In the cold open, a woman bashes her husband’s head in for being a lazy couch potato. Married women, am I right? (God I hope not – Res) (Accept your fate, friend -Doc) But that’s what you get for having such ugly candlesticks; they’d drive anyone to murder.
Back at the WinCave (which is like a Bat Cave for Winchesters) Dean is PMSing, as usual. Sam voices his concern, because the writers can’t decide week-to-week how those two feel about each other. Dean insists that he’s totally fine and not obsessed with the First Blade at all. For realsies. Now leave him alone whilst he drinks from the bottle like the totally functional human he is.
Sam leaves him to his off-brand whiskey and investigates the weird murder from opener, but the murderess has hanged herself in her jail cell. Golly, incompetent cops everywhere in their universe. He calls Dean, who is not helpful because his version of “research” is “finding out what’s at the bottom of yet another bottle.” I guess he’s more of an experimentalist, not a theorist. Dean has a bunch of traumatising flashbacks to last week, and how he got off on using the First Blade to kill someone. Needless to say, he's not in a hurry to help Sam out with this week's monster.
Meanwhile, some kid gets picked up in a van by a guy and predictably gets attacked via magical blue burst of light. Show us something we haven’t seen, Supernatural.
Later Sam is at a diner where the blue-light-attacked kid walks in and starts eating someone else's food with his bare hands. He tries to out-glare Sam before stabbing the waitress. Thankfully, Sam intervenes with a solid right hook before things get worse. Back at the jail, things are creepy as all hell. All the normal, upstanding members of the community are going apeshit: committing crimes, speaking the darkest thoughts of their minds, and painting the cell walls with blood. They aren’t fans of holy water, natch, but it’s not burning them outright. Sam figures out that no one has souls, which he wouldn’t know anything about or anything. (Cue the really unsettling flashbacks)
Dean's “field research” is interrupted when Crowley, the best devil on the shoulder I’ve ever seen, drops by to flirt a bit. That happens. Their sexual tension is riveting and almost (but not quite) makes up for the distinct lack of Cas. Crowley hustles Dean at some pool and calls him out on being wishy-washy on this whole Abaddon/First Blade/end of whatever thing. Dean can’t decide if killing Abaddon is worth the weird tingly feeling in his nethers when he uses the Blade. In short, he has to decide if it's worth sacrificing his humanity to save the world.
Back to Sam in Illinois (where these soulless people like Doc are, obviously): enter a sassy old lady! Julia looks like Shirley MacClaine, but is much better at accessorizing, and claims that demons are responsible for the crazy townfolk. She also knows about the Men of Letters because they’ve already hit up Milton. Flashback time! There are Nuns! Nobody expects the Winchester Imposition!
Sam listens to Julia’s story. Back in the late 50’s, early in Grandaddy Winchester's Men of Letters days, Henry and Josie (who is the vessel Abaddon took over) investigate strange happenings at Julia’s convent. Josie isn’t a huge fan of nuns because she’s getting ready for the women’s lib era and also because she went to Catholic school.
I We hear that, girl. Anyway, a nun had murdered some folks and then left blood and carvings on the wall before she killed herself, carvings which indicate the presence of the Knights of Hell.
Turns out, Mother Superior is possessed and stealing people’s souls and bottling them up. Henry and Josie try to kick her ass, but the demon is more powerful and knocks Henry out. Josie is secretly in love with Henry, though, and offers herself as a willing vessel rather than Henry because he has to be there for his wife and baby John. I had some sads here, though that may just be the wine making me sentimental. (No, I had many sads too, Doc. Though that could be from my beer and the revival of the ol' Supernatural drinking game.)
Crowley is hitting on Dean or whatever. Because he knows Dean killed a dude and he liked it.
He’s insistent on Dean joining his side on team Anti-Abaddon. Dean is non-committal (because it’s Dean) but when he sees a hunter nearly go after Crowley in the bathroom (presumably not to cross streams), he intervenes, saving Crowley. Of course, because Dean’s a fucking idiot, and it turns out the young “hunter” is actually a demon, and he relays the info to Crowley, who deems Dean ‘ready.’ Ohhhh ominous.
Sam’s gone to the convent and found souls still trapped in bottles – that's what Abaddon and her minions were up to all those years ago, and in recent times. Abaddon’s servants continue to loiter about the abandoned building, collecting souls of hopeless wanderers to make into soldiers for Abaddon's army. Sam gets stabbed when he attacks the demon (still possessing another nun's body), because tension. Though she’s attempting to strangle him to prevent him saying the exorcism rites, he plays a recording of them off his smartphone, because we fight the supernatural with technology. It’s the future, everybody! And never forget that Sam is the “smart” one. He gives Sister Agnes the ol’ in-and-out (erm, with the demon blade) and sets the souls free.
Before he leaves Illinois, Sam asks Julia why she didn’t tell Henry about Abaddon/Josie. Her answer is essentially, “It’s complicated.” But really she was a coward and was afraid of Abaddon. In a final flashback, we see Henry, so idealistic and hopeful, drive off with Abaddon shortly before his initiation and, eventual, death. Res can't help thinking that if this woman had spoken up, the Winchesters' lives might have been very different.
Sam returns to the WinCave and tells Dean that Abaddon is creating an army with the souls she steals. There wasn't just the Illinois location -there are demons all around the world doing her bidding. Dean has a look on his face that is either constipation or the final decision to go ahead and off Abaddon with the First Blade. Either way, things are about to go down the shitter.
Next week: Metatron takes Chuck’s typewriter, The Resident is indignant. #NeverForget