One Year Later
A couple is camping in the Maine wilderness when a bright light appears nearby and then flickers out. The wife sends her husband Will out to investigate and he comes face-to-face with... Dean, covered in blood. Dean draws his gun on them and demands to know where he is. They explain and Dean gets directions to the nearby road, and then takes their backpack and leaves.
Dean soon makes his way to Clayton, LA and goes out into the woods to a specific spots. He digs up a human skeleton and the blood in his left arm glows with golden light. Dean cuts open his arm and lets the blood drip onto the skeleton, and a man, Benny, appears behind him. He bares his teeth and then asks Dean what took him so long. Benny bares his fangs briefly and asks what they're going to do next, and Dean says that they'll do what they discussed. Benny says that it's goodbye, shakes hands with Dean, and they walk off in different directions.
In Kermit, TX, Sam gets out of bed, leaving a woman, Amelia sleeping along with their dog. He drives away in the Impala as someone watches him from the shadows. Sam drives to Whitefish, MT, to one of the brothers' old safehouses. Dean grabs him when he comes in and tests him to see if he's some kind of supernatural shapeshifter. Once he's sure Sam is who he appears to be, he tells Sam to test him. Sam refuses, saying he knows Dean when he sees him, and they hug. Dean explains that he spent the last year in Purgatory and that Castiel didn't make it. He refuses to give Sam details and instead asks why Sam didn't respond when he called any of his phone numbers. Sam reluctantly explains that he ignored all of his phones and has given up hunting. Dean is angry that Sam didn't carry on the family business but Sam explains that he had no one and that he was alone for the first time in his life. He admits that he didn't go looking for Sam and his brother, disgusted, points out that he obeyed orders for once... but every time in the past they've never given up on each other, orders or no orders.
Dean ignores Sam and checks his brother's phone messages. He then plays them, revealing that Kevin was trying to get hold of Sam ever since he escaped from Crowley eleven months ago. Kevin finally gave up trying to get through and told Sam not to bother. A disgusted Dean says that Kevin was their responsibility and that Sam left him hanging because he couldn't bother to check his messages.
A guilty Sam analyzes the phone calls and finally determines that Kevin's last call came from a bus station in Centreville, MI. He checks and learns that Kevin's high school girlfriend, Channing Ngo, graduated and went to college there. Sam admits that they should find Kevin because it is their responsibility and they head out. As they get into the Impala, Dean smells what he thinks is dog but Sam insists that he never had a gun in the car. After driving, they stop at a motel for the night and Dean sees two kids running past, play-fighting.
In Purgatory, Dean stalks down one of the monsters and decapitates him when he admits that he doesn't know where Castiel is. Another creature attacks Dean, but Benny arrives and decapitates it.
Dean doesn't want to stop for the night and Sam says that he will stay alive for a few more hours. Dean asks if that's what Sam does now, hoping people will stay live on their own, and Sam explains that after Sam died, he realized that the world could survive without him. When Dean points out that people died, Sam responds that people die all the time and that other hunters could handle it. Dean figures that a girl was involved and Sam admits that there was but says that she didn't have anything to do with his decision... and that he's no longer involved with her. They continue to talk and Sam explains that he met Amelia when he hit a dog. Dean is offended that Sam broke the rules and let a dog in the Impala, but Sam figures that he's ducking the issue. He asks why Dean is so on edge and what happened to him in Purgatory. Dean warns that he won't believe it but finally explains that he spent all of his time fighting. Despite that, he found it more pure than anything in the real world.
Dean thanks Benny for his help, and the creature says that there is a way out, but only humans can use it. He figures that Dean has gone native and doesn't want to use it, and Dean demands proof. Benny refuses, saying that Dean is either in or not. When Dean wonders why he's helping him, Benny explains that the portal only permits humans so he plans to ride through it with Dean. Dean wonders how he can trust him and Benny says that he can't. Benny is ready to leave immediately but Dean says that he needs to find Castiel first and that Benny is either in or not.
The Winchesters drive to Centreville and go to Channing's dorm room. She's there with her roommate and Channing says that Kevin never contacted her. Dean points out that they were dating in high school but a disgusted Channing explains that she gave up on Kevin when she learned that he wasn't going to Princeton. The brothers leave to search the campus and Channing's roommate talks about setting her up with a new boy. Channing turns to her, her eyes black, and cuts her throat. She then drains the blood into a chalice and contacts her master, saying that she hasn't seen Kevin but that Dean is back from Purgatory.
Sam sits down at a cafe and sees a woman walking a dog.
Sam runs into an animal hospital with a dog that he hit on the road. He begs the nurse, Roberta, to help and she calls in the doctor on call--Amelia.
Dean catches up to his brother and enjoys his first hamburger in a year. Sam shows him campus security footage of Kevin coming to the college and explains that he checked the computer records and traced Kevin's wireless router. It's now being used at a coffee shop in Fairfield, IA.
The brothers drive to Iowa and trace Kevin to a nearby church. When they go in, Kevin sprays them with cleaner to make sure they're not Leviathans. They wonder how he has sealed the church against demons and Kevin explains that God told him what to do.
A year ago, Crowley took Kevin to a warehouse safehouse and put him to work translating another of the Word of God tablets. Kevin goes to work and informs Crowley that the tablet refers to demons. He eventually translates it and confirms that it says that there is a hell gate in Wisconsin. The tablet also has the ingredients to make the spell. Crowley has his demons bring Kevin the ingredients while he goes to Wisconsin to the hell gate's location. However, Kevin has actually made a demon-killing spell and uses it to wipe out Crowley's minions.
Kevin assures the brothers that the tablet is safely hidden and that it has another spell. This one will let the caster seal all of the hell gates on Earth, banishing the demons forever. Sam and Dean talk outside and Sam realizes that Kevin will likely get killed. Dean agrees but figures that they don't have a choice. Sam asks if Dean is the only one who gets free will but Dean insists that it's too important to leave up to Kevin choosing to do the right thing.
Sam goes back to talk to Kevin and apologizes for ignoring his calls. Kevin realizes that his life has become a nightmare and Sam admits that it sucks. He figures that it will get better but tells Kevin that he wasn't able to see that until it happened to him. Kevin asks for five minutes alone while Dean watches Sam and considers what he said.
Amelia finally comes out and tells Sam that the dog will recover. She wonders if he's going to take it with him but Sam figures that he already fulfilled his responsibility by bringing it in. Disgusted, Amelia says that he ran it over and guilts him into taking it in.
The church suddenly shakes as the floor shatters, destroying the ruins. The brothers arm themselves and Dean gets out the axe that he used in Purgatory. Two demons barge in and attack, and Sam manages to kill them with the enchanted knife. However, Crowley and the Channing demon come in and Crowley welcomes Dean back. He offers to let Channing go if Kevin comes with him. Dean figures that Channing is dead and Crowley lets the possessing demon release Channing long enough to prove he can still give her back. Kevin agrees to Crowley's deal as long as he promises that it ends there. When Dean tries to stop Kevin, the boy says that he doesn't have a choice and asks if Dean is going to kill him if he refuses.
Kevin goes to get his luggage while Dean warns Crowley that it's not over. The demon realizes that Kevin isn't coming back and goes to investigate along with the Channing demon. Kevin has prepared a holy water trap and runs out, yelling for the Winchesters. The brothers get to the Impala, pick up Kevin, and drive away. As they go, Crowley tells the demon to find a new body and then breaks Channing's neck as Kevin watches helplessly from the back of the Impala.
Later, the Winchesters stop for gas and Dean gets a call. He answers it but says that it's a wrong number, and then asks if anyone wants some food. Kevin angrily says that he isn't all right but Dean tells him that now he has no choice. Dean goes in to get some food but then returns the call. It's Benny, who is at a funeral. Benny says that he's slowly adapting to life after fifty years in Purgatory. Dean says that they should stick to the plan and not talk until they have some time to talk everything in. Benny admits that Dean was right and that Purgatory was pure, and he wishes that he appreciated it more when he was there... like Dean did. Dean tells him to call if he has an emergency and hangs up.