Sam and Dean join a purity group to suss out the latest virgin-targeting MOTW case that comes to the boys courtesy of Sheriff Jody Mills. Plus, it’s the return of Seke (Sam/Zeke). Does that mean Dean’s forced to lie again? You betcha.
Right off the bat I’m going to say this wasn’t what I’d call a banner episode of Supernatural. And that mostly has to do with the case that’s at the heart of “Rock and a Hard Place.” Sam and Dean infiltrate a support group for virgins and born-again virgins. A lot of this is played for laughs, and mainly comes off over-the-top and not nuanced at all.
While occasionally the oldest Winchester can make me cringe at his boorish behavior, it’s usually harmless to me. However, the way he hits on Suzy after finding out she’s a former porn star — it isn’t cute. It had me cringing all over the place. I mean, yes, it’s been established Dean loves women. And he loves porn (Busty Asian Beauties, anyone?). But I’ve never felt he’s crossed a line. Suzy changed her name when she hit town and basically transformed her life. She was born-again, yes, but it seemed like that world was pretty important to her. I guess not. Because it didn’t take long before she hit the sheets with Dean. I wish he had respected that aspect of her. I mean, it would have been nice and not cringe-inducing at all.
The bright spot in this whole hour has to be the return of one of my favorite recurring characters — Sheriff Jody Mills. She’s comfortable with the boys and especially Sam. And as great as it is to see those two interact as they search for Dean and Suzy, they never go as far with them as I would like.
And here’s what I mean. In season seven, in a great episode called “Time after Time,” Dean travels back in time to the 1940s. In present day, Sam and Jody have to work together to figure out how to bring Dean back. While they were doing that, I thought we’d get to see Sam really open up to Jody about what was going on with him, because there’s always something wrong with Sam. The writers never give this guy a break. And while I liked the way they interacted in the episode, I wanted more. If I recall correctly, there was even potential for the two to bond over some booze. And, while I’m not condoning the two getting drunk mid-case, sometimes when this happens, secrets are divulged and feelings are expressed that normally wouldn’t be. And that’s what I wanted to see.
So, for me, the Jody/Sam moments in “Rock and a Hard Place” are good but I wanted more. It would have been cool with me if they reduced the amount of time spent underground wherever the virgins that broke their purity promises were being held, especially the stuff before Dean found himself down there.
It’s fun to have Jody along for the ride. She doesn’t take any bull. She can joke around with Sam and Dean. She can take care of herself. She’s strong. She gives reasons for why she’s turned to the Church after all the madness that’s happened in her life (yay to mentioning Bobby). And she can save the day. She’s this solid presence that’s good for the boys to be around. She knows what they do. She accepts them for it. She can be someone they open up to should they need it. Love her (and Kim Rhodes, the actress who plays her) lots.
Meanwhile, Sam knows something’s up. Yet another MOTW questions what he is. This Vesta goddess chick wants to know why he’s all “duct tape and safety pins inside.” She questions how he’s even alive. Is Ezekiel doing what he told Dean he’d do? He’s been in Sam for a long time now. Why would Sam’s insides still be in shambles? I thought he was supposed to be healing. It’s kind of frustrating how this might not have been happening. So what’s Zeke even doing? I mean, Sam’s tired all of the time. Is trusting Zeke going to backfire on Dean?
And, poor Sam, he’s beyond frustrated that, once again, there’s something about him that’s not completely right. I like his questioning of things. He’s finally allowed to give voice to his frustration:
Sam: “Why does it have to be something else? It’s always something else. We’re always scraping to find some other explanation when maybe it is just me.”
Dean: “Come on, Sam.”
Sam: “I’m a mess, Dean. You know it. And sometimes I feel like maybe I’m never gonna actually be all right.”
Dean: “You will. All right, ’cause whatever it is, we’ll figure it out.”
Sam: “Or this is, just the way I am.”
Thankfully, Sam’s concerns prompted a guilty Dean to try to come clean. Of course, Zeke takes over and doesn’t let it happen. Because, according to him, Sam would eject him if he knew the truth. He may be right but I’m still unsure if he’s doing any good to Sam right now. At least it seems like we’re closer to the truth coming out. I hope we are. That could be wishful thinking right there. Once again, Dean’s forced to cover his tracks.
I guess we’ll see if this all blows up in next week’s mid-season finale. Cas is back. And this show loves to head into winter hellatus with a bang. I’m anxious and excited for the episode all at the same time. Because you know s–t is about to go down, right?
Supernatural airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on the CW.
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