“Everybody’s Shouting, ‘Which Side Are You On?’” – Supernatural Recap – The Raid

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Supernatural Season 12, Episode 14
“The Raid”
Posted by Dawn and Erica

So, after the drastic disappointment that was “Family Feud” last week, we honestly were really, really hoping for something better – something to prove that last week was a one-off this season. Our prayers were answered, thank Chuck, with “The Raid.” There was so much to love about this episode, from the writing (by the always-amazing Robert Berens) to the cinematography to the absolute heart-wrenching feels the actors caused in us from minute one (Get ready for some Jensen Ackles love). Because there’s so much to love, let’s get right to it.

Let’s start with Dean. This episode started off exactly where the last one ended, and that was an excellent choice to make because it gave us Dean in the very moment we need him in, the one we wanted to see. Can we just talk about Jensen Ackles in this scene for a minute? Because hot damn. There aren’t enough adjectives in the English language for us to describe the FEELS during this first scene:

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We spend so much time watching Dean just be a hardass or the comic relief that sometimes we forget about the range that Jensen Ackles has as an actor. We were reminded of that this week.

Erica: This show always gives us some feels, but it’s rare to be legit crying in the first five minutes of an episode. The juxtaposition of Mary looking at her phone while being ignored, to jumping back in time watching the familial exchange play out – it felt, rightfully so, like a hardcore breakup scene. Dean was saying to Mary what we ALL have been thinking this season, and you could see just how much it cost him to be saying it. It felt, to me, like that breakup that you know had to happen because the other person just wasn’t feeling it. And you could put in all of the time and all of the effort, but if the other person wasn’t, then you’re just wasting your time and your love. We watched Dean struggle all season with feeling like he wasn’t good enough for his own mother. To have that feeling seemingly validated by Mary’s admission that she was working with the BMoL instead of her own boys meant that Dean was done, and Jensen Ackles did such an amazing job of almost forcing the audience to feel that same sense of defeat. We’ve all felt that way in relationships before, I think, and the writing and acting in this scene reminded us of what that felt like.
Dawn: Dean spoke for all of us, for everyone who is sick and tired of Mary’s bad decisions and lousy parenting and constant absences. Sam usually gets the emotional foreground when it comes to dialogue, and Jared Padalecki’s beautiful puppy-dog eyes may or may not have a lot to do with that. We don’t get a lot of Dean being the emotional backbone – it’s usually jokes or snark, all his normal deflections. But when we do get those moments -”Single Man Tear” jokes aside – they are incredible. This one should rightfully go down in show history.

On to Sam. Sammy, our precious naive moose. Sam is the one who falls for Mom’s text pleas. Sam is the one who goes with her to team up against vampires with the British Men of Letters (BMoL). And in the end, Sam is the one who sides with Mom and thinks that, given time, he can convince Dean to join Team Idiots. Our sweet Sammy ran the emotional gamut this episode, from his teary-eyed “You should go” to Mary (when he was rightfully agreeing with his brother) to eye-rolling (on his part, not ours) superiority when discovering just how stupid the BMoL really are to probably-going-to-be-dashed-very-soon-hopeful when he decides to go with Mary’s (really bad) plan. And let’s not forget his moments of BAMF vamp slaying – Sam is whupping ass like we haven’t seen since he was soulless, and it’s really glorious to behold. Sam has grown into himself as a hunter; he even tells Mary this when she brings up how she didn’t want that life for them. He chose this life, and we really hope that she can see how damn good he is at it. Sure, maybe he would have been just as good of a lawyer, but lawyers don’t stop the apocalypse (of course, they also don’t accidentally release Lucifer or cause angels to fall from heaven, but that’s not the point).

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Let’s move on to the complete cock-ups that are the British Men of Letters. I mean, for Chuck’s sake, guys. Who the hell doesn’t double check their intel? Or vet the people coming through the front door? It was helpful that they had a real hunter on their side (or so they thought) but seriously, we have no idea how they managed to clear the UK of monsters because if this episode was any indication, these people are idiots. Their recon sucked. They have precious little available weaponry. No one in their little headquarters had ever actually killed anything before, save the American hunters the recruited/are trying to recruit. They have no contingency plans. Their arrogance is so undeserved, as far as we can tell, because they are terrible at their jobs. Even Mick, that smooth MF, looked like someone slapped him in the face when their plan went south and the vamps attacked. Really? This is the best of the best? So good that Mary wants to side with them? This is what’s going to rid America of monsters? Please. They can’t even be bothered to set up stronger DOORS. The fact that they claim to have been watching the Winchesters and yet STILL think Mary is “the best Winchester” just goes to prove their incompetence. Team Free Will FTW, y’all. They have it all over these morons.

Ketch showing up at the Bunker was…interesting? Stupid? A teensy bit pointless? (Erica: It’s “How to get a distrustful hunter to let you in 101: bring good booze.” Don’t look at me that way – it’s been done before.) Don’t get us wrong. It was awesome to see Dean staring him down and snarking with barely-controlled disdain and outright murderous hatred. But the Dean and Ketch show kinda got lost amidst everything else that was going on, so perhaps it might have been better saved for a different episode. And also we’re not buying the nice guy act and also how DARE he even suggest that he and Dean are cut from the same cloth. Yes, Dean kills, and yes, he’s good at it, and yes, he knows it. Hell, he’s said it himself, especially when he used to talk about purgatory. Dean Winchester loves to kill him some monsters. But not people. And never without reason. That’s the difference. Because Ketch is a sociopath, pure and simple. If he wasn’t hunting monsters, he’d be one. And Dean knows it. Check that cold Blue Steel:

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That’s our boy.

So, yeah, vampires. Good for a plot device, but what an awesome surprise we got when the Alpha Vampire showed up. The Alpha Vamp is a fan-favorite villain and it was wonderful to have him back. Played beautifully by Rick Worthy, this Alpha is smooth AF, utterly in control, and very, very pissed off:

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He was having none of the BMoL’s nonsense, and we kinda believed it for a moment when he claimed he couldn’t be killed by the Colt. But he lied. And so fare thee well in Purgatory, Alpha Vamp. You were bad ass. Tell Benny we said hello (and ask him when he’s coming back because we need that like breathing. Just sayin’).

Erica: The Alpha Vamp was SO underutilized in this episode! Like, he is such a BAMF and he shows up for all of, what, five minutes total in the entire episode? And spends most of his time talking? Don’t get me wrong – that quote up there about getting off his lawn was EVERYTHING. But damned if I wouldn’t have wanted to see more out of him.
Dawn: I would have loved to see more of him and less of the other vampires, who kinda bored me with their hollow-eyed melancholy. He’s just so damn smooth.

And then there’s Mary. To be honest, we are about as tired of bitching about her as you are of hearing it. Her justification for her actions was finally spoken aloud this week – never wanted this life for them, a way to get them out of the life, blah blah blah blah None of this explains why you spend so little time with your kids. None of this explains why you stole the Chuck-damned Colt and kept your mouth shut about it, which nearly killed Castiel. None of this explains why you just keep hurting your kids. It’s all there in Sam’s face, when the Colt is revealed. Look at what she is doing to this kid, this poor kid who has waited for her his whole life, when she admits that she did indeed take it from Ramiel.

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Erica: I’m sorry, but her responses here are just such loads of bullshit. Like, tons and tons of it. There’s no excuse for ignoring your damn kids, lady. Grow a pair and admit it. Ugh. And then, that whole thing about how she’s “not just a mom.” My gods. Nobody asked you to be JUST a mom – they just want you to be A mom. Ellen wasn’t JUST a mom, but she was a mom all the same. Jody isn’t just a mom, but she’s a mom to not one unwanted kid, but two. Be more like Ellen and Jody, Mary. Or GTFO.

Oh and the Colt that she and the BMoL needed so bad? Has no ammo. At least, not until Sam steps up with the spell needed to supercharge the bullets. The spell he learned from the only real effing parent he or his brother ever had, Bobby Singer. Team Trucker Hat forever, yo, Bring him back.

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We need to talk about Mary’s face, people. This is the second time Mary has had a significant reaction to Bobby. The first was way back in episode 12×2, at the very end, when Mary was looking at a picture that had John in it and then suddenly the camera focused not on John, but on Bobby, and we were like OMGWTFBBQ. Now again, she gets that melancholy look. What does it MEAN? We need to know what the story is there. We have been wondering since the season started. There’s history there, kids, and we HAVE to know what it is. Because Bobby. BOBBY. We can’t even with this. CAN’T EVEN.

Dawn: SPN writers, I swear to Chuck, if I don’t get an answer on this, I will riot.

Overall, this episode rocked most righteous, but it also left us with a lot of questions (in a good way). Like where the hell has Castiel been? Seems like he would have been an asset in this fight. We feel like he’s been MIA for a while and we’d like to know why. Good thing he’s back this week. And while we know Sam said he’s drinking the Kool-Aid and will try to talk to Dean, it kinda feels like things are heading for a Mick vs Ketch kinda battle royale. We’d like Mick to defect, quite frankly. Can we make that happen? Finally, because it keeps coming up, who the hell are the “old men” the BMoL keep referring to? When do we get to meet them? Can William Morgan Sheppard play one of them? Mark loves working with his dad. Get on that, SPN. Please and thank you.

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