Tag Archives: Women

The Official Supernatural: “Breakdown” (13.11) Live Recap Thread


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My collected recaps and reviews of season one, which first appeared on Innsmouth Free Press, are now up (with a few extras) on Kindle. The Kindle version is available through  Amazon. The print version is also up. If you buy the print version, you get a Kindle copy thrown in for free. I also get paid if you get it on Kindle Unlimited (for free), read the Kindle version, or lend it to a friend via the Kindle Owners Lending Library. Just FYI.

Starting now.

Then recap of Donna stuff and (weirdly enough) Dean’s very-ugly vampire cure from season six.

Cut to Now and a cellar lab with newspapers of missing people on the walls and jars full of nasty stuff on the shelves, where a man is screaming for mercy and a bone saw is a cutting away as a masked, aproned figure with rubber gloves strolls past torture instruments worthy of the Spanish Inquisition. There’s blood and what looks like a severed arm. And it’s all set to 50s girl group The Chantels singing “Look in the Eyes.”

Cut to Oshkosh, NE at Manny’s Truck Stop (missing an apostrophe as an injoke for singer/songwriter Jason Manns). A young woman is trying to get gas with her card, but the pump declines the card and tells her to go see the cashier. As she enters the gas station/diner, an assortment of late-night characters look up from their meals, including a preacher who has a van outside that says “Jesus Saves” on the back window.

A creepy young man is reading about aliens in a newspaper at the register. The girl goes up to him and says the machine won’t take her card. He takes that and demands her ID, as well, then hits on her bigtime. The creep is off the scale with this boy and she notices. Either he’s a red herring or heavily involved in what was going in with the previous scene. I’m hoping for the former because he is naaaaaasssty.

One thing we get from that scene is that her last name is “Hanscum,” so she appears to be related to Donna Hanscum in some way. We get stalkervision of the girl as she pumps her gas and then she’s accosted by one of the diner denizens (a long-haired, homeless-looking guy) who offers to wash her windows. She politely declines and flees in her car as he stares after her.

But later, she has a very flat tire on Route 88 and has to stop. She tries to flag down a truck, but it blows right past her. She then discovers something that looks like a shuriken or a caltrop in the tire. Then she’s attacked from behind by a guy in a mask, who beats her up some then drags her off, screaming. To her credit, she fights all the way.

Cue title cards.

Cue Sam moping in bed for a really long time. Dean pounds on the door, saying he’s making pancakes because Sam won’t come out. Then, at 10:00, Sam’s cell phone rings. It’s Donna.

Sam brings it out to Dean. Donna says her niece (Doomed Teaser Gal) is missing. She knows this isn’t the Brothers’ kind of thing (well, they have gone Hunting for less), but Dean immediately tells her to text them address and they will come over.

When the Brothers show up, Donna is distraught, blaming herself for her niece’s disappearance. The Brothers both reassure her it’s not her fault.

Dean goes inside to find Doug (who is apparently dating Donna now) and encounters a shirty FBI agent right after he discovers the caltrop/shuriken in the niece’s tire. Not even Doug intervening gets the guy to chill. Hmm.

Dean manages to lie his way out of it with the agent by saying he’s the niece’s family, but then has to tapdance out of lying to Doug about being Donna’s cousin.

The FBI agent gives a meeting where he says this fits the pattern of a serial abductor who goes south for the winter. None of the victims has turned up since disappearing. Oh, and this has been going on for 12 years.

Dean offers to help, while Sam gives him ample bitchface via side-eye. Later at their motel, Sam complains that this isn’t their kind of case and he’s worried they’ll get rousted by the “real” FBI. Plus, he thinks Dean’s attempt to recruit truckers via CB to find the niece is stupid. Sam, what is this? Season one? Grow up.

But it does give Dean the chance to turn Sam’s harsh pep talks from earlier in the season right back on his brother. Oh, sweet, sweet turnabout is fair play. Dean says they will power through as they always do. They’ll find Jack and their mom. But for now, Donna needs their help and they’re going to help her.

Go Dean.

Sam admits that he wants to help Donna, too, and Dean says he knows that.

Dean gets a call on the CB from a woman who says she wants to meet with him at a different diner than the one in the teaser at noon the next day. Dean goes off to talk to her and she tells him about the niece, Wendy’s, entry into the cafe the other night. It turns out the woman was the trucker who passed Wendy by. She had been in a huge hurry and didn’t feel she could stop. She said that needing to gas up was the only reason she even stopped at the truck stop because that place has always given her a creepy vibe. But now she feels bad about having passed Wendy by and wants to help.

As it turns out, she was the biracial woman with the mohawk who was sitting with the preacher. He’s now being brought in as a possible suspect for the “Butterfly” serial kidnapper. The FBI guy shows Donna a piece of clothing that was on the guy, that she identifies as Wendy’s.

When Sam and the FBI guy go into the interview room, the preacher insists he wants lawyer, even after the FBI guy roughs him up and Sam pulls the guy off.

But then Donna comes in. She starts off slow, talking about how lawyers aren’t well-respected in the Bible, so why would the preacher want one? Then she revs up a bit to talking about how it’s Friday and a small town and the preacher won’t even get a public defender until Monday. He’ll spend the weekend in a cell with some very rough types. Or he can answer her questions now and be out of there.

Meanwhile, Doug finds Dean and asks him about Donna (thinking Dean is her cousin). He says she’s been distant lately, not her usual sunny, chatty self. Dean tapdances some more, this time around Donna’s secret identity as a Hunter. You’re welcome, Donna.

The two of them go to the teaser diner (which Dean is casing). There, they meet window-washer guy. Dean and then Doug ask him about Wendy. He admits he saw her. Dean hands him some money. He talks a lot more.

He says that the creep at the register–Marlon–quite fancied Wendy. After she left, he got in his car and went after her. Dean mmm-hmms cynically about this, while Doug looks a bit sick.

Meanwhile, Donna gets the preacher talking  and mentions he flashed a young girl and picked up a young boy. He insists his wife knows and they’re working through it, that he’s weak, but not a bad person. When Donna pulls out the shirt, he gets scared and when she yells at him, “DON’T LIE TO GOD!” he breaks down in terror and insists, sobbing, it’s not him.

Outside the room, Donna and Sam agree that they believe him, while the FBI weakly protests about the evidence. Sam points out that the evidence could have been planted. Why would a criminal mastermind slip up like that after 12 years (well, Sam, you are a fan of serial killer narratives; they do get cocky and decompensate after a while)? Neither Sam nor Donna questions whether Mr. I’ve Been Chasing This Guy For 12 Years might have planted something in the preacher’s van and they’re a little too open about their theory in front of him for my comfort.

Meanwhile, Dean and Doug are “interviewing” Marlon. Marlon starts the interaction off by being his usual dick self. Dean cuts to the chase and smacks Marlon’s head on the counter a couple of times (“how we do things in the FBI”) until Marlon shows them a live feed of one Luis Fernando (the kidnapping victim before Wendy, according to FBI guy). There’s a dollar number at the bottom of the feed and users on the side are bidding. It’s a live auction.

As the guy cries and begs, the masked figure from the teaser starts to cut something off with the saw. Dean says, “They’re selling him off, piece by piece.” Unable to watch, Doug looks down and misses Marlon’s smirk, but Dean doesn’t. Dean recoils.

Dean and Doug call Sam and Donna, and have them watch the same bit of video. Sickened, Sam turns it off. Marlon snarks about Sam being “Vegan” and Doug smacks him upside the head.

“It’s how they do it in the FBI,” he comments and Donna glares sideways at Dean. She knows where Doug got that from.

The talk quickly turns to why this auction is happening. The comments on the side (“Yum!”) of the screen indicate the guy was being cut up for food. “For monsters,” Donna blurts out and then regrets it when Doug asks what she’s talking about (there’s a hilarious reaction cut to Dean, who is standing between them and doesn’t seem to know where to look). Donna tells Doug she’ll tell him later.

They interrogate Marlon, who shrugs and says he does it for the money. If he sees someone nobody will miss, he makes a call and gets some money. Well, Marlon, honey, you done screwed up this time.

Another live auction pops up. This time, it’s Wendy. Donna looks sick and leaves the room. When Doug follows her, she ends up giving him The Talk. She admits that Sam and Dean aren’t blood family but a different sort of fraternity altogether: “They kill monsters.” They’re Hunters and so is she.

Meanwhile, Dean is trying to get Sam to hack the cam, but Sam insists it’s “dark web” stuff. Um…what happened to what Frank taught Dean?

Anyhoo, Sam suggests they call FBI Guy, who comes up with a location while Marlon just chills and listens. I’m sure that since we are now near the end of the episode’s third act that absolutely nothing bad will come of this decision. [/sarcasm]

The Brothers rush off to the location (Wendy’s vivisection will start in an hour). Dean tells Sam to go in the back, while he, Donna, Doug and Marlon go in the front. Inside, Dean and Donna go on ahead, while Doug hangs back to guard Marlon. Donna promises Doug she will explain everything to him when she gets back.

Doug may not get that chance. As soon as they leave, Marlon attacks him, showing vampire teeth, and forces Doug to drink his blood. But not before being an asshat about Donna. Marlon really is too dumb to live. Or unlive, as the case may be.

In the back, Sam encounters the FBI guy and has him go in behind him. He gets clocked in the head by FBI Guy.

Meanwhile, as Dean and Donna close in, the clock starts to run out for Wendy. I’m just gonna interject here that I love it when these two hunt together. It’s like the Doctor and Donna, but it’s Supernatural and Dean has unresolved romantic longings for Donna.

The masked figure starts up some more R&B, but when Dean and Donna enter the room where it is, they find it empty with just a cassette player.

When they come back, they find Doug with fangs and Dean has to knock him out with dead man’s blood to get him off Donna. Marlon unwisely decides to return to the scene of the crime (told you he was stupid). Dean says great, that will make it easy to get the vamp blood they need to cure Doug (Dean must know that cure by heart by now). Before he can behead Marlon (who honestly thinks he can take Dean – ha), Donna blasts out one of Marlon’s knees and orders Dean to get the blood (Dean looks all tingly at Donna taking control like that). When Marlon bleats that she’ll kill him, she says that’s happening, anyway. The only choice is “fast or slow” and that depends on how fast he starts talking.

Sam wakes up strapped to a table in a very bloody room. FBI Guy (Clegg) is telling the guy in the mask to pull the camera back so they can get a full view of Sam. These MOTWs must be Sam stans.

So, Clegg says he recognized the Brothers from the Impala (really? And not the voluminous FBI files both brothers have?). He proceeds to supervillain monologue that there are hundreds of thousands of monsters out there (try tens of millions worldwide, as stated in season six, dumbass) and he’s providing an important service for those who “pass.” He says he serves them “people other people won’t miss.” If he didn’t, they would just go nuts and the Brothers couldn’t stop them. As if the Brothers were the only Hunters in the world or couldn’t take out monsters en masse (as they have, more than once).

But no matter. It’s an obvious bullshit excuse to mask the selfish desire to make pots of money off other people’s misery. Sam calls him on it and tells him to go to Hell. Clegg, being rather naive about the ways of Hell, says he’ll see Sam there and starts up the bidding for Sam, piece by piece. Clegg laughs at Sam’s attempts to stall, saying there’s no way Dean will get there in time to save him.

In the Impala, Dean is driving as they race toward where Sam and Wendy are (she’s had a temporary reprieve thanks to Sam’s auction). Donna is in the backseat, feeding Doug the vampire cure. When she asks Dean if it will work, he replies, “It worked on me.” They have to leave Doug unconscious in the car while they go in.

I’m assuming Marlon’s dead. Kinda sad we didn’t get to see that.

Dean and Donna enter the warehouse all X-Files-ish and split up. Donna finds Wendy alive, but lets her guard down in her relief. Masked Teaser Dude attacks her, kicking her in the back with his signature move. She loses her gun. But Donna’s a fighter. She grabs a pry bar and whacks him a few times. He loses his machete (might be a bolo). She picks it up and stabs him through the heart with it.

Meanwhile, Clegg, in a pig mask, is auctioning off Sam‘s heart to the tune of $500,000, while two werewolves avidly compete for it. He then says he normally cuts a heart out really slowly, to make sure it hurts, but with Dean out there (you know, the Really Dangerous Winchester as opposed to the Very Dangerous Winchester), he’s gotta make it quick. He pulls out a gun and aims it at Sam’s head. The camera angle strays and we hear a shot. Then we see blood coming out of a hole in Clegg’s shirt and he drops, shot through the heart by Dean, who has just entered the room. Sam’s look turns from horror to confusion to relief.

Later, Doug wakes up on a motel room couch, Donna by his side and the Brothers watching. Donna tells him Wendy is all right and in a hospital. Doug’s been cured, but he doesn’t feel better. Donna tries to reassure him and Dean tries to back her up, but Doug’s having none of it. Not everyone can handle finding out about the supernatural world and Doug’s part of that larger “blue pill” group. He leaves and Sam gives Donna Dean’s old speech about how you can’t let people get too close or they get hurt. Then he leaves.

Dean just puts his hand on Donna’s shoulder while she cries. I know it’s way too soon for her, five minutes after a big breakup like that, but damn, I am shipping Dean and Donna so hard right now. What is that, Deanna (yes, I know that was his grandmother’s name)?

In the car going back to the Bunker, Dean points out that Sam was a bit harsh to Donna. Sam retorts, “When has knowing us worked out  well for anyone?”

Oh, I dunno, Sam, you mean, besides the thousands of people you’ve saved over the years (and the billions who didn’t have to deal with an apocalypse or five)? Dean points this out, but Sam’s head is so firmly up his own ass that he actually brings up Kaia, of all people. Kaia? Really, Sam? You barely knew Kaia. And with those Bad Place creatures coming after her, she’d have died sooner than later on her own, anyway.

Sam then insists he’s not “in a dark place,” he’s just being “realistic”
and things really do suck. He starts whining about how things can only end “bloody” and “bad” for them both. Hate to break this to you, Sam, but it’s unlikely Death and Chuck will be allowing your brother to die any time soon.

Credits


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Unusual History: Annie Wealthy Holland


By Paula R. Stiles


[Check out more details about the above photo of Pee Dee Rosenwald School, c.1935, here.]


Though born in Virginia, plain, unassuming workhorse Annie Wealthy Holland (1871-1934) was one of the most influential African American educators, woman or man, in the early 20th century in North Carolina. Though greatly dedicated to the cause of African American education, she never earned a diploma. And though she wielded considerable power across the state as the demonstration agent for the Jeanes Fund and founder of the Negro Parent-Teacher Association (the first of its kind), equivalent to being a supervisor over all African American schools in North Carolina, she never had a formal administrative position. Annie Wealthy Holland’s career, first profiled a mere five years after her death in Five North Carolina Negro Educators, reflected the contradictions for women and for African Americans in Reconstruction and Segregation era North Carolina.

Holland was born in 1871 in Isle of Wight County in Virginia. Her parents, John Daughtry and Margaret Hill, had married in 1869, but divorced soon after she was born. This resulted in an early setback for Holland in her road to education. Even though her grandfather and grandmother had strong ties to the nearby plantation, her mother moved her young daughter to Southhampton County after remarrying. There, Annie spent her early years with few prospects, raising her six younger siblings while struggling to study.

Holland’s paternal family regarded the white owners of the nearby plantation so highly that they had named her after the mistress, Annie Wealthy. The Wealthys had also freed her grandfather, Friday Daughtry, in 1867 and given him some property of land and livestock to get started. He was able to increase this to the point where he invited his eldest granddaughter to return and pursue her studies while living with him. There, Holland learned about the ways and hardships of farming peanuts and sweet potatoes, a lifelong lesson. She also noticed that educational opportunities were increasing for African Americans, who were beginning to replace the previous white teachers in the field, and quickly took it to heart as her vocation.

After Holland graduated from the Isle of Wight County School at age 16, her grandfather sent her to the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University) in Hampton, Virginia. Founded in 1861 to educate African American refugees from the War as future leaders of their communities, the Institute focused on teaching practical skills like trades. Unfortunately, Holland’s education was interrupted when her grandfather died after her first year. After moving to New York and working as a nurse and nanny for a family there, she was able to earn enough money to enroll for a second year, but illness due to malaria prevented her from completing her diploma (a lifelong regret she expressed decades later in surviving letters). She was, however, later able to earn a teaching certificate from Virginia Normal Industrial Institute.

At the age of 18, around the time of her grandfather’s death, she married a Hampton graduate named Willis Holland. They moved to Franklin, Virginia where, eight years later, they were serving as principal and assistant principal of a nearby school. Holland quickly learned (perhaps aided by her own early experiences of balancing study with child care) that the ability of their students to study and even attend school could be greatly and adversely affected by lack of basic resources. For example, she took it upon herself to conduct clothing drives for students who were too poor to have adequate winter clothing. African American public schools at this time suffered from a lack of educational resources, such as textbooks, in comparison to white schools. This made keeping the school open a constant challenge. Aside from a brief stint working on her own with a rural school, Holland continued to run the Franklin area school with her husband until 1911.

In October of that year, Holland made the decision to join the Jeanes Fund. The million-dollar Anna T. Jeanes Fund had been created by, and named after, Quaker philanthropist Anna Jeanes in 1907 to help expand public education for African Americans. It was unique among such foundations for allowing African Americans on the board of trustees.

The job was a formidable undertaking. As of 1914, the Fund did not even have one teacher for every one of their 119-county coverage in Virginia and North Carolina. The position involved a great deal of extension work, not only teaching of students but also community outreach and interaction. Nevertheless, Holland was so good at this that in 1915, she was asked to become the State Home Demonstration Agent in North Carolina. This gave her de facto authority over all African American elementary schools in the state. She held the position for 13 years.

In her new role, Holland had a comprehensive variety of roles and duties. She had to train and organize teachers, create reading circles and homemakers’ clubs, run meetings, and give church speeches. Her purview included 19 county schools, 10 city schools, and 3 “normal” (teaching college) schools. She might visit as many as twenty counties in a given month and oversaw forty-five county supervisors. She was the epitome of leading through service.

At the end of this period, Holland founded the first Negro Parent-Teacher State Association, called the North Carolina Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers, at Shaw University (an African American college founded as Raleigh Institute in 1865) in 1928. Shaw was a prestigious college, the first in the U.S. to have a four-year medical degree and the first African American college to accept women. This meeting of some fifteen thousand people and seven hundred and seventy organizations was the culmination of a long and hard, but fruitful career.

Holland died six years later in Louisburg, NC and was buried in Franklin. While her life and career had begun in Virginia, in the end, her heart belonged to North Carolina. In commemoration, a tree was planted in her honor at Shaw University in 1939, five years after her death at the age of 63.

Much of Holland’s success stemmed from her remarkable knack for diplomacy and her self-effacing approach. She was an excellent mediator, gifted at persuading teachers and parents, blacks and whites, to get along and work together. She believed that African Americans should stand up for themselves, albeit not in ways that would deliberately alienate whites.

She also had to deal with the reality that she was working in a period where women had to take a secondary role to men, regardless of their race. There was never a question, for example, when she ran a school with her husband, whether he would be the principal and she would be his assistant. The few women who were able to have a career outside of the home also had to work very hard to maintain their position — and as Holland herself discovered, that work often involved teaching other women how to be better homemakers.

Her low-key approach also allowed her to navigate potentially dangerous political shoals and expand education – especially rural, public education — in the state for African Americans considerably during the early Segregation period. Unlike some other African American leaders of the time, Holland lacked the option in her later career of working exclusively in that community. She had to deal with a white community that perceived itself as superior to her and did not necessarily approve of giving up resources for African American education, and she had to do so with both firmness and tact. Teaching impoverished children might have been the easiest part of her job. Possibly, her early experience with sympathetic whites such as her namesake was what led to her even-handed skill in dealing with both communities and establishing unusual legal ties across the great divide of Segregation.

Annie Wealthy Holland was not a glamorous woman by any stretch. Nor was she an obvious candidate for a forceful or transformational leader. But the drip of water over many years can erode stone better than a tsunami. Holland is an excellent example of one of many such leaders during the Segregation period who transformed North Carolina in numerous, pervasive and positive ways.

anniewealthyholland


Bibliography

The Educators,” The Women Who Ran the Schools: The Jeanes Teachers and Durham County’s Rural Black Schools.

Carter, Nathan. Five North Carolina Negro Educators. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1939.

Crow, Jeffrey J.; Escott, Paul D.; and Hatley, Flora J. A History of African Americans in North Carolina. 2nd ed. Raleigh: North Carolina Office of Archives and History, 2011.

Gillespie, Michele and McMillen, Sally G., eds. North Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times, Vol. 1. The Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2014.

Hoffschwelle, Mary. The Rosenwald Schools of the American South. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2006.

Kent, Scotti and Cohn, Scotti. More Than Petticoats: Remarkable North Carolina Women. Helena: Falcon Publishing, Inc., 2000.

Shaber, Sarah R. “Holland, Annie Wealthy,” NCPedia.org, 1988.

Williams, Shane. “Annie Wealthy Holland (1871-1934),” North Carolina History Project, 2016.