My first thought when I saw the trailer for the episode: “Oh great, another filler werewolf episode.” I’m happy to say I reacted too cynically. The episode was still good.
Now don’t jump the gun—this was still technically a filler episode. It didn’t advance the overall plot of the season, it glazed over it a bit. This episode was about getting Dean back in the game, and Sam’s reluctance to let that happen. When they come upon reports of an “animal attack,” Dean says they could get the job done fast, in and out. “It’s a milk run,” he comments. Sam reasonably responds that that’s never how it works for them. Their milk runs usually end up with Sam getting choked and a body hitting the floor.
This particular milk run ran the boys into Kate—whom you may or may not remember from that forgettable season eight found-footage episode “Bitten.” From that very sentence, you’ll probably get that I didn’t care for the episode. I kind of thought it would never be mentioned again.
The boys naturally assume Kate is the culprit, but we rarely see the real killer identified before the first commercial break. When Kate’s sister is revealed as the killer, there is a real crisis of the heart (pun intended). Sam and Dean have one way of dealing with a murdering monster, but Kate wants to rehabilitate her sister. Dean lies about a cure to get her to go with them. In this universe, however, it’s possible there IS a werewolf cure. Dean’s already been cured of being a vampire and a demon. Stranger things have happened.
Kate was easy to sympathize with from the start. Wide-eyed, hopeful, soft-spoken…At no point do we ever feel she’s a villain. Her sister was another story. We knew where this had to end. However, we connected with Kate and understood her conflicted feelings, even though her sister didn’t share her morals.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen sibling vs sibling. I always feel these instances are meant to directly correlate with whatever going on with Sam and Dean. The Winchesters have always been together, fighting the good fight, but they’ve also ended up at each other’s throats in pivotal moments: The Lucifer vs Michael prophecy, Sam coming back soulless, Demon Dean vs. I’ll-Do-Whatever-It-Takes Sam. If my predictions are right, this is the kind of theme we’ll see for a series finale.
“Paper Moon” was a good episode but not amazing. Let’s see what the next one brings.
Can we also geek out that the 200th episode will air on November 11th, is called “Fan Fiction,” and features singing? I’ve been dying for a good funny Supernatural lately.