|“||So I'm going to ask one more time: who's been playing Back to the Future? And you're going to tell me or he -- what's the phrase I'm looking for? He -- oh -- murders you all.||”|
|“||What did you do, Sam? What did you do? Say it. Speak Ubu, speak. What -- what is it?||”|
|“||No, no, no! Cas! Cas! Stop it!||”|
The Skirmish at Big & Little Palace is a skirmish taking place in an alternate timeline between hunters Sam and Dean Winchester and angels Zachariah and Castiel at the Big & Little Palace in Lebanon, Kansas.
After trapping the Apocalypse World Michael within his mind, Dean is convinced by Sam and Castiel to seek out a solution other than trapping himself in the Ma'lak Box forever with Michael. After killing Terry, the Winchesters get their hands on his extensive collection of occult items, including the Baozhu which grants the holder's deepest desire. Though Dean attempts to use the Baozhu to get rid of Michael, the pearl instead brings John Winchester forward in time from 2003, allowing the Winchester Family to be fully reunited for the first time in over thirty years.
However, as a result of John's removal from 2003, history is altered, creating a timeline where the Winchesters never resumed hunting together. As a result, Dean is still a hunter and is also a wanted criminal, Sam runs his own law firm, loves kale and is Internet famous, Mary Winchester was never resurrected and Castiel remains an unquestioning and loyal soldier to Heaven. The angels are able to detect the changes to the timeline and dispatch Zachariah and Castiel to Lebanon, Kansas to find the source.
Arriving in Lebanon, Zachariah leads Castiel to the Big & Little Palace, a local restaurant, for answers. Upon being greeted by Caitlin, Zachariah explains that they need to know who has been messing with time as they are not super fond of that in Heaven. Zachariah demands again to know "who's been playing Back to the Future" and threatens to have Castiel murder everyone present if they fail to comply. In a display of intimidation, Castiel shatters the nearby lights and displays his wings.
Outside, having learned about their alternate selves, Sam and Dean spot the effects of Castiel displaying his wings and rush to investigate. Entering the restaurant, Dean orders the patrons out and Zachariah is shocked to see the Winchesters while Sam and Dean are shocked to see Zachariah who has been dead for years alongside their friend Castiel who doesn't recognize them. Zachariah remembers that the angels had big plans for the Winchesters before John Winchester disappeared and realizes that they are responsible for the change in time.
Zachariah orders Castiel to kill the Winchesters and starts to leave, but is intercepted by Sam while Dean draws an angel blade to face off against Castiel. Castiel quickly disarms Dean and easily holds the upper hand against the hunter while Zachariah chokes Sam and demands answers for how they changed time. As Zachariah taunts Sam, he gets in Sam's face, failing to notice Sam drawing an angel blade from a sheath on his belt. Once Zachariah is right in his face, Sam stabs him in the heart with his angel blade, killing Zachariah and his vessel.
Even with Zachariah dead, the Winchesters continue to prove to be no match for the merciless Castiel who is unaffected by what blows they do land and flings them around the restaurant with ease, disarming Sam in the process. Finally, Castiel slams Sam's face into a table a few times before punching him across the face, sending a bloody Sam to the ground. Castiel then grabs Dean and begins strangling him to death up against a wall one-handed, uncaring about Dean's attempts to plead with the alternate version of his friend to stop. Before Castiel can succeed in killing Dean, Sam creates an angel banishing sigil out of the blood from his injuries and banishes Castiel from the restaurant.
In the aftermath of the fight, the Winchester Family decides that they must send John back to his own time to put things right before the alternate timeline becomes a reality. After John is returned to 2003, the alternate timeline is erased as well as the fight, restoring the Big & Little Palace to the condition it was in beforehand. Upon arriving at the Men of Letters bunker, Castiel is back to normal with no memory of having tried to kill Sam and Dean, confirming that the timeline has been restored.
- As the alternate timeline was erased from existence, so was this battle. Only Sam and Dean possess any firsthand knowledge of it.
- Sam and Dean are shown to carry angel blades in sheaths on their belts during the battle.
- This battle marks the second time that Zachariah has been killed by one of the Winchesters, in this case, Sam. During the Raising of Adam Milligan nearly nine years before, Zachariah was killed by Dean. During the Attack on the Human Colony, an alternate universe Zachariah was killed by Jack.
- Zachariah's death during this battle closely mirrors his death in Point of No Return: in both cases, Zachariah taunts a Winchester, getting up in their face as he does so. This puts him within striking range of their angel blades, allowing Zachariah to be killed.
- This battle marks the first time that a version of the Main Universe Castiel has been an enemy to Sam and Dean since he tried to open Purgatory with Crowley and then declared himself God. In this case, Castiel is their enemy because in the alternate timeline, he never met Sam and Dean and thus never grew to question the orders of Heaven.
- This is the second time that the Winchesters have fought and defeated angels on their own without any outside help. The first was in Lost & Found where Sam also killed one angel and banished the rest.