As I flip on the TV to Supernatural’s newest episode, “Paper Moon”, I’m suddenly aware that it’s three nights before Halloween. That this is the week of Halloween episodes in other television shows. And I’m suddenly thankful – given the theme of this episode – that the moon is in its crescent phase. Wouldn’t it have been a great coincidence if the moon had been full? I’m sure a lot of Supernatural fans would’ve pointed that out. Alas, none of that excitement tonight.
Ah, the return to the Supernatural origins. Starting the show in a new location: Durham, Washington. A monster on the loose. Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon plays in the background. The camera zooms in on Pandheads, a bar, crowded with bikers. Men stare at us as we move past them. I can only assume that means we’re the point of view of someone… someone about to get murdered, or, more likely, someone about to do the murdering. This person is wearing leather boots, a charm bracelet with half a heart on it, and red lipstick. Their lip twitches into a smirk. They continue to look around the bar, catching various men’s gazes. Until they settle on a man with long hair and a leather jacket. Outside, he’s thrown up against the building and his shirt is torn open. “Damn! Girl after my own heart!” He jokes. “That’s the idea sweetie.” She responds. Her nails change into claws. She rips them against his throat. Blood spatters against the building. She lets out an animalistic growl.
And cue title.
A speedboat passes by on a calm lake and we see the brothers relaxing, a beer in each of their hands. “You’ve been kicked, bit, stabbed, scratched, possessed, killed, and you sprain your friggin elbow?!” Dean picks on Sam, “That sling come with a slice of crybaby pie on the side?” And we’re back to the brotherly banter. Followed by Sam really asking, really, how Dean is doing. Dean says it’s great that they’re taking time to relax. But… did Sam see the article in the paper this morning? Maybe it was an animal kill? But it was three kills in the last month. Sam suggests that they call some other hunters to check on it. Dean agrees. But mentions it would really just be a milk run. Easy in, easy out. Sam is skeptical. Dean pleads with him. “I need to work.” He says, “I need this.” Sam takes off his glasses and looks at him straight. He makes Dean promise to tell him if things go sideways.
And the brothers are back on the case. Back to work.
At the King County Sheriff department, they walk in wearing Ranger uniforms. (A nice twist to the FBI suits! I think.) They greet the Sheriff who is absolutely relieved to see them. He jokes that they must see this all the time. (Oh do they ever!) And the boys awkwardly make conversation. The sheriff fills them in on the details: hearts missing, consumed. Two attacks: the town square and parking lot were real late, so no witnesses. But the bar was packed, and no one except for a man named Tommy is saying anything about it. Who is a drunk. He claims that a girl was murdered too. But the police found no evidence to suggest that. No body. The boys theorize that it was a werewolf, and most likely the girl, that did the killing.
They meet up with Tommy. He tells them how close he was to the victim. How he thought his friend was just going to get some action out back. Sam asks about the girl that was involved. Tommy’s quiet, scared. Says he didn’t see a girl. The boys convince him to share what he saw. Saying that crazy things do happen. Tommy confesses that he saw the girl, covered in blood, on the side of the road when he was driving home. When he turned around to help her, she was gone. Like a ghost.
Sam and Dean go to the barn where Tommy saw the girl. They still think it was a werewolf. Ghosts don’t shred people. Sure enough, they find chicken corpses, hearts missing, littering the property. Claw scratches are on the door. Dean finds a blonde woman facing away from him, shouting into her cell phone. Wanting whoever is on the other line to stop ignoring her calls. She sniffs the air and runs. Sam catches her and turns her to Dean. It’s Kate from Bitten (8×4). Several scenes from that episode flash: her with a camcorder, at Brian’s editing desk, her tearfully looking into the camera, and her first transformation into a werewolf.
Sam and Dean tie her to a beam in the barn. She says she knows who they are and that she thought they would let her go. Sam says that was before she starting dropping bodies. He asks why she didn’t keep going straight. Why she attacked humans. Kate said it was too hard, the hunger was too much, that she evolved. (Why don’t I believe her?) Dean aims a gun at her, but Sam lowers it. He asks to shoot her. That it might be too much for Dean (Or the Mark). Sam’s cell rings before Dean has time to answer. It’s the Sheriff. He says there was another kill less than an hour ago. Kate didn’t do it. But before the brothers can talk to her again, she escapes by cutting the rope with one of her claws.
Dean swiped her cell phone before she escaped, though. He calls whoever it was she was talking to before they got the drop on her. “Thank you for calling the Lincoln Motel” a woman says. And the brothers hunt another breadcrumb.
Dean asks about why Sam wanted to step in and shoot Kate. Sam claims that he just wanted Dean to continue relaxing. (But we all know Sam is trying to keep The Mark of Cain at bay) Dean asks if Sam is ready to kill someone again. He points out Lester, the man from 10×3, back when Dean was still a demon and Sam inadvertently got him killed. They fight, Dean talking about how Sam made Lester sell his soul, and Sam talking about Dean being a demon. Dean points out that maybe Sam needed to relax too, needed that time off. “This is good.” Dean and Sam agree. (I have a feeling this topic is not over, though.)
Sam and Dean are at the Lincoln Motel. Sam comes out, saying that a blonde woman did check in. And, lo and behold, said blonde-haired woman comes out of one of the rooms. But we don’t see her face. Sam and Dean follow her on foot. She walks into the woods, following a runner. They call to her. She turns. It’s not Kate. She’s frightened, saying that was her motel room, that she knew the runner and was trying to surprise him. (Why don’t I believe this one either?) “Test her.” Sam says. Dean pulls out his knife and approaches the woman. She yells out (but is not really audible, is she?). Dean tries to calm her. She says she doesn’t want to die. And then bares her true self, her werewolf teeth. She knocks down Dean and goes after Sam. But Kate appears, pulling the woman off of Sam. “Stop it!” Kate yells. The woman runs off into the woods. Dean aims to shoot. But Kate stands in the way, saying the woman is her sister.
Dean threatens Kate by pointing his gun at her. Sam bickers with him saying she just saved their lives. Kate tells the truth: she turned her sister into a werewolf. Dean is angry that she turned another after they let her go. Kate says that she’s not a killer. Dean brings up Brian. Kate says he was crazy, that was different. Sam asks if her sister is the killer. Kate goes silent. Sam suggests they go somewhere else to talk.
They go to a coffee shop. Kate shows Sam and Dean the silver knife she carries in case she ever loses it like Brian. She explains they won’t have to kill her. That she has never had a human heart, and never hurts someone who doesn’t deserve it. The dead chickens at the barn were because of her. She explains that she eats what people won’t miss, mediates, and does yoga. That she will try anything to keep the werewolf at bay. Her sister, Tasha, however, is a different story.
Kate tells her story: that she went home when she first turned into a werewolf. But she worried about her family’s safety and left. It was only when she saw a posting of her sister’s car accident on Facebook that she went back. Kate turned Tasha, healing her and saving her life. Her sister woke up as she was driving. Kate explained everything to her: about being a werewolf, not being able to go back home, the responsibility they had to not hurt anything. She thought everything was all right. Until she got home one night. She found Tasha eating a human heart. And it was then that Kate knew she was losing her sister. Kate protected Tasha back at the barn. She would take a silver bullet for her sister. She wants to find her sister and teach her to control her cravings. “It’s my mess: I’ll fix it.” She states.
Sam asks what if she can’t fix it? “Then I’ll take care of it.” Kate responds. “Do you know what that means?” Dean asks bluntly. “Why don’t you ask Brian?” shoots back Kate. Surprising us all, Dean tells Kate that maybe it doesn’t have to come to that. That if she had been honest with them, they could’ve helped her sooner. He explains that there is a werewolf cure. (Wait. What?!) And he and Sam can cure them both.
Of course there is no cure. And Dean is just talking about killing them both. He and Sam bicker in the parking lot. Dean says Kate and Tasha are monsters, and hunters kill monsters. Sam argues that Kate is just fighting for her sister. And that he and Dean do that for each other all the time. And the true issue comes out: Dean asks if it’s right that they fight for each other. He points out that he still has The Mark. Sam says they’ll figure it out. That they always do. That it’s not right to take their experiences and dump it at Kate and Tasha’s feet. Dean agrees, asking what Sam’s plan is.
Dean, Kate, and Sam are in the Impala, driving to find Tasha. Kate is sleeping. Sam confesses to Dean that he lied about Lester. That there were “others”. That he took it out on the bad guys. That he watched Dean die, carried his corpse, and put Dean’s body on his bed. That the note hurt. Dean confesses that he’s embarrassed at how he acted as a demon. He thanks Sam for what he did. (Aww… cute brotherly moment)
Kate wakes up saying that they’re close. She explains that she and Tasha made a rendezvous spot in case anything bad happened or they got separated. The trio pulls up to the cabin. Dean handcuffs Kate to the steering wheel. She figures out that there’s no cure. She pleads that her sister can be saved. Dean says Tasha’s in too deep. That “you don’t come back from that. Not ever.”
Sam and Dean enter the cabin quietly, looking around. Sam sees a picture of Kate and Tasha, happy, on a table. He finds Tasha sitting on a bed, staring at a doll. She says that she can’t believe Kate betrayed her. Sam says she didn’t. “You’re not going to shoot me.” Tasha says. Sam asks why. Dean is led into the room, a man holding a gun to his head. (Wait! Tasha turned someone else?! Oh boy.) She says for him to drop the gun or Dean gets his head blown off. Dean is knocked to the floor, Sam lowers his gun. Kate is brought into the room by another man. “Brandon. Travis. I turned them.” Tasha explains to her sister. “They’re our new family.” She adds. “You’re a regular psycho Brady bunch.” Dean quips. One of the werewolves threatens Dean, Sam goes after him, Tasha knocks Sam to the bed. She holds her hand on his neck, strangling him. Kate speaks up, telling her sister to stop. That they can talk. Tasha says Sam and Dean were going to kill her and claims Kate is protecting them. Kate says she’s protecting her. Tasha scoffs and says she’s good. She gives Kate a choice: walk away or join her pack. Kate says she’s not walking away. “Then prove you got what it takes,” Tasha says. She looks over to Sam. “Eat his heart out.” She adds. Sam tries to reason with Kate. (Wait. “Paul Bunyan?”) But Kate declines.
Sam and Dean are led out of the room by Travis and Brandon. They’re punched, crumbling to the ground. Kate and Tasha talk in the bedroom. Kate says Tasha’s a good person. Tasha says she’s a superhero. That she was weak before. She let everyone walk over her. But she’s not weak or scared anymore. She’s scary. Kate says that she wanted to be with Tasha, even if they weren’t normal they could still have each other. Tasha says they still can. “But I’m not going to spend my life on the run from people like Mary Kate and Ashley out there” (What’s with the name calling? Oh boy. I sense Tumblr gifs being made! Hah!) Tasha says to Kate that they’re strong. That they can go anywhere, do anything they want. That she doesn’t have to be alone anymore.
Back in the living room, Sam and Dean are picking on Travis and Brandon. “These guys, huh? Can you believe them?” Sam says. “A couple of minor-leaguers!” Dean adds. That riles up the werewolves, giving Sam and Dean the opportunity to stab both of them in the chest. “Well, welcome to the majors, boys.” Dean finishes. Sam laughs.
Tasha says to Kate that they’re going to be good. That they’re going to be great. “I love you.” Kate says. “I love you too.” Tasha responds. The sisters embrace. A beat. And then the sound of knife sliding into flesh. Tasha bleeds from her mouth and pulls away. Kate says she’s sorry as her sister collapses to the ground. Sam and Dean barge into the bedroom, finding Tasha’s dead body, and Kate nowhere to be found.
Dean asks Sam if they’re going after her. Sam says he doesn’t know. Dean said Kate did good, when it came down to it. Sam agrees that it was good he didn’t shoot her. Sam brings up that the point of laying low was to rest. To try and deal with everything they – everything Dean – went through. And that maybe they jumped back in too fast. Maybe Dean wanted to talk about it. Dean says he knows what happened. That he doesn’t want to stew in his own crap, that he wants to get back in the saddle. The cell phone rings, breaking the moment. It’s Kate. She says Tasha wasn’t her sister anymore. Dean says that if she keeps moving, and keeps her nose clean, they can stop meeting like this. Kate agrees, saying she will. But she doesn’t promises. She fiddles with her bracelet – and her sister’s – and walks away from the payphone into the night. Dean says that he may not be ready to hunt, but he’s trying to do the right thing. Because he’s so sick of doing the wrong one.