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Then:  “I am a Winchester!” shouts Jack as he kills Michael.  He inhales grace:  “I’m me again!”  He heals Sam after Nick’s brutal attack.  Cas is concerned about Jack’s soul.  Jack disintegrates Felix the snake to dust.  Nick viciously beats the policeman and escapes custody.  Nick tries to resurrect Lucifer.  Mary tells  Jack to “do it” (use his powers to help his family).  Jack feels overwhelmed and pressured.  Mary is trying to talk to him.  He hollers, “Leave me alone!” then whispers, “Mary?”

NOW:  The sound of wind blowing.  The bunker is empty, then the door creaks open, and the Winchester brothers enter, coming down the metal staircase.  “Mom?”  calls Dean.  “Jack?” Sam calls.  They glance around the room, but the bunker seems empty.  They head in opposite directions, voices fading as they occasionally call out, wondering where Mary and Jack are.  The camera pans the empty bunker, then swings to Dean sitting at the library table with two beer bottles in front of him.  Sam enters:  “Nothing.”  Dean thinks maybe they stopped for something to eat.  Sam sits down and picks up a bottle.  They drink to “another miraculous Sam Winchester survival.”  Dean adds that they’d have been in big trouble if it weren’t for that kid:  he’d defeated Michael, then Nick.  Sam wonders if Dean isn’t a little bummed about that, but Dean says no.  Dean tries to call Mary, only to be surprised when her phone buzzes from a nearby table.  That’s concerning.  Sam suggests that they try calling Jack.

Close up of Jack’s face staring.  A phone rings in the background. 


Title:  “Absence”

Sam and Dean are in the bunker’s library, both on the phone.  Dean was talking to Jody.  Sam had tried Bobby and others; he says that Rowena said she might be able to track him.  Then Dean’s phone rings.  It’s Cas, calling from his truck.  Dean informs him that Nick had been trying to raise Lucifer, and he rolls his eyes, but when Dean mentions Jack and Mary, Cas asks, “They’re together . . . alone?”  Dean doesn’t understand why that’s a  problem.  With a sigh, Cas explains that he’d seen Jack kill the snake a while ago.  He believes that Jack was trying to be merciful and apologizes for not telling them.  He adds that he doesn’t think that Jack is well.  When he hangs up, Dean tells Sam, “Who cares?  It’s a snake.”  Sam gets an idea:  they can track Jack’s cell phone, but when he pulls up the information on his laptop, the screen shows Jack in Nepal, then Peru, then Paris.  “He’s flying,” observes Sam.  “What the hell’s he doing?” asks Dean.

Outside a dark, ramshackle cabin, Jack is collapsed on his side in the dirt.  He wearily stands, checking his phone.  The battery is running low.  He’s had several missed calls.  His mind replays some memories of him and Mary in the AU, but he also remembers yelling, “Leave me alone.”  Behind him, a figure moves on the porch.  “Nick?”  “Guess again,” says the man, smiling before his eyes flash red.  “Hello, son.”  Lucifer steps off the porch and approaches Jack but clarifies, “I’m not Nick, not Lucifer.  I’m you!”  He’s Jack’s subconscious, there to help him figure this out.  “I don’t want your help!” declares Jack.  “You do!” insists the figure of Lucifer.  “You want advice to help you wiggle out of this little pickle you’re in.  But you can’t.  You killed Mary Winchester.  You can’t run away from that.  That’s why your back here at the scene of the crime.  You need to accept it.”  “It was an accident!” insists Jack.  “OK!” assures Nick.  “Tell that to Sam and Dean.  I’m sure they’ll understand.  It’s not like family Is everything to them.  Call them!”  “Shut up!” screams Jack, and Lucifer disintegrates. 

Dean is driving the Impala through the night.  They’re going back to the old cabin; Cas will meet them there.  Sam, in the passenger seat, is trying to explain what might be going on with Jack.  He was just trying to be kind with the snake.  Dean is annoyed about the snake being brought up again and he asserts that they don’t know for sure that Jack doesn’t have a soul.  His plan is simple:  find Mom, find Jack.  The signal from Jack’s phone suddenly disappears from Sam’s laptop screen.  The music becomes more intense as the Impala pulls up to the old dwelling.  Pulling out flashlights, Sam heads inside while Dean goes around the back.  The beams of light reveal nothing but old, decrepit furnishing inside and leaves and trees outside.  Then Sam sees a circle of salt surrounding an empty bowl.  Lying beyond the summoning circle is a body, blackened and burned but still identifiable as Nick.  He calls for Dean, but Dean has just stopped at something he’s seen outside.  He picks up some dust from the ground and watches as it drifts through his fingers.  Sam comes to find him, and their lights shine across the quiet woods and the barren ground in front of them.

Cas is sitting in his parked truck.  He looks pensive.  His mind goes back to a memory of a time he shared with Mary, and the scene plays out in black and white.  Mary, looking a little the worse for wear, has just finished a vampire hunt and is standing by her vehicle while munching on a snack despite looking a little worse for wear with an injured arm and a black eye.  Cas, offering to heal her, starts to step forward then steps back, adding, “If you’ll let me.”  “I’m OK,” Mary says.  “You’re still afraid of me,” observes Cas.  “Maybe a little,” she replies.  “I haven’t been back that long.”  Learning that angels exist, that they can help and heal with just a wave of their hand – it’s overwhelming.  She adds that they should get back because the boys will be waiting.  Mary and Cas get in the cab, and Cas states that Sam and Dean are glad to have her back.  They are happy. However long it takes her to adjust, they’ll wait because they don’t have to do it alone.  “They were never alone,” says Mary.  Cas’s memory fades away.  He gets out of his truck and heads toward the cabin.  Inside, Sam pulls a blanket over Nick’s body.  Dean says that they don’t know if Jack killed him, and even if he did, Nick probably deserved it.  Sam looks uncomfortable.  They tells Castiel that there’s no sight of Mary or Jack, but there is an angelic blast site behind the cabin.  Dean is tense.  He says that if Cas knew something about Jack and if Jack did something to Mary, “then you’re dead to me.”  “No!” says Sam.  “He knew and he didn’t tell us,” responds Dean angrily.  Sam has no answer for this, but Cas speaks up. 

“I was scared.  I knew he’d be good for the world, good for us.  My faith never wavered.  Then I saw what he did.  But it wasn’t malice.  It wasn’t evil what he did to the snake.”  “Snake?” Dean can’t believe the snake is being brought up again.  “He’s not bad,” explains Castiel, “It’s that there’s an absence of good.”  Cas didn’t want to lose.  He knew Jack was his responsibility so he left.  He tried to fix it on his own.  “I failed you, and I failed Jack.”  He might have been about to add that he failed Mary, but Dean bursts out, “No!  Don’t even say her name.”  He takes a step toward Cas, but Sam moves unobtrusively between them.  The tension is interrupted by a ringing phone.  It’s Rowena.  She’s tried to track Jack but his energy is overwhelming, like the sun.  “And Mom?” asks Sam.  “Say it,” demands Dean.  “Mary Winchester is no longer on this earth,” Rowena says simply.  Dean closes his eyes a moment then steps away.  He stands completely still, his back to the others, then smashes a chair against the wall. His sudden violent explosion contrasts with Sam’s quiet intensity.  Cas’s eyes look sad.  “So what do we do?” asks Sam.  “What we always do when we lose one of our own,” his older brother replies.  “We fight.  We fight to bring them back.”  “How?” questions Sam.  “Rowena,” Dean immediately replies.  “She has the Book of the Damned.”  “We don’t know where she is,” ventures Cas.  “Then go to heaven and find her!” Dean explodes.  Sam and Dean will be going to see Rowena.

Rowena is writing at a desk in her home.  The colors are warm and deep.  There are books and magical accoutrements.    She raises her head in surprise at a knock at the door; she hadn’t thought the Winchesters would get there quite so quickly.  She pulls the door back to reveal Jack, looking a bit tentative. 

“Are you ill?” Rowena asks.  “Sam and Dean are looking for you.  I could call them.”  “No!” Jack flares out fiercely.  “I need magic!”  “Why?”  “I killed Mary.”  Rowena stares, no contempt or smug amusement on her face.  She looks more stunned and concerned.  Jack starts trying to explain:  “It was an accident.  I jut needed her gone, but only for a second, and I thought it.  It all happened so fast.  I need to undo it.”  Jack is purposeful.  Rowena seems a little dismayed.  She says her magic won’t work.  “What about the book?” asks Jack.  They sit down as Rowena talks about the imprisoned witch who’d written the book.  She’d written spells to break curses, and what is death but the ultimate curse?  There is a spell to bring people back.  Without hesitation, Jack demands to know what’s needed.  The ingredients are simple, Rowena tells him, but great power is required.  Just then, someone pounds at the door.  Dean is calling for Rowena.  “You were stalling!” Jack accuses angrily.  “Talk to them!” Rowena says earnestly.  “They’re your kin.”  Dean kicks in the door, and enters with Sam, but both the nephilim and the witch are gone. 

Cas walks across the deserted playground.  “Hello?”  He calls to Naomi, but there’s no answer. 

Jack appears in the bunker, gripping Rowena by the arm.  Jack glances at several repeated narrow gouges in the floor.  His mind plays a memory from the past:  Mary, warm and maternal, is showing him how to maneuver a hunting knife.  He awkwardly attempts to imitate her, but the blade falls from his grasp, falling to the floor and adding to the scratches there.  “Dean’s going to kill m for this,” he remarks.  Mary eyes the damaged floor, then pulls one of the two library tables closer to the other, over the incriminating marks.  “For what?” she asks and smiles. 

Now the memory is of Sam and Mary talking.  “How’s his training?” asks Sam.  He looks tired.  “He’s coming along,” replies Mary.  Sam feels bad that he’s been so focused on trying to find Dean (body-snatched by Michael) that he hasn’t been stepping up for Jack the way he wanted.  Mary smiles, saying everyone understands.  She adds that it’s nice to know that she’s not the only one with parental guilt.  Parenting is always a struggle.  You feel like you’re failing but you look at your kids, and somehow they’re amazing.  She reaches out to touch Sam’s face, saying warmly,  “They’re literally the bravest, kindest , most heroic men on the planet.”  She steps back and clears her throat.  “Your kids will always surprise you.” 

This has been playing in Sam’s mind.  The brothers are still in Rowena’s study.  Dean is angry.  He doesn’t know what to do.  He’s mad about Cas, but Sam says that it wasn’t just Cas.  “We knew Jack was dangerous.  From the beginning we knew.  You especially knew.  But we fell for him.  He had a good heart, a good soul.  And I was the one who decided for him to bring him back.”  If Sam is going to berate himself, Dean is going to defend him:  “We didn’t know,” Dean says.  “Exactly,” Sam replies.  “He became our family.  But after Maggie and the hunters died, I just left.  I jumped Jack on Cas and left.  I knew something would happen, but I didn’t know THIS would happen.”  “Me too,” admits Dean.  He explains that Donatello told him that he wasn’t sure if Jack’s soul was still there, but he had warned him about the tremendous power Jack had.  “I just couldn’t see it,” Dean says.

In the bunker, Rowena is gathering supplies.  “You done yet?” Jack demands impatiently, but she remains unruffled.  “I could have fought you.  I’m not saying I would have won, but I could have tried.”  Suddenly, Lucifer appears on a landing at the room’s entrance; he leans casually over the rail.  “Stop it!” commands Jack.  “What?” wonders Rowena.  She doesn’t see a thing.  “You want forgiveness?  Gratitude?  To make the bunker home again?  To ease your guilt?  Except you don’t feel any.  You don’t feel anything anymore. “  “Shut up!” replies Jack, pacing back and forth.  Rowena glances askance at him.  “You OK?”  She mixes the spell ingredients with slow movements.  “It’s an echo, a habit!” continues Lucifer.  “Shut up!” says Jack, pacing.  Lucifer disappears.  “One last thing is needed,” Rowena tells Jack.  “Her body.”

Cas, still in the playground, keeps praying to Naomi.  The sandbox lights up, and a dark-haired young woman appears – Duma.  When Cas wonders where Naomi is, Duma says it’s none of her business.  She knows that Castiel is looking for Mary Winchester but asks him why bring her back.  She’s at peace, in a special heaven.  Her death was painless.  She is complete.  “You and the Winchesters may not be, but she is.” 

Jack has teleported himself and Rowena back to the cabin, but there is no body for the ritual.  Rowena says she cannot do the spell so Jack says he’ll do it.  Rowena warns him that the spell-caster’s disposition can impact the magic.  Whatever is brought back won’t be her.  “Then help me!” says Jack.  “I would,” Rowena says plainly.  Jack reaches out and shoves her hard.  She is hurled by his power away from him and back to her home.  Gasping, she gets up and shakily grabs her phone to call Sam.  The Winchesters have just left her place.  Collapsed back on a chair and struggling to breathe a bit, she tells them that Jack is using magic.  He’s confused and desperate.  She’s afraid he’ll bring back something terrible. 

Behind the cabin, Jack scoops up some dust and sprinkles in into the bowl with the other ingredients for the spell.  He lights it on fire, then picks up the Book of the Damned and begins to walk around the bowl as he chants the incantation.  The bowl glows with a shiny, purple light.  There’s a rushing sound in the sky, and a billowing purpose clouds begin to circle in the sky above Jack.

The Impala is zooming down a dirt road.  Jack is kneeling by the bowl, a wind ruffling his hair and the pages of the book .  He can sense the Winchesters approaching, but before they arrive, the Impala’s engine dies.  Jack lifts his hands, continuing the spell.  “Jack!” calls Dean, getting out of the car.  He and Sam run toward the back of the cabin.  Purple lighting streaks from the gray sky, then everything clears and a peaceful blue sky shines overhead.  Sam and Dean approach, calling out to Jack who was looking down.  He turns his head toward them sadly.  “It didn’t work.”  Lying on the ground is Mary’s body, completely still.  Jack disappears, and Dean runs toward his mother, kneeling beside and carefully lifting her to put his arms around her.  “Mom?”  Sam kneels beside him.  Their faces seem a little blank, as if they’re stunned.   Dean remembers driving the Impala through the night after a hunt with Mary sound asleep beside him.  She’s leaning on his shoulder, and he glances down at her, and a wide smile lightens his face.  He looks truly happy.  But the memory fades.  He is kneeling near the blackened earth, Mary’s silent body in his arms.  Sam knees beside him, one arm around his shoulders, the other hand touching Mary.  There are no tears or recriminations, just silence. 

Jack sits in an old warehouse, arms crossed in front of him, Lucifer next to him.  “There’s no going back,” Lucifer says.  “Cas, Sam, Dean – they’re never going to trust you, and you know what that means:  you can never trust them.”  Jack looks pensive.

Sam sits alone at the kitchen table in the bunker looking at old photographs.  He picks up the one of Mary hugging young Dean.  Cas slowly enters.  “She’s in heaven.  She’s at peace.”  Sam smiles though his voice is shaky as he replies.  Dean has appeared in the doorway behind Cas.  His voice is rough as he questions whether Castiel should take Duma’s at her word.  “No, she let me in,” Cas replies.  We see Cas in a quiet, pristine hallway in heaven outside a door with a plaque engraved with Mary Winchester’s name and two birth and death dates.  “She’s with John,” he tells her sons.  “There’s no sorrow, no guilt, just joy.”  Sam reveals that he’d talked to Rowena about Mary’s body.  It was just a shell, an empty replica, incapable of holding life.  “So what are we supposed to do now?”  “What we always do,” replies Dean; he’s looking down at the ground.

A large pyre burns at a t-shaped intersection of a dirt road.  The Impala waits nearby, trunk open.  Dean, Sam, and Cas stand vigil, composed, withdrawn.  Sam steps forward with a photograph that he puts on the pyre; it is of Mary smiling.  There’s a quick series of scenes of Mary, smiling, happy. Dean stares at the flames.  Cas moves to approach him, but Sam puts up his hand, stopping him.  Cas, resigned, steps back.  The camera pulls up, revealing the three men standing at the pyre, together but alone.

Back in the bunker, the camera pans the empty room, then focuses on initials carved into the table:  DW, SW, MW.


    1. What do you think of Mary as portrayed this episode seen in the memories of Castiel, Jack, Sam, and Dean?
    2. Is it a scary sign that Jack's "Jiminy Cricket" takes the form of Lucifer?
    3. What did Mary mean when tells Cas that the boys were never alone?
    4. When we first met Jack, he could blast someone with his power, but now, all he has to do is have a thought and it happens. How should humans respond to a being with this kind of power?
    5. Cas said Mary is in a special heaven with John. Does this mean she is not just reliving memories of John but is actually with John himself?
    6. Does Jack feel remorse and guilt? Is he does, does that mean he still has a little soul left?