This week’s episode of Supernatural, “Ask Jeeves,” has a murder-mystery theme, utilizing the English whodunit style of storytelling that was popularized after World War I, and can be found in Agatha Christie novels, movies like Gosford Park, and the board game Clue. We loved to play Clue and it continues to sit under the bed, silently waiting for someone to open it up once again. Perhaps the “Ask Jeeves” episode will inspire us to do so. Clue was originally created in 1949 in England. It reflects the aristocratic traditions of patrician-filled mansions with secret passageways that are found in English Manor House murder mysteries.
At the Lacroix mansion, there has just been a death. You may immediately suspect this death was a murder, but such a scenario would be too straightforward for Supernatural. Certainly there will be murder, but we won’t start there. The Lacroix butler, Phillip, is talking to housemaids Colette and Olivia. We know they are servants because they are clearly dressed for the part. Do butlers and housemaids really still wear such outfits in the modern world? In most workplaces nowadays people can barely be bothered to change out of their sweatpants and t-shirts to come to work. If the upper class has somehow continued to compel servants to maintain this conservative dress code—well done. The butler talks about the preparations for the funeral of Bunny Lacroix.
“In less than 24 hours, the Lacroix family will descend upon this estate for the funeral and the reading of the will, and it is our duty to make sure this manor is in tip-top shape.”
He instructs the housemaid Colette to select an ensemble for Mrs. Lacroix to be laid in for the funeral. He tells the housemaid Olivia to make sure the lavatories are spotless, which she does not like. When she protests, he reminds Olivia that Colette has seniority.
Bunny Lacroix, in the Bedroom, with a Pearl Necklace
As Colette is choosing a wardrobe for the recently deceased Bunny, she can’t help but try on some of Bunny’s jewelry. She puts on a pearl necklace. The maid Colette hears a door opening in the bedroom and walks in to find Bunny Lacroix standing there, looking quite stern. Colette gasps, “You’re dead!” and backs away. Bunny follows her out to the landing, where she rips the pearl necklace off Colette. As the pearls fly everywhere, Colette falls backwards off the landing, crashes through a glass table, and lands on the floor with a loud crash. At this point, we have to assume she’s dead. The butler Phillip comes running over to Colette on the floor, looks up and sees Bunny Lacroix, and says, “What have you done?” We are intrigued by this mysterious, and violent, cold open.
Dean is, once again, working on the Impala in the motel parking lot. That kind of perfection doesn’t happen by chance. Sam comes out of Shady Hills Motel and offers Dean a tiny cup of Glazed Donut coffee. Though he scoffs, Dean’s resistance is easily overcome by the coffee’s delicious cinnamon aroma. Sam has been looking for the usual—mysterious deaths or supernatural signs—but it doesn’t seem like they are going to be doing any hunting soon. Dean has listened to the messages on one of Bobby Singer’s old phones and found that Bobby has been named a beneficiary in Bunny Lacroix’s will.
Dean: “Attorney said she’s an heiress, and Bobby’s presence or next of kin is being requested in New Canaan. I figured we’d qualify.”
Sam: “How did Bobby know an heiress?”
Dean: “Bobby had secrets, man. Like loving on Tori Spelling. If he knew Dean cheated on her…”
This is in reference to the episode “You Can’t Handle the Truth” (S06E06) when Bobby shared his love for pedicures and Tori Spelling with Dean while under the influence of Veritas, the Goddess of Truth. Sam used this information to convince Bobby of his identity when he recused Bobby’s soul from Hell in “Taxi Driver” (S08E19). How do they plan to “prove” they are Bobby’s next of kin? Bobby’s secret love of Tori Spelling and foot maintenance probably won’t be enough.
Sam and Dean drive to the Lacroix mansion. “Für Elise” plays when they ring the doorbell, which is a funny touch. Housemaid Olivia answers the door and they explain that they are the Winchesters, and they are there on behalf of Bobby Singer. Olivia asks, “Mr. Singer won’t be coming?” and when they tell her he has passed away, she responds, “Oh. I’m sorry to hear that.” She tells them that they just missed the funeral, but the family is relaxing inside. The Winchesters meet the Lacroix family in the Billiards Room. They first meet Heddy, Bunny’s cousin, who asks them if they are part of the Westchester Winchesters. She introduces them to her sister Beverly, Bunny’s youngest brother Stanton and his “child bride” Amber, and Bunny’s great-nephew Dash (“Harvard Business”). When Dash asks how they knew Bunny they explain that their surrogate dad, Bobby Singer, did. We thought maybe they would describe him as an uncle, as that was how we were first introduced to Bobby, but its nice to hear them refer to him as a father since they had been through a lot together. Bobby was the one that told them, “Family don’t end with blood,” in “No Rest for the Wicked” (S03E16).
Heddy tells Sam and Dean that the will won’t be read until tomorrow, so they are welcome to spend the night. Beverly suggestively comments, “All the rooms sleep two,” with Heddy adding, “Or three,” and slapping Dean’s backside. We have not just one, but two characters in the stereotypic role of the mature and uninhibited woman of the blue-blooded family. True to their characters, the flirtation embarrasses Sam, while Dean appears slightly interested. Amber asks where the housemaid Colette is. The butler Phillip tells them that Colette was so distraught over Mrs. Lacorix’s death that she went off to find herself at a Clown College in Sarasota. Ah, a sign of a good lie is specificity without too much detail. Little do they know she is actually at the great Clown College in the Sky. Of course now all we can think of is how awesome it would be if Sam and Dean investigated a supernatural occurrence at a clown college, especially since Sam is scared of clowns. But perhaps with “Everybody Loves a Clown” (S02E02) and “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” (S07E14), two full episodes about clowns is enough. The butler Phillip asks Sam and Dean if he can have a word with them in private.
Phillip tells Sam and Dean that Mrs. Lacroix had bequeathed something to Bobby, and since the reading of the will isn’t until tomorrow, he wants to spare them having to stay and mingle with the family. Dean takes offense to this.
Dean: “Don’t worry, Alfred. We know which one the shrimp fork is. [pause] Kind of.”
Phillip: “Oh, Mr. Winchester. If you’re implying that I don’t think you’re good enough, it’s quite the contrary. You’re far too good. The Lacroix family is, well… How shall I say this politely?… money-grubbing leeches.”
Dean: “What are you talking about? I thought they were all loaded.”
Phillip: “Loaded — yes. Rich — no. The recession hit every one of them, and I’m afraid if they knew what Bunny left you, those vultures would try to stake a claim. And since the attorney kindly agreed to a hand-off, you don’t have to be subjected to their scrutiny.”
Sam: “Do you have any idea how Bunny and Bobby knew each other?”
Phillip: “Not in the slightest.”
Phillip hands them an envelope. Sam and Dean tell him they can see themselves out and Phillip leaves. They open the envelope to find a jewel-encrusted cross. Fancy.
Sam and Dean take the cross to be appraised at the local pawnshop. The pawnshop dealer tells them it’s a fake, but shows them that the cross actually encases a key. Sam wonders, “A key to what?” and Dean responds, “There’s only one way to find out—Ask Jeeves.” Now we are going to start counting how many names Dean has for the butler.
Lance, in the Hall, with the Axe
Back at the Lacroix manor, Stan and Amber are fighting. Stan accuses her of cheating. She tells him she is being paranoid and she looks up at a wedding portrait of the late Bunny and Bunny’s late husband, Lance.
Amber: “Just like Lance. He was always accusing poor Bunny of sleeping around.”
Stan: “Because she was. My sister was nothing but a two-bit hooker in Chanel!”
Amber: “How dare you. Your sister’s dead.”
Amber walks into the bathroom and slams the door. Stan looks up at the wedding portrait and says, “Good riddance to you both.” Stan hears a strange noise in the hall and goes out to investigate. As Stan advances down the hall, his late brother-in-law, Lance, dressed in his wedding attire, comes around the corner carrying an axe. Amber steps out into the hallway just in time to see Lance chop off Stan’s head.
Though the modern version of the game of Clue does not have an axe as a weapon (must be considered much too gory—not like a lead pipe), the original edition did. As well as having the weapons we know, the earlier edition included a syringe, poison, a bomb, a fireplace poker, and a shillelagh. That’s right—an Irish walking stick was one of the original weapons. We grew up with a shillelagh in our home and had no idea it was an implement of death in Clue. We would have had a lot more fun with it had we known.
Sam and Dean return to the Lacroix mansion to find out what their key unlocks. The butler, who was so kind and respectful earlier, seems a bit snarkier now.
Phillip: “ I presume you gentlemen left something behind? I’ll check the front closet for burlap.”
Dean: “I got news for you, Mr. Belvedere—the jacket’s canvas.”
Once they come inside they find Detective Howard, who is there to investigate the murder of Stan. Detective Howard tells them they are officially murder suspects, along with everyone else in the house. Rather than taking them down to the police station, everyone is being detained at the crime scene while Detective Howard questions them. Apparently police work in New Canaan follows the old-school English mystery traditions.
Sam and Dean enter the lounge and find Heddy and Dash fighting. Maybe they’re fighting over who has a funnier name. In fact they are fighting because Heddy claims that Amber killed Stan, while Dash is defending Amber. Heddy claims that Amber’s motivation is that she was cheating on Stan but couldn’t leave him because of the pre-nup. Heddy mentions that Amber is making a ridiculous assertion that the ghost of Lance killed Stan. As Heddy and Dash continue their argument, hurling sarcasm back and forth like a cudgel (or shillelagh), Sam and Dean talk on the other side of the room about the ghost theory. They realize they won’t be able to go out to the car to get their EMF equipment because of the detective, so they decide to investigate by looking for cold-spots. Dean says he will look around and tells Sam to stay there to “keep an eye on Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard.” Heddy may be reminiscent of Mrs. Peacock, but Dash is no Colonel Mustard.
Dean goes upstairs and looks around with what sounds like a version of music from Sherlock playing in the background.
Sam talks to Dash, asking him why no one is upset after two members of the family have just died.
Dash: “Well Sam, I’ll let you in on a little family secret. We don’t really like each other. Then again, what family does?”
Sam: “Mine does. Uh, for the most part. It’s just my brother and me, so…”
Dash: “Then you’re lucky. Trust me—it’s a miracle we’ve been under the same roof for 24 hours and haven’t—Oops.”
Murder makes for hilarious conversation among the elite.
Dean, in the Attic, with the Lead Pipe
Dean is still checking the upstairs. He looks over the police tape and the tape outline of where Stan’s head was, several feet away from the body. He finds a book that has the cross shape of the key on the spine. Dean pulls the book back and the bookcase opens up to a secret attic space. He walks into the room and sees a rope and a lead pipe.
He chooses the lead pipe as his weapon and keeps walking into the secret attic. There are all kinds of goodies in the attic: spooky dolls, stuffed animals, an old TV, and a baby carriage. He also sees a plate and glass, indicating someone has been eating in the secret room. He looks down and sees feet sticking out of a rolled-up rug. You never know what you’re going to find in a secret room. Dean sees someone run past, and it turns out to be Colette. She says the butler locked her in there because she wouldn’t lie to the detective about seeing him roll Colette’s body up in a rug. Deans asks if the butler killed Colette, but Olivia claims it was Bunny’s ghost.
Dean comes back downstairs, where Sam is playing cards with Beverly and Heddy. Dean tells Sam that there are two vengeful spirits in the house. They are still unsure why Bunny would have left Bobby a key to a secret attic. Sam tells Dean that he found Olivia and Colette locked inside. “Yeah, but [Colette] ain’t studying balloon animals. She’s dead.” Dean wants to find the butler, assuming he will have answers, “Now, I don’t know why, but he’s covering for the spooks. He’s acting like their Renfield.” Dean and Sam go in search of the butler.
Sam, in the Kitchen, with the Knife
Sam stumbles upon Beverly, who attempts to seduce him, making Sam extremely nervous. He tells her that he’s right behind her and makes his escape as she walks into the bedroom.
Dean finds his way to the Butler’s Quarters. He sees and finds a wrench on the bookcase and carries in into the bedroom. The wrench and the lead pipe are our favorites as well, but that was before we knew about the shillelagh. Dean comes upon Phillip and asks him, “What are you doing hiding dead maids in secret rooms?” An excellent question.
Meanwhile Sam is in the kitchen. He sees a trail of blood, so grabs a knife from the block—a weapon choice that never goes out of style in Clue —and follows the trail.
Psycho-like music plays in the background as Sam finds the butler, who has been stabbed in the back. Sam quickly puts down his own knife and texts Dean.
The Shapeshifter, in the Butler’s Quarters, with his Bare Hands
Dean is still with Phillip. Phillip is giving him an explanation for hiding Colette’s body, saying that he didn’t want Colette’s death to overshadow Mrs. Lacroix’s funeral. When Dean tells him that’s crazy, Phillip responds, “No Mr. Winchester. That’s loyalty.”
Dean’s phone vibrates and he gets a text from Sam telling him that Phillip is actually dead. Phillip seems to realize the jig is up and knocks Dean across the room. By the time Dean gets back up he finds Phillip’s skin and clothes left behind on the floor—the culprit is a shapeshifter. Shapeshifters are classic Supernatural monsters that can easily change their form to imitate humans, accessing the thoughts and memories of that person.
Sam and Dean, in the Kitchen, with the Butter Knife
Sam and Dean are in the kitchen. They are looking for some silver because shapeshifters can be hurt or killed by silver.
Dean: “Guess we can rule out ‘the Butler did it.’”
Sam: “And the creep just shed, so now it could be anybody. Even you.”
Dean: “Or you. We need to find some silver.”
Olivia stumbles upon them in the kitchen, standing near the butler’s body, and screams. They reassure her that they are there to help. When she asks them what they need with the silverware, they tell her it’s for protection. Olivia brings them the silverware box and they ask her to touch the silverware, ruling her out as a shapeshifter. Sam and Dean also touch the butter knife to show they are still human as well.
Heddy and Beverly are in the lounge looking through Crushbook, an online dating site. When Sam asks them what they are doing, Heddy says they are looking for a man for Beverly.
Beverly: “I’ve resorted to fishing online because the live ones won’t bite.”
Sam: “You mean back there? I was just playing hard-to-get.”
Sam comes and sits between the two women. He puts his hand on Beverly’s knee, brushing it with the knife hidden in his sleeve. When Heddy protests she feels left out, Sam puts his arm around her shoulder, saying, “Well, then, uh… Come on in, darling. Water’s warm.” This may be the creepiest line we’ve ever heard from Sam—creepier than anything he said when he was possessed by the demon Meg or dating Ruby. Sam presses the knife he has in his other sleeve onto Heddy’s shoulder. Sam rules out Heddy and Beverly as the shapeshifter because they don’t react to the silver knife.
Dean, in the Billiards Room, with the Candlestick
Dean goes into the billiards room, looking for the shapeshifter. He hears a noise and grabs a candlestick off the desk to use as a weapon. He opens the closet door and finds Dash and Amber in each other’s arms. Amber tells Dean that they didn’t kill Stanton. Dash says, “We may be guilty of cheating, but not murder.” Dean tells them to touch the knife he is carrying and they have no reaction to the silver.
Dean, Dash, and Amber return to the lounge where Heddy and Beverly are fussing over Sam. When Dean walks in Sam looks quite embarrassed and quickly walks across the room to Dean, who says, “Sorry to interrupt.” Sam notes, “Well, so, that’s everyone. Except for—” then they hear Olivia scream.
The Shapeshifter, in the Bathroom, with the Toliet
They rush to Olivia and find Detective Howard dead with his face in the toilet. The family starts arguing with each other. Beverly tries to leave and Dean stops her. Sam tells the family to stop arguing.
Sam: “You need to trust us.”
Dash: “Trust you? Uh, we don’t even know you. Look, buddy, I’m trying to be objective here, but we’ve had countless family functions before, and even though we wanted to kill one another, we never did.”
Heddy: “Dash is right. Out get-togethers never end in murder. The only thing different this time around is you.”
Dash decides it’s time to take action. He takes the dead detective’s gun and holds it on Sam and Dean. He locks them in the study, telling them to sit tight until the police arrive, and the family returns to the lounge.
Dash, in the Study, with the Revolver
Dean tries to use the knife they have using to test people to open the door and it bends. He looks closer at it and discovers it is stainless steel. Sam responds, “So that’s why no one sizzled? They’re not even real silver?” They realize they are going to have to get silver bullets from the trunk of the Impala to kill the shifter.
The Lacroix family is arguing, as usual. Amber questions why Sam and Dean would want them dead. Dash says it was for the inheritance. Heddy claims she knew that Sam and Dean “were trailer trash the moment they rolled up in that American-made.”
And Beverly claims they are homosexuals—“Homesexual murderers,” adds Heddy. Olivia enters the room holding a decanter, and Heddy tells her to call the police. She refuses, and she picks up the gun Dash had put down on the table, and tells the family:
“You idiots couldn’t be more wrong—about everything. Don’t you know if it’s not the butler, it’s the maid?”
Back in the study, Dean and Sam are able to watch what is happening with the family through the monitors for the security system. They are still unable to get out.
Olivia, in the Lounge, with the Revolver
Olivia tells the family that she is Bunny’s daughter. When Dash asks where she has been hiding all these years, she tells them she’s been in the attic. Amber asks, “Like in the movie?” Olivia tells them that only Bunny and Phillip knew about her. She explains Phillip let her out of the attic after Bunny died because he felt sorry for her, allowing her to pose as the new maid.
Amber: That’s why you killed Colette—for her job?
Olivia: “Oh, no, no, no, no. Colette was just an accident. I just wanted to scare her because I caught her stealing.”
Heddy: “Well, that doesn’t explain wanting us dead. None of us are thieves, huh?”
Olivia: “On, no. You’re worse. Your greed, your disdain, your blatant disrespect for Mother—oh, you all had it coming!”
Dash: “But…why kill Phillip? I mean, if he was on your side…”
Olivia: “Because he turned on me. After Stanton, he locked me back up. Lucky for me, the cute, dumb one let me out.”
Sam has found a gun safe. He takes a gun out and shoots the door handle, allowing him and Dean to escape. From the lounge, they hear the gunshot. Sam chases the shapeshifter Olivia into the kitchen.
Sam and Olivia are on opposite sides of the kitchen, neither having a clear shot of the other. Olivia tells Sam that killing him is the next best thing to killing Bobby Singer. She says Bobby killed her shapeshifter father, who had an affair with Bunny, just when her father was about to take her. Bunny had begged Bobby to spare the baby Olivia, and he agreed on the condition that Bunny keep her locked up.
Olivia: “Mother told the family she lost the baby. And she locked me in the attic. But she remained devoted to me until the very end—even got Bobby to promise to take care of me if anything happened to her.”
Sam: “Wait a minute. Then, Bobby spared you. You should be grateful.”
Olivia: “For what?! Keeping me locked up my whole life? It would have been kinder to kill me.”
Sam: “Olivia… You don’t have to do this. Being a monster is a choice.”
Olivia: “That choice was made for me a long time ago.”
Seems like Olivia acted monstrously as soon as she had the chance.
Dean, in the Kitchen, with the Revolver
Suddenly Olivia realizes that Sam must not have any silver bullets because he hasn’t taken another shot at her.
She walks forward to shoot him and Dean comes up from behind and shoots her, presumably with the silver bullets from the car. He shoots her several times. We are worried that his fervor for killing seems a little demonish, We have been concerned for the past few episodes that Dean would become a demon again once he killed someone, but that didn’t seem to be the case. At least not immediately.
The Lacroix family is outside waiting for the police. As Sam and Dean are heading out to the car, Dash comes over to Sam and Dean to apologize. Dean acknowledges that Dash was just protecting his family. Dash tells them that Bunny left everything to Olivia. Dean gives Dash the key to the attic. When Dash asks how the family can repay Sam and Dean for helping them, Dean tells him to forget they were there. Dean ends up mildly threatening Dash:
“I’m serious, Izod. Put a pin in it. Or we’ll come back for your preppy ass.”
They drive away in the Impala.
Sam and Dean, on the Road, with the Impala
Later on the road, Sam asks Dean what happened. We were wondering the same thing. Dean asks what he is talking about.
Sam: I mean… All those extra shots after the shifter was already dead. What was that?”
Dean: “I don’t know. Target practice?”
Sam: “Come on, man. I’m serious. You sure it wasn’t… I don’t know, demon residue, or something to do with the Mark, or—”
Dean: “No. No, none of that.”
Sam: “Right. [ Sighs ] Look, man, I got to be honest—”
Dean: “Oh, my God, Sam. It was my first kill since I’ve been back. You know, I got a little anxious. I wanted to make sure it was done right—plain and simple. It’s—why am I even explaining this to you?”
Sam tries to continue the conversation, but Dean just turns up the radio, blasting Bob Seger’s “Travelin’ Man”. We are in agreement with Sam and hope for fear the return of Demon Dean. The issue of how killing impacts Dean and his human soul may not be over yet.
It’s not clear if those enamored with the Mystery Fiction format will like or hate this play on the approach. Supernatural has a bit of fun with the format, and we love the Clue references. We enjoyed Dean’s nicknames for the butler—Alfred. Jeeves, Mr. Belvedere, Renfield (not a butler, but still a character who serves), and Wadsworth. Dean apparently does not watch Downton Abbey. What was also nice about this episode was having the Winchesters getting along and being focused on hunting. Though we will be looking forward to some brotherly drama down the road, as the issue of the Mark of Cain still needs to be resolved, sometimes it’s good to have the episode’s mystery and drama completely exterior to the Winchester Brothers’ relationship.
Jared Padalecki had tweeted to his followers to be sure to watch all the way to the of the episode. This was because the end card noted that the episode was dedicated to the memory of James A. MacCarthy, father of episode Director John MacCarthy, who had passed away during filming.
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