Supernatural Season 12, Episode 18
“The Memory Remains”
Posted by Dawn and Erica
Alright. So the whole “good episode/bad episode/meh episode” rollercoaster is really starting to grind our gears. We know–we KNOW–that the SPN writers can do better than this. We know it. We’ve seen it. This season has given us a number of really, really good episodes. And then…there was this week.
To be clear, this episode didn’t suck, per se. But it didn’t really advance the season-long story line. It was your average, run-of-the-mill, monster-of-the-week story.
DAWN: To be fair, some parts really did suck.
We missed recapping last week for 12×17, “The British Invasion.” Here’s a quick list to sum it up:
- The British Men of Letters train their people in a way best described as Hogwarts if it was run by an even-more-sociopathic Dolores Umbridge.
- he British Men of Letters is run by an-even-more-sociopathic Umbridge.
- Mary — Chuck help us for even having to write this — slept with Ketch.
- The same Ketch who murdered Mick in cold blood at the end of the episode.
- Umbridge wants the boys either “assimilate[d] or exterminate[d],” so she might also be a Borg and a Dalek.
Some other stuff happened with Hell and the Spawn of Satan and Dagon, but honestly it was weirdly piecemeal and just not great. We will miss Mick. We had just started to really like him. Pour one out for Mick, y’all.
Anyway, moving on.
So this week, the boys still think Mick is alive and sending Sammy cases (oh, our sweet summer child). In fact, in live-tweeting this episode (@pieandshotguns, y’all), that was one of two things that stuck out—#thataintmick. The other thing that stuck out, of course, was a significant lack of our favorite angel lately. That stuck out for a lot of people, as you will see in a moment.
The boys, thinking that Mick is sending them on a case, go off to deal with some goat-headed dude. In the meantime, the BMoL, in an….interesting take on the British spy genre (complete with James Bond-esque music), go into the bunker and wiretap it. We just…what? Umbridge 2.0 wants them assimilated or exterminated and you bug their bunker? Like…what did Dean call him? Oh, that’s right. A “low-rent Christian Bale.” So they go inside, open some dresser drawers, look at some random things, and that was basically it. It felt like a vehicle to allow Ketch find/steal a picture of Mary, which he gazed at all moon-eyed, which really annoyed everyone watching because seriously, he’s a sociopath so this whole lovesick-crush thing is really not working for us.
ERICA: Alternatively, it was this weird Mark Wahlberg in Fear vibe. Creepy and stalkerish AF.
DAWN: He is both of those things. But I am still not buying the puppy dog eyes.
It’s important to point out that Ketch took the picture of Mary and baby Dean. THAT picture. Dean’s go-to picture for 12 seasons. You honestly saying that he won’t notice it’s missing??? Or was that the point, to take something that important, that personal? We really hope it’s the latter.
The monster-of-the-week was a demigod-thing called Moloch, which digs deep into Judeo-Christian mythology, so nice research there, we guess? (Even thoughSleepy Hollow already did it and, we have to be honest, way better.) It was all right, as monsters of the week go, and it probably could have stood very well on its own, without trying to shoehorn it into the overarching S12 plot. That was where things got kinda lost, and sloppy, and outright cheesy, such as when Pete, the official bad guy, actually said the following.
Dean’s face was all of us.
ERICA: Lazy writing. This episode was peppered with lazy writing. Like Sammy, talking about how the Colt “dusts everything.” Well yes, that might be true, but really? That’s the best you could do? Come on, man.
DAWN: It can’t “dust everything.” We already know that. It definitely can’t kill Lucifer. And when John first talked about it, it was the original 13 bullets that could kill “anything.” Yes, Ruby taught Bobby how to make more bullets, but that different from “original” bullets. Hey, writers, see how easy that was? See how I went back into the story mythos to clarify something happening now? How about you try that?
The episode was about legacies, and that’s where shit really fell apart. See, there was this whole feels-inducing scene at the end, where Dean and Sam talk about legacies and wonder what their legacy will be and if they will have one, and Dean carves their initials into the table in the (now-bugged) bunker. The carving was interspersed with flashbacks of the boys as children doing the same thing. We have seen the initials-carving thing used to great emotional effect in other episodes. Those initials are A Thing in the fandom. But this time, it didn’t quite work. It felt a bit contrived, even manipulative, like the writers knew this episode was more than a little less-than, so they decided to go for a kick in the feels to make up for lackluster writing.
It *could *have worked, too, except for one teensy thing. THEY FORGOT ABOUT THE WINCHESTER GOSPELS.
Writing Team, you’re killing us. We are begging you, please stop forgetting your own mythology. The Winchester Gospels are a thing you made up, and sure, we know that was eight seasons ago, but come on. Cas was the one who told them. Chuck!God himself wrote them. Seriously, team, get it together. These kinds of mistakes have been peppered all over Season 12. Your show has a long and storied mythos that you created. Please, for the love of Chuck, remember that it exists.
>Oh, and they still don’t know Mick is dead. When they called him and Ketch answered, they were told Mick had to go back to London. And nobody questioned why he did that *without his phone.*
That’s the episode, basically. A meh episode peppered with some good moments. Like this one:
BTW, the sheriff’s beard was a thing of beauty. It helped. A little.
Thank Chuck, Cas is back next week, and not a moment too soon. Where in the seven hells has HE been lately, we would like to know? Twitter was abuzz with #wherestheangel. It was trending during the episode.