Since having children, I’ve found that anything hinting at children in danger is a lot more emotional than it was before. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button would have probably had no real impact on me a few years back, but watching it now those last few minutes, where Button is aging younger and younger, undergoing dementia as his toddler body gets smaller and smaller, forgetting even how to walk … it still haunts my dreams. (I probably should have put a spoiler space there, but if you haven’t seen it by now, you probably aren’t going to.)
So the promos for this week’s episode tell me that it’s going to be a rough one, emotionally. There’s a baby and, from what I can tell, he is either a monster or eaten by one … or possibly both.
The first moments of the episode, as is often the case, are action packed. Camera zooms in on a family photo which is then smacked by a blood soaked hand and falls to the ground. A woman runs through the house, clutching her baby in bloody arms. She hides in the bedroom. The phone gives a busy signal. Someone’s forcing the door open, so she hides under the bed with a baby. There is absolutely no way that this plan will work, and to her credit you get the idea that she knows it, but this is a horror series after all and it’s not like she had a lot of options.
Holy crap, Dad’s bloody corpse is under the bed with them!
Then, after the person (or whatever) outside goes away (or seems to) the baby makes a sound. Mom is dragged out from under the bed. Camera zoom in on the baby as the mother screams while being (no doubt) slaughtered.
I’m going to need a sedative after this episode.
Back to suburbia. Oh, wait, that first scene was in suburbia, too … freakin’ nightmare-filled suburbia, but still.
Anyway, in more-mundane daytime surburbia, Dean and Lisa have moved into a new house. Her son, Ben, is not happy about the move. Dean is jumpy and overprotective, not wanting to let Ben bike around the neighborhood on his own. He promises to go out for lunch to see the town, but then orders in pizza. When Ben is caught with one of his guns, he makes his stance clear, “Ben, mark my words, you will never, ever, shoot a gun, ever.” This little heart-to-heart ends with Dean shouting, “Shut up about the freakin’ gun, okay!” A cowed Ben sulks out of the room.
In Lansing, we see that Sam is investigating the murder and missing baby. The alarm never went off. He asks the cop he’s talking to if he believes the baby’s alive. “I did yesterday,” he replies. No sulfur or electromagnetic force (EMF) reading. Turns out that there have been more of these murders and missing children. Sam thinks it might be linked to the security company.
This gets a lead on another family that fits the profile. Sam is off to investigate. The parents are dead in front of the television … and we aren’t talking about from an evening scotch here. Pools of blood dead.
A security guard attacks Sam. He slashes the guard with his silver knife and the blood smokes. Some kind of silver-vulnerable monster, apparently. This leaves many options.
Sam finds something under the bed and calls Dean, wanting to meet. If he won’t meet, Sam threatens to drive to his house. “And what’s so nuts you’ve got to threaten a damn drive-by?” A cute little rescued baby, of course. “Welcome to the party, Guttenberg,” Sam says. (You’ve gotta love a well-placed Three Men and a Baby joke.)
Dean makes sure that Lisa knows how to use a gun, then goes off with Sam to hunt whatever just made this kid an orphan. He gets in Sam’s car, disgusted that he has to buckle up to keep it from beeping. You’d think, after being rammed by a semi in the Season One finale and having a near-death experience with a Reaper, Dean would practice better seatbelt safety.
The baby farts. “We’re going to need some supplies,” Dean says.
“I’ve got an arsenal in the trunk,” Sam replies.
“Not that kind,” Dean says.
Off to the drug store. Dean: “I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of paste or jelly you’re supposed to put on their butt.” Lisa has a baby niece, so Dean’s done some milk runs over the last year. Still, he doesn’t know how to stop a baby crying in the check-out aisle of a drug store.
A nice older woman comes up and asks to hold the baby. He seems to calm down. The woman offers to change his diaper, because he’s a little wet. Dean catches the woman’s image in the security monitor and sees her eyes flash on the screen. I’m not sure what does that, but it sure ain’t normal.
“Give me the baby before I stab you in the neck,” Dean says. The woman bolts with the baby. During the chase, Dean pulls off a handful of the woman’s skin. A shapeshifter, it seems. Sam’s able to grab the baby while Dean fights the woman. He’s on top of her with a knife … right inside the exit of the drug store. A security guard comes up. Dean feigns surrender, puts his knife away, then bolts. He jumps into Sam’s car and peels out. I think there’s going to be an APB on Dean soon.
After they get away, Dean’s in the back seat, buckling the baby into the car seat. “Who designed this thing, NASA?” (Parental Advisory Warning: Perform this task in the parking lot before starting the car, unless you are being chased by a demonic shapeshifter.)
The shapeshifter has killed a police officer, taken it’s place, and calls in to track Sam’s license plates. Not quite the APB I anticipated, but close.
In a hotel with Sam, Dean changes the baby’s diaper. “This is like defusing an IED, with poop.” He rocks the kid to sleep. Then he and Sam have the heart-to-heart about how Dean’s treating Ben and Lisa the same way their Dad treated them: moving them around, keeping them on lockdown, etc. “Look, I get it. You want to watch out for them. That’s great. I’m just asking, how do you do that and not turn into Dad?”
Sam figures out a lead. The father of one of the victims wasn’t living in the house at the time, so he’s alive. He goes to interview the guy while Dean watches the baby. The man says the reason he wasn’t at home was that the wife cheated on him. She claimed the baby was his, but they hadn’t had sex in a while. She claimed that when he’d been out of town, he came home early … but he hadn’t.
So, if you aren’t following this plot twist: the shapeshifter is the baby’s father. Dean has evidence to support this, as the baby seemingly explodes. He creeps over toward the crib, only to find a blood-covered black baby in place of the white baby that had been there. The baby sheds its skin and takes on new forms, apparently.
The manager comes to the door, saying there have been complaints about the baby crying … except that isn’t the manager, it’s the shapeshifter turned cop. Sam shows up in time to shoot the shapeshifter, but not before he lets loose that he wants to return the baby to its father. Not just him, but “our father” … whatever that means.
Sam convinces Dean to take the baby to Samuel (their formerly-dead but returned to life grandfather) and the Campbells. He’s hesitant to take it to a bunch of hunters, but Sam vouches for them. And, in fact, they do not seem interested in killing the baby. No, they want to adopt the blasted thing. Raise it as one of their own to someday become a hunter. Dean is not okay with this idea, but he seems outvoted.
Something enters the compound and Samuel sends Dean and Sam with the baby into a panic room in the basement. Then the shifter shows up … in the form of Samuel. “You have something of ours,” it says.
They shoot him full of tranquilizers. Samuel says, “Get the silver nets. We’re going to box him up.” It doesn’t work that way, though, as the demon escapes. He makes it down to the panic room, beats both Sam and Dean, and then takes the baby.
Turns out that this thing may actually have been an Alpha, the first shapeshifter from which all the others spring. Samuel and Sam knew some lore about it, but weren’t sure it was real.
Dean is suspicious, though. If Sam had heard the earlier shifter mention “the father,” he’d have known about the Alpha. Bringing the baby to the Campbell’s place may have been using it as bait to draw the Alpha out. Sam denies it … but it’s a weak denial.
After the commercial break, we see that Samuel’s on the phone with someone. He answers to someone, and that person wanted the shapeshifter Alpha as a prisoner. He promises to get it, but it’s clear that he’s kind of frustrated with the demand. Who is he talking to?
Dean gets home to find out that Ben’s on a bike ride. He and Lisa chat, and she basically tells him that he’s a hunter, not a construction worker, and it’s time he got back to doing what he was meant to do. He should hunt and come back when he can, because they can’t keep living with him miserable about the life he can’t live. That way he can be a hunter without turning into his Dad, maybe.
So he uncovers the Impala from the garage, a smirk on his face, ready to hunt again.
Dangling plot threads: Samuel’s mysterious phone call, the Alpha shifter is collecting shifter babies, Dean is on the road but has a “family” to go back to. I still wouldn’t be surprised to find that security footage of a knife-wielding Dean trying to stab a woman in the drug store comes back to haunt him at some point.
Next week: the return of the angel Castiel.
Previously on Supernatural Spotlight: