Synopsis of 12×09: Mary and Castiel work on a plan to rescue Sam and Dean from the Secret Service. The British Men of Letter attempt to re-establish the American Men of Letters.
Castiel stands outside of the cabin that Sam and Dean were last located at and calls Mary. Mary is upset that the boys are missing and no one knows where they are. Out of ideas, and having no one else to turn to, Castiel asks Crowley for help. Crowley informs Castiel that he does not want to help them, because contrary to previous team-ups, he is by definition a villain and has no desire to help the Winchesters who often ruin his plans to take over the world.
Crowley seems more surly than usual in this episode, and it appears that their buddy-cop repertoire is over now that Crowley has succeeded in getting what he wanted. However, Crowley then concedes that none of his contacts in the White House would be able to help him anyway because Sam and Dean are being held at an undisclosed location.
Mary and Castiel meet at a bar where they state that the boys have been missing for six weeks, and they are no closer to finding them. Castiel tells Mary about his failed hunt and how more supernatural creatures have been popping up in the boys’ absence.
Having nothing else to fill her time, Mary goes to Lancaster and takes care of the vampire nest that Castiel was unable to destroy. Mary returns to the bunker and answers Dean’s phone and responds to a call from Asa’s kids, who need help taking down a pack of Wendigos.
The entire side storyline of Mary going on hunts makes it clear that she is continuing the family tradition of hunting, which will more than likely be important as time goes on in the season. Though still struggling to find her place in this world, she does love her boys and will do what she can to protect them, which may include attempting to get them out of the hunter life-style.
Cutting back to Dean and Sam, Dean is seen keeping track of the days with a bolt by carving the days into the wall. Sam is shown pacing back and forth in his cell and seems utterly defeated by their capture. The specialist and the White House ops guy continue to try to break the Winchesters’ silence but are unable to. Suddenly, Sam and Dean are found dead in their cells and are pronounced dead by the medical examiner.
They are brought down to the morgue and pronounced dead, but as they are Winchesters, they come back to life very shortly after that. They escape the secured location by locking the doctor in a freezer drawer and stealing his phone.
They call Castiel’s phone, but Castiel doesn’t answer, and we are treated to an amusing Cas voicemail. Finally, Castiel answers and Dean tells him that they need help. Mary and Castiel still don’t know how to find him and enlist the help of the British Men of Letters to bring them to their location.
Sam shoots Dean a questioning look and asks if he was going to tell them about the deal, which in Winchester speak means translates to, “We made an incredibly bad deal with Billie the Reaper and one of us is going to die.” Dean shakes his head and tells Sam that they will let Mary and Castiel know later.
The Secret Service is going after Dean and Sam as they tear through the forest. The Secret Service contact Dean on the phone and Dean tells them that they are trapped in the woods with them, not the other way around. The boys find an abandoned cabin in the woods that they reinforce with defensive traps.
The Secret Service locates them, and in an epic battle, Sam and Dean outsmart and out-maneuver around the Secret Service agents. They make sure to wound, but not kill these people as they are doing their job and they weren’t a supernatural threat.
Sam tells the specialist that they did not attempt to assassinate the president, but rather that they saved him because the devil possessed the President. Sam and Dean walk away from the remaining Secret Service agents with the parting message of, “We’re the guys that save the world.”
Sam and Dean meet up with Castiel and Mary, who tell them that they had some help in finding their location and nod toward the British Men of Letters. Dean says that they need to leave because the Secret Service will probably call for back up and they needed to be out of there before they do. The British Men of Letter are surprised and disgusted that the Winchesters kept people alive instead of killing them and exchange a look. The Winchesters and Castiel leave, but the British Men of Letters go back and kill all the agents that knew about the capture of Sam and Dean.
As the Winchesters are passing over a bridge, the car suddenly cuts out and dies and Billie the Reaper appears, waiting to claim the soul of a Winchester. Dean explains that they made a deal with Billie, where they could die and come back one more time because being detained like that was even worse than being to hell, purgatory, and being possessed. Dean explains that they knew that there was no way out of this one without making a deal, which was that they would die and come back one more time, and Billie could reap a Winchester’s soul at midnight.
Mary steps up to be the Winchester to honor the pact, as Billie explains that it is a blood oath and to violate would have detrimental consequences, which is typical with the majority of Winchester deals. As Mary is about to pull the trigger and apologizes the entire time to her boys, Castiel shoves an angel blade through Billie’s chest, killing her.
Stunned, Sam and Dean stare at Castiel, flabbergasted that Castiel would do that for them. Upon seeing their stunned and confused faces, Castiel gives the following speech, “This sad, doomed little world, it needs you. It needs every last Winchester it can get. I will not let you die. I won’t let any of you die. I won’t let you sacrifice yourselves. You mean too much to me, to everything. You made a stupid deal, and I broke it. You’re welcome.”
Castiel’s killing of Billie is bound to have detrimental effects across the world that are more than likely going to come back onto the Winchesters and Castiel himself. Castiel’s breaking of the deal, and willingness to kill another angel to save the Winchesters also conveys once again the lengths Castiel is willing to prove to them that he cares and that he considers them part of his family. He also brings up an interesting point throughout the episode, that without the Winchesters, evil succeeds.
The end of the episode leaves on a slight cliffhanger as Mary sits across from the British Men of Letters and listens to their pitch about saving the world and the ways that they would be able to do it.
By leaving the end of the episode with Mary possibly going into business with an organization with rigid bylaws and regulations opens the rest of the season to more conflict with her boys. Between Mary’s willingness to listen to the sale pitch by the Men of Letters and Castiel’s constant reminders that without the Winchesters the supernatural community would be out of control, it would be unsurprising to find the entire family reviving the American sect of the Men of Letters.
Hopefully, the Winchesters will also visibly or verbally tell Cas that they appreciate everything that he has done for them because like Mary, it seems that Castiel is also still struggling to find where he belongs in their world.
Overall, “First Blood” experimented with a different episode formula that focused less on the Winchesters and more on the supporting characters, which made the story of the episode more cohesive and fast paced.