'Supernatural' recap: Kevin Tran returns to finally talk some sense into Sam and Dean

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"Supernatural" sure knows how to keep a secret.

The long-running CW drama proved that to be true once again on Tuesday (Feb. 25), when it brought back a familiar face as a devastating surprise. Welcome back, Kevin Tran (Osric Chau). It's been too long.

Side note: When the "Then" montage at the beginning of the episode brings you to tears, you know you're in for an emotionally rough hour. And oh man, was it ever.

Ever since the prophet was killed by Gadreel (while possessing Sam), the Winchester brothers have been beating themselves up, blaming themselves for Kevin's death. But when Kevin finally mustered up enough ghost juice to make contact with Sam and Dean in the Men of Letters bunker, he was able to drop some much needed truth bombs on the bickering boys, as well as clue them in to some vital info, all while finally getting to have a powerful and emotional reunion with his mother.

So why wasn't Kevin up in the Great White North (heaven, not Canada)? Because thanks to Metatron's meddling, heaven is shut down not only for angels, but for spirits as well. Ever since he gated up the doors to heaven, anyone who's died has just stuck around in the veil between life and death, no peace to be found (Seriously, Kevin lost his family, his future and his life, and he can't even get peace in the afterlife?!? Rough deal). And since Kevin was killed in the bunker, that's where he's been for the past few months.

And since he's been around the past few months, he's heard all of Sam and Dean's fighting. So he finally told them what they desperately needed to hear after they saved his mom from her demon captivity. "Dudes, get over it. The drama, the fighting, it's stupid," Kevin told them. "My mom's taking home a ghost. But you two, you're still here."

Ugh, deep. However, even though it looked like Kevin's words struck a chord with Dean, Sam wasn't affected, and just walked away from Dean, leaving things between the brothers as strained as ever. If forgiveness from Kevin isn't enough to patch things up between Sam and Dean, can anything repair their bond?

Certainly not helping matters is the fact that Dean keeps on standing up for Crowley after their mission together. Sam gets increasingly pissed off each time Dean reaches out to Crowley for help or speaks in Crowley's favor. That doesn't bode well for these two. Plus, should Dean really be relying on Crowley that much for help? Can the former king of hell really be trusted?

While all the human drama was going down, the angels were pretty busy themselves. Bartholomew returned to reach out to Castiel, because he wants to work with Cas to take down Malachi. But there's one problem with Bartholomew's plan: Cas doesn't want to kill any more angels. When Bartholomew brings up the thousands of angels that Cas slaughtered, he says that enough angel blood has been spilled. "What I did, who I was, that's not who I am," Cas says.

Cas tries to walk away from the faction in peace, but Bartholomew forces his hand, attacking Cas until Cas kills him. When he tries to walk away again, he's approached by some of Bartholomew's angels, who were inspired by Cas' new attitude. They want to follow him now, meaning Cas is now the leader of his own, non-violent faction. Do they have what it takes to take down Metatron and Malachi and re-open the gates to heaven?

This week's episode was surprisingly emotional, both with the return of Kevin Tran and his reunion with his mom. However, it's awful that something that powerful did nothing in terms of healing the rift between Sam and Dean, because at its heart, their relationship is what "Supernatural" is all about. How much more pain will "Supernatural" fans take before they give up on Sam on Dean? 

At least we have another epic return to look forward to next week ... because the GHOSTFACERS ARE BACK.

"Supernatural" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW