THEN – Billie hands Dean the book, the Ma’lak box, Lucifer sucking out Jack’s grace, Jack dying, discussion of using the power of the soul, Sam hitting Dean by the Impala, the hug, Dean saying he does believe in them but if that day comes, Sam has to be willing to recognize that it is the end.

NOW:  Reton, NM – a clock shows that’s it’s 7:15.  Cheerful Spanish music plays as a brown-haired man with an open shirt moves around the kitchen, chopping up veggies and stirring pots on the stovetop.  Then the camera pulls back to reveal a man lying on his back across the kitchen island; his chest is cut from neck to navel, the sides pulled open and held apart with wooden separators.  The cook reaches into the chest cavity and removes an organ, chopping it apart, and dipping it in egg and seasoning, then drops it in a sizzling pan.  A reddish-brown snake coils nearby on the floor, and the cook begins to talk to him as he pops out an eyeball from his victim and eats it.  His eyes glow green; the pupil is narrow and elongated.  There is a quick view through a green lens of Sam and Dean entering through a door with guns drawn.  Back in the kitchen, the cannibalistic cook remarks that “they’re on the way.”  Scooping up the snake and the second eyeball, he adds, “Time to go.” 

WINGS – SUPERNATURAL!!!

The food is bubbling and burning on the stove.  The title “Ouroboros” appears.  Sam and Dean come in through the door, guns drawn, followed by Castiel and Jack.  “Oh, no,” says Cas as they enter the kitchen.  Jack checks the pans on the stove:  “He’s cooking body parts again.”  They’ve been hunting this killer, but haven’t had any luck in finding or stopping him.  They remark on the fact that the victim is not restrained; he didn’t fight.  It’s possible that he was still alive when the murderer started cutting.  Dean thinks it’s witchcraft.  Rowena, who appears in the doorway, with a typical teasing smile, doesn’t appreciate that and thinks they should appreciate her more since they were the ones who’d called her to do a tracking spell.  “Hello, Castiel!” she says flirtingly.  Jack picks up a snakeskin from the floor.  The house they’re in belongs to the victim, and he doesn’t seem to be a snake-owning guy.  Jack begins coughing.  As the others look at him with concern, he says it’s just pepper.  “I’m not dying,” he announces emphatically.  The hunters have been tracking six people in New Mexico who’ve died in a way similar to this victim.  This one still has skin so Rowena notices blackened lips.  Jack wonders if that means something.  “Everything means something,” asserts Rowena.

A vintage motel sign is our cue that the scene has changed.  In front of a wall with desert colors in a bold, zigzag pattern, Sam and Rowena sit at a table doing research.  Rowena wonders what they did to help Jack who’d been at death’s door, but Sam tells her not to worry about it.  Rowena is also concerned about how Dean is holding out trying to contain Michael.  “He’s Dean, and Dean is Dean;  he’s fine,” says Sam.  “For how long?” wonders Rowena.  “We’re working on it,” responds Sam.

Dean sits in a diner in a booth across from Castiel.  Dean is glad that Rowena is in on this, and they chuckle at how Sam and Rowena are at that moment pouring over the many books they have.  Castiel's eyes narrow in concern as Dean tenses, scrunching his eyes shut, battling mentally with Michael.  In a moment, he straights.  “Are you really fine?” questions Cas.  “I don’t know,” replies Dean.  “But that’s what I’m supposed to say.”  When Cas insists on wanting to know how he really feels, Dean describes a constant pounding in his head; it’s so unrelenting that he can’t ever let his guard down.  He laughs a little as he adds that he’s not sleeping, but Cas is concerned.  When Dean says, “It’s on me,” the angel corrects him:  “It’s on us!”  Dean reminds him that even though he’d agreed to let Cas and Sam have some time to find a way to defeat Michael, if it doesn’t work, they have to go to plan B:  “Coffin.  Ocean.  Done.”  Cas shakes his head. 

Meanwhile, Jack was in the restroom washing his hands.  He begins coughing, gradually increasing in intensity until he coughs up blood.  Eventually, he lifts one hand; grace begins to glow at his fingertips.  He places his fingers against his throat for healing.

When he approaches the table, Cas asks if he’s all right.  “I’m fine!” assures Jack.  “We’re all fine,” jokes Dean, but Cas is not amused.  They begin discussing the case.  Castiel remarks that the killings have a ritualistic, even liturgical quality.  He explains that that means “religious” when Dean and Jack look confused.  Could this just be a really depraved human?  Even if he’s human, he’s a monster if he does this, says Jack.  Then Sam calls with news.

Back at the motel, Dean, Cas, and Jack sit on a couch while Sam and Rowena prepare to present their findings.  Dean says it feels like a presentation of the AV Club. That’s a club, Cas explains, for kids who can’t play sports.  Rowena tells them that they think they’re hunting a gorgon.  “Like Medusa?” asks Dean.  He’s seen Clash of the Titans.  Sam and Rowena have discovered that there is a trail of 17 similar deaths in a linear path across the southwest.  Rowena adds that the lore says that gorgons can glimpse the future by consuming the eyes of their victims.  Unfortunately, they don’t know how to kill a gorgon. 

A trucker approaches his rig at night at a truckstop.  The killer in a snakeskin jacket is standing near the cab, looking young.  He asks for a ride and says he’ll pay the trucker back anyway he wants.  Glancing around, the trucker tells him to get in.  Inside the cab, the trucker turns and asks if he’s ready to pay.  The young man leans over and kisses him.  A sickly green glow spreads on the trucker’s cheek, and he stiffens, shaking a little, but unable to move.  The gorgon explains that he’s poisoned him and that sadly he’ll still feel it when he does this.  Reaching over, he plucks out the man’s eye.  The immobile victim groans but can’t move, and his erstwhile passenger caressingly eats the round white orb.  Then the gorgon jolts and his eyes glow with a vision.

Dean and Castiel, dressed in suits -- Cas of course also in his tan trench coat -- approach a crime scene, the truck.  The policeman they talk to is surprised that the FBI is interested and is sarcastic when they ask if there’s anything unusual about the murder.  “Besides the guy missing his eyes?” he asks, but apologizes under Cas’s intimidating scorn, helpfully adding that there was a note left in the cab, addressed to a guy named Dean.  Dean asks to see it, and the officer hands over a paper in a plastic bag before walking away.  The note says something like, “I see you standing alone by the truck.  I see the tall man and the redheaded woman in the motel.  I know you’re following me.  Stop or I’ll make you stop.  Noah.”   Dean doesn’t like that the creepy killer is sending him correspondence.  When they call Sam to let him know, they realize that the killer never mentioned Cas or Jack.  This is their chance, Sam realizes.  They make plans back at the motel; Rowena will use her tracking spell while Cas and Jack approach him since he can’t see them in his visions.  Rowena wants to make sure they have antivenom just in case, and that’s a restricted substance.  It will be hard to get.  But Rowena has a plan.

Together, Rowena and Sam enter a veterinary office, Sam holding a small dog to his chest.  They ask the vet for help; they’re both concerned for their pet, but they bicker with each other about who’s responsible and who should have been more careful.  The vet interrupts the awkward public squabble by saying she’ll take the dog.  “What’s his name?”  “Jack!” Sam and Rowena announce.  As the vet takes the little dog to the back, Sam says, “What are you doing?”  Rowena smirks.  Sure, it’s not the FBI shtick, but she thinks she did a pretty magnificent acting job.  In the back, the vet looks at a thermometer.  Readings look good; she’s going to go have the owners fill out some paperwork.  As soon as she leave the room, the puppy on the table transforms into Jack.  He rapidly looks through the vials of medicines.   The vet is confused to find no one in the waiting room, even more so when she goes back to find the dog gone too.  Sam, Rowena, and Jack reconvene outside; Jack’s got the antivenom, though he does wish he could have gotten it before the vet took his temperature.  Rowena had used a transforming spell on him but she could sense something was off.  “What did you do to that boy?” she asks Sam when they’re alone.  Sam reassures her that they’re being careful but she scoffs:  “Using dangerous magic regardless of the cost?  Sounds like me.  Remember, until recently, I was the villain.” 

Inside a house, a man is handcuffed to a chair.  He’s crying.  The gorgon calmly talks to the snake around his neck, wondering if there’s vegetable oil in the kitchen.  Hoping for leniency, the victim tells him where it is.  “I don’t enjoy eating humans,” the gorgon confesses matter-of-factly.  “Fate is cruel and boring.”  When the hapless homeowner accuses him of preying on innocent men, the monster scoffs.  He adds that he’s willing to attack women too, only they’ve become cautious.  “Good for them; bad for you,” he says.  The man screams for help, annoying the gorgon who kisses him on the cheek.  The green poison glows for a moment under the skin of his face before the victim becomes paralyzed. 

Rowena, dressed in a dark burgundy velvety jacket, sits in front of burning candles, casting her location spell.  Sam checks in with Maggie back at the bunker.  She has discovered something in the lore about gorgons:  they can be killed if beheaded with a silver sword.  In the background, other apocalypse world survivors are talking and relaxing.  Back at the motel, Rowena’s eyes glow purple with power:  she’s found the killer.  Grabbing the antivenom, they head off.

The gorgon is contentedly puttering in the kitchen when he hears a knock at the door.  He approaches only to have it kicked in by Castiel, looking grim and armed with his sword.  Jack enters at the back door.  “No fair!” says the gorgon calmly.  “You’re not human.”  “You’re a monster!” declares Jack.  “Demigod,” clarifies the gorgon.  “I’m a lover not a fighter,” he demurs.  While Cas revives the victim with some antivenom poured into his mouth, Jack is face to face with the monster, who tells him the story of the black snake.  A snake kept eating a chicken’s eggs, one by one, every single one.  The last day, the snake swallowed the last egg, only to find that the chicken had hard-boiled the egg, destroying her child in order to destroy the snake.  “I just wonder,” muses the demigod, “are you the chicken or the egg?”  When Castiel attacks the gorgon, the monster overpowers him, then kisses him, paralyzing him with his poison.  Jack meets with no better success in battling the monster.  Sam and Dean rush in but are also overpowered.  Sam is hurled to the kitchen floor near Jack, and the gorgon smashes Dean’s head viciously into the wall, twice.  He falls to the floor unconscious.  “Dean!” yells Sam, getting to his feet and attacking the monster again, but the gorgon knocks him down again, then he walks away down the hallway.  WHOOSH!  Out of nowhere, a blade swings across the hall, instantly decapitating him.  Jack got him.  “Check Cas!  I’ve got Dean!” commands Sam.  Cas’s eyes are open, but he can’t move.  Jack inserts some of the antivenom between his stiff lips but he doesn’t respond.  Desperate, Jack places both hands on either side of Cas’s face; the power of his soul glows, healing Castiel who can suddenly move again.  They look over to where Sam is still crouched next to Dean, who is sprawled on the floor.  “I can’t wake him up!” 

The Impala races back to the bunker.  Cas and Sam drag Dean inside and deposit him on a bed.  His eyes are closed; there’s a bloody spot on the side of his head and blood has run down his face.  Maggie runs to get some ice.  Castiel puts his fingers on Dean’s forehead but not only can he not heal him; he can’t even read him.   Jack insists that he can help, but Castiel firmly tells him that he can’t afford to burn off anymore of his soul.  Frustrated, Jack walks out of the room past Rowena.  “What do I do?” asks Sam, eyes looking panicked.  Rowena has nothing to offer except to clean him up.  Sam opens and closes his fists by his side, then rubs a hand over his face.  He reaches for a towel, only to be startled by Dean who jolts up, thrashing around.  He’s not awake or aware, but somewhere deep inside he’s battling Michael.  A moment later, he’s comatose on the bed again. 

Rowena pages through books at the library table.  Jack sits restlessly on the side of his bed; the gorgon’s snake is in an aquarium on a side table.  Cas arrives in the doorway.  “He’s gonna be OK, right?”  asks Jack.  “He’s Dean.  It was just a fight!”  Cas is wise as he reminds the nephilim that any hunt is potentially lethal.  “They’re human, extraordinary, but still human.  Humans burn bright but for a very brief time.  Eventually, they’re gone.  It’s part of growing up.”  “Losing people?” questions Jack.  What is the point of having long life and great power if everyone they care about ends up leaving them in the end?  The point, Cas informs him, is that they were here at all and you got to know them.  The hurt reminds you how much you loved them.“  “That’s AWFUL!” states Jack.  “That’s living,” replies Cas sagely.  They need to appreciate the time they have with them now.  But what if Dean doesn’t wake up, asks Jack.  There will be NO using powers, insists Castiel.  Jack is frustrated.  Cas is surprised to see the gorgon’s snake in Jack’s room, and Jack tells him that he doesn’t understand the story of the black snake.  Cas says that’s it’s partly about greed, but also about being willing to give up the thing you love to kill the thing you hate. 

They’re interrupted by a yell and crashing.  Running down the hall, they enter the kitchen to see Dean, blindly smashing around, knocking pans to the ground, hollering “Where is he?”  Sam stands back, watching with concern, as his brother seems out of control, but then Dean looks at him with clarity and fear in his eyes.  “He’s gone!”  The storeroom in his mind is empty; the heavy door is crashed open, hinges broken, lying on the ground.  Michael has escaped.  Dean looks wounded, upset, and angry.  “I TOLD you!” he yells.  Suddenly, there’s a scream.  They run into the map room.  Two bloody bodies lie on the floor.  Maggie runs into the room only to suddenly arch back; she screams and white light erupts from her eyes.  Then she collapses to the floor, her eyes burnt out completely.  “No!  No!” Dean exclaims, horrified.  Then Rowena appears on the landing, blood spattered on her neck and hands:  “Hello, boys.”  Her eyes glow white.  Michael has taken her as his vessel and killed all the other hunters.  More bodies are shown fallen onto the floor or collapsed in a pool of blood on the table.  “Let her go!” commands Castiel.  “She didn’t want to say yes,” admits Michael smoothly from Rowena’s hijacked lips.  In a flashback, we see Rowena step away from her body still sitting at the table reading.  Michael, wearing Dean, appears behind her, telling her that this is all in her mind.  He’s tired of Dean as a vessel; if she accepts him, he promises he will leave her alive.  Rowena is unmoved.  Fate has decreed that Sam Winchester will kill her, not Michael, so she’s not taking his offer.  “Fine,” responds Michael.  “Then I’ll kill everyone else, everyone you care about.  And, yes, you do care about them, even if you won’t admit it.  Say yes.  The choice is yours.”  He looks down, the bill of his cap obscuring his eyes.  Rowena, back in her body at the table, looks sad. 

“I had no intention of keeping my word,” clarifies Michael to the men listening.  He raises his hand and Dean, Sam, and Castiel fall to the floor, though Jack stays standing.  Michael snaps Rowena’s delicate fingers.  “Now you’re can’t breathe!”  The men gasp where they’ve collapsed.  “How about blind?” Another finger snap.  Their eyes glaze over white.  “Now you’re in pain.”  Michael is enjoying his absolute power over them but finally decides it’s time they die and the world burns, but before he can end their lives,  Jack grabs a weapon from a bag on the table nearby:  “Michael!”  Michael throws a ball of power at him and he falls to the ground, but then stands back up, eyes glowing.  “You think you can match me?” yells Michael.  Jack hurls his power at the archangel who falls back onto the steps.  He can’t believe he fell before the nephilim.  Michael's power over the brothers and Castiel is lost, and they get to their feet, but he never notices.  “How dare you?” rages Michael, blasting back.  “It’s worth the cost!” declares Jack.  “I am the commander of the host!  I am the destroyer of worlds!  I will not be defeated by a child!” roars the enraged archangel.  “I’m not a child!” Jack replies.  “I’m the son of Lucifer.  I’m a hunter.  I’m a Winchester!”  He places his hands on either side of Rowena’s face.  Her head goes back in a scream as a wide column of bright bluish light pours out of her opened mouth.  The powerful archangel grace swirls above their heads, then begins to catch fire along the edges.  It diminishes, and then Jack is swallowing the last of it.  His eyes close.  “Jack?” ventures Dean.  Jack’s eyes open.  “Michael is dead,” he declares.  Sam looks worried.  Rowena sits up.  “I’m me again!” says Jack.  First his eyes, then his body glow with the yellow light of his grace and the wide expanse of the shadow of his wings is throw against the walls of the bunker.  Castiel, Sam, and Dean look at him.  They don’t look happy.

QUESTIONS:

  1. How grossed out were you with the reveal of the body in the kitchen?
  2. Why was the gorgon such a powerful creature and so difficult for Team Free Will to defeat?
  3. What your response to the destruction of apparently all the AU hunters (except Bobby?)
  4. Any speculation on how Sam will kill Rowena, and why, if she believes this, she still answers their requests for help and has learned to care about them?
  5. Now that Michael is destroyed, who’s the next Big Bad?
  6. Is Jack the chicken or the egg?  If he’s the chicken, whom will he destroy to defeat someone he hates?  If he’s the egg, who will use him to destroy another?  How does this tie in to the title?