Somewhere along the line, the direction of this season changed. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, but it was rather unexpected, and it’s unclear exactly when it happened. Before the winter break we had a great episode with Benny and one of his relatives that reinforced the theme of the heart of monsters. Then we came back from the break and the new theme seems to be dealing with some wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff. From the snippets of interviews I’ve seen, this is going to be sticking around for at least a little while.
The episode opens with a sharply dressed man saying goodnight to his son and that he needs to take care of some important business. Look at those good looks and those flawless cheekbones. Must be a Winchester.
He goes off to his secret business meeting and in the hall encounters a young woman who’s also being inducted into the order. The whole thing smells like a cult, and then some guy opens the door dressed in a monk’s robe and beckons the young woman inside first. Yup, it’s a cult. Our mystery strangers hears a disturbance and rushes into the room to find most of the order dead and the girl covered in blood. Abaddon has arrived, nicely rounding out the famous demon guest stars on the show. The lone survivor hands our mystery Winchester a box, and tells him to protect it. One spell later and mystery Winchester is literally falling out of the closet and into Sam and Dean’s hotel room.
Turns out he’s looking for John, because the spell he used was supposed to lead blood to blood. Since John was dead, it took him to his grandson’s instead. Yes, it turns out our mystery Winchester is John’s father who abandoned him as a child. Or did he? But wait, in 4×03, didn’t they say that John came from a family of mechanics? Well, given how young John was at the time that he left, whoever helped his mother raise him in the interim would have been considered his family. See, that’s what happens when kids think their family abandons them. They stop thinking of the person who left as family.
John tries to steal the Impala, likely because it’s the only thing in the hotel lot that remotely looks like a car to him, and of course, Dean stops him. And since Henry broke the window, he now has to kill him, his children and his grandchildren. And suicide is clearly out, so they decide to complete the task that had been given to Henry by his strange cult. Except Abaddon has followed him through the portal, and now she’s zapping memories out of people to follow the Winchesters as well.
Turns out the Winchesters are supposed to be part of a group known as the Men of Letters. Who are like the researchers of the Supernatural world while the hunters do all the dirty work. Henry kind of despises hunters, because they’re the unwanted side effect of having supernatural creatures exist in the world.
Also, Dean keeps Angel feathers in the back of the car.
When Henry finds out what John thought about him, he tries to go back in time to fix things, so that his son had a father. But, as Dean points out, he might actually undo their existence in the process. While Dean stops grandpa from unmaking all of them, Sam goes to the last remaining member of the order to find out what Henry’s task was. Turns out, there was a key inside the box, and if there’s a key, there has to be a lock somewhere. Unfortunately, Abaddon found him at the same time, and Dean finds out Sammy has been captured.
So they propose a trade. Henry for Sammy. On the way to the rescue, Dean and Henry come up with the most ingenious plan ever to stop Abaddon. A demon trap etched into a bullet they plan to lodge into her skull. Unfortunately, getting close enough to use it means Henry gets fatally wounded. So, in the end, he didn’t actually get to go back and raise John the way he wanted, but in return he saved not only the world, but his grandsons as well. Except for Adam. He doesn’t even know Adam exists. Does the show even remember that Adam exists?