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Supernatural, Ep. 9.19, “Alex Annie Alexis Ann” brings back a familiar Winchester ally

Supernatural, Ep. 9.19, “Alex Annie Alexis Ann” brings back a familiar Winchester ally
Jensen Ackles, Reilly Dolman

Jensen Ackles, Reilly Dolman

Supernatural, Season 9, Episode 19: “Alex Annie Alexis Ann”
Written by Robert Berens
Directed by Stefan Pleszczynski
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm (ET) on The CW

Over the course of their time Hunting, the Winchesters have found many allies, some within the community of Hunters, other from cases they have worked. One such individual in the latter camp is Sheriff Jody Mills, an acquaintance of Bobby’s who first crossed paths with the Winchesters in Season 5’s “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”. This week sees Sheriff Mills make a return to the show as she brings the brothers their newest case, in an entertaining outing that brings back a familiar group of monsters.

Learning more about how vampires operate is a fascinating aspect of this week’s episode. The mythology of the vampires has always been a strong aspect of the show, especially intriguing because they work somewhere in between the isolated nature of werewolves and the mass organised nature of demons. This allows for the creatures to still retain an element of surprise as their methods differ from nest to nest, even as the basics don’t change. Of particular note has been seeing how different nests around the country keep themselves sustained, whether it’s by feeding on cattle as the vampires did in Season 2’s “Bloodlust”, or by taking advantage of the Twilight craze as the vampire nest in Season 6’s “Live Free or Twihard”. This week’s vampire nest continues that trend, as the use of human lure to draw in victims who wouldn’t be missed is an intelligent strategy that doesn’t encroach on prior methods. With Alex being the show’s first long-term victim of vampires to survive, it will be interesting to see if the show revisits her down the road. As someone who is familiar with vampires, and now has the trust of Sheriff Mills, Alex is in a unique position to become a Hunter, and her guilt over helping her nest gives her ample motivation as well. It will be worth watching to see how Alex chooses to channel her guilt going forward, and how it affects both Sheriff Mills and the Winchesters.

Kim Rhodes, Jared Padalecki

Kim Rhodes, Jared Padalecki

Sheriff Mills’ return, and the subsequent exploration of her feelings about the death of her family, is also a highlight of the episode. Over the course of her time on the show, Sheriff Mills has become a valuable ally to the Winchesters, despite the passing of mutual acquaintance Bobby. Many of her actions, including joining a church, and going on blind dates that Crowley took advantage of, worked to better illustrate what kind of person Sheriff Mills was when not around the Winchesters. This episode, however, does a great job of explaining the reasoning behind Sheriff Mills’ recent actions, which effectively further deepens the character and explores the long-term effects that supernatural encounters have on non-Hunters. With Sheriff Mills now fully acknowledging the grief of losing her loved ones, instead of skirting the issue, where she goes from here promises to be compelling. While the acceptance of her grief is likely to allow Sheriff Mills to begin moving on, her skills this week prove that she is on her way to becoming a valuable Hunter ally, if not a full-fledged Hunter. Understanding her own emotional state is only going to help with that, and it will be interesting to see how she regards Hunting going forward. If Sheriff Mills comes to see Hunting as a way to help others avoid the fate she suffered, a beginning place for many Hunters, she may end up becoming more involved with the Winchesters, which will shake up the relationship dynamic at the very least.

Overall, this is an enjoyable episode, and a strong reminder of how well the show can execute standalone episodes even this late into its run. It’s amusing to see Greyston Holt show up as a vampire on this episode in light of his regular stint as a werewolf on Bitten. Alex is a compelling character with a lot of potential, and hopefully this is not the last the Winchesters or the audience have seen of her. The exploration of how the Mark of Cain is affecting Dean also continues to be intriguing. Dean has always had a complex relationship with Hunting, with his desire to do something else coming and going according to external events and his own emotional state. However, Dean wanting to hunt and kill monsters is not a new phenomenon, and his enjoyment of the “purity” of Purgatory attests to that. Thus, it’s likely that the Mark of Cain isn’t changing Dean as much as it’s magnifying a feeling that already existed inside of him. Benny’s death in Season 8 is particularly lamentable in this situation, as how Dean would have felt towards a close friend like Benny after receiving the Mark of Cain would have been very telling. How Dean deals with this, as well as how Sam and Castiel, and others, help him in this regard, will be worth keeping an eye on as the season moves to a close.

– Deepayan Sengupta

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