As you may have noticed by the byline, I am not Samantha Highfill, but fear not, Supernatural fans. Your regular recapper will return to recount the adventures of Sam and Dean next week.
Of the many overarching mottos, creeds, and rules the Winchester brothers have lived by, one of the most frequently referenced is how inescapable the call of being a hunter is. Once you’re in the hunter game, you’re in it for life. It becomes who you are, even if that means near-constant mortal danger.
Sam and Dean were reminded of that fact during “Book of the Damned,” as the hunt to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean continues. The elder Winchester even fantasizes about escaping for a bit, taking a vacation from this life, but for now, he’s in the thick of it with his brother.
Thankfully, Charlie appears on the scene with a lead on freeing Dean of the Mark’s burden, while Cas and Metatron take a road trip to the land of Cas’ grace, wherever that may be.
Before tackling the angel problem, let’s focus on the Winchesters’ reunion with Charlie. Felicia Day returns with two mysterious men on her tail, but they have good reason—she has the Book of the Damned on her. While she takes one thug out, the more dangerous one with a Gambit-style accent and attitude survives as she escapes and makes contact with the Winchesters.
They direct her to one of Bobby’s cabins scattered throughout the country after she informs them the book may hold the key to removing the Mark. Sam and Dean meet her there with a lockbox to stop those mysterious men from hunting her by tracking the book’s energy.
Having bought themselves a little time, they investigate the book, which Charlie explains was created by a nun. She hid herself away and turned slices of her skin into pages and wrote on them with her blood (if you think library books smell bad, imagine what that thing must reek of). And whatever mojo she put into this book, it’s calling out to Dean. It wants him to use it, but he can tell that would only end badly.
To make things worse, the book is written in an obscure language, and even after translating it, Charlie and Sam realize it’s written in code. That nun sure had a lot of time on her hands, but luckily the Winchesters and Charlie do too. Eventually they crack the code while Dean does some digging on the men following Charlie.
They’re a part of the Stein family, and the one who almost killed Charlie earlier on is Jacob Stein. His family uses spells and evil magic like the Book of the Damned for their own profit, and Dean is worried about what will happen if they try to use it as well. Sam disagrees—he’d rather they use the book to find a cure for the Mark and worry about the consequences later.
He’s not willing to live the hunter lifestyle without his brother, he reveals later to Charlie. As much as he resisted it, expecting he’d return back to his “normal” way of life eventually, he’s fallen in love with being a hunter. But without Dean, he can’t lead this life, and he’s willing to do anything to keep his brother alive, consequences be damned (awful pun, I know).
Of course, this is an about-face for Sam, who was willing to die to close the gates of Hell and became pissed at Dean when his brother rescued him from eternal damnation. This change of heart angers Dean, who leaves for some fresh air. His travels lead him to a convenience store, where it just so happens Jacob Stein is the cashier. He’s found this new employment after killing the actual cashier, naturally, and Dean, noticing his signature tattoo and the, uh, dead body behind the counter, pulls a gun on Jacob.
Unfortunately for Dean, Jacob’s brought more backup with him after his last run-in with Charlie. His new lackey must have an amazing workout regime because Dean unloads a full clip on him before he falls. Jacob escapes, but his encounter with Dean has put him back on the trail of Charlie and the book.
NEXT: Can the Book of the Damned save Dean? Plus: Cas and Metatron’s road trip!