7.17 The Born-Again Identity
|Title||The Born-Again Identity|
|Episode #||Season 7, Episode 17|
|First aired||March 23, 2012|
|Directed by||Robert Singer|
|Written by||Sera Gamble|
|On IMDB||The Born-Again Identity|
|Outline||Sam reaches his breaking point and Dean, desperate to save his brother, finds a healer with a very familiar face.|
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Sam has been awake for five days, tormented by Hallucifer, who tells Sam he'll only survive another week without sleep. He tries in vain to use drugs to pass out and in his sleep-deprived state, is hit by a car. He winds up in the locked psychiatric ward at Northern Indiana State Hospital, being treated for a broken rib, lacerations, and what Dr. Kadinsky tells Dean is a "full-blown psychotic episode." The doctors have administered several sedatives, but Sam remains conscious. Dean goes to see Sam in his room, where Hallucifer sits playing cat's cradle, and tells Sam he'll find him help. Sam is skeptical, saying they always knew putting his soul back would end badly.
Dean leaves and heads to Rufus's cabin, where he calls some of Bobby's contacts. He's getting nowhere, though, and he leaves Bobby's journal on the table and goes to the fridge for a beer. He's across the room when the journal topples to the ground and a card for Mackey's Taxidermy falls out. Dean calls the number and leaves a message.
Meanwhile, Sam is still awake because of Hallucifer, who comments that he and Sam being in a locked ward together is just like the Cage. Sam ignores him and later tries to eat a sandwich, but when he looks at it it's full of maggots. He drops it on the ground and backs away, then notices another patient watching from his door. She leaves without saying anything.
At the cabin, Dean is looking for information online when he receives a call from a hunter named Mackey. Mackey tells him of a healer named Emmanuel in Colorado. He claims that Emmanuel passed all of his monster tests and then healed his damaged eye with one touch. Encouraged, Dean goes to Emmanuel's house in Colorado. He meets a man who claims to be Emmanuel at the front door, but sees a woman tied up in the house. When he looks back, the man's eyes are black as he throws Dean into the front door. Dean reminds the demon about Crowley's "hands-off memo," but the demon laughs and says that because Dean hasn't managed to kill Dick Roman, Crowley will want Emmanuel more than he wants Dean. Dean quickly kills the demon with Ruby's knife, and then looks down to find Emmanuel, who bears remarkable resemblance to Castiel, watching him.
Emmanuel doesn't recognize Dean, has no knowledge of demons, and no memory of being an angel. He thanks Dean for saving his wife, Daphne, and then says that he saw the real face of the man Dean killed. Dean tells him that it was a demon and that he's there because he needs help for his brother.
Meanwhile in the locked ward, the patient who saw Sam's reaction to his sandwich brings him a stolen chocolate bar. Sam thanks her and learns her name is Marin, but can't get further than introductions because Hallucifer is tormenting him with a loudspeaker. Later, Hallucifer continues to torture Sam, lighting firecrackers in the ward. An orderly, Marcus, brings Sam his meal, and Sam asks Marcus about Marin. Marcus doesn't tell him much, only that unlike him, she wasn't brought to the psychiatric ward because of an accident.
Dean and Emmanuel talk in the car on the way to Indiana. Emmanuel tells him that a few months ago, Daphne found him by a river, "drenched, confused, and unclothed." He had no memory, and Daphne claimed God wanted her to find him. Dean mentions the possibility that Emmanuel was a bad guy, but Emmanuel says he doesn't feel like a bad person. Emmanuel tells Dean he can cure illnesses of a spiritual origin and should be able to help Sam. Dean goes on to tell him that he is unable to forgive his friend Cas, who betrayed him and caused Sam's illness. Emmanuel, who still has no memory, comments that Cas is an odd name.
That same night, Marin brings Sam another chocolate bar. She tells Sam that she's been in the ward for 5 weeks and that the doctors think she's suicidal. He asks her for the truth, and she tells him that she hears her dead brother's voice. He wants her to kill herself to be with him, and if she doesn't, he'll do it for her. He's already started a fire to try to kill her. After confessing, she leaves, upset.
The next morning, Dean goes into a convenience store and is confronted by three demons. He kills one and then is knocked back, losing Ruby's knife. Thankfully, Meg shows up and kills one demon while the other flees. Dean is surprised to see her, and she tells him that she's there because of rumors about a wandering healer, who she's shocked to learn is "poor dead Castiel." She has an ongoing feud with Crowley and, like Dean, doesn't want him to know about Cas. Although they don't trust each other, they both need friends, so Dean agrees to let her come with them to Indiana as long as she doesn't remind Castiel of his true identity yet. The three of them leave together.
Back in the locked ward, Sam apologizes to Marin for upsetting her. Then he tells her that he believes her about her brother and wants to help. From his questions, Sam learns that Marin feels cold before her brother talks to her, and that she's heard him in more than one place despite the fact that he's cremated. Sure that he's a ghost, Sam tells her that he can put her brother to rest, and then asks her if she has anything of his. She wears a bracelet he made for her with an injured hand - it's likely he bled on it. Sam tells her what they need, and she brings back salt and a lighter she stole from Marcus. They make a ring of salt and stand inside it, and when Sam asks her for her bracelet, the ghost of Marin's brother appears. He breaks the lights in the room and pleads with Marin not to do it. She gives Sam the bracelet and he burns it, causing her brother to go up in flames. Marin thanks Sam, and he tells her to go. She leaves quickly just before orderlies enter the ward to restrain Sam. Dizzy, Sam looks up to see Hallucifer standing over Dr. Kadinsky's shoulder as the doc explains to Sam that they cannot give him any more medication and should try surgery instead.
Dean, Meg, and Emmanuel finally arrive at Northern Indiana State Hospital that night. They can't get inside, though, because it's surrounded by demons. Meg and Dean retreat to talk in private, and Meg insists that they remind Cas who he is so he can destroy the demons. Dean warns her that after what Cas did, he could snap and disappear. Emmanuel overhears Dean and tells him that he wants to know who he is. Dean is hesitant, but Meg tells him he's an angel and that he and Dean were best friends who used to fight together. Emmanuel realizes that he must be the "Cas" that Dean told him about, and he apologizes. Then he resolves to fight the demons in front of the hospital, even though he doesn't remember how.
He approaches the demons, who are shocked to see him alive. Before they can do anything, Castiel smites them all. His memories come back to him in the process, assaulting him with images of his partnership with Crowley and his betrayal of Dean. Once the demons are taken care of, Meg and Dean approach him. He tells them that he remembers them—he remembers everything. He's disgusted with himself and starts to leave, but Dean chases after him. When it seems like he is trying to defend Castiel's past acts, Castiel tells him he deserved to die for the things he did. He doesn't think he can fix anything, but Dean believes he can. He reaches into the trunk of his car and pulls out Castiel's trench coat.
Meanwhile, Sam is strapped down and wheeled into electroshock therapy. He starts to panic and asks for his brother, but the orderly ignores him and places a rubber mouth guard between his teeth. He says that he's going to start Sam off on a high setting, just as his eyes flash black. Sam struggles, but can't escape, and the demon shocks him. He's about to increase the electrical setting again when Castiel appears behind him with his old trench coat on before smiting him. Castiel releases Sam from the electroshock machine and reaches out to heal him, but it doesn't work and Sam still sees Hallucifer.
Back in Sam's room, Castiel tells Dean that he can't rebuild the wall in Sam's mind because it is completely crumbled. Dean is upset, and Castiel tells him that he can't make the problem disappear, but he might be able to shift it. Dean watches in confusion as Castiel approaches Sam's bedside, telling him that it's better this way. He apologizes to Sam and then puts his hand on his head. Red light emanates from around Sam's eyes and then runs up Castiel's arm and into his eyes, effectively transferring Sam's hallucinations to his own mind.
When Castiel lets go of Sam, Sam becomes lucid. He sees Dean and then notices that Castiel is next to him. He says his name, but Castiel doesn't answer him because, instead of Sam, he sees Hallucifer laying on Sam's bed. He retreats in fear.
When Sam and Dean leave the hospital, they leave without Castiel, who is now a member of the locked psychiatric ward himself. The only demon who knows where he's being kept is Meg, who's insinuated herself onto the ward's staff as a nurse. Sam is reluctant to leave Castiel in her hands, but Dean tells him that it's the only option they have.
- Sam Winchester
- Dean Winchester
- Castiel aka Emmanuel Allen
- Daphne Allen
- Dr. Kadinsky
- Castiel's Trench Coat
- Dean's Movie & TV references
- Demon Smoke
- Dodge Charger
- Northern Indiana State Hospital
- Rufus's Cabin
- Star Wars
- "Good Morning"
- (sung after the sleeping pills Sam takes fail to get rid of Hallucifer)
- "Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers
- (plays when Hallucifer lights firecrackers in the ward)
- "Turn into Earth" by The Yardbirds
- (plays when Cas smites the demons and regains his memory)
Sam: Then I'll die.
Castiel: I'm sorry - is that a flirtation?
Meg: I dunno, I believe in the little tree topper.
Trivia & References
- Tweaker is a slang term for someone who is addicted to crystal meth.
- Dean and Sam are using the aliases given to them by Frank in 7.06 Slash Fiction. Coincidentally, Sam Smith is the name of the actress who played Mary Winchester, their mother. In the episode 4.17 It's a Terrible Life, Dean Smith is the name Dean was given by Zachariah. Both that episode and this one were written by Sera Gamble.
- Norman Bates was the serial killer in the Hitchcock movie Psycho, who killed his mother, kept her corpse in his house and assumed her identity. Previously mentioned in 5.19 Hammer of the Gods.
- Dean has mashed up the names of two individuals known for their equanimity in the face of challenges - the spiritual leader of Tibet Dalai Lama (whose name he mispronounces) and Jedi Master Yoda.
- Snake oil is a derogatory term used to describe fraudulent medical practices.
- Sam is referring to the events of 1.12 Faith, in which he tried to find a faith healer for the stricken Dean.
- Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition characterized by egocentrism, arrogance, entitlement, a desire for control, and a lack of empathy. It is thought to be a way of compensating for a severe sense of personal imperfection and unworthiness. In 5.11 Sam, Interrupted which took place in a mental hospital, Dean's hallucinated doctor tells him he is "paranoid schizophrenic with a narcissistic personality disorder and religious psychosis".
- In 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked, Dean, in the last 24 hours of the year he was given after his crossroads deal, could see demons' real faces:
- Dean: I could see its face, its real face, under that one.
- "Lucy, you've got some 'splainin to do!" was a catchphrase of Lucy's husband Ricky Ricardo in the '50/'60s sitcom I Love Lucy starring Lucille Ball.
- Luci is a fandom nickname for Lucifer, first used by Gabriel in 5.19 Hammer of the Gods.
- A reference to the 2003 movie Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, which was directed by executive producer McG.
- A reference to angel Clarence from It's A Wonderful Life. The name was previously used by Meg in 5.10 Abandon All Hope....
- In 3.05 Bedtime Stories, a man survived an attack that killed his two brothers by hiding next to some concrete blocks in a violent recreation of the Three Little Pigs.
- Meg is using the name of her season 1 meatsuit, Meg Masters.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts
- 7.17 The Born-Again Identity (Transcript)
- The Born-Again Identity Script (Studio/Network Draft)
- Episode titles 7.13 to 7.19
- Guest star by AOLTV
- Misha Collins will return to Supernatural for one episode, with the possibility of two beyond that. The internet exploded with fannish glee. Misha commented "It's true. I'm going to be back on the reality show about the two brothers who drive around testing out seedy motels. Any questions?" Source.
- Misha arrives with family in Vancouver
- Guest star arrives in Vancouver
- Page from Misha's copy of 7.17 Unaired Episode at Salute to Supernatural Nashville 2012
- Possibly spoilery pic
- Synopsis from ksitetv
- Misha talks about his return to TVGuide
- Promo pics
- Promo clip
- Webclip #1
- Webclip #2
- Misha talks about his return with Zap2it
- Misha talks about his return with Vlada Gelman
- Misha interview on MTV about his return
- Bob Singer previews the episode
- Misha talks about the episode to Eonline
- Sera talks about Misha's return with Givememyremote
- Winchester Radio's podcast for this episode