Liane Hentscher/The CW
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S10 E9
March 31, 2015 at 02:49 PM EDT

Well, for all of you who were bummed that the Demon Dean story didn’t last longer, I have good and bad news. The good news is that Dean’s dark side is still very much alive. In fact, it’s probably more dangerous than ever. The bad news is that, unlike Demon Dean, this “darker Dean” doesn’t appear to have as much of an interest in karaoke.

But oddly enough, dark Dean was only a minor part of this midseason finale. Instead, we got an hour that was much more focused on Castiel, Crowley, and well, parenting, which isn’t something the show usually delves into. Then again, the show doesn’t usually delve into the millions of humans affected by supernatural beings, so tonight was all about trying new things. And you know what? It worked. Let’s get to it!

We start in Dean’s dream, where he’s very dirty, very bloody, and most of all, very murderous. Kneeling in a room with a knife in his hand, Dean has clearly killed everyone within 20 feet of him. But it’s just a dream, right? Well, stay tuned.

Because Dean isn’t the main focus of the hour, let’s move to Castiel’s quest to do right by his vessel, Jimmy Novak. And step one of that process involves finding Jimmy’s daughter, Claire, who is currently spending 48 hours in isolation at a group home. Yeah, it looks about as fun as it sounds. But Cas showing up doesn’t exactly help things. Sure, he gives Claire some clarity: Her father’s body was ripped apart on a subatomic level by an archangel and therefore, Jimmy’s currently hanging out in heaven. But things only go south from there.

Claire reveals that her mother left her a few months after her father and when her grandmother died, she was given to a group home. So what can Cas do now? Free her from this “child prison,” of course. However, we all know that the only thing Cas is worse at than wearing a tie properly is lying, and the group home supervisor figures that out fast. She somehow sees past his charm—and bed bug joke—and denies his application.

Plan B? Cas breaks Claire out, after which they share a meal. Once she’s free, Claire tells Cas that he seems nicer now, less stuck up than he used to be. That probably has something to do with the fact that he finally realized, “There is no righteous path. It’s just people trying to do their best in a world where it’s far too easy to do your worst.” Yeah, that angel can be quite poetic at times. Too bad his poetry isn’t enough for Claire, who steals his wallet and runs at the first chance she gets. Question: Has there ever been a sadder sight then the lone teenage magazine on the counter? Cas tried!

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So with a fake daughter on the run, Cas interrupts Dean’s viewing of The Three Stooges to ask for help. And even though Dean doesn’t consider this an emergency—Apocalypse: Take Three? Now that’s an emergency—they agree to help. Sam heads to the group home while Dean and Cas catch up. Inside, Dean tells Cas that ketchup is in fact a vegetable, and Cas tells Dean that he is in fact a role model. But when Cas bring up the Mark of Cain, Dean makes him promise to take him out if he goes darkside again. “I can’t go down that road again,” he says. “I can’t be that thing again.” But because they don’t shake on it, I’m saying the promise doesn’t count. Right?!

Sidenote: Let’s be real: No chick has ever bolted on Sam on a Friday night.

NEXT: Hello, Dark Dean

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Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as the Winchester brothers, hellbent on battling the paranormal forces of evil.
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