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Supernatural - Wayward Sisters & Breakdown - Review

     
        My apologies for having to play a bit of catch up with Supernatural, especially when one of the episodes is the backdoor pilot, “Wayward Sisters.” However, I feel a bit better about it as the two episodes are linked by way of Donna (Briana Buckmaster) being in both!

“Wayward Sisters” was written by the team of Robert Berens and Andrew Dabb and was directed by Supernatural stalwart Phil Sgriccia. I’ll admit that I wasn’t overly excited about this episode – as much as I’ve loved Jody (Kim Rhodes) and Donna in the past, I’m still not a great fan of Kathryn Newton (Claire). However, I was pleasantly surprised by the episode. Will I watch this as a series? The fact that I’m a woman who wants to see more and better roles for women makes me want to say yes. But the fact is that I likely won’t. I’m not interested in a show centered on Claire.

The episode begins with Claire taking out a nest of werewolves in Iowa and saving Amanda Fitzmartin (Eden Summer Gilmore). I did like the one werewolf telling the other not to play with his food, and I also liked Claire’s ruse of being delivery person. I also thought it was a nice touch for her to be keeping a journal. My favorite part of the entire episode, however, was Jody telling Claire that Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) were on a hunting trip and she hadn’t heard from them in a couple of days. Nice throwback to the “Pilot!”

Claire comes home to help and is greeted by Alex (Katherine Ramdeen) in true sister-style. She’s surprised by a hug from Jody. She’s introduced to Patience (Clark Backo) and thinks it’s cool that she’s a psychic. She’s caught a bit off guard by finding out that Patience is staying in her room and wearing her sweatshirt – even though she has no interest in living with Jody…

Alex looks after Claire’s wounds while Jody fills Claire in on Sam and Dean. When Alex gets up to go to work – she’s a nurse, she has a job – Claire immediately criticizes her for not solely focusing on finding Sam and Dean. Claire throws back that she has a job too – hunting. How she jumps from there to hunting alone is anybody’s guess…

Claire insists that she’s good (and safe!), but Jody is clearly still upset about Claire hunting on her own. And really, it is the height of stupidity! Jody tells Claire that Patience had a vision and it seems to be about Claire’s death. Jody insists that Patience is the real deal, but Claire immediately looks for a loophole. Claire is angry that Jody doesn’t trust her enough. Claire insists that wasting time making the perfect plan doesn’t save people – jumping in blind does.

Claire turns up at the hospital and makes fun of Alex’s uniform, but Alex gets her own back by calling her Biker Barbie. Alex tells Claire that she’s there for Jody no matter what she needs – dishes, help with a monster, whatever. Claire thinks she’s keeping Jody from worrying by staying away, but Alex sets her straight – Jody still worries.

The only clue they have is Kaia (Yadira Guevara-Prip), and Alex and Claire discover that a Jane Doe has just been brought in. Kaia wants nothing to do with Claire, especially after she mentions Sam and Dean, but when Kaia leaves the hospital, she’s confronted by “monsters,” and Claire jumps in and kills them. Am I the only one who thought that they looked like ridiculous Jawas? And whose choice was periwinkle blue for blood? Of course, when Alex does the autopsy on one, it’s clear that they are actually Predator ripoffs…

Kaia tells Claire that she’s seen the monsters before and that they travel in packs, following when they get your scent. She tells Claire that she doesn’t fight them – she runs away, but sometimes they catch her. The two share a nice bonding moment over their scars – very reminiscent of that famous scene in Jaws

Kaia fills the others in on the bad place and her helping Sam and Dean open a door to another world. Claire is the one to deduce that the door is still open. Kaia insists that if Sam and Dean are there, they are already dead – but of course, she’s wrong.

It’s nice to see that after two days, Dean has not lost his appetite. He doesn’t sugarcoat things for Sam. Lizard tastes like lizard, and there’s a good possibility that they are going to be stuck in monsterland because nobody even knows where to being looking for them. Padalecki’s face when Dean tells him to eat up is priceless – and I loved Dean going back for the lizard when they have to run away!

I did like the chemistry between Patience and Alex. Patience is ready to try to go home, and Alex tries to get her to say, telling her she doesn’t have to be a fighter, she can help in other ways. Of course, she’s stopped by another vision and goes back to tell the others they have to get away – the monsters are coming. I did like how we see the monsters overrun the house – and then realize that the women are watching from the safety of a car as they drive away.

They meet up with Donna – Jody’s called for backup! Donna gives Alex and Claire a big hug, before showing off all the weapons she’s brought. I did love her answer when Patience asks why she has the arsenal: “I’m from Minnesota.”

Kaia’s information lets the others determine she was at the Larson Brother’s shipyard. Patience’s face when Donna asks who can use a flamethrower is also a classic! Jody asks Claire to stay back to protect the other girls while she and Donna check it out. Claire sulkily agrees.

Meanwhile, in Monsterworld, Dean and Sam are captured and tied up by the mysterious hooded figure who has been stalking them. She – because didn’t we all know it was Kaia? – ties them up and rings the dinnerbell. Dean tied to a tree and waiting to be dinner felt an awful lot like Scarecrow. I also did love “Dark Dickwad.” The giant “skull” on the ground was a bit disappointing.

Kaia and Claire continue to bond while they wait as do Patience and Alex. Kaia sees that Claire is scared. Claire isn’t afraid of dying hunting herself, but Patience’s vision has made her think twice. On the other hand, Sam and Dean saved her life – she doesn’t feel like she can sit this one out. I actually thought Newton was quite good in this scene. Kaia is ready to go in with Claire – maybe they can save them together.

Jody and Donna come upon the doorway, and Jody is ready to just head in. Donna wants to go back and tell the girls, but Jody is determined not to lose another child. When a bunch of monsters show up – and just how many of them are lose in the world? – Donna and Jody open fire on them. Then they “hide” in a car that happens to be on the ship. Honestly? You can see the top of their heads AND you can just plain see them! Naturally, the police are saved by Claire with a flamethrower. And by this time, I’m just tired of her being the superhero, save everyone because she’s invincible.

Claire tells Jody that she has to let her save Sam and Dean – Newton was not so good in this scene – and Jody simply says “I know” – why give in now? There is no logic here. Jody lets Claire go in with Kaia while she goes back to help Donna with the monsters.

Claire and Kaia save Sam and Dean, and Sam wants to know where Jack (Andrew Calvert) is, and Kaia says she thinks he’s in the other place with their mom. They run for the doorway, which is closing. When they get there, Kaia pushes Claire out of the way and takes the spear meant for her, dying as Claire watches. And honestly? The super-bad King Kong? Wow. Awful. Bad idea poorly executed.

Patience’s vision turns out to be Jody comforting a distraught Claire, who maybe has finally learned her lesson about putting others in danger? Why do I doubt that she’s learned that and feel like this is going to be a plot line the show will continue to beat to death.

Dean and Sam get their good bye hugs from Jody. She tells them that Claire will need time to get over what happened. They also warn her that more of the Predator-jawas may have gotten through, and she tells them that with Dean and Sam looking after the rest of the world, they can look after Sault Falls – so I’m guessing the show will be centered there and it will become monster central for some reason…

Claire is finally willing to accept responsibility for running in blindly with no plan – and getting Kaia killed after saying she’d protect her. It’s also given her insight into how Jody feels. And of course, Jody may have new respect for Claire too. She tells her that they are all there for her when she’s ready.

Patience is in awe of the fact that she killed a monster – and Alex and Donna laugh in the shared experience. Apparently Claire’s “journal” is actually a diary – and please, please, please spare me if the gimmick for the spinoff is her reading her diary in a voice over! UGH! Dislike! Claire tells us that she came back to Sault Falls to save Sam and Dean – and I remember a time when the fandom wouldn’t stand for the “boys” to be saved by a very young woman. Also, didn’t it bother anyone else that Claire called them “boys?” Regardless, she admits that they all saved Sam and Dean together and the last scene is her joining the other amazing women who are her family. She’s going to stay with them – her army – and she’s going to find the thing that killed Kaia and kill it… but of course, it IS Kaia. Who is apparently going to be the big bad?

“Breakdown” was written by Davy Perez and was directed by Amyn Kaderali. I did like how the title plays out in several ways – from Wendy’s (Sarah Dugdale) actual car breakdown, to the breakdown in Donna and Doug’s (Brendan Taylor) relationship, to Sam’s emotional breakdown. Padalecki delivers a great performance in the episode, and I have to wonder if he was channeling his own struggles with depression. He’s certainly been a great supporter of raising awareness through various charities and being open about his own struggles. I really liked them bringing this storyline onboard.

The episode also does a great job of keeping us guessing about what’s going on – is this a serial killer like Doc Benton? Or maybe like the Benders – who also had creepy stuff in jars? And then Wendy stops to get gas and has to go in to the diner to pay. Marlon (Steven Yaffee) is super creepy as he checks her ID and makes fun of her name, but then the window washer (Jason Vaisvila) is also pretty creepy. She gets away from the gas station only to have a flat and be dragged away by the creepy guy in a mask and apron.

Back at the bunker, Sam is not getting out of bed – even for pancakes. Dean is clearly doing what he can because he sees that Sam is struggling. Sam does get up when he gets a call from Donna about her niece – and the two immediately head out to help.

Brianna Buckmaster really shines in this episode. She is distraught over her niece and after hugging Sam and Dean apologizes for calling – but Jody is busy with the girls. They are more than happy to help, and Dean goes inside to check with Doug who is talking to the locals.

Dean is immediately accosted by Agent Clegg (Chris William Martin) and immediately gets off on the wrong foot with him when Clegg calls him son. Doug immediately jumps in to try to diffuse the situation. I really liked Taylor in this episode and was sorry to see him basically carved out of having a role in the spinoff. But then, the episode helps to set Donna’s storyarc for the spinoff – maybe she’ll leave Minnesota entirely? When it turns out that Clegg is FBI, Dean backs away from that cover story a bit and tells him that he’s not there on official business but because Donna is family. Doug is all over that and asks if Dean was at the family reunion in Sault Falls! Nice cover Donna!

Clegg is there because he’s tracking a serial killer called Butterfly. Clegg admits that while he’s been tracking the killer, they’ve never found any bodies of the victims. Donna is distraught, but Doug tries to spin it that if there’s no body, maybe they aren’t dead? It is the classic answer to that in any mystery or horror story! When Clegg tells them he’s been tracking the killer for 12 years and he’d appreciate their help, Dean is immediately onboard, but Sam doesn’t look happy.

Sam scoffs at Dean’s use of a CB radio – nobody uses them anymore. Except truckers. At first, Dean just gets lewd comments back, and Sam immediately says – see? Not going to work. Then Sam also says that it’s not their kind of case and they need to back away because they are still wanted by the FBI – it’s crazy to be working with them. Dean points out that the FBI think they are dead, and they have to help Donna.

Dean then calls Sam on his moping – which he denies. But Dean points out that Sam didn’t get up until 10am – sleeping is a classic sign of depression, especially if it’s not the usual pattern for a person, and we know that Sam is always an early riser. Sam says he didn’t want pancakes because he just wasn’t hungry. Dean knows that Sam is in a dark place, having lost Jack and their way to rescue their Mom.

Dean tells Sam that he can’t let it eat him up. Dean tells Sam that he’s there for him – the way that Sam was there for him. When everything goes to hell, they put their heads down and go to work. The best way forward is through. But that’s Dean’s solution. Sam nods in agreement, but he doesn’t look convinced.

Dean gets a hit from a trucker on the CB – Felix (Camille Atebe). She wants to talk in person the next day. Dean says he’ll talk to her and Sam can hang back. Sam says he’s onboard and he’s there for Donna. But again, his affect is completely flat and it’s clear that he’s struggling.

Sam is late the next day to help Donna and Clegg. Clegg hands Sam his “journal” on the Butterfly. When Wendy was at the diner, we saw a white van with religious saying and we saw Pastor Don Hankey (Troy Skog) at one of the tables – and he’s someone Clegg has had an eye on. Hankey is an itinerant pastor, preaching to truckers.

Meanwhile, Dean meets with Felix. She remembers Wendy from the diner – Felix was sitting with Hankey. She also remembers driving by Wendy when she was broken down on the road. Felix was late, and she also wouldn’t normally have stopped at that diner/truck stop because the place gives her the creeps.

Clegg and Sam interrogate Hankey. He admits that Wendy looks vaguely familiar, but Hankey invokes his right to a lawyer. Clegg loses his temper, Sam steps in to stop him, and Donna enters the interrogation room. I was not impressed by Donna’s picking scripture to pick on lawyers.

Donna points out that Hankey will likely not be able to get a lawyer right away – he’ll likely be in jail for at least 2 nights – where he’ll be Sunday dinner. Clegg and Sam watch behind the two-way mirror and remark on how good Donna is. She is a really good cop!

She gets him to admit that he’s been on the road for about 12 years. She uses his unsavory past – flashed a young girl, picked up a young boy. He tells her his wife knows and they’re working on it. She confronts him with Wendy’s bloody shirt – found in his van – but he tearfully denies that he’d ever hurt anyone. Sam and Donna believe him and deduce the t-shirt was planted – it has to be someone else at the truck stop.

Meanwhile, Doug and Dean are checking out Manny’s Diner – and did you notice the Easter egg? The sign reads Mann’s diner – because the y is not lit up – and this is a nice nod to Ackles’ friend Jason Manns, who has had his music featured on the show and who has done several albums with tracks from the various actors from the show. In fact, he’s just produced Briana Buckmaster’s first album!

Doug has all the reports pertaining to Mannys and there’s nothing really out of the ordinary. Doug takes the opportunity to ask Dean for advice about Donna – Dean being family and all. Doug is concerned that he’s never seen Donna like this – she’s barely talking and they talk about everything! I loved Ackles’ face when Doug includes Real Housewives as a topic (also a secret favorite of Ackles btw!).

Doug thinks that Donna is hiding something from him – good call there Dougie! Dean tells Doug that he’s a good guy and that Doug will be there for Donna. Dean knows firsthand how important that is for a hunter. So he tells Doug to trust her – but doesn’t encourage him to push for the truth.

Doug and Dean talk to the window washer, who tells them that Marlon was interested in Wendy and left right after her – not returning until morning. Dean roughs up Marlon, who shows them an internet site where people buy body parts.

Sam and Donna show up and Dean has Marlon show them the site. When Sam turns it off, Marlon taunts him “Are you vegan?” and I adored that it was Doug who slapped Marlon on the back of the head! Doug says it’s ok, it’s what the FBI would do – Dean looks chastened as Donna looks unhappy at Dean’s obvious bad influence – and then Dean gives Doug an encouraging smile! Love it!

It’s clear from the comments that the website is selling parts for food. Dean declares that it’s “take out for…” and Donna finishes “monsters.” Doug is utterly confused – and Donna tells him that they’ll talk about it later. Marlon denies knowing where the broadcast comes from – he just sends a message and gets paid when he sees a likely subject. And then they see Wendy up for auction. Sam can’t hack in to find the location – but the FBI can.

Donna gives Doug the talk. Doug realizes that Sam and Dean aren’t related to her, and she admits that they are hunters and kill monsters – and so does she! When Doug doesn’t look happy about it, she adds “sometimes.” Let’s not forget that the first time we saw Donna, she was trying to lose weight and had been dumped by her husband. She has a history of trying to change for someone else.

Clegg finds a location and they all have to leave, but it’s clear that Doug isn’t happy – and neither is Donna. Donna has Doug stay back with Marlon and assures him that they’ll figure it out when they get home. Doug looks unconvinced. Sam runs into Clegg who insists that he wasn’t going to just sit back and not be in on the arrest. But it’s now not an FBI matter – it’s a monster matter! But of course, things go to hell in a handbasket when neither Marlon nor Clegg are what they seem.

Dean and Donna are lead on a wild goose chase by a radio. Marlon shows Doug that vampires are real and changes him. Meanwhile, Clegg knocks out Sam and takes him back to his abattoir. Donna comes upon the bloody Doug and asks him where he’s hurt. He tells her he’s not hurt, but he’s not ok – and his descending fangs prove it.

Doug loses it and tries to bite Donna. Dean gives him a shot of dead man’s blood to knock him out. Of course, once again we have a retcon as to how exactly dead man’s blood works… Dean assures Donna that they can cure him. Marlon shows up to gloat and tell Dean that Clegg has Sam. Dean pulls out his machete, and Donna shoots Marlon in the knee. She gives him a choice – does he want to die fast or slow? She’s getting the information they need.

Sam is once again strapped to a table. Clegg tells him that there are a lot of monsters out there. Most monsters can pass as human, but they need to eat. It’s a chilling declaration. He insists that he saves lives by giving them people that no one will miss. Clegg thinks that Sam should be thanking him, he also tells him that Dean isn’t coming – ha! And then Clegg dons his pig mask and puts Sam up for auction.

Donna gives Doug the cure – and it works. She and Dean leave him in the car as they go after Sam and Wendy. Donna finds Wendy and is attacked by the masked guy, who she dispatches with a knife.

Meanwhile, Sam’s heart fetches $500,000! They usually amuse their audience by making the death slow and painful, but Clegg is – rightly! – worried about Dean. Naturally, Dean shows up in the nick of time and with a “Show’s over” takes out Clegg.

Back at the motel, Doug finally wakes up and Donna removes Dougie-bear’s cuffs. She fills him in that Wendy is in a hospital and is going to be fine – just like him. He points out that he was a vampire – only for a few hours, Donna points out. Dean is ready to welcome Doug into the hunting community – now that he knows what’s out there, but Doug is not on board.

Donna is willing to just go on as they have been. Doug points out that he’s a cop because he wants to help people – but monsters are too much for him. Donna is clearly crushed but stands her ground. She can’t give up hunting. Doug knows it and thinks she’s a “damn hero” but that’s not him. He tells her that he loves her, but he’s sorry.

Surprisingly – or not surprisingly, given we know his state of mind – it’s Sam who tells Donna that when you choose this life, anyone who gets too close, eventually gets hurt – or worse. That does not sound like Sam does it? Or possibly just-lost-Jessica-Sam from season one. He tells her to let him go because Doug will be safer that way. It’s Dean who offers a comforting squeeze of her shoulder.

In the final scene with the brothers, Dean points out that Sam was hard on Donna. Sam asks when has knowing them ever worked out for anyone? Well, Sam, there are a lot of people who would be dead if they hadn’t met you… Sam insists that he’s not in a dark place, it’s just their lives and the truth. It only ends one way for them – bloody and bad.

This episode basically untethers Donna from her life – or at least her relationship with Doug, making it easier for her to work with her fellow Wayward Sisters. I generally liked this episode, but there were plenty of loose threads. Who was the guy in the mask? And was Clegg really FBI? Was he a monster too? It was a nice episode to showcase Briana Buckmaster, but is it really impossible to write a tight storyline? What did you think of the episodes? Can you convince me to watch Wayward Sisters? Will you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!



 
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