8.17 Goodbye Stranger

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Supernatural - Episode 8.17 - Goodbye Stranger - Promotional Photos (8) 595 slogo.jpg
Title Goodbye Stranger
Episode # Season 8, Episode 17
First aired March 20, 2013
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Written by Robbie Thompson
On IMDB Goodbye Stranger
Outline Sam and Dean with the assistance of Castiel and Meg, race Crowley in the hunt for the location of one of Lucifer's Crypts.
Monster Demons
Crowley
Naomi
Timeline
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
Lincoln Springs, Missouri
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Synopsis

In a dark, empty warehouse, Dean is hunting something. He turns around and is attacked by Castiel. Dean pleads with Cas, stony faced, Cas breaks his wrist and stabs him in the chest with his angel blade, killing Dean.

The lights switch on. Naomi enters the room and congratulates Castiel on killing Dean quickly and brutally, with no hesitation. Telling him he is ready. It is then revealed that the entire floor of the warehouse is littered with multiple Deans, all dead. They are in Heaven or inside Castiel's mind and this was a training exercise devised by Naomi.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Dean is sorting through some boxes in the Men of Letters Bunker. Sam is doing research on his laptop. Sam coughs up blood into a napkin. Dean asks him if he's okay, and Sam proclaims it's nothing. He says he's found a case: in multiple states, there have been recent instances of people with severe burns on their eyes, hands, and feet... puncture wounds through the backs of their hands... eyes and internal organs liquefied. Sam leaves to grab his gear. Dean waits until Sam has left the room, then inspects the napkin that Sam threw in the trash.

At the home of one of the victims, Ann Morton. Sam and Dean are questioning the victim's husband. He claims that something changed in Ann about a week ago; she was out of sorts, not herself at all. She stopped eating and sleeping, and started going out in the middle of the night, muttering to herself about an orchard. He shows them a miniature of the city. He followed her one night to a playground, where she started digging. She brought home little bags of dirt and hung them here, above the miniature. The bags hanging above the miniature all represent sites where she's dug. He also says that he swears her eyes turned black sometimes.

Sam and Dean leave to question Wendy Rice, the last person to speak with Ann. On the way there, Sam calls the other victims' spouses, and they all say the same thing that Ann's husband said (the victims got all obsessive and weird). Sam and Dean agree that someone is killing demons. They wonder why the demons are digging in the dirt. They arrive at Wendy's place and she answers the door with curlers in her hair. She says that she never met Ann until she called the other night, asking where to find an original map of the city. She was looking for an old orchard that had gone missing.

Wendy explains: The town had been wiped out by one of the river's 100-year floods and then rebuilt. All original records were lost. This is her field of study - the town's history. She's been working on re-creating a map of the town as it had been. She points at the map. She found out yesterday that the old Jakubiak Orchard used to be where Downey meets Bond Street. Ann never said why she was looking for the orchard. They had set up a time to meet but she never showed. She did, however, receive a call from Ann's assistant that morning, asking if she still had the map.

"Assistant?" says Dean. There is a knock on the door. Three men are standing there and their eyes go black upon seeing Sam and Dean. Demons barge in and a fight ensues. One demon flings Wendy aside, grabs the map, and runs out the door. The second demon is about to be killed by Dean with his demon killing knife but it smokes out of its body and into Wendy's body. She makes a run for the door. The third demon is about to best Sam when it is burned out by... Castiel! He flings the demon aside and stands there, holding the Wendy-demon by the curlers.

Castiel says he is going to interrogate the Wendy-demon. Dean asks him if he's here because he heard Dean praying to him. Cas says yes, he heard him, but that's not why he's here. Sam wonders where the hell Cas has been this whole time. Cas confesses that he's the one that's been hunting and killing the demons. Sam asks him why.

Flash to Cas seated in front of Naomi in her stainless steel, white office. Naomi tells him to tell the truth (or most of it, anyway).

Back on Earth... Cas says he's been searching for the other half of the demon tablet. In his search, he discovered that Crowley has been sending out his demons to find Lucifer's crypts. Sam asks what Crowley is looking for. Flash to Cas seated in front of Naomi again. He asks her if he can tell them everything, as it would be more helpful if they knew. She tells him to lie because they cannot be trusted.

Back on Earth... Cas lies to Sam and Dean, telling them that Crowley is looking for a parchment that would allow him to decipher his half of the demon tablet without a prophet. He gets up and goes into the kitchen to interrogate Wendy-demon. Sam and Dean agree that Cas is "off," that he hasn't been the same since he got back from Purgatory. Dean reminds Sam that they still don't know how he even got out of Purgatory. From the other side of the kitchen door comes Cas' voice: "You know, I can hear you both. I am a celestial being."

Sam and Dean enter the kitchen. Wendy-demon is tied up. Cas stabs her through the back of one of her hands with his angel blade. Wendy refuses to offer up any information. Cas stabs her in her other hand. Wendy-demon divulges that they have a hostage at the Murray Hotel. The hostage knows all the towns where the crypts are buried. "And she told you about the parchment?" Sam asks her. "What parchment?!" says Wendy-demon.

Flash to Naomi telling Cas to kill the demon.

Back on Earth... Cas stabs Wendy-demon in the chest with his angel blade, killing her before she could reveal his lie. Before Sam and Dean can protest fully, Cas says he needs to go to the motel, and with a rustling of angel wings, he's gone. Sam and Dean rush to the motel in Baby, the Impala.

At the hotel, they find out that the hostage is Meg. She's pretty beat up. Crowley has been torturing crypt locations from her. She says he's hell bent on finding the angel tablet. This surprises Sam and Dean, and Dean accuses Cas of lying to them. Cas denies it. Cas tends to Meg's wounds. She flirts with him, and he lets her.

Meg leads them to an abandoned warehouse, the real location of the crypt that holds the angel tablet. They split up - Meg with Sam and Dean with Cas. Dean and Cas find crypt and the tablet. Cas is unable to take it out of the wooden chest because it's warded against angels, so Dean does it. Cas asks Dean to give it to him but Dean refuses. Flash to Naomi telling Cas to kill Dean; that he's done it a thousand times. Back on Earth... Dean tells Cas that if he tells him how he got out of Purgatory, then he can have the tablet. Cas' angel blade drops into his hand.

Meanwhile, Sam and Meg are having a heart-to-heart about what he's been up to; the girl who got him to quit hunting... his "unicorn". They are interrupted when Crowley's demons attack. In the crypt, Cas strikes Dean. Dean blocks with the tablet. Flash to Cas telling Naomi this isn't right; he won't hurt Dean.

Back on Earth... Dean tells Cas to fight it. Cas strikes him again, and again Dean blocks with the tablet. Cas backhands Dean, grabs his forearm and breaks it. We hear the bone snap, Dean drops the stone revealing the tablet within, lightning flashes and thunder rumbles. Cas continues to beat him. Dean's face is bruised and bloodied. Dean pleads with Cas telling him they're family, that Sam and him need Cas, that Dean himself needs Cas.In heaven Naomi tells Cas to choose: Them or heaven. Cas makes his choice and stops beating Dean.

He heals Dean and apologizes, saying he's been under Naomi's control ever since she got him out of Purgatory. Dean asks what broke the "connection", Cas says he wasn't sure but it was obvious that Cas' dedication to the Winchesters was what severed the tie. He assures he's free of her and has to protect the Angel Tablet not only from Naomi, but from Dean and Sam.

Meanwhile, Crowley himself arrives to confront Meg and Sam. Meg tells Sam to get out of there, to go and save his brother and her "unicorn" (Cas). Sam leaves and Meg and Crowley fight each other. Crowley kills Meg. Later we see Naomi and Crowley talking in Lucifers' crypt, establishing the fact they've known each other for centuries. Sam and Dean are shown driving in the Impala, with Dean revealing he cannot take anymore lies from anyone. He asks Sam to be honest with him from now on, and Sam whole heartedly agrees. It cuts to Naomi's office with another Angel coming in and shaking her head, signifying they cannot find Castiel or the tablet he has taken. Cas is then shown sitting in a Greyhound bus, the Angel Tablet in his hands. He puts in a bag next to him and closes the zipper.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Goodbye Stranger" by Supertramp
plays during the closing montage

Quotes

[Dean finds a vintage copy of Voluptuous Asian Lovlies]
Dean: Well, hello. These Men of Letters weren't so boring after all. Konnichiwa. Hey, check this out.
Dean: So, somebody's killing demons. Well, that is awesome. I feel like we should send a card or flowers. What kind of flower says "thanks for killing demons"?
Dean: Well, he puts the "ass" in "Cas," huh?
Castiel: You know, I can hear you both. I am a celestial being.
Dean: So, I got to ask. Um... What's up with the hair? What?
Meg: Aww. Thanks for noticing, Dean. But this wasn't my idea. It was Crowley's. And it's just another reason I want to stab him in the face.
Dean: Why lie?

Meg: Buy myself some time, dummy. Try to find a way to get free.
Sam: Wait -- so... A bunch of innocent people died so you could... buy yourself some time?

Meg: Hi. I'm Meg. I'm a demon.
Meg: ...finding that angel tablet.

Sam: Wait a second. Did you just say "angel tablet"?

Meg: You know, I get why Crowley calls you "moose" now. Yes -- "angel tablet." Crowley found out Lucifer had it, figures it's stashed in a crypt.
Meg: You ever miss the Apocalypse?

Castiel: No. Why would I miss the end of times?

Meg: I miss the simplicity. I was bad. You were good. Life was easier. Now it's all so messy. I'm kind of good, which sucks. And you're kind of bad -- which is actually all manner of hot. We survive this... I'm gonna order some pizza and we're gonna move some furniture around. You understand?
Crowley: Just to be clear... you can't find a hole in the ground. Your coworkers have met with an untimely demise... and you've lost my favorite chew toy? Brilliant. What's that old expression? 'If you want something done right... blah, blah, blah.'
Meg: You're not gonna tell me? Seriously? How am I not team Sam? Fine. Whatever it is, you okay dying over it? You don't want to say, fine. But remember, I spent time in that walking corpse of yours. I know your sad, little thoughts and feelings.
Meg: Wait -- h-hold on. There's one part I don't understand. You hit a dog and stopped. Why?

Sam: That whole story, and that's your takeaway?

Meg: Oh, I heard the rest. You fell in love with a unicorn. It was beautiful, then sad, then sadder. I laughed, I cried, I puked in my mouth a little. And honestly, I kind of get it.
Dean: This isn’t you. Cas, I know you’re in there. I know you can hear me. Cas, it’s me. We’re family. We need you; I need you.
Meg: Go. Save your brother... and my unicorn.
Crowley: Naomi. Fancy meeting you here. Haven't seen you in a dark age. Love the haircut.
Sam: So... what happened? I mean, Cas touched the tablet, and it reset him to his factory settings or something?

Dean: I don't know. And I don't care. All I know is that he is off the reservation with a-a heavenly WMD. Listen, man, I can't take any more lies -- from anyone.
Sam: Yeah. Um... I know. I'm sorry. I should have told you. I-I... just wanted to believe I was okay. I don't know.

Dean: Well, you heard what Cas said -- that that first trial hurt you in ways that even he can't heal. Sammy, I need you to be honest with me from here on out, man.

Trivia & References

"Goodbye Stranger" is a reference to the song of the same name by British rock band Supertramp.
Dean: What the hell is this? Spear of Destiny? What is this -- God's toothpick? You know, would it have killed these asshats to label these boxes in something other than hieroglyphics? It's ridiculous. Hey. You listening to me?
The Spear of Destiny is the name attributed to the spear or lance that pierced the side of Jesus during the Crucifixion by the Roman centurion Longinus.
Dean: Hey, Doc Holliday, you all right over there?
Dean says this to Sam after he coughs up blood. Doc Holliday a gunfighter from the Old West and friend of Wyatt Earp, suffered from tuberculosis.
Dean: So, chupacabra. What do we got? Power tools gone rogue? Wait -- are we talking a-a Maximum Overdrive situation here?
Maximum Overdrive is a 1986 horror movie written and directed by Stephen King in which machines become animate and try to kill people.
Dean and Sam use the aliases Special Agent Lynne and Tandy, a reference to Richard Tandy and Jeff Lynne who were members of the band ELO.
Sam: Yeah, but who's killing demons? And why? And, by the way, since when does a demon possess someone, then go all "Beautiful Mind" and -- and start digging in the dirt? Does any of this seem right to you?
Meg: Aren't you a little short for a storm trooper?
In Star Wars, Leia says this line to Luke Skywalker when he comes to rescue her. In the episode the shot of Meg is framed as a mirror image of the shot of Leia in the movie.
Meg: What can I say? I needed a break from the constant torture. And I did visit them all during my time with Yellow Eyes. But don't worry. I haven't exactly been giving them the Glengarry leads.
In the play (and later movie) by David Mamet called Glengarry Glen Ross about a group of real estate agents, Glengarry leads, named after a housing development, were the contact details of potential clients with expensive properties.
Meg: Bupkis. Every crypt's been one Al Capone's vault after another. And on top of that, someone kept picking up the trail and icing demons. I'm guessing that was you, Castiel. But Crowley just keeps sending more. He's hell-bent on...
In 1986, a TV special hosted by Geraldo Rivera, centered around the opening of a secret vault once owned by gangster Al Capone. While it was expected to contain hidden stolen goods, or even bodies, but it was totally empty.
Meg: Why are you sweet on me Clarence?

Castiel: I still don’t know who Clarence is.

The demon Meg refers to Castiel as Clarence in a reference to the angel in the movie It's a Wonderful Life.
Dean: I saw you Zero Dark Thirty that demon.
Dean is referring to the 2012 movie of the same name, about the search for Osama Bin Laden, which featured explicit scenes of CIA torture of detainees.
Meg: Do I look like Google to you? None of these buildings were here way back in the day. Figure it out, genius. Is there any booze in this dump?
Google is a popular internet search engine.
Dean: All right, Cas and I will head in and get our Indiana Jones on. Sam, you stay outside with Meg.
Indian Jones was the hero in a series of movies. He is an archaeologist, who often has wild adventures as he tries to retrieve valuable artifacts and relics.
Sam and Dean's chorus of "Shut Up Meg" may be a shout out to the animated series Family Guy, where Peter Griffin often uses the phrase against his daughter Meg.
Dean: Okay, bottom-line it for me, Bill Nye. Is it lethal?
Bill Nye is a science educator best know for his TV show: Bill Nye The Science Guy.
Meg: You don't even trust me with a name? Cut me, do I not bleed, Sam?
"If you prick me, do I not bleed?" is a line from act 3, scene 1 of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. It's about the comparison of Jews and Christians and how, despite their differing beliefs, they're still both essentially the same.
Crowley: Timon and Pumbaa tell you their big plan? Did they share that little chestnut with you? They mean to close the Gates of Hell, sweetheart. They mean to kill me and all the demons -- you included.
Timon and Pumbaa are a cartoon meerkat and warthog duo who first appeared in Disney's 1994 animated film The Lion King.
Naomi: How's the shoulder?

Crowley: Just a flesh wound.

In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Black Knight says the same thing after getting all of his limbs but one leg chopped off by King Arthur.
Dean: Listen, I may not be able to carry the burden that comes along with these trials... But I can carry you.

Sam: You... realize you kind of just quoted Lord of the Rings, right?
Dean: C'mon man, it's the Rudy hobbit. Rudy hobbit always gets a pass!

In Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Sam Gamgee (played by Sean Astin) says to Frodo "I cannot carry the ring, but I can carry you Mr. Frodo." Sean Astin played the eponymous hero in the movie Rudy, about a young man who overcomes obstacles to become a football hero. Basically a guy version of a chick flick.

Minutiae

The music in the Promo video for the episode is "Satan's Foot on My Neck" by Brett Detar. A song by Brett also played in episode 7.13 The Slice Girls.
Meg: You remember everything?

Castiel: If you’re referring to the pizza man, yes I remember the pizza man. And it’s a good memory.

In 6.10 Caged Heat Castiel watches a porn movie featuring the classic porn trope commonly known as Pizza Boy Special Delivery. He later kisses Meg, claiming he "learned it from the pizza man."
Dean: You really think we can trust Megstiel?
Megstiel is the fandom mash-up name to describe fanworks featuring Meg and Castiel in a romantic and/or sexual relationship.
Details from Naomi's office: Production Designer Jerry Wanek pointed out the crucifix design that is in the glass wall. Some fans thought the colors of pink and purple outside this wall in the final scene in Naomi's office represented the Bisexual Pride flag, but Jerry confirmed that the lighting by Serge Ladouceur reflected emotion and the passage of time.
Crowley says to Naomi "If you remember our time in Mesopotamia the way I do, you know I'm a lover, not a fighter." That line would imply that they spent time together in ancient Mesopotamia, but in 6.04 Weekend at Bobby's, based on information from a demon, Rufus discovers Crowley to be "17th century Scottish tailor named Fergus MacLeod from Canisbay" and it was supposedly the ghost of his son who leads Bobby and the Winchesters to locate his burial site and bones in Scotland. However that area of the Middle East was known as Mesopotamia by the west up until the 1920 Iraqi Revolt, at which point it became known as the Kingdom of Iraq.
In the scene in the crypt Castiel assaults Dean while Dean pleads with him. Originally the scene contained Dean saying "I love you" to Cas. It was Jensen who suggested the line was not in character for Dean, and it was removed. Writer Robbie Thompson has said he supported Jensen's call on this.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

Promotion

Misha talks about Castiel's return: