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Spoilers ahead for Episode 11 of Supernatural Season 14, called “Damaged Goods.”

Supernatural’s milestone 300th episode is only weeks away at this point, and it will deliver the return of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as John Winchester for the first time in more than a decade. Although some details have released about what brings John back and what the episode will entail, it was not confirmed why exactly Sam and Dean will want to see their dad again. Well, “Damaged Goods” may have revealed what’s going to bring back John.

Showrunner Andrew Dabb had previously teased a bit of what to expect, saying this in a chat with EW:

Our guys are put in a position where they essentially can have a wish granted. They’re actually expecting something else, but [John’s return] comes from a place of want by Dean. The need for closure is really what brings John back into their lives.

Now, before “Damaged Goods,” I was inclined to believe that the boys wanted closure with their dad in the 300th episode just because their issues with their father in general haven’t faded and Episode 300 was an excuse for Supernatural to pull out all the stops and bring back Jeffrey Dean Morgan. After this latest episode, I’d say that the boys have a much more urgent need to see their dad once more, especially for Dean. His days are apparently numbered.

In the previous episode, Supernatural established a new way for the good guys to imprison an archangel without flinging them into a cage. Instead of Michael inhabiting and controlling Dean, Dean locks Michael away and keeps in control of himself. Unfortunately, this is likely not a permanent fix, and the self-sacrificing Dean isn’t willing to risk unleashing Michael on the world again.

Going off of the information from Billie, Dean came up with a way to take Michael out of the equation, but it would unfortunately remove him from the equation as well. He had to build a special box that would theoretically contain Michael. Intending to lock himself inside, Dean went on a bit of a farewell tour before leaving everything behind. He left Sam behind in the bunker to visit his mom (and unintentionally meet up with Nick), and he was doting enough that it set off alarms for Mary. Something was off.

Even more alarming? Dean gave Sam a hug before leaving the bunker, and that was enough to unnerve Sam. The Winchester boys haven’t been very huggy with each other over the past 14 years, and neither one of them was obviously dying or recently resurrected.

The truth came out by the end of the episode when Dean revealed the box to his brother. His plan was to be locked in the box and then flung out into the Pacific, buried alive and underneath the ocean, where Michael would not be able to escape. Dean admitted that he hadn’t come clean to Sam because he knew Sam was the only one who could have talked him out of his plan.

It made for an emotional scene between the brothers, as Sam was understandably appalled and upset that Dean would skip saying goodbye to him, of all people. He did come around to see why Dean would insist on this plan, as Dean confessed that he could feel Michael in his head, planning on getting out. Sam knows better than anybody what it’s like to be possessed by an archangel.

So, the Winchester boys are more or less on the same page with regard to Dean’s plan to lock himself up and get dropped into the ocean, and I have to wonder if we’re in for a little bit of a repeat of Season 3, when Dean’s’ time was running out before being dragged off to Hell by hellhounds. Dean was making peace with his end then; why wouldn’t he do the same in Season 14? And wouldn’t that mean wanting to see his dad at least one more time?

Dean suddenly having a strong enough desire for closure with his dad makes a lot of sense after “Damaged Goods.” If his days are numbered, he undoubtedly has things left he’d like to do. Sam will probably use those days (and perhaps recruit the help of Castiel, Jack, Mary, and other loved ones) to try and talk Dean into finding another way.

Find out when new episodes of Supernatural air on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. More TV options can be found on our midseason premiere schedule. John Winchester isn’t the only long-lost character returning for the 300th episode, which will also feature time travel when it airs on Thursday, February 7 at 8 p.m. ET.

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