We open on a remote cabin in the woods, a couple’s secluded trysting spot. The girl (who looks like a young Sara Ramirez, it must be said) is enamored—the guy, Tommy, not so much. And soon enough, via flashback, we see why: Tommy is Tommy from the Wendigo episode! It’s nice to see he’s still alive and okay. For about two more minutes. Tommy hears noises and is convinced the wendigo is back, and tries to protect his girl with a blow torch, but, before he can he doubles over in pain. He barely manages to whisper, “What’s happening?” before he bleeds out from the face, his head explodes and he dies.
In the HuntCave, Dean brings Sam a pile of files. Sam is hoping that’s all of them. Dean scoffs at the thought, since the Men of Letters have been tracking all weirdness for 300 years. Apparently, these files only cover, “Borden, Lizzie to Crane, Ichabod.” Sam is discouraged and in pain, describing his symptoms to Dean, who compares it to a Jager hangover. Dean offers to rustle up some food, as Cas emerges and wishes everyone a good morning. Dean blows right by. Cas is getting the silent treatment.
“I like this bunker,” says Cas. “It is orderly.” “Give us a few months,” says Sam. “Dean wants to get a ping pong table. “I’ve heard of that. It’s a game, right?” deadpans Cas. Sam and Cas compare supernatural illnesses, miserably. Sam tells Cas that the third trial is to kill a demon. “Of what?” asks Cas. Sam doesn’t know.
Dean comes in, announcing, “Soup’s on!” and presents Sam with a half-drunk beer, some beef jerky, and three Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. I swear to God, I have made meals out of worse. Dean admits they need supplies and offers to make a run. Cas offers to come, and Dean ignores him. “Dean,” he pleads, clearly crushed that his best friend won’t speak to him. “I’m sorry,” he adds. “For what?” Dean asks. “For everything,” says Cas. Dean doesn’t care. “You didn’t trust *me,*” Dean says, angry. He tells Cas to cram his apologies up his ass, which hurts Cas deeply. Sam clears his throat. Awk-ward.
Sam asks if there is a “Room 7B” in the bunker, and he and Dean head for it. As they open it, Sam tells Dean to go easy on Cas. Why should I, Dean demands. “Because it’s Cas,” says Sam. Apparently, not only Swazye, the Rudy Hobbit and the occasional Bon Jovi songs should always get a pass. Cas should too.
The boys begin to search for a file about case #1138, a class five infernal event that happened in 1958. Apparently, the Men of Letters had a rating system, and The Exorcist would have only been a class two. Wow. This must be big. This event was labeled in the file as “weird.” With three exclamation points. As they search, Dean notices something on the floor under one of the shelves. As Sam finds the box on #1138, Dean pulls on the shelving and it slides out and separates, REVEALING A SECRET ROOM. I didn’t think the HuntCave could get cooler. I stand corrected.
Apparently the room, which has a huge devil’s trap and is festooned with spellwork engraved shackles, was used to interrogate demons. “So, we have a dungeon,” says Sam quietly. “Finally,” Dean enthuses with a gorgeous grin. Sam disapproves. Dean’s sticking with the reaction. Sam opens the envelope in the #1138 box. It contains an olde timey time film reel. “Movie night?” asks Sam.
Cut to the main living chamber, where Sam, Dean and Cas are settled in to watch the film. Cas is, adorably, munching popcorn from a JiffyPop tin, and I think sadly that people under 20 have no idea what that is. Anyway, the black and white reel is hosted by none other than Abbadon (or at least the girl she possessed) and it shows the intense exorcism ritual of an incredibly old woman by two priests, Father Simon and Father Max Thompson, who have developed a whole new system of performing it. The boys watch intently. The old woman doesn’t survive the ritual, which is super screamy. I note, SPN nerd that I am, that the Latin sounds different. “Well, that was weird. With three exclamation points,” deadpans Dean.
Apparently, I am right about the Latin. Cas confirms that the ritual contains the Latin word for wash, or cleanse. Sam notes that Father Simon is still alive, and that what they just saw was nothing they have ever seen before. It’s worth a drive to check it out. The Three Amigos stand. “Not you,” Dean barks at Cas. Cas thinks he is stronger than Sam, but Dean doesn’t care. “Even banged up, Sammy comes through,” Dean says snidely. “Just stay here and…get better,” he says dismissively, though we can see he still cares.
The boys go talk to Father Simon, who says that Father Thompson believed that people could be cleansed of their demon nature, but he doesn’t know much about how it works. Sam sees that if it worked, it would “cure” a demon, and that would mean the last trial down. Apparently, Father Thompson died trying to figure the ritual out. Something “tore him apart.” Sam tries to ask questions, but he coughs up more blood and excuses himself to go to the bathroom. Dean asks for Father Simon’s help. Father Simon is dubious about Sam in his condition. “Father, over the past couple of months I’ve seen him do crap I didn’t even think was possible. I mean, sure, he’s miserable, and he’s hurting, but you know what? There’s not a doubt in my mind he’s gonna cross that finish line. Not one.” Awwww. Father Simon offers to get Father Thompson’s things, and Dean thanks him.
We cut to Cas in a mini-mart, shopping carefully. He puts beef jerky, a copy of Busty Asian Beauties (which is displayed right above “Real Simple” magazine, which cracks me up) toilet paper and beer in the basket. Clearly, it is an apology. He goes to pay with a crumpled handful of bills, and sees an empty pie case. “Where is the pie?” he asks. “I think we’re out,” says the clerk. Cas grabs him by the collar. “You don’t understand. I *need* pie,” he growls, and the clerk whimpers as I giggle with delight. “Put the virgin down, Castiel,” says Metatron, out of nowhere. “We need to talk.”
Cas and Metatron leave the store, and Metatron tells Cas his street name is Marv. Okay, I guess. Apparently Kevin Tran told him about Cas, trying to link them up. Metatron says he needs to talk about Heaven, because without the arch-angels it’s a mess up there. Cas confesses he broke heaven to begin with, and flashes back to his angel murdering ways, and how he went to purgatory. He admits he is a failure. Metatron tells him that Heaven needs the two of them to save it. It would make a great story if they could shut it down. Cas is confused. Metatron, invites Cas for crepes and disappears. “Metatron? Marv?” calls Cas, frustrated.
Back at the HuntCave, there are more reels. One features Father Thompson trying to cure another demon who is in the body of a Mr. Kent, who ate his own sons. Gross. “How did it feel?” Father Thompson asks the demon. “ORGASMIC!” shouts the black eye, before he is dosed with Thompson’s purified, post-confessional blood. He repeats the process over and over, asking the question again and again until finally, eight hours later, the demon is cleansed from Mr. Kent. Who now remembers how those kids felt, and probably wishes he didn’t. “Did he just cure a demon?” Sam asks hopefully. “Maybe,” says Dean. They already have the ritual, they just need the blood, consecrated ground, and a demon. Dean asks if they still have John’s old army field surgeon’s kit. Because they got all the parts to put a demon back together again.
At the creperie, a really pretty girl deliver’s food to Metatron, flirting shamelessly with a clueless Cas. She has good taste. “Should have picked a better looking vessel,” grumbles Metatron. They discuss shutting Heaven’s gates. Metatron thinks that the angels need some alone time, and at the very least it would stop the fighting up there drifting down to earth. Metatron can’t complete the tests. He’s a pencil pusher. But Cas can do it—he’s a warrior. Cas agrees he needs to fix the problems of Heaven. It won’t be easy, warns Metatron. “I understand,” says Cas. “No, you don’t,” Metatron chides. “See our waitress? She’s the first trial. You gotta cut her heart out.” “She’s just a girl,” Cas protests. Actually, she’s not. She’s a Nephilim. The half-breed of an angel and a human. She’s the only one of her kind, and she is, Metatron says, an abomination. It’s not her fault, protests Cas. “She’s innocent,” he says. “Yes, she is,” Metatron agrees, but Cas has to do it anyway.
Meanwhile, Sam and Dean are in a warehouse with a bunch of warded boxes. “You think this will work?” asks Sam. “We’ve got needles. We’ve got thread. We’ve seen Young Frankenstein about 1,000 times. Yeah, we’re golden.” Sam opens a box, gagging, and we see Abbadon’s head. “This is going to be disgusting,” Sam says. “Uh huh,” Dean agrees, flicking his eyebrows wickedly.
Sam sews Abbadon’s head back on while Dean holds it in place. And it does work! She’s alive! Smeared makeup and all. “You owe me a beer,” says Dean, impressed. “And I owe you both so, so much,” Abbadon purrs. “I can’t wait to tear out those pretty green eyes.” They are very, very pretty, to be fair. Nice call, Abbadon. “Good luck with that,” says Sam, smirking. “We figure kitty didn’t need her claws,” says Dean, and it is revealed that the boys did not, in fact, reattach Abbadon’s hands. Dean grins deliciously, clearly enjoying himself. “Then I’ll stump ya to death,” she spits. “It’ll be swell.” Sam reminds her she has a devil’s trapped bullet in her Courtney-Love-on-a-bender-looking face. Abbadon says she knows what they are going to do—she killed Father Thompson, after all. It’ll never work. “You keep telling yourself that,” says Dean.
The boys are interrupted by a call from 666. Nice. It is Crowley, the king of hell, which Abbadon scoffs is a joke. The boys leave to take the call. “First things first—what are you wearing?” asks Crowley. “Hang it up now,” says Dean, but before they do, Crowley points them to a newspaper article. “I’m sexting you an address. Check it out and we’ll talk,” says Crowley. Inside, Abbadon is summoning her own hands to herself in a really gross homage to Thing from the Addam’s Family. It is creepy cool, especially when, still detached, it pulls the bullet out of her head. Uh oh.
The boys look up the newspaper article. It is, of course, about Wendigo Tommy, which Sam contextualizes. Dean tells them they will commemorate Tommy later—they have work to do. Of course, when they go back inside, Abbadon is gone. “Son of a BITCH!” Dean yells, as Sam finds the bullet on the floor.
Sam gets the sext from Crowley. It is an address in Prosperity, Indiana, where the boys dealt with witches who spellcrafted with baked goods. They decide to go, despite it being a trap, because they need a new demon. In Prosperity, they go to Jenny Klein’s apartment. Jenny was making pink cupcakes, again, but this time, she’s the one who ended up in the oven. And she is severely overcooked. Sam flashes back to her rescue, and is sad. “You were a great gal, Jenny Klein,” says Dean gruffly, and we know he just misses her sweet treats. Literally.
Crowley calls again. He is killing everyone they ever saved. He knows how to find them all thanks to the Carver Edlund books. (Damn it, Chuck!) Crowley says he is going to gut one rescued vic every 12 hours until they give him the demon tablet, which they don’t have, but they better get. “About now, you’re thinking of ways to stop me. You won’t be able to, but you’ll try. Because that’s what you do. You try. So, time for an object lesson.” He sends them to a room in Indianapolis and tells them they have 57 minutes. They race for the door. When they get to the hotel, the occupant is none other than super beauty Sarah Blake, Sammy’s former crush, whom we are reminded of by flashback. Man, Sam was such a baby then. And so adorable. And such a good kisser. But I digress. “What’s going on?” Sarah asks, dismayed.
Meanwhile, Castiel is still torn. Should he kill the Niphilim? He and Metatron follow her on her walk home, and she calls them out, saying she can see their halos. She pleads to just live her life. “I’m sorry,” says Cas. “You will be,” she says, and they battle it out. She is very strong, and super pissed, with pearly flashing eyes and a righteous right hook. But even she can’t survived being stabbed through the throat by an angel blade. I guess Angel Trial One is done.
Back at the hotel, Sarah repeats that Crowley is going to kill her in sixteen minutes. “No. No, he’s not,” promises Sam, and you can see the turmoil in his eyes. Dean comes in with supplies, cheerful. He chats Sarah up as he prepares to ward everything, and he hands out salt-filled guns. “We’ll keep you safe,” Sam swears. “Okay,” Sarah says. “Okay? That’s it?” Dean says, surprised. “You’ve done it before,” she replies, agreeable. Yep. Sammy really should have married that girl.
But sadly, someone else has. With just two minutes to spare, she tells Sam of Ian, her husband who works in search and rescue, copping to the fact that she has a type. They have an eleven month old daughter, Beth. Sam watches her, wistful, clearly longing for Sarah’s life and maybe Sarah herself. “That’s…um…great. I mean it, I’m really happy for you,” he says, tired, drawn face trying to muster up a smile. “Thanks, Sam,” she says, and can we just mention again how freaking gorgeous Taylor Cole is? Why is she not working more? Wow. She’s perfect.
Sarah asks about Sam, and when he says everything is the same, she disagrees. She tells him he looks more focused. Confident. Like he knows what he wants. “You grew up, Sam,” she says, kindly, making him smile. “I do miss the old haircut, though,” she adds, and they laugh together, until the phone rings. They all take up arms “Five. Four. Trois. Swei. Uno,” Crowley intones with dastardly glee, and Sarah collapses to the floor, choking, putting the boys in a stunned panic. Sam freaks out, trying to help her, but Crowley assures him, “She is dying. And there is nothing you can do about it.” “You son of a bitch!” Dean shouts. “Son of a witch, actually,” corrects Crowley, telling the boys his mama taught him some tricks. This sends the boys on a frantic search for the hex bag, and Crowley goes on and on about how he won’t send a demon near them any more, just in case they need one. “Plus, I just thought it seemed fitting. From what I understand, Sammy took that bird’s breath away.” Mark Sheppard owns these scenes.
The boys continue to tear the room apart, their fear and panic growing by the second, as Sarah turns beet read and claws at her throat. “What’s the line?” says Crowley. “Saving people. Hunting things. The family business. Well, I think the people you save? They’re how you justify your pathetic little lives.” The boys are truly frantic, now, and terrified, unable to find what they need to save Sarah. “The alcoholism,” Crowley continues. “The collateral damage. The pain you’ve caused. The one thing that allows you to sleep at night—the one thing—is knowing that these folks are out there. Still out there. Happy and healthy. Because of you. You great, big BLOODY HEROES!” he snarls. Sam goes to Sarah, who is clearly dying now, trying to tell her she will be okay while Dean looks on, horrified. Sam puts his hands over hers, desperate to help, heart breaking. “They’re your life’s work. And I’m going to rip it apart piece by piece. Because I can. Because you can’t stop me. And because when they’re all gone, what will you have left?” Sam looks down into Sarah’s lifeless eyes. “No. No, no, no, no. No, please no,” he begs, touching her face for a moment before he scrambles away, devastated and shocked. Crowley goes on about how he wants total surrender and hangs up. Sam is in tears. Dean is furious. He throws the phone at the wall, smashing it into pieces. One of those pieces? A tiny hex bag. Slamming home the point that the Winchesters bring death right to people’s doors. They look at each other, defeated. Crushed.
Back at the HuntCave, Dean asks if Sam is okay. “What do you think?” Sam asks, sadly. Dean wants to stick to the plan, but Sam wants to hang it up. “Maybe this isn’t one we can win,” he says. Dean won’t agree to that. “We’ll kick it in the ass, like we always do.” he growls. “Are you with me?” And Sam, poor, cursed Sam, who has just left a baby as motherless as he was, cannot answer as we fade to black.
Next week? FINALE, PEOPLE! Cas and Metatron are taking on Naomi. Sam and Dean are going to try to cure…Crowley?! And guest star Sherrif Jody Mills? AWESOME! Which Winchester gets to die this year? Or worse? All will be revealed next week, in the season finale, “Sacrifice.” See you then!
Barbara Sirois Doyle is a writer for Sweatpants & Coffee. She salts and burns first and asks questions later.