A man, Joe, paces back and forth through his isolated home. He has a suicide hotline on the phone and the woman at the other end tells Joe that he has a lot to live for. Joe finally hangs up the phone and takes a gun out of a draw, and considers shooting himself in the head. He finally puts the gun back, sobbing, and looks at a photo of his dead wife and child. A man, Ephraim, steps out of the shadows and Joe wonders if the suicide line people sent him. Ephraim says that Joe brought him there and puts his hand to Joe's head. There's a pink glow and Joe explodes.
Castiel is working as a cashier in Rexford at a Gas-n-Sip. He observes the customers to see how they act so that he can better impersonate a human being. Castiel's boss Nora comes in and he tells her that everything is in order. Nora considers him carefully and then tells Castiel that he's special. As she goes to her office, Castiel notices a newspaper article about Joe's mysterious disappearance, the fourth in the Rexford area.
At the Letters bunker, Kevin is trying to translate the tablet and explains that he's managed to convert it into Elamite cuneiforms. However, he can only translate one symbol referring to "falling angels." The Winchesters hope that they can reverse Metatron's spell and send the angels back to Heaven. Sam and Kevin start going through the books, much to Dean's dismay. Castiel calls him and says that he has a possible monster at large, and Dean wonders how he wants to handle it. The former angel is busy trying to get a Slurpee machine working and has to sign off before he can explain. Dean tells Sam about the disappearances but says that he'll take care of it while Sam continues the research with Kevin. Sam objects but Dean claims that they have to avoid contacting Castiel because the angels are still after their friend. Kevin accuses him of bailing on their research and Dean lets them think that.
Nora comes out of the back of the store and shows Castiel the toothbrush that he's been keeping there. She's also found his sleeping bag and Castiel, unwilling to admit he has nowhere to live, says that he's been working late at the store doing inventory and staying over. Nora admires his work ethic and then asks if he'd like to go out on a date with her. Castiel reluctantly accepts and Nora kisses him on the cheek.
Dean goes to Joe's house and meets with the local sheriff, who tells him that they've found what's left of Joe. When Dean wonders about the other three victims, the sheriff explains that the first two were an unhappy married customer, and the third one was a shut-in. He admits that all of them were extremely unhappy. Dean wonders if Joe killed himself and the sheriff takes him into the house. The inside is covered with all that's left of Joe... completely vaporized.
Once he gets a chance, Dean calls to ask Sam how the research is going. Sam admits that they haven't had any luck and Dean suggests that they ask Crowley to translate. Sam agrees and worries about the case, suggesting that it sounds like something that requires both of them. Dean insists that he has it and hangs up, and then looks into the store where Castiel is working.
At a Rexford high school, a girl is on the phone complaining to her friend Jace inside that her boyfriend dumped her. She says that she could just die, and Ephraim comes up behind her. He touches her forehead and vaporizes her.
Dean finally goes in and talks to Castiel. Castiel is surprised to see him there and explains that when he was an angel he had nothing. Now he's discovered a new life as a sales associate.
Sam goes to see Crowley and shows him the cuneiforms. Crowley says that he can read them but isn't interested in helping. Sam points out that he saw Crowley's humanity during the trials and knows that Crowley has a little bit of good in him, but Crowley refuses to help. As he goes, Sam threatens to give Crowley to Abaddon, claiming she's scarier than Crowley. Offended, Crowley considers and tells Sam to give him the paper. However, he crumples it up and throws it in Sam's face.
Dean insists that Castiel is better than working as a sales associate, but Castiel admits that everything he did as an angel turned out wrong. As a human, he thinks he can get something right at last. Nora comes out and reminds them about their date, and Dean figures that it's about her. Castiel denies it, insisting that it's about human dignity. As they talk, the sheriff calls Dean and tells him that there's been another disappearance. Dean suggests that Castiel come with him, noting that he's always been human, and Castiel agrees... once he finishes cleaning up the bathroom.
At the high school, Dean and the sheriff talk to Jace, who tells them what she heard happen to her friend over the phone. She relates how her friend was dumped but insists that she was bummed, not suicidal. Dean notices Castiel pacing nervously by the Impala and goes over to see what the matter is. The former angel tells Dean that he's seen similar deaths before and it's very bad. Castiel explains that a special group of angels, the rit zien, tended to the ill and smote the patients that couldn't be saved, vaporizing them into dust. The rit zien home in on pain and Castiel figures that the killer is continuing his work now that he has been banished from Heaven along with the other angels. When Dean points out that the dead girl wasn't suicidal, Castiel notes that the rit zien doesn't understand human emotions and can't distinguish levels of grief and sadness. When Dean says that they have to stop the angel, Castiel refuses to help, saying that he's scared now that he could lose his life, and asks for a ride back to the convenience store.
Sam returns to see Crowley, who agrees to help in return for one telephone call. Upon hearing that, Sam refuses and walks out. Kevin, who has been listening in, figures that Crowley wants to call Abaddon. Sam isn't so sure, since Abaddon is usurping his position as king of Hell, and admits that they can stop the call at the other time. Kevin says that they need a test to confirm that Crowley can translate the cuneiforms, so they show him the three that they know of from Metatron's spell. Crowley confirms that they're the three ingredients that Metatron used, including Castiel's grace, and asks which one of them is going to open up a vein for him.
As Dean pulls up to Nora's house for his date, he tries to get Castiel to loosen up, giving him instructions on how to deal with human woman. Once he's done, Castiel goes up to the house and picks a flower from out front, hiding it behind his back. Dean starts to drive off but a truck momentarily blocks him from the front.
Nora lets Castiel inside and then tells him that she has a bowling date... with someone else. She tells Castiel about her baby daughter, Tanya, and how she needs a babysitter. Nora runs out and Tanya starts crying, as Castiel tosses the flower away.
When Sam starts to draw his own blood with a syringe, Crowley says that he only wants Kevin's blood. Kevin refuses to help the demon that killed his mother, but reconsiders and agrees. Sam then drips the blood into a copper ritual bowl and Crowley makes the call to Abaddon... only to discover that he's been put on hold.
Castiel tries everything he can to get Tanya to stop crying, and finally sings a lullaby. The baby stops crying... until Castiel stops singing.
The sheriff calls Dean to tell him that they've analyzed the DNA of the human residue from the first murder. The only DNA present is the wife's, meaning the husband is still alive.
Castiel panics when he discovers that Tanya feels hot.
Dean goes to the sheriff's office and the officer explains that the missing husband listened to Buddy Boyle and got religion. They examine the photos and Dean recognizes a truck in one of the photos as the same truck that blocked him off at Nora's house.
Castiel tries to call Nora and tell her that he's taking Tanya to the hospital, but gets her voice mail. As he opens the front door, he finds Ephraim waiting for him. The rit zien advances on Castiel and says that he plans to wash the planet clean of all suffering. Tanya starts crying again and Castiel moves to block Ephraim. The angel assures him that he's not there for the baby, but for Castiel.
Sam and Kevin are about ready to cut off Crowley's call when Abaddon finally answers.
Ephraim explains that despite the fact that Castiel was warded, he could sense his pain. Castiel warns Ephraim that he's not doing Heaven's work, and insists that humans are doing the best they can despite their pain. As they talk, Castiel tries to write an angel-warding sigil on the patio door behind him using his own blood. Ephraim tells Castiel that he has failed and then sees the ward. He yanks Castiel away before he can complete the sigil and twists his hand, telling Castiel that he's hiding when his fellow angels need him.
Abaddon boasts to Crowley that she's doubled the number of souls in Hell, and he realizes that she's taking them before their time, voiding all of his contracts. She dismissively tells Crowley that his days are over.
Castiel insists that he wants to live, but Ephraim prepares to smite him. Dean bursts in and Ephraim casually sends him flying across the room.
Crowley warns Abaddon that she can't control Hell without the demons sworn to him. She points out that the Winchesters have him captive and most of the demons assumes that he's dead, and he has nothing to offer her. Crowley promises that she'll burn and Abaddon says that she can't wait and then hangs up. Furious, Crowley tells Sam to give him the translations. However, once he reads them, he informs Sam and Kevin that Metatron's spell can't be undone.
Ephraim tells Castiel that he's already given up by choosing to live a human life. He starts to smite Castiel, and Dean tosses Castiel the angel-killing blade. Castiel stabs Ephraim with it, killing him.
Later, Sam calls Dean and passes on what Crowley said. Up at the house, Castiel apologizes to Nora for overreacting. As he turns to go, Nora tell him that the fact that he cares, and that he overreacted to Tanya's fever, is what makes him special. Castiel joins Dean, who asks him where he's going.
At the bunker, Sam dumps out Kevin's blood in the sink. He notices that one syringe is missing and goes to Crowley's cell. When he looks in, he sees Crowley injecting himself with Kevin's blood.
As he drops Castiel off at the convenience store, Dean apologizes for sending him away. He admits that he's proud of Castiel for adapting to human life, but Castiel wonders if he should be doing more for his fellow angels. Dean tell him that he's a human and that's not his problem anymore. Castiel seemingly accepts that, goes into the store, and goes back to work.