Lost Creek, Colorado
Tommy Collins is staying in a cabin out in the woods with his girlfriend Shelly. As he looks out the window, he hears noises and remembers years ago when a Wendigo attacked and captured him. When the couple kisses, the growling noises get louder and Tommy tells Shelly that Wendigo is going to attack them. He tells her to go the bedroom and grabs a acetylene torch to burn it. However, he clutches at his head as his eyes and nose bleed, and finally explodes as Shelly screams in horror.
At the Letters base, Dean and Sam are doing research on demonic possession in the hopes they can find an answer to the riddle of the third trial: "cure a demon." Castiel comes in, still wounded from his encounter with Crowley, and realizes that Sam's condition is worsening. Sam tells him about the third trial while Dean tells his brother that they're low on food. When Castiel offers to help, Dean angrily refuses, reminding the angel that he ignored and abandoned them, losing the angel tablet as a result. When Castiel tries to apologize, Dean tells him that won't cut it.
Sam finds a reference to Case 1138, stored in Room 7B and the brothers go to find it. As they go through the Letters' storage room, Sam suggests that Dean might want to take it easy on their friend. As they continue their search, Sam explains that the reference he found said that the case was "weird" and that it took place in St. Louis in 1957. As Sam finds the file, Dean locates a hidden door. Beyond it is a hidden chamber with an enormous devil's trap and manacles inscribed with spellwork. Inside the file envelope is a reel of film.
Sam, Dean, and Castiel watch the film and discover that it was made by a woman, Josie Sands. She's filming Father Simon, who is nervously preparing to perform an exorcism with his mentor, Father Max Thompson. As Josie passes a mirror and films her own image, the Winchesters realize that it's Abaddon's host body. Thompson and Simon perform the ritual on an old woman possessed by a demon, restrained by the manacles they found in the hidden chamber. The older priest feeds his own blood to the demon, freeing it from the body. Clearly dissatisfied, Thompson tells Josie to stop filming. Sam realizes that Thompson didn't use the standard exorcism ritual and checks the Letters' files. Thompson died in 1958 but Simon is still alive and living in St. Louis. As the brothers head out, Dean tells Castiel that they can't trust him and orders him to stay behind.
The brothers talk to Father Simon at his church in St. Louis, and he explains that Thompson believed that he could save demons by taking away its taint and restoring its humanity. When the Winchesters wondered what happened to the demon afterward, Simon admits that he doesn't know. He refused to continue working with Thompson, and a few months later something brutally slaughtered the older priest. Sam coughs up blood and goes to the restroom, and Dean admits that his brother isn't doing well. However, he tells Simon that Sam can do what he has to and that they'll get rid of every demon for good.
Castiel goes into town to buy Dean's favorite supplies and messes up the store. As the angel grabs the clerk when he discovers that there's no pie, Metatron teleports in and says that they need to talk. They go outside and Metatron insists that Castiel call him "Marv" in public. He knows all about Castiel from Kevin and figures that they're much the same. Metatron wants to clean up the situation in Heaven and explains that Naomi is the leader of one of several factions, all vying for control. Castiel blames himself for failing to lead his people, and Metatron suggests that they seal off Heaven and give the angels a "time out." He then teleports away to get crepes, leaving Castiel standing alone in the street.
The brothers return to the Letters base and discover that Castiel is gone. They find audio recordings of Thompson's experiments and watch a reel of his last test in August 1958. Thompson has captured a demon who took over the body of a man, Peter Kent, and then ate Kent's children. Thompson injects the demon repeatedly with his purified blood and asks it how it felt about eating the children. The demon initially taunts Thompson, but eventually breaks. Once it begs the priest to stop, Thompson feeds it his own blood and casts the alternate exorcism ritual. The demon is purified and says that it's sorry. Sam tells his brother that they have everything they need to recreate the exorcism and they just need a demon prisoner. Dean says that they have one that they can use.
Castiel finds Metatron at an outdoor brunch and the Scribe of God explains that he knows the contents of the tablet, including the three trials necessary to seal Heaven away from Earth and stop the bloodshed. However, Metatron admits that he isn't strong enough to do it so he needs a warrior angel like Castiel. Castiel agrees but Metatron warns him that the first trial involves him cutting the heart out of their waitress. He explains that she's the child of an angel and a human, a nephilim--the only one in existence. When Castiel hesitates at killing an innocent, Metatron tells him that he'll have to choose between one innocent or their family.
Sam and Dean dig up Abaddon's body parts from where they cut her apart and buried her. Once she comes back to life, the demon knight vows to kill them. The brothers point out that they didn't reattach her hands, and that the devil's trap bullet is still in the roof of her mouth, immobilizing her. Dean explains that they're going to use Thompson's ritual to cleanse her, and Abaddon boasts that she killed Thompson in St. Louis when Hell learned that he was "curing" demons. She then found Josie, possessed her body, and used her to infiltrate the Men of Letters and wipe them out.
As they talk, Sam gets a call from Crowley on his cell phone. When Sam mentions his name, Abaddon is shocked to learn that the "salesman" is now the King of Hell. The brothers steps out and Crowley tells them to read the Denver newspaper. He then sends them an address and hang sup.
In the building, Abaddon concentrates and manages to take control of her nearby hand, left in a box on a table. It jumps onto her shoulder, reaches into her mouth, and removes the bullet.
The Winchesters check the newspaper online and learn that Tommy Collins died. Sam remembers that they saved Tommy from a Wendigo seven years ago, but Dean points out that there's nothing they can do now. They go inside and discover that Abaddon is gone. Crowley sends them a text message with an address in Prosperity, Indiana. The Winchesters remember working a case there a year ago and figure it's a trap. However, they also realized they need a new demon and hope that one will be waiting to ambush them.
That night in Prosperity, the brothers discover that the house belongs to Jenny Klein, a woman that they saved from a witch. They go inside and find Jenny's body, shoved into her own oven and baked to death. Crowley calls and tells them that he plans to kill everyone that they've ever saved, one victim every 12 hours. He's used his sources to find out who they saved and tells the Winchesters that he won't stop until they give him the tablet. Crowley figures that they won't believe he can kill whoever he wants so he gives them the address of the hotel where his next victim is staying and invites them to try and save her.
Castiel and Metatron wait outside the nephilim's house and follow her when she goes out for the night.
Dean drops Sam off at the hotel. Sam knocks at the door and is surprised to discover that the next target is Sarah Blake, the art appraiser they saved seven years ago.
When Castiel and Metatron approach the nephilim, she is able to recognize them for what they really are. She insists that she just wants to live her life and won't harm anyone, but Castiel simply apologizes and attacks her. The nephilim tosses him away and then grabs Metatron. As she chokes him, Castiel stabs her in the back with his angel blade, killing her.
Sam explains that Crowley plans to kill Sarah at midnight and she accepts his story. Dean returns with demon-fighting equipment and they set up. Sam promises Sarah that they'll keep her safe and she accepts his assurances, since they saved her before. As the brothers set up their defense, Sam notices that Sarah has a wedding ring. She talks about her husband Ian and their baby daughter, Bes. She asks how Sam is doing and he says that he's pretty much the same. Sarah points out that he's much more confidence and figures that he finally grew up.
The hotel room phone rings and Dean answers it. It's Crowley, who counts down to midnight. Sarah falls to the floor, choking, and Crowley boasts that there's nothing the Winchesters can do. Realizing that Crowley is using a hex bag, the brothers try and find it without success. Crowley continues talking, telling them that since the trials involve demons, he plans to keep all of his demons away from them. He tells the Winchester that he plans to take away the one thing that gives their lives meaning: the people they've saved.
Sarah finally dies and Crowley promises to keep killing victims until the Winchesters give them the tablet. He hangs up and a furious Dean throws the phone at the wall. It breaks open, revealing the hex bag hidden inside the entire time.
Later, the Winchesters drive back to the Letters base and Dean asks Sam if he's okay. Sam wonders how they can complete the third trial now that Crowley is keeping his demons away, and wonders if they should take the deal. Dean refuses, insisting that they'll figure out a way like they always have, and asks Sam if he's with him. Sam simply stares at him without answering.