This is why it is important to have rich secondary or even tertiary characters on Supernatural:  because sometimes you can do an episode that showcases them, putting Sam and Dean in supporting roles, and the episode still flows, and frankly flourishes.

Enter Jody Mills, a delightful addition in Season 5’s Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid.  She knows enough of Sam and Dean’s history to give depth to the relationship.  She may not know all about John and Mary and Sam’s psychic powers, or even Dean going to hell, but she knows about death and sorrow because it touched her firsthand, both the natural and the supernatural. 

Jody, like the amazing Ellen Harvelle before her, is a strong female character.  Thank you, Jenny Klein for writing not only Jody, but Donna, as strong, intelligent women who, when faced with things that terrify, are believable, and yet courageous. 

Having been to a retreat/convention thingy a time or two in my days in corporate management, I enjoyed those scenes.  They’re awkward, boring, fun and I usually feel out of place as well as wishing I could use the time to get other things done that have piled up.  I appreciated all the little things such as Donna’s perkiness at the sign in table and the awkward speaker who I wish had a clue of what he was going to say and simply wrote it down and then read it, rather than stumble around – yeah, been there, suffered through it.  I laughed and groaned at the same time.  There are always people showing off their latest accomplishments and others being looked down upon.  It’s like high school all over again, only this time supposed adults are in attendance.

Donna’s reactions to seeing Sheriff ‘Vampire’ checking over the fresh kill was fabulous.  This is a woman who is in law enforcement, and we already know she’s not squeamish, but she was believably terrified at what she encountered.  And well she should be.  But, true to her tough constitution, when it came time to go into battle, she was not backing down, and no one tried to make her.  I like that it was Dean who gave her the blade and the quick pep talk:  Swing hard, heads roll.  He treated her with respect and as an equal.  Well, Jody said she was okay, so Dean paid attention.

On the surface Hibbing 911 was a MOTW allowing for the secondary and tertiary characters to take center stage, but bubbling just beneath the surface is what we’ve seen episode after episode, as well as character after character this season:  Facing who and/or what you are, and deciding what you’re going to do with that.  Last week Cole gave up his obsession with killing Dean and returned home to be a husband and father; Hannah also decided that she was an angel and her role was in heaven, and it was time to give her host back her life.  We saw Kate in Paper Moon go into hiding alone realizing that she wants to live, but she also wants to keep the monster within her locked away.  Crowley, Cas, Dean, and Sam are all on similar journeys as they are in the process of reconciling themselves to who they are, what they’ve done, and what it means going forward.  That journey will take the rest of the season, but each has taken steps along that path, some more than others.  Hibbing 911 added another character/monster that faced the same decision and decided to not allow the monster to overtake him.  Too bad the other monsters wouldn’t let his decision stand.  (Is that a comment that the Mark, or Cain, won’t let Dean alone?)

At the end of the episode, the twin conversations between Jody and Donna and Sam and Dean were small steps for each character and each partnership.  Both started almost identically:  Are you okay?  Donna, unsurprisingly, was open and honest, she was both sickened and exhilarated, but all that was tempered by the realization that the world just got bigger, and darker.  Jody’s expressions were beautiful (Thank you, Kim Rhodes for infusing that moment with so much weight) as she showed just how dark and heavy that burden is, but she remained unbowed, willing to take Donna on as an apprentice of sorts, as well as a new friend.

The ladies’ conversation was intercut with the brothers – a choice at first I found off-putting, but then realized, as the show’s iconic “family” theme played over both conversations, that it was purposeful.  We were meant to see a parallel journey among all four characters.  Jody is now a mentor to Donna, who will never see the world the same way as before.  It’s a loss of innocence, yes, even for a sheriff.  Sam has taken on the mantle of support for Dean who is treading an unknown path as well.  Dean uncharacteristically tells Sam a whole lot more than Sam asked.  It’s a tentative path of openness between the two that at times is two steps backwards after half a step forward.  Sam, clearly concerned that Dean has hidden issues with the Mark from him, doesn’t call him out, but accepts it and tells Dean:  Let’s go with that.

Clearly things are not going to be good, (you saw the previews, right?) but both brothers are working at mending their relationship, in their own way and their own time, but it is forward progress.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode.  I’m enjoying Season 10 as well.  While at first and second blush last week’s episode didn’t work, I managed to watch the entire season through to Hibbing 911 and in the context of the eight episodes together, they all work very well.

Last notes: 

I love that Dean gave Sam the puppy dog eyes!  I’m not sure we’ve ever gotten that!  And Sam learned just how powerful those are, when you’re on the receiving side.

Last, enjoy this video below of Jensen Ackles singing “The Weight” at Jus In Bello in 2010.  I enjoy this video, which has a lengthy set up to it, because it shows Jensen being so vulnerable with the crowd, and it’s clear that his friend, who I think is Jason Manns, has a little fun at Jensen’s discomfort.  I started singing along in Hibbing 911 when they played this song.

As always, thanks for reading, Elle2

Similar Posts