Supernatural recap: 'Breakdown'
The boys help Donna find her niece, who has gone missing
Last week, we watched Donna fight alongside her Wayward Sisters, all of whom have lost someone or something to a supernatural tragedy. And this week, it was Donna’s turn to lose someone. Welcome to what I lovingly refer to as “Donna’s Wayward Origin Story.”
The story starts with Donna’s niece, Wendy, stopping at a super creepy truck stop in Nebraska, where the cashier looks at her like she’s meat. Or perhaps more accurately, he looks at her like she’s a big ol’ pile of money. She makes it out of the truck stop all right, but it’s not long before she realizes that someone popped her tire. Just then, a masked man attacks her.
The next day, Donna calls a very mopey Sam — he’s not sleeping, he doesn’t get out of bed until 10 a.m., and he passes on pancakes — to ask for help. It might not be their “normal thing,” as she puts it, but Sam and Dean are on the road before she can say anything else.
When they arrive, Donna gives them the update: Wendy’s car was found on the side of the road along with signs of a struggle. Wendy is right in the middle of her gap year, an idea that Donna encouraged, hence her need to find her (other than them being related and all that, of course). While Sam hangs with Donna, Dean catches up with Doug and a real FBI agent who wants to know Dean’s division. Always quick on his feet, Dean explains that he’s not here on official business — Donna is family and the victim is his cousin. The lie works on the FBI agent and on Doug, who not only thinks Dean is related to Donna but who now believes that Donna was at a “family reunion” in Sioux Falls a couple of weeks ago. Hey, he’s not TOTALLY wrong.
The FBI agent explains that the police found the car after receiving an anonymous tip. Furthermore, the FBI thinks Wendy is the latest victim of “Butterfly,” a serial abductor they’ve been tracking for 12 years. And now, they could use Sam and Dean’s help to find him.
Dean’s first idea? Taking a page out of John’s notebook — or should I say journal? — and using a trucker radio. Dean puts out the ask about a redheaded girl, and he gets a response from a woman who wants to meet to discuss the issue in person. But first, Dean calls Sam out on being so mopey. In a bit of a role reversal from the start of the season, Dean promises to be there for Sam, but right now, they need to focus on Donna.
With that, Sam and Donna meet up with the FBI agent, who hands them a literal binder full of women (and men). Considering they’ve been tracking this guy for 12 years, they’ve got a lot of information on his victims. They’ve also got a lead: The agent brings in a pastor who was at the truck stop that Wendy visited. And when they picked him up they found Wendy’s bloody shirt in his car. I know what you’re thinking: This is too easy. (Spoiler: You’re right!)
It’s Donna who eventually gets the pastor to talk about his past sins, but when she brings up the shirt being found in his van, he breaks down. Crying, he swears he’s never hurt anyone, and Donna and Sam both believe him. So, what’s next?
Well, while Donna was interrogating like a champ, Dean was meeting up with the female trucker who saw Wendy the night she disappeared. It was that same trucker who actually drove past Wendy moments before she was taken. She points Dean to the truck stop, where Doug meets up with him. After they briefly discuss Donna — Doug is worried that she’s stopped talking about the Vikings and the Real Housewives — they ask the truck stop’s window washer about Wendy. And with a little financial persuasion, he admits that the cashier closed up shop and went after Wendy when she left.
And that takes us to Dean beating information out of the cashier until the cashier introduces Dean to something truly disturbing: a website where a man auctions off pieces of humans to bidding monsters. And when Sam and Donna show up to find Wendy is next on the auction list, they have less than an hour to find the guy and stop him. Oh, and also, Donna has to tell Doug that monsters are real. NBD. (Recap continues on page 2)
The FBI agent is able to locate the auction, so Sam, Dean, Donna, Doug, and the cashier head over there. But when the FBI agent shows up unannounced, things take a turn. First, no one is there — they’re at the wrong location. Second, the cashier is a secret vampire, and he feeds Doug his blood. (Talk about an introduction to monsters!) Third, FBI man knocks Sam out. I guess we found our Butterfly!
Dean quickly whips up a cure for Doug, which Donna gives to him while they’re on the way to find Sam. Meanwhile, Sam is strapped to a table while FBI man gives him a speech about how there are so many more monsters in this world than the Winchesters realize. The ones they hunt? Those are just the ones who can’t pass, the ones who are too mean or stupid. “Most monsters could be your next door neighbor,” he says, bringing up an idea that this show has never really addressed, and it’s one I love. Sam and Dean are our heroes, but it’s unrealistic to think they could rid the world of monsters. (Then again, would they want to if the monsters weren’t hurting people?) Again, I’m a big fan of this.
Moments later, Sam’s auction begins, and let’s just say people are willing to pay a lot to eat Sam Winchester. I know how that sounds but it is what it is. Sam’s heart — which is priceless, by the way — goes for $500,000, but before the FBI agent can shoot him, Dean puts a bullet through the agent’s chest.
Elsewhere, Donna takes out the creepy surgeon and saves Wendy. So that just leaves us with Doug. The good news is that the cure works! He’s not a vampire! The bad news is that “vampires exist” is where he draws the line. He’s not interested in this life, but he knows Donna is. So with that, he leaves Donna. Sam’s response? It’s better not to have anyone you care about in this line of work anyway. It’s safer that way.
What? You didn’t think Dean was going to let that slide, did you? On the drive back, Dean brings up Sam’s terrible pep talk, and Sam puts it simply: “When has knowing us ever worked out for anyone?” Sure, they save people, but they also get them killed, like Kaia. This life ends one way for them, Sam says: “Bloody… ends bad.” And the role reversal is complete.
I liked a lot about this episode. I liked that it furthered Donna’s story, not only on Supernatural but hopefully in terms of Wayward as well. I liked the mini horror movie we got with the surgeon — somehow things are always creepier when we’re dealing with humans on this show. And I like the overall idea: There are so many monsters, and they have to eat, so why not have someone who profits off that? This show continues to keep things both interesting and impactful.