In another cheap motel room covered in empty beer cans and assorted alcohol bottles, Dean wakes up to a shotgun pointed at his head. Sam is already awake and also held at gunpoint but after their burglars talk for a second, Dean recognizes them as fellow hunters. Roy and Walt know Sam caused the apocalypse and before Sam can explain, they unload two rounds through his chest while Dean watches in shock and anger. Since Dean knows who the hunters are, Roy and Walt kill him to prevent him from coming after them so they kill him too but before they do, Dean warns them that when he gets back he will be pi***d. Nobody comes back to life like the Winchesters, so I don't know why this guy even bothers.
Dean wakes up inside the Impala in the middle of an empty highway at night wondering where he is as he steps out of the car. Suddenly a very young Sam approaches him with fireworks and Dean realizes he is living a memory of when he was a kid and seems genuinely happy for a few seconds - which is quite a rare thing in the show at this point. The memory is short lived as the sounds of the shotgun firing erase the young Sam and the fireworks, leaving Dean to get back into the Impala only to heard Castiel's voice trying to contact him through the radio. Unfortunately for Dean, he wasn't dreaming and he and Sam are actually dead and in heaven. Castiel tells Dean he needs to continue on the road he is on in order to find Sam but then he loses signal as Dean starts driving.
When Dean finds Sam, he is reliving a memory he had as a small boy having Thanksgiving with a girl's family. After trying to understand just what heaven is, Sam says "Maybe that's what Heaven is, a place where you relive your greatest hits." Immediately following, the room begins to shake and there is a bright light but Sam and Dean manage to take cover and after a few seconds it all goes away. Dean attempts to get a hold of Castiel through the radio but Sam thinks Dean has lost it for a few seconds. Instead of the radio, Castiel appears in the TV and gives tells the boys they need to find Joshua, an angel that speaks directly with God. Castiel informs Sam and Dean Joshua is in the Garden, a place at the centre of Heave and they need to keep following the road to get there but Zachariah was the white light which was looking for them and is also might pi***d.
Throughout the rest of the episode, we Sam and Dean go through several memories which include their mother and are even saved from Zachariah' wraith by Ash, the computer nerd mullet sporting redneck who died in season two. After yet another run in with Zachariah, it's Joshua who finds the brothers and actually has a message from God for them.
In the Garden, which turns out to be Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Joshua tells Sam and Dean God's simple message: "Back off." After God saved Dean, Sam and Castiel he believes that the whole apocalypse is no longer his problem and is tired of dealing with it. Dean remarks that God is "Just another deadbeat dad with a bunch of excuses" before they are sent back to earth, alive and with the memories of everything that happened while they were in heaven.
After they found out God just slammed the door in their faces, Sam and Dean speak with Castiel who is just as defeated. Castiel also gives Dean his necklace back because it's worthless. Sam tries to be optimistic about how they can still find a way, but Dean says nothing as he drops the necklace into the garbage on the way out of the hotel.
What this episode did quite well was establish how inescapable and powerless Sam and Dean are during the end of the world. Throughout this season, Sam and Dean's faith that they could save the world has been hanging by a thread and it really seemed like it was finally cut in this episode. While there were not any standout performances, it was nice to see several characters make a return in this episode just for the sake of nostalgia.
What was initially surprising was how Sam and Dean were killed by hunters at the beginning of the show which brought up an excellent point: why are Sam and Dean not being hunted all of the time? In previous seasons of the show, they would encounter demons when they went to the corner store for snacks, but now they don't seem to be around that much even though they want Sam just as badly as the angels want Dean. This is evident by the lack of demons this season compared to past seasons involving the YED or Lilith or even minions just trying to make an honest plot for souls. Mark Pellegrino is also Jacob on Lost and it is the show's final season, but it has really messed up Supernatural in the process by not having the devil around that much. It would have served the show a lot more had he appeared in later episodes rather than at the beginning.
If one thing is for certain, the outcome for Sam and Dean looks bleak. In an article on ign.com, Eric Kripke (the show's creator) mentioned that Sam and Dean had been torn apart over the past few seasons and this season was going to be very optimistic and bring the brothers back together. From what we have seen, that simply is not the case. After sixteen episodes this season, the brothers seem further apart and the show seems more pessimistic than ever and even downright depressing most times. Would it really be too much to see the boys kick some a** while listening to AC/DC in the Impala just a few more times? With six episodes remaining, I hope it does not turn out to be a rushed finale.