Season 11, Episode 12 - "Don't You Forget About Me"
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard
Regular airtime: Wednesdays, 8pm
US: 3 Feb 2015
Among fans, most talk about this week’s episode of Supernatural has revolved around the rumor/wish that it was set up or a test pilot for a “Wayward Daughters” spin-off series, in which Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) and her two live-in wards/adopted daughters became hunters who save people and hunt things together. Considering the CW’s love of female-oriented teen dramas, it wasn’t too far-fetched of a possibility. But while some seeds were sown in that direction tonight, the conclusion mostly deflated that theory.
We open on a familiar teen trope: a young couple (Ty Wood and Angela Palmer) alone in a car on a moonlit night. But before you think you know what’s coming next, Claire (Kathryn Newton) interrupts them by holding a blade to the guy’s throat and accuses him of being a monster. He isn’t, however, and herein lies her problem.
For those new to the series, Claire is the daughter of Castiel’s “vessel”, Jimmy Novak (Misha Collins). Jimmy was a righteous man who prayed that he could help the world, causing the angel Castiel to possess him. Claire became a ward of the state after her mother developed mental issues and was later killed by a jinn. Whether Castiel has access to Jimmy’s soul is unknown, but he did sense that she was in trouble and sent her to live with Sheriff Jody Mills. Jody befriended the Winchesters’ Uncle Bobby (Jim Beaver) and became familiar with the supernatural world after her family was destroyed back in season five. Before taking in Claire, she rescued and adopted Alex (Katherine Ramdeen), an orphan whose family was wiped out by a den of vampires looking for a human girl to use as bait to catch creepy guys for the vampires to feed on.
Claire suspects that some type of monster is behind a series of deaths in their town. Jody urges her to have a normal life and go back to college, but she’s mostly concerned about Alex. Alex is living out the typical CW teen lifestyle: taking birth-control pills in preparation of taking the next step with her popular, prom king-nominated boyfriend, Henry (Jedidiah Goodacre). This is all rather boring, so thankfully Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) show up at the Mills house for a very awkward dinner of rotisserie chicken. (Sam and Dean’s over-enjoyment of this home-cooked meal was the only humorous moment in the entire episode.)
If you’re the type of person who over-analyzes every moment of a TV show (and there are a lot of Supernatural fans who are), you could say that the writers are showing us a parallel between Sam and Dean’s childhood and Alex and Claire’s situation with Jody. In this scenario, Alex is Sam: guilt-ridden about her past and desperate for “a normal life”. Claire is Dean: a wannabe hunter on a mission to save people and make her father proud.
Claire is the one who called the Winchesters in to investigate, and they only believe her after everybody discovers the body of one of Alex’s teachers (Ben Cotton) strung up on a flagpole. Sam and Dean immediately become suspicious of the school’s surly janitor (Preston Vanderslice), who comes from Alex’s vampire-filled hometown.
But as it so happens, Alex has even more people to worry about. Henry, not the potential spin-off regular that he seemed to be, is a vampire! He’s been turned by Stephen, a former family man who was duped into becoming vampire chow by Alex, and now wants revenge. Stephen kidnaps Claire and Jody, who manages to call Dean on her cellphone as she’s being dragged away.
Some Supernatural fans have expressed online that they didn’t like the conclusion of last week’s episode, in which the monster of the week wasn’t killed by Sam or Dean, but by two inexperienced bystanders. Well, they probably won’t be very happy with this week’s final act, in which Claire finds herself bitten by Stephen, but still has enough energy to stab him, giving Dean the chance to slice his head off. The Winchesters give Alex the chance to kill Henry, but she seemingly declines, leaving Claire to handle it. As Sam and Dean drive away, Claire states that she’s going to learn the “right way” to stop evil, by learning how to be an investigator. Alex vows that she’ll have to leave them soon, because she doesn’t want to be around “dark things”.
Speaking of dark things, isn’t it odd how Castiel didn’t show up in tonight’s episode? Perhaps the show just doesn’t want the Winchesters to know about his possession yet. They’re not likely to find out next week, either, as the case of the week seems to revolve around some sort of fog-spewing monster on Valentine’s Day.