Supernatural Season 12, Episode 13
Posted by Dawn and Erica
So after last week’s unbelievable episode, we guess there was no where to go but down. “Family Feud” gave us some good moments, particularly when it came to Mark Pellegrino’s delicious scenery-chewing Lucifer (Welcome back, Mark!), but for the most part, this episode felt more like a passable Season 2-ish Monster of the Week ep than an important part of the story arc. Even though a lot happened that is vital to the story arc. Basically, it missed some marks.
Erica: Some marks?
Dawn: I am being kind. Well, trying to.
The overall theme was motherhood, and it was not subtle. In fact, it was downright heavy-handed in a lot of ways, down to making some characters a lot dumber than we know them to be, just to kinda shoe-horn some plot. This episode really couldn’t decide if it wanted to be filler or important, and trying to be both was not a great choice. It ended up just being…meh. Not bad, really. Just not good.
Mary. Mary, Mary, MARY. We just don’t know what to do with you anymore. Okay, fine, maybe it was too much to expect you to adjust to all this with ease and we tried to give you that, we really did, but you have got to get better at this. Because making deals with the people who tortured and tried to murder your son is not good parenting. We don’t care how cool their toys are; working with the British Men of Letters is not earning you any points. And really, why do you need their toys? Your sons live in arguably the biggest cache of knowledge and weaponry ever. Maybe you’d know that if you occasionally stuck around.
As we have said before, Ketch is *at best* a sociopath. Like, literally that is a best-case scenario. The worst can, and will, we suspect, go far beyond that, and having that not occur to Mary Campbell-Winchester, who was raised in a family of hunters and therefore should have a couple of clues, is really pissing us off. We don’t want her to be this gullible. We don’t want her to be this stupid. And we definitely don’t want her to be this shitty of a mother. Yes, okay, she finally fessed up and told the boys the truth, and no one can deny that, as a hunter, Mary is badass AF. But our ability to feel any sympathy for this character is waning, and that’s not great. You’d better pull a miracle out of your ass soon, Mary, because right now, you’re not looking good.
Erica: To be fair, at least she broke the Winchester curse of NEVER telling the truth. EVER. And she brought them beer. I mean, not totally good parenting, but… We’re so used to the boys never telling each other the truth until the very last possible moment. So while it took her a while, at least she finally admitted it before something went totally and completely tits up.
Dawn: I am just having a really hard time with her being this easily guiled. She should really be smarter than this, and “Mary is just having a hard time adjusting” isn’t really working for me anymore, mainly because she seems to have adjusted perfectly fine to the modern hunting community and now her ultra-creeptastic, manipulative bestie, Mr. Ketch. The only thing she hasn’t adjusted to is her sons. Constantly leaving them isn’t going to make that any easier, and the fact that she constantly leaves them is really not washing. Sure, she says, “Nothing comes before my family,” but so far? Pretty much everything has. And that ridiculous “Oh, hi, Dean” voice at the beginning, in the slightly higher register and singsong pronunciation as she talked on the phone to Dean? Well, that was just bullshit and, IMO, it was absolutely counter to the strong female character she has proven to be, even when I don’t agree with her decisions. That was some saccharine crap and it did not ring true.
Erica: You have such STRONG opinions. Like, I don’t really like any of what has transpired with Mary’s character, but it just means that I’ll not miss her when she (finally) leaves. But you are so ANGRY at the way Mary’s character is written. Lol.
Dawn: In general, I am fine with it. In this ep, I was livid. That said, though, Ketch was written very well. We are supposed to loathe him, and I definitely do, and it was nice to see that Mary does react to him in a way that makes it clear he makes her skin crawl, too. Look:
Our second mom is the matriarch of the other family who knows how to put the fun in dysfunction, Rowena. Now, we LOVE Rowena (and Ruth Connell, who plays her, and who favorites our tweets!). She is our queen and we just adore her. BUT. Girl, that was some cold maneuvering this episode. She got to be Grandma Rowena for a time, since the central guest star of this episode was Gavin MacLeod, Crowley’s son (first encountered in 6×4, then again in 9×21). Some of the fandom found Gavin forgettable, but we always liked him, especially when Crowley kinda warmed to him and saved his life.
Dawn: I was looking forward to having Gavin back. I just wish it hadn’t taken a ridiculous love-lorn ghost subplot to get that.
Erica: I mean…I understand the point of it. How else would you get him back, really, when for the longest time it seemed as though he was destined to forever live in the land of lost plotlines?
Dawn: Like Adam?
Rowena reminded us that she plays the long game and that she plays it well, using Gavin and, really, the boys, to finally get her revenge on Crowley for having forced her to kill the child that she loved. And she put it just like that, too: “Oskar. The child I loved more than you. The one you made me kill to remove the Mark of Cain.” That was cold, so cold, especially after this season having given us some softer moments between Crowley and Rowena, where it seemed like maybe they could pull some kind of familial bond together. Wishful thinking on our part? Maybe. Probably, in fact. We only want what’s best for Our King, and Rowena is just fierce. Slay, queen. Slay. Even when it hurts.
Boys will be… Pissed, actually
Oh, the boys. Where do we even begin with this? Let’s start with probably our favorite part, because realistically, it was one of the best parts. The Face. Dean’s face when Mary comes back and he’s having precisely NONE of it.
He knows she’s being shady, and he is just Not. Having. It. And here, we have to give Dean credit where it’s due. Dean remembers his mom from before she died, and one would think that he’d be all about having her back, but all season, it seems, he has been very standoffish with her – and rightfully so, since she is, in fact, being SUPER shady. Sam, our sweet summer child, seems to just be setting himself up for grief by being as open to her as he is. Though by the end, even he is like, “Mom, WTAF?” Nicely done to have no dialogue we could hear in that scene, btw – their expressions and body language said it all, accompanied by the Rolling Stones’ “Playing with Fire.” (Seriously, could someone get us the music editor’s address? We want to send him or her flowers)
Erica: Maybe it’s because we can see it coming, but honestly, Sam’s whole…naivete seems off with this. These boys have been through some STUFF, and Sam seems to be opening up more and more to Mary every episode. Maybe with the revelation that she’s been working with the BMoL, he’ll back off some, but he’s been flashing some serious puppy dog eyes at the prospect of having his mom back for good, so I don’t see that coming. What I do see is that, as Bartok the bat says, “this can only lead to tears.”
Dawn: Maybe it’s because Sam never knew his mother, and all his life he has created this beautiful idea, probably due to how both Dean and John portrayed her to him. So now that he finally has a mother in his life, he wants to desperately to believe she can be the mother he created in his mind and in his heart. And honestly, I hope that as well, but so far, it’s not coming to fruition. For every one thing she does for the boys, there are at least five more that she did only for herself. I am not sure how much longer she can fool herself that it’s all for the boys. And I worry what will happen to Mary when self-realization finally comes, likely in the form of a terrible betrayal by the BMoL.
Let’s talk about the MacLeod boys for a minute, and how genuinely heartbreaking this episode is for Crowley. It’s never easy losing a child, and when your child is making a (very adult) decision to save a bunch of people by sacrificing himself for love, well…it’s easy to see why Crowley is upset. Knowing that he was stopped by Rowena as punishment, or payback as it were, for forcing her to kill a boy she loved like a son – loved in a way she never loved Crowley – only makes it worse for him. It’ll be interesting to see where their relationship goes after this, considering that for the past few episodes it looked as though they were finding a solid footing with each other.
Which brings us to Gavin. It’s admirable that he was willing to sacrifice his life to save all the people that Fiona murdered in her vengeance – really, it is. But for the love of Chuck, man. First, it seems like a lot of those people more than deserved it, though obviously going vengeful on every teacher just because one betrayed you (horribly as she did) isn’t great. And second, we have to wonder, does Gavin really know what this means? Does he really know what’s coming? Was he truly prepared to die? And for that matter, did he? Death isn’t exactly final in this show, and thank Chuck for that or there would be no show. We’d like a better ending for Gavin. With luck, maybe we will get it. Probably not, of course, but we’re fangirls. We can always dream. (Also we just liked how Theo Devaney played him. And also, he’s kind of a Prince of Hell. No yellow eyes, and Lucifer didn’t make him, but still.) Also, the conversation between Gavin and Crowley was a real kick in the feels. Crowley listing all the things Gavin likes, the things that are only available in the modern world, proved that the two had been talking, that Crowley had been paying attention to his son. Crowley, as we all know, just wants to be loved. It looks like someone actually loved him. Just look at the face of our beloved King. Look at it.
Goddamnit, SPN. Right in the feels. Mark Sheppard is so fantastic.
Lest we forget, there is one more son to talk about here. No, not the antichrist one that is still cooking. The big one, the ultimate angry rebel – Lucifer. And, actually Crowley as well, since Crowley has Lucifer chained in the basement. Now, Dawn enjoyed Rick Springfield’s turn as the Morning Star, and we all loved us some Casifer in Season 11. But damn, it’s good to have Mark Pellegrino back. He is our Lucifer, in all his snarky glory. Luci had the best lines, as he often does, and Mark Pellegrino is excellent at expressions, such as when he was overhearing Crowley on the phone with the boys. Now, that was another piece of bad writing – there is no way in heaven or hell that Crowley would be stupid enough to have taken that call in earshot of Lucifer, but fine, whatever, we guess it’s setting up something down the road. Also, this was gold:
About that other kid, the one that’s still cooking. Remember last week, when Ramiel was talking about how his sister Dagon was taking an interest? Well, this week is was more than an interest. Dagon stepped in to save Kelly when she was beset upon by angels who were determined to get rid of the little devil, even if that meant taking mommy along as well. Dagon showed up, rather ridiculously quoted T2 (most overused scifi line ever, at this point), and now Kelly and the growing Nephilim have a brand new friend:
So we got some good scenes in this episode and yeah, we guess it moves the story along. But it was also a lot crammed into one episode, and doing that watered down plot points that really could have been so much better if given a little more time and a little more attention. But let’s not dwell on the bad. We can always rewatch last week’s flawless “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” when we need a lift, and there’s always next week. Let’s hope they get back on track.
Follow Dawn and Jaymee on twitter @pieandshotguns, where they live tweet every episode!