The cosmos have aligned and finally brought us what I (I mean, We) have been waiting for… a Jack centered episode that actually progresses the plot! There’s not much more that needs to be elaborated on so let’s get into it!
The episode opens with Nick (our resident homicidal maniac who used to be possessed by Lucifer) continuing down his dark path. He confesses to an off-screen priest about his past actions over the last few episodes and he hates how good it feels when he kills people. He offers his “understanding” about the fact that the priest cannot reveal to him what his neighbor Artie (whom Nick bludgeoned to death earlier this season), revealed in his confession. Nick agrees that there might some truth to finding peace through the power of prayer and that, although one should try and fight the devil, sometimes “we just can’t”. As Nick walks out of the room, the camera pans to the priest’s body with his throat slashed and his arms nailed to the doorway like a crucifix. Roll Titles.
At the bunker, Castiel tries to heal Jack after his collapse at the end of last episode, but to no avail. He leaves Jack’s bedroom to update the worried Winchesters, who were anxiously waiting outside. The news is not good as Castiel has no idea what’s wrong with him. Their agitation is soon interrupted by the sound of crashing from Jack’s room. When they enter, they discover Jack on the ground convulsing and foaming at the mouth. They immediately drive to the nearest hospital where Dean is agitated and being uncooperative because they are not getting seen soon enough. Sam steps up and starts providing what they can to the front desk nurse who is trying to get basic information on Jack (though, how do you explain a Human-Archangel Hybrid who was only birthed about a year ago but looks 18). Jack collapses and is rushed into treatment while Castiel, Sam, and Dean are left waiting outside his room for answers. Imagine your typical Hospital Drama montage and you get the idea.
Meanwhile, Nick is running out of leads as to who murdered his family. He meets up with the crime reporter who was covering the story; however, due to lack of evidence and no help from the cops, she gave up on it. Nick asks her if she knew what beat cop was patrolling his neighborhood that night. She tells him that it was a man named Frank who is now working private security in Montauk.
Back at the hospital, Dean is venting his frustrations about how, with all the supernatural stuff plaguing them, that it’s a cough that is going to kill Jack. When the doctor comes by, she tells them that they need to run more tests because they don’t know what exactly is wrong. All they do know is that Jack’s body is in total systemic failure and his body is shutting down. Sam and Dean both agree that because Jack is a Nephilim, a regular hospital will not be able to find out what’s wrong with him. They check him out (against all medical advice) and call Rowena.
Rowena arrives at the bunker, sincerely worried about how Dean is doing (aww, she cares). However, Sam confesses that it’s not Dean who needs help, but rather it’s Jack who is sick. Rowena does not want to help Jack because of his connection to Lucifer, but after Jack offers his heartfelt thanks for her helping in the apocalypse world rescue, she agrees to try. She performs a diagnostic spell and tells the group that grace is what holds a Nephilim’s delicate Human/Angel system together. Without his grace, Jack’s cells are destroying each other; Castiel offers up his own, but it’s archangel grace that Jack needs. We get a brief shot of Dean’s vision getting blurry and fuzzy (whatever could THAT mean?), then we cut to Nick… who just barely stops himself from killing a random girl outside a club for no reason.
We see Dean going to take Jack some food and finds him packing. Jack has decided that he wants to spend whatever is left of his life just being normal. He wants to do all the things he hasn’t gotten to yet, like get a tan or get a parking ticket. Meanwhile, everyone (including Rowena) is following their own leads trying to find a way to save Jack. Sam tells them that Ketch had a lead on a shaman whom the British Men of Letters used when they needed to “solve the unsolvable”. As he is speaking, we again see Dean’s vision go out of focus along with a high-pitched ringing sound. Of course, he does not reveal this to anyone (that’s never good) and he and Jack go to leave the bunker for some outdoor time. Castiel agrees to go and find out if the shaman is legit. We then see Jack and Dean out getting some food. Dean throws Jack the keys and informs him that he is driving (OMG, Dean is letting someone else behind the wheel of Baby!!!!!). After a few missteps (since he’s never driven anything before) Jack starts to get the hang of it and he opens her up as they head down the open road together, music blasting (I love how patient Dean is in this scene, even though you can tell from the look on his face that he is internally screaming the whole time).
Back at the bunker, Sam is worried about Castiel going and meeting the shaman alone. He tells Sam that he needs to do something and notes that Dean seems to be taking the whole Jack situation pretty hard. Sam reminds him that Dean was rough on Jack in the beginning and he hasn’t forgiven himself for that. Sam notes that, although they’ve both lost plenty of people before, losing Jack feels different than anyone else. Castiel agrees, saying that losing a son feels different (I’m not crying, you’re crying). Cut back to Dean and Jack, who is celebrating his new status as a driver. Dean asks what Jack wants to do next and suggests a bar with good ‘hook-up’ potential, but Jack has a better idea. We then cut to Nick, who arrives at the house of Frank, the beat cop who was there at the night of the murders. After introducing himself to Frank, Nick forces his way into the house and puts a forceful hold on Frank saying, “let’s talk”.
Jack and Dean are now stopped by a river and going fishing (as well as having their obligatory BM moment). Dean comments that Jack is a cheap date and Jack says that fishing like this was Dean’s happiest memory of his father. Jack then goes on to say that, if he is going to die, then he wants to spend his time making memories with the ones he loves; not doing the big stuff like traveling around the world.
Cut to Castiel, who has tracked down the shaman (whose name is Sergei) but is greeted with a ring of holy fire. After Sergei is satisfied that he is alone, they go into his trailer. Sergei exposits his expertise and tells Castiel that he is, first and foremost, a healer and that he can help Jack. Sergei then pulls out two boxes: one with a spell and one with a vial of Archangel grace that he received from Gabriel in exchange for a home-brewed cloaking spell (so our favorite trickster could run away to Monte Carlo with pornstars). Castiel asks how much it will cost and Sergei replies that he works for barter; so, in other words, the Winchesters owe him one.
Back at Frank’s house, Nick is determined to finally get answers. He has tied Frank to a chair and has severely beaten him. Frank plays dumb, but Nick reveals that before he murdered his neighbor, he said that the person whom he saw leaving Nick’s house was a cop. Nick also reveals that his neighbor was forced to recant that story by the other cops (in some sort of cover-up). Frank confesses that, on the night of the murder, Nick’s wife called in a possible prowler and Frank was sent to investigate. As he approached the house alone, Frank saw a man suddenly appear who called himself ‘Abraxas’. The next thing Frank remembers is being back in the patrol car, covered in blood. Nick tells Frank that it’s not his fault because he was possessed. However, Frank’s hands are the ones that killed his wife and child and he can’t let that stand… so, Nick beats him to death with a hammer.
In the bunker, the gang uses the spell given to them by Sergei. Jack inhales the grace while Rowena reads the incantation. Jack’s eyes begin to glow their signature yellow and he tells everyone he definitely feels better… until he collapses again. Castiel calls Sergei; angry that they did everything they were told, but Jack has actually gotten worse. Sergei tells him that this was just an experiment to see if it would work. Needless to say, Castiel is not happy and threatens to find him if Jack doesn’t make it, but Sergei is unmoved by the threat.
Cut back to Nick, who is drunk and confessing that the priest was right. He starts praying and saying that he thought getting the man responsible for his family’s death would take away his desire to kill, but it hasn’t. He admits that he likes the killing and he doesn’t want to stop, he admits that he’s bonded to Lucifer and doesn’t know who he is without him, and he admits that he no longer wishes to feel the way he did before Lucifer came along. Nick pleads for Lucifer to come back because he misses being unencumbered and without consequence. He cries out to Lucifer, asking him where he is… as we see a black skeletal figure (with red eyes) rising up out of a black gooey substance.
In the final scene, we see the boys and Cas lamenting their situation. Dean regrets taking Jack out for an excursion as it was too risky, but Sam explains that life itself is risky and Castiel tells Dean that he made Jack happy; Dean did more for Jack than anyone else. Rowena finishes an incantation over Jack and walks over to the boys. She tells them that all they can do now is be near him as he dies.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this episode! It was the perfect balance of sweet and heartbreaking. I can’t deal while Jack is on the brink of death, but it’s Supernatural; If you put a challenge in front of the Winchesters, they are going to meet it. I, for one, am going to be holding my breath until the finale.
(Also, because I had to, I did some research, and this is what I found. “It was believed that Abraxas was the name of a god who represented Good and Evil… older mythologists place Abraxas among the Egyptian gods, while some demonologists cite him to be a demon with the head of a King and serpents forming his feet. The mystic word ‘abracadabra’ was derived from his name.” So… maybe he will make an appearance this season?)