NOW: Purple-ly and pink explosions burst in air, etched against the blue sky as the ghosts try to get past the warding. An armed hunter, an African-American woman with short cropped blonde hair, stands guard as the ghost hits come even faster.
Dean and Sam, holding shotguns, are striding purposefully through a graveyard, followed by Belphegor in his white sunglasses and Rowena in a sand-colored structured jacket and floor-length pink gown. Cas follows too holding a briefcase. Dean is worried about the "one hundred billion ghosts" that will escape if the plan doesn't work, but Rowena is supremely confidently, cheerfully explaining the plan as they continue moving through the tombstones. They pass a huge, gaping hole in the ground, out of which souls, like tiny comets trailing light, are intermittently shooting. They grimace a bit as they approach the crypt where they'd been holed up earlier; all the resurrected bodies that were struck down by Belphegor's spell are still lying scattered about among the graves; they'll have to walk past them all to get back inside the mausoleum. They enter the dark chamber; a grated aperture in the ceiling lets in light; vines are dangling from the opening. The red-haired witch begins to set up her spell work while the others bar the door and pour salt along the edges. Suddenly, with a loud bang, the door rattles on its hinges. They jump a bit but continue their preparations. Rowena is radiant in her pink gown and jeweled necklace as she recites the spell with fierce intensity. Her eyes glow purple. Outside, all along the wall, the pink power of the spirits is spread out, thinning out along the surface. "It's working!" Sam reports, getting a message on his phone from a hunter outside. But, suddenly, it's not. Rowena begins to panic. She keeps chanting the spell with growing desperation. She sees flashes of the ghosts, evil grin after malicious sneer, until she collapses, thrown back to the ground in a flash of light. Tears pour down her face: "We're all going to die!"
TITLE CARD - SUPERNATURAL. Episode title: "The Rupture"
Unsteadily, Rowena sits up and asks for a drink, something stronger than water. Sam beckons to Dean who reluctantly hands over his flask. As Rowena takes a couple gulps, Belphegor callously remarks, "Can we admit the obvious? She failed. 1 for the demon; 0 for the witch." Rowena explains that she can feel all the spirits, all their anger and hatred. There are too many of them. It's too much. There's no way she can overpower them - no magic can stop them. Cas asks how long they have, and Dean insists that they go take out as many as they can. Rowena states that it's over; it's too late. Belphegor walks away out of the crypt, Cas following him to keep an eye on him. "We're not just gonna give up. That's not who we are!" Dean insists. "Let's go out there and take care of it." Sam holds his hand out to his brother as a signal for him to wait, then crouches next to Rowena, asking if she's OK. Out in the graveyard, the angel and the demon look down in the opened abyss of the hellmouth. Far down its black maw is the molten red glow of hell itself.
In the mausoleum, Rowena sits huddled on the steps, paging through a spell book. Dean is checking his weapons, adding more bullets to the bandolier slung over his shoulder. As Sam approaches him, he states, "I'm not going to give up." They're not just going to sit there and wait for the walls to fall in. "We're gonna end this. Like you said - we're gonna be free." Sam is discouraged: "This feels bigger than us and I'm out of ideas, and I'm freaked too." But Dean replies that he's not freaked -- he's angry. "At God?" asks Sam. "Yes!" Dean responds firmly. He doesn't like the "sloppy ass ghost apocalypse." "That's Chuck's ending? After everything he's put them through? He doesn't want some "glorified fanboy" to get the last word. Meanwhile, Rowena hasn't found anything in the spell book. Sam's brow is furrowed with distress, his eyes desperately sad.
Belphegor tells Castiel that the hole is actually a tear; God stomped his foot and hell ripped open. Castiel wants to know why he was looking for it, and the demon tells him that Lilith had a metaphorical crook so she could control the demons. Back in the crypt, he tells all of them that, if any demons tried to act up topside, Lilith could use the weapon - a horn - and recall them all to hell. She didn't ever use it -- the threat alone was enough -- and Crowley used long lines and paper work to control people. Belphegor wants to get the horn which is in Lilith's chamber in hell. Rowena rouses from her discouragement, eagerly adding that she can close the door to hell with a spell she created, a healing spell to cure the wound God made in the earth. They wonder when the time would be right to cast such a spell, and Belphegor tells them that they'll know. When Dean asks what she needs, Rowena mentions a few relatively simple ingredients; she adds that she wants Sam to be her assistant. There will also need to be a person to be a fulcrum or carrier, to toss her "bomb" inside the maw to hell. Belphegor refuses to go into hell to search Lilith's chamber alone; he wants protection. "Cas will go," Dean announces shortly, and Cas, feeling that there's not really a choice, accepts. "Good. Great. Go, team," Dean says.
In a hospital bed, Ketch opens his eyes. A friendly nurse explains that his friends brought him in after a hunting accident. She's concerned when he starts getting up right away; she wants him to see a doctor first. Just then, a dark-haired female doctor appears in the doorway. With one quick movement, she breaks the nurse's neck. "Hello, Arthur," she smiles as her eyes turn black. Ardat! Ketch may be healing from a gunshot wound, but he fights valiantly, thrusting the base of an IV pole into her stomach and hurling her backwards through a window into the hallway, then searching for a weapon, but Ardat is back on her feet, trapping him and blocking the knife with which he attempted to stab her. She grabs him by the throat: "Such valor for what?" she mocks. Surely he's not protecting Belphegor; he's protecting humans. "You won't give them up? Not at any price?" Despite the fingers tightening around his throat, Ketch doesn't flinch: "Not any any price," he answers so she rips out his heart, holding it up still beating in front of his fading eyes. She gives the bloody organ a squeeze and grins. Ketch falls.
Cas and Belphegor walk back through the graves toward the hell mouth. "You could die," says the demon. He noticed that the Winchesters didn't seem too concerned about Castiel going into danger. "They didn't seem to think twice about it," he specifies. Castiel refuses to be baited, and the demon remarks that it was more fun when Cas fought back. They stand at the edge of the abyss, wondering how to descend. Casually but swiftly, Cas reaches out and pushes Belphegor into the depths, then jumps in himself.
The blonde-haired hunter brings the ingredients for the spell to the crypt. She's disdainful toward Rowena and tells Sam that most of the ghosts are gathering at the wall. She knows this is a last desperate attempt with a high percentage of failure to which Sam agrees; he specifies that, if their plan doesn't succeed, the hunters at the perimeter will be the only thing between the ghosts and the rest of the world. Dean's phone dings with a message: it's Ketch saying he's ready to get back in the game. Dean texts back that Cas and Belphegor are going after Lilith's horn, but, of course, it isn't Ketch receiving the text. It's Ardat who smiles as she reads the plan.
Endless red clouds billow stormily overhead as Cas and the demon descend a stairway into hell. It's too quiet. No one's there. They enter a hall lined with statues of robed figured, hooded heads bent, palms held together in front of them as if bound. Belphegor states that he's growing on the Winchesters, like a cancer. Castiel rather fiercely insists that they don't care about him; they're just using him. "You learn that the hard way?" needles Belphegor. He wonders why Cas is so antagonistic, and Cas bursts out saying that he's walking around wearing Jack, wearing the body of his son. It's an abomination! HE'S an abomination. The doors at the end of the hallway are shut, but they can hear muffled sounds from within. Belphegor gives Cas an ineffective little shove. Cas eyes him, then slowly pushes the door open. The room has been ransacked, papers ripped, vases overturned. From behind a column appears a bearded man with long hair clutching a bag full of loot. He and Belphegor know each other, but Castiel interrupts their casual chat by slamming the demon into the wall and holding his blade to his throat. The demon stays casual and friendly, trying to continue his conversation with Belphegor, when Cas knifes him. "Really?" questions Belphegor. Castiel wants to focus on finding the horn. Belphegor locates a wooden chest with strange markings. Castiel identifies it as Enochian; it's a song of praise to Lucifer, an incantation to open the box. He kneels on one knee to get low enough to read the inscription and begins to read aloud. There's a pause when he finishes. It didn't work. Then Belphegor suggests that since it's a song, perhaps it needs to be sung. Castiel sighs. The demon smiles. Cas begins the incantation again, singing it this time.
Dean, holding a crowbar, is waiting at the edge of the hell mouth. He peers over the edge, then ducks behind a monument balanced right beside the drop-off. He hopes Ketch will be arriving soon.
Inside the mausoleum, Sam wants to be out fighting, but Rowena reminds him that magic is fighting too. "Dean is doing his part; you do yours!" she commands. She looks especially feminine in her pink dress and long hair; behind her are vines and other vegetation softening the cold stone of the crypt.
Belphegor teases Castiel that his voice is like an angel. The chest opens, and Castiel removes the horn. He's about to hand it to Belphegor when he is smashed across the room and into a wall. Ardet has arrived.
She curls her lip scornfully at Belphegor; she knew he'd be trying to make a power play. She strikes him to the ground and threatens him with a knife, but suddenly she is bowled aside by Cas, who plows bodily into her. They exchange blows, Ardat explaining that Belphegor is only in it for himself. All these centuries, he's been bowing and scraping to position himself to eventually rule hell. "Do you have any idea what he is?" she asks. Just then, Belphegor stabs her in the back and she falls, dead. "Is it true?" Castiel asks. The demon casually laughs, denying that he wants to rule hell. "What DO you want?' asks Cas. "You should go,' advises Belphegor, sending him flying through the doorway into the hall. The horn is not just a leash; it's also a siphon, he explains. He plans to suck in all the ghosts and be the recipient of all their power. He'll become a god - or close enough. After all, he's heard there's a vacancy. He gives a little smile. "You've been playing us!" Cas accuses. Belphegor lifts the horn and blows. Cas seems frozen in place, held in a gale of power, as spirits begin to fly past him into the glowing horn and the creature holding it. In the crypt, Sam and Rowena hear the blast of the horn and the crypt trembles. From his post at the edge of the hole, Dean sees souls being sucked back down.
Rowena and Sam, clasping hands over the bowl with the prepared ingredients, begin to recite the spell in unison. The horn sounds its call, irrevocably summoning the spirits. The spell bowl begins to glow with power. The spell bag Dean has begins to glow as well. He lobs it into the hell mouth. In Lilith's chamber, Cas manages to breach the doorway. He throws Belphegor to the ground and punches him repeatedly. When the horn stops, the summoning stops. "It didn't work?" wonder Sam and Rowena. Belphegor's sunglasses have fallen off, and it's Jack's mutilated face looking up. "It's me - Jack!' he says with the nephilim's earnest voice. "You liar!" snarls Cas. He seems to hesitate a moment, then places a hand on his forehead. His eyes glow with a fierce blue of angelic grace as the demon wearing Jack's body burns out. The skull blackens, then collapses into silence. Castiel subsides with a broken gasp.
The horn lies on the floor. The sunglasses are nearby, covered in ash. Jack's body is now an unrecognizable burned husk. Cas looks devastated.
Dean calls Sam on the cell phone to tell him that the crack is starting to close. Rowena awkwardly and painfully sticks a knife into her shoulder, then, groaning, reaches her fingers into the wound. Sam watches in confusion as she removes her last resurrection sachet. "Won't need that where I'm going!" she states with determination. She tells Sam that magic can do anything and that, while Lilith's crook may have been the Winchester's last plan, it wasn't hers. She has a final option: she can soak up the soals herself and hold them in because Death is an infinite vessel. Only two ingredients are needed: her blood and her last breath. Her tone varies from fierce to kind as she tries to convince Sam to kill her. She smiles at him, but he says, "No!' She hands him the knife, saying that she has to die and that it has to be him that kills her. "Screw the books!" Sam exclaims. "It has to be you!' she replies.
At the edge of the crumbling abyss, Cas appears next to Dean. "Where's Belphegor?" Dean asks. "I killed him," answers Cas. "Our only shot?' Dean asks angrily.
Rowena continues to earnestly plead with Sam: she doesn't care about anything strongly enough to kill herself for them. But she does believe in prophecy. "I knew this in my bones: it has to be this way. Kill me, Samuel." Sam is desperately torn. Rowena smiles at him fondly. "Will you let hte world die, let your brother die, to save my life?" "No!" says Sam, drawing her to him in a hug. As he does, he drives the knife into her stomach. They hold each other for a moment before withdrawing. "That's my boy," she says gently. Then she reaches down, viciously twisting the knife and gasping in pain.
Dean looks across the graveyard to see Rowena slowly approaching, followed by Sam. The witch holds her arms down by her sides, slightly open with palms out. Blood soaks the front of her dress; light glows from the wound. Spirits are being draw into her body. Hands out, she walks to the edge of the hell mouth. She looks at Sam then Cas and Dean. Each stare back earnestly, eyes intent with concern. She smiles freely and almost cheerfully says, "Goodbye, boys." Poised on the lip of the hole for a moment, she leans forward until momentum pulls her down. It's a slow motion fall of a tiny woman containing all the power of the escaped and recaptured hell souls. Then her body hurtles down into the darkness toward the dark red eye of hell. In the cemetery, the edges of the hole begin to crumble in.
The next scene opens on a pensive Sam, sitting alone in his room in the bunker. Dean, casual in a henley and jeans, knocks and enters, asking, "How are you holding up?" "Any word from Stevie?" Sam says instead of answering. Dean tells him that the hunters say that the town is good. He leans against Sam's desk; Sam, sitting on the bed, is still turned away from him. "They found Ketch dead," Dean says. "What? How?" questions Sam. "Probably a demon," Dean replies. "We did it though. It's over. God threw one last apocalypse at us and we beat it. "Yup." Sam's reply is far from celebratory. "What you did," Dean tells him, "You didn't have a choice." Sam says that he knows, but his eyes are sad.
Dean pours a decanter of whiskey in the library and turns and sees Cas. "How's Sam?" asks the angel. "Not great," Dean answers shortly. "Sorry about Rowena," Cas says. "You're sorry," Dean responds with some heat. "Why didn't you stick to the plan?" Cas tells him that plans change. Belphegor was trying to take over hell. Dean knows that something always goes wrong. "Why does that something always seem to be you?" asks Dean harshly. Neither man backs down from their verbal altercation. "You used to trust me," Cas says. But things have changed. Dean has said that he's dead to him. Dean still blames him for Mary. Dean nods grimly. "I don't think there's anything left to say," continues Castiel, turning to leave. "Where are you going?" asks Dean. "Jack's dead. Chuck's gone. You and Sam have each other. I think it's time for me to move on." He heads up the stairs to the bunker's door. Dean continues standing, leaning back against the library table as the angel walks away.
A few questions to get us started talking about this episode:
- Rowena went from abject despair to focused determination. At what point did she decide that she had to die to contain hell's souls?
- Rowena told Sam, "It has to be you" and "It has to be this way." Is there free will or is everything destined to be?
- If you were a being of holiness and light, would you sing a song praising the Prince of Darkness? Do the ends justify the means?
- Were you surprised that Ketch and Rowena both died in this episode?
- What is your reaction to Dean's words to Castiel?
- Cas has GOT to come back, right? What do you think will happen to reconnect him with the Winchesters?
- John never gave up his quest for vengeance against the evil that murdered his wife. Will Dean give up his anger?
- How do you think Sam will react when he hears that Cas left? What will be its impact on Sam?
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!