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inside a cabin; Sam and Dean are getting beaten within an inch of their lives. Furniture breaks, fists fly, but it look like they're gettingthe upper hand, until one of the bad guys on the floor gets a hold of a gun an shoots Sam in the gut. Sam goes down and tries to get up, but can't. He's bleeding heavily as Dean watches.

48 hour earlier; in the bunker...
Sam asks Dean how the research is going. Same. Nothing. Dean asks Sam if he has anything and Sam says he thinks he does. Dean looks hopeful. Is it something on Amara or Lucifer? No, Sam thinks he has a case for them. Werewolves probably. Missing campers. A body found missing a heart.

Dean doesn't want to go. He tells Sam they'll make a call and put someone else on it. Sam knows Dean is thinking about Cas. Sam tells Dean, "We'll get him back." Dean has no idea how. Neither does Sam. Dean looks frustrated. Sam argues that they need to get out and just work a
case instead of spinning their wheels.

Flash forward...
Sam's looking bad, bleeding on the floor. Two victims of the werewolves are hanging by their wrists nearby. Dean tells them to hold on as he rushes to Sam's side with a first aid kit. He gives Sam some gauze to bite down on and tells him the bullet has to come out. It looks like it's just as painful for Dean to try to dig the bullet out of Sam as it is for Sam to endure him doing it, but he does and puts on an overly-positive and optimistic tone when he pulls the bullet out. Dean claims the bullet will be a memento they'll laugh about someday. Sam tries to press down on his bleeding abdomen and tries to dress his own wound.

Dean gets the keys and undoes the handcuffs on the victims. The woman seems woozy and confused. Says the werewolves can change at any time. Dean explains that probably means they are pure bloods. The girl's boyfriend tries to reassure her and Dean directs him to disinfect his girlfriend's wounds on her wrists.

Dean goes back to trying to help Sam tape his wound up. He asks about a phone. No phone in the cabin and Dean doesn't have cell service, but he had it back at the car, so he decides he needs to go back to the car to call for help.

He tells Sam he'll get him a real doctor and he'll be just fine. Sam doesn't look so great. Dean hands Sam a gun and gets ready to leave. The male victim says he and his girlfriend are coming but Dean says no. The guy says the can't stay behind; not with "the others" out there. Dean and Sam exchange deeply concerned looks (Sam is still bleeding on the floor); they didn't realize there were more werewolves.

Sam tries to get up. Dean gets a shoulder under his armpit and helps to carry him out. Sam stumbles, but stays on his feel.

Flashback...
Sam and Dean start the hunt at a bar interviewing the bartender about the missing hikers. She doesn't seem to be able to help them. Dean's frustrated with their lack of progress. Grumpy. Sam says they'll call it a night and they can talk to the rangers in the morning. The bartender brings their check and advises them to check out some of the usually-empty cabins in the park; privately owned, but hikers find them and tend to hole up.

The bouncer watches them leave and exchanges a look with the bartender.

Flash forward...
The group is walking through the forest trying to get to the car. Sam is really struggling. They spy another cabin. Dean wants to find a radio or phone. Nothing. Phone's dead. Dean finds some lanterns but that's about it. Sam's in pain. The male victim insists they have to keep moving. He says his girlfriend is injured, but it's Sam who is slowing them down. They should leave Sam behind so they have a chance of escaping. Dean's pissed. He reminds the guy that they saved him. The guy argues it's three lives versus one. Sam agrees. He says they have to go find help and leave him behind. Dean flat-out rejects that, saying he's going to go outside, find some
wood, build a litter for Sam, and carry him out. It's only a couple of miles they have to go. Dean leaves the two victims and Sam in the cabin.

Back at the first cabin, the bartender and the bouncer find the dead werewolves; part of their pack. They decide it's time to move on after they clean up the dead.

Back at cabin #2; Dean is angrily piling wood outside. When a vine brushes him he all but attacks it telling it to get off of him. He knows how bad off Sam is.

Inside, Sam is sitting on the floor and struggling to breathe. He tells the victims to go find Dean and get out of here. The male victim tells Sam that Dean will never leave him and the two victims won't last out there without Dean. The guy attacks Sam, holds him down, and starts to smother him.

Outside, Dean sees car lights approach.

Inside, as Sam is being smothered, he sees that the male victim has been bitten by one of the werewolves. The guy holds Sam's nose closed with his other hand over Sam's mouth until Sam passes out. Just then, the female victim walks over to see what he has done.

Sam's dead.

Dean comes back in and sees Sam unresponsive on the floor. He feels for a pulse. Nothing. he asks what happened. The male victim lies and says he just "went". The female victim is in tears, but both victims are extremely fearful as they hear the car pull up, fearing it's the rest of the werewolves.

Dean kneels next to Sam's body. He pulls out a knife and says "Let 'em come." He's going to fight them off singlehandedly.

The male victim says that's crazy. Sam's gone. No need for the three of them to also stay and die. He begs for Dean's help. Dean thinks, his eyes filling with tears. He promises Sam he'll come back for him. He tries to pull himself together for the victims and says, "Let's go." He looks at Sam's body before he leaves. Crying.

The truck pulls up outside. They see Dean and the other two moving off through the forest and curse.

Flashback...
Sam and Dean are trying to find the missing hikers and are consulting a map to look for the cabin. Sam jokes that this could be "fun" and "like camping". Dean is still sour on the whole thing.

Flash forward...
The sun is up and Dean and the victims are walking the path. The woman asks her boyfriend what happened back there. He tells her (Michelle) that he loves her and he did what he had to do. They make it to a road and Dean tries to flag down a passing car. He get a ranger to stop and loads the victims into the truck. The rangers wants to talk to Dean. Dean says he doesn't have time. When the ranger insists he "make time", Dean punches him. The ranger goes down.

Dean turns to run but doesn't see that the ranger is back on his feet and shoots Dean with a taser. Dean goes down.

At the hospital, Dean wakes up. The doctor tells him he has broken ribs. She says he probably also has a concussion. He tries to get up. She pushes him back down.

Elsewhere in the hospital, the male victim is telling his story to the ranger. Michelle says they were captured by werewolves. Her boyfriend tries to keep that under wraps. Michelle insists that Dean and his brother saved them. The ranger thinks that Michelle has been through a lot and might not know what she's saying. The ranger claims he'll check out the cabin.

Michelle is bothered by what he did. Not as happy as he is that they made it out.

The doctor comes in to examine the male victim. He doesn't want to be examined. He tries to hide the bite mark, but she sees it. She asks what did that and how does he feel? He says he feels good.

Out in the hall, the ranger is making a call to get another ranger to go check out the cabin where Sam is supposed to be. The dead ranger in the pickup doesn't answer.

Dean tries to get up. Just then, Michelle enters the room. She asks if she can come in. Dean says sure. She says she wanted to check on him. She wants to tell him that she's sorry. Dean looks heartbroken. And annoyed. Michelle says hermom used to tell her that death is not the end. Something clicks in Dean's mind...

Dean and Michelle raid the locked drug storage cabinet at the hospital.

Michelle wants to know what he's doing and he just says he has to talk to someone; not a friend, exactly. He tells her that werewolves aren't the only monsters out there. Michelle wants to know how he talks to this person. Dean says that he has to die in order to talk to the person he needs to talk to.

Dean tells Michelle that she's welcome to leave, but if she wants to help him, he needs help looking for the right drugs. She asks if this will work. Dean says it has to.

Back in the cabin, Sam is lying on the floor. Lovely slow pan up his body with the camera. There's a lantern next to him. His hands look dark and purplish and his shirt is soaked in blood.

Suddenly, he gasps and starts to cough. He looks around.

Back in the hospital; Dean is dumping out pills. He tells Michelle that after he does this, go get the doc and tell her to bring him back if she can. But if she can't, no hard feelings. Michelle tries to stop him, but he says he has to do it. He downs a handful of pills.

Back in the cabin...
Sam struggles, weak and woozy and in horrible pain, to his feet. He looks around. He calls out for Dean then cries out in agony and falls to his knees. He inches his way across the room to the window and sees a truck approaching. It's the bartender and the bouncer.

At the hospital...
Michelle asks Dean how he feels. He says nothing, but looks dazed. He blinks and quasi-smiles, like he's not really in control of his muscles because of the drugs (how Jensen does this so well, I have no freakin' idea).

Back in the cabin...
Sam drags himself down the stairs to the basement. He falls down the last few steps.

Back at the hospital, at the same moment, Dean falls to the floor. Michelle goes to get the doctor.

In the cabin, Sam is bleeding heavily again. He sucks down air.

In the hospital, the doctor runs in and Dean is having a seizure on the floor while foaming at the mouth. The doctor asks what he took and Michelle points to the pills on the counter. She unclips her own IV to help hold Dean down.

Elsewhere in the hospital, the male werewolf victim is standing in front of the mirror. He peels off his bandages and he's almost completely healed. He looks crazed and long nails grow from his fingertips.

Back at the cabin, the bouncer kicks down the door and looks around. All appears quiet. Sam is in the basement and hears the guy overhead. The bouncer, obviously a werewolf, can smell Sam. He heads for the basement. Sam is trying not to make a sound.

At the hospital, Dean's spirit is standing there watching them work on his body. He says they should roll him over to find a vein. Just then, the doctor tells Michelle to help her roll him over. The scene in front of him freezes and Billie appears.

Billie the reaper says she had to freeze the moment to savor it. She didn't think he'd commit suicide. She says it doesn't fit his whole martyr game. She wants to know what's up.

Dean says they have to talk about Sam.

She says, "What about Sam?"

Dean says he needs Sam back and he wants to make a deal. Billie isn't interested. Dean says the world is going to burn with the Darkness out there and she'll be the end of everything, including Billie. Sam's the only one who can stop it; she needs to bring Sam back.

Billie asks how Sam will stop it. Dean has no answer. Billie called his bluff. That's what she thought; Dean's just making it up to save Sam. She tells him that Dean is only saving Sam for himself. Not for the greater good. She knows he can't lose Sam. But even if Sam could win against Amara, she would still not deal. She tells Dean the answer will ALWAYS be "no".
(She said awhile back that it's her job to make sure they stay dead when they die and she's sticking to it.) She tells Dean the game's over. No more second chances or extra lives.

Dean says he's begging her to please bring Sam back and take him instead. He has tears in his eyes.

Billie says she's not there to bargain with him. She's there to reap him. And the kicker is, Sam's not dead.

Hope flickers across Dean's face (it's SO FLEETING, but it's there; again, I have NO IDEA how Jensen can do this). But, she continues, Dean IS dead or will be soon enough. She starts time again and the scene in front of them kicks back into motion with the doctor proclaiming that Dean's pulse is fading.

Dean wants to know how Billie knows Sam isn't dead. She says that if a Winchester died, she'd know.

Dean thinks for a second. She tells Dean to come along. It's time. The "empty" is waiting.

Just then the doctor plunges a syringe into Dean's heart. He looks back just as his body gasps for air on the floor and rolls to the side, throwing up.

Billie pulls her hand back. She walks off into a haze of light.

Back at the cabin...
The bouncer has made it to the basement and he finds Sam's blood at the bottom of the stairs. He looks around a corner while the bartender walks around upstairs. The bouncer is sure he knows where Sam is and rips away some debris, expecting to find him, but Sam appears behind him instead, stabbing him to death as he turns. The bartender hears the noise and heads down. We hear her being stabbed.

We see Sam stagger, alone, back up through the cellar door.

Back at the hospital, Dean is staggering to his feet saying, "He's alive." Michelle asks, "Sam?" then says, "Thank God." Dean replies, "Not so much." Dean asks the ranger in the room for a car.Dean insists. The ranger decides that since Dean has stolen drugs and assaulted an officer, he's not going anywhere; he handcuffs Dean and orders the doctor to sedate him. The doctor refuses; not with everything he just took. The ranger asks the doctor to come talk to him outside.

When they leave the room, Dean looks over at Michelle. She nods and picks up some surgical instruments to free him from the handcuffs.

Out in the hall, the ranger and the doctor are arguing. He's going to call for backup.

Out in the woods, a pickup pulls up behind the Impala. It's Sam in the stolen bartender's pickup. He's staggering to the Impala, gasping as he goes. He leans against the car. He pulls out his phone. It has service. He calls Dean.

Dean is leaving the hospital. His face lights up when his phone rings and it's Sam. He's so relived. He wants to know what happened. Sam asks where he is and Dean gets the address out before Sam's phone starts breaking up. Sam tries to ask if the male werewolf victim, Corbin, is with him, but Dean can barely hear. The phones die. Dean looks lost, but hopeful.

Sam staggers into the Impala, fires it up, and drives off.

Back in the hospital, the doctor hears a crash in one of the rooms. She knocks on the door. Corbin opens it. She sees his long fingernails. He tells her he's really okay.

Michelle hears the doctor scream and finds her in the hallway. The ranger runs in asking what happened. Suddenly, a hand punches through the ranger's chest from behind. The hand pulls back out and the sheriff falls to the ground, Corbin is standing behind him. Michelle is terrified. Corbin tries to tell her it's going to be okay; he didn't want this, but it it feels good and she'll find out because they'll be together. She says "no", she doesn't want to be turned, just as Corbin is tackled from behind by Dean.

Dean looks up and tells Michelle to run.

Corbin is super-strong. He straddles Dean on the floor and begins to choke him. Suddenly, Corbin stiffens and releases his grip on Dean's throat as he is shot from behind. Michelle screams. When Corbin falls, Dean sees Sam, standing very unsteadily in the hall, gun drawn.

Dean tells Sam it took him long enough.

Sam collapses. Dean sags to the floor.

Later...Dean finds Michelle sitting, stunned and sad, in one of the hospital's waiting room chairs in the hallway. He sits down next to her. He asks how she's doing. She responds by asking how Sam is. Dean says that when Corbin choked Sam, his body went into shock and his breathing slowed, making him appear dead. Sam was only mostly dead, but he'll be okay. Michelle says, "That must be nice." She says Corbin wasn't a killer. He tried to kill Sam to save Michelle. Dean tells her this is going to be very hard, but she'll be okay. Eventually she'll get back to normal. She looks at him with so much pain and tells him she won't get back to normal. She cries. They told her she could leave and hour ago, but she doesn't have anywhere to go. She's completely lost. After everything she and Corbin survived together, she watched the man she loved die. There's no normal after that.

Dean is thinking hard. He just did the same thing, really. Only Sam wasn't dead.

Later, Sam and Dean are leaving after Sam got a massive blood transfusion. Sam's moving gingerly. Sam asks about Michelle. Dean says she's strong and she'll be alright.

Sam claims he'll be back to normal with antibiotics and bed rest.

Dean still seems shaken. They get into the car.

There's this great moment when the car door closes and it's just Sam and Dean in the car and Dean lets out this incredibly relieved breath; like he might finally believe they both made it out of this alive. Again, another amazing acting moment.

Sam asks Dean what he did when he thought Sam was dead. Dean blows it off; joking that he planned to redecorate Sam's room and put in a jacuzzi and a disco ball.

Sam tries to call him on his crap. Really, he wants to know what Dean did when he thought Sam was dead.

Dean says he knew Sam wasn't dead.

Sam doesn't believe him.

"I knew," Dean says.

They drive off.
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