OK, I’ll admit it: When Dean showed up at the end of last week’s episode, all Michael-less and reeling, I figured THAT would be the plot thread we’d be following this week. Instead, the writers threw us a curve ball… and picked up a thread they’d left dangling since the middle of last season. But before we get to any of that, let’s talk about the only topic that really matters: Sam’s beard. Dean’s a hard “nay” on it:
Damn, Dean — you come home all freshly unpossessed and jump straight to the sick Duck Dynasty burns? Actually, that’s fair. Dean looks so sharp in that Michael vest, he’s got every right to look down on Sammy’s scruff.
But about that un-possession: Dean doesn’t know how or why Michael mysteriously vacated his body. He just… did. And though Dean claims he doesn’t remember anything about his Michael time, we find out towards the end of the episode that’s not quite true. While Dean may not recall specifically what Michael was getting up to while wearing his Dean-skin, he does remember the feeling of “drowning” — of struggling to surface and failing (meaning he definitely didn’t beat Michael into submission on his own). And that’s a pretty traumatic thing to go through for like 3 weeks or so, which means naturally Dean handles it healthily by talking about his feelings. Oh no wait, scratch that — he rushes headlong into danger and distraction.
That “distraction” ties to a scar he discovers on his upper arm — which hints that somewhere out there, there’s a weapon strong enough it can damage even an archangel. And guess who has some vital information regarding some bodies bearing similar wounds? Yup, you guessed it — our favorite Wayward Sister herself, Sheriff Jody Mills! HI JODY! She’s working a case involving three headless corpses up in Sioux Falls, which she’s been working solo since there was no indication the bodies were related to any monsters (and thus, she wasn’t going to get Claire or the other girls involved). But because the scars match up, Sam and Dean head there to see what the deal is — leading to a pleasant little woodsy hunt with Jody and the Winchesters. TOO CUTE! Until they find those three heads on spikes…
The first twist is that the heads clearly belong to vampires. But Jody had tested the bodies and found them immune to the usual monster weaknesses, which clues Sam in to the fact that these aren’t normal vamps — they’re Michael’s special Grace-juiced soldier vamps. So maybe they aren’t looking for some psycho killer in the woods, but someone defending themselves from Michael’s pursuit. Or maybe it’s both! Because when they do find the culprit, they realize it’s Kaia’s killer… that mysterious Kaia doppelgänger from “The Bad Place!”
Let’s rewind: Last season Supernatural tried to set up their second backdoor pilot for a spinoff series, which was titled “Wayward Sisters.” In it Jody ends up working with a group of powerful young women to locate Sam and Dean, who traveled through a rift to another reality (where there were giant monsters, hence: “Bad Place”). Kaia was the dreamwalker who was connected to that other realm, and led them there… and then she was stabbed by a robed woman holding a big spear during the rescue attempt. And the twist from THAT episode was that the robed woman ended up coming through a different rift into our main reality… and it turned out she was the alternate-reality’s Kaia. Clearly that was being set up as the plot the spinoff would have followed, had it been picked up as a series. But it wasn’t, and now Supernatural is dealing with it. Like a season late.
So: Alt-Kaia’s spear is a weapon that can hurt Michael, and he wants it. She’s been on the run from his minions for weeks. And she knows that Dean isn’t Michael because Dean is… well, weaker. It also turns out that she shared a mental connection with our-Kaia, whom she actually hadn’t meant to kill — she was aiming for Claire. All of which would be some fascinating stuff to unpack, but unfortunately Dean is so eager to tie Alt-Kaia down and extract information from her the hard way that he doesn’t realize until too late that THE MONSTERS ARE STILL COMING FOR HER. Like, right now.
Sam, Dean, and Jody all get their butts handed to them in the ensuing fight with the super-vamps (and Jody even gets her arm broken), but Dean finally does something right: he frees Alt-Kaia from the chair he’d tied her to, and lets her use her spear to save them. And then she leaves, because clearly she’s better off on her own. We still don’t know what her goals are in this reality, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her…
The plus side is this little escapade finally encourages Dean to open up to Sam about his emotional state — all the anger and fear and guilt that’s leading him to run toward anything that could kill Michael without slowing down to think about what he’s doing. And it leads to the most Supernatural-specific mea culpa ever:
“I put us all in danger today. Stupid danger.”
I feel like all 14 seasons of this show could be distilled into one of the Winchester boys saying this phrase to the other, but at least Dean has it nailed down so succinctly!
The b-plot involved Cas staying at the bunker with Jack, who is about to run away from home — until one of the newbie hunters brings in a girl who has gotten a nasty curse off of a dead witch. Cas tries to reverse the spell, which is causing the girl to age rapidly. But it isn’t until the girl seemingly dies that Jack figures out what’s really going on. See, the witch had given the girl a necklace, and THAT was the cursed item. In fact, it was cursed to suck out the girl’s life energy and feed it back to the witch, granting her youth. Unfortunately, since the witch had been hit with a witch-killer bullet, the spell was working overtime trying to revive her and failing. So Jack just shattered the necklace, which brought the girl back to life!
Mostly, this is set up as a chance for Jack to contribute to the team without relying on his Nephilim powers. He uses his brains, and solves a case even Castiel failed to crack. And along the way he got to talk to a young woman who had run away from home, and found herself in trouble with a witch, which was also a handy PSA on why you shouldn’t run away from home, JACK!
But if that all sounds like it wrapped up a little too neatly, fear not — there was another twist coming. Without his powers, Jack’s human now… and he’s sick. He’s been secretly coughing up blood like he’s starring as Satine in a Moulin Rouge! reboot, and since his last name isn’t “Winchester” there’s at least a 50% chance this is the show’s way of getting rid of him quietly. Probably by having him sacrifice himself nobly for some cause of other.
After all, we still don’t know where Michael took off to… or if he even left Dean at all. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!
Header Image Source: CW