Dean Winchester nearly lost himself in this week’s SUPERNATURAL. In the cold open, we spotted a man running through the woods, with Dean giving chase. But as Dean cornered the witch, the man threw some powerful magic at him.
Waking up and finding himself mysteriously in the woods, Dean was surprised to find his phone broken. He managed to borrow one from an early morning jogger and called Sam to meet him at a nearby waffle restaurant. Sam didn’t understand what had happened to his brother, although he suspected Dean went on a bender the night before. The Winchesters took a while to really start to realize something was up, but it slowly became obvious that something was affecting Dean’s memory. It took him a moment to recall the case they were working on and a woman (Elka) Dean had recently slept with stopped by for a hello, but he had forgotten her entirely.
Later, at the morgue, the brothers realized that their victim (a money manager) had been killed by a witch. Moments after that, Dean crashed his car into a newspaper dispenser when he couldn’t remember to put the car into reverse. But the situation became even more dire as Sam’s face started going out of focus to Dean and he asked “who’s Dean?” as his brother called his name.
Back at the hotel Sam suggested that Dean had been hexed, but Dean insisted he was fine. Still, he was forgetting the names of normal objects (like a lamp), so Sam said they were going to find some help and started to leave post-its around the motel room to help Dean remember things.
Enter Rowena, who was enjoying a winning game of poker when Sam gave her a call. Rowena’s suggestion to Sam was that killing the witch could break the spell. To accomplish this, Sam suggested they retrace Dean’s steps from the night before and off they went. After visiting the office of their victim, their next stop was a burger joint, where they met Elka, who was a waitress there. She wasn’t eager to talk to them, but Sam kept pressing for details and she admitted that Dean had ridden the mechanical bull the night before and they had slept together before Dean disappeared. A look through the bar’s security footage revealed that Dean had followed the witch who had hexed him. As Sam explained to Dean that witches and vampires are real, Dean smiled and said that was awesome.
As they found the woods and the glyphs the witch had used in the spell against Dean, Sam got Dean up to speed on their lives. But when they found the dead witch (Gideon), Sam was confused because the death of the witch should have cured Dean. As the Winchesters headed out, Gideon’s family found his body.
Rowena stopped by the motel with some news about the glyphs. She believed there was only one witch family who were well-versed in this type of magic. The three children — Gideon, Boyd and Catriona — were rather rotten and possessed a powerful spell book: the Black Grimoire. Rowena was convinced that the only thing that could really help Dean was the grimoire. Sam tried to keep Dean’s spirits high, but it was clear he was reeling from the possibility that Dean would lose himself (and eventually his life).
In the bathroom, Dean reminded himself of his name, slowly forgetting even that, while outside in the room Sam was convinced the only reason Rowena was helping them was to get her hands on the grimoire. As Sam headed out to find the remaining family members, he left Rowena to look after Dean, who was becoming even more despondent as he struggled to remember himself.
In the witches’ house, Sam found Catriona, but she wasn’t surprised to see him. In fact, she had assumed he would come. Boyd knocked Sam away and Catriona unleashed a spell which caused Sam to scream out in pain. “Sam?” Dean called out in a rare moment of remembrance as he and Rowena listened in over the phone.
Dean awoke in his car with a note telling him to stay in it. Rowena, meanwhile, was meeting with Catriona in her foyer as Sam tried to convince Boyd not to swap his soul for Gideon’s. As Rowena and Catriona got into a magical fight, Dean got into the Impala’s trunk and picked up a gun with a post-it note on it, directing him to use it. And just before Catriona could kill Rowena, Dean entered and shot her. As Boyd ran off from Sam, Dean shot him as well.
Rowena rocked the counter-spell and cured Dean. They bid her farewell and Sam demanded she hand over the book. “You’re no fun,” she insisted, but Sam promised that they owed her a small favor now. As the brothers headed out, Sam told Dean that he was a bit jealous because Dean managed to get rid of the weight of all their troubles, even if only for a short while. “Was it nice to drop our baggage?” Dean said. “Yeah, maybe. Hell, probably. But it wasn’t just the crap that got lost, I mean, it was everything. It was what we do, you know, all of it. So, if that’s what being happy looks like, I think I’ll pass.”
Watch a preview below for the February 16 episode of SUPERNATURAL airing at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.