|Original airdate :||18 September, 2008|
|Directed by :||Kim Manners|
|Written by :||Eric Kripke|
|Preceded by :||No Rest for the Wicked|
|Followed by :||Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester|
Dean is inexplicably resurrected and returned from Hell by a mysterious cosmic power that even demons fear, and Dean and Bobby work to find the entity behind Dean's return. Meanwhile, Sam is now using his demonic powers under Ruby's tutelage.
Dean is seen to be surrounded by tortured screams in an unseen environment (Hell), when Dean wakes up apparently alive in a coffin buried underground. Confused and weak, Dean digs and crawls out of his grave into a sunny field, clearly now back on Earth and alive, and finds the area surrounding his grave rife with the aftermath of a powerful destructive burst from the grave. Dehydrated, alone and confused, Dean hikes to a secluded empty gas station for water, and begins stealing and collecting supplies there to hit the road. Dean discovers at the gas station from a newspaper's date that four months have passed on Earth since he was killed and taken to Hell, and he also finds that the damage caused by the hellhound that killed him is completely healed - but he also finds a large handprint burned onto his arm. Before Dean can leave the gas station, an invisible but powerful presence begins to manifest - causing the station's electronic appliances to go haywire and filling the station with a painful loud, destructive, high-pitched noise - then suddenly vanishes again.
In the aftermath of the deadly presence's attack on the gas station, Dean tries to call Sam and Bobby from a payphone - but Sam has disconnected his previous phone number, and Bobby doesn't believe it's Dean and hangs up, assuming it to be a cruel prank call. Currently on his own for now, Dean hotwires an old nearby car and uses it to drive to Sioux Falls, where he shows up at a stunned and speechless Bobby's front door. Bobby initially believes it to be a supernatural imposter and charges at Dean with a knife, until Dean proves to Bobby it's really him by safely cutting himself with a silver knife. Dean and Bobby happily embrace, then get onto the topic of how Dean escaped Hell; Dean claims that he doesn't remember any of what happened to him in Hell after the hellhound killed him, and Bobby is baffled and concerned about what could have both raised Dean from Hell and repaired his body's mauled remains. Dean asks about Sam's status, and Bobby confirms that Sam is alive but that Sam went separate from Bobby and cut off contact with him after they lost Dean. When Dean learns from Bobby that they buried Dean's corpse instead of burning it because Sam had wanted a chance that Dean could still live again if he somehow returned from Hell, Dean fears that Sam is the one responsible for bringing Dean back from Hell. Dean then gets Bobby up-to-date on the supernatural presence at the gas station and the handprint left on Dean's arm after his resurrection; Dean suspects that the mysterious entity that raised Dean and left the handprint was a high-level demon fulfilling a crossroads deal with Sam to bring Dean back.
Dean and Bobby set about finding Sam ASAP, and Dean tracks Sam's location (by hacking Sam's GPS) to Pontiac, Illinois - which is very near Dean's grave and where he was resurrected. Bobby and Dean subsequently head to Pontiac and visit the hotel room where Sam is staying, finding him with a girl he's picked up. When Sam sees Dean, he at first can't believe it like Bobby couldn't, until the two confirms it really is Dean. Sam and Dean embrace, before an awkward moment occurs when attention returns to the girl Sam's been sleeping with. Once the girl that was with Sam has left, Dean and Bobby confront Sam about what he knows about Dean's resurrection, and accuse Sam of making a demon deal to switch places with Dean; however, Sam reveals that he'd already unsuccessfully tried that and several other means of getting Dean out of Hell, and Dean and Bobby are convinced. The group then set about finding out what saved and resurrected Dean and why if Sam wasn't involved. Bobby and Dean get a status update on what Sam's been doing, and Sam explains he's been hunting for revenge on Lilith since Dean's death, and that he's in Pontiac because of an unexpected surge of demon activity to the area at the exact same time that Dean came back. Suspecting the demon activity to be related to Dean's resurrection, Bobby suggests they go to a local psychic to see if she can get information from the other side about the entity that raised Dean. Though Dean claims again to Sam that he doesn't remember any of Hell, when Dean is alone in the hotel room's bathroom, he has nightmarish flashbacks to Hell.
Sam, Dean and Bobby subsequently leave for the psychic, with Sam giving the Impala back to Dean (who is unimpressed with the iPod and non-rock song additions Sam has added). When Dean learns from Sam about how Sam survived Lilith's attack when Dean was killed because he was immune to Lilith's powers, Dean gets suspicious that Sam has been using his special child powers, but Sam tries to assure Dean that he didn't take that path because it was Dean's last wish to him. Bobby takes Sam and Dean to the psychic the next day, an attractive woman and old friend Pamela Barnes, who takes an obvious, open and aggressive sexual interest in both the boys and vice versa. Pamela tells Bobby that no spirits she's contacted on the other side seem to know anything about the cause or reason for Dean's resurrection, and so performs a séance with the brothers and Bobby in hopes of getting a look at the creature that raised Dean. During the séance, Pamela successfully makes psychic contact with the entity, causing increasingly intimidating and violent tremors and haywire EM around the group, and learns its name - Castiel. Pamela tries to force the Castiel entity to show itself to her, and the violent supernatural force around the séance intensifies out of control. In the aftermath of the destructive séance, Pamela is left alive but with her eyes completely burned away from her sockets due to forcing the entity to show itself.
Afterwards, while Bobby has apparently taken Pamela to hospital to recover from the loss of her eyes to the Castiel entity's immense power, Sam and Dean discuss at the diner what happened with the séance and what Castiel is; Dean wants to summon the entity and face it head-on, but Sam is against this due to how powerful and deadly Pam's séance has proven Castiel to be. The other three people in the diner then confront Sam and Dean and reveal themselves to be the demons Sam has been tracking. The lead demon demands to know who raised Dean from Hell and why, causing Dean and Sam to realise that even the demons themselves don't know anything about the entity that resurrected Dean. When Dean calculates from the demons' fear that they're too scared by the Castiel entity of the consequences if they send Dean back to Hell to dare kill him and Sam, the brothers walk out of the demon-occupied diner unharmed. Sam is appalled and reluctant to let the demons in the diner go free, but Dean figures they're outnumbered and they need to focus on the Castiel situation in the meantime. Back at Sam's hotel room the following night, Dean is alone in the room when the powerful supernatural presence returns, unleashing on Dean the same high-pitched destructive noise from the gas station, which non-fatally agonises Dean and smashes all the glass in the hotel room around him, until Bobby arrives.
In the aftermath of the Castiel presence's return in the hotel, Dean and Bobby are driving off to deal with the entity, while Sam has secretly gone back to the demon-infested diner. At Dean and Bobby, Dean plans to summon Castiel and face the entity head-on; Dean is overconfident they have a chance against the creature with bobby's arsenal and the demon-killing knife, while Bobby is outright convinced it is suicidal after what they've already seen of the creature's immense power. Meanwhile, Sam breaks into the diner to find all but one of the demons are dead, their vessels' eyes burnt out just as Pamela's were - indicating that Castiel attacked the demons and easily overpowered them. The lone surviving demon is in a state of deep fear, having apparently recognised Castiel when she saw it, and declares the entity is "the end." When the demon refuses to tell Sam exactly what the entity is, Sam uses his psychic special child powers to pull the demon from its host body and send it back to Hell. Ruby then arrives, possessing the same girl that Sam was sleeping with earlier, and it is revealed that Sam and Ruby are secretly training and augmenting Sam's special-child powers so he can use them as a weapon against demons. Sam talks to Ruby about Castiel, and Ruby warns Sam that the entity is far too powerful to be a high-level demon or anything else she's ever seen before, and Ruby warns that this creature is an immensely powerful force of cosmic proportions.
Elsewhere, Dean and Bobby set up a trap for Castiel at a rural barn, covering the walls and floors with trapping and protective sigils and talismans from all worldwide cultures and faiths, and arming up with every supernatural-killing weapon they have, before beginning the summoning ritual. Back at the diner, Sam and Ruby discuss Dean's return and what the two of them have started doing (using Sam's demonic powers since Dean went to Hell), and the two decide that they will keep practicing Sam's powers and not tell Dean, but will be less in-contact so it's less of a lie on Sam's part to Dean. Back at Dean and Bobby's barn trap, Dean and Bobby are waiting for Castiel to respond to the summoning, when the barn begins to rumble and the lights and winds go haywire around them. The Castiel entity then manifests in the barn in the form of a man in a trenchcoat, and he advances unfazed through all of the sigils and traps. Bobby and Dean try to stop Castiel, but nothing they try works on him - their guns' salt rounds don't slow him down at all, and even the demon knife has no effect on him whatsoever. Castiel renders Bobby unconscious with a touch to the forehead, and tells Dean they need to talk alone.
A bewildered and distrustful Dean demands to know what Castiel is, and Cass identifies himself as an angel of Heaven; even revealing giant, shadowy angelic wings in a flash of lightning. Though noticeably intimidated, Dean is unconvinced Castiel is an angel like he says he is and believes there's no such thing. Dean also confronts Castiel about what happened with Pamela, and Castiel explains that seeing his true form burns out humans' eyes and that the high-pitched noise Dean heard from him was his real voice (as Castiel incorrectly believed Dean was one of a special type of human with the ability to safely hear angels' true voices), and that his true form's danger to humans is also the reason that Castiel has now possessed a human body to make contact. Dean still doesn't understand why, whether or not Castiel truly is an angel, he would rescue Dean from Hell; and Castiel chillingly tells Dean, "Because God commanded it.Because we have work for you."
- Jared Padalacki as Sam Winchester
- Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester
- Jim Beaver as Bobby Singer
- Genevieve Cortese as Ruby
- Misha Collins as Castiel
- Traci Dinwiddie as Pamela Barnes
- Jen Halley as Demon Waitress
- Scott Parson as Dinner Patron Demon
- Mark Gaudet as Fry Cook Demon
- Hell (unseen; flashback)
- Pontiac, Illinois
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Johnny Mac's Diner