When bodies begin turning up in a way that seems all too familiar, Sam takes the Impala and leaves Dean behind with his broken leg. But once Sam finally confronts the demon, he has to ask himself: Can he kill his friend or let the monster go?
Hot on the heels of last week's Hello Cruel World, Dean is just waking up in the Sioux Falls hospital with a broken leg when Bobby walks into the room; Leviathans are on their trail and they need to get out of there. Drugged out and with one broken wheel, Dean just manages to get into the ambulance with Bobby in the nick of time. Three weeks later and Dean is almost ready to have the cast cut off when Bobby has to leave their safe house to get his books after Sam goes off on a food run. While on the run Sam notices a headline on a newspaper for a serial killer but the killings strike a chord with some old memories. Even though the devil still whispers in his ear, Sam decides to take the Impala and track the case on his own without Dean's help, or approval. When Sam finally tracks down the monster it turns out to be his old friend Amy who saved his life years ago when they were both kids. Now that Sam knows Amy is responsible for the killings, can he kill his old friend?
After Hello Cruel World, The Girl Next Door was a surprising change for Supernatural. The show usually takes either direction of right or wrong, black or white without any middle ground. Amy's actions, while undeniably horrible, were out of desperation for her son and not the innate desire to kill. In a reflection of himself, Sam clings to the hope that even though he is a freak, he can manage who he is to become something better or something more and not the boy that was raised to be Lucifer's vessel. In many ways, this episode told just as much about Dean as it did Sam as he was certain it was only a matter of time before "the other shoe drops". Was Dean right to kill Amy? She did already kill three people and in all of his experience, the other shoe always drops. In a way, it was more surprising that Dean showed mercy to Amy's son considering he may just as well kill sooner than his mother did.
Though it was only a single guest appearance, Jewel Staite (of Stargate: Atlantis and Firelfy fame) was great as Amy. Staite was eloquent and soft with a character that eats brains to survive. Bringing these qualities gave Amy pathos throughout her killings which made her an even more ambivalent character which is not an easy thing to do in such a short period of time. Also, Colin Ford as young Sam Winchester is continuing to get better since his first start on the series in 2007. Jared Padalecki's performance as Sam has become considerably better this season as sometimes he can be too campy but thus far, Sam feels conflicted with an inner battle while trying to keep his nose above the water.
Regrettably, there were a few drawbacks to the episode: the leviathans. These characters were wasting time in an otherwise great story and have not impressed with their petty attacks and flesh easting. If they are so powerful, why is it that they need to hunt down two brothers so desperately when they might be invincible? They also seemed to grasp technology very quickly but that's just nitpicking. Hopefully they will do something within the next few episodes to make them interesting but until then I would rather have them out of the episodes altogether.
The Girl Next Door was a great episode from Supernatural that showed sides of the Winchesters that we had not seen in quite a while and I think this will continue when an old face returns in next week's Defending Your Life.