A fresh take on a familiar adversary this week, as the boys discovered just how busy Michael had been whilst test-driving Dean’s meat suit. After young hunter Maggie failed to check in, Sam used the feed from her body-cam to find out that she’d been snatched by what appeared to be a ghoul. Unbeknownst to Sam and Dean, Mary and Bobby had also gone to investigate the girl’s disappearance, and the case became a family affair.
At the old estate in Oklahoma, the Winchesters and Apocalypse Bobby found an unconscious old man who looked suspiciously like the ghoul who attacked Maggie, his estranged daughter, and his carer. The mystery of “Nightmare Logic” was nicely drawn out, with a dead hunter found on the grounds, a vampire in the attic, and the appearance of alt-Bobby’s dead son, complete with burnt out eyes from an angel encounter. While Sam eventually found Maggie in the house, being drained of her blood, it was Dean who cracked the puzzle, realising the monster in question was a Djinn. Of course, Dean has experience in this field, having fallen victim to a Djinn in the seminal Season 2 episode “What is and What Should Never Be”. But this was no ordinary Djinn, because ‘nurse’ Neil had been pimped by Michael, and was under the impression that Dean was still hosting the archangel. Supercharged Neil had the ability to bring the creatures of people’s nightmares to life, and – as Bobby found out the hard way – these monsters were not just in the mind.
While the intrigue was well played, this episode was largely about family dynamics. Sasha and Dean bonded over their daddy issues, with Sasha confiding in Dean that she blamed her comatose father for her mother’s suicide, but Dean, with the benefit of hindsight, was able to advise her to let her resentment of her father go. The scene between them was very believable, and Dean’s maturity and years of experience shone through.
Sam was playing father to the fledgling hunters, unwittingly emulating John in a way, and he came under fire from Bobby for sending his charges out into the field before they were ready. Of course, Bobby was projecting somewhat, and his own guilt over getting his son killed in the Apocalypse World war almost got him murdered by a phantom of his own making. It was also the ‘wall’ Mary spoke of, preventing romance from blossoming between them. It was interesting that Mary chose to open up to Sam about her potential relationship, but again, the encouragement she received from him and Dean demonstrated just how much the boys have changed over the years. There was a little bit of Dean’s possessive streak showing in the way he mocked his brother for being a ‘camp counselor’ to the other people sharing their home, but even that seemed mostly out of concern for Sam’s welfare rather than having competition for his brother’s attention.
This was a largely positive episode in the world of Supernatural. Maggie was found alive, Bobby and Mary got to head off and spend a few days in Donna’s cabin to work through their issues, Sasha and Patrick Rawling were reconciled, and Dean tried to take his own advice and leave his baggage behind him. There was a smattering of angst as he talked to Sam about Michael, but it wouldn’t be the show without it! As ever though, even when the brothers get a win, disaster is never far away. With Jack ill, Nick on the loose, and Michael missing, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before things go south.
Final grade: C
+ I loved the mention of The Walking Dead, in which John Winchester plays Negan! No one does meta like Supernatural.
+ I like the idea that all the lore the Winchesters know might be useless in the wake of Michael’s tinkering with familiar monsters.
+ Dean is still obsessing over Sam’s grief beard, even though the poor guy shaved.
– I’m still not really feeling the whole extended cast thing. Maggie hasn’t been fleshed out enough for her capture to mean much to us.
– I’m a little bit weirded out by the fact Bobby is the only available love interest for any woman over forty. Jody and now Mary. I mean, he’s great and all, but really?
Extra Thought: Really curious as to what the Djinn saw in Dean’s mind. Is Michael still lurking in there?
What did you think? Was this episode dreamy, or a total mare? Sound off in the comments or over on Twitter.