We start with not as much of a recap as I was hoping for, because IT'S BEEN A WHILE. Usually we would bet a five-minute recap after coming back to the show from a 2-4 month hiatus, coming back to the show after 6 months with a standard short recap of just the info needed to understand the episodic plot left me scrambling a little... luckily most of it came back to me as the episode progressed. It's the one time I'm kind of thankful of the writer's habit of putting in too much unnatural exposition. I will concede the need for it ONLY IN THIS INSTANCE.
Anyway, we start with Dean making burgers, but the pilot light keeps going out. Apparently the Bunker is in need of a little TLC.
Sam tells us that Jack is still in his room moping. He also reminds us that Jack has to kill Amara too, even though it's not important to the episode? But I guess it's something we just learnt recently.
Then the air circulation breaks, and that's pretty important when you're in a bunker with no windows... so it's time to head to the maintenance room and push some buttons. Dean tries the old "turn it off and on again" approach. It works!
But then there's suddenly a lady in the library, tsking over the state of things. Is she a ghost? Nope, her name is "Mrs. Butters" (who is she married to? The Patriarchy is weird), who is a wood nymph that the Men of Letters captured and turned into a house-keeper.... super progressive guys.
She has been basically asleep since 1958 and the Bunker has only been on Standby Mode this whole time. Sam and Dean have to break the news that everyone she's ever known is dead and it's 2020. She's a little distraught.
Now that the Bunker isn't on standby mode though, things work differnetly - like there's a monster radar that catches monster activity nearby. Sam is super skeptical about whether they can trust this wood nymph, but Dean is like - let's go kill some vampires and if the vampires are real, then we'll trust her. So they LEAVE HER ALONE WITH THEIR
Dean warns Jack before he leaves though that they have a 'guest' who might not be trust-worthy... and it's true that Jack is crazy powerful, so fine.. but I'll forgive a lot, because it's obviously meant to be a comedy episode.
On the way to the vampires, Sam and Dean have a car chat. Dean thinks Jack will be fine once he has some time. Sam thinks Jack might be hiding something.
When they get back after killing the vampires, who indeed were real, Mrs. Butters has decorated for an arbitrary Christmas, just for fun!
Jack comes out of his room eventually and Mrs. Butters knows that he's not human right away. It's not long before Dean and Sam are running off to another hunt, and Jack and Mrs. Butters actually talk - Jack, honest as ever, tells her that he's the son of Lucifer, and also that he accidentally killed Sam and Dean's mother. Butters gives him a line about everyone having second chances... but I am skeptical! And I should be.
A bunch of time passes, we see them celebrating other holidays off season, like Halloween and the 4th of July. We see Sam and Dean hunting - including a reappearance of Sam wielding Thor's Hammer! AWESOME!
Then they celebrate Sam's birthday, and I've decided for time-lining purposes that birthdays never get celebrated off season, unless you're a Christmas baby, which Sam is not. So therefore we're now in May (this is backed up later when they celebrate Jack's birthday after more time passes and Mrs. Butters isn't even there anymore.)
Jack then sees Butters reading files... turns out, it's her file, and there's an old film reel inside. So Jack watches it. It's about how Mr. Cuthbert captured her and trained her to protect the bunker, which she will do with extreme violence. For some reason, this makes Jack concerned - even though it sounds like exactly the type of creature you want protecting your house.
Before he can tell Sam about it though, he finds out that Sam is going out on a date with Eileen. Fun!
Also, Mrs. Butters fixed Dean's broken huge TV, so he's thrilled.
Jack follows Mrs. Butters into the dungeon to confront her about her use of violence... and discovers that this was all a carefully laid trap to corner JACK and confront JACK about HIS use of violence. Oh, how the turn tables. Mrs. Butters gives Jack a guilt trip, and I'm like "are you both projecting your insecurities on each other?" and I think I'm right... but before they can see a family therapist, we discover that Mrs. Butters has been feeding Jack smoothies over the weeks because it's a special recipe that slowly weakens him.
She puts him in cuffs and leaves him in the dungeon... then goes to get Dean to kill Jack. Dean is like "ah man, but I wanted to keep eating sandwiches... and now I have to try to get you to not kill my son." Mrs. Butters believes that Jack has poisoned Dean's mind and locks Dean in the dungeon with him.
Sam gets home and gets the same speech. He's at least smart enough to play along until he can get away to his room and he calls Dean. Turns out, Dean didn't call him right away because he didn't want to interrupt his date. Cute. Also, really tells us this a pretty low-stakes episode.
Jack is letting Mrs. Butter's get to him though, and asks Dean if Dean thinks he's a monster... Dean tells Jack that he's trying to forgive Jack for what happened, but he's still angry and it's not like he can just forget what Jack did. Dean is angry, but he's still going to protect Jack.
Sam's an idiot and instead of going with the plan to go down to the maintenance room and hit the standby button again, he grabs his gun and goes to find Mrs. Butters, even though FOR PLOT CONVENIENCE Sam and Dean didn't ever bother researching Wood Nymphs and have no idea how to kill them. Sure enough, Mrs. Butters quickly disarms him, force-ties him to a chair and starts ripping out his fingernails in order to teach him the same way Mr. Cuthbert taught her. (Otherwise known as the portion of the episode that I had to block the screen for until my friend told me I could look)
Dean tries to use the archangel blade to break Jack's cuffs, but instead it just blasts Jack back into a cabinet and breaks it. Dean then realizes that he can use Jack to break down the door in the same manner. Poor Jack.
Then Dean is an idiot, because instead of hitting standby, which was THE PLAN, Dean breaks the reset button?! WHERE IS THE THOUGHT THERE? COME ON SHOW. But whatever, I will forgive it for a low-stakes ridiculous episode that is mostly just amusing.
This allows Sam to escape for a time though, but it only makes Mrs. Butters angrier. Sam tries the tactic of trying to get Mrs. Butters to recognize that Mr. Cuthbert tortured her and she shouldn't pledge herself to the Men of Letters, I guess. But Dean's tactic of quickly explaining Jack's utility works better. In the end, Mrs. Butters doesn't kill Jack, and instead acknowledges that she's just in deep grief about all her 'friends' being dead and her not having protected them back in 1958.
They decide that Mrs. Butters should go back to the woods, rather than living in a bunker as a housekeeper. Without her around, the Bunker will go back into standby mode, and they won't have monster radar anymore...nor will the telescope work. It's an inter-dimensional geo-scope. Dean says he couldn't see anything through it anyway, and Mrs. Butters says that that's not good.
After she leaves, Sam and Jack have a talk - Jack is feeling ill-equipped to take on God, now that he was duped by a wood nymph. Sam is more optimistic. Dean arrives with cake! YAY! It's Jack's birthday! He's 3, and I can finally put a date on my timeline.
And they all lived happily ever after....
...except that there's still 7 more episodes, so probably not.
All in all, the annoying bits were, as always, the parts where Sam and Dean aren't good hunters or do stupid things solely for plot purposes, even though it's totally out of character.... but it was a pretty light fluffy episode, and we probably won't get many, if any of those, coming up... so I can look past the OOC stuff (and the fingernails... I really can't stand fingernail stuff though, and will skip those scenes on rewatch.)
Let me know what you thought in comments! This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/590004.html.