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THEN:  From the pilot, Dean says, “Dad’s on a hunting trip, and he hasn’t been home in a while.”  Sam says, “We got work to do,” as they close the trunk.  We see Michael, Dean reminiscing with Mary, Dean in the box panicking, Sam hitting Dean, then the bro-hug and the words, “Let’s go home.”

NOW:  Sam and Dean enter the Precious Pawn Show.  A large array of guitars hang on one wall; a monkey statuette sits on the counter.  The proprietor says everything is twenty percent off, but Dean says they want the “really good stuff” and shows him a large wad of cash.  The owner unlocks a door to a back room crowded with unique and one-of-kind items, for example, dragon’s breath, contained in a perfume decanter.  They tell him that they are looking for the skull of Sarah Goode who was executed during the Salem Witch Trials.  The pawn shop dealer unlocks a safe, opening the door to reveal the most valuable treasures.  Behind him, Sam has picked up an old, well-worn, jointed teddy bear from a shelf and is about to pull the string on its back when the owner warns him not to do that.  Dean rolls his eyes at Sam who shamefacedly puts the teddy back.  The owner removes the skull, explaining where he got it, when Dean interrupts him, saying they know it’s a lie because that skull was in the possession of a friend of theirs, a hunter, who was recently found dead, cut in half, and his possessions ransacked.  The owner immediately sprays the perfume bottle at them, and, with a roar, a column of flame shoots out at the Winchesters who dive aside to get out of the way.  When the flames recede, the proprietor is standing over Sam; he’s holding a long curved blade which he raises over his head.  “Wonder what this’ll do to you,” he’s commenting, but before he can swing it down toward Sam, he is shot from behind by Dean.  “They always talk too much,” Dean remarks. 

Sam is perusing a book with handwritten items - the inventory from the pawn shop.  There are a lot of powerful supernatural stuff here; they’ll take it home to the bunker.  Dean accidentally fires off a shot of dragon’s breath and looks embarrassed.


The Impala enters the town limits of Lebanon, Kansas.  A group of teens are sitting on a bench on Main St.  A boy in a beanie says he knows they’re supposed to be brothers, but he’s heard banging coming from the trunk of their car.  While they’re still talking, the Impala pulls up and parks in front of them.  Sam and Dean walk into the bar where they’re greeted by the bartender:  “The Campbell brothers – the usual!”  The title appears – “Lebanon.” 

Sam is still reading the inventory book.  He says they can categorize it all when they get back to the bunker.  Dean is “thrilled” with that option but “it will take your mind off things,” says Sam.  Like the archangel battering the inside of his brain, specifies Dean.

Outside, the teens are wondering where the men originally came from.  And what about the others, the one in the trench coat and the kid with the Bambi look?  “Gotta bounce,” the dark-haired girl says, smiling warmly at the blonde.  As she starts to walk away, she runs an appreciative hand over the front of the Impala, admiring the car.  The blonde smiles, looking at the car.

Sam is still reading the record book.  Among the items recovered from the pawn shop is a bayzoo, from China, a pearl that grants wishes – more specifically, what your heart desires.  What Dean desires, of course, is to have Michael out of his mind.  “You mean the answer is right outside in our car?” they ask just as the car pulls away.  Sam and Dean dash outside, then turn on the teenage boy standing there alone.  “I don’t wanna die!” the boy exclaims, finally offering up that the girl who took the car is named Max and is new to town. 

In the post office, Sam smiles at the postmistress, an older lady with dyed dark-brown hair and glasses on a chain.  “So you want the address of an underage girl?” she asks disapprovingly.  Dean enters, and with confidence and charm, gets the woman, who’d hesitated but melted when he put his hand on hers, to tell him where Max’s mom works.

The Winchesters find the mom waitressing in a nearby restaurant.  “I’m gonna kill her!” says the mom.  The cook knows where the girls would be heading :  it’s February 7th, skip day.  There’s an old house on the edge of town where teens like to gather. 

The Impala is parked outside a run-down house along with other cars.  Inside, on couches, are piled the boxes from the pawn shop.  The teens have lugged them inside and have opened them.  A brown box on a stand opens, and a thick cloud slowly emerges, gradually forming into a fist with a ruffled cuff.  The hand reaches out.

The boy in the beanie arrives, letting the others know that the guys who own the Impala are on their way.  Another boy goes into the bathroom; he’s intrigued when he breathes cold air and blows a smoke ring.  He washes his face at the sink; above him, the mirror ices over.  He wipes away the condensation to reveal the white scarred face of a horrible clown grinning at him, then lunging through the glass at him.

Sam and Dean pull up to the house in a black truck.  Dean rushes to his baby to make sure she’s okay, while Sam checks the back seat, realizing that the teens took the inventory inside.  From the house, the boy who’d been in the bathroom comes barreling past them, a girl in pursuit, calling him to stop but he says a clown tried to kill him. 

“FBI!” Sam and Dean enter the house; Dean has his gun drawn, pointed to the ceiling, and is holding up his badge.  The teens scatter.  Sam notices the open cigar box and sees his breathe appear as the air chills.  “Burn it now!”  He puts the box in the fireplace but can’t get his lighter to light. Dean likes the idea of a serial killer clown, but Sam is trying to get rid of the box as quickly as he can.   As he fruitlessly flicks it, the lights wink on and off, then the slumpy but sinister clown appears at the far end of the room.  He flings Dean across the room where he lands awkwardly on the couch, but then bursts into flame, right in front of the three original teens who had reentered the house.  They stare, utterly confounded.  “Uh,” Sam begins.  “Hey!” Dean smiles from the couch.

The teens are sitting lined up on the couch while Sam and Dean stand in front of them, explaining that there is no rational explanation to what they’ve seen.  They hunt evil things;  “I knew it!” exults the boy in the beanie.  You have to keep it a secret, insists Dean.  The teens look worried and unsure, but then the dark-haired girl nods her head. 

Back in the bunker, Dean is enjoying a drink.  “John Wayne Gacy’s ghost!” he remarks with satisfaction.  Sam has found the pearl.  “Let’s do it,” says Dean.  Sam thinks that perhaps they should wait or maybe tell Mom or Castiel, but Dean says, “Why get their hopes up?”  They’re a little unsure about how it works; probably just concentrate on what your heart desires.  Dean picks it up between his thumb and first finger, then closes his fist around it, then closes his eyes as he focuses.  Suddenly, the lights flicker, then go out completely.  The bunker’s supplemental lights go own, suffusing the room with a dim, dark red glow.  They realize that there is a figure standing nearby.  They rush toward him, and the fight is brief but intense.  A flurry of punches and struggling, and both brothers are on the ground.  A shotgun clicks, the barrel is pointed at them,  and a dark voice says grimly, “Don’t you move.”   Then the lights come back on.  The boys stare up from the floor.  “Dad?” queries Dean, stunned.  It’s John, with a grizzled graying beard and a black leather jacket.

“Dean?  Sam?” asks John.  “What in the hell?”  He looks around, confused.  “Sammy?  Aren’t you supposed to be in Palo Alto?”  His sons don’t know how to answer.  “What happened to you?”  Dean finally asks, “What year is it?”  “2003,” says John.  “It’s 2019,” Sam tells him.  “No!  How?” replies their dad.  “I think we summoned you,” explains Sam.  “Tell me,” instructs John.

Whiskey is poured.  John takes a drink.  “So you saved the world,” he remarks.  “More than once,” responds Dean.  John sums up, “And you live in a secret bunker with an angel and Lucifer’s kid.”  “Your dad helped us find this place.”  “Men of Letters,” comments John, reflectively.  “We’re legacies,” Sam says, adding, “because of you.”  John smiles and laughs, “You’ve been busy.  I wish I’d been there.”  “None of it would’ve happened without you,” Dean tells him.  John’s glad that at least he went out taking out Yellow Eyes, avenging their mom.  “About Mom . . .” Sam begins when Mary’s voice sounds from the other room:  “Sam!  Dean?”  She enters then stares in surprise and shock.  John rises from the table, looking at her with love and happiness brimming in his eyes.  In a moment, they have moved toward each other and are sharing a tender kiss.  Sam and Dean are sitting at the table just staring until Sam motions that they should leave.

Walking down a bunker hallway, Dean is almost vibrating with unexpected happiness.  He covers his mouth, then rubs his face, shocked but joyful, but Sam is concerned.  How had this happened?  Heart’s desire, explains Dean.  “I’ve wanted this since I was four years old.”  “Things change,” warns Sam.  There could be complications, but Dean doesn’t want to hear it.  “One family dinner!  Us.  Together.  Give me that!”  He walks away, leaving Sam with brow furrowed in worry. 

John is glancing at an old book in the bunker’s library when Sam enters.  He turns to him with a smile, commenting about how amazing the bunker is.  Sam agrees, saying it blew them away when they first discovered it and revealing that Mary and Dean are drawing up a shopping list so Mary can create the Winchester Surprise casserole.  “I screwed up with you a lot,” John confesses.  Sam looks about to cry.  He says it’s okay and that he doesn’t want to talk about it.  John wants to discuss the fight they’d had before Sam left for college, but Sam tells him that that argument was a lifetime ago.  He can’t even remember what he said.  When he does think about his dad, he thinks about him dying on that hospital floor and how he didn’t get to tell him goodbye.  “I’m so sorry,” says John.  “I’m sorry too,” Sam replies, looking earnest and young and torn with deep feeling.  “You did your best.  You fought for us and you loved us.” 

Dean has the shopping list.  He looks ready to argue with Sam as the younger brother approaches him, and is surprised when Sam says, “You were right.”  He offers to ride with him into town for the groceries.  The Impala drives through the night down the quiet street.  Dean, picking up the beer, goes into the bar, asking for his usual, but the bartender doesn’t know who he is.  Sam, holding groceries, sees Max walking by and says hi, but she snubs him and calls him a weirdo.  He waves at the postal worker who closes the window blinds right in his face.  Sam shrugs and heads down the sidewalk, only to do a double take.  There’s a wanted poster in a storefront window with Dean’s picture!  He runs to Dean:  “We have a problem!”  Dean already knows:  he shows Sam what he’s found on the internet.  There’s a youtube video of Sam, with slicked back hair, in glasses and a black turtleneck.  He runs a law firm and has given a Ted talk espousing  the importance of a raw food diet (yay- kale!) and the necessity of avoiding entanglements like hobbies and family.  Our Sam explains that this is a temporal paradox; time is self-correcting.  If they don’t fix things back to what it was before, they will become the other version of themselves.  “Well, I’m cool,” Dean answers, “but you’re  --“ and he makes a sound of distaste.  “What else changed?” wonders Sam. 

Two figures appear outside a Lebanon garage – a dark-suited Zachariah looking determined and Castiel, in his trench coat but with a grim, dark look on his face as he stands beside his superior.  “That’s the problem with Earth,” remarks Zachariah.  “You’re always standing in something. “  Then to Castiel, “Come along, Constantine.”  Castiel doesn’t get the reference.  The angels enter the restaurant; when the waitress offers to serve them, Zachariah announces that he wants to know who has been messing with time.  There’s something about this town, he remarks.  The three teenage friends are frozen at a table, intimidated.  Zachariah greets them blandly, then informs them that if they don’t reveal who has been messing with time, he’ll have his companion murder them all.  “My name is Castiel,” intones the trench-coated figure.  “I am an angel of the Lord.”  His eyes glow blue, light swells, lightbulbs in the restaurant burst, and the shadow of his wings appear on the walls behind him.  Outside, Sam and Dean, who were going to go tell Mary about the newest complication, see the unnatural light inside the building and rush toward the door.  They enter, telling the civilians to leave.  “Winchesters?” wonders Zachariah.  He knows there is a plan for them, but then it hits him – they’re the ones who’ve messed with time!  “This is all you!”  He commands Castiel to kill them.  “Cas, you know us!” pleads Dean, but the angel responds passionlessly, “I don’t know you.”  “Cas, don’t!” implores Dean.  He has an angel blade, but doesn’t want to use it.  Castiel is inexorable and immensely powerful.  Dean’s attempts to fight are useless as the angels flings him across the counter, then grabs his shirt and shoves him up against the wall.  Meanwhile, Zachariah is choking Sam while demanding he tell him about how they influenced time.  “Speak, Bobo, speak,” he mocks.  Sam struggles for breath, but behind his back, he is reaching for an angel blade which he rapidly plunges into Zachariah’s chest.  Light bursts from his eyes and mouth as the angel dies.  Now both Sam and Dean try to stand up against Castiel, but Sam is buffeted to the floor and Dean has his face slammed onto a table.  But before Castiel can finish them off, Sam draws the angel banishing sigil on the floor in blood, and Castiel disappears in a flash of light. 

In the bunker, a table is set for a family meal with napkins, candleholders, and wine glasses.  Dean, sporting a cut lip, has been explaining to John about the temporal paradox that Sam, the egghead, identified.  If John doesn’t go back, Sam isn’t a hunter and Mary won’t come back.  She’ll probably just fade away.  John takes this information in stride:  “Ok.  Me versus your mom?  Not even a choice.  Does she know?”  In the kitchen, Sam, face bruised from the brutal fight with the angels, has been telling Mary the news; she’s looking devastated as he explains that they need to destroy the pearl.  John will never remember that this happened.  Mary cries as the timer for their meal goes off behind her. 

John earnestly tells his oldest son, “Dean, I never meant for this.  It was MY fight.  It was supposed to end with me.”  Eyes shining, he states clearly, “I am incredibly proud of you,” adding that he wanted him to have a normal life, a peaceful life, a family.  Dean listens intently to his father, but assures him, “I have a family.”  John smiles.  “What’s next?”  “We eat,” says Dean.

The four Winchesters are seated around the table, but no one is speaking.  It’s silent and sad until John speaks up.  They have two choices; they can think about what’s coming or they can be grateful  for the time they have together.  He’s chooses gratitude.  Looking up, he says to whoever provided this, “We owe you one.  Amen.”  “Amen,” the others add.  They lift their glasses in a toast then begin to eat.  A musical montage shows them talking and laughing, a happy family relaxed around the dinner table. 

Sam and Dean are washing the dishes.  “They seemed happy,” remarks Sam, adding, “It’s not fair.  It’s lke none of this ever happened.”  “You wish things were different?” asks Dean.  “It’d be nice,” admits Sam.  “I used to think that too,” reveals Dean.  “We’ve had tough times.  I blamed Dad.  Mom too.  I was angry.  But say we could change things.  Why stop there?  Why not go back farther?  Let someone else save the world.  But then who would that make us?  I don’t know who that Dean Winchester is.  I’m good with who I am and who you are.  Our lives are OURS.”  Then he adds with a little laugh, “Anyway, I’m too old to want to change.” 

Mary and John’s hands are clasped.  John looks deeply at her:  “My girl, I missed you so damn much.”  “Me too,” says Mary.  They kiss.  Sam and Dean stand nearby.  John turns to them.  “You two take care of each other.”  “We always do,” affirms Sam.  “Good to see you, Dad,” says Dean.  “I am so proud of you boys,” John repeats.  Sam smiles, eyes watering.  John steps forward, reaching out to pull his sons into a hug.  “I love you both so much,” he declares, one arm around each son.  Against one shoulder, Sam wipes at the tears streaming down his face.  “I love you too,” Dean tells him on his other side.  There are tears on his face, and as John steps back, tears roll down his cheek though he keeps smiling.  “I’m ready,” he says.  He smiles tenderly at Mary who’s crying quietly too.  “Sammy,” he says.  Sam picks up the pearl.  John nods at him.  Dean looks intense.  Sam places the pearl carefully on the table, then picks up a small bowl and smashes it down.  Dean flinches.  John glows with a golden light and disappears, leaving Mary’s hand, which had been holding his, empty. 

Back in the small town of Lebanon, things are being restored.  The restaurant, damaged from the angel altercation, is reset and the wanted poster changes to an community flier.  The three teenagers walk down the street, the two girls holding hands.  “Those guys hunt monsters!  So cool!”

The door of the bunker opens.  Sam, Dean, and Mary look up as Castiel appears on the landing.  “What happened?” he asks.  “Well, there’s a story,” says Dean. 

It’s dawn.  The Impala is parked near a pond in the rain, the driver slouched behind the wheel.  A phone buzzes on the dashboard, and the driver, John, reaches to flip it open.  “Dean,” he greets the caller.  “I just had one hell of a dream.  I’m on my way back.  See you soon.”


All right!  Episode 300!  Yup, I had a tear in my eye watching the Winchesters say goodbye, and even more while I was typing this up.  I can’t wait to discuss it with you all, so here are a few questions to get us started:

  1. What did you think of this episode?  Did it meet your expectations? 
  2. John and Sam and John and Dean both get to talk, though briefly.  Would you hoping for anything more issues to be discussed or were you satisfied with what they said to each other?
  3. What did you think of Sam’s life (as seen on the Ted Talk) in their altered reality?
  4. What did you think of Castiel, angelic warrior?
  5. What was the most touching moment of the episode for you?
  6. EXTRA: What connections to previous episodes did you notice?  What unique items caught your eye in the pawn shop?

Read more of Emberlast's amazing episode recaps and speculation questions! Visit her Author Page to get Episode links! Recaps for seasons 9 to 13 can be found on Bookdal's Author Page!