Crowley is in his pajamas opening presents on Christmas night. A stunned looking Rowena comes down and stares at him, and someone bangs at the door. Lucifer--dressed as Santa Claus--finally kicks in the door and wishes everyone a merry Christmas. He impales Crowley with a spiked candy cane and Crowley collapses dead at Rowena's feet. Lucifer then asks Rowena if that's what she really dreams about. She says that it's a nightmare she can't wake up from. Staring in surprise, Rowena realizes who her visitor really is.
In the cage in Hell, Sam takes in that Lucifer sent him the visions. As for Rowena, she did what she was told. Sam tells Lucifer that he wasted his time because he'll just say no, no matter what Lucifer does to him. Then Dean will arrive and beat Lucifer. Lucifer laughs and says that he's not there to torture him. He wants to make him an offer he can't refuse, and puts his hand to Sam's head.
Sam finds himself standing in one of his childhood memories. Lucifer is there and points out a young Sam nearby sitting with a girl.
Crowley tells Rowena that she's dead for betraying him, and Rowena insists that Hell is Lucifer's kingdom, not Crowley's. Crowley doesn't believe that Lucifer will escape the cage, and Rowena points out that Sam is the only thing holding him back. He lets go of her throat and Rowena explains that Lucifer communicated to her in a dream. She let Crowley's demons find her and bring her to Hell. Crowley warns that Lucifer is much worse than him, and he wants death for every human and demon. Rowena insists that Lucifer has changed but her son doesn't believe it. Crowley wonders why she's helping Lucifer, and Rowena says that once he stops the Darkness then he'll attend to heaven and she'll be at his side. She's sure that Lucifer can win again against the Darkness and tells Crowley to sit down, shut up, and let Lucifer work.
As Dean drives back, he leaves a message for Sam to call him. As he calls Crowley, Dean's vision wavers. He pulls over and throws up, and Castiel walks down the road to him and asks if he's all right. The angel checks Dean and asks how far he is away from the angel smiting. Castiel explains that Dean is suffering from smiting sickness and the whole area is poisoned. He can't heal Dean and his sickness will get worse as he approaches the blast site. Dean insists that he has to see if Amara is dead, and Castiel says that he'll go because he's immune. Still ill, Dean reluctantly agrees and says that he'll check on Sam. He asks Castiel to bring Amara's body out if she's dead, and run if she's alive.
Young Sam is telling the girl about a trip his family took to Mexico. Sam and Lucifer watch, and the girl tells Young Sam that she didn't bring him there to study. They kiss and Lucifer says that Young Sam is the bold decisive Sam that he remembers. Now Sam is an insecure mess.
Dean returns to the bunker and calls to Sam. Crowley calls and explains that Sam is in Hell with Lucifer.
Lucifer takes Sam to the cemetery where Sam and Dean defeated Lucifer and Michael. The Devil points out that he respected Sam when he stood up to him and won, and was willing to do the hard thing to save the world. They watch as Sam and Adam plunge into Hell, and Lucifer tells Sam that he's gone soft.
As night falls, Castiel arrives at the blast crater. An angel, Ambriel, arrives and explains that she works in birth and death statistics in Heaven. She realizes who Castiel is and admits that she's there to confirm that Amara has been destroyed. Ambriel suggests that they work together and Castiel irritably agrees. He points out that it's the middle of the afternoon, even though it appears to be night.
Dean calls Castiel and leaves a message to meet him in Nebraska because he's going to Hell. He then knocks on a door. The woman, Billie, demands the password, and Dean is forced to sing. She lets him in and introduces herself, and explains that she's the Reaper that Sam met. She assures Dean that she's going to make sure that the next time the Winchesters die, they say dead, and explains that she's allied with Crowley so he'll owe her a favor. Billie gives Dean a case and tells him to deliver it to Crowley, and then opens a portal to Hell. Dean steps through and the doors close behind him.
Lucifer shows Sam a memory of his time with Amelia when Dean was trapped in Purgatory. The Devil says that Sam would never have let Dean talk him out of closing the gates to Hell. Now Sam is so overcome by guilt that he can't let Dean die again, no matter how many innocents die. Lucifer says that Sam has to be ready to die and watch the people he loves die to beat the Darkness. He tells Sam that he's just not strong enough... but he is.
Rowena and Crowley have tea and wait. Crowley finally excuses himself.
Castiel tells Ambriel that he never wanted his own kind to hate him. She assures him that they have a lot in common: their names rhyme, they look good in trench coats, and they're both expendable. Ambriel says that from what she's heard, Sam and Dean are the real heroes. Castiel tells her to go on ahead and he'll catch up.
Dean descends into Hell and Crowley finally welcomes him. He assures Dean that Lucifer probably won't kill Sam because he needs him, and admits that they need Rowena to reimprison Lucifer. Crowley opens the case, revealing a metal witchcatcher. When Dean wonders what it does, Crowley says that he's going to love it.
Ambriel goes on ahead and sees Amara on the ground. She kneels and pokes the body, and Amara grabs her throat. Castiel hears Ambriel choking and runs over, and sees Amara drains Ambriel of her soul. Amara pulls the darkness back into herself and sees Castiel, and admits that she consumed everything that made Ambriel what she is. Castiel draws his knife and Amara points out that the hosts of Heaven were unable to scratch her. When Castiel says that he isn't afraid to die, Amara says that she can smell the fear and self-loathing on him. He tries to stab her but she easily catches his wrist and shoves him away. Amara then tells Castiel that he's weak and wonders why God took a special interest in him. Castiel tells her to do it, and Amara says that he's not worth the effort... and she has a job for him. She touches his chest and Castiel screams before disappearing in a burst of light. Weakened, Amara staggers back.
Billie is reading when Castiel appears.
Rowena is sipping tea when Crowley comes in. She asks how Dean is, and says that she put a mystical bag on him. Rowena heard everything, as Dean comes in with the witchcatcher. Rowena starts choking and Crowley advises her to never take tea from someone who loathes her. Dean puts the witchcatcher around Rowena's neck, giving Crowley complete control over him.
Lucifer tells Sam to consider his offer, but to do it quickly before the world ends. All Sam has to do is say "yes." When Sam hesitates, Lucifer points out that he's the only game in town. Amara is the end of everything, but they can beat her together. Sam considers and then says, "No."
Crowley has Rowena prepare the spell to seal Lucifer back in the cage. However, if Sam agrees then the incantation won't work. Castiel arrives and tells them that Amara is alive, and reveals the words that Amara burned into his chest: "I'm coming."
Lucifer tells Sam that he's being selfish, but Sam says that it's over. He reminds Lucifer that it took Lucifer, three archangels, and God to beat Amara the next time. Even if Lucifer does win, Lucifer will just start the Apocalypse all over again. Sam figures that everyone else loses, no matter which of them win. He says that it's about him having faith in his friends and family, and is sure that they'll find a way to defeat Amara. Lucifer shrugs and starts beating him.
Dean hears Sam grunting in pain and goes to his brother. He and Castiel get to the cage and Lucifer teleports them in. Castiel draws his knife and Lucifer starts playing some music and dancing, saying that it's all about ambience. When the angel lunges at him, Lucifer catches his arm and insists that he's the only one who can beat Amara.
Dean goes to Sam and says that they don't have to win: they only have to last a few minutes.
Rowena begins the spell as Crowley look on.
Sam and Dean attack Lucifer, who easily knocks them aside. Castiel returns to the fight and Lucifer beats him as well as the Winchesters. He starts choking Dean and tells Sam that if he doesn't agree then Dean dies.
Rowena cuts herself with a sacrificial knife.
Castiel charges Lucifer, who drops Sam and beats the angels. He prepares to strike the death blow... and disappears as Rowena finishes the spell. She and Crowley join the other sat the cage, Crowley admits that the whole plan was a horrible mess, so they're done for now. As for Rowena, Crowley says that she'll stay and orders the others out.
Dean, Sam, and Castiel return through the portal. Castiel says that he'll be okay and tells the brothers to go on ahead. As they prepare to drive away, Sam wonders if Castiel is okay. He doesn't know if he is, and wonders if Lucifer was telling the truth. Dean says that Lucifer and Amara both on the loose would be a nightmare.
Crowley has Rowena massage his temples, and asks why she hates him. Compelled by the witchcatcher, Rowena says that when she sees Crowley she sees the woman she used to be, when she was nothing but a tanner's daughter. When Crowley was born, his father told Rowena that he loved him and then went back to his wife. If she didn't hate Crowley then she'd love him, but love is a weakness and she'll never be weak again.
Castiel comes in, smiling, and Crowley realizes that Castiel agreed to let Lucifer possess him so that he can defeat Amara. Lucifer slams Crowley across the room and tells Rowena that he'll never forget what she did for him. He removes the witchcatcher and asks if anyone but her can open the cage. When Rowena says that she's the only one, Lucifer breaks her neck. Lucifer then turns to Crowley and says that they have to chat.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 21, 2016