The alleyway is dark, the woman walking through it is a hooker, man is following her and she’s wearing heels. This is not going to go well for her. The man flashes his badge. Damn the fuzz, man. He goes to cuff her, but instead he murders her in a bloody fashion. With his bare hands. Dirty cops are the worst.
Suddenly, the same man jackknifes up in his bed. It was all a terrible nightmare. His faithful Doberman whines in sympathy, or annoyance at being woken up. The man heads the kitchen for a drink and finds his bloody monogrammed shirt in his trashcan that strongly implies the dream evidence is contrary.
Sam and Dean pull up to their motel du nuit and Dean is appalled at his brother. Sam seems to think Shemp was a superior Stooge to Curly. Dean is well aware that Sam can be incorrect about things on occasion, but this goes beyond, this is just wrong. Sam Winchester, pre-lawyer extraordinaire, is not winning this argument. On the flipside, Dean isn’t winning the let-me-take-over-the-trials argument, so it’s all a wash.
The boys aren’t on a case yet; they’re there because they got a text from an old acquaintance that they kinda owe one to. Apparently this guy, James, saved their bacon once. Big whoop, who hasn’t? Dean blows off calling James to tell them they’re in town and opts to go grab a 6-pack and relax for the night. Sam stays behind to freshen up. From the bathroom he hears a scratching sound at the door, when he opens it there’s a dog whining at him. It’s the Doberman from the cop’s bed. The dog beeline for Dean’s bed, rolling around for attention. That’s when Dean gets back. Sam panics. He runs out to head Dean off and starts pleading with Dean about how she’s nice and clean and kinda needy. Dean looks beyond Sam and sees nothing but a really hot chick lounging on his bed.
She can stay.
She explains that she’s not a shapeshifter, she’s Portia and she’s a familiar. James’ familiar. This is not okay with Dean. Last time he saw James he was a regular cop, not a witch. Dean hates witches. Thing is, working with the Winchesters and finding out about the other side of things made him super interested in the supernatural realms and, cursed with a thirst for knowledge, read up on witchcraft and then learned the craft. Portia is also the one that sent them the “help me” text. False texts are becoming a theme this season.
Dean’s not really on board with this, he’s anti-witch and anti-dog. Sam’s less reluctant. Portia is pissed that Dean’s sitting pretty on Bigotry Mountain. The boys do agree that Portia walk ‘n’ talk is hot, so they’re definitely gonna help her. She knows about the dreams, knows James is stressing out, but James is throwing up a wall to lock her out of his mind. The cops can’t help them; the other witches can’t help him. Portia figures that their only shot is the Winchester brothers.
Meanwhile, at the Witch’s Club, Lounge and Bar James is confiding in his fellow witchy friend, Spencer. The dreams are scary, realistic, unrelenting, etc, etc. Spencer thinks he should get some help. James declines, it’s not exactly something a psychiatrist can prescribe a crazy pill for.
That night, James has another nightmare homicide.
The next day Portia takes the boys to James’. James is pissed that she went behind his back and contacted them. Portia is not down for his temper tantrum, so she turns herself back into a dog and walks away from him. James follows and says a terse hello to Sam and Dean. Dean starts in with the scolding, but James doesn’t wanna hear it, he has way better eyelashes than Dean and therefore Dean’s argument is invalid. Dean’s theory is that another witch is screwing with James’ hard drive, James has never heard of anything like that but he’s willing to entertain the hypothesis. There’s a catch though, in order to help him they have to guarantee it’s not him, that means iron shackles all around for James while Sam and Dean research the murders and mix up a witch killin’ brew.
Unfortunately, there’s no actual proof that Bobby’s old witch be-gone recipe will work. Dean’s wary of it not working; he’d like the odds to be ever in their favor for once. Dean is… not really talking about the spell anymore, but Sam’s a smart guy so he’s totally figured that out already. Sam doesn’t feel that Dean feels that Sam is able to handle the trials. It’s not that Dean doesn’t trust Sam, it’s that he’s a controlling worrywart. He has an inferiority complex and a superiority complex about it.
The next day Sam goes to visit James’ precinct to dig up info on the cases. Lead Detective Ed Stoltz isn’t much help, but Sam has something to trade: a piece of James’ bloodstained shirt for analysis. Ed perks up a bit, he has a witness that claims to have seen a man in a suit and white shirt. Sam presses him for more info on the witness, but Detective Stoltz blows him off without so much as an “I said, good day, sir”.
Meanwhile, Portia takes Dean to the Witch Bar and Grill. He’s kinda fascinated by it all and wants to know how James chose Portia. Portia immediately tells Dean to pump his brakes; she chose James and thus the imprinting was formed. Ah, Dean gets it, he knows lots of people are really attached to their pets. Again, Portia brings him to a halt; it isn’t like that, she’s not James’ pet. Ever. The master/familiar bond is a blender carafe of emotions and soul bonds. It’s life for life; they’d die for each other. Now she’s speaking a language Dean understands.
Portia introduces Dean as a Wiccan from Detroit so that people don’t freak out and play Flay the Hunter. The first person he meets is Phillipe LeChat. Phillipe eyes Dean up and down. Dean sneezes in response. They all discuss the gossip going around about James, the witch community isn’t really on the witch-cop bandwagon, there are also some issues with Portia’s behavior, but before they can get into that they’re interrupted by Spencer. Dean asks Spencer about witch mind control, Spencer doesn’t think it can be done. Spencer and Phillipe depart with Phillipe giving Dean one last lingering look. Dean continues to have an allergic reaction to Phillip the Feline Familiar, but at least now he knows why.
That night, Portia puts on a super cute nightie and chains a shirtless James to the bed. Because when one is worried about the one they love they always make sure to wear their best Fredrick’s of Hollywood nightwear. Portia takes this opportunity to role-play a bit with James, but while they kiss she’s assaulted with images from the murders, however that’s all they are, images. No emotion, no planning, no pre- or post-murder details, just gore.
Sam and Dean, having gotten the lab results back from the shirt scrap, decide it’s time to torch James, but Portia stops them and tells them about the visions. Portia tells them that it’s frowned upon for a witch and their familiar to have naked sexy times, but Portia and James don’t care about rules because they’re in love. Dean is full-on wigged out because Portia is, well… y’know. His curiosity and imagination get the better of him and he asks Portia about it, but she’s suavely avoids giving him a concrete answer one which came first, the lass or the lassie.
They finally get some intel from the witchy side of the wall. An insider tells them that the cops have a pretty good case building against James and if he’s caught and found out, the only option he has is to slice his wrists with a concealed butter knife. Which is funny, because Detective Ed is still singing the “we got nothin’” tune. James has a plan, he’ll astral project himself into the precinct to snoop around and he’ll take Sam and Dean along for the ride. Through James they see the whole case that Ed is building on the wall and the witness statement, signed by none other than Phillip the Cat. James is pissed off. He magically flings the brothers in to wall and tells Portia he’s going to take care of this. Portia wants to go with him, but James is too worried about her welfare. He won’t put her in danger, she still has a life she can lead.
I see what you did there, Supernatural.
James confronts Phillipe, who at first tries to deny it but then caves and tells James his master made him do it. James doesn’t believe it, Spencer is his friend. Pick your friends better, James. Turns out this was all about jealousy; Detective Dickhead’s jealous over James climb up the local LEO hierarchy and Spencer’s jealousy over Portia choosing James.
Again, let’s draw our attention to James’ eyelashes. Spencer never had a chance.
The witch fight is ON. Sam and Dean try to interrupt, but Spencer magics them into the wall. Seems he and James dip into the same bags of tricks on occasion. They get up to fight, but he freezes them and starts screwing with their heads, visions of Sam and Adam (hey! Remember Adam? Wonder what ever happened to him in the cage? Eh, oh well.) dance in Sam’s head while visions of Hell and Mary Winchester dance in Dean’s. Just then Portia, in pooch form, comes skittering in to the rescue. She goes for Spencer’s jugular and it breaks his concentration just long enough for Sam and Dean to their witch Molotov cocktail going. Done and done. Portia and James can now live happily, and slightly illegally in all 50 states, ever after.
Sam and Dean hit the road. Dean concedes that maybe he was wrong, maybe they pain of their family has only been endurable because of they stick together, so yeah, he totally trusts Sam to not only endure the trials but to be honest with him about it. Sam says he’s a-ok. Then he discretely wipes the blood he just coughed up from the corner of his mouth.