Mary meets Bobby, Sam and Dean bid farewell to another prophet, and Cas embraces his roots
Good Intentions
Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW
Devil's Bargain
S13 E14
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Well, this is a side of Castiel we haven’t seen in a while. The celestial soldier’s back, and he’s through with waiting.

But first, to Apocalypse World, where Zachariah’s torturing Jack with visions of his powers failing as Sam and Dean beg for their lives and burn to death. As upsetting as this is, it’s not enough to break Jack. This frustrates Michael, who wants the “half-breed” to open a rift big enough to let his army pass through.

Zachariah then tries a kinder approach, summoning a version of Castiel to convince Jack that humans are dangerous and the Winchesters brainwashed him to fear his powers. But this approach fails, too, so Michael tosses Jack into a cell with Mary Winchester.

Gotta say, Mary looks pretty good, all torture considered. She recognizes Jack, although she’s confused that he’s not six months old, then wilts when he tells her that Sam and Dean aren’t there with him. Because Michael’s been in her head, she knows about his plans to march his angels to her Earth and warns Jack that Michael wants the two of them to bond so he can torture her to secure Jack’s compliance.

When they both complain about perpetual headaches, Mary suggests that the prison is so well warded even humans can feel it. She ushers Jack to the one spot in her cell where her migraines recede, suggesting that he might be able to use his powers in a weak spot in the ward.

Conveniently, it’s right in front of a barred window. Jack taps into his powers, and they escape with Zachariah hot on their tails. As they creep across the lightning-blasted hellscape, a familiar voice calls out to ask if they’re angel, demon, or human. It’s Apocalypse World Bobby!

At first, he thinks he’s looking at Mary Campbell’s ghost, then declares it even weirder that she’s the alt-world version of his long-dead friend. He says he met her sons briefly, and when Mary introduces Jack as a friend of the family, Apoca-Bobby escorts them to the safety of the human settlement.

There, the hunted humans recover from the recent angel attacks, which include the extermination of a 400-person San Antonio colony. Mary’s worried their presence will bring the angels down on the encampment, but Bobby says they’ve got wards and lookouts. Plus, his Mary saved his life more than once, so he feels like he owes this version.

That night, Jack makes truly excellent shadow puppets to entertain the camp kiddos while Mary and Bobby chat over whiskey. Bobby describes his Mary as complicated, brave, and sad, and Mary guesses it’s because her Apocalypse World counterpart made a bad demon deal. But Bobby says she actually passed on the deal, lost the love of her life, and never moved on.

Mary realizes that means this world’s Dean and Sam were never born, helping create the awful existence for humans there. Her own demon deal may have caused her sons pain, but in the end, “I’d say you made the right choice,” Bobby says, and you can almost see a weight lift from her shoulders.

Bobby then praises the brave men her sons became, saying that he didn’t return to their world with them because his own world doesn’t have any Winchester brothers, so he’s essentially it.

However, the glow of this moment disappears when Mary confesses that Jack’s a Nephilim, and honestly, Bobby’s discomfort with this fact is understandable. He warns Mary that Jack will betray her, just like every other angel in this world did, and Jack needs to be gone by morning.

And oh, how sad to watch Mary break the news to Jack that he has to leave this encampment of brave people whom he just ensorcelled with his shadow puppet wizardry. Then their conversation’s cut short when a siren starts wailing to herald the arrival of Zachariah and his soldiers.

Bobby immediately blames Jack for drawing the angels to their safe haven, and Mary orders Jack to hide and save himself while she and Bobby get the innocents to safety.

The angels commence killing, and Zachariah looks ready to expand the body count to include Mary, who remains defiant. Jack suddenly appears and levitates Zachariah before blasting him to smoke. He then pulls the same trick on the angels zooming in overhead, leaving both Mary and Bobby looking a little stunned.

As they tend to the freshly wounded, Bobby thanks Jack (and sounds sincere about it). Jack says he came back because Sam and Dean would never have run from a fight. He also realizes that as long as Michael’s alive, the war will never end. “I have to kill him,” he declares, cool-eyed. (Next page: Farewell to another prophet)

Now to our world, where Donatello’s struggling through a rough translation session with the demon tablet in order to provide the Winchesters with a list of ingredients to open the gate to Apocalypse World and rescue Mary and Jack.

Castiel looks concerned when he brings the prophet his breakfast, but not as concerned as Sam when he eyes the veritable mountain of nitrate-laden breakfast meat his brother’s about to consume.

“Dude, if bacon’s what kills me, then I win,” Dean says. Truer words, friend. Donatello then bursts into the room, shouting in triumph over completing the translation. (He then slumps over, panting, “Running’s hard.” Also very true!)

To everyone’s surprise, Donatello’s translations reveal that they already have most of the ingredients, except for the hearts of Gog and Magog, two ancient warrior brothers who enslaved half of the fertile crescent before a priest trapped them in a “place without a place and a time without a time.”

The demon tablet has specific instructions on freeing them, so Cas and Dean volunteer to extract their hearts while Sam and Donatello stay behind to gather the ingredients, starting with virgin lamb’s blood.

Before they leave, Dean tries to suss out what’s bothering Castiel, who’s struggling with why he was brought back from the dead. Jack’s trapped in a horrible world while Lucifer’s roaming around and getting stronger, and Castiel wonders if he was actually brought back to prepare for war. That’s what Michael does, after all. “Then we do what we do,” Dean responds. “Whatever it takes.”

The pair travel to an open field and bust out the angel blades, as Donatello told them that only a weapon touched by God would kill Gog and Magog. Castiel starts chanting in Enochian, but when nothing happens, Dean asks if Cas maybe made a mistake. “I don’t get words wrong,” Cas snips.

Suddenly, two dudes straight out of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys appear, and Dean can barely contain his laughter at their loincloths. “It’s like a furry diaper!”

Castiel keeps a straight face and translates the brothers’ Canaanite speech. The brothers bicker and make plans to kill the “pretty one” before agreeing “they are equally pretty.” Cosigned, fellas.

Then they all launch into a fight. The angel blades quickly shatter, but Dean’s able to off them with their own god-forged weapons. When Castiel cuts into one, he discovers that they’re primitive beasts filled with rocks and sand but no heart.

While Dean and Cas are realizing that something’s up with Donatello, Sam’s enthusiastically stirring and mixing ingredients like he’s auditioning for a show on the Food Network. Donatello sneaks up on him, sends a call from Dean to voicemail, and bashes Sam in the head with a bottle. NOT HIS FACE, YOU MONSTER.

Dean and Castiel return to find the bunker in disarray and Sam nursing a wounded face. “The Muppet professor attacked you? Why?” Dean wants to know. In answer, Sam shows them security footage of Donatello ranting in a cell, and Cas realizes that Donatello didn’t want them to survive their encounter with the Canaanites.

Not cowabunga, Donatello. Not cowabunga at all.

Once the prophet’s safely strapped to a chair, Donatello denies being affected by the tablet and flings a spell that makes Dean starts to gasp and choke. Cas, watching from the monitor, races to the meet them in the hallway and is relieved when Dean’s able to breathe once he’s out of Donatello’s presence.

Sam realizes that when Amara ate Donatello’s soul, he lost his protection from the darkness of the tablet. This means Donatello might be permanently broken, and they still don’t have the ingredients for the gate.

Cas processes this information and announces that the best thing to do is end Donatello’s suffering so a new prophet is called. (Just your basic vampire slayer rules, you know.) The Winchesters balk at this plan, so Castiel storms into the interrogation room, takes off his trench coat, and strips the ingredients from Donatello’s mind, even though it might fry them both. “I’m not going to let you or anyone hurt the people I love,” Castiel grits. “Not again.”

The Winchesters wait outside while Donatello screams and screams. In the end, Cas gets the list of ingredients, but he left Donatello braindead and breathing through a machine. Man, being a prophet in the Supernatural-verse is a thankless task.

The Winchesters are angry, but Castiel justifies his actions by arguing that Donatello was corrupt, soulless, and working with Asmodeus, which endangered them all. Dean wants to know who died and made Castiel God, and Cas snaps that he’s done wasting time. They need to prepare for war, and he did what soldiers do.

The he tells them that the four necessary ingredients to open a gate are the grace of an archangel, a fruit from the Tree of Life, the Seal of Solomon, and the blood of “a most holy man.” With those things in hand, they can bring Mary and Jack home and defeat Lucifer and Michael.

“It’s like you said, Dean. Whatever it takes,” Castiel says.

Bunker musings:

  • Well, friends, it looks like season 4 Castiel is back: the soldier, the killer, the one-minded pragmatist. But this time, his ruthlessness is fired by his love for the Winchesters, which makes you wonder if this version of Cas is even more dangerous than his early-season incarnations.
  • How great was it to see Bobby again? I’ll take him any way they want to give him to us: ghost, flashback, Apocalypse World, whatever. More Bobby. Always more Bobby.
  • So long, Gog and Magog. You and your loincloths and your insistence that women can also be fierce warriors were too sandy for this world, but you did give us one of the best Dean/Cas scenes in ages, and for that, I salute you. Sorry you couldn’t stick around longer to debate the nature of male beauty.
  • Don’t you love it when a show out-and-out announces a quest? Looks like we’ll be tagging along as the Winchesters track down a couple of artifacts in upcoming weeks.

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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