Recap / Supernatural S 07 E 17 The Born Again Identity

Recap of Supernatural
Season 7, Episode 17

The Born-Again Identity

Written by Sera Gamble.

Directed by Robert Singer.

Air Date: March 23, 2012.

When Sam's coping skills stop working, Lucifer drives him to the brink, forcing Sam into a mental hospital. Fearing for his brother's life, Dean takes matters into his own hands, calling upon every hunter he knows. He receives the name of a healer from one hunter, only to find a familiar face waiting for him.

Body Count:

For this episode = 8 humans, 8 demons, and 1 ghost.

For the series so far = At least 793 humans (of which 6 were witches), 97 demons, 55 angels, 37 ghosts, 36 Jefferson Starships, 26 vampires, 19 zombies, 15 gods, 9 hellhounds, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 shapeshifters, 4 ghouls, 3 djinn, 3 dogs, 2 Amazons, 2 arachnes, 2 kitsunes, 2 Leviathan, 2 vetalas, 2 werewolves, 1 crocotta, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 Khan worm, 1 lamia, the Mother of All, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rugaru, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, and 1 wraith.


  • All-Natural Snake Oil: Discussed in reference to faith healers.
  • Back from the Dead: Castiel. Though he probably wasn't totally dead in the first place.
  • Bandage Babe: Marin.
  • Call Back: The last faith healer the brothers saw had a Reaper on a leash.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Dean is attacked by demons in a service station. One gets stabbed from behind and Dean assumes it's Emmanuel. It's Meg.
  • Easy Amnesia: Well, the character got it by nearly dying, but the recovery is fairly simple.
  • Electric Torture: Administered by a demon.
  • Enemy Mine/Villainous Rescue: Dean and Meg. Meg is helping the Winchesters because she hates Crowley. With him being King of Hell, she's running out of allies.
  • Flashback: Of the mid-battle variety when Castiel takes out the demons guarding the hospital and regains his memory in the process.
  • Flash Step: "I don't think running will save you."
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Emmanuel can't have known Daphne for more than a few months before getting married to her.
  • Ghostly Chill: What confirms Sam's suspicions that Marin isn't (totally) crazy, but instead is haunted by the ghost of her brother. She tells him that she feels cold when she hears her brother's voice.
  • He's Back: Castiel. Temporarily.
    Meg: That's my boy.
  • Identity Amnesia: Emmanuel/Castiel.
  • In Mysterious Ways: Not only Castiel's resurrection, but possibly him meeting his wife Daphne as well.
    "A few months back she was out hiking in the woods and I wandered into her path, drenched and confused and...unclothed. She said God wanted her to find me."
  • I Resemble That Remark!: When Hallucifer at one point is flipping through the DSM-IV(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the guidebook used by the American Pyschiatric Association for categorizing mental illnesses).
    Lucifer: "Narcissistic personality disorder". Now this one, I could have. "Sets unrealistic goals"...check.
  • Literal-Minded: Emmanuel/Castiel.
    Emmanuel/Castiel: But I don't remember how to smite demons.
    Dean: It's in there. I'm sure it's just like riding a bike.
    Emmanuel/Castiel: I don't know how to do that, either.
  • Meaningful Name: "Emmanuel", which means "God is with us".
  • Must Make Amends
  • Mutually Assured Destruction: The reason Dean says the brothers can trust demon Meg to watch over angel ally, Cas. Wanted by demonic forces, she can't reveal Cas's continued existence without revealing that she's been working with the Winchesters.
  • Never Found the Body: Castiel didn't actually die.
  • Put on a Bus: Cas, after having just gotten back.
  • Reveal Shot/Wham Shot: Emmanuel is revealed to be Cas.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: After Castiel takes Sam's hallucinations upon himself, the brothers have to leave him in the psychiatric hospital, and Meg joins the staff there.
  • Shout-Out
  • The Insomniac/The Sleepless: Due to his constant hallucinations, Sam hasn't slept in days.