Optimism Recap

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The intro ends with Dean saying, "It's all on me (what Michael did and continues to do to people), it's all my fault."

McCook, Nebraska.
A woman in an overly-good mood is walking down the street and unlocks the door at the library. She's a librarian. Goofy music plays as she re-shelves books. Someone scares her when they tap her on shoulder. It's a guy. He wants to know if she's still going to go to dinner with him that night. Miles, another library employee, shows up brandishing a stapler, wanting to make sure the girl is okay. Is this guy bothering her? She tells him she's fine.

She says it's sad that no one comes to the library anymore. The man she's going to see for dinner reminds her of their date. She reminds him it's just dinner.

Outside, the man is excited he's going to have a date with her. Saturday Night Fever's "Stayin' Alive" plays as he walks...until he's grabbed by something in the bushes and a splatter of blood erupts into the spot where he was snatched.

In the bunker...
Jack is pouring a lot of sugar onto his cereal. Dean walks in and wants to know what's up with the sugar. Jack says that without his powers, everything tastes different and he can't get it quite the way he likes it. Dean asks where Sam is. Jack tells him Sam's out with AW Charlie and couldn't wait for Dean to get back from "an overnight run to Mary and Bobby's place". (Now it's "Mary and Bobby's" place, is it?) Jack thinks Sam and Charlie are probably doing something really exciting.

Cut to Sam and Charlie sitting in a pickup truck outside Memphis, Tennessee. They look completely bored to death. They're watching a bus stop. Charlie thinks that's where a bunch of people have gone missing.

In the bunker...
Jack tells Dean that Sam wanted someone around (him; Jack) when Dean came back because Sam's worried about Dean. Jack tells Dean no one blames him for what happened with Michael. Dean says he blames himself. Jack coughs. Dean notices and asks about it. Jack says he's probably allergic to sitting around doing nothing. Dean asks Jack what he wants to do. Jack says, "Hunt." Jack and Cas have been working cases and Jack's been doing well, but Cas is there to protect Jack when they go out together. Dean says Sam sends Cas with him because Sam's a smart guy.

Cut to Sam outside of Memphis playing with a fidgit spinner in the truck cab like a 10 year old. Charlie looks at him with disbelief. Sam stops when he notices Charlie watching.

In the bunker...
Jack shows Dean a case he's been following. The case of the guy from the library who was found dead with human bite marks. He wants to go check it out.

Dean decides that he'll go check it out. Jack points out that they are all supposed to hunt in pairs now. He'll go with Dean and they can be hunting buddies. Dean tells Jack not to call it that. Dean can't quite believe that Jack is going to back HIM up. Jack says he has to do something. Jack feels horrible that he didn't kill Michael when he still had his powers. Dean tells Jack he didn't do anything wrong. Jack says neither did Dean. Jack wants to hunt to do something good. He asks Dean to give him a chance.

Dean calls Sam and Sam's not sure about it all, but he ultimately just tells them to be careful. He tells Charlie what's up. She says, "Good for them." Sam's not sure this is the right place for their stakeout; nothing is happening. Charlie shows Sam that she found a bunch of green "goo" when she was scouting around so she thinks it must be the right place.

In McCook, Nebraska, Dean and Jack enter a diner. It was the victim's favorite breakfast place. They question the waitress. She can only tell him that he's dead now. Jack's writing it down. Dean encourages her to give more info. The waitress calls Dean "Deep State" and says she knows her rights. Dean offers to pay her for information. She accepts it. Says the guy was a regular. She says they should talk to the library girl because this guy had just started courting her.

Jack wants to know what "courting" is. Dean says it's what you do before you start dating. Jack says "Oh, the thing you do before the sex." The waitress smiles and Jack and says, "Sometimes you just have the sex." Jack looks confused. Dean asks who "Harper Sales" is. That's the name of the librarian. They talk to a bunch of people at the diner. She had a boyfriend run off, but a bunch of men after that disappeared. She loves romance novels. People think she's bad luck.

Near Memphis...
Sam's chewing his nails. Charlie tells him to stop worrying, it'll be alright. Charlie asks if Dean has other friends. Sam says he used to have a pretty good wingman. Charlie. Real world Charlie. She says that person is not her. Sam says he's not surprised Charlie survived the AW apocalypse. Charlie says she IS surprised she survived. Before all this, she was just a programmer at Dick Roman enterprises. She lived with the love of her life... Sam stops her. Charlie realizes that her real-world self never found someone to love. Cara. Charlie said Cara ran a cupcake bakery. She loved her. Michael and Lucifer, in the AW, at the start of their war, all technology went dead. She and Cara thought someone would come save them, but
no one did. The food ran out. People formed mobs to steal to survive. Cara died along with many others. Charlie says people always turn bad when things go wrong. Society always goes off the rails when things go wrong. Sam says it doesn't happen here in the real world. Charlie tells him it just hasn't happened here YET.

Back in the diner...
Dean admits to Jack that Jack found them a case.

A waitress puts a piece of pie down in front of Dean. He tells Jack to eat up because pie's important.

Jack wants to know more about what courting is. Dean promises to give him "the talk" when they get back to the bunker, but right now they need to find this librarian woman that bad things keep happening around. Harper Sales. Jack wonders if she's even human. Dean says that's what they need to find out. Jack wants to know how they're going to do that. Dean asks Jack is he's ever read a romance novel.

At the library...
Dean walks in. He finds Harper at the desk right away. He pretends to be FBI and kind of comes down hard on her; telling her she needs to talk to him about what happened to the man who ended up dead. She doesn't want to talk. He keeps pushing her. Jack walks in pretending to be a regular customer who wants to stick up for her. Jack plays his part perfectly...trying to talk tough to FBI Dean to impress Harper. It's working.

Jack tells Dean to "Back off, old man" and Dean is momentarily taken aback at the insult. Harper is loving every second. Dean leaves. Harper tells Jack that was so chivalrous. She thanks him for standing up for her. She's quite taken with Jack.

Dean waits outside, muttering to himself "Old man, my ass." He watches Harper leave the library followed by Jack. The other library employee, Miles, follows them. She tells Miles she's taking Jack to her apartment to find him her favorite book. Miles can't believe she'd take a stranger to her apartment. She insists she's fine.

Miles takes out the trash after Harper and Jack leave. He hears a squeaking noise. Dean, a short distance away, hears a faint scream and then sees a trashcan go flying. He goes into the trash area, gun drawn, and sees Miles dead on the ground but there's no one else around.

Back in Charlie's truck...
Charlie says she hates hunting. She reads books on stakeouts to pass the time. Sam tells her she's great at hunting. She says she really had no choice. Learn hunting in the AW or die by angel squad. She says the job is nothing but tears and death. Sam says that real world Charlie said something like that to him long ago.

At Harper's apartment, Jack pretends to sneeze and coughs out "Christo" to see if she's a demon. Nothing.

In Charlie's truck...
Charlie finds a page in a book about a creature called a Musca. Half man, half fly. Sam says he's heard of it. He says no one's ever seen one. She reads that every few hundred years, there's kind of a rogue musca who fails to mate and heads out to find other hosts. He binds people's bodies together with a viscous goo and uses them to nest in. Just then, something weird happens. A person all in black with a veil over their head sits too close to two older ladies at the bus stop. They leave. He picks up a suitcase and walks away.

At Harper's...
She asks Jack where he's from. He says he's from Lebanon. She says she's the last of her family line in her town. Jack sees a photo of her with a man, but she says she's perpetually single. That is a photo of the guy who was her boyfriend. He wanted to leave town, she didn't, telling him they could see the world in books. He left anyway. She seems touched that Jack can't believe he left without her. She says that was the start of her bad luck with relationships. She says she tries to stay optimistic. Jack says he does too; with the bad things that happened in his past. Jack's phone buzzes. Harper makes him set it aside. She asks him if he believes in love at first sight. He asks her if he can use her bathroom.

In the bathroom, Jack calls Dean. He reports that she's not a demon. She's not a monster.

Jack tells Dean she's look at him funny. He thinks she's in love with him. Dean says she's not in love with him. Jack says that if she is, he needs Dean to tell him everything about sex right now. Dean tells Jack that Harper's co-worker Miles is dead. Something ripped out his throat. Dean thinks something is stalking Harper or those around her. Jack starts to think that maybe those she's interested in, like him, are being stalked. On the other end of the line, something attacks Dean and the line goes dead.

Jack comes face to face with Harper outside the bathroom who asks if he wants to go for coffee. He says he doesn't know. Before he can say more, Dean barges in and locks the door behind himself. Harper screams. Jack tells her it's okay. Dean explains he works with Jack and they're there to save her.

Something on the outside starts trying to break down the door. Dean tells her it's a ghost; that's what punched him in the face. Dean sees a photo of her old boyfriend Vance. That's the ghost that hit him. He asks her how he died. She says she doesn't know he's dead. Dean thinks it's not a ghost, it's somehow more like an undead zombie. Zombie Vance comes in and Dean slashes at it with a silver letter opener. Jack gets Harper out while Dean and Vance fights.

In Charlie's truck.
Sam is trying to convince Charlie that people need each other. She can't walk away from hunting. Real world Charlie tried. Charlie says she's not that Charlie. Then she notices the veiled figure is back sitting next to a stranger at the bus stop. A bus pulls up and when it pulls away the stranger and the figure are gone. Sam thinks he sees the figure slinking into the shadows and chases him.

Harper and Jack are running. Jack drops his phone.
In Harper's apartment, Dean fights the zombie boyfriend who suddenly runs away from him and out of the apartment.

Harper and Jack arrive at the library. She fumbles with the keys and Jack pulls the door open, reminding her she was going to come back to lock up but never did. Jack locks them inside the library.

Sam and Charlie try to find the veiled figure. Charlie notices that a door she saw earlier was locked, but now is unlocked and has a goo-like substance on the handle. Sam reminds Charlie that she'd read that a brass nail dipped in sugar water could kill this creature. She says yes, in theory, it could. Since the don't have a brass nail, Sam says they need to get creative.

Inside, there are tons of flies and it smells like rotting meat. Sam and Charlie check different rooms in what looks like a barn or storage building. Charlie finds a pile of bodies with tons of air fresheners hanging over them. Sam sees the veiled figure's briefcase and finds a cloth soaked with chloroform that he used to knock out his victims. Charlie finds the man from the bus stop on the pile of bodies. He's still alive.

Something in the pile grabs her. She falls to the floor unconscious. Suddenly, a man with the head of a fly rises up from the pile of bodies where he'd been nesting. He fights with Sam, spitting black goo all over him. Charlie stabs the creature in the back and it rears up long enough for Sam to fire on it from the front. Goo from the creature spatters all over Charlie and the thing falls to the floor dead.

Back in the library...
Jack and Harper are hiding. They see her zombie boyfriend outside. Jack says he locked the door, but Harper isn't convinced. She goes to make sure the door is locked. She comes face to face with her zombie boyfriend through the glass and she opens the door to let him in. He hands her a book and they kiss. Jack asks what she's doing. She says this is her boyfriend, he just gets a bit jealous sometimes. Jack points out that her boyfriend is dead. She says this is their thing; a game they play. He likes to stalk and kill other men who try to date her. She thinks it's romantic. She reanimated him with a magic spell. He has to eat flesh to maintain his body. Jack is the next sacrifice. She lures men in to feed her undead boyfriend.

Vance chases Jack through the library. Harper gets on the loudspeaker to apologize to Jack as Vance chases him. She says she comes from a long line of necromancers. This guy was her first love. She couldn't let him go. She killed him to keep him in town when he had wanted to leave. None of her other suitors could live up to her first boyfriend so they all had to die to keep him alive. Jack is figuring out how to defend himself when Dean puts a hand over his mouth. Dean whispers that for a zombie, you have to get them back in their grave and drive a stake through their heart to keep them there. Dean says they have to convince Vance to go back to being six feet under. Jack asks if Dean plans to convince him with his shotgun. Dean says not exactly.

As Harper waits for Vance to kill Jack, she reads a romance novel. She hears Jack from somewhere in the library asking why she's doing this, he thought they fell in love at first sight. Jack steps forward and says he's not afraid to love her and she should think about what it would be like to be with someone who's actually alive, like him.

Jack tells her he'd marry her, even though she tried to kill him. They could start a family. They could stay in the town she loves and never leave. Suddenly, zombie Vance yells, "She's mine!" and runs at Jack. He knocks Jack down and turns around in time to take a shotgun blast to the stomach from Dean. Harper yells, "NO!" Dean tries to talk to Vance; telling him this isn't really love. Vance gets Dean up against the wall and Harper orders Vance to kill him. Jack and Dean are able to handcuff Vance to pipes in the library with silver cuffs. They turn to get Harper but she's gone, leaving them with a cuffed, enraged zombie.

Sam and Charlie are driving and talking about the last victim of the fly man...they took him to the hospital, but he'll be alright. Sam says he feels bad for the Musca. He could have happily stayed with his own kind instead of going off on his own. He's obviously hitting Charlie over the head with a metaphor...that she should stay with the other hunters and not go off on her own to get away from the life. Charlie gets it, but says Sam's metaphor has holes.

Charlie says she wasn't looking for love. She found it and she lost it. She didn't kill people like the Musca did. As she talks, we see other veiled figures coming in to retrieve the body of the dead Musca.

Sam reasons that there are plenty of bad people. But not all are bad and maybe if THEY help people, then THOSE people will help other people and on and on. Sam says it's worth it in spite of the tears and the death. Charlie replies that she's nothing like the fly monster in Sam's metaphor, but she'll think about staying. Sam smiles.

At a cafe, Harper is writing Jack a romantic letter about how they are meant to be and she can't wait to find him. She's sorry she'll have to kill him for what he did to Vance, but then she can bring him back and they can be together. She is going to mail it to Jack care of the Lebanon, KS post office.

Back at the bunker, Jack asks Dean, now that Vance is back in his grave, he can't hurt anyone, right? Dean replies that a silver stake through the heart ought to have done the trick. Dean pours himself a whiskey.

Jack asks if all of that with Harper and Vance was love. Dean says love can be crazier than that, and it might get crazier for Jack with Harper still out there, but he tells Jack he did a good job. Jack points out that he was right about this job, and now Dean should let him go out on hunts.

Dean says it's not about being right. He tells Jack he's going to make mistakes. Dean says he makes them all the time, but how you handle yourself when you make the mistakes and what you learn from them is what counts. Jack adds you also shouldn't beat yourself up about your mistakes. Dean tells him he's pretty smart sometimes.

Dean says that when Sam gets back, he'll talk to him about getting Jack out on more hunts.

Jack starts coughing. Jack says he's fine, but then starts coughing up blood, his nose starts to bleed. Dean asks if he's okay and Jack replies he doesn't know, then passes out on the floor of the bunker's kitchen. Dean kneels over him yelling his name.

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