We’ve seen a lot on this show over the years. There have been talking teddy bears and dead imaginary friends. But tonight we saw something I can’t say I ever expected to see: A half-man, half-fly hybrid. It’s not often this show incorporates bugs — probably because of “Bugs” — and tonight’s episode was fun, though I will say that the Jack-Dean story, which did not involve bugs, worked better for me than the bug-related story. Let’s get into it.
We’ll start with the bug of it all, because why not? Sam heads out to meet up with Charlie and work a case of some missing people outside of Memphis. Charlie has tracked all of the disappearances to a bus stop, where she also found some goo. Now, she and Sam have to sit and watch said bus stop until something exciting happens, which results in Sam playing with his beloved fidget spinner while Charlie does some research. (Is Sam the Dean in this duo?)
With any stakeout comes a lot of downtime, which allows Sam to get to know this new Charlie. Before the apocalypse happened in her world, she was a programmer who lived with the love of her life, a woman named Kara (or Cara?), who owned a bakery. Charlie tells Sam about how, when the war first started, a giant EMP knocked out all the technology in North America. For the first few days, everyone banded together and waited to be saved. But when no one came to save them and food started running out, mobs started forming. A lot of people died, including Kara. In Charlie’s experience, people lose it when things go wrong. That’s the thing about society, it falls apart.
That’s when Charlie drops the bomb that she plans to quit hunting after this job. After all, who wants to be a hunter? The job is filled with tears and death. (She’s not wrong.) Sam can’t help but remember the time our Charlie said something similar, but she never could fully escape it. As for this Charlie? She wants to find a mountaintop with some good wifi and leave it all behind. At least after they kill this Musca.
What’s a Musca? Funny you should ask! It’s a man-fly hybrid, and Charlie believes it’s what they’re waiting on. Apparently, when one of these things fails to find a mate, it kills a bunch of humans and nests inside their bodies. So you know, normal stuff. Just then, as Sam tries to explain to Charlie that people need to be around other people, a weird guy in black with a net over his head drags another guy away from the bus stop. We’ve found our fly!
The way to kill a Musca involves using a brass nail dipped in sugar water, but Sam and Charlie have none of those things — they carry salt but not sugar — so they’re going to have to get creative. They find the thing’s lair (and all of the bodies), and when the man-fly attacks Sam, Charlie stabs it before Sam shoots it. And it seems to die. I guess flies of any kind are relatively easy to kill. (Good thing it wasn’t half cockroach.)
On the drive back, Sam tries to draw a metaphor between Charlie and the Musca — if it had stayed with its people it would’ve been happy — but Charlie sees right through it. She is nothing like the fly monster. But she does get what he’s saying. As hunters, they’re able to help people, and that is worth it. So she agrees to think about staying. (Also, apparently there are a bunch of these fly monsters? I hope we never see them again.)
The other, slightly more successful story of the week involves Dean taking Jack out on a hunt. At the bunker, Jack is bored out of his mind, so he presents Dean with a case: A guy in McCook, Nebraska, who died from human bite marks. Dean is hesitant to hunt with Jack, but when it’s clear that Jack blames himself for what happened with Dean and Micheal, he decides to give the kid a chance.
They start by checking out the local diner in McCook, where Winston, the victim, had breakfast every morning. And here’s the thing about small towns: Everyone knows everyone, and they all love to talk. The locals explain that Winston had just started courting — the thing you do before dating, which Jack calls the thing you do before sex (sometimes) — a young woman named Harper. It seems Harper has quite the story: She was living a great life in high school. She was the prom queen. She had a loving boyfriend. But ever since that boyfriend left her after graduation, she hasn’t been able to keep a man. She spends all her time working at the library reading romance novels. Apparently, Harper just has the worst luck when it comes to men.
Once they get the introductory details, Dean shows Jack what it’s like to work a case with him, which is to say that it involves pie. Jack would rather focus on all of his “courting” questions, but Dean promises to give him “the talk” when they get back. For now, they need to play some good cop/bad cop. (Next: Jack meets a zombie!)
Dean heads into the library first and plays the “bad cop,” or rather, the aggressive FBI agent who has some questions for Harper. Then there’s Jack, the nice guy who’s willing to stand up to an FBI agent in the name of chivalry. And you know what? Jack’s doing a pretty good job! The moment he calls Dean “old man,” it’s game over. You can see the hurt in Dean’s eyes as he walks away, leaving Jack to get to know Harper.
Here’s the thing you need to know about Harper: She has no boundaries. She immediately takes Jack back to her APARTMENT to get a book for him — again, she left the LIBRARY to get a BOOK at her APARTMENT — and when her coworker Miles gets jealous, well, he ends up dead. Dean finds his body and tries calling Jack. But Jack’s a little busy testing Harper. He has her touch silver and he covers his hands in holy water, but she doesn’t react to any of it. He even pulls out the “Cristo” trick — a great throwback to “Phantom Traveler” — but she seems human. Furthermore, she really seems to love herself some Jack.
When Jack spots a photo of Harper and her ex from high school, Vance, she explains that he left her and started her “bad luck.” But that luck might’ve just ended because she claims she experienced love at first sight with Jack. Just then, Dean texts Jack to call him so Jack escapes to the bathroom, where he tells Dean that this girl is in love with him so he needs to know everything about sex. (This is the Dean-Jack story we’ve always needed.)
Dean updates Jack about the new victim, and seconds later, Dean himself is attacked. Cut to Dean showing up at Harper’s apartment and locking the door behind him … because he’s being chased by a zombie. (Jack finally gets his zombie!) Just then, Harper’s high school ex, Vance, busts down the door. Dean tells Jack to get Harper to safety while he battles “Archie,” varsity jacket and all.
Harper and Jack head to the library to hide — or so Jack thinks. But when Harper opens the door for Vance and then kisses him, Jack finds out that Harper is actually a necromancer, and when her high school boyfriend threatened to leave her, she killed him and then brought him back to life. Now, he feeds on all the men who try to steal his girl … and that includes Jack.
Thankfully, Dean shows up in enough time to explain to Jack that they have to put Vance back in his grave and put a silver stake in his heart to keep him there. So what’s the plan? Jack tries to distract Harper by talking about how they could have a real love story while Dean deals with Vance. In the end, Jack and Dean get some holy water-covered handcuffs on Vance, but Harper makes her escape, and there’s a chance we’ll see her again because the episode ends with her writing a love letter to Jack. It’s a threatening love letter — she has to kill him for what he did to Vance, but then she’ll bring him back — but a love letter nonetheless.
Back at the bunker, Jack tells Dean that he should be allowed on more hunts and also tries to stop Dean from beating himself up over what happened with Michael. Dean agrees to talk to Sam about Jack’s hunting, but when Jack starts coughing, things take a turn: Jack starts bleeding from his nose and ultimately collapses. That’s not something cough drops can fix.
Overall, I thought this was a fun episode. I loved the Jack-Dean stuff, and I liked a lot of the Charlie-Sam stuff as well. I’m just not entirely sold on the man-fly of it all. But so long as it’s Charlie who’s stabbing it, I can deal.
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