NOW - Dean walks with Sam down a narrow stairway in the bunker.  He's looking slightly Han Solo-ish in a white button down shirt with an open black vest.  He's already divested himself of the cap, coat, and suit jacket that Michael favored.  He's talking about what a nightmare it is - but as the conversation continues, we realize that he's not referring to his being possessed but rather to Sam's beard.  "Some people like it!" Sam responds with a smile.  "No," Dean replies.  "No one does."  Then Sam focuses on his true concern:  the fact that Dean didn't talk much on their drive back from Duluth.  Dean says that Michael bailed and that his memory is blank.  It was a blink from saying "yes" to going through the doors of the chapel.  But now it's good to be home - he cuts off what he was saying as he sees the interior of the bunker filled with busy people on phones, on computers, going over lore, discussing strategy.  His home is filled with strangers.  One man approaches, just looking for a moment before Dean says, "I'm not Michael."  The man assures him that Chief had filled them in and walks on.  "Chief?" questions Dean.  "I've asked them to stop calling me that," replies Sam.  Jack enters and sees Dean;  Cas follows him.  Their reunion is quiet and understated; Jack gives Dean a brief hug; Castiel's eyes are glowing with happiness.  Dean says he wants a shower and exits the room after reassuring Sam once more that he's OK.  Sam looks concerned.  He tells Jack and Castiel that Bobby and Mary are still in Duluth burning werewolf bodies.  Sam is concerned that Nick has left and isn't answering Cas' phone calls.  "How is he really?" Cas wonders about Dean.  Dean walks into his room and closes the door behind him.  He crosses to to the bed, removing the vest, then ripping the dress shirt off with an expression of revulsion.  He crosses to the little sink with the mirrored medicine cabinet above it and catches sight of a mark on his upper arm.  He pushes the sleeve of his teeshirt out of the way, revealing two thick, raised scars, lying end to end.  

SUPERNATURAL!!!  Angel wings - title card.

The scene comes up on the scar again, but this time Dean, in a dark shirt now not Michael's white undershirt, is sitting at a table in the bunker showing it to Sam and Castiel.  What weapon would have made that wound?  What could have hurt Michael, perhaps enough to make him leave?  Dean asks Cas to search his mind to discover what happened while Michael was possessing him.  Cas stands behind him and puts his hands on his head.  Dean scrunches his eyes shut as scenes flash by - all things we've seen in previous episodes like him throwing the werewolf woman across the room or killing the vampire girl.  Then Cas cautiously reaches out to place his hand on the scar.  Immediately, we see a new scene.  Michael, in shirt, vest, and cap, is lying on the ground in the woods.  A hooded, black-robed figure stands above him, thrusting a doubled-bladed spear at him and piercing his arm painfully.  The title of the episode appears - "The Scar."

Jody is in her office texting her girls when her phone rings.  Caller ID says it's Sam.  She questions him worriedly but is relieved to hear that they have Dean, and her face shines with happiness as she hears Dean on the telephone.  But there's bad news:  the creature that killed Kaia in the Bad Place is now in our world.  It had attacked Dean with its spear and left a strange scar.  "Was it like being pierced by a giant meat fork?" she questions.  Dean wonders how she knew that.  Her eyes go to a bulletin board in her office with crime scene photos of bodies, all marked with a similar scar.  

Sam and Dean are packing to head for Sioux Falls to get Kaia's killer.  Jack feels responsible for her death and wants to come along, but they don't want him to.  After all, Dean observes, he's barely 100 pounds soaking wet.  Jack leaves quietly, and Dean regretfully mumbles that he didn't mean to be a dick.  Two women come down the bunker stairs, the older one supporting the younger.  One is an Alt World hunter who'd been after a witch.  The girl with her was one of her victims.  The hunter thought she'd killed the witch, but a spell must have been cast:  she shows the girl's hand:  it is wrinkled and withered.  It's an aging spell.  Cas tries to heal her but can't.  "This might take a while."  He's going to stay in the bunker to try to help her.  Sam wants himself and Dean to stay too, but Dean insists on leaving right away.  

There's the powerful rumble of the Impala's engine as it roars through the night.  Dean is at the wheel, intense.  Something huge has happened, says Sam.  It might only have been a blink for Dean, but it was weeks for him.  He was worried that Dean was dead.  He doesn't like how Dean is avoiding it.  How can he be avoiding it, Dean challenges, when he's driving 80 miles an hour straight toward it?   Sam wants Dean to talk, but Dean drives on, unrelentingly silent.

Jody smiles warmly at them as they pull up to where she's parked her vehicle at the edge of a forest.  She gives Dean a huge hug, and they joke about how of course he could beat Michael.  She hugs Sam too and admires his beard.  Then they get down to business:  three headless bodies have been found.  She'd thought it was a serial killer.  They hadn't had one of those since . . . she pauses, and Sam jumps in, supplying the name of the murderer, something he'd picked up when reading up on serial killers in the past.  But now they know the killer is something supernatural.  Sam wants to wait for daybreak, but Dean impatiently heads off into the woods.  

Back in the bunker, Jack is packing.  He leaves a note on his bed addressed to Sam, Dean, and Castiel, but on his way out, he overhears Cas speaking with a hunter.  He enters the room curiously to find Cas and the woman hunter gathering ingredients for a spell.  Behind them on a bed lies the young victim.  "Who's that?"  wonders Jack.  He thinks she looks like Sleeping Beauty.  Cas tells him that they will try a reversal spell they got from Rowena.  Jack stares at her.  His plans to leave have changed; he's not going anywhere.

It's daylight in the woods.  Dean, in the lead, wants to split up to cover more ground.  Sam wants them to stay together.  Jody is on Team Stick Together too so Dean reluctantly concedes.   A look of worry creases Sam's brows as he follows Dean through the trees.  Then Dean sees something:  a severed head on a spike, then two more.  They are impaled at the gateway of a crude fence.  Dean checks the mouth of one head and sees the extra incisors:  it was a vampire.  But how could that be? questions Jody.  She'd tested the bodies; they didn't react to anything.  If they were vampires, she would have discovered that.  Dean crouches by a fire in the fenced clearing, checking the ashes.  A can he picks up from the embers is still hot, but suddenly he is surprised by a flashback.  A dark hooded figure looms above him as Michael, knocking him to the ground.  But then the figure is really there in the clearing, twirling around and handling the spear with dexterity.  When all three of them are knocked to the ground, she leaps over the fence in a diving roll, turning back to look at them.  Dark curly hair surrounds a narrow, serious face - Kaia's face.  Then she runs off into the woods.

Back in the bunker, the hunter is reading the list of some pretty strange ingredients, but Cas reassures her that they have them in the bunker.  He tells her exactly where they are, in a box marked "Gross Stuff."  Jack is sitting by the victim's bedside on the other side of the room.  The girl, Laura, asks him if Cas is his dad.  "One of them," agrees Jack.  He asks if she has family.  Laura says she has a mom but she's probably mad at her because she ran away.  She didn't like school.  She didn't like rules.  She was tired of being treated like a kid.  She'd been taken in by a woman who had seemed to be kind to her and to two other girls.  She'd welcomed them, fed them, gave them gifts.  But then she grew mean.  Having them there was keeping her young.  Gradually, the other two withered away.  When the hunter killed the witch, Laura thought she'd been saved, but now the aging disease is taking her too.  Jack earnestly tells her that Castiel will fix this.

In the woods Dean is tracking "Evil Kaia."  Sam cautions that it's probably Michael who's looking for her, sending monsters after her.  Dean won't listen which frustrates Sam.  Dean too has an annoyed look on his face as he leads the trio through the forest.

Back in the bunker, Cas and the hunter are doing the reversal spell, carefully chanting together.  Purple smoke spirals from the bowl.  They look eagerly at the bed to see if Laura has been healed.  Nothing happens.  Then suddenly she begins to convulse, gasping frantically for air.

Jody's phone rings.  When she sees that it's Claire, she lets it go to voicemail.  Although she's agreed to tell Claire about all supernatural crimes she comes across, she doesn't want Claire dealing with this.  "First love strikes quick," she observes, "and to lose it . . . "  Sam tells her that Dean is working something out and working it out alone.  He frets that Dean isn't ready for this hunt.  Maybe he needs it, observes Jody.

The focus switches to Dark Kaia who enters a dusty old cabin.  She gets a drink of water from the sink and sniffs at some crackers to test their freshness.  She steps out onto the porch, then hears a creak.  She turns.  Dean is behind her.  He lays her out with a massive punch.  Jody and Sam stare at him from the dooryard.  Dean stares back challengingly.  ("He needs to chill," observes my daughter, watching with me.)

Inside the cabin, Kaia is seated, wrists roped to the arms of a chair, being questioned.  She's apparently Dark Kaia like Bad Cas and New Bobby.  She tells them that killing Kaia had been an accident; she'd been trying to get the blonde.  They want to know how she'd crossed over to their world and why she is here, but she doesn't answer.  Dean says he's not Michael, and she says she knows he's not because he's much weaker.  Her words are meant to hurt but Dean snarls that she's still scared.  She isn't phased:  she's certainly not scared of HIM.  She IS scared of the monsters that Michael has been sending after her.  As they talk, three large male werewolves enter the fenced clearing, sniffing the air.  

Back in the bunker, a sheet is being pulled up over Laura's face.  Tears fill Jack's eyes.  "If I still had my powers, I could have saved you," he says sadly.  Then he pulls the sheet away with sudden urgency.  "The witch!" he wonders.  "Where's her body?"   In the bunker's morgue, they pull out the witch's body on a slab.  The dark haired woman lies still, a brilliant green necklace around her neck, a bullet wound near it.  Jack rips the necklace away.  Back in the victim's room, Jack smashes the necklace, releasing a green light.  It flows toward the pendant around Laura's neck, and the girl sits up with a gasp.  Castiel and the other hunter smile; Jack gazes at her.  

Dean tells the others that they need to break their captive.  "Why?" questions Sam.  She needs to tell them where her weapon is hidden; it can hurt Michael.  It might be the only thing that can take him down.  They need that weapon.  Dean's eyes are hard.  He slams Kaia's chair across the room into the wall and leans over her threateningly.  Kaia only smiles.  Outside, werewolves are approaching, but the hunters don't notice.  "You're no different than him," Kaia taunts.  Dean vehemently denies it, but Kaia says he is.  She saw what he did to Kaia, threatening her with a gun when she didn't want to help them open the rift.   Sam realizes, "You're a dreamwalker too!"  Kaia says they were connected.  Each Kaia could see what the other one saw.  "Your anger and impatience comes from fear," she tells Dean.  There's a sudden flashback - the scene is in grey as Kaia eats at her fire.  Michael appears.  He's found her because she bleeds new energy in this world.  He tells her that he wants her spear.  He's building an army.  She can join him on the winning side, giving him the spear, or he'll destroy her and take the spear anyway.  He's impervious and superior, but the real reason he wants the spear is because it can hurt him.  Kaia attacks, but Michael almost effortlessly parries her swings.  She's hurled to the ground but manages to sweep his legs out from under him.  As he falls, his head cracks against a rock.  She leaps to her feet and drives the spear into his arm.  Michael yells in agony.  

Back in the cabin, the hunters realize that monsters have found them, but it's too late to leave.  The three werewolves enter the cabin.  They want Kaia, but they're happy to enjoy a buffet, they say, eyeing the Winchesters and the police officer.  They begin to fight, but the humans are being overpowered.  Sam is on the floor, struggling with a monster who has his hands on his throat.  Jody loses her machete; the werewolf struggling with her twists her arm and breaks it.  Dean is pummeled to the floor; he grabs his gun but the werewolf forces his arm to the floor, laughing about how those bullets can't hurt them.  But Dean's weapon is no longer aimed at his assailant.  Though being held on the ground by his huge opponent, he stares across the room at Kaia, his gun aimed at her.  She stares back.  He pulls the trigger, and the leg of her chair shatters, tipping it sideways, releasing her as she falls.  "Now you're in trouble," Dean gleefully tells the werewolf, but Kaia plunges through a window and disappears.  "Or not," he regretfully admits.  The hunters are still struggling, but they are being outnumbered.  One tries to bite Sam, and he tries to fend off its jaws.  Then the two-pointed head of Kaia's spear bursts through its mouth.  In an instant, Kaia swings around, long black coat swirling, as she effortlessly decapitates the other two monsters.  "You saved us!" marvels Jody.  Kaia says she really just wanted to kill the monsters.  She stares at Dean.  He stares back.  "You're gonna be a target," warns Sam.  "I'm used to it," says Kaia, leaving.  

Night has fallen as the hunters approach their vehicles.  "Jody," Dean beings, but she interrupts him, affection coloring her voice:  "You have nothing to apologize for," she reassures him.  She'll be headed to the hospital where Alex can help set her arm, but she is worried about telling Claire; it's hard raising three hunters and fearing every day that she will lose one of them.  She regrets that she didn't even really have a change to get to know Kaia beefore she died.  She feels that she has lost before she even begins.  

Jack is lying in bed, hands behind his head as he stares up at the ceiling.  Cas enters, letting him know that Laura is going back to her mother and apologizing for not being there more for him.  Eyes glowing warmly, he says, "What you did made me so proud.  You proved that you have the mind and the heart of a hunter."  He wants to take him on a hunting trip.  Jack starts to answer but is interrupted by a cough.  When he clear his throat, he eagerly says, "Yes!" Cas is concerned about the cough, but Jack says he's human now; it must be his first cold, but after Castiel leaves, Jack's face creases with worry.

In the car, Dean, staring ahead at the night-covered road, is finally talking.  "I put us all in danger, stupid danger.  You were right"  He hadn't wanted to stop and reflect; he'd wanted to race ahead to the end where he would kill Michael.  "I said yes because I thought . . ." his voice broke off.  "I was stupid."  His eyes are mostly on the road, but Sam is looking intently at him.  "You did what you had to do," he reassures his older brother.  "It wasn't a blink," Dean admits, "Being possessed."  He was underwater, drowning, fighting for air, trying to break through, struggling desperately and failing.  "I wasn't strong enough.  He's out there putting together an army, hurting people.  It's all on me.  I said yes.  It's my fault."  He stares grimly ahead as he drives on through the darkness.

Jack scrunches up his face; he coughs again, leaning over a blood-stained tissue.  He drops it into a trash can where it joins several other bloody tissues.  There's an enigmatic look on his face as the episode ends.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Michael is creating supermonsters and sending them after Kaia, but where is he?  Why did he leave Dean?
  2. Did you know that Claire had been in love with Kaia?
  3. How much of Jack's anger at his weakness be assuaged by recognizing that he saved Laura's life? 
  4. Why is Jack coughing up blood?
  5. What past characteristics of Dean's did you see appear again in this episode?
  6. Who will eventually kill Michael?  Will Dean, as he wants to?  Will Sam?  Castiel?  Jack?  Dark Kaia?  Jody's girls?
  7. What do you think of Dark Kaia?  Will she be an ally or a threat?

Let's speculate!