This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural Season 13 Episode 10
Girl power is the theme in Supernatural‘s return after the mid-season break. Combining some of the greatest recurring guest stars was a great way to show off that power.
As you probably already know, “Wayward Sisters” was the backdoor pilot into the spinoff show of the same name. Thank God it wasn’t another “Bloodlines.”
The episode connected the Jody Mills foster family with the likes of Sheriff Donna Hanscum and Patience Turner. Dreamwalker Kaia Nieves also played an integral part, as she should since she’s the one who sent the boys into their alternate world journey.
So what made “Wayward Sisters” better than “Bloodlines,” the other attempt at a backdoor pilot that failed miserably? For one, the episode utilized characters that had already been established. Even newcomer Kaia had been introducted the episode before, so no backstory was needed to explain her presence. These characters, especially my fave Jody, are strong, interesting women with their own stories.
Also, the episode was just plain better written than “Bloodlines.” The story set in Chicago had felt forced and tired, relying on the popularity of the vampire trope to try to gain an audience. Wayward Sisters did something more extreme: it relied on people wanting to see a story about women working together. And it worked.
Supernatural is known for creating really great female characters. Ellen and Jo Harvelle, Charlie the hacker, Sheriff Jody and Donna… Heck, most of the Sheriffs have been female, which is awesome in itself. Supernatural is also known for not treating them very well, a la the “women in refrigerators” trope. For too long, excellent female characters like the Harvelles and Charlie (and numerous others who didn’t merit as many episodes) were killed off as convenient plot devices, so Supernatural had been getting some flak in a few comments sections. With “Wayward Sisters” you’ve got a resurgence in female empowerment.
The humor and one-liners of the episode really helped sell the energy of the whole package. It began with Claire greeting “Mr. Werewolf” and continued through much of the episode. “Why do you have this?” Patience asked Donna, seeing her cache of weapons. Donna just smiles demurely and says, “I’m from Minnesota.” Sam and Dean, although just B players in their own show for the episode, had some fun too with the lizard roasting scene. Sam, disgusted, watches Dean eat a lizard and says, “Don’t tell me it tastes like chicken.” Dean, annoyed, “No Sam, it’s a lizard. It tastes like a lizard.”
The bonding of the women was, of course, important to cement this group together. Hunters generally seem to be loner types, with the exception of outliers like the Winchesters or back in the good ol’ days with Rufus and Bobby. With this group, however, we see teamwork and encouragement. Kaia only really opens up when Claire and she bond over monster-related scars. It was a “Me Too” moment that definitely fit in the Supernatural-verse.
Claire has really grown as a character. She was stubborn and petulent when she resurfaced in the Supernatural-verse, but she’s getting better. Learning, not being as cocky. Okay, she’s cocky still but at least now she’s got some skills. Maybe she trained in the mountains with Batman. Not everything is explained as well as it could be.
I know I mentioned it last time, but I loved the shipyard location. When Jody and Donna go there, it’s just as the Winchesters had last left it. Details like the angel wing imprints on the walls and melted angel blade on the floor really tied it to that fight.
I did have an issue with logic when Sam and Dean were being rescued. The boys just kind of pause before the doorway back to home, so they (and the audience) can finally get a clear look at the King Kong sized monster that intended to eat them for dinner. If they hadn’t paused so painfully long, Kaia wouldn’t have been speared by the all black-clad spear-woman.
At the end, Claire vows to kill the thing that killed Kaia. Then we’re treated to a scene where another portal has opened, and the spear wielding assassin jumps through. The “thing” that killed Kaia? It’s alternate world Kaia. That’s going to complicate things a bit.
Although Sam and Dean naturally took a backseat in this episode, I think it’s a great lead-in to a spin-off and an enjoyable episode. I look forward to more developments on the new series, as its predecessor has maintained so strong for thirteen years.