|Back to LEBANON|
As the episode opens, Dean and Sam enter a pawn shop and are greeted by the shopkeeper, who tells them that everything on the shelves is on sale. Sam tells the shopkeeper that they want to see “the good stuff” and as he’s talking, Dean pulls out a large wad of bills. The shopkeeper smiles knowingly and takes them into a locked room in the back of the store.
Once inside the room, the shopkeeper shows Dean and Sam a variety of occult items. It turns out that what they’re looking for is the skull of Sarah Good, a woman who was executed during the Salem witch trials.
The man tries to offer the Winchesters a deal on the skull, but the Winchesters inform him that they know he got the skull from a hunter friend of theirs who was recently found dead, and his collection of other occult objects was stolen. When the shopkeeper realizes that the Winchesters know he killed their friend and stole several occult items from him, he attacks them. After a brief struggle, Dean shoots the man, and the Winchesters gather all the occult items with the intention of taking them back to the bunker for safe keeping.
While Dean and Sam are driving back to Lebanon, Kansas with a car full of occult items, the scene switches to a group of three teenagers hanging out in downtown Lebanon in front of a movie theater. One of the teens, Eliot, is talking about how Dean and Sam are strange and how he once heard strange noises coming from the trunk of their car. The girls, Max and Stacy, don’t seem to believe him.
As the teens are talking, Dean and Sam pull up in the Impala. They get out of the car and enter the liquor store across the street. Dean places his “usual” order with the liquor store clerk, who seems to know him very well as a regular customer. While the Winchesters (known in town as the Campbells) are waiting for the clerk to get their order, Sam (who still has the ledger from the pawn store) discusses some of the items they just obtained. As he’s going through the list, he comes across an item called a Baozhu. It’s apparently an occult, Chinese pearl that grants the bearer his or her “heart’s desire”.
Meanwhile, across the street, the teenagers leave, but before they all disperse, we see one of them overtly admiring the Impala.
Inside the liquor store, Dean and Sam discuss how they might be able to use the pearl to expel Michael from Dean’s mind. As they’re talking, we can see through the store front window and we clearly see the Impala being driven away. Dean and Sam rush into the street, but don’t make it in time to stop the car. They approach Eliot, who is clearly intimidated by them. They demand to know who took their car. Eliot tells them Max’s name, but claims he doesn’t know where she’s going with their car.
Dean and Sam enter the nearby post office, trying to find out where Max lives. The postal clerk, understandably, refuses to give the young girl's address to two men. Sam persists, pretending that Max washed his car, but left before he got a chance to pay her. The postal clerk refuses to talk to Sam, but (after some overt flirtation) she tells Dean that Max’s mother works at a nearby pizza parlor.
Dean and Sam go to the pizza parlor and confront Max’s mother. She doesn’t know where her daughter is, but one of the pizza shop employees tells the Winchesters that the kids skip school on certain days to hang out at an abandoned house. He tells the Winchesters where to find the teenagers.
Meanwhile, at the abandoned house, the kids have ordered pizza and are hanging out. Max has cleaned out the occult objects that were in the car, and the kids are handling them – not knowing how dangerous they are. While the kids aren’t looking, we see a ghost rise from John Wayne Gacy’s cigar box and get loose in the house.
Later, one of the kids is in a bathroom when the ghost appears to him and attacks him, frightening him away. He runs from the house along with one of the other kids. As this is happening, the Winchesters drive up in a truck. They find the Impala – apparently unharmed, but with the occult objects all missing. They rush into the house in time to see the two kids running away. The Winchester stop one of the kids, who tells them that a ghost that looks like a clown attacked one of them.
The Winchesters enter the house and order the remaining kids out, pretending to be federal agents. The kids seem confused, but leave anyway. While the kids are outside, the ghost appears to the Winchesters and attacks them. Before either brother is harmed, Sam burns Gacy’s cigar box, which destroys the ghost.
Unfortunately, Eliot, Max and Stacy walk back into the house as the ghost is evaporating and witness the spectacle. This forces Dean and Sam to reveal their true identities as hunters. The Winchesters swear the teens to secrecy, and the kids agree.
Back at the bunker, the Winchesters have the occult items in the bunker’s library. As they’re talking, Sam confirms that the Baozhu is indeed in their possession, and the lore says it works as they believe it will. The brothers decide to use the item to wish Michael out of Dean’s head.
Dean takes the pearl in his hand, closes his eyes, and seems to be concentrating. As he’s doing so, the lights flicker and go out, so the only lights are the bunker’s emergency lights. As soon as the lights are off, someone attacks the Winchesters. The brothers end up on the floor, and the attacker pulls a shotgun on them. As the attacker holds the brothers at gunpoint, the lights go back on and the boys recognize their father standing over them.
Everyone seems equally confused as the boys explain to John that they believe they summoned him. When John asks Sam why he’s no longer at Stanford, we learn that John thinks the year is 2003. He is shocked to learn that it’s 2019.
During an off-camera discussion, John, Dean and Sam end up in the bunker’s kitchen, drinking whiskey and talking. The boys have quickly updated their father on what has been happening in their lives since he last saw them, including how they’ve saved the world several times and now live at the secret Men of Letter’s bunker with an angel and Lucifer’s son. Before the boys can tell John that Mary is alive, she enters the room and she and John have a tender reunion. The boys leave their parents alone to speak privately.
In the corridor of the bunker, Dean and Sam discuss their shock and try to decide what to do next. Sam is concerned that messing with time will have serious consequences, but Dean just wants to enjoy having their family back together.
Later, Sam finds John alone in the library. John seems overwhelmed by the bunker, and Sam admits that he and Dean were overwhelmed as well when they first found the place. As they’re talking, we learn that Mary is preparing to make her Winchester Surprise casserole, so she and Dean are preparing a shopping list. After a few moments, the conversation turns serious. John apologizes for some of the mistakes he made with Sam, but Sam dismisses them, saying that when he thinks about John, he doesn’t remember their fights – he just remembers that John died before Sam got a chance to say goodbye. Sam also acknowledges that John fought for them and did his best. In a tearful scene, they apologize to each other.
Moments later, Dean prepares to leave the bunker to go shopping for dinner supplies. Sam stops him and admits that Dean was right. He offers to go food shopping with Dean.
When the Winchesters get to town, they realize that things are different. Nobody seems to know them, including the liquor store clerk, the postal clerk, and Max (who just met them earlier that day). As Sam is walking past the post office, he sees a WANTED poster with Dean’s face on it.
Alarmed, Sam rushes to tell Dean that something is wrong. He finds Dean at the Impala. As they’re talking, Dean shows Sam a video of himself – he’s apparently a famous attorney and he’s giving a motivational talk about how to be successful in life. Dean tells Sam that he researched himself and realizes that he’s a wanted criminal.
The brothers surmise that they’re created a time paradox by bringing John here from 2003. Sam further reasons that if they don’t correct what they did, they will cease to exist, because the altered timeline already has Dean and Sam. Sam also surmises that Mary will go back to being dead.
While the Winchesters are discussing how they’ve altered the timeline, elsewhere in town, Zachariah and Castiel appear.
Castiel’s display of power causes the entire room to glow. The Winchesters, who are across the street, see the light and rush to the pizza parlor. When the boys arrive, Zachariah recognizes them and realizes that they must be the ones who created the time paradox. Dean and Sam order everyone out of the building right before Zachariah orders Castiel to kill the Winchesters. Dean tries to talk to Castiel, but Cas says he doesn’t know them (which is true, because Castiel didn’t meet Dean until 2008). Castiel and Zachariah attack the Winchesters. In the fight that ensues, Sam kills Zachariah with an angel blade. Castiel prepares to kill Dean, but before he can do so, Sam uses an angel-banishing sigil to blast Castiel away.Later, back at the bunker, Dean and Sam tell John and Mary about the time paradox. They explain that if John stays, Mary will die. John instantly agrees to go back, sacrificing himself for Mary without hesitation. Sam surmises that destroying the pearl will reverse the time paradox and put everything back the way it was. He also believes John won’t remember anything. Everyone is incredibly sad, but realizes that sending John back is the only choice. As everyone is talking, the cooking timer goes off, letting everyone know that dinner is ready, but also symbolically announcing that their time is up.
During a brief conversation between Dean and John, John tells Dean that he never meant for his life and Sam’s life to be this way. John also tells Dean that he is incredibly proud of the man he has become, but that he’d hoped Dean would eventually have a peaceful life and a family. Dean replies that he has a family.
Later, we see the family sitting down to dinner. Initially, everyone is very sad and nobody is talking. John tells everyone that they can either focus on what is coming, or decide to be grateful and enjoy the time they have together. The family decides to do the latter, and we see a montage of them talking and laughing together over dinner.
After dinner, Dean and Sam are talking as they’re washing the dishes. Sam is hesitant to go forward with their plan. Momentarily, he describes how amazing it would be to have John stay with them, knowing everything they know. Dean replies that he used to think that way too, and that it might be nice to think about someone else sacrificing so much to save the world instead of it having to be them. But Dean asks even though they might both be better off, what would that make them? He goes on to say that he’s good with who he and Sam are, and he doesn’t want to change that.
In a tearful final scene, John says farewell to Mary and his sons. As John embraces his sons, he tells them that he’s proud of them and they all say they love each other. As John holds Mary’s hand, Sam crushes the pearl and John fades away.
In town, things go back to normal – Dean’s WANTED poster disappears, and the ruined pizza parlor where the angel fight happened goes back to normal. Elliot, Max, and Stacy are walking through town, discussing how amazing Dean and Sam are and how cool it is that they hunt monsters.
Back at the bunker, Castiel returns from a hunt and is greeted by Mary, Dean, and Sam. When Castiel sees their faces, he asks them what’s wrong.
John Winchester is parked in a wooded area along a river bank in the Impala. As the camera zooms in on the car, we see the KAZ-2Y5 Kansas license plate, reminding us that John is now back in his own time. He’s apparently been sleeping and wakes up when his cell phone rings. He answers the phone and we learn that Dean is calling him. John assures his son that he’s alright. He admits that he just had a very good dream, but he’s on his way back and will see him soon.