The latest episode of The Winchesters, “You’re Lost Little Girl”, is treading old ground but with a few new tricks.
Once again, we set up the monster first and foremost – it’s a demon in a sack called Bori Baba (JD Garcia) who attacks a little girl after luring her with her lost toy. Back at the monster club, Mary is having a bad day – not only is the trail on her dad cold but now her mom is missing too. Latika’s efforts to help fall on deaf ears and our attention turns to Ada.
The would-be witch explains that the demon who possessed her had a partner and they need to find him. Carlos appears and we learn that Carrie (Avangeline Friedlander), the little girl from our opener, is actually Mary’s neighbor. Her brother Ford (Trayce Malachi) confides in Mary that a monster grabbed his sister and pulled her into a sack.
John, meanwhile, runs point on Betty (Andrea Londo), a cop who clearly has a history with him. Ada and Carlos deal with their demon friend while Latika’s insight into the monster helps Mary rescue the children and save herself before John ultimately puts the monster down for good. Or…maybe not? This episode ends with the reveal of our mysterious big baddie: the Akrida leader.
Well, I’m happy to see Ada and Latika getting some meatier exploration in tonight’s episode. While the former may have been something of a silent partner during the last two outings, I’m happy to report we get a much clearer picture of her here. Ada starts off as her usual guest appearance but then she and Carlos team up for a stakeout that expands upon her character. Carlos is all personality, he can’t help it, but to her credit, Ada takes center stage in their scenes. She surprises her partner by revealing a hard edge none of us saw coming. When interrogating the demon, Ada uses the threat of a bonsai plant to intimidate him into talking, which works, but then she goes ahead and traps him in the plant anyway! How killer is that?
Carlos is actually the weakest character in this episode yet that’s not a bad thing. Again, he is a big personality and he got to shine in the last two so giving the spotlight to Ada and Latika is a refreshing welcome. Latika, as you may remember, has also been a pretty shallow character up until now, with her history and relationship with the others being tenuous at best. I will say that her interpersonal relationships don’t necessarily grow leaps and bounds but they are still improved.
Her interactions with Mary – her attempts to comfort her friend, provide insight into Samuel’s potential motives, and even offer a way for Mary to relax are all building blocks for Latika as a person. Not only that, but we even get a little mystery for her! Yes, I’ve mentioned that whatever happened with Maggie is a mystery, but this one is much more satisfying because it is dramatic irony – which means the audience has inside information.
See, Mary reveals to John that both of Latika’s parents died a long time ago, but later on when Latika is on the phone with one of her relatives the subtitles expose that her mother is actually alive. Now we’ve got something interesting to wonder like why is Latika lying about her parents? Is her father also alive?
Our main characters, John and Mary, naturally get the lion’s share of character development here. Which, again, isn’t a bad thing. Hell, it factors perfectly into the episode’s plot so that works out nicely. Mary and John have a chat about childhood dreams with Mary’s depressing confession being that all she’s ever known is the life of a hunter and that’s the only future she’s ever been able to imagine for herself. This fear of not knowing who she might be without hunting leads to her being unable to burn the lost object (her father’s hat) that both helps her enter Bori Baba’s pocket dimension and keeps her trapped there.
In the end, it’s John’s supportive words that she doesn’t need to figure out who she is right now, that she just needs to be OK with not knowing, which help her to confront and overcome this fear. It also, funnily enough, allows her to embrace the idea of a break from her dogged pursuit of her father. She ends the episode by taking Latika’s suggestion to go see a movie and winds up meeting a man (hi “Slick” played by Ryan McCartan). What do they always say? You find love when you’re not looking…
John, conversely, has his own romantic past to contend with. One of the officers who respond to the scene is Betty. We learn that she and John were an item before he went to off to war. She’s happy that he’s not dead, and they eventually agree to be friends with her giving him a ring back. That’s right, kids, John almost got married to someone else! John’s bigger development though is his obvious interest in Mary. We see in this episode for the first time John’s deep connection to Mary, with the idea of anything happening to her as unfathomable. He nearly panics when she goes into the pocket dimension, and it is by his insistence that Latika even tries to contact people back home for more information about their adversary. And, as mentioned earlier, it’s his words that help Mary overcome her dilemma thus saving her life.
Finally, we get the reveal of the Akrida leader – a radio DJ by the name of Rockin’ Roxy (Bridget Regan). Now, I will confess that initially when they said the Akrida leader was posing as a woman I thought it might be John’s mom. Then I forgot they said it was a woman and I focused my attention on the mysterious movie man who wins over Mary’s icy heart, but of course, it’s a completely random person who has only just been introduced to us. I think having Millie be the leader would pack more punch, but I get why they didn’t go in that direction.
Now, let me do a quick assessment of the acting. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I haven’t brought it up yet, and that’s not because I never intended to, it’s because I wanted to wait. As a rule, I like to give a show three episodes to find its groove, I think that’s a fair rule to have for actors as well. Meg Donnelly is best known for her portrayal of a teen alien in the Disney juggernaut Z-O-M-B-I-E-S, but, she’s also played a more sullen teen in ABC’s recently canceled American Housewife. I’ve enjoyed her in both roles and I feel like she does a good job getting into the skin of yet another embattled teen. Mary Campbell isn’t as plucky as Addison from Z-O-M-B-I-E-S nor is she as stubborn or ditzy as Taylor from Housewife, instead, she feels like an entirely original character which I think is a good sign.
Unfortunately, Meg is the only actor in this series I’ve seen in previous projects. Still, you can see that JoJo Fleites is a powerhouse doing his best to rein it in so he isn’t too much. I give the actor credit for imbuing Carlos with enough pep and vigor so as to exist even without expositional filler – which I’m sure is coming. It’s impressive that this is his first major gig and it makes me very interested to see how his career evolves from here.
Nida Khurshid’s Latika is so far a subtle portrayal and I’m eager to see her blossom into a more confident person along with her character. Right now, she fades too easily into the background and doesn’t seem to breathe into Latika the kind of life the other actors do, but this is still early in her career so she’s got room to grow.
Demetria McKinney on the other hand is a seasoned actress and it shows. Her Ada, while not a lead character, is not ignorable either. In this episode, she really brings out her strengths with regard to giving the character an independent personality beyond what we’ve seen thus far. I’m very pleased.
Then there’s Drake Rodger who actually has fewer credits to his name than Khurshid but feels more comfortable with his role. His John is a quiet yet not brooding man, which is a nice change of pace. He gives John a lightness that Jensen brought so nicely to Dean. This actually makes his playing Dean’s father work even better!
As a whole, this is a good episode. I’ll give it an A.
As with the ones before it, we get a lot more representation than what this universe typically provides – Carrie, her mom (played by Kanesha Washington), and Ford are all black. As a longtime fan of Supernatural, I can tell you that the majority of their victims were white. And, on top of that, we’ve got yet another minority-based monster. Bori Baba is born out of Norther Indian lore, which is why Latika plays such a large role in this episode.
It’s worth noting that Mary brings up the unusual nature of their enemies having noticed how unique they are, and the variety is somehow linked to the Akrida. Guess we’ll see, eh?