On a normal day, the Winchesters would take the case of a girl who was abducted and imprisoned by a family of vampires pretty seriously. “Save the girl!” and all that jazz. But the case featured on Tuesday night’s episode was anything but straightforward.
Why? Because the girl at the center of the case was almost as bloodthirsty as the nest with which she’d spent the last few years.
Early in the episode, Sam and Dean learned that the human subject of their case — a girl named Alex — was not just an innocent victim. She had spent the last years of her life luring humans to feed her vampire family. But then she decided she was done with the life and ran away but ended up with her family of vamps on her trail. (What kind of vamp, after all, would want to lose the person responsible for all their take-out meals?)
After learning the truth, Sam and Dean were pretty clear on how to proceed — kill the family and deal with the girl in whatever way they must. Sheriff/Novice hunter Jody Mills, who returned in this episode, however, was less willing to take whatever measures necessary.
As Jody saw it, Alex was a victim.
Jody gained most of her sympathy for Alex’s situation while she and Alex were hiding in a cabin, where they were staying in hopes of staying off the radar of the girl’s deranged vampire family. In the course of their time together, her story struck a chord with Jody, and by the time Alex’s vampire brothers showed up to take her back, Jody was willing to risk her own life to fight them off.
Jody’s judgement was, of course, clouded by her own experiences. As you’ll recall, we first met Jody in a season 5 episode that saw her family — including a young son — killed. Even all these years later, Jody’s grief still haunts her. So the chance to save a young girl — especially one who was ripped from her real family at a young age — was not a task Jody was prepared to give up on. Regardless of the risk involved.
This was something Dean and Sam didn’t quite understand — until the end of the episode, at least.
Once she was back with the vampire family, Alex was given a choice — to be turned or not to be turned. She ultimately — and unfortunately — chose the former, but proved herself to be redeemable even in the midst of her monster transformation. The tipping point came when it was revealed that Vamp Mom had stolen Alex from her human family years ago in order to make up for the death of a daughter — named Alex. (New Alex’s birth name was Annie but her Vamp mother changed it.) Alex stepped in just in time to save Jody, who was going to become Vamp Mom’s pre-road trip snack. (Meanwhile, the Vampire Brothers were packing their own to-go lunch, courtesy of Sam Winchester’s arteries.)
Alex’s valiant move, to the boys, was enough to prove that they were wrong about her. But even though they came around, Jody confessed that she too had been wrong on some level. Working the case had brought back many feelings — grief above all, she told them. And she had let it cloud her judgement.
Speaking of judgement, Sam still seems to have his concern about Dean’s. In this episode, Dean’s extreme enjoyment of beheading a vamp seemed to rub Sam the wrong way, but Dean brushed it off as doing his job with a smile, essentially. Was it, Dean? Or is your Mark of Cain ‘roiding you up? TBD.
In the end, Jody was left with a freshly cured Alex (yes, they can do that, remember!) to try to mend — and not just physically speaking. As Supernatural has taught, it’s the unseen wounds that tend to be the hardest ones to heal, but it’s not impossible. Pulling for you, Jody.
A few burning questions: Is Jody Mills any one else’s favorite recurring guest star? I’m thinking someone in the writers’ room loves to write for this character and I can feel that love every time I watch one of these episodes. They stake me right in the heart — vampire pun intended, obviously. Also, why is poor Sam always getting drained half to death? Lay off, monster jerks! Oh, and if this whole Bloodlines things doesn’t work out, I’m super on board with Supernatural: Law & Order. That interrogation scene was kind of hot. Lastly, a question directly for Jody Mills: My friend, when Dean Winchester asks, “Are you sure you don’t want us to say?” why would you pass that offer!?!
“Look at me, bitch.”
“If you two are FBI then I’m Taylor Swift.” — Alex
Sam: ‘Look at me, bitch?’
Dean: Hey, you got another snappy one-liner, I’m all ears!
“Killing things that need killing is kind of our job.” — Dean