We all knew that the Winchesters working with the British Men of Letters wouldn’t exactly be smooth sailing. Well, Dean (Jensen Ackles) has barely agreed to give it a shot but the troubles have already begun in season 12 episode 16 of Supernatural. The case we’ll be following not only results in a tag-along for the boys but also causes their path to cross with someone they weren’t expecting, or wanting, to find hunting.
It all starts outside a bar in Wisconsin as a young girl leaves, distracted by some texts on her phone from a person named Ben. As she responds to his messages, he walks up behind her and it is clear she is busted. The girl, Hayden, and her brother walk home through some woods while she tries to get him to go back to the bar and drink with her. Their arguing is cut short as they hear a sound off the path. Ben states that it’s just an animal and wants to keep going, but Hayden claims to be leery about the potential threat. So, Ben goes to check out the sound. Only as soon as he is out of sight, the teenage girl calls him a sucker and heads back toward the bar.
Moments later, Ben hears her scream and rushes toward the sound, finding his sister hurt and unconscious. He doesn’t get much opportunity to check on the extent of her injuries before a figure dressed in black with a skull mask over his face attacks. Ben’s heart is ripped out of his chest, his lifeless body falling to the ground next to his sister as the masked monster turns back to Hayden.
Going to Dean and Sam (Jared Padalecki), we find the brothers at the British Men of Letters bunker, waiting and looking uncomfortable. Apparently Mick (Adam Fergus) had called them in and Dean is not pleased at basically being called in for duty because it feels too much like working for the group. Mick shows up telling them about the siblings attacked in Wisconsin. The brother is dead, but Hayden is alive and in the hospital. He wants them to check out the possibility of a werewolf. It seems like an easy job, at least until Mick says he wants to tag along. The Brit explains that his team was always thinkers and after the attack by the alpha vamp he wants to be ready for whatever is next. Dean doesn’t want to take Mick, feeling he’ll be a liability who will only get himself killed. Yet Sam convinces Dean to give him a shot.
So the three men make the drive to Wisconsin. Sam pores over all the lore on werewolves gathered by the British Men of Letters provided by Mick. The conversation shifts to the group’s experiences with the supernatural beings and it’s clear how black and white Mick’s group views all monsters, despite the Winchester brothers having met some who were able to control their urge to kill. In their eyes, they all need to die, no questions asked.
The next morning, Sam and Dean meet up before beginning their investigation. Dean enjoyed staying in a nicer hotel, complete with a pool and little shampoos, on the Brits’ dime too. Not that he would admit it to Mick. Sam stayed up poring through the lore and begins to share some interesting tidbits such as a plasma therapy that was worked on in the 1930’s to try and cure werewolves. Mick joins the group and joins in the conversation saying unfortunately it was a huge waste of time, so the guys get to work.
Their first stop is to the hospital where Hayden is currently recovering. She’s asleep when they arrive with her distraught mother by the bed, worried for her daughter and grieving for her son. Sam and Dean tell Mick to wait in the hallway because talking with a grieving family member needs to be handled gently. It doesn’t go smoothly for the boys though as the mom refuses to let them wake Hayden for questioning. Mick saves the situation by showing up in a doctor’s coat, posing as a covering doctor and getting the mother to leave the room with the hunters dressed as FBI agents.
They take this opportunity to talk to the mother. She apologizes for how she acted, stating she isn’t even sure what her kids were doing out there at that time of night. Also, she is glad the FBI is there rather than all the Bigfoot chasers and other odd people that have been contacting her. She even got a visit from a young girl claiming to be with the Fish and Wildlife Service who she knew was way too young for that to be true. She remembered the girl as blond with a bad attitude. They quickly figure out who this sounds like and give Claire Novak (Kathryn Love Newton), the daughter of Castiel’s vessel who has been living with Sheriff Jody Mills, a call.
Inside the room, Mick examines the girl’s injuries. The scratches and bruises aren’t too concerning but then he finds what he feared, a bite. Leaving the room quickly, he rejoins the boys and lies, telling them she was not bitten.
A while later, the three men meet up with Claire at the hotel lounge. Sam and Dean want to know what she’s doing there and why she’s alone. Obviously she’s following the case, same as them, and she’s found out that the innocent story Hayden has told everyone is a lie and she was really at a bar. Claire also says that Jody is busy working so she sent Claire to check things out.
Mick excuses himself to his room for the evening very early, explaining that he has to send in a report when the brothers question it. But as we can guess, that is another lie because he goes to the hospital instead. After waiting for Hayden’s mother to leave the room, he enters in the doctor’s coat again and pulls out a syringe. As he’s in the process of injecting the needle into the girl’s IV, she wakes up in werewolf form and immediately attacks. During the struggle, Mick’s shoulder is clawed but he does manage to stab the syringe into her heart and then has to stand there and watch the girl die.
The next morning, word of Hayden’s death has reached the hunters and they return to the hospital to find out what happened. Her doctor isn’t sure about the cause of death but reveals that there is something else odd: all of her wounds from the attack with her brother are healed. When the man is called to another patient, they determine she must have changed into a werewolf and Dean turns on Mick as the one who examined her. Mick has to try and cover by claiming he may have missed something and the tension grows until Claire puts a stop to it. She points out that whatever attacked Hayden and Ben is still out there and that is where their focus needs to be.
Since she has a point, they split into groups, with Claire and Sam heading to the high school to question Hayden’s friends while Dean and Mick go to the bar. Mick can’t even open the door to the bar because his arm is bothering him, a fact that Dean doesn’t miss but doesn’t comment on either. Questioning the first bartender, they find they are directed to another bartender, Conner, who Hayden has a suspected “thing” with. However, Conner denies having a relationship with the girl and claims he didn’t even see her leave the night of the attack and went straight home after work.
Leaving the establishment, Dean again turns on Mick, not believing his story about having spent the evening in his hotel room working and watching television. When the British man still tries to stick to his story, Dean grabs his hurt shoulder and squeezes, forcing a confession out of him. The situation isn’t improved when Mick then tries to deflect by commenting on who the Winchesters choose as allies at times. Dean retorts that Mick shouldn’t tell him how to do his job; things aren’t always black and white in the world. He goes on to tell the other man about the abused psychic girl who was accidentally killing people, and that they helped her, giving her a second chance at life. Now Mick knows full well that he had Mr. Ketch follow and kill the girl but wisely keeps his mouth shut.
Meanwhile, Claire and Sam are at the high school. Claire went by herself to talk to the kids after she pointed out that they wouldn’t talk to an “old” guy like Sam. She managed to get some gossip about Hayden dating an older guy who was extremely possessive. Hayden’s best friend was worried so she told Ben, explaining why he had gone to the bar to find her.
The tone of the conversation shifts when Sam asks Claire why Jody thinks the girl is actually looking at colleges, not hunting – information he had found out after giving Jody a call while he was waiting. Claire, being the angsty teenager she is, still feels like she doesn’t fit in a normal life and that everyone is happy when she’s on her own. Sam is concerned but that just starts an argument where she reminds them about how he and Dean are partially responsible for ruining her life. When she throws out wanting them to stop treating her like a kid, Sam gives the familiar response from someone who cares that she needs to stop acting like one then. This causes her to storm off toward the school’s baseball field where she is quickly attacked by the same werewolf from the beginning of the episode and gets bitten.
Upon waking up, Claire is in serious pain and finds the bite, knowing exactly what this means. Sam finds her and takes her back to the room, tending to the wound and meeting back up with the other two men. Mick tries to help but Dean has filled Sam in on what really happened to Hayden so now they are both mad and don’t want the Brit to be anywhere near Claire. During this time, Claire is understandably freaking out, stating others may be able to control their urges after changing but not her. She wants them to do whatever it takes because she can’t take the chance of hurting Jody, Alex, or anyone else she cares about.
Sam wants to try the plasma therapy he’d read about. However, Mick says it won’t work. It was only fully tested on rats and only tested on a human once which resulted in the person dying painfully. Our boys don’t want to take that risk with Claire but she does and insists it’s her life so she gets all the votes. Well, that ends this argument. So Mick explains they will need blood from the werewolf that bit her. Sam and Dean go to find Conner, figuring there is a connection between their questioning the man at the bar and the attack. They do leave Mick with Claire, making sure he was good and threatened about anything happening to Claire while they are gone then take off. Yet when they follow Connor leaving the bar, hit and grab him, silver doesn’t hurt him meaning he is not the wolf they are looking for.
Back at the hotel, Claire gets worse, wounds starting to burn then healing completely. In desperation, she goes for a pistol sitting on the table only Mick grabs it first, stopping her from taking her own life. She panics, begging for him to kill her before she fully becomes a monster. He lifts the gun, says every instinct tells him to do it, but he can’t as flashes of watching Hayden die come to the front of his mind. Mick says he’ll restrain and sedate her instead right before the door is burst open and their masked werewolf enters, knocking the man out then doing the same to Claire and dragging her out of the room.
Dean and Sam return to the hotel room to find the mess, no sign of Claire, and Mick managing to get back to his feet. He quickly explains to the brothers that it was the werewolf who took her and admits that he had put a tracker on Claire so they will be able to find her. Normally they wouldn’t be happy about the tracker, but in this instance it actually helps them so they let it go.
Elsewhere, Claire is being held captive by the wolf who reveals himself as the first bartender Dean and Mick had spoken to, Justin. He was the one who had been dating Hayden and they had big plans to run away, only he had to make sure she would survive the transformation since most do not. He also explains that he’d lost his pack when they were attacked by the British Men of Letters, based on the way he described their equipment, and now any of the pack left had scattered.
Justin obviously intends to start a new pack, beginning with Claire, and he tries to force feed her a heart. Claire spits it out but also makes the full transformation seconds afterward. The Winchesters and Mick arrive but now have two werewolves to fight. Dean is forced to knock Claire out, at least for the moment, so they can focus on Justin. That fight ends with Mick shooting Justin and quickly collecting his blood. Meanwhile, Claire comes to, forcing the brothers to deal with her while Mick gets the concoction in his syringe prepared. At last, it’s ready and they grab her long enough for the injection. Then all they can do is wait to see if it cures her…or kills her.
The process takes a while, causing her a lot of pain, more than the boys can stand to witness. Dean has to leave the room and Sam looks away from the sight of her agony. Then she goes completely still and Sam looks heartbroken as he calls for Dean to come back in. They both try to deal with the loss as her werewolf form fades back to a normal girl. Yet then her eyes open and she tells them they look like crap, to their great relief.
Jumping to the next day, as Claire is preparing to leave Dean and Sam talk to Mick. They are still angry about what he did to Hayden without talking to them first, but since he helped them save Claire they agree to give him a second chance…promising there won’t be a third. He’ll take it. The boys turn their attention to Claire who thanks them and apologizes for how she acted before. When she needs them, they are always there and she appreciates it. The brothers encourage her to let Jody know what she’s doing and she says she’ll think about it. Yet as the episode wraps, we see her call and leave a message for Jody to admit she’s been hunting, knows it won’t make her happy, but that it’s something she needs to do. As she drives away, we know a new generation of hunters has officially begun to emerge – and the world needs them.
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