“Hibbing 911” was a standard episode of Supernatural that benefited from a strong female dynamic not often seen on the show. Sheriffs Jody Mills and Donna Hanscum returned this hour to help take down a pack of hippie vampires. Sam and Dean don’t have a lot of female allies, so it was nice to see Donna get pulled into the fold as a novice hunter studying at Jody’s feet. Her character straddles that line between “Don’t ya know” shtick and lovable quirkiness, and charm was a nice counterbalance to Jodie’s hard edge. I hope we’ll get a chance to see her again in the future.

Judging by the “Then” segment before the episode, I had a feeling we’d be seeing Doug the dick. Donna’s ex-husband lived up to his reputation with his constant fat shaming of Donna, and his efforts to exploit her kindhearted nature. I’d like to have seen him get eaten if his death wouldn’t have devastated Donna emotionally. Thankfully, Jody was there to call him out on his prick behavior in a moment that solidified this episode as a mini buddy cop movie. We only got to see Jody and Donna working together briefly during their hotel room break-in, but man, the results were comedic gold. Donna’s shocked look when Jody whipped out the machete, followed by her enthusiastically drawing her gun, was hilarious.

This episode did what it could to remind us that Jody has a surrogate daughter now in Alex, the blood slave Jody rescued from vampires in last season’s “Alex Annie Alexis Ann.” We were mercifully spared a reunion with Alex as Jody just chatted with her over the phone, but she still sounds as terrible as when we first met her. Jody better keep that machete close by – she might be using it on herself at some point raising that little monster. We were also reminded of Jody’s gruesome past in this episode. Unlike every other time her husband and son’s deaths have been shown in flashbacks, this reference actually served the purpose of connecting Jody with Donna’s plight. Sam and Dean tend to get over traumatic events quickly on Supernatural. There’s something realistic about the way Jody’s past continues to haunt her all these years later. It makes her character feel more complex.

On the list of scary predators Supernatural has introduced, scavenging vampires ranks very low. The hippie chick leader and her two goons were easily dispatched thanks to their insistence on following the show’s “Stupid Villain 101 Handbook.” Now that we’re over 200 episodes, I can safely say we’ve seen the “Sam and/or Dean gets tied up and escapes in time thanks to a monster’s monologue” scene at least 100 times. “Hibbing 911” was about the smaller character moments. Why do we need a monster story to accomplish that task? Couldn’t we spend more time with Sam and Dean or Jody and Donna? Maybe I’m just jaded, but the show’s formula has been wearing thin for a long time. The writers need to shake things up with the episode formats. This hour didn’t have to be hampered by a lame monster story.

Line of the week

“This badge means something” – Dean
“I made it at Kinkos.” – Sam
“Yes you did. Be proud of that.” – Dean

Next week on Supernatural

Dean goes to the dark side. Can Castiel stop him?

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