It’s dream time for Dean and the elder Winchester brother rocking out to Warrant’s seminal cheeseball hit of the ’90s, “Cherry Pie” as a devil and angel-attired team of stripers gyrate wildly in front of him in his slumbering visions. His dream is met with an insta-flurge when Anna (the red-haired former angel/human-turned-angel-again) interrupts with a special message asking Dean to meet her at 225 Industrial. She’s now a renegade angel once again who has been let out of Heaven’s prison.
Cassiel meets Anna instead of the Winchesters. She complains that the boys don’t trust her, but Cassiel tells them that he’s the one who doesn’t trust her. His mistrust is confirmed when he points out that she’s carrying a large knife, one that doesn’t work on angels — unlike the one that Cassiel is carrying. Now that’s a knife!
Anna tells Cassiel that her mission is clear. Sam is the only vessel for Lucifer that matters. If Sam is killed, that means that there will be no war with Michael (presumably in Dean’s meat suit) and no Kroatoa Virus. Cassiel refuses to help Anna because Sam is his friend and threatens to kill her if she so much as harms a pretty-pretty hair on his head.
Anna falls into the past, literally, in an attempt to kill the Winchester’s parents before either of the boys are born. After working some angelic mojo, Cassiel discovers she’s plopped into 1978 and needs to go back to the past (which prompts Dean to make several DeLorean jokes). Sam and Dean insist on coming along, even though Cassiel tells them that bringing the three of them to the past will compromise his power.
When they get to the past, Cassiel is bleeding from the mouth, so Dean puts him up in the honeymoon suite of a hotel run by a dude who tries to sell them dope. After finding out where Ma and Pa Winchester are living now, Sam and Dean stop by to visit the Fam. Dean knows Mary will not be too pleased to see him, considering the last time, he had been Mary, the boys’ mother, knows exactly who they are and tries to shoo them out of the house, but John, their father, is excited to have company. Company that he has no clue that happen to be his sons, 32 years in the future.
Their little sit-down is interrupted with a phone call. John is being threatened on the phone that he’ll lose his job unless he comes into discuss it with his boss, Mr. Woodson. Although the manly voice on the other end would lead John (and the audience) to believe it’s just Mr. Woodson, the voice on the other end is actually Anna the Terminator Angel. When John arrives, he sees Mr. Woodson with his eyes burned out of their sockets, having seen Anna in her true form, before Anna throttles him into a wall. Dean and Mary arrive on the scene with Dean getting thrown into the wall, leaving Mary to attack Anna with the angelic knife. She gives Anna a pretty good run for her money, but gets thrown into the window of a car. Attempting to stab Anna with a crowbar doesn’t kill her, but Sam arrives in time to cast an angelic banishment charm on the wall which whisks Terminator Angel away.
On the way home, Mary, Sam and Dean fill John in on the fact that Mary comes from a long line of Hunters and has fought monsters since she was a kid. When they get home, Mary shows John how she’s demon-proofed their house by hiding a Devil’s Trap under their area rug, iron fixtures on the walls, and holy water and sea salt stocked in the pantry.
John is fascinated with the sigil and asks Dean how to draw them and how big to make them. He has no hesitation to slice open his own palm when Dean tells him that the sigil needs to be drawn in human blood. This no-nonsense departure from his happy-go-lucky demeanor earlier prompts Dean to tell John (oh-so-ironically) that at this moment, he really reminds him of his dad.
John and Sam have a heart-to-heart, as Winchesters are wont to do, and tells John that his father brought him up to be a Hunter. John freaks out, appalled that someone would actually put their children in jeopardy by exposing them to demons and monsters. Sam refutes this, saying that his father did the right thing, attempting to teach his kids to protect themselves. Sam tells John that his father died before he was able to tell him that he loved him and forgave him for bringing them into the Hunter fold because he knew that he meant to protect them by arming them with knowledge.
Dean, on the other hand, comes right out and tells Mary that he and Sam are her sons. Dean tells her the details of how and why they came back to the past. He tells her many miniscule details that only they would know to prove this, such as Mary making him tomato rice soup when he was sick and that he would sing “Hey, Jude” to him in lieu of a lullaby. She’s aghast that she raised her kids to be Hunters. That’s when Dean drops the bomb that she didn’t raise them, because she’s dead, killed by the Yellow-Eyed Demon. John became a Hunter to seek revenge. Sam, however, tells her that this can be avoided if she leaves John now before events are set in motion. It’s too late, however, when Mary tells the boys that she’s already pregnant.
An even problem arises when the sigils John drew are smudged. Just then, all of the windows in the house shatter. It’s Uriel, wearing a much younger vessel, having met up with Anna in the past. Telling Terminator Angel that he is more than happy to “do some smiting,” he tussles with the Winchesters at their home. Anna shoes up and knocks John out of the house and then stabs Sam in the stomach. Things don’t look too good when Sam starts bleeding from the mouth.
While nearly unconscious outside, John is visited by the Archangel Michael who tells him he can save his wife if he allows him to temporarily take over his body as his vessel. Michael-in-John’s-body enters the fracas and shows up to waste Anna, incinerating her after she recognizes him instantly as Michael. He also tells Uriel to get lost and the other Archangel beats it, immediately.
While in John’s body, Michael tells Dean that he is only fighting his destiny. He can wear John’s body, as well as Dean’s because the Winchesters are part of an ancient bloodline of warring brothers that can be traced back to Cain and Abel. Dean marvels at this “Six Degrees of Heaven Bacon” as Michael tells him more about his fate and that free will is merely an illusion. He and Sam have been destined to be vessels and it was no mere chance that, out of millions of possibilities, Mary and John would meet and have Sam and Dean. All of these circumstances were pre-destined. He also parallels his relationship and brotherly love for Lucifer to Dean’s relationship with Sam: He loves his brother and helped to raise him, but will kill him because it is his father’s will and he is a good son.
Dean still protests and will find a way to save Sam and the world no matter what. With that, Michael transports a healed Sam back to the future and wipes John and Mary’s minds of all of the details they had learned. Michael tells Dean that he will change his mind, as will Sam.
Back in the future, Sam and Dean are holding up Cassiel who’s ready to heave a quart of woozy, angelic vom. Dean tells Sam what Michael had told him, and that they will both eventually crack and say “yes” to the whole vessel thing. Meanwhile, back in the past, a very pregnant Mary and John fawn over a sweet-faced cherub angel statue stationed in Baby Dean’s future nursery. She pats her belly telling her “little troublemaker” not to worry… Angels are watching over him.
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