99 Problems
Production information
Season : 5
Episode : 17
Original airdate : 8 April, 2010
Directed by : Charles Beeson
Written by : Julie Siege
Preceded by : Dark Side of the Moon
Followed by : Point of No Return

99 Problems is the seventeenth episode of Season 5 of Supernatural.


Sam and Dean are taken in by a sealed-off town, who are aware of the Apocalypse and are battling the demon hordes, under the guidance of a young local prophet. However, when the prophet begins having the townsfolk murder so-called sinners amongst them to appease the angels speaking to her, Castiel reveals that she is not a prophet but something else entirely, and time is running out before half the townsfolk are massacred by their own friends and the rest damned to Hell. Meanwhile, with the plan to find God having failed, hope is running lower than ever for Team Free Will, and Dean seriously begins to consider saying yes to Michael.

Full synopsisEdit

While fleeing on the road from a massive number of demons, Sam and Dean are saved by a militia of hunters, the leader among whom is a man named Rob; to the Winchesters' awe, the hunters use holy water, and an Enochian exorcism they've never heard before, to neutralise the attacking demons, before the hunters reveal that they're aware of the Apocalypse and are fighting the demon hordes off for as long as they can.

When Dean and Sam show Rob their arsenal to prove that they're in "the same line of work," Rob and the militia let Sam and Dean come back with them to their town; Blue Earth, Minnesota. There, the Winchesters discover that all the townsfolk (men, women and children) have taken up hunting to protect themselves against massive demon activity that's been besieging the town since the Apocalypse started. The townsfok are led by Leah, daughter of the local pastor David Gideon, who is a prophet whom the angels give instructions on how to successfully fend the demons back. Sam and Dean are surprised at how the townsfolk are dealing with the Apocalypse: they are continuing their lives more or less normally, in spite of now carrying shotguns and sealing themselves off from the outside world due to the demons; marrying in the Gideons' fortified church weekly while they still can. Sam suspects that the people are being used as tools by the angels, and leaves Castiel a voicemail to come to Blue Earth and help them, but when Sam discusses it with Dean, he's appalled to find that Dean isn't thinking about stopping the Apocalypse anymore so much as admitting it's the end and embracing it.

Leah has a new vision, which reveals there is a concentration of demons located five miles outside the town, and Pastor David intends to go clear the demon nest out with a small squad of volunteers. Sam and Dean volunteer, as do Rob, his wife Jane, his son Dylan, and his best friend the town barman Paul. The squad head in and clear the demons out, either exorcising them with the Enochian chant or killing them with the Winchesters' demon knife. After the successful mission, while Pastor David and most of the townsfolk drive back to Blue Earth, Dylan hangs back with Sam and Dean to catch a ride with them and to share a victory beer with them. But while the three are drinking by the Impala, a lone deon survivor attacks Dylan; Sam and Dean quickly kill the demon, but are too late to save Dylan.

A funeral is held by the townsfolk at Pastor Dvid's fortified church. Sam and Dean attend, but at the funeral, a grief-stricken Jane blames them for her son's death. During the funeral, Leah suddeny goes into a fit as she gets another vision. When it's over, she tells the townsfolk - Jane and Rob in particular - that Dylan and all the other dead loved ones will be returned to life by the angels on Judgment Day to live eternally in happiness in Paradise, but if the townsfolk want to reach Paradise, then everyone must follow a set of commandments put forth by the angels: no drinking, no gambling, and no premarital sex. Afterwards, Dean goes to talk to Leah in private. Dean asks Leah about what she knows from the angels about Paradise truthfully; Leah tells him that at the climax of the Apocalypse, there will be a particularly cataclysmic and harrow "prize fight" between Michael and Lucifer, but once it's over, "the chosen" will be given peace and happiness with the ones they love on an Earth free of death, disease, monsters and suffering. Leah is also aware that Dean is Michael's vessel, and sympathises with him about how hard it must be to have no hope in spite of that.

Meanwhile, Sam goes to drink at Paul's bar, which has gone from being very popular to completely desolate with the angels' anti-sin commandments. Sam and Paul sympathise and discuss what's going on with the angels ruling the town through Leah; Paul declares that while he was never the praying type and doesn't have any faith in the angels or what Leah's doing with the town, many of the townspeople were the same before the Apocalypse; the only difference between them and Paul is that Paul is choosing to "go to Hell honest" and be who he's always been, unlike his former-customers. Sam agrees, stating that while he does believe in God and pray, he feels that "God stopped caring a long time ago."

Afterwards, Sam goes back to Dean at their motel room in town to bring up the townwide commandments: not only has Leah outlawed vices, but she's also established a curfew and has ordered that all telephone, internet, TV and other connection to "the 'corruption of the outsside world'" be cut and banned. Sam declares that the angels are turning this town into a fundamentalist prison camp, and says that they should do something to stop the angels' games with these people. But Dean just doesn't care; he feels that he and Sam just can't do anything to win the fight to stop the Apocalypse, and so the angels are the ones who have the right to decide what should happen to the world. Meanwhile, Leah goes to Pastor David and the militia with news from another vision: she claims that the angels are furious because some like Paul aren't following their commandments, and they demand expiation in blood or the others won't be allowed into Paradise. Back at the motel, Castiel finally arrives, having got Sam's voicemail. To Sam's surprise, Cass is heavily drunk, having gone "on a bender" at a liquor store in his disheartenment after they found out God wasn't interested in stopping the Apocalypse. Cass says that the reason he's come is because something is wrong: Leah isn't a real prophet, because all the prophets' names are encoded into Cass's brain, bur Leah Gordon isn't among them. While Dean is out for fresh air past curfew, he passes by Paul's bar to see the militia, led by Rob, depravedly attempting to murder Paul so that the angels will let them have Paradise. Pastor David, being the only one of the militia who remains rational-minded, tries to stop Rob peacefully and restore sanity with Dean's help, but Jane, madly refusing to let anything stop her from seeing Dylan again in Paradise, shoots Paul dead in cold blood.

A horrified Dean returns to the motel next morning, where Sam and a still-drunk Cass are waiting for him and tell him the news that Leah isn't a real prophet. Cass reveals that Leah is actually the biblical Whore of Babylon, who is really a demonic creature which rises when Lucifer walks free; and Cass explains that the demons that have been attacking the town were under her control and fuelling her endgame, and the Enochian exorcism the Whore gave is fake. The Whore's purpose during the Apocalypse is to falsely pose as a prophet, so as to manipulate people into committing depraved acts of murder in God's name which get their souls condemned to Hell. Meanwhile, as Leah claims to Rob and a messed-up Jane that they had to kill Paul to save their own souls, Pastor David, his morality and rationality beginning to get him to see that this can't be God's will, begins to question Leah and asks her to stop making things even worse and more depraved; but Leah coldly threatens to mark him as the next 'sinner' to be killed if he doesn't obey her. Back at the motel, Cass brings out a Babylonian cypress stake which he says can kill the Whore, but the stake will only work on her if it's wieelded by a True Servant of Heaven. Cass, as a rebel angel, doesn't count; neither does Dean due to his refusal to say yes to Michael; and Sam, being a demon-blooded human and Lucifer's true vessel, is considered an abomination. The trio reason that Pastor David, as a devout man and the only one who hasn't fallen due to the Whore's manipulation, is the only one who fits the bill.

The next night, while Pastor David is walking home alone, Castiel finds him and teleports him back to the motel to tell him the truth about what's really going on and why they need him. David is horrified and initially tries to deny it, but realises that it's true that the creature currently in Leah's form is not his daughter but is the thing that killed her and took her form. As the group get ready to set out and stop the Whore, Dean takes a moment by the Impala to sympathise with Cass over how bad Cass is struggling after God's refusal to help disheartened him. Dean assures Cass that he himself knows from his experience with John about being let down by deadbeat dads, and tells Cass that he copes because "On a good day you get to kill a Whore." Meanwhile back at the church, the Whore is having a small group from the miitia, including Rob and Jane, lock the rest of the townsfolk (including innocent children) up in the storage unit and prepare kerosene to burn them alive.

While the Whore is alone is a dresser room, Castiel and the Winchesters ambush her and hold her in place for Gideon to stake. But before Pastor David can bring himself to see past his daughter's face and kill the Whore, she uses an Enochian spell to cripple Cass, then runs back out to the militia. Pastor David chases out ahead of Sam and Dean after the Whore, but is quickly kncked down by the group when the Whore claims to the militia that he's possessed by a demon. Sam and Dean fight off the militia to save the locked-up townspeople and kill the Whore. Sam manages to fend Rob and Jane off just in time before they can light the kerosene and murder the captive townsfolk, while the Whore pins down and attemptts to strangle Dean. As the Whore taunts Dean that he won't do anything about the end of the world and that Hell is going to win the war because of this, Dean manages to reach for the stake and plunges it into the Whore's chest. To Sam's surprise, the stake works, and the Whore collapses to the floor and dies, showing her haggard, inhuman true face as she perishes. In the aftermath of the Whore's death, a dazed Jane is confused as to how they're supposed to reach Paradise now. Dean can only sadly tell her that after what she's done, she's marked for a different destination.

After the Whore's death, as Dean and Sam help the injured Cass and Gideon out respectively and take them back to the motel to recuperate, Sam asks how Dean was able to kill the Whore since her killer had to be a Servant of Heaven. Sam fears that Dean is considering saying yes to Michael, but Dean denies it. However, when Sam is bandaging Gideon's cuts at the motel, Dean suddenly grabs the Impala and drives off before Sam can stop him. Dean goes to visit Lisa, who's moved since Dean last saw her. Lisa is at first pleasantly surprised to see Dean, but quickly grows worried about what he's thinking of doing when he tells her why he's here: he expects things will get apocalyptically bad in the next few days, but the people Dean is going to see will get nothing out of him unless they can guarantee her and Ben's safety; Dean doesn't directly specify what it is he's planning on doing, but it's heavily implied that he intends to say yes to Michael. Lisa firmly and almost desperately tries to get Dean to come inside and talk with her about it, but Dean flatly says it's better if they don't. Dean then kisses a distressed and tearful Lisa goodbye on the cheek, and leaves her on her front porch as he walks back out to the Impala.









  • This episode's name comes from the fact that it is the 99th ever episode of Supernatural.
Supernatural Season 5
Sympathy for the DevilGood God, Y'All!Free to Be You and MeThe EndFallen IdolsI Believe the Children Are Our FutureThe Curious Case of Dean WinchesterChanging ChannelsThe Real GhostbustersAbandon All Hope...Sam, InterruptedSwap MeatThe Song Remains the SameMy Bloody ValentineDead Men Don't Wear PlaidDark Side of the Moon99 ProblemsPoint of No ReturnHammer of the GodsThe Devil You KnowTwo Minutes to MidnightSwan Song

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