The erstwhile King of Hell has been rendered useless by his addiction to human blood. Crowley spends most of his time holed up in a hotel room with a demonic hooker named Lola, eating pizza and injecting himself with sweet, sweet hemoglobin. He's also spent a lot of time ignoring Dean's repeated calls demanding to know where he stands on the hunt for the First Blade. Lola, of course, is spying on Crowley for Abaddon. He eventually does catch on, but not before Lola manages to pass along intel about his piteous state and even more piteous quest.
The Winchesters get tired of waiting to hear from Crowley while Abaddon is running around doing interesting, dangerous things entirely off-screen. They head to the nearest crossroads to summon themselves a demon. What they get is Snooki, whose inexplicable fame is suddenly explained by her hellish origins. Also: sigh. They trap her, force her to tell them where Crowley is, then exorcise her. Hopefully they then gave her a ride back to Jersey, or at least some bus fare. Anyway, they grab Crowley and take him back to the Lair O' Letters to dry out.
Crowley tells them that he looked all over the Marianas Trench for the First Blade, but an unmanned research vessel just happened to scoop it up before he could get it. What are the chances, right? The Winchesters chase one lead after another, like they're in some supernatural version of Law & Order. To make a long story short: some guy named Magnus has it now. Sam recognizes this as an alias that the Men of Letters would sometimes use. To make another long story short: this guy was kicked out of the MOL because he was kind of crazy. Luckily, this means he wasn't there when Abaddon massacred the other Lettermen. Even more luckily, Crowley is able to lead them to his last known whereabouts.
Magnus, it turns out, lives in a fabulous mansion in the middle of the woods, hidden from view by a cloaking spell. The Winchesters gain entry, but Sam is soon booted out again because he's boring. Magnus is only interested in Dean, and wants to add him to his "collection" of mystical artifacts and creatures. He already has the First Blade, and the Mark of Cain (finally!) on Dean's arm makes the set complete. Dean isn't exactly keen on the idea, so Magnus ties him up and forces the blade into his hand. It feels pretty good, judging by the sexy faces that Dean starts making, but it also feels kind of scary, so Dean drops it right quick.
Meanwhile, Crowley and Sam figure out how to get inside. Magnus ties up Sam this time, and threatens him to make Dean accept the blade. Crowley sneaks up behind Dean and sets him free while Magnus is distracted. (He probably should have warded his digs against demons.) When Dean uses the First Blade to kill Magnus, it takes a lot longer for him to let go, and Sam has to talk him down a bit. Good job, Sam! But then Sam starts talking about how they should use the blade on Crowley, right where Crowley can hear him. Bad job, Sam! Crowley grabs the blade and says he'll give it back when it's time to kill Abaddon, which I'm guessing that will be sometime in May. Also? Abaddon totally vandalizes the Impala while everyone is in the invisible mansion. Man, if Dean weren't already hot to kill her... Stay tuned for the full recap.
THEN! The Winchesters met their time-traveling grandpa one fateful day last season. Grandpa told them about this spiffy little club he belonged to called the Men of Letters, which was kind of a highbrow deal where brainiacs gathered all the supernatural knowledge of the world while wearing fancy robes. He was a bit distraught to learn that his grandsons were lowly hunters instead of respectable nerds. He also learned that all but one of the Men of Letters (two, if you count Grandpa) died the day he left 1958 behind. They visited the phony grave of a member named Albert Magnus and discovered that this was an alias used by the Men of Letters. In more recent storylines, Crowley became addicted to human blood, because why not? Dean grew a gingery sort of beard, also because why not? Together, he and Crowley went looking for the First Blade so that they could use it to kill Abaddon. This involved Dean fighting a bunch of demons and impressing Cain (of "Cain and Abel" fame) enough to receive the Mark once bestowed on him by Lucifer. Without the Mark, the blade was useless except maybe as a paperweight. Also? Cain threw the blade into the deepest part of the ocean some hundred years ago, so it was up to Crowley to go looking for it, because demons apparently can do that kind of thing.
NOW! Dean paces around the Lair O' Letters while Sam browses the Internet for a story about Cain and Abel. Dean calls Crowley for the thousandth time and gets his voicemail for the thousandth time. "I'm too busy inflicting pain to answer," the recorded Crowley says. "It's not like he has a social life," Dean grumbles. "Are you actually worried?" Sam asks. I think he may have gotten a very slight hair trim and maybe an auburn rinse. Dean grumbles some more: "The guy's got one job: find the First Blade and bring it back. How hard could it be?" Technically, isn't that two jobs? Also, the Marianas Trench is 1500 miles long! That may be "going to the convenience store" miles for the Impala, but it's another thing entirely where the ocean floor is concerned.
Dean plays back the only message he's gotten from Crowley. "Dean... um... meh, muh, bluh? Bluhhhh!" Sam hears this and asks, "Did he drunk dial you?" He seems to find this amusing, but Dean just looks embarrassed. He calls Crowley again.
On a nightstand in some unidentified hotel room, Crowley's phone rings. His caller ID lets him know that "Not Moose" is calling. Heh. Crowley falls onto the bed, sweaty and red-faced, clad in black satin pajamas. "Lola," he says. A woman pops up beside him, wearing more make-up than clothes. "My King," she greets him. "My après-consummation treat," he says, like he's ordering off a room service menu. Lola slinks across the room to the closet, in which a pale, skinny man in a filthy undershirt has been bound and gagged. She takes one of those gigantic, old-fashioned syringes of which the show seems particularly fond and draws some blood from her involuntary donor. She slinks back across the room, giving us a full view of her lacy thigh-highs and bra ensemble. Did she and Crowley have fully clothed sex? You'd think demons would be less prudish than that. "Pantry's almost empty," Lola notes. "You should add that to your to-do list," Crowley says. He takes the syringe from her and injects himself in the forearm. He shivers and sighs, then falls back onto the bed in a high. "Lola, pet, I do believe I'm ravenous." She bows with a little flourish...