This is clearly a back door pilot for Wayward Sisters - and much better than the ill prepared hot mess which was Bloodlines
This is how you do a spin off properly. The whole point of a spin off is to take some of the beloved characters of a show and develop them and make them more - its to build on the history you’ve already built. It’s the key to success: and something Bloodlines didn’t have. But Jodie, Donna and their charges? This is exactly what a spin off needs
More importantly - THE SOUNDTRACK! THE OPENING MUSIC! I swear at least 10% of Supernatural’s success is the awesome choice of music (Carry on Wayward Son is iconic and if you don’t like it you have no soul). And how Halestorm’s: I Am The Fire
We start by seeing Claire kill some werewolves - continuing her aim of hunting solo and being a completely awesome badass capable of murdering all kinds of monsters with lots of viciousness. Because she’s lethal and has been killing a whole lot of monsters
Which is when she gets a call from Jody asking her to come home because Sam and Dean are missing.
It’s a lovely reunion with lots of hugging between Claire and Jody and with Alex. They introduce her to Patience and Claire has some hostile moments at Patience moving in with her ominous visions of Claire’s death. She wants to dismiss it, doesn’t like Patience moving in but at the same time she does acknowledge that she was the one who left. Alex and Claire do have a good sister relationship
A voice mail message left by Sam reveals they were looking for Kaia, which is a mission for Jody & co as well. Claire and Jody clash over claire hunting alone, not believing Patience’s vision of her death and having a general principle of charging in without a plan: because not charging in without a plan can get victims killed. While Jody asks what about
Alex now works the night shift in a hospital. Claire and she clash a little over Alex still keeping up her job rather than focusing on the hunt. But that sister relationship continues and when Claire comes to the hospital to speak to her: Alex makes a point that she supports Jody even if she doesn’t want hunting - and Claire looks guilty on her leaving.
This is where this recap gets difficult because every interaction between the women here has a whole lot of levels, love and respect, anger, but caring, guilt and so many other elements. It’s really well done and makes me really look forward to this show because we have such excellent relationships already
With Alex’s hospital contacts they find Kaia - who really really doesn’t want to get involved again. She tries to leave and is attacked by a monster. Jody and Claire deal with that straight away with their usually awesome skill.
Well that recruits Kaia and she has an awesome heart to heart with Claire, comparing scars as Kaia explains her visions of the Bad Place and how the monsters attacked her and left her with scars - though she opted to flee not fight
Inside they do a necropsy - with us seeing more of Alex’s expertise while Kaia warns them that these creatures run in packs in the Bad Place. The presence of this monster means there is still a gate open there - so they can rescue Sam and Dean. Though Kaia thinks if they’ve been in the bad place for this long then they’re probably dead
Patience thinks that she’s delivered her warning and it’s time to leave and go back to her dad especially in light of Claire’s doubts; but Alex asks her what she wants, whether she wants to ignore her powers and, yes, again it’s another excellent character moment (especially when P. Especially when Alex points out she’s not a fighter either but that they all help in their own way (which is another excellent thing this show does). Patience starts to leave when she gets a vision of the Bad Place monsters attacking - she runs back in to warn them. Claire wants to stand and fight but Patience calls her out -she’s given up a lot to help them for Claire to now dismiss that sacrifice.
They leave - and get to see the house attacked by a horde which would have been pretty bad. And it proved Patience’s powers to Alex. And now they go get some help - Donna
Donna! I love Donna. And there’s lots of hugging and fun and sweetness and showing off of guns and flame throwers and killing of vampires and general awesomeness. Between her and Alex’s skills they find where the portal opened: and Jody asks Claire to stay behind to protect the others while she and Donna go to check it out. Surprisingly Claire agrees
Jody and Donna do explore and find the abandoned shipyward and find the portal - and Jody wants to explore despite Donna thinking they should go tell the rest of the girls. Jody is heartbreaking when she says that she cannot possibly lose another child. It’s heartbreaking
Before she can go through, though, monsters attack and Donna and Jody have to hide or be overwhelmed.
Back to the others and Claire talks to Kaia about why she stayed behind - she’s finally afraid. She’s always argued that she’d die to save others as a hunter, it’s what hunters do - but Patience’s vision made it real to her - it’s one thing to be theoretically read to die. Another entirely to face the reality. She does want to help Jody though even as she feels the need to sit back. So Kaia encourages her to go - and says she’ll go with her
Which is why Claire & co arrive, with Jody’s flamethrower, freeing them from their hiding place. “We called, you didn’t answer, we worried” is an argument Jody certainly understands
Donna hands out weapons and gives Patience some quick weapon training as the monsters move in while Claire and and Jody see the portal. As the pack moves in Donna calls Jody for help and Jody is torn - help Claire through the portal or support Donna. In the end, Jody trusts Claire to get it done - going in with Kaia who she promises to protect - while Jody, Donna, Patience and Alex fight off the waves of attacking monsters
Claire goes through the portal and is guided by Kaia
Sam and Dean have been in the Bad Place for 3 days - they’re not dead and Dean is happily exploring eating the local wildlife much to Sam’s squeamishness. While Sam is sure they’ll get home Dean’s practical, cynical side is showing and he’s prepared for that not to happen. Hence testing the edibles.
While exploring they’re attacked by a leather clad masked figure who captures them both, ties them up and rings a gong - well a giant skull. This seems to summon something big and scary. Thankfully Claire and Kaia arrive before they are eaten by said monster and the escape to the portal
Except when they reach the portal, the spear wielding masked figure throws her spear at Claire - Kaia knocks her aside and takes the spear herself. Kaia is impaled… and she dies. I am not happy to see the loss of a Wayward Sister - and one of the WOC - already
Claire is horrified - but Sam and Dean pull them full the portal because a massive scary shadowy monster appears.
The portal closes behind them - and Kaia and her body is lost.
Sam and Dean pass on their thanks and talk to Jody about the possibility of more monsters appearing since the portal was open for a long time. But Jody is clear - they can fight apocalypses, she and her family have Sioux Falls and can handle it. Sam and Dean accept this and leave because this isn’t their story, bye guys see you next week.
Claire is obviously pretty traumatised by losing Kaia and she decides to stay: they think she’s done it because she’s “broken”. But Claire has acknowledged that she loves her family (yes they’re family), she needs their back up and support and she wants to support them and they’re all their for them. “My family, my army”
And Patience, having killed the monster, is also here - and is welcomed as one of the family
Then a portal to the Bad Place opens, and the masked spear thrower comes through. She takes off her mask… and it’s Kaia? Another Kaia.
Ok, I was prepared to be annoyed. I was annoyed that Supernatural has finally produced a show with regular female characters front and centre, with 2 WOC - and then fridged one of them as motivation for Claire to keep going. Supernatural change the record! Empty your deep freeze
But then the spear wielding one is also Kaia and we’ve got a whole level of complex weirdness that I’m willing to sit back and explore more - it does reduce the diversity of the core group, I’m not entirely happy with the choice, but there’s an intrigue there that suggests, hopefully, more to come.
Other than that hiccough of concern which I’m kicking down the road - I am HERE for this. I like all the characters, I love how we saw them all interact with each other, even when there was some levels of hostility. I love the family feel and I also like that we’re clearly going to focus on more local issues with the portal et al than with grand, sweeping, yearly apocalypses like we have from Supernatural.
And I say it again -the links between these characters are excellent. I really love these relationships and it promises for an excellent show based on this close, supportive family - and FAMILY is definitely being emphasised here.