|Back to Stairway to Heaven|
TEASER: Dixon, Missouri
A young girl is sitting in an ice cream parlor eating a very large, calorie-dense dessert. A woman sees the child and is surprised that her parents allow such a thing, but the girl says she has no parents because she’s an angel. Suddenly, a man walks into the ice cream parlor and when the young girl and the man see each other, the man draws an angel blade. The young girl tells the woman to run, but it’s too late. The entire building explodes in a flash of white light.
At the bunker, Sam is asleep in his room when Dean wakes him up to tell him they have a job. Sam complains that they just got back two hours earlier, but Dean won’t relent.
Out in the library, Dean tells Sam that Castiel called him about a case in Missouri that Cas didn’t want to discuss over the phone. When Sam sees Dean packing the First Blade to take with them, he tries to get his brother to leave the Blade behind. Dean insists that a weapon that can kill almost anything is worth keeping with them, but Sam is concerned that there’s a price for using powerful magic like the Blade, and they don’t know what that price is. He urges Dean to reserve the Blade for big fights (like Metatron), but leave it behind until they need it. Dean appears to leave the Blade on the table as he grabs his gear bag and walks away. Content for the moment, Sam joins Dean and they head to the ice cream parlor in Dixon, Missouri to meet up with Castiel, all posing as feds.
Inside the building, Castiel shows the Winchesters one of the dead bodies with the eyes burned out. Castiel identifies six dead humans and one dead angel, who was one of his soldiers. Castiel is appalled by the brutality of the attack.
METATRON and GADREEL:
Elsewhere, Metatron is in his study preparing for a meeting with Tyrus, the leader of the largest surviving angel faction. Gadreel enters, expressing concern about the meeting. He warns Metatron that Castiel’s followers outnumber theirs, and they have shown themselves to be capable. As they’re talking, Gadreel comments that Metatron had him followed and he and Castiel were attacked. Metatron says that he did order that attack, but he also ordered the angels not to harm Gadreel. He goes on to admonish Gadreel for meeting secretly with Castiel in the first place. Gadreel insists that he and Castiel talked, and he didn’t believe Castiel’s lies. Gadreel assures Metatron that he serves him and heaven, which seems to momentarily satisfy Metatron. Metatron says he doesn’t understand the other angels’ loyalty to Castiel when he (Metatron) alone is the one offering them a way home. When Gadreel reminds Metatron that he’s the one who wanted Castiel to lead an army of rebels, Metatron laments that he didn’t think Castiel would be good at it.
DEAN, SAM, and CASTIEL:
Back at Castiel’s headquarters, the Winchesters help Cas and the angels try to figure out what happened at the ice cream parlor. The other angels clearly know who the Winchesters are, but they don’t like or trust them.
Hannah approaches the group to tell Castiel that one of their members, Josiah, was not at the day’s roll call and hasn’t been seen since Ezra was killed. Hannah surmises that Josiah was the mole and how he’s gone. Dean adds that, since angels no longer have wings, Josiah must have walked or driven away, which means he can be tracked. Sam uses a computer to search for Josiah’s vessel’s name (Sean Flynn, from Omaha, Nebraska) and quickly finds a record of a credit card purchase at a gas station in Colorado.
Meanwhile, one of Castiel’s soldiers accesses a cell phone from one of the victims at the ice cream parlor explosion. He plays a video recording that was made right before the blast. The video shows the angel who walked into the parlor approaching the young girl angel. The man opens his coat and we see a large sigil carved into his chest. Then, the man shouts “I do this for Castiel!” and uses an angel blade to stab himself in the middle of the sigil, which causes the man/angel and everything around him to explode.
Castiel is distraught that an angel killed innocents and committed suicide in his name. He tells the Winchesters that he would never have ordered such a thing. Hannah re-watches the video and notices that the young girl angel (Esther) was one of Metatron’s followers, so the apparent suicide bombing was actually an assassination.
Castiel says he’s shocked and doesn’t know what’s going on, but Dean reminds him that his followers treat him like a cult leader, so he may not know what they’re capable of. Castiel and the Winchesters go to a separate room to talk privately, and Cas says that the angel in the video was named Orin, that he was a new recruit and he worked in “community outreach”, which means he and others with that duty go to local hospitals and heal people. They are supposed to keep a low profile and not draw attention. Cas adds that the Enochian sigil carved into Orin’s chest is a way to focus energy. When Orin stabbed himself, it released a tremendously amplified amount of energy, and the angel directly in front of him (Esther) was likely vaporized, which is why they never found her body.
Dean goes to the hospital to see if anyone there knew about Orin, and Castiel and Sam head to Colorado to look for Josiah.
Sam and Castiel talk on the way to Colorado. They are both concerned about the effect the Mark of Cain is having on Dean – the increased anger and violence are noticeable. Cas is disturbed that Dean may think he ordered the suicide attacks. Sam says he doesn’t believe that, but he warns Cas that his followers do seem to treat him like a cult leader, which can lead to unexpected consequences.
When Sam and Cas arrive at the gas station the next day and show the clerk Josiah/Sean Flynn’s photograph, the clerk says he remembers the man. He adds that he was driving a station wagon and heading for an address in Pray, Montana. The clerk writes down the directions for them.
Sam and Castiel eventually arrive at what looks like an abandoned warehouse or factory, and they see a station wagon like the car the clerk described parked outside. They surmise that Josiah may still be inside. As they approach the building, Castiel can feel power emanating from the place. He tells Sam that he hasn’t felt anything like that since being in heaven.
The building is locked, and despite their best efforts, they can’t get inside. Later, Castiel notices Enochian ghost writing on the place, and they realize they must solve a riddle to get inside. After successfully answering a series of riddles reminiscent of Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones, Sam and Castiel eventually find what they believe is the doorway to heaven.
When they enter, they find a room decorated for a party. Sam finds a note for Castiel from Metatron that reads “Welcome to your own, personal heaven, Castiel. Good luck finding the real one.” They also find Josiah nearly dead by the doorway. Apparently, the room was booby-trapped with holy oil and when Josiah tried to enter, he was severely burned.
Josiah says that Metatron told him that after killing Ezra, he could come home, so he came to this place. Castiel offers to heal Josiah, but the angel refuses. Josiah tells Castiel that he’d rather die than owe his life to him. He says that when he looks at Castiel, he no longer sees an angel. Then, Josiah dies.
METATRON and GADREEL:
Metatron and Gadreel meet with Tyrus at a bowling alley. Apparently, Metatron offered Tyrus and all his followers a return trip to heaven if they’ll agree to follow Metatron. But Tyrus insists that they may not want to go, because heaven is boring compared to Earth. Metatron insists that he can create whatever they want in heaven, but Tyrus says it wouldn’t be authentic. He declines Metatron’s offer. When Gadreel draws his angel blade for emphasis, Tyrus reminds them that if they kill him, all his followers will go to Castiel’s side, so Metatron will still lose. Tyrus challenges Metatron to a game of bowling, saying that if Metatron wins, he’ll listen further.
Back at Castiel’s headquarters, Dean is interviewing Flagstaff, an angel (dressed as a doctor) who worked with Orin at a local hospital. When Dean asks if Flagstaff knows any reason why Orin would do what he did, she says “no”. With a haughty attitude, Flagstaff asks to leave, saying she has “lives to save”. When Dean says that he does too, they get into a heated exchange. Flagstaff insists that she heals people, but she accuses Dean of killing and hurting more people than he helps. Enraged, Dean lunges at Flagstaff and she ends up with an angel blade at her throat. Dean demands to know who Orin’s friends are, and Flagstaff gives him two names – Constantine and Tessa (the reaper).
Later that night, Dean encounters Tessa, wearing a sigil like Orin was wearing, preparing to enter a theater to detonate herself. Apparently, she was supposed to be working at the hospital, but she stole an ambulance, which Dean was able to track. Dean demands to know where Constantine is, and takes Tessa back to Castiel’s headquarters for questioning.
METATRON and GADREEL
Back at the bowling alley, a despondent Metatron has clearly lost the bowling game. Metatron and Gadreel prepare to leave when another angel (presumably Constantine) approaches the group. He opens his shirt and we see that he’s wearing one of the exploding sigils. He calls out to Metatron, and when Metatron turns around, Constantine detonates the sigil, saying “I do this for Castiel.” Tyrus is standing between Metatron and the bomber, and Gadreel shields Metatron’s body with his own, so Tyrus and Constantine both die in the explosion, but Gadreel and Metatron both survive.
When Dean arrives back at Castiel’s base with Tessa, he briefly calls Sam and they update each other on where they are.
Dean asks Tessa who she’s working for, and she says Castiel. Hannah accuses her of lying, but Tessa berates Hannah for not understanding the sacrifices that must be made for their cause. Tessa defends her actions, claiming that if humans get injured while she’s doing what must be done, it’s acceptable. Tessa claims that Castiel chose her specifically because she’s strong, unlike other weak angels. When she says this, Hannah tries to attack her, so Dean hastily escorts Hannah from the room.
Later, Dean returns to the interrogation room alone to talk to Tessa. He tries a more delicate approach, playing on their past as sort-of friends. When Dean asks Tessa why she’s become a suicide bomber, she says she could no longer tolerate the screaming and suffering of the souls trapped in the veil. Tessa knows it’s her job to help these confused, lost souls, but she can’t. She’s willing to die because death would bring peace, but she was too weak to simply commit suicide. Castiel, she maintains, gave her a way to have a meaningful death, so she accepted. Dean says that doesn’t sound like the Castiel he knows.
Tessa adds that there are more suicide bombers out there, but when Dean asks for names, she refuses to tell him. Dean brandishes the First Blade to intimidate Tessa into talking, but instead she falls on the Blade as he’s holding it, killing herself.
Hannah and the other angels hear the energy burst as Tessa dies, and rush into the room to find Dean holding the bloody First Blade. Of course, they think Dean killed Tessa.
Later, Sam and Castiel return and find Dean tied to a chair in the interrogation room. Hannah tries to tell Castiel what she thinks happened, but Castiel orders everyone out of the room as he and Sam rush to free Dean.
Dean insists that Tessa killed herself, but Sam admonishes him for bringing the Blade with him in the first place. Sam maintains that if Dean had left the Blade home as they’d agreed, Tessa would still be alive, but now that she’s dead they have no other leads on the other suicide bombers. While they’re talking, Hannah returns to tell Castiel that he has a phone call from Metatron.
Out in the main work area of Castiel’s headquarters, Metatron is delivering a message via Skype. Metatron tells Castiel that his bomber killed Tyrus and injured Gadreel, but didn’t get him as planned. Castiel says he didn’t send any suicide bomber after anyone, but Metatron doesn’t believe him. Metatron also says that all of Tyrus’ followers have now come over to Metatron’s army. When Castiel accuses Metatron of deception and blames him for the fall, Metatron insists that everything he did was to ultimately benefit angels and heaven. Metatron says he’s offering amnesty to any angel who wants to join him and return to heaven. He says he will be their god and they can be his heavenly host. When Hannah asks why anyone would return to heaven to serve him, Metatron retorts that angels need to follow someone, and Castiel is unworthy because he sends angels to their deaths. In front of the whole group, Metatron also announces that Castiel stole another angel’s grace, and when it burns out, he will, too. Metatron assures the angels that he’s their best option, because Castiel only cares about the Winchesters.
After Metatron cuts off the call, the angels turn to Castiel for assurance. Castiel admits that he stole angel grace, but says Metatron was lying about everything else. The angels want proof of Castiel’s loyalty to them, so they ask him to punish Dean for killing Tessa. When Castiel refuses, his entire army deserts him.
Gadreel and Metatron meet in Metatron’s study. Metatron is gleeful over what has happened to Castiel and his army. However, Gadreel is angry because Metatron ordered him to recruit members for the “elite unit”, but he never told him what the unit was for. Gadreel didn’t know he was recruiting suicide bombers, or that they’d be brainwashed into obedience. Metatron dismisses Gadreel’s concerns. When Gadreel asks about Josiah, Metatron dismisses him as another “loose end”.
During the ride back to the bunker, Dean, Cas, and Sam barely talk. When they arrive back at the bunker, Dean and Sam have an argument. Dean insists that they need the Blade to kill Metatron, and since he’s the only one who can wield it, he’s in charge, whether Sam likes it or not.
After Sam storms off, Dean goes into the library to talk to Castiel. Castiel reluctantly admits that Metatron was right about his grace burning away, but although he has limited time, he feels okay. He hopes he’ll survive long enough to kill Metatron. When Cas asks Dean if he believes him about the suicide bombers, Dean says that Cas just gave up his entire army for him, and that he doesn’t think Cas was behind the suicide bombers.
As Dean and Cas are talking, Gadreel enters the bunker. Sam rushes into the room, and Dean and Cas approach Gadreel, who raises his hands in surrender. Gadreel tells them that he’s not here for a fight, and he begins talking to them. He tells Cas that he was right about Metatron and that he can’t go along with his plan any longer. He also tells Castiel that he knows the suicide bombers were working for Metatron, not him. When the Winchesters ask why they should believe him, Gadreel says that he knows where Metatron is and he can deliver him to them. Gadreel says that he’s made mistakes, as they all have, but he asks for a chance.
After a few tense seconds, Dean approaches Gadreel with his hand extended for a handshake. Relieved, Gadreel accepts. As soon as Dean has Gadreel close enough, he slashes him across the chest with the Blade. Gadreel falls back as Sam and Cas rush to restrain Dean before he can do more harm. Dean becomes furious and almost feral as he strains against them to get to Gadreel.