A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×16 (The non-obvious obvious bartender)

SN 12x16

 

SUMMARY

Mick travels with Sam and Dean to Wisconsin where a pair of siblings were attacked by a pureblood werewolf. The surviving sister, having been bit begins to turn during the same night that Claire rolls into town working on the same case. Mick returns to the sister and kills her feeling it’s his duty but is injured. After helping Sam and Dean work the case unbeknownst to Jodi, Claire is attacked and bitten by the werewolf as Dean discovers Mick’s secret. Unwilling to allow herself to be turned, Claire agrees to undergo a dangerous blood therapy session that Mick advises has a low chance of success in curing her. The werewolf however finds and kidnaps Claire wanting to rebuild a new pack after losing his old one, presumably to the men of letters. Sam, Dean, and Mick find him and rescue Claire and attempt the blood therapy which succeeds and returns Claire to normal. Claire leaves town having decided to inform Jodi of her hunting activities while Sam and Dean give Mick a second chance at teaming with them.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Great character development for the newbie, Mick, who, up until now had served a rather shallow purpose as the figurehead of the London chapter. Claire’s return added some extra depth to an already dense plot mainly dealing with monsters and how grey the world is with them. Sam and Dean continue their surrogate brotherhood toward the young hunter who wants more than just to be treated like a child. Together they interwove some great familial elements amidst an old trope of werewolf-ism and the hunger within. Very solid turn out all around.

 

THE GOOD

Claire is making a strong case to be added as a future hunter who can one day perhaps take the mantle from the Winchesters or at the very least, hunt along side them. It might take another few seasons to grow fully into that role, but as it stands, she’s learning at the speed and pace of Dean, which he can only recognize too well. Adding her into this mix was a good balance against Mick’s own personal battle with duty versus conscience and neither flooded the other’s screen time which I enjoyed.

 

THE BAD

Introducing a werewolf cure 12 years after the monsters have been introduced was in some ways convenient for Claire, but in others a rather rigid aspect of understanding what is and isn’t permanent in this universe. Death can be overturned, monsters can change, but instead of creating a new Garth, we’re given a write off for Claire who had all but given up on dealing with the pain and anguish already swelling inside now multiplied by the cursed bite. The show can do a little more with change and a hunter-turned monster dealing isn’t the greatest new thing on this show, but there is consequences to hunting and tonight, those consequences didn’t stick. I think Claire could have learned to handle the curse, but for now she doesn’t have to.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

It’s a bit of the little things, but when Dean when hyper giddy over staying at a 3-star hotel. It was funnier than it should have been and that kind of levity was good for this kind of episode. There will always be moments that bring the inner kid of Dean out and every now and then it makes sense to let him dance and be merry.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Though Claire had more focus toward the end I think Mick did a superb job at wrestling with his role and seeing more how the Winchesters deal with monsters first hand. It fit the theme of the season on how each side deals with evil and makes it very personal. Mick realized the choice he made and offered to be more considerate and not jump to conclusions the next. He may do alright until the time comes when his country wants him to make a choice the Winchesters really don’t agree with. We’ll see then what happens.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Now that Claire has had a run in with werewolves and Alex has had her share of vampires, we have an interesting pairing that could be thematic for the two moving forward. I’d like to see them share another episode together complete with Jodi and reunite them with the same haunts and curses that has been making them into better characters. Maybe have them share a ghost story and get the trifecta of supernatural monsters going.

 

We were keenly reminded with what Ketch did earlier this season and it makes me wonder if moments like that will actually come back to light and give Dean more ammunition for not trusting the men of letters. Clearly things are going to continue happening behind their backs, its just a matter of time before everything explodes, and we’ll need the grenade launcher in that trunk when it does.

 

Will we get the quintessential “alpha” episode where we rid the world of the first werewolf, or did we already do that? So many episodes, but as it stands, many of Eve’s firsts are still wandering the world. With the colt back in play, how many more will be extinguished this season? How many can or have reformed?

 

The masked werewolf approach was probably the lowest element of the episode given the swerve with the goofy bartenders. I don’t think it was necessary to try and fool us for those fifteen seconds and moving forward it’s probably better if they just give us the story sans the “who is it” unless they really have a tricky way of tricking us.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Very upbeat with a pair of growth segments for some minor characters, both handling their situations very amicably. Dean recognized how judgmental he used to be and saw through Mick’s subterfuge which was probably one of the more passive highlights. Claire’s inclusion was a welcome one as she continues to build her character and be more independent on the way toward the hunter life. Everything looked and felt very solid given the nature of the werewolf looking for a new pack murder plot and an uncomfortable feeling that the men of letters are being too thorough in America. Things will heat up and maybe Mick and Ketch will see Sam and Dean’s side before the end. Or perhaps only one will and the other will be forced to become a momentary villain. We shall see. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

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