“Alex Annie Alexis Ann”
April 22, 2014
THEN: “Vampires! Gets funnier every time I hear it.”
And then Sheriff Jody Mills and her sassy pixie hairdo kill the vampire with a fire ax because that’s how the HBIC do.
Jody is waiting outside the station when Sam and Dean arrive the next morning. There are smiles and warm greetings, but sadly, no hugging. Boo! Whither the hugging?!
Sam asks after her shoulder. Jody shrugs. She asks how they’ve been. Dean lies that they’re peachy. Sam winces and gives a more honest accounting. “Touch and go.”
Jody pops the trunk on her prowler and we get an old school POV looking up at the trio. Yay old school POV! Inside the trunk is the body of a young man. His head is nestled between his knees. Sam reaches down and probes the gums. A fang pops out.
“I don’t know, Sammy. Looks like Jody might not need our help anymore.”
Sam agrees. “Ah, they grow up too fast.” Jody smiles at the good-natured teasing but warns that there are more where this one came from. She says her deputy brought in a runaway the night before. Nothing on her put a bus ticket out of Nebraska. No name, no manners. “Girl’s basically feral.” The vampire went to plenty of trouble to get at her. From the part of the conversation Jody overhead, the others will want her at least as badly.
Sam checks Jane Doe’s gums under the guise of taking a DNA swab. He shakes his head at Dean. No fangs. Jane calls shenanigans on their FBI act. She makes them as hunters and resumes her sullen silence.
As Dean tries to question her, Sam notices scarring on Jane’s neck. She shifts uncomfortably, trying to hide it with her shirt collar. Jody calls them out of the room. She’s got an ID. Their Jane is Annie Jones, reported missing by her elderly grandmother in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2006.
Jody wonders if the vampires could have been the ones who abducted her. There was something familiar about the way the one in the trunk talked to Annie. Dean thinks eight years is a long time to live with vamps without getting killed or turned. Sam points out the scars on her neck – feeding scars, layered and built up over years.
Dean tells Jody they’ve seen it before. Humans kept as pets. Kept as living blood bags. Sometimes they become loyal to their captors. “So … this girl’s not talking because she’s got a case of what? Vampiric Stockholm Syndrome?” Dean says simply that Annie is protecting the nest. Jody looks a little queasy.
She monitors the interview as the boys take another crack at the girl. Sam plays Captain Compassion to Dean’s tough love. They understand that she feels a debt of loyalty to the vampires. They raised her, gave her a home. Her only response is to flatly insist her name is Alex. Sam tells her it isn’t. Her name is Annie Jones and the vampires stole her.
Dean bluntly says the vampires don’t love her. They love her blood. They fed on her. She snaps back that her name is Alex. And she fed them. It was her choice. Her brothers brought her food when she was hungry. So when they struck out on a hunt, she fed them. “They’re my family.”
Calling her Alex, Sam begins probing the reason she ran away. She says it was time for her to go out on her own. She’s not very convincing. Both boys press the fact that one vamp has already come after her. The rest aren’t just going to let her go. They’ve got her scent down cold. How far and how long does she think she can run?
A tear slips down her cheek. Alex struggles to get her emotions back under control. She didn’t think her actions through, but any blame for her brother Cody’s death is on Sheriff Mills. Dean corrects her. Cody is dead because of a choice Alex made. Dean is all like, ‘Sorry, time to put on your big girl panties and deal with the consequences’.
Sam says she has two options – “Them. Or you.” They can keep her safe, but she has to tell them where the nest is. Alex says she can’t, even though she’s well aware of the consequences now. “After what’s happened … Momma finds me, she’ll kill me.”
Alex’s bus ticket provides them with a starting point – O’Neill, Nebraska. Sam puts together a short list of possible nest locations in the small town. They can hit them all in a day. Jody says she’s fine for babysitting detail, but Sam warns that the vamps have made the station. It might be worth heading upwind.
Jody takes this new bit of information in stride. She and Alex can hunker down in her family’s cabin outside of town. Remote, difficult to defend – what could go wrong? Dean suggests she take backup, but Jody balks at the idea of using her deputies against vampires. “Frank’s still in the dark about what hit him last night. Guy still has nightmares about the barn episode of Walking Dead.”
Sam laughs. Dean’s like, ‘Didn’t see it. I was in Purgatory.’ Jody says her men are good cops, not hunters. “They’re not ready for this.” The boys leave her with a few vials of dead man’s blood, but Jody is sure she won’t need them. Sam and Dean will get the jump on the nest before they even realize Alex is missing, right? Dean gives her a silent, ‘Thanks for jinxing it, but we’ll go with yes’.
Jody unpacks groceries while Alex pokes around the cabin’s living room. She picks up a framed photo and asks where Jody’s family is. The question hits the sheriff like a ton of bricks. Alex fills in an answer from Jody’s silence.
Jody snatches the picture from Alex’s hands. “You know, there are about a thousand more polite ways you could say that. I’ll give you a pass on account of the whole ‘raised by monsters’ thing.” Alex apologizes by asking how her son and husband died.
Jody changes the subject and offers to make up a bed. Alex brats that she’s fine. She plops down on the couch. Jody returns to the kitchen. Her back to Alex, she leans on the counter and closes her eyes. With a sigh, she pushes through the moment and goes back to the groceries.
The boys work through Sam’s list. They find a foreclosed house that is clearly being squatted. Its windows are blacked out, but the wood chipper out back is the real giveaway that this is the nest. Clay, that werewolf from Bitten, is feeding the people who sold Alex the bus ticket into it.
Dean calls out to Clay. Does he need a hand with that? There’s a bloody arm sticking out of the machine’s feeder. Dean chuckles. “I guess not.”
That werewolf from Bitten drops his fangs. Sam drops him with a shovel to the face. After Clay comes to, Dean works him over and then he pulls out the machete. “Vamps that kidnap kids? Well. I am going to enjoy putting you down.”
Clay finally puts it together. He says he warned Momma that Alexis she was going to screw everything up for them one day. His tone is bitter as he tells them Momma turned them all – all but her. Momma couldn’t bring herself to do it. No matter what they said or how bad Alexis got. “Whining – near constant about everything, but more and more about the blood. Like she’s somehow above it. Like she’s better than us because she don’t feed on people.”
“She IS better than you, dumbass!”
Clay says her mopey teenage crisis of conscience is annoying – and just an act. “When the chips are down, she’ll always choose us over humans.” Alexis is the reason they were able to stay off of hunter radar for so many years.
“Pretty, young, lost looking thing like her? Irresistible. Especially to the kind of man few people would miss. It’s a lot easier and a lot safer to get delivery.”
Clay says Alexis is such a good lure because she enjoys it. “In her own sweet way, girl’s as bloodthirsty as any vampire.” It hits Sam first. Alexis is feral, quite possible lethal in her own right, and she’s alone with Jody in the middle of nowhere.
Jody comes in with an arm full of firewood. Alex is nowhere to be found. The music and foreshadowing suggest she’s lurking behind a corner waiting to murder the sheriff. In fact, she’s sacked out, asleep.
Jody stands in front of the bedroom door. Her head bows and her hands fidget. She has to work up the nerve to go into the room. It was her son Owen’s room. She flips on the light and walks over to the bulletin board hanging on the wall. It’s full of pictures and postcards, prize ribbons and mementos.
Memories of the life Jody once had.
She lingers in front of it for a moment and then pulls herself away. She looks down on the girl sleeping in her son’s bed. Jody pulls the blanket up over Alex and she wakes up with a start. When Jody’s heart stops pounding she tells Alex there’s a sandwich waiting for her in the kitchen.
She turns to leave and Alex calls her back. There’s an urgency to her voice. What she’s about to ask makes her disloyal, so she has to ask quickly. Her grandmother? Jody shakes her head. She’s so sorry. Alex didn’t realize how much hearing it would hurt, and she tries to deflect the emotion. It’s fine. “I figured it’s been years. And she was old.” She lays down and curls up without another word.
Dean reaches Jody with a warning just as Alex’s vampire family pull up to the cabin. Jody tells the boys to hurry. Dean doesn’t waste time. He is quick and coldly efficient as he takes Clay’s head before they leave.
At the cabin, brother Connor bursts through the bedroom window and grabs Alex. She screams for Jody who goes tearing after her, blade in hand … and is taken to the ground with a clothesline from one of the other vamps. They struggle, but Momma calls him off. No snacking! He knocks Jody out and they leave with Alex.
Jody is just coming to as the boys pull up. The nest in O’Neill seems the most likely place the vamps would take Alex. Jody staggers towards the car. She’s coming with them. The boys plant themselves in front of her. She’s hurt. They can handle the nest on their own.
Jody doesn’t care a fig about that. “That girl was under my protection!” Dean tells her Alex can’t be trusted. She’s a lure who’s been feeding people to the vampires for years. Sam backs Dean up, although he tries to be more tactful about it. Dean presses the point. Are they sure Alex even wants to be saved?
“She’s got more blood on her hands than most monsters we kill.”
It must be the concussion, because Jody isn’t sure she heard Dean right. Is Alex on the list now? Sam tries again to lower the volume. They’re not saying that. “Well, not yet.” Sam’s b-face is all, ‘SHUT UP, DEAN. NOT HELPING’. He keeps talking. Jody stops listening.
When Sam asks what this is really about, Jody snaps out of her reverie. She gives him a ‘We’re not going to go there’ glare and shoulders past them. She’s coming. “And if either one of you lays so much as a hand on Alex, you’ll have to go through me.”
Baby is all like, ‘Did you hear the way my door just thunked? That is the end of this discussion, so chop, chop. We’re losing daylight.’
Alex wakes up back in her own bed. Momma is gathering her things. Does she have any idea the mess she’s made? She shushes Alex’s apologies. “We will all find our way. Things got screwy, but you’re back now.”
Alex doesn’t understand what’s happening. She thought Momma would be angry. She thought she would kill her. Momma sits down on the bed next to Alex. She would never hurt her. “Not my baby girl. Not my sweet Alex.” How could she even think that? There’s hurt in her voice. Momma just wants to know why.
Alex slowly breaks down as she admits the truth. She couldn’t take it anymore. “The blood. And the death. The sounds of their screams, I just … and the way I felt afterwards … the guilt. I’d rather die than feel that way again.” Momma turns away. Devastated. It’s her fault. All of it. “I should have turned you years ago. It was so selfish. I wanted to watch you grow up.”
Momma has burdened Alex with all of these human feelings, but it’s not too late. She can take the pain away. “And then we can stay together as a family. Like none of this ever happened.” She strokes Alex’s cheek. The girl lets go and lets herself enjoy the familiar, loving touch.
Sam, Dean, and Jody creep up on the squat. After clearing the ground floor, Sam gestures to Jody to stay put while he and Dean check upstairs. Jody hears a moaning cry from the basement. She glances up the stairs for the boys but doesn’t risk calling out for them. She goes to investigate on her own.
Alex is splayed out on the bed face down. Jody tugs at her arm. Alex yells into the bedspread for her to go away. She pops her head up. There’s blood on her mouth. “I’m sorry, Jody. I made my choice.” Momma walks up behind the sheriff and drops her with a punch.
“She chose me.”
Things aren’t going much better upstairs for the boys. Sam is duct taped to a chair and Dean is out cold on the floor. Connor holds a shotgun on Sam. He was vexed to come home and find his brother dead. He wants to know which one of them did it. There’s a tiny flicker on Sam’s face. Connor tosses his other brother the shotgun. He points it at Dean’s head.
“A brother for a brother.”
Sam they’ll bleed dry. Lunch for the road. A few pints later and Sam is looking a little gray. Other brother kicks Dean in the ribs. He’s still out … or is he? Other brother puts the bucket on the floor and leans down to slit Dean’s throat. Dean reaches up and jabs a syringe filled with dead man’s blood into his chest. He gurgles and goes down.
Dean grabs the machete as it falls and rises to meet Connor’s attack. The vampire sends him back to the floor with an elbow to the face. Hey, didn’t Dean take down three demons at Cain’s house before he received the Mark, not to mention AN ENTIRE NEST in Season 6? What was Gabriel saying last episode about continuity?
Anyhoo, Connor picks up the machete (BUNGIE!) and Dean grabs his arm. They struggle with the blade between them. The vampire seems to have the advantage, but then for a moment, Dean’s face goes still. He pushes back and knees Connor. Dean spins him around so his back is against the wall. He presses the blade ever closer to the vampire’s throat. The stillness settles on him again. The vampire looks away and prepares himself. Dean says, “Look at me.”
With a grunt and a shove, Dean slices through Connor’s neck. With a twist, head and body fall to the floor.
Imma let you finish Sam and Vamp!Gordon, but we may have a new entry for title of Best. Kill. Ever.
Dean steps back, blood spattered on his face, breathing shallow. He drops the machete and pulls the needle out of Sam’s arm. Sam gasps his name. “Yeah, I know. You wouldn’t have done the same for me.” Wait, WHAT? Did Dean just say that? Sam doesn’t react and there’s no time to parse the statement, because “Jody.”
Momma binds Jody’s hands and hangs her from a rafter. She warns her not to bother Alex. “She’s going through something. A process. All that’s left is to feed.”
Momma pulls Alex up from the bed and walks her over to Jody. Alex stares at her jugular and the blood, the blood, MY GOD, THE BLOOD, but she pleads with Momma to let Jody go. When she doesn’t respond, Alex shakes Momma off and backs away.
Momma doesn’t appreciate the undue influence the Sheriff is exerting over her girl. “Clearly, you got issues. Some hole in your life you’re using my Alex to fill. I would say go and get a family of your own, but … well, you know.”
Jody says that’s rich coming from someone who actually did go and steal a family. Momma sniffs that Jody doesn’t know the first thing about being a mother. Jody agrees that maybe she doesn’t. But she knows what it isn’t. “It ain’t about forcing her to be like you the second she becomes inconvenient.”
Momma hisses that it’s time to finish this. The puzzle of the name suddenly slips into place for Jody. It’s been needling at her, why they changed her name from Annie to Alex. “Was she your daughter? I thought maybe you were ashamed of your theft, but you have no shame. You said that I was using her to fill a hole in my life, and you’re right. I am. You are too. I guess it takes one to know one.”
The other Alex may have died a long time ago, but it still hurts. “You still feel it. The loss. Pain. Like a stone in your gut that hurts just a little bit less whenever she’s near.” That’s just about all the true feelings caring and sharing that Momma can stand.
When the vampire finally stops throwing punches, Jody looks like she’s about to lose an eye. Momma cuts the rope and Jody collapses in a heap on the concrete floor. Momma hauls her up again by her throat. “Whoever you lost, you’re gonna see them again. Real soon.”
Momma goes in for the kill but stops short when the dead man’s blood hits her system. She turns to see Alex holding the syringe. Momma falls to her knees. “How could you?! You were my girl.” Alex whispers she’s sorry.
Jody lurches over the table and grabs her weapon. She pulls back Momma’s hair and holds the blade to her neck. She looks at Alex with her one good eye. “Don’t watch this sweetheart.” Alex turns away and Jody ends it.
Aftermath. Jody checks in with the station while Sam checks in with Dean. “Nice work back there. ‘Look at me bitch’?” Dean says if Sam has another snappy one liner, he’s all ears. That’s not what Sam meant. It looked to him like Dean was enjoying it … maybe too much.
“Sorry for not putting on a hair shirt. Killing things that need killing … is kind of our job. Last I checked, taking pleasure in that’s not a crime.” No, but it is creepy. Creepy and disturbing. Remember Gordon and Christian Campbell? They took pleasure in the killing too, and you thought they were psychos, Dean.
And just two episodes ago Dean was insisting to Crowley that he kills with reason, not passion. Now here we are, with the Mark’s influence growing stronger. Sam should be concerned. SAM SHOULD BE VERY, VERY CONCERNED BECAUSE THIS DOES NOT END WELL.
Instead, he lets it go when Jody limps over to join them. Her eye looks much better. They must have given her some of their CW ointment. The boys apologize for being wrong about Alex. Jody admits they were right. Not about Alex, but about her. Her judgment was clouded.
She says working this case brought back feelings she’s been trying to bury for years. She’s tried to bury it under work, religion, and even dating. “We know how that worked out.” But the grief is still there.
Jody’s voice drops to a whisper. The plinky piano of “The Family Theme” picks up, as though my teevee girlfriend Kim Rhodes needed any extra help in KILLING ALL OF US WITH HER LADY PAIN. Even Jared’s puppy dog eyes are like, BOW DOWN.
Jody doesn’t know what’s next for her, just that’s she’s been fooling herself to think that she could ignore her grief. She shrugs and pushes it down. She thanks the boys for coming and for curing Alex. She worries though that it won’t work. Dean tells her that, speaking from experience, it will be a rough couple of days, but Alex should pull through. PRAISE BE TO THE GODS OF CONTINUITY!
Dean asks Jody if she’s sure she doesn’t want them to stay. Something about the way he says it is so adorably warm and caring. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE THAT AWAY FROM HIM, MARK OF CAIN. THAT AGGRESSION WILL NOT STAND.
Alex tosses in Owen’s bed, sweating with fever but knowing the chills will hit again in a second. Jody offers to fix her something to eat, but Alex says she’ll just throw it up. She realizes that sounds ungrateful. She remembers to say thank you.
She needs Jody to know – to understand – why she took Momma’s blood. Alex says she just couldn’t disappoint her again. She has enough to be ashamed of as it is. She’s done things …
Jody sits down on the bed. She knows. Alex doesn’t have to explain. “Whatever you want from me, I’ll give it. If you want, I’m here.” What Alex has been through in the last two days alone … losing her entire family, everything she’s ever known or loved … “No one can understand that.”
And together, they can start to fix the holes. Maybe we’ll even get to see it happen. HEY, WOULDN’T THIS HAVE MADE A GREAT BACKDOOR PILOT FOR A SPIN OFF? Sorry, Bloodlines. You would have made a perfectly cromulent addition to the TVD / Originals universe, but you weren’t a Supernatural spin off. YOU’VE GOT A SECOND CHANCE, POWERS THAT BE. MAKE THE RIGHT CALL.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site chron.com.