The Winchesters hop into their classic Ford Mustang to investigate mysterious deaths that are only connected by the ship upon which the victims' ancestors immigrated to America — a liner called the RMS Titanic
. Meanwhile, Bobby and his wife Ellen have a talk... wait, what?
While researching the Titantic
, Sam notices that the first mate who prevented the ship from hitting an iceberg not only goes by the rather suspicious name "I.P. Freely," but he also looks exactly like Balthazar. The Winchesters summon the angel and demand answers. Balthazar tells them that, seeing as there are no rules since they stopped the Apocalypse and he hated that stupid movie so much, he went back in time and saved the ship. Plus he rescued lots of people and prevented Celine Dion's rise to fame.
Except now someone is trying to set things straight by killing all the passengers' descendants, which amounts to about 50,000 people. A little research at Bobby's reveals that they are up against one of the three Fate sisters from Greek mythology. The easiest way to stop her would be to make Balthazar go back and sink the boat, restoring the original timeline. But since Ellen and Jo are alive in this universe, nobody wants to do that — especially because Ellen is the only thing keeping Bobby from complete breakdown following Rufus's death. Sam and Dean attempt to catch Fate by tailing a known target, but that fails when he is hit by a bus. Then Fate nearly kills them in a giant explosion. Castiel zaps them out of the building at the last second.
According to Cas, Fate is incredibly pissed at Sam and Dean, since screwing over the Apocalypse rendered her obsolete. She'll kill them unless they kill her first. Knowing this, the Winchesters try to lure her by "tempting fate" as they walk down the street. Just as a heavy object is about to fall and crush them, time freezes. Fate steps out, and she and Castiel have a little chat. She calls him out,
revealing that he ordered Balthazar to go back in time and save the ship in order to create 50,000 new souls for his war efforts. She then warns that she or one of her sisters will kill Sam and Dean unless he restores the original timeline. So Castiel sends Balthazar back again, and the Titanic
goes down like it was supposed to.
The Winchesters wake up in the Impala, with Celine Dion's greatest hit blasting over the radio. Both of them think they had a very odd shared dream, until Cas shows up and explains what happened. Dean asks if Balthazar really messed with history just because he hated a movie. Looking extremely shifty,
Cas assures Dean that he did. The Winchesters go up to Bobby's house to find him sleeping, and resolve not to tell him how happy he almost was.
- 50,000 Is A Statistic: Bobby says the obvious solution is to make Balthazar go back in time and sink the Titanic. He changes his mind when he's told Ellen will die too.
- Alternate Universe: When the boys get into a classic Mustang, we know something is up. Balthazar creates one by stopping the Titanic from sinking. Among other things, Ellen and Jo are still alive, Cuba's open to tourism and is apparently capitalistic, Celine Dion is a lounge singer somewhere in Quebec, and Impalas were never made. When Sam and Dean find out about the alteration, Sam semi-lampshades the Butterfly of Doom trope (and Dean tells him not to make "Kutcher references").
- Aggressive Negotiations: Dean suggests that they 'talk' to the Fates using a gun.
- Appeal to Obscurity
- Ambulance Chaser
- Back from the Dead: Ellen and Jo, to the viewers. In-universe, saving the Titanic somehow meant the Harvelles never actually died and so aren't actually resurrected.
- Bad Ass Boast: "Do you really want to test me?"
- Cat Scare: Everything after Sam and Dean realise that Fate is gunning for them.
- Clock Roaches
- Cosmic Retcon
- Comforting Comforter
- Death by Looking Up
- Drowning My Sorrows
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Due to Cas angering the Fates, Sam and Dean end up facing this.
- For Want of a Nail
- Greek Mythology: The Fates.
- Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: Castiel is still getting the hang of this whole "deception" thing.
- Homoerotic Subtext: It's just become text.
"I'm sorry, you must be mistaking me for the other angel. The one in the dirty trenchcoat who's in love with you?"
- Hot Librarian: After catching a glimpse of Fate, Sam describes her as "like a librarian."
Dean: Your kind of librarian or my kind of librarian?
Sam: Well, she was wearing clothes, if that's what you mean.
- In Spite of a Nail: The people who would have died/never existed are killed by one of the fates.
- Is That a Threat?: When Dean tries to warn the lawyer he'll become the next victim.
- It's a Wonderful Life: Though the alternate timeline is arguably better than the original.
- It's What I Do: Fate is pissed that she no longer has a purpose now that Cas has abolished the rulebook.
- Look Both Ways
- Necro Non Sequitur
- Out-of-Character Alert: Dean beating Sam at Rock-Paper-Scissors.
- Red String of Fate: Turns out it's a Gold Thread of Fate.
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory
- Rube Goldberg Device/Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts
- Shown Their Work: Using a piece of tile or terra cotta to test the streak color is actually a valid, relatively accurate way of identifying minerals.
- Shout-Out/Take That: Celine Dion, and Titanic
- Suspiciously Apropos Music: "One Way Or Another" during the scene when the boys are falling into Fate's second attempt at killing them.
- Tempting Fate: Invoked.
- There Are No Coincidences: "Accidents don't just happen accidentally. (off Sam's look) You know what I mean."
- Time Stands Still: For Angels and Fate, who uses this power to set up her accidents.
- Titled After the Song: Or it would be in another timeline.
- Too Soon: "Yeah, Dean, I'm pretty sure six seconds is too soon."
- Thwarted Coup de Grāce: Castiel stops Fate just as she's about to kill the Winchesters, then stops Balthazar just before he kills Fate.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Fate to Castiel.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Sorry, Bobby. Your new wife is dead due to unpredictable repercussions of time travel, but if it's any consolation, you won't be able to remember being in a relationship with her, so you can't fully grasp how miserable your life is without her.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Pretty literally.
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: The boys reaction to seeing who the First Mate of the Titanic was. Happens a second time after Russo gets hit by a bus moments after they'd supposedly saved his life. Then for Rule Of Threes when they realise Fate is out to get them and come across some street performers juggling hatchets.