Sheriff Jody Mills returns, but that means a vampire or two can't be far behind, even at a peaceful sheriffs' retreat.
It’s been almost a full season since Jody Mills worked a case with Sam and Dean, and her appearance in “Hibbing 911” is a reminder of just how great of a character she is. In less than 10 total episodes, actress Kim Rhodes has created a character every bit as layered as stalwarts who have spent years on the show. (She’d make the perfect candidate for a spin-off if you’re still looking, Supernatural producers.) So it’s quite all right when the first half of “Hibbing 911” shines the spotlight on Sheriff Mills.
What has she been up to since “Alex Annie Alexis Ann”? Well, she’s still taking care of Alex like a daughter, but a Minnesota-Dakotas Sheriffs’ Retreat—it sounds ridiculous just typing it out—has torn her away from her adopted daughter.
There, she runs into another Supernatural alum, Donna Hanscum, who the boys aided in last season’s “The Purge.” Donna is the over-caffeinated rainbow to Jody’s calm and cool cloud, but Jody feels some sympathy for her after witnessing Donna’s ex-husband Doug (also a sheriff) mock Donna for her weight. He’s a complete prick, and Jody recognizes it.
The retreat is just as exciting as Jody expects it to be—not at all thrilling. Local sheriff Cuse asks those in attendance to partner up for the weekend. Doug, the shallow ass that he is, partners with the cute Sheriff Goodhill next to him, and with no other options, Donna, the fire to Jody’s ice, decides the two should buddy up.
While choosing between retreat programs like “Cops vs. Winter: The Snow Must Go On” and “Preparing for a Riot: Why Not Try It,” Donna and Jody learn of a grizzly alleyway murder. Not a claw mark or hair is found on the victim, unsurprising as animal attacks are rare in the area, but he’s been eaten down to the bone.
Suspecting the supernatural, Jody checks in on Sam and Dean, who are deep into research on the Mark of Cain, but have come up with absolutely nothing. Their most interesting find? A study called “He-wolf, She-wolf: A Study in Werewolf Transgenderism”—a paper I could definitely not have turned in during college.
Sam fills Jody in on Dean’s post-demon binge recovery, while Jody explains that Alex is smoking grass under the bleachers, but “at least she’s not luring men to their death.” She tells them not to come, but Dean needs a break, and so the two are back on the highway to hell—that is, Jody’s personal hell.
But it looks like she could use their help, as her and Donna’s investigation leaves them with nothing but a body skinless from neck to thigh, and a missing belt the victim would have needed to hold up his baggy pants, according to Jody. Kids these days, huh?
So apparently we have a flesh-eating monster with an eye for fashion… who, as it turns out, also hangs out in dumpsters, as another man becomes a meal for this hidden monster.
Jody and Donna try talking to Cuse (who vaguely looks like a smaller, grayer haired Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a pop culture connection I will chalk up to premonition about this week’s baddies), but he offers them nothing. When Donna needs a moment alone after seeing Doug dancing with Goodhill, however, Jody decides to confront Cuse again, and he spills the beans about another murder. He asks Jody to keep it under wraps, though. He doesn’t want too many cops in the station, as that would just spoil the broth, er, investigation.
The case remains confusing even when Sam and Dean appear. The two ride into town to the tune of The Band’s “The Weight”—a song that, I had to double and triple check this out of shock, has not actually been used on the show before. Though Jensen Ackles is certainly a fan of it.
NEXT: Hakuna matata, what a wonderful phrase… for killing vampires
Sam and Dean split up, Kinkos-printed FBI badges in hand, and attempt to follow up on the seemingly suspicious Sheriff Cuse. Jody and Donna try to put the murders behind them, visiting the convention’s gun show—actual guns, not a stupidly named bodybuilding workshop—where Jody calls out Doug for his fat-shaming. Donna is actually taken aback by Jody, telling her not to judge until she’s lost a husband. Oh, Donna, if only you knew of Jody’s horrifying past—and in case you didn’t, the show flashes back to her gruesome loss.
Dean, makes some headway in the case, hot on the trail of Cuse, and his standing doesn’t improve when Donna spots him, bearing some vampiric fangs while hanging over the bloody body of Sheriff Goodhill.
Donna confides in Jody about what she saw, patching up their relationship, and when Sam doesn’t answer his phone, the two sheriffs check on Cuse’s room for themselves. Jody promises to explain the empty bottles of sunblock they find in the room, but their snooping comes to an end as Sam and Dean barge in. With their covers blown, Jody explains who the boys really are and what they’re hunting. “Heck… just, heck,” she replies, and now I firmly believe Donna needs to appear in season 2 of Fargo.
Thankfully, Donna was able to find an address in Cuse’s room, which leads the group to an abandoned farmhouse right outside of town—a phrase that almost guarantees trouble.
There, Dean turns into the Oprah of machetes and arms everyone with a knife, before they spot Cuse through the farmhouse window. But in a flash, he disappears and reappears into view, warning them all to run. It’s too late, however, as Sam and Dean are knocked unconscious by unknown assailants.
It turns out the farmhouse is a vampire nest, led by a girl named Lynn, a seemingly homeless girl Jody met when she first arrived at the retreat. Lynn goes on yapping about what the vamps will do to the four of them, who are now tied up inside the house. Dean responds in kind with just about the most unexpected yet perfect dig: “All right Mufasa, enough with the circle of life, crap.”
Lynn explains that Cuse actually ran away from their group, but they’ll take him back if he eats all this new meat. He refuses, promising he’s only on bagged blood now; he only found Goodhill’s body he claims. Lynn won’t accept Cuse’s decision and goes ahead and just beheads the guy.
Thankfully, she’s the foolish type of villain who is fond of monologuing, and Jody, Sam, and Dean goad her into a longer and longer diatribe while they free themselves. A struggle ensues, and as Lynn attempts to strike Jody, Donna comes in for her first vampire kill and brings the Lion King reference full circle. “Hakuna matata, lady,” Donna says, delivering the sweetest final word ever heard in a knife fight.
The day saved, for now, Jody offers to help train Donna in the ways of the unexpected and unimaginable, which certainly couldn’t hurt as both sheriffs just cannot seem to escape the supernatural. Sam and Dean have their own conversation in which Dean says, for the first time, he didn’t feel like the mark was compelling him to kill. He felt like himself, finally
But with the mark’s presence still lingering, and Crowley dealing with his mother in the bowels of hell, there’s a good chance Dean will have to struggle just a bit more before he’s fully free of the mark’s power.