Great Falls, Indiana, city limits.
A man is walking along the road.
Another man is driving the same road. And drinking.
Vehicular homicide, it’s disturbingly normal and human and horrible. The next morning the body is iced over and a crow picks at the dead victim’s viscera as a local LEO’s car approaches. The state trooper turns to call it in and the body just pops up and flees the scene, much to the state trooper’s confusion.
Over at the Men of Letters HQ, Sam Winchester is spitting up blood as inconspicuously as possible while Dean Winchester is puttering around the house in his dapper robe, sipping his coffee and getting mighty suspicious of his brother’s behavior. Sam distracts him with a newspaper article about the undead hit ‘n’ run. Time to get out of your pajamas and into your Fed suit, Dean; you and your brother have a state trooper to question.
The state trooper is adamant about it being a zombie, despite Dean trying to convince him otherwise. Their back-and-forth is interrupted by the news from just across the state border. Bear attack in Livingston, Montana. The trooper recognizes the mauling victim as his zombie. He’s ready to gear up and head out, but the Winchesters pull him up short claiming they need someone to hold things down on the Indiana side of things. Surprisingly, the trooper puts up zero fight.
Livingston morgue. The guy’s dead. So dead. He’s also missing his liver, which appears to have been eaten. That matches the state trooper’s story. Sam and Dean are perplexed, but accepting. The guy was dead, then undead and now totally dead.
While they debate, the guy breathes back to life and jumps up from the table. All wounds healed he sees the two men in Fed suits arguing his predicament through the window and immediately tries to bail on the brothers, but they catch him. Dean slams him down and shoves the muzzle of his gun against the guy’s head. The guy is unfazed; in fact, since his life is one big Walking Dead DVD on a loop he dares Dean to kill him, but to do it completely.
The guy, as it turns out, has a name: Shane. It’s not his real name, because he can’t remember his real name. All he knows is that he was rescued from an avalanche without knowing who he was and everyday he croaks and everyday he wakes back up, all systems go. It’s been a lonely life; dying every single day means making friends is rougher than usual. Pretty sure the Winchesters can kinda sorta relate on slightly less frequently dead scale.
The boys decide to let Shane clean up and crash in the motel room while they get another room for themselves. Because Shane should totally be left alone. Case in point: Shane is awoken from his slumber by an unknown woman. Who proceeds to swiftly, yet unsuccessfully kick Shane’s ass. She’s more successful kicking Dean’s ass. And Sam’s ass. Shane’s got some mad MMA skills, fighting with expert timing. The woman is offended that he doesn’t remember her and declares them enemies right before she disappears into thin are. This is just a little too much excitement for Shane and he proceeds to have a cardiovasectomy.
Sam resists the urge to explain to Dean that “sitting Shiva” isn’t a literal term as the boys shemira Shane’s body. Sam wonders who or what can float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, die and come back and then die and come back, and has a penchant for shady females.
Okay, who other than him.
They put that aside to answer the sudden knock at the motel room door. A woman, Hayley, is there with her son, Oliver, and the Weekly World News about Shane of the Dead. She tells them that she was with Shane in the aftermath of the avalanche. In the days that they waited for rescue Shane would die on the daily, but Hayley thought it was a shock type thing. But once they were safe and he stroked out while they were having sex she clued into the whole “dead” thing. Then when he woke up as she was ID’ing his body she clued into the whole “this is freaky, I’m outta here” thing. Nine months later she had a baby, but no lead on how to get child support out of Shane.
Just then a newly alive Shane walks out of the room and recognizes Hayley. Hayley feels this is a good time to introduce Oliver to Shane. Best to catch him when he’s freshly risen, right? Wouldn’t wanna wait til too late in the day and have Shane check out on his offspring mid-meeting. As the newly formed nuclear family gets to know each other, Sam researches Shane’s existence. Dean sips more coffee. At last Sam has the answer: Shane is Prometheus. Naturally. And the mystery chick from their midnight throw down? That’s clearly Artemis, looking to help her daddy, Zeus, direct Shane’s final death scene.
They break the news to Shane and he starts making plans to bid a fond adieu to Hayley and Oliver when Hayley bursts in with a bleeding Oliver. Oliver fell and from Hayley’s reaction he’s dying, but that’s not really abnormal for them. Seems that Shane’s Prometheus curse is hereditary. Not so easy to deadbeat dad now is it, Shane?
Hayley tells them that when Oliver turned seven he stopped talking and started dying. This makes sense to Sam because seven is the magic manhood number. Dean wants to know why and how Sam even knows that. They retreat back to HQ, where Dean and Sam fill Hayley in on everything. Despite the fact that her son is on a life/death rollercoaster she’s oddly reluctant to wrap her head around the whole pre-god ex-boyfriend and co-dependent demon-hunting brothers. Doesn’t matter, because said brothers have a plan: summon Zeus and ask him politely to quit it or, if Zeus is less than abiding, kill a Greek god. They gather their ingredients list to summon and kill Zeus: one lightning struck tree splinter, frozen energy and bones from pagan worshippers. Oddly, it’s all easy stuff to get a hold of. Dean sends Sam and Shane off to dig up some dead Greek god genuflectors while he and Hayley figure out how to get their hands on some thunderbolt crystal. Hayley’s finally good for something, she tells Dean that they don’t have to mission impossible their way into a vault for it, most hippie shops have figured out fulgurite is all the rage and sell it on the cheap. Dean’s sails officially deflate.
Meanwhile, Sam and Shane heart to heart about their martyr complexes while they dig up dead people. It’s very touching.
They all meet back up, ingredients in the bag and get ready to bake up some baklava. Zeus is a powerful and rakish and prim and proper. He’s not really on board with this crass display the Winchesters have cooked up. Shane demands Zeus remove the curse from Oliver. Zeus offers up a deal: they let him out of his god trap and he’ll life Oliver’s curse. Dean doesn’t like the terms, he wants Oliver’s curse lifted first. Zeus does not negotiate and neither does Dean Winchester. Winchesters and Co. get ready to roll out and leave Zeus to an immortal existence full of absolute boredom. Hayley is hesitant, she doesn’t want her son to suffer day in and day out so she smudges the god trap line and lets Zeus free.
Yeah. Real smart move, Hayley.
Zeus immediately blasts everyone with his flashy super powers. He’s pissed in that really calm, cool, collected, capable, scary as hell way that omnipotent beings have. He asks Hayley if Shane has seen his son die and if it had an emotional effect on him. Hayley says yes and yes. Oh, goody, just what Zeus wanted to hear; now he knows exactly how to hit Shane in the heart-shaped soul area. Never go for the direct kill when you can go for the pain. Hayley and Shane see where this is going and start to beg, then they starts to choke, throttled by Zeus’ invisible hand. Zeus sends the brothers off with his daughter, Artemis, so he can deal with this little family. By electrifying Shane.
Artemis, Sam explains as he and Dean are marched to their demise, is the god of hunters. She’s supposed to watch over them, but lately she’s not as hardcore as she used to be and no one is really scrambling to supplicate at her feet. He mocks her inability to hunt down Shane for seven years. Sorry excuse for a huntress in his opinion and he thinks there’s more to it than that. Sam’s insolence really irritates her.
Sam tells her the gossip that he knows, that she had allowed Prometheus to escape before because they had the hots for each other. Sam appeals to the humanity in her. And possibly projects some of his residual daddy issues on to her. She finally stands up to her dad, shooting a fatalistic arrow at him, but Zeus uses Shane as a shield. With Shane dying Zeus decides to use Oliver as his replacement on the mountain. Shane, with his actual dying breath, uses his last vestiges of strength to force the arrow through himself and into Zeus. Two gods with one arrow. Artemis silently vanishes from sight, taking her father’s body with her. The brothers, Hayley and Oliver give Shane a hunter’s funeral.
Sam and Dean batmobile their way home and Sam takes this opportunity to admit to Dean that he’s a bit unsure about his ability to stay healthy during the trials. Dean’s not hearing that, he demands that Sam rally. The trials aren’t going to take Sam down, Dean wants Sam to die babbling over a checkerboard in an old folks’ home.
And later, in the quiet of his room, Dean Winchester prays to an angel that may not be listening.