THEN – Baby’s tail lights. Cas confusedly watching porn on TV, while Sam and Dean look at him, mortified. “I learned that from the pizza man.” Cas kisses Meg. Ruby opens the door for Bobby and Dean and asks, “Where’s the pizza?” Dean eats pizza – pizza – pizza. “I’m done.” Jack. Billie. Sam says Jack has no soul. Jack says he’ll be able to kill God. Chuck is destroying worlds. Billie tells them this is their destiny, to be the messengers of God’s destruction.
NOW – Books are scattered on a table in the bunker, Sam perusing one while Dean checks news on a laptop. There are no strange reports; CNN apparently doesn’t know that God is in the process of eliminating his creation. They hear a strange sound – a door? An elevator? Rising, they walk through the bunker’s hallways, seeking the source of the strange sound. For a moment, they pause outside a wooden door marked 28, then open it up only to find the room filled with a small, greyish-green Fiat 500. The doors open. Feet hit the floor. In slo mo, another Sam and Dean, obvious enough to be the Winchesters but with subtle differences – get out. “We did it!” they say, exchanging a fist bump across the roof of the car. Behind them glows a narrow sliver of a rift between universes. “What the hell?” asks one of our Winchesters as one of the new ones say, “What the heck?” Then, “Aw, NUTS!” and the alternate Winchesters and their car disappear.
***SUPERNATURAL*** Title: Destiny’s Child
Sam and Dean are intensely trying to explain to Castiel that a rift had appeared in the armory, letting through another version of themselves. “I’m not understanding,” Cas tells them with furrowed brow. Suddenly, Billie has joined them. “They were running,” she explains dryly. God was destroying their world so they were trying to get away. After that brief explanation, she moves on to her purpose: she has the next step for Jack. Just then, the nephilim, in a white t-shirt with a wide band of alternating color across the front, enters, eating a white bread sandwich. Billie explains that the first quest was to strengthen his body. This one has a more spiritual aim. He has to find the occultum. It’s not a weapon, but it is powerful. Dean is annoyed that she doesn’t have any more information to give them. “Big help,” he gripes. “Are you ready – truly?” Death asks Jack, her large eyes trained like lasers on his face. “I am,” he replies simply and earnestly. “Good to hear,” she says, then reminds them that they need to not be STUPID.
Sam is researching, absorbed in the task of finding out about the occultum. Near him, Dean toys absentmindedly with a rubber band. Sam starts to explain that he’s not finding a lot of information, then realizes that Dean really isn’t even listening. Dean, though, comes back to the present and starts sharing his thoughts with his brother. He summarizes that Death is now their Obi Wan, and Jack’s supposed to kill God, but what about Amara? Maybe Jack should kill Amara too. After all, if they kill God, the world is left out of balance, but if they go for the “family plan,” the balance is preserved and the world is saved. Sam asks, “So who takes over? Jack?” Just then Jack enters, blowing a bubble of gum. “I just learned that!” he says happily. This does not seem a very possible potential replacement Lord of the Universe. When they ask about Billie’s plan, Jack says he’s pretty vague on that. With apparently no information and no leads, they are interrupted by Cas who enters the room as he finishes a phone call. He tells them that Sergei let him know that the occultum is divine and that once it was stored in a temple but then it was — “Stolen by pirates!” interrupts Dean eagerly. When Cas shakes his head, Dean offers a couple other scenarios, only to have Castiel tell him that it was stolen by mongols – “my next guess!” says Dean – and eventually ended up in the hands of a family who gave it to a faith healer who healed their sick son. There was no name for the faith healer, but she was an attractive woman who healed by laying on her hands on people – her glowing hands. It was Sister Jo.
In a plain, barren room filled with lines of prosaic folding chairs and a plain table at the front, the self-serving, auburn-haired angel sits on the table’s surface and counts her money. Her slender, pink-jacketed form is silhouetted against a bucolic scene – farm lands and a tractor – on a large poster on the wall of the empty Kiwanis Hall. Sam and Dean enter. There’s a gigantic American flag on the wall behind them as they approach her. They want her to tell them about the occultum. They need it to kill God. Quickly they summarize for her that God is back, he’s pissed, and he’s gonna murder the world – “unless we stop him.” Jo raises an eyebrow. They want her to join their side? “We’re better looking,” jokes Dean. “No, I’m not making God my enemy. He’s God.” The Winchesters pull out angel blades and take a couple steps toward her so she tells them that Ruby has it. We see a flashback where Season 4 Ruby (“Nice vessel,” Jo tells her, saying she likes it better than the blonde) meets with Jo. They’re working partners not friends. Ruby is all in black, her human eyes dark in her pale face, while Jo seems to shimmer with warm, sunlit earth tones. Ruby never used the occultum – the Winchesters killed her – but she stashed it away in hell, Jo tells them.
Pizza, wings, hot dogs, and other fast food fill a table in the bunker, Jack eating as Cas enters the room. “You know what’s good about being dead?” the nephilim asks. “Very little,” Cas says with his typical Spock-like logic. “Getting into cold, hot, sweet, sour, scary, funny,” Jack tells him, gesturing toward the array of food. “Are you into it?” questions Cas. “I want to be,” answers Jack, “but I don’t feel things.” The feelings he once had were glorious and sometimes unbearable. Now he understands joy or sadness, but they aren’t in him. He mentions “what happened to Mary.” “What YOU DID,” Cas gently corrects him. “It’s clear things have changed,” Jack says. “Especially with Dean. Will he ever forgive me?” “He feels things acutely,” Cas tells him. “One day he may explode and then move on.” Jack wants to know how long that might be. “I don’t know,” Cas tells him.
Sam and Dean are discussing the occultum when Cas calls them. Leading them into a side room, he shows them the vague forms of the alternate Sam and Dean, flickering and barely seen against the cement walls of the bunker. They look lost, stuck in place, unaware of where they are, unable to see the bunker. They turn to each other to talk then poke at the wall. Apparently, they are trapped between dimensions. “Are they in pain?” asks Dean. “I don’t think so,” replies Cas. “Good,” Dean says shortly, stepping away. “We gotta go to hell.” They tell Cas that Jo told them Ruby hid the occultum in hell. “Ruby, the demon you were sexually intimate with?” Cas asks baldly, unaware of the awkwardness of his comment. He feels that they need more information. “From Ruby? Ruby’s dead!” the brothers reply.
Hell’s spook hallway with the hooded statues with clasped hands. A flash of light. Sam and Dean step into hell. An organ is distantly playing. A male demon in a black t-shirt tells them that they shouldn’t be there. Rowena is hosting a reception for new souls. Apparently, that’s what we do now, he adds a bit distastefully. ;
Back in the bunker, Cas is carefully watching a bowl of purple smoke. “So they made it? They’re in hell?” asks Jack. Cas tells him that there are too many holes in Jo’s story. He needs to talk to Ruby. For that, he needs Jack to kill him – or almost kill him – so he can get to the empty and question Ruby. He retrieves a flash from a cupboard. Jack is concerned that the Empty might try to keep Cas, but the angel tells him that they have a deal, and Cas is FAR from happy. (Since he’s not happy, the Empty can’t take him.) Jack is hesitant: “I know killing you is wrong.” Cas reassures him although, if something goes wrong, “I’ll be lost forever.” Also, while he’s gone, Jack needs to keep an eye on the bowl, otherwise Sam and Dean will be lost forever too. He needs Jack to drain almost all of his grace into the flask. “Are you sure?” asks Jack. “Not at all,” Cas tells him, straight-forward as ever. “give me one hour.” He sits at the table and gives Jack the flask. Jack puts his hand on Cas’s forehead. Cas’s eyes glow blue, his forehead furrows, and shining blue light flows from his mouth into the container until his head slumps down.
The demon leads the Winchesters down the hall toward a tall door. Two female demons appear behind them. It’s a trap. Dean turns to handle the newcomers while Sam grapples with the first demon. After a flurry of blows, Dean impales both his opponents, and Sam has his held from behind with an angel blade at his throat. The demon admits that they had a deal with Jo – if they attacked the Winchesters, she’d get them out of hell, then Sam kills him.
In the empty Kiwanis Hall, Jo rolls up her publicity banner. A man with a broken leg enters asking for help. “Sister Jo’s not here,” the angel answers blithely. “She’s retired.” As she heads toward the door, she throws this advice back over her shoulder: “Don’t make friends. They ask too much of you.”
Cas has made it to the Empty. He stands lit up clearly but surrounded by total darkness. He calls for Ruby. There is no sign, no sound, from the blackness surrounding him. Suddenly, a voice says, “Hello, Clarence.” It’s Meg, blonde and smiling with a superior tilt to her head, lounging on a throne with a wine glass in her hand. “You’re the Empty,” Castiel realizes immediately. He tells the entity that he’s looking for Ruby, but it scoffs. Is this a singles’ bar? “I’m fulfilling a quest for Death!” insists Castiel. “You’re no fun,” pouts the Empty. In the distance, a pulsing ball of glowing fire appears, then approaches, and Ruby appears, dressed immaculately but looking emotionally rumpled. When Cas explains what Jo said, she shakes her head: “That’s so like her.” When Cas mentions Sam and Dean, she wants to know, “How is the big lug?” Cas doesn’t want to walk down memory lane. He wants to know about the occultum. Jo called ME, clarifies the demon. In the flashback, Jo, dressed more sumptuously this time instead of her imposture as holy Sister Jo, puts an arm around her shoulder, telling her that Lucifer and Michael are circling each other. “We both know nothing will be left after the Apocalypse.” But, just in case, everyone should have a Plan B. She’s a good business woman. They can ride it out in the safest place that exists. Of course, Ruby never got to do that because she was killed. Ruby is now willing to tell Castiel where the occultum is — “You can trust me!” — but she has one demand: “Get me the hell out of here!” You see, the Empty isn’t really empty. It’s full of dreams. All the angels and demons dreaming of their regrets forever. “I’ll try,” Cas tells her. Leaning forward, she whispers directions to the angel, then fades away.
Sam and Dean are suddenly sucked back from hell into the bunker. They stare at Jack, waiting at the table with Cas’s comatose body slumped silently in a chair. “Jack, what the hell?” “Bring him back now!” Dean demands.
In the darkness, “Meg” reappears. “We have a deal!” Cas tells it. But the Empty is perfectly happy to torture him. Clutching its hand together, it forces Castiel to the ground in pain. “I’m on Death’s side,” the Empty says. “I just want to go back to sleep. Death didn’t say she needs YOU. You upset the order of things.” Back in the bunker, Jack is letting Cas’s essence flow back out from the flash through his lips. At first nothing happens, but finally he begins to cough. “See you soon,” says the Empty as he disappears from its realm of darkness.
The Winchesters are relieved to see Cas alive. Dean expresses his relief by saying, “You’re an IDIOT!” Cas reports that the occultum is not an object, but rather the safest PLACE. “Am I still an idiot?” “Well, yeah,” Dean doesn’t back down. Now that they know where it is, they can retrieve it, but Jack reminds them, “What if Chuck checks in on us?” “I have an idea!” says Dean. They head back down the bunker’s hallways. Chuck needs to see them; they can use the alternate versions of themselves to fool God, if necessary. “Or we’ll blast them away,” mentions Sam, but, despite any misgivings, he prepares a spell to free their dopplegangers who are still trapped in a sort of transparent limbo. They are playing rock, paper, scissors, as Sam sets the bowl on fire. Light flares. White fills the screen.
Alternate Sam and Dean are sitting at a bunker table with beer bottles in front of them. Our Winchesters stand facing them uncomfortably. Alt Sam has his hair slicked back; some of it is pulled back and twisted up. Alt Dean wears a light tan jacket and reminds me a bit of Dr. John Watson. They were hunters in their world. They comment that their dad spoils them. They drink a toast to Dad. Alt Sam’s pinky is out as he delicately holds the bottle. They’re not too used to beer; they rarely drink. Dean confidently defends their lifestyle but is taken aback when he realizes that they defend their whole world against monsters because they have two pilots who fly them anywhere they need to go in their private plane. And they get paid. “You what?” asks Dean. Yes, their dad founded Hunter Corp. They drink to dad again. But their wealth and success doesn’t compare to one thing. When our Winchesters explain their plan, their alternatives ask in astonishment, “God checks in on you?” They are willing to act as stand ins for our Winchesters, but Sam has a concern. “Lose the man bun!” New Dean covers his mouth. New Sam straightens up. His hair is part of his identity. He’s not changing it. Then it’s New Dean’s turn as Dean gestures dismissively at his wardrobe.
That night, the Impala pulls up in front of a small, white, wooden church. Two hunters, an angel, and a nephilim get out. “Doesn’t this seem a little easy?” asks Jack. The door is locked. Nearby, a threatening growl emanates from the trees. Dean starts to pick the lock on the door, but something in the darkness is drawing closer. “A bear?” asks Jack. “Hurry, Dean!” Sam says. “Hell hounds!” The door opens just in time. They dash inside, then slam the door shut as the hell hounds thunder against it.
They attempt to bar the door. Sam stays leaning against it as the others walk down the aisle toward the altar. Ruby had told Castiel that the top of the cross would point the way, but the cross simply points at the ceiling. Then, the full moon comes from behind the clouds, causing the cross to glow its lighted reflection on the aisle between the pews. As Sam still desperately tries to hold the door, Dean pries up the wooden floor board, revealing a small bag tied with a cord. The bag contains a small metal ball, cut into a decorative pattern and inscribed in Enochian which Castiel translates as, “the occultum must be in you.”
Back at the bunker, Alt Sam is looking at cat videos on the lap top when Alt Dean enters wearing a red and black plaid shirt. “Hillbilly clothes are bad enough,” says Alt Sam, “But my hair is sacred!” He smooths it back with a careful caress. “We have to be authentic, Samuel,” Dean tells him. That means they have to wear those clothes and drink beer in front of a computer screen, but suddenly his eyes brighten as he catches sight of Busty Asian Beauties on his computer screen. “What if Dad caught us?” They’d lose their trust fund. Alt Dean reflects on our world’s Winchesters: “They’re simple, but they don’t have to do monthly reports or have meetings. They hunt monsters, drink beer, and watch porn. They have it made!”
Sam desperately strains against the trembling door. “these chicks want us dead!” Dean says. He and Cas turn to Jack who smiles. “Where’s the occultum?” “I ate it!” he says. “Spit it out!” demands Dean, but Jack says it’s supposed to be inside you. Then he doubles over. There’s a flash of light, and Jack disappears.
He wakes up flat on his back on green grass in the warm sunlight. A barefoot, brown-haired girl in a simple white dress with long sleeves approaaches through the ferns and bushes. “Humans may not enter here,” she says. “Are you an angel?” “That’s a long story,” says Jack. The girl explains that this is the garden, man’s beginning, Adam and Eve. God loved them so. But then he hid the garden away. “It might change you,” she says, “if you were the one meant to find it.” She turns and walks away, then disappears.
From the tree behind Jack, a large, pale, yellowish snake extends its sinuous head toward him. “Who are you really? Who are you meant to be?” it asks in a guttural tone. Jack’s mind is suddenly flooded with black-and-white images – first, of him with Dean on their road trip fishing, then his mom, himself killing the snake, with Lucifer, yelling at Mary, Dean holding a gun on him in a cemetery. Lucifer’s voice says, “They may never trust you again.” Jack opens his eyes. He’s on the grass, but his eyes seem filled with grief and sorrow.
Cas and Dean are arguing while Sam flattens himself desperately against the door. An orb of light floats into the chapel, approaches Sam, then heads toward Dean and Cas. Suddenly, the door bursts open, flinging Sam back as the hellhounds burst into the church. Sam is sprawled helplessly on the floor and Dean and Cas have pulled out their angel blades when a huge flash of light explodes against the encroaching beasts and they disappear. When the light fades, Jack is crumpled on the floor. He sits up slowly. “You OK?” asks Dean. He just looks at them. [At this point, a commercial starts. The white-garbed Progressive saleswoman Flo sits on a trunk in a forest; for a moment, I thought we were back in the Garden until the Sasquatch next to her started to talk!]
Back in the bunker, our Winchesters are saying goodbye to the alternate versions of themselves. “Thanks,” says Dean. “Now it’s time to go.” “We could live hear together!’ says Alt Dean. “Like a club!” adds Alt Sam. Our Dean will have none of it. They’ll do better in Brazil – there are beaches, babes, and carnival. Alt Dean wants to keep the flannel shirts. “No,” says Dean shortly. As the other brothers head up the stairs, Alt Dean turns back, his eyes alight. “We saw it! The car!” “We drove in it!” Alt Sam adds. Dean eyes flash and his jaw tightens. “And we’re leaving,” Alt Dean quickly says, steering his younger brother up the stairs and out of the bunker. Dean is not happy!
Sam stands in a hallway outside a closed door. As Dean approaches, Cas comes out to tell them that Jack is recovered, but something’s different. He’s been to the garden. It’s the crossroads of divinity and humanity. No one’s been there before. They all go back through the doorway and into the kitchen where Jack is seated at a table. His shoulders are hunched; his head is down. “I’m so sorry,” he says. “You’re what?” asks Dean. “I should have known,” Jack says earnestly, eyes brimming with tears. “My mother died too. Why didn’t I understand?” He’s weeping, and the Winchesters are disconcerted. “Jack – ” Dean starts, but he doesn’t know what to say. “His soul is back,” Cas comments. “Please forgive me!’ pleads Jack. Sam and Dean stand side by side, looking at him with concerned eyes and creased brows. Jack looks back down at the table.
Well, this will be the last episode for a while, so let’s start out our imposed exile from our beloved show with some questions!
- Why has Death never mentioned Amara? After all, Amara originally destroyed God’s creation; is she not a threat?
- Will Cas keep his promise to Ruby and bring her back? Do you want him to?
- Alt Sam and Dean seem rather blandly unconcerned about the fate of their entire world. Why?
- Are Sam and Dean going to kill Jo for the symmetry of the actors’ wives both getting ganked by the Winchesters? Doesn’t Jo realize that, if God destroys the world, she’s gone too and all the money she enjoys making?
- The girl in the garden mentions “the one meant to find it,” referencing destiny again. If Jack is fulfilling destiny, whose is he fulfilling? Kelly’s visions? Castiel’s faith? Billie’s rules? Is Destiny something humans should surrender to or should fight against? What are the implications of Jack being Destiny’s Child?
- Who is the girl in the garden?
- The snake asks, “Who are you really?” Who is Jack? Who are Sam and Dean – Hunters? Vessels? Legacies? Heroes? Messengers of God’s destruction? If the snake asked you who you were, what would you say?
- The Empty said it would see Castiel soon. How will that be, seeing that Cas is supposed to be supremely happy before the Empty can take him?
- The idea of the Empty, when Death threatened to throw the Winchesters into it, first seemed terrifying, then much less so when we discovered that all the beings are simply asleep. Tonight, Ruby revealed that that sleep is not a peaceful one; instead they dream again and again of their regrets. How does this affect your picture of the Empty?
- Will the Winchesters forgive Jack?