The Girl Next Door, or, The One After The One That Made Me Go Eeeeep.
We start in the hospital. I admit, I had grandiose ideas of where they could go with that. For crying out loud, they had Dean with an open leg fracture and Sam seizing from a likely brain bleed…and they were out within five minutes of the episode. Points for scruff on Dean (Supernatural is notoriously bad at continuity regarding facial hair, I think), but I’m not going to lie – it was a bit of a let down. At the same time, it was kind of nice to see them make a quick hospital escape, as that something that has been metaed a bit in fandom.
Is it weird to say I miss Sam’s hallucinations? All we got was that one little blank out.
It was clear early on this was going to be an episode about trust. Dean not trusting Sam is a continual theme, and I do think Dean’s got good reasons to have trouble with that. Sam’s the kid who “left the family business” to go to college. Sam’s the one who has demon blood, turned to a demon for help instead of his brother, started the apocalypse and then got all soulless and stuff. I get it the mistrust, I do. But Sam’s also the one who has always, ultimately, had Dean’s back and Sam’s the one that saved the world from the apocalypse he started. So, while I don’t think it was terribly smart for Sam to just take off, knowing how fretful Dean is about his state of mind, some trust would be nice.
Especially if the lack of trust comes at the expense of a relative innocent. And a female one at that.
Let’s back up a bit. I enjoyed the flashbacking. That’s a technique that can be schlocky at times. Wee!Sam isn’t so wee anymore, and isn’t it so appropriate his first (presumably) kiss is with a supernatural creature? I really liked Amy (Pond, haha, Show, that’s cute!), in the flashbacks and in real time. She was smart, kind and clearly in control. She’s like the kitsune version of Lenore (RIP), so I figured early on Sam would embrace the gray and Dean would not. Sometimes, often, Supernatural is like deja vu all over again. Even though Dean and John were not physically present, you could sense Sam’s frustration with his role in the family. Turns out, it was for the best that he played research nerd, because I don’t think he would have made any kind of headway arguing Amy’s nature and she would have been killed then along with her genuinely evil supernatural mom.
*sigh* You all had to know where it was going to go by this point.
When Sam catches up with who he knows he will when he reads of the same type of murders being committed, Amy’s just as great as an adult. She’s still smart, kind and clearly in control, with a job that alleviates the need for killing to survive. It’s resourceful and a perfectly good solution, being a mortician. (Is that a commonly used word anymore?) The murders began for one reason only – her son became ill and the only thing that would fix him was fresh pituitary. I don’t like it. I don’t endorse it, but it makes absolute sense and I believed, like Sam did, that she would not kill again because her son was better. Fixed.
And now we’re back to trust. After Dean tracks Sam down and punches him (Jesus, btw, guy had a brain bleed and he got walloped twice tonight – that cannot be good, even a month after the fact. You don’t recover that fast from major head injuries. Stupid TV medicine.), Sam tells the story and Dean says he buys it. After they have the whole “she’s a freak but OMG I didn’t mean you/yes you did mean me” conversation. Sam, break my heart with the, “I might be a freak, but that’s not the same as dangerous.” This is a lesson I don’t believe Dean will ever actually get.
Then, after it’s all presumably good, Dean drives them to Spokane with no intention of doing anything but dumping Sam to backtrack and kill Amy because it’s not gray, it’s black and white and Amy does not fall on the right side of that. Except, she kind of does. There is no guarantee her son won’t get sick again. There’s also no way to know if he’ll be healthy as a horse living on corpse pituitary forever. What do you do in a situation like that? I … side more with Sam on this one, but I cannot determine if it’s because of the way Dean went about it. He’s all about trust, but he has to hide what he’s doing from Sam. This means he doesn’t trust Sam, and Sam shouldn’t trust Dean.
To make matters worse, Dean stabs the woman in the heart right in front of her son and then proceeds to not kill the son too, because the son’s never killed anyone. I suppose that’s valid, but Dean’s logic is flawed a bit. If the kid hasn’t killed, it might be in part due to his mother’s influence, which now he no longer will have due to her sudden, unnecessary refrigeration on Dean’s part. It’s altogether possible Dean killed a non-monster and created a monster, monster. Why does he think that the boy won’t do what is in his nature, as he’s just argued with Amy before killing her, but doesn’t give Amy the benefit of the doubt given her extenuating circumstances? It sticks in my craw, it does.
It’s frustrating, because up until the end, I was really enjoying this episode. The brotherly concern, the heartfelt talks, Bobby being super cool and telling Dean to trust his damned brother already (and for the first time, Bobby in a suit kind of made me go woof!), the flashbacks, the return of awesome pseudonyms, the silly reference to MBV, even the Leviathan bounty hunter wasn’t so bad. Okay, that part was kind of ridiculous, if I’m going to be honest. Dear Supernatural: we don’t actually need cheesy (no pun, I swear) episodic proof that the Big Bads are after the Winchester-Singer Consortium for them to be ominous threats.
Believe it or not, I still give this one higher marks than most of last year. Not as good as the first two of the year, by a long shot.