We gave it a B+
Dean Winchester is a simple man. The list of things he loves is fairly short, and it includes his brother, pie, bacon cheeseburgers, beer, and cowboys. And after the first episodes of season 13 found Dean in a dark, hopeless place, it was time to give him something to be happy about, and this week did just that by giving him Castiel back…and then sending him to Dodge City, Kansas.
Dodge City is actually where the episode begins, as Dean and some guy we’ve never met are clearly hunting something in a cemetery. But things take a turn when the aforementioned stranger gets pulled into the ground. Aaaaaaaand we flash back to the alley where we ended last week!
Dean and Sam are standing in front of Castiel, and needless to say, they’re very confused. Castiel explains that he was dead, “but then I annoyed an ancient cosmic being so much that he sent me back.” And because they’ve heard far stranger things — and because they want this to be true — the Winchesters accept the explanation and welcome Cas home with a couple of hugs. Cas then continues the update, letting them know that he was sleeping in the Empty until he heard someone say his name. He had assumed Sam and Dean had done something, and that’s when Sam gets an idea: It must’ve been Jack.
Speaking of Jack, the boys take Castiel back to the bunker and introduce him to Lucifer’s son, who, by the way, is also very confused. Sam asks Jack if he brought Cas back, but the toddler/teen isn’t sure. All he knows is that he wanted Cas to return. So…maybe?
Jack gives Cas a hug before showing him just how well he’s been doing. So far, he’s learned how to levitate a pencil AND use a computer. In fact, he’s found the guys a case that’s likely a grave robbery but that Jack is really hoping is zombies. (Spoiler: It’s neither.) When Dean hears that the case is in Dodge City, Kansas, he’s all in. As he puts it, “Dodge City’s kind of awesome.”
So with that, Team Free Will 2.0, as Dean calls them, is headed to Kansas, where they stay at the Stampede Motel, a place that could also be known as “Dean’s heaven.” Not only is he carrying what’s definitely the most luggage he’s ever brought on any trip ever — that cowboy life isn’t easy — but he’s walking around the room and marveling at photos of the world’s greatest gunfighters like he’s a kid in a candy store. As he later tells Sam, he needed a win, and getting Castiel back is a “pretty damn big win.”
Once Dean’s excitement calms down, the Winchesters go to bed while Jack and Cas take advantage of the fact that they don’t sleep (or Jack only sleeps a little) to catch up. Jack quickly realizes why his mother trusted Castiel. As for Jack, he remembers feeling safe with Cas. Cas reminds him that his mother thought he’d change the world for the better, and now, having met Jack, Castiel knows she was right.
Their conversation is interrupted when Jack sees an alert about another victim — and this one’s a cop. Super excited about his finding, Jack runs in to wake Dean up, a mistake he will only make once, because Dean is the kind of person who hates mornings and sleeps with a gun under his pillow. (Gun aside, I find morning Dean VERY relatable considering his first full sentence is “Who’s making me coffee?”)
Over said coffee, the guys come up with a plan: Cas and Dean will head to the crime scene (once Dean’s fully awake), and Sam and Jack will check out the graveyard.
First up, Castiel and Dean do their best to fit in, which means Dean is in a full-blown cowboy getup, and Castiel is wearing a cowboy hat with his trench coat and doing his best impression of Kurt Russell in Tombstone. Although, when Dean picks Agent Russell as his name, Cas is forced to think quickly, which we all know isn’t his strong suit. His choice? “Val Kilmer.” The full name. Thankfully, Sergeant Phillips over here doesn’t seem too suspicious. He tells the “Texas Rangers” that the victim — his nephew — had his throat slit. (Recap continues on page 2)