by Billie Doux
"Ladies Drink Free" was a serviceable episode, and what exactly does "serviceable" mean? That it was typical of the series as a whole and enjoyable to watch, but not really special? They did revisit several continuing themes in the series, though, the most important of which is the definition of a monster.
Dean and Sam used to be on opposite sides of this issue. Dean believed that all monsters should be killed, the end, because they're monsters, while Sam started seeing the issue as not quite that black and white. Did that start with our first werewolf episode, "Heart," in which Sam had to kill Madison, a perfectly nice woman he had slept with, because she was a werewolf? This particular issue drove a wedge between Dean and Sam back when Sam let Amy the kitsune go, but Dean couldn't; Dean killed her, and lied to Sam about it. ("The Girl Next Door.")
Ah, memories. Now Dean and Sam are both on the same page. Why not try locking up a new werewolf for three days, like Garth? I wasn't even sure if the bad guy wolf who dressed up in a horror movie mask was all that evil, or if he was only trying to create a companion because he was lonely. Was that why he offered Claire a heart from the fridge? Was it a beef heart? Correct me if I'm wrong.
Mick was still where Dean used to be on the monster issue, much like the BMoL assassin Ketch, whom we were reminded had killed Magda, the superpowered girl in "American Nightmare" that Dean and Sam set free. (Clearly, the boys never found out about her death.) Now that Mick is spending quality time with the Winchesters, he's starting to see the shades of gray that they see, and actually, that's pretty cool. Mick may think he's taking over the Winchesters, but what's happening seems to be the opposite.
I liked that the Winchesters gave Mick a second chance, even after he executed the teenaged Hayden, because that is exactly how they are now treating monsters. Consistency, thou art a gem.
Another revisited Supernatural theme was hunting as an addiction; they do this one a lot. Claire has caught the bug, but hunting with Jody didn't work out because Jody is too protective. This particular plot bit reminded me of Ellen and Jo. Ah, so long ago.
Which also tied into another thing that is becoming an in-joke: that the boys have been doing this so long that they are advancing in years. They were so very young when the series began that now, every time someone refers to them as old, it sort of freaks me out. Here, Claire referred to Sam as an "old skeezer," and the bartender asked Dean if he was Claire's father. Hey, they're still in their thirties! Come on!
The biggest and most obvious problem with this mostly serviceable (there's that word again) episode was that Castiel wasn't in it when he should have been. Claire is Jimmy's daughter, after all. I kept wondering if an angel can cure lycanthropy. Can they?
Bits and pieces:
-- Kathryn Newton (Claire) is a Supernatural veteran by now. She started with season 10's "The Things We Left Behind" and has now done five episodes. The character of Claire was originally played by another actress in season four's "The Rapture."
-- Speaking of Supernatural veterans, there was a brief reference to Garth, whom we haven't seen in a long time. I wonder how Garth is doing?
-- Speaking of even more Supernatural veterans, there were phone calls and references to both Jody and Alex but sadly, we didn't see either of them.
-- Mick mentioned that the British Men of Letters have their own Hogwarts, the Kendricks School. I loved Dean's expression when Sam got all excited about their collection of occult lore.
-- Monks were the earliest hunters. That makes sense.
-- We were supposed to notice that Claire had a Batgirl comic. Was there a reason that I'm unaware of?
-- This week: somewhere in Wisconsin, the Lucky Badgers Ale House, and the Wild Elk Lodge, possibly the nicest hotel in which the Winchesters have ever stayed during the course of the series.
-- Lots of aliases this week: Sam and Dean were Agents McVie and Fleetwood and Mick was Dr. Buckingham (all three from Fleetwood Mac); then Dean was Agent Strummer (Joe Strummer?) and... who was Mick that time?
And Claire was Beatrice Quimby from the Fish & Wildlife Service. According to Google, Beatrice Quimby is a character in Beverly Cleary's Henry Huggins children's books.
-- Jared Padalecki and Genevieve Cortese had their third child, Odette Elliott Padalecki, on March 17. Congratulations! Jensen Ackles and Danneel Harris had twins back in December, making it three for them, too. Is this turning into a friendly competition?
Hayden: "Have you, like, never seen a horror movie? Two kids, dark road, creepy noise in the woods. We keep walking and… boom!"
Dean: "What we do? You can't learn this crap in a book. You put on a flannel, you pick up a gun, you go out there. Either you get good fast or you get dead faster."
Mick: "Killing monsters is what we do. Or maybe palling around with demons and witches, you've forgotten."
Dean: "Those pillows, right? The little chocolates they put on them? I mean, I'm ruined, Sam. Those limey sons of bitches ruined me. I even took a swim this morning."
Sam: "You brought a swimsuit?"
Claire: "It's my life. I get all the votes."
Claire: "Eat me, Teen Wolf."
Sam: "Hey, how you feeling?"
Claire: "Honestly, sorta craving a Milk Bone right now."
Three out of four limey sons of bitches,
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.