A demon is sitting tied up in a warehouse as Nick, still looking for revenge, is asking her questions. She offers to make a deal, but Nick refuses, wanting to know the location of another demon, Abraxas. She tells him that a hunter captured Abraxas. When he threatens to hurt her with an angel blade, the demon reveals that the hunter is in Hibbing, Minnesota, and Nick kills her.
At the Bunker, Dean is packing to go visit Donna and Mary. He tells Sam, who is doing research to find something helpful about Michael, of his trip, asking Sam not to join him because he wants some one-on-one time with their mother. Sam accepts it, and Dean gives him a quick, emotional hug, leaving Sam suspicious and concerned. Sam calls Mary, who is staying in Donna's cabin, and they talk of Dean visiting and Bobby leaving for a few days to get some space. Sam voices his worries about Dean, sharing that they don’t usually hug unless it’s the end of the world. Mary reassures him that she will look after Dean. Noticing some books missing in their library, Sam realizes that his concerns about his brother may be right.
Dean and Donna are having a burger together. Dean asks her about Jody, the girls, and Doug, trying to avoid her questions. When he’s out of things to ask, Donna tells him that she knows all about his recent misadventures and Michael, telling him Sam informed her as he had everyone out looking for Dean. Dean looks annoyed, but Donna reasons that this situation must be hard. Before leaving, Dean thanks her for seeing him and hugs her tight. Then he drives to Donna’s cabin to meet Mary.
When he gets there, he hears shots being fired. It ends up being Mary, shooting at pumpkins. They hug and Mary proposes to have Sam come there, too, for a full family reunion. Dean declines, stating that he doesn’t want Sam there. When Mary asks him why, Dean ignores the question by claiming that he’s hungry and asks for “Winchester Surprise”, a meal Mary used to cook for him and John. As Mary heads off to the store to buy the ingredients, Dean takes the duffel bag out of the Impala’s truck and goes to Donna's shed. Inside he gets a sudden vision of Michael trying to break out of the door in Dean’s mind. After regaining composure, Dean puts some music on and gets to work building something.
Meanwhile, Mary is leaving the grocery store. A man she knows, Joe, offers his help with the bags. Later, Nick gets to the store and asks Joe if he knows where Mary Winchester is. Joe says he doesn’t and, as soon as Nick drives off, he immediately warns Donna. While he’s still driving around, Nick is pulled over by a police car. Donna arrests Nick, but he manages to free himself and attacks Donna, knocking her out.
When Mary comes back to the cabin, Dean looks off. Concerned, Mary calls Sam to tell him that something is wrong, but asks him to let her talk to Dean before Sam joins them. Dean and Mary have dinner, sharing old stories. Mary tries to tell Dean that he can talk to her about what he’s going through, but Dean doesn’t want to talk about it.
Later, while Dean is sleeping, Mary heads out to the shed and finds the lore book he took from the Bunker. She reads through its pages, and quickly realizes what Dean has built. As she leaves the shed she finds Nick staring right at her with a grin on his face. Inside the cabin, Mary’s cellphone starts ringing and Dean picks it up. It’s Donna, who just recovered from her fight with Nick. She warns him about the danger. Dean immediately goes out looking for Mary and finds Sam outside.
Inside Nick’s van, Nick explains to Mary how he found her and how he is looking for Abraxas, the demon who murdered his family. Mary says she killed him, but Nick calls her a liar because he knows she was able to trap Abraxas. Mary admits that she locked the demon in an Enochian puzzle box and offers to take Nick to him.
At the cabin, Donna receives a call from the police station: a traffic cam caught Nick’s van pulling into a store facility outside Grand Rapids, Michigan. Inside, Nick manages to avoid Mary’s traps and finds the box that contains Abraxas in a warded locker. As Dean and Sam are driving to Mary’s location, discussing Nick’s situation, Dean reprimands Sam about turning Nick into a “project” and tells him that he should learn to back off when people are past saving.
Realizing neither he nor Mary can be used as a vessel for Abraxas, Nick takes a security guard hostage and restrains him in a devil's trap. Mary tries to fight him, but Nick overpowers her. When Nick can't figure out how to open the puzzle box, he manages to drill a hole into the box with a power drill, releasing Abraxas, who possesses the guard. When Nick asks him why he killed his family, the demon tells him he will talk only if Nick kills Mary slowly. As Nick is about to oblige, Dean and Sam burst in and make him back off. Blinded by his desire to know what happened, Nick frees Abraxas from his devil’s trap. Abraxas tells him that his family was killed on orders from Lucifer, but Nick wasn’t chosen for any particular reason. Before Abraxas can do any harm, Nick stabs him in the heart with an angel blade and kills him. As Nick attempts to flee the scene, Donna shoots Nick in the leg and Mary knocks him out.
Outside, Sam apologizes for not being able to help Nick. Nick admits retorts he was never broken and didn’t want to be helped, to which Sam replies that Nick is broken and that he hopes the people he murdered will haunt him forever. He tells Nick he can burn before Donna puts him in back of her cruiser. As Nick is being taken away, Mary confronts Dean, telling him she knows what he built in Donna's shed and if he doesn't tell Sam, she will and the three will have a talk about it.
At Donna’s shed, Dean tells Sam that he’s been building a Ma'lak Box, which is warded to keep an angel trapped, including archangels. He tells Sam his plan is to be dropped in the Pacific while inside the box and Dean explains he can feel that Michael is about to get out and that Billie told him this is the only way to end this right. He also admits that he didn’t tell Sam because Sam is the only person that could have talked him out of it. He tells Sam he can either let him do it alone or help him. Reluctantly, Sam seems to accept Dean’s fate.
- "No Time" by The Guess Who
- (plays as Dean starts building the Ma'lak Box in Donna's shed)
Just wondering if you've run out of ways to ask me how I'm doing, so as to avoid me repaying the favor. I know you were just possessed, again. Sam. He had us all out looking for you. And I know you got an archangel hitching a ride up there in your noggin. Also Sam.
Dean: What, does he got a freakin' newsletter?
Donna: I'm just saying, all that, it can't be easy, you know?
Well... I'll make it through, okay? That's all we can do, right?
Mary: You know, if you wanted to make it a full reunion, we could call Sam over.
Dean: Yeah, you know, I was thinking I'd actually be a little greedy with my Mom time, if that's cool.
He comes back, he's standing there, he's soaking wet, and he's pulling bologna and sliced cheese out of his pants. So, me being the big brother, I'm the cook. I take all that bologna, all that sliced cheese, and I put onto a hot plate.
Yeah. It stunk up that room so bad. Dad comes home, and he's so mad. He picks up everything, chucks it in the trash. Probably reminded him of you, and... Anyway, it did not taste right. It didn't taste like this.
Mary: Oh. Sometimes I forget just how much I missed while I was gone and how much the two of you just...
Dean: But you're here now, right? And even though the last couple of years have been a little rough, just knowing that you're around, that you're alive. Mom, that's meant everything to me. And everything to Sam. And how great is this, hm? You and me sitting here, eating the real thing, not some bologna version of Winchester Surprise? You know, we're not fighting any monsters. There's -- There's no clouds on the horizon.
Mary: Whatever you're going through, you can talk to me.
Everybody keeps asking how I am, and how I am is I don't wanna talk about it. Please.
Sam: It's not about being dumb, Dean. It's called compassion. Look, what happened to Nick could've happened to me. It almost happened to me. You change one little thing in our past, and that was me. Lucifer wearing me to the prom. And besides, since when do we give up on people? Since when do we just cut people loose?
Dean: Well, maybe you need to learn, okay? 'Cause when people are past the point of saving, maybe you need to learn to walk away.
You want to know why I gutted your family? Orders. I was following orders.
Nick: From who?
Abraxas: Who do you think? Lucifer planned the whole thing.
Nick: I don't -- I don't understand. Why my family? Why -- why me?
No particular reason. You were chosen, but you're not special. We threw a dart at the phone book.
Nick: I needed the truth, Sam. I needed revenge for my family. You would've done the same thing.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't help you. I'm sorry I didn't know how.
Nick: It's not about you, Sam. It's never about you. You couldn't fix me 'cause I don't want to be fixed. I was never broken.
Yeah, Nick, you are. I don't feel sorry for you, Nick. I feel sorry for the people you hurt, the people you murdered. The people whose faces will haunt you every night for the rest of your life. You can burn.
So... you came out here to see Donna, to see Mom on some -- some what? Some sick, secret farewell tour? You were gonna leave, and you weren't even gonna tell me. Me. Do you realize how messed up that is, how unfair that is?
Dean: I didn't have a choice! Sam, you're the last person I could tell, the last person I could be around, 'cause you're the only one that could've talked me out of it. And I won't be talked out of it. I won't. I'm doing this. Now, you can either let me do it alone or you could help me. But I'm doing this.
Trivia & References
The books Dean
takes from the Bunker
include Fallen Angels
and Historia Achengeli
by Maria Prophetissima. Maria Prophetissima
, also known as Mary the Jewess and Mary the Prophetess, was an alchemist that many consider to be the first true alchemist of the Western world.
What you reading?
Sam: Uh, going back through the Book of Jubilees. You know, the way they classify angels is -- is -- it's really interesting.
- The Book of Jubilees is an ancient Jewish text, not considered canon by most churches. The book classifies angels into four groups: angels of the presence, angels of sanctifications, guardian angels over individuals, and angels presiding over the phenomena of nature. It also covers the genesis of angels and the rise of the Nephilim.
It's a Ma'lak Box. Secured and warded. Once inside... nothing gets out, not even an archangel. Especially an archangel.
- Ma'lak is the Semitic word for "angel."
In this episode, Donna appears to be the sheriff of Hibbing, Minnesota. In previous appearances, Donna was the sheriff of Stillwater and later Larsen County, due to budget cuts extending her jurisdiction. Donna was previously stated to originally be from Hibbing, which appeared in 1.15 The Benders
and 10.08 Hibbing 911
. In the latter episode the sheriff was Sheriff Len Cuse
, who was also a vampire
According to the writer Davy Perez
, the ingredients to the "Winchester Surprise" were named in the episode, but edited out. Samantha Smith tweeted the recipe to "Winchester Surprise" as:
3 lbs pork
3 lbs beef
3 lbs american cheese
Fritos to garnish
Plus, if you’re Dean (or @JensenAckles), a gallon of hot sauce.
a story of when Sam
was young and stole cheese and bologna and how Dean attempted to make Winchester Surprise on the hot plate in a motel room. He mentions that when John came back, he threw it out and Dean says it "probably reminded him of you." In the script
for 14.13 Lebanon
John mentions remembering this, and that he did throw the food away out of grief.
As Mary goes shopping for the ingredients for Winchester Surprise, Mary promises to get pie
for Dean. She returns with an apple pie, but they do not get around to eating it.
As evidenced by the posters in Donna
's shed, muscle men with mustaches appear to be her type. One of the photos is of a young Jerry Wanek
Donna states that Nick
's stolen van belongs to an 80-year-old lady in Missoula, Montana. Missoula is where the Winchesters tracked the Alpha Vampire
to in order to get his blood in 7.22 There Will Be Blood
is shown to be wanted for his murder spree, as discovered by Donna Hanscum when she runs his fingerprints
. Though Donna presumably learns his full name, it is neither shown nor mentioned, with Donna simply calling him "some guy named Nick."
is freed from the Enochian puzzle box, the demon smoke
can be seen hitting an invisible barrier due to having been released inside a devil's trap
Nick killing Abraxas while he is distracted by the failed exorcism
is the second known example of this sort of thing happening. In 9.17 Mother's Little Helper
, Sam killed the demon Sister Agnes while she was distracted with a recorded exorcism on his cell phone that failed when she destroyed it.
With Nick's arrest at the end of the episode, the death toll during his pursuit for revenge comes to five people and at least three demons, with Nick mentioning to the demon at the beginning of the episode that he had killed at least one more off-screen that led him to her. If either of those two unnamed demons' meatsuits were still alive, he would've killed them as well. In addition to murder, Nick's crimes included kidnapping, torture, breaking and entering, grand theft auto, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, and possibly attempted murder for attacking Mary Winchester on Abraxas's orders before Sam and Dean intervened.
Nick's arrest by Donna marks the second time she has operated outside of her jurisdiction on a police matter. The first was when she investigated her niece's disappearance in 13.11 Breakdown
. Legally, Donna is not allowed to do this. Agent Terrance Clegg
allowed it previously, albeit because he was the actual bad guy that time.
Sam, you've tried. Cas has tried. Jack... And I love you for trying.
- This is the first episode where a Winchester brother directly tells the other they love them. Dean previously told Mary he loves her directly in 12.22 Who We Are. He also said "I love you" to his memory of Mary in Heaven in 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts