says that he and Bartholomew must unite and discuss terms so they can work towards the same goal.
Bartholomew's angel tells Malachi that Bartholomew wished to convey to him that he (Bartholomew) does not deal with street thugs (Malachi). She asks if they are done there. Malachi says "yes we are" and Malachi and his assistants proceed to kill all 3 of Bartholomew's angels that he had just been meeting with.
"And so it begins" says Malachi. He wipes the blood off his angel blade with a handkerchief and throws the bloody handkerchief down on top of the body of Bartholomew's top assistant.
Later, in another bar...Sam and Dean and Cas are all having a beer together. Cas says this is his first beer as a human. He asks if it's okay that he's joining them. Sam wonders why it wouldn't be okay. Dean scrambles to try to cover by changing the subject.
Dean asks why Cas wanted to get back in to hunting. Dean thought Cas had found some peace working at the convenience store; learning to live as a human. Cas responds that Dean once told him that you don't choose what you do, it chooses you. Cas says he's a part of it, like it or not. Sam says they need to strategize.
Cas says that Bartholomew wants to reverse Metatron's spell in order to take heaven back. Cas says he knows this from April; the reaper he slept with that Dean killed. Dean can't resist commenting that April was hot..."so hot", Cas agrees.
Sam offers to get another round, but Cas gets up to get it instead. Cas is already a bit tipsy after one beer.
The second Cas leaves the table, Zeke takes over Sam. He wants to know what Dean is going to do about this. Zeke says Cas is a beacon; bringing every angel for miles around down on their heads. Dean asks Zeke what he's so afraid of. Zeke sticks with his old story; that he chose sides when he chose to heal Sam and that put him on the bad side of other angels.
Dean points out that Cas is not in good standing with ANY of the angels; they are all out for him; and yet here Cas is, putting himself on the line, ready to fight. It's obvious that Dean is kind of proud of this and sees Zeke as cowardly.
Zeke/Sam excuses himself to go get something out of the car as soon as Cas returns.
Outside, Zeke/Sam runs into Metatron (showing up in the parking lot out of nowhere) who says he knows who Zeke really is; and he's NOT Ezekiel.
In the bar, Dean and Cas are alone at the table. Cas says he noticed that Dean looks uncomfortable whenever Sam mentions Cas leaving the bunker and going out on his own. Cas asks Dean if Sam knows that Dean ASKED him (Cas) to leave. Dean tries to tell Cas, in a vague way, what is really up with Sam. The trials almost killed Sam and Dean had to do whatever it took to save him. Cas points out that Dean said that Ezekiel was healing Sam.
Dean says they have to keep their distance from Cas right now. Though he (Dean) doesn't like it and he's really happy to be with Cas, he and Sam just can't work with Cas right now. Dean never actually tells Cas that Zeke is still possessing Sam.
Cas looks disappointed, but also looks like he is trying to figure things out.
Out in the parking lot, Metatron says he's not there to "out" Zeke (who we now know is not "Zeke" at all), but he wants to know why this angel who is possessing Sam wanted to pass himself off as Zeke. Zeke says that he had heard that Ezekiel was a good and honorable angel.
"Everything they say you are not", says Metatron. Then Metatron calls this angel by his real name "Gadreel".
Gadreel bristles saying that the stories about him are not true.
Metatron goes on to point out that Gadreel spent thousands of years locked in heaven's darkest dungeon, and now he's hiding out in the body of this human (Sam) and posing as Ezekiel. Metatron proclaims it "tragic".
Metatron says it broke God's heart to lock Gadreel away. He was God's "most trusted" angel and that's why God chose Gadreel to protect the garden (of Eden). Gadreel had to keep evil from entering the garden and "befouling" God's great creation; mankind. And he failed to do that.
Gadreel starts to say that it was not his doing, but Metatron points out that the serpent got in anyway and the earth is now cursed by evil and someone (Gadreel) had to be blamed.
Gadreel asks what Metatron wants with him.
"Just to be your friend," says Metatron. He says that the two of them have a long history and that it was Metatron to freed him when he caused all angels to fall; even the imprisoned ones.
Gadreel looks stunned.
"You're welcome," says Metatron.
Gadreel is incredulous as he grasps that there are no angels at all in heaven now. Metatron says he thought he'd love to be up there alone, but it's getting tedious. Now he has a "plan B" to rebuild heaven as God envisioned it; only with a handpicked few. No more "anemic functionaries" like Bartholomew.
Metatron seems to not treat it very seriously; saying he would like to repopulate heaven, but without any "stupid angels" but he might like to have some "funny ones". (We already know that Metatron is kind of mercurial and whimsical and really just likes to be entertained - by good stories, etc. - and he is staying true to form here.)
Metatron reiterates that Gadreel was God's most trusted angel. He proposes that together, he and Gadreel could rebuild heaven and Gadreel could reclaim his own reputation. Gadreel/Sam looks incredibly hopeful at this thought, but also very wary.
Back at the bunker....
Sam is asking if there's been any word from Cas. Sam is wondering why Dean isn't worried about Cas since he just took off from their meeting at the bar without any further details. Dean says Cas has just been unpredictable since he fell.
Sam is looking into the identities of some of the bikers that were killed. Sam has found that everyone in the biker gang who died were all baptized at the same time. They were a born-again biker gang. Dean notices a patch on one of the biker's vests in a photo that says "BB - Boyle's Boys" and deduces that it's televangelist Buddy Boyle (who had been working with Bartholomew). The widow of one of the dead bikers wrote in the obit that week before he died,
her husband had come home from a church meeting a "changed man" (i.e. possessed by an angel).
Sam realizes that it was Bartholomew's faction that got slaughtered, so maybe this new faction is worse.
Cut to a bunch of people sitting around a campfire. One of the gospel Glee Club girls is talking to them, encouraging them to welcome the angels in in the name of Malachi. However, the angels who show up are not Malachi's faction; they are from Bartholomew's faction and proceed to kill everyone around the campfire including the group leader.
Metatron is still talking to Gadreel (he must have made some excuse for Sam to leave the bunker) under a bridge.
Metatron is saying that he never got used to humans; he had to isolate himself (in the Native American lodge) to keep sane. Gadreel agrees that humans seem chaotic. Metatron doesn't deny that humans are fascinating; in spite of all the emotions and wasted energy.
Gadreel offers Sam up as an example. He says it's a mess in there and Dean; he doesn't even know where to start.
Metatron says he can free Gadreel from the humans; all of them. Gadreel asks if Metatron intends to be the ruler of this "new heaven". Metatron says that's a burden he must accept. Gadreel asks if that will make Metatron God. Metatron scoffs at that and says that's just semantics. He doesn't really want that name; maybe they'll just call him "X". Gadreel
doesn't quite know what to make of that.
Metatron tells Gadreel that the two of them could have paradise again.
Cas is on his knees getting ready to pray; something he is "unfamiliar" with. He asks for help and guidance repeatedly and through time-lapse, it looks like his praying is going on for some time without an answer. Finally he says he doesn't know how humans do it. He clicks on the TV but nothing happens. A woman's voice outside the door says, "try plugging it in" and then says she figures that's not really the answer Cas was seeking.
Cas opens the door. A woman in a park ranger outfit stands outside. She introduces herself as Muriel, an angel. She asks if he is Cas and then turns to leave. She says it can't be known that she even spoke to him. Cas begs her to stay a moment to give him some information.
Back at the bunker...
Kevin is scrutinizing the angel tablet. He's telling Dean there may be nothing useful for them there. Kevin says that the spell to cast the angels out of heaven was irreversible (as Crowley said). Dean doesn't believe anything that comes from Crowley.
Kevin finds part of the tablet that is indecipherable. He says that it looks like, when Metatron wrote it down, he wanted to keep it hidden. Even from prophets.
Sam walks in. Dean tells him about another angel attack in Utah; the people around the campfire. Dean figured out that the leader of that group was one of the people at the biker bar. This church woman who was with the group around the fire was at both murder scenes. She had been recruiting college students as vessels when Bartholomew's people swooped in and killed them in retribution for the murders of the bikers.
Dean encourages Kevin to keep working on the tablet for an answer.
Back in Cas' hotel room....
Cas has told Muriel his side of the story; that Metatron tricked him. Muriel says she should still turn him in. But Cas trusts that she won't. Cas thinks he and Muriel are similar; they both want no part of the fanatics. Muriel asks how Cas knew that one of the "fanatics" wouldn't respond to his prayer. Cas tells her that he's warded, and with his Grace gone, he hoped he'd sound like just another "regular" praying human. Muriel tells Cas that Malachi "the anarchist" leads the faction that opposes Bartholomew. Muriel says that Malachi has become Bartholomew's equal. In some ways, he's worse. Muriel says there are fewer and fewer angels like herself that want to remain neutral in the conflict. Those who don't choose sides are being rounded up and tortured until they declare loyalty for one side or another.
Each side wants to crush the other, overthrow Metatron, and rule heaven. And Muriel says that with either of the factions as ruler, earth would be..."hell", finishes Cas.
Suddenly, Cas' door is broken down and another thug-like angel enters.
Malachi has Cas and Muriel held captive. He says that Muriel unknowingly led them right to Cas. Cas is clearly beaten up and so is Muriel. Cas says he doesn't know how Metatron's spell worked, so he can't help in reversing it. Malachi doesn't believe that Cas was an innocent victim. Malachi says that either way, Cas was close to Metatron and must know where his weakness lies. Cas says he doesn't know.
Malachi calls on the other angel "Theo" to continue torturing Cas for information. Malachi thinks Cas is protecting Metatron and threatens to kill both Cas and Muriel. Cas tells him not to touch her. Malachi says he won't touch her, but then calls on Theo who stabs Muriel with an angel blade, killing her.
Cas tries to guilt Malachi; pointing out that angels killing angels is wrong. Malachi throws it right back at Cas; asking Cas how many he killed in heaven and how many were killed in the fall that he instigated. Cas is surprised and Malachi realizes that Cas doesn't know about all those who died in the fall. Malachi names some of those who died; including Ezekiel.
The reality dawns on Cas that Zeke could not have healed Sam.
When Cas doesn't give up any more info., Malachi says he'll leave Cas in the hands of Theo to be tortured until he dies. Theo tells Cas not to ask for mercy; there is none.
Cas asks for a quick death. Theo surprises Cas; instead of killing him, he asks Cas to speak to Metatron for him since he knows Cas "has influence". Theo wants Metatron to raise him back up to heaven. Theo says he'll be a soldier for Metatron; do anything he wants. Cas points out that Theo serves Malachi. Theo says he thought Malachi was the answer, but he's not; he's crazy. Cas wonders why Theo went along with Malachi; doing his dirty work for so long and
realizes that Theo is mostly into self-preservation; he'll side with Malachi as long as he thought Malachi would be the one to defeat Bartholomew. Theo says he only wants to survive this war. "And sit it out in heaven", finishes Cas.
Theo says he could talk to Metatron about restoring Cas' grace. Cas craftily tells Theo that he (Cas) and Metatron DO have a working relationship (Theo says he knew it all along) and strokes Theo's ego about how perceptive he was to see that. Cas baits Theo and sees just how much he wants this. He gets Theo to undo his handcuffs and other restraints. Cas says he'll need a moment to make contact with Metatron. He tells Theo that he has "something that I'll need". Theo responds that he'll give anything.
Cas grabs an angel blade and slices Theo's throat. Theo's grace leaves him and Cas opens his mouth to take in the stream of light.
Theo is still alive (barely) and gives Cas the empty look he deserves for his betrayal. Cas, on the other hand, glows with light, all his wounds from his torture heal, and he is fully restored to his angel power. He looks at the Theo and smites him; putting a hand on his head as light streams out of Theo's eyes and mouth and Theo dies screaming.
(I can only hope that Cas did this for the sole reason of surviving long enough to tell Dean that it cannot be Zeke who healed Sam.)
Malachi returns to the torture chamber to see Theo dead and Cas gone.
At the bunker, Dean crosses paths with Kevin on the way to the kitchen. Kevin is walking out with a sandwich and Dean asks if he's seen Sam. Kevin says no, Sam went out, but he doesn't know where. Kevin points out that Sam has been doing that a lot; disappearing for awhile without giving a reason.
Dean mulls that over. Then his phone rings. It's Cas. (Sidebar; Cas is calling from what must be the only phone booth left in North America....I mean, when was the last time you saw a phone booth with a working phone in it????)
Cas tells Dean he doesn't have a lot of time. He tells Dean that the leader of the opposition is an angel named Malachi.
Dean wants to know how Cas knows that. Cas says that Malachi captured him and tortured him, but he (Cas) got away. Dean wants to know how he got away and Cas says he did what he had to. He became what they've (the other angels) become; a barbarian. Dean doesn't know what Cas is talking about. He wants to know where Cas is.
Cas says it's better that he stay away from him right now; the angels are going to be after him even more than they were before, but he's okay; he got his grace back. Cas admits it wasn't exactly his own grace that he got back. Dean asks if he has all of his mojo back. Cas says he doesn't know, but he's sure he IS an angel once again. Dean asks if Cas is okay with that. Cas says that if they are going to war, he needs to be ready.
Dean starts to lecture him but Cas stops him, telling him "there's more". Cas tells Dean that it's impossible that Ezekiel healed Sam; Ezekiel died in the fall.
Dean rushes out into the bunker's main room and tells Kevin that he needs a spell ASAP. Kevin groans that everyone always needs a spell and they always need it ASAP. Dean tells Kevin that an angel can't be expelled from someone by another human; only by the host. But Dean wants to know if there is a way to "power down" the angel so that it's not in charge of the possessed person for a few seconds. Dean wants to know how to speak to the vessel without the angel being able to hear.
Kevin asks why Dean wants to do this.
Dean tells him that there are tons of possessed humans out there and he wants to let the vessel know what is going on; that they are only pawns in an angel war.
Kevin seems unconvinced.
Outside, Sam/Gadreel is meeting with Metatron again. Gadreel says he's been thinking it over and he WILL join Metatron as second in command. Metatron tells Gadreel that this will erase the black mark on Gadreel's reputation. That heaven will be restored and Gadreel will be seen as one of its greatest heroes. Gadreel/Sam looks so hopeful about this that he might cry.
Gadreel thanks Metatron for the opportunity. Metatron says there's one more thing though; he has to be sure of Gadreel's fidelity. Gadreel protest that Metatron HAS his loyalty, but Metatron wants him to prove it. Metatron says there are enemies who post an imminent threat to their efforts. Gadreel realizes Metatron wants him to murder someone. He protests that that's not "who I am". Metatron basically ignores Gadreel's protests and hands him a piece of paper saying that the name written there is the first person on the list of people who have to be "neutralized".
Gadreel looks torn, but takes the paper and reads it. Metatron pushes him to "decide".
Back at the bunker....
Kevin and Dean have just finished painting a sigil. It's supposed to hobble the possessing angel; if it's correct. Kevin got some of the info. off of the tablet and some out of a book in the Men of Letters library. He says that as soon as Dean's blood touches the ignition sigil, the spell kicks in.
Kevin asks Dean what's really going on. He wants to know why they were painting sigils in the storeroom. Dean tells Kevin he has to trust him; that he's told him all the can for now. Kevin says he always trusts Dean and he always ends up screwed. Dean tries to joke about it a bit telling Kevin he doesn't ALWAYS get screwed by trusting him.
Dean finds Sam in the kitchen putting away some beer. He asks where Sam was. Sam says he was on a beer run. Dean comments it was a long beer run and asks if they can talk.
Dean takes Sam into the storeroom. He cuts his hand and lights up the sigil on the back-side of the door. Sam asks what's going on. Dean tells Sam he has to tell him some things quickly and that it's going to piss Sam off.
Dean tells Sam how badly the trials messed him up. And knowing that Sam was going to die messed DEAN up so he made a decision that he had to make. He couldn't talk it over with Sam because Sam was in a coma at the time. Dean tells Sam he let an angel in. "In what???" asks Sam. "In you," replies Dean. Dean tells Sam that the angel said he
could heal him. Sam says, "He's still IN me???" Dean confirms it.
Sam says that's not possible; he never agreed to let the angel in. Dean explains that he tricked Sam into letting the angel in because it seemed like the only way. Sam continues to sound like Sam; telling Dean that, again, Dean thought he (Sam) couldn't handle something, so Dean took over. Dean shouts back that he did what he had to do.
Sam says he would have at least liked the choice between letting an angel in and death. Dean says they can hash all of that out later, but they have bigger problems now because Sam's possessing angel isn't who he said he was. Dean thought it was Ezekiel and Ezekiel checked out with Cas, but Ezekiel's dead and there's some other angel inside Sam. Dean tells Sam that this mystery angel could end him in a heartbeat, so Sam has to expel him. It looks like Sam
is taking too long to decide.
Sam starts to walk out of the room without a word to Dean. Dean follows him but Sam turns around an punches Dean in the face. Dean falls to the floor. Sam leaves. Dean is out cold.
Sam meets up with Kevin in the main room. Kevin greets him casually and asks if Sam has noticed anything "off" about Dean lately. Sam is walking up to Kevin very slowly and he looks more like Gadreel than Sam. In Gadreel's voice, Sam says, "don't worry about Dean; Dean will be fine". Kevin looks questioningly at Sam. Dean enters the room just in time to see Sam/Gadreel smite Kevin. Light streams from Kevin's eyes and mouth as he has Gadreel's hand on his forehead.
Dean shouts "NO!" as Kevin drops to the floor with burned-out eye sockets. Dean rushes towards Kevin and Sam/Gadreel but Gadreel throws out a hand and pins Dean to the wall with an invisible force. Dean struggles against it asking for Sam.
Gadreel turns to Dean and says, "There is no more Sam" and goes on to say the he thought he (Gadreel) played Sam convincingly though. Dean asks how Gadreel knew what he was going to do. Gadreel says he heard him talking it over with Kevin.
Gadreel says that if you alter a sigil, even in the slightest, it alters the spell and he holds up his/Sam's hand to show paint on it. Dean never was talking to Sam in the storeroom.
Gadreel apologizes for killing Kevin, but says it's for the best. He lays the piece of paper with the name "Kevin Tran" on it that Metatron gave him on top of Kevin's lifeless body.
Gadreel puts the angel tablet in Sam's backpack and walks out after taking one last look.
Dean is released from the power holding him against the wall. Dean hears the door open and close as Sam/Gadreel leaves and he is left alone with Kevin's eyeless body. He quietly calls Kevin's name and cries.
(G o d d a m n; Jensen is so great at crying that one perfect tear and making me completely believe it!!!)