Castiel, Jack, and Dean are gathered around a table in the bunker; they're eating pizza and teasing Dean about being on his seventh piece. Dean counters that it's not really a big deal; it's not even a whole pizza! As the camera pulls back, we see Mary and Sam there too. Everyone is relaxed and smiling. Mary rises and kisses Dean sweetly, teasing that they used to call him "little piglet." In the hallway, Sam asks Mary if she's OK; she hasn't said much. Mary looks at him earnestly; she says that the alternate world was hard, but she knew that Sam - Sam and Dean - would save her and Jack. "Sam," she says. "Sam. Sam. Sam. Sam." Sam jolts awake. He's in his bed in the bunker with his alarm sounding -- it was all a dream. He rubs his face, exhausted.
In the bunker, Rowena is collecting ingredients while Dean packs weapons. Cas enters the room to tell them that Gabriel is getting his grace. He's using Dean's room. "No!" Dean objects. Sam puts a gun in his waistband. They're worried that, once the rift opens, they will have very little time before the clock runs out. How will they traverse that world, manage to find and rescue their loved ones, and get back through the rift before it closes? Gabriel comes in with a vial with a tiny bit of grace glowing at the bottom. Everyone is surprised and skeptical at how minute it is, but Gabriel insists that it's enough. The grace was the final ingredient; Rowena does the spell, throwing out her arms with a word of power, and a thin, golden rip in space appears in the bunker's library in front of them. Cas, Gabriel, Dean, and Sam, armed and ready, walk purposefully toward it, but suddenly it twists and begins to curve downward. Gabe's blade drops in parallel with the shrinking line of light until it disappears. "Well, that was fast," observes Castiel. He reminds them that they all know what they need to do - find Lucifer and use HIS grace.
The title "Supernatural" burns across the screen, then the episode name -- "Beat the Devil."
Dean, Cas, and Sam are talking in the kitchen about their options. Sam absolutely doesn't want to hunt down Lucifer, but Cas says that he was used by Lucifer too. He understands how horrible Lucifer is, but they can't avoid him because they're scared. "We let him out; he's our responsibility."
While this discussion is going on, Gabriel and Rowena are in the library, pointedly ignoring each other until they start speaking at the same time. Gabriel keeps giving excuses about his grace while Rowena mocks back. "Maybe it was YOU!" suggests Gabriel, but Rowena says her spell-casting was fine. It was the ingredient, she says with a pointed look. Gabriel is tired of waiting for the three amigos, but Rowena says, what with their bro hugs, pep talks, and melodrama, it's bound to be a while before they're done talking. She silently admires Gabriel's body; we hear her appreciative thoughts. Gabriel in turn is surreptitiously perusing and admiring Rowena. What are they going to do while they wait? Rowena plays with an upright pestle on the table in front of her. They have time. She eyes Gabriel suggestively. He eyes her back.
The scene shifts back to the kitchen where Sam reluctantly agrees that they need to pursue Lucifer. Dean is discouraged before they've even begun; even if they get Lucifer, they won't have enough time in Rift World. They enter the library and are surprised to find it empty. Then Rowena, flushed and rumpled, comes from behind a shelf of books, followed by Gabriel, equally disheveled. They awkwardly explain that they were reading. The Winchesters stare while Cas looks down at the floor instead of meeting anyone's eyes.
We're in a bar with "Cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man in the moon" playing in the background. Lucifer is drinking at the bar, feeling reflective and sad. He's had heaven and hell in his hands, and they don't matter. Nothing matters. Well, except one thing - finding his son. There's one problem -- he can't feel him anymore. He doesn't know where he is. Anyway, even if he could find him, his mother has turned the boy against him. The sympathetic bartender commiserates, "Jack will come around." Lucifer realizes that he'd never mentioned his son's name. He tries to get up, only to sway as the bar dims around him. He's been drugged. The bartender was an illusion; it's actually Gabriel. Lucifer swings a fist at the other archangel but misses. "I killed you!" he says in wonderment. "Surprise!" Gabriel retorts. Lucifer opens the door to exit the bar, steps through, and stares. He's back in the bar, with Gabriel cheerfully wiping down a glass. "Welcome back." "Whoa . . . OK," says Lucifer. Suddenly, Rowena is there too, naming the ingredients of the spell that has incapacitated him. Lucifer laughs, "I killed you too!" He wants to leave, but Rowena binds him with magic. Gabriel steps up close, holding up a golden archangel blade. Lucifer laughs and tells them to go ahead and kill him. Instead, Gabriel hits him upside the head with his fist around the hilt of his blade.
The next scene opens with a closeup of Rowena's hands mixing ingredients in a bowl for a spell. They're in the bunker, and Lucifer is on his knees with his hands bound behind his back with Rowena's magical purple spell rope. He comments about how nice it is to be there with so many people he'd tortured before. Rowena puts the bowl on the ground in front of him, and Cas steps up behind him and slashes him across the throat. Lucifer's grace begins to spill out into the bowl. Lucifer wants to know why they brought him back to the bunker. Humiliation? Revenge? Sam says that they need more time to keep the rift open; they're going to use him up, then come back and kill him. "Grace on tap," comments Gabriel. Rowena is confident and unafraid. She casts the spell and opens the rift. Sam, Cas, Gabriel, and Dean, with one last look back at Lucifer, step through the golden crack in time and space and disappear. Lucifer stares straight ahead, shoulders slumped, eyes tired.
They tumble through the rift, falling down a leafy slope, Gabriel landing awkwardly on top of Cas. They need to be in Dayton. Cas figures they're in what used to be north east Kentucky, and Dean figures out which direction is north. They have a two-day trek in front of them.
Back on the bunker, Lucifer is still on his knees, staring at the rift and bleeding grace. He tries to needle Rowena about being left behind because she's a woman, but the red-haired witch won't be baited. She knows he's enduring a "deeply emasculating humiliation." Since he can't get her riled up, he starts to loudly sing, 'Camptown Races."
Back in the AU, Cas strikes up a conversation with Gabriel as they walk. Gabriel hasn't really made plans for the future, though he's enjoyed indulging in revenge against his enemies as well as recreation with a 300-year-old witch. Cas tells him that the angels have been decimated, that there are barely any left. Heaven is dying. "You serious?" asks Gabriel, but when Cas implies that heaven needs him, he demurs that they wouldn't want him back; he's a screw-up. Cas responds that it was upright angels who'd brought heaven to its knees; perhaps a screw-up is exactly what they need.
Dean comments to Sam that he seems lighter, happier. Sam IS happy; they're on their way to rescue their mom and Jack. They're close! Then a scream rips through the grim woods, followed by more. "Not our world; not our problem!" says Gabriel, but that doesn't stop the Winchesters. They find a couple fighting a monster; when the man yells, "Run!", the woman leaps on the creature's back, but it's much too strong. It hurls her to the forest floor alongside her companion, but suddenly Dean leaps in front of her, leveling his gun at the monster, and Sam dashes in and rapidly cuts off its head. It was a vampire, starving since angels killed off so many humans, and desperate to feed. The couple tells them that they were headed north too to join Jack and Mary's camp, but when they ventured into a tunnel, the quickest route north, they ran into a nest of vampires. Of all the humans who entered the tunnel, only the two of them made it out. The tunnel is dangerous, but it would take too long to take a detour. "We're going through,' says Sam.
Back in the bunker, Lucifer is still singing and teasing. Rowena is trying to ignore him, but his obnoxiousness is getting to her, especially when he starts to taunt her about her death, how scared she'd been, how she'd smelled as she'd burned. "What was that like?" he asks. Rowena, incensed, grabs him by the hair and hisses in his ear that right now, in the AU, his son is reuniting with the Winchesters and Cas. They're more of a father to him than Lucifer will ever be. Lucifer is nothing to Jack. The purple bonds glow and fade. Lucifer jerks free; his eyes burn red. He grabs Rowena by the neck, propels her across the room, and slams her into a wall. He plans to kill her, but she spits out a quick spell - hurling him backwards and through the rift. He disappears. Rowena slumps on the floor, staring at the spot where her adversary had just been. "Bollocks!"
After the commercial, Rowena is packing. She realizes what a horrible situation it is: Sam and Dean will be trapped forever in an apocalyptic wasteland of a world with the devil running free, but, "Sorry, boys . . . not my problem." She starts to walk away, then turns back with a sigh, and slams a huge spell book down on the table. She can't leave them there, but she's frustrated at the whole situation, muttering "bollocks" repeatedly.
The group of humans head toward the tunnel. Sam rips the door back, and Dean enters, gun held in readiness, flashlights glowing. It's dark and eerie; the man they rescued trips and falls over a bloody backpack and a small pink shoe. A shadowy figure watches, bat-like ears erect as it drops down behind them, but Sam swiftly dispatches it. They find more bodies in the tunnel, quick visions of horror as flashlight beams scan the desolate, narrow passageway. They stop to clear a blocked passageway, and that's when the vampires attack, lunging out of the darkness with distorted faces, bulging eyes, and snarling fangs. The humans are quickly overpowered, though they fight desperately. Dean is driven back against the side of the tunnel, while Sam is grabbed by two vampires and forced to his knees. He looks toward his brother, calling out, "Dean!" Dean, still fending off his attacker, sees his brother overpowered by the bloodsuckers. "Sam!" he yells, as one of them rips greedily into Sam's throat. Blood spurts, and the monsters drag Sam off into the darkness. Dean fights off the vampire and runs after Sam, but Cas grabs him. "He's gone." They don't have time to try to get him back, and it's too late. From the darkness come gruesome noises, like slurping, vampires hungrily feeding on their victims. Dean stares past Cas into the dark with horror and despair in his eyes.
The smaller group of survivors, missing Sam and the rescued man, have made it through the tunnel and are once more walking through the woods. Dean's eyes aren't on his surroundings; he's reliving the attack on Sam, seeing him fall, seeing him bleed. The girl they'd rescued approaches him, trying to express her sorrow for the loss of his friend, but he looks as if he doesn't hear her, turns away, and walks on. Cas reaches out to reassure her.
As if to verify that Sam is gone, we're back in the tunnel where Sam lies flat on his back, eyes wide and unseeing, blood smeared from the jagged tears in his neck.
In the woods, Cas stops, struggling to breathe. The trees around them are marked with sigils; the warding is draining his strength. He can't go on. Suddenly, armed men rush out of the woods. They raise their weapons but call out that they're not a threat. And then Mary walks out. Her face is warm with relief and happiness as she sees Dean. Dean stares hungrily at her; it's obvious that he's glad to see her, but he's reserved, unsmiling. They hold each other close in a long-awaited hug, but Dean's eyes are tormented. Mary pulls back with a smile, then asks, "Where's Sam?" Dean can't reply, but tears fill his eyes and begin to roll down his cheek.
Back in the tunnel, Sam is still dead. Grim. Gray. Eyes staring. Desolation. Then, a sudden gasp. Sam jerks back to life, jack-knifing to a sitting position. His hand flies to his throat; the wound is gone. He clutches his neck and stares around him. "Boo," says Lucifer, stepping into the light. "Hey, Sammy." "No!" shouts Sam.
Lucifer has run into some of AltMichael's angels and eaten them. That gave him the power to bring Sam back to life. Lucifer says he wants what everyone wants -- an apology from God. He's been holding back the vampires. They snarl rabidly from a distance away. All Lucifer needs to do is snap his fingers, and they'll be back, ripping out Sam's throat again. "What do you want?" Sam is angry. "I want a relationship with my son," replies Lucifer, "and you'll help me. I'll come bearing gifts." The others will have to listen to Lucifer if he returns Sam to them. "I lifted you from the darkness into the light," Lucifer declares. "You need me."
The camera takes a long view of the rebels' encampment nestled among tall trees before focusing in on the pensive female survivor and a sad Gabriel. Jack's there too, but he's angry. "He can't be dead!" he exclaims. He wants Castiel or Gabriel to bring Sam back to life, but they explain that they don't have the power. Dean tells Mary that he's going back to get Sam's body when a sudden ringing sound fills the air. It must be an alarm. Someone's approaching the camp. Then Sam walks in, still blood smeared and weary but alive. Jack smiles happily at him, but Mary and Dean can only stare, as if afraid to believe that he's real.
Then Lucifer steps into view. He smiles at Jack. "Hello, son."
- What did you think of Rowena and Gabriel's love connection?
- Doesn't Lucifer know more annoying songs than just "Camptown Races"?
- How powerful is Lucifer now?
- Jack was devastated that Sam had been killed; will Lucifer's resurrecting him create a bond between the father and son?
- So many characters have had redemption arcs. Is Lucifer going to become a loving daddy or does he have something more nefarious in mind?