Oklahoma City, OK
Gary Frieling meets his lover Olivia Kopple in the park, and she admits that she didn't think she was going to come given what happened the last time they met. As they take each other's hand, Olivia hears an odd thumping noise and realizes that it's Gary's heart. Writhing in agony, Gary falls to the ground and rips open his shirt, and Olivia stares in horror as Gary's heart beats out against his chest and then finally leaps out in a burst of blood.
After checking in with the Trans at Garth's safehouse, Sam tells Dean that Kevin is having trouble translating the half-tablet that they stole from Crowley. Dean goes over to Castiel and asks if he's heard anything about the Word, and the angel explains that he has stopped listening in on the angelic frequencies. Castiel refuses to have anything to do with Heaven but tells the Winchesters that he wants to become a hunter. They're surprised but Castiel says that he's found Gary's death in the paper and figures that it's the kind of thing that hunters investigate. The Winchesters admit that it is and Castiel prepares to teleport to Oklahoma City, but Dean insists that he ride--in the back--like a normal hunter.
When they get to Oklahoma City, the trio poses as FBI agents and goes to the morgue speak with the investigating officer, Detective Glass. She admits that she doesn't have a clue as to how Gary's heart leaped out of her chest, and watches as Castiel sniffs at the corpse. Once she leaves, Castiel confirms that Gary wasn't using drugs and seemed normal. However, Sam and Dean deduce that Gary was having an affair with Olivia based on how detailed her statement was about a casual lunch with a friend. The couple also met at a diner next to a no-tell motel and Gary is wearing a wedding ring.
Sam and Amelia are moving in together and Amelia has invited her father, Stan Thompson, to come by and meet her new boyfriend. As Sam unpacks, he sees Amelia and her dead husband Don's wedding scrapbook. When Amelia comes in, he puts the book down as she warns him that Stan may think that they're moving too fast in their relationship. Sam assures her that they're just making up for lost time. When Stan arrives, he takes in Sam and dismisses him as a "fixer-upper" in private while his daughter gets them drinks.
Sam and Dean go to Gary's home and Castiel offers to interrogate the widow. He alternates between different TV detectives and Dean pulls him away. Sam starts to try empathizing with Mrs. Frieling but is surprised when Olivia comes in. They realize that Olivia is a friend of the family and Castiel blurts out that they know about her affair with Gary. Mrs. Frieling sheepishly admits that she and Gary had an open marriage and that she was also seeing someone on the side.
A stockbroker goes to the top of a high building and prepares to kill himself by jumping. He steps out... and stands in mid-air. He figures that God wants him to live, looks down, and... drops like a rock.
Detective Glass calls the hunters in after she gets statements confirming that the dead man hovered for ten seconds before falling. The brothers realize that it's just like a Roadrunner cartoon and try to explain to Castiel what cartoons are. The angel has trouble grasping the concept until they take him back to their motel and sit him down in front of a TV for a few shows. Dean and Sam check the books but realize that there's no clear picture of what they're up against. Castiel tells them that he can hear police radios and informs the brothers that there has been a new "loony" murder.
The hunters go to the local bank and discover that the newest victim was a security guard who was squashed flat beneath a one-ton anvil. Glass informs them that the guard interrupted a thief who was breaking in and was apparently attacked. The same thief has been hitting places all over town, and in each case paints a large black dot on the inside wall and another one opposite. When she leaves, Dean has Castiel lift the anvil and confirms his suspicion that there's a black X on the floor. He figures that the killer is following cartoon rules of reality but discovers that the black dots are solid, meaning whatever effect happened has faded.
While Sam checks some leads, Dean and Castiel go back to the hotel. As Castiel reads through John's journal, Dean asks how he's doing and the angel claims that he's fine. When Dean pushes the matter, suggesting that Castiel go to Heaven and find out how he was released from Purgatory, the angel snaps at him and then admits that he killed thousands of angels when he was possessed by the Leviathans. Dean wonders if the survivors might try to kill Castiel, but the angel is concerned that he'd kill himself when he sees the damage that he did.
Sam returns and tells them that the thief was robbing buildings in the vicinity of all of the cartoon incidents at the same time they occurred. They figure that thief somehow generates a bubble of cartoon reality and can't control it. Sam has also checked and confirmed that each robbery involved property belonging to a resident of the Sunset Retirement Home.
The hunters go to the retirement home and meet with the administrator, Dr. Dwight Mahoney. He gives them permission to talk to the residents and the trio talks to an older woman, Sheila Tate, who says that her house was robbed and valuable diamonds taken. She also says that her cat has been talking recently about how much he hates the mouse, and Castiel goes to interrogate it.
One resident stares off into space and Sam, noticing, watches the man. An orderly comments that some of the residents at the center are like that.
As Amelia makes dinner for Sam and Stan, she comments about how they used to move around because Stan was in the Army. When Sam mentions that his father was in the Marines, Stan dismisses them as jarheads. Once Amelia goes out to the kitchen, Stan asks if Sam was in the military and says that he has the look of someone who has been through the meat grinder. He figures that Sam is just trying to hold on, just like Amelia, and wonders what Sam is hiding from.
As Dean joins his brother, Sam notices a familiar photo on the center's board. The brothers realize that one of the residents is Fred Jones, one of their father's contacts. Fred had psychokinetic abilities and knew the brothers when they were young. They tear Castiel away from his cat interrogation and go to Fred's room, but he's staring blankly up at a TV playing cartoons and totally non-responsive. Dean hits himself in the face with a book and hears birdies, confirming that Fred is at the center of the weirdness. They wonder how they can stop Fred's abilities, and Castiel suggests that they kill him. Mahoney comes in, overhears him, and orders them all out. The brothers tell Castiel not to teleport Fred because it might set him off and have the angel watch over Fred until they come back that night.
Once the Winchesters leave, Mrs. Tate celebrates her birthday with the other residents. Fred is nearby, watching cartoons on the common room TV. On the screen, Woody Woodpeckers gives someone an explosive candle. Meanwhile, Mrs. Tate blows out the candle on her cake and it explodes. Castiel calls in the Winchesters and they arrive in time to see an RN clean Mrs. Tate up. Sam checks on Fred and discovers that he's disappeared, and Castiel notices that the RN is wearing Mrs. Tate's diamond bracelet. They ask the woman where she got it and the RN says that her boyfriend the orderly gave it to her.
The hunters go to the orderly's apartment and find some of the stolen goods. They also find the orderly, shot in the stomach. Castiel heals him and they demand answers. The orderly explains that he accidentally discovered Fred's power and told Mahoney. The doctor kept Fred's ability a secret and began running experiments on the old man. Mahoney was already skimming funds from the retirement center and decided to rob the residents' homes. He put Fred in a van, drove him around, and used his weirdness bubble to break into the homes, splitting the take with the orderly. However, Mahoney panic when the Winchesters started asking questions and decided to tie up the loose ends. He shots the orderly and then took Fred to a bank for one last big heist. After that, he plans to kill Fred and leave town.
As the trio go to the Impala, Castiel wonders if Fred knows what he's doing and Dean figures that the old man is leaving in a dream world.
As Sam washes dishes in the kitchen, he hears Stan talking to Amelia in the dining room. He asks her to come home, saying that Don wouldn't want her to live like that. Stan warns her that Sam won't last but Amelia says that she's happy for the first time in a while and asks Stan to give them a chance. Stan goes out to the kitchen and tries to make small talk with Sam while helping with the dishes.
The trio approaches the bank and Sam and Castiel look for Fred while Dean checks out the bank. He finds the black dot that Mahoney used to break in and goes inside. Meanwhile, Castiel tracks down Fred's power and they find him in a van watching cartoons. Fred doesn't respond to them and the angel takes his hands and starts glowing before Sam can stop him. The three of them appear in a cartoon desert and Castiel explains that they're inside of Fred's mind. Fred wonders why they're there and remembers Sam, but doesn't know why he's there.
The doctor is using more black holes to open the safe deposit boxes as Dean comes in and orders him to surrender.
Fred doesn't believe Sam, insisting his power doesn't work that way. Sam points out that the old man hasn't been paying much attention to reality recently and he'd have no way to tell. Realizing what is happening, Fred tells Sam that the worst thing that can happen to someone with a power like his is to lose his mind.
Mahoney offers Dean half of the stolen good and, when Dean refuses, insists that he deserves it for taking care of the senior citizens who have been abandoned by their children. The doctor runs for it and Dean shoots him only to have a "bang" flag emerge from his gun. He goes after Mahoney, complete with subtitles, and Mahoney pulls out a frying pan and uses it as a weapon. He tells Dean that he knows how to handle the cartoon craziness but Dean points out that he drew an X on the floor right where Mahoney is standing. Mahoney jumps out of the way as a one-ton anvil slams down where he was standing.
Sam tells Fred that he has to take control and face reality, and admits that he knows what it's like to hide from the world. However, he also knows that eventually whatever you're hiding from comes smashing back in. The walls fade to white as Fred starts to take control.
Mahoney runs for the black dot he used to enter the bank but discovers that it's solid. Realizing that the cartoon reality has disappeared, Mahoney draws the gun that he brought just in case. However, Fred, Castiel, and Sam arrive and Fred tells the doctor that he won't hurt anyone again. Using his powers, Fred makes Mahoney shoot himself in the head. As the others look on, Fred admits that he can control himself now but he'll soon slip again and someone else will get hurt. Castiel says that he can stop Fred but warns that the procedure is permanent, and that he doesn't know how much of Fred's consciousness will be left when he's done. Fred considers and then tells him to do it.
Later, the trio takes Fred back to the retirement center. He simply sits in a wheelchair, staring off into space and smiling. Castiel tells them that Fred is happy listening to music in his mind and they prepare to leave.
Castiel reappears in Naomi's office and he explains that he wanted to come back and make amends for what he did. Naomi refuses to let him return and tells him that he should only come when she summons him. Castiel wonders what he should do if he can't return to Heaven and Naomi asks him what he wants to do.
Castiel tells the Winchesters that he's decided to stay with Fred and watch over him for a few days. When Dean wonders what he'll do after that, Castiel says that he doesn't know but he isn't going to run anymore.
Stan tells Sam about Amelia's childhood embarrassments and shares some beers with his daughter's new boyfriend. Sam finally admits that he lost Dean and ran, and Stan offers his condolences. Amelia takes a phone call and comes back. Shocked she tells them that Don is alive.
As the Winchesters leave, Castiel sits down next to Fred and watches over him.