Just when you thought the Winchester boys couldn't catch a break in their Supernatural world….um. Well. Things get worse. What's worse than the apocalypse? You have to keep reading.
The episode starts off with Dean relaxing on the dock of a bay, watching the time roll…you get the point. It's clearly a dream. Castiel pops up and says they have to talk somewhere more private. When you need someplace more private than your own head, you have a serious problem. He directs him where to go, but when he and Sam get there it seems like they may be too late. A big battle between some serious heavy hitters already went down and the only evidence of what may have happened is a symbol they recognize as a direct trip back to heaven for an angel. Oh, and Castiel's body. Only Castiel isn't in it anymore – he's back to being Jimmy Novak from Pontiac, Illinois.
Jimmy doesn't remember much about being touched by an angel, other than he did accept it, it was the worst year of his life and it was like being chained to a comet. Dean wants to let him go back home but Sam thinks it's too dangerous. Unfortunately, Sam's demon blood addiction has him ducking out of the hotel room for a fix on his turn at guard duty and Jimmy slips away. Anna pops up (literally) to urge them to find Jimmy and lets them know that Castiel was dragged back to heaven for ticking off someone in upper management.
Jimmy is back at his house, where his wife cautiously lets him in, telling him they thought he was dead. She had never believed that he was being spoken to by angels when Castiel was trying to talk him into joining the cause, so he plays it safe by telling her he was in a psych clinic. As plans go, it's not incredibly inventive, but it is spoiled when a demon possessed neighbor arrives and has to be taken down by Dean and Sam. Well, mostly Dean, as Sam is losing his mojo without demon blood in his system, so the demon he was after bugs out.
It's enough to convince Jimmy that the boys were right and his family is in danger. He sends them back home, knowing he will never see them again but keeping that to himself. Which is all well and good, since the bugged out demon took over his wife and calls not long after telling him to show up if he wants his family to live. And show up he does, with Sam and Dean following their own plan. Which included getting caught by henchmen, I hope. The demon-wife shoots Jimmy before telling one of the others to kill his daughter. Which is when the daughter exorcises the demon. Castiel's back!
The demons are all dispatched, but not before Sam gives in to temptation and drinks from the tap of one of the demons. Dean and lil'Castiel look on with some bewilderment, but it gives Sam enough juice to cast the demon out of Jimmy's wife. Lil'Castiel tries to tell Jimmy to "go home" in a very "walk towards the light" sort of way, perfectly content to remain in his current vessel. But Jimmy begs Castiel to let his daughter go. Despite the unending torment it will mean for Jimmy, Castiel relents.
This all could have been a wasted episode, as we didn't learn much beyond the fact that there is a genetic component to being an angelic vessel and a little of Jimmy's story. But things take a turn when Dean asks Castiel what he wanted to tell him and Castiel turns with a glare and says he learned his lesson while he was away: he serves heaven, not man and certainly not the Winchesters. Which is a damning enough way to end the episode, as they appear to have lost one of their few allies. But then Bobby calls and asks the boys to come over. Which is when he and Dean lock Sam up in his iron shelter, apparently to detox.
What did you think of Anna being able to tell something was "different" about Sam? Did this difference pass under Castiel's nose undetected? And harsh Sam was in full effect, telling Jimmy that he would have to leave his family forever or else put a bullet in his brain – was that the darkness or the craving talking? And are demons listening in on Dean's thoughts? Or is it heaven? Why else would a dream not be private enough? And how fantastic was Misha Collins tonight? The change in voice, expression and demeanor between Castiel and Jimmy were fascinating!