Episode Title: "The Slice Girls"
Writers: Eugenie Ross-Leming & Brad Buckner
Director: Jerry Wanek
Previously on "Supernatural":
Late at night, a man is attacked by a female intruder who proceeds to violently murder him and carves a sigil in his chest. Later, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) are on the way to investigate the man's unusual murder when Sam notices Dean drinking out of Bobby's beaten up flask of liquor "as a tribute." After a review of the crime scene, the Winchesters learn from the corner, Eddie (Craig Anderson) that the latest victim was one of four men whose hands and arms were chopped off while they were still alive.
Afterwards, Dean makes an excuse to hit the bar and he picks up a woman named Lydia (Sarah Canning) by pretending to be an investment banker. Lydia proceeds to take Dean home and have her way with him… not that he has any problem with that. Elsewhere, another man named Jerry Price (Kevin Kazakoff) is also attacked by a female intruder, who cuts off his hands and feet before carving the sigil in his chest. The next morning, Sam and Dean investigate Jerry's murder as well and they get some pushback from Charlene Penn (Kendall Cross), the lead detective on the case who seems to resent their presence.
After determining that Jerry's wife couldn't have killed him, Dean realizes that he lost Bobby's flask at Lydia's home and he calls her to retrieve it. Lydia tells Dean that she hasn't seen it and quickly gets off the phone before we see that she is pregnant. Hours later, Lydia is attended to by several women before she gives birth to a daughter named Emma. Since the Winchesters no longer have Bobby Singer for guidance, they reach out to Professor Morrison (Harry Groener), a college instructor with some expertise on the symbols used in the killings.
Although Morrison is eager to get compensation in exchange for his help, the Winchesters lightly blackmail him into their service. Later, Dean goes to see Lydia and she hilariously forgets his name. Reluctantly, Lydia let's Dean in to retrieve his flask and he catches sight of Emma. More alarmingly, Dean overhears the young Emma speaking clearly even though she is seemingly a two year old baby. Dean stays behind to stake out Lydia's place and he witnesses several women arrive hours later, before they emerge with Lydia and Emma, who now appears to be around 10 years old.
Back at the police station, Sam connects each of the victims to the same bar where they all had one night stands a few days before being killed. Sharing that info with Dean, the brothers realize that Dean may have also been targeted because Lydia believed that he was successful. At a Warehouse, a woman named Madeleine (Jill Teed) leads Emma and several other young girls as they undergo a ritual for their kind. Soon, Morrison contacts the Winchesters and lets them know that the symbol belongs to the Greek goddess, Harmonia, the creator of the Amazons. He also mentions that Amazons cut off the hands and feet of men who impregnated them.
At the police station, Charlene reveals that she is one of the Amazons when she contacts Madeleine and realizes that the Winchesters are both Hunters. Back with the brothers, Sam and Dean work out that the Amazon mating cycle takes place every two years and the murders jump towns every time. Dean also comes to accept that Emma is his daughter despite the fact that he used a condom. Now a teenager, Emma (Alexia Fast) is branded by Madeline alongside the other girls and she is told that she will now learn how to endure and inflict pain.
While going over Bobby's files, Dean notices a piece of paper moving on its own and suggests that Bobby's spirit is trying to help them. Although Sam is skeptical, he takes the paper to Morrison for translation. Once Sam is gone, Emma arrives and she introduces herself to Dean as his daughter. Meanwhile, Sam learns from the paper that Amazon daughters are sent to kill their own fathers. When Sam tries to leave, Charlene attacks him and he narrowly gets the chance to kill her. But in the ensuing struggle, Sam's phone was broken and he has no way to warn Dean.
While Dean listens, Emma relates the truth about what she is and she asks for his help in escaping the Amazons in order to have a normal life for herself. When Dean finally turns his back on her to get something from the fridge, she pulls a knife and reveals that she was faking her distress. However, Dean seemingly knew this all along and he draws a gun on her. Emma says that one of them has to kill the other, but Dean tries to convince her to simply walk away. Sam arrives and overhears the last part of their conversation before entering and killing Emma himself.
The brothers quickly regroup and head to the warehouse where the Amazons were hiding, but they are too late. The female warriors have moved on, but Dean insists that they will be ready for them when they reappear. But Sam is incensed that Dean seemed to be on the verge of letting Emma live when he didn't give Amy that same chance. Dean denies that before the brothers argue about dealing with Bobby's death, leaving the conflict between them unresolved.
The central idea of "The Slice Girls" is actually very good. After Dean lost his chance to have a family with Lisa and Ben last season on "Supernatural," there's something very appealing about Dean having a young daughter who is part-Winchester and part-monster. However, the problem with trying to invoke a reversal of the "Amy" debate from earlier in the season is that Amy had sympathetic qualities that made her plight relatable and it made her promise not to kill again ambiguous.
With Emma, there is no ambiguity or sympathy. Emma embraces her Amazon heritage and she doesn't seem to have any problem killing her father or any conflicting feelings about what she is. On its own, there's nothing wrong with that on a dramatic level. The mistake was trying to reignite the conflict between Sam and Dean with a parallel that was hollow at best. The only way that could have worked is if there was even a chance that Emma could be redeemed. Once Emma revealed her true colors, her fate was sealed in the most boring way possible. And that smacked of lazy storytelling.
It was an unfortunate turn for the episode, because there are parts of it that worked. The reversal of Dean being used by a woman who can barely remember his name the next day was really funny. In the future, I think that we should all refer to Dean as "Don." Jensen Ackles continues to get the most amusing scenes, especially when he insisted that using Bobby's flask was a tribute to his fallen mentor. We also learned that the Winchester's burned Bobby's body, which seems to rule out a return in the flesh for Jim Beaver.
However, the moving paper is the second suggestion that Bobby's spirit chose to linger on Earth and help the Winchesters where he can. The last sign was a beer that seemingly drank itself in Dean's hand. In this, there is some ambiguity as to whether it's wishful thinking on Dean's part or if it's another spirit entirely who is trying to help the Winchesters along.
Since the loss of Bobby leaves the Winchesters without a constant source of exposition, this week's surrogate Bobby was Harry Groener's Professor Morrison. I don't think that Morrison's character would work on a week-to-week basis, but it was fun to watch his attempts to receive something for his work get constantly denied by the Winchesters. I particularly liked Sam's promise to remove a wire tap that wasn't even real.
But in the end, I can't deny that this episode felt like less than the sum of its parts. "Supernatural" can do a lot better than this. The concept of "The Slice Girls" was solid, but it lacked the heart that it needed to make a real impact.
Crave Online Rating: 6.8 out of 10.