Supernatural S13E11 Review: Breakdown

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR /
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR /

This week’s Supernatural brought us vampires, Donna, and a strange, twisted version of eBay. Let’s take a deeper look at this week’s episode, “Breakdown.”

After coming off of last week’s amazing backdoor pilot for Wayward Sisters, it was nice to see Donna back on Supernatural  so soon. This episode was well paced, and dealt with a very familiar monster, vampires, in a different way. It also offered up a brand new perspective on monsters that I’m sure Sam and Dean never thought about or considered, but I’m sure will come up again later in the season.

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“Not your normal thing”

The cold open of the show has a girl stopping for gas in the middle of nowhere Nebraska. Automatically we know that this is not going to end well, and that it’s a set up. Especially after the scene before showed a masked person torturing someone else. The girl goes into the gas station and as she shows the cashier her ID, viewers will automatically recognizes the name: Donna Hanscum. She leaves, and immediately has to pull over with a flat tire. And then, unsurprisingly, she is snatched into the night.

The next day, Sam is lying in bed, unable to sleep. Which is probably due to his foray into the Bad Place. As he’s finally sleeping, his phone rings and it’s Donna. Her niece, Wendy is missing and she needs the Winchester’s help. They, of course, drop everything and go and help her.

“The Butterfly.”

Sam and Dean show up in Nebraska to help Donna, and she came with Doug. Doug! Who else had completely forgotten about Doug? Last week during the crossover, I couldn’t remember what was keeping Donna in Minnesota. This week I was reminded: Doug. Poor, sweet Doug, who is still blissfully unaware that The Winchesters are not real FBI and that there are such things as monsters. Doug introduces Sam and Dean to the real  FBI agent in charge of Wendy’s disappearance. The FBI agent tells the Winchesters about a serial killer who has been snatching people for the last 12 years, The Butterfly. He’s pretty sure this serial killer is the one who grabbed Wendy.

When they’re alone, Sam expresses concern about working with the real FBI. He reminds Dean, and the audience, that they’re still fugitives. Dean brushes his concerns off, and after playing with a CB radio, makes plans to meet up with a trucker who was one of the last people to see Wendy before she was taken.

“Manny’s Truck-stop Cafe.”

After meeting with a trucker, who feels really guilty about not stopping to help Wendy, Dean and Doug find themselves at Manny’s Truck-stop Cafe. This is the place where Wendy stopped to get gas. A homeless man comes up to Dean’s car to wash his windows. Dean pays him, and ends up getting information from him. The cashier closed up shop and followed Wendy’s car after she left.

Dean and Doug go into the gas station and question Marlon, the cashier. It doesn’t take them very long to get  him to talk. He pulls up a website on his computer. It’s a website that is like eBay, except instead it sells off humans piece by piece.

“Don’t lie to God.”

Meanwhile, Donna and Sam are with the FBI where they are interrogating the number one witness in Wendy’s disappearance. He’s a traveling preacher, who just happened to have Wendy’s bloody shirt in his van. When he lawyers up and clams up, Donna goes in to interrogate him. And wow. I don’t think I can say it any better than the FBI Agent: “She’s good.”

She does not let up. She knows her Bible verses, she knows exactly which buttons to push. And she is able to get him to talk. This was easily the best scene in the entire episode. Donna was on fire. The preacher says he’s not the kidnapper, and Sam and Donna believe him.

“Take-out for monsters”

Donna and Sam meetup with Dean and Doug at the Truck-stop and they all watch the footage of the auctions. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out what these auctions are. They’re selling off body parts to feed monsters. And that is the moment when poor, sweet Doug is brought into the world of monsters. He’s let into the secret that The Winchesters aren’t really FBI, they’re hunters, and guess what? So is Donna! They don’t have time to contemplate this, as Wendy’s auction pops up on the screen. Dean asks Sam if he can hack in and trace the feed, but he says he can’t, but the real FBI can.

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR /

In what should have been a HUGE red flag to Sam at least, the FBI traces the feed and sends them to their location within fifteen minutes. Dean and Donna go into the ware house looking for Wendy. Doug is left alone with cashier Marlon. And Sam is met outside by the FBI agent.

As suspected things go pear-shaped quickly. Sam is attacked by the FBI agent. Marlon is a vampire and turns Doug. And Dean and Donna learn they’re in the wrong place. After realizing Doug’s a vampire and that there is a cure, Donna and Dean make Marlon talk, and they rush off to save Sam.

“You should be thanking me.”

FBI Agent has turned out to be the secret big bad of this episode. AND he’s human! According to Briana Buckmaster, this is only the second time in the show’s history that the monster has been human (although SPN Hunters counts the third time as The Benders and Family Remains are both human “monsters”). Which with over two hundred episodes, is an amazing tidbit. The FBI agent has known about Sam and Dean since the beginning, so he’s pretty excited to be auctioning off pieces of Sam for the monsters. He explains that there are millions of monsters existing in the world. The ones Sam and Dean hunt? Are just the ones who can’t pass.

Let that sink in for a minute. Imagine the ways the show can take this one line and run with it.

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Jack Rowand Acquired from CW PR
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Jack Rowand Acquired from CW PR /

The auction ends, and since FBI guy knows Dean is in the building, he aims his gun at Sam’s head, and as he pulls the trigger, the camera pans away as we hear a shot. The camera pans back around, and we see that Dean has shot FBI guy.

“You’re a damn hero.”

Once the dust clears, everyone is back in Sam and Dean’s motel room. Doug has been cured, and is no longer a vampire. However, when asked to join up, he tells everyone that he doesn’t want to live the life of a hunter. He doesn’t want to hunt monsters. He turns to Donna and praises her and tells her she’s awesome, and he loves her, but this just isn’t the life for him. Doug breaks up with Donna and leaves. Which severs the ties that Donna has, so she can go join Jody permanently in Sioux Falls. C’mon, you know you were thinking that, too.

Donna is obviously upset, but she is not finding any comfort in Sam. Sam lays the truth down on her: when you’re in the life, anyone close to you dies. When Dean calls him out on it in the Impala, Sam tells Dean that he tried to be positive. But after Kaia dying, Jack disappearing and his mom trapped in the parallel world, he just doesn’t see the point. And in that moment, our sweet, always looking on the bright side of life Sam, is absent. And it’s heartbreaking.

Performer of the week

I’m giving performer of the week to Briana Buckmaster. It should really be no surprise. She rocked this episode. That interrogation scene? I can watch on a loop and never get tired of it. She has always been amazing on this show, but last night she was exceptional.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what she’s going to bring when Wayward Sisters goes to series (see what I did there? Maybe if we all just believe it will happen, right?) She can easily be the goofy Donna we all fell in love with, but she can also pull out the dramatic acting. I know my heart broke when Doug broke up with her. I wanted to reach through the screen and give her the comfort she wasn’t getting from the Winchesters.

Next: Supernatural recap: How much is Sam Winchester’s heart worth?

So, what did you think of this episode? Who is your performer of the week? Did Doug make the right choice? Did your heart break listening to Sam in that last scene? Let us know in the comments. 

Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8/7 central on The CW.