After acquiring the Book of the Damned, Charlie makes her way back to America with it, she makes it south of Des Moines when Jacob Styne is able to track Charlie down using a special compass that points to the direction where the Book of the Damned can be found. When he and his henchman attempt to take the book from Charlie she goes on the offensive and is able to escape, but not before being shot. Wounded, Charlie calls Sam and Dean to tell them of her predicament, and that she has found the Book of the Dead, and it may hold the key to removing the Mark of Cain from Dean. Dean finally comes to clean to Sam about is run in with Rowena and that she told Crowley the Mark is a curse. Meanwhile, Sam has not told Dean about his expedition with Castiel to kidnap Metatron.
Sam and Dean direct Charlie to one of Bobby's old hunting cabins to lay low until they get to her. While preparing to leave, Dean finds a lead lined curse box in the Bunker storage room, and suggests they use it to store the book in and stop it from being tracked.
Castiel is on the road with Metatron, who has promised to lead Castiel to where he stored his grace. In a diner, Metatron enjoys food and waxes lyrical about what he enjoys about being human. As they leave, a cupid attacks them, blaming them both for all that has gone wrong with the angels and Heaven. In the fight, Metatron stabs the angel, saving Castiel.
When the Winchesters finally arrive to the cabin, Dean becomes entranced by the book and has to be snapped out of it by Sam, and hands the book back to Charlie. While Dean researches the Styne family using the Men of Letters files, Sam and Charlie are busy at work translating the Book of the Damned, but hit a wall when Charlie realizes that the book, in addition to being written in an ancient Sumerian dialect, is also written in code. Noticing Dean's strange attention on the book, Sam puts it away in the curse box and suggest they use his notes to work on the decoding.
Castiel and Metatron arrive at a library where Metatron claims Castiel's grace was hidden by another angel on Metatron's behalf. Their are clues to its whereabouts hidden in books in the library. As they search for the clues, Metatron surreptitiously uses his blood to cast a spell that disables Castiel, which allows him to retrieve the demon tablet from its hiding place. Castiel, however, has decoded the clue and finds his grace. He restores himself to his full angelic power, but Metatron manages to escape.
Dean, after reading up on the Styne family and their use of the book, tries to dissuade Sam and Charlie from translating the book. Dean tells them that the book has been calling out to him and the Mark and that it wants him to use it - but not for good. He demands that they destroy it before anything bad happens from using it. Sam insists its their only hope of saving Dean, but he is firm that they do not use it. Sam insists he will do anything to save Dean - to which Dean makes a cutting comment, reminding him of the previous year, after Dean let Gadreel possess Sam, when Sam had claimed he wouldn't save Dean.
After Dean leaves to get supplies, Charlie reflects to Sam that the life of a hunter is full of choices that either end in blood or tears. Sam explains what had happened the previous year with Dean. he also explains how at the time Dean came and got him at College he thought hunting would just be one job - and then just one more. He eventually realized that he loved hunting, it is his life, but that he only wants to do it, can do it, with Dean at his side. He will do anything to save his brother.
Styne and his henchman have been tracking the book using the magical compass, but have lost track of it after it was stored in the curse box. They are searching the area, torturing people for information on Charlie.
Dean runs into Styne at a convenience store, who is posing as the clerk, however Dean recognizes Styne's tattoo of the Styne family crest, and pulls his gun on him. Styne claims their encounter is not coincidence, but providence and that the book is trying to find its true owner. Styne and his henchman attack Dean who manages to escape by emptying an entire clip into the henchman. He races to the cabin to destroy the book in a fire of holy oil. Jacob and his men arrive at the cabin and a fight ensues in which Charlie kills one of the men, and Dean knocks the other out. As Styne bursts through the front door, Dean takes cover and repeatedly shoots him in the chest, to no effect. Styne continues to approach Sam, and tells him he knows he only pretended to burn the book, and that his kin will never stop looking for it before he finally dies.
Back at the Bunker, Castiel joins Sam, Dean and Charlie -- who is thrilled to finally meet the angel, and asks him to heal her carpal tunnel, which he obliges, healing her bullet wound as well. The four sit down to a meal of pizza and beer, Dean seems relaxed and good spirits, laughing and enjoying his time with his brother and friends, but Sam continues to worry about him.
Later Sam tracks down his one hope of decoding the Book of the Damned - Rowena.
- "The Boys Are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy
- (playing while Sam and Dean go to meet up with Charlie)
- "Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who
- (playing over the recap of the fight with Jacob and his men/when Sam meets with Rowena)
We're due for a win, okay 0 for 2. I'll tell you another thing, if this actually does work, we can take some time off.
Sam: What like a vacation?
Dean: Mmmhmm. And I'm not talking just a weekend in Vegas or sitting in some crap motel watching pay-per-porn. No I'm talking about a beach, drinking cervezas, mingle with the local wildlife. When's the last time either one of us was on a beach?
Never. Sand between our toes, Sammy. Sand between our toes.
Oh em me. Food, glorious food. All the countless descriptions in so many books, but those were just words. The taste, I mean the actual taste -- I had no idea. And the process, comes in here, and comes out here. Sorcery. I mean you used to be human, don't you miss all this?
Castiel: No. I don't miss digestion, I don't miss indigestion.
No-no not that. I mean don't you miss the feeling of all this; the taste of these waffles, the sound of a child's laughter. Look at us, we're a couple of angels who have touched not only the divine, but the mundane. You and I have a lot in common.
Charlie: Okay here's what I learned so far. About 700 hundred years ago, a nun locked herself away after having visions of darkness. After a few decades squirreled away by herself, she emerged with this. Each page is made out of slices of her own skin, and written in her blood. I told you it's eekish. According to the notes I found, it's been owned and used by cults and covens, even the Vatican had it for a while.
Metatron: Sorry about the mess, I guess I'm lactose intolerant.
Castiel: Let's never speak of it again.
Until what? Tell me. Until what, Dean? Until I watch you become a demon again, until then? I can't do that, I won't do that.
Dean: Well then you'll just have to lock me up, bind me to the Bunker like you did last time.
Charlie: That doesn't solve anything.
Sam: Look jut let us translate the book, okay. if there is a cure we'll do it and deal with the consequences later. I can't lose you.
Sam: Yeah really.
Dean: You change your mind on that 'cause that's not what you said last time.
Sam: Come on man, you know I didn't mean-
This is my cross to bear Sam, mine. And that book is not the answer, now we gotta destroy it before it falls into the wrong hands, and that includes me.
What did Dean mean? When he said you changed your mind?
Sam: So, a while back, we had a chance to, um... Close the Gates of Hell. And in order to do that, I would've had to die, and I was okay with that and I am okay with that, but Dean was not. And so he, uh...
Charlie: He saved you.
Sam: Yeah, he saved me.
Charlie: And let me guess, in doing so, he did something you didn't want and that pissed you off? And you said something that hurt him?
Sam: Yeah, that sounds about right.
Sam: You know, when Dean came to get me at school, I-I told myself... One last job, you know? One more job. And then when -- when I, um... When I lost Jess, I, again, told myself, one more job. There's always one more job, you know? And one more job and one more job, and then I was gonna go back to law and -- and to my life.
Sam: I guess I really understand now that... This is my life. I love it. But I can't do it without my brother. I don't want to do it without my brother. And if he's gone, then I don't...
Charlie: I-I got it. I do.
Charlie, Cas. Cas, Charlie.
Charlie: I thought you'd be shorter.
Sam: I'm gonna get these to the fridge.
Charlie: Heard you got your mojo back.
Castiel: Yes, my -- my grace, it's -- it's been restored.
Charlie: So, can't you just, you know... cure Dean?
Castiel: Unfortunately, it's not that simple.
Charlie: Oh. Never is, is it? Do you think you could do anything about my carpal tunnel? Is that it?
Castiel: Your carpal tunnel and your bullet wound are now healed. You may want to continue wearing your wrist brace at night, though.
Did we just become best friends?
Trivia & References
The Book of the Damned
is a work of nonfiction by Charles Fort and was published in 1919. The book deals with various types of paranormal phenomenon ranging from UFOs to the existence of giants and fairies. The version that appears in this episode appears to have more in common with the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis
from the Evil Dead film series
, which was bound in human flesh and inked blood, and written in ancient Sumerian.
Yeah, well sorry Gambit. Finders keepers.
- Gambit is a character in the Marvel X-Men Universe. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Charlie is relating Jacob Styne to Gambit due to his accent.
Now you look here; you can cut me down, but my people will never stop. And you can tiptoe through the tulips like you did in Russia, or stowaway on the back of a train like you did in Alaska, but sooner enough my kin will find ya. This ends with you being dead.
- "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" is a song originally published in 1929 and popularized in 1968 by singer Tiny Tim.
Really? That song is a classic. Yeah, I hear you. I do. And you're right. Inclement weather on the day of your nuptials and the wrong cutlery at inopportune times is hardly ironic. But it sure is catchy. Yeah, fair point. Can't argue taste. But since I became human, it's just so... strange. All these feelings, you know? I mean, I can feel music. Like that last song, "Sussudio," I don't even know what it's about and I love it. I always enjoyed lyrics, words, stories. Gives me goose bumps. And Goosebumps -- don't even get me started on those. Creepy. And yet... arousing.
- Metatron is referring to lines from the lyrics of "Ironic" by Alanis Morisette, which was about to play on the radio. The lines are "It's like rain on your wedding day" and "It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife," neither of which are particularly ironic situations. Later Metatron as he casts a spell on Castiel he says “Poor Castiel. Swam so far just to drown in shallow waters. Isn’t it ironic? Dontcha think?”
- "Sussudio" is a catchy 1985 pop song by Phil Collins.
- Metatron could be referencing the "Goosebumps" books by R.L.Stine
Yeah well, after he and mommie dearest got into a fight-
Sam: Mommie dearest?
- Mommie Dearest is the name of the autobiography of Christina Crawford which documented her abuse at the hands of her mother, actor Joan Crawford. It was later made into a movie of the same name starring Faye Dunaway.
I'm exhausted, and I'm-I'm bleeding, and I'm in a phone booth. A phone booth, I didn't know these things existed outside of Bill & Ted's-
- Charlie is referring to the various adventures of Bill & Ted who are two slackers who travel through time in a phone booth.
Okay, Charlie, what does it say about the Mark?
Charlie: I have no fracking idea. The language it’s written in, I’ve never seen anything like it. I, uh, I found some research notes in the monastery crypt, though, by the Friar that buried it. The Book of the Damned is a spell book for creating or undoing any kind of damnation there is. We translate this thing, I think we can get the Mark of Cain off you, Dean.
- Frak is a swear word which was invented and used in the TV series Battlestar Galactica.
The Styne family crest bares a striking resemblance to the Frankenstein family crest seen in Young Frankenstein. later of course, the Styne family is revealed to be descendants of House Frankenstein
Mmmmmm! O...M...Me! Oh. Food. Glorious Food. Mmm. All the countless descriptions in so many books, but those are just words. Oh, the taste, the – the actual taste... I had no idea. Oh. And the process. Goes in here... comes out here. Sorcery. I mean, you used to be human. Don’t you miss all this?
- "Food, Glorious Food" is the name of the opening song in the musical Oliver!
And you call yourselves nerds, come on you got this.
Charlie: He's right. Let's get our Alan Turing on, and decrypt this bitch.
- Alan Turing was an English mathematician and computer pioneer who did vital code-breaking work for the Allies in World War 2. He committed suicide after being prosecuted for being gay, which was a criminal offense at the time.
I told the angel to hide clues in some of my favorite books. Mother may I?
- Mother May I? is a children's playground game.
'What is the maddest thing a man can do?'
- The clue is for the location of Castiel's grace and is located in a copy of Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday by Kurt Vonnegut. The first clue is is derived from the quote, “Take my advice and live for a long, long time. Because the maddest thing a man can do in this life is to let himself die” by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra from Don Quixote. It is in this book that Castiel finds his grace.
'What two things do you need to succeed in life?' Ignorance and confidence.
- "To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence" is a quote from writer Mark Twain. This second riddle is found a copy of Simulacra and Simulation, a philosophical treatise by Jean Baudrillard which looks at the relationships among reality, symbols, and society.
Okay, even the Bletchley Circle couldn't crack this thing. I've tried every cryptographic algorithm there is. Goose egg.
- Bletchley Park was the central site of the United Kingdom's Government Code and Cypher School, which worked during the Second World War to break codes to provide intelligence about the Axis war efforts. Alan Turing (see above) worked here. The Bletchley Circle was a UK TV series which followed a group of women who had worked at Bletchley Park, as they covertly used their code breaking skills to solve crimes several years after the war.
- Goose egg is a slang term for zero.
So they're like the supernatural Du Ponts?
- The Du Pont family is an American dynasty who have been one of the richest families in America since the 1800s.
You know we really do make a good team, kinda like a buddy comedy -- without the comedy.
Castiel: Or the buddies.
Metatron: Now come on, back at the diner, that was some pretty awesome dynamic duo action.
- Buddy comedy refers to a genre of film which focuses on two characters (usually men) with contrasting personalities. The Dynamic Duo was a termed used to refer to Batman and Robin, although it is now often used to any pair of heroes.
No, if I'm gonna die, I want answers. Like, who are you now? You're obviously not an angel of the Lord, and what about all of this walking the Earth like Caine from Kung Fu
crap? Cleaning up Heaven’s messes. How many more rogue angels are there out there? And, what are you gonna do once you’re done with all that? Go back to Heaven? Please. The angel formerly known as Hannah has restored order up top. Smoothest its run since God cut the ribbon on the pearly gates. So tell me, Castiel, truly, what is your mission now?
- Kung Fu was a 1970s TV series which followed the travels of Caine, a Shaolin monk who traveled through the Old West in search of his brother.
- Metatron's use of "The angel formerly known as Hannah" is a play on "The artist formerly known as Prince" which was Prince's stagename since June 7, 1993.
You know, I haven't been a hunter for very long, but it feels like this is the life. Mostly ends in Sophie's choices, death, or tears. Usually all of the above, huh?
- "Sophie's choice" is a term used to refer to a choice in which each alternative is equally terrible. Sophie's Choice refers to a novel and later movie in which the lead character is a woman who during her internment in a Nazi concentration camp is forced to make an impossible choice - which of her children should be killed in the gas chamber.
Well, there's coincidence, and then there's just providence.
- In theology, divine providence, or providence, is God's intervention in the world.
Your carpal tunnel and bullet wound are now healed. You may want to continue wearing your wrist brace at night though.
Charlie: Did we just become best friends?
- "Did we just become best friends?" is a quote from the 2008 movie Step Brothers.
This episode was dedicated in memory of Jaap Broeker
(1950 - 2015), who was a longtime stand-in for the show.
In the trailer for this episode, Castiel
is seen showing someone his fake FBI badge, as he did in 5.03 Free to Be You and Me
. The image was from a scene cut from the broadcast episode. Executive Producer Jim Michaels explained
the scene was about Castiel explaining why Metatron
was wearing handcuffs as they enter the diner, and contained a joke referring to Midnight Run
, a buddy comedy movie about the adventures of a bounty hunter transporting a mob accountant to LA.
Executive Producer Robert Singer
provides the voice of the DJ on the radio introducing "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette.
In the opening scene in the Bunker
, Dean is wearing a grey hoodie. According to writer Robbie Thompson
this was because there was a scene where Dean was working out, however this was cut. In fandom, Dean wearing a hoodie is associated with the episode 1.12 Faith
, when Dean wore Sam's brown hoodie when he was dying. It has become associated with hurt Dean and there's a comm for Dean hurt/comfort fic called Hoodie Time.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts