It’s finally here!! The backdoor pilot for Wayward Sisters has arrived, and with it comes a lot of anticipation and therefore a lot of pressure. And yet, I knew we were in for something special when the recap gave me chills. After “Bloodlines” failed years ago, I think this show has finally done it: They’ve found the spin-off that works.
We start the hour by catching up with Claire, who’s been on the road hunting by herself. And from the looks of it, she’s doing all right. After she saves a young girl from a group of werewolves and utters the epic line, “I kill monsters. That’s who the hell I am,” she gets a call from Jody. As Jody tells her, “It’s Sam and Dean. They’re missing. They were on a hunting trip and I haven’t heard from them for a few days.” And just like Supernatural kicked off all those years ago, so too does Wayward Sisters.
Claire then returns home to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to find that Jody is now a hugger and Patience has been staying with her for a few days. The women come together, along with Alex, to listen to Sam’s last voicemail to Jody. He explains that they’re looking for Kaia Nieves and that they think she could be the key to saving their mom. As for where Kaia is now, Alex tells Claire that they’ve checked every database they can think of. They’ve got nothing.
Alex then leaves for work — she’s got the night shift at the hospital where she’s a nurse — and Jody tells Claire about Patience’s vision. Only, it’s not what we originally thought. Patience didn’t see Jody die. She saw Claire die.
But, of course, Claire isn’t one to just believe a vision from someone she’s never met. No, no, she’s far too stubborn for that, and that only adds to Jody’s stress levels.
Completely ignoring her fate, Claire heads to the hospital to pay Alex a visit. Claire wants access to the hospital’s computer system, but Alex assures her that she’s already checked everything. But when she searches for new Jane Does, she gets a hit. Kaia was just picked up. In fact, she’s just down the hall.
Claire goes to introduce herself to Kaia, but Kaia isn’t exactly in the mood for new friends. She tries to leave the hospital only to be stopped by some freaky monster from the Bad Place. Thankfully, Jody and Claire are there to save the day, after which they take the monster back to the house so Alex can perform an autopsy on this Predator/Mad Max-looking thing.
While Alex does that, Claire sits down with Kaia. Kaia explains that she’s seen the monsters before but only in her dreams. They travel in packs, and once they pick up your scent, they don’t stop coming after you. In other words, it’s all bad news. But at least Claire and Kaia get to bond a bit and swap scar stories.
Claire then takes Kaia in to see Jody and explain that she’s a dreamwalker. She believes Sam and Dean are in the Bad Place, and if these monsters are here, it means the door between worlds is still open.
Speaking of Sam and Dean, they’re currently roasting a lizard over a campfire because, well, life in the Bad Place kinda sucks. I did love this interaction though:
*Dean takes a bite into the lizard meat*
Sam: “Don’t tell me it tastes like chicken.”
Dean: “No, Sam. It’s a lizard. It tastes like a lizard.”
The guys claim they’ve been looking for the door out of this universe, but it’s been two days and they’re worried it has closed. Their other big concern? Those very loud footsteps that sound like they’re getting closer. Although, what they should really be concerned about is the hooded figure who ultimately knocks them both out with his or her spear and ties them to a tree before, as Dean puts it, ringing the dinner bell for the King Kong-esque monster we keep hearing. (Next: Someone doesn’t make it out alive)
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?