Sheriff Jody, Alex, and Claire return in this standalone episode where the Winchesters help Jody deal with the struggles of raising two late-teens and Claire’s obsession with hunting the local supernatural. When a body turns up dead at their local high school, Claire’s suspicions are proved real as the brothers deal with a new vampire threat in North Dakota.
If this storyline were a trilogy, this would be the bookend of that plot in both Claire and Alex’s development. This is one of the few natural progressions on this show that could be made into its own spin-off if ever a thing was conceived. Not to say Claire, Alex, and Jody should team up and face off against creatures on a weekly basis, that’s what the Winchesters are for, but the pursuit of the normal life in the rampant conditions of an unnatural world wouldn’t be boring to watch with the right characters. There’s a good dynamic here and I applaud their use in this break between the Darkness and Lucifer’s return. The villains were the only weak link, but it didn’t drag down the episode’s overall story about teen drama and the awkward sex talk at the dinner table.
Claire has been investigating on her own the disappearance of multiple people in her town and hasn’t found any real evidence supporting her claim that a creature of some sort is involved. After she calls Sam and Dean for help, they arrive and find Jody having to deal with Claire’s rebellious nature and Alex’s positive adjustment combined with undertones of a developing sexual relationship with the popular kid in school. When Alex’s favorite teacher is found dead at school, Claire pushes to be involved in the investigation as Sam and Dean attempt to sway her from living a life exclusively bent on hunting. That night, Jody, Sam and Dean interrogate and suspect the school’s janitor is involved with the death. The janitor later confronts and kidnaps both Claire and Jody while Alex is taken by her boyfriend, Henry who is revealed to be a vampire, the same as the janitor. At an closed down pool by the school, the janitor reveals that years back he was lured to the vampire next Alex was living with and was turned. He killed his family and sought revenge against Alex. He turned Alex’s boyfriend and killed the missing people Claire had been investigating. Sam and Dean find the pool as Alex attempts to convince the janitor to use her like the old nest to save Jody and Claire. Claire is bitten but Sam and Dean intervene and kill the Janitor as Claire kills Alex’s boyfriend. The next day, Jody, Alex, and Claire reconcile their differences as Sam and Dean head back home, convinced everything will be okay for the family.
Claire and Alex dealt with opposite problems, but they both centered around Jody’s confidence in raising both women even though no one’s related. The dinner table scene was one of the episode’s highlights in acting and reacting to both of their plights. Alex is painted as the reformed student but with motives to begin a sexual relationship with her boyfriend, something Jody is quick to highlight the issues that come with it. I found it interesting that Alex and Claire didn’t yell at eachother or that candid moment when one storms off in a frustrated mood, something that would have been more geared toward Claire and being shut down with her activities toward hunting. Some of the dialogue was a bit textbook as were the reactions of Sam and Dean, but it also made sense that they wouldn’t know what to say let alone take part in the conversation except to awkwardly stare and eat. The drama was a part of showcasing how they’ve adapted in this family lifestyle and it was done enough maturity that didn’t involve shouting matches.
It was also important in showing that Claire was right about supernatural forces being in town. Had she been wrong, this entire episode would have been a bad attempt at getting her to stay away from hunting, but in so many cases, that lifestyle is unavoidable. Sam tried to encourage her to not take such a drastic step, but even Dean understands how impossible that can be. All Dean wanted was for her to respect what Jody had given her and at least try to engage that normal life. Now that Claire was accurate in her suspicions it only compels her further to be a part of that lifestyle, one which Jody is now facilitating but at a pace she chooses.
As I stated, the villains this time was a very cheap revenge plot that didn’t sell well this week. The evil boyfriend was easy to spot and the janitor whining about how he was turned didn’t paint the kind of picture vampires have when they become vampires. He killed his own family which sent him on this revenge but as a vampire why did that end up bothering him so much? If he hated what he became that’s one thing, but it just felt like a loose attempt to create a suitable villain to include Alex in on this plot. At least the boyfriend had the one-track mind to be the run-of-the-mill-evil-boyfriend-vampire-type. Even Dawn Summers had to deal with that trope.
As much as I thought the dinner scene went, I liked how the family came together at the end both in the finale and in the last scene. No one died and both Alex and Claire are stalwart in their decisions to continue in the direction they’re going. Claire wants to embrace hunting and Alex wants to be free of it. But they’re doing so under Jody’s guidance and in that there’s hope for the two of them. I’m confident nothing bad will happen unless the show decides to kill off Jody, which you never know, but hopefully they won’t.
I liked Jody a lot. She’s always level-headed and is quick to take responsibility including raising two “daughters”, which as a Sheriff can’t be an easy task. She continues to be an endearing character on the show and one of the few Sam and Dean implicitly trust. I’d like her to have a few more appearances this season, at least one to keep us in the loop on how her family is doing.
Okay, so there’s this doughnut burger that’s introduced as “The Elvis” and though there are many interpretations on the meal, the doughnut burger is essentially known as the “Luthor” burger, though I’m sure its called all sorts of things around the states. The actual Elvis burger involves a peanut butter topping, not to be confused with the Elvis sandwich which also involves toast, peanut butter, bananas, and bacon. Now I’m hungry.
Why is it when a big bad villain doesn’t appear for a while, it’s assumed they’ve “gone underground” or is hiding? The states are quite large and not everything makes it on the “news” internet. Amara is probably stalking more angels as we speak.
Two episodes without Crowley which could still be nothing, but it’d be nice to know very soon the result of our ruler of Hell and Lucifer’s little meeting from two weeks prior. At this point, if nothing’s happened, is he batting for Lucifer or will he be attempting to recapture the first angel?
7 out of 10. The brothers checked in on a the few remaining minor characters who have survived their last few encounters together. Though the weather in North Dakota was crummy and windy, the episode detailed some fine moments with how the everyday life is going when the world isn’t in definite peril. Claire and Alex have settled into their lives with Jody who remains a positive influence on both the young women and on the brothers as well. A very simple episode with a few bland villains that didn’t take any focus on the drama both Claire and Alex brought to the dinner table. When supporting characters are given the reigns its important the brothers don’t overshadow their development by dealing with their own problems which thankfully wasn’t the case tonight. With any luck, we’ll get to see Jody and company one more time before the Darkness becomes completely unstoppable. Thanks for reading.
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