“Demons I get. People are crazy.” Truer words, Dean Winchester. Truer words. And the particular person on this week’s episode? Is crazy like a fox. A fox with a bone saw and a boatload of cash. Let’s get into it!
Let’s hear it for an opening that hearkened back to the beginning of the series! Meat hooks and ropes, dirty missing persons posters, old timey time music being turned up by a hand in a bloody glove? SHUDDER! The opening scene was hella creepy, as a young woman, whom we will later find out is Wendy Hanscum (Donna “D-Train” Hanscum’s niece) ends up looking for gas at a truck stop full of weirdos, is rewarded with a flat tire when she leaves and, to top it all off, is abducted, screaming, into the night by a dude in a mask and goggles. The way this was shot and paced reminded me of the opening of episodes of long ago (I’m talking seasons one and two here). I loves me a good Monster of the Week episode, and this pre-title cards scene set the stage perfectly for just that.
Sound the Alarm
It’s 6:00 AM and Sam’s alarm should be blaring him out of sleep. But it doesn’t, and he isn’t (if he can’t sleep but wants to stay in bed I have some suggestions I can offer him. Just sayin’.) He won’t even get up for Dean’s pancakes, and he looks troubled. Finally, at 10:00 AM he gets up but only because Donna Hanscum is on the line. Her niece is missing, and she needs their help. Though it seems like a vanilla missing persons situation, it’s Donna asking, so the boys get the address and take the case.
“I’m sorry for calling you guys,” Donna says, “But Jody’s got her hands full with the girls…” “Hey,” Dean interrupts. “Never apologize for calling us.” I love that Donna has become another member of their extended family. She is more than worthy. Donna tells the boys that Doug (adorably nice Doug, not her jerk of an ex) is talking to the locals about Wendy but when Dean walks in to investigate Doug introduces him as Agent Savage to Agent Clegg, the real FBI agent on the case. There’s a bit of testiness until Dean says he is Donna’s cousin and he wants to help. This perplexes poor Doug, who asks Dean about the “family reunion” in Sioux Falls a couple of weeks back. “Donna says it was a pretty wild time,” Doug says. “It was wild. Absolutely,” Dean replies with a chuckle. And he ain’t lyin’.
Turns out Wendy was likely abducted by someone Agent Clegg calls “The Butterfly”, a migrating psycho who’s been killing people for twelve years. He asks the boys for help, and even though Sam tries to signal a no, Dean says they’re in. (What’s up with Sam, man? He’s always down for helping their friends…) Back at the motel, Dean uses CB radio equipment to try to track Wendy down, which Sam scoffs at, annoyed. (Adorably, Dean’s handle is “67 Midnight Rider”. Rrraaooowwwrrrr.) When Sam says they should back off (especially since the real FBI is involved) Dean calls him on his attitude, asking if he wants to let Donna down.
Dean says he knows Sam is in a dark place, but he will be there, just like Sam was for him. Someone interrupts on the radio, saying she has a lead, and Dean, somewhat triumphant, says he’s heading out to check it out.
After a harrowing scene of Wendy being videotaped by The Butterfly, pleading for help, we see Sam and Donna at the local police station, where Clegg has brought in a preacher that we remember as one of the truck stop weirdos. Why? The preacher was there that night—and he had Wendy’s bloody shirt in his van. While Dean gets info on the truck stop from his CB contact, Sam and Clegg try to question the preacher who demands a lawyer. After Clegg gets frustrated with the sass of the preacher and makes to punch him out, Donna takes a turn. And she is fabulous at questioning—nice and helpful, and then demanding and tough. Eventually she and Sam decide that the preacher wasn’t the one who hurt Wendy. So who was?
Red Plate Special
Meanwhile, at Manny’s Truckstop Café, Dean and Doug talk two things: the case, and why Donna seems so secretive with Doug. Doug is so sweet, truly caring, and Dean tells him to trust her. They get out of Baby, and a drifter who washes windows for money takes a bribe and tells Dean and Doug that Marlon, the truckstop cashier, took a particular liking to Wendy and, in fact, followed her out of town. Dean questions Marlon, largely with an elbow to the throat, assuring Doug that that’s how they do things in the FBI. Marlon admits he knows where Wendy is, but Dean will never believe him. “Try me,” Dean growls.
Do Your Bidding
And I gotta admit, I would never have seen this one coming—it’s an auction site, an eBay for body parts, where someone is selling human beings piece by piece for monster snacks. When Sam and Donna join them, and Sam stops the video, sickened, Marlon snarkily asks if Sam is a vegan, and go Doug, because he whacks Marlon on the back of the head like the FBI do. (Ha!)
Also with Doug? He is now finding out monsters are real, and that’s a tough pill to swallow, especially when Donna confesses that she hunts them. Suddenly, Wendy comes on screen, in an auction for her left foot. Sam tells him that he can’t hack the source because it’s dark web stuff. They need Clegg to trace it if they’re ever going to have a prayer of finding Wendy.
Sting Like a V
Clegg comes through and Sam, Donna, Doug, Dean and Marlon head for the location Clegg tracked. Sam goes around back, Donna and Dean take the front. Just as Sam is about to break in, Clegg shows up, wanting in. Meanwhile, the Butterfly makes to chop up Wendy, playing his creepy music. Dean and Donna follow the sound to a room empty except for a radio. They’ve been fooled. By who? BY CLEGG! In a twist I didn’t see coming, he knocks Sam out and we realize that he’s been behind it all along. Also? Marlon is a vamp, and he overcomes Doug. When Dean and Donna make it back, Donna’s sweetheart is a full on bloodsucker, and he wants hers first.
Meet Your Maker
Dean manages to shoot Doug full of dead man’s blood to stop him from hurting Donna and he tells her there’s a spell they can mix up to turn him back. Fortunately, Marlon comes back to gloat about Clegg (and provide the sire blood they need for the potion.) But while Dean whips out a machete and snarls, “Bring it, Twilight,” Donna has other ideas. She shoots Marlon in the knee, warning him that if he doesn’t tell her where Clegg and Sam are she’ll kill him slow.
Heart of Gold
We now interrupt this auction for a very special announcement: the auction of Sam Winchester! Clegg and the guy we thought was the Butterfly (who turns out to be just a hired butcher and cameraman) get Sam trussed up and for sale where monsters eagerly await, keyboards in claw. Clegg dons a mask and starts offering Sam up, organ by organ.
His liver? Goes for a paltry $5,000 but his heart? After a huge bidding war? Is worth a cool half a million (even Sam seems kind of impressed). And since Clegg knows Dean is on the way, he tells Sam there’s no time to lose and puts a gun to his head.
Double D to the Rescue
Dean and Donna race to save Sam, giving Doug the antidote as they go. They find the auction house, and Donna, after a knock down drag out with the Butcher, saves Wendy. Sam closes his eyes as Clegg cocks the gun and says, “Say goodbye, Sam.” We cut to the camera and hear a gunshot. “Show’s over,” says Dean, as Clegg falls to the ground, dead. Impeccable brotherly timing for the win.
Go It Alone
Fortunately, the cure works on Donna’s “Dougie-Bear”, and Dean asks him to join the fight. Sadly? He knows that what Donna does is important and that she’s a hero but he cannot live that life with her. He says he is sorry as he leaves her, crushed, and Sam tells her not to chase him. She’s chosen the life, and anyone near that will get hurt or worse. It’s safer for Doug to go. Later, Dean tells Sam he was rough on Donna, and Sam says he was just being truthful. Sam says he tried to pretend their life could be more than just misery—that they could have Cas and Mary and help Jack and everything could be better. But now he truly realizes it. Their life can only end one way. Bloody. And bad.
Poor Sam. Is there anything that can bring him out of his funk (again, I have suggestions…) Maybe we’ll find out next week in episode twelve, “Various and Sundry Villains.” See you then.