Sam's in trouble. It must be Tuesday.
Gadreel has taken off with Sam's bod so that he can continue to prove his loyalty to Metatron. He kills off the angel that tortured him and his friend Abner while they were both locked up in Heaven's dungeon. He's thinking that's the end of it, but Metatron gives him some seemingly human guy that needs bumping off. It's only when Gadreel confronts him that he realizes this is Abner in his new vessel. They reminisce about the old days, but Abner is happy with his new life. He has a wife and kid that his vessel didn't much appreciate, and he's eager to move on. In fact, he's rather horrified to learn that Gadreel sought vengeance against their torturer. He encourages his old friend to move on, too, and Gadreel takes his advice... by killing him. Now he can move on to being second-in-command of Heaven.
Meanwhile, back at the Lair O' Letters, it seems that Kevin is well and truly dead. Dean even burns his body, so there's probably no coming back now. Castiel takes some time getting there, as he's angelic but still wingless, and had to pilfer some pimpmobile for the trip. He and Dean turn to Crowley for help. Thanks to his torture sessions with poor, adorable Samandriel, Crowley knows how to tinker with an angel's mind. If he can shut down Gadreel long enough, then Sam can do the rest of the work. All he asks in return is to accompany them on their little road trip.
They track Gadreel down to dead Abner's house, nab him, then truss him up in the abandoned warehouse of the week. Castiel doesn't recognize him because he's been in the pearly pokey since the dawn of time. It's only when Crowley fiddles around in Gadreel's noggin that he gives up his name. Castiel explodes with rage. Gadreel is the one who let Lucifer into the Garden, and set a whole string of awful crap into motion. Sam should pop up at this point and be like, "Hey, sometimes a dude accidentally lets Lucifer in or out of places!" But he doesn't, and the only way to reach him is to let Crowley possess his bod. All he wants this time is his freedom.
Dean reluctantly agrees, and Crowley smokes his way into Sam. This whole time, Sam's been unaware of what's going on. Gadreel has him tucked away in some mental Matrix where he thinks he's working on a case with his brother. That might have been a better episode, right there. Anyway, Crowley explains the whole deal to him. Gadreel, looking like Tahmoh Penikett because why not, says Sam will die if he ejects him. Sam decides to take his chances and projectile-vomits first Gadreel, then Crowley. Everybody is back where they belong. The end.
Except then Abaddon and some of her goons show up. Crowley holds them off while the Winchesters and Castiel escape – not so much out of the goodness of his heart, but because he's eager to make his case to the demons. Abaddon is a knight, but Crowley is a politician. He promises the demons all kinds of goodies if they side with him.
While the demons are wheeling and dealing, Sam and Dean pout over the Impala's hood. It's like the olden days again, but more exhausting. Sam is pissed that Dean tricked him into accepting an angel, but nobody beats up Dean better than Dean does. He's all, "I'm poison! Everybody around me gets hurt!" So he vows to go off all on his own to hunt for Gadreel, who has returned to his Penikett-shaped vessel. Whatever else happens, at least we can be thankful for that. Stay tuned for the full recap.
For the previouslies, we get a "Road So Far" instead of a "THEN." Do they always do that after the winter hiatus? Anyway, the season began with Sam and his hair in a coma because those trials really packed a wallop. Dean couldn't leave well enough alone, so he asked the angels for help. Tahmoh Penikett showed up pretending to be a nice angel named Ezekiel, and offered to heal Sam from the inside. Now, as you'll recall, angels can't possess people without their consent, so Dean tricked Sam into letting Ezekiel get all up in him, demonstrating once again that this show doesn't even slightly understand the concept of consent. Castiel got tricked, too, when he trusted Metatron about fixing Heaven or whatever the hell it was. Metatron stole Castiel's grace, so he had to live life as a human for a couple of episodes. Then Metatron got bored in an empty Heaven and came down to ask for Ezekiel's help opening it back up for a few select angels. This was undoubtedly a lie, because the spell he worked in the first place is supposedly irreversible. Also, it turned out that Ezekiel was actually an angel named Gadreel, which means "he who loves to flare his nostrils." Metatron demanded proof of his loyalty, so Gadreel fricasseed Kevin Tran while Dean watched helplessly. Meanwhile, the angels were fighting amongst themselves, and the demons were fighting amongst themselves. Castiel stole some asshole angel's grace to get his mojo back, because that's an entirely possible thing, apparently.
In the present day, Dean has built a fairly elaborate pyre. While Bob Seger sings "The Famous Final Scene," Dean watches Kevin's body burn. The camera spends the requisite amount of time lingering over Dean's sad expression in the firelight before moving down to the bunker. Dean stares at the spot on the floor where Kevin fell. He picks up Kevin's phone, pushes a button to show a picture of the late prophet and his mother. "Everything must have an end," sings Bob, clearly not referring to the Winchester angst, which not even the heat death of the universe will be able to extinguish. Dean hurls the phone across the floor, then has one of those obligatory "sweep everything off the nearest table" fits of despair and anger. He even tosses one of the library's lovely vintage chairs, but finds no satisfaction in this or anything else.
The winged title card flaps us away to the backstage environs of some rock concert in the offing. An unseen crowd screams for their idol. "Corey! Corey! Corey!" Apparently it's some guy named Corey. You might expect Corey to be some kind of crazy sex-god with that kind of enthusiasm. You'd be wrong. The guy strolling down the hall towards us with studied boredom looks like Chaka from Land of the Lost in a black PVC jacket. Seriously, what in the hell with that hair? His manager walks him to his dressing room, blathering directions about his set that night. All his songs have the word "baby" in the title. It would have been a funnier joke on a show not known for its repetitiveness. As they push into the dressing room, they find something that looks like Sam Winchester. The manager calls for security, but Corey waves off her concern and shuts her out of the room.