Prophet and Loss
Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW
Devil's Bargain
S14 E12
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Just when you think a Supernatural episode can’t bring something new to the table, this one might win the award for making me cry the fastest, seeing as how I was tearing up less than a minute in. Allow me to explain: We open on Dean’s nightmare — which could very well become his reality — when he wakes up at the bottom of the ocean and, of course, regrets his decision to lock himself in a box with Michael. He tries to get out, desperately calling Sam’s name. Dean’s crying, trying to claw his way back to life, AND I’M A WRECK.

Thankfully, Dean wakes up from the nightmare — at least this time. Back in the real world, Sam tries to get his brother to talk, but Dean’s made up his mind, even if the fate he’s chosen for himself is worse than death. The next day, Sam calls Cas — he spilled the beans about Dean’s plan — but there’s no good news. Neither Castiel nor Rowena has found a way to extract Michael from Dean’s mind. So the road trip continues, and for a moment there, it gets very sentimental. Dean tries to apologize for not always being the greatest brother to Sam, but Sam assures him, “You were the one who was always there for me. The only one. You practically raised me.”

Dean tells Sam about the times when dad would “send Dean away” because he pissed him off, but Sam says he left all of that behind a long time ago. And if Sam is going to stop thinking about where they’re headed, he’s going to need Dean to stop delivering death bed apologies. Instead, how about they work a case?!

In Iowa, which is on the way to wherever they’re going — I guess just to the ocean? — there’s a man who has killed two people recently. So what makes this a Sam and Dean case? After he kills them, he carves Enochian symbols into their chests. When the boys pay a visit to one of the victim’s brothers, they quickly find out about a very religious friend named Tony Alvarez, a man Castiel quickly identifies as the next in line behind Donatello to become a prophet. Only, when Dean calls the hospital, they find out that Donatello is still alive.

Sam and Dean find Tony’s place, where he’s gone all A Beautiful Mind on the walls, listing the ways in which he’s going to kill his victims. There’s the slaughter of a first-born son, the drowning of Egyptians in the Red Sea — victim number one died in bloody salt water — and then there’s something about being devoured by fire. The guys get to Tony just as he’s about to kill his next victim, but when they tell him that he hasn’t been hearing the voice of God after all, Tony gets his hands on Dean’s gun and takes his own life.

But that leads to the next question: Will Tony’s death wake up another prophet, and will he or she be just as screwed up? And that brings the boys — and Castiel — to Donatello’s bedside. The plan is to unplug Donatello, but while Castiel yells at Dean about how bad his plan is, Sam gets a video from the doctor: It seems Donatello woke up enough to speak some Enochian recently, and with that, Castiel realizes he can heal him.

Spoiler: It works! Donatello is back, but he’s still without a soul, so there’s that. (Next: Sam confronts Dean)

As for Dean, he heads outside to find an emotional Sam having a beer next to the Impala. As of tomorrow morning, they’re going to get back on the road and continue their journey, which ends with Dean’s death. “No rest for the self-destructive” is how Sam puts it. Dean sees that his brother is hurting and tries to say sorry, but Sam’s not having it. He’s followed Dean to Hell and back, and all of that means nothing now. If Sam has to kill Dean, they’re throwing away everything they stand for. “We’re the guys who save the world,” Sam tells Dean. “We don’t just check out of it.”

Sam realizes they don’t have any other cards to play today, but they might tomorrow. If they learned anything from Donatello, it’s that you can’t quit. “I believe in us,” Sam tells Dean, and when Dean doesn’t react, Sam punches his brother in the face. He goes to do it again, and Dean stops him. In an instant, Sam collapses into his brother’s arms. He asks Dean, “Why don’t you believe in us, too?”

Holding his crying brother in his arms, Dean says okay. “Let’s go home,” he tells Sam. As Cas walks out, he assures them both that “I believe in all of us.” And he’ll keep believing until there’s no other way. But if that day comes, he makes Sam and Cas promise him that they’ll do what they can’t do now: Let him go and put him in that box. But for now, they’re going home.

While all of that was going on, I should mention that Nick tricked the dumb cop at the hospital to take off his cuffs so that he could use the bathroom, and of course Nick knocked the guy out and escaped. From there, he went back to his house, where he came face-to-face with his late wife’s ghost. The awkward part? He mistook his wife for Lucifer (and he definitely wanted it to be Lucifer). Sarah explains that she can’t leave the house because she has unfinished business. She saw Nick the night that he said yes to Lucifer. “You chose Lucifer,” she tells him. “You wanted him. You still do.” Sarah asks Nick to reject Lucifer, because only then can she find peace. But he can’t. Instead, he leaves his wife trapped as he goes to find Lucy. “Where are you going,” Sarah asks him. “Wherever it’s darkest,” he says. “Wherever he is.”

Both of the main stories really worked for me this week. Once again this show has created an emotional story for the brothers that truly feels like it has weight. And it has me feeling all kinds of things. And as for the Nick of it all, I think the realization that he loved Lucifer all along makes everything more interesting. Sure, Lucy might’ve made him more of a monster, but he certainly wasn’t perfect to begin with.

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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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