"The Kids Are Alright"
--Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel

In seemingly idyllic Cicero, Indiana, a young girl, Katie, returns home early from her visit to her divorced father's home, claiming to Mommy that there are monsters there, and she no longer wants to have "Dad's night" anymore. Mom, mystified, agrees. After they leave, Katie's father is killed by his own power saw, which thrums into life by itself and induces him to fall on top of it. The resulting gore-fest is Krip-squee-worthy, and we wonder how it got past the censors.

Sam, in a restaurant, works on his computer while talking on the phone with Bobby, trying to find Dean a way out of his demon deal. When Dean enters, Sam insists he's ordering a pizza, causing Dean to call him Weirdy McWeirderton. Dean uses the story of the man falling on his power saw as an excuse to go visit Lisa Braeden, a former yoga teacher who gave him the "bendiest" weekend of his life. While Sam is annoyed, Dean talks him into it as one of his many dying wishes. Dean grins wickedly, considering his fun with "Gumby Girl," wondering if that makes him "Pokey."

He all but dumps Sam in front of the motel without his duffel, he's in such a rush, but when Dean knocks on Lisa's door, he finds she's throwing a party for her eight-year-old son, Ben. While being ogled by Lisa's cougar friends, who know him as THAT Dean, "best night of my life Dean," with whom Lisa did things that were almost unlawful, Dean does some math, watches Ben enjoying the chicks, gobbling food, opening a CD and declaring "AC/DC rules!" He races toward the kitchen

In the kitchen, Lisa and Katie's mom have been having a disturbing discussion; the latter is insisting her daughter isn't her daughter at all! Lisa tries to reassure Katie's mom that Katie is having trouble adjusting to losing her father and promises to get her help. Insulted and angry, Katie's mom tells Lisa, "You don't understand," gathers up her daughter and leaves the party.

Dean enters the kitchen and awkwardly beats around the bush with the timeline of their affair, asking if Ben is his. No! answers Lisa. Noticing Katie and her mom leaving, Dean asks if they're OK. Lisa explains about the terrible accident with the power saw.

Ruby joins Sam at his table, closes his computer, and grabs one of his French fries. She declares them deep-fried crack and urges him to have one. He accuses her of following him since Lincoln. She won't give him a straight answer about where she got the demon killing knife, and when he asks why she's following him, she replies, "Because you're tall. I love a tall man. And then there's the whole antichrist thing. Generation of psychic kids, yellow-eyed-demon rounds you up, celebrity death match ensues. You're the sole survivor." She mentions Sam's visions, and he tells her that stuff hasn't happened since the YED died. "Well, I'm thinking you're still a pretty big deal," she says, "I mean, after all that business with your mom." You know, what happened to her friends. You . . . don't know. You've got a little bit of catching up to do my friend." She writes her phone number on Sam's palm. "So why don't you look into your mom's pals and then give me a call and we'll talk again?"By the way," she adds, "there is a job here."

Seconds later, after Ruby's left, Dean calls to tell Sam there IS a job here"”there have been lots of weirdo accidents all over the neighborhood, people falling from ladders, drowning in Jacuzzis"”that never made the newspaper.

There are a LOT (too many, IMHO) scenes of Katie and her mother in this ep. The first, in which Katie's mom sees her daughter's peeling, grayish, hideous reflection in a mirror, is frightening, and the actress portraying the mom is excellent in her growing hysteria, but I felt the ep was too much of them and not enough of the Winchesters. The little girl, too, is appropriately icky, especially when she tells Mommy how much she loves her. Once we know it's all about the feeding and get a look at the wound on the mothers' necks and see that ring of grotesque TEETH all the kids have. . .eww. . . gross. . .disgusting! I have to admit, though, the scene in which Katie's mom takes her little girl to the water and sends her into the drink is very upsetting. It makes me wonder if perhaps some of the terrible mothers who have done it to their kids in the news have had reasons like THIS for doing so. I mean, we're sure they didn't, but what if they DID? Most spine-crawling of all, though, was when Katie's mom returned home, crying over what she had done, to find her daughter sitting in a chair, dripping wet, still looking for her friggin' ice cream!

Sam plays a cool, collected insurance adjustor, his hair just perfect, and he spies the red stuff that looks like blood but isn't, the red, round sore on Mommy's neck, and the daughter, Dakota, who could play Wednesday in her class play without any makeup or change in clothing. Brrrrrrrr, that kid was sooooo creepy!

Didn't you just love have the Cicero Realtor was RIGHT THERE, wanting to know if Katie's mom was ready to list the house? Her ex-husband's body wasn't even cool yet! Talk about jumping in the grave! Was that the changeling real estate lady or the real deal? Hard to tell. Hmmm. Katie coming over, asking for ice cream. Was that just short hand for saying she wanted to suckle on Mommy's wound? The little brat is always hungry!

The scene Ben telling Dean he couldn't send a grown-up to retrieve his game because only BITCHES send a grown-up was BEAUTIFUL, hilarious"”and true. I loved that Dean played a father-figure for Ben and told him to go knee that bully in the nads and take back what was his, even if Lisa was pissed off at him for saying so. I got a lump in my throat when Ben pulled his hand from his mom's, ran back to Dean and hugged and thanked him for helping him out. I don't care what Lisa told Dean later, that little boy IS Winchester flesh, blood and bone, damn it!

Dean returns to find Sam's figured everything out"”they're dealing with changelings who feed on the mothers' synovial fluid until they die. Anyone getting between the mom and the changeling dies. The real kids are hidden somewhere underground. Dean, immediately concerned about Ben's welfare, wants to make a stop. At Lisa's, Dean offers her a credit card to take Ben away to Six Flags for his birthday"”NOW. She notices it belongs to Siegfried Houdini and orders him to go. When Ben says, "Make him go away, Mommy," Dean realizes he's been replaced by a changeling and is terrified, but Lisa tells Dean to get out and shuts the door in his face.

Sam and Dean go to a house being built in the same development. Dean points out red clay there, explaining what's been looking like blood. Not only are all the kids there, locked in individual cages, but so is a bodyguard mother changeling"”Realtor Lady. Dean and Sam battle her, and for a while, it looks like she's got the upper hand, but Sam uses Dean's homemade fire extinguisher to set her on fire, and she disappears. Ben uses his jacket to help the other kids escape a broken window unscathed, and makes sure all of them get out ahead of him, just as his Dad, Dean, would.

Dean and Sam return Ben safely to Lisa. Sam leaves to give them time to talk. While Ben listens to a CD, Dean explains about the changelings and that THIS is what he does for a living. He asks if she's sure Ben isn't his, and she says yes; she did a blood test when he was a baby"”"Some bar back in a biker joint. What? I had a type. Leather jacket, couple of scars, no mailing address I was there. Guess I was a little wild back then. Before I became a mom. So, yeah, you can relax." "Good," says Dean, but he doesn't mean it. "I swear you look disappointed," she says. "Yeah, I don't know," he says. "It's weird, you know, your life. I mean, this house and kid. It's not my life. Never will be. Some stuff happened to me recently, and, uh, anyway, a guy in my situation, you start to think, you know. I'm going to be gone one day and what am I leaving behind besides a car?" "I don't know," she says. "Ben may not be your kid, but he wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for you. That's a lot if you ask me." "You know, just for the record, you've got a great kid," says Dean. "I would have been proud to be his dad." Lisa runs over and impulsively kisses Dean on the lips. "Look," she says, "if, um, if you want to stick around for a while, you're welcome to stay." "I can't," says Dean, "I've got a lot of work to do, and it's not my life." He leaves.

Sam has made all the phone calls. "They're dead. All of them. All of my mom's friends. Our doctor, our uncle, everyone who ever knew her systematically wiped of the map one at a time. Someone went through a hell of a lot of trouble trying to cover their tracks." It's the yellow-eyed demon, says Ruby, "it's all about YOU." Sam demands to know who she is. To his horror, she reveals her black eyes. "You're a demon," he accuses. "Don't be a racist," she says. She wants to help him from time to time, help him figure out what happened to his mother, to her friends. "And if you let me," she adds, "there's something in it for you. I could help you save your brother."

1. We now know Ruby's TRUE raison d'etre. What did you think of her at the end of this episode?

2. What did you think of the MOTW? Too much Katie and her Mommy?

3. Did we ever really learn what happened to everyone Mary knew, or are we just supposed to assume they were killed to make sure they never spilled anything as accessories to John and Mary's strange little story? Or did Kripke just drop the ball on this part of the story?

4. Do you think Lisa was telling the truth, or did she lie after learning what Dean really did for a living?

Comments  

Randal
# Randal 2010-03-11 11:35
1. A demon with a (presumed) non-black-and-w hite worldview? Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

2. I tend to agree with you. I wouldn't have minded seeing the reactions/disco veries of other parents, for instance the three that eyeballed Dean at the park.

3. Big ole ball drop. Look, you don't cover up misdeeds through mass slaughter. You do it through proxies like the CIA. Zing! Thank you thank you I'll be here all week.

They couldn't have simply had a high-ranking demon PI type keep an eye on her, or any member of her family?

4. Telling the truth about Ben? I think she was.

5. Even if Dean wasn't going to hell, I don't think he would have stayed, though he certainly deserves a normal, peace and quiet, apple pie life for a bit (as does Sam, despite his protestations). I'm glad that Ben (presumably) isn't his kid because he'd be coming back every weekend to check on the guy, plus it makes the heartache all that much more because he was so tantalizingly close in a way to having that life.
Jeannine
# Jeannine 2010-03-11 14:34
Going to throw my two cents in:

1. It's been so long and so much has transpired with the show, I'm not sure what my original take was on Ruby. I would assume I was suspicious. We knew then that demons lie, so it goes to say that her motives would be suspect.

2. I liked the MOTW. The whole drowning scene was very disturbing. But it would've been nice to see the affects on more families, but there is that sticky thing called budget, so I'm sure they could hire just so many actors.

3. The deaths of Mary's friends and family has been one of those things that has bugged me. Ruby says that YED did it but it's never clear why. Was it to isolate the Winchesters? Was it a message to John to back off? Or was it simply to divert attention from the real plot? I hesitate to say the ball was dropped though. I have had other questions that were from season 1 that didn't get quite cleared up until this season. Who knows, maybe it's not apocalypse related at all and we will find out in season 6.

4. I think we would all love Dean to be Ben's dad. There is one hole in Lisa's statement about the blood test. She said she slept with guys who were drifters, her "type." So how did she find the father to verify the DNA? Was she keeping hair clippings in her dresser? I don't think she knew who the father was. I think she made a decision very early on that whoever the father was, she didn't want him in her son's life. She decided that her "type" though fun for her was not a good role-model for her son. As a mom myself, I gotta say, I think she made a good decision. Which leads to #5...

5. By asking Dean to stay, she was saying that she was willing to reconsider. If Dean had stuck around, who knows she might've changed her tune. He had his reasons for walking away, most importantly his deal, but from her perspective as a protective mom, he proved that she made the right decision by denying his fatherhood. And by denying that Dean was the father, she gave Dean an out. I'm glad he walked away. By doing so, he's protecting them from the life he leads and in hindsight, with the war between angels and demons, it was definitely for the best. Yes in his heart, he dreams of having a family but he sacrifices those dreams for the greater good. And that's what makes him a hero.
Suze
# Suze 2010-03-11 17:40
1. I really liked EvilBarbie Ruby ... She had an endless fund of sarky one-liners and could sneer to beat the band, so I thought she was great. Totally untrustworthy, of course, but still pretty fab.

2. Massively creepy little girl gave me a huge dose of the heebie-jeebies and then the drowning scene really upset me and then it's back to the heebie-jeebies again so I'd say a job well done. Not too much, just about right.

3. I think that bit of the saga got sort of kicked into the long grass and might surface later or not depending on how things pan out next season. Not that fussed, to be honest ...

4. I think she was lying, unless she only ever beds skirt-chasing Petrol Heads with a weakness for AC/DC in which case you can see how there might be some confusion.

5. Very relieved that he didn't stick around to grow all fond and Father-figureis h. We know he wants a family but he jolly well can't have one or every week it's going to be " Oh no! (Insert name of MOTW here) has taken Lisa/ Little Ben away to it's darksome lair ... To the rescue! " and massive tedium, cancellation and the end of civilization as we know it would be just around the corner. :lol:
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2010-03-14 06:05
Not my fave. The MOTW was cool, and kid were creepy. Liked the actress playing Katies' mom. And Lisa.
Ben was just... I dunno, 'too' much like Dean. And I knew that he wouldn't be Deans son, so where did he get all that swagger from? I think it was too much Deanish behaviour stuck down our throats.
I stil lovelove Michael from Something Wicked, so every kid gets compared to him ;-)

Actually liked more the Sam&Ruby scenes. They were interesting and cryptical. And I hope we get somekinda explanation about that Marys family and friends murdered -plot.


This eppie just felt flat somehow, allthough it had good scenes.

I hope that Dean might one day get a family of his own (like with Lisa & Ben) but I doubt it. As we've seen in earlier (and later) episodes, you don't plant roots to protect the ones you care about. It's unfair and sad as hell, but life isn't fair. These guys are heroes in the tragic sense.

Agree with Suze about the ridiculousness too. "Zombie Alligators ate my baby!" "Damn it Lisa, where did you put my shotgun?!":D