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Quick Reaction: 10x08 Hibbing 911

Hello!! I hope all the Americans had a good Thanksgiving! I'm back from my adventures in visiting Seattle (in which I mostly hung out at my sister's place and watched movies).

So, let's discuss the new episode of Supernatural!

I was spoiled earlier on for the guest stars of this episode, because of how much Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster tweeted while filming, but for once I didn't mind, because I absolutely loved the concept of these two great guest stars getting to be in an episode together. This was probably my most anticipated episode of this season, even more so than the 200th. I really love both these characters.

The THEN is just a reminder of who our guest characters are and what people they have in their life (or no longer have in their life). And then we open with our teaser death. I think they killed that tagger just because he was really shaking that spray can too much - I mean, come on. But I love the effect of the "spray paint" being the blood.

Then we get the Sheriff attending a Sheriff convention! And she meets the Sheriff!! Uh, I mean, we get Sheriff Jody Mills meeting Sheriff Donna Hanscrum! Yay! It's funny, because I was super anticipating the episode, but I actually had never quite realized how different these two characters are until I saw them in a the same shot, and I was like "Damn. They actually have absolutely nothing in common."

But that's one of the things I ended up loving about this episode, because what they DID have in common was having to put up with sexism their entire careers - and I love the fact that until shit starts really going down, the scene in which they bond are scenes where they're doing their jobs, or they're coming up against sexist dudes and shooting looks at each other like "ugh, I'm so sick of this."

But I'm already getting ahead of myself.

Before Jody even goes into the building, we get confirmation that Alex is still living with her. Yay! So, Jody went from having a husband and son, to having no one, to having a teenage daughter.

And then Jody arrives and actually meets Donna, and I realize just how contrasting their personalities are. Donna is sunshine and rainbows and Jody is the goth kid... but I mean, for good reason. You can actually see how much Jody's life experiences have turned her a bit worn down and a bit... I don't know, Winchester-y.

Then we actually get to meet Donna's ex-husband Doug, who is a fat-shaming dickbag. It's funny, because I just watched The Purge the other day, so before we started watching the episode, my friend was complaining about how the writers had Donna trying to lose weight to please her husband left her, and I argued that the husband leaving her was just the point where she realised that she was depressed, didn't really love him anymore, and wasn't living a healthy life. Now, this episode SORT of messes this up, because we see that Donna IS on some level still a little hung up on Doug and also that she DOES try to please Doug with how much weight she's lost since the last time he saw her. But ah well, it might not be very feminist, but it IS representing how women, sadly, sometimes respond to being fat-shamed by dickbags.... in that they fall right into the trap the dickbags want them to fall into of developing low-self esteem and equating their worth as a lover with their ability to be skinny.

Then we get to see Sam and Dean, yay! They are in the bunker trying to look up stuff on the Mark of Cain but coming up with nothing. Dean DID find a research paper about Werewolf Transgenderism though!! At this point, my friend paused the show and said, "So how much do you wish you could read that right now?" And I believe my response was "OH MY GOD, SO MUCH!!!"

Sadly, Dean isn't as into werewolves as I am. And, fair enough, dude has other problems.

Meanwhile, back at the Convention, it's Hank Yarbo! Uh, I mean, Sheriff Cuse, who is played by Fred Ewanuick - who is most famous in Canada for playing Hank Yarbo on Corner Gas. Anyway, he is the Sheriff of Hibbing and he gives a nervous speech and then has the Sheriff's attending partner up. Which means that Donna gets to snag Jody, even though she is prickly.

Then we find out that there is a body! Or, we find out at some point anyway. Jody hears animal attack and the fact that everything was eaten except the bones, and she thinks "ah crap" and then calls Sam! Yay! Sam and Jody brotp! Seriously though, there is so much I love about this - the fact that Jody calls Sam, the fact that Sam smiles when he sees her name on his phone, the fact that Sam apparently really sucks at keeping people informed and hadn't yet told Jody that he found Dean. Seriously though, what I like about that last part is the fact that Jody KNEW Dean had been missing, which means that Sam called her while Dean was gone. I like the idea that without Dean, Sam still isn't completely alone in the world - and I like the idea that he remembered that... even if he then forgot to call her back in his excitement of having Dean back.

Anyway, Jody lets them know about the case, and then says that she'll handle it, and call them back if it's too much for her to handle. Dean, however, is sick of research and makes puppy eyes at Sam until Sam agrees that they'll drive up and help. Awww...

So, then it's investigation time! Jody heads off to the mogue, where they've got some good FX going on. The body is gross. I love the fact that Jody's straight forward approach doesn't work, and Donna comes in and helps smooth the way with charisma instead... and it's a nice little way of pointing out that both personalities have their strengths and weaknesses.

And the guy is eaten and weirdly his belt is missing. So, I was confused as to what kinda monster it was.

Then...uh, I forget. :P

Was this when the second death occurred? I guess so! The next guy who died was trying to sneak a cigarette from a pack that he kept hidden in his dryer vent. Um... dude, your cigarettes are going to go stale SO FAST. But, whatever, I suppose it doesn't matter since the last cigarette in the pack was broken and then the guy was sucked into a dumpster and eaten anyway.

Meanwhile, Donna and Jody are trying to get information out of Cuse, but he just tells them that he called animal control. And then Donna sees Doug dancing with someone new and gets a little bit upset and goes to the bathroom "where it's less gross" (awww) and then Jody gets information out of Cuse about the second body being found, but he tells her not to worry about it. Then Jody takes off... and seemingly ditches Donna.

Donna tracks her down in the parking lot though, because she's stopped to check in on Alex, who appears to be up to no good back home. Then Jody and Donna have their first actual bonding talk - because Jody admits that Alex is smoking grass under the bleachers and that Jody is at a loss as to how to reach out to her or parent her.... and Donna is supportive and funny and whatnot. Then Donna suggests that Jody come to her room and they can get drunk from the mini bar and Jody makes a horrible mistake and DECLINES. Awww... come on, go have fun with your new friend!! But Jody just goes to bed instead, because it's been a long day... and fair enough, it sort of has, and Jody DOES find Donna's sunshine and rainbows a little grating.

The next day Sam and Dean show up! Hugs for everyone!!! And they recognize Donna and tell Jody to keep her occupied while they check everything out. Donna comes up then and recognizes them as the FBI agents they pretended to be. And then Sam and Dean are off to investigate while Jody and Donna check out the gear vendors.

Cuse and his deputy aren't very forthcoming though. The deputy is a snarky little shit to Dean about how the FBI are doing animal control cases. Then Cuse says there's no surveillance and then the deputy kind of looks shifty at that... and I foolishly jumped to the conclusion that it was the deputy who was the monster!

I love love love Dean getting all upset about the deputy disrespecting the FBI. And Sam pointing out that it's only Dean's fake job... and Dean being like "This badge means something!"
Sam: "I made it at Kinkos."
And Dean was like "Yes, you did. I'm proud of that." or whatever he said - I was laughing too hard at that point.

Sam goes off to check something else out, and Dean goes to talk to the deputy dude....

Oh, but meanwhile, at the gear show - some dude is being a sexist dick to Jody and Donna, who are both rolling their eyes so hard that it's no wonder Donna needs reading glasses. Then Doug comes up and is a huge dick to Donna to the point where Jody cracks and yells at him for being a dick... but, much like many people with dick boyfriends and/or husbands, Donna doesn't take kindly to being defended, and gets mad at Jody for calling him a dick to his face. Then she says the exact wrong thing by saying that maybe when Jody loses a husband, then she can talk.... well, cue the gruesome flashback to how Jody DID lose a husband "horribly"...and Donna immediately realizes that she said something wrong and tries to apologize, but Jody is in PTSD flashback-mode and cannot talk about it at the moment... so Donna excuses herself to get some air and leaves Jody alone.

THEN Dean talks to the deputy who tells him that the Sheriff changed the passwords on the surveillance footage and has been altogether a little sketchy. So, then I realize my mistake and that it was HANKCUSE ALL ALONG! Nooooooooooo.....

Meanwhile, Donna discovers Cuse outside over a freshly killed body with his teeth out - and this is how she discovers that monsters are real. I was still super confused though, because vampires drink blood, they don't eat flesh.

Jody has a chance to talk with Dean too. And I love the fact that she calls him Kiddo... but really, it's just a great friendship scene, with Jody offering that if Dean ever needs to talk, she's there for him. He genuinely thanks her...and, man, I just love the Winchesters having friends.

Sam gets back from his investigations to confirm that the Sheriff erased the footage and whatnot. Then Donna runs in and asks to talk to Jody alone... she tells her what she saw outside, and now that Jody doesn't have to try to keep her away from the monsters of the world, she's all for having Donna on board.

Oh hey, somewhere in there I completely forgot that Donna and Jody went to Cuse's room and found a ton of sunblock. Again, confusing me as to what we were dealing with, since all signs pointed to vampires, but the kills didn't match up. Before we started watching the episode, my friend and I watched the "Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf" video, so at this point I just started calling them "Actual Cannibal Vampires."

Anyway, Donna found an address in the hotel room by doing the old pencil-shading-on-the-blank-notepad-to-see-what-was-written-last thing.

The boys try to leave the two Sheriff's behind, but they refuse - though they agree to allow Sam and Dean to take the lead. And then it's off to the farm! Where Cuse does a jump scare on Dean in order to tell him to run, but it's too late because he gets jumped from behind... as does Sam, Jody, and Donna...so, they all get concussions, I suppose.... and then they all get tied up in the barn.

Then we find out that they really ARE cannibals. Cuse was the one who originally turned them all after Woodstock, and he was a hippie who was doing that whole cultural appropriation thing with the Native American philosophy of using as much of every kill as possible. So, yeah... super gross. But in the years since then, Cuse grew a conscious, stopped killing, and started helping people... leaving his nest behind. They tracked him down though, thanks to the advertising for the Sheriff Conventions... so they came to kill people and try to get him to rejoin the nest or kill him for betraying them.

What I like about this scene is that it's Dean and Donna who figure out how to saw through their ropes. Dean has the convenience of a nail protruding out the back of the post that he's tied too, but Donna actually has to be clever - she breaks her reading glasses and uses them to saw through the ropes.

I love it, because there were two Chekov guns in this episode - the girl that Jody gives money too in the first scene is one of the vampires, and the fact that Donna pulls out reading glasses every now and then becomes important.

The nest kills Cuse (awww...HANK! I hate vampires, but I love Fred Ewanuick, I'm so torn.) And then Dean breaks loose and kills them, only one breaks free and goes to kill Jody, but luckily Donna also breaks free and chops off it's head! Getting sprayed artfully with blood, and then turning to smile and Dean and pretty much be completely perfect and wonderful.

For the final scene, we have two conversations happening at once, which is a little jarring, but at the same time, I appreciate the chronological-ness of it all.

Jody and Donna talk about monsters, and how Donna feels like the world is both bigger and darker now. And now Donna and Jody have more than just Sheriffing and being victims of sexism in common, they also both have knowledge of the darker world that lives in the shadows...and it's comforting, I think, to both of them to have a friend in that... and a friend in that OTHER than the Winchesters, who were basically born into it... I think it's nice that they're both people who had lives BEFORE, that they both learned later in life. Jody offers that Donna can call her if she wants to know more, or wants to know what kills what - and Donna says that she'll do that, and yeah... basically, I want Jody and Donna spin-off.

Meanwhile, Sam and Dean talk about the Mark. Sam checks that Dean is alright after that much bloodshed. Dean said that it was the first time that he hadn't felt like the Mark was driving him. Sam repeats "the FIRST time?!" obviously putting it together that Dean hasn't been sharing with the class when it comes to the last few hunts. Dean just nods and says that maybe it's a good thing, and Sam is like "yay optimism!" and doesn't question it. But Dean holds his arm as he walks back to the car...and you have to wonder if he's telling the truth now, of if he thinks it's suspicious that he didn't feel driven, or what...

Last week, someone commented that this season felt weird because there wasn't a stated plot yet - that usually we're given the season's plot in the first episode like "defeat the thing that killed mom", or "stop the apocalypse" or "defeat the leviathan" or "close the gates of hell" or "defeat metatron."  But I think we HAVE been given the season theme and it's the same as S3 - it's "Save Dean" but this time there's no hard and fast deadline, because the goal is to save Dean from the Mark of Cain, from being the Knight of Hell that the Mark wants him to be.

Anyway, yes... good episode!! I loved the team-up. I loved the relationship between Jody and Donna. I loved the relationship between Jody and Sam and Dean... I loved the fact that Donna now knows about Sam and Dean and monsters and might come back. I love that Alex is still living with Jody. I love Fred Ewanuick. Basically, I loved everything about it.

Next week looks pretty intense.... then, I'm sure, it'll be a long long wait for winter hellatus to be over.

As usual, let me know what you thought in comments! :)

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
elvit
Dec. 3rd, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Wonderful review as always ))

> Dean DID find a research paper about Werewolf Transgenderism though!! At this point, my friend paused the show and said, "So how much do you wish you could read that right now?" And I believe my response was

- In my part of fandom we're just sure that script writers use not only Tumblr but also kink-meme! :D

> Again, confusing me as to what we were dealing with, since all signs pointed to vampires, but the kills didn't match up.

Yeah, exactly! Despite later explanations it doesn't feel right with me. Actually it's the only thing I don't like about the episode - that they bend mythology...

hells_half_acre
Dec. 3rd, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

Writers aren't allowed to read fanfic, so I doubt their hanging out at the kinkmeme - but I DO agree that they're probably sneakily on tumblr somewhere. ;)

And very true about the kills - it confused me, because vampires don't EAT - so what are they using the meat for? Also, they can't drink the blood of someone who is dead, so all that blood coming out of the dumpster (which was enough to indicate that the dude was dead) was just wasted...and they can't actually eat the meat to live, so yes, very confused as to what their methods are.
elvit
Dec. 4th, 2014 07:51 am (UTC)
> Writers aren't allowed to read fanfic

- Really? I didn't know it. Is there some rule about it?

But while being on tumblr one can't not catch something kinky anyway! )))

And it's just occured to me that dead man's blood is poison for vamires. And now I wonder how much time should pass to make it?
hells_half_acre
Dec. 4th, 2014 08:14 am (UTC)
- Really? I didn't know it. Is there some rule about it?

Yeah, they're legally not allowed to. Probably if they come across it on tumblr, they just have to scroll by really fast. :P It's to cover the CW for being sued by fanfic writers claiming that the writers stole scripts or story ideas. If the writers do an episode that's similar to a fanfic, it's the only way they can prove that it was completely unintentional.

Robbie Thompson has commented on it before, saying that when the show ends, or when he stops working for the show, he's hoping to be able to finally read some fanfic.

And it's just occured to me that dead man's blood is poison for vamires. And now I wonder how much time should pass to make it?

Exactly!
elvit
Dec. 4th, 2014 08:49 am (UTC)
Wow! I didn't know that! Thank you for sharing such an interesting piece of information! )
pushistyj_koshk
Dec. 3rd, 2014 09:49 pm (UTC)
I'm not watching the next week's promo! I couldn't avoid the pics though :(
hells_half_acre
Dec. 3rd, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
It's hard to avoid all spoilers. I usually watch the promo, but avoid the pics - but yeah, the pics ARE hard to avoid, so we'll see if I can manage it.
percysowner
Dec. 4th, 2014 12:25 am (UTC)
I have to say that THIS is what they should make the spinoff. Jody and Donna, saving people hunting things. To pull the younger demo they already have Alex and Donna can get a hot young nephew that she suddenly has to care for, but Jody and Donna are golden to me as spinoff material.

I took the vampires eating people as just another canon change, like Reapers are angels and werewolves can control the change. Pretty soon ghosts will be friendly and getting rid of Bobby was unfortunate because the didn't find ghost school in time. I don't like the canon changes, but I'm resigned to them.

Edited at 2014-12-04 12:26 am (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Dec. 4th, 2014 12:40 am (UTC)
Totally agree about the spinoff potential.

I don't see it as a canon change, I see it as a illogical/continuity-error writing - but we'll see, it all depends on the next time we see vampires. But yeah, as a general rule, I don't like canon changes either - hard and fast rules are what ground fantasy in reality and make the story compelling. You really don't want to fuck with them too much.
tipsy_kitty
Dec. 5th, 2014 05:44 am (UTC)
I don't think it was a canon change OR a continuity error, I think this particular pack (?) prided themselves on using many parts of the animals they killed, like a misguided away to honor native tribes.

And...I'm stopping there, before I start imagining various uses for human organs *gag*
hells_half_acre
Dec. 5th, 2014 05:57 am (UTC)
Right, that's what I believe too - I just meant a continuity-error because I can't figure out what the hell they would use the meat/parts FOR... but maybe, like you, I just don't want to think about it too hard. :P
tipsy_kitty
Dec. 5th, 2014 06:06 am (UTC)
I mean, I'm sure the bladder would make a great canteen...

*retch*

yeah, I'm done :)

hells_half_acre
Dec. 5th, 2014 06:13 am (UTC)
Maybe they do like in the old days and turn it into a ball for the kids to play with. :P
shadowsong26
Dec. 4th, 2014 04:25 am (UTC)
Jody gives me life omg I love her. And her and Alex talking on the phones (WHY DO I HEAR FIRECRACKERS?)

I want that werewolf transgenderism paper, too...but, more to the point, if that's somehow accessible in the portions of the library where Dean was poking around for MoC stuff... a) I want to read all the OTHER superfantastic papers buried in there, b) how the hell is that library organized? c) alternatively, is Dean just grabbing random crap off the shelves and hoping for the best? You'd think the library would be pretty well organized and Dean would know how to search for a topic more efficiently than that...

I was also super-confused about what the monster was, and I'm still not sure vampires made sense...I half-thought it was going to be a random Leviathan that was somehow still around, unlikely though that was. I guess though since vamps were the only monsters they specifically shot down at the beginning...IDK.

YES THE BADGE OMG

Yeah, I thought the deputy at first, too.

Donna is also awesome and has a pretty cool response to extranormal crap suddenly being real. I still think Nick's reaction is my favorite, but hers (minor freakout, go to confirm with someone you trust, then take it in stride and be AWESOME) is pretty close.

The final fight was pretty awesome, yes. Yay, Donna!

Yeah, the overlapping conversations were a little confusing...I am all for Jody and Donna staying close friends. And I would definitely be in favor of their spinoff.

I'm pretty sure Dean's lying to Sam, but I can't figure out exactly what lie he's telling yet. Guess we'll find out next week, because mid-season finale...

This episode made me super-happy. Jody episodes tend to leave me happy, and tend to rank among my top MotW episodes. And her and Donna together are amazing, and her being a mom(/cool aunt to the boys)...just yes. Happy fun episode before the soul-crushing season finale, whee!
hells_half_acre
Dec. 4th, 2014 04:48 am (UTC)
I agree with everything!

And yes! to the library organization thing - I mean, Dean calls it crap or whatever, but either he's randomly grabbing stuff off the shelves, or he got that paper out of the archives for a reason! :P

I also thought that it might be a leviathan for a moment, but I think they're keeping that monster dead as a doornail.

borgmama1of5
Dec. 4th, 2014 05:37 am (UTC)
I want the Jodie and Donna spinoff!!!

So do you think Dean was just saying he felt all right to reassure Sam or that he did feel okay there for a few minutes?
hells_half_acre
Dec. 4th, 2014 05:49 am (UTC)
I really can't tell with Dean anymore - the fact that he said "for the first time" to me indicates that he was being honest - but then he holds his arm, so, is he just thinking about it or does he feel something from the Mark?

Basically, I have no idea.
marlowe78
Dec. 6th, 2014 08:45 pm (UTC)
I really loved this episode. I have so much love for Jody Mills, it's not even funny - I want her to be tough and still caring, I want her to build a life with her now-kinda-daughter and I want her to be still friends with the boys - so I got everything and I'm a happy girl :-)

I know there is a lot of talk about the not-gender-conformity of Supernatural, and though there are of course a lot of things not perfect in that aspect, I've always thought that they wrote the best kick-ass women I've ever seen.
Sure, they mostly die, which is sad. But to be fair, everyone dies in that show, so singling the women out to not die... wouldn't it be sexism too? (Just kidding!)
But I loved Jo and Ellen, loved that Mary went from "good little wifey" to an actual hunter-born kick-ass woman, I loved Lisa and Anna and the Rubys, I'm a big fan of Meg, and then Cassie and Sarah and ... I could go on, but it gets boring. Fact is - most of them are tough in their own way, not all of them are hunters, but they have their own powers and their own minds. Even Layla Rourke's mother was a kick-ass woman, and ... Uh. Sorry. I was having a point, but I lost it.

Anyway. There is only ONE thing that I really didn't like about this episode, and that is that we didn't even have ONE hint about the Benders. I mean, come ON!
They find half-eaten corpses and the Winchesters don't at once think about man-eating men? That's one awesome opportunity ... missed completely.

I also would've liked to hear how Kathleen Hudak has faired in life.
I admit I'm not an expert on Minnesota, but is Hibbing really that big?

*sigh*

Apart from that - yay for more woman-power. And oh, one thing:

When Jody yelled at that awful ex-husband of Donna, he looked so confused that I wonder if no-one ever told him that he was being a dick? I mean... maybe he just never got a good kick in the (proverbial) balls about his behaviour and was seriously thinking he wasn't doing anything worse than teasing his ex-wife a little?
Not defending him in the slightest - such an ass! But I wondered about his reaction :-)

Oh, and this:
Last week, someone commented that this season felt weird because there wasn't a stated plot yet -
Since I'm a big fan of "filler-episodes" because they give so much little stuff while telling a completely new story (that might or might not be unrelated), this is probably a good thing.

But there is definitely a red thread throughout this season, and that's revolving around the question "What is a monster, what makes a monster?"
Sheriff Cuse was a vampire and he killed a lot of people. He turned young, easy-to-lead kids into man-eating things and then he changed, got to be one of the good guys... is he still to be considered a monster? Just because he has teeth?
He was fighting his urges, does that count? His pupils didn't get a conscience, but they used to be innocent once, they were dependant on their "father" and then he left them... aren't they in the right to look for him, get him back?

We have Benny still in mind and Dean's conviction about him being a friend - no matter what he'd done. We have Amy Pond - she wasn't a monster, was she?
That werewolf-girl and her sister, even Alex and so many others... Where is the difference? Does it really only depend on the "monster" killing humans? Or is there some other definition?

I'm thinking that this will be the basic plot this season - and get some Mark of Cain and a little angel-problems into the mix. I like this idea. I like things that make people THINK about things.


Edited at 2014-12-06 08:55 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Dec. 6th, 2014 11:13 pm (UTC)
HIBBING! Oh man, I was trying to figure out why that place sounded so familiar - Kathleen Hudak! Man, it'd have been awesome to have a cameo by her too, or at least a mention of her. I wonder what happened to her too.

I agree about the women on Supernatural - they are all awesome, and I think Supernatural (for the most part) writes women really well... and YES, it started off with two women being fridged - but other than that, the women just die because everybody dies.

Hopefully Jody never does though!

I also agree about Donna's husband - I think no one had ever taken him to task before. Everyone had just let him get away with being an ass.

Agreed about the through-thread of "what makes a monster?" too - I think it's a really interesting season so far BECAUSE they're giving us more breathing room to think "what does this mean?" and they're letting us explore the grey-areas of the world... what makes a monster? What does being in a vessel mean for an angel? What does being possessed by an angel mean for the vessel? Is that a monstrous act on the part of the angel?
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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