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
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-s
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! :)