In Harlan, a woman approaches the closed road and drops her keys. She picks them up and turns to see a man, Rob. The woman, Nan, says that the air seems fine and explains that she just came back to get her daughter Debbie's allergy meds. Nan figures that the benzene leak sounds funny, and Rob just stares at her. He finally advances on her and stabs her in the stomach repeatedly. Nan collapses to the street, and Rob collapses as well. The ghostly Francis Tumblety emerges from Rob's body and stares at his two victims.
At the high school, Castiel warns Sam that the townspeople won't buy the benzene story for much longer. He mentions that Nan's husband said that she was missing, and Sam tells a Hunter to tell the other Hunters to keep an eye out for Nan. Sam then calls for everyone's attention and says that they expect to have them back in their homes after the EPA techs determine the source of the elevated benzene levels. He asks the townspeople to stay out of the quarantine zone until it's safe. Castiel watches as the townspeople start asking questions.
Dean and Belphegor check Harlan for ghosts, and Dean wonders why Belphegor is helping. The demon says that he likes Hell the way it was. Francis tries to get past the barrier and Belphegor points it out so Dean can shoot it. Belphegor warns that the ghosts are more dangerous, and explains that Francis was Jack the Ripper.
The next day at the high school, three of the townspeople--Dave, Andy, and Sheri--wonder what they can do. Dave, Nan's husband, figures that there's more than Sam is telling, and says that they're going to get into Harlan and find out what's going on. He figures the area is too big for the "FBI" to patrol the town.
In a house, Francis calls the gathered ghosts to order. He overheard Dean and Belphegor say that they were liberated by a cataclysm at the hands of God, and Hunters are patrolling the town with Belphegor. A society woman ghost asks what they should do, and Francis insists that their strength is in numbers. Francis figures that they can eventually force out the wards, and until then they'll make it ugly for the Hunters standing guard.
Dave and Andy sneak past the Hunters and enter the town. Two of the ghosts confront them.
Castiel suggests to Sam that they tell Dave something. Sam insists that they can when they will, and the townspeople are barely keeping it together. Rowena arrives and asks what Sam wants, and Sam asks her to make another bomb like the one she used against Amara. Rowena warns that the spell took everything they have. Jules comes in and tells Sam that they have a situation.
Dean and Belphegor confront Dave and Sheri, who are standing motionless in the street. Sam arrives and Dean explains that Dave came looking for Nan. Sam talks to them, and their eyes bleed. The Winchesters realize that they're possessed, and Francis arrives and orders them to open the wars. He gestures at Dave, who says that the spirit inside of him is tearing apart his insides. Sheri collapses moaning in pain, and Ketch arrives and shoots the ghosts possessing them. Francis disappears, and Ketch greets the Winchesters.
Back at the high school, Ketch and the Winchesters meet with Rowena. Ketch claims that he just happened to be in the area when the Winchesters sent the word out, and explains that his gun fires iron flakes that drive the ghosts out of their victims without harming them. He recognizes Rowena and hopes there are no hard feelings, and Rowena tells him that she hasn't forgotten that he let her escape. They flirt with each other, and Sam notes that ghosts keep coming so they need everyone available. Belphegor comes in and says that the streets are quiet, and they explain to Ketch that God killed Jack and now Belphegor is using his body. Ketch is surprised that Belphegor is helping the Winchesters, and says that as a freelance contractor he was asked to assassinate Belphegor. He says that Ardat told him Belphegor is a thread to humanity, and Sam asks Ketch not to kill Belphegor for now.
At a hotel In Reno, Amara is getting a massage. Chuck shows up after smiting her masseuse, and Amara reminds him that they agreed to give each other space. He says that they're family and he wanted to check in, and tries to make small talk. Amara isn't impressed and asks why he's there.
Andy tells Castiel that Dave and Sheri have disappeared, and reminds Castiel that he said they'd keep them safe. Castiel walks off without a word.
Rowena tells Dean that she needs a lot of spell ingredients, and asks him about Ketch. Dean tells her to focus on the crisis rather than find another boy toy, and says that she doesn't want to get involved with Ketch. Dean checks the town map, and Castiel comes in and admits that he didn't tell him about Jack. Dean admits that he's angry at all of the messes. They don't have anything to show for their lives, and points out that Chuck has been lying to Castiel for eternity. Castiel admits that he's angry but it doesn't mean it was all a lie. The angel says that Chuck knew the truth but didn't tell it, and insists that life is an obstacle course. They made their own moves and mostly they did well, but Dean isn't so sure. He says that everything they are is because of Chuck, and he can't pretend that they had a choice. Castiel tells him that they are real, and Dean leaves.
That night, Dean and Ketch patrol the streets. Dean gives Ketch an iron necklace that protects against possession. Ketch confirms that their enemy is God, and says that to the Men of Letters, God was more rumor than fact so they never created a weapon against him. He asks about Rowena, and Dean gets a call that two Hunters haven't checked in.
Dean and Ketch go to a meat packing company that the Hunters were patrolling, and hear a door slam. An invisible force slams Ketch against the well, and then the ghost advances on Dean with an ax. A figure appears from the shadows and tells her to get out, and the ghost does so. Kevin then steps out and explains that he just got there, and introduces himself to Ketch. Dean wonders why Kevin is there, and Kevin explains that Chuck lied about sending him to Heaven. Kevin warns that the ward is fading and says that he has a bad-boy rep since God cast him down, and Dean figures that he can mingle with the ghosts.
Chuck watches TV and complains that room service hasn't come yet. Amara tries to ignore him, and Chuck talks about how priceless their relationship is. He suggests that they drop by another dimension and start a new species as a family project. Amara tells him that she likes Reno, and then realizes that Chuck needs her. She asks what is going on, and notices that his shoulder wounded and he isn't at full strength... and he's afraid.
Sam wonders if it's safe what Kevin is doing, and Dean says that none of them is safe. Belphegor sneaks up on them and agrees that the warding is fading, and Dean tells him to charge it back up. The demon says that it was a one-time thing, and Dean tells him that they're going to send Kevin back to Heaven. Belphegor warns that souls cast down to Hell can't go to Heaven, and John and Bobby were exceptions that God made.
Chuck looks at his gunshot wound in the mirror and touches it.
Sam flinches at the pain from his gunshot wound. Dean notices and Sam says that it's getting better and walks off.
At the house, Francis and the other ghosts realize that the warding is fading. He suggests that they mass their power and break through, and the society woman warns that Hunters will be trying to establish the barrier. Kevin arrives and Francis asks him if he's privy to the Hunters' plan. Francis says that he wasn't impressed by Kevin and the demons said that he was close to the Winchesters. He has one demon get in Kevin's face.
As Rowena works on her spell, she talks to Ketch that she likes "right-brain men" like him. She flirts with him, and Ketch suggests a shortcut to her alchemy. Ketch grabs some wiring and goes to work, charging up the potion. He tells her that she can skip the next two steps, and Rowena suggests that they marry his power of science with her power of magic to create an explosive situation. Dean calls Rowena and she says that the bomb is almost ready but they can't rush things. Ketch quickly leaves once Rowena hangs up.
Rowena goes down the street and Francis appears in front of her. Rowena recognizes him and she says that she told him their relationship as over. Francis asks what's in her bag, and figures that she's working with the Hunters. He says that she should tell the Winchesters that they have Kevin and they should meet at the house. Ketch arrives and shoots Francis, temporarily dissipating him. Francis appears behind Fetch and knocks him out, and watches as Rowena runs away.
When she finds Castiel and the Winchesters, Rowena tells them what happened and relays Francis' message. She warns that she doesn't know if her "soul catcher" will work.
Sam and Dean go to the house and Francis tells them that if they shut down the warding he won't devour Kevin. Dean refuses and tortures Kevin, and Rowena and Fetch come in and use the soul catcher. It absorbs the ghosts, and Kevin thanks them for their help. Rowena warns that a lot of the ghosts got away, and Kevin explains about Francis' backup plan.
The ghosts arrive at the warding's weakest point, and Belphegor can see the ghosts as the wardings spark from the bombardment. Dean fires at the energy bursts, and Belphegor says that there are too many of them for it to work. Rowena steps forward with the soul catcher and absorbs the ghosts, and Belphegor says that it's working. Francis possesses Ketch and knocks out Rowena, and Dean discovers that he's out of ammunition. The other ghosts appear, and "Ketch/Francis thanks Rowena for giving him a weapon that he can use to blow open the warding.
Dean draws a gun, shoots Ketch in the shoulder, and catches the soul catcher. He gives it to Rowena, who traps the other ghosts in it and then Francis. Belphegor confirms that all of the ghosts are gone.
As the EMTs take the wounded Ketch away, Castiel says that he tried to heal him but it didn't work. Sam figures that Castiel is tired like the rest of them. Dean apologizes to Ketch for shooting him and tells him to take care. Ketch and Rowena exchange looks as the EMTs put Ketch in the ambulance, and then Rowena looks at Dean.
Later, Sam and Dean meet Kevin. Kevin says that they can't get him to Heaven, and Sam warns him that being a ghost with nowhere to hold him is terrible. Dean agrees, but Kevin figures that he has the choice between being tortured in Hell or going crazy on Earth. Kevin figures that Belphegor can lower the warding long enough to let him out. He tells the Winchesters that they have to accept that sometimes there's no way to make things better. They say their goodbyes and Belphegor releases Kevin.
Amara tells Chuck that she's going out alone because she doesn't want to be anywhere near him. Chuck tells her not to test him, but Amara figures that he can't leave the world without her help. She tells Chuck that she's adapted and become the better her, while Chuck is still petulant and narcissistic. Before she goes Amara tells Chuck that she's sealing him away like he once did to her, and now he's on his own like he always wanted.
More ghosts arrive at the barrier, and Belphegor warns the others that soon they'll overwhelm them again. Rowena warns that her soul catcher isn't powerful enough to handle them all, and they have to find another way. Sam says that they will, and Dean wonders how.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 18, 2019