A seemingly devout man, Jamil Hamed, is woken by the call to prayer and begins praying to Allah. After repeating the prayer several times, he opens his eyes and is shocked to suddenly see the archangel Michael, possessing Dean Winchester, who has been traveling the world for weeks seeking all types of people from leaders to holy men and even killers. Michael asks Jamil, if he could have anything, what he would want. Jamil responds with the answer of peace, and love, but Michael is adamant he is lying. Michael taunts Jamil with events of his past -- fleeing violence in Syria and cheating on his wife -- and decides that Jamil is not worth saving. Michael violently throws Jamil on the ground. When a frightened Jamil asks Michael what he wants, Michael proclaims that the one thing he has always wanted is a "better world."
The Bunker is busy with activity from the Apocalypse World refugees who have taken to hunting. Sam returns from Atlanta where he'd been following a possible lead on Dean which turned out to be a bust. Mary tries to assure Sam that they will find Dean, and everything will be okay. Upon hearing news that a nest of vampires have been working their way down I-90 killing people, Sam delegates to the others what needs to be done. Jack and Bobby are sparring in the gym as Jack is finding hard to adjust to having no powers. Bobby tells Jack that fighting didn’t come easy to him either but that they have to keep going.
In a bar in Detroit, Castiel meets with a demon named Kipling. He is attempting to get information from the demons on the location of Dean and threatens Kipling, who refuses to answer Castiel without some form of compensation. Castiel's attempt to threaten him into cooperation causes Kip to call his backup, causing everyone in the bar to stand up with black eyes. Castiel pulls out his angel blade and attempts to attack the demons, but he is quickly overwhelmed and beaten to the ground.
Meanwhile, in Duluth, Minnesota, Sister Jo finishes healing the sick at a church service. As she is walking down a dark alley, she is visited by Michael who asks her, like Jamil, what it is she wants. Jo responds that she wants lots of nice, expensive things like Dior, Louis Vuitton, etc... Michael, however, says she is lying and tells her that she wants love, to belong, family, and other human things. Michael finds her human desires to be disappointing, and tells her that if the limited number of angels in this world are as lost and fallen as she is, they may not be worth saving either.
Sam comforts Jack about losing his powers. After telling him he still believes in him, he is called away by Mary, who announces that someone is awake that Sam needs to see. Sam leaves Jack and goes down to the dungeon area of the Bunker; opening the door he sees a figure sitting in the dark with their back to to him. As Sam switches the light on, it is revealed to be Lucifer’s vessel, Nick, still alive with the apparent absence of Lucifer himself. Sam asks Nick if he can remember anything from being Lucifer’s vessel, but he says it’s only bits and pieces. When Sam asks if he remembers anything Michael may have said to Lucifer, Nick tells Sam he remembers Michael telling Lucifer that he wanted to “do it right this time.”
After tending to Nick's blade wound, Sam gets a call from Kip, who threatens to kill Castiel if Sam doesn’t agree to a meeting. While preparing to leave for the meeting, Sam tells Mary and Bobby that he knows it’s a trap but assembles Mary, Bobby, Maggie, and Jack (to Bobby’s concern) as a team to go with him. Kip, meanwhile, tells Castiel that he needs something from Sam and that this meeting is to strike a deal. Kip tells Castiel that someone asked him "what he wants", and he came to the realization that he wants "everything."
On the drive to the meet up, Mary once again tries to comfort Sam, but Sam gets frustrated because they cannot know for sure that they will find Dean. Mary tells him that they have to focus on the positive because if they don’t they will drown in the negative. Meanwhile, in another car, Bobby tells Jack that he will have his back in the fight, because Jack saved Bobby countless times in Apocalypse World.
Sam enters the bar where Kip and Castiel are, alone. Kip reveals that his demons found Maggie and Jack outside, and drags them in. Kip proposes to Sam that they make a deal: Kip wants to be the King of Hell, and wants the "Crowley deal" where he will offer information and help from time to time, in exchange for the Winchesters turning a blind eye to demon-on-demon violence and crossroads deals. Sam refuses the deal, prompting Kip to tell him that he would rip his heart out if he could, but the demons are afraid of him. When Sam continues to refuse the deal, a fight breaks out in the bar as Mary and Bobby enter shooting at the demons. After Sam stabs and kills Kip, he orders everyone to stop and tells the demons that there will be no new King of Hell and if any demon tries to take the spot, they will have to go through him. All the demons leave their meatsuits and flee.
Back at the Bunker, Sam finishes a call with Ketch who is in London searching unsuccessfully for the Newton-Dee Hyperbolic Pulse Generator. After talking to Sam, a bruised and bloody Castiel goes to visit Jack in his room. Castiel tells Jack that he did well in the fight at the bar. Jack gets upset and says that he is useless, that he doesn’t have any skills or any power now that his grace is gone and that, ultimately, he doesn’t have anything. Castiel tells him that he has his family and that they’ll find Dean, but they will all do it together.
Entering his room, Sam gets a call from Jo, telling him they have a problem. In an abandoned factory Michael meets with a young man, praising him because his wants are pure, simple, and clean -- he only wants to feed. He tells the young man that they will work well together as vampire fangs descend from the young man's mouth.
- "Shot Down in Flames" by AC/DC
- (plays over "The Road So Far" recap of events)
- "Let Him Walk This Troubled Earth Again" by Yvonne DeVaney
- (playing in the bar as Castiel meets with Kipling)
If you could have anything, name it.
Jamil: Peace. And love.
Michael: If you cared about peace, you never would have never left Syria. You never would have ran and abandoned your friends to die -- and they did die..
Michael: And if you cared about love, you never would have gone into that broom closet with... What was her name?
Michael: Darlene? Your wife never would have left, and you wouldn't be living in this... rat hole.
Michael: And that's the problem with you. You're lost... and not worth saving.
Jamil: Wha--wha--what do you want?
What I've always wanted... a better world.
I know about you, Jo. Because he knew about you. You're the rebel, the angel who doesn't like playing by Heaven's rules or whatever. You pretend to care about these things -- pretty things. But that's all it is -- pretending. These trinkets, they don't make you happy. They just pass the time. They're not what you really want.
Jo: And if you're so smart, what do I really want?
Love. To belong, to have a place -- a home, a family. It's very... very human of you. And so... so disappointing. I can sense how many angels are in this world. There aren't many left. I thought... maybe I could help. But if they're all these sad, lost, fallen things -- things like you -- maybe they're not worth saving, either.
Sam: Jack, I know this must be so hard. Without your grace, without your powers, it's a lot, I'm sure. But you can get past this. I know you will. I have faith in you, Jack. And I believe in you. And--
I don't get it. I don't understand how Lucifer could die and I could live.
Sam: Yeah, um... I think that maybe it's because the archangel blades were made to kill the archangel inside a-and not the person they, uh --
Nick: Possesses and uses to almost end the world twice?
You see, recently, I had a revelation. You know, somebody asked me what it was that I wanted. And I realized that after 600 years as a demon walking the planet, destroying, drinking, defiling -- you know, the Three D's -- I didn't know. So, I sat back, and I gave it a good think, and I realized exactly what I wanted.
Castiel: And what is it?
Sam, it's gonna be fine.
Sam: Stop saying that, please.
Sam: 'It's gonna be fine,' that everything's going to be fine, we're gonna find Dean, and --
Mary: We are.
Sam: You don't know that. Dean's gone, and we have no idea where he is, or -- or if he's even still alive. You know, Michael could have... burned him out or worse, and...
I know. I know he's out there, scared and alone. I know. I know he might never come back. Never think I don't know that. But I can't... I have to think about the good, Sam, because if I don't, I will drown in the bad. For Dean's sake, I can't do that. We can't do that.
Sam: Enough! There will be no new King of Hell. Not today. Not ever. And if anybody wants the job, you can come through me. Understood? So, what's it gonna to be?
Sam, are you all right?
Sam: Yeah. I've been better. I've been worse. You?
Castiel: I'm -- I'm just sorry. I should never have gone to those demons.
Cas, I -- No, I don't blame you. I honestly, I wish I'd have thought of it first. If it meant finding Dean, I'd work with... I'd do anything.
Jack: I'm useless. I can't kill demons, I can't find Dean, and Michael is in our world, and I can't stop him. I can't do anything. I don't have anything.
Castiel: Oh, Jack, that's just not true. You've got me. You have all of us. You have your family. And -- And we are going to find Dean and we are going to beat Michael and we are going to do it together. We -- Because that's what we do.
Michael: Now, you know exactly what you want. You don't pretend to want to help people or save the world. Your want is pure and simple and clean. And that's why you are worth saving. That's why we are going to work so well together. Because you just want to eat.
Trivia & References
Stranger in a Strange Land
is the title of a 1961 science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein. The title itself derived from this phrase found in Exodus 2:22
- "And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land."
It is also the title of an Iron Maiden song.
Jamil: Who are you?
Michael: Oh, we've never met. But you've read all about me. How does it go? Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and His messengers and Gabriel and Michael then indeed, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.
- Michael is quoting from the second chapter of the Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah (2:91-101).
How was Atlanta?
Sam: It was, uh -- It was a bust. The woman who claims she saw an 'angel'... was... Let's just say I think she had one too many hits of the brown acid, you know?
- "Brown acid" is a reference to a type of acid that was being passed around at Woodstock '69, that the concert organizers suggested people stay away from as it was not deemed to be "good." Listen to the announcement here.
Okay. Um... All right. Get me teams of two. I want watch points every 50 miles. If you see something, say something. Maggie, can you hack the traffic cams on the freeway?
- "If you see something, say something" is a slogan for the U.S. Homeland Security, which urges people to report suspicious behavior in the hopes of preventing possible terror attacks.
You got to. As a wise man once said, 'It ain't about how hard ya hit. It's how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.'
Jack: Was that Gandhi?
Bobby: Probably. Yeah, somethin' like that. Yeah
- Bobby's quote comes from a speech the character Rocky Balboa gives to his son in the eponymous 2006 film.
- Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian activist who used nonviolent civil disobedience to free India from British colonial rule.
What did you just order?
Kip: Oh, sausage and brisket, pork ribs, no sauce, well done. My apologies for the lingo, but when in Rome...
- "When in Rome" is a reference to the proverb "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Attributed to Saint Ambrose, the phrase suggests a person should follow the customs of a place they are visiting.
You're not -- You're not Dean Winchester. You're... Oh, God.
Michael: People keep calling me that.
- Derived from the Hebrew mīkhā'ē'l, the name Michael translates to "Who is like God?"
You're the Archangel Michael, from another world, and you're possessing Dean Winchester.
Michael: Sounds more complicated than it is.
Jo: Why would he say 'yes' to you?
Jo: Really? That's very Hallmark Channel. So I'm just gonna go now.
- Hallmark Channel is a network known for its family oriented programming and films. Danneel has a movie called "The Christmas Contract" coming out on the Hallmark Channel in December 2019.
What do you want?
Jo: I don't know. Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton.
- Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton are designers of high-end fashion and fashion accessories.
Ladies and gentlemen, the great Sam Winchester. I have heard so much about you. You are a damn legend, Sam -- a-an icon. Th-the shoulders, the -- the hair. Mm-mm! You are my Beyoncé.
- Beyoncé is one of the foremost and influential musical creators of the 21st century. Velma Dinkley was also obsessed with Sam's "giant linebacker shoulders" in 13.16 Scoobynatural, and notably Sam's hair has something of its own status in fandom. In 12.02 Mamma Mia and 12.07 Rock Never Dies, Castiel used the alias of Agent Beyoncé with Tommy, one of Vince Vincente's bandmates.
What do you want?
Kip: That is a very good question. What do I want? You know, I don't know if you are aware or not, Sam, but Hell's in a bit of a pickle, you know, with Crowley dead and Asmodeus Kentucky fried, which means --
Sam: I don't care.
- Asmodeus's death being described as him being "Kentucky fried" is a reference to his resemblance to Colonel Sanders, having been dubbed Evil Colonel Sanders by Dean Winchester (and the fandom) in season 13.
Ouch! Owie! I know that I'm not that ponce-y son of a bitch. You see, in life, I rode with Genghis Khan, and I burned half the world. So please, do you think that I like prancing around like this? Please. If I had it my way, I would eat your heart. But a king has an image to maintain. And I'm not afraid of you. But... they are. So, take the deal, Sam, before I stop trying to be Crowley and I show you who I really am. So, what do you say, darling?
- Genghis Khan was a 12th century Khan who lead the Mongol invasions that conquered most of Eurasia.
Take this. You know how to use it?
Maggie: Uh, stab them with the pointy end?
- Maggie's response is a reference to a line in Game of Thrones. In the second episode of the first season, Jon Snow gives the young Arya a sword and tells her that to use it she should "stick them with the pointy end."
Who was that?
Sam: Uh, Ketch. He's in London searching for the Newton-Dee Hyperbolic Pulse Generator.
Castiel: The what?
Sam: It's the -- it's the magic egg that kicked Lucifer out of the President. I thought we could use it on Michael, but Ketch can't find it. So, that's another dead end, which is just awesome.
- Newton and Dee may be references to mathematician, astronomer, theologian, author, and physicist Sir Isaac Newton, and mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and occult philosopher John Dee. The term "hyperbolic" comes from the the mathematics principal of hyperbola, and it was Dee who "discovered" the Enochian language.
On 1st October, Jared
attended an advance screening of the Season 14 premiere hosted by Samantha Highfill of Entertainment Weekly
in New York.
This episode, which commences three weeks after Michael
has taken over Dean
's body and disappeared, sees Sam
sporting a beard, soon dubbed his "grief beard" based on the premise that due to his desperation to find his brother, Sam has not taken time to shave.
Jared and Jensen talk about the origins of the grief beard
with Sam Highfill at the Season 14 advance premiere screening on 1 October 2018.
's name does not appear in the opening credits, with the intention of keeping the reveal of Nick
a surprise in the episode. However, a promotion for the new Halloween
film used the scene of Sam and Nick in the commercial break preceding the episode's reveal, effectively ruining the surprise of Pellegrino's appearance (although not indicating whether he was playing Nick or Lucifer
This is the first episode ever to not feature Dean Winchester.
The music for "The Road So Far" segment is diegetic -- it turns out to be coming from the Impala
's radio and ends when Sam shuts the radio off instead of the music cutting off as the episode begins.
This is the first episode where we get a glimpse of how angels
see each other in their vessels.
It is implied that Kipling
got the idea to become King of Hell from a meeting with Michael, as he tells Castiel
he thought long and hard about it after someone asked him what it was that he wanted, much like Michael does with Jamil and Sister Jo
in the episode. Michael mentions speaking to many different beings and asking them that question as well.
Of the demons loyal to Kipling
, the episode leaves the fate of five unclear. When Bobby rushes in, he takes one demon down with devil's trap bullets
. That demon is not killed on-screen nor is he one of the demons who smokes out after Kipling is killed. He is presumably killed or exorcised off-screen by the hunters once the fight is over. Additionally, there were ten demons in the bar when Castiel was ambushed, but four vanish after the initial fight with no explanation.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts