Damaged Goods
Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Devil's Bargain
S14 E11
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It’s been a while since we’ve gotten an update on Nick’s story, and I’m happy to report that this episode gave the man some closure. That being said, I sincerely hope it’s not the last we see of Nick (particularly since we got that glimpse of Lucifer potentially coming back to life all those weeks ago).

We start the episode with Nick torturing a demon to find the location of Abraxas, otherwise known as the demon responsible for killing his family. And wouldn’t you know it, Abraxas was captured by a hunter who’s currently residing in Hibbing, Minn. And that hunter’s name? Mary Winchester.

Speaking of Mary, Dean — who was last seen getting a very ominous visit from Billie — packs a bag and tells Sam that he’s decided to pay mom a visit at Donna’s cabin. Seeing as how Bobby’s gone for a few days — he needed some space after everything that happened with his son — Dean’s looking forward to some mother-son time. In other words, Sam is not invited. But when Dean leans down and hugs his brother and tells him to “take care,” Sam instantly calls Mary to let her know that something is up. As he puts it, they only hug “if it’s literally the end of the world.” Mary promises her youngest son that she’ll get to the bottom of it.

Meanwhile, Dean makes a quick stop on his way to the cabin to enjoy the world’s best burger with Donna. She gives us a brief Wayward update: She splits her time between her job and helping Jody, and it seems the girls’ training is coming along nicely. Even Alex got in on the most recent hunt! But when Dean asks about Donna’s split with Doug, she calls him out for avoiding talking about himself. She knows all about what went down with Michael — Sam’s really good at keeping everyone updated — but Dean doesn’t want to talk about it. Instead, he hugs Donna and heads up to the cabin.

There, he finds mom enjoying some target practice out back. He quickly asks if he can stay for a few days, but when she mentions inviting Sam, he shuts it down. He’s just “hangry,” he says, but when Mary says she can’t cook, Dean remembers the one dish he and John always loved, something called a “Winchester Surprise.” It’s apparently very greasy, so why wouldn’t Dean love it? Mary heads off to the grocery store to buy the ingredients, and of course, some pie.

It’s at the grocery store that she says hello to Joe, a local who works there. And when, moments later, Nick pulls into the grocery store parking lot in a very creepy blue van, he asks Joe if he knows Mary. Joe, the smart guy that he apparently is, says no and refuses to give Nick directions. Instead, he calls Donna and tips her off.

Donna’s able to track down Nick, and seeing as how the van he’s driving is stolen, she cuffs him. But he’s Nick, so he picks the lock on the cuffs and tases Donna. He then looks through her emails to find out that Mary’s staying in her family cabin. And he’s off.

While mom’s gone, Dean heads into Donna’s shed to start building … something. He clearly has a plan, but he’s not interested in sharing it. Instead, when mom gets home, he takes her inside where he’s set the table for dinner. And you know something is really wrong when Dean offers to help in the kitchen. Mary knows something’s up and she promises Sam she’ll figure it out. (But that won’t stop Sam, who’s already on his way to the cabin.)

Over dinner, Dean tells Mary a story about how he attempted to make Winchester Surprise one night when he and Sam were little and it went terribly wrong. The story, while being sweet, reminds Mary of how much she missed them. But Dean reminds her that she’s back now and that having her around has meant everything to him and Sam. Mary tries to get Dean to talk to her about Michael, but he’s not interested. So instead, she waits until he’s asleep and sneaks out to the shed to see what he’s up to. But just as she figures it out, Nick shows up.

It’s Donna’s phone call that wakes up Dean, and by the time he heads outside, mom is gone. Sam, however, has arrived. (Next: Abraxas says hello)

In Nick’s van, Nick asks Mary about Abraxas. It seems Mary encountered him at one point and was able to trap him in an Enochian puzzle box. She agrees to take Nick to him.

Just as they arrive at the storage facility where Mary’s left Abraxas, a police officer calls Donna. They’ve spotted the van. So while Donna, Sam, and Dean head to the facility, Mary leads Nick to the box. Apparently, Mary has a storage unit where she keeps things like decapitated heads? I’ve got to admit, I’ve got some QUESTIONS about this entire thing. But as for the Abraxas of it all, Nick finds the box. Now, all he needs is someone for Abraxas to possess, so naturally, he grabs the closest security guard. (Turns out Mary has the anti-possession tattoo on her side.)

With the security guard tied up and his patience wearing thin, Nick drills a hole into the box, thereby allowing Abraxas to escape and possess the security guard. Meanwhile, Dean gives Sam an earful on the road. “Nick is not a project,” Dean tells his brother. “He’s not a freakin’ puppy.” Sam’s compassion isn’t always a good thing, Dean argues, claiming that Sam needs to learn when people are past the point of saving. But is he referring to himself? More on that later.

Once Abraxas comes to, Nick asks why he killed his family, but Abraxas will only answer if Nick agrees to kill Mary. But just as Nick is about to, Sam, Dean, and Donna arrive. Nick, panicking, breaks the circle and allows Abraxas to take them all down. Abraxas then explains that he killed Nick’s family because Lucifer ordered him to … for “no particular reason.” Nick was chosen at random, Abraxas says. “He threw a dart at the phone book.” Oh, poor Nick.

But at least he gets his revenge. Just as Abraxas is about to attack, Nick kills him with an angel blade, after which Donna shoots Nick in the leg and takes him down. Mary then finishes him off with a punch to the face.

Outside, Donna’s about to put Nick in her patrol car when Sam asks him why he did all this. Nick explains that he needed the truth. He needed revenge for his family. Nick then tells Sam that he never could’ve fixed him because Nick doesn’t want to be fixed. “I was never broken,” he says, but Sam corrects him. Sam tells him that he no longer feels sorry for him. Rather, he feels sorry for all of Nick’s victims. “You can burn,” he tells Nick before Donna takes him away.

As for Mary, she tells Dean that she saw what he’s building and he has to tell Sam. So, he does. Apparently, the one scenario that Billie handed him where Michael doesn’t burn the world involves Dean building some type of fancy box that is secured and warded. The box is built to keep things in, particularly archangels. Billie gave him the instructions for how to build it, and now, his plan is to get inside the box and spend eternity locked inside with Michael in the depths of the ocean.

Dean explains that Michael will get out. He can feel the door giving. He even tells Sam about Billie. But Sam can’t get over how unfair it is that Dean was going to leave without telling him. “I didn’t have a choice,” Dean explains. Sam is the last person he could tell because he’s the only one who could’ve talked Dean out of it. “And I won’t be talked out of it,” Dean says. “I’m doing this.” So Sam can let him do it alone or he can help. “Alright,” Sam says. And that’s where we end.

I liked a lot about this episode, from the fun of the Dean-Donna scene to the sweet Mary-Dean dinner. It felt like we were getting moments we hadn’t before, which can be rare on a long-running show. I also loved how they brought Nick’s story back into the fold, and as much as I hate Dean’s plan, it feels like we’re building on the bigger arc of the season. (Plus, there’s nothing like an emotional brother conversation.)

Honestly, my only question is about Mary’s storage container.

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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