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Quick Reaction: 13x11 Breakdown

Oh man... what is this, the Benders?

I'm getting ahead of myself! Disclaimer: Drinking (I actually cut myself off at one point, because I was drinking TOO MUCH), bad notes, quotes aren't meant to be correct, etc...

EPISODE....

...no pretension song lyrics, because I've gotten out of the habit of charging my iPod since it started to break on me back in Dec.

The THEN reminds us that there is Donna, Vampires, a Vampire Cure....
My friend: "...and Doug."
Me: "Right, and also Doug."


We start in Oshkosh, NB... which, you know, I though "Oshkosh, that's fun to say! An excellent start to a Donna episode!" but then DARKNESS AND HORROR! But yeah, again, jumping ahead...

There's a SUPER CREEPY CASHIER who is picking on our Hanscum heroine, and as soon as we hear the name Hanscum, even if we didn't read the episode summary, we are like "MUST PROTECT!'

But sadly even though she escapes the creepy gas station, she develops a flat soon after - and I am Admiral Ackbar, sitting on the couch yelling "IT'S A TRAP!" but she does not listen.. and is taken.

We then cut to bunker, when it is 8:22am and Sam is awake, but despondent, not responding to Dean's offer of pancakes and pretending that he is still asleep. DARKNESS AND HORROR!!!

Sidenote, maybe my iron levels have been low recently, and I admit to never being a morning person, but who in their right mind gets up before 10am when they don't have to? Man, I even have to force myself to get up at 10! I know I am apparently an oddity in this world, but... I just do not understand morning people. I know we've seen episodes where Sam wakes up at 6am FOR NO REASON... and that just spikes terror into my heart, you know? Like, I'm just.... in physical sympathetic pain. 8:22 is at least barable. I at least won't feel like dying. But 10am is pain-free. Sam just doesn't want to be in pain, Dean. Or at least, *I* don't want to be in pain.

Where was I? Dean still saved Sam pancakes which is just... *heart eyes emoji*

BUT, the real thing that gets Sam out of bed is the fact that Donna calls. And Sam immediately puts her on speaker phone - and she's calling them for what effectively sounds like a legit missing persons case, but man - did you know that in a crisis females are more likely to reach out to their social networks than males are? It's true! (according to science magazine articles I have read) , it's our coping mechanism.... it's not actually fight or flight, it's "gather the troops".

Off topic again...

We learn that Wendy Hanscum was taking a gap year, heretofore a European thing, or so I thought, apparently it's now state-side. Though, in retrospect, my roommate in Uni took one too, which was how we ended up being the same age in first year (I was technically held back in kindergarten for being "too intelligent" - really, it was because I despised everyone my own age, so they were like - "uh, let's just put her in grade 1 with the younger kids maybe?" And that's how I came to be a year older than all of my classmates FOREVER*) (*until graduate school)

Man, off topic AGAIN, I am so sorry - I have been drinking.

Donna blames herself, because she talked up the whole gap year thing - but Sam is like "No, Donna, you are perfect in every way and can do no wrong." And we all agree.

Doug (New Doug) is around too! They are talking with the investigators...OR SO THEY THINK...inspecting the car.

This is where my friend pointed out that VFX obviously didn't have time to edit out the high rises in the background, and certainly Oshkosh, NB is not big enough for high rises. I argued that they'd probably towed the car to a bigger city in Nebraska for the investigation - and then wondered if there was even a big city in Nebraska, because I never learned US geography in school - and really all I know is either from driving through it or Supernatural. My friend's husband was like "Lincoln? Maybe Lincoln has highrises?" and that was the only city he could name, but that was better than me - though once he said it, I was like "yes, that is a city, I had forgotten."

ANYWAY, "REAL" FBI is already on the case. Dean lies and plays the part of Wendy's cousin when the real FBI asks what district office he's with. (Uh, do they not have a backup Bobby set up? Has the hunting network so fallen?) Doug then is like "You're related to Donna?! So you were at the family reunion the other week?" And at first I thought that this was Doug testing Dean and catching him out in the lie... but I realize now that "family reunion" must have been the excuse that Donna gave for helping Jody last episode. So, if anyone still has the episode and can tell me exactly what timeframe Doug puts on that "family reunion" I would be most grateful. I think it might have been "the other week" but I REALLY AM NOT SURE. So please let me know if you can. OFFICIAL REQUEST FOR CORRECTION!!!

The "real FBI" guy...uh, let's call him Gary, because I forget his name... thinks it's a serial abductor/presumed-murderer that he's been tracking for 12 years, who he calls "the butterfly". He asks them if they want to help him out with the case. Sam shakes his head at Dean subtly, but Dean is like YUP! WE DO!

Meanwhile, I'm sitting there thinking "12 years! That seems overly long... but whatever, suspend my disbelief I guess" little did I know that was a PLOT POINT!

Back at the motel room, Dean tries the CB radio - though Sam says he's wasting his time. Dean insists that truckers still use shortwave and they see a lot of shit - and "dad used to do it all the time." It IS pretty old-school and I LOVE IT.

Sam's afraid of working with the FBI, because he doesn't want to be on the most wanted list again - or clue them into the fact that he and Dean aren't dead. Dean argues that he's just being difficult because he's been "moping" and is in "a dark place".... and YOU KNOW THAT THIS MEANS, FOLK!!!!?1?!

It means that DEAN HAS TO BE THE OPTIMISTIC ONE. I really love it when they switch rolls. It's never for long, but MAN, YAY!

A trucker comes through on the radio and says that she's willing to meat up with Dean to share info.

Meanwhile, in an undisclosed location, Wendy is tied to a chair while a camera is set-up to record her... she begs it for help, which seems to indicate that it is common held belief these days that if something is being recorded, it will either simultaneously or eventually end up on the internet. Interesting cultural shift!

Back in the investigation - Gary claims that their suspect is most likely the preacher guy. Because they found Wendy's shirt in his van. So they bring him into a station, wherever they are.

Dean meats up with the trucker, who is the female trucker that the preacher guy was talking to when Wendy came into the gas station/diner in Oshkosh. The female trucker explains how she saw Wendy on the side of the road with a flat, but didn't stop, because she was already behind schedule - and now she regrets it. DAMN RIGHT YOU DO! Man, this is why you gotta stop, even though you might not want to.

Sidenote: LOVE the Truckers undercut/mohawk thing going on. Very nice.

The priest tries to lawyer up, and Gary kinda loses it and has to be held back by Sam... and I was like "this FBI guy is very unprofessional" and yet STILL I DIDN'T REALIZE.

Dean has Doug meet him at the gas station and they go to investigate the cashier and other creepy people... oh, but before they do, Doug asked Dean if he thinks Donna is going to be okay. Dean gives very good advice - which is just to be there for her, and if Doug loves her, then he has to trust her. GOOD DEAN!

Donna takes a crack at talking to the priest, and she is VERY GOOD AT WHAT SHE DOES.

Dean and Doug talk to the window washer, who tells them that the cashier is SUPER SUSPICIOUS, YO!

Donna gets the priest to crack and talk without a lawyer. Sam is like "MY FRIEND KICKS ASS!!" and we all agree. BUT, the priest cracks, and it appears that he did NOT do it.

Meanwhile, Dean roughs up the cashier a little to get him to talk. Doug is like "whoa" and Dean is like "this is how we do things in the FBI"... and the Cashier shows him the weird snuff video website.

And we go to commercial with my friend who really does not like humans torturing other humans KINDA PISSED, because she watches Supernatural in order to live in a happier fantasy world where monsters kill humans and humans are just stupid. And hey, fair enough. And even, at this point, I was like "I was sure it was going to be vampires, given the THEN, but I guess not?!?!" So, maybe it was the wine, but I was very much following the trail that the writer was leaving me without question...

When we get back from Commercial, Dean has brought Donna and Sam to come see the video too. When Doug smacks the back of the cashier's head at a smartass comment, and tells Donna that that's how they do it in the FBI, Donna gives Dean a disapproving look that I AM IN LOVE WITH.

AND THEN, we find out that it's monsters - well, first I think it might be cannibals... but then they point out that it's most likely monsters, and I'm like "oh yeah... monster show!"

The Cashier claims to find victims for money. Then an apparent live-feed of Wendy comes on with a count-down of an hour.. and THE COUNTDOWN IS ON.

Dean is like "Hack the interweb, Sammy!" and Sam is like "this is the darkweb, I CAN'T... only the FBI can..."

Meanwhile, Donna has to give Doug the "monsters are real" talk. Then Dean and Sam rush over and tell them that the FBI know the location of the video and they only have 42 minutes left... and I'm like "EVEN THE FBI CANNOT HACK THE DARKWEB THAT FAST! Man, Supernatural... but whatever, Sam also has wifi wherever he goes, so I guess I'll just BELIEVE THEM." Meanwhile, once again, THIS WAS A CLUE.

They get to the location and Dean and Donna run ahead, while Sam circles the building, and Doug hangs back with the cashier dude. As soon as Donna was like "We'll talk about the monster thing once we get back to Stillwater!" I was like "OH NO, DOUG IS GOING TO DIE!!!"

Gary, our "real FBI" guy shows up, and Sam is like "fine, whatever, come into the building."

Then, IT'S A TRAP! And even my usual Ackbar-ness fails us - and it's ALL EXPLAINED. Gary isn't really the FBI, and the Cashier is actually a vampire, and I WAS RIGHT THE WHOLE TIME! The FBI guy IS unprofessional, the darkweb CAN'T be hacked, and this DOES have to do with vampires!

Donna and Dean rush back to Doug, but cashier dude has already bled into his mouth, for funsies. Doug is confused and attacks Donna, Dean pumps him full of dead man's blood and promises Donna that they can cure him. The cashier makes it easy by coming back to taunt them a second time - giving Donna the opportunity to shoot out his knee cap and offer him the Winchester-Deal - to die fast or slow, depending how much info he gives them.

Meanwhile, Sam is gecaptured, as the Germans wouldn't say, but there's a little DAF humour for you anyway (the audience for that joke is so small, you guys, SO SMALL, I should just erase it, but now I've committed.)

Gary, who is actually evil, gives Sam a monologue about how he sells people that "wouldn't be missed." At this point, my friend is like "WELL THIS IS A GIANT METAPHOR FOR CAPITALISM!" and we get sidetracked agreeing, because they even had the previous victim be an immigrant, who they (the monsters) constantly referred to in dehumanizing ways. Thankfully, our heroes were APPALLED, so they are still our heroes in this metaphor.

Dean and Donna leave a hopefully recovering Doug in the car, as they make their way inside a new building to hopefully rescue Sam - who is being big on live, in a rushed dismemberment.

Donna is able to save Wendy and kill the second bad guy. And just as Gary is about to shoot Sam in the temple, Dean shoots Gary through the chest. RISKY MOVE! He still could have lived long enough to pull that trigger, but thankfully Dean's aim is pretty dang good, and he dies instantly.

Back at the motel, Doug wakes up and is OKAY! Yay!

Only.... Doug is very much not the monster hunting type. And although he loves Donna and thinks she's a big hero for BEING the monster hunting type, he just wants to go home - and he doesn't want anything to do with hunting monsters. Donna, meanwhile, although she loves Doug, can't just turn her back on the monster hunting world, now that she knows what's out there. And so, it appears that they have broken up.

Sam is like, immediately, "It's for the best! Everyone you know and love will die! So he's safe now! Congratulations!" which is not really comforting as such - thankfully, Dean steps in to be the sensitive one. ... and yeah, I'm thinking next time Donna calls, she MIGHT be calling Dean first. :P It's okay, Sam still has Jody.

As they drive home, Dean tells Sam he was too tough on Donna. And Sam is like "IT WAS THE TRUTH!" which is often what people say when they've been overly harsh and insensitive to other people's feelings.... but Sam IS in a funk. Then Sam is like "I KNOW YOU THINK I'M MOPING, BUT I'M RIGHT!!" which is often what people say when they are depressed, because they're brains convince them that depression=true facts and life is nothing but an endless stream of pointless torment. Then Sam is like "KNOWING HAS NEVER WORKED OUT - KAIA IS DEAD.... IT ENDS BLOODY! IT ENDS BAD!"

The end.

SO CHEERY!

Basically, Sam is super depressed, and Dean has quickly get the Captain Optimism costume out of Sam's closet and put it on, while Sam skulks around in Dean's favourite GrimDark Cloak of Doom.

And this also sets up Donna to have less ties to Stillwater... and no romantic ties ;) ... you know, just in case....

Next week looks like a fun episode, which will be a weird whiplash from this throw-back to the more classic darkness of S1. It also reminds me of that Merlin episode that we all know and love... *knock knock* "who's there?" "Destiny! Destiny and chicken!" ... or am I the only one around here who watched Merlin?



As usual, let me know your thoughts... and yeah, if people can give me Doug's exact line about the family reunion and when it was, I'd much appreciate it!




This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/551885.html.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
vyperdd
Jan. 26th, 2018 08:39 am (UTC)
Doug says to Dean: "So you were in Soux Falls a couple of weeks ago at that family reunion thing?"

Dean nods: "Uh Huh."
hells_half_acre
Jan. 26th, 2018 08:43 am (UTC)
Thank you!!!
kazluvsbooks
Jan. 26th, 2018 10:14 pm (UTC)
Awesome run down for a great ep! Yes, it really was old school SPN. A lil horror movie in an ep, complete with some brothers in the motel room and emo’ing in the car.

Just the way I like it,

Also Donna and Doug are fabulous.
hells_half_acre
Jan. 26th, 2018 11:45 pm (UTC)
Agreed! :)
borgmama1of5
Jan. 27th, 2018 12:35 am (UTC)
...she watches Supernatural in order to live in a happier fantasy world where monsters kill humans and humans are just stupid.

This is the only reason I can actually watch SPN because horror shows upset me too much...even regular crime shows upset me with the idea that people do this stuff to other people...

I am confused about whether 'Gary' was actually a rogue FBI agent or pretending the whole time. If he was pretending the whole time, why even bother showing up to 'investigate' the case? And why keep a binder of all the missing people and put them up on a board for Sam and Dean to see? Bragging? And as someone else pointed out to me, why would vampires be bidding on body parts when all they need is blood? This is the kind of episode that while you're watching it's got you sucked into it, but when you think about it afterward there are a lot of things that don't make sense...

I need to rewatch the episode, but when Dean shot the bad guy in the back shouldn't we have seen the bullet come out his front instead of just a blood spatter? Or were we looking at his white shirt from the back?

Re: Sam's comments in the car at the end--I wonder if Sam's pessimism is because he just experienced the fact that so many monsters hate him and Dean so much that they would pay $500,000 for his heart and that makes him realize how bad the odds are against them, and he's using Jack and Mary's situations to deflect that he feels scared for himself.

Your assessment that this felt like 'old-school' Supernatural was the same reaction I had, BTW. And Donna rocked!
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2018 01:16 am (UTC)
I am confused about whether 'Gary' was actually a rogue FBI agent or pretending the whole time. If he was pretending the whole time, why even bother showing up to 'investigate' the case? And why keep a binder of all the missing people and put them up on a board for Sam and Dean to see?

Good point. I guess he's actually a rogue FBI agent? Or maybe his strategy is to impersonate the FBI and take over all the cases so that they don't get investigated.

And as someone else pointed out to me, why would vampires be bidding on body parts when all they need is blood?

Were their vampires bidding? I thought there were just werewolves and other unnamed monsters. Vampires wouldn't get anything of use out of Sam, because "Gary" was going to kill him first - so his blood would have been dead-man's blood. If they WERE bidding, I could totally see it as just trophy bidding.

I need to rewatch the episode, but when Dean shot the bad guy in the back shouldn't we have seen the bullet come out his front instead of just a blood spatter? Or were we looking at his white shirt from the back?

I don't remember if it was his back or his front, but good point. Also, I think Dean may have been a bit too far away for it to be a through-and-through with a pistol... but I'm not a forensic expert.

I wonder if Sam's pessimism is because he just experienced the fact that so many monsters hate him and Dean so much that they would pay $500,000 for his heart and that makes him realize how bad the odds are against them, and he's using Jack and Mary's situations to deflect that he feels scared for himself.

I don't think Sam's at all surprised that monsters hate him and Dean so much that they'd pay $500,000 for his heart. I think he's probably surprised that it wasn't more.

I DO think that his pessimism was exacerbated by the fact that Gary told him that there were MILLIONS of monsters in the US and that a lot of them were flying under Sam and Dean's radar through darkweb actions and hidden murders. I think that really made Sam feel like his work wasn't even making a difference, because the scope of the problem is so much greater than he thought. If you imagine it a little like WWI, it totally makes sense why Sam would be super depressed - he gives up his whole life, he watches his friends die, and yet suddenly he's given a bird's eye view of the war - how the little ground he's gained is NOTHING compared to the scope of the frontline... how the enemies he's killed are NOTHING compared to the numbers waiting to take their place.

It's one of those "why am I even trying?" moments. And one answer, which Sam has settled on right now, is "why even try" and another answer, which is Dean's, is "well, might as well do what I can, regardless of whether it makes a difference or not."
supernutjapan
Jan. 28th, 2018 02:52 am (UTC)
Great ep! Enjoyed reading!
hells_half_acre
Jan. 28th, 2018 03:12 am (UTC)
Thanks!
madebyme_x
Jan. 29th, 2018 01:47 pm (UTC)
I LOVED the dark and gritty vibe, it gave me old school vibes and I would welcome more.

And we got actual Sam POV, which I'm overjoyed with!!! :)
hells_half_acre
Jan. 29th, 2018 07:24 pm (UTC)
Same! It was very much a throwback to the original horror aesthetic, rather than the more brightly lit personal drama that it's been in recent years.

And yes, rare Sam POV! Very welcome! :)
kailita
Jan. 31st, 2018 11:24 pm (UTC)
It's rare that I get to comment with just "I LIKED IT!" on later-seasons episodes, so I feel like I have to seize the opportunity when I get it! There were some things that could have been changed or improved, but overall - I LIKED IT! I love Donna. I love Dean going old-school on the trucker radio. I love seeing past the door of Sam's room into his inner sanctum, which we're hardly ever invited into. I LOVE DEAN COOKING SAM PANCAKES, I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THAT. I like Sam being allowed to feel his feelings and not just be the emotionally-stable built-in-therapist for everyone else. I like that Doug didn't choose the hunting life (and don't blame him for it at all); it's CRAZY to me how many random people are jumping into hunting as if there are no consequences attached to it, so I really like that a normal downhome guy like Doug would be like, "Uh, no thank you." I liked it! And I liked your recap. :)
hells_half_acre
Feb. 1st, 2018 12:06 am (UTC)
I AGREEE!!!! ;)

Seriously though, I loved it for all those reasons as well. I LIKE Doug, I like that he has limits and KNOWS them. I like that love doesn't solve everything and that sometimes, even though there's love there and both parties are really great people, relationships just don't work out.

Really, this episode had a little bit of everything that I like about Supernatural. And I do like the fact that Sam (at least in this episode) is allowed and allows himself to experience emotions. And that Dean doesn't denigrate him for it, but rather recognizes that SAM needs someone to be the emotionally-stable one for a change and so he steps up into that role without hesitation.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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