Now that Crowley's outed himself as the boys' boss, he has no problems popping in during their downtime to send them off to Buffalo, New York, in search of yet another Alpha. Seems a seedy slumlord recently had his chest ripped open and his heart torn out, which as you'll recall matches the M.O. of badass werewolves, so Crowley's pretty sure the very first werewolf from whom all other werewolves descend is involved. Just go with it. Crowley promises the return of Sam's soul should Our Intrepid Heroes capture the werewolf Alpha, so Sam and Dean have little choice but to take the job.
They arrive just in time to investigate the mysterious evisceration of a second supposed werewolf victim, and quickly discover a link between the two corpses: The second victim happened to be the abusive ratbag brother of a drunk who was about to be evicted by the seedy slumlord, and when this alcoholic "Cal" person can't account for his whereabouts on either night in question, suspicion naturally falls upon his inebriated ass. Wanting to be thorough before turning Cal over to Crowley for decades of torture down below, Dean insists they track him for a night, and when dawn arrives with no wolfing out on Cal's part, the brothers agree they must have the wrong guy and head back to This Week's Motel Room for a little R&R. Unfortunately, this means they miss Cal getting ripped to shreds by the actual monster involved, a Skinwalker who's been masquerading as Cal's girlfriend's German shepherd. No, seriously: Just go with it.
The boys eventually realize what's going on, capture the Skinwalker, and coerce a confession from him. Turns out he was just your average homeless guy until the local Skinwalker pack leader recruited him for a shady little mission wherein thirty or so of the hairy shapeshifters would pose as pets to infiltrate various unsuspecting households, then turn their new owners by biting them in the middle of the night. "Lucky" the Skinwalker's been having second thoughts, however, because Cal's girlfriend Mandy and her son Aiden have been so good to his doggy form, so Sam and Dean have little trouble convincing Lucky to help them take out the Buffalo pack leader.
To that end, the three plan an ambush at a deserted factory that goes horribly wrong when the pack leader shows up with a dozen goons who are holding Mandy and Aiden hostage. Fortunately, Sam and Dean are able to riddle the leader and his underlings with silver bullets before Mandy and Aiden come to harm, but Lucky makes the foolish mistake of transforming from human to dog at one point during the battle, so Mandy kicks his mangy ass to the curb once she's safely reensconced in her temporarily rent-free apartment. And when last we see him, Lucky's dejectedly trotting up towards a major intersection, either to commit doggy suicide-by-car or to find another sap willing to take him in.
And in the end, Sam admits his unensouled self couldn't give a rat's ass about Dean or Dean's many, many problems. Welcome to the club, Soulless Sammy!
Rattle, Rattle Tacky Blue Glitter THEN! Several years ago, Our Intrepid Heroes took out a couple of badass werewolves with silver bullets to the heart. Far more recently, Darling Sammy admitted there was something really wrong with him, so Dashing El Deano beat the pretty clean off his face. My Sweet Baboo was summoned for a consult, and he quickly determined that Darling Sammy is actually Soulless Sammy, as Sam's eternal bits were somehow left behind when he was yanked from The Cage at the end of last season. Also, there are Alphas, and Crowley unmasked himself as the force behind both Soulless Sammy and Undead Zombie Grandpa's resurrections. He's also everyone's boss now, and if the boys don't do exactly what he tells them to, he'll throw Soulless Sammy back in The Cage with Lucifer, Michael, and that hapless bastard of a half-brother of theirs that no one wants to talk about anymore. Are we all caught up? Then let's do this:
Rattle, Rattle Tacky Blue Glitter NOW! The camera hovers above a bar's nighttime parking lot in Buffalo, New York, to capture a silver-haired bit of Monster Chow as the gentleman strides towards his car, nattering into his cell phone at some unknown the entire way. "You gave him a bath, right?" the soon-to-be-dead gent asks, giving us the impression he's referring to his son right before demolishing said impression by continuing, "Did you take him to the park, and did he make pee-pee and poo-poo?" "Good," the gentleman nods, having apparently received the answer he was looking for. "Tell him Daddy loves him," the doting dog owner instructs, ringing off with a short, "Be home soon." Not if that thing lurking in the bushes has anything to say about it, you loser. For yes, gentle reader, as thunder crashes ominously above the doomed gentleman's head, the shot abruptly switches to Monster Cam mode, and we watch in watery black-and-white for a moment as the doomed gentleman deactivates his car alarm and unlocks the driver's-side door to crawl behind the wheel. For whatever reason, the thing in the bushes waits until the doomed gentleman is safely ensconced inside his ride before scuttling out onto the asphalt, and we're treated to a few more Monster Cam shots of the beast's progress as the thing pants and growls to itself up to the car's headlights. And as the panting and the growling increase in volume and intensity, the Monster Cam...suddenly leaps onto the hood! DUN! "What the...?" the doomed gent begins, but he chokes off his own question with a strangled cry of terror when the Monster Cam barrels through the windshield, sending shards of glass whickering through the pricey sedan's interior. The very nearly dead gent howls and wails and screams until -- wait for it -- SPLAT! "GOOOOOOOOOOOOORE!" shrieks Raoul The Big Gay Supernatural Dragon, writhing about atop his overstuffed armchair with delight as a fresh gout of arterial spray erupts to thwack wetly against the driver's-side window, and thunder crashes ever louder overhead as the now-dead gent's rapidly cooling corpse slides down out of our view, dropping into the...
...Tinkle, Tinkle RAAAWWWR! "Oh, I do wish they'd do something about this awful little title card!" Raoul shrieks again, his gore-induced euphoria deflating instantly the moment the offending card appears on the screen. "It's just...! It's just...!" Spit it out, my scaly friend. "It's just so disheartening to start yet another of this charming little Friday-evening divertissement's installments with so dreadful an embarrassment, ne c'est pas?!" You think the title card is disheartening and dreadful, just wait 'til we get to the episode itself. "Oh, no!" shrieks Raoul, a deeply disappointed yet impeccably manicured paw fluttering up towards his nonexistent pearls. "Not again!?" Watch and see, friend of friends. Watch and see. "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!" Or you could lapse into a coma. Damn dizzy lizard. "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!"
Some indeterminate period of time later, we arrive at Fat Mack's Rib Shack to find Soulless Sammy chilling out on the front porch with his lunch while Dreary El Deano chats with Bobby via his cell phone. "There's got to be another way!" Dean rather mysteriously insists, and when the never-heard Bobby gruffs something unpleasant by way of reply, Dean protests, "I don't know! Keep digging, and if Crowley thinks we're just gonna..." We never do get to hear the end of Dean's line, for Crowley himself has decided to pop up from out of nowhere at this very moment to wonder, "Crowley thinks you're just gonna what, Dean?" Hell's recently crowned king offers Dean a winning smile, blows kisses at Bobby through the phone, and sits at the boys' table to get down to business, as he's got a job for Our Intrepid Heroes. Dean mutters a hasty goodbye to Bobby and settles in across the table from Crowley to seethe, "I'm gonna say this once: You can take your job and shove it up your ass." "Is that any way to talk to your boss?" Crowley mildly replies, knowing full well he's in complete control of this situation. Dean, for he is an idiot, snarls, "You're not my boss, dickbag!" and I may have missed the memo, but when did it become okay to unleash words and phrases like "shove it up your ass" and "dickbag" on The CW during primetime? Not that I'm complaining, mind you -- I mean, if any show would benefit from looser language restrictions, it's this one -- but it does seem just a teensy bit odd for Dean to be spitting out lines like the above now, when for the past five seasons the most he ever tried to get away with was a hearty "douche" or two.
In any event, Crowley quite literally tells Dean to knock it off with all the pearl-clutching and reminds Our Intrepid Heroes that they've been working for him "for quite some time." "We didn't know," Soulless Sammy pissily snits by way of protest. "Like that makes a difference to you!" Crowley hoots before correctly noting, "You'd sell your brother for a dollar right now if you really needed a soda." Soulless Sammy sniffily yet silently takes offense at Crowley's tone, though he somewhat significantly chooses not to dispute Crowley's assertion.
Meanwhile, Dim El Deano again flatly refuses to take orders from the demon, stating, "I've done some shady stuff in my time, but I am not doing this." "Ten quid says you will," Crowley wagers and, by way of calling Dean's bluff, he leans over to tap the back of Sam's hand with his index finger, instantly searing Sam's skin up into a boiling, bubbling mass of scarlet burns. Turning back to Dean, Crowley drops the generalized air of moderately amused affability he'd been affecting throughout this scene and viciously barks, "This is a hostage situation, you arrogant little thug! I own your brother -- do you understand me?" His point made, Crowley snaps his fingers, and the fresh wound on Sam's hand vanishes just as quickly as he'd made it appear. He then allows himself to calm down a little bit before proposing the following deal: "You bag me a live Alpha, and I'll give you little Sammy's soul back with a cherry on top."
"Your merry little hike up the food chain starts here," he continues, not bothering to wait for a response from either of the boys before slapping a newspaper down on the table. It's today's edition of the Buffalo Morning Post, and the featured story of course details the pre-credits slaughter out in that bar's parking lot, which the article states happened "last week." The deceased, a 45-year-old businessman named Erik Gieszelmann, had his chest ripped open and his heart torn out, which Sam correctly identifies as a werewolf's M.O. Dean, however, claims a werewolf can't be involved because "it's not a full