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Recap / Supernatural S 08 E 17 Goodbye Stranger

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 8, Episode 17

Goodbye Stranger
"So, I gotta ask. Um...what's up with the hair?" —Dean [to Meg]

"I was bad, you were good, life was easier. Now it's all so messy. I'm kinda good, which sucks, and you're kinda bad, which is actually all manner of hot."
Meg [reminiscing about the Apocalypse to Castiel]

Written by Robbie Thompson.

Directed by Thomas J. Wright.

Air Date: March 20, 2013.

Sam finds accounts of unrelated dead bodies showing up all over the Midwest with severe burns around their eyes, hands, and feet, puncture wounds through the backs of their hands, and eyes and internal organs liquefied. Sam and Dean go to Lincoln Springs, Missouri, where the last victim, Ann Morton, was found. Ann's husband tells them that his wife was not herself before she died. She was digging holes all over town, and he saw her eyes flash black.

Dean and Sam realize that someone is killing people possessed by demons, and set out to question Wendy Rice, a local historian who had arranged to meet with Ann Morton before she died. While they are at her home, three of Crowley's mooks come to the door and attack them. During the fight, one demon escapes with a map Wendy had recreated of the town before a 100-year flood cycle destroyed all records. Before Dean can stab one of the demons with Ruby's knife, it smokes out of its vessel and enters Wendy. Suddenly, Castiel appears, smiting the demon attacking Sam and capturing the possessed Wendy.


Castiel wants to tell Sam and Dean his true mission but, under Naomi's control, instead tells them he has been looking for the other half of the demon tablet and trying to stop the demons from finding a parchment that could help them to translate Crowley's half of the demon tablet without a prophet. Castiel tortures the possessed Wendy, who reveals that they have a hostage who has been telling them where Lucifer's crypts are. Before she can tell Sam and Dean that there is no parchment and instead they are looking for the angel tablet in Lucifer's crypts, Castiel kills her.

Castiel disappears, and Sam and Dean race to the hotel where the demon said the hostage is being kept. They find Castiel has already smote two more of Crowley's mooks. Castiel tells them the hostage is in the bathroom, and when they open the door they find a blonde, bloodied, and bound Meg. Even though Castiel realizes Meg will likely reveal the truth to the Winchesters, Naomi allows him to work with her, as she knows the location of Lucifer's crypts. She tells them that she has been being tortured by Crowley for the last year, but has not given up the location of the angel tablet. She agrees to show them where the crypt is. Castiel cleans some of her wounds, and Meg reveals she has feelings for Castiel.


Meg leads them to an abandoned warehouse. Castiel and Dean enter to look for the angel tablet while Sam and Meg wait outside to watch their backs. Castiel sees there is only one item warded against angels in the crypt, and Dean opens the warded box and finds the angel tablet. Castiel insists Dean gives him the tablet, but Dean is unwilling to give it to Castiel unless he explains how he got out of Purgatory. Naomi commands Castiel to kill Dean, and Castiel savagely beats him. Crowley's mooks attack and Sam and Meg manage to kill them. Crowley appears, and Meg sends Sam to Dean and Cas. Dean manages to get through to Cas, who picks up the angel tablet. Naomi's control over Castiel is broken, but he takes the angel tablet and leaves, saying that he needs to protect it from Naomi and from Dean. Sam and Dean escape from Crowley after Meg sacrifices herself to protect them and Cas. Naomi and Crowley later meet in the crypt, where they are revealed to have history together. Castiel is shown on a bus with the tablet.

Body Count:

For this episode = 9 demons and 9 humans.

For the series so far = At least 885 humans (of which 7 were witches), 130 demons, 59 angels, 48 ghosts, 43 vampires, 36 Jefferson Starships, 20 gods, 19 zombies, 10 hellhounds, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 shapeshifters, 5 werewolves, 4 ghouls, 4 Leviathan, 3 djinn, 3 dogs, 2 Amazons, 2 arachnes, 2 kitsunes, 2 rugarus, 2 Thule, 2 vetalas, 1 crocotta, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 familiar, 1 Khan worm, 1 lamia, the Mother of All, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 shojo, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 Titan, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, and 1 wraith.


  • Abandoned Warehouse:
  • After-Action Patch-Up: Castiel tending to Meg after they escape the hotel.
    Castiel: [wrapping Meg's wrist] These wounds have festered.
    Meg: You really do know how to make a girl's nethers quiver, don't you?
    Castiel: I am aware of how to do that. Although it doesn't usually involve cleaning wounds.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Or All Demon Girls Want Bad Angels.
    Meg: I'm kind of good, which sucks. And you're kind of bad — which is actually all manner of hot.
  • Ancient Tomb: Lucifer's crypt, with columns along the walls and statues and urns covered in cobwebs.
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: In-Universe, this episode provides two literal examples: Castiel/Meg and Naomi/Crowley.
  • Artifact Collection Agency: The Men of Letters have a lot of artifacts in boxes, which Dean is attempting to organize. He finds The Spear of Destiny, an odd carving, a Fabergé egg, and a copy of ''Voluptuous Asian Lovelies'', first edition.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: After watching Castiel kill Simulation!Dean:
    Naomi: No hesitation. Quick. Brutal. Everything's back in order.
  • Audible Sharpness: When Castiel plunges his blade into simulated Dean in the teaser.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The labeling system for the artifacts in the Men of Letters' bunker.
    Dean: You know, would it have killed these asshats to label these boxes in something other than hieroglyphics?
  • Back for the Dead: Meg.
  • Bad Liar: Even though Naomi is feeding Castiel lines, he is still not a smooth liar.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted.
  • The Big Board: Sam sits at the table in the Men of Letters' Mission Control with an illuminated world map covered with protractors and red and black circles.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Castiel saves Sam from getting killed by a demon.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Meg misses the lack of ambiguity when she and Castiel fought on opposite sides in the lead-up to the Apocalypse.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Ann's husband saw her eyes flash after he confronted her. The three mooks' eyes flash as soon as Wendy answers the door.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: After Crowley plunges an angel blade into his unsuccessful mook:
    Crowley: Well, you know what they say: when you want something done...blah blah blah...
  • Blood from the Mouth:
    • The simulated Deans that Naomi has Castiel kill in the teaser.
    • Sam's Incurable Cough of Death causes him to leave bloodstained napkins in the trash can that Dean finds.
    • Real Dean after his beatdown from Cas.
    • Meg when they first find her and after she's attacked by Crowley.
  • Blood Is the New Black: Meg never cleans all the blood off, which is on her face and through her hair, and it doesn't seem to bother her.
  • Boring, but Practical: Castiel travels with the Angel Tablet via bus. It's implied this is so Naomi's angels can't track him.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: When under Naomi's mind control, Castiel tries to kill Dean.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Naomi claims that she was trying to "fix" Castiel.
  • Buried Treasure: The demons are digging for Lucifer's crypts to find the angel tablet.
  • Came Back Wrong: Dean realizes that something has been off about Cas ever since he got back from Purgatory.
  • Call-Back:
  • Chekhov's Gun: Dean briefly examines the key to Oz, which comes up again in "Slumber Party" (S09, E04).
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • Castiel tortures demons to uncover the location of the angel tablet.
    • Crowley has been doing it to Meg for the past year.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Dean thinks that Castiel showed up and saved Sam in answer to his prayer in "Remember The Titans" (S08, E16).
      Dean: [to Castiel] You heard me, didn't you?
      Sam: [to Dean] You prayed to him?
      Castiel: Yes, I heard you. But that's not why I am here.
    • Dean reminds Sam that they still don't know how Castiel got out of Purgatory and that Castiel has not been himself since he returned in "A Little Slice Of Kevin" (S08, E07).
    • Meg mentions she visited Lucifer's crypts during her time with Yellow Eyes.
    • Meg references the fact that last time she saw Castiel, in "Survival of the Fittest" (S07, E23), he was still suffering from the effects of Sam's mental breakdown, but now he seems back to himself, mostly.
      Meg: So, your noodle's back in order?
      Castiel: Yeah, my...noodle remembers everything. I think it's a pretty good noodle.
    • Meg and Castiel discuss their kiss from "Caged Heat" (S06, E10).
      Meg: Really? You remember everything?
      Castiel: If you're referring to the pizza man... Yes, I remember the pizza man. And it's a good memory.
    • Meg reminds Sam she "took how many bullets for you guys" in "Survival Of The Fittest" (S07, E23), but when Crowley captured her after they defeated Dick Roman, he didn't look for her.
    • Crowley isn't pleased about Sam killing his hellhound in "Trial and Error" (S08, E14).
    • There's Dramatic Thunder as the stone around the angel tablet breaks, just like when the brothers broke the stone around the Leviathan tablet in "Reading Is Fundamental" (S07, E21).
    • When he starts to fight his brainwashing, Naomi reminds Castiel of his massacre of the angels in "Meet The New Boss".
  • The Corrupter: Naomi has Castiel lie to the Winchesters and attack Dean.
  • Cosmetic Horror: Wendy Rice in hair curlers, which really throws Castiel.
    Castiel: I'm hoping the...strange-haired demon in the kitchen is more knowledgeable than the others I interrogated.
  • Crack Is Cheaper: In-Universe, than an edition of Voluptuous Asian Lovelies from July of 1950, according to Dean.
    Dean: You kidding me? This is a first edition, dude. You know what this would go for on eBay?
    Sam: No. Why? Do you?
    Dean: No...maybe. Shut up.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The dead bodies showing up all over the Midwest in the last week.
    Sam: Each of the victims had severe burns around their eyes, hands, and feet, puncture wounds through the backs of their hands, eyes and internal organs liquefied.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Meg has a Battle Discretion Shot with Crowley. When we cut back to them, Crowley is unruffled while Meg is covered in blood. Justified as she would be weak from a year of torture.
  • Cute and Psycho: Castiel was for a while (and turns out to still be, just a different brand of crazy), which is lampshaded by Meg.
    Meg: So, which Cas are you now? Original make and model or crazy town?
    Castiel: I'm just me.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Dean finds a vintage porn mag called Voluptuous Asian Lovelies (a joke reference to the Busty Asian Beauties magazines that Dean keeps finding) in the storage room of the Men of Letters and shows it to Sam. Sam wants to get on the road to investigate the new case, but asks Dean if he needs some more time with "Miss October". Dean then jokes that he needs ten minutes before they leave.
  • Dating Catwoman: Crowley mentions that he had a romantic relationship with Naomi in Mesopotamianote , even though both are on opposite sides of a millennia-long war and despise each other.
    Crowley: Easy, love. If you remember our time in Mesopotamia the way I do, you know I'm a lover, not a fighter.
  • Deal with the Devil: Crowley tries to offer Naomi one. She leaves before he can even finish his sentence.
  • Destination Defenestration: One of Crowley's mooks throws Sam through a glass door in Wendy's house.
  • Destructo-Nookie: Meg suggests that if she and Castiel survive, she'll "order pizza" and they can "move some furniture around". Castiel not only gets the innuendo (after some thought), but seems to actually be considering it.
  • Diegetic Switch: Dean turns on the radio (which is playing "Goodbye Stranger") and the music continues to play over the episode until the credits.
  • Dirty Mind-Reading: The demon possessing Wendy.
    Possessed Wendy: Sam and Dean Winchester. Oh, the thoughts she had about you two. Mostly you, Sam.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!:
    • Sam insists he is fine, but after Castiel and Dean call him on his lies, he cops to his difficulties.
      Sam: Dean, I'm telling you—I'm okay.
      Castiel: No, you're not.'re damaged in ways even I can't heal. Dean's right.
    • Meg also has trouble admitting she is not in fighting form, but owns up to it when Castiel shows concern.
      Meg: Since when do I need protecting?
      Castiel: Since you were held captive and tortured for over a year.
      Meg: Touché.
  • Dramatic Thunder: When the angel tablet is revealed as the stone breaks, which is, coincidentally, the same time Crowley appears.
    Crowley: I believe they're playing my song.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Meg talks to Sam about how he fell in love with a "unicorn". When she stays to fight Crowley, she tells Sam to save his brother, "and my unicorn", clearly referring to Castiel.
  • Enemy Mine: Averted with Crowley, who fails to convince both Meg and Naomi to form an alliance of convenience.
    Crowley: They mean to close the Gates of Hell, sweetheart. They mean to kill me and all the demons — you included.
    Meg: You had me at "kill you," Crowley.
  • Entendre Failure: Meg has to do the heavy lifting when it comes to flirting, but Castiel eventually catches on.
    Meg: You really do know how to make a girl's nethers quiver, don't you?
    Castiel: I am aware of how to do that. Although it doesn't usually involve cleaning wounds.
  • Everytown, America/No Communities Were Harmed: The plot requires a town with an orchard, where a devastating 100-year flood cycle occurred, and it was a stop on the Underground Railroad. The town is also represented by a model and a map. A fictional setting was likely chosen to avoid obvious contradictions.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Meg does not get one thing about Sam's story:
    Meg: There's one part I don't understand. You hit a dog and stopped. Why?
    • Subverted immediately afterwards when Meg admits that she does understand why Sam would give up his profession for love, in what's later apparent is a reference to Castiel.
    • Naomi apparently doesn't even consider that there may be a difference between killing a projection and the real thing - most likely because she doesn't care about that sort of thing herself.
    • And before this when Castiel is reluctant to kill Meg because she's about to reveal the existence of the Angel Tablet. Castiel asking, "Do I have to kill her?" is treated like a serious question rather than a plea.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Castiel hears Sam and Dean discuss their suspicions about him after he walks out of the room.
    Castiel: [from the kitchen] You know, I can hear you both. I am a celestial being.
  • Exposition Diagram: Ann's husband shows them the model of the town in the basement to explain his wife's activity before her death.
    Sam: Out of sorts how?
    Ann's husband: It'd be better if I show you.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Meg's bleached hair is part of the torture Crowley put her through.
    Meg: Awww. Thanks for noticing, Dean. But this wasn't my idea. It was Crowley's. And it's just another reason I want to stab him in the face.
  • Fake Action Prologue: Castiel attacks Dean while Dean begs for him not to hurt him. Castiel lifts up his blade and inflicts a fatal blow. Dean lies dead, and the lights come up revealing this was only a test Naomi is putting Castiel through.
  • Fast Tunnelling: The possessed Ann.
    Ann's husband: She dug for hours. She never broke a sweat. Straight down, 10, maybe 15 feet.
  • Female Angel, Male Demon: Inverted Trope with Castiel/Meg, but Played Straight with Naomi/Crowley. At least if we go by the gender of the human vessels.
    • Crowley and Meg have been confirmed to be male and female, respectively, but angels are without gender in their true form.
  • Fictional Document: Voluptuous Asian Lovelies, a precursor to Busty Asian Beauties.
  • Fighting from the Inside: When Naomi orders Castiel to lie to the Winchesters and then to kill Dean, Castiel becomes visibly distressed and finally breaks free of her hold.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Which finally becomes text with Megstiel.
  • Forced to Watch: Sam and Dean witness Crowley killing Meg as they're driving off.
  • Flower Motifs: A Discussed Trope, with the brothers debating which flowers say thank you for Demon Slaying.
    Dean: So, somebody is killing demons. Wow, that is awesome. I feel like we should send a card or flowers. What kind of flower says "thanks for killing demons"?
  • Flyover Country: The dead bodies are found in Benton, Indiana, Downers Grove, Illinois, Novi, Michigan, and Lincoln Springs, Missouri.
  • Geometric Magic:
    • Castiel draws a devil's trap under the kitchen table to hold the possessed Wendy.
    • Meg and Sam spray-paint wards outside the warehouse to protect against Crowley and his mooks.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Castiel is split between Earth and his loyalty to Dean and Sam (good angel) and Heaven and the control established by Naomi (bad angel).
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: After Castiel binds her in a devil's trap and tortures her by stabbing her through the hands with his sword, the possessed Wendy says, "I thought angels were supposed to be the good cops." Dean does not accept the role of good cop and tells her, "Think he's the only bad cop in this room?"
    • Kind of ironic actually, given the Light Is Not Good behavior of angels on the show. This must have been a fairly clueless demon.
  • Go Through Me: Dean refuses to hand over the Angel Tablet, even when it looks like Castiel will kill him.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: When Dean sees a picture of a young woman sitting on a bed in Voluptuous Asian Lovelies, he says "konnichiwa".
  • Happily Ever After: Sam, and possibly Meg, have not given up on this possibility, although Meg can't resist teasing him.
    Sam: You know, I spent last year with...someone, and, I know that's actually possible.
    Meg: Wait—that's how you spent your last year? With a chick? Lame.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Naomi has Castiel practice killing a thousand copies of Dean, knowing that he was the brother Cass was closer to. Unfortunately, Evil Cannot Comprehend Good. Castiel practices killing a thousand Deans who are fighting back. When it actually happens, Dean lets Cass beat the crap out of him and begs Cass to fight his brainwashing.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: While Meg has been an evil villain out to get the Winchesters in the past, she has aligned herself more with the Winchesters (or, more accurately, against Crowley, like them) in more recent seasons and in this episode her evil tendencies are Played for Laughs.
    Sam: Wait, so a bunch of innocent people died so you yourself some time?
    Meg: Hi, I'm Meg, I'm a demon.
  • Heroic Sacrifice/Villain's Dying Grace: Meg fends off Crowley to give the Winchesters time to escape.
  • His Name Is...: Naomi directs Castiel to kill the possessed Wendy before the existence of the angel tablet is revealed.
    Possessed Wendy: No. I am telling you, we're looking for—ahhh!
  • Hollywood Darkness: Lucifer's crypt is a well-lit underground cavern with an unseen light source near the ceiling.
  • If We Survive This/Intercourse with You: Meg has plans for her and Castiel once the angel tablet is safe.
    Meg: We survive this...I'm gonna order some pizza and we're gonna move some furniture around. You understand?
    Castiel: No, I—I...wait, actually...yes, I—
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Sam's secret desire was not much of a reveal to the audience.
    Meg: Deep down, in parts you never let see the light of day, you want to live a long, normal life away from creepy old things like me.
    Sam: I do.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Dean and Brainwashed Castiel.
    Dean: I know you're in there. I know you can hear me.'s me. We're family. We need you. I need you.
  • Imaginary Enemy: Castiel seeks advice from Naomi on how to proceed in separate scenes which appear to be set in Heaven, but could also be all in Castiel's mind. Later, when Naomi appears in Lucifer's crypt and talks to Crowley, we see she is more than a figment.
  • Impaled Palm: Castiel stabs the demon though the hands with an angel blade.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: After profusely bleeding from the mouth in previous episodes, another sign that Sam is not well is that he develops a cough in this episode, causing him to lose even more blood.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Meg after being released from a year of torture. She swigs from an open bottle of whiskey while Castiel patches her up.
    Meg: Is there any booze in this dump?
  • In-Series Nickname:
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: We find out that Sam has been damaged in ways that Castiel cannot heal because of his completion of the first trial in the quest to close the Hell Gates.
  • I Work Alone: Castiel claims he does not want the Winchesters to slow him down.
    Castiel: I started this hunt without you because I didn't want anything to slow me down.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: After Castiel ganks Demon!Wendy he says, "It told us what we needed."
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: On seeing Castiel, Crowley realizes that he's the one who's been "poking my boys, and not in a sexual way."
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Meg's hair trouble seems to mirror one of the things she did to the human Meg Masters.
  • Lens Flare: Dean's flashlight causes this when they are looking for Lucifer's crypt in the warehouse.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Dean and Castiel go to find Lucifer's crypt while Sam and Meg stay outside.
  • Literal-Minded:
    Meg: Would it kill you to watch a movie, read a book?
    Castiel: A movie, no. But a book, with the proper spells, yeah, it could, theoretically, kill me.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Sam, which is lampshaded by the demon possessing Wendy.
    Possessed Wendy: What can I say? She has a thing for smutton chops.
  • Long-Runner Character Turnover: Our last connection to season one besides Sam and Dean, Meg will not be forgotten.
  • MacGuffin Location: The search for Lucifer's crypts.
  • Manchurian Agent: Castiel has been programmed to kill and obey.
  • Meaningful Echo: "I need you."
  • Mind over Matter: Castiel causes the wall to crack, revealing Lucifer's crypt, by placing his hand on the wall and concentrating.
  • MockGuffin: Meg kept sending the demons to empty crypts where they found, as she phrased it, "bupkis".
  • Model Planning: The possessed Ann hung small bags of dirt to represent the holes she dug over a model she built of Lincoln Springs, Missouri, in her basement.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Castiel beating up Dean in the crypt.
  • Not Himself:
    • The husband of the last victim said she was "not his Annie" for the week before she died. She was a teacher with no enemies, but then she stopped eating, stopped sleeping, and would only mutter to herself.
    • The real estate agent's wife and the historian's husband also said their spouses became obsessed and weird before they died.
    • Sam says Castiel is "off", and Dean says Castiel has not been right since he got back from Purgatory.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: Dean's reaction when Sam tries to lie to him about his "bloody rag in the trash can".
    Dean: Stop. Just...stop.
  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?:
    Dean: Hey, you listening to me?
    Sam: [typing on laptop] Yeah, it's, uh...fascinating stuff. You should probably, uh, write it all down in your journal for the archives, you know?
    Dean: Yeah, thanks, you're a lot of help.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: Castiel disappears with the angel tablet, protecting it from Crowley and the demons, Naomi and the angels, and the Winchesters.
  • Moment Killer: The Winchesters interrupt Megstiel making their mating arrangments.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Crowley shrugs off Meg stabbing him in the shoulder with an angel blade as "just a flesh wound" when talking to Naomi at the end.
  • Peerless Love Interest: Meg calls a woman who could make Sam give up hunting "one rare creature" and refers to Amelia as a unicorn. Meg later calls Castiel her unicorn.
    Meg: Oh, I heard the rest. You fell in love with a unicorn. It was beautiful, then sad, then sadder. I laughed, I cried, I puked in my mouth a little. And, honestly, I kind of get it.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure:
    Castiel: I still don't know who Clarence is.
  • Porn Stash: Dean opens a folder in the archives of the Men of Letters to find a first edition of Voluptuous Asian Lovelies. Perhaps Dean's interest in Busty Asian Beauties is part of the Men of Letters legacy.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Meg + Castiel = Megstiel, a name that had already been adopted by many fans, is used In-Universe.
    Dean: [to Sam] Do you really think we can trust...Megstiel?
  • Protective Charm: The box containing the angel tablet is warded against angels.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Crowley calls Meg a whore and had her hair changed to blonde, implying that he used her as a Sex Slave.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Meg died because her actress, Rachel Miner, had to leave the show due to worsening health (which had also restricted Meg's fight scenes and movement in earlier episodes) and the cast and crew didn't want to just pass the character along to another person.
  • Recognition Failure: As noted above, Dean fails to recognize the significance of The Spear of Destiny.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Naomi forcing Castiel to kill witnesses and say Blatant Lies only makes Dean more suspicious when Cas demands the Angel Tablet.
  • Reveal Shot: That the Abandoned Warehouse used for the Dean-killing simulation is full of Dean corpses. Also we don't see who's attacking Simulation!Dean at first.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Ann's basement, which is lampshaded by Sam.
    Sam: That would explain the crazy room at Ann's house.
    • The warehouse where Naomi was training Castiel to kill Dean, containing hundreds if not thousands of "Dean" corpses.
  • Running Gag:
  • Screaming Woman: Wendy Rice, when the demons are at her door.
  • Send in the Clones: The teaser ends with an empty warehouse full of hundreds of simulated Dean Winchesters crumpled on the floor dead in various poses with motionless open eyes.
  • Short-Distance Phone Call: Crowley appears behind the mook who called him, preferring to complete the conversation face-to-face.
    Mook Demon: Sir? Hello, sir?
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sickening "Crunch!": When Castiel grabs and twists Dean's arm in the simulation and later in Lucifer's crypt.
  • Skewed Priorities: Dean's first question on finding Meg after a year's absence is to ask... why is her hair blonde?
  • Smash Cut: While Castiel is talking to the Winchesters, the scene cuts to Castiel asking Naomi what to tell them.
  • The Spear of Destiny: The Spear is in the Men of Letters' hideout.
    Dean: "Spear of Destiny"? What is this, God's toothpick?
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Naomi pulls this on Crowley.
    Crowley: Tart stole my move.
  • Superdickery: Castiel killing Dean in the teaser.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The loud keyboard clacking every time Sam types on his laptop.
  • Suicide Mission: When Sam won't tell Meg about the trials, she asks him if he is "okay dying for it".
  • Super Smoke: Before Dean can stab him with Ruby's knife, one of Crowley's mooks smokes out and enters Wendy.
  • Technobabble: Castiel's explanation for the damage caused to Sam by completing the first trial, which is lampshaded by Dean.
    Castiel: It's something on the subatomic level, and his electromagnetic field—
    Dean: Okay, bottom-line it for me, Bill Nye. Is it lethal?
  • Tempting Fate: Meg suggests she and Castiel should get together if they both survive.
  • Themed Aliases: Sam introduces them to Wendy Rice as Special Agents Lynne and Tandy, as in Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy of Electric Light Orchestra.
  • Properly Paranoid: Sam does not want to discuss the trial with Meg, and she clearly feels left out.
    Meg: You're not gonna tell me? Seriously?
  • Throat Light: When Castiel smites the demon attacking Sam and when Crowley stabs his mook with the angel sword.
  • Titled After the Song: "Goodbye Stranger" by Supertramp, which plays over the closing scene.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore:
    • The angel tablet.
      Sam: If the demon tablet can shut the Gates of Hell, what can the angel tablet do?
    • The existence of such tomes is lampshaded by Castiel.
      Meg: Would it kill you to watch a movie, read a book?
      Castiel: A movie, no. But a book, with the proper spells, yeah, it could, theoretically, kill me.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Meg, who allies herself with Castiel and the Winchesters to keep the angel tablet from Crowley.
    Meg: How am I not Team Sam?
  • Torture Always Works:
    • After Castiel stabs the demon-possessed Wendy through the palms, she tells them the demons were getting information on the crypts from a hostage who is being kept at Murray Hotel by the interstate.
    • However, for Meg it is a Subverted Trope, as she has been lying to her torturers, hoping to buy enough time for an escape.
  • Treasure Map: Wendy Rice has recreated a map of Lincoln Springs from before the flood, which shows that the Jakubiak Orchard was where Downey meets Bond Street. Meg uses the model in Ann's basement to find where Lucifer's crypt is.
  • Twisted Echo Cut: Used very effectively between the scenes with Castiel talking to the Winchesters or Meg and then cutting to him talking with Naomi in Heaven. We also see an example where Castiel pulls out his sword, shocking Dean who takes a step back, and the there is a cut to Meg, with Sam saying, "wait, hold on."
  • Underground Railroad: Wendy Rice is a PhD candidate who is doing her dissertation on the connections between Lincoln Springs and the Underground Railroad.
  • Understatement: Sam says Meg has "not been the most trustworthy person" in the their lives. This is a rather generous statement, considering that she killed their allies and family friends, captured their father and delivered him to her father, the Yellow-Eyed Demon, possessed Sam and tried to force Dean to kill him, tried to make a possessed Bobby kill Dean, released a pack of hellhounds that killed Ellen and Jo, and was The Dragon for the Yellow-Eyed Demon and Lucifer.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "The Pizza Man".
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: The hero version — Crowley doesn't bother pursuing the Winchesters, who are screeching away in the Impala, when Meg points out that Castiel isn't in the back seat, meaning he's teleported away with the Angel Tablet. Instead Crowley goes into the crypt to find out if it's true, finding Naomi there, who's turned up for the same reason.
  • Virtual Training Simulation/Unwinnable Training Simulation: Naomi forces Castiel to practice killing Dean again and again until she is satisfied.
    Naomi: No hesitation. Quick. Brutal. Everything's back in order. Finally, you're ready.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • For a loose definition of "hero". Sam points out that, while Meg didn't tell her torturers what they wanted to know, her false information still lead to innocent deaths, and she did it just to give herself "a break" from the torture.
      Meg: Hi, I'm Meg, I'm a demon.
    • Meg later calls Sam out on the fact that even though they worked together to defeat the Leviathans and Crowley, they didn't look for her even once over the last year. Sam just shrugs.
      Meg: Wait, so I took how many bullets for you guys, and you didn't even look for me? Like, once? [scoffs] My hero.
    • When Castiel starts to realise he's been brainwashed, he demands to know what Naomi has done to him.
    Naomi: What have I done to you?! Do you have any idea what it's like out there? There's blood everywhere, and it's on your hands. After everything you did — to us, to Heaven!
    • After what happened with Castiel, Dean calls out to Sam for lying to him as well, about his condition.
  • With Us or Against Us: Naomi overplayed her hand when she made Castiel choose between Dean and Heaven.
    Naomi: You have to choose, Castiel—us or them.
  • Worth Living For: Meg reminds Sam he has always wanted to live a normal life with someone he loves, and reveals she also has a "unicorn" worth living for, which, since this is Supernatural, means she does not have long to live.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: The transformation Sam underwent after completing the first trial.
  • You Have Failed Me: Crowley kills the last of his mooks who were guarding Meg.
    Crowley: Just to be clear, you can't find a hole in the ground, your coworkers have met with an untimely demise, and you've lost my favorite chew toy.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: A weakened Meg sends a weakened Sam away, and confronts Crowley to give them (particularly Castiel) time to escape.
  • You Put the "X" in "XY": After Castiel refuses to answers questions and leaves the room, Dean tells Sam, "He puts the 'ass' in 'Cass'."

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