“Don’t Your Forget About Me”
February 3, 2016
Originally published February 22, 2016
THEN: “Jody Mills is good people.”
Alex walks out of school hand-in-hand with her letter jacket boyfriend, Henry. Another friend catches up to them and announces she’s in the presence of royalty. They’re in the lead for prom king and queen!
Alex scoffs at the news. Henry sure, but it seems unlikely for her. She wonders that people even still do that? “I thought it was an 80’s thing.” Henry assures her it’s very much a thing. There are crowns, even. He tells her they should have fun with it. He’ll wear the dress and she can wear the tux. Alex sasses that Henry doesn’t have the boobs for her dress.
They’re sweet and adorable together and yay! Alex has nice things! For now!
Jody is sitting in her truck across the street. She smiles as she watches Alex with her friends. Alex hops in and immediately begins a stream of updates. She fell asleep in a pool of her own drool in chem lab and her soccer coach is calling double practice the next day to tighten up the midfield. Jody can’t help but smile again, so proud and pleased for how well Alex is doing. “You’re killing it out there.”
Things are quiet at the Bunker. Too quiet for Sam’s liking. They haven’t heard anything from Cas and there’s nothing on the Amara-meter. “God’s psycho sister has gone to ground.” He’s reduced to trolling the interwebs for memes and year-old photos of woodpecker riding weasels.
Dean is enjoying the downtime by exploring all the culinary delights that the greater Lebanon, Kansas metro region has to offer. Behold! The
Luther Burger Elvis! A burger stacked with bacon and lovingly nestled between two glazed donuts.
Sam is happy for the starving children to have his. “Dude, I’m not going to survive hundreds of monster attacks to get flatlined by some double donut monstrosity.” Dean barks at him, “The Elvis!” Show some respect. And let’s all just take a moment to be glad that Dean is back on his feed. It’s when a dog doesn’t eat. That’s when you worry.
Dean answers his ringing phone and tells Claire that her Caddyshack review is way overdue. Continuity! Continuity be praised! The call is brief and Dean’s expression quickly turns serious.
The Impala is sitting in the driveway when Jody and Alex arrive home. It’s a surprise to both women. “I didn’t put up the bat signal.” They walk in and there is hugging. YAY! HUGGING!
Sam immediately takes the groceries from Jody because he’s a good boy and because writer Nancy Won was thoughtful enough to free up both
Kim’s Jody’s hands for the Jensen Dean hugging. You’re doing good work writer Nancy Won. Keep it up.
Dean says it’s been too long and Sam agrees. He teases Alex. That is her, right? She sighs and says she doesn’t look that different. From the couch, ray of sunshine Claire snarks that it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you spend two hours in the bathroom every morning.
Hey, don’t hate missy. Natural beauty takes time.
Alex fires back, wondering since when is Claire even up in the morning? She’s surprised Claire is awake now. Jody shuts the squabble down. She’s pretty sure Sam and Dean didn’t come all this way to watch them kill each other.
And speaking of … Jody asks if everything is okay? “I didn’t accidentally butt-dial you, did I?” Claire says she called them. About the monsters that Jody refuses to believe are monsters. Jody heaves a full body sigh. A call to her first could have saved them a trip, but as long as they’re there, she can use the backup. She tells the boys to settle in while she starts dinner.
She may as well have told them to go wash up for the orgy, such is the deeply personal moment the boys are having with the roast chicken. Even Sam is eating! What sorcery is this?!
Sam’s eyes roll back in his head as he chews. Dean is all but making om nom nom noises. Alex watches them with amusement. Claire just wishes they would stop molesting their meal long enough to talk about the monsters. Dean groans that the bird is fantastic! And the potatoes and the beans … do they eat like this every day?? Jody says it’s just chicken. Sam is all like, exactly! It’s shaped like chicken! It’s not a patty or a nugget!
Claire breaks in before Sam can go all Forrest Gump on the bird. Can they get to the case? When she has their attention she says three people are missing. Jody wearily says there is no evidence that they didn’t skip town on their own. This is clearly a well-covered dinner table topic.
Claire insists that there is something out there. Jody dismissively says the evidence comes from the neighborhood crime blogs that Claire has been reading. Alex remains silent for the moment. She oh so casually reaches out and picks up Jody’s wine glass.
Without missing a beat Jody tells her to put it BACK.
Sam allows that they’ve hunted on less. Jody shoots him the YOU’RE NOT HELPING look. Dean asks what else she has. Claire’s confidence takes a stumble. She vagues that she’s working on it.
Alex gives her a ‘Yeah, whatcha got?’ look before saying that Claire did catch a werewolf … except it turned out to be a German Shepherd with rabies. Jody adds that before that it was the vampire. “Councilwoman into erotic cosplay. I didn’t know what cosplay was before that … super embarrassing for the whole force.”
Dean is not amused. “Wow. You’ve been busy.” What part of doing her homework before she did anything stupid did Claire not understand? Claire says she’s been hunting. Jody translates – she’s been menacing innocent people, racking up assaults, and testing the limits of the sheriff’s ability to keep her out of jail. Claire admits that she’s been wrong … but this time she knows there’s a monster.
Alex has had enough. Can they stop talking about monsters and start talking about real life? It’s like throwing chum in the water. Claire says, sure. Let’s get real. She asks if Alex and Henry have settled on a weekend yet. “When you’re sneaking up to Jody’s cabin to screw yourselves silly.”
Years spent living with vampires could not have prepared Alex for the horror of this moment.
Jody gawps, fork left suspended in mid-air. Sam awkwards that this seems like family business. He and Dean prepare to eject. Jody slams her palm down on the table.
Now that she’s stirred the pot, Claire is happy to sit back and watch it bubble over. Jody collects herself. Is there anything Alex would like to say? No? Well, Jody may have … no, definitely … saw birth control pills in Alex’s backpack. Sam gasps and clutches his pearls.
“Oh, we’re going there.”
Alex is equally mortified. Jody brightly says that, hey! If we can’t talk about it we shouldn’t be doing it, right? She looks to the other two adults at the table.
Jody gives both girls the STD lecture. Whoever they are with needs to suit up!
Every time. Always. “No pulling up the drawbridge early.”
Alex is all like, ‘I GET IT GOD STOP TALKING, PLEASE.’ Claire looks like this is the best fun she’s had since juvie. She could not be more delighted. Jody adds that, as much as she loves Henry, Alex shouldn’t expect the guy to always show up packing.
Is she right, male peen having persons?
Sam is all like, ‘THIS CHICKEN IS DELICIOUS’. Dean’s expression says all he’s heard as Jody has been talking is pops and buzzes. Alex finally tells her to stop. She and Henry haven’t done anything yet. She’s just … trying to be prepared.
Jody’s jaw hangs open. She’s now totally at a loss for words. Sam gives her a tiny encouraging head nod. GOOD TALK. EXCELLENT TALK. Dean smiles and sips his wine. YES, SAMUEL. I AGREE. GOOD TALK. Jody drains her glass. MASHED POTATOES. WE NEED MORE MASHED POTATOES. I’LL JUST GET THE MASHED POTATOES. PO-TAY-TOES.
Oh, my. This scene. Bless this table and all who sit here because this scene is an utter delight.
Dean helps clear the table while Jody does the dishes. I assume Sam is stretched flat on his back in the living room, gently rubbing his full dinner belly and softly moaning to himself. A train whistle sounds in the distance. Dean starts drying and compliments Jody on the mealtime ambush. He thought they were going to be helping her with monsters, not birth control.
“Welcome to my world.”
Jody says she loves Alex and Claire, but she’s hanging on by her fingertips. She tells Dean that Claire held a sword to the throat of the last guy she pegged for a monster – and he’s determined to press charges.
Dean is surprised. He admits he thought it would be Alex with the “adjustment issues”. Oh, he’s not wrong. Jody says it was rough going there for a bit too, and then everything just seemed to click. But even as Alex has found an even keel, Jody still feels like she’s navigating murky waters.
Jody says she should be teaching the girls things a mom would … but she’s not Alex’s mom. She’s not Claire’s mom. She didn’t raise them. She doesn’t have the history with them. What Sheriff Mills does have are good boundaries.
Dean says they’ll talk to Claire, help settle her down. Jody anxiously bites at her lip and says there’s more. You know, on first watch I was disappointed that Jody seemed to be so dismissive of Claire. But this scene dispelled that feeling. It’s Jody’s worry and concern that shine through and are clearly driving her reactions. She says Claire started college, but she hasn’t been to class in weeks. She doesn’t have any friends. “She spends all her time trolling for cases and reading lore.” Dean says it sounds kind of creepy when put like that.
Jody clarifies that she’s got nothing against hunting … but if Claire is hiding in it because she doesn’t have anything else? “I’m just worried about her being so alone.” Dean says he’ll put Sammy on it. “He’s better with the whole talky thing anyway.”
Claire is in her room elbow deep in thick tomes, trolling the interwebs for cases. The Grumpy Cat plush that Cas gave her is nestled in her arms. He got it at the Hot Topical. Continuity! And all the feels! Which makes it even stranger that at no point does Claire ask about Cas. Huh. Curious.
Anyhoo, Sam knocks and comes in. He comments that they have the same decorating philosophy – meaning, nothing that marks the space as home. Just stacks of books and weapons and a Wall of Crazy.
Sam says he gets it. The hunter life consumes you. You start seeing monsters everywhere … and lately it seems like she’s spent a lot of time hunting monsters that aren’t there. “You wouldn’t be the first hunter who’s trying to escape something.” He says he doesn’t think she’s crazy and he’s not taking sides. He’s just trying to understand what’s going on with her.
Claire softens and lets the wall drop a few inches. She says Jody and Alex aren’t trying to make her feel bad – well, Alex might be. “Sometimes I just feel like I’m a little late to the Jody and Alex show.” We like to call it Supernatural: Wayward Daughters, and there’s a place for you, kitten. Trust.
Sam allows that the two women have been through some heavy ground together. Claire brightens and says maybe it’s time she just heads out on her own. Be a full-fledged hunter. Sam gives her a tight smile. Pushing it all down and burying it because that’s how you keep going? Where has he heard that before?
Sam tells her again some more that he understands the need to hunt. “But the monsters are always going to be there. On and on. Forever. But a chance at a family? At a home? School? That won’t be.”
The next morning, Alex’s favorite teacher, Steven Phelps, is dangling 20 feet off the ground, duct-taped to the flagpole for all the school to see. No one is saluting. Claire is vindicated! She wonders what they’re dealing with. Demons? Ghost possession? Jody enunciates slowly so that Claire will understand, that this is a crime scene. She can’t be here.
“Oh, but the fake FBI can?”
I’m sorry, I kind of love snarky, snotty Claire. Dean is not feeling it. He takes Claire by the arm and walks her off to the side. She doesn’t want to say I told you so, except that she totally does. She was trying to work the case. “The case everyone said wasn’t real.”
Dean readily admits that’s so. But she can’t just walk up in front of a bunch of officers and demand that the sheriff give her details on a murder investigation. Claire full body eye rolls. Can they talk about the case now?
“Oh, I’m not even near finished.”
Dean calls her out. He says she needs to show Jody a little respect and reminds her that the sheriff did her a huge solid by taking her in. Got her set up at school … Claire sasses that she doesn’t want to go to school. “Nobody wants to go to school, Claire! It’s school.”
Dean takes a deep breath, centers, and says Jody has been busting her aspirations to get Claire set up with a life. “She’s feeding you. Hello, you’ve got a nicer room than I do now. She kept you out of jail …” Claire cuts him off, but the fight is slowly going out of her. She says she never asked Jody to do any of that. Dean says that’s the point. She needs to start acting like she gives a crap.
Thus endeth the lesson as Alex and Henry walk over. Alex is in shock. She says classes have been canceled, so they’re going to hang out. “Hang out, huh?” Dean fixes Henry with the peen shriveling glare of death.
While Dean scans the halls for EMF, Jody and Sam interview the custodian who discovered Mr. Phelps’ body. “He was stuck up there, like a bug on a stick.” Wheeler says he thought at first it was a prank. He chuckles when he says it, which isn’t unsettling at all.
Sam asks if he’s noticed anything weird or out of the ordinary lately. “You mean weirder than a dead teacher taped to the top of a flagpole?” Jody comments on Wheeler’s remarkable chill, given the graphic scene he came upon. The custodian shrugs. He didn’t know the guy, so.
Dean and Sam compare notes in the hallway later. Dean has checked every room – noting he deserves hazard pay for going into the bathrooms – and there’s no EMF, no hex bags, no sulfur, no nothing. The only thing he did find were a couple of teachers making out in the break room. Sam says it’s more than he came up with. No witnesses, except the custodian – and there’s definitely something up with him. Sam screws up his face in distaste. “He’s … squirrelly.”
Alex and Henry talk about Mr. Phelps as they walk together along a creek. “What he must have gone through. Nobody should die like that.” Alex’s mind drifts from the present horror to her life before. She tells Henry that she wasn’t always this girl. Sometimes she doesn’t recognize herself. He should know … she’s done some really bad things. Hurt people. The weight of the truth and the past presses on her.
Henry reassures her. He says everybody has done things they’re ashamed of, but he doesn’t care what she did. Whatever it is. He gently brushes her hair back from her cheek. She never has to tell him anything if she doesn’t want to.
Henry is such a good boyfriend. He’s either going to die horribly or he’s totally the monster.
Dean and Jody come home with lab results. The fiber found at the crime scene is asbestos. “So our killer’s fire retardant. What does that mean?” Also, Wheeler’s alibi checked out. Sam says that his social security number doesn’t unless he’s the late Mamie Garcia. Claire adds that Wheeler started working at the high school at the same time the disappearances began.
“The ones I said were supernatural in the first place.”
Not that she’s going to make a thing of it. Jody is like, yes, we heard you the first ten times you reminded us. Claire jumps on the Wheeler re-interview. She says she has a Fed suit. She can be their new agent trainee. “Hold on there, Quantico!” Jody reminds her of their meeting with the college registrar.
Claire full body snots for her to reschedule it. Jody is AGHAST! at the suggestion. She nopes it from orbit. Claire is going to beg him to let her re-enroll. Dean defuses the standoff with a quiet, “Hey.” He gives Claire the respect and gratitude stare of giving a crap. Sam puppy dogs at her for good measure. Claire huffs and stomps off to her room. Sam and Dean take their leave of Jody with a nod and a smile. They’ll take the murderer, thanks. Best of luck with the teenager.
30 minutes later, Claire is walking mortification. She says she feels like an asshat. Who dresses like this anyway? “There is a reason why murderers put on monkey suits when they go in front of a judge.” Jody is prevented from expanding on that thought by the shovel to the back of the head. Claire runs around the back of the truck and into the clutches of Wheeler the custodian.
He slams her into the garage wall and then holds her off the ground by the throat. Claire struggles for breath as she pulls a knife from her belt. Wheeler knocks it away and punches her in the face. Jody painfully drags herself up off the concrete and roars as she rushes at Wheeler with a ski pole. He delivers a crushing kick to her knee, sending her back to the ground. He drags Claire out of the garage. Jody crawls to her bag, digs out her phone, and calls Dean.
All he can hear from his end is the sound of struggle and Jody’s screams.
There’s no sign of the women when Sam and Dean arrive at the house. Dean gets a call with an update on Wheeler’s identity. He’s actually Richard Beesome, a trucker from O’Neill, Nebraska. It’s the same town that Alex – and her old nest – were from. He’s been missing for three years and his family was found exsanguinated with their throats ripped out. The boys split up – Dean to collect Alex and Sam to check out Beesome’s office for some clue that might lead them to Jody and Claire.
Dean calls Alex with the sitrep and tells her to wait for him. He’s five minutes away. Just enough time for Henry to vamp out and take off with her.
Dean checks in with Sam, who’s found an old map of the school. The building that housed the pool was closed due to asbestos. Best guess is that’s where Beesome is holding Jody and Claire. It’s also where he stashed the bodies of his other victims. Beesome says he’s just waiting for trash day. Jody quietly says to Claire, “You were right.”
“How’s this for a family reunion?” Now that Alex has arrived, let the evil monologuing begin! Beesome asks if she’s figured out who he is. He’s stung when Alex spits that she doesn’t know him.
“Wow. You took my life, and you don’t remember.”
It was Nebraska, three years ago. Some sleazebag was taking her home outside a bar and Beesome ran him off. Beesome says he could tell Alex didn’t want anything to do with the guy. He thought maybe she was being trafficked. So he gave her some money and drove her home instead. Alex’s voice shakes with emotion. She says she does remember him. Beesome asks if she remembers how she didn’t say a word the whole way there. Or when her ‘brothers’ tore into him.
“They drank me alive! They turned me!”
And then, he says, the real fun began. He went home and lost control. He gutted his wife and his son. Alex begins to break down, tormented by her role in the undoing of Beesome’s life. Kudos to writer Nancy Won for flipping the script and making me feel sympathy for the monster. Alex apologizes but says her nest made her do it. Beesome snaps that she could have left him outside the bar.
“I tried to help you. I was a good man!”
He tells Alex the only thing that kept him going was the knowledge that he would find her and make her pay. At first, he was just going to kill her, but she was so miserable and alone.
“I wanted you to be happy first. I wanted you to have something precious so that I could take it from you.”
Jody looks stunned and horrified. Claire silently murders Beesome with her eyes. Once he was turned, Henry’s job was to build Alex up so Beesome could chop her down – piece by piece. “I’d take your teacher. Your boyfriend. Your family. And then I’ll feed you to my nest.”
Alex looks at Henry, shattered. “Nothing? None of it was real?” The boy laughs. “Seriously, Al? You were a complete freak! I mean, you were an angry loner, creeping around the school like some kind of Trenchcoat Mafia.” From the floor, Claire tells him he’s going to burn. Henry lets the comment pass. He simply says he could never date someone like Alex. Alex swallows her unspilled tears and spits them in his face. Damn right! Henry lunges at her, but Beesome holds him back.
The vampire explains that Henry has a mean streak. Killing Mr. Phelps wasn’t enough for him. “He had to run him up the flagpole for the whole school to salute.” It brought a lot of unwanted attention, but Beesome shrugs that Henry is young. He’ll learn.
Beesome grabs Claire by the coat and drags her to her feet as she struggles against him. Jody starts talking. She says it’s not the FBI who showed up, but hunters. The same hunters who killed Alex’s entire nest! Well, fair play Jody, you killed the HVIC and Dean took out the rest.
And it was awesome.
Alex stammers that it’s true. The hunters are coming for them. She tries to reason with Henry, but he says she’s the one who did this to all of them. Beesome drags Claire in front of Alex. He whispers that she’s going to watch everyone she loves die. Claire snarks that he should check his intel – Alex hates her. Beesome yanks Claire’s head back and she yelps in pain.
Alex blurts out that she’ll help them. Let Claire and Jody go and she’ll lure for them. He knows how good she is. “I kept a whole nest alive for eight years!” She adds that they can feed on her when the hunting goes dry. “And it goes dry, I know.” The horror of what she’s offering washes over Alex. Beesome says he may take her up on that – right after he rips Claire’s throat out.
Sam slowly, slowly, OH DEAR GOD SO SLOWLY follows the sounds of Claire’s screams. He comes through the door and barely has time to react to Alex’s cry of warning. Dean slowly, slowly, COULD YOU MAYBE WALK A LITTLE FASTER follows the sound of Sam getting the holy hell beat out of him. Claire comes to and Jody directs her attention to the utility knife laying juuuuuust within reach.
Beating Sam to death. Beating Sam to death. Beating Sam to death. Beesome picks up his fallen machete and approaches Alex. He growls that no one is going to save her. He draws his arm back to strike, and Claire buries a crowbar in his back. He gawps at her in shock for the few short seconds left to him before Dean takes his head from behind. Claire doesn’t even blink.
Sam, still being beaten to death. Dean grabs Claire by the shoulder. Did she drink their blood?? Claire’s slightly snotty teenage “No” is somehow perfect and I kind of love her. He cuts Alex down and she nods that she’s okay. Jody tries to get up and her pained cry sends Dean to her side. She gasps that it had to be the leg. “I’m gonna need bionics.” Well, we have the technology. We can rebuild. Nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh.
Sam has finally gotten the advantage over Henry. He drags the boy in front of Alex. “He’s all yours now.” Alex doesn’t have words. She knows that whatever has happened, what he became – Henry didn’t have a choice in it. No more than she did.
Henry destroys whatever shred of sympathy I may have felt for him by sassing that he should have tapped that when he had the chance. Gross. No. Alex tells him to keep dreaming about her and punches him in the face. Claire takes his head. Sam, Dean, and Jody are all like,
Claire gives Alex a look that says, ‘Yeah. You’re welcome’. But then she drops the facade. She gives Alex a small nod. Alex nods back in return. Family don’t end in blood. Sometimes it has to be forged in it.
The next morning, Jody hobbles into the kitchen. There’s fresh fruit and bacon on the table. Alex is pouring the OJ. Claire is putting the toast on a plate. The kitchen island is a disaster. Clean as you go! Clean as you go!
Claire warns that the pancakes might be a little raw. Alex says they wanted to do something for Jody. Her eyes linger on the crutches and the brace around Jody’s leg. Claire’s gaze follows.
“Stop looking at me like that! I feel l like Tiny Tim.”
Alex says she’s sorry Beesome hurt her – that he hurt both of them. Jody brushes it off. They’re fine! They’re in three whole pieces, more or less. Alex isn’t ready to be forgiven. She says it’s not okay. Beesome almost killed them for what she did! Claire is quick to correct her. “For what those vamps did. You were a kid. You had to do whatever they said.” Claire taking the Dean role – everyone is a kid except her. My heart!
Jody puts a gentle hand on Alex’s cheek and gets eye to eye with her. The love and acceptance she’s giving is unconditional. “You were ready to give up your life for us. That’s goodness.”
“And that’s what’s scary about family. It gives you so much to lose.”
A look passes between the three women. They’ve each suffered the worst that anyone can go through, but they’re not lost yet. Kim Rhodes, Kathryn Newton, and Katherine Ramdeen, killing it without words.
I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.
Claire tells Dean he doesn’t have to worry. She knows what she has. Jody would take a bullet for her. Dean asks if that means Claire is going to make Jody’s lifeless hellish? Claire smiles and solemnly swears not to hunt like a dumbass. She excitedly tells him that Jody is going to teach her how to vet leads and investigate …
“She thinks I’m going to get myself killed.”
Sam walks out of the house laden with sustenance. Ribs, leftover mashed, a bag of rolls, and a tub of sauce apiece. The potatoes and sauces appear to be in Rubbermaid containers. So you know that means they have to come back. Because you know that Jody gave them The Tupperware Lecture. When I was in college my mom would send me back to school with food, and every time I got The Lecture.
Moms do not play when it comes to their storage containers.
UPDATE: Jody did not get her Tupperware back.
Anyhoo, Jody says the ribs were meant for the previous night’s dinner. Dinner that no one got to eat, what with the kidnapping and the brutal beatings and the hey hey.
Alex is standing off alone by the car. Sam walks over to her. Claire follows. Alex smiles and says she’s going to be okay. School on Monday. Claire can’t believe that Alex is going to take a bio quiz and pretend like she didn’t almost get slaughtered.
Alex gently pushes back – Claire isn’t giving up hunting, is she? They seem to have settled into an understanding of each other. Sam is still worried. He says that other vamps may come for her. Alex knows. She says she’ll be ready … and when she gets her life together, she might be moving on.
Claire tells her she doesn’t have to leave to protect them. Alex says that’s not why. She can’t be a part of the hunting life. She can’t be a part of that fight.
Jody walks Dean to the car. He asks if she’ll be all right, now that she’s outnumbered again. “As long as everyone wears a condom, we’ll be fine.”
“I want that bumper sticker.”
Jody, Alex, and Claire stand together in the driveway as Sam and Dean drive off. Writer Nancy Won had one job with this episode and she fulfilled it.
EVERYBODY LIVES TO SPIN OFF ANOTHER DAY!!
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site chron.com.