Kevin Tran is hearing a voice in his head. Crowley’s voice to be exact. His voice is warning him that working with the Winchesters leads nowhere fast and if he thinks Crowley taking his finger was bad Kevin’s brain supplies the image and feeling of being a broken, maimed, bloody mess.
The next morning Sam and Dean pay a Kevin a visit. Kevin is a paranoid, unwashed mess babbling about Crowley living in his brain. Dean thinks Kevin needs to eat more Xanax. On the plus side, Kevin has translated the second trial: an innocent soul has to be rescued from Hell and returned to Heaven. Oh, gee, is that all.
The brothers summon and trap a crossroads demon and politely request his assistance. Dean is disappointed that the crossroads demon isn’t a hot chick, but a hot dude demon is fine with me. They holy water torture him into telling them how to access Hell, he REALLY doesn’t want to tell them, it’s a secret, but finally they get it out of him. They need a rogue reaper to sneak them in. After he spills, he begs the brothers to kill him; he’d rather die by their hand than deal with Crowley’s hands. Valid.
Meet Ajay, a cab driving, supernatural border hopping, rogue reaper who can take you where you need to go. For a price. How much? Well, like a Corleone, someday Ajay will call upon the Winchesters for a service, capiche? Oh and by the way, Ajay is the reaper that roped Bobby Singer and plopped him in Hell instead of laying him on a fluffy white cloud. Dean wants to go with Sam, but Sam vetoes it. Ajay electric kool-aids himself and Sam through the looking glass, only he doesn’t take Sam to Hell. No way. But Sam does end up somewhere familiar to us though.
Oh, Purgatory. We missed you.
Sam is not happy about being dropped off in the bad part of town and having to walk to the ‘burbs, but Ajay is fully against escorting Sam right up to Hell’s gates. He’s rogue, not suicidal. He does give Sam really good directions to the portal he
needs and tells him he’ll be back in 24 hours to pick him and Bobby’s soul back up.
While Sam navigates his path, Dean goes to hang out with Kevin. He’s got burgers, too. Kevin is freaked the ‘eff out, hiding in an anti-demon graffiti’d closet. Somehow he seems to think that even though Crowley’s in his head he can hide. Crazy troll logic. He just wants this to be over. Dean, ever the ray of sunshine, tells Kevin it’ll never be over and the sooner he realizes that the easier life will be. Worst advice ever, Winchester. Kevin snags his food, plus Dean’s slice of drive-thru pie, and holes himself back up in his room. Shoulda bought two slices, Dean.
Ajay is doing his human job, just taking a pizza break in his yellow taxi like a normal cabbie. Except, he wasn’t prepared for Crowley to manifest in the backseat. Not the fare you wanna pick up. Crowley is not pleased with Ajay’s moonlighting ways and after he gets all the answers he needs he bright lights Ajay to death. Crowley is through with having the bum half of the tablet. Kevin’s all full of plot and climax, while Crowley’s has the lame prologue that no one reads unless their professor makes them. Well, no more, he wants Kevin and his half. He wants them now.
Sam’s still slicing and dicing his way through Wonderland, but he’s finally reached his rabbit hole.
After 8 years, we get to meet you.
It’s dark and dank, screams bounce off the walls and chains rattle all around. The souls that have been tortured are looping echoes of their former selves, begging for rescue. Sam ignores them and makes his way to Bobby. Bobby Singer is super easy to find, go figure. Bobby is not convinced this is really Sam and cold clocks him. The demons have been sending Sam and Dean doppelgangers to screw with Bobby’s head, but Sam has insider scoop, embarrassing reality TV and spa primping info, that convinces Bobby he’s really real.
200 Sam and Dean Winchesters? That’s Hell’s version of Hell? Pfft! There’s no bad there. Hell is really slipping on the torture front.
Sam and Bobby fighter their way out of Hell, encountering demons and an extra Sam Winchester. Bobby has to decide which Sam is which. They’re both earnestly believable. Bobby shanks one and his inner light bulb flashes and burns. Sam hopefully asks Bobby whether or not he somehow knew which was real. Bobby says he took a gamble, 50/50 odds ain’t bad after all. Sam is not comforted. They follow Sam’s breadcrumbs out of Hell and back into Purgatory.
Meanwhile, Kevin is off digging a hole to hide the tablet in while Dean makes scrambled eggs for breakfast. Dean Winchester is a lot of things, not all of them good, but he is one heck of a housewife. Dean doesn’t like that Kevin hid the tablet, but Kevin refuses to sit there like a sitting thing that sits and wait for Crowley to come get him and his story stone. Dean demands to know where the tablet is, Kevin storms back into his room and blasts My Chemical Romance (the early stuff) to drown him out. Teenage hormone bombs, man. That’s exactly what Naomi says when she appears in front of Dean. She tries to commiserate, but Dean isn’t having it, he won’t even shake her hand, manners be damned. He’s also not buying her politician straddle about Castiel’s mental state and her intentions. This is not his first jackass angel rodeo. As a last ditch mind screw, Naomi tells Dean that Ajay uses Purgatory to get to Hell. Because she’s just that altruistically helpful.
Dean goes to confront Ajay, but finds him dead in his cab. Dean, out of options, calls the one person he knows he can depend on no matter how crappy of a BFF Dean is to him: Benny. Dean tells Benny that he’s really wanted to call, but he thought cold turkey was the best way to end their relationship. Benny is just stoked that Dean didn’t delete his number from his contacts list. Dean does a least feign a bit of give a shit with Benny before springing the real reason he called on him.
While Bobby and Sam make their way through Purgatory, Sam fills Bobby in on the trials. Bobby hasn’t lost a step in Hell, in fact he’s definitely up for a good welterweight MMA match, but Sam reminds him that the trial specifically states that his soul has to enter Heaven to be completed. Considering how Heaven is being run these days, if I were Bobby I’d take my chances in Hell. At least Hell has hundreds of Winchesters to look at. Bobby gets it though, but he tells Sam that he’s not really ready for his Medicare and SSI to kick in so if the boys figure out a way to bring him back they can feel free to do so. Thing is, the boys burned anything and everything that could tether Bobby to Earth, meaning that even if they could resurrect him there’s nothing to resurrect him into. Besides, remember what Dean said 6 years ago? What’s dead should stay dead. Unless your initials are S.W. or D.W., of course.
Benny has broken every speed limit to get to Dean and now here they are in the magical mystery tour alleyway getting all their manly feelings out. Dean knows he’s asking for a huge favor, it’s a little presumptuous even if Dean had been a decent post-warzone friend, but he hasn’t and he admits that. Benny doesn’t give him any shit about it though. He’s the absolute most understanding vampire in history and he’s willing to lose his head to go back to Purgatory and rescue Sam for Dean. And that’s without a chip or a do-gooder soul. Beat that Angel and Spike. Besides, Benny’s been struggling topside; too human to hang with the vamps, to vamp to hang with the humans. Benny isn’t one for crying on shoulders though, especially Dean’s. Dean promises that once this is one and done that he and Benny will grab that cup of coffee Dean stood him up for months ago. Benny resists the urge to call bullshit and sticks his neck out. Dean gets in one last hug. Benny tells him to just do it already. Dean hesitates for a brief moment before bring the blade down. Dean at least has the decency to pack Benny’s body up and stash it in the trunk of the Impala instead of leaving it in the alley. As he drives away a black-eyed vagabond watches him go.
Sam’s starting to notice that Ajay is not exactly as punctual as he claimed to be and that’s bad news bears for getting back topside. While they wait, Sam tells Bobby about the year that was. Well, he tells him that Dean spent a year in Purgatory but neglects to tell him about his 500 days of summer romance. Bobby thinks Sam must have gone bananas trying to get Dean out of Purgatory, but one look at Sam’s face tells him he didn’t bother. Bobby lays in with a stern scolding, Sam tries to defend himself claiming that he and Dean had an agreement to let the other go the next time one of them went. Bobby can’t believe that Sam took that at face value. The rule is no Winchester left behind. Period. His reprimand is cut short by a Purgatory ambush. They fight their way through with a little help from a revisiting vampire. Bobby almost takes Benny out, but Sam stops him and explains that Benny is Dean’s foxhole friend. Bobby is appalled that Dean befriended a vampire. See, this is what happens when the Winchesters don’t have a parental figure around to smack them upside the head, they make questionable life choices. Though given the circumstances, Dean’s vampire was a solid gold selection compared to Sam’s veterinarian.
Benny leads them to where Purgatory’s seam is unstitched and makes sure Sam remembers the incantation he just taught him. Sam’s a quick study. He and Bobby slice their forearms open, Sam chants the chant and Bobby hitchhikes on in. Sam turns to do the same with Benny, but Benny is pulling a Castiel. He’s not going. He’s not fairing too well up there and he’s tired of trying so hard anyway. At least in Purgatory he knows where he stands. As a new group of baddies descends Sam tries to convince him to come along, Benny once again graciously declines and throws himself into the fray so Sam can make a clean getaway.
100-Mile Wilderness, Maine. Where Purgatory spits you out. A flash of light and there’s Sam. Dean launches himself into his brother’s arms and hugs him tight. Dean Winchester is having an emotional day, don’t judge him for hugging everyone in sight. He’d re-hug Benny, but he won’t get the chance. Sam tells him that Benny sacrificed himself so Sam could get out with Bobby and that even if he hadn’t felt he had to do so, he didn’t seem keen on coming back anyway. Dean, damp eyed and throat choked, understands. Sam slices his arm back open and Bobby’s soul starts to fly up, but it’s stopped by a cloud of black smoke as Crowley growls at the boys for their insolence. Oddly, it’s Naomi who comes to their rescue, reminding Crowley that his hording of an innocent soul isn’t kosher. She blasts Crowley away and releases the smoke hold on Bobby’s soul. Before she flutters off she tells Dean that she informed him thusly, she so informed him thusly and he should have believe that he could trust her. Dean is still dubious. Sam finishes up the trial trill and his arthritis flares up something fierce. Mission accomplished. They get back on the road to check on Kevin. Dean informs Sam that he buried Benny without torching him first. Sam’s on Team Benny now, so if Dean wants to leave that door ajar he’s okay with it.
Over on Garth’s boat Crowley pays Kevin a visit. He’s angry that the prophet thinks he and the rest of the human race think they are remotely relevant in the grand scheme. Also, he says he killed Mama Tran. Kevin essentially breaks in that moment.
Sam and Dean arrive at the boathouse to clean quarters and no trace of Kevin. Runaway or whisked away? We’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out.