In Review: Supernatural, Episode 203 “Hibbing 911”

Oh, yeah, this here was a good one, don'cha know. This is what you show people to become fans.

Supernatural, Episode 203 “Hibbing 911” Broadcast on December 2, 2014

Teleplay by Jenny Klein

Story by Jenny Klein & Phil Sgriccia

Directed by Tim Andrew

Then: Demon Dean, the Mark of Cain, Sheriff Jody Mills, vampires, and Sheriff Donna Hanscum. Now: Hibbing, Minnesota. A teen proudly spray paints his logo in an alley, stopping when he hears a noise. He sees nothing. Turning to continue his work, a silhouette appears behind him and beats him to the ground. The unfortunate teen’s blood finishes his work on the wall. Cue opening title sequence.

Sheriff Jody Mills groans and says to herself, “You can get through this.” Eventually she musters the courage to enter the building holding the Minnesota-Dakotas Sheriff’s Retreat. Then her suitcase breaks. She gives a 19 year old panhandler some money before entering. Once inside she’s greeted by overly bubbly Sheriff Donna Hanscum. Her ex-husband appears unexpectedly, shutting Donna down. Her ex wants to score some extra meal vouchers. She gives them to him and tries to put on a chipper face for Jody who’s more than eager to move on. Meanwhile, the Winchester brothers are in a library trying to find any information they can about the Mark of Cain to help out Dean. They’re hitting a brick wall. Back at the retreat, the host of the gathering invites the sheriffs to pair up with someone new. On her phone talking to her daughter, Jody misses out on what was said, only to find that Donna is the only one without a partner. The two are looking up the presentations for the day when another sheriff tells them about the body. It was found behind a hardware store with “nothing left but the peach pit.” Jody has a faint idea about what may have happened and she calls the boys. They don’t think it’s a vampire, but offer to come up and help out. Jody declines, saying she can handle it. After she hangs up, Dean says he wants to go anyway and Sam relents. Jody goes to the morgue but can’t look at the corpse because the case is out of her jurisdiction. Donna’s timely arrival, and familiarity with the attendant, allow them access. As Donna checks what’s left of the body, Jody goes through the victim’s clothing and notices a belt is missing. Elsewhere in a neighborhood, a henpecked husband takes out the trash as an excuse to take a secret smoke. Thinking twice, he tosses the cancer sticks, but meets his fate in a messy place, in a messy way. Cue first commercial break.

The pairing of Briana Buckmaster as Donna and Kim Rhodes as Judy Mills should have been the Supernatural spin-off that producers attempted. They are absolutely fantastic together. Watching them was like Fargo meeting up with Supernatural. Judy is a no-nonsense sheriff who is aware of monsters and will do what it takes to take them down. Donna was a kick in the paints as the cliché Dakotan who sees something she shouldn’t, opening her world to a bigger series of threats. I loved their bonding and how they worked together. I was actually getting annoyed that Sam and Dean were intruding on their scenes. I was impressed that the continuing story arc of Dean and his mark didn’t feel forced in this episode. It was smoothly inserted, and the dialogue between Sam and Dean about it was nicely matched with Donna and Judy comparing notes. The mystery of what’s going on in Hibbing does have a good surprise, as one character initially is a suspect, but things change rapidly. The special effects on the creature kills were really top notch this month.

The good: Briana Buckmaster, Donna Hanscum, Kim Rhodes, Judy Mills, Dean’s impressive snarky one-liners, a funny scene with a gun seller, a painful flashback, fantastic reaction from Briana when Donna sees something she shouldn’t have, and Donna’s last line before the final commercial break.

Fun lines: “At least she’s not luring men to their death,” “Et the whole kit and caboodle, that’s fer sure,” “We have an issue…the…uh…raffle,” and “Stuff you, Dean.”

The bad: Hippie monsters and the one monster’s redemption were a little old hat, but the rest of the episode was so entertaining, I could overlook them easily.

The final line: Oh, yeah, this here was a good one, don’cha know. Them Winchesters were superceded by two ladies who had quite a bit of gumption in tha face of evil. Those two gals should have their own show, ya know? It’d be the bee’s knees. This what you show people to become fans. Outstanding. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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