6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much: I’m Not Leaving My Brother Alone Out There
Castiel drops Sam’s mind-wall,
Takes a power trip.
Fleeing from the police at night, Sam took shelter in a closed bar. The pretty bartender, wanting no trouble, asked him to leave, but relented when he desperately asked for time to think. When she asked who he was, he admitted he didn’t know, saying he didn’t remember anything. All he remembered was being woken up on a park bench by two cops whom he promptly and instinctively had knocked unconscious, to his own surprised dismay. She advocated taking him to the ER, but he refused, saying he didn’t have time because he thought he had to be somewhere, that there was something really life-or-death important he had to stop. Glancing around the bar, he was drawn to the bookshelf on the side wall, and pulled out a copy of The Haunter Of The Dark and Other Tales, a collection of H.P. Lovecraft short stories. She asked if he was a horror fan, and he said he really thought he was – and then he collapsed, overwhelmed by a flashing sequence of fragmented memories: Dean leaving the hospital after giving up Lisa, Ben’s face in the car, a man jumping, Balthazar in Bobby’s house, Dean’s and Bobby’s faces, lighting a brazier in a summoning spell, the lit neon sign for the Nite Owl hotel. Scared by his collapse, the bartender said she was taking him to a doctor, but he asked instead for a computer. Searching the web, he found the Nite Owl Hotel was a real place two towns over. Thinking he might have been staying there, he got up to leave, but the woman, asking how he would get there, insisted on driving, saying she wouldn’t be able to sleep if she let him go off alone, and was dying to see how it all turned out.
At the hotel, figuring out where to start, Sam said the ground floor corner room nearest the fire escape would be his first choice, because it offered the quickest getaway. Going to the room, he knocked, but got no answer. Discovering the door locked, he borrowed the bartender’s credit card to jimmy the lock, and walked into a room with the walls covered in a hunter’s collage. The woman observed it was all very Beautiful Mind meets Se7en, then found a stack of fake ID’s with different rock star names: Jimmy Page, Neil Peart, Angus Young. She said she was starting to freak out, and he agreed he was, too. One news article on the wall caught his eye: a report on the missing SFU professor Eleanor Visyak – and he collapsed again under an onslaught of memory.
He saw Dr. Visyak in an alley leaning against a wooden pallet, and then saw himself walking down an alley with Bobby and Dean, asking where she was. Bobby called her cellphone again, and they heard the phone ringing down a cross alley. Following the sound, they found her dying. Wryly observing she could have used Bobby’s help after all, she said she’d gotten away from her captors, but not before giving them what they needed to open the door to Purgatory. She said she could have handled the demon, but when the angel stepped in, she broke. She said they needed the blood of a virgin and of a Purgatory native, and noted the first would be easy and they now had plenty of the latter. Dean asked if they’d already opened the door, but she told them it would happen tomorrow, at the eclipse of the moon. She apologized to Bobby, but died before she could give them the location.
Castiel appeared and said he was sorry this had to happen, saying Crowley got carried away. Bobby rounded on him angrily, but the brothers held him back, and Dean angrily observed he couldn’t even see how totally off the rails he was. The angel said he didn’t care what they thought, and asked them to please go home and let him stop Raphael. Dean refused. Castiel said he wished it hadn’t come to this, and then said when it was all over, he would save Sam, but only if they stood down. While Dean asked in confusion what he would save Sam from, the angel disappeared; then reappeared just behind Sam, touching him on the forehead as he turned –
– and in the hotel room, as she rushed to his side, he looked up and said his name was Sam. She asked what he remembered, and he described being with two guys, one a male model-type and the other an older man named Bobby. Seeing an address book on the nearest pile, he picked it up and paged through it, finding an address but no phone number for a Bobby Singer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She apologized, but said this was where she had to get off, and he assured her it was no problem. She asked how he would get there, and he wonderingly picked up the keys that were lying by the address book, saying he guessed he would take his car. Out in the hotel parking lot, he immediately recognized the Impala as his. The bartender said she didn’t feel right about letting him go alone, saying she had a bad feeling, after seeing the weird hotel room and the fake ID’s, that he might not like what he found when he remembered things. He rhetorically asked what other choice he had, but as she started to answer, he heard a noise, and realizing it was a gun being cocked, he tackled her out of the way as a shot broke the passenger window. Looking for the shooter, he saw – himself, looking smug and cold as he slowly lowered his gun. Behind him, the woman called his name, Sam – and then called him Sammy. Her voice became Dean’s, quietly pleading for him to snap out of it, as Sam lay unconscious on the cot in Bobby’s panic room.
As the Rolling Stones’ “Play With Fire” played on the radio in the panic room and Dean paced, watching Sam, Bobby entered the panic room with a fresh bottle of whiskey to replace Dean’s nearly empty one, asking if there was any change. Worried and frustrated, Dean said he had to do something to help Sam, suggesting “dreamscaping” his head, but Bobby warned they knew what Castiel had done, bringing down the dam that had been protecting Sam from his memories of Hell, and they couldn’t imagine what horror was loose in his mind. Bobby noted they only had sixteen hours to stop Castiel and Crowley opening the door to Purgatory, and said he was already down one man and couldn’t afford to be down two. Dean protested they had no leads on Castiel or Crowley and hadn’t heard anything from Balthazar, so all they had was Sam going through whatever he was experiencing. Pouring Dean another drink as well as one for himself, Bobby quietly reminded Dean this was exactly was Castiel wanted – for Dean to fall to pieces and be ineffective – and advocated he think instead about doing what Sam would want. Calming a little, Dean told Bobby to find Castiel.
In his mind, Sam drove the Impala through the night with the same song playing on the radio, asking the woman curiously if she smelled whiskey. She asked him about who had shot at them, and he lied, saying he hadn’t gotten a good look. When she advocated going to the cops, he refused, saying his friends could help, but she countered that he didn’t even know whether they were his friends. Back in the panic room, Dean used a flashlight to check the responsiveness of Sam’s pupils, and as the light shone in his real eye, Sam was blinded by light in the dream and slammed on the car’s brakes, bringing the Impala to an abrupt stop in bright daylight. Disconcerted, he scrambled out of the car, saying it had been night but now it was day, and the woman said it had always been day. As he wondered what was going on and she announced she was all filled up on crazy for the day and was going to leave him, Sam heard rustling in the woods near the car. Cocking his head in the direction of the threatening noise, he told her to get into the car, and then followed his own unconscious urge to open the trunk, discovering the weapons cache with surprise. Without realizing it, he picked out his habitual handgun and shotgun, and headed off into the woods with the shotgun at the ready.
His soulless self got the drop on him, disarming him and asking if he was really that gawky. Soulless Sam tweaked him to realize he was dreaming, noting that when Castiel had brought down his mental walls against the Hell memories, he had shattered into pieces. Observing he’d run their body for a while with consummate efficiency, his soulless self claimed souls were weak, a liability, and someone needed to take over. Sam fled as his soulless self shot at him. Pausing in his flight, Sam found his handgun in his hand, and then kept running until he came to a little stream. Pursuing with methodical relentlessness, soulless Sam spotted his target’s jacket in the brush by a stream, and placed three strategic shots before he realized the jacket was an empty decoy. With realization came a single shot from behind, and soulless Sam fell, revealing Sam, frightened but resolute, behind him. Dying, soulless Sam chuckled that if Sam thought he was bad, he should wait until he met the other one. When he collapsed, light blazed from his body into Sam – and in the panic room, Sam went into brief convulsions that subsided even as Dean, terrified, grabbed him and held him down.
In the dream, Sam returned to the car and his companion, announcing that he remembered who he was and everything he’d done in the past year – and he remembered her. Through the eyes of memory, we saw soulless Sam facing off against a red-eyed demon who held the bartender as a human shield, threatening to kill her unless Sam walked away. Instead, soulless Sam coldly shot her, saying the demon had lost his leverage, and then took down the demon. In the dream, blood from the gunshot wound began to stain the woman’s shirt, and she said she’d warned him he might not like what he found. Sam apologized, saying he was sorry, but she said he wasn’t as sorry as he was going to be, and vanished.
In the panic room, Dean was nursing another glass of whiskey and watching his brother when Bobby appeared at the door with Balthazar, who looked at the new paint on the walls and observed they’d finally gotten the angel-proofing right. Dean asked what had taken him so long, and Balthazar admitted he’d been having second thoughts about betraying his powerful friend Castiel. Ultimately, however, he handed over the address in Kansas where Castiel and Crowley were planning to open the gate; the mansion where Crowley had been doing his monster-torture. He refused to take them there, however; saying he’d stuck his neck out far enough already, he disappeared.
Castiel was waiting pensively in Crowley’s empty torture room when the demon arrived and presented him with a sealed jar of blood, half virgin and half Purgatory monster. The angel said he was renegotiating their terms to give Crowley nothing, not one single soul. When the demon objected, saying he wouldn’t dare, Castiel said he wouldn’t hand all that power to the king of Hell; that he was neither stupid nor wicked. He told Crowley to flee or die, and Crowley fled.
In his dream, Sam found Bobby’s house curiously vacant, with all the furniture draped with white sheets but many candles burning in cobwebbed candelabra. He saw a shadowed figure sitting at a bare table in the dark kitchen. The figure didn’t respond until he shouted at it, and then just slowly raised his head and greeted him without surprise. Sam asked which one he was, and the figure asked if he didn’t know. As he slowly stood up, the scant light revealed a broken version of Sam, his skin mottled and clothing caked with old dried blood, and he said with weary despair that he was the one who remembered Hell.
In the panic room, Bobby finished packing their combat kit, including the two angel swords they’d collected over time, and told Dean it was time to go. Dean laid the piece of paper with the address they’d gotten from Balthazar on the bed beside Sam, weighting it down with Sam’s handgun, and told Sam that was where they would be. Voice breaking, he told Sam to get his lazy ass out of bed and meet them there.
In his dream, Hell-Sam told Sam he wished he hadn’t come, but Sam responded he didn’t have any choice. He said he’d figured his body was at Bobby’s, since he’d been smelling Old Spice and whiskey, and thought if he could get there in the dream, he could snap out of it. Hell-Sam said he had to go through him first, explaining that he had to put all the pieces of himself together before he could wake up, and Sam realized that meant he had to know what had happened in the cage. Hell-Sam said he didn’t want to know and Sam agreed. Pleading, Hell-Sam encouraged him to stay in the dream, to just find and stay with the bartender or Jess, saying Sam couldn’t imagine Hell and wouldn’t be strong enough to deal with the memories. Sam concluded that he had to, because he wasn’t going to leave his brother alone out there. Hell-Sam reluctantly came around the table, picking up the knife that had been by his hand, but he offered the blade hilt-first to Sam, saying he wasn’t going to fight him, but this was his last chance. Sam took the knife, and Hell-Sam wished him luck, telling him he was going to need it. Scared and sad but determined, Sam stabbed his doppelganger, and as light poured from the doppelganger’s body into his, Sam convulsed on the cot in the panic room.
At Crowley’s mansion, Castiel sat contemplating the jar of blood when Balthazar arrived, asking why Castiel had summoned him. Castiel said Dean was on his way, because someone in their camp had betrayed them by giving away their location. Balthazar asked if he knew who it was, and Castiel said he didn’t know, but needed Balthazar to find out, saying he would take care of Dean himself. As Castiel turned away, Balthazar asked if he was all right, and Castiel said bemusedly that he was doing his best in impossible circumstances, but his friends abandoned him and plotted against him, and it was difficult to understand. Balthazar said Cass would always have little old him, and Castiel suddenly appeared behind him, stabbing him through the heart with his angel blade, sadly agreeing he would always have Balthazar as the other angel died in an explosion of light.
Shortly after, Dean and Bobby parked the Impala on a road in sight of the mansion. Bobby spotted at least a dozen angel guards, and proposed trying to sneak past them since they couldn’t possibly take out that many. Before they could move, however, they heard a distant, heavy thumping sound so deep it made ripples in the puddles on the street, and then they saw a massive cloud of demon smoke shot through with light blazing through the sky and blotting out the moon even as the eclipse began. They bolted for the car, but before Dean could drive off, the cloud swept over them, flipping the car and passing by to envelop the house.
Inside the mansion, Castiel was studying the Purgatory spell when he heard screams and groans from upstairs as the cloud hit. Crowley appeared, telling him he shouldn’t underestimate the king of Hell, and saying it was time to re-re-negotiate their terms. Castiel tried to smite him, but nothing happened, and Crowley said he was being protected by his new partner – and Raphael appeared on cue. Castiel warned that Raphael would betray him, but Crowley, pointing out Castiel was no better, added that Raphael had offered him protection against all comers in exchange for the Purgatory blood, and he had taken it as the best offer available. Raphael chided Castiel for thinking he would let Castiel open the door and take in that much power, saying that if anyone was going to be the new God, it would be Raphael. Crowley offered Castiel two options – flee, or die – and the angel pensively picked up the jar of blood, then tossed it to Crowley even as he disappeared.
As the moon became fully eclipsed, Crowley began intoning the spell as he and Raphael stood in front of the wall on which they’d painted the complex spell sigil in blood. Outside, in the flipped Impala, Dean and Bobby woke up and crawled out, making their way into the house. Stealthily entering the room where the ritual was underway from a door high in the back wall, Dean threw one of the angel blades, hoping to take out Raphael, but the angel caught the blade in flight without even turning around to see them. Crowley gestured, flinging Bobby down the flight of stairs and hurling Dean over the railing to crash down on a table and then to the floor, saying he was busy but would be with them in a moment. Outside, Sam arrived at the flipped car, staggering under the impact of memories of burning alive, but grimly shoving them down and moving on.
Crowley finished the spell, but nothing happened. As he wondered if he’d said it wrong, Castiel appeared, calmly telling him he’d said it perfectly, but what he’d needed was the jar of blood in Castiel’s hands. Crowley realized Castiel had substituted on the toss a jar of dog’s blood for the one containing the mix of virgin and monster blood, and also saw Castiel’s jar was empty. He asked how Castiel’s ritual had gone, and the angel bowed his head, then radiated blinding light. Quenching it, he smiled and told them they couldn’t imagine what it was like, having millions upon millions of souls all inside of him. Crowley prudently took his leave, but Raphael couldn’t. Castiel cruelly teased Raphael about someone having clipped his wings, and when Raphael protested that he’d let the demon escape, but not his own brother, Castiel observed he had plans for the demon. He snapped his fingers and Raphael exploded. The angel blade fell to the floor.
Dean and Bobby stared in shocked horror, but Castiel just smiled and turned away, saying he’d saved them again. Treading cautiously, fearing to detonate the unpredictable fuse on the Castiel bomb, Dean agreed and thanked him, and Castiel, still smiling, observed they’d doubted him and fought against him, but he’d been right all along. Playing along, Dean agreed that he was and said they were sorry, and then proposed they just defuse him. Castiel asked what he meant, and Dean observed he was full of nuke and it wasn’t safe, so they should return the souls to Purgatory before the eclipse ended. Castiel said the souls belonged with him, and when Dean protested they were scrambling his brain, Castiel said pleasantly he wasn’t finished yet, because Raphael had many followers and he needed to punish them all severely. Facing insanity driving power, Dean begged him to listen, saying they were family once. He said he’d lost Lisa, Ben, and Sam, and pleaded with the angel not to make him lose Castiel as well. He said Castiel didn’t need all that power any more and should get rid of it before it killed them all. Castiel said he was only saying that because the angel had won and Dean was afraid. He said Dean wasn’t his family, that he had no family – and Sam, coming in from behind, scooped up the fallen angel blade and stabbed him in the back, gasping with the effort of staying in the moment. Castiel didn’t even react, simply reaching back and pulling out the blade. He said he was glad Sam had made it, but the angel blade wouldn’t work because he wasn’t an angel anymore. He proclaimed he was their new God, a better one, and ordered them to bow down and profess their love to him, or he would destroy them.