As the Mark of Cain continues to take its toll on Dean, Sam and Castiel's desperation forces them to turn to an enemy for help. Whether they can trust him has yet to be decided.
Not satisfied with having schemed her way out of death, Rowena is planting hex bags around Crowley and sowing the seeds of paranoia. After having a dream that his inner circle betrayed him, Crowley is on edge. Back in the bunker, Dean isn't faring any better. After brutally murdering all of those people, he knows that the Mark of Cain has to go. Sam and Castiel have the same idea but neither of them has the power to do anything about it. Castiel has an idea but it will take some time. While he's doing what he can, he asks Dean to check in on Claire seeing as how it would be one messed up human to another. Dean reluctantly agrees and after calling in a favour from a friend, he gets Metatron to himself. Castiel brings Metatron back to the bunker and locks him up. They want answers but Metatron is only willing to give one for free; the rest will cost them. Dean isn't willing to play that game. After getting Metatron alone, his pent up anger begins to bubble to the surface. When Dean doesn't get the answers he wants, Castiel and Sam may not be able to stop the Mark of Cain from taking control.
Back from the mid-season hiatus, Supernatural returns with The Hunter Games, a middling episode with a title that has no significance whatsoever to the plot. The Hunter Games had more than enough going on: Rowena's plotting against Crowley, Dean's conflict with the Mark of Cain, Castiel's trouble with Claire and Metatron's return and confrontation with Dean. We've seen Supernatural take on more than that in a single episode but the plots with Rowena and Claire are paper thin at the best of times and only serve to distract from the stronger story arcs that are being stretched out already. The Hunter Games wasn't the episode that Supernatural needed to get fans excited for the rest of the season and should have done more.
What did work was quite well was the confrontation between Dean and Metatron. Their standoff was a long time coming and Dean was in control. This scene could have realistically taken up the majority of the episode. Jensen Ackles and Curtis Armstrong have great chemistry together and their exchanges haven't lost their edge. In contrast to this, Ruth Connell as Rowena has no chemistry with anyone on the on Supernatural. Being paired with Mark Sheppard, you would assume such a thing would be impossible but Rowena is a tack on character and Connell doesn't bring anything further to the role. The same can also be said of the character Claire Novak played by Kathryn Newton. Newton is adequate in the role but the character Claire is more filler on a show that could use a trim. Having her serve as a reminder to Castiel's crisis with impending death is futile as his mortality was thoroughly explored last season.
The Hunter Games lacked excitement, tension and most of the aspects that make Supernatural a great show. Maybe the momentum will shift for the better next week as Felecia Day returns (...again) in next week's There's No Place Like Home.