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THEN: Claire promises not to hunt like a dumbass. Werewolves. Sam and Dean are in, but Dean's not happy about it.

NOW: An annoying teenager gets attacked by something in a mask that kills her brother by ripping his heart out, but leaves her alive.

Title card!

The Winchesters are waiting in the BMoL's weirdly futuristic bunker. Dean looks impatient, Sam looks apologetic.

Sam sprawling inappropriately on furniture; always a favorite.

Mick Davies walks in just as Dean complains about him being late, because one of the themes this season is people walking up behind you just as you're talking shit about them. He apologizes and reminds us why he's short-staffed by gazing at the bloodstain on the carpet. I guess the person who cleans the carpets got killed, too. Best not to dwell on that, though. Dean calls him out on his repression, and in other news, kettles are black.

Mick called them in because of an attack in Wisconsin. Hey, we just saw that attack! Looks like a werewolf, since the heart was ripped out. Sam points out that werewolves don't usually leave survivors, which brings up the uncomfortable topic (at least in our heads, but not on our screen) of Madison, who was a survivor. Until she wasn't. And seriously, how do you get more werewolves if they don't leave survivors? Dean speculates that the werewolf was "spooked" before it finished the job, and Mick points out that it takes a lot more than just a little fright to chase off a werewolf. And he knows all this because he did "extensive research into lycanthropy at Kendrick's." Kendrick's being the BMoL version of Hogwarts. Sam nerds out at this and looks to Dean, twice, for a favorable reaction.

He doesn't get it.

Due to his extensive research, Mick recognizes that this must be a pureblood werewolf, since it was turned when there wasn't a full moon. And I could remind you of the difference between a pureblood and other types of werewolves but the fact is that I don't remember, even though they just covered it in the "then." Never mind. It's not important. Dean declares it a "milk run" and Mick invites himself along, since he needs to learn how to hunt. He explains (to my joy) that he's only alive because of Sam and Mary, and he wants to be ready for whatever might come next. Oh, Mick. You will not be ready.

Dean's not happy. Sam cites Mick's knowledge, but Dean says you can't learn this from a book, which (a) is why Mick needs hands-on training, duh and (b) neatly ignores the fact that John's journal is a book that they turn to regularly. "You put on a flannel, you pick up a gun, you get out there; either you get good fast or you get dead faster." Well, yeah. That's what he's trying to do, Dean. (Spoiler alert: Mick does not, in fact, put on a flannel.)

Angry Dean looks really good here. Spoiler alert: There's a lot of good angry Dean in this ep.

Next we see the new Team Free Will in the Impala. Sam's reading what I assume is one of Mick's texts, and Mick is playing a podcast about Martin Luther that Sam wants to hear, and wait, is this the podcast Sam was lying about in that earlier episode when he was actually listening to Vince Vincente? Hee! Mick informs us that monks were among the earliest hunters, and goes on about the BMoL's accomplishments in the area of lycanthropic control, including silver nitrate lethal injections. Dean's still not impressed.

I'll take a handful of silver bullets over any of that fancy crap.

Yes, well, thanks to that fancy crap, Britain's last werewolf outbreak was in the 20s. We rooted them out, bitten and pureblood alike.

Wait a second. You killed them all, even the ones who weren't hurting anyone?


I mean, werewolves aren't like most monsters. Some can control it. We have a buddy that got bit, nothing but beef hearts ever since.

And you trust him? Killing is a fundamental need for werewolves. And monsters don't just stop being monsters.

Garth did.

Monsters don't just stop being monsters. Another theme?

Mick directs them to a really nice rustic-but-expensive hotel ("three stars, it's the best I could do"). Sam's a little disturbed that they're in separate rooms, but Dean's delighted to hear that there will not only be fresh towels and little baby shampoos, but a pool. He tosses Sam the keys and grabs a pocket full of mints on his way in. I wonder if he'll partake of the hotel lobby cucumber water.

"But... but... separate rooms?"

The next morning, they're wearing the big coats that I love. Dean reveals that he's "ruined" for their normal craptastic hotels, and went swimming even though he didn't have a swimsuit.

Nude or boxers? Discuss.

While Dean was being ruined, Sam was reading up on Mick's lore, and he learned that in the 30s the BMoL were working on a treatment for werewolves. Mick calls it "useless," so let's not even bother to remember it. The team shows up at the hospital where the victim, Hayden, has her mother at her side. Sam blocks Mick and says to let them handle it, because talking to a grieving family is "harder than you think." I would have kept him out because no one's going to believe this guy with the bad British accent is an American FBI agent.

The brothers introduce themselves as Agents Fleetwood and McVie (hee), which reminds me that I really want to hear some Fleetwood Mac on the show. I think "The Chain" or Gold Dust Woman" would be amazing. Mom refuses to wake Hayden to talk to the nice agents, and as the Winchesters stand there awkwardly figuring out what to do next, in walks Mick - excuse me, Dr. Buckingham (hee!), wearing a lab coat. He asks Mom to step outside for a minute and examines the girl's wounds. He discovers a nasty looking bite mark and looks crushed, but tells her she's "okay." Meanwhile, Mom tells the Winchesters that she doesn't even know why her kids were out there, and also that some nutty young chick claiming to be from the Fish and Wildlife Service came by. Blonde with a bad attitude. Oh, who does that sound like? (Hint: she was in the "then.") She gives them the girl's card. Dr. Buckingham joins them, visibly shaken, and lies that she's healing nicely. After Mom leaves, he tells the guys that she's a lucky girl; she wasn't bitten. The first time I watched this, I wondered why he'd lie about it, but I guess after the car conversation he realizes they won't be so quick to let him kill her. Carry on then.

Cut to a Gas N Sip, where we see Claire Novak texting a bunch of lies to Jody. Oh, Claire. She's claiming to be visiting a college. Then her other phone rings, and she retrieves it from under a Batgirl comic and awkwardly answers "Hello? Uh, this is Agent Beatrice Quimby." Little Claire isn't a very polished hunter.

[Poll #2065535]

The caller starts out with a stereotypical Minnesota accent talking about a bear the size of a freakin' tank and then segues into Yogi Bear and oh, dear god, it's Dean. It doesn't sound like Jensen at all, like, absolutely at all. I'm not really convinced it was.

Back at the three-star hotel, Claire tells the brothers she's hunting the same werewolf they are. Mick shows up with beer for everybody, but Dean confiscates Claire's (guess ladies don't drink free after all) and tells her the story of them working with the BMoL is "like, Downton Abbey boring." I only got through one season of DA myself. She tells them Hayden lied about her whereabouts and was actually hanging out at a bar that night (which we already know). Claire knows this because "bartenders love me," even though one of them was annoying and grabby. Grabby sets off Dean's dad instincts.

Mick grimaces at his American beer (what's wrong, son, too cold for you?) and announces he's calling it a night, even though it's only 5:30, because he's got a report due, and all work no play, etc. As he leaves, Claire pronounces him "totally lame," and Dean says he's "Sam's new best friend; they're like nerd soulmates." She claims to be hunting under Jody's blessing, and Dean offers her dinner on the BMoL's tab.

Back at the hospital, Hayden's mom leaves her room and Dr. Buckingham enters. He looks sad and a little hesitant as he prepares an injection, and says "I'm sorry" to the sleeping girl. But as the light of the full moon hits her, Hayden transforms into a werewolf and attacks him, so he's a little less sorry about administering the lethal injection. As he flees, her mother comes back to the room and starts screaming, and no one notices sad, injured, guilt-stricken Dr. Buckingham leaving.

The next morning, all four hunters are gathered in the morgue, where the medical examiner suggests Hayden's death might have been caused by a heart attack, and also that all of her wounds are good. Mick looks guiltier and guiltier, as the guys figure out that she must have turned, which would have healed her. Mick stammers that he must have made a mistake and Dean's all "I knew we shouldn't have brought you" and no one says but wait, if she turned, why is she dead now? Instead they wonder if the biter let her go on purpose, and suspicion lands on someone from the bar. Dean sends Sam and Claire to talk to the girl Hayden claimed she was spending the night with, and says he and "Amschauer?" (I don't know what he says here, but I assume it's a slur against British people) will check the bar. I'm kind of surprised Dean wants to pair up with Mick.

Team A: Squished into Claire's car, Sam questions her assertion that things are going good.

Seriously. Look where his knees are.

She instructs him to wait in the car because he's an "old skeezer" and the kids won't want to talk to him. Okay, but I also doubt they're going to talk to some stranger who wanders into the cafeteria and starts asking questions about their friend who died last night.

I'd talk to him. I'd talk so much. Maybe while running my fingers through his hair.

Team B: Mick apologizes for his mistake and says it won't happen again. And then can't open the door, claiming "carpal tunnel." I guess this is because of his injured shoulder? They introduce themselves as Agents Strummer and Vai (okay, cool, but shouldn't you stick to one alias if you're in the same town, in case someone who met Agent Fleetwood walks into the bar?) and question/threaten the bartender, who directs them toward the other bartender, Connor. Who happens to have the tribal tattoo Claire mentioned. Connor denies any relationship with Hayden and claims he was at home that evening. Dean isn't satisfied with his description of his evening, and turns to Mick for a demonstration of how it's supposed to work.

For instance. .. what were YOU doing last night?



Oh, I was writing my report.

And then?

Well, I watched an episode of the Great British Bake-Off and went to bed.

This is fantastic. Mick is so uncomfortable, and Dean is so clearly interrogating him for reals, while pretending not to be, and also pissed-off Dean is just so unreasonably hot.

Dean then gets into Connor's personal space and warns him that if he ever touches Claire again, he'll break his face. Nice.

Outside the bar, Dean tells Mick his alibi was almost believable, and points out that freshly-minted 16-year-old werewolves don't just die. Aha! I thought no one had noticed that. But Dean did, and he also noticed Mick's sketchy behavior, and thank god, because I was going to be really concerned if no one caught onto that. He grabs Mick's injured shoulder, and Mick admits to giving her the lethal injection.

I had orders.

You had a choice.

Did I? Killing monsters is what we do. Or maybe, palling around with demons and witches, you've forgotten.

Don't tell me how to do my job.

Well then do it.

You think it's that simple, huh?

I really do.

Yeah, I used to think the same thing. But here's a little tip. Things aren't just black and white out here. All you have is a case in front of you, like Hayden. Like a few months ago, there was this kid, a psychic, she was killing people, but she didn't mean to hurt anyone. She was being abused. So we gave her a second chance. Because it was the right thing to do.

Well, that's your luxury. We have a code.

Well, now Hayden's mom, she gets to bury two kids, instead of one. Thanks to you and thanks to your code. Nice work.

And during all of this we see flashbacks to Magda, which makes me think so many things:

1. I'm now 100% sure the Winchesters will find out what the BMoL did to her. There was some fear they wouldn't.

2. I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that Dean is the one giving this speech. Sam has always been the one reminding us that it's not who you are, it's what you do that matters. Dean has always been more black and white. And yes, I like that he's reevaluating his thoughts on this. But this season, it feels like they're taking that platform away from Sam and giving it to Dean. Sam was the one who heard the BMoL were killing every vampire in America and didn't raise one perfect eyebrow. And now Dean's the one saying things aren't black and white. It makes me nervous.

3. I don't think Mick was the person on the phone with Ketch after he killed Magda. I don't know how involved he was in that. I don't know if he realizes who Dean's talking about, or if he just looks guilty because he's guilty about Hayden. I think maybe Mick Davies can be saved.

4. Angry Dean so hot rawrrrr.

Back to Team A. Claire learned that Hayden was, in fact, involved with a clingy psycho older guy, and her BFF told her (now) dead brother about it, which is why he was there at the bar. Claire's proud of herself, but then Sam lowers the boom and asks why Jody thinks she's on a college tour. Ruh roh.

Claire explains that Jody won't let her hunt the way she wants to hunt. Claire doesn't want to be normal and go to nursing school like Alex, and oh, let's think about that, let's think about poor Alex, probably still trying to erase the red in her ledger, to repay society for what she's done, to go into a field that allows her to help people and possibly even directly save the people she loves the most if they get injured on a hunt... and let's stop thinking about that, because I'm sad now.

Hypothetical question: You're Jody Mills. You get a phone call from Sam Winchester, just a casual "how you doing" call, and he asks what Claire is up to. Do you get suspicious? (Hell yes I do.)

You know, there are some interesting parallels between Claire and Sam. They both lost a parent at a young age, and both of them were left with the remaining parent obsessively seeking to right that wrong. They both rebelled against the life others were trying to choose for them, and secretly went after the life they wanted instead. Of course, Claire ends up as a mirror image of Sam, rejecting "normal" life. And unlike him, she's actually been able to fully experience both the apple pie life and the obsessed parent and hunting lives.

But I digress. Claire thinks everyone would be happier if she were off hunting on her own. Didn't Alex say the same thing, the last time we saw her, that everyone would be happier without her? Teenage girls. Claire insists she's careful, and that the Winchesters need to stop treating her like a stupid kid, and Sam responds "then stop acting like one." Which he immediately regrets, but damn, Claire, he's got a point. She stomps off, puts her headphones on, and turns the music up.

Now, would young Sam have been foolish enough to walk around wearing headphones while hunting a werewolf? On a bad day, possibly. Would Claire have been a better hunter if she were raised in the life? Most likely. But she wasn't, so she isn't, and therefore she gets attacked by the very same werewolf. Maybe she wouldn't have been able to detect him/fight him off even if she hadn't shut herself off with the headphones, but she would have had a better chance. Damn, Claire. No wonder your entire support system doesn't want you out there hunting alone. You're just not that good at it yet. You think Sam and Dean just decided to hunt one day and were awesome from day one? You need training. You need a mentor. Oh! You need the BMoL version of Hogwarts! There's a potential plot bunny right there, folks.

Anyway. Claire gets bitten and then Sam runs up and grabs her and holds her and strokes her hair and his face, his Claire got bitten by a werewolf face, it's heartbreaking.

I shouldn't be so jealous of a girl who just got bitten by a werewolf.

Teams A and B regroup at the hotel, where Mick tries to help the brothers care for Claire and is simultaneously told to "back off" and "shut up." He understands why they're angry. "You killed a kid," Sam says. "We're not angry, we're done."

Mmm. Angry Winchesters.

Claire asks how long she has, and I like the way Sam's voice quickly switches from angry-yelling to soft and compassionate. They don't know if she'll turn at the full moon, or if it will take more time. Dean tells her it's okay, she can live with it, all she has to do is stay locked up a few days a month. (Which, if you're keeping score, was kind of an option for Madison, but she rejected it.) Claire doesn't believe she can control it, because "I can barely keep it together on a good day." Dean should understand that. She's afraid she'll hurt Jody or Alex, and she'd rather die.

Mmm. Compassionate Winchesters.

Sam has turned back to the lore, and reminds us that the BMoL were working on a werewolf cure. One out of nine test subjects was cured, which sounds promising, until Mick reveals the study was done on mice. Weremice? Awesome. It was only tested on one human, who died in agony.

Claire wants to try the cure anyway, and Dean says "no, you don't get a vote in this," and oh, that sounds familiar, doesn't it? There's the Dean Winchester we know and love. (Seriously, I do love him, even while recognizing that this is a pretty awful thing for him to say.)

Claire says "It's my life. I get all the votes." Can someone embroider that on a pillow and leave it in the bunker? Dean turns to Sam for backup, showing how little he actually knows his brother sometimes, and Sam agrees with Claire. Guess the race for the cure is on! They've got to get "live blood from werewolf that bit her," who they're not quite sure of, but they decide it's got to be Connor from the bar. Mick points out that the full moon is coming soon, and if she turns and feeds, the chances of her being cured are not 1 in 9 if you happen to be a mouse, but zero. Dean decides they're going to leave Mick to watch Claire, and Sam's as surprised as I am.

At the bar, the brothers ambush Connor and cut him with a silver knife, only to find he's not a werewolf after all. Uh oh.

At the hotel, Claire stands at the window and watches the full moon, cries out that her wound is burning, and then sees it heal itself. She reaches for the gun to kill herself, but Mick grabs it first. He points it at her, but remembers Hayden and can't do it. Instead, he gets a sedative and some restraints ready. One has to wonder why they didn't do this before she turned.

Then the werewolf bursts into the room, removes his mask, and it's the other bartender. Well, who could have seen that coming? He knocks Mick out, then knocks Claire out and drags her off. Sam and Dean return to find Claire gone and Mick just regaining consciousness. Luckily, he put a tracker in her pocket, so they can find her. "You can kill me later," he says.

The werewolf has taken Claire to a cabin, and he tells her that he's trying to rebuild his pack. They were happy, and never hurt anyone, until hunters with new weapons showed up. He tries to force-feed Claire a heart (from an animal or a human? would it have to be human to count?) but she spits it back out at him, ala Sam Winchester in "Free To Be You and Me." He says he picked her because she's alone, like him but she says he's wrong because she has a family that loves her. Aw. And then she becomes a werewolf, just as Sam barrels into the room and slams into him. And for a second I wonder why he's not using the gun they had prepared, but then he yells for Mick and I remember they need live blood. While Sam and Mick fight the werewolf, Dean fights Claire. Mick ends up plunging the syringe into the werewolf's back, thereby drawing live blood, and then shooting him. Well, good on you, son. They manage to inject the blood into Claire and she starts howling in pain.

Some time passes, and we see the three men anxiously watch as Claire writhes in pain. Dean can't watch, just as he couldn't watch when Sam was going through demon blood detox or having needles stuck into his brain, so there's some continuity. Yay? Sam stays, so he's the one who sees her fall still and assumes she died.

Aw, Sammy.

He calls Dean in, and they watch in amazement as her claws retract into normal fingers, which shouldn't mean anything because every time we've seen a werewolf die, it reverted to its human form. But she opens her eyes and she's human and alive and we get Sam's relieved face yet again, and all is right with the world.

Aftermath! Dean thanks Mick for the win, and the brothers tell him they're still not quite good, but they're giving him a second chance. See, Mick, the way they gave Magda a second chance. It's a theme. Cause it's not black and white out there.

And everybody looks really nice, even Mick and his applied-with-a-stencil stubble.

Claire thanks the guys and leaves a message for Jody, admitting she's been hunting (and hugs Dean but not Sam or Mick, goddammit) and saying she has to do this on her own, but it's okay, because she's ready. And wait. I thought what Claire just learned was that she wasn't ready, she needed her support system, because they just saved her ass. So she drives off to Joan Jett and I have a feeling I missed whatever the moral of this story was supposed to be, other than Claire is a Real Wild Child.

But more importantly, I've got kind of a serious problem here, guys. I'm starting to like Mick Davies. I don't know what to do about this.

Oh well. No spoilers in the comments, please!
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