Last week’s episode tied up some loose ends that have been tormenting the boys all season: Dean is now free of Michael, Michael is now dead, and Jack is now completely healed and with his powers again. But this week’s episode showed us that not everything is as neat and tidy as we had hoped.
Directed by Phil Sgriccia, “Peace Of Mind” was written by Meghan Fitzmartin and Steven Yockey. Fitzmartin has been Andrew Dabb’s executive assistant since 2016. This is the first episode she has written for Supernatural, and it was magnificent! She gave us so many deliciously giffable one liners, a version of Sam that puts Kale!Sam to shame, and a new catchphrase: WWWD?
Spoilers ahead, so beware!
This episode starts with a young man running at night, through the streets of an idyllic town. And with the exception of the “$2 Scooby-Doo Matinee” display on the local movie theater marquee, the scene seems to be taking place some time in the 1950s. The man runs by a record store, obviously terrified that something is chasing him, and eventually makes his way to Harrington’s, a diner/soda shop. A young woman named Sonny opens the door for him, and Conrad begs her to leave with him. She says that she cannot, because she made a promise. He kisses her goodbye and leaves town.
We then see Conrad run into a convenience store outside of town, and we immediately realize that this is all occurring in present time. The windows are covered with bars, and there is a neon sign advertising an ATM. When Conrad enters the store, he is instantly disabled by a very high pitched noise, akin to the sound made when angels speak.
Conrad grabs a cell phone from Griffin, the cashier, screaming that he needs to use it. But before he can make a call, his head literally explodes. And Griffin subsequently loses his lunch.
At the bunker, Jack is holding his new pet, Felix (the snake from last week’s “Ouroboros”). Castiel checks in on him, knowing that Jack is having trouble processing the numerous deaths that resulted from Michael’s escape from Dean’s mind. Jack seems concerned that Felix is not eating well, and Cas tells him that he probably misses his friend, the previous owner. Cas then asks Jack if he still has his powers. Jack confirms that he does, but he is unsure how much of his soul is intact.
Sam is in the map room, gathering items for a hunt. He is experiencing flashbacks from the AU hunters’ deaths that occurred there. He is obviously having difficulty dealing with losing his friends. He goes to the kitchen and informs Dean and Cas about a case he found in Arkansas. Dean tells him that everyone needs to rest, because they have completed three cases back to back. Sam disregards what Dean says and prepares to leave anyway.
Cas offers to go with him on the hunt and asks Dean to stay with Jack to keep an eye on him. Dean objects at first but then agrees to try to get Jack to open up about how he is really doing.
In Arkansas, Sam and Cas park at the convenience store where Conrad lost his head. Cas notices that Sam cannot stop yawning, but Sam brushes him off, telling Cas that the monsters do not stop just because he is tired. Inside, Griffin explains to Sam and Cas what happened. He then tells Sam that Conrad was probably from Charming Acres, a community a few miles up the road from them. He warns Sam that the place is “weird.”
As the guys drive through Charming Acres, Griffin’s warning is confirmed—the place is, indeed, weird. The townsfolk are dressed as if they live in the 1950s, like Conrad was at the beginning of the episode. Sam and Cas stop a couple on the sidewalk and ask them if they know anything about Conrad’s death. They claim they do not, but the man asks Sam what he is holding in his hand. When Sam tells him it is his cell phone, the man repeats this foreign phrase over and over, trying to understand what a cell phone is.
Inside Harrington’s, Sam and Cas meet the mayor of the town, Chip Harrington (who is also the owner of the shop). They ask the mayor if he knew anything about Conrad. The mayor says that he heard Conrad suffered an aneurysm. Cas quickly corrects him, telling him that his head exploded, “like a ripe melon on the sun.” Understandably, the entire place goes quiet. The mayor offers to tell them where Conrad was staying, and the guys hightail it out of there.
At Dowlings Boarding House, the guys are greeted at the door by the owner of the house—she is expecting them. She takes them upstairs to Conrad’s room, so they can look around. Sam asks for coffee, so she will leave and give Cas time alone to search for signs of a witch or demon. A few minutes later, Sam returns and Cas tells him that he has discovered some love letters hidden under the mattress. They are addressed to Conrad, from Sonny—the waitress they just met at Harrington’s. Sam says that they should investigate tomorrow. Sam’s lack of motivation in pursuing the case concerns Cas, understandably.
The next scene takes place at the house of the couple that Sam and Cas stopped on the sidewalk earlier. The man is terribly confused and is searching for a cell phone, saying that phrase over and over. He eventually becomes more lucid and says that he bought a cell phone in Houston for his daughter. He looks at his surroundings and does not know where he is. His wife, however, is shockingly calm about everything.
The man starts to hear the loud piercing sound in his head, like Conrad experienced, and he runs outside, screaming for help. His wife runs after him, confused by what he is doing. And as the man runs down the street, his head explodes. His wife responds with, “…honey?”
Meanwhile, Dean and Jack are driving down the road in Baby, with Felix the snake in tow. This makes Dean obviously uncomfortable, but he tries to play it cool. He tells Jack to eat a snack from the paper bag in the front seat. Jack gets an angel food cake treat and a devil’s food cake treat. And in what has to be the world’s most obvious metaphor, Jack struggles to choose between the two. Dean notices this struggle and is visibly relieved when Jack chooses the angel food cake treat.
Back at the boarding house, it is the following morning, and Cas cannot find Sam anywhere. Ms. Dowling tells him that Sam told her he was going for a walk and then a milkshake. Cas rushes to Harrington’s, hoping to catch up with Sam, but Sonny tells him that he just missed him. She also tells Cas about the death of Mr. Smith—the man who was fixated on cell phones.
Cas arrives at the Smith residence and is greeted by a cheery Mrs. Smith. She invites him in and offers him a martini. He declines and asks her if his partner had been by. She seems confused by his description of Sam (“The tall man… Hair? He has beautiful hair…”), so Cas decides not to wait any longer and inform Mrs. Smith that her husband is deceased. However, she disagrees with him and even laughs, telling Cas that he is confused.
Cas is interrupted by a man walking into the room, and he sees that it is Sam, dressed as a proverbial Mr. Rogers—cardigan and all. At first, Cas thinks Sam is undercover, but he soon realizes that Sam is under some sort of spell, because Sam has no idea who Cas is.
He introduces himself as Justin Smith—husband to Mrs. Smith. Cas tells him that his name is Sam Winchester and that he is under a spell or curse. He then says that he had better “snap the hell out of it,” and Sam is so offended by Cas’s foul language, that he throws him out of the house.
Dean and Jack have arrived at Donatello’s house. Dean is hoping that the “expert on souls…or not having them” can help shed some light on Jack’s soul and figure out if it still exists. Dean stays outside to keep an eye on Felix, and Jack goes inside with Donatello.
Over coffee, Donatello tells Jack the story of how Amara removed his soul. Jack asks him how he felt once his soul was gone. Donatello says that, inside, he is empty. Jack confuses “empty” with “bad,” and Donatello corrects him that it’s neither good nor bad—that not having a soul means not having empathy or pity or humanity.
Jack tells Donatello that he does not feel “nothing,” but that he also does not feel the same, and perhaps he does not know what “nothing” feels like. He is most concerned with not worrying Sam, Dean, and Cas. Donatello suggests to him that, whenever he does not want them to worry about him, ask “WWWD?—What would the Winchesters do?” Jack says he will do that.
Outside, Dean asks Donatello for an update. Donatello says that he does not know for sure if Jack has any soul left, but if he seems okay, then he probably is. This seems good enough for Dean.
Back at Harrington’s, Cas has arrived again to interrogate Sonny about Sam’s state of mind and the letters she wrote to Conrad. He believes that she is behind all the weird goings-on in town. But she tells Cas that her father—Mayor Harrington—is the one who is behind everything. Cas notices that the mayor is there, right behind him, and he brought a few goons with him as backup—including Sam!
The mayor explains that he has always had a gift of influencing people to do whatever he wants, just through his thoughts. So, after his wife passed away, he redesigned the town and took over everything and everyone. He just wanted everyone happy. But anyone who “woke up” and tried to leave was killed, like Conrad and Mr. Smith.
He also tells Cas that Sonny has nothing to do with any of this, and that she cannot be influenced by him. When he asks Cas why he cannot be influenced, Cas tells him flatly that it is because he is not human. The three goons (including Sam) start to attack Cas, but Cas fights them away easily.
At one point, Sam grabs Cas’s angel blade and goes to stab Cas. But Cas tells Sam to fight this, and Sam says he does not want to because he is happy. Cas tells him that he knows he wants happiness, and he also knows what it is like to lose his army. He says he knows what it is like to fail as a leader, but despite all of that, he tells Sam that he must keep fighting, and that he cannot lose himself.
These words seem to awaken Sam from the hold the mayor has on him. He recognizes Cas and rushes to rescue Sonny from her father, outside of the shop. The mayor attacks Sam, who begins to suffer the same affliction that Conrad and Mr. Smith experienced before their deaths, but Sonny stops her father and saves Sam’s life. She then sends her father inside his own mind, where he can never hurt anyone again.
Back at the bunker, Dean and Jack arrive (with Felix), and Sam and Cas follow shortly thereafter. Dean asks Sam how Arkansas was and asks him pointedly why Cas said he was “really happy.” Sam explains that he hates being in the bunker, because everything reminds him of the AU hunters who perished. Everywhere he looks, he sees Maggie’s face, and instead of dealing with his grief, he has been burying his head into hunt after hunt. He tells Dean that he will try to stop running away from his problems, but he will need some time. Dean tells him that he will give him that.
In Jack’s room, Jack is still worried about Felix’s well being. He decides that the answer to “What would the Winchesters do?” here is to release Felix back to his owner—in Heaven. Jack uses his powers to, for lack of a better word, disintegrate Felix into dust.
Castiel sees this happen from the doorway and is absolutely horrified.
Be sure to watch next week’s episode, “Don’t Go In The Woods,” on Thursday at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.