Two Minutes to Midnight
5x21 Bobby+SamVsCroatoans
Production information
Season : 5
Episode : 21
Original airdate : 6 May, 2010
Directed by : Phil Sgriccia
Written by : Sera Gamble
Preceded by : The Devil You Know
Followed by : Swan Song

Two Minutes to Midnight is the twenty-first episode of Season 5 of Supernatural, and the last episode before the season finale.


"One soul, shattered, bruised and valiant: Bobby sells his soul in exchange for the location of Death. Pestilence unleashes horrific diseases upon Sam and Dean. And Dean meets up with the Fourth Horseman."[1]

Full synopsisEdit

After having gained Pestilence's location at Davenport, Iowa from Brady, Sam and Dean return to Bobby's, where Dean is furious after learning of Sam's plan to say yes to Lucifer and then throw himself with the Devil in him into the cage. Before their disputes can go further, Dean receives a phone call from Cass. Cass explains he's currently stuck in hospital, having appeared unconscious on a boat after banishing himself (in Point of No Return). Cass also reveals to Dean that after having banished himself, he's lost the remainder of his angel power and been rendered mortal; so Cass no longer has any angel powers, and can't just teleport to the boys and will have to get a plane ride. Before hanging up, Cass apologises to Dean for doubting the latter's willpower, as Dean saying no to Michael has proven in Cass's eyes that Dean is not as broken and empty as he'd thought.

Sam and Dean subsequently head off to Davenport to find Pestilence and get his ring. Pestilence is supposed to be located at the Serenity Valley Convalescent Home, which appears on the outside as a typical nursing home, but in actuality, Pestilence is there disguised as a doctor (under the alias of Dr. Green) and using the elderly patients as test subjects for his experiments with disease mixtures. One of Pestilence's patients is Celeste, an ill elderly woman, who dies due to Pestilence using her as a human petri dish for his latest 'proprietary blend' of multiple diseases. Sam and Dean take out the security and break into the CCTV observation room in hopes that the cameras will catch any sign of who in the facility might be Pestilence. After a long wait for anything out of the ordinary, Sam and Dean finally locate Pestilence on the cameras when Dr. Green only shows up on the CCTV as static. Sam and Dean head off after Pestilence, but Pestilence activates his ring, causing everyone within range of him to suddenly fall cripplingly if not fatally sick, including the Winchesters. Sam and Dean reach the patient's room where Pestilence and his demon assistant are waiting for them, but the Winchesters both collapse from the sickness before they can do anything against Pestilence. Pestilence intends to torture and mutilate Sam and Dean using the many agonising diseases he can give them, as revenge for what they did to War and Famine, but before Pestilence can go any further, Cass arrives, having taken a bus. Though Cass himself is affected by Pestilence's disease-inducing effect thanks to the loss of his angelic power, he is still able to take Pestilence by surprise; killing his demon assistant, and cutting off Pestilence's fingers and retrieving his ring. With the loss of Pestilence's ring, his effect immediately wears off and Pestilence himself vanishes, but not before he ominously declares to the trio that it's too late anyway.

Sam, Dean and Cass afterwards return to Bobby's with Pestilence's ring. Bobby feels that this was a victory, but Sam and Dean are still worried over Petsilence's last words that it was too late. Bobby then reveals that the final horseman, Death, will be in Chicago to trigger a storm that will lead to the deaths of three million people by natural disasters. Sam and Dean learn when Crowley arrives that Bobby knows this because he took up Crowley's deal in the previous episode to gain Death's location in exchange for Bobby's soul (with Crowley having, to Bobby's chagrin, taken and kept a picture of their deal-sealing kiss). Though Dean is furious that Bobby has sold his soul, Crowley promises that he will gives ownership of Bobby's soul back, but refuses to do so until after Lucifer has been stopped so that he has leverage against Sam and Dean for his own life. Afterwards, Sam and Dean discuss Sam's plan to say yes to Lucifer and sacrifice himself - Sam admits that he considers himself the weakest out of the four of them, but he also believes that there's no other way and that he's the only one that can do this. Crowley then alerts Sam and Dean to a news bulletin stating that Niveus Pharmaceuticals, the medicine company Pestilence's demons under Brady had infiltrated, are mass-producing an alleged new swine flu vaccine for simultaneous countrywide distribution, in response to the swine flu outbreak caused by Pestilence. The Winchesters realise that the new Niveus vaccine is actually laced with the Croatoan virus, and this was what Pestilence meant and was his plan all along - to cause outbreaks of flu, then release Croatoan samples disguised as a vaccine across the nation to the public to cause a devastating nationwide Croatoan pandemic. In Chicago, as a storm builds up and approaches, a pale-grey 1959 Cadillac drives into the city, and Death steps out onto the streets of Chicago, ready to bring on the end of millions.

The following night, the team are arming up, and have split into two groups to deal with the horsemen's two approaching disasters - Dean and Crowley will head to Chicago to find Death and get the last ring, while Sam, Bobby and Cass will go to Niveus to sabotage and avert the Croatoan distribution. Bobby plans for him, Sam and Cass to evacuate the Niveus warehouse where the Croatoan-laced vaccine is stored, then blow it up with C-4 and destroy all the Croatoan samples before they can be released; while Crowley hands Dean Death's scythe to use against Death, as the scythe is rumoured to be capable of killing Death himself. As the group get ready to depart, Cass laments over the loss of his angel power and everything he used to be, while Sam admits to missing the times when hunting was simpler for them (when they were just hunting monsters and creatures, rather than averting zombie apocalypses and trying to kill Death himself). Before the two groups get ready to leave, Crowley tells Bobby to stop sitting in his wheelchair and get up to fight. Bobby at first thinks this to be an insult over his paraplegia, until Crowley reveals that since he thought Bobby's soul was worth more than just Death's whereabouts, he added a little extra for Bobby - to everyone's shock, amazement and happiness, Bobby's legs have been restored and he can now finally walk again.

The two teams subsequently set off to stop their respective catastrophes. As Sam, Bobby and Cass drive off for Niveus, Cass discusses Sam's plan to say yes to Lucifer and jump into the cage. Cass notes that while it's a bizarre plan, he doesn't think it's a futile one, as he's learned during his and the Winchesters' experience that Sam and Dean have a habit of exceeding angels' expectations. However, Cass warns Sam that he must know first that Michael has taken the Winchesters' half-brother Adam as an alternative vessel after Dean said no; meaning if Sam fails to take back control after letting Lucifer in, the archangels' battle and the apocalyptic collateral devastation will be inevitable. Cass also informs Sam that Lucifer's vessel needs to imbibe gallons of demon blood to be strong enough to contain him, so Sam will have to drink more demon blood than ever before to be ready to let Lucifer in.

Once Sam, Bobby and Cass arrive at the Niveus warehouse the next day, Bobby's initial plan is to pull a fire alarm and then blow the facility up once all the human staff are clear, but they're forced to improvise and make up a Plan B as they go along when one of the cargo trucks is about to leave early. Cass knocks out the leaving truck's driver, and then disables the gate so that none of the other trucks carrying the laced vaccine can leave. When the demons among the warehouse staff notice this and the trio's arrival, they combat the Winchesters' mission to stop them, by locking down the warehouse and using the vaccine stocks to release the Croatoan virus among several of the human workers. Sam and Bobby break into the sealed warehouse, and after shooting down several Crotes, Sam sets about finding and rescuing the uninfected workers scattered around the warehouse before the loose Crotes get them, while Bobby takes care of finding and killing the demons. Sam, Bobby and Cass succeed in tracking down the uninfected workers and getting them out to safety, then after killing the Crotes and demons, set about blowing up the warehouse to eradicate the Croatoan stocks.

Meanwhile in Chicago, Crowley takes Dean to a warehouse where Death should be located, but Crowley finds that Death isn't in there and has moved his location to somewhere else in Chicago. With Death having moved location, Dean and Crowley now have no way of tracking him down in time before his storm hits Chicago, leaving Dean with the task of finding a way to evacuate three million people in time, and Crowley anxious for them to immediately get out of town before the storm hits. However, while Dean is stressing over how to possibly evacuate all of Chicago, Crowley finds Death inside a typical local pizzeria by chance, and directs Dean to it before teleporting away. Dean cautiously heads into the pizzeria, and finds everyone there has suddenly dropped dead from Death's presence, except for Death himself, who is eating pizza at one of the tables. Dean tries to sneak up on Death from behind to kill him with the scythe, but Death is already aware of Dean's presence and just magically transports the scythe to his side at the table. But instead of just easily killing Dean, Death civilly invites him to sit and eat with him. Dean is confused about why Death hasn't killed him and what he wants with him, and the ancient being makes it clear to an intimidated Dean that he is uninterested in and above Dean's life and death, above the affairs of the Earth and the Apocalypse, and above Lucifer and his tantrum-fuelled genocide against humanity. Death reveals that in that respect, he is not following Lucifer's plans willingly but is being forced to by a binding spell Lucifer has used on him (which is why he's had to wait for Dean to catch up with him rather than just go to the Winchesters direct), and Death is frustrated at a childish entity like Lucifer using a thing like Death as his weapon, and he wants to be free. Death is aware of the Winchesters' hunt for the horsemen's rings to reimprison Lucifer, and explains that while Dean can't break the binding spell, it will still be rendered inactive if Lucifer is reimprisoned. Because of this, Death is willing to peacefully hand his own ring over to Dean so that the Winchesters can succeed in imprisoning Lucifer, but first Death forces Dean to vow that he'll let Sam jump into the cage. Death then reminds Dean that he'd better hold up the vow since you can't cheat Death, before giving Dean his ring and the instructions on how to open Lucifer's cage with the rings, and agreeing to call off the storm system and spare Chicago.

After the Croatoan outbreak and the destruction of Chicago have both been averted, back at Bobby's, Dean practices what Death taught him about how to use the horsemen's rings to open Lucifer's cage - the four rings must first be combined to form the key to the cage, then the portal to the cage must be activated by an Enochian incantation. Bobby then comes over, enjoying the restoration of his legs, and he and Dean open up a discussion about Sam's plan to take Lucifer in and jump into the cage. Dean admits that he's worried about his vow to Death because he's convinced that he won't be able to actually let Sam do it, but Bobby has more confidence and faith in Sam (particularly after seeing how well Sam performed at Niveus in saving the workers and killing off the Crotes without ever stopping or slowing down). Bobby recognises that while Sam has a lot of character flaws and a great darkness in him, Sam also has a lot of strength and goodness in him, so if anyone will be able to overcome and beat the Devil, it'll be Sam. Bobby then asks Dean what it is he's truly afraid of: losing the war, or losing his brother? Dean doesn't answer.










  1. Supernatural: The Complete Fifth Season DVD episode guide
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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