On last night's Supernatural, called "Mommy Dearest," one of the season's big arcs came to a confusing conclusion. But whole new vistas of dark weirdness were opened up in the process. Plus, Jefferson Starship jokes!
But first, a comment on the episode structure
Was it just me, or was this episode structured in a particularly meandering way? Supernatural is usually good with the storytime bait-and-switch, where you think you're diving into one trope only to find yourself pleasingly transplanted into another. I kept waiting for the transplant moment, and there seemed to be several times that it almost happened - like when the brothers deliver the two kids to their uncle, or when it turns out all the new monsters are getting sick (loved that scene with all the dead shifters in the frat).
But we just kept sort of bumbling along, entering new scenarios without tidying up after the previous ones. What was up with the diseases? Why does Eve need to create hybrids? And what happened to all her previous minions? Plus, the big reveal about Eve's plan left me muttering "whut?" Sorry to gripe, because there was a lot I loved about this episode. It just felt random at times.
Hey, it's Amber Benson, the friendly vampire!
So Bobby and the Winchesters have their magical phoenix ash bullets, and they call up Cas to find out where Eve is hiding out. Unfortunately his angel magic doesn't work on the mother of all monsters, so Cas has to do the teleportation thing and bring in the friendly vampire they met who is trying to live on soy blood or whatever. They beg her for help locating Eve, and it turns out (just as we suspected) that every monster is tied to Eve psychically.
Good old Amber enunciates her way through a few lines before revealing that Eve is in a small Oregon town. Then she begs for death, which Cas happily dispenses when the brothers try to convince her to live. This is yet another sign that Cas is starting to go down the dark path, killing instead of saving.
A town of diseased Jefferson Starships
When Bobby, Cas and the Winchesters teleport to Oregon, they discover that Eve has been wandering around converting everybody into a new monster she's cooked up - a combination vampire and wraith that Dean dubs a "Jefferson Starship" because they're "bad and hard to kill." The high point of the episode is hearing everybody call the monsters Jefferson Starships while chopping their heads off.
Other than their hybridity, there's another weird thing about the Jefferson Starships. After their monster conversion, they quickly die of what seems to be flu. As I mentioned earlier, there's a fantastic scene where the Winchesters realize this after tracking one of the infected monsters back to his frat house - where all his roommates have turned into him and have died of monster flu. This scene was also part of the confusion in the episode, however, because they've all turned into patient zero because they've been turned into shifters, not Jefferson Starships. It seems that Eve is experimenting with turning people into different kinds of monsters, but mostly Jefferson Starships.
Eventually the scoobies track Eve down to a local diner, after Cas tortures the shit out of a demon-occupied or otherwise monstery sheriff. Love Cas with blood on his hands.
Eve's nefarious and confusing plan
When the brothers walk into the diner with their phoenix ash guns, of course the first thing Eve does is have her minions take the guns away. And then she tries to explain her side of the story to the brothers by transforming into their mother, which - really? I actually like the actor who plays Eve and wouldn't have minded seeing her deliver these lines, plus the old "monsters/demons trot out Mom" plot is way overdone on Supernatural at this point.
But what Eve has to say is even more consternation-inducing than the Pretending To Be Mom trope - and I don't mean in a good way.
So OK, here's what I got out of the confusing speech that Eve delivers. First she asks the brothers to join her quest to kill Crowley and they both say, "Huh? But he's dead." But no - he's not dead. Fine. I like that revelation. Then she says Crowley was just lying about wanting to take over the real estate in Purgatory. Now I'm feeling the bad retcon touch.
Crowley's real plan, according to Eve, was to kill monsters, including her first born, for their souls. Because souls are energy sources. Buh? Why doesn't he just kill people for their souls? Plus, why would he want monster souls when they all go to Purgatory anyway? So Eve's big plan was to defy Crowley by turning everybody in the world into monsters so that he won't get any of the souls he's trying to harvest. Buh wha? Wait, so I thought he was on a quest to kill monsters for their souls. Now she's making even more monster souls?
I do like the bit where she says she's been trying different beta versions of her "make everybody in the world into a monster" formula, which is what caused the flu. But she's perfected the recipe in two young boys that the brothers rescued earlier in the episode and delivered to their uncle (where they have promptly gone Jefferson Starship and started with the biting). Her recipe is great, she says, because it creates quiet monsters who spread their monsterhood quickly. Also, apparently, they can't be detected by conventional Hunter means, which is why the brothers didn't realize the kids were Starships.
That was too easy!!!
Despite Eve's seemingly good reasons for wanting to turn everybody into Starships, and her appeal to the boys' mother love, the Mother Of All isn't able to get the Winchesters to work for her. Dean is so defiant that he growls, "Bite me!" Which of course she does, only to discover that Dean has been spiking his whisky with phoenix ashes (I almost wrote "vervain" - been watching too much Vampire Diaries).
Apparently one sip of Dean's phoenix blood is enough to off this monster who is so ancient and powerful that she can muffle Cas' power. There's a great death scene, with lots of weird close-ups, and Eve barfs up the life along with some green goo.
That was too easy!!! Seriously, that's how we get rid of the Big Bad who haunted the entire season's arc so far? The ancient Mother Of All, whose nefarious plans were brewing for episode after episode, seemingly about to build to some fascinating crescendo of insane monstery revelation?
I object with strong grumbling and much snarky fanwank!
And now it's time to process our feelings
Instead of a special bonding moment between the Winchesters, we got a by-now-expected bonding moment between Crowley and Cas. After Eve dies, Cas flutters off to find Crowley, who has apparently been "cleaning up" after Cas. He offed the two Starship kids when they tried to spread monsterness, and apparently he's hanging around in a bunch of the places where Eve killed people in town.
From what Crowley says, we glean that he and Cas have been partners for a while - indeed, since before Cas "killed" the king of Hell, since the two of them obviously faked that death.
So Cas is working with Crowley to harvest more souls for his war? That's what it seems like. But I'm still not understanding why they were targeting monsters all this time.
Also, what are the monsters going to do now that their Mother is dead? I guess they're in the same position as humans, since the human God has left the building.
Basically this episode left me really confused and a bit let down. Eve fizzled out too easily, her plan was too nonsensical in a show whose narrative arcs are usually well-plotted, and that nonsense spilled over into the Cas/Crowley connection. I hope we'll get to untangle some of this plot next week, when Crowley is back.
In the meantime, I would appreciate any theories you have about what the hell Eve's plan really was, and how it makes sense.