Nightmare Logic
Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Devil's Bargain

Thanks to Michael, maybe we should be calling monster-of-the-week episodes super-monster-of-the-week episodes? Because we have certainly entered a whole new realm of possibility this season, and that's saying a lot on Supernatural.

This week, we start in Claremore, Oklahoma, where Maggie is working a case. Right after she turns on her body cam — a thing the hunters are now using — she heads into a crypt to kill what she believes to be a ghoul. But she's attacked before she can do anything.

Cut to the bunker where Sam is giving a speech about the importance of homework — he gives off a real "camp counselor vibe" as Dean puts it — before explaining to Dean why he has no time to sleep: There are 16 hunters currently out on jobs, and that's not including Castiel and Jack or Bobby and Mary. These people need lore and weapons and tips, and let's not forget that Sam is their "chief." That's when Sam realizes that Maggie missed her check-in.

Sam goes straight to Maggie's body cam footage, and when he sees the ghoul attack her, he and Dean head out to Oklahoma to retrace her footsteps and, hopefully, bring her home. In Oklahoma, they arrive at the Rawling private family cemetery, but they don't get too far into the crypt before a groundskeeper inquires as to what they're doing on private property. This week, Sam and Dean are posing as members of the Historical Preservation Society, which gets them an invite to the main house to meet with the land's owner. Only, when they get to the house, they're quickly greeted by two of their colleagues: It seems Bobby and Mary were worried about Maggie too. (And Bobby's not big on trusting the "idiots" at the main office to handle things.)

They quickly decide to work together, which is when Neil, the man they met, lets them know that he's not the owner of the house. Rather, he's Mr. Rawling's nurse. Mr. Rawling suffered a stroke recently and resides in a hospital bed upstairs. His daughter Sasha is in town to get his affairs in order.

Mary, Bobby, Dean, and Sam start to work the case, but when Bobby makes it clear that he blames Sam for sending Maggie on a mission before she was ready, Mary suggests they split up: Mary takes Sam and Dean hangs with Bobby.

Mary quickly puts on her mom hat and reassures Sam that leading these people is what he was born to do. She tells him to ignore Bobby because the man has been missing a lot lately. Aaaaand that brings us to Mary and Bobby. Mary admits she thought they were getting close, but recently, things have changed. All he wants to do is hunt. There's something he doesn't want to talk about and his walls are up. "Bobby's not open like your dad," Mary says, a sentence that throws Sam for a loop. John Winchester certainly wasn't known as being "open," at least not to his boys. But when Mary knew him, he was exactly that.

Sam tells Mary the story of our world's Bobby and how he had to kill his wife. It's all to prove a point: Walls are up for a reason, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't try to figure out why. Just then, they come across a fire where a hunter's wallet has been burned.

Meanwhile, Dean and Bobby find a shed. But when Bobby sees a man in the woods, he takes off on his own, leaving Dean to discover a dead body. (It's the owner of the wallet.) Furthermore, Dean turns around and is attacked by the same old man who attacked Maggie. And when he stabs the ghoul, it turns to … dust? Ash? Either way, it's strange. (Next: Dean learns more about Michael's plan)

By the time they all get back to the house, Sasha claims she saw a vampire. It chased her down the hall but then disappeared, an action that's not very characteristic of a vampire. The guys are stumped as to what's going on, but they figure out one thing: This monster is definitely going after hunters. And seeing as how the vampire scared Sasha away from the attic, Sam is going straight to that attic. (The Winchesters: Forever willing to walk straight into the room everyone else is running away from.)

Dean hangs back with Sasha while Mary goes looking for Bobby, who went to get something from his truck. Sasha tells Dean all about her father, how he was not a good person and how he was gone all the time. Sasha had to be the one, at the age of 12, to find her mother's dead body after she killed herself. But if Dean knows anything, he knows about having a dark, complicated past and he gives her a bit of advice: Let it go. (He's a big Elsa fan.) The past is just baggage, and if she lets go of it, she'll feel a lot lighter. That's what Dean does … or tries to do. Yeah, he tries really hard.

In the attic, Sam finds Maggie moments before he's attacked by a vampire. But when he stabs it, it once again turns to dust. What is happening!?

Meanwhile, in the woods, Bobby is attacked by a man with burned out eyes. Specifically, he's attacked by Daniel, his son. Daniel puts an angel blade through Bobby's shoulder, pinning him to a tree, and explains how "they" crucified him. Just then, Mary shows up, and when Daniel starts choking Mary, Bobby rips the angel blade out of his shoulder and stabs his son, who — you guessed it! — turns to dust.

That's when Dean puts it all together. He tells Sasha to "make him a sandwich" so that she gets out of the room. Then he pulls a gun on Neil, Mr. Rawling's nurse. Dean recognized the rig around Mr. Rawling's hospital bed: Neil isn't giving him blood, he's taking it. Neil is a djinn. But Neil claims Dean already knew that … because when Dean was Michael's vessel, he met Neil.

It seems Michael told Neil to find somewhere quiet to set up shop and kill as many hunters as he could. That's how he got his upgrade: He can bring people's nightmares into the world. Maggie's was a vampire, Bobby's was his son, and now, he tries to get inside Dean's head but fails, which could have something to do with Michael? Dean takes the opportunity to fight back, and even though he doesn't have a knife dipped in lamb's blood, he is good at improvising: He bashes the djinn's head in with a bookend, but not before the djinn tells him that he's only one of many monsters that Michael has out there waiting for Dean and his family.

Before leaving, Dean unhooks Mr. Rawling and assures Sasha that her father will wake up. And maybe he'll get a chance to say sorry to his daughter.

Back at the bunker, Mary is patching Bobby up when he tells her the story of Daniel: After Bobby's wife died, hunting got him and Daniel through, and when the angel war started, they gave Bobby a platoon of his own. Daniel was in it. One day, they got separated and the angels took Daniel. He never did find out what they did to his son. Bobby blames himself for bringing his son to war, and he always assumed the war would kill him too, so when it didn't, he threw himself into hunting thinking that would do the trick. "I don't know any other way to live," Bobby tells Mary, but she promises him they'll find one … together. And so, the two of them take a few weeks off so that Bobby can heal. They're going up to Donna's cabin but are only half a day's drive away if the boys need them.

Once they head out, Sam and Dean call up all the hunters they know — hey, Garth! — and let them know about the super-charged monsters. They advise everyone to work under the buddy system seeing as how Michael has set all these traps for hunters. And the Michael of it all brings us to Dean, who tells his brother he was just starting to feel like himself again before today. But Sam promises that they will find a way to kill Michael, to which Dean can only say, "I hope you're right." In other words, Dean doesn't believe that just yet.

This was a perfectly solid episode of Supernatural for me. I liked the added mystery that the super-charged djinn gave us, and it's always fun seeing Mary and Bobby get more time with the boys. It's not my favorite hour of the season thus far, but it certainly moved a number of stories in interesting directions.

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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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