Everything appears normal in Milton, Illinois. That is, until some of the residents become soulless killers.
After Sam hears about the strange happenings in Milton, he wants to go and investigate but Dean decides to stay behind and continue searching for anything on the mark of Cain that can help them stop Abaddon. Sam goes it alone and finds that the people that are attacking others aren't possessed but appear soulless. He calls Dean with an update but Dean doesn't seem that concerned and after finishing a bottle, he goes to the local watering hole for more. It's there that Crowley shows up but after the stunt he pulled last week, his presence isn't all that welcome. Crowley thinks Dean is stalling because he is afraid of the power he felt while he had the First Blade but Dean is adamant that he will do whatever it takes to stop Abaddon, regardless of the consequences. Back in Milton, Sam gets the answers he's looking for when a former nun named Julia talks to him about the first time the Men of Letters were in town in nineteen fifty seven. Julia recounts what happened when Henry Winchester and Josie Sands arrived at the St. Bonaventure Covenant after a terrible murder. They would have been killed by Abaddon if Josie hadn't agreed to become its host. It's a startling revelation for Sam and if he plans to put an end to Abaddon's soul stealing, there's no time to waste.
With only six episodes left in the season, things finally started to come together in Mother's Little Helper. Something that ended up working quite well was having two stories between Sam and Dean. Sam got to be the demon killing hero while Dean wallowed in bunker and drank a lot. While Sam was solving the case we also got to see Henry Winchester and Josie Sands on their final mission before final initiation. It was this mission in Milton, Illinois that would ultimately be the undoing of the Men of Letters and it was a nice touch to see how it happened.
We don't often get to see Sam handle a case himself and it was much different than his brother's style. Sam was professional, patient and smart whereas Dean can sometimes lack finesse. There were no quips or humorous banter but it never felt necessary given what was taking place in the town and Sam's personal experience with losing his soul. How he managed to take out the few demons at the end was especially impressive. Using his phone with a recording of the exorcism ritual was brilliant and although the demon crushed his phone before it was exercised, this still gave Sam the time he needed to use the knife and kill it.
The story with the Men of Letters was great but some missteps in the acting managed to distract at times. While playing Josie Sands, Alaina Huffman is subtle and charming but as soon as she switches to Abaddon, she becomes a cartoonish villain. If she had a mustache, she would have been twisting it while she stared at the young Julia as she drove away. It's hard to take the knight of hell seriously when she comes across as unbelievable in every scene.
Mother's Little Helper also showed that both Abaddon and Crowley have are planning and have been making moves the entire time. Abaddon's goal to build an army of demons using the souls of humans has been going on for half a century all over the world. It's actually quite something that the Winchesters have never seen anything like it sooner. On the other hand, Crowley's plans remain a mystery. Whatever they are, they involve Dean and the First Blade; a terrifying combination. Besides the great story, it's these two parts of Mother's Little Helper that get me very excited to see what happens as season nine comes to a close. We'll see what happens next when Supernatural returns on April 15th.