We got two for one in this episode—one part featuring Jack and Dean hunting a small town monster with some serious chompers, and one part starring Sam and Alterna-Charlie hunting a monster than no one has ever even seen. Serious bonding occurred in both teams, and there were a few chuckly moments to be had. Not bad, all in all, right? Let’s get into it!
After being introduced in the intro to a lovely little town with something that eats humans (every place has their drawbacks, amiright?) we head to the Bunker, where Jack and his serious sugar addiction (things taste weird now that he’s no longer angelic, remember?) muse to Dean that Sam and Charlie must be doing something really exciting on their case (cut to Charlie and Sam on stakeout, bored to tears.)
Jack talks to Dean about the possibility of working more cases—without Cas as backup. I have to confess, I wasn’t as sold as Dean was on “Cas as insurance policy” since Cas manages to screw things up so much, but I get that Dean and Sam both want to protect Jack. (Another hilarious moment was the intercut of Dean calling Sam a “smart guy” and Sam playing goofily with a fidget spinner to Charlie’s weary dismay. Ha!)
Jack’s found a case to pursue with Dean, but Dean is hesitant, until he and Jack bond over their shared guilt at not stopping Michael from his plan to destroy Earth. Dean finally gets that Jack sitting around without any distractions is bad for both of them, and so, to Jack’s delight, they become “hunting buddies”. (Or not. Dean doesn’t want any of us to call it that.)
Jack and Dean as FBI agents was kind of adorable. Jack’s innocence, both in the ways of interrogation (imagine if your only role model was the awkward but lovable Castiel) and in the ways of romance made for a light introduction to the search for one of the two Monsters of the Week.
It was fun seeing Jack be Dean’s “Mighty Mouse”, Dean telling him “pie’s important” and to eat up. (Dean finally gets his pie and gets to eat it, too! Yay!) Dean promises to give him “the talk” when they get back to the Bunker, but first they have to research local librarian (and she of the Disney Princess eyes) Harper Sayles.
It’s hard for all of us, Sam especially, to not see Alterna-Charlie as the Charlie we all know and love. Felicia Day does extremely well in making this iteration of Charlie Bradbury just different enough—you can see Charlie’s personality (quippy and funny and geeky) shaped by Apocalypse World circumstances (she’s a little harder, more cynical, less afraid.)
As she talks to Sam, we find that unlike our Charlie, this one met Kara, a cupcake baker who was the love of her life. We get a little history of the apocalypse, and the knowledge that humans can be just as brutal to each other during one as angels ever were, and how they were the ones who ended Kara’s life. “It’s a fact about society,” Charlie muses, “It all falls apart.” “Not here,” says optimistic Sam. “Not yet,” says Charlie and MAN, Felicia Day delivers those two words with just enough warning and darkness to remind me how happy I am that she’s back, no matter how weird the circumstances.
A Little Romance
Okay—Dean setting Jack up to be Harper’s savior from the big, bad FBI agent was super cute. Jack handled himself well, wooing Harper with his chivalry, only slipping a little when he improvised calling Dean “old man.” Jensen Ackles, as he always does with small comedic moments, killed it with his surprised and hurt reaction, making me laugh out loud.
And Jack setting up to test Harper? His dropped silver coin and holy water wet hands was funny enough, but when he coughed out “Christo” I practically cheered. (Where the hell has that been for twelve seasons?)
Jack’s wide-eyed expression of innocence as Harper unknowingly passed his tests was sweet, and their appearing to fall in love at first sight, bonding over their trying to stay positive despite challenging circumstances? Was only made funnier when he talked to Dean, sitting on the toilet in Harper’s bathroom, saying, “I need to know everything about sex. Go!”
Charlie is reading many, many books, quoting (unknowingly) her other self by saying hunting only ends in tears and death. She’s going to try to leave the life, to Sam’s frustration and disappointment. When she asks Sam whether he knows what a Musca is, of course Sam does—it’s a human/fly hybrid that doesn’t interact societally very much and no one has ever seen one.
“Look at you!” Charlie says, appreciatively. “Well, I have read all the books,” Sam says. And Charlie wrinkles her nose and says “Nerd” affectionately and it’s so utterly charming that I want to sing the praises of Felicia Day again, but I’m sure you get it. Anyway, it seems it is a lone Musca causing the disappearances and they are on the case.
Damsel in Distress
Before Jack can address the romantic elephant in the room, Dean bursts in, running from the monster that punched him in the face after killing Harper’s co-worker. Looks like Harper’s ex, Vance, is a zombie type creature. Apparently, silver harms it but there’s only one complicated way to stop these things and I am confused about how zombies work on this show because some can die via headshot and some need to be put in their grave with a silver stake through the heart. (Feel free to explain it to me in the comments.)
Anyway, Harper and Jack run for it, while Dean takes on Vance yelling, “Archie! Let’s dance,” and I went a bit swoony because well, Dean Winchester in action. ‘Nuff said.
Charlie and Sam continue to banter about her leaving the life (Charlie getting off a couple of more quips and now I am swoony over her), until they see a weirdly dressed dude at the bus stop where people go missing (he is dressed in black and his head is fully covered and he looks like he should be some sort of Doctor Who monster.) They track him down in his lair, “getting creative” and killing him not with a brass nail dipped in sugar water but a handy dandy gun, splattering Charlie in the face in the process.
Later, after Charlie and Sam have gone, other Musca come to collect the body and I call shenanigans, because wouldn’t Sam and Charlie have burned or buried the body? Sloppy work, hunters. Tsk tsk. At least, after, Charlie does decide to consider staying. Anything that brings Felicia Day back is good for me.
Jack and Harper hide in the library, seemingly two against the world, until true confession time: Vance was killed and resurrected by Harper because she’s a Necromancer. (The course of true love never did run smooth.) And also? She and Vance have a game they like to play where anyone desiring Harper gets eaten by Vance. I liked this twist, as it wasn’t what I was expecting, and I liked it even more because Maddie Phillips, who played Harper, did a very good job of selling it, even the exposition she had to monologue to Jack as he evaded being eaten.
Dean coming to save the day was fortunate (I think Jack is still too green to have saved himself) and the way they did it? Making Harper sort of swoon for Jack, who professed to love her despite her magical ways? Genius. The dynamic duo trap Vance but Harper escapes, carrying her crush with her, intent on killing Jack another day and bringing him back so they can be together forever. Love is crazy, eh?
Shake It, Cough
Back at the Bunker, Dean and Jack bond over beverages, and Dean tells Jack he did good and he will try to talk to Sam to get him out on more hunts. Unfortunately, before Jack can celebrate, he is overcome by bloody coughing, and this time? He bleeds from his nose, and, when Dean asks if he’s okay, he manages to say, “I don’t know” before passing out. And Dean’s even more worried about him than we are.
Next week we’re off to give thanks. Have a nice holiday! See you on November 29th for episode seven, “Unhuman Nature”.