Annnd… we’re back from another hiatus, must be February.
This episode starts off with James Van Der Beek’s stunt double sitting in front of his laptop in his very snazzy, and obviously pricy, loft apartment. He’s settling in with paperwork when he hears the door creak (fact: I just typed “creek” four times, clearly my own fault for making a hugely stretched reference toward The Beek) open and calls out for “Barb.” Either Barb is playing coy and thinks sneaking up on people with big knives is fun or the intruder isn’t Barb at all. We get a tight zoom-in of the man’s face, note the heavy application of blush and mascara, before he’s flung aside into the wall, the glass of the framed artwork shattering around him. The intruder slashes maniacally and it’s bloody, really and truly bloody. Knife poised, the intruder carves a symbol into the man’s chest and then the camera pans back to show that his hands and feet have been amputated. I’ve watched enough CSI: Every City Ever, Law and Order: Every Division Ever, and Criminal Minds to know that those large pools of blood mean the extremities were removed while he was still alive.
You know what I like about Supernatural? It’s the little things. Like how the artwork on the wall was of various feet that were unattached to bodies and then we get a victim whose feet were removed during his murder.
Feet are disgusting, but that’s a groovy Easter Egg.
Cut to Sam and Dean on the road. Sam is driving, Dean is snoring with his head against the window. Blacked out, passed out, or simply sleeping? It’s anyone’s guess. He wakes up and immediately reaches into his jacket for his flask. Whiskey, the hunter’s mouthwash. Sam recognizes the flask as Bobby’s and seems displeased by Dean’s attachment to the memento. Given the choice, I think Sam would have been more content if Dean started wearing Bobby’s trucker hats than using his memory to sip and swig. Sam also scolds Dean for not only doubting his ability to read a hunt between the newsprint lines, but also for not even reading the articles. Dean remains annoyed as he catches up on his studying.
Suited up, they go visit the morgue. The medical examiner is surprised the Feds work midnight hours. Dean explains it’s the benefits package and goes on to shoot the shit about co-pay and generic vs. name brand. Sam is not amused. Apparently, ironic insurance humor is lost on him. He asks the doctor for a run down and ha! I was right. According to the blood loss, hands and feet were removed before the guy died. Who says TV doesn’t teach you things? The good news is they have a DNA sample of the attacker from another vic, bad news is it doesn’t match anything in the database. Literally, the computer is kicking it back as non-human.
Dean starts to concede that maybe Sam was right about this case. Sam gives Dean his best, “of course I’m right” face. Sammy’s earned the right to wear that face.
Sam suggests they stuff their faces, head back to their motel room, sit in front of the glowing warmth of their laptop, and research. Dean opts to scope out the local bar scene instead. His dedication to the case is impressive, his disregard for his liver is disturbing.
The Cobalt Room is less what I’d call a “bar” and more what I’d classify as a “cocktail lounge.” Semantics, but still, not the kind of scene we’ve come to expect Dean Winchester to frequent. He’s sitting at a sterile-looking white table that seems to be lit from within, with an attractive, martini-sipping blonde. They banter, they flirt, and there’s much in the way of dilated pupils as she compliments his suit. Dean tells her that his stuffy investment banker job has been good to him. She’s now even more charmed by him than she was before. The next logical move is to take him home.
So she does.
And Dean Winchester makes his biennial shirtless appearance, as “Show Me Your Tattoo” plays on a loop in our brains.
We appreciate your sacrifice, Jensen Ackles.
Fact of the matter is that, from what I can tell, Dean really needed to get laid. ‘Bout time, buddy.
Also worth mentioning is that interwoven with Dean’s love scene is another gruesome, horrible death. Same M.O.: male, early 30’s, of fair stature, tossed around his swanky digs before getting sliced ‘n’ diced. At least we know Dean’s stand of the night isn’t the perp. That’s good, right?
Next morning at the crime scene, Dean is a little worse for wear, but exalting the virtues of the Cobalt Room. Sam, unfortunately, hasn’t dug up any info. They need a professional. Tragically, Dean has realized that he left Bobby’s flask at the woman’s place. He calls and asks her if she’s seen it, because it may look like junk, but it’s Dean Winchester’s sentimental junk. She says she hasn’t seen it, and unlike every other female conquest we’ve met, she seems to be in a big hurry to end her conversation with Dean. Dean is very perplexed by this brush off. Sam is positively bursting with little brother glee. Lydia, we see as she ends the call and the camera pulls back, is suddenly full to bursting pregnant and I half expect her to find the nearest souled vampire and gulp down all the blood in his ‘fridge.
The very next scene finds us in a beautifully chandeliered locale, soft light and the agonizing sound of birth. Lydia has just given birth to her daughter, while encircled by a group of women. The woman who appears to be in charge names her daughter Emma for her. Isn’t that ever so nice of her? Lydia and Emma are shoved along as the group prepares for the next birth.
Like Sam said earlier, they need an expert. The best they can do is go see Professor Morrison at the area university’s Anthropology department. He finds the symbol they show him fascinating, but has no info. They boys persuade him to research post haste and dig up some info. He heavily hints that he should be provided a big federal thank you, in the form of a green card for his housekeeper. Stand-up citizen. Unfortunately, they have no one else to turn to.
Meanwhile, Dean is still stressing over his missing flask and the girl who isn’t blowing up his phone. Neither Dean nor Sam can believe that the girl o’ the night is ignoring Dean “Best Night of My Life” Winchester. Unfathomable. Or if you’re a little brother, hilarious. Sam rips on Dean for acting like an obsessed freak, but Dean insists he just wants his flask back. (I hate myself for making that reference. Let us NEVER speak of it again. Thanks so much!) Dean heads over to see Lydia, who promptly calls him “Don” when she answers the door and basically tells him that she’s been ignoring his calls and messages even though she has his flask. She’s been very busy, y’know.
See, this, Dean Winchester, is why you always aim to go out on top. Remember a couple of years ago when the bar scene was getting stale? Shoulda walked away then, man.
Dean follows her inside to get his flask and in the process discovers that Lydia has a baby. A baby who, when Dean is seemingly out of earshot, speaks in extremely well-formed sentences. Dean overhears this while he’s on the phone with Sam, who has now discovered that the link may be the Cobalt Room. He’s also discovered that the lead detective does not appreciate the feds getting involved, but for now he seems to have pacified her.
Dean has decides to stake out Lydia’s place. Gut feeling pays off when a car drives up to the house and several women get out. Shortly after Lydia and the women walk out of the front door, as they call out for Emma to hurry up. Emma comes bounding out, no longer a rug rat but an actual walking, talking first grader. Dean goes back to tell Sam, but Sam finds this to be unlikely, but Dean insists there were no signs of offspring the night he was there; no coloring books, no rubber ducks, nothing.
This group of women has taken Emma back to the place of her birth, where she and a handful of other girls are being told of their duty to the Skulls. The head honcho speaks of a deity they hunt and kill for, then the girls get a nice snack of milk ‘n’ human male flesh. Oh and by the way, Emma is now a tween.
Sam and Dean meet up with Prof. Morrison who now has some information on the symbol. It’s an Amazonian sigil belonging to a tribe of female warriors who have no use for men except to make babies. Once they have their new bundles of joy, the disposable men are disposed of. The Winchesters have enough info now to delve deeper into the weirder side of research and learn about the accelerated gestation and growth cycle. With a little bit of math and common sense they realize that it’s very possible that Emma is Dean’s daughter. Sam disdainfully tells Dean that it’s just silly not to wrap your willy. Dean insists he did, but the only thing 100% is abstinence and he sure wasn’t practicing that.
And for those playing along at home, if you figured out the lead detective is one of the evil Wonder Women, then after you finish reading this go snag yourself a cookie. She’s onto the Winchesters, knows they aren’t FBI, has already found the link between them and the Pulp Fiction killing spree a few months back and has figured out they are hunters. That’s why she’s the lead detective. Over at the tribal house the girls, now full on teenagers, are getting their warrior brands and being sent out into the world to kill their fathers. Truly touching.
Sam and Dean are digging through Bobby’s old stuff trying to find out everything they can, but Bobby’s system was built for Bobby by Bobby and they are having trouble wading through it. Dean notices that a paper he laid down moved on its own, Sam picks up the EMF and it lights up full blast… because they’re by power lines near a cracked window with a gentle breeze gliding in. Dean maintains there’s no way it was the wind, Sam insists that the EMF is useless at the moment so there’s no sense in entertaining any wacky thoughts, but Dean’s wheels are already spinning. He suggests that maybe, just maybe, it’s Bobby’s ghost. Sam, again, shoots it down first with the logic that they burned Bobby’s body and secondly with the logic that there’s no way Bobby’s still with them because they want that to be so and Winchesters don’t get what they want. Either way, the paper that was revealed by whatever moved it might be of use, but it’s in Greek. Back to Prof. Morrison Sam goes, with strict instructions to Dean to be careful and watch out for Lydia.
Which means, of course, when someone comes knocking on the door, Dean opens it. He’s face to face with Emma, who’s gone through a faster growth spurt than Angel had to deal with when Connor came back from Quor’Toth. Emma pleads with Dean to help her, she’s run away from the tribe and needs her father to hide her. She tells him they want her to do terrible things, but she can’t, she won’t. She tells Dean to protect her long enough for her to get away and try to have a normal life.
Sam and the Professor decipher the paper and Sam discovers that it isn’t Lydia that Dean should be watching out for, but Emma. He rushes back to Dean, but gets delayed by having to kick the lead detective’s ass. Which he does.
Emma is presenting her case with misty eyes and desperate words, right before she pulls a knife on Dean. Dean, ever intuitive, was ready for it and has his gun aimed at her in the blink of an eye. Dean, however, also tries to give her a chance. Sam finally arrives at the motel, just in time to hear Dean offer her a chance, but Sam knows that they can’t let her go and bursts into the room, gun at the ready. Emma begs Dean, and even though it’s manipulative and transparent, Dean waffles. And Sam shoots.
There’s no time to hash it out as they head for tribal headquarters, but they’re too late, the clan is gone.
In the car, Sam lays into Dean about the parallel between what happened at the motel and what happened with Amy. The difference, Dean argues, is that he was going to shoot. Sam thinks he lacks credibility. Affronted, Dean reminds Sam that neither of them has the stability high ground.
Sam shows all his cards as he tells Dean he doesn’t care how Dean chooses to cope, all he want is for Dean not to get killed. The best Dean can offer is that he’ll do his best.
So here’s the thing, I spent years in this fandom debating against the notion that Supernatural is a misogynistic show. Because, at root, I don’t believe that it is. Good guys are male and female, big bads are male and female. That said… I’ll be glad when the monster of the week isn’t an attractive, at times sexualized, female. Not because I think it’s leaning toward misogyny, but because it’s becoming tedious and I know my show can do better than that.