Sam and Dean risk everything to escape the U.S. government
First Blood
Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW
Devil's Bargain

I’d like to welcome you all to the first Supernatural episode of 2017, which also happens to be the show’s 250th! And to generally sum up my feelings about it: I really, really liked it.

To refresh your memories, 2016 ended with Castiel losing Kelly, otherwise known as the woman carrying Lucifer’s baby, and Sam and Dean being arrested for an attempted assassination on the president. (In their defense, Lucifer had inhabited the president’s body.)

Now, we pick up with a member of the FBI updating some “big shot anti-terrorism” guy about the Winchesters, the accusations against them, the fact that they were on the FBI’s Most Wanted list in 2011, and just general highlights from their time on earth. It’s here that we learn Kelly is still nowhere to be found, and as far as this anti-terrorism big shot is concerned, Sam and Dean are not to be harmed. He believes they could be involved in a larger group, which means they’re to be interrogated.

No, we’re not talking about torture, because quite frankly, what haven’t these two already been through? Instead, they’re going to do the one thing that could potentially break Sam and Dean: leave them completely and utterly alone. With each brother in solitary, they have no one to talk to, nothing but horrible food to eat — Dean deals better with Sam in that department — and no hope of getting out.

So while Dean uses a loose screw from his bed frame to tally the number of days they’re kept in this new, very grey version of hell, Mick Davies, a member of the British Men of Letters, is using some kind of super cool typewriter to update his bosses overseas. It seems he’s having trouble connecting with American hunters. As much as he promises them a “new, better world,” they don’t like the idea of being told what to do. In other words, American hunters are “difficult,” which I’d say is an understatement.

When Castiel finally updates Mary on the situation, she says the one thing we all wanted to yell when it happened: “You left them?!” Yeah, it wasn’t a smart move. And now, they’re left to find a way to help without knowing where the boys have been taken. More bad news? Crowley isn’t interested in lending a hand. The way he puts it, “Sam and Dean, they’re like herpes: Just when you think they’re gone, hello, the boys are back!” So Crowley doesn’t seem too concerned with their whereabouts.

To pass the time, Mary gets back to hunting, even finishing jobs that Castiel can’t bring himself to complete. Poor Cas is crumbling under the weight of his mistakes, counting down to the hour just how long the boys have been gone. Currently, it’s at 6 weeks, 2 days, and 10 hours. That’s 6 weeks, 2 days, and 10 hours of working out, eating absolutely nothing green, and sleeping. At least until they die. Wait, what?

When the guard goes to deliver lunch one day, he realizes that Sam has passed out. Correction: He’s dead. And so is Dean. How? Well, that’s to be determined, but all we know is that the boys are currently lying at the morgue… not breathing.

NEXT: The Winchesters pull a Home Alone

Don’t worry: Moments later, they both wake up gasping for air. As I’m sure we all suspected, Sam and Dean manage to find their way out of the top secret facility where they’re being kept. After stealing the medical examiner’s phone, Dean manages to call Castiel, whose voicemail message is magical: “This is my voicemail, make your voice … a mail.”

But eventually, Cas picks up, and Sam and Dean figure out that they’re at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Leaving the phone behind so that they can’t be tracked, they tell Cas to meet them along the highway. From there, Castiel picks up Mary, and the two of them find backup in the form of the British Men of Letters, who use thermal imaging from a satellite to locate Sam and Dean.

Meanwhile, the Winchesters are being hunted by seven men who, inevitably, catch up to them. But Sam and Dean aren’t going down without a fight. Sure, they’re used to fighting supernatural entities, but every now and then they take on humans. In this case, they take out one guard and steal his radio, but when the FBI leader informs the boys that they’re trapped, Dean simply responds, “What we have here is a failure to communicate. We’re not trapped out here with you. You’re trapped out here with us.” TALK ABOUT A MIC DROP.

Finding an old abandoned house, Sam and Dean pull an adult Home Alone and create traps everywhere they can. Sam takes out one agent by shooting up from under the floorboards while Dean lurks around outside. Eventually, Dean gets the FBI leader in a bear trap, and Sam pulls a gun on the last man standing. In the hopes that these gentlemen can actually, you know, handle the truth, Sam tells them: “The president was possessed by the devil. We saved his life.” They can either accept that, or they can keep coming after Sam and Dean. As for who Sam and Dean are? Well, as Sam puts it, “We’re the guys who saved the world.” Seriously, these two are on fire tonight!

Castiel and Mary are waiting for Sam and Dean in the woods, along with the British Men of Letters, who can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that Sam and Dean left survivors. But right now, all Sam and Dean want is to get home.

But when the clock strikes midnight, Mary’s car shuts down and Billie shows up. Apparently, when Dean couldn’t take the cell anymore, he called Billie, and she brokered a deal with both brothers. They both got to die and come back one more time, but in exchange, come midnight, a Winchester dies permanently. (And apparently that was going to be Dean?)

But Mary isn’t going to let that happen. She volunteers herself and even puts a gun to her head, but before she can pull the trigger, Castiel kills Billie with an angel blade (despite the fact that Billie warned that not following through on their deal would have consequences on a “cosmic scale”).

In a very emotional moment from Castiel, which feels incredibly earned at this point, Castiel tells them: “This sad doomed little world, it needs you. It needs every last Winchester it can get.” Cas isn’t going to let any of them sacrifice themselves because “you mean too much to me, to everything.” It was a stupid deal, so Castiel broke it, and that’s the end of that… for now.

The episode concludes with Mr. Ketch tying up all loose ends at the U.S. government, which roughly translates to killing everyone who knew anything about this mess, as Mick finally makes some progress with American hunters when Mary decides to hear him out.


Altogether, this hour was once again something different for the show. The way the action unfolded felt more like a mini action movie than an episode of Supernatural, and it worked. Yes, we’re used to seeing the Winchesters fight on this show, but this time, they weren’t facing ghosts. They were facing real, trained soldiers. They’re always badass, but this was a new level. And once again, I’m amazed at the versatility of the Winchester story.

Plus, I’m always here for an emotional Castiel moment. Always.

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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