The fate of minor characters has long been a question for Supernatural fans. Of all the characters we have encountered though, it is perhaps the fates of Adam Milligan and the Novak family that has most intrigued the fandom. Adam, the Winchesters’ half-brother, was left to rot in hell several seasons ago, with no apparent plans to rescue him. Likewise, Jimmy Novak was confirmed to have ended up in heaven after his body was blown to pieces during one of Castiel’s many deaths. However, it wasn’t until this season that we learnt what had become of his daughter, Claire, and the disappearance of his wife, Amelia.
Kathryn Newton’s performances as Claire over the season have been a delight, and ultimately paid off big time this week. We care about Claire dearly, and so the fate of her mother, a character we’ve never really had much screen time with, was suddenly much more important to us. Claire’s already had a tough life, and by the time Castiel decided to turn up and do right by her it was already looking like it was too late to make up for past deeds. However, it was disappointing that Amelia’s screen time was so short, and her death so sudden. It would have been a more satisfactory episode if Claire had more time with her mother, but Amelia’s reunion with Jimmy in heaven went some way to making up for this.
Castiel’s earnest desire to help Claire, along with the reluctant recruitment of previous ‘troubled teens’ Dean and Sam, was endearing to see, and the purchasing of a Grumpy Cat at ‘Hot Topical’ was precious. Newton’s scenes with Jensen Ackles demonstrated their great chemistry and the similarities between the two. Newton and Ackles were fun while filled with rarely concealed disdain for the other, but seeing them bond and hang out was electric. Also, Dean’s alcohol embargo for underage teens was adorable. Really, there were a lot of cute moments in this episode.
In a way, this episode was a rebirth for Claire. She now knows that her mother didn’t abandon her and the importance of father’s sacrifice. She no longer hates Dean and Castiel with the fury of 10,000 suns. In fact, she even hugged Castiel and asked Dean to watch out for him. The most important element, however, is the hunter knowledge imparted to her by the Winchesters. While this is probably the last we’ve seen of Claire this season (though more Claire would definitely be a good thing) there’s every chance she’s going to return as a badass teenage hunter. She was already reminiscent enough of a young Dean Winchester for it to be believable without the hunter training, but now it seems like an inevitability. (Spinoff, please!)
While it seems like a funny time to take a break from the Mark of Cain, especially as this past season has been all over the place already with following the Mark’s story, this was a good, enjoyable episode that allowed Castiel some relief from his burden of guilt and Claire some much needed closure regarding her parents.