We gave it a B+
Back in our world, Patience has decided she’s seen enough. She’s packing her things and running back home because she’s not a fighter. Alex tries to explain that she doesn’t have to be. “We help in other ways,” Alex says, but it’s hard for Patience to help when Claire won’t even believe her. But just before Patience can drive away, she gets another vision: a bunch of those Bad Place monsters busting into Jody’s house.
Patience runs back inside and convinces the women to leave. From the car, Claire watches the surveillance cameras at the house as Patience’s vision comes true.
After a little time on the road, the women pull over to meet up with their backup: The D-Train!! Donna Hanscum pulls up with a full arsenal of weapons in the back of her truck. She’s come bearing all kinds of knives and guns, which leads to this:
Patience: “Why do you have all this?”
Donna: “I’m from Minnesota.”
And that line makes Donna the MVP of this episode for me. I love her so much.
Kaia then tells them more about the last time she saw Sam and Dean, and they figure out which shipyard she’s talking about. Jody and Donna decide to go check it out while Claire stays behind to protect the girls. The good news is that Donna and Jody find the shipyard and the door to the Bad Place. The bad news is they also find a bunch of those creepy monsters who’ve come through the door.
So while Jody and Donna try not to die, Claire confides in Kaia that Patience’s vision has changed things for her. It’s one thing to think about dying, and it’s another to know you’re going to die. For once, Claire is willing to sit back and let Jody handle it. Except for the fact that this is Sam and Dean, and that means that Claire can’t sit this one out, not completely. Kaia offers to go with Claire, but when Jody doesn’t pick up her phone, they all head to the shipyard.
Claire uses the flamethrower to kill one of the monsters, but the moment she sees the door to the Bad Place, she takes off. Jody tries to stop her, but the door is getting smaller. They don’t have much time. “I need to save Sam and Dean, and you have to let me,” Claire says, to which Jody simply responds, “I know.” And when Donna and company get overrun with monsters and need Jody’s help, Jody tells Claire to go. Claire then promises to protect Kaia, and together, they head to the Bad Place.
What happens next is something I wrote in my notes as “general badassery,” as Jody, Donna, Alex, and Patience all work to kill the monsters. (Patience kills one!) As for Claire and Kaia, they find Sam and Dean and free them just in time. Just as they get back to the door, that hooded ninja returns and throws her spear at Claire. But Kaia steps in the way.
As that King Kong-esque being roars overhead, Claire has to say goodbye to the friend she promised to protect and I AM SO BUMMED. I really, really liked Kaia. But I will say this: As much as I hate losing Kaia, the fact that they were willing to kill someone is a major reason why this backdoor pilot worked.
After Dean pulls Claire back through the door, it shuts, and suddenly Patience’s vision comes through. It was never Claire who died. It was always Kaia. What Patience saw was Jody comforting Claire in the aftermath.
The next day, the boys say goodbye. As Sam tells Jody that the door being open for as long as it was means there will be more freaky monsters, Jody tells him, “We will handle it. You guys take care of the world. We got Sioux Falls covered.” I’ll let Dean take this one: “Damn right you do.”
Inside, Jody then goes to Claire, who finally understands Jody’s need to have a plan before barging into a hunt. Jody tells her she doesn’t have to do any of this alone. “When you’re ready, if you want, we’re all here,” Jody says.
Claire then joins her family for dinner as her voice-over explains: “I came back to Sioux Falls to save Sam and Dean Winchester, and I did. No, we did. We saved Sam and Dean. All of these amazing women, my family. They don’t know it yet — they think I’m staying because I’m broken, but I’m staying because I need them, my family, my army. The thing that killed Kaia is still out there. And I don’t care if I have to tear another hole in the universe, we’re going to find it. And I’m going to kill it.” Oh, and that thing that killed Kaia? The hooded ninja? Well, it just came through a rift into our world. AND IT’S KAIA’S DOPPELGANGER.
So there you have it: a spin-off with a wonderful mix of what we love about Supernatural plus a different, female energy, plus a heartbreaking death, plus a shocking twist. I’m in. What about you?