Family is not something you can choose. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Other times, you’re kidnapped as a little girl and raised for years by blood sucking vampires, a situation that may color your psychological development just a weeee bit.

We’re back in Sioux Falls this time around when an unruly girl is brought into the police station and gets locked up. When the arresting officer leaves out for a B&E across town and getting a knock on the head for his troubles, she’s visited by Cody one of the aforementioned vampires who’s there to bring her back. Thanks to Sheriff Jodi Mills though, he never gets the chance, losing his head in the process. Sam and Dean arrive the next day and get the 411 on this new vampire nest and Annie Jones—the young woman that was abducted in 2006. She’s going by the name Alex now and is less than cooperative in helping the good guys find the vampire nest. “They’re my family,” she tells them, only leaving them because “it was time” to strike out on her own. When she blames Mills for killing her ‘brother’, Dean reminds Alex that it’s because of her choice to leave them. She’s afraid though, promising them that her “momma” will kill her.

After telling Mills about dead man’s blood and its effects on vamps, the boys head to the small Nebraska town where Annie/Alex’s bus ticket said she’s from. Speaking of, a bus station attendant is cornered by the vamps who are looking for their little sister. Things don’t end well for her and the Winchesters arrive in time to see one of the vamps putting her and another co-worker’s body through a wood chipper. They get the drop on him and interrogate him on Annie/Alex. He admits to having the vibe that the girl would be the downfall of their clan but, at the same time, lets them know that “when the chips are down, she’ll always choose us over humans.” He shares a bit more of Annie/Alex’s relationship with the nest, acting as a lure for her family. That knowledge horrifies Dean but they can’t lament on it long when they realize momma and the others are heading to Sioux Falls to reclaim their wayward daughter/sister.

Back in Sioux Falls, Mills takes Annie/Alex into her home. She’s quite uncouth, manners what you’d expect one to have after being raised by vampires for eight years. The girl finally settles down and ends up asking about her grandma (who was her caretaker). When Mills tells her the woman has died, Annie/Alex tries to shut down but it’s the first real proof that she hasn’t become totally detached from her former human life. Of course, the lull doesn’t last as her nest, led by ‘Momma’ catches up to her and takes her back from Sheriff Mills. Sam and Dean find the unconscious Mills outside and get ready to go to battle against the vamps but, unlike Mills, they understand that Annie/Alex is a very dangerous wildcard, untrustworthy as the vamps they are hunting. Though she’s not on their hit list just yet, Mills is very clear that any injuries they try to bring on the girl will have to be through her.

Sam, Dean and Mills storming the fort

Now that they’re back home, Momma castigates her daughter about how bad her leaving has messed things up. Two of her brothers—Cody and Wood-chipper Dale—are dead because of her. Annie/Alex is surprised that she’s still alive and her Momma tells her “I would never hurt you; not my baby girl, not my sweet Alex.” She explains to her momma that the guilt is why she left; all those people she lured to their deaths are eating away at her and she’d rather die than feel that way again. For her part, Momma takes the blame, saying she should’ve turned Annie/Alex years ago. “It ain’t too late; I can take the pain away. And then we can stay together, like a family.” She gives her daughter the choice to truly be one with the family.

Outside, the Winchester/Mills trio infiltrate the vampire nest only for Dean and Mills to be KO’d by their adversaries. The vamps tie Sam up and start draining him as they’ll need a ‘road lunch’ now that they’ve been found out while Mills is trussed up by Momma as the newly turned Annie/Alex watches. It’s quite the back and forth between Momma and Mills with the former pointing out the Sheriff’s bond with Annie/Alex is to make up for some hole in her life—namely the death of her husband and child. But two can play that game. Despite her situation, Mills recognizes that Momma’s compensating for a similar loss, even naming Annie after a deceased child. Momma tries to dance past it, telling Annie/Alex that it was a long time ago. “And it still hurts,” Mills comments, knowing exactly how the other woman feels. Tired of hearing the talk, Momma moves in for the kill only to have Annie/Alex stab her in the back with the syringe of dead man’s blood. Upstairs, Dean does the same to vampire number one and, in the one-on-one with vamp number two overpowers the blood sucker, offering some trash talk (“Look at me, bitch!”) before taking his head. Untying Sam, the brothers head downstairs just in time to watch Jodi Mills decapitate the vampire mother.

‘Look at me, Bitch!”

In the aftermath of it all, Sam asks Dean about his behavior and the fact that he enjoyed the killing “too much”. Dean has no problems admitting that he does but any further inquiries are interrupted when Sheriff Mills steps over to thank them for their help with the nest and, more importantly, curing Annie (no Alex now) of her vampirism. She admits that Annie coming into her life did compromise her emotionally, opening up wounds that were scabbed over but never fully healed. They warn that the next few days will be crucial as Annie gets over the vampire blood but Mills wants to handle it on her own. Later, when the two women are alone, Mills opens her home—and heart—to Annie. “Whatever you want from me, I’ll give it; whatever you want, I’m here.” In the end, the two women may have found what they both have been looking for…

Loving Your Work and Filling Your Holes

  • It’s very interesting that Dean’s most joyous moments of killing baddies seem to be aimed at vampires. He showed the same joy in one of the earlier seasons. The difference this time around is the Mark of Cain and one has to wonder how much of his enjoyment is his alone and how much is the Mark affecting his motivations.
  • It’s always a good thing to see Sheriff Mills in the fold and this week’s no different. ‘Supernatural’ hasn’t touched on how losing her family has affected the good Sheriff until this week. She’s tried to fill that hole inside herself with so many different things but may finally have found the missing piece of her life puzzle in Annie.