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THEN:  We see Rowena, the hell ghosts, Dean saying, "We'll be free," Dean stating that he's angry, Chuck, Becky Rosen using her love potion on Sam, Chuck pleading with Amara, Chuck wincing at the unhealed bullet wound in his shoulder, Amara saying he is trapped.

NOW:  We see the solid outside walls of the bunker, looking like a fortress under the cold, blue light of the moon.  Muffled gunshots pop steadily.  Inside the bunker, the warning light floods the halls with an ominous dark red glow.  A couple dead bodies lie sprawled on the floor.  Suddenly, a body flies through the air from a side hallway, colliding with the wall.  A quick flurry of men fighting - it's Dean, taking out bad guy after bad guy.  He grapples, spins, shoots.  He's bearded and has a scarf around his neck.  Over his plaid shirt with sleeves rolled up, he has a tac vest.  Shouts and gunshots in the distance reveal that the bunker is under attack elsewhere too.  A figure appears around a corner, and Dean nearly takes him out, only to pause as they both realize they're on the same side.  Dean gestures for the man to take one corridor, while he goes down the next.  He enters a room to find more bodies; one in military gear is slumped against a wall; another in black lies nearby.  Dean kneels next to the first man:  "You'll be OK, Benny," he reassures him.  "No, I'm not.  See you on the other side," Benny replies weakly with his last breath.  Dean aims his gun at the second man.  "Where is he?"  The man's eyes turn black, and he laughs:  "Closer than you think."  Dean shoots him.

Dean enters the map room with gun drawn, then pauses on the threshold, eyes focused on a figure across the room.  It's Sam, unarmed, dressed only in a buttoned-up plaid shirt.  His face is turned away, eyes downcast meekly before looking up and saying gently, "Closer than you think."  He adds, "After Sioux Falls, I suppose you had to [look for me]."  Dean, eyes pained, can't believe what Sam did to people they knew and cared about.  "I will not be stopped," Sam replies mildly.  The red lights wash his body in a hellish glow.  "This is the demon blood," Dean pleads.  "Fight it!"  A soldier has crept up to the side, looking to take Sam out.  With barely a movement, Sam takes note of him, then jerks his head.  Even from across the room, the man's neck twists, and he falls dead to the floor.  "Sammy, please.  Please," Dean tries to appeal to his brother.  Sam's smiles calmly but maliciously as his eyes turn black.  He jerks his head the slightest bit, and Dean falls to the floor, silent and still.    

Sam gasps awake.  He's in his bed in the bunker.  He sits up shakily, breathing heavily.


In the bunker's kitchen, Dean is enjoying a piece of bacon as Sam enters.  When Dean asks how he's doing, he says he's had weird dreams.  Dean offers him bacon which Sam refuses only to be told that it's veggie bacon, a real concession on Dean's part; it's something that shouldn't be in a "meat-man's kitchen."  They repeat Dean's meat-loving claim in unison (Dean's obviously said it often), but Sam adds that Dean should stop saying that because it doesn't mean what he thinks it means.  Dean reflects for a moment, then says, "Yes, it does."  

Dean turns serious.  He's concerned that Sam's been spending so much time in his room.  He knows it's been hard, with Jack, with Rowena.  "Rowena knew what she was getting herself into," he states.  "Doesn't make it any easier," responds Sam.  Dean shoves an iPad across the table at him.  There's a case in Beaverdale, Iowa, that looks like their sort of thing:  a teenage girl's body has been found, drained of blood.  "You can handle it on your own," Sam says.  "No," Dean tells him.  "You and me.  We need this."  He leaves to get ready, and Sam takes a bite of the bacon only to spit it out in disgust.  "That's REAL BACON!" he exclaims.  "Damn right it is!" says Dean in the doorway.  "Meat man!" he points and exits.  

In front of Beaverdale High School, Sam, wearing suit and tie, is talking to the vice principal who says that the victim, Susie, was active in many clubs and was close to everyone.  There's a prayer vigil being put together in her memory.  Two intense parents approach the administrator; they're upset that the game has been rescheduled for Susie's memorial service.  "A football game?" Sam asks, barely hiding his annoyance.  "Lacross," the mother explains tersely.  They've arranged for a scout from Yale to be there.  If their son Billy doesn't get to play for him, "it'll be the end of the world."  "The end of the world is the end of the world," Sam tells them, frowning.  It barely registers with the disapproving parents, who leave, frustrated that the vice-principal hasn't acquiesced to their demands, the husband following his forceful wife.  

Sam joins Dean, who's eating pretzels leaning against Baby's hood.  He's been to the morgue.  He tosses a small container to Sam.  It's a fang - they're dealing with a vampire.  But since there are no defensive wounds, the attacker must have been someone Susie knew.  One problem:  Susie knew everyone.  The school mascot - a light brown beaver - passes them on an electric scooter.  "Awesome!" Dean approves.

That night, a cheerleader leaves the school.  She's talking on her phone, saying that another girl's sorrow over Susie is fake.  She's unlocking her car when something nearby rustles in the bushes, then rushes her.  She turns with a panicked scream. 

The Impala drives through a small town, then a rural countryside to arrive at the crime scene - yellow tape in a wooded area.  There's no blood which means the girl was killed elsewhere and her body was simply dumped here.  "They got no idea," Dean says, reflecting on the townspeople oblivious to the monster in their midst.  "That's our job," says Sam.  "We carry the weight."  They're the ones who deal with the monsters.  Dean tells him that when Sam was younger, he wanted to live in a town like this, lame, normal.  Sam, reflecting the annoyance he'd shown earlier when the parents  pushed their own agenda despite the death of a teenage girl, says, "They have no idea what's out there."  They're interrupted by a phone call:  the vice principal tells them there's been a second victim.

Outside a two-story gray house with a large front porch, two kids are eagerly jumping into an SUV.  Their dad, a tall man in a fishing vest, is about to get in when his wife approaches, reminding him to take seasickness pills for the kids.  It's Becky Rosen, now a competent and caring wife and mother.  The husband demurs that it's only Lake Michigan -- how sea sick can you get? -- but she insists.  He jokes about how she's looking forward to having the weekend to herself before driving away.  As the vehicle pulls away, Becky's eyes widen.  Chuck is standing on the other side of the street.  He gives her a little wave and a small but appealing smile.  Turning, she rapidly walks back to her house, but he follows, begging to talk to her.  "I don't have anywhere else to go."

Back at the school, the VP explains that another cheerleader, Tori, has disappeared.  "Someone has a fetish," Dean remarks, earning disapproving glances from the woman and his brother.

Chuck is in Becky's comfortably cluttered home, eyeing a couple miniature scenes, one of a black Impala in front of a gas station. Becky explains that she's on Etsy selling unofficial SPN miniatures.  "You're still obsessed," observes Chuck.  Becky explains that her devotion took her to a dark place - she shudders with regret over what she did to Sam - but then explains how she realized that she didn't love Sam Winchester.  She loved his character.  So she kept writing her own stories and posting them on fanfiction sites, stories without monsters but where the Winchesters did simple things like their laundry and talking.  "People like monsters," Chuck demurs.  "Like the leviathan!"  Becky keeps explaining her life, how writing fanfiction didn't pay the bills so she started making miniatures, while Chuck has difficulty letting go of how cool the Leviathan were with their big teeth and no lips.  On the fireplace mantle are bobbleheads of Sam, Dean, and Cas.  On the wall is a framed poster of a Supernatural Christmas. Chuck reveals that he's low on resources, his sister rejected him, and now he's stuck.  He needs his number one fan to make him feel big again.  "You want me to fluff you?" asks Becky, a bit incredulously.  "No," Chuck says defensively.  "You do!" Becky states.  "A nice big crank on your ego!"  But she's married now; she has a nice life.  She likes herself, and she doesn't need him.  Chuck looks down with a melancholy sigh.  "I know.  You don't need me.  No one does.  I'm happy for you.  I'm glad you like yourself.  I kind of hate me right now."  His eyes are sad and gentle.

"Really?" asks Becky, feeling sorry for the erstwhile prophet.  "I don't know what I'm doing," Chuck confesses.  "I feel so lost.  Becky gives a determined smile.  "What makes you happy?"  It doesn't take Chuck long to answer:  "Writing.  Creating."  "You have to write!" Becky tells him confidently.

Dean is talking to the Beaver mascot.  Sam snorts in amusement, but Dean says the kid is smart and has access to the cheerleaders.  He knows things.  He's told them that Susie was top cheerleader, then Tori.  So who's next in line?

In a tiny gymnasium, a memorial poster is displayed, Susan's smiling face as she poses in her cheerleading uniform.  A girl with long wavy dark hair reverently gives a rubber bracelet to a boy with a lacrosse stick in his backpack.  "I know you were close to Susie," the girl says softly.  "If there's anything you need --"  She's interrupted by the boy's mom, who orders him to come.  Her tone is just as peremptory, her forehead etched into lines of worry and control.  After Billy leaves with his mom, the girl stands at the podium in front of the folding chairs (an unbelievably small amount of them), practicing her speech about her friend Susie.  No, make that her BEST friend Susie.  She rhapsodizes about how Susie was as rare as a ghost orchi an as beautiful as a snowflake. She quotes Robert Frost and the Outsiders -- "Stay gold!" -- because that's what Susie was:  pure gold!  As she ends with practiced passion and sincerity, sarcastic clapping sounds from the doorway.  Sam and Dean, supposed federal agents, have been listening, and Dean is clapping sardonically.  "That's good stuff," he says, obviously insincere.  "Who are you?" she asks, appearing concerned when they say FBI.  Sam is hiding a syringe of dead man's blood behind his back when the Winchesters suddenly notice something:  "Do you have braces?"  The girl reaches toward her mouth self-consciously.  "Yeah?  So?"

Disgruntled, the Winchesters leave the school.  She couldn't be their vampire; the braces would have inhibited the fangs coming out.  Then Sam sees a camera in the school parking lot.  

Billy is arguing with his mom in the kitchen of their home.  He doesn't care about the lacross game.  He cares about Susie.  "Don't say her name!" snaps his mother.  Annoyed, she turns to her husband. "Talk to your son!'  "Listen to your mother," says his father, calmly.  "I need wine!" the mom declares irritably.  The dad crosses to the sink to wash his hands.  The water swirling down the drain is tinged red.  The camera moves through the house, jumping as if on time delay.  Hallway.  Living room.  Garage.  And in the garage, a body.  A girl, bound, gagged, blindfolded.  She struggles and tries to cry for help.

Chuck wants a stronger drink, but all Becky has is cranapple juice.  "I used to be able to see Sam and Dean in my head," says Chuck, "but now it's gone."  His hand unconsciously touches the bullet wound in his shoulder.  "A writer should write," Becky declares.  "You get sad and lost when you don't."  "What if I can't?" questions Chuck doubtfully.  Becky's eyes shine with determination.  "You can!!  Will you?"  She explains that she has experienced self-sabotage and doubts and the difficulties of time constraints, but she just has to write!  "Yeah!" Chuck exclaims, fired up.  He crosses to her table and sits down at her floral-covered laptop.  She begins to protest, but he shushes her and begins to type with a smile.

Sam and Dean are watching security footage.  They see Tori at the car; then a masked figure grabs her.  There's nothing else but a car driving by seconds later.  Sam backs up the tape, then zooms in on the license plate.

Billy and his parents are still arguing.  "We sacrificed everything for you!" they tell him.  "I never asked you to!" he insists.  "We want you to be happy," they tell him.  "What do you want?" asks his dad.  "I never wanted any of this!" declares Billy.  The doorbell rings.  Sam and Dean, in hunter gear, stand in the doorway.  "Wh- ?  Dad?" Billy begins.  "Get upstairs, Billy," says his dad.  In the garage, the girl is crying out, but the gag is muffling the sound.  Sam, hearing something, leaves to investigate.  The dad faces Dean with quiet earnestness:  "Leave my family out of it."  Dean asks, "You think we're here to arrest you?"  He pulls out the long blade of a machete.  "We're not FBI, and we know exactly what you are."  In the garage, Sam sees the supine body of the trussed up girl.  He helps her up, removing the bindings and the IV bag of blood attached to her, but suddenly the mom, cold-eyed and determined, appears in the doorway, pointing a gun at them.  "You shouldn't be here," she states.

Dean is still facing off with the dad in the living room when Sam enters, holding the girl in his arms, the mom behind them with the weapon trained on them.  "What are you doing?" asks the father.  "Saving this family!" declares his wife.  "They caught on!" the dad tells her.  "Get Billy and leave."  

In Becky's house, Becky, in reading glasses, is perusing Chuck's work as he paces nervously.  "Well?" he asks.  She smiles:  "It's so good!"  Chuck smiles cautiously.  Does she have any notes for him?  Becky hesitates, then says she has one note.  She then proceeds to list several problems with his story:  there's no jeopardy, no classic rock, no Cas, boring villains -- after all, a story is only as good as its villains.  Chuck may not be handling the constructive criticism well.  "You want jeopardy?  Danger?  Move!  I'll give you danger."  He sits back at the computer.  This times his eyes are cold, his smile more twisted.

"What's going on?" asks Billy.  "Dad's a vampire," Dean tells him, but Sam interrupts.  "No, you're not right.  It's the son."  Billy agrees.  He hadn't known.  He'd been with Susie in his truck.  They were kissing.  He'd heard her heart beat, and he couldn't help it.  He bit her neck, then succumbed to the blood lust and killed her.  He'd gone home and told his parents, and they proceeded to cover up for him.  "Awesome parenting," scoffs Sam.  "He was a victim!" declares Dad.  "You were going to let us chop off your head!" Dean says.  "You'd do anything for your family.  Die for them or kill for them."  The mom says everything will be fine.  They can kill them and bury them out back under the peonies.  "Mom, stop!" Billy demands.  He gently pushes the gun down.  "I just wanted him to have a normal life!" the mom cries.  "I can't," says Billy.  "I killed someone I loved.  I'll do it again.  I can't control this.  I'm a monster."  He wants them to take Tori to the hospital and tell the authorities that he kidnapped her, then ran away.  "Don't do this," says his dad.  Billy looks at the Winchesters.  "Then you and me go for a ride."  He gives a little smile.  "I'm sorry, mom.  It's the only way."  His mom weeps and gathers him into her arms.

Night.  A dark forest.  The Impale sits under the tall silent trees.  Billy kneels on the ground, Dean with a drawn blade behind him, Sam standing nearby.

Paramedics carefully roll Tori on a stretcher out to a waiting ambulance.  Billy's parents sit at their table and show his picture to police.

Billy's face scrunches a bit in anticipation as he kneels waiting in the darkness.  Dean swings the machete.  Fade to black.

In Becky's house, Chuck is smiling, but Becky is upset.  "No!  You can't!" she says.  "I did," Chuck states calmly.  "It's so dark!" she exclaims.  "But great!" says Chuck.  "Picture it.  Supernatural:  The End!  A grave stone - one word - Winchester.  Fans are gonna love it!"

"It's awful!  Horrible!  Hopeless!" insists Becky. "You can't do this to the fans! What you did to Dean!  To Sam!"  Her anxiety only makes Chuck smile more:  "It's making you FEEL something!" he says triumphantly.  

Outside, car doors slam signalling that Becky's family has returned.  "You have to leave!" she says.  "Please!"  Her husband enters, looks confused to find a strange man in his home.  Then Chuck casually snaps his fingers, and the man dissolves like sand or smoke.  Before Becky can register the horror, the sound of her children's voices approach.  Before they can enter, Chuck snaps his fingers again.  The voices disappear.  But Chuck is casual about it:  "They're just away!" he says calmly, then adds.  "I'm God."  Becky has fear in her eyes but fury as well.  "You bring them BACK!!!"  Chuck gives her a superior smile.  "You can't DO this!" she cries.  "Oh, Becky," he says condescendingly, "I can do anything."  He snaps his fingers and she dissolves.  "I'm a writer!"

Dean and Sam are driving in the Impala at night.  Dean says, "That was an interesting one."  "We'd have done the same thing for Jack if we had the chance," says Sam.  "yeah, we would," agrees Dean.  Behind the wheel, Dean grows contemplative:  "We've lost way too  much.  Sometimes you feel like cashing out.  I felt like that.  But YOU brought me back, saying that what we did still matters."  That was why he'd wanted them to work a case together, to save people, to stop a monster.  "We do ugly things so people can live happy."  They're going to keep doing the job, not for them but for Jack, for Mom, for Rowena.  They owe it to anyone who ever cared  about them.  "We're on our own," he adds, "We're finally free.  We can move on."

"I don't know if I can move on," Sam says with a worried crease in his brow.  "I still think about Jessica.  I can't let that go!  I don't feel free.  What we've done . . . what we've lost . . . sometimes I can't even breathe.  Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow."

"What if you don't?" asks Dean.

"I don't know," answers Sam.  He looks sadly out the window as the Impala drives on, the bluish-white rays of a street light shining down on her sleek metal.

Chuck sits at the table in Becky's house, still typing, still smiling.  "Oh, yeah!  This is gonna be good!" he declares.  Next to him, the Sam and Dean bobble heads sway back and forth, jolted by the determined pounding of his fingers on the keys.


I have so many things I'd love to talk about after tonight's episode!  Here are a few questions to start the discussion:  

  1. Why is Sam having such vivid dreams of himself with full demonic powers?
  2. Are the writers mocking themselves saying that their villains weren't worthy?  
  3. What horrible end do you think Chuck has written?  
  4. Why does Chuck think the fans will love it while Becky says that he can't do this to the fans?
  5. Why does Chuck downplay the death of Becky's husband and children by saying they're just away?  Does he plan to bring them back?  
  6. For a short time, Chuck seems harmless and pitiable, but then he reverted to an empathy-lacking writing amusing himself with his creativity.  Is he just that good of an actor?  Are his mood swings that extreme?
  7. Billy states he's a monster.  How does his experience reflect Sam's?
  8. We know that Sam and Dean would die for each other and that they would kill for each other, though they kill in self-defense, against those who threaten their lives.  Tonight, they stated that, for Jack, they would do the same thing that Billy's parents did.  What is your reaction to that?
      Bonus question:  What does the title "Atomic Monsters" mean?

Let's Speculate!

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!