Sam has become a de facto director of hunter operations at the bunker, Dean takes one step forward and two steps back, and Bobby and Mary are somewhat attached at the hip.
This week’s episode of Supernatural was written by Meredith Glynn and directed by Darren Grant. Although this episode appears to be another monster-of-the-week storyline on the surface, the underlying plot ultimately ties in directly with the ongoing “Michael” crisis.
The episode opens with Maggie, the Apocalypse World hunter that was brought back to life by Lucifer last season. Seemingly working on a late night case by herself, she apprehensively walks into a graveyard. Before entering the looming mausoleum that stands in front of her, she pulls out a camera and appears to be video blogging her exploits. We then follow Maggie into the dark building from the first-person perspective of the camera, which captures the moment that a human-like monster comes barreling out of the darkness to attack her.
Maggie’s fate is left up in the air as the next scene moves on to the bunker, where Sam is found to be addressing the Apocalypse World hunters. Sam dismisses the crew once Dean enters the room. Sam’s phone begins to ping incessantly with notifications while the brothers head into the kitchen, and we learn the extent to which the younger Winchester has taken on a leadership role to teach and guide their new hunting team.
Sam has established a system in which the hunters of the bunker check-in with him via cellphone. He notes that they currently have sixteen hunters out on cases, not counting Castiel and Jack (who are in Sarasota) and Mary and Bobby (who are working a rugaru case in Texas). Dean is less than impressed in learning about the latest role that Sam has taken on, and grumbles about his brother’s lack of sleep and the fact that those hunters should be perfectly capable after surviving the war back in their own world. Sam goes on to explain, matter-of-factly, that hunting is entirely different; these people need lore, weapons, tips, and backup.
Another shrill beep from Sam’s phone indicates that Maggie has missed her check-in. Shortly after, he brings up the video footage that Maggie recorded before she disappeared, explaining to a baffled Dean that, yes, the team now wears body cams in order to learn from one another. The videos also conveniently upload directly to the server, which explains how they were able to obtain the video from the MIA hunter in the first place.
After questioning the chances as to whether or not the creature pictured could be a ghoul, the Winchesters hit the road. Upon their arrival at Maggie’s last known checkpoint, we learn that this was actually a private cemetery. They inspect the mausoleum and find nothing more than drag marks across the floor. The lack of blood leads them to believe that Maggie could potentially still be alive somewhere. Their search is interrupted by the groundskeeper, and their decided cover story for the case is that they are working for a local historic preservation society. They finesse their way to an invite into the property owner’s home, and they are greeted by a chipper man named Neil, who is quick to express his surprise that the historic preservation society has now sent two additional representatives on top of the ones that arrived earlier.
The camera pans to the living room, revealing the two surprised faces of Bobby and Mary. Due to the fact that Neil is still standing within earshot, the foursome vaguely bickers about the fact that Bobby and Mary have shown up out of the blue (which is punctuated by a much-needed utterance of: idjits from Bobby.) We then discover that Neil is not the owner of the home, but rather Mr. Rawling’s in-home nurse.
Bobby states that they will need to speak with Mr. Rawling, while Mary exits the room with Sam to speak with him privately. She goes on to explain that she and Bobby had been in contact with Maggie and were talking her through the case, as she was admittedly nervous yet excited about her first solo hunt. Bobby and Mary hit the road when Maggie stopped texting them because they assumed that something had happened to her.
In the next scene, Sam and Dean are standing over an in-home hospital bed and looking down at an incapacitated Mr. Rawling. They confirm that this is the same man from the video, albeit less monsterly-looking.
The scene quickly switches to Maggie, who is shown to be chained up and surrounded by hanging blood bags in a dark and unidentified location.
Next, we return to Sam and Dean. Neil goes on to explain that Mr. Rawling had suffered from a stroke, which left him in his current condition. An exasperated looking woman then enters the room, with an armful of groceries and a face full of confusion.
Sam and Dean move to the living room to speak with the woman, Sasha, who is revealed to be Mr. Rawling’s daughter. She is not able to provide the Winchesters with much information because she is only in town to get things in order before her father potentially passes. Any further questioning is halted, despite Sams pleas, as Sasha is clearly overwhelmed and tersely asks them all to leave.
The four hunters reconvene outside, standing around the open trunk of the Impala. They toss ideas back and forth as to what the creature in the video could be, but ultimately are not able to come to any sort of conclusion. Bobby did a thorough check on Mr. Rawling inside the house, and is seemingly confident that he certainly is not a ghoul, a shifter, or a demon.
Bobby then rounds on Sam, outwardly blaming him for whatever has happened to Maggie. Bobby’s harsh words prompt Mary to split the team up to search the woods for clues, and she purposefully takes Sam with her. The two of them have a heart-to-heart while they walk, as Mary attempts to do damage control. Sam, however, already seems to be doubting himself. Mary firmly states that she believes Sam was born to teach and lead in the way that he has been doing over the past few weeks, and then briefly alludes to that not being the only thing Bobby has been too blind to see lately.
They have a somewhat awkward discussion about whatever has been buzzing between Bobby and Mary, though she makes it clear that Bobby’s attitude has changed since they have been back. He clearly has something on his mind, but he’s pointedly avoiding discussing it and is dead set on hunting nonstop.
The scene briefly switches to Bobby and Dean, where Bobby wonders aloud whether he was too hard on Sam. Dean makes it clear that Sam has been doing his best, running on empty to try to take care of their new, adopted team.
Upon returning to Sam and Mary’s conversation, Sam discusses their Bobby’s tough past as a widowed husband with no children. Sam gives Mary what would equate to his blessing for her to pursue whatever is happening with Bobby, as he tells her that she should indeed try to find out what’s behind the walls he’s built if she does care about him. Moments later, they stumble upon a pile of charred remains.
The scene pans back to Bobby and Dean again, who are approaching a small shack in the woods. Bobby spots a man walking off in the distance and quickly jogs off without saying a word. Dean enters the shack alone to see a hand sticking out from under a cloth. Return to Mary and Sam, who pull a variety of forms of identification out from the extinguished fire pit. Meanwhile, in the shack, Dean pulls back the cloth to reveal a face that matches the one on the IDs that Sam and Mary are looking at. Sam and Mary come to the conclusion that they have found the belongings of a fellow hunter, one they do not know.
Dean calls out for Bobby (who has not returned), and is then quickly attacked by the same Mr. Rawlings-esque creature that took Maggie. He stabs it, and the creature immediately explodes into dust. Bobby then returns and looks at Dean in bewilderment, having missed the quasi-fight altogether.
In the next scene, Sasha is shown sitting at her father’s desk going through paperwork. Strange noises ensue from upstairs, and she gets up to investigate. The door to the attic clicks open and is left slightly ajar when she approaches, so she curiously pushes it open further. She is immediately attacked by a new creature, which sends her running and stumbling down the hallway. She stops crawling across the floor upon noticing that the house is now silent, and finds that the creature has disappeared.
That evening, Mary and Sam return to the house to speak with Neil and Sasha. Sasha is visibly shaken up as she explains that whatever chased her down the hall looked like a vampire (which she knows is not real). Sam takes charge, electing not to beat around the bush, and launches into the Winchester spiel about the existence of all things supernatural, reassuring Sasha that she is not crazy. Dean enters shortly after and collaborates with Mary and Sam to confirm that the charred IDs belonged to the dead man in the shack. They’re visibly concerned, as something or someone is clearly targeting hunters.
Mary heads outside to check on Bobby while Sam catches Dean up on what happened to Sasha. Sam speculates that they’re possibly dealing with manifestations rather than monsters (and briefly alludes to the events that they dealt with in the episode “Hunteri Herioci”). Neil is quick to shoot down these assumptions, stating that he doesn’t believe it’s possible for something to reshape reality. Sam, meanwhile, heads upstairs to investigate the attic.
In the next scene, Mary runs outside to discover Bobby is nowhere to be found. Inside the house, Sasha begrudgingly discusses her troubled relationship with her father with Dean. Dean gives her some thoughtful advice, which most certainly has a double-meaning that applies to himself as well,
“Let it go. The past is… there’s nothing you can do about it now. So, it’s just baggage. Let it go, and you’ll feel a lot lighter.”
The scene switches to Sam, who begins to explore the dark attic. He quickly finds Maggie and removes a needle that has been placed in her neck. She immediately wakes up and groggily warns Sam that something is there. The same creature that attacked Sasha comes out of the shadows, but it explodes into dust the moment that Sam stabs it.
Bobby’s whereabouts are then confirmed as we find him walking through the woods, alone. A young man with black, hollow eye sockets approaches him. Bobby immediately recognizes him and refers to him as “Daniel”, who acknowledges Bobby with a nonchalant, “Hey Dad”. Daniel immediately attacks him, kicking and stomping him into the ground. He then lifts Bobby up and quite literally nails him to a tree via an angel blade to the chest.
Daniel is interrupted from finishing the job with a second angel blade by Mary, who shoots him repeatedly to no avail. He quickly overtakes her, which gives Bobby the time and motivation that he needs to free himself (albeit painfully). Bobby, visibly distraught, tackles Daniel and utters, “I’m sorry,” as he stabs him. The young man then explodes into dust.
The next scene brings us back to Mr. Rawling’s bed, where Neil tends to the older man as Sasha watches. Dean enters the room, clearly having figured out the real cause behind the unexplained creatures. Although Sasha is initially confused, Dean entices her to leave the room and pulls his gun on Neil.
Dean explains that he has figured out that Neil is a djinn, which explains why Mr. Rawlings is unable to wake up. He demands to know why he is going after hunters and quickly finds out that the djinn believes that Dean is still possessed by Michael. We learn that Michael instructed Neil to set up shop and kill as many hunters as he could in return for an enhancement to his djinn powers. Neil is now able to read minds, see nightmares, and bring them into the world to do his bidding.
Dean shoots Neil and they scuffle, the djinn grabbing a hold of Dean’s head with the intention of seeing his nightmares (although he does not intend to destroy him, acknowledging that Dean is indeed Michael’s favorite body). Upon making contact with Dean’s head, Neil reels back with a face full of terror and confusion. Dean looks equally pained and baffled, but takes advantage of the opening to regain the upper hand.
Dean beats down the djinn, who laughs and gives him a bloody smile while he explains that Michael made dozens of these so-called traps for hunters. He is then knocked out and shot multiple times by Dean, who has decided he’s finished with the conversation.
When Sam, Dean, Mary and Bobby return to the bunker with Maggie in tow, the rest of the hunters are overjoyed to see that she has returned. Dean acknowledges Sam’s accomplishment, as he understands his brother is still reeling from Bobby’s accusations.
In the next scene, Mary is wrapping up Bobby’s wounds and coaxing him to open up to her. He eventually relents and confirms that Daniel was indeed his son, though he lost him after the angel wars began in his world. He’s full of guilt and blames himself for what happened because his son was assigned to his platoon. He unknowingly sent him off to die, as the angels took Daniel and his team and the bodies were never found.
Bobby’s reasoning for hunting nonstop as of late is confirmed, as he alludes to the fact that hunting will eventually kill him, too. Mary, bothered by this statement, firmly tells Bobby that he’s not allowed to give up on her. She rests her head on his shoulder and reassures him that they will find a way.
Back in the war room, Dean informs Sam that Maggie is excited to continue hunting (which comes as a huge surprise to Sam.) Mary then enters with Bobby and apprehensively tells her sons that they need to talk.
It turns out that Mary and Bobby have decided to take some time off to allow Bobby to recover, so Sam arranges for them to stay at Donna’s cabin. Mary, visibly worried about taking off for an extended period of time, is reassured by Dean to take as much time as she needs. Bobby, meanwhile, pulls Sam aside to apologize, in a way, for his harsh words the other day. As Bobby and Mary exit the bunker, Dean is distracted and clearly lost in thought.
The final scene finds the Winchester brothers in the kitchen speaking on their cellphones, warning Garth and another unnamed person about Michael’s super-charged monsters. When they hang up from their respective calls, Sam can tell that something is bothering Dean. He broaches the subject, and Dean responds in a defeated, apathetic manner.
“I know, I know. It’s not my fault. It’s Michael. It’s all Michael. You know, I’ve been trying to not forget, but to move on. From what I… from what we… from what he did. And I got to be honest, I was sorta feeling like myself again. Almost.”
Sam, determined as ever, firmly tells his brother that they will find Michael and kill him one way or another. Dean, meanwhile, is unable to reflect the same hope and conviction. Dean exits the kitchen with a final, “I hope you’re right,” and Sam watches him go with a face full of concern.
This episode, after the light banter of last week’s Halloween special, was a harsh reminder that the Winchesters may have bitten off more than they can chew in taking on Michael. No matter which way they turn, Michael has made it clear that he continues to be one step ahead.
Stay tuned for next week’s episode of Supernatural, which is set to air on Thursday, November 15 at 8/7c on The CW.