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As the scene opens, we see Sam (dressed as a doctor) at a hospital blood bank. As Sam watches, a young priest recites a Latin blessing over all the units of blood in a large refrigerated storage unit. The priest, who seems nervous, finishes his prayer and looks to Sam, who nods approvingly.
After the priest leaves the room, Sam gathers several units of blood and puts them into a portable cooler. Sam returns to the bunker, and we see that he has Dean (who is still a demon) tied to a chair inside the dungeon room where the Winchesters previously kept Crowley.
When Sam enters the room, Dean glares at him angrily. When Dean sees the cooler marked “Human Blood”, he realizes that Sam is preparing to perform the demon-curing blood ritual that he performed on Crowley (“Sacrifice” Season 8). Dean taunts Sam, telling him that the lore is unreliable and that the cure won’t work on him because of the Mark of Cain. He also says that he doesn’t want to be cured, and tries to bargain with Sam, saying that if he lets him go, he’ll leave and not bother Sam. Sam ignores all this and continues preparing for the ritual.
Finally, Sam approaches Dean with the first injection in his hand. Dean reminds Sam that he hates shots, but Sam replies “I hate demons”. When Sam gets closer, Dean lunges for him, but is met with a splash of holy water in his face, and an injection in his arm.
Sam backs away, warning Dean that there are many more injections to go, so he can make things easier on himself. Dean leers angrily at Sam initially. But that look is instantly replaced by a look of slight confusion. Then, Dean suddenly groans loudly in pain, grimaces, and begins to roar like an animal as he reacts violently to the pain and internal effect of the injection. Sam stands back further, clearly surprised by the reaction.EPISODE:
Castiel and Hannah
Castiel and Hannah are driving along at night. Hannah asks Cas how he’s doing, and he replies that he’s fine. Hannah responds that he doesn’t “look” fine, but Cas admits that he’s doing what humans do – saying he’s fine while lying about how sick he actually is. Hannah comments that she doesn’t understand how Sam Winchester can ask Castiel to drive such a long way, knowing how sick he is. But when Cas doesn’t reply, Hannah realizes that Sam does not know how sick Cas is. Cas continues by saying that Sam didn’t have to “ask” for his help. He reminds Hannah that Sam is alone with Dean, trying to perform the blood purification ritual alone, and not knowing if it will work. Cas also says that if the ritual doesn’t work, then Dean is truly “gone” and the demon must be dealt with. Hannah tells Cas that she’s worried about him. Cas doesn’t reply.
Later, it is the next day and Hannah and Cas are lost. Hannah (who apparently was driving) has pulled over and is looking at a map. She apologizes for getting lost, but complains about traveling in a car to begin with. As Hannah is talking, she realizes that Cas is not really paying attention. She tells him that it’s obvious that his fading grace is getting worse, and that the problem is fixable. But Cas refuses to steal another angel’s grace to save his own life. He also refuses to go begging to Metatron. When Hannah challenges him, saying that he can’t help Sam if he continues to get worse, and he also can’t continue his mission of sending rogue angels back to heaven. She tells Cas that he is noble to die for his principles, but not practical. Cas replies by telling Hannah that she will have to carry on the angels’ mission without him. But Hannah insists that she is not enough. Cas tells her that sometimes enough is whatever you have.
As Cas and Hannah are talking, Cas’ phone rings. It’s Sam calling to make sure Cas is still coming. Cas says that he is on his way and asks how Dean is doing. Sam replies that the treatment is not going very well – not like it did with Crowley. He also tells Cas that Dean is in a lot of pain and Sam is worried that he might be killing his brother. Cas is also concerned, but tells Sam that they don’t have another way to try to save Dean. Cas also reminds Sam that the current “Dean” isn’t his brother, and that in order to save Dean, Sam has to be prepared to kill him. Cas tells Sam that he’ll get to the bunker as quickly as he can, and Sam tells him that he’ll leave the door open.
Dean and Sam
Back at the bunker, an unknown amount of time has passed. Sam is giving Dean another injection, and we see at least two other injection marks on the same arm, suggesting that this might be the third one. Dean is sweating, breathing heavily, and clearly in pain. He warns Sam that he could be killing him. But Sam replies that Dean might be faking, and the lore says the cure should work. Dean ridicules the lore, hunters, and the Men of Letters, telling Sam that it’s all crap. Dean tries to bait Sam into an argument, but Sam replies that he knows he isn’t even talking to the “real” Dean. Dean insists that he IS the real Dean – only better. He tells Sam that he now sees things for what they really are – that although Sam is acting superior, there isn’t much difference between himself and Dean. He asks Sam which of them is really the monster.
When Sam seems confused, Dean reminds him about what Sam did to Lester. In a flashback, we see what Crowley apparently told Dean: Sam approached Lester in a bar. Lester was clearly depressed because he’d learned his wife was cheating on him. Sam hears Lester’s despair and convinces Lester that he can have his revenge on his wife, and anything else he wants. In the flashback, we see that Sam took Lester to a crossroads and taught Lester the ritual for summoning a crossroads demon. When the demon showed, up, Sam trapped her – but not before Lester hastily sold his soul in exchange for the demon agreeing to kill his wife. We see that later, Sam tortured the demon to get Crowley’s location, but the demon said she didn't know where Crowley is – nobody does. Sam was unconvinced, and continued torturing her. We learn through Dean’s recounting that Sam had tried to summon a crossroads demon himself (to learn Crowley’s location), but none would come to him, so Sam used Lester, which cost Lester his soul. Dean also tells Sam that he killed Lester himself, and Lester’s wife married her lover. Sam says he never meant for things to happen the way they did, but Dean accuses Sam of being a bigger monster than he is.
Dean taunts Sam, saying that the line between right and wrong isn’t as clear as Sam pretends it is. Angrily, Sam jabs Dean in the neck with the next injection.
Later, time has passed and Dean is alone in the dungeon when Sam returns. Sam realizes that Dean is slumped over in the chair and unconscious. Worried that Dean may be dead, Sam hastily revives him. Dean comes to, but is clearly very sick. He tells Sam that he’s drowning in sweat while his blood is boiling and again warns Sam that he might be killing him. Sam tells Dean that he can’t stop the process now, but Dean tells him that he can – all he has to do is stop. He tells Sam that he can’t bring “his brother” back now. He retorts that he likes the “new” Dean, and that as soon as he was able to, he got away from Sam’s whining and complaining. He tells Sam that he chose the king of hell over him because he was tired of babysitting Sam and pulling him “out of the fire” all his life. He also tells Sam that Mary would still be alive if it wasn’t for him, and that Sam’s existence destroyed his life. Sam retorts that he’s not talking to the real Dean, but Dean tells Sam that he never really had a brother; all he had was an excuse for not manning up. Sam’s reply is to jab Dean with another injection as he explains that this is his way of pulling Dean out of the fire. Sam stalks out of the room as Dean reacts painfully to the injection.
In Crowley’s throne room, Crowley is clearly bored as he summarily orders the execution of a demon and signs paperwork. As he’s doing this, Guthrie approaches, telling him that the demons have an update on Castiel. He tells Crowley that Castiel is losing strength, and that this could be a good opportunity to kill him. Instead, Crowley orders Guthrie to continue having Castiel followed, and report with updates.
When Crowley thinks nobody is watching, we see that he is daydreaming -- reminiscing fondly about the time he spent with Demon-Dean. He seems to miss Dean. As Crowley is daydreaming, another demon approaches him. The demon tells Crowley that he can be the king’s new “wing man”; that he is fond of women and can replace Dean as Crowley’s debaucherous party friend. Crowley listens to the demon’s pitch, but then summarily snaps his fingers, killing him instantly.Later, Crowley is again condemning another demon to death for siding with Abaddon and committing crimes against the crown. He orders the demon executed and prepares to pass judgement on another unfortunate man when another demon bursts into the room. He tells Crowley to stop and berates the king for being unjust. The demon accuses Crowley of abandoning his duties and squandering the loyalty of his subjects to binge on blood and run amok with Dean Winchester. He tells Crowley that he’d rather die than continue existing in the hell that Crowley has created; at which point he pours holy oil on himself and sets himself on fire, killing himself. Crowley watches the spectacle in surprised amusement, and says to himself “Did not see that coming.”
Castiel and Hannah
Time has passed. It is still daylight and Castiel and Hannah have stopped for gas. Hannah prepares to go into the store, but Cas stops her momentarily. He warns her that they are on a dangerous road (figuratively), but they need to stay on mission, avoid detours, and keep their priorities clear. Castiel is clearly talking about Hannah and her feelings for Cas. Hannah never admits feeling what Cas is suggesting, but it’s clear that both angels know he’s telling the truth. Sighing is frustration, Hannah says she understands and is focused on the mission; she then goes inside the convenience store to pay for the gas.
Once inside, Hannah realizes there’s nobody else in the store. She looks behind the counter and finds the clerk dead; his eyes have been burned out. Outside, Castiel has finished pumping gas and comes inside, where he finds that Edina has an angel blade to Hannah’s throat. Edina tells Cas and Hannah that all she and Daniel wanted was to be left alone. She blames them for Daniel’s death and says she’ll kill them both slowly. Edina throws Hannah aside and attacks Cas, who is weakened and unable to defend himself. Eventually, Edina throws Cas through the front window and onto the ground, where she continues beating him.
Minutes pass and Castiel is lying on the ground bleeding, while Edina is inside the store with Hannah. Crowley finds Castiel, and comments briefly on Cas' condition. Crowley then leaves Cas and enters the store, where Edina is torturing Hannah. Crowley slits Edina’s throat to steal her grace.
Castiel is too weak to put up much of a fight. But as soon as he takes in the grace, he is healed – and annoyed. He demands to know why Crowley helped him. Crowley tells him that demon-Dean is bad for business, and that since Cas is clearly heading to the bunker, Crowley knows he’s going there to help Sam save Dean. He wants Cas to help Sam fix the demon-Dean “problem”, even if it means killing Dean. Cas and Hannah look on cautiously as Crowley walks away.
Dean and Sam
Later, Sam apparently needs some time alone and away from his demon brother. He enters Dean’s room and looks around fondly, looking at the albums, porno magazines, photographs and other things that once mattered to his brother. Under a half-eaten piece of pie, Sam finds some family photographs that Dean had been looking at – photos of John, Mary, Bobby and the two of them together. The photos seem to help Sam regain his determination. He leaves to continue the treatments.
When Sam arrives at the dungeon, he finds the handcuffs open and the chair empty. Dean is gone. Sam begins searching the bunker for Dean, who is also stalking the bunker looking for Sam. Dean gets to the kitchen and removes a large claw hammer from the drawer. He continues looking for Sam, taunting him aloud to come out and face him. Dean says that the blood spell was starting to work, and it made him human enough to get out of the warded handcuffs and cross the devil’s trap to escape. As Dean is ridiculing and taunting Sam, Sam sneaks into the war room to get the keys to the electrical room. He makes his way to the electrical panel and cuts off the power, which locks all the exits from the bunker so Dean can’t get out.
Dean realizes what Sam has done and shouts that he doesn’t want to leave – at least, not until he kills Sam. When Dean goes into the electrical room to turn the power back on, Sam slams the door and locks it. Outside the door, Sam urges Dean to let him finish the procedure. But Dean tells Sam that he doesn’t want to be cured, and that when he gets out he’ll kill him. He taunts Sam, saying that he still has enough demon in him to kill Sam, but he doesn’t think Sam has what it takes to kill him. As this is happening, Dean uses the hammer to break through the door. Sam runs away before Dean gets all the way through, and tries to evade Dean, using the labyrinth of the bunker’s hallways.
Dean eventually sneaks up behind Sam and swings the hammer, but not before Sam can duck and raise his demon-killing knife.
With the knife at his throat, Dean lowers his weapon, daring Sam to try to kill him. After a few seconds, Sam lowers his knife. Before Dean can advance on Sam and kill him, Castiel grabs Dean from behind. Castiel has grace now, and is too powerful for Dean to break free. Castiel tells the furious Dean that it’s over. Sam looks shocked as Dean glares at him and roars in anger.
Later, Dean is back in the dungeon, restrained to the chair. He is unconscious as Sam gives the final injection. Sam and Cas step back, unsure what might happen and if Dean will survive. Sam is surprised that Dean said he didn’t want to be human. But Cas says that it makes sense – existing without pain is easier than being human and having to deal with it.
As Cas and Sam are talking, Dean wakes up. At first, his eyes are black. But after a second they fade to normal. He looks at Cas and Sam in confusion at first, and says they look worried. Sam throws holy water in his face, and it has no effect. Dean is cured. As Cas looks on, smiling proudly, Sam smiles slightly, clearly relieved, and says ‘Welcome back, Dean.”
Later, in the bunker’s library, Cas and Sam are talking. When Cas asks how Dean is doing, Sam says he’s wrecked and still pretty out of it, but better. Sam also says that Dean is hungry, so he’s going to go out and get him some food. Cas reminds Sam that although Dean is cured, he still has the Mark of Cain, and that will have to be dealt with. But Sam replies that he’s not ready to deal with that yet. Cas relents, and goes to see Dean as Sam leaves to get food.
Alone in his room, Dean is looking through the family photographs Sam was looking at earlier. When Cas knocks on the door, Dean hides the pictures. Cas enters, and tells Dean that he looks terrible. Dean laughs it off and responds by telling Cas that he looks good. In his cumbersome way, Cas tries to not explain the details of what happened, but says that he’s better for the time being. Dean thanks Cas for stepping in when he did, and tells Cas that he’s glad he’s here. He also asks how Sam is doing. Dean admits that he feels guilty about trying to kill Sam, but Cas reminds Dean that Sam knows it wasn’t really him, and that after all they’ve been through, it would take more than this episode to make Sam walk away. Cas also suggests to Dean that he take some time off to recover, since heaven and hell are quiet and stable for the moment.
In a fancy hotel room, a distinguished redheaded woman sits in a chair by a fire, reading a book and drinking bourbon, while listening to classical music. As the camera pans around her, we see a drop of blood fall on her arm. Slightly annoyed, she mops up the blood with a handkerchief. As the camera pans upward, we see that there are two men – hotel employees – nailed to the ceiling directly above her head. They are both dead. The woman looks into the fire and smiles as the camera fades to black.