Then:  Back view of Baby, taillights glowing in the darkness.  Voice asking, "What happened?"  Dean telling Chuck in casino, "We'll never give you the ending you want."  "We'll see," Chuck answering, unperturbed.  Dean threatening Kaia so she'll open a rift to the "Bad Place."  Dark Kaia killing Kaia.  Speak of Destiny. Jack:  "I'll be able to kill God."

Now:  Four weeks ago - Earth 2

A simple storefront - Radio Shed - with "Clearance" signs.  A woman with long red hair browses; the dark-haired clerk smiles at her.  She leaves. Louden Swain music plays in the background!  The radio is reporting on President Clinton starting to campaign for her reelection when Chuck walks through the door.  The clerk tries to interest him in their "superstore inventory."  "Not really what I'm looking for," Chuck tells him.  What he wants is an AUDIENCE.  He gestures toward the wall of TV screens, then begins to tell his story. 

In the beginning, it was he and sis.  He wanted more.  He created the world.  (On one of the screens behind him, Dean and Castiel appear, sitting at a table in the bunker.) Chuck kept creating - other worlds, different versions, "my other toys."  (Other screens show some of the alternate Sam and Deans - killing each other, dying.)  Dean had told him that he wasn't going to get the ending he wanted.  Why should that frustrate him?  He shouldn't care.  But he does.  All the other versions - "They don't spark joy.  The real Sam and Dean - they do.  They challenge me, disappoint me, surprise me.  They're -- the ONES."  

As Chuck pauses, the clerk offers to sell him a stero.  "I don't need more!" Chuck responds.  "I need less.  It's time to clear the board.  The failed spin offs -- it's time to start canceling shows."  The camera closes in on his face.  Flash of wings.  Title card - SUPERNATURAL.

A dark night.  A moon.  A barn.  Sioux Falls - Our World.  Title - "Galaxy Brain."

Jody, in sheriff's uniform, crinkles her face in disgust as she inspects a mutilated cow.  Her phone rings.  It's Alex who has made a vegan lasagna for supper and will keep it warming in the oven.  Grimacing over the mangled remains in front of her, Jody tells her she'll appreciate vegan this time.   Perceiving a movement in the barn, she approaches the dark doorway, gun drawn, flashlight lighting her way.  The flashing reds and blues of the police cruiser fade behind her as she steps into the building.  Her flashlight picks up on farm machinery, chains, and various miscellany, but nothing else until a dark figure jumps down, landing behind her and slugging her into unconsciousness.  

Sam's fingers are tapping on a table.  "I still don't like it."  He and Dean and Cas are in the bunker, talking about Jack's return.  They're definitely concerned that he's been eating angel hearts, and Sam is especially worried that Jack still doesn't have a soul.  Who knows what impact the last six months have had or what influence Billie has had on him?

Jack walks quietly into the war room.  His eyes catch sight of the initials carved into the wood table.  Slowly, his fingers reach out to touch the MW.  His face is thoughtful.  Flipping on the switch by the door, he enters one of the bunker's utilitarian bedrooms.  There are books on a shelf and an old typewriter on a desk.  He glances in the mirror and sees not only himself, but a short older woman with bobbed gray hair who has appeared in the room behind him.  Relatively unruffled by her unexpected arrival, he listens as she says that she's a reaper, sent by Billie, who's been too busy to see to Jack herself.  

Cas and the Winchesters are still talking about the situation.  Cas says that Jack trusts Billie and he trusts Jack.  Dean says that he does think that Billie has it figured out.  "What?" Sam wonders.  "Like the way she had it figured out with the Ma'lak Box?"  "I have questions too," Dean tells him, "but this is the only plan we got."

Jack tells the reaper that he doesn't feel like the conquering hero Billie has portrayed him to be.  After all, he needed Cas to save him from the Grigori, The reaper is unphased.  She said that Billie knew Cas would.  All Jack needs to do is relax, follow the rules, lie low, and wait for instructions.  "Everything she ways, I'll do it," Jack says.  Outside in the hallway, Sam hears the murmur of Jack's voice.  He opens the door and asks who Jack was talking to.  Jack says no one.  Sam hesitates in the doorway.  "So glad to have you back.  You could've come to us -- we would've helped you."  "I know," Jack tells him.

A decanter of whiskey sits on a table in the bunker, Dean and Castiel on either side, each with a glass.  "I knew it," Cas says.  "Jack's mother -- Kelly had faith that Jack would be good for the world.  When Chuck killed him, I was lost because I knew the story wasn't over.  I was right."  Dean lifts his glass:  "Here's to being right.  And here's to payback."  Cas says that Jack will be fulfilling his destiny.  Dean mentions revenge - Chuck will be getting killed by his own grandson.  After Cain and Abel.  They're interrupted by the phone.  It's Jody.  "I'm in trouble," she says.  We see that she's tied up, her face bruised, and a dark-gloved hand is holding her phone to her face.  She gives them the address and adds, "If you don't come, I'm dead."  

Daytime.  The Impala pulls up outside the barn, and the Winchesters enter, guns drawn.  Sam spots Jody almost immediately, tied up on a chair in a far corner.  He's untying her when Jody shouts, "Look out!"  In a blur, a figure attacks Sam, hurling him to the ground.  It's Dark Kaia, still in black, eyes grim, jaw tight, hair flying.  With just a few flurried moves, she has Dean immobilized, holding him from behind with an arm around his throat.  She wants the spear.  Dean says it's gone.  , Then she wants the boy, the one who can open the portal.  They had a deal.  "Deal expired when you killed our friend," growls Dean. Unexpectedly, Jody attacks smashing a chair across their assailant's back.  All three of them have their guns trained on her when she rises from the ground.  "My world is dying!" she says.  "How do you know?" asks Sam.  Dark Kaia says she can see through her dreams.  She and Kaia are still connected.  She's protecting her.  "But Kaia's dead!" wonders Jody.  "I never meant to hurt HER.  She haunts me.  Kaia's alive," the woman from the other world tells them.  

In a dark forest, awash with a dull blue light, Kaia's eyes open.  

"She's stuck over there?"  cries Jody.  "We left her there for dead!"  "I left her tools to survive," Dark Kaia replies steadily.  'I see through her eyes."  

In the dark night under the talls trees, Kaia crouches by a fire.  She has a lizard trapped in a cage of sticks while she eats another.  She sings the nursery rhyme, "Miss Mary Mack, Mack Mack."  Overhead, the sullen sky rumbles and groans with ominous thunder.

"I need to get back," Dark Kaia tells the others.  Jack can open the portal back up to her world.

Jack and Cas are in the bunker playing Connect 4, Cas with a focus much more intense than that with which humans play.  He slams his fist on the table when Jack drops in a piece to win.  Jack smiles with a childlike but calm happiness.  The bunker door opening announces the Winchesters return.  Sam comes in first with Jody.  Cas greets her with a smile, saying, "It's nice to finally meet you in person."  Then Dean enters, escorting Dark Kaia.  They all agree that Jack cannot help her.  Billie has forbidden him to use his power because it will attract God's attention.  Sam says they'll find another way.  Cas offers to call Sergei and see if he has any archangel grace, but Dark Kaia, intent and desperate, flashes out that they're running out of time.

Dark Kaia, still handcuffed, has also been chained to a table in the bunker.  There's a magazine in front of her, but she pushes it away in annoyance.  In another room, Jack, who's been poring over a huge book of lore, has found something.  He rounds the corner to where Sam and Dean sit at a table with piles of books in front of them and announces that he's found some Grigori magic that may work.  It's called World Bender and requires pretty basic ingredients along with the liver of a mandrigora.  .The brothers, who look exhausted from hours of research, wearily tell him that those creatures are extinct.  Their dad killed the last one.  Thus this spell can't be done.  What they need is archangel grace, but their only option is Michael and who knows where he is.  Or nephilim grace.  But that would go against Billie's rules.

Jody and Castiel are in another part of the bunker, the sheriff looking through an inventory of magical supplies while the angel tries to unsuccessfully reach Sergei on the phone. They haven't been able to reach Claire either.  She's out of cell phone range, somewhere deep in Yosemite, tracking down reports of a woman in a black cape.  Obviously, they're false reports, Castiel comments.  Jody says that she's spent years looking for revenge.  She loved Kaia.  Now, there's no time to loop her in.  

Jack has been listening in the doorway.  He goes to where the black-clad woman sits chained to the table and raises a hand in awkward sincerity:   "Hi."  She is fierce and direct -  "She was scared, and you pushed her."  "I tried to help her," Jack responds, adding, "She was in pain."  "She's in pain now!" Dark Kaia fires back.  "And soon she'll die!"  "Because of me," Jack says.  He sits at the table, then looks curiously at their prisoner.  "Why did you do it?  Come here?"  "I envied her," Dark Kaia answers.  "Her world looked peaceful.  But this pace is cold.  I don't understand it.  So I hide in empty places.  This world doesn't want me.  I'm done with it."  Though she can barely reach, she stretches our her hands where they're handcuffed to the table and grasps Jack's.  Her jaw has unclenched; her eyes are pleading.  He removes his hands from hers, but then reaches for her temples.  His eyes glow, then hers, as orange light like veins sparkle under the skin of her face.  They see Kaia crouched by her fire in the dark.

Walking up to the Winchesters, Jack announces, "I'm saving Kaia.  I owe it to her.  It's the right thing to do."  Suddenly, the older woman appears - Merle, the reaper.  "You've gotta be kidding me," she says dryly.  "One needy life on the line and you're willing to risk it all.  That's dumb.  Winchester dumb."  "Hey!" objects Dean.  She threatens to tell Death, but Jack is unphased.  She can go tell Billie, but Jack will have already tried so Jack will have disobeyed on Merle's watch.  "I'll stop you," says the reaper.  "You can try," Jack tells her.  "Or you can help us.  Billie never needs to know."   "THIS is Winchester stupid," declares Merle, "but there might be a way."  She tells them that Amara had damaged the cosmic grade warding on the bunker, and, though they'd repaired some of it, they hadn't fully warded the place.  If they could beef up the warding, they might possibly be able to hide from God long enough for Jack to open a portal.  She can't do it alone; she'll need the help of an angel.  But it's their only hope to keep off Chuck's radar.

Cas enters the room where they've all gathered.  Dean puts ingredients in a bowl.  Jody gives Sam a book and he reads the incantation aloud.  A magical flame erupts from the bowl, and then sigils begin to appear all around them - on beams and walls - lighting up magical letters of protection.  

Now that they're warded, they can move on to the next step.  Merle enters with a large piece of broken-off rock, inscribed with runes.  Sam and Dean, armed and wearing coats, are checking their weapons.  "This is a big, stupid risk," Sam tells his brother, then adds, "It feels good.  Feels like we're back."  Jack unchains their prisoner.

Jody is also preparing to leave.  She thanks Castiel for staying behind, but Cas tells her he wants her to stay too.  He reveals his sense of guilt over what happened to Claire, how he can't make things right for her.  But she found a family in Jody.  If she were to lose not only Kaia but Jody as well, she could not survive.  Jody agrees to stay behind and not venture into the uncertainty of Dark Kaia's world.

Everyone is gathered in the war room.  Merle and Castiel put their hands on the rock.  Then Jack's eyes begin to glow.  He reaches out his hand, and a tall, narrow sliver of gold light appears.  Dark Kaia's eyes widen as she approaches the portal and steps through, the Winchesters soon following.  

They're in a dark forest filled with night and rain with a lowering sky above them. There is no sign of Kaia, but suddenly they are surrounded by humanoid figures, leaping through the darkness, peering at them with red eyes.  Sam and Dean raise their weapons but they're outnumbered.  Dark Kaia tells them they'll lose if they fight.  The agitated creatures are scared, but not of them.  They're scared of the storm, of the lightning that slices through the boiling clouds above.  The monsters run at the thunder, and the trio move on through the woods, spotting what could be a camp.  Sam calls Kaia's name.  Huddled under a small shelter of stacked branches, Kaia hears them and emerges, clutching a large knife.  "Hey, kid!" Dean calls out to her.  Recognizing him, she approaches and hugs him as Sam smiles.  She stares when she sees her doppelganger, but Sam says it's all right.   Dean reminds them that they should go, but Dark Kaia doesn't move.  "This is my home.  I never should have left it.  Go!"  She yells again, "Go!" The Winchesters and Kaia turn and hurry away through the trees.  Above the forest, the sky seems to be collapsing.  Clouds begin billowing like smoke.   They gather and stir like the tumultuous waves of a flood.  Lightning darts through the angry gray masses obscuring the horizon.  Kaia stands unwavering.  The clouds begin rushing through the woods, bowling down trees ahead of them.  Dark Kaia holds her arms open at her sides and closes her eyes as darkness descends on her world.

In the bunker, Jody is waiting when Sam bursts through the portal soon followed by Dean with Kaia clinging to him. As they gasp for breath, Jody envelops Kaia in a hug.  The girl lays her head against her shoulder and holds on to her.  

Jack seems to be pacing in the war room when Kaia appears in the doorway dressed in a red cardigan and a gray t-shirt.  They tease about how the clothes sort of fit her; Kaia's just glad that they're clean.  "How did you survive there?" Jack asks.  "Miss Mary Mack," she answers.  "My mom used to . . . " her voice trails off.  Jody enters the room.  When Kaia wonders what she should do now, Jody says, "Come back to my house."  "Will Claire be there?" asks Kaia.  "Soon," answers Jody.  Before they leave, Kaia turns back to the men.  "Thank you.  Thank you," her hand pressed against her body as if  to convey her earnestness.  Then she and the sheriff leave.  

"If I cared," says Merle, "I'd say it was a victory."  "So the warding worked,"mentions Sam.  "If it hadn't, we'd all be dead," the reaper replies, but, before another word can be uttered, a dark blade, juts it's way through her throat.  She dissolves like sand and disappears.  Billie stands there, scythe in hand.  "Hello, boys."

They all stand, stiff and on guard watching her.  She walks straight to Jack.  "Breaking the rules already," she observes.  "Merle had one job - keep you in line.  She failed.  She had go to.  I see the big picture.  One life means nothing.  That one girl you saved from a dying world?  ALL the worlds are dying.  All but this one.  Chuck's wiping the slate clean."

"What's your end game?" asks Sam.  "What's your plan?  "When I was a reaper," replies Billie, "i believed in the rules.  Then you killed me.  I inherited Death's knowledge and his library.  Everyone has a book.  God too."  "Why would God write his own death?" wonders Castiel.  "The books write themselves," Billie answers.  When God wrote more and more worlds, he had to build himself into the framework.  No one can read their books.  No one knows what's in their own book.  Except Death.  Jack is in God's book.  So are the Winchesters.  "I told you you have work to do.  You are the messengers of God's destruction.  This is your destiny."  

Back in Radio Shed, Chuck sits in a black vinyl recliner, eating snacks and enjoying a shake while he watches scenes of devastation of the array of TV screens in front of him:  floods, storms, avalanches, wildfires - worlds ending.  As he moves to get up, the clerk, who was sleeping with his head on a pizza box on the floor in front of the counter, sits up.  Chuck says he's not done yet.  Some worlds are more complicated to end.  "You'll spare us though, right?" tentatively asks the young man. "I've served you for weeks.  I'll be ok?"  Chuck reaches out slowly to touch his cheek soothingly.  "You'll be fine."  He exits the store, tossing his cup into the bushes.  In the blue sky above, two moon float serenely until the peace is pierced by a ball of flaming light as a meteor smashes through the atmosphere straight into the Radio Shed.  

THE END

So, we've had a several-week hiatus.  Now the show is back with another episode to discuss as we approach the end.  Here are some questions to get us started:  

  1. How do you feel about this resolution to the Kaia/Dark Kaia storyline?
  2. At the beginning, Sam expressed concern about Jack's lack of a soul while Cas has complete faith in Jack.  Whose insight do you feel is most accurate?
  3. Cas used to refer to God as his father, but Chuck appears to be not a father but merely a creator.  What is the difference between the two - father and creator?
  4. Do Billie's rules (as relayed by the reaper) remind you of what the angels were telling Dean back in season 5?  Don't ask questions.  Just wait.  When it's time, I'll tell you what to do.  Are we as viewers supposed to see a parallel?  Should this make us wary of Billie?  If Billie isn't to be trusted, who is?
  5. Billie questions the value of a single life.  Is she right?  Did Jack make the right decision in risking attracting God's attention in order to rescue Kaia?
  6. The show has had moments of despair and hopelessness while other times are optimistic.  What tone do you feel was conveyed by this episode?  
  7. Compare Dark Kaia's end to the Radio Shed clerk's.  In the clerk's position, would you have spoken differently to the being in your store?  What would you have said and why?
  8. Chuck declares that out of all the worlds he made, THIS Sam and Dean are the real ones.  What is the significance/implications of that?