“Ladies Drink Free”
March 30, 2017
Sam and Dean are waiting in the BMoL’s ops room. By their expressions, they’ve been waiting a while. Dean checks his watch and turns for the door. He says getting jobs from these Richards is one thing, but he didn’t sign up for the reporting for duty crap. Especially when they’re late.
Mick walks in with apologies. He and Dean hiss and spit at each other until Sam steers them back to the case. A brother and sister were attacked in the woods in Wisconsin. The girl, Hayden, is in the hospital. Her brother Ben had his heart ripped out.
Sam notes that it’s unusual for a werewolf to leave survivors. Mick challenges Dean’s theory that something scared the monster off before it could eat the girl. He says he did extensive research into lycanthropy while at the Kendricks School. It’s the BMoL’s Hogwarts.
Sam geeks out while Dean death glares. He’s not impressed – least of all by what Mick thinks he knows about werewolves. Dean declares the job a milk run, but the boys are taken aback when Mick says he wants to tag along. Dean has the courtesy to swallow his snicker.
Sam gently suggests that maybe fieldwork isn’t really Mick’s thing. Mick says maybe it should be. He had the best team … and now they’re just bloodstains on the floor. He doesn’t want to be a hunter, but he does want to be ready for whatever’s next.
Dean vents while Mick packs. He calls him dead weight. Sam allows that, yes, Mick is inexperienced, but he also has some serious knowledge. Dean snaps that hunting isn’t an academic exercise. You don’t learn how to do it from a book.
“You put on a flannel, you pick up a gun, you go out there. Either you get good fast, or you get dead faster.”
Sam argues that the better the BMoL are, the better they are. The BMoL are getting wins. They’re saving people. They should see what Mick can do. Maybe he’ll come in handy. Dean thinks Mick is more likely to get himself killed, but he concedes. He says if Mick is coming with them, Sam is babysitting him.
In the car Mick and Dean debate the merits of sulfate gas and silver nitrate injections versus good old-fashioned silver bullets. Mick says, thanks to their methods, England’s last werewolf outbreak was in the ’20s. They rooted them out, bitten and pureblood alike. Sam is like, but what about the vegetarians like Garth who can control their impulses?
And now the BMoL know about Garth. If he dies, I will flip some tables.
Mick directs Dean to their night’s accommodations. He apologizes for its shabbiness, but says 3-stars was the best he could do. “I booked us all suites.” Sam is like … separate rooms? What are these separate rooms you speak of? Dean confirms that 3-stars means fresh towels and little baby shampoos.
Also, a pool.
Dean tosses the car keys to Sam and tells him to get the bags. Maybe taking orders has some benefits after all. He walks into the lobby and stuffs his pocket with Andes mints.
Dean does love a good candy bowl.
The next morning Dean is tan, rested, and ready for the day. The pillows! The little chocolates on the pillows! “I’m ruined, Sam. Those limey sons of bitches ruined me.” He even took a dip in the pool. Sam asks if he brought swim trunks.
No. No he did not.
Mick joins them as the valet pulls up. He asks how their rooms are. Dean grumps that he’s had better nights sleep in his Baby. He asides to Sam. “I’m not going to give him the satisfaction.” Damn right.
At the hospital Sam tells Mick to hang back. Talking to a grieving family isn’t as easy as he might think – as Mick observes when Mrs. Foster immediately shuts down Agents McVie and Fleetwood. Hayden is sleeping and her mother doesn’t want her disturbed. That’s when cheerful Dr. Buckingham strides into the room. Dean is like WHAT IS HAPPENING. THIS IS NOT HANGING BACK.
But Mick’s play works. He asks Mrs. Foster to step outside while he examines Hayden. In the hall, Mrs. Foster apologizes and says she’s glad that the FBI is there. She complains that they’ve been harassed by crazies. She calls them Bigfoot truthers. She says one even came to the hospital claiming to be from Fish and Wildlife. Agent Beatrice Quimby. A girl barely as old as Hayden – blonde with a bad attitude.
Hayden appears to have only scrapes and lacerations, until Mick gently tugs back the last bandage and finds a nasty bite mark. He lies and tells the boys she’s in the clear. He calls her a lucky girl.
The blonde with a bad attitude is parked at the Gas n’Sip lying to Jody about her trip to Madison to check out the university. Go Badgers. She jumps when her “work” cell rings. It’s sitting under a Batgirl comic. Oh, Show. The caller frantically says there’s a bear! It’s the size of a tank! He thinks it wants his pic-a-nic basket!
Claire meets the boys at their fancy hotel. Mick brings over a round of beers. Dean says he’s a long story. “And like, Downton Abbey boring.” Claire reaches for her bottle. Dean immediately confiscates it. That’s a Jody Mills approved move.
Claire tells them she’s been on the case for a day, working the dive bar Hayden wasn’t supposed to be at. She mentions the bartender – scumbag, tribal tat, grabby. Dean pings on grabby. Dad!Dean SMASH!
Mick is like GOOD LORD LOOK AT THE TIME. It’s only 5:30 but his report to the home office is due at 6:00 sharp, so.
He’s barely out of earshot when Claire declares their “foreign exchange student” totally lame. She does not ask about Castiel. It’s always weird to me when Claire is in an episode and doesn’t ask about Cas. At all. Anyhoo, Dean snarks that Mick is Sam’s best friend. “They’re like nerd soul mates.” But “Harry Potter” also has an expense account. Dean hands Claire a menu and tells her to go nuts.
Mick slips into Hayden’s hospital room. He stands over the sleeping girl and regards her with both regret and resolve. He pulls a syringe of silver nitrate from his coat pocket. He whispers, “I’m sorry.” The clouds shift and moonlight spills through the window. Hayden wolfs out.
Fight fight struggle fight. Mick jams the needle into the girls chest. He exits the room and walks quickly down the hall. The hand holding the syringe is shaking. He holds his other hand to his shoulder where Hayden raked him with her claws. Mrs. Foster howls in anguish when she walks into the room and sees her daughter’s dead body on the floor.
The hunters reassemble at the hospital the next morning. The doctor says they’ll know more after the autopsy, but it’s weird that all of Hayden’s wounds are gone, right? Nary a scratch or a scar on her. Sam wonders if she could have turned. Claire says it would explain the whole Wolverine healing factor … but that would be crazy, because Mick says she wasn’t bitten.
RIGHT? RIGHT, MICK?
Mick stammers that he must have made a mistake. Dean is all like, I told you so, but Claire shuts it down. She reminds them that whatever got Hayden is still out there. They come to the conclusion that the werewolf wanted Hayden to turn, so it must be someone she knew. Dean says he and “amateur hour” will go back to the bar.
Claire and Sam roll up to the high school to talk to the friend Hayden was supposed to be with. Claire tells Sam to wait in the car. When he balks, she asks who he thinks the kids are going to want to talk to? Her or “some old skeezer”?
Sam waits. Claire drove. Sam’s knees are up under his chin.
Agents Strummer and Vai show Hayden’s picture to the clean-cut brotender. He’s reluctant, but eventually says Hayden started coming in after Connor was hired. Connor cops to letting her in, but says that’s as far as it went. He doesn’t know what happened the night she was attacked. He was behind the bar. He guesses he went home when his shift ended.
He guesses? Dean says it’s a simple question. Allow him to illustrate. He turns to Mick and asks him what he did the night before. Mick is caught flat-footed but says he was writing his report … … and then he watched an episode of The Great British Bake Off and went to bed. This has been a true and accurate accounting of his evening, the end.
Before they go, Dean asks Connor if he remembers meeting a blonde girl. Yay high? Feisty. Connor remembers. He says she was a crazy bitch who threw a beer at him. Dean leans in close and says if Connor ever touches Claire again, Dean will break his face.
Dean must be mellowing out in his old age. I’m surprised he didn’t just slam the dude’s face into the table and call it a day.
Also, what’s up with not testing either of the bartenders with silver? It would have been so difficult to slip them a silver coin? That’s just sloppy. It’s sloppy hunting and sloppy writing. I don’t care for it.
Dean compliments Mick on his work in the bar. “That alibi. I almost bought it.” He says Mick has been acting sketchy all day. Why, whatever does Dean mean? Dean claps his hand on Mick’s shoulder and squeezes. Mick’s knees nearly buckle from the pain. He gasps out that he did what needed to be done. He admits that he killed Hayden but dodges any responsibility.
He had orders.
“You had a choice!”
Did he? Mick says killing monsters is what they do! “Or maybe palling around with witches and demons you’ve forgotten.”
Dean backs Mick up against the wall and points an angry finger that would have better men soiling themselves. Dean says he used to think it was that simple, too, but things aren’t just black and white. Mick says that’s a luxury the BMoL don’t have. They have a code.
Dean says thanks to Mick and his code, Mrs. Foster is burying two children, not one. “Nice work.”
Dean cites Magda from “American Nightmare” in this scene, but his journey into the gray started way back in Season 2 with Lenore in “Bloodlust.” And I think this case goes an even deeper shade of gray for Dean because Hayden is just a kid. Dean killed Kaylee in “The Girl Next Door,” but he allowed her son to live.
And even as his own daughter was trying to kill him in “The Slice Girls,” Dean was offering her a pass and a chance to walk away. So, in conclusion, I appreciate Show and writer Meredith Glynn acknowledging Dean’s hard-won character development.
“I was kidding before, but you really do look like a creeper.” Sam is leaning on the hood of Claire’s car. She happily reports BFF found and beans spilled! The friend confirmed that Hayden was seeing an older guy in secret, and that she told Ben about it when older guy got possessive and stalkery. Claire smiles to herself with pride at a job well done.
And then Sam says he talked to Jody.
Claire reverts from a hunter to a kid who’s been caught out – a confused kid who’s trying to find her way and figure out what her normal is. She knows it isn’t going to nursing school like Alex. Or sitting in the car while Jody does the heavy lifting on a hunt. Sam gently urges her to tell Jody the truth.
Claire knows he’s right, but she flails against it, spitting that the boys only pretend to care. She tells him to stop treating her like a stupid kid! Sam snaps back that she should stop acting like one. He realizes too late how deeply the words cut.
Claire stalks off and walks alone along a park path with the Pretty Reckless blasting in her earphones. That seems unwise, but her spidey senses start tingling and she’s ready when the werewolf attacks.
Not ready enough.
Mick tries to help but both boys shut him down. Sam knows about Hayden. He shouts that they’re not angry – they’re done. Claire is sitting on the bed in the hotel room curled in on herself. She asks how long she has … until. Sam stammers that sometimes it takes a full moon. Sometimes … it just takes time.
Sam goes to the books. Dean crouches down to eye level with Claire, determined to put a brave face on it. He tells her this is something she can live with. Claire rejects the idea out of hand. She says maybe some people can control it, but she can barely keep it together on a good day. If there’s any chance that she could hurt Jody or Alex? Her voice is a whisper. The idea is too terrible to think about, much less say out loud. But her voice is firm when she says she’d rather die than hurt someone.
Sam says there might be another way. A blood therapy the BMoL were working on. He cites a reference that 1 out of 9 test subjects were cured. I’m going to ignore the part where Dean is like, what is this cure you speak of, as though the similar vampire cure that saved both Dean AND Alex doesn’t exist.
Whatever, Show. What. Ever.
Anyhoo, Mick says the study was conducted on mice. It was tested on a human only once. The subject died in agony. Claire chirps that maybe the second time is the charm. Dean’s not hearing it. He tells Claire she doesn’t get a vote.
“It’s my life. I get all the votes.”
Dean turns on Mick with loathing. This must seem like a great solution to him. “It works or she dies. Either way, one less monster, right?” Claire pleads with Dean to try the cure. He hates it, but it’s Claire’s choice and he’ll back her play.
Mick says they need live blood from the werewolf that bit her. Dean suspects Connor is their monster and Sam agrees that the timeline of Dean threatening Connor and Claire being attacked tracks. Dean tells Mick to stay behind with Claire. Sam is wary of trusting him. Dean says Mick is a smart guy. He knows what will happen if anything happens to Claire.
“You’ll kill me.”
“Like I said. Smart.”
Mick prepares the cure as the change begins to take hold of Claire. She lunges for his gun and pleads with him to shoot her. Mick draws down on her and Claire braces for the shot. He says he knows a man who would kill her without a thought. And all of Mick’s instincts are telling him that Ketch is right … “but my instincts haven’t been so grand of late.”
Mick lowers the gun. He tells Claire he’ll restrain and sedate her, and with any luck, it will all be over when she wakes up. Claire darkly corrects when to if. She realizes she should call Jody.
“She’s gonna be so mad at me.”
The bravado is gone and Claire is just a scared kid and it’s suddenly very dusty in here. But there’s no time for emotions. Oh noes! It’s the werewolf – who is not Connor, but the other brotender. When Sam and Dean come back to the room they find the door hanging open and no sign of Claire. Mick groans as he picks himself up off the floor. He says Dean can kill him later, after they find Claire.
Which they do, thanks to the tracking device Mick slipped into her pocket. Sam bursts through the door of Brotender’s house and tackles the werewolf. Fight fight struggle fight Mick shoots and kills Brotender. Dean looks at Mick all like, LIVE BLOOD. YOU SAID THE CURE NEEDED LIVE BLOOD.
Mick pulls free the vial of blood from the syringe that’s still stuck in the werewolf’s back. He adds the blood to the cure and hands it to Dean. He confirms one final time that this is what Claire wanted before injecting her as she wolfs out and attacks Sam.
Claire writhes in pain. Sam can barely watch. Dean looks on stoney faced until he can’t stand it and steps outside for some air. Finally Claire grows still. Sam calls Dean back in. He thinks they’ve lost her … but then she opens her eyes. Maybe having the Winchesters dive bomb her life isn’t such a bad thing after all.
“You guys look like crap.”
Mick calls Claire a walking miracle. Dean thanks him for the win. They’re not good, but they’ll give Mick a second chance. Dean warns him that there won’t be a third. Claire joins them after packing up her car. Sam asks how she’s feeling.
“Honestly? I’m sort of craving a Milk Bone right now.”
She thanks the boys for being there when she needs them, but hedges about telling Jody what happened. And then there is hugging. Yay! Hugging!
Claire calls Jody and leaves a message before she hits the road. She admits that she’s been hunting alone. And that it scares her sometimes, but it’s something she has to do on her own. Claire looks confident and sure of herself. This is her normal and she’s okay with that. She says she’s ready. “And I never would have been if it wasn’t for you being my mother.”
In the producers’ preview of this episode, Robert Singer hinted that they were teeing up something they would revisit next year. Could he have been hinting at a spinoff centered around Claire and other young hunters? Could Wayward Daughters become a reality?
PLEASE BY THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW MAKE WAYWARD DAUGHTERS A REALITY. GIVE IT TO US! GIVE IT TO MEEEEE!!!
Supernatural airs Thursday at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) on The CW. Follow Whitney on twitter @Watcher_Whitney.