We’ve split the brothers up - we have Sam and Charlie going one way with Jack and Dean the other.
Sam and Charlie are technically trying to hunt down some fly monster but the real plot is that Charlie is thinking of giving up hunting. Because she never was a hunter - she’s good at it, but she’s good at it because she’s from an apocalypse world. A world where she lived a very normal life as a programmer and met a woman who was the love of her life
And, smallest of small praises, but thank gods that Alternate world Charlie is not straight
She didn’t chose this. She’s seen her love killed as society utterly collapsed and she’s done. She doesn’t want to do this, she never wanted to do it and she wants to move to a distant mountain and just avoid everyone.
One of the main points she keeps making here is that she isn’t this world’s Charlie (who died in unacceptable fashion), something Sam is clearly having repeated problems with. He continues to try and talk her into staying and the fly monster became evil because it’s totally lonely because this is SUBTLE. After much killing and a stirring speech about doping good and helping people (which was actually a really good and a nice callback to them hunting to help people. Protect the innocent. Save people - I mean it’s been so lost for so long that it’s lovely to call back to it) which ends up with Charlie sort of agreeing to think about it
So I’m guessing she’s going to return to being around maybe twice a season but not being around all the time. Until she’s killed in a convoluted and dubious fashion for no damn good reason
Yes, I’m bitter. I will always be bitter.
So over to Dean and Jack - and Jack wants to go Hunting while also talking about mutual unfounded guilt over Michael. Dean feels guilt because he was Michael’s host while Jack feels guilty because if he had all his powers he’d be able to squish Michael and all would be saved. Dean is quick to assure Jack that it’s not his fault which has Jack being all “well right back at you”
Seeing Jack acting all mature and sensible and going as stir crazy as him, he agrees to take Jack hunting but makes sure to tell Sam first - hey Dean is becoming a reasonable dad! So it’s time for a fun little hunt in a pleasant small town were a series of men have died, all apparently connected to librarian Harper who is known to be very very very unlucky in love.
So they need to talk to her and see if she’s hiding anything. And they seem to be abandoning the whole “I’m an FBI agent, do as I say schtick” as more people give them grief for assuming they have massive powers just because they’re FBI. Someone in the writers’ room is learning. Another twist is the plan to ingratiate with Harper involves JACK defending her against Dean so Jack can be the romantic hero. Why isn’t the very-sexy-Dean doing the romancing? Welp, it could be that Jack called him “old man” in this confrontation which did not sit well with Dean
But it, again, shows evolution in the writers’ room as people are recognising a sexy 40 year old Dean needs to adopt different tactics to a sexy 25 year old Dean. Or that the optics of a 40 year old Dean trying to seduce a 25 year old is less than ideal
Also cute is Dean sidestepping talking to Jack about sex, dating and relationships. Which is probably a good idea, he’s likely not the best choice.
Jack is adorkable, does get invited to her home (her decor is an assault on common decency) manage to confirm Harper isn’t a shapeshifter or demon quite well, appears to be successful but we have a twist - Harper is a necromancer. She loved her first boyfriend, he tried to leave town so she killed him and raised his corpse to keep as her love slave and now has him eating other men who flirt with her both to keep him sort-of-alive and because it’s a weird sex game. With lots of shiny co-operating Dean and Jack manage to subdue the zombie guy but necromancer Harper escapes
But she sends Jack a love letter about how she’s totally fallen for him and she wants to find him, kill him and raise his body. Aww… how romantic. Thankfully she doesn’t know where he lives.
Dean and Jack return to the Winchester cave with Jack making the case for him taking more hunts because he did good. But Dean brings in his own philosophy - hunting isn’t all about doing well but also about screwing up and how you deal with that. Because we’re being subtle again and this is all about Dean’s guilt fest over Michael
Which is when Jack coughs up more blood and faints