In the locker room at the police department, an officer is washing up when he notices blood on his face. He touches it, only to have a huge patch of skin peel off. As he steps backwards from the sink, his feet leave bloody footsteps and blood seeps through the back of his shirt. He turns to his partner "I think I’m bleeding." Really guy? I didn't notice. He falls to the floor, and one huge splat later, all that's left is a pile of meat and bones
Dean is sleeping next to Lisa when she wakes him up for a little mid-morning nookie. Dean jerks awake - it had been a dream. Sam is working out shirtless, showing that the writers are totally into fanservice this episode. Sam's one night stand comes out of the bathroom, and he acts very cold towards her. Luckily (I guess), she's into that sort of thing. Oh yeah, and then Sam pulls out a wad of cash - what ever happened to not paying for it? The hooker tells Sam he can feel free to call when she's not working and hands over her number. Once she's gone, the number hits the trash. Dean calls, he's on his way to meet him at the Campbell’s. Sam tells him that there's been a change in plans - he's in Pennsylvania, on a case.
Another cop is hanging out in a speed trap, enjoying a big gulp with a little extra something when his phone rings. Whoever it is on the line is talking about someone whose apparently died - the cop doesn't want to talk about it at all. Suddenly, giant disgusting boils start to cover his entire body. He calls dispatch for help, but before he can get much out, he's dead.
Sam’s waiting with his stupid car as Dean pulls up, on the phone. He's talking to Ben, who has apparently broken something and is lying to his mom. Sam sarcastically comments on him now being dad of the year, before asking how Lisa took him ditching her. Dean doesn't correct him, but tells him that she took it 'shockingly well'. Sam thinks its better for everyone.
They go into the morgue, where the boil-covered cop, 'bubble wrap' as Dean calls him, is lying. Their first suspicion is witchcraft, but Sam hasn't found any sign of that. They do know that there was another cop that witnessed the full body explosion though, so they go to interview him.
As Sam is driving, Dean's car pulls ahead of him. Sam asks if he was racing him, but of course he wasn't - 'He was kicking his ass'.
They get to the cop’s house, and he's acting very strangely. He won't talk to them about his partners' death, so Sam kicks down the door. Inside, all the photos in the house have had their faces scratched off. The cop sits at his table in full uniform, absently scratching at his head and also at the faces in the photos. He believes that God is punishing them because of Christopher Birch, a boy with no face and a planted gun. The cop’s head starts bleeding. He looks at it, saying that his head had been itching like crazy before falling over dead. There's a distant buzzing, and when Sam removes the cop’s hat, locusts fly out of a gaping hole in the cop’s head. So far, this is one of the most disgusting episodes in a LONG time.
While researching, Sam finds that Christopher Birch was a kid that had been killed in a police shooting. The three dead cops where the three at the scene, and it looks like they killed the boy and planted the gun. The boys are thinking that angels are smiting the wicked, and Dean wants to call Cas. Sam just scoffs - he'd been trying to call Castiel since he got back with no results. Dean prays out to him, and at first nothing happens. Sam has major 'I told you so face' and starts complaining about Cas when a flutter of wings later, the angel appears behind him.
Sam is a little annoyed that he'd been trying to get a hold of a Cas forever and Dean calls once and he shoots up. Cas states that 'Dean and I do share a more profound bond. I wasn't going to mention it.' Oh Cas, the fangirls are already shaking and crying! Dean is a little weirded out, and tells Cas that he needs to come when Sam calls. Cas just gives him the side-eye because he isn't there because Dean called, he's there about the murders. They are caused by the Staff of Moses- you know, the 'parting of the sea, locusts' staff. Since the Apocalypse, Heaven has been chaos and is in the midst of a full-on civil war. Many powerful weapons were stolen, and whoever took the staff is causing the murders. Cas needs their help and after not being answered Cas gets annoyed. Even though his 'his people skills are rusty,' they really do not want the Staff just out there. Whoever has it is going to do more damage.
Sam find’s that the father of the dead boy has been calling for an investigation into his son’s death. The guys go to talk to the father, who knows that the whole thing was a set-up. His younger son is beside himself - his dad does nothing but sit around and study the case. The boys show up and question the dad about the Staff, but he doesn't know what they're talking about. The boy shows back up, a short stick in hand, he tells them to leave his dad alone. Cas gets the stick away from Aaron, who got it from an angel. Cas notices that it is not its full length – it has been sawed off. The angel came to him after he had prayed to God to punish them. God never answered, but the angel came. He offered Aaron justice in place of his soul. Sam and Dean never knew that angels could buy souls, and Castiel tells them that it's never happened before. The reason that the staff is so short is because the angel must be cutting it up for more product – the more product to sell, the more souls her can buy. Cas transports all of them - including Aaron - back to the hotel room. He can read the mark of the angel on Aaron that bought the soul, but it's excruciatingly painful. Dean is completely against practically torturing a young boy to get a name, but Castiel has no other way, he doesn't have the luxury of caring about that. Sam sides with Cas - they need the name. The scene itself isn't very violent, but knowing that Castiel has his hand in a small boy's guts is enough to make me uneasy.
He gets the name, and the boy sleeps. The name is Balthazar. Suddenly, another angel shows up and attacks Cas, thanking him for the information. They both fly out the window and land on Sam’s car below. Thank you Castiel- you may not have tried to, but you killed the most hated car on television.
The other angel escaped, and as Castiel searches around the hotel, gathering random ingredients for locating spell. He explains that in the civil war in heaven, his side is fighting again Raphael and his followers, who are trying to take over heaven. The other angel must have been following him since he had answered Dean's call and now has Balthazar’s name. If Raphael is in charge of heaven, they are all doomed; he's apparently a traditionalist, which means he's a big fan of the Apocalypse. Obviously, him winning would not be a good thing.
Cas finished his spell to track Balthazar (with a little help from Dean's blood) as sirens are heard in the background. Cas zaps the boys to Balthazar’s location, leaving Aaron to be taken home by the police.
Inside Balthazar’s extravagant mansion, Cas is met by a lone frog. He hears music in the background, and follows if to a disco lit room. Balthazar is waiting for him. The other angel found him first, but he got zapped with an old frog in the throat trick and is unconsciously spitting them out. Balthazar had faked his own death and disappeared to earth with a few priceless weapons. He's still very fond of Cas, but not fond enough that he'll give back the weapons. Cas doesn't understand why he would run away but Balthazar explains that it's because he could, and that was thanks to Castiel disobeying heaven. Once he saw that, he realized that he had a chance to do anything he wanted, so now he going to try EVERYTHING. Cas still can't wrap his head around it- there's a war going on back at home, and here his brother has just run away. Balthazar explains to him what he never understood- the fighting will never stop, no matter what.
Raphael appears with his henchmen, and Balthazar disappears, after telling Cas to give him a message 'bite me.' Oh, I LIKE this guy. One of the henchmen roams around the grounds, when he wanders into the trap that Sam and Dean had set up for him.
Cas pleads with the other henchman not to fight, but he won't stop coming and case is forced to kill him. He wonders why no-one will listen to him, when Raphael appears and tells him that their hearts belong to him. He beats the crap out of Castiel, who isn’t fighting back at all. As Raphael prepares to strike the final blow, Balthazar comes back and uses one of his super weapons to turn him into a pile of salt. He jokes about when it happened to Lot’s wife. It should take Raphael some time to find a new vessel, so Cas should now have some extra time. But, Uh-oh! - He was in the middle of a holy oil circle, and Dean sets it on fire! He refuses to release him until he releases Aaron’s soul. After that, they still don't want to, but Cas sets him free, much to Dean's dismay. Before he has to face Dean and his angry face, he disappears, leaving a very annoyed Dean yelling at the sky.
Dean is trying to make room in the Impala's trunk for Sam’s stuff now that his car is destroyed. Sam finds Ben's Halloween costume in the back- a Wendigo, because Dean is the best dad ever. Dean asks if Sam is okay, because he's not acting like himself. He doesn't know why Sam didn't protest torturing poor Aaron for the name earlier, among other things. He knows that something’s different about Sam, and Sam knows it too. He's been hunting nonstop for the past year and says that it's made him 'rough around the edges'. While Dean agrees, he thinks it’s more than that - he thinks it's about Hell. Dam says that Hell might have been….well, HELL for Dean, but he's really okay. Dean is a little offended, thinking that Sam thinks he's stronger than him, but Sam says that they're just different. He climbs in the car, and Dean stands there a minute upset, before climbing in after him.
Wow - can I just stop and be thrilled that Castiel is back? He was absolutely wonderful this episode, and I’m very curious to see how Heaven is going to handle being in the midst of a civil war.
Sam is worrying me more and more, and I'm very excited for the writers to let us in on what's going on with him. His comment to Dean about Hell not being as bad for him has me very interested - even though he wasn't down there as long as his brother, I wonder what his experiences were that he would make the comment.
Sorry for the late recap guys- I'm actually at the Supernatural convention in Chicago right now, and the episode had been pre-empted. On the plus side, I've been hearing many interesting things about the upcoming episodes, and will hopefully be sharing them with you soon.