Sam's attempts to rid Dean of the Mark of Cain finally come to a head ... and things get dark.
Credit: Katie Yu/The CW
Devil's Bargain
S10 E23
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“She’s all yours” might very well be the saddest words in the history of Supernatural—a.k.a. Save My Brother or Die Trying—because the moment that Dean gives up Baby is the moment that you know he’s given up all hope. And yet, that was only one of the memorable moments in tonight’s beast of a finale, which once again did the thing that this show does best: Put a Supernatural twist on a Biblical story. And I don’t know about you all. but watching the arrival of The Darkness—which was sort of Sam’s fault for making Rowena do the spell—took me right back to Sam letting Lucifer out of his cage. And that twist ended up giving us season 5, a.k.a. my favorite of the series. So if The Darkness is anything like Lucifer, I’m in.

Let’s get to it!

We start with Sam in the bunker, where he’s busy leaving Dean voicemails, building fancy bullets, and convincing Castiel that no matter the consequences, “We save Dean.” With that, the two of them meet up with Rowena, who offers to do the spell to remove the Mark in exchange for her freedom. Oh, and she also wants the codex … because THAT is a good idea.

But Sam really is willing to do whatever it takes, so he agrees. From there, we learn that the spell has three ingredients:

1. The forbidden fruit—otherwise known as THE apple from Adam and Eve.

2. The Golden Calf, which they previously destroyed.

3. And Rowena’s heart, or rather, something she loves. And although she claims not to love anyone or anything, Cas sees inside her mind and discovers that she once loved a Polish boy named Oscar when, 300 years ago, Oscar’s family took her in and showed her kindness.

Meanwhile, as Sam tries to find a way to save his brother, Dean is in Nebraska, drinking himself into a stupor and being incredibly blunt with those around him. And who’s around him? Hunter friend Rudy, who found a vamp case and called Dean. Only, when Rudy discovers that Dean isn’t exactly himself, he gives Sam a heads up, and he does it just in time too: By the time Dean gets to the vampire nest, Rudy’s being held as leverage, and well, Dean doesn’t care much for leverage. Let’s just say Dean doesn’t do anything to prevent Rudy’s death, and that will be the thing that sends him over the edge.

Leaving Castiel with some of Dean’s hair—which he got how?—Sam chases after his brother. But by the time he finds Dean’s trashed motel room, he also finds the world’s most heartbreaking note. Sitting under Baby’s keys, Dean has written, “She’s all yours.” NOOOOOOOO.

Dean then heads off to summon Death and ply the lovely foodie with queso and taquitos. Why? Because Dean wants Death to do what he does best—kill him. (Also, can we talk about how Death is a foodie? Because it might be my favorite thing this show has ever done.)

Death tells Dean that, thanks to the Mark of Cain, killing Dean is impossible. However, it is possible to get rid of the Mark. And here’s where we get to the fun stuff. Remember how your Sunday school teacher said God created the earth out of nothing? Well, as Dean puts is: “Genesis is a lie? Shocker.”

Turns out, before the earth, there was just the Darkness. And God fought alongside his arch angels in a war to push back the Darkness. When God locked the Darkness away, he used the Mark of Cain as the lock and key to hold the door shut, and therefore the Darkness back. God then entrusted the Mark to his most trusted soldier, Lucifer. But when the Mark revealed itself to be a curse and began to corrupt Lucifer, Lucifer was banished to Hell, where he passed the Mark to Cain. And now, Dean has it.

Yes, Death could remove it, but only if Dean agrees to share the Mark with someone new so that the lock remains unbroken and the Darkness remains bound. Death then offers to relocate Dean off the earth, still alive but no longer a danger to himself or others. So, does that mean Dean would go to another planet? Well, that’s Sam’s first question when Dean calls him and says the second heart-shattering thing of the hour: “Brother, I’m done. Grab a pen. It’s time to say goodbye.” I repeat my sentiment from earlier: NOOOOOO.

NEXT: So. much. darkness.

Before we get to the Winchester showdown, let’s check back in on Castiel, who has summoned Crowley–he couldn’t call because Crowley isn’t in his “contacts list”—to ask for help getting the three ingredients needed for the spell. Fun twist: The forbidden fruit that they need is actually a quince, not an apple. And Crowley is all over it.

In fact, he heads straight for the diner where we saw him in the last episode. Turns out, waiter boy is the key to everything. See, when Rowena was taken in by that Polish family, the young boy, Oscar, was terminally ill. So to thank them for their kindness, she cured the boy and cast a spell that would make him immortal once he was full grown. Everyone, meet Oscar.

By the time Rowena realizes that Crowley has found her weakness, she can’t believe her son’s cruelty. But she does what she has to do. She kills Oscar for the good of the spell.

But Sam and Dean don’t know that. Instead, Dean—who drove a Ford Fusion to his meeting with Death?! He really has given up—is currently moving forward with his plan to have Death send him into outerspace or whatever. My favorite part of this scene: Sam asking what the hell the Darkness is and Dean saying, “What does it sound like? Does it sound like a good thing?” #fair

And although death might not be Dean’s way out, it is Sam’s, and Dean has effectively traded his brother’s life to make this deal. Because as Death sees it, even if he removes Dean from the playing field, Sammy will spend the rest of his days trying to free his brother of the Mark. And if Dean is freed of the Mark, the Darkness is freed from its cage. So in order for Death to help Dean, Dean must first kill Sam. (It’s all the Winchesters or nothing, basically.)

This is the part where I cry as Dean tries to convince Sam that they’re just as evil as the things they hunt, but Sam won’t give in. As Sam puts it, the very fact that Dean summoned Death in order to make sure that he wouldn’t hurt anyone else makes him a good man. But when Dean refuses to hear what his brother has to say, Sam tries another method: his fists.

Of course, thanks to the Mark of Cain strength, Dean comes out the victor. Sam still won’t admit that Dean is evil—he’ll never say that Dean is anything but good—but Sam admits that his brother has to be stopped. So he tells Death to do it. Sam tells Death to kill him.

In the third highly upsetting moment of the hour, Dean, taking Death’s sythe in his hands, tells his baby brother to close his tear-filled eyes. As he utters, “Sammy, close your eyes,” a part of me dies. But before Sam does, he gives Dean the old family photos of them with their mom and tells him that, maybe one day, when Dean finds his way back, these photos can serve as his guide, as his reminder to what it was to be good and to love. Dean then holds Death’s sythe, swings it, misses Sam, and sticks it in Death’s chest. Death then crumbles.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?! HOW DO YOU KILL DEATH?! (And how did Sam’s tear just zigzag down his face?!)

I love Dean’s response when Sam asks how he is: “I think I just killed Death.” Yeah, so it’s safe to say we’re all confused about that one. But believe it or not, there’s a bigger issue at hand. When Rowena completes the spell, not only does she use her new power to sick a bleeding-from-the-eyes Cas on Crowley—who can’t move to run or defend himself—but she also opens the door to the Darkness. And within moments, the Darkness has landed, looking much like a huge group of demon smoke.

In the hour’s final moments, Dean backs Baby into a hole, leaving Sam and Dean trapped as they’re enveloped by the Darkness.

So not only do we potentially have the biggest bad of all-time on our hands, but we’ve also got Rowena running at full power with the Book of the Damned, and the question of whether Crowley survived Castiel’s angel blade. Yep, that’s how you end a season.

Episode Recaps

Devil's Bargain

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

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