|recap added by journalbookbinder
In the neighborhood where the ghosts are being held behind the warding, a woman cautiously approaches a street at night. She drops her keys. When she stands from picking them up, there's a man in front of her. She asks why he didn't evacuate. She thinks the Benzyne leak story sounds fishy. Most everyone in the town is at the school.
The man, Rob, walks up to her and stabs her repeatedly. She lies dead on the ground. A spirit emerges from Rob and looks at the dead woman.
In the school being used as the shelter, Cas tells Sam (in his FBI windbreaker) that a man told him that a woman has gone missing. Sam tells someone to tell the other hunters in the zone to keep an eye out for her. (He asks this in broad daylight in front of many people while pretending to be an FBI agent.)
Sam gets up to talk to everyone in the room. He asks for their attention and loudly tells them that he expects they'll be back in their home shortly. He's maintaining the Benzyne story and tells them they must stay out of the quarantine zone until it's safe. He asks if anyone has any questions and every hand in the room goes up. Sam looks daunted, but prepares to answer questions.
Elsewhere, Dean is walking around with Belphagor and the EMF detector. Belphagor can see the ghosts, but says they left when they saw him and Dean.
Dean asks Belphagor about hell. Dean can't believe he's working with a demon again. Belphagor says he could say the same thing about a hunter. Dean asks why he's helping. He says he liked hell the way it was and wants it to go back to that.
Dean and Belphagor watch ghost energy hit against the invisible warded wall and break into small explosions. Belphagor tells Dean that these ghosts are worse than regular ghosts. He says that one they just saw was, for example, Jack the Ripper. Dean says, "Cool."
Back at the school, the townspeople are skeptical. They're talking amongst themselves. One man wants to find the missing woman. He thinks the authorities don't have enough manpower to search the whole town for her. He's determined to go get her.
Inside the quarantine zone, the ghost of Jack the Ripper talks to a room full of ghosts. He tells them they were liberated by cataclysm at the hands of God himself. He tells them that hunters are holding them captive. He knows because he was shot with rock salt. He says he saw Belphagor; that demons are helping the hunters. Jack the Ripper wants the ghosts to organize. Strength in numbers to get through the warding. Jack the Ripper says warding is like a door with a lock and every lock has a key or a way around it.
The people who were talking in the school are now sneaking around, looking for the missing woman. They go into the quarantine zone and come up against several ghosts.
At the school, Cas wants Sam to tell the family that they found the body of the missing woman. Sam wants to keep everyone calm and telling them about a murder won't help with that.
Rowena enters the room. Sam thanks her for coming. Sam wants her to help. They remind Rowena that they used a crystal bomb against Amara and that bomb was powered by the souls that were sucked into it. They wonder if she can do that again, only for the purpose of collecting the ghosts' souls to trap them.
Rowena says that was so difficult; it took all she had.
Someone enters to tell Sam they have a "situation".
Sam and Dean and Belphagor encounter the townspeople who got into the quarantine zone. They're staring as if in a trance. No response when Sam talks to them. Their eyes start to bleed. They're possessed. Jack the Ripper appears and says the humans are being torn apart inside by the spirits possessing them. He uses the possessed humans as bargaining chips; telling Sam and Dean to power down the warding so they can escape. The humans fall to the ground and the spirits possessing them fly from their bodies.
Jack the Ripper suddenly disappears and the Winchesters wonder why until they see Arthur Ketch walking up behind them, holding a gun.
They're surprised to see him. Ketch says he happened to be in the area when they sent out the call for help with the ghost problem.
Dean asks what Ketch's gun does. He explains it fires iron flakes to expel a ghost without harming the possessed victim. He says he lifted it and a few other toys from the British Men of Letters.
Ketch turns to Rowena and says he hopes there aren't any hard feelings about the time the British Men of Letters held her captive. She says she remembers that Ketch is the one who helped her escape. They give each other a bit of an intense look.
Dean explains that Rowena is working on something that can trap souls.
Belphagor comes in and reports that the streets are quiet, so the ghosts must be planning their next move.
Ketch recognizes Jack but Belphagor corrects him. Ketch is surprised that Belphagor is assisting the Winchesters. Ketch says that in his current employment as a freelance contractor, he was hired to assassinate a demon named Belphagor. This is awkward.
He was told that Belphagor was a monstrous threat to humanity; but obviously that was incorrect. Sam wants to know who told him that. It was an attractive female demon named, Belphagor fills in "Argat". Ketch says she does not like Belphagor at all. Sam tells Ketch not to kill Belphagor; they need him. Dean adds, "for now."
In Reno, Amara is getting a massage. She asks the masseuse to massage her temples harder, but maybe not that deep. She bolts upright to find Chuck standing behind her. She asks if he smote her masseuse. Chuck shrugs.
Amara says they agreed to give each other space. Chuck says he's on board with that, but wanted to check in with her. Chuck asks her how she liked the Game of Thrones ending. Amara is irritated that Chuck is trying for small talk with her. She wants to know why he's there.
Back at the school, a townsperson angrily accosts Cas about how some folks are now missing and Cas told them they'd keep them safe. Cas walks away.
In another part of the school, Dean and Rowena discuss the list of ingredients she'll need to attempt a spell that could trap souls inside a crystal.
Rowena says she needs what she needs and even then there's no guarantee that it will work. Rowena asks Dean to tell her about Ketch. Dean observes that is seems like they've met. Rowena replies that that was more of a torturer-torturee relationship.
Dean tells her they have a crisis on their hands. She shouldn't want to get involved with Ketch.
Only, she does.
Dean walks away from Rowena and ends up in a room with Cas. He greets Cas with little enthusiasm. Cas tries to apologize to Dean about not telling him about Jack which led to Mary's death. Dean doesn't want to hear it. Cas observes that Dean is angry. He says yes he is angry, about all of it. Cas wants to know what he means by "all of it". Dean says he's mad about this current mess they're in and all the other messes. That they're just hamsters in a wheel with nothing to show for it. That God's been lying to Cas forever.
Cas says he's angry too. God took Jack from him. But that doesn't mean that everything was a lie.
Cas says Chuck kept the truth to himself.
Dean thinks it's all for nothing.
Cas says that even if it was all "Chuck's machinations", they'd still call it a life. That's what life is: an obstacle course.
Cas says that they were mostly successful, even if Chuck designed the obstacle course. Dean's not so sure. Dean thinks that nothing about their lives is real; it's all because of Chuck. He doesn't think they ever had a choice and he can't pretend they did.
As Dean leaves, Cas reminds him that he (Dean) asked him (Cas) what about all of this is real. Cas thinks they are what's real.
Dean leaves without replying.
Out in the neighborhood, Dean and Ketch are patrolling. Dean gives Ketch a metal chain to wear around his neck; it's iron to keep him from being possessed by a ghost.
Ketch is trying to work out that all of this is because of God. Dean asks if Ketch has some kind of cool weapon for use against God. Ketch says no, God was always more theoretical and rumor than fact. Ketch then wants Dean to tell him about Rowena. Or "the witch" as he calls her.
Dean gets an alert on his phone. He says it's trouble. Two hunters haven't checked in.
Inside a meat packing plant...Dean and Ketch look for the missing hunters, guns drawn. The air gets cold before Ketch, then Dean go flying, thrown by a ghost in Victorian dress with an axe. Something appears behind a plastic drape and tells the ghost to leave. The ghost obeys. The figure emerges and it's Kevin Tran.
Kevin says he was going to meet up with them sooner, but he just arrived (WTF?). Kevin introduces himself to Ketch. Dean wants to know why Kevin's not in heaven. Chuck said he was sending Kevin to heaven. Kevin says that's what Chuck said, but not what he did. Ketch wants to know why God would lie. Dean informs him that God's a dick.
Dean says that doesn't matter, they are going to get Kevin into heaven, right after they shove all the ghosts back to hell.
Kevin tells them that the town's warding is fading.
Dean wants to know how Kevin was able to call off the ghost that was just attacking him and Ketch. Kevin explains that since God himself cast Kevin into hell, he has something of a higher stature there. The other ghosts listen to him.
Chuck is trying to have a conversation with Amara, but she's ignoring him, doing yoga. Chuck says the retreat they went on taught him how priceless their relationship is. Since he's on an extended break from his duties, why not use the time to get closer? Maybe go to another dimension or start another species.
Amara declines. She enjoys gambling and likes Reno. Everyone in Reno is so not "Chuck". Amara starts to wonder why Chuck is acting the way he is. She realizes Chuck needs her. She wants to know what's going on. She thinks a bit more more. She pokes Chuck in the shoulder where he was injured. She says he's not complete. He's not at full strength and he's afraid. Chuck looks like he's been found out.
Elsewhere, Sam and Dean are walking down the street talking about Kevin. Sam wonders if Kevin acting as a spy for them; going into the group of ghosts for information, is really safe for him. Dean thinks it's probably not safe, but they need information.
Belphagor suddenly appears behind them. Dean tells him to stop sneaking up on them.
Belphagor confirms the warding is fading. He thought Sam and Dean would have the whole thing cleaned up by now. Dean says Belphagor has to charge the warding back up. He says he can't.
Sam says Kevin told them this about the fading warding. Belphagor says Kevin is a typical, whiney millenial. Dean tells him that when this is all over, they're sending Kevin to heaven where he belongs.
Belphagor says that's not going to happen. Souls cast down to hell can't be accepted by heaven. Sam points out that their dad went to heaven after being in hell, and Dean adds that Bobby did too. Belphagor says God made an exception in those cases. Didn't he used to like the Winchesters? Belphagor says "them's the rules".
In Reno, Chuck looks at his injured shoulder in the mirror, touches the injury, and winces. Sam winces at the same exact second.
Dean questions why Sam's shoulder is still hurting. Sam brushes it off, saying it's getting better.
Inside the quarantine zone, the ghosts are talking. Jack the Ripper says he felt the warding weakening. He doesn't want to wait for it to fail. He wants to pool their power and break through the warding now so they can resume the murder and mayhem that sent them all to hell in the first place. Another ghosts points out that the hunters must know the warding is weakening too.
Kevin walks in. Kevin asks what they plan to do about the hunters. The ghosts accuse Kevin of working with the hunters. Kevin denies it. Jack the Ripper says he knows Kevin used to work with them. Kevin turns to leave but is blocked by another ghost.
Back at the school, Rowena is mixing ingredients and, for some unknown reason, flirting with Ketch. Ketch flirts back. Ketch offers Rowena a way to speed up her spell work by zapping the concoction with electricity. He strips two electrical wires and lets the spark ignite the ingredients that Rowena is working on. Ketch proclaims that the "power of science" will save her time since she can skip the next two steps now. In this very weird scene, this display by Ketch is seen by Rowena as manly; he's showing off for her, and she's obviously turned on.
She wants to marry the power of science with the power of magic. They seem to be about to kiss when her phone rings. It's Dean asking if the spell is done. Ketch composes himself and leaves.
Rowena carries her bag of ingredients down the street into the quarantine zone and is greeted by Jack the Ripper, materializing in front of her. He recognizes her. She implies they had a relationship in the past. He wants to know what's in her bag. He guesses she's working with the hunters. He tells her to tell Sam and Dean that they have "their boy" (Kevin) and they want to talk.
Ketch appears, firing his iron flake gun at Jack the Ripper and the ghost disappears for a moment. Rowena runs away. The ghost materializes behind Ketch and hits him on the head, knocking him out.
Rowena reaches Sam, Dean and Cas. She says Ketch is back there fighting the ghosts that attacked them. She informs them that Jack the Ripper told her they have Sam and Dean's "boy" (Kevin).
Dean asks Rowena if she has the weapon she created. She says she has it, but no guarantee it works.
Sam and Dean enter the house where the ghosts are holding Kevin. Jack the Ripper tells them they to shut off the warding or he'll devour Kevin.
Dean declines the offer. He tells Jack the Ripper to go to hell. Jack the Ripper replies that hell is not all it's cracked up to be. He plunges his hand into Kevin and Kevin starts to disintegrate. Rowena enters, holding out the crystal and reciting a spell, and the ghosts' souls (except for Kevin's) are sucked into the crystal. She says the crystal isn't as powerful as the one she used against Amara; it can only take in a few souls at a time and many got away.
Kevin tells Sam and Dean about the ghosts' plan to amass at the weakest point in the warding and attack it all at once.
Belphagor meets them at the weakest point where it looks like balls of energy (ghosts) are
continually hurling themselves against an invisible wall trying to weaken it. Ketch arrives. Dean fires repeatedly at the balls of energy. Belphagor says that won't work; there's too many of them. Dean wants Rowena to try the crystal again. Ketch stands next to her as she holds out the crystal and recites the spell. Ghosts start being sucked into the crystal.
Suddenly, Ketch slaps Rowena. She falls to the ground, dropping the crystal. He picks it up. He's possessed. Dean tries to fire at him, but he's out of ammo. Ghosts start appearing. Jack the Ripper has inhabited Ketch. Ketch says that souls are pure power; so even with only a few trapped in the crystal, he has a very powerful weapon now. He plans to blow up the warding with it.
Dean pulls out his revolver and shoots Ketch, who throws the crystal. Dean catches it and hands it back to Rowena who picks herself up off the ground. She continues trapping souls as Jack the Ripper separates himself from Ketch's body and is sucked into the crystal.
Ketch is being loaded into an ambulance. Cas says he tried to heal him, but it didn't work and he doesn't know why. Sam reasons that Cas is just tired (?!); they all are. Cas doesn't look so sure.
Dean talks to Ketch before he goes into the ambulance. He apologizes for shooting him (non-leathally). Dean didn't see another way to get the ghost out of him without using the iron bullets. Ketch replies that Dean killed him once (wrong; Mary Winchester did) and he's been itching to do it again. Dean doesn't disagree. He tells Ketch to take care. Ketch gives Rowena a long glance before they take him away.
Dean gives Rowena a small nod for some unknown reason.
Dean walks up to Sam and Kevin's ghost. Sam tells Dean that Kevin wants to leave. Dean says no, they have to get him into heaven. Kevin informs Dean that Belphagor says that since he's (Kevin's) been to hell, heaven can't let him in. Sam warns Kevin that walking the earth as a ghost with nothing to hold him anywhere is going to be a terrible way to exist. Kevin says that his options are hell or wandering. He won't go back to hell to be tortured forever. He'd rather risk going crazy as a ghost walking the earth.
Kevin asks if Belphagor can make the warding dip for a second; long enough so he can get out. Sam wishes they could make it right. Kevin says they can't and sometimes they have to accept that. He says he's better off that he was and there's a whole world out there.
Belphagor is getting impatient.
Sam tells Kevin to take care. Kevin tells them he loves them.
Kevin turns to leave. Dean tells him to take care. Kevin disappears past the edge of the warding that Belphagor opens up for him. He gives the Winchesters one last wave as he goes.
In Reno, Amara is dressed to go out. Chuck asks where they're going. She replies that she's going alone. Chuck sounds a bit panicked. He says they belong together. She says she's willing to co-exist with him, just not in the same room. Chuck sort of threatens her, saying he fronts the group; she only sing backup.
She's not threatened.
Chuck reaches for her and she tells him not to. She says that even on his best day, Chuck couldn't force her hand, and this is not his best day.
She says she doesn't think Chuck can do much of anything right now, nothing past parlor tricks. He can't leave this world without her help and she's done with him. She says she's changed and adapted. She's become the better version of herself. He's the same petulant & narcissistic guy, so she's leaving him there. She muses that once, long ago, he sealed her away. Now she's kind of doing the same thing to him. He's trapped. Diminished. Abandoned. So she guesses he got what he always wanted: he's on his own.
Amara leaves with one last look at Chuck from behind her sunglasses.
Back at the town beset by ghosts, Sam, Dean, Rowena, Cas, and Belphagor stand outside as what look like fireworks continue to erupt in the sky; souls continuing to escape hell. Belphagor says that once his spell comes crashing down, they'll be overrun by the souls from hell again. Rowena says her crystal isn't strong enough to handle all this, they have to find another way before it's too late.
Sam says that's what they'll do then. Dean wants to know how they'll manage that.
They watch the lights of the hell-souls shooting into the sky.