After getting the drop on Dean at the conclusion of last week’s episode, Sam doesn’t waste time getting started with implementing the demon cure, having a priest bless the supply of blood he’ll be injecting into his brother. Dean’s trussed up in a very familiar chair and, as Sam preps the blood, Dean poses the question “Did it ever occur to you that maybe I don’t want to be fixed?” The shots take their toll on the demonic hunter and with each successful injection, Dean’s words become more vile and, in ways, truthful. He even remarks on Sam’s behavior in finding him after the events of last season. “There ain’t much difference from what I turned into to what you already are,” he rages and, based on the guilt-ridden expression on Sam’s face, the harsh words hit the mark. “Which one of us is really a monster?” he asks Sam and the younger Winchester flashes back to his run-in with Lester, the man Dean killed last episode. The man who made a deal with a crossroads demon to forfeit his soul…all because of Sam.

Dean-mon strapped to the hot seat

While Sam struggles against Dean’s words, Castiel and Hannah are on the road to the brothers. It’s obvious to Hannah that he’s going downhill quick, fast, and in a hurry, despite his “I’m fine,” statement. She doesn’t understand Sam asking for help from the underpowered Cas until the latter explains how little Sam actually knows about the angel’s current condition. “I worry about you,” Hannah admits and each moment they spend together, Hannah’s feelings for Castiel become a little clearer.

Quite bored of his Kingly duties, Crowley is ruling his kingdom, executing minions for the hell of it as he keeps tabs on Castiel. One outspoken soldier stands up to Hell’s King and blasts him for his shifty leadership. In rejection of Crowley’s rule, the unnamed trooper immolates himself in front of the entire court. “Did not see that coming,” Crowley muses, thoughts of his road buddy Dean temporarily forgotten.

Lost on the road, Hannah and Castiel have poignant heart to heart where she becomes more worried for him and her inability to carry on without him. “Sometimes ‘enough’ is everything you have,” Castiel muses and she grabs his hand. Their shared look is all the confirmation Cas needs to see the truth of her feelings for him. The moment is interrupted by a worried Sam who believes he may be killing Dean. Cas reminds Sam he must continue with the ritual…even if it kills Dean. When they stop at another gas station, Castiel warns Hannah of the inherent dangers of becoming distracted. “Emotions. Feelings,” he tells her “They’re dangerous temptations.” His perceived dismissal of her burgeoning feelings don’t go over too well though she’s unable to dwell on it as Adina ambushes the two. She’s looking for revenge and promises a slow death for Cas after what he did to Daniel. Both he and Hannah are far from 100% and find themselves at the rogue angel’s mercy. That is, until an unexpected ally comes to their aid.

Fresh from his conversation with Cas, Sam returns to a weakened Dean. Though his body may be suffering from the blessed blood injection, his tongue is as sharp and deadly as ever.

Hannah and Cas are at the vengeful Adina’s mercy

Like a viper, he strikes at the weakest links in Sam’s emotional armor, painting the younger brother as a holier than thou burden, one whose “very existence sucked the life out of my life”, blaming Sam for their mother’s death. “I quit,” Dean continues, speaking to their relationship as brothers. He even castigates the role their father played in ‘brainwashing’ them “fighting his losing battle”. The relentless attacks, though painful, steady Sam’s resolve and he injects Dean with another helping of blood but not after getting his own jab in. “This is me yanking your lame ass out of the fire.”

Crowley is the unlikeliest of people Castiel expected and even more so when the King of Hell kills Adina and steals her Grace, forcing the dying Cas to take it. Invigorated by the stolen Grace, Castiel questions the Hell King’s motivations. “The Dean has become…a handful,” he says, making it clear that he wants the Dean-mon gone for good, as it’s bad for his business.

Back at the Lair, after finding Dean’s escaped from his confines, Sam goes on the run, not wishing to confront his still-demonized brother. They play a game of cat and mouse until, after nearly being brained by hammer-wielding Dean, Sam puts the demon blade to Dean’s throat. The elder Winchester dares Sam to finish things but he can’t. He drops the sword to his side and Dean’s steps forward, ready to end Sam when a powered up Castiel arrives just in time to subdue Dean and finish with the cure.

A splash of holy water confirms the successful extermination of Dean-mon, though the road to recovery is only begun. Sam gives Cas the 411 on Dean but the angel reminds Sam that, while they’ve cleared one hurdle, there’s still the Mark of Cain to consider. “One battle at a time,” Sam tells him before searching out some eats for Dean. While Sam’s gone, Castiel pays a visit to his best friend and gives him a broken summary of stolen Grace, a girl and, other aspects of a life in the supernatural. Castiel sees the struggle and healing Dean still needs. He suggests taking a break before jumping back into the fold. His actions and the past (viewed in pictures of his family, Bobby, and Sam) are fresh in Dean’s mind, as is the guilt associated with trying to kill his brother. Dean may be human once more but he has a long way to go before he’s truly back.

And then there’s the elegant red head in Tulsa, Oklahoma enjoying a bit of reading and classical music as two bodies staked to the ceiling rot above her.

An Uncertain Future

  • As mentioned above, Dean may be cured of his demon-ness but there’s still a bit of fallout to consider. The Mark of Cain notwithstanding, there’s the guilt Dean harbors not only in trying to kill Sam but also the vitriolic words he spewed at his younger brother. His demon side may have twisted the words but truth is often mixed in with lies and, if he can be honest with himself, a part of Dean feels that somewhere deep down in his soul.
  • Speaking of guilt, Sam has his own mound of guilt to contend with, knowing he condemned a man’s soul to Hell in his search to find Dean. Ever the conscientious person, Sam has always looked at the effects of the supernatural on others. The fact he went to such great lengths to find his brother will weigh on him for quite some time.
  • Castiel is back in action, a full helping of Grace to fuel him as he and Hannah search the world for rogue angels. The newly infused Grace is only a stop gap, a finite supply of the bubbly, so to speak. Not only that but, as she’s spent more time in this world, Hannah’s feelings for Castiel make for an interesting dynamic. What happens when angels come together? And will Cas allow them to become more than just associates in arms?
  • Crowley has his own problems to sort out in Hell and, based on his actions, methinks he’ll never go back to the wheelin’ and dealin’ heartless demon he once was. Will there be other demons who will reject his rule and, if so, where does that leave him? Of course, saving Castiel may have bought him an uneasy ally but such a union may only further desecrate his standing with his legion of Hell.
  • And just who is the lady in red?