Crowley has a nasty stabby nightmare and is comforted by his mother, Rowena. Crowley seems to have become a puddle this season – remember when he was the big bad? She tries to be super saccharine and Crowley rejects her (with an unnecessary “bitch” thrown in). It seems it’s probably her magic driving him to nightmares.
She keeps trying to play the doting mother to Crowley and he continues to not buy it (though we do see Crowley rather foolishly willing to sign anything his lackey Guthrie tells him to) since she’d abandoned him for 300 years.
At the Winchester cave, Dean is staring into space and having major demon issues since the Mark took over again last episode.
Castiel has joined them at the cave though he’s concerned about the ongoing problems with his host’s daughter, Claire. They both also think Dean was way out of line last episode but hurriedly fall silent when he arrives- but he agrees with them. It was a completely unnecessary massacre (personally, I’m of the belief that it was a quite acceptable massacre given the givens, but also that Dean being one trigger away from random massacres is a bad thing) and he wants rid of the Mark.
Which is easier said than done – the only source that may contain the information to remove it is the Demon Tablet. Which they don’t have.
What Heaven has is the one who transcribed the tablets. Oh this is a bad idea – yes, Castiel gets fellow angel Ingrid to bring him Metatron who they lock up in the Winchester cave and catch up on Dean being all marky and dangerous.
Metatron is immensely smug and very annoying and Dean threatens lots of brutal violence. But he does promise to help- but they’ll need the First Blade.
Sam is not a fan of bringing the blade anywhere remotely close to Dean since he just unleashed a massacre without it. He argues with Dean who, both worryingly and sensibly, points out that if they weren’t going to try what Metratron suggests, why bother? So they call Crowley (which means he leaves Rowena unattended to work magical mayhem to spy on the whole conversation)
Crowley does not want to bring the blade back because Dean + first Blade = dead demons and dead him. Sam and Dean, for some reason, argue for a lower bodycount (is Crowley supposed to care?) and that removing the Mark forever means that threat is gone forever (better excuse) and he reveals where the blade is – stashed with his bones, in Guam.
Rowena plots to use this knowledge in ways that will not end well. When Crowley goes to get the Blade, it has already been taken.
In Hell, Rowena stabs lackie Guthrie and when Crowley catches her red handed she claims he was a traitor – Crowley doesn’t believe it but she puts together her seering with Guthrie carrying the Blade and the nightmare/vision she spelled on Crowley to convince him. Oh, she’s good.
Of course, Crowley isn’t just going to give the Blade to Dean because of the whole murdering demons thing; first he needs some answers from Metatron. But Metatron has decided to start bargaining. Time for Evil!Dean to play. Starting with a mutual judging of bad deeds before Dean gets all punchy though Metatron warns him he’s just becoming more enthralled to the mark. Metatron continues to taunt him with the many many many many bad things Dean has done.
Then Dean pulls out the angel blade do some cutting, his Mark of Cain glowing on his arm while, ominously, Metatron says “the river ends at the source.” – with Sam and Castiel locked outside. Well Sam anyway, Castiel blows the door open; he is an angel after all. Sam drags Dean away and Castiel has to take Metatron back – he promised Metatron would be unharmed.
Afterwards, again, Sam tries to justify his intervention to Dean and, again, Dean says he doesn’t have to. He knew he was going to kill Metatron and he couldn’t stop. Sam considers another tactic – Cain lived with the Mark for a long time and wasn’t controlled by it so Dean has to learn how to.
Castiel also returns to his hotel to find Claire packing to leave because she really doesn’t want to hang around with the guy wearing her dead dad’s body. She also doesn’t like that Dean killed Randy who was the closest thing she had to what she viewed as family (yes, it’s a terrible family but that speaks more about her life than anything else). Of course, Castiel defends Dean which wins him no brownie points.
Claire runs off and finds some new friends while Castiel obsessively calls her. Proving he can make everything worse, Castiel encourages Dean to speak to her because… reasons. Also Castiel likes texting. Claire’s new friends offer to take care of Dean for her. Yeah, not going to end well. She calls Dean to a meeting
Her new friends try to ambush him – and Claire screams a warning. Of course, Dean easily puts both of them on the floor but when he picks up an axe, Claire screams “no” again- and Dean chops a park bench not his attackers.
Claire walks off alone – and Castiel finds Claire – having picked up on her longing. She makes her peace with him and promises to call him, but she still needs to be apart from him.
I wonder if Claire will be a feature in the future? I think her reconciliation with Castiel was too neat but also appreciated that she didn’t want to hang around him even if she isn’t rejecting him. No matter what else he is or what he did, he still managed to tear her family life apart and with the best will in the world, he’s still wearing her dad’s body. That simply can’t be an easy thing to be around – to see her father over and over but it not actually be him? And that’s aside from him stepping into a responsibility role he has no right to. Even without a grudge, I can understand the need for distance.
This is a different twist on Dean from much we’ve seen before – his open acceptance of a problem. Sure we’ve had denial in the season but it hasn’t taken a complete emotional break down. Of course, the contrast is that Dean has a complete responsibility dodge – he can accept a problem while, ultimately, not accepting blame; it’s the Mark and the Mark is a problem. Still, it means him actually asking for help which is a new direction for him – as seen by Sam constantly feeling the need to apologise for helping.