At St. Thomas' Church, Maria Masters prays to God and questions if He blessed her by sending her a daughter, Meg, or cursed Maria by giving Meg an incurable disease. She begs God to punish her instead of her daughter but gets no answer. A sudden wind blows out the candles and Maria turns to discover that a yellow-eyed demon has entered the church. He tells Maria that he's heard her prayer and can grant her her wish.
Bobby has Sam and Dean meet him at an empty barn in the middle of the desert. When the brothers get there, they find no sign of their friend. Someone attempts to sneak up on them and after easily disarming him, discovers that it's Bobby, testing them. He goes back to their motel and tells them that hunter William Henderson, an ex-Marine buddy of John's, was ripped in half by someone using their bare hands. They go to Henderson's apartment and search the place. Sam finds a photograph of an 1836 Colt .45 revolver with ten bullets, while Dean finds Henderson's collection of newspaper clippings. Henderson was researching the house fire that killed Mary Winchester as well as other incidents. Bobby finds sulfur on the bathroom window, confirming that Henderson was killed by a demon.
Maria goes to the hospital to check on Meg. The young girl talks about how when she was last unconscious, she dreamed that her father was calling to her from a bright white light, calling for her to join him.
Back at the motel room, Sam angrily packs weapons and prepares to hunt down the demon figuring it's the same one that killed Jessica and Mary. As he swears to get revenge no matter what it takes, Bobby arrives with the security footage from Henderson's closed-circuit security camera. It shows a woman entering Henderson's apartment just before his murder. Bobby has confirmed the woman's identity and learned that she is a volunteer at the local church and was visiting a shut-in living in the same apartment. When Bobby tells the brothers that Maria has a sick daughter, Sam immediately runs out.
Maria goes back to the church to beg God to save Megan. The yellow-eyed demon comes in behind her and warns her that Meg doesn't have long to live. Maria can sense the evil of his aura but the yellow-eyed demon says that he can help her if she will ask him. As he steps into the church, his shoes smoke briefly, as he explains that he wants to use Maria's body briefly in return for saving Meg's life. Maria refuses at first but the yellow-eyed demon warns her that God won't do anything to help her daughter. She wonders what the demon can do and he picks up a discarded flower and brings it back to life. Unimpressed, Maria strikes it from his hand and tells him to get out.
Later, Meg's vital signs improve and Maria praises God for helping her daughter. Sam and Dean arrive, posing as police officers, and ask Maria about her visit to Henderson's apartment. She tells them that she didn't see anything unusual and doesn't know anything about the murder. As the brothers leave, Dean is convinced that she's innocent. However, Sam points out that she appeared to be a little on edge, nervously fingering her rosary during the interview. As they drive off, Maria watches them from the hospital window. Meg asks if anything is wrong and Maria assures her daughter that everything is fine.
That night at the motel, Bobby is reading Henderson's files and realizes what he was investigating. The lights go out and the TV screen flickers and then shuts off. Something lunges at Bobby and he draws his gun. Outside, Sam and Dean pull up and hear two shots. They run inside just as Bobby's attacker leaps out the window. Bobby tells them that his bullets had no effect on the creature that attacked him. He then tells the Winchesters that Henderson was tracking natural disasters, signs of demon manifestation. Sam looks around and spots Maria's rosary on the floor.
Maria returns to St. Thomas and kneels at the base of the steps, begging God to forgive her because she was weak. Dean and Sam arrive and accuse her of killing Henderson and attacking Bobby at the motel. When Maria tries to retreat, she discovers that Bobby has quietly sneaked up behind her and laid a salt circle extending to the base of the church. Trapped, Maria collapses and tells them that she had to give the demon what he wanted so he would save her daughter.
Earlier at the hospital, Meg flatlines and the yellow-eyed demon comes to see Maria as she waits outside. He tells her that she has one last chance to save her daughter and reminds her that Maria ignored her daughter when she complained of being ill. It was Maria who returned home later and found Meg lying on the floor. The demon tells her to decide and Maria agrees to his terms. The doctor comes out of Meg's room and tells Maria that her daughter has recovered.
Maria explains that a demon possessed her, giving her the strength to kill Henderson and attack Bobby. When Sam tries to shoot her, the demon within Maria gestures and the gun backfires, injuring his hand. Clutching his wounded hand, Sam runs to Maria and asks the demon inside her if he was also responsible for the deaths of Jessica and Mary. The demon declares he is innocent and was not responsible for their deaths before he is expelled from Maria's body in a burst of black smoke and flies up into the sky. No longer possessed, Maria starts to bleed from the two bullet wounds she received earlier when Bobby shot her and collapses. As she feels her life slip away, Maria thanks God for blessing her with a daughter and for not punishing Meg for her actions. As the sun rises and Maria's death approaches, the Winchesters place her rosary into her hands. Dean says that he believes her prayers were so earnest that God heard them and agreed to save her daughter. As they talk, the yellow-eyed demon watches them from the top of the church.
Later, the brothers go back to the barn with Bobby. Bobby figures that a low-level demon possessed Maria and that it was telling the truth when it said it didn't kill Mary and Jessica. He assures the brothers that he'll keep watching for demon signs while they continue their search for their father. As the Winchesters drive off, Meg and the yellow-eyed demon watch from a nearby cliff. The demon warns Meg that she has to do what he says or she'll suffer the same fate as her mother. Meg, her eyes solid black, says that she understands.
Written by Gadfly on May 22, 2016