Cas learns the truth about his grace, Sam captures Dean, and Crowley runs off with the First Blade.

By Samantha Highfill
Updated March 31, 2015 at 02:52 PM EDT
Diyah Pera/The CW

Supernatural lives and dies on the relationship between the Winchester brothers. That’s not to say that they need to be on good terms for the show to be good. In fact, some of the show’s greatest moments have come out of disagreements or one brother trying to save the other from himself. And despite a slow start to the hour, the Demon Dean story line seems to be building to yet another epic moment of brotherly love. No, it didn’t happen in this hour, which felt more like set-up for what’s to come than anything else, but by the end of it, the Winchester brothers were back in the same room, and of course, back in the Impala. From here, things can only get darker and more interesting.

We start the hour with Cole’s backstory, which takes us to June 21, 2003, where a 13-year-old Cole wakes up to find that his father has been murdered by Dean. (Major props to the makeup and wardrobe team for re-creating young Dean and his clunky leather jacket!) We’re not sure why Dean killed Cole’s father, but Cole doesn’t care. He’s spent his whole life preparing for his revenge on Dean Winchester. Step one of that revenge plan involves beating up Sam for information and nearly going full Gone Girl on the poor guy with a ball peen hammer.

But when Cole gets a family phone call, Sam—who’s always been very stealth despite his 6-foot-4 frame—escapes, grabs the first old truck he can find, and calls Cas for help. After finding out Dean is a demon, Cas immediately agrees to meet up with Sam to find Dean but gets a little sidetracked when he falls asleep behind the wheel and he and Hannah end up having to hang out at a mechanic’s home while the car is fixed. If there’s ever a time when Cas needs his grace to zap himself somewhere, it’s now. Instead, he’s talking about dreams with the mechanic’s small child.

[Sidenote: This mechanic definitely just let strangers into her home with her small child… while she ran errands. Sure, they’re angels, but there’s no way she knew that.]

After Cas and Hannah get back on the road, and he falls asleep again, Hannah takes the sandbox to heaven to ask Metatron for a favor. And yes, Metatron, the angel, is in a straightjacket because this show’s amazing. According to last season’s big bad, he does have a little of Cas’ grace, and he’d happily hand it over for, you know, his freedom. Hannah, who’s clearly the Anastasia Steele of his Fifty Shades-esque reference, nearly accepts the deal before Cas interrupts. He’s resigned to his fate and he won’t allow Metatron to escape. It’s probably a good call, though I do hope they visit Metatron more, if only to hear him call Cas “Asstiel.” Oh those angels and their “insults.”

Back on earth, Dean is enjoying a strip club until they tell him he can’t touch. I have to be honest here: That stripper has some serious restraint because Dean in denim with that hair? It should be illegal. Also, the kids calling Dean “grandpa” is probably the most unrealistic thing this show’s ever done. (And this show had Leviathans.)

Outside the strip club, Crowley catches up with Dean and the duo goes for a drink. Again, the (sometimes literal) devil’s in the details, such as the pitchfork in Crowley’s drink. Well done, guys. Well done.

But pitchforks aside, Crowley informs Dean that he needs to kill or else he will snap eventually. So why not help out the crossroads demon and kill a cheating wife to get Crowley a soul, right? Right… sort of. Dean agrees to kill the cheating wife when the ex-husband shows up and makes the mistake of admitting to cheating first and then calling Dean a “freak” who works for him now. Yeah, Dean kills the man, therefore costing Crowley a soul, something the king isn’t too happy about.

NEXT: Winchesters United

According to Crowley, Dean killing the husband shows a bit too much humanity, and after ordering Dean to pick a side—human or demon—the duo breaks up. That’s right. The Misadventures of Crowley and Squirrel are no more. That is unless you count Crowley ratting out Dean to Sam as a new chapter. In a typical post-breakup ritual, Crowley dumps Dean off on Sam. He’s his problem now. And apparently, Sam’s problem has taken Crowley’s words to heart.

Sam finds Dean playing a little piano at a bar and pondering what Crowley said. And in the Winchester moment we’ve all been waiting for, Sam’s heartbreaking face says it all. That’s his big brother, black eyes or not.

Although Dean says he doesn’t want to be cured, Sam—and his hair that could really be longer, no?—informs him that he’s here to take him home. Sadly, the interaction is interrupted by the little hunter who could, who knocks Sam out and finally gets to face off with Dean in what is definitely the best few minutes of the episode. Watching Cole kill himself to try and get to Dean—and Dean not even remotely taking him seriously—is nothing if not fun. And to top it all off, Dean makes a Princess Bride reference and all is right in the world.

[Confession: I screamed “Not the face!” when Cole cut Dean, even though I knew he’d heal.]

However, Dean doesn’t kill Cole. Instead, he lets him go, and in doing so, gives Sam enough time to grab some holy water and some handcuffs and throw Dean in the backseat(!) of the car he no longer calls his baby. From there, Sam drives to meet Crowley and hands over the First Blade, which Crowley claims he wants for safety. Oh, and then he makes a Sex and the City reference. See, pop culture is relevant no matter the situation!

With that, Cole is off to figure out how to fight a demon—once he stops rudely bleeding on all the public library books—and Sam is taking Dean home. In the “just a car”—gasp!—ride home, Sam tries to say that letting Cole live had to do with Dean’s humanity, but Dean makes it pretty clear that letting Cole live with his loss after a lifetime of preparation was the worst thing Dean could’ve done to him. And then, Dean does the thing we’ve all been dreading: He threatens Sam, even while calling him “Sammy.” That is how messed up things have gotten.

And just like that, another hour has passed. It might not go down as a particularly memorable episode, but it accomplished a fair amount, and it had its moments. Now, I’m going to go try to figure out where exactly Cas’ grace is—in Metatron?—while also making that picture of Crowley and Dean in cowboy hats my new desktop background.