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Rewatch S9: Alex Annie Alexis Ann (9x19)

Okay, I love this episode, but let's try to be quick about this!

Alex Annie Alexis Ann

Jody! I love her. I really love this episode because it expands the world. After so many seasons, it can get frustrating how wedded Supernatural is to the two-man only cast, and killing off everyone you know in the rest of the world only makes it feel worse. Having a big populated world makes the cast feel bigger, even though it isn't.

Anyway, back to the show... Jody lops off the vampires head, and I like the fact that on second viewing, you can sort of see how conflicted Alex is about it all - yes, she was trying to escape, but that was also someone she considered her brother.

Jody: "...how you boys been?"
Dean: "Peachy."
Sam: "Touch and go."
Jody: "I know the feeling."

- So, I'm sure you don't need me to reiterate how much I love my Sam/Jody BroTP... but SAM AND JODY BROS FOREVER! Seriously, I love that Sam is HONEST with her. Sam, as a character, tends to keep the most to himself - so actually admitting that things are "touch and go" instead of just going along with Dean's slightly sarcastic but ultimately dismissive "peachy" is pretty awesome and says a lot about his relationship with Jody.

Dean: "I don't know, Sammy; it's like Jody might not need our help anymore."
Sam: "Aw, they grow up too fast."
Dean: "Don't they?"

- Hehehe... I love it, because she's like 15 years older than them. I don't know how old Kim Rhodes is, but they introduced Jody as someone who is closer to Bobby's generation than Sam and Dean's - so, even though they are bros, the show has placed her in the parent generation.
- Also, I love it because Sam and Dean really are the best hunters in the world at this point, and this sort of drives the point home that child-generation or not, Sam and Dean are the senior authority here.


Sam is holding his hands really oddly in the interrogation scene - what is with Jared and his hands lately? Like, occassionally, he just gets so awkward with them. I don't know if this has always been the case and I only started noticing after the French Mistakes, when he did it as a joke, but I think it's honestly just something he starts doing in S9, where he just starts holding them too dead and still by his sides in some scenes.

And then we get Dean not respecting her name choice, and then Sam does when she protests twice in a row. I think this is sort of a way to feel her out, more than anything, that the name might be a sign of her loyalty more than her behaviour. It could be why Sam and Dean doubt her more than Jody does.

I'm not really talking about the set-up with Alex in this episode - you all know it. It's set up really well, and she's immediately a very complex interesting character. It's awesome.

Alex: "His name's Cody and she killed him,"
Dean: "Because of a choice you made. These are the consequences"

- So, we also get the parallel in this episode of toxic family. Alex is running away from her family because they are toxic to her, but in so doing, she becomes toxic to them. A toxic family can't survive indefinitely, eventually it rips itself to shreds.

Dean: "Mills, you okay?"
Jody: "No wonder she didn't thank me; that creep was her brother."

- Two things I love about this exchange. Firstly, we get Dean calling Jody "Mills" - I like it when the boys call Jody by "Sheriff" or "Mills", because to me that (perhaps oddly) denotes more respect/equality than calling her Jody. I mean, calling her Jody says "We're friends and we care about you." But calling her "Sheriff" or "Mills" says, "We also respect you in a professional capacity."
- Secondly, I like that Jody immediately understand why Alex hates her and sympathizes. She doesn't say, "she should still thank me, because that creep was abusive/toxic" She understands that toxic families can still love each other - that the love is part of the problem, because it's part of why the person being abused can't leave and that it's also PART of the abuse, because it feeds into the emotional manipulation that is inherent in every domestic abuse situation.

Jody is already curious about the name change - meaning that she's already starting to pick apart the perpetrator's motivations.

Jody: "You want to enlist my men in a protection detail against vampires? I mean, Frank's still in the dark about what hit him last night. The guy still has nightmares about the barn episode of the Walking Dead. They're good cops, but they're not ready for this."
- It's interesting, because I wander what happened to all the cops in Sioux Falls who were there in S5, when they were basically IN an episode of the Walking Dead. Did they all die? Is this an entirely new force? How did Jody even ever explain that? Did they chalk it up to hallucinagens in the water? Supernatural is a funny universe, because it's like everyone in law enforcement has lost the ability to form long-term memory. They can remember something for approximately a year, but that's it.

And then we get the second death.

Then Jody and Alex go to the cabin.

Alex: "This your family?"
Jody: "Yes."
Alex: "Where are they?"
Jody: ...
Alex: "Huh. Dead."
Jody: "You know, there's about a thousand more polite ways you could say that - I'll give you a pass on account of the whole raised by monsters thing."
Alex: "How'd they die?"
Jody: "Horribly."

- I love that exchange. And Jody's answer to the question. Kim does an amazing job of talking through emotion too, so that you know it's just there, all crammed under the surface, even if it's no longer the subject of conversation.

Sam and Dean haven't changed shirts yet. I love easy wardrobe episodes. I hope they never change. :P

And the woodchipper... it's actually a lot harder than that to destory the evidence of murder - I think, anyway, I've never had to do it. But the smell would be horrible - and you're just spraying it around. I once walked by a severed cows head in a forest, and MAN it was so gross smelling. You get a breeze taking that smell to the road (which, since you are behind a house, you are obviously near) and SOMEONE might be like "Hey, why does this seemingly abandoned house smell like death?"

And we get Dean and Sam torturing again - you know, they don't really make the same big deal about that as they used to, and it kind of annoys me.

We find out that Alex used to lure the men to the family - which is nice, because it does tell us that the family was taking out creepy child rapists, so I feel slightly less bad about the past 9 years of them murdering regularly.

Gotta admit, the vampire is pretty attractive.

Sam's worried that Jody is in danger from Alex. Again, Sam and Jody are my brotp, so I love that fact that even though they don't interact as much one-on-one as they have in the past, we still get Sam being the one that constantly has Jody's safety in his thoughts.

Jody: "I made you a sandwich. It's out there if you want it."
Alex: "Sheriff? My grandma?"
Jody: "I'm sorry."
Alex: "No, it's fine. I figured - it's been years and she was old."

- Awww... another exchange that I love, because it's layered. This, and the surprise wake-up thing that happens right before, when Jody pulls the blanket over Alex and startles her.

Vampires attack...

And yeah, if Jody was left out in the rain all night, even in the summer, she'd have a case of hypothermia in the morning. Just saying. South Dakota is not that far from Canada, and I think it's either the same latitude or further north than the latitude that I grew up on, so.... Also, she'd have like a gazillion mosquito bites. Nature is cruel.

Jody: "Are you saying she's on your list?"
Sam: "We're not saying that... not yet."

- It's interesting, and I'm not typing out the whole conversation - and I know it makes for more tension if we are questioning Alex's loyalties (ie: Is she like the Alpha-vamps blood-slave in S7? Or is she really a victim who is fleeing?) But from what we've seen, Alex is definitely not in Souix Falls to act as a lure, and if she were, Jody would be dead already. Also, she's young, and Jody is right when she says that anything Alex has done she was forced to do - even if she DID enjoy it. You teach a kid to murder, that kid might find some enjoyment in the practice (she does get the moral-justification of getting rid of creeps), but is it her choice? Really? What about all those child soldiers in world? Are they murderers or victims?
- Anyway, I also really like this exchange because whenever Dean says something Jody doesn't like, she's annoyed, but whenever Sam says something Jody doesn't like, she's like "Are you fuckin' kidding me with this shit, Sam!?"

Sam: "What is this even about? You barely know the girl."
- If looks could kill, the one Jody gives Sam right there would do it.

Scene between Alex and Mama... where we get to see the emotional manipulation in action. Emotional abuse is just the worse. Anyway... if Mama would really never hurt Alex, Alex never would have thought that it was a possibility. So, Alex knows full well that her Mama is capable of great violence against her own family, or at least has threatened so before in a way that was believable.

And here Alex's Mama uses the emotional manipulation to get Alex to agree to the bite - whether she believes that turning Alex into a vampire will actually solve the problem or not. It's obvious that Alex wants to leave (and is old enough to leave) and Mama knows that the only way to get her to be isolated and dependant on her like she was when she was young is to turn her into a monster that needs support and can no longer fit into human society.

The vampires upstairs get the drop on Sam and Dean and Jody discovers Alex nearly turned in the basement.

(Sam and Dean still haven't changed clothes.)

Vampire: "Hell of a sight to come home to - brother lying dead on the floor. Didn't know it was a Winchester that'd done it."
- I love that the Winchesters are known.

Of course, the vampires make the mistake of not killing Sam and Dean right away.

Mama makes the mistake of trying to make Alex feed on someone that she cares about.

Mama: "Clearly, Sheriff, you've got issues - some hole in your life, you're using my Alex to fill."
- And that's when Jody gets it, because Alex's mother is projecting.

Jody: "Maybe not, but I know what [motherhood] isn't. And it ain't about forcing her to be like you the second she becomes inconvenient."
- Very true. Also, it reminds me of one of my favourite Kahlil Gibran quotes - "Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself."

So, back upstairs for a moment - the way dead-man's blood works is that it has to be collected from a dead man. So, tapping Sam's veins make sense, and then cutting off the drain before he passes out (and possibly dies from blood loss) also makes sense. Slicing Dean's throat, which was what the other vampire looked to be about to do, doesn't make that much sense - arterial spray would be both hard to collect and kill your victim faster, meaning that you couldn't be 100% certain what was fresh blood and what was dead-man's blood.

Jody: "You said that I was using her to fill a hole in my life, and you're right, I am. You are too. Takes one to know one."
- I love how Jody is honest here. She doesn't say "But that's not what I'm doing, that's what YOU'RE doing." She admits to using Alex to fill a hole, while Alex is standing right there, so that Alex KNOWS. So that, if they do come out of this, Alex is going into any relationship with Jody with the truth on the table - that Jody has a huge vacuum where a family used to be and wants desperately for it to be filled. The difference is that Jody, so far, has respected Alex's choices in a way that Alex's Mama hasn't - that Jody knows that Alex is her own person and isn't going to be the perfect child or be someone she isn't just because Jody might want her to be.

Mama: "That Alex - she died a long time ago."
Jody: "And it still hurts. You still feel it - the loss, the pain, like a stone in your gut. It hurts just a little bit less whenever ever she's near."

- Oh, Jody, I love you... because you recognized yourself in your enemy and then used it against them.

Dean: "Look at me. Look at me, bitch!"
- Oh Dean, you are enjoying the killing way too much. I guess I need to go back and type out that rant Dean had about how Alex enjoying murdering made her just as much of a monster as the monsters... well, okay, that's not what he said, necessarily, but that's what he meant - and I know, Alex was luring humans to their deaths, whereas Dean is killing monsters - but MAN, my point still stands. We see Dean going down the bad road here.

Sam: "Dean."
Dean: "Yeah, you wouldn't have done the same for me."
Sam: "No, Jody!"

- Dean just COMPLETELY forgot about Jody. It's sort of hilarious. He becomes so focused on saving Sam. And that's Dean in a nutshell right there - he saves Sam at all costs, and over the years there start to be FAR too many costs. Something Sam is understanding all too well - hence his guilt over chosing to live instead of shutting the gates to hell.
- We also get Dean once again mentioning the "you wouldn't have done the same for me" which is bullshit in this scenario, and we all know it, but the more Dean grinds those words into his heart and wallows in the pain they cause, the more he believes them - the more he lets his old self-esteem issues dictate the worth of his life rather than recognizing that Sam's actions never actually meet those words.
- Also, we get Sam not having an opportunity to say something like "cut it out with that, I would have totally saved you and you know it!" because he is too focused on Jody, and then too concerned that Dean is becoming blood-thirsty.

Alex saves Jody!

Jody: "Don't watch this, sweetheart."
*Alex turns at the last minute*

- I love how Alex listens. In the end, for me, Alex turning around and not watching when Jody kills her Mama is more of a sign of Alex chosing Jody then when Alex saves Jody. I'm not even sure I can explain why - maybe because Jody is the first one to attempt to protect Alex's innocence by telling her not to watch a murder, and turning around is Alex accepting that protection.

Oh, the boys finally changed clothes.

Sam: "What I'm saying is it looked to me like you were enjoying it - maybe too much."
Dean: "And? Well sorry for not putting on a hairshirt. Killing things that need killing - it's kinda our job. Last I checked, taking pleasure in that is not a crime."

- Oh Dean... firstly, is "hairshirt" really that commonly used? I know BNL have a great song with that word in it, but it was my understanding that it was fairly archaic.
- And it's interesting, I mean, putting aside the MoC - these jobs where you have to do bad things in order to do them... like, for instance, being a soldier. How much joy are you allowed to get away with? You're essentially murdering people for money - yes, there's an aspect of defending your country, but that gets pretty hazy, especially these days, when a lot of countries are sending their soldiers off to war not for defense, but for ideology.

Sam: "Speaking of apologies, we owe you a big one."
Dean: "We were wrong about the girl."
Jody: "No, you were right, about me - my judgement was clouded. Working this case, it brought feelings back - feelings I've been trying to bury for years. I buried it under work, religion, even dating...[...] but it's still there, underneath, the grief. Don't know what that means for me, just that I've been fooling myself thinking I could ignore it...."

- Yay! Okay, that seems odd to say, but it always sort of bugged me that Jody never seemed to address that her family had died horribly in front of her - her son had died twice, for chrissakes. And then when she WAS sad in S7, it was about Bobby, which, yeah, was sad, but it makes sense that that would be an easier death for Jody to mention. As much as Bobby's death was hard on the rest of us, it would have been easy in comparison for Jody than dealing with the death of her husband and son (twice). It probably would have made her feel like she was dealing with grief and could therefore move on, even though what she was doing was dealing with wasn't the grief that she SHOULD have been dealing with.
- I also like this because Jody is recognizing that she can't do what Alex's Mama did - that she had been on the verge of doing the same thing. She was latching on to Alex as a replacement, so that she could put off dealing with her grief even longer - what do you mean my family is dead? Nope! See family is alive! It just looks different!

Dean: "Well, speaking from experience, it'll be a rough couple of days - you sure you don't want us to stay?"
- I like the way Dean offered, but for some reason his mannerisms when he says this seem very fake to me. I don't know why. I'm sure he's sincere.

Also, that whole scene was tight head-shots, I have no idea what shirts the boys or wearing.

Alex and Jody scene! Yay!

Jody: "Whatever you want from me, I'll give it. If you want, I'm here. But what you've been through the last 48 alone - losing your entire family, everything you've ever known or loved - no one can understand that."
Alex: "You can."

- Awwww... feelings. Firstly, I love that Jody basically says the most perfect thing "It is up to you to define this relationship and I will respect any decision you make." Followed by "I am not going to pretend to know what you are going through, nor equate our situations." And Alex responds by equating the situations herself, by HER choice, not saying that she knows exactly what Jody went through (because she has no idea past 'horribly') but that she recognizes that if anyone is going to understand, Jody is the most likely candidate - and more than that, Alex WANTS her to understand, because she wants to have a relationship with Jody, whether it's parent-child or just legal guardian-friend.

Okay! That only took me two hours. I'm sorry if people wanted me to go into more detail, or if I skipped things you didn't want to be skipped. If I missed some wicked awesome parallels that you desperately want to talk about, thats' what the comment button is for! :)

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Jan. 17th, 2015 03:37 pm (UTC)
I remember being horrified at the beating Jody took from Mama, especially that kick to the knee!

Dean ordering the vampire to look at him was so scary in what it implied about where Dean was headed...Also I remember there was some discussion about whether Dean actually used the back of the machete to behead the vamp. I wasn't completely sure from the screencaps I studied, though that would have been another subtle, horrific tell.
hells_half_acre
Jan. 17th, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I didn't think to look whether it was the back or the front of the machete - I think it was the front, and he turned it because the Vampire originally had it aimed at him. But, I could be wrong. I'll have another look next time I have the disk in.

And yeah, that kick to the knee gets me every time - it doesn't help that I have permanently injured knees, so knee pain and I are old friends. :P

supernutjapan
Jan. 18th, 2015 05:47 am (UTC)
I remember talking about this episode when it aired :)

And I remember pointing out here that both Sam and Dean called Alex "Ann" (Dean didn't do it twice) - but switched to Alex after she told them the vamps were her "family" which I thought was significant. Not as significant the fact that Sam is the one that says "Alex" first - to me, it seems they both accept it and Sam just happens to speak first.

I do remember being very excited by the MoC effect on Dean. Boy was that hot...

I think the mark had an effect on him afterwards too - I don't think it was just because saving Sam was priority that he forgot about Jody. It takes a while for him to come to himself after killing the vamp.

Anyway, enjoyed your review - the shortness didn't bother me as it is a rather recent episode and I didn't need much to be reminded of it, but I miss your sarcastic remarks :P It must be the season content aye?
hells_half_acre
Jan. 18th, 2015 08:44 pm (UTC)
Maybe Dean didn't do it twice - I think it's that they did it twice between the two of them, and Dean used it the second time - so, to me, that's like he did it twice, because she already objected to Sam's use of the name and then Dean used the name again. If that makes any sense.

But yes, once she objected to it twice in a row, they did switch over and call her by the name she preferred. So, yes, Sam happened to speak first, I suppose, but Dean still used "Ann" after she had already objected to Sam's use of it - so, to me, that puts it in my mind that he was last to listen to her.

But you're also right.

I also agree about the MoC - It's not like we can see inside Dean's head, but you could argue that killing the vamps was more about killing the vamps than it was about saving Sam.

There wasn't much in this episode to sarcastically remark upon. Trust me, I would never skip those in favour of a shorter review. ;)
shadowsong26
Jan. 18th, 2015 07:11 am (UTC)
Yay! I love this episode :D

After so many seasons, it can get frustrating how wedded Supernatural is to the two-man only cast, and killing off everyone you know in the rest of the world only makes it feel worse. Having a big populated world makes the cast feel bigger, even though it isn't.

Agreed.

YES! Everything you said about Sam and Jody and just...ugh, yes. I love their relationship.

About Jody's office/department/force not remembering anything...it is sort of weird, isn't it? It's one of the things it might be more interesting to explore, especially with an active law-enforcement hunter in the peripheral cast. It's one of the reasons I love her (and Donna!) and am still kinda bummed that Henriksen died, because expanded world, etc. It's sort of interesting to think how many people are invested in perpetuating the masquerade in this 'verse--and how many are hunters, and how many are monsters, and so on. Cool to think about, anyway.

And we get Dean and Sam torturing again - you know, they don't really make the same big deal about that as they used to, and it kind of annoys me.

...y'know, that's one I hadn't noticed, but now that you point it out...yeah, it is a little off-putting. Like the way hosts and vessels have stopped mattering to them for the most part. I mean, there are absolutely valid reasons for why they've made those changes in their mindsets/worldviews/tactics/whatnot, but it's still disconcerting, from an external perspective, to see how far down the boys have gone, alignment-speaking, as they've been leveling up...

- I love that the Winchesters are known.

Yesssss. I still want an episode where they start in on something, and then whatever it is they're hunting finds out it's the frigging Winchesters and just goes '...screw this, they are SO far above my paygrade it's not even funny' and flees for the hills. And then, IDK, demons or something to fill the other half-hour or so of screentime.

But, yeah. Pretty much everything else you said. I don't have much to add for this episode--it's just a very satisfying one. And Jody is also pretty consistently one of my top five characters and I really wish she and Ellen had gotten a chance to go drinking or something and hang out. Linda can come too!
hells_half_acre
Jan. 18th, 2015 08:55 pm (UTC)
It's sort of interesting to think how many people are invested in perpetuating the masquerade in this 'verse--and how many are hunters, and how many are monsters, and so on. Cool to think about, anyway.

Agreed.

I mean, there are absolutely valid reasons for why they've made those changes in their mindsets/worldviews/tactics/whatnot, but it's still disconcerting, from an external perspective, to see how far down the boys have gone, alignment-speaking, as they've been leveling up...

Yes, you can sort of understand why they had to make those changes - because with the amount of crap that's been thrown at them, if they still had their S1 alignments, they'd be dead. But, that being said, I felt that in Kripke's run and even at times, in Gambles, there was more of a mourning aspect to losing their original alignments - there was a recognition of it, and a sadness every time they had to do something they knew their former selves wouldn't approve of.

And yes, I'd love an episode where we see the monster go "oh shit! I'm outta here!" as soon as they realize it's the Winchesters on their tale.

Agreed about Jody being awesome! It would have been nice if all the awesome ladies could have gotten together at some point.

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )