Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


'Supernatural' recap: 'The Executioner's Song'

The return of Cain headlines a heartbreaking hour, which reveals Dean’s fate and delivers deadly results.

Posted on

Liane Hentscher/The CW


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki
The CW, WB
Sci-fi, Drama

Supernatural was at its best when we were dealing with the Biblical story of two brothers—Michael and Lucifer—and how they affected our beloved Winchesters, who were destined to serve as the vessels for Michael and Lucifer’s big battle. So when the show first introduced Cain, it seemed like yet another opportunity watch how a Biblical brother tale would affect Sam and Dean. And tonight, that finally paid off when Cain returned, setting things in motion for what he claims is Dean’s inevitable end. (Then again, these are the same guys who stopped the apocalypse, so…)

We start on death row—naturally—where one cell mate, Tommy, is particularly mouthy with a guard. That is, until the Father of Murder enters, stabs Tommy, and they both disappear. And that would be Sam and Dean’s cue.

Heading to the jail to check out the disappearing act, Dean is busy quizzing Sam on his vast knowledge of serial killer stats—what, did you expect these guys to have normal hobbies?—before a security guard shows them the footage from Tommy’s abduction. Dean instantly knows who he’s looking at, which means Cas can stop torturing demons: We’ve found Cain.

Meanwhile, in Hell, Crowley is busy playing video games (?) and holding court. But what is it they always say about allowing your mother into Hell’s courtroom? Oh, that’s right—don’t. Let’s just say that Crowley suddenly finds himself playing a game of What Would Rowena Do and chopping demons in half when all they asked for was a little promotion. Of course, it’s not long until Rowena reveals a bit more of her plan: With the Grand Coven witch who led the charge against her back in the states, Rowena wants to use Crowley’s resources to strike. But this time, Crowley’s not playing along. He’s known about her manipulation all along. Her response? “Of course I was manipulating you. I am your mother, after all!” But Crowley doesn’t appreciate the honesty. Instead, he walks away from his dear old mom for now.

Back on solid ground, the Winchester brothers try to track down Cain when Cas finds him in Illinois … where he also finds Cain’s mass graveyard. According to Cain, he’s cleaning up the mess he made a long time ago. Apparently, when Abaddon’s Army came after him, the Mark’s hunger for blood was triggered once again. So Cain came up with a plan: If the Mark wants blood, he’ll give it his own. In other words, he’s killing all of his descendants, some of whom are killers, others of whom aren’t. And yes, that means he’ll get to Dean eventually.

Back at the bunker, Cas updates the Winchesters, where Sam discovers that Cain’s next victim is going to be a 12-year-old boy named Austin. So how do they stop him? Simple: Dean is going to kill him, even if it means he doesn’t come back from the fight. With that, “Not Moose” calls Crowley to request the Blade. And as soon as Crowley hears that his name is on Cain’s hit list—clearly a lie—he leaves Rowena behind to deal with the much more pressing matter.

Once in Ohio, the men devise a plan: First they have to capture Cain, and then Dean has to kill him—on his own, so as not to put anyone else at risk. Cue heartbreaking moment number one, in which Dean admits that he was telling the truth when he said he’d go down swinging… but he didn’t expect it to be so soon. And then there’s this: “I’m scared, Sam.” I don’t want to talk about it.

When Cain shows up, Castiel steps in front of the boy, but all Cas’ angel power does is provide Cain with a Beyoncé-esque fan for his beautiful hair. So after he pushes Cas aside, Cain finally comes face-to-face with Sam, who is definitely experiencing some hair envy—probably the only man worthy of it when it comes to Sam. But it’s only a matter of seconds before Cain discovers that the boy was merely one of Crowley’s illusions. And now, Cain is trapped. 

NEXT: Dean vs. Cain