Donna episode time! This was another set-up for Wayward Sisters that was about positioning the character for a major roll in the spin-off - and I think they did a good job.
I hate body-horror, btw.
This gas station/diner is the CREEPIEST and that gas-station attendant takes the cake on creepy. I like the butch black woman though - I forget how she factors into the plot, but she's got a great look.
Oh yeah, she's the truck driver that drives past! Oh man, way to not be a friend, woman that I liked - I don't like you any more.
Also, fingernails dragging across any rough surface is worse than body-horror.
Donna's voice when she asks for help BREAKS MY HEART. Just... the cadence of it.
Also, I feel like Donna is showing me up in the Aunt Game... I don't have strapping men to call if anything ever happened to one of my nieces. Damn. The only thing I've been able to do is be the NON-transphobic aunt for one of my nieces - which is not a very high bar. I'm only cool because her other aunt is shitty... but I'm not even LOCAL, so that sucks, because the local aunt is the shitty one. I AM SO DISTRACTED. I'm going to have to back-up and talk about Doug discovering that Dean is related to Donna.
Dean: "I think we got off on the wrong foot. I'm not here on official business. The victim - she's family. She's my cousin, so I'm just here to get some answers."
- The only part of that that's the lie is the cousin part. I think Dean full on meant it when he extended the umbrella of family to anyone related to Donna.
Doug: "Sorry, you and Donna are related?"
Doug: "So, you were in Sioux Falls a couple weeks ago for the family reunion..."
- I just love that excuse. Also, that Dean WAS there, so he knows exactly what Doug is referencing.
I wonder if they're going to be in suits this whole episode - that'd make my job really easy.
The FBI is also fake right, and also the killer? It's a smart plan, because he gets to keep everyone where he knows where they are... and also snags the Winchesters.
I LOVE Dean using the CB radio like John used to do... it's SMART because it works. It also reminds me of S5, when Dean uses the radio to talk to Bobby in Abandon All Hope... I love the more... mechanical/old-fashioned parts of the Winchester's lives. I think it's because it keeps them just a little bit separate from mainstream society. But even when they're tapping into other communities - such as truckers - it speaks to the whole, people in niche-cultures recognize other people in niche-cultures... or know they exist. Like... I went to a public high school after having been in private school until then, I knew NO ONE... you know who became my friends? All the recent immigrants who were also coming to high school knowing no one - we had nothing in common besides the fact that we were all outside of main community of neighbourhood kids. ("But, didn't you socialize with people in your neighbourhood after school? Shouldn't you have had at least a passing knowledge of who lived near you?" - and the answer is - no I didn't, to both questions. I grew up with a strong relationship to my siblings - I didn't need to leave the house to socialize with friends, because my friends lived with me, so I didn't. There's a reason I totally get the sometimes really insular world of the Winchesters.)
Dean: "Look I know you're in a dark place right now, okay? I mean, we lost Jack - Mom is... I think about them too, all the time. But you can't let it eat you up - look, when I was broken up, you were there for me - while I'm hear for you now. And I'm telling you, the only way out of this is through. Now, when everything goes to hell - what do we do? We put in the work - we'll find Jack, we'll save Mom, we will - but right now, Donna needs our help - okay?"
- I'm impressed that Jensen was able to deliver this whole speech without making it too speechy - because it REALLY comes across as more speechy when I write it out like that.
- Anyway, what I really wanted to comment on was the sort of...turn Dean has done here. He had no hope and was super depressed about it - then he discovered he had been wrong to be so pessimistic and OVERCOMPENSATED LIKE WHOA by pulling a gun on an innocent scared teenager... and now he's just like "okay, we can do this! Everything is going to be fine!" Whereas Sam, who had hope and nothing else, was fine up he was proven right and then FAILED to remedy the situation.
- I don't think they're reactions are necessarily inconsistent though - for Sam, he's in a WORSE situation than he was before, because before he needed to save Mom, but he had Jack... and now he still has to save Mom AND Jack is missing. Things have only gotten worse, and he's upset about it. For Dean, things have gotten better - he thought there was no hope, now there is. He felt bad for abandoning his mother, but after forcing Kaia to help them, even if they failed - he's proven to himself that he's done everything he can so far to rescue Mary... so things have gotten better - he knows Mary is alive, he knows that it's possible to open rifts, they just have to figure out how to do it without Jack unless Jack finds his way back to them, etc. Dean isn't as attached to Jack yet that he's super broken up about him dying either - I mean, I think he'd be sad, but I don't think he'd be desolated.
The vest Dean is wearing in the cafe when he meets the trucker is definitely a costume-piece that he put on for the occassion, but I think that plaid shirt is his.
Weird religious dude: "The girl looks vaguely familiar - but I never laid eyes on the immigrant."
Sam: "Wow, nice."
- I love Sam's reaction there - like, Jared does the 'did I actually just hear that' reaction so well, that we've all had in our lives, sadly.
Doug: Can I ask you a question about Donna?
Doug: Is she going to be okay? I mean, I love Donna, but I've only known her for a couple years - but this, I've never seen her like this.
Dean: I'm not sure what you mean.
Doug: I mean she's barely talking to me - and we always talk - about the Vike's about Real Housewives, about everything. It's a tough time, I know - but I think she's hiding something from me. Anywho, forget it...
Dean: Doug, you're a good guy - and you're going to be there for Donna... so just, you know, trust her, okay.
- Dean has good advice.
- But I love that Doug isn't an idiot - that he knows there's SOMETHING that Donna isn't telling him. It's not his fault he can't make the leap to "monsters exist."
I also love that Donna is good at her job... and Sam is also just standing there like "Man, Donna's the best."
This religious guy is the worst. But, it seems the worst he's done is unwanted sexual advances.
Also, I love Sam and Donna working through the logic of the case and realizing everything doesn't add up.
Oh yeah, creeper gas station attendant knows about the monster auctions.
I love when Doug smacks the guy and justifies it with the repeat of Dean's line "that's how they do it in the FBI" and Donna gives Dean an eye-roll, like "I know exactly where he got that."
Dean: It's take-out, for-
Donna: We'll talk about it later.
Doug: What's there to talk about.
- Dean's face there is excellent.
- Also, what a way for Doug to find out.
- Also, what an episode to have Dean, Donna, and Doug in it. It's definitely time to break out the highlighter when you're going through that script to memorize your lines.
Doug: Those guys, they're not related to you are they?
Donna: They're hunters, they kill monsters - and so do I, sometimes.
- Ouch, it hurts to be lied to - but I also like that Doug immediately sees where the lies were.
Ah, poor Doug.
Donna: Oh, I'm killing you anyway, you just gotta decide if you want it fast or slow.
- I love badass Donna. Though, I do think this is mostly bluff, and she probably couldn't torture that guy too much.
Clive (this is what I'm calling the FBI guy. I'm pretty sure they're actually calling him Clegg or something else, but whatever): How many monsters do you think are out there, Sam? You know, if you had to guess.
Sam: Hundreds, thousands.
Clive: Add a zero, actually add two - See, those freaks that you and your brother chase, those are just the ones that can't pass, either because they're too mean or their too stupid, or both. But most monsters, hell, they could be your next door neighbour - they work regular jobs, mow their lawns on Saturday - and they need to eat...
- This is actually a great speech, because it both makes Sam's depression worse "your entire vocation is an exercise in futility" and it's a reflection of our real world problems with the 'monsters' in our society not actually being recognizable as monsters. It's the whole...banality of evil thing, though I think that's overused and misunderstood. It's the pictures of the guards from Auschwitz having a good time on the weekend and then going back to killing folks from 9-5...etc.
Sam's got the back of his shirt all bloody. Such a nice shirt.
Clive: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, let's begin the auction for Sam Winchester's heart!"
- I bid one romantic dinner followed by a lecture at the local library! No, actually, let's do the lecture first so that we can discuss it over dinner! *submits bid* I like my chances!
I do love the idea that the Winchesters are monster famous.
Donna: She's going to be fine - just like you.
Doug: Fine. I was a vampire.
Donna: For a couple hours.
Dean: Doug, I know it's been a day, but now that you know what's out there - it'd be nice to have another good guy on our side.
Doug: I- No. Maybe you all can live this life, but I can't - I just want to go home.
Donna: So, we'll go home.
Doug: Then what? I'm a cop because I like helping folks - but vampires? That's- I'm not-
Donna: Doug! I'm sorry I lied to you. But I can't give this up.
Doug: I know. Donna, you kill monsters - you're a damn hero - but that's not me. I'm sorry. I love you. I'm sorry.
- I mean, he's not wrong. Think about Doug's life. He's a deputy in a small town. He probably gets mostly traffic stuff, some domestic disputes, petty theft... maybe accidental shootings? But probably not a lot of hardcore murder, not a lot of adrenaline-filled personally-dangerous situations. Also, Doug is a SOCIAL talkative guy - he probably likes police work for the COMMUNITY aspect, and hunting, fundamentally, estranges you from your surrounding community, it's isolating, which is why we get Sam and Dean's codependent relationship to begin with (I mean, they're doubly-isolated because of the way they were raised) but even so, hunting is a small niche-culture that is outside of mainstream. Doug is very much a mainstream guy.
Sam: Donna, when you chose this life - anyone who gets too close, eventually they get hurt, or worse - so let him go. He'll be safer that way.
Dean: You were tough on Donna back there.
Sam: We also get people killed, Dean. Kaia for instance - she helped us, and she died for it. [...] You keep saying I'm in a dark place, but I'm not, Dean - everything I'm saying is the truth. It's our lives. And I tried to pretend it didn't have to be. I tried to pretend that we could get mom back, and Cas, and help Jack, but we can't - this ends one way for us, Dean. It ends bloody. It ends bad.
- I mean, fair enough. Sam also just had Eileen killed last season, and he really liked her. I can TOTALLY understand him warning Donna off romantic relationships given his history.
- Also, he's not wrong? Like, I know he's focusing on the bad bits, but they do have BAD BITS. That, I think, is really the difference between depression and...not-depression? When you're depressed, you can only see the bad bits. It's not that being not-depressed means there's no bad bits, it's that you can see the good bits too and they (hopefully) balance the scales, or they at least give you enough hope to say "hey, maybe I can get a few more of those good bits, if I do more of the things that led to the good bits..." whereas when you're depressed, you don't have that hope, because you can't see the good bits, so you can't see what actions lead to the good bits, you only see yourself as stuck in a swamp of sadness that just killed your horse.
Donna and Doug talking after Doug discovers that Dean and Donna are related.
Doug: ...but when someone's family, it's the sort of thing you tend to say...
Donna: Yeah, I know. They're family, Doug. There, I said it.
- Dean walked her into that lie... but I do think Donna meant it.
This is a really solid episode and I liked it. Again, it's mostly about maneuvering Donna into a position where she's single and ready to spend more time in Sioux Falls... but it also finds the time to explore Dean and Sam's emotional state too, and that's really what a great MOTW does. It gives us an independent story, but situates us emotionally in the myth-arc. No rewrites on this one.
Anyway, let me know what you think in comments!
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