October 26, 2017
I went to Missouri and I learned the truth. Also,
Several days have passed since the boys brought EJ home. Dean is holed up in his room drinking and blasting the Stones through his headphones. EJ has been keeping to himself as well. Sam brings him a laptop and the thumb drive with Kelly’s final message. Sam says he hopes that it can begin to answer some of EJ’s questions.
The boy seems both overwhelmed and comforted by his mother’s words. “It’s not fate. You are who you choose to be. And I know you’re going to be okay. You are going to be amazing.” She reminds him that he has an angel watching over him.
Sam lingers in the hallway outside EJ’s room until his phone buzzes with a call from Missouri Moseley. Dean is as surprised as Sam to hear from her. He says it’s been what, like a decade? Season 1, Episode 9 to be exact. Sam says she called for help with a case, but they need to focus on helping EJ learn to control his powers, so he put Jody on it.
While Dean appreciates Sam’s confidence that Jody can handle the job, their recent losses are too fresh to risk the life of another friend. He tells Sam to stay and Mr. Miyagi the kid if he wants to, but he’s going to work.
Sam explains to EJ that he needs to learn focus and control. He lets EJ believe that it’s just so he doesn’t hurt anyone. Sam doesn’t mention the whole floating space vagina thing. He puts a pencil in front of EJ and tells him to move it with his mind.
Easy like a Sunday morning, right?
Minutes pass that feel like hours. EJ stares at the pencil, wiling it to move. Sam stares at EJ, willing him to will the pencil to move. The pencil is like, SUCK IT LOSERS! EJ gives up feeling defeated and useless.
Sam tries to help him focus. He asks what it was like before when EJ used his powers. The boy says it was like breathing. It just happens. But with Rock me Asmodeus, EJ says it was like the demon was in his head. Sam is like, cool! Just imagine Assman in your head again trying to bend your will to his desires.
Really, Sam? Really?
EJ balks at the idea and Sam questions why. The guy who had Lucifer in his head and who was forced to watch, powerless, when Meg and Gadreel murdered innocent people with his hands, is getting salty with EJ about not wanting a Prince of Hell running around in his nugget.
Sam Winchester is kind of the worst.
Later he cracks the spine on a booked entitled, “The Drama of the Gifted Child”, and monitors EJ from a closed circuit camera. That’s not at all creepy. Suddenly, EJ isn’t there.
Sam races into the library and finds EJ – again – huddled and hiding in a dark corner. He snarks that he moved the pencil. Sam presses EJ, asking him why such a simple task is so hard for him? Sam says he’s seen him throw people across the room and open a portal to Hell. It doesn’t make any sense.
EJ morosely says it makes sense if he’s evil.
Sam is genuinely confused and asks EJ why he thinks that. I don’t know Sam, maybe because AS YOU JUST POINTED OUT, the only time he’s been able to tap into his powers has been to hurt people and open a damned doorway to Hell?
Sam says he doesn’t see evil when he looks at EJ. EJ snaps that Dean sees it. That’s why he said he would kill EJ. The kid thinks maybe Dean should. He says he’s only been alive for a few days but he’s already done bad things. He’s hurt people. His own mother is dead because of him. And the one good thing Sam wants him to do – move that goddamned pencil – he can’t do. So he must be evil.
Maybe they just need to switch media and try a yellow crayon instead. It turned Willow good.
Sam finally realizes he’s pushing too hard and backs off. He tells EJ that he knows what it feels like to feel like you don’t belong. To feel like there’s a darkness inside of you. And to be scared of who you are and what you can do. He says Dean and Cas helped him through that. He tells EJ that’s why he wants to help him now. Because he’s not evil.
Dean meets Jody and Missouri at the crime scene. As he pulls up, Missouri fondly says she always did love the car. As one does. He walks over and says he’s not sure who to hug first. Aww. He and Missouri embrace – Yay! Hugging! – and she tells him she’s sorry for his losses. Dean is taken aback, but quickly recovers. “Well, leave it to a psychic to cut right through the small talk.”
The three of them go into the victim’s house. Harper from The 100 was Missouri’s protege and surrogate daughter, the closest kin she had in her life these days. Jody reports that Harper was found with a hole at the base of her skull and her brains … Jody glances at Missouri and quickly downshifts.
Dean and Missouri are both in agreement – they’re dealing with a wraith, one with a taste for psychics based on Missouri’s reading of the energy in the room. She runs her fingers over a bloodstain on Harper’s table and has a vision of her son James laying dead on the ground.
Missouri calls James to warn him that something bad is coming. He hangs up on her.
Missouri tells Dean and Jody that her son won’t have anything to do with her. She doesn’t share the reason, but it’s clear that the why is deeply painful for her. She says the wraith is coming for James and his daughter Patience, and asks Dean and Jody to go to them. She’ll stay behind and say her farewells to Harper.
Dean doesn’t like that idea at all. Missouri gets in his dance space and snaps that he doesn’t have to like it. He just has to do it! “You save my family! You hear me, Dean Winchester!?”
An understanding passes between them. Dean quietly says, “Yes, ma’am.” It is a brief but lovely and true moment between the two characters. Kudos to Jensen and the always splendid Loretta Devine.
Missouri is waiting for the wraith when he comes back to Harper’s house to kill her. She stares him down and tells him there will be no screaming or running. Loretta Devine owns every moment of this brief scene, but son …
Are we sure that BuckLeming didn’t lock Robert Berens in a closet and submit the script under his name? Did Show really bring Missouri back after an absence of 12 seasons just to kill her off? It’s a disservice to her character, not to mention IT’S STUPID AND MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO THE PLOT. Dean is going to save her family regardless. He doesn’t need her death to motivate him.
If Missouri saw her own death, why couldn’t Jody have gone on ahead to Georgia to protect James and Patience? Dean could have stayed behind with Missouri and killed the wraith. It would have given him a chance to convince her to reconcile with her family. Dean’s really good at that – remember Chuck and Amara? It would have also given him some much needed insight into the damage that can be caused by holding on to grief and resentment.
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. HOW DOES THAT WORK?
Dean and Jody arrive in Buckhead the next morning. They inform James that the wraith that killed his mother is coming for him and Patience. Despite the imminent threat several hours apparently elapse. It’s midday when Dean and Jody show up but full dark in the next scene with Patience at school.
I swear, time and distance have no meaning in the Supernatural universe.
Patience is at her locker when a wave of deja vu washes over her. The nightmare she woke up from that morning seems to be replaying in real time. She shakes it off and gathers her things.
She closes the door to the locker; the wraith looms over her. She knees him in the groin, throws a punch and dodges two of his before snapping his brain-sucking spike off at the base.
Oh, we like Patience. Patience can stay.
She takes off running but the wraith tackles her to the ground. Dean and Jody appear out of nowhere. Dean shoots the wraith in the back but the monster runs off. Dean gives chase but doesn’t keep firing because then the episode would only be 30 minutes long.
And there’s apparently no one else left in the school besides Dean, Jody, and Patience, so it’s not like a dead body in the hallway outside the gym would really have been a problem.
Patience seems to roll with being attacked by a monster but rejects any suggestion that she’s psychic. She angrily calls Missouri a fraud – one who ditched her family and doesn’t care about them. She confronts her father later, trying to reconcile the truth of who her grandmother was.
James admits that Missouri’s abilities were real. He says he always had total faith in them – until his wife died. When Tess got sick, Missouri said everything would be fine. She promised. James couldn’t forgive her for being wrong.
From the peanut gallery in the back, Dean angrily asks if that’s why James cut his mother out of his life. Jody doesn’t say a word. She puts a hand on Dean’s arm and gives him a look that says not the time, not his place. I love this bond between Jody and Dean, and Kim’s ability to convey it through the most simple of gestures. I loves me some Kim Rhodes, y’all.
But more than that, James says keeping Missouri away was his way of keeping Patience out of the life. Missouri believed that her granddaughter had the gift and he didn’t want to encourage it. Patience is like, hey remember that nightmare I mentioned this morning? Yeah, it wasn’t a dream it was a vision, so.
Jody connects the dots for James. Patience is psychic and that’s why the wraith came after her. I’m a bit surprised that Dean doesn’t suggest using Patience for bait. They have to know the wraith will come back and this time, they can be ready for him. But he made a promise to Missouri, and after everything else, he’s not willing to risk it.
Instead, James says they’ll run. Patience goes upstairs to pack a bag. She pulls out a brooch and is carried back to the day of her mother’s funeral. She remembers her father telling Missouri it was time to say goodbye and the pain it caused her grandmother. She remembers Missouri giving her the pin and promising that she would always look out for Patience, no matter what.
Patience smiles at the memory and the knowledge that Missouri kept her word. And then she discovers the wraith lurking in her closet. By the time the adults reach her room, Patience and the wraith are gone.
Dean checks the traffic cams while Jody calls it in to local law. James goes to his desk and retrieves a small leather pouch with thematic gems. He says they’re a divination tool. Missouri taught him how to use them when he was a boy.
And this is why Missouri was retconned to be a full-on hunter – to explain how a button down white-collar guy knows magic. And again, it’s a point that doesn’t really feel necessary to the plot. And unlike Mary’s retcon in Season 4, it’s not going to lead to future story telling opportunities, or deepen what we already know about the character. Because Missouri is dead.
Patience comes to tied to a chair in an abandoned warehouse. The wraith tells her psychic brains are like crack, and he’s going to hit off her cranial pipe forever. He makes it all weird and sexual and are we sure BuckLeming didn’t write this?
Patience flatly denies being psychic and tells the wraith he’s out of luck. He says there’s only one way to find out. Dean, Jody, and James burst into the room before he can brain stick her. Dean and Jody pursue the wraith while James tries to free his daughter.
And then the wraith pops up behind him and stabs him through the neck. James falls to the ground, just as Missouri saw him in her vision. Jody comes running at the sound of Patience’s shouts and promptly gets her fool self stabbed as well.
That’s when I knew this was also a vision because ain’t no way Jody fucking Mills goes out like a punk.
Patience flashes back into the moment and her vision begins to play out. Dean, Jody, and James come in. Dean and Jody split off. James tries to untie her. Patience tells her father to move just as the wraith strikes. They struggle and James takes a flesh wound to the shoulder.
Jody enters and Patience cries out a warning. Struggle struggle head butt. Jody goes down but lives! JODY LIVES! The wraith picks up her knife, but Patience is on it again with a shout to Dean. Fight fight struggle fight Dean is finally able to kill the wraith and Patience is like, welp. Guess I’m psychic.
Baby is parked on the street outside of the Turner home. Dean and Jody lean against the car and don’t talk about Dean’s grief over losing Mary and Cas.
I mean, I know this is meant to begin the Wayward Daughters arc, but you don’t put Dean and Jody in an episode together and not have them talk about feelings. Come on!
If anyone can get Dean to open up, it’s Jody. She was so supportive in “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox”. And Dean is someone that Jody has been able to confide in in turn. So why can’t they care and share here?
WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN US BOBO? WHY??
Patience comes outside to say goodbye. Dean compliments her again some more on how she handled the wraith. He asks her if she’s thought about what’s next. Well, school starts in an hour, so Patience is thinking Calculus.
As for her gift, James says she should put it away and just get back to normal. Jody has some thoughts on that, but it’s Dean who speaks first. He says James is right. Dean can feel Jody’s eyes boring into him; he can’t meet her gaze. He tells Patience there’s no joy in hunting. There’s nothing but pain, horror, and death. He says if you get a chance at normal, you take it.
He doesn’t tell her that there’s a comfort in saving other families from that pain. That there is peace in helping people. Because comfort and peace no longer exist in Dean’s world.
Jody stops Patience as she walks away. She tells her to listen to her own voice and decide what she wants. Jody says she asked her daughter – Claire – to stay in line and fight who she really was, because Jody thought it would keep her safe. She says it didn’t work. It never does.
She cautions Patience that if she tries to push her gift away to make someone else happy, it will only end up making her miserable. She leaves Patience with her card and says if she ever needs to talk or needs a place to go, her door is always open.
Fight the patriarchy, Patience. Be wayward as fuck.
Dean arrives home. Sam has already talked to Jody. He knows about Missouri but asks Dean how it was. Dean wearily says it was just another day at the office. He asks how EJ is. “He go Dark Side yet?”
Sam says he hasn’t, but that he is pretty messed up. And he lays the blame for that squarely at Dean’s feet. Is Robert Berens trying to make me hate Sam? Because right now Sam Winchester can just go fuck himself.
Sam calls Dean out for his threat to kill EJ. Dean says he meant it in a compassionate, greater good way. He says he was honest with EJ, unlike Sam, who is just using him to get Mary back. Dean insists that he knows how this all ends, and it ends bad.
Sam says he didn’t. He didn’t end bad when he was the “freak”. He reminds Dean that John told him to put a bullet in Sam – and Dean didn’t. He saved him. That’s not actually what John told Dean in “In My time of Dying”, but that’s how Sam remembers it, so. And I don’t know that Dean so much saved Sam in Season 2, as Sam got his fool self killed by Jake and Dean sacrificed himself to bring Sam back.
Anyhoo, Sam pleads with Dean to help him save EJ. Dean barks that Sam deserved to be saved and EJ doesn’t! He accuses Sam again some more of not caring about EJ, but only caring about what EJ can do for him.
And then Dean finally gets to the heart of his loathing for the boy. When he looks at EJ all he can see are the people they’ve lost. He accuses EJ of manipulating Castiel. Of making promises of a paradise on Earth that the angel couldn’t help but believe. Dean shouts that that belief got Cas killed. And that’s not something he can forget.
Anger is a natural stage of grief – one that Dean is openly experiencing for once and not apologizing for. Even for Dean, there are some feelings that just can’t be pushed down.
And you know, Jared and Jensen are selling the hell out of this scene, but they can’t overcome the fact that Dean’s motivation for hating EJ is just wrong. Mary chose to take on Lucifer. Lucifer killed Cas. It was Crowley’s pride that couldn’t just put the devil back in his cage. And Sam’s bright idea to spring him in the first place – as a result of Sam’s other bright idea to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean.
Narratively it’s more interesting for Sam to be the one that Dean blames and maybe even hates. For the cognitive dissonance to result in Dean projecting those feelings onto EJ. Knowing the resentments that Dean has expressed in the past – towards John in “Dream a Little Dream” and Mary just last season in “Who We Are” – it makes sense for his character. That’s actually a really interesting story that Show could tell … but they’re not going to.
As much as I hate the boys being in conflict, their reactions are (mostly) in character. It’s no surprise that Sam would identify so closely with EJ – with his sense of alienation and fear of the darkness within him. But Sam has also been motivated by a desire to choose his own path and defy expectations. And as we’ve seen in later seasons (I’m thinking the Season 8 trials) Sam has also felt a need to redeem himself of sins, both real and perceived.
After carrying the Mark of Cain for two seasons, Dean knows all too well what it feels like to struggle with a darkness you can’t control – and the consequences when it takes hold of you. So I think he sees himself in EJ, too. But where Sam is driven by hope, Dean has had the hope burned right out of him.
Naturally, EJ has been moping in the hallway this whole time and has heard the entire exchange. He whispers his angel’s name and his eyes flare.
In the Empty, Castiel wakes up.