Wanting paradise for themselves, the angels began plotting to allow Lucifer to be released so that Michael could kill him. To this end, they delayed rescuing Dean Winchester from Hell and later prevented Dean from stopping Sam from killing Lilith and breaking the last of the 66 Seals. With Lucifer loose upon the Earth once more, the angels began trying to force Dean into becoming Michael's vessel for the final battle while the Winchesters began attempting to find a way to stop Lucifer without going along with the angels' plan which would destroy half of the world. After their plan to kill Lucifer with the Colt failed and they learned that God would not intervene, Dean began to despair and nearly said "yes" to Michael, seeing it as the only way. However, Dean ultimately changed his mind, killing Zachariah and Michael was forced to take Adam Milligan as his vessel instead. Shortly afterwards, Gabriel left the Winchesters with a message telling them that if they could get the rings of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, they could lock Lucifer back in his cage.
Having already gotten War and Famine's rings, the Winchesters set out to get the rings of Pestilence and Death. With the help of Crowley and Castiel, the Winchesters and Bobby Singer were able to get the rings from the Horsemen. Having gotten the rings, Sam then reluctantly said "yes" to Lucifer in an attempt to overpower Lucifer once he was in his body and then sacrifice himself to throw Lucifer back into his cage. However, Lucifer proved to be too strong for Sam to overpower, allowing the destined battle between Michael and Lucifer to happen. Though Bobby and Castiel gave up hope, Dean refused to and was able to learn from Prophet Chuck Shurley that the battle between the two archangels was set to take place at noon in Stull Cemetery near Lawrence, Kansas.
At the designated time, Michael and Lucifer, in the vessels of Adam Milligan and Sam Winchester respectively, meet on the chosen field of battle in Stull Cemetery. Pleased to see each other in spite of the circumstances, the brothers offer each other a friendly greeting and Lucifer attempts to convince Michael not to fight. Lucifer is ultimately unable to convince Michael who is too loyal to God to betray his father and the two prepare to fight.
Before the battle can begin, Dean drives the Impala into the cemetery and greets the two archangels. After apologizing to Adam for his situation, Dean asks for five minutes with Sam which both Michael and Lucifer refuse to give him. As Michael advances on Dean threateningly, Castiel catches his attention and hits Michael with a Molotov cocktail of Holy Fire, temporarily banishing him to give Dean the time he needs. Enraged by Castiel's actions, Lucifer snaps his fingers and blows Castiel into bloody chunks. Momentarily stunned by Castiel's death, Dean calls out to Sam again, but Lucifer throws him against the Impala's windshield, shattering it, having lost patience with Dean. As Lucifer advances on Dean, Bobby Singer shoots him twice to no effect other than to further enrage the archangel. Lucifer then telekinetically snaps Bobby's neck in retaliation, killing him. With Bobby and Castiel gone, Lucifer returns his attention to Dean and begins brutally beating him to death against the side of the Impala, planning to take his time in killing him. Not fighting back, Dean calls out to Sam that he's not going to leave him even as Lucifer continues to beat him.
As Lucifer goes to deliver a punch, sunlight glinting off of the Impala causes his eyes to be drawn to the toy army man Sam left in the Impala's ash tray as a kid. Seeing the army man triggers a flood of Sam's memories of his life with Dean, allowing Sam to overpower Lucifer and regain control of his body. Back in control, Sam reassures Dean and then uses the Horsemen's rings to open a portal to Lucifer's Cage and prepares to throw himself and Lucifer inside. As Sam prepares to jump, Michael returns from his banishment and insists that it can't end with Sam returning Lucifer to his cage as Michael feels its his destiny to fight his brother. Sam refuses to relent and as he goes to throw himself in, Michael grabs him and attempts to stop Sam. In response, Sam grabs Michael in return and drags Michael with him as he throws himself into the portal to the cage which then closes behind them, trapping Sam, Adam, Michael and Lucifer in Lucifer's Cage, but ending the Apocalypse.
As Dean mourns the loss of Sam, Castiel reappears, having been resurrected by God as a Seraphim. With his angelic abilities restored and upgraded, Castiel heals Dean and resurrects Bobby Singer. The Apocalypse now averted, Castiel decides to return to Heaven and assume control, believing that with Michael trapped in Lucifer's Cage, there will be total anarchy. Dean, following Sam's final request, retires from hunting to live a normal life with Lisa and Ben Braeden.
After leaving Dean, Castiel travels to Lucifer's Cage and attempts to rescue Sam. Despite it being nearly impossible, Castiel is able to retrieve Sam's body but is unaware that he did not get Sam's soul which is left behind to be tortured by Michael and Lucifer. Upon his return to Heaven, Castiel finds that Raphael has taken control and intends to release Michael and Lucifer to restart the Apocalypse. Desperate, Castiel forms a deal with Crowley to locate Purgatory and split all of the souls inside so that he can defeat Raphael in the civil war he begins. Castiel eventually absorbs all of the souls of Purgatory and uses them to kill Raphael and end the threat of the Apocalypse once more, but in doing so, he unleashes the Leviathans upon the Earth.
While Dean remains out of hunting for a year, he returns to it after Sam comes back to save him from a djinn attack. His return to the hunting life ultimately destroys his relationship with Lisa and he eventually has her and Ben's memories of him erased to protect them.
After Sam's return, his soulless self teams up with his grandfather Samuel Campbell to hunt before he returns to hunting with Dean. Without a soul, Sam lacks a conscience and does terrible things while hunting monsters. After finding out about Sam's condition, Dean makes a deal with Death to get his soul restored.
In 2015, while trying to find a way to defeat the Darkness, the Winchesters summon Lucifer into a smaller cage in Hell in hopes he will have information that can help them. Instead, Lucifer escapes into the world once more in the body of Castiel. However, while loose, Lucifer finally reconciles with God, ending his grudge with his father. After going renegade again, Lucifer is eventually trapped in an alternate universe by Sam, Dean, Castiel, Crowley and Mary.
- According to both Lucifer and God, Michael being trapped in Lucifer's Cage after his defeat in battle has driven him insane.
- While Sam has been rescued from Lucifer's Cage and Lucifer himself has escaped, Adam Milligan remains trapped within, apparently forgotten about by his brothers until they are reminded of him through an illustration in Fan Fiction.
- ↑ Lucifer Rising
- ↑ Sympathy for the Devil
- ↑ The End
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Dark Side of the Moon
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Point of No Return
- ↑ Abandon All Hope...
- ↑ Hammer of the Gods
- ↑ Good God, Y'all
- ↑ My Bloody Valentine
- ↑ Two Minutes to Midnight
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Swan Song
- ↑ The Man Who Would Be King
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 The Man Who Knew Too Much
- ↑ Meet the New Boss
- ↑ Hello, Cruel World
- ↑ Exile on Main Street
- ↑ Two and a Half Men
- ↑ You Can't Handle The Truth
- ↑ Let It Bleed
- ↑ Unforgiven
- ↑ Family Matters
- ↑ Appointment In Samarra
- ↑ O Brother, Where Art Thou?
- ↑ The Devil in the Details
- ↑ We Happy Few
- ↑ Rock Never Dies
- ↑ All Along the Watchtower