Dean and Sam are sleeping in their hotel room when two masked figures break in and prepare to shoot them. Dean realizes that they're Roy and Walt, hunters and brothers who bear a grudge against Sam for starting the Apocalypse. Sam tries to explain but they open fire and kill him. Roy is hesitant to kill Dean as well, but Walt insists they can't leave any witnesses. Dean warns them that he'll be back, and he'll be pissed. When Roy still hesitates, Walt opens fire and kills Dean.
Dean wakes up and finds himself in the Impala on a country road. A young boy comes by, carrying fireworks, and Dean recognizes him as Sam as a boy. Dean figures it's a dream as Young Sam calls him out into a nearby field where he sets off the fireworks. Dean realizes that it's July 4, 1996, and that he and Sam did this then. Young Sam hugs him and Dean starts to remember being killed. The younger version of his brother disappears and Dean remembers his murder. He goes back to the Impala and hears Castiel's voice on the radio, addressing him. Castiel explains that Dean is dead and has gone to Heaven. He tells Dean to follow the road and then his broadcast signal cuts out.
Dean drives down the road and comes to a country home. Inside, Sam is having Thanksgiving dinner with a neighbor family, including their daughter Stephanie. She flirts with Sam while her father and mother praise Sam. Dean comes in and they don't notice him. Once they're alone, Sam explains that he was 11 when he came to the neighbors for Thanksgiving dinner, and it was one of the happiest times of his life. They figure that Heaven consists of people reliving their greatest memories over and over. The house starts to shake and bright lights flare through the windows. The family doesn't notice, and the brothers take cover. Dean runs to the radio but Castiel finally contacts them via the television. The angel tells them that Zachariah is searching for them so he can put them back into their bodies and fulfill the divine plan. Dean and Sam figure that's a good thing, but Castiel explains that he can't get into Heaven. Since they're already there, they need to make contact with Joshua, an angel who is reputed to talk to God directly. He tells them to find the road, the Axis Mundi, and take it to the center of Heaven and the Garden at the center of things. Castiel's signal fades out and Dean says they need to get going. Sam is surprised that Dean is so eager to talk with God, and his brother admits that it's the only option they have left.
Outside, the brothers discover that the road has vanished. Figuring that the Axis Mundi has changed form, they search the house and find an electric racecar track. Dean turns it on, figuring it's the road in a new shape, and they find themselves in their childhood home. Their mother Mary is there and fixes them lunch. Dean realizes that it's his memory of her, not Sam's, and wants to stay for just a few more minutes. They listen as Mary receives a call from John, who wants to discuss their situation. Dean remembers that their parents were fighting, and John moved out for a while. He goes to reassure her mother, telling her that he and John both love her. Sam admits that he didn't realize until now how much time Dean spent cleaning up John's messes, even when Dean was a child.
The brothers search the house and find a postcard of Route 66 in the bedroom. Sam studies it and the brothers find themselves in a cheap apartment with a dog, Bones. Sam explains that he stayed there when he ran away from home. Dean realizes this is where Sam went when he ran away on Dean's watch, and Dean got in trouble with John for losing his brother. Sam reluctantly leaves and they find themselves back at their home, at night. Dean realizes that it's the night that Sam left for college, and wonders why it's a happy memory. Sam admits that he was glad to be free of his father and their life on the road. Dean is angry that all of Sam's good memories are from times when he wasn't with John and Dean.
Zachariah's searchlights shine down again and the brothers run into the forest. Zachariah easily follows them, making it daylight with a snap of his fingers and warning them that he plans to make them suffer for their defiance. He starts to catch up to them, but a masked lucha libre wrestler suddenly appears before the brothers. He silently directs them to a nearby shed and draws a symbol on the door. They go through and find themselves in the hunter's roadhouse. The masked figure reveals that he's Ash, the dead hunter.
Ash hands out beers and explains that the roadhouse is his personal Heaven, and that Heaven consists of each person's personal worlds, all crammed together and surrounding the Garden at the center of them all. Most persons stay in their Heavens, but since Ash wanted a Heaven where he could explore and break into other places, he's able to travel between the different Heavens. He's created a police scanner to monitor angel communications and explains that the brothers have been in Heaven before. Each other time, the angels wiped their memories of being there. Sam wonders if Jo and Ellen are there, and Ash is surprised to learn that they died. He admits that he hasn't been able to find John and Mary, but he does introduce them to another dead friend: Pamela, her eyesight restored.
Dean apologizes to Pamela while Sam and Ash tap into the angels' conversations. He admits that Heaven sounds like a lonely place, with each person trapped in their own Heaven, but Pamela points out that it's better than being down below. She insists that she's happy, and suggests that Dean should give himself up to Michael so that the Apocalypse can begin and more people will find their way to Heaven. Sam finally finds a way to the Garden and Ash draws more symbols. However, he warns that Zachariah will be watching all the likely routes. Pamela tells the brothers to watch themselves and then kisses Dean. Once she's done, she admits that it's just what she imagines.
The brothers go through the portal, but find themselves back in their house. Mary greets them but describes how she died in graphic detail as blood seeps through her clothing. Dean tries to leave, but Mary tells him that she never loved him and she was glad to die just so she could escape him. She gestures and suddenly all of the doors and windows are bricked over.
Zachariah and his minions arrive and take the brothers prisoner. The head angel points out that they had no chance of sneaking into the Garden, and caresses the Mary memory, and then boasts of how he's been spending time with her. He promises to make Dean and Sam suffer because of the humiliation they've made him suffer for his constant failure to deal with them, and has his minions beat them.
An angel looking like an elderly African-American man comes in and interrupts the beating, saying he's there on God orders and needs to talk to the brothers. Zachariah doesn't believe him, but the angel, Joshua, warns that God will return, and he won't be happy with those who disobey him. Joshua then takes the brothers to a garden, based on their memories of the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, and explains that God talks to him from somewhere on Earth, but the angel doesn't know where. He figures that God is lonely, and sympathizes with Joshua as a fellow gardener. He tells them that God wants them to back off, because He doesn't think it's his problem any more and he's done enough intervention for several lifetimes.
When Dean insists that they'll beat Lucifer without assistance, Joshua points out that he knows he can't win, and he's losing faith in himself and his brother. Now Dean knows that God won't hope them, either. Joshua hopes that they win, but admits that there's nothing he can do for them. As he prepares to send them back, he tells them that this time, they'll remember their time in Heaven.
Back at the hotel, the brothers come back to life. They call Castiel and explain what happened. The angel wonders if Joshua was dying, but Sam doesn't believe so. Castiel despairs, having been abandoned by his own "father." He gives Dean the amulet that glows in the presence of God and says that it's useless. He leaves before Sam can stop him. Sam insists they can find some way to stop Lucifer, but doesn't know how. He says that he and Dean need to find it together. Dean doesn't appear convinced, and as he leaves, he throws the amulet in the garbage. Share this article with your friends