Anna appears in Dean's dream and tells him she has been held prisoner and tortured in Heaven after Castiel turned her in, but has temporarily escaped. Because of the Enochian sigils on his ribs, she can't find him and urgently asks him to meet her. Castiel knows that you cannot escape Heaven's prison and goes to meet Anna in the brothers' place, knowing she must have been converted and released on a mission. Castiel, carrying the angel blade with him, and Anna meet up and she tells him that Sam must die to save the world. After her efforts to convince Castiel of her plans are unsuccessful, Anna is sent back in time to 1978 to kill Mary and John Winchester and prevent Sam from ever being born. Castiel and the boys follow after her to protect Mary and John, but the trip has some serious side effects on Castiel and they stash him in a motel room. Anna manages to lure John away by impersonating his boss on the phone, but he is saved by Dean, Mary and Sam, who send Anna away using the angel banishing sigil.
Sam and Dean explain the situation as best they can without revealing too much to their parents and take them up to Mary's parents' cabin. While preparing the house Dean and Sam tell Mary who they really are and that maybe their not being born could solve everything, so she should leave John. But Mary reveals that it's too late, that she's already pregnant with Dean.
They all end up going up against Anna and a young Uriel, whom Anna recruited, in a fight in which Sam is critically injured when Anna stabs him with a pipe she pulls out of a wall. John tries to help out as best as he can by allowing Michael, who has joined them, to possess him to save his wife. Michael kills Anna and sends the young Uriel back "home." He explains to Dean that the two brothers and their family line go all the way back to Cain and Abel and that what's coming must and will come. He says that Dean must agree to being his vessel when the time comes. As he leaves, Michael heals Sam and sends them back to the present and makes sure Mary and John will not remember any of the events of the day so that Dean and Sam Winchester are born.
Dean: [watching a stripper dressed as a devil] Oh, I take it all back. I love the devil. [a stripper dressed as an Angel appears] Now, that's what I call peace on earth.
Castiel: Maybe you're not working for Heaven. But there's something you're not telling me.
Anna: Sam Winchester has to die.
Sam: I mean, the mustaches alone...
Dean: So I paid for Cas for five nights up in the, uh, honeymoon suite. I told the manager, 'Do not disturb no matter what.' You know what he said to me? 'Yeah. Don't sweat it. Wanna buy some dope?' Dope. We oughta stick around here, buy some stock in Microsoft.
Are you sure you're okay, Sam?
Sam: [staring at Mary] W—oh. Yeah, yeah. Um, I'm just, um — You are so beautiful.
Dean: He means that in a—a non-weird, wholesome, family kind of a way.
Sam: Yeah, right.
Dean: We haven't seen Mary in—in quite some time, and—see, she's the spitting image of our mom. I mean, it's—it's—
It's kind of hard to explain, okay? It's—it's—
Sam: An angel.
Mary: What? There's no such thing.
I wish. But they're twice as strong as demons. And bigger dicks.
John: Monsters are real.
Mary: I'm sorry, I didn't know how...
John: And you fight them? All of you?
John: How long?
Mary: All my life. John, just try to understand...
Dean: She didn't exactly have a choice...
John: Shut up, all of you! Look, not another word, or so help me, I will turn this car around!
Dean: [whispering to Sam] Wow. Awkward family road trip.
John: What? Y'all might have treated me like a fool, but I am not useless. I can draw a damn—whatever it is—a sigil.
Look, how long have you known about this... hunting stuff?
Sam: Pretty much forever. My dad raised me in it.
John: You're serious? Who the hell does that to a kid?
Sam: Well, I mean, for the record, Mary's parents did.
John: I don't care. You know, what kind of irresponsible bastard lets a child anywhere near—Y-you know, you could've been killed!
Sam: I, uh... came kind of close.
John: The number it must've done on your head... Your father was supposed to protect you.
He was trying. He died trying. Believe me. I used to be mad at him. I—I mean, I used to... I used to hate the guy. But now I—I... I get it. He was... just doing the best he could. And he was trying to keep it together in—in—in this impossible situation. See... My mom, um... She was amazing, beautiful, and she was the love of his life. And she got killed. And... I think he would have gone crazy if he didn't do something. Truth is, um, my dad died before I got to tell him that I understand why he did what he did. And I forgive him for what it did to us. I do. And I just—I love him.
Okay. You said you'd explain everything when we had a minute. We have a minute. Why does an angel want me dead?
Dean: 'Cause they're dicks.
Not good enough. I didn't even know they existed, and now I'm a target?
Dean: Our names are Dean and Sam Winchester. We're named after your parents. When I would get sick, you would make me tomato-rice soup, because that's what your mom made you. And instead of a lullaby, you would sing "Hey Jude", 'cause that's your favorite Beatles song.
Michael: Think of a million random acts of chance that let John and Mary be born, to meet, to fall in love, to have the two of you. Think of the million random choices that you make, and yet how each and every one of them brings you closer to your destiny. Do you know why that is? Because it's not random. It's not chance. It's a plan that is playing itself out perfectly. Free will's an illusion, Dean. That's why you're going to say yes. Oh, buck up. It could be worse. You know, unlike my brothers, I won't leave you a drooling mess when I'm done wearing you.
Well... this is it.
Sam: This is what?
Dean: Team Free Will. One ex-blood junkie, one dropout with six bucks to his name, and Mr. Comatose over there. It's awesome.
Sam: It's not funny.
I'm not laughing.
The car Anna
lands on is parked near an advertisement for Grease
starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The movie was released on June 16th, 1978.
So she’s gone all Glenn Close?
Castiel: Who’s Glenn Close?
Dean: No one... just this psycho bitch who likes to boil rabbits.
- Glenn Close played Alex Forrest in the film Fatal Attraction. In the movie, she becomes psychotically vindictive after a fling with Michael Douglas. In one scene, she breaks into the family home and leaves a boiling pot on the stove containing the family’s pet rabbit. The term “bunny boiler” became slang for someone obsessed with an ex-lover.
So, what, you're like a DeLorean without enough plutonium?
- A DeLorean was the vehicle used as a time machine in the Back to the Future movies.
Unless they're bringing Pintos back into production, I, uh, I'd say yes.
- The Ford Pinto was a subcompact car, manufactured from 1971-1980, that became famous for catching fire after rear-end collisions.
Yeah, we might have to if Cas doesn't recover. Is he all right?
Dean: What do I look like, Dr. Angel, Medicine Woman? He'll wake up. He's, you know, tough for a little nerdy dude with wings.
- A reference to the show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman starring Jane Seymour (who Jensen also appeared with in Smallville), in which she played a doctor in the Old West.
Anna impersonates John
's boss over the phone to lure him for the kill. This is a technique used by Terminators in the first two movies.
What exactly are we gonna march up there and tell 'em?
Sam: Uh, the truth?
Dean: What, that their sons are back from the future to save them from an angel? Gone Terminator? Come on. Those movies haven't even come out yet.
- In the movie The Terminator, the eponymous cyborg travels back in time to kill Sarah Connor so that her son John Connor will never be born.In Back to the Future - another movie about time travel - a teenager from 1985 travels to 1955 and meets his parents. Dean is referring to the fact this episode takes place in 1978. The Terminator was released in 1984, and Back to the Future was released in 1985.
It's a bloodline.
Dean: A bloodline?
Michael: Stretching back to Cain and Abel. It's in your blood, your father's blood, your family's blood.
Dean: Awesome. Six degrees of Heaven Bacon. What do you want with me?
- A reference to the idea of Six Degrees of Separation, that through connections with other people, everyone in the world is only six people away from each other. This grew into the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon which posited that all actors could be connected through actors they had appeared in movies with to Kevin Bacon.
- See also Six Degrees of Jensen Ackles.
And you always knew that was going to play out one way or another. You can't fight City Hall. He's home. Safe and sound. Your turn. I'll see you soon, Dean.
- You can't fight City Hall is an idiom denoting that change is impossible.
The original title of the episode was "Back to the Future II," and for a time iTunes still listed the episode under this title.
This and 1.01 Pilot
are the only episodes in which all four Winchesters (John
) appear together in the same scene.
John and Mary live at 485 Robintree.
Mary’s favorite Beatles song was “Hey Jude,” and she would sing that to Dean as a lullaby.
Ohh... quite a kick there. Troublemaker already. It's okay, baby. It's all okay. Angels are watching over you.
- In the final scene, Mary has bought a ceramic angel to put by Dean’s crib. In 2.13 Houses of the Holy, Dean tells Sam that Mary "used to tell me when she tucked me in that angels were watching over us. In fact, that was the last thing she ever said to me." Also in 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be when Dean first sees Mary, he checks to see if she is real by asking her to tell him what she would always say when she tucked him in at night. She answers, "I told you angels were watching over you."