THEN: Sergei has a key to Death's Library. The Empty, dressed as Meg, tells them that Billie wants to take over. The Empty attacks Cas. Chuck and Amara hold hands, and Chuck absorbs his sister. Dean tells Jack, "It's time." Jack's eyes glow with power. Sam insists that Billie is playing them. Dean pulls his gun on Sam and yells, "Move!" Chuck crashes through the door. He tells them they can watch Jack die.
NOW: Sam, with one of Jack's arms over his shoulders, supports him to a chair in the main room of the bunker where he sits, eyes and the skin around his eyes glowing with power. Cas advises him to take deep breaths. Dean somewhat wildly asks, "What do you do?" "I don't know!" responds Sam. "Leave me!" says Jack. "I don't want to hurt you." "We're not giving up on you!" Dean tells him, adding that perhaps they could try one of Rowena's spells: "We've got to do something!" "You've done enough!" says a dry, disapproving voice. Billie has appeared in the bunker. Sam says that Jack is doomed. "Doomed because of YOU," accuses Billie. Cas pleads, "You can stop it; please!" Billie spins Jack's chair around. Jack's face is beginning to crack like a broken antique doll's; light spills through the cracks. Suddenly, he disappears. "What'd you DO?" yells Dean at Death.
Jack appears in the unmitigated blackness of the Empty, but there's a buzzing of power building up under his skin. The entity still appearing as blonde Meg smirks. "Hey, kid, how's you get here? You're not looking so hot." Then, its eyes widen slightly with understanding: "Oh." Jack hollers and explodes.
Back in the bunker, Dean yells at Billie, "Where is he?" "I sent him to the Empty," says Billie nonchalantly though with a trifle of satisfaction. "So it's done," Cas spits at her angrily. "Is he dead?" Dean says that she'd said it was a suicide mission, and she corrects him - no, it was FATAL. The Entity is not as strong as God, but it is vast. She agrees that the Entity has beef with her, but it can't reach her as long as she's here on Earth. "What about Jack?" insists Dean. "Bring him back!" demands Cas. "I want what I came for," states Billie with a significant look at Sam. "You were always going to betray us," Sam tells her. "Everyone who's come back, everyone we've saved -- you're going to kill them all. that's always been your end game." "You lied to everyone," Cas adds. "What's to stop you from killing us all?" Sam wonders. "Nothing," Billie replies. She tells them that they have no choice. This is not a negotiation. They must give her back her book if they want Jack.
Back in the utter darkness of the Empty, Jack has appeared, standing completely intact. He breathes for a moment, looking down at his hands. A flutter of lights seems to surround his arms, shards of glass or geometric snow, that increase, then combine, reforming the Empty, only now with a shade of panic in the borrowed eyes of Meg's vessel. It seems to be unable to move. "You!" it accuses.
Sam reenters the room with the large book which he drops on the table next to Billie, then walks past her to rejoin his brother and the angel. Billie opens the book and tells them that now there's a new ending. "Jack! NOW!" demands Dean. "Shhhhhhh!" admonishes Billie, with a slight smile as her eyes peruse the pages.
The Entity manages to reach out an arm and quirk its fingers, pulling Jack closer. It grabs the boy's head; it's eyes are frantic: "You made it LOUD!" Back in the bunker, Billie says, "Interesting!" with a smile. Then Jack disappears from under the fingertips of the entity. He reappears in the bunker, but Billie claims possession: "The boy's mine!" Grabbing her scythe, Dean slices at her, wounding her arm. With a movement of her hand, she sends him crashing across the room, but then she disappears, leaving Sam and Castiel to run to Jack. Sam picks up her discarded book.
Night has fallen outside the bunker. Inside, the lights are dim. Dean sits, leg propped up, back a little slumped, drinking in the yellow light of a reading lamp. Sam enters: "Hey." "Hey," Dean responds. Sam grabs a glass. "I couldn't sleep either," he tells his older brother. Dean slides the bottle of whiskey across the table toward him. "I'm sorry," Dean says. "You don't have to --" Sam demurs. "I pulled a gun on you," Dean says, eyes earnest. "It's like I couldn't stop. We were so close to beating him. Nothing else mattered. I could snap out of it." "You DID," Sam reassures him calmly. "You've snapped me out of worse. You HAVE," he insists when Dean made a noise of dissent. That settled, Dean sums up the situation: Chuck is more powerful than ever, Billie is mad at them, they just blew up the Empty, Jack is powerless, Michael won't answer their prayers -- they have no big players on their side. "We're at zero." "We'll regroup somehow," Sam says quietly. "To somehow," Dean toasts. The brothers drink, sitting across from each other in the dimly lit bunker, the light from the table lamp sending out a subdued glow.
Billie enters her library walking slowly and stiffly. An eager reaper tells her that they've put up new warding. She turns on him a little fiercely and with bared teeth declares that the plan has changed.
An African-American woman is making scrambled eggs over a gas stovetop in a warm, mid-century retro kitchen. Red hair flowing over her t-shirt clad shoulders, alt-Charlie sits at the yellow Formica table, cleaning weapons. With a warm smile, the cook reminds her that there are no guns at the table. But the table for cleaning guns is in the other room, alt-Charlie defends herself. She wants to be here where she can watch her cook. There are some shifters they might need to look into. "Like a date?" smiles the cook. Alt-Charlie is distracted as she begins to eat the eggs: she's amazed at how delicious they are. "You are making these EVERY morning!" she declares, but, in the blink of an eye, her friend is gone, the plate she was holding falling to the floor and shattering, mixing eggs with the broken china. "Stevie? Stevie?" calls alt-Charlie into the empty room.
A house, nameplate 1928. Dean and Sam are inside, Sam walking around with the EMS meter. They are listening to alt-Charlie who is talking about Stevie, how they'd met when alt-Bobby assigned them to a djinn hunt. Her eyes are sad as she says she didn't know who else to call. "Why her and not me?" she wonders. "What'd you see?" Sam asks as he sits next to Dean on the couch. "Nothing!" alt-Charlie states. One moment Stevie was there, then she was gone. Dean looks sideways at Sam. "What?" asks alt-Charlie.
Outside the house, Cas and Jack are waiting, leaning on the Impala. Cas asks how Jack is, and the boy remarks that Cas has probably been wanting to ask him that for a while. Cas agrees but says he waited because he didn't want to overwhelm Jack. "I feel STRANGE," Jack admits, but he doesn't know if he feels strange because something happened to him or because it's over. "The plan. My destiny. I was ready to die. I wanted to. For Sam, for Dean, for the world. I wanted to make things right. I don't know why I'm here." "You don't need absolution," Cas tells him. "We care about you because you're YOU, not because of something you could do." One tear rolls down Jack's face. He is earnest and sincere, the naïve puppy-like chirpiness gone as he states, "Everyone's mad. I have no powers. I'm scared." Cas, who is sitting next to him on the front of the Impala, puts a hand on his shoulder: "I know. Me too."
Dean tells alt-Charlie, "We've made big enemies." "Death," clarifies Sam. "THE Death wants to send you back to your own world, back to worlds that don't exist." "It fits a pattern," says Dean. "I said I wasn't going to do this again, the love thing," alt-Charlie says plaintively. "Was she just collateral damage to you? Is that what I'll be too?" Sam's phone rings; it's alt-Bobby calling. "Charlie, I'm sorry," Dean says. Sam ends the brief call to inform them that another hunter from the alternate universe has disappeared. "It's spreading," alt-Charlie says. "No one's safe," Dean adds. "Eileen!" Sam exclaims. "Go!" alt-Charlie says. Sam nods at Dean.
The Impala drives through the rainy night. The four men sit silently inside. Sam is texting Eileen. He's told her that he's coming but won't say why. She wonders why. He tells her they're on their way. His phone shows the symbol that she's writing a reply. Writing. Writing. But no text comes through. Then the symbol disappears. Eileen? Sam types. Nothing. Eileen??? Not a word has been spoken in the car. Sam looks over at Dean, brow furrowed, eyes desperate. Dean looks at him, then back at the road as he presses down on the gas pedal.
The Impala pulls up behind a red car, and Sam gets out, moving with purpose but not urgently leaping. His eyes spot some discarded item on the ground near the car including a phone. He picks it up, revealing his smiling face, a picture taken of him as he sat at the bunker table. He sees his texts to Eileen, then her unsent message: " OK at my car now tell me wh" - that's where the message ended and was never sent. He stands and sighs. Dean has gotten out of the car. "Sammy?" "No, I can't right now," Sam says, back turned to the others. Cas frowns in concern. Sam breathes for a moment, then begins to strategize: they need to get everyone to safety, some central location. They'll put up warding. Dean likes his plan, but he isn't going to join them. He's going after Billie. "I started this. I'm gonna end it." Billie left her blade. Maybe Dean can't do anything about Chuck, but her he can kill. "We don't have a choice," he tells his brother. Sam nods. "I'll go with you, Dean," Cas says. "Be careful," Sam tells him. Dean steps forward to give Sam a hug. As he steps back, he holds the side of his neck for a moment, the gesture a wordless symbol of his concern and care, then he turns to the car. "Let's go, Cas. Let's reap a reaper." His eyes meet Sam's once more before he gets in the driver's seat. Sam nods at him.
We see a Minnesota license plate with the letters D-TRAIN. Standing beside the truck is Donna, looking more like a hunter than a sheriff, talking on the phone to Sam about the plans. Sam is filling up Eileen's car at a gas station. He tells Donna that he's still working on the plan, hangs up, and looks at Jack, then he walks around the car. He tells Jack he needs him to drive because he has work to do. He can't research and make calls and drive all at the same time. Jack is surprised -- he's only driven once -- but he slides across the bench seat and gets behind the wheel. Sam, having given Jack a responsibility, Sam settles into the passenger seat.
Dean enters the bunker, moving fast, with Cas close behind him. Dean is giving directions: Cas will get the key to Death's library. Cas isn't sure this will work, so Dean says they'll burn her books, whatever it takes. He grabs the scythe. Cas eyes him, head tilted as if he's not sure of the plan.
Sam and Jack arrive at an old deserted silo where Donna is waiting for them. She smiles in welcome. When he goes to set up warding, she hugs Sam and says she's sorry about Eileen. Sam nods. There will be more AU people coming, and they've got Jody and other hunters on high alert. "You should be OK," Sam tells her. "Anything you need?" asks Donna. Just then, a blue truck pulls up and alt-Charlie jumps out in a sage green jacket and green camo pants. She says she didn't want this to happen to anyone else. She heads into the silo, Donna following. Sam stands silently alone outside the old farm building.
Inside the silo, seven or eight people are gathered, settling in on camp cots, lighting lamps, checking weapons. Sigils have been painted all over the curved walls. Sam comes down the stairs and is greeted by alt-Bobby who tells him that the others get it, that Sam is the big man here. He called; they came running. His only concern is the lavatory - there's no porta john. Sam says, "If Dean and Cas can pull this off --." Alt-Bobby points out that he brought a bucket. SAm mentions that they're putting up warding in Aramaic and Enochian. They also have the Precis Magna spell from Rowena. It SHOULD work. Either way, it's all he's got. He eyes the people gathered under his protection as they settle in to their temporary shelter, among them two children.
Jack is painting sigils on a closed doorway with Donna adding more further down the wall. At the bottom of the door, a plant is growing. Donna comments, "Best we patch that up," so Jack reaches his hand out to the plant, and, unseen by anyone else, it withers and dies. He stares down at his hand.
Dean steps through the opening in the wall into the grey-shelved monotony of Death's Library. Holding Death's scythe in his hand, he motions for Cas to move in one direction while he goes another. He walks up behind Billie who stands calmly. "I guess this is the part when I say, 'Hello, boys,'" she muses, turning and seeing Dean and Castiel who approaches her on her right. "Hello, boys." She sees that Dean has her scythe and remarks that he needs to work on his aim. "I wasn't trying to kill you," Dean says. He takes a tighter grip on the weapon, ready to attack her, but he waves her hand, and he is tossed off his feet and down the corridor. When Cas flings himself toward her, she grabs him by the neck, choking her and lifting him off his feet. "Remember when you stabbed me in the back?" she snarls. But while her attention is focused on the angel, Dean has regained his feet and slices her in the shoulder. He pushes the blade at her throat, and she holds it off with her hand. "It's OVER!" he says. "Call it off. Stop killing my people." "You're in the wrong place, Dean," she smirks over the blade. "What?" Dean asks. "You're guessing it's Chuck. You're wasting time," Billie informs Dean.
In the silo, Sam finishes reciting the spell, and the warding symbols light up, reassuring the refugees. They fade back to normal, but the spell should have activated their power, but, without warning, the younger of the two girls suddenly dissolves into a plume of swirling smoke. Sam realizes it's not working. The panicked family calls for their youngest daughter, then all three of them disappear. Another AU hunter, then another - one moment they're there. The next, smoke and they're gone. One couple embrace each other before disappearing. "Sam, what do we do?" exclaims alt-Charlie, then she's gone. Sam's eyes meet alt-Bobby's for just a moment; then the older man is gone. It's just Donna, Sam and Jack left. Everyone from the alternate universe has disappeared. Then Donna says, "Sam!" as if she's feeling strange. In a moment, she dissolves into smoke. Sam and Jack look around at the silo, empty of everyone but them.
Billie glares at Dean over the blade, telling him that the wound he gave her was fatal. She peels back her jacket to reveal the damaged flesh. "You kill me so I don't care about your friends, your family," she states. "I have just one wish - I'd like to see you dead!" With a burst of energy, she grabs the scythe and wrenches it from Dean's grasp. She sends a wave of power, hurling Dean and Cas to the ground. They scramble to their feet and dash around a bookshelf. She stalks after them. Dean and Cas burst back through the brick wall into the bunker. "Think! Think!" Dean demands of himself. "She can find us anywhere!" Cas says. "What do we do?" he exclaims, but then leans forward with a grimace of pain. Death, in her long, black coat and curved scythe in hand, is standing across the room and has her hand extended, fingers curved as if she's holding his heart and crushing it. Cas tries to hold him up, but there's nothing to do against the power of death. "You're everything I live to set right," she says, "to put down, t tame. You're human disorder incarnate." Cas has his arms around Dean, helping him out of the room and down the hallway. Dean stumbles beside him, one hand clutched at his chest. "I've got you!" says Cas. "You can't escape me," calls Billie, slowing following them, running her scythe along the wall. Sparks burst up from the blade as it scrapes along the cement. "You can't escape me. Don't you think it's finally time for the sweet release of death?" She tracks them calmly through the bunker's halls.
Cas helps Dean through a door into a storage room, where Dean leans against a table gasping, not even noticing when Cas takes a knife from his pocket. Cas slices open his palm and then begins to paint a sigil on the closed door. Dean struggles to breathe, but, as soon as the symbol, is complete, he straightens up. Cas's warding was successful, but only for a moment. Death has arrived outside the door. With deliberation, she raises her fist and pounds on the closed portal.
"Maybe we can wait her out," says Cas. "If we can't?" asks Dean. "We'll fight," Cas replies. "We'll lose," Dean tells him shortly. He walks through the storage room into the dungeon at the back with the chair set up in the center and the devil's trap inscribed on the floor. "I just led us into another trap. All because I wouldn't hurt Chuck. That's all I know how to do - kill." Not seeing any way out, he thinks about his brother and Jack. "We should be there with them. Everybody's gonna die, Cas. I can't stop it. She's gonna get through that door." "I know," Cas responds. "I'm sorry," Dean tells him.
"There is one thing she's afraid of!" Cas suddenly says, the hope in his voice a contrast to Dean's despair. "I made a deal with the Empty to save Jack - the price was my life. If I ever felt true happiness, the Empty would take me forever." "Why tell me this now?" asks Dean. "I wondered what it would be," Cas says, "my true happiness. I never found the answer. the one thing I want is something I know I can't have." His eyes are filled with tears but he is smiling. "I think I know now: happiness isn't in the having, just being, just saying it." Dean looks at him with confusion and concern. "I know how you see yourself," Cas continues, his tone intense, his eyes earnest and flooded with moisture. "Destructive, angry, broken, daddy's blunt instrument, hate and anger - but it's NOT who you are. Everyone sees it. Everyone who knows you knows that what you've done, you've done for love. That is who you are. You're the most caring man on earth, the most selfless, loving human being I will ever know. Knowing you has changed me. You cared -- so I cared, about you, about Sam, about Jack." Cas is now weeping but his words are confident. "I cared about the whole world because of you. You changed me, Dean." "Why does this sound like a goodbye?" Dean questions. "I love you," states Cas. "Don't do this, Cas!" says Dean.
Suddenly, a black growth disturbs the wall behind them. The Entity begins to flow through the wall, while, behind Cas, Billie bursts through the locked door. Dean turns back to Cas, eyes glistening. "Goodbye, Dean," says Cas, grabbing his shoulder and throwing him to the side. Dean crashes to the floor but turns his gaze back to Cas. On the shoulder of his jacket is etched Cas's bloody handprint. Cas is still smiling as the Empty flows like an inky river, swallowing up him and Billie both. He doesn't fight him and is still smiling when the black waves cover him and he disappears. Dean is alone in the dungeon.
Sunshine lights the deserted silo as Sam and Jack step outside. Jack looks a little stunned. Sam is trying to make a phone call, but he can only reach Dean's voice mail. Everything is quiet. "Was it just them?" asks Jack. "I don't know," Sam admits. An empty car sits at a gas pump. A child's bike lies deserted on the ground. A merry-go-round spins in a playground where a stroller waits beside a bench. No one is there. Sam and Jack look at each other.
Dean's face is blank. He sits on the floor of the dungeon, back against the wall. His phone buzzes in his hand, but he doesn't answer it. He puts it down, then leans his head into his hands.
It was hard to type out this recap and even harder to think of questions. I wanted to rewatch that scene, Cas's emotional words and his heartfelt affirmation of Dean's goodness and worth. But here are a few questions if you'd like to use them as a springboard for discussion of tonight's episode.
- Cas tells Billie, "You lied to everyone." Does this desire to tell the truth inspire what he says to Dean?
- Jack says, 'I don't know why I'm here." Do you know why YOU'RE here?
- Alt-Charlie accuses the Winchesters of just seeing those who die as collateral damage. Is she right about how the Winchesters view those around them who've died?
- Jack still has some kind of powers. What role do you think he will play?
- What did you think of Cas' words to Dean?
- Has Chuck made everyone in the world disappear? What is his end game?
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!