This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural Season 11 Episode 12
It was so fulfilling seeing a family-centric episode with Jody Mills as adoptive mother to Alex and Claire. The Winchesters got to see how the girls have progressed since being sent to live with Sheriff Mills, while on a hunt that doesn’t at first look like a hunt.
For those who don’t remember, Alex was a slave to a nest of vampires in a town called O’Neil in the episode “Alex Annie Alexis Ann” in Season 9, Episode 13. Claire, however, is Castiel/Jimmy’s daughter, a devout religious child turned wayward teen. After the Winchester’s last encounter with the girl, she’d been given a second chance at a normal life by going to live with Jody.
Will there ever be a Sheriff Jody Mills episode I don’t love? I’m starting to think that answer is no. As usual, Jody shines, possessing the majority of the quippy one-liners and making me wish she’d just adopt me too. When Dean and Sam enter the scene, a surprised Jody says that she “didn’t put up the bat signal” and asks the boys “I didn’t accidentally butt-dial you, did I?”
The theme of family ties was reinforced heavily during the dinner scene. Sam and Dean don’t often get a home cooked meal, and so they turn heads at the dinner table expressing how wonderful the chicken is. These guys, having been on the road and on the hunt for most of their lives, really miss out on the normal day-to-day things like eating dinner with a family. It’s sweet and sad at the same time. This is one of many moments in which they realize what they can’t permanently have
It’s even played into at the awkward sex talk portion in which Jody is sure Alex is being extra friendly with her perfect boy-toy, and she instructs her to make sure the guy is “suited up” and “No pulling up the drawbridge early.” It’s hilariously awkward, but it incites the boys to talk to the girls about their separate issues. The Winchesters take on a familial role in trying to help and guide the girls.
Claire still rebels against having a normal home life. She calls it the “Jody and Alex show” because she came later and didn’t grow the same bond the other two have. Claire spends all her time hunting monsters that turn out to be regular people. She has become the Girl Who Cried Monster, and she’s picked on. Of course, she was eventually right about the case of the missing people in town. Typical Boy Who Cried Wolf story formula. She just went about it in an ass-backwards way.
There’s another prominent theme present in the revelation that the monster is a vampire, connected to the events in O’Neil and Alex: their past catching up with them. It’s something I expect to play out in the rest of the season for Sam and Dean. Their mistakes often seem to lead to world-ending cataclysms, so this dilemma for Alex could be clever foreshadowing.
Claire’s turnaround in attitude by the ending scene is evident in her demeanor towards her adopted sister as well as by her appearance. She’s no longer dressed in heavily Emo clothing, and her hair has gone from aggressive loose waves to retrained pigtail braids that invoke a feeling of renewed innocence. Her character was annoyingly in the way for much of the episode, but by this moment the viewer can feel that she’s going to be okay.
It was not a story arc episode, but it was a way to bring Jody, Alex, and Claire’s stories to their next chapter, and it was well executed.