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Sam, Castiel and an older man we don’t know are sitting around a small table, performing a séance. As the man, who is likely a medium, recites a Latin incantation, the lights above them begin to flicker and the table begins to shake. The medium continues the incantation, and suddenly the candles at the center of the table flare up like gas jets.
The scene cuts to a small room with a fireplace. It looks a bit like the study from Bobby Singer’s house. As the camera pans around, we see Bobby Singer, sitting in a comfortable recliner, drinking whiskey, and reading a book while the radio plays Kenny Rodgers’ “The Gambler. Suddenly static interrupts the music and Sam’s voice can be heard through the static, calling Bobby’s name and telling him that he needs help. Bobby is amazed as he recognizes Sam’s voice.
At the bunker, Sam is asleep in his room when he suddenly hears Dean screaming his name. Sam wakes instantly and – with his gun drawn – races through the bunker towards Dean’s room as Dean continues calling for him.
When Sam bursts through the door to Dean’s room, he finds Dean asleep and having a nightmare. As Dean thrashes around with his fists clenched, we see flashes of what he’s dreaming about: Cain’s warning that Dean will kill his brother, Dean torturing Metatron, killing Abaddon, killing the thugs at Randy’s house (“The Things They Left Behind), wielding the First Blade, fighting with Cole, etc. Suddenly, Dean stops thrashing and seems to be resting more peacefully. Sam doesn’t wake him, but looks very concerned.
The next morning, Sam is sitting at one of the tables in the library talking on his cell phone to arrange a meeting with someone. When Dean enters the room, Sam cuts the call short and hangs up. Pretending that everything is okay, Sam asks Dean how he slept. Dean replies “like a drunk baby”, so he either doesn’t remember the nightmare or is pretending that it didn’t happen. Sam has his laptop open, so Dean assumes he’s been looking for a case. But when Dean asks what’s happening, Sam says there’s nothing for them to investigate. The Boys realize that they can take a day off. Sam suggests that they go to a movie; but it’s a French foreign film that doesn’t interest Dean at all, so Sam says he’ll go alone. He tells Dean that the movie is playing in Wichita, so he may not be back until morning. Dean sends Sam off, insisting that he would appreciate the “me” time.
Later, Sam (driving a truck that he possibly stole) meets with Castiel at a spot by a roadside. We realize that this is the meeting Sam was arranging with Dean walked into the library. Sam thanks Cas for coming, and when Cas asks where Dean is, Sam replies that the meeting is about Dean. Sam tells Cas that Dean is getting worse, and they’ve exhausted all their other options. He and Cas have apparently been talking about an option that Cas doesn’t want to consider. But when Sam insists that there are no other possibilities, Cas relents.
In Crowley’s lair, Rowena is alone in her room, standing naked in front of a mirror and painting blood-red (or possibly real blood) sigils on her body. Suddenly, Crowley enters. They are both embarrassed by Rowena’s nudity; as Rowena rushes to grab a robe and asks why Crowley doesn’t knock first, he reminds her that this is his realm, and he does not have to knock.
When Rowena asks Crowley what he wants, he asks her why she has suddenly stopped nagging him and interfering in his affairs, when she’s been persistently doing those things since she arrived. He accuses her of being up to something. To distract him, Rowena lies, telling Crowley that she’s been dating someone, so that’s why she’s been paying less attention to him. Momentarily content, and put off by Rowena’s discussion about her “womanly needs’ Crowley leaves. As soon as she’s alone again, Rowena pulls a wooden box from underneath her bed. When she opens the box, she smiles mischievously and we see hex bags, a dagger, and other witch paraphernalia inside the box.
Later, Rowena is talking to the demon who runs hell’s switchboard. She tells him that Crowley made a phone call when the Winchesters were holding him prisoner (Season 9), and she needs to know where the call came from. The switchboard operator searches his computer for information about the phone call, but learns that there was interference, so he can’t trace it exactly. When he offers to narrow the location down to a ten-mile radius, Rowena accepts the coordinates.
Alone at the bunker, Dean is on his phone talking to Rudy (another hunter). He offers to help Rudy work the job he’s handling, but reluctantly relents when Rudy says he’s got it under control. Rudy apparently asks Dean how he’s doing, and Dean insists that he’s fine. But as he’s talking, he looks at the Mark on his arm, and looks at his own reflection in the mirror and he realizes that he’s lying to himself.
SAM AND CASTIEL:
Night has fallen when Sam and Cas arrive at the heaven gate playground. An angel intercepts them, telling Castiel that he is not allowed upstairs. When Sam asks who gave that order, the angel pauses and we see the angel leave his vessel and get replaced by another angel.
Castiel now recognizes the angel as Hannah and smiles. Hannah tells Cas that she swore never to occupy another vessel, but thought this conversation between them should happen in person. She asks Cas what he wants in heaven, and when she learns that he wants Metatron, she is instantly concerned that Cas’ stolen grace is fading. Cas assures her that it isn’t. Cas and Sam try to convince Hannah that Metatron has information about the Mark that could help Dean. But Hannah reminds them that Metatron is a liar and that the only way he’ll help them is if they’ll free him, which is too risky. She apologizes, but denies them access to heaven to talk to him. As they’re talking, three more angels approach, possibly expecting a fight. Realizing their plan won’t work, Sam and Castiel leave, but Sam tells Cas that he has a plan “B”: breaking Metatron out of jail.
That same night, Dean goes to a bar/billiard parlor. He seems to be friends with the bartender, and as they’re talking, the two of them notice a group of three college students playing pool, and being rather rowdy and obnoxious. Dean overhears one of the boys offer to bet anyone $20 to play against him, so Dean pretends to be drunk and hustles the kid. When Dean offers to raise the bet to $300, the students don’t have enough money to cover the bet, but Dean notices one boy wearing a fancy watch, and says he’ll accept the watch as part of the bet. The boy reluctantly offers up the watch. Of course, Dean wins the game handily, and takes the watch and all their money.
Dean is bathed in the light, but nothing else happens. Rowena is shocked that her spell didn’t work, but Dean advances on her and pins her against the bar with his knife at her throat.
Dean demands to know why Rowena is there. Rowena tells him she’s saving her son. When Dean seems confused, Rowena tells him that Crowley is her son and would behave more like a king if he wasn’t always running to the Winchesters whenever they call on him. She tells Dean that he’s a bad influence on Crowley and needs to die. Dean threatens to kill her, but Rowena taunts him, saying that he’s a “hero”, so she doesn’t think he’ll kill her, just like he didn’t kill the boys who attacked him. Rowena says that if he kills her, they’ll all die because of the spell she put on them. She tells Dean that she’s the only one who can save them, so Dean reluctantly lets her go.
Later, Rowena returns to her room. She is furious that her plot to kill Dean didn’t work. Suddenly, her expression changes and she picks up a knife. Moments later, Rowena bursts through the doors of Crowley’s throne room. Her face is bruised and bloody and she is covered in cuts.
When Rowena announces to Crowley that Dean inflicted her wounds, Crowley clears all the other demons from the room. When they are alone, Crowley asks Rowena why she was anywhere near Dean. When Rowena replies that she was trying to kill him, Crowley tells her that Dean can’t be killed because he bears the Mark of Cain. Rowena thinks for a second and tells Crowley that the Mark is just a curse – it’s the first curse, but a curse all the same and it can be removed. When Crowley asks how, Rowena tells him she’ll find a way. Rowena insists to Crowley that he’d be better off if the Winchesters weren’t in the picture. But Crowley tells her that she’s wrong and that he has the Winchesters exactly where he wants them. When Rowena accuses Crowley of not caring that Dean hurt her, Crowley accuses her of being stupid for confronting him in the first place. Rowena replies by telling Crowley that when word of the attack gets out, he will look weak in front of his demons if he doesn’t do something to punish Dean.
Later, Dean is still alone at the bar when Crowley shows up. Dean seems to be expecting a fight, but tells Crowley that he didn’t lay a hand on Rowena. Instead of fighting, they sit down and have a drink.
Crowley seems saddened that his mother is such a liar. Crowley also tells Dean that Rowena told him that the Mark of Cain is just a curse, so it can be removed. But of course she doesn’t know how yet. Crowley confides to Dean that Rowena accused him of going soft. Dean replies that it’s true – that the “old” Crowley would have come to the bar with hell hounds and demons in tow, but instead he came to talk – not fight. When Dean asks Crowley why he lets Rowena get under his skin, Crowley responds that she’s his family. Dean repeats what Bobby once told him – that family doesn’t end with blood and it doesn’t start there. He tells Crowley that family has your back and cares about you even when things get ugly. He insists that simply because Rowena is Crowley’s “blood” doesn’t make her his family.
CASTIEL AND SAM:
Moving ahead with Sam’s plan, he and Castiel approach the home of Oliver Price. Back in the 1950s, Price was a child psychic who worked the carnival circuit. The Men of Letters were teaching him to control his powers, but when the Men of Letters were wiped out by Abaddon, Price fell off the grid.
Next, we see the scene we saw at the start of the episode, with Sam, Castiel, and Mr. Price performing the séance and reaching Bobby. Sam explains to Bobby what’s been going on with them (Dean becoming a demon and having the Mark of Cain) and tells Bobby that they need his help breaking Metatron out of prison. When Bobby asks to talk to Dean, Sam replies that Dean isn’t well, but doesn't elaborate further. Sam and Cas continue explaining what they need Bobby to do. Cas explains that Bobby needs to escape from his private heaven, find the portal to Earth, and help Cas cross into heaven so they can get to Metatron. He also warns Bobby that all the angels will be looking for him as soon as he escapes from his paradise, so he’ll have to come up with a way to avoid them.
Together, Bobby and Castiel make their way to Metatron’s cell. Along the way, Bobby asks where Dean is. Cas tries to explain that Dean is sick and resting, but when Bobby persists, Cas must admit that Dean doesn’t know what they’re doing. Bobby is annoyed that the Winchesters are keeping secrets from each other again, but understands when Cas explains that Dean has given up, so they can’t.
Soon after, they arrive at Metatron’s cell. After a hostile exchange, Castiel takes Metatron away in handcuffs.
Back outside the gate, Sam is waiting when Castiel and Metatron appear. Initially, Metatron taunts Sam and Castiel, reminding them that he still has Cas’ grace and because he knows about the Mark, he’s in charge. In reply, Castiel pulls out an angel blade and cuts Metatron under his neck to steal his grace. As soon as Cas collects Metatron’s grace into a vial, Sam shoots him in the knee. Metatron is shocked and in a great deal of pain.
Cas tells Metatron that he’s mortal now, and if he doesn’t answer their questions, Sam will kill him. When Sam demands to know how to get rid of the Mark, Metatron insists that he doesn’t know, admitting that he was lying to Dean to buy time until he could betray them. He also says there’s nothing in the tablets about the Mark.
Castiel confirms that Metatron is telling the truth. Convinced that Metatron can’t help them, Sam prepares to kill him, but Metatron hurriedly tells Cas that there’s some of his grace left and he can take him to it.
Later, Crowley returns to his lair and enters Rowena’s room. When Rowena asks what happened, Crowley tells her to leave his palace. At first, Rowena doesn’t believe him, insisting that Crowley can’t throw his own mother out. Crowley retorts that Rowena may have brought him into this world, but she was never his mother. Rowena accuses Crowley of choosing the Winchesters over her, but he replies that perhaps he did lose his edge momentarily, as evidenced by his letting her get away with her schemes and manipulations, but that’s over. He says that she wouldn’t pretend to care for him at all if he wasn’t the king of hell, that he is in charge, and that he doesn’t take orders from her.
Rowena, enraged and in tears, tells Crowley that she will destroy everything he has. Crowley is unmoved and orders her to pack her things and leave.
Back at the bunker, it’s the next morning. Dean is in the library eating a bowl of cereal and Sam is just getting back. Neither brother admits what really happened the night before. When Dean asks how the movie was, Sam pretends that he saw a film and it was unimpressive. And when Sam asks what Dean did the night before, Dean says he played pool and nothing interesting happened.
Sam goes to his room to clean up. As soon as he closes the door to his room, he removes a letter from his pocket. In a flashback, we see that as Castiel was shoving Metatron into his car so they could go retrieve Castiel's stolen grace, Cas gave Sam a letter from Bobby.
In the letter, Bobby tells Sam that Cas told him what Sam is doing for Dean. Bobby doesn’t ask Sam to stop, but he warns Sam that going behind Dean’s back isn’t the best idea. Bobby cautions Sam that Dean can be stubborn, but that he’d understand if given a chance. Bobby also tells Sam that he understands the life – doing a little bad so you can do a lot of good; but he cautions that sometimes the bad can be very bad, and the good can come at a high price. He tells Sam that he’s a good man, that he’s proud of him, and that he knows he’ll make the right choice. He also tells Sam that he was content in heaven, but that getting Sam’s call was the happiest he’s been in a long time, and that whatever his actions cost him, it was worth it. He tells Sam to stay safe and keep fighting.
As Sam is reading the letter, he cries. Against this scene, we see Rowena leaving Crowley’s lair on her own. And we see the angels enter Bobby’s paradise, presumably to punish him for helping Metatron escape.