Supernatural: Family Don’t End In Blood

Claire shoots
Liane Hentscher/The CW

“You were both troubled teens. You speak her language!” — Castiel

Wednesday’s Supernatural served up a generous helping of family drama, tragic enough to rival even the Winchester clan’s sordid history. Claire was back and managed to prove that Sam and Dean don’t have the corner on hard upbringings. In fact, their stories are so alike, it’s scary. Is Claire another hunter-orphan in the making?

“Angel Heart” was clearly the conclusion of the Novak family’s three-part story arc, but I sincerely hope it doesn’t end there. I hope Claire returns to kick butt with the Winchesters one day. She puts one in mind of a young Sam, all angst and unresolved anger, but with a generous helping of a young Dean’s sarcasm. I think Claire should get her own spinoff, what do you think?

There were a lot of parallel’s between Claire’s trajectory and that of the brothers actually. Daddy issues? Check. Abandonment issues? Check. Dead mom? By the end of the episode, Claire had unfortunately checked that box too. At least Amelia and Jimmy Novak got a beautifully lit reunion scene in Heaven, which is more than you can say for John and Mary Winchester!

It was interesting to see how differently the Winchester boys viewed Claire’s situation, considering it was so similar to their own. Dean was all for giving Claire her independence, but at the same time arming her for life on the road. He instinctively knew that Claire would very likely fall into the hunting way of life – pretty much inevitable at this point considering her history – and he didn’t try to discourage her. Instead, he gave her a weapon and a book to help her on her way.

Sam, on the other hand, was a little more protective of Claire’s youth and innocence. Whereas Dean was telling Castiel he had to leave Claire to her own devices, Sam thought the angel should stick close to his surrogate-daughter. Considering the fact that Sam made a break with his own family when he was about Claire’s age, I was a little surprised by that reaction. I couldn’t help thinking about the time Sam and Dean met their half-brother Adam. Sam’s reluctance to let Adam go on in blissful ignorance of the supernatural back then was in sharp contrast to his present reluctance to involve Claire in the hunt.

Dean and Cas
Liane Hentscher/The CW

Castiel, bless him, was a bit hopeless at playing Daddy to a smart-mouthed teenager (a Herculean task for anyone, to be fair), but he mades up for his ignorance of human relationships with a lot of heart. It was clear that he cared very much for Claire’s wellbeing, not just because he felt responsible for her and the pain he’d caused her family, but because he genuinely felt a connection to the girl. Again, I hope we get to see more of this strange relationship and how it flourishes.

Maybe I’m getting sentimental in my old age, but swords and sorcery aside, one of my favourite scenes in this episode was watching Dean and Claire bond over mini golf. It was very touching to see Dean shaping the young hunters of tomorrow, handing out life lessons with a hard-won air of wisdom. All he’s missing now is a trucker cap and a scruffy beard.

In other news…

  • Is it just me or does it seem like Sam gets rocked, like, once every episode? I’m surprised he doesn’t have permanent brain damage!
  • The whole grigori storyline? Supernatural fan fiction totally saw it coming!
  • Only Supernatural could have pulled off that song playing at the end of the episode as Claire drove away in the taxi. No pop song could have conveyed the hope, the regret, the melancholy that Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” did. Nothing says melancholy like a country song.

We’re only three episodes away from the Season 10 finale, so Dean’s Mark of Cain situation is going to be resolved very soon – for better or worse. But first, the Winchester brothers will probably have a falling out over the Book of the Damned…

Supernatural airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.