Airtime: Tuesday at 9ET on The CW
By: Dana Leigh Brand, Contributor
For once this season, I’m content with the Monster of the Week fare on offer in SUPERNATURAL which is helped along mightily by the return of Jody Mills. Jody might actually be the longest continuously living character on the show, and most definitely the longest-lived woman. The no-nonsense sheriff of Sioux Falls heads to a sheriff convention, meets another sheriff that we’ve met before (Donna from the fat sucker episode last season–I had forgotten Donna, but not the fat suckers), and takes down some monsters along the way.
We start off with Jody checking into her middle-of-nowhere sheriff convention and meeting Donna and Donna’s skeezy ex-husband. Promptly thereafter, Jody discovers that they’ve found a half-devoured body in the town and calls Sam and Dean. The little Podunk sheriff’s convention has them all pair up, and Jody’s left with no one to partner with except exuberant Donna. This should be cute, anyway. Jody insists she can handle the body problem, but the boys–restless without a case–show up anyway.
Jody and Donna work the case, with Donna discovering the local sheriff in full vamp-teeth leering over a dead body. Jody also tells off Donna’s craptastic ex in glorious fashion, and we get the first actual flashback of the season to things that happened previously. And, as I’ve been saying, the flashback was unnecessary. If you’re still here you know what happened to Jody’s family. That’s how we met her for cripes sake.
The actual monster mystery is, again, kind of lame. The vamp sheriff isn’t the bad guy, which I could have told you. The bad guys are really a small cadre of hippie vampires who “use every part” of their victims. Which I know is a common theme amongst actual in-real-life hunters, but with the human bodies in this case it was channeling some serious Abigail Hobbs from Hannibal. I don’t know if my expectations are just too high or if Supernatural is falling flat lately. Perhaps I’ve just grown used to the way Supernatural tells their twisty tales. I know it’s difficult to have ten years’ worth of consistently amazing, gasp-worthy monster plots. But the monsters weren’t what made this episode enjoyable anyway. They were window dressing.
The main strength of this episode is that Jody and Donna are the focus. The monster mystery is standard, but the ladies get to do all the sleuthing and most of the saving. The interplay between Grumpy Pants Jody and Ray of Sunshine Donna keeps things both poignant and entertaining. Another favorite bit was Dean leafing through the Men of Letters’ files finding things like “He-Wolf, She-Wolf: A Study in Werewolf Transgenderism” but “nothing helpful.” That sounds like a cross between Tumblr-Gone-Wrong and a legitimate Master’s Thesis. Supernatural also proves that it still loves me by using “The Weight” by the Band–a perfect song I’ve thought they should use for quite a while. How did it take them ten years to get to that?
All in all, “Hibbing 911” was solid and enjoyable, which is a welcome change. Still, I’m way more jazzed by the preview for next week than I was for this week’s episode. But then, the preview heavily featured Dean Winchester, carnage, plot arcs, and promises of good times all around. See you back for that next week!