In Afghanistan, Jake Talley is one of several soldiers heading cross-country in an armored carrier. He takes out a photo of his grandmother, sister, and younger brother and looks at it. Another soldier, Tyrone, notices the photo and grabs it out of Jake's hand, and taunts him about how he hasn't killed anyone yet and is already going on leave. He complains about how Jake is a loser and a coward, and hasn't liked him since they grew up in the same city together. As Jake glares at Tyrone, barely keeping his anger in check, he sees the yellow-eyed demon, Azazel, sitting next to him. The young solider refuses to unleash his anger and give Azazel what he wants. Tyrone grabs Jake, who slams his fist into the side of the carrier and dents the metal.
Before Tyrone can react, enemy fire hits the carrier, flipping it over.
In East St. Louis, young Danny Talley is trying to hotwire the Impala. When he crosses the wires, he manages to set his jacket on fire. Sam and Dean come out from a local diner and see the fire, and Dean screams and runs over to put it out. Sam grabs Danny and drags him over to the Impala, and Dean half-seriously threatens to kill the boy. While he talks, Sam has a vision of Danny and two women in a trailer living room, cowering before Azazel. There's a clock on the wall indicating 9 p.m., and a calendar on the table that says that day's date.
The Winchesters convince Danny to take them to the trailer and Sam recognizes the interior from his vision. Danny lives with his sister Lynn and grandmother Deborah, the two women from Sam's vision, and the clock and the calendar are also there. Lynn is clearly attracted to Dean and flirts with him, convincing him to drop his grudge with Danny. Danny tries to slip out anyway and Dean grabs him, and Deborah says that Danny's older brother Jake could keep Danny under control. Sam confirms that Jake was born the same year that he was in, 1983, and also lost his mother in a fire when he was six months old.
In Afghanistan, Jake's squad returns fire on the insurgents. Meanwhile, Jake checks the carrier and finds Tyrone pinned underneath.
Deborah tells Sam and Dean that Jake joined the Army so he could find a way out of the ghetto. Dean decides to have Danny clean the Impala to make up for trying to steal it. Danny is soon playing pranks on him and Dean jokingly argues with him. Lynn, watching, tells Sam that Danny hasn't had so much fun in a while. She explains that before Jake went overseas, he made Danny promise to be the man of the family. Since then, he's been stealing to prove that he's a man. Deborah runs out and shows them a letter from the Army. Jake is coming home that night. Sam realizes what Azazel has planned and secretly warns Dean that the yellow-eyed demon will kill Jake's family to set off his rage and turn him to the dark side. Before the brothers can decide what to do, Danny runs off and Dean goes after him before Azazel catches up to the boy.
Jake tries to pull Tyrone free without success. Tyrone realizes that it's too late for him and wonders why Jake is trying to save a man who hates him. Jake says that he couldn't live with himself if he didn't try and Tyrone begs him to buy a bat and glove for his younger brother in the hopes he can become a pro baseball player.
The insurgents continue shooting and Azazel manifests through a dead soldier. He tells Jake to give into his anger and kill them all. A sniper hits Jake in the arm and he goes berserk, lifting the carrier off of Tyrone. He throws the carrier at the insurgents and then grabs Tyrone and leaps away. He finally finds a motorcycle and drives back to base.
As night falls, Dean fails to find Danny. With an hour until Azazel's arrival, Dean calls Sam but is interrupted when he spots Danny up ahead. As Lynn and Deborah demand answers, Sam prepares to tell them what's really going on. However, he's interrupted when the lights flicker and the clock hands swing forward an hour to 9. Azazel walks in and Sam, furious at the creature that killed his father, unleashes his telekinetic abilities. Unimpressed, the Demon pins Sam to the wall and congratulates Sam on learning how to control his powers. He then whispers something in Sam's ear and then disappears in a burst of brimstone. Lynn and Deborah cower back from Sam in fear, and Lynn finally asks him what's going on. Sam advises them to forget what just happened and walks out. Lynn starts to go after him but Deborah grabs her arm and holds her there.
When Jake gets back to base, he sits on his bunk and stares at his hands. Meanwhile, Tyrone flatlines and the doctors can do nothing for him. However, Azazel slips in and cures the soldier with a touch.
The next day, Jake is leaving for the airfield. Medics load Tyrone into a medivac and he smiles briefly at Jake. As Jake's ride leaves, he vows to use his powers for good rather than evil.
Sam calls to warn Dean that Azazel is going after Danny, and that the Demon told him that he has another agenda.
Jake arrives in his old neighborhood and stops at a cake shop as the owner is closing up. The owner refuses to serve Jake until he realizes that he's a soldier and then goes inside to get a cake.
As Dean continues searching the streets, Sam calls him again to say that something is still bugging him.
Danny spots a man in a heavy coat using a crutch to get down the street, and wrestling with a heavy duffle bag. The boy remembers his promise to Jake and hesitates, but finally runs forward and grabs the duffle bag. On a rooftop above, Azazel looks down in satisfaction.
Sam tells his brother that Azazel said that only another mortal could awaken the powers of one of the children. Dean spots Jake and recognizes him from the Talley family photos, and Danny goes running by. A shot rings out and Danny goes down, dying. Jake runs to his brother and holds him in his arms, and Danny repeats his promise to be a man with his dying breath. The duffle bag Danny stole is laying nearby, and a bat and glove have fallen out. Jake looks up and realizes that the man with the crutch who shot Danny is... Tyrone, going home to see his own brother. Tyrone collapses to his knees, shocked to realize that he killed a child just like his brother. When Dean tries to stop Jake, the soldier casually knocks him unconscious and then throws a lethal punch at Tyrone. Above, Azazel smiles in satisfaction.
Sam arrives a few minutes later and wakes Dean up. Danny's body is gone and the only trace of Tyrone is a crater in the sidewalk with some blood on it.
Deborah and Lynn wait at the trailer for Jake to come home. Jake sets Danny's body down outside and slips away into the night.
A sobbing Tyrone goes home and embraces his brother, remembering what happened. Jake drove his fist into the concrete rather than crush Tyrone's skull in.
Jake goes to the train station and Azazel confronts him. The demon points out that if Jake hadn't saved Tyrone in Afghanistan then Danny would still be alive. Azazel tells Jake that he should hate mortals and that he's so much more, and invites the soldier to come with him and learn how to use his powers. Jake hesitates, considering the demon's offer.
Written by Gadfly on May 22, 2016