Dean is in the bright, sun-lit cemetery telling God, "Me and Sam, we've killed everything." The words THE ROAD SO FAR appear. We see Dean as Michael, the Mal'ak box, Sam saying, "I believe in us," John appearing in the bunker, Nick. In the background, the song "It's the Famous Final Scene" is playing. There are bits of the confrontation in the cemetery with Chuck, Jack, Dean, Sam, and Cas, and Chuck saying, "Welcome to the End" as zombie hordes surround Team Free Will.
The camera focuses on Jack's face, the empty holes of his burnt-out eyes staring blankly upwards. We hear the fighting before we see it - Dean, Sam, and Cas in a desperate battle in the dark against the vicious hordes of the undead surrounding them. The Winchesters swing iron fence posts - their only weapon - while Cas smites the bodies approaching him. Spirits zoom through the air or impact the ground with an explosive thunk. Cas yells to Sam and Dean, then picks up Jack and begins to run through the graves. The Winchesters follow, smashing down zombies as they go, headed toward the sturdy wooden doors of a stone mausoleum.
SUPERNATURAL - superimposed over an angry swirl of black and orange - the new title card.
"Back and To the Future"
They enter the mausoleum, Sam and Dean barring the door behind them, Cas walking down the stairs to a large open space where he carely lays Jack down on the floor. Behind them, the door shudders under the blows of the animated corpses; it doesn't look as if it will hold for long. The Winchesters prowl the space, looking for any options. Dean picks up a can then tosses it away. There's nothing here to help them. He looks down at Jack's lifeless body with charred holes where his eyes once were. "He didn't deserve this," he says. Sam asks Cas if he can get him back, but Cas says no. Sam clarifies that they're not really zombies outside: rather, they are souls from hell animating the closest bodies they found. Dean wonders what "welcome to the end" means and asks Cas for help, but Cas doesn't know what to do. Frustrated, Dean points out that their only options are to go out to get overwhelmed by the walking dead or stay in the mausoleum and starve. "I wouldn't," remarks Cas brusquely. "Good for you," Dean snaps back. Then he begins to rail against God: he knew it, how he was always so squirrelly. You didn't know if he were smiling or about to rip your throat out.
Sam has noticed the sound of water from behind a block of stone. It might lead to a stream or a sewer which could mean a way out. They tip the large stone away, revealing brick, and then begin smashing their way through. Headway is slow, but suddenly an arm shoots through. It's another corpse, clawing its way through the rubble to reach them. Cas lifts the large stone and smashes it down on the body, and the demonic spirit inside it zooms away. Behind them, Jack stands and holds up one hand, palm outward. "Hello," he says blandly.
"It's not Jack! It's a demon!" says Cas. "Sorry about that," the figure says, going over to a pile of clothes on the ground and picking up a pair of white-rimmed sunglasses and placing them over his ruined eyes. "Blending!" he explains with a pleasant smile.
"Get out of him!" Cas snarls, holding his angel blade to his throat. The demon says it can help, and Dean, realizing they are out of options, wants to hear him out, but Cas insists it's an abomination that is defiling Jack's corpse. "Dean's right," Sam says, so Cas allows the demon wearing Jack to speak. At first, the demon doesn't believe it was really God who has turned off the lights but accepts their word for it. In a light-hearted tone, he explains that, unlike the destructively hateful demons we've come to expect, he was just someone who punched a clock in hell. He liked hell the way it was and doesn't like that a hellmouth has opened, disrupting everything.
"We're twinsies!" he says happily to Cas. "We're not," Cas growls back. The demon says he can get them out of there, but he needs angel blood. Cas, still glaring distastefully at the creature, cuts his palm and mingles his blood with the ingredients already in Demonically-animated Jack's hand. DJ holds his hands up as if in prayer, then claps them together. All the guttural moans and cries from the graveyard cease. "You're welcome," he says cheerfully.
Cautiously, the embattled men open the door. Bodies have collapsed everywhere in unsightly lumps of ragged cloth, corpses littering the graveyard. DJ wants a high five for his achievement, but they ignore him. "Where are the ghosts?" wonders Dean.
Happy party music plays. Two teen girls are in a bedroom, applying makeup and laughing. The lock screen on one girl's phone suddenly shifts, an evil face appearing for an instant before shifting back to the smiling original photo. Then the creepy face appears in the mirror, but the girls don't see, continuing their silly conversation. One turns to the mirror only to to see her eyes begin to bleed. Horrified, she stares back at her calmly-staring reflection as blood runs down her cheeks. She begins to claw frantically at her face. In the mirror, her image changes to a pale-faced girl with bedraggled hair and a malevolent smile. The second girl turns to run, but the horrifying figure materializes in front of her. The girl screams in terror.
The Impala drives through the night, DJ (Demonically-animated Jack) admiring himself while Sam checks his iPad for news. There is nothing about demons, zombies, or a preternatural darkness, no apocalyptic occurrences at all. "Is it just here?" wonders Dean. "For now," DJ says calmly. When asked, he tells them that there were two or three billion souls in hell. Dean says they need to stick to the plan: get back to the bunker and try to close the rift that Chuck opened. DJ offers that they could buy time by containing the ghosts with a spell. Sam agrees, but Cas says no, saying that the nearby town is full of people. "Then get everyone out," says Dean. "How?" queries Cas. "Lie," Dean states.
Ahead of them, a small car has stopped crookedly, half off the road, lights still on and doors gaping open. Guns drawn, the Winchesters approach. They see blood spatter, but no one's there - the perfect sign of a Woman in White. There are a few flashbacks of the jilted, murderous, vengeful spirit from season one. Sam wonders if this Woman in White is the same one they faced down, and Dean realizes that, if she's back, they're all back, all the evil creatures they've put down over the years.
The scene shifts to a suburban home, where birthday decorations are grimly mixed with signs of devastation. A panicked woman, clutching a child to her chest, frantically runs through the rooms, haunted by maniacal laughter. Blood is smeared on the walls. The frantic mother, gasping in terror, runs into the garage, only to find the doors locked, trapping them inside. When she tries to pull the rolling bay door up, the string breaks off in her hand. She pounds on the window, calling to a neighbor walking obliviously by on the sidewalk, but he doesn't hear her. She glances wildly around the garage, wondering where to hide, as the crazy, creepy laughter continuing to taunt them. Her daughter, a wide-eyed girl of about seven with brown braids and a simple party dress, waits, frightened into stillness. The air crackles, and a clown appears with wide eyes, a white, painted face, and a wide fearsome smile. He holds up a bloody knife and, grinning, begins to stalk around the garage. He leans in toward the car, his breath fogging the windows as he teeth chatter in gruesome anticipation.
The Impala drives down Main Street of a small town. It's daytime, and pedestrians stroll the sidewalks. Sam, in an FBI jacket, warns the sheriff that a pipeline has sprung a leak and that the entire town needs to be evacuated. The sheriff talks slowly but quickly acquiesces to Sam's demands; the townsfolk can go to the high school five miles away. Cas, who has followed Sam, agrees that the school will be acceptably outside the range of their containment circle.
Back in the car, Dean puts his gun in the glove compartment. DJ comments on how good-looking people are now. When he was alive, humans were worshiping a rock shaped like a penis, and the people were ugly. But people nowadays? Take Dean for example. He's gorgeous. "What?" asks Dean. From the backseat, DJ keeps talking, now asking, "Who was he?" "Our kid - kinda," Dean responds. "Sorry," replies the demon. He'd choose another body if one were available; the corpses in the graveyard were too wormy. He wouldn't have fit in if he'd worn one of them. Now, in order to create the ring to contain the ghosts, he'll need a big bag of salt and a human heart.
Sam and Castiel are going house to house clearing the town; they've separated to save time. Their movements parallel, they both knock on different houses, open the doors, and call out, "Hello?" Sam has a sawed-off shotgun held at the ready. No one answers in either home. Sam sees blood on the walls as he searches the empty rooms. In the other house, Cas goes up the stairs, a mirror reflecting his trench-coated figure. When he opens an upstairs door, he finds the bloody body of one of the teenage girls. As he turns to leave, Bloody Mary smiles behind him from a mirror.
Sam enters the garage, calling out, "Hello?" again. This time there's an answer: the mom and her daughter are hiding on a high shelf. Sam puts down his weapon to help them get down. "Dead. They're all dead," the woman says sadly. Suddenly, the clown reappears and slashes at Sam, who falls to the ground clutching his chest. The civilians shrink back in terror. "Happy birthday," sings the clown tunelessly as he approaches Sam, but before he can deal a final blow, he is blown apart. Cas has entered the garage just in time.
The sheriff, overseeing the last of the townsfolk evacuating, passes Dean who is on the phone with Rowena. "Move your ass!" he barks. After hearing her reply, he reluctantly rephrases it as, "Move your exquisite ass, please." DJ tells him that he's a fan; he remembers him from when he was in hell with Alastair. "What you did," he says, "went beyond torture. It was art." "That was a long time ago," Dean tells him. He asks what hell is like now. "Like an anthill set on fire," says DJ. "All the doors are open." "Every door?" questions Dean. "Even the cage?" DJ tells him, yes, even the cage. "And Michael?" The last DJ knew Michael was still sitting there, but he might have left. "And he wouldn't hold a grudge right?" DJ's tone through is sincere and friendly, never mocking or malicious.
Cas places his hand over Sam's cut and heals him. The mother gasps. "I'm an angel," Castiel tells her. The clown? That was a ghost. And Sam? "Just a guy," Sam says. Cas takes a look at the bullet hole in Sam's shoulder, the reciprocal wound from when he shot God. He places a hand over it to heal it. There's a sudden shift of scene, like a vision. Sam appears, cast in a dark red light with a sinister smile on his face. Dean's voice can be heard saying, "Sam, please." Cas steps back, saying there's a weird energy.
The sheriff calls Sam, saying the town has been cleared, but then he sees one more person, a woman in a long white gown. She turns to smile at him. In another part of town, as Cas and Sam shepherd the two survivors down the driveway, the evil clown appears in the garage window, still smiling broadly.
Dean brings DJ a bag of salt; a heart will be harder to get, especially since the demon says the fresher the better. Just then, they hear an anguished yell. Running down the block, they find the bloody body of the sheriff. "Cool," says DJ. He shoves his hand into the man's chest and retrieves his heart.
Sam, Cas, the mom, and the daughter traverse the deserted suburb only to be followed by ghosts - now there are three: the clown, a tall creepy man, and Lizzy Borden in a long black dress and holding an ax. Every time they shoot at one of the them, they almost immediately reappear. Once, Sam tried to shoot a ghost, but got Cas instead. He was unhurt but annoyed. The ghosts are relentless; the clown grapples with Sam while Cas awkwardly fires the shotgun. The mom and the daughter have stepped away from the fight, and the child's eyes are drawn to a little lily pond. A cold-eyed face appears in the depths of the water, reaching up for the girl.
Back in town, the air turns cold, and the woman in white appears before Dean. "I know you," she says. "You took me home." She aims a heavy blow at his face and sends him crashing across the road, then turns to DJ, but before she can do anything, Dean decapitates her.
In the suburbs, the small group of survivors are struggling. The mom has pulled her daughter away from the evil spirit in the water, but the dead woman has a tight hold around the mother's ankle. Bloody Mary has now joined the others relentlessly pursuing Sam and Castiel.
DJ pours the salt in a pile, places the heart on top, and begins to slowly recite the words to the spell. Then he slaps his hand on the ground. The power of the spell rockets out, spreading across the road and down the streets, an ever-enlarging protective circle. Sam's group has been desperately running down the deserted street; Sam has scooped up the child and holds her in one arm while Cas urges the mother along. The light of the circle passes them, and then zooms upward in a protective wall. Sam plans to hold off the evil spirits while Castiel gets the mom and daughter to safety, but his gun is empty. Once again, they dash down the road, but the ghosts are gaining on them. The clown lunges, and then is brought up short. He's crashed into the invisible containment wall, inches away from Sam. He stares at him, then opens his mouth in an intimidating scream. "Shut up," says Sam before the small group turns and heads toward safety.
Dean drives the Impala up to the school. The mom and her child are squished in the back between Cas and Sam. "Don't tell about the whole ghost thing," says Sam. "Or the angel thing," adds Castiel. "Thank you," the serious little girl says to Sam, who nods back at her. Sam shepherds her and her mom into the school while Castiel watches them from beside the car. Dean approaches, asking if Cas is OK. "Yes, but --" Cas begins, only to be interrupted by Dean. "Good," he says tersely, then turns and walks away. "Awkward," observes DJ. "Want to talk about it?"
Dean is rummaging around in the trunk when Sam approaches, warning them that, although the ghosts are now contained in a ring inside the town, they only have a couple days before the real FBI shows up and their cover is blown. Dean wants to check Sam's wound; Sam reluctantly lets him. There's no exit wound. As Dean retrieves antiseptic from their first aid kit, he asks if Sam remembers what he'd do to distract Sam when Sam got hurt when they were kids. Sam remembers how Dean would tell "some stupid joke." "Knock, knock," says Dean. Sam is both amused and surprised that Dean is trying this. "Knock, knock," Dean repeats. With a slight smile, Sam responds, "Who's there - " just as Dean treats the wound. Sam flinches but has been distracted, and Dean grins at the success of his plan, but their conversation soon grows darker.
"Screw him," Dean says of Chuck. "He's been playing us this entire time. Just when I thought we had a choice, that we had free will . . . we're just rats in a maze. What'd it even mean?"
"It meant a lot," replies Sam earnestly. "We saved people."
"But what for?" asks Dean.
Sam tells him that there is still a purpose, and that things might be good. After all, God is gone. That's what he does. To the Apocalypse World. To other worlds. He gets bored and leaves. That's what's good: now "it's just US for the first time." "And three billion ghosts," adds Dean.
"If - WHEN - we win, "Sam replies, "God's gone. There's no more maze. It's just us, and we're free."
"You and me versus every soul in hell," Dean clarifies, sounding discouraged until he adds, "I like those odds."
"Me too," Sam smiles.
"You know what that means," Dean says turning to their weapon stache. "We got work to do," Sam says. We look up from the vantage of the trunk at the two brothers and the picture changes to the Sam and Dean of 2005 as the episode ends.
- Do you trust the demon? Are his motives as simple as wanting hell to get back to what it used to be?
- Do you think Chuck is gone for good?
- Whose perspective resonates more with you: Dean feeling that everything they've done has been for nothing or Sam believing that they did make a difference to those they saved.
- Which ghost/creature would you like to see return?
- Did this episode make you excited about the upcoming season or not and why?
Read more of Emberlast's amazing episode recaps and speculation questions! Visit her Author Page to get Episode links! Recaps for seasons 9 to 13 can be found on Bookdal's Author Page!