Dean is busy pouring through Men of Letters books when Sam comes to tell him about a possible case. A first grade teacher smashed her husband’s face off in Milton, Illinois. But Dean doesn’t seem interested.
What’s up with you lately, Sam asks, because since he killed Magnus, he’s been acting “sort of obsessed.” But Dean says he’s just doing his job, wanting to find and kill Abbadon and eventually Crowley.
I’m just checking in, Sam says. He tells Dean to keep him updated while he heads to Illinois. After Sam leaves, Dean pulls out the drink.
Sam talks to the sheriff who says the couple was very nice, no problems. They go to the holding cell where they find the woman has hung herself and splattered blood all over the walls. Sam calls Dean to fill him in. No sulfur or EMF so might not be a demon. Any updates on Dean’s end? Nope.
After he hangs up, Dean stares at his bottle and flashes back to Cain giving him the mark and then chopping Magnus’ head off as he tightly grabs onto the table. He snaps out of it and calls someone, but quickly hangs up and heads out.
Next day, Sam heads to the police station to see there’s four more weirdos locked up. The most recent is Billy whom Sam encounters at the diner after the guy gets pissy and stabs the waitress’ hand.
Sam sprinkles holy water on him, nothing happens. Other than Billy getting very annoyed. He says he’s “clear” and he’s doing all of this because he can.
Sam calls Dean again who is now at a bar but says he’s very busy. Sam gives the update and says the people remind him of when he was soullessSam. Dean suggests crossroads demon, but Sam says it’s not like these people are getting anything good in return.
Well, that was my best guess, Dean says. But Sam replies that he hopes not because he could really use Dean’s help here. Dean says he’s on to something and can’t drop the ball now.
Okay, stay safe, Sam says. Right after Dean hangs up, in pops Crowley.
Turns out it was Crowley who Dean not-butt dialed earlier. Dean isn’t interested in talking, but Crowley has some questions. Why does it seem like Dean is stalling in the search for Abbadon. And what did it feel like to sink the blade into Magnus’ head?
“Not half as good as I’m gonna feel when it’s yours.”
I think you felt powerful… and afraid, Crowley suggests. Dean is stalling because he’s afraid.
Back at the station, Sam overhears a woman telling a cop that the demons have returned. The cop thinks she’s crazy, but Sam knows better. He talks to her, Julia. She wonders why this FBI agent doesn’t bat an eye when she suggests demons are in their midst. You’re one of them, aren’t you? The Men of Letters?
Julia explains the Men of Letters came to Milton in 1958 and tells the story. She was at a convent when a priest (Henry Winchester) and a nun (Josie, pre-Abbadon) arrived saying they are from the Office of the Inquisition.
They were here to investigate Sister Mary Catherine who had killed two people before jumping from the bell tower. Julia guides them through the convent.
With Julia up ahead, Josie asks what’s got Henry’s boxers all up in a bundle. He is annoyed that they’re out here in the field. Josie says this is their on the job training and their last assignment before they become full members of the Men of Letters.
Henry expresses his doubts about this whole thing. What would happened to his son John and wife Millie if something happened to him on the job. They would think you’re a hero, Josie says.
You wouldn’t understand because you don’t have a family… oops. I didn’t mean it that way, Henry says.
Josie says it’s alright, he’s a good man who Millie is lucky to have.
Julia brings them into Sister Mary Catherine’s room where they find enochian writing on the walls as well as a crest representing the Knights of Hell.
Later that night, Julia leaves her room when she hears strange sounds. She finds Mother Superior and her lackey dragging bodies. She gets knocked out and wakes up tied to a chair in a room with a bunch of other people who are being taken into the next room
Henry and Josie barge into the basement and send the demons inside two of the possessed nuns flying. Julia hides and watches. Mother Superior walks in.
Henry tries exorcising her, but she just swats him away. She thinks they are hunters, but Josie says they are Perceptors. Mother Superior can’t believe there’s a woman in the Men of Letters. She and another nun laugh.
“Well ain’t that a blast.”
Mother Superior decides she wants to invade Henry’s body and explore it, but Josie stops her and offers herself up instead.
You love him! Mother Superior says. He loves you too… like a sister.
Josie begs her to spare Henry. “You have my permission.”
Mother Superior laughs. She doesn’t need permission, Abbadon takes what she wants… and what she wants is everything.
Abbadon inserts herself into Josie’s body. Julia watches the whole thing unfold.
Abbadon tells the other nun that she will learn about the Men of Letters and destroy them from the inside. She tells her to play dead as she wakes Henry up.
Julia mentions the convent was named St. Bonaventure and Sam looks through the files to find the rape van that picked up the newest soulless weirdo has that very name on it.
Crowley is still trying to get Dean to snap out of whatever he’s feeling. He can’t be scared, Crowley says, because Cain gave Dean that mark for very good reason. Why is Dean fighting it? Anyway, they’re in this together, whether Dean likes it or not.
Crowley goes to “take a leak” and Dean notices a man at the bar with a rosary. He gets up and Dean sees he’s got a blade. He’s knows what’s next. Dean tries to talk the hunter out of going after Crowley, telling him that if he wants to spare anyone and everyone that’s ever mattered to him, to back down.
The hunter’s name is Jake. He says he has a little sister and doesn’t want anything to happen to her. They shake hands and he walks away.
Dean waits for Crowley outside. He knows he went to shoot up in the bathroom. And Crowley knows Dean is just as big an addict… for the First Blade. Dean reaffirms that he is in this to end Abbadon. That’s all, whatever the consequences. So Crowley better bring the blade when Dean finds her.
Dean leaves. Out of the bar walks Jake. It was all Crowley’s plan. And now he’s sure Dean is “ready.”
Meanwhile, Sam heads to the long-abandoned St. Bonaventure convent where he finds brightly glowing bottles of souls. As well as that last nun Abbadon ordered to stay, Agnes.
Agnes explains Abbadon is building her army by turning souls into demons instead of waiting for the rest of demonkind to choose sides. They have factories all over, according to her.
Sam tries to start the spell to send her packing, but she has him in a chokehold. He pulls his cellphone out and plays a pre-recorded version. The phone goes flying and the nun tries to get to it before it plays out, but in the process Sam regains his bearings and stabs her. Bye bye.
Sam takes the soul bottles and releases them. They return to their rightful owners.
Sam catches up to Julia and asks her why she didn’t warn Henry about Abbadon. Julia says she wanted to become a nun to help people. But they never taught her how to react when faced with true evil. She was afraid. She vividly remembers Abbadon eyes as she left with Henry.
She betrayed their flock, God. To her, that is still her greatest shame.
Sam says her telling her story saved lives. He couldn’t have done this without her. They tell each other to take care and Sam leaves.
Julia has one last flashback. Henry’s faith is renewed. They are doing noble work. How about you Josie?
“I feel like a whole new person.”
Sam gets back home and finds Dean working away. He tells him about Abbadon’s soul mining.
You were right, Sam says. We need to find Abbadon ASAP.
What a sad episode. And I mean that in a good way. Very sad and emotional. A little bit of a downer, but very affecting. And I think that’s due in large part to Alaina Huffman finally getting us to meet Josie Sands.
Watching Josie get invaded by Abbadon was heartbreaking. It was great to finally see that little bit of history. I think Misha did a great job bringing the story to screen.
So Dean is addicted to the First Blade. How will he ever get over that, right? It’s going to end tragically isn’t it!?
But we know it could just as easily just disappear and get worked out as Sam’s Trials sideffects eventually were.
It’s hard to realize this is already episode 17. We’re only a few more episodes away from the season finale and one of the upcoming episodes is going to be the backdoor pilot to the spinoff. It’s going to be crazy from here on out, I think.