People change. Our lives are filled with those that we pass by or pass by us. We lose those closest to us to death, or the interruptions of life’s circumstances. They are all painful but when the person who we look at as family is transformed into that unfamiliar stranger, how do we deal with it? Do we turn our backs on them or try our damnedest to reach them through the chasms formed between us? Goodbye Stranger is a sketch of not only furthering this season’s storyline but answering that question of what we do for those we love.

Sam and Dean readying to start another investigation of the supernatural

While Castiel has completed his final tests on becoming Naomi’s perfect Manchurian Candidate (killing thousands of Dean lookalikes), Sam and Dean are looking for any clues pertaining to their next move. They get some clues and head out to investigate a generous helping of burned out dead bodies when Dean finds Sam’s bloodied tissue in the trash. Filing it for later use, he and Sam visit the last victim’s hubby, who gives them the lowdown of his wife, Ann’s, odd behavior in the week prior to her death. She was searching for something buried in town, muttering about an orchard and, when the husband reports on her black eyes, the clues lead to her being a demon puppet. Someone’s ganking demons and, though they need to find out why, Dean’s nonplussed at the positive work someone’s doing.

Still, they need to find out and visit the last person to see Ann Morton alive. Evidently she was looking for an original map of the city. Their convo’s interrupted by three men of ill repute—demons—and it’s a Wednesday night smack down with Dean holding his own and Sam taking his share of a pounding. Before bad demon can snuff out Sam’s candle, Cas comes in and saves the day, though one of the demons escapes with the map. He’s ready to start with the interrogating of the one demon he didn’t smote but Sam and Dean wants some answers. While they converse with him, Naomi’s the voice in Cas’s head, giving him direction. Tell them what they need to know, she orders him, but lie about the real reason behind the search in the orchard. They already don’t trust him fully but buy his story of the demons looking for a translation device for the tablet. The demon gives them the whereabouts of one of Crowley’s “pets” but before she can provide more information, Cas eliminates her (at the behest of Naomi). He disappears to the hotel and Winchesters arrive in time to see the room of smote demons and, huddled in a corner looking quite the worse for wear, is our favorite demon this side of the King of Hell.


Despite her condition, she’s still spitting sass and pop culture references with the best of them. She tells them about

Meg agrees to help the white hats

the angel tablet hidden away in on of Lucifer’s orchards. While Dean contemplates with Sam how much the can trust the new ‘ship of Megstiel, the conversation between the heavenly host and hell’s bad girl is surprisingly tender. Though it was suspected, there was quite a bit more to their relationship than has been caught on camera—)she did watch over him when he was spaced out of his mind in the mental ward)—and it’s much more than casual lust.

Despite their concerns, the quartet heads off at Meg’s direction and, when they arrive, Dean keeps Sam out of it, mentioning the bloody napkin. Cas drops the bomb that whatever is happening to Sam, even he can’t heal it. The two former besties enter the building, leaving Sam and the still damaged Meg outside and the two have a heart to heart about Sam, what he truly wants for his life and his Amelia. Though she tries keeping her cool in the face of Sam emotional admission, Meg can relate. Their connection is interrupted when a host of demons arrive, ready for carnage and claim the angel tablet.

Inside the basement, Dean and Cas find the tablet and Cas flips back and forth between Dean and asking Naomi what she wants him to do. He tries convincing her that Dean is a good man but after he opens the box containing the tablet, she orders him to kill Dean. The beat down is uncomfortably similar to when Lucifer inhabited Sam and wailed on Dean without mercy. The elder Winchester gets the same treatment here, and he clings to consciousness while trying to reach out to his best friend. The entire time, Cas is on the other side, begging Naomi not to make him follow through but she refuses to listen. Cas readies the coup de grace, readying to skewer Dean when the battered hunter tells him “We’re family. I need you…I need you.” Cas drops the angel sword and picks up the now free tablet. His touch ignites a golden light and carries him from Naomi’s control. Back in the command chair of his own actions, Cas heals Dean and offers up the 411 on Naomi before taking the tablet and protecting it from Naomi…and Dean.

This guy just knows how to have a good time

Outside, Meg and Sam have been holding their own until everyone’s favorite silver tongued devil—Crowley, of course—appears, ready to take possession of the tablet and lay into Meg a bit more. Knowing she can only do so much, Meg tells Sam to go, save his brother and her ‘unicorn’. Sam arrives not long after Cas blips out and they start to escape and can only watch as Crowley kills Meg.

Crowley paces the basement and runs into Naomi. Evidently angel/demon relations have been in vogue for awhile, considering Crowley and Naomi’s Mesopotamian tryst. He offers her a deal but before he can provide the terms of said deal, she pulls a Selena Kyle and is gone when he turns around.

In shock and awe of the night’s events, Dean relays the story to Sam and caps it off with his weariness of all the lies. Sam promises to be honest with Dean and the latter reminds his brother that while he can’t carry Sam’s trials, “I can carry you.” After Sam breaks the ice of the tender moment by relating Dean’s vow to Samwise Gamgee, we are cast off to Supertramp’s song where this episode gets its namesake and Castiel Greyhound-bound, tablet in hand, to parts unknown.

There were so many true Supernatural moments in this episode. From Meg and the Winchesters pop culture palooza, Crowley’s homoerotic zingers, and the revelation that demons can, indeed love, “Goodbye Stranger” presses forward an increasingly intriguing season though at the same time closing the door on one of the show’s most fun and dynamic characters in Meg. And for now, though Dean’s finally broken through Cas’s wall, he’s lost his friend to whatever destiny the tablet has tapped the seraph to accomplish. It’s a long road towards the final conflict and there’s now hope for Cas and his brother in all but blood. May they meet on the road ahead and firmly on the same side of what will no doubt become an epic season (possibly series?) finale.