It feels strange saying this since I’ve always been a fan of ensemble cast TV shows as opposed to those hyper-focused on one or two main characters, but Supernatural has too many side characters now. Nightmare Logic brings back one of my favorite monsters but wastes the opportunity by getting bogged down in overbearing side plots.

“Nightmare Logic” opens with Maggie (thank goodness some said her name early on because I once again forgot she existed) running her new hunter vlog (Millennials, amirite? Always on the Snappy de Chat) when she goes into a creepy crypt wearing a body cam and gets attacked by an old white dude with bad hair. #nofilter.

Thankfully hunting has gone high-tech and Sam, who has become the de-facto

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leader/camp counselor/Bobby of the AU refugees knows something has gone wrong when Maggie doesn’t check in. He and Dean look at the body cam footage and see that she was attacked and off they go to Oklahoma, which is honestly less reason than I would need to go there.

Once they get to Oklahoma, Dean bursts into song!! Not really but, man, that would be great. What really happens is that Dean and Sam go into the crypt, see that there are drag marks but no blood, so I guess it’s a tie? Dean reassures Sam that Maggie is probably fine, and honestly, Dean doing the “bucking up” is a strange role flip and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Anyway, they get interrupted because hey private cemeteries in the daytime usually have groundskeepers who aren’t too fond of weirdos meandering through the family plot. They tell him they’re with the Historical Preservation Society and they were just… inspecting. They’re taken to the main house and meet with a disconcertingly chipper man named Neil who rightfully wonders why so many history nerds are swinging by for a visit. Turns out Bobby and Mary are there, too! Apparently, cell phones weren’t big in the ‘80s or a war-devastated planet, since neither has bothered to call Sam (who has been sick just sick with worry) to let him know that A) Maggie was missing or B) That they were going to look into it.

There are certain small favors, though, since Neil tells them that he’s not the owner, just a nurse, so they didn’t waste a good cover story, at least. The actual owner is Mr. Rawling, but he is less than helpful since he’s in a coma. He does, however, somehow still look exactly like the thing that attacked Martha– er Maggie, of whom we get a brief flash. Turns out she IS alive! Dean FTW! She’s also strung up and surrounded by (bagged) blood, so Dean really only gets half-points. Back to Team Awkward But Making The Best Of It, Sasha Rawling comes home to find what seems to be the entire Historical Preservation Society chilling in her parlor, and after about two minutes kicks them out. She’s preparing for her estranged dad to die and has no time for this shit.

Outside, Bobby tells Sam he was wrong to send Maggie off on a hunt by herself, and honestly, I agree. The poor girl couldn’t even go for a walk outside the bunker without getting herself killed. After determining what the monster isn’t, the group splits up both to search and to get away from the awkward situation of NotBobbyButStillBobby yelling at a grown ass man who still has to remind himself that this isn’t his Bobby.

Once they split up, Mary tells Sam not to listen to Bobby and that she’s super proud of him. She also opens up about the distance between her and Bobby, who isn’t as open with his feelings as John was (HAHAHAHAHA). Sam assures her that he’s fine, but still getting to know this Bobby. He tells her about his gruff foster dad and damn I miss our Bobby. Kudos to Jim Beaver for making them similar enough for us to forget for a moment, but different enough that it hurts when we remember that the Real Bobby is long dead. Sam tells Mary that if she cares about Bobby, she shouldn’t give up on trying to reach him. During their stroll, they come across some charred debris and decide “That’s not good, let’s look closer.” Turns out they found a hunter’s burnt up wallet, which is always a good omen.

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Meanwhile, Bobby and Dean are covering their ground and Dean reminds Bobby that Sam’s doing his best. Soon after, they come across a cabin, but when Dean goes inside to check it out Bobby sees someone running through the woods and he heads out because splitting up is always the best option. Meanwhile, Dean finds a body in the cabin, and Good Old Mr. Rawlings, all monsterfied, too! Dean stabs him, and he puffs into a pile of ash a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer which, in this universe, is weird. Bobby returns and he and Dean both give each other a “what the fuck happened to you?” look before heading back to the main house.

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Speaking of weird shit at the house: Sasha is trying to get her dad’s shit in order when she hears some weird noises, she hasn’t watched nearly as many episodes of Criminal Minds as I have, apparently, and goes to check it out. She opens a door and WHAM! A fucking VAMPIRE hops out at her. Sasha runs but, also unlike me, doesn’t shed her “good for work but impractical for running away from danger” outfit (any house, doesn’t have to be mine #nojudgement) and she trips. She’s screaming and dragging herself away from… nothing. The vampire is gone, but Sasha saw the monster for the sweet spot amount of time to make herself feel like she’s losing it.

Lucky for Sasha, however, she has a cadre of hunters to not only tell her she’s not crazy but also tell her just enough about monsterdom to make sure she doesn’t sleep a full night for the rest of her life. Sam and Dean brief each other on the dead guy (I love that this is the last straw for Sasha though, someone get that woman a nice full bodied red, already) and the wallet (which turns out to belong to dead guy) along with the weird monster kill and the fact that Bobby isn’t there. Mary goes outside to find her “special friend” and the boys come to the conclusion that this must be a hunter trap, which, yay!

Outside, Mary is looking for Bobby and when she can’t find him, decides to wander off into the woods alone at night. DOES NO ONE OTHER THAN DEAN WATCH HORROR MOVIES?! Eventually, Mary finds Bobby, who was also enjoying a night walk and is now all-out fighting (and losing to) his dead son from the AU. It’s creepy as fuck to see Bobby’s son Daniel with his eyes burned out, and also confusing when Daniel tells Bobby that the angels crucified him piece by piece. How the hell does that work? Did they cut him up and put him back together? Like a jigsaw puzzle? Anyway. They fight. Daniel stabs Bobby to a tree (non-fatally, of course) when Mary interrupts them. Daniel takes a break from working out his daddy issues to fight and nearly kill Mary, but Bobby de-impales himself and kills Daniel with another puff of ash. All the Bobbys have really rough family lives.

Back at the house, Dean and Sasha talk. Sasha tells Dean she and her dad aren’t close since he was a workaholic and was always gone. She tells him of finding her mother’s body after she took her own life, and she clearly holds some deep resentment towards her dad. Dean offers her the advice he’s been trying to follow himself: Let it go. Nothing will change the past, and holding onto it just hurts. I love when Jensen gets to explore and expose Dean’s issues in a healthy, non-destructive way and the scene is a highlight of the episode, honestly.

Sam, meanwhile, is searching the halls (with a really great overhead visual) for whatever chased Sasha. He heads up into the attic and what does he find? The reason we’re all here! The vampire! Oh wait, no. Maggie. He finds Maggie all trussed up, but alive. He also finds the vampire and dusts it. Yeah, I’m saying dusting now, because I’m pretty sure the visual FX team just found the program Joss Whedon used in 1997.

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Dean and Sasha go to check on her dad and Neil, and Dean finally notices some weird shit going on with all the tubes and bags. Dean needs to get Sasha out of the room, and so asks the natural question of “Will you go make me a sandwich?” and that’s it. I’m fully invested in the episode now. It’s the best, most awkward line and really all I’m taking away from this. Sasha, getting the wide-eye subtle nod thing, leaves the room and Dean confronts Neil, who is less of a nurse and more of a Djinn. Dean pulls his gun and Neil seems confused. Neil asks if he’s testing him and says he’s going after hunters under Dean’s– um– Michael’s orders. This throws Dean for a bit of a loop as the Djinn breaks the Cardinal Rule of Bad Guys and tells Dean the plan. Turns out Michael set up a bunch of hunter traps all over the world and souped up the monsters, too! Now Djinns can not only see your nightmares and read your mind with one touch, but they can also bring that shit into actuality. Looking forward to the time I meet a Djinn and all they can scare me with is the amount of money I’ve spent on dumb shit.

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Neil assures Dean he won’t harm the meat suit, but wants to see what Dean’s nightmares are, then starts the mind read! It doesn’t last long, however, since something Neil the Djinn sees freaks him the fuck out. But sure, tell me that Michael (who is radio silent these days), isn’t holed up in Dean’s brain. They fight a little more until Dean bludgeons him in the head with a bookend and then shoots him about six times for good measure. After the fighting is over, Dean takes Mr. Rawlings off the IV and tells Sasha her dad should recover soon.

Back at the bunker, Maggie gets a warm reunion with some other randoms, and Mary and Bobby finally talk while she patches him up. Bobby tells her about how his wife died unnaturally, and how that caused him and Daniel to start hunting. It’s interesting to hear about the Angel Wars and how that began, as well, but Bobby says after Daniel died, he just wanted to die too, but somehow he made it through the war. Now he’s hunting so much just waiting for his day to come, and Mary tells him he can’t give up. Bobby says he doesn’t know any other way to live, and so the two of them decide to go to Donna’s cabin for a while to recalibrate. Meanwhil,e Sam and Dean are calling other hunters to warn them, and Dean is trying really hard not to blame himself.

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I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this episode, to be honest, except to say that it needs more Cas, much like the whole season. Look, I’m all for bringing in new characters and storylines, but not when it’s to the detriment of the characters who are more established and central to the story, especially when the writers don’t even bother to make these shoe-horned in side characters remotely interesting or even memorable. It’s frustrating as hell in what has the potential to be a really interesting story. I love the idea of Sam running HQ for hunters and training them in both lore and combat. Hell, I’m pretty sure I’ve read a few fics like it. On the plus side, this is now two whole weeks in a row where Supernatural didn’t kill any women, but unfortunately the more compelling of the two is still in Oklahoma tending to her dad.

What did you think of “Nightmare Logic?” How are you feeling about the season, now that we’re five episodes in?