Two Mintues to Midnight is the 21st episode of Season 5. It aired on May 6th, 2010.
Crowley tells Bobby he will give him the location of Death, the fourth and final horseman, in exchange for his soul. Knowing Sam and Dean need that fourth ring to stop the Apocalypse, Bobby reluctantly agrees. Sam and Dean confront Pestilence, but he unleashes a deadly virus upon them, so Castiel must intervene on their behalf. Dean has a meeting with Death to discuss Lucifer, and an unholy alliance is formed at a very high price for Dean.
Inside interior of Bobby's House, Dean finds out about Sam's proposal to give Lucifer permission to use him as a Vessel, take back control, and jump into the Cage. In the midst of their disputes, Dean receives a phone call from Castiel, temporarily pausing the discussion. In their conversation, Castiel reveals that following his actions in California, he has become effectively mortal. Castiel apologies for doubting Dean in assuming that he was going to assent to Michael.
Dean and Sam travel to Serenity Valley Convalescent Home in the Impala in search of Pestilence. Doctor Green returns to Serenity Valley Convalescent Home in Davenport, Iowa, claiming that his activities were quite productive to Celeste. She asks him if he'll cure her and Doctor Green openly admits that he's not going to cure her condition, instead he inflicts multiple diseases on her and she dies, coughing up green slime. Dean and Sam continue traveling through the facility searching for Pestilence, and as they pass a room, a demonic nurse senses their presence and reports to Pestilence. In their discussion, Pestilence activates his ring, inflicting pain and sickness on doctors, nurses and patients. As they get closer to the Horseman, they too become sick and their sickness greatly escalates as they get closer to Pestilence. Once they reach him, they both faint and are dragged in by the demon assistant.
They quickly awaken and Pestilence converses with them. He then is about to kill them when Castiel appears, claiming that he was transported here by a bus. The Horseman verbally acknowledges that Castiel isn't a full angel anymore, and uses his powers to make Castiel fall ill as well. In desperation to defeat the Horseman, Castiel cuts off Pestilence's ring-finger, separating him from his ring, effectively disabling his capabilities. The demon charges at Castiel and is killed with Ruby's Knife. Pestilence warns them that it's too late and vanishes. Dean, Sam and Castiel return to Bobby's house with Pestilence's ring. Bobby reveals that Chicago is going to be blown off the map by Death. They question where he got that information, forcing Crowley to appear and at his request, Bobby reveals that he sold his soul for Death's location. Dean, Sam and Crowley discuss matters concerning the swine flu.
In Chicago, Illinois, Death exits his automobile and ambulates on the sidewalk, killing a man who rudely brushed past him. The song O Death can be heard in the background, heralding his arrival. Back at Bobby's Salvage Yard, Sam, Castiel and Bobby depart to stop a virus outbreak, while Dean and Crowley go to locate Death to stop him from destroying a whole state.
In the van, Castiel contemplates Sam's plan to consent to be Lucifer's vessel and then jump in Lucifer's Cage while hosting him. Castiel reveals that Lucifer's older brother, Michael, has found and is using another Vessel - Adam Milligan - Dean and Sam's half-brother. Castiel also reveals that if Sam assents to Lucifer and fails, that the fight between the Two Archangels with occur and will have destructive collateral effects. Castiel also informs Sam that in order for him to successfully contain Lucifer he would need to consume a very large amount of Demon blood, as it strengthens the vessel. At the distribution center, they notice that demons are loading the "vaccine" into the market. They enter the market and dispatch many Croatoan-infected people. In the search for the last Horseman, Dean and Crowley travel to a location where Crowley believes Death is present, as he sees many Reapers surrounding the vicinity. But Crowley bashfully admits that he was mistaken in his assumption. In Chicago Illinois, Crowley finally locates Death and Dean goes in to meet him. Back at the market, Sam saves more people, releasing them. Sam is brought to the ground and is caught off guard by a zombie. Castiel intervenes and shoots its head, killing it.
At the pizzeria, Dean approaches Death with Death's Scythe but as he gets closer to the Horseman, the handle burns hot and reappears in Death's possession and Dean, on Death's request, joins him in eating. Death mentions that he is very old and also states that in comparison to him, the Universe and Earth are barely out of their diapers. Death reveals that he is as old or older than God, as neither of them can remember anymore. He also claims that in the end, God himself will die and he will reap him. Death tells Dean that he became "bound" to Lucifer following his rising and he says that he will go as far as loaning Dean his ring so that he can trap Lucifer in his Cage even if Sam is hosting him at the time. Dean reluctantly agrees to this and Death gives him his ring.
Back at Bobby's house, Dean tests the rings, activating them, forcing them to conjoin forming the Key to Lucifer's Cage. In a conversation, Bobby asks Dean if he's more afraid of losing the war or losing his brother.
Featured Supernatural BeingsEdit
"Oh Death" is a cover by Jennifer Titus. "Oh, Death" is a traditional Appalachian dirge that was made famous by Ralph Stanley in the 1920s and was featured in the 2000 movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?".
- Castiel was last seen in Point of No Return. He has lost his powers and is now effectively human.
- Death was released by Lucifer in Abandon All Hope....
- After spending most of the season in a wheelchair, Bobby Singer is finally able to walk again, thanks to the deal he made with Crowley.
- Castiel: (from hospital) You said no to Michael...I owe you an apology.
- Dean: (at Bobby's) Cass, it's okay.
- Castiel: (heartfelt) You are not the burnt, and broken shell of a man that I believed you to be.
- Dean: *blinks* Thank you...I appreciate that.
- Castiel: (again heartfelt) You're welcome. *hangs up*
- Sam: Did you kiss him?
- Dean: Sam!
- Sam: Just wondering.
- Bobby: No!
- Crowley: *Ahem*
- [Crowley holds up iPhone with picture of him kissing Bobby]
- Bobby: Why'd you take a picture?
- Crowley: Why'd you have to use tongue?
- [Sam and Dean turn and look at Bobby with confusion]
- Crowley: So, shall we? Bobby, you just gonna sit there?
- Bobby: No, I'm gonna Riverdance.
- Crowley: I suppose if you want to impress the ladies. Bobby, Bobby, Bobby. Really wasted that crossroads deal. Fact—you get more if you phrase it properly. So, I took the liberty of adding a teeny little sub-A clause on your behalf. What can I say? I'm an altruist. Just gonna sit there?
- [Bobby gets out of his wheelchair]
- Bobby: Son of a bitch.
- Crowley: Yes, I know. Completely worth your soul. I'm a hell of a guy.
- Bobby: Thanks.
- Crowley: This is getting maudlin. Can we go?
- Dean: What do you think Death does to people who lie to his face?
- Bobby: Nothing good.
- Antagonists: Pestilence and the Croatoan Virus
- The Convalescent Home is named Serenity Valley which is a battle from Firefly. Malcolm Reynolds and the Browncoats lost the War of Independence at Serenity Valley. Also, the actor for Crowley, Mark Sheppard, played the character Badger on the show Firefly. Badger, during his first appearance in Firefly reminds Capt. Reynolds of the battle of Serenity Valley.
- Dean asks for his "Nana" at the nursing home, saying her name is Eunice Kennedy. This is a nod to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, philanthropist and sister to President and Senators Kennedy.
- Castiel references materializing on a fishing boat outside of Delacroix, Louisiana. This is a reference to Bob Dylan's song "Tangled Up in Blue", which contains the lyrics "So I drifted down to New Orleans/Where I happened to be employed/Working for awhile on a fishing boat/Right outside of Delacroix." The song itself deals with the fallout from past decisions, a major theme on the show. Dylan's song "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" has previously appeared in the episodes "Houses of the Holy" and "The Dark Side of the Moon". Like Led Zeppelin, Dylan has recorded versions of "In My Time of Dying" and "When the Levee Breaks", also the names of previous episodes.
- The episode's title is a reference to an Iron Maiden song of the same name.
- The majority of the episode takes place in Chicago, Illinois .
- Dean's line "so this is Dr. Evil's lair, huh?" when surveying the Serenity Valley Convalescent Home is a reference to the character from the Austin Powers movie series
- Crowley's line "so you guys better stock up on... well everything. By this time next Thursday, we'll all be living in Zombieland" is a reference to the 2009 movie of the same name.
- Castiel was able to use a speck of his remaining super strength to hold down Pestilence's hand and cut off his ring finger.