In the second episode of season 12, Dean and Mary rescue Sam with the help of Castiel. Crowley blackmails Rowena into helping him locate the Lucifer, and the Devil finds a new vessel.
Winchester recap: “I have so much about you boys to catch up on.”
Sam and Toni: “Was it good for you?”
Breaking his body didn’t work. Neither did attempting to break his mind. Seduction maybe? Toni’s still quizzing Sam about the American hunters and this time he’s talking. Two glasses of wine, candles, and a pair of soft sheets. The hallucination spell is powerful but temporary, so it’s back to sharp objects, jammed into Sam’s flesh.
Dean and Mary: “It’s been kinda weird, here.”
Dean’s adjusting to Mary’s return. They don’t know how to act around each other so they make small talk and “act normal” when the situation’s anything but. He understands she needs time to catch up and doesn’t want to overwhelm her. Dean’s so happy his mother’s back he “can’t even stand it”. Mary on the other hand is worried, about the moment she’ll have to face Sam, the child Yellow Eye persecuted because of the deal she made. She still refuses to stay behind when Dean hits the road after Castiel finds Sam’s location. She appreciates Dean’s desire to protect her but she’s a hunter. Because it’s a life she never wanted, she doesn’t understand why Sam went back to it. Dean explains that when John disappeared, it became clear to both himself and Sam, that the only thing they had was “each other”.
Mary, Dean and Sam: “Get away from my boys.”
When Dean walks into the hideout, he’s trapped by the warding and nabbed by Toni. She’s as “happy to see him” as Sam is because while Sam has proven he can withstand the pain of torture, she wonders if he’ll be able to stomach watching it happen to Dean. Mary steps in before Toni can start experimenting on Dean’s eye. She neutralizes Toni long enough to give Dean time to unlock his cuffs. He in turn knocks Toni unconscious when she casts a spell on Mary. Dean recognized the Chinese mind control technique Toni was using. “Turns out this ape did read a book or two.” Another British Man of Letters comes in as Dean’s freeing Sam. Mick claims to be an ally who wants to work with them. He’s turned off the warding in order to let Castiel in and even promises Toni will be punished because she went too far.
At the bunker, Mary’s Chicken is a hit. It’s not actually hers and contrary to Dean’s memories, she doesn’t cook. That “amazing” meatloaf was store bought. She does however remembers Dean’s love for pie and she brought him one that he devours while they all discuss Mick’s offer to form an alliance. Later, Sam, who Mary caught staring at her as if she was going to “explode”, knocks on his mother’s door to bring her a cup of tea. He offers the listening ear of someone who’s experienced coming back to a place where he doesn’t “fit”, and he’s also brought “Dad’s journal”, having anticipated Mary’s need for something that would help her fill in some blanks.
Mary’s thankful, and she wants to know why Sam came back to the life. “This is my family. My family hunts, that’s what we do.” They share an emotional hug after Sam tells his “Mom” that her being there fills in the biggest blank for him. Dean is having a moment of his own, alone on the kitchen floor, with beers and a stack of family pictures. At the top of the pile, a photo of himself and Mary. The expression on his face is hard to decipher. Sam also ends up alone in his room, staring at his ceiling. Mary’s only just opened John’s journal and she is overcome with emotion. Each in their own space, the Campbell-Winchesters are trying to come to grips with their new reality.
Overall grade: 8/10
I enjoyed the second episode of season 12. In “Mamma Mia”, we learn more about Mary and we see the interesting effect her return has on her boys. She’s a positive, loving and warm presence and I love having her in the bunker.
Oh my God, is she wearing his robe?
That’s what I said out loud when Mary walked into the main room in the “dead guy robe”. From that moment on, I kept noticing more similarities between Dean and Mary. “I can handle myself. Good talk.” Good talk? That’s exactly how Dean puts an end to a conversation and lays down the law when he doesn’t want to negotiate : “Not happening. Good talk” (“Just My Imagination”). There was also Mary’s “I’m your mother, you have to do what I say”, which sounded a whole lot like Dean’s “Cause I’m the oldest, which means I’m always right” from “Something Wicked”. The difficulties they’re having communicating with each other might have something to do with the fact that they’re similar in many ways.
I loved watching hunter!Mary in action. Her relationship to hunting is interesting. She’s “very” good at it, but in her experience, every hunter is dead man walking, no matter how good he is, which is why she’s having such a hard time accepting that her youngest son, who managed to get out, chose to come back to such a dangerous life. She remembers John as a “great” father, but she doesn’t say anything when Dean talks about the way hunting changed John’s life or the way it also took over Dean’s. She probably doesn’t want to seem like she’s rejecting the man her four-year old “angel” (“Dark Side of the Moon”) was forced to become, so she only talks about Sam, the one who like her, tried to leave.
On the subject on Sam, let’s talk about the way he was presented to us at the start of the episode. I often have conversations on IMDb about the boys’ love life. I’m always clamoring for more carnal encounters for Dean (his afterglow face is the stuff dreams are made of), and I was like a proud mama when Sam finally lost his cherry (Dean’s words, not mine), in “Baby” last year. “I needed that”, Sam said after doing “research” with Piper. Well enjoy, my sweet, was my answer. Enjoy. I had a different reaction in “Mamma Mia”. I felt nauseous watching Sam in bed with Toni. The woman who shot Sam and had him tortured was now projecting some kind of sick bodice ripper scenario into Sam’s head. It was a most unwelcome development and all I could think was: when will the torture stop!?
Toni, Toni, Toni (someone might see what I did there). My one wish after we were introduced to Miss Bevell, was that she wouldn’t end up being a love interest. When I found out she was a single mother, I figured there was a chance they would pair her up with Dean. When I got to witness what a twisted woman she was, I unfortunately figured if she was going to be paired with anyone, it would be Sam. Before Sam believed himself damaged beyond repair, he fell for the Jessica Moores and Sarah Blakes of this world. Earth-bound goddesses, as beautiful inside as they were stunning outside.
Then the demons that were swirling around Sam since he was an infant sank their claws into him, tearing away at his soul, his mind and his flesh, until Sam became convinced that he was outside, the monster he always felt within. And he hit rock bottom and its name was Ruby 2.0, the most loathsome creature to ever appear on Supernatural as far as I’m concerned. I haven’t seen Sam in a relationship with a decent woman since. Season 12, and episode 2 starts with a scene that shoves Sam into bed with yet another woman hell bent on destroying him. Of course Toni would mention Ruby. She’s fast becoming her human equivalent on the show, which made the moment one of those “apes” (as she calls hunters. kind of like that other MOL, Henry Winchester) punches her lights out, incredibly satisfying. Thank you for this, Mary!
I don’t enjoy Toni but, plot twist! I’m actually enjoying Elizabeth Blackmore. I haven’t been in this ‘don’t like the character, like the actress’ conundrum since Ruby 1.0. The way Elizabeth played Toni’s reaction to Sam and Dean’s relationships with Ruby and Benny helped me understand something about the character. She bothered me when I thought she was simply another manifestation of the Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures. The soldier blindly following orders and increasing the voltage/ torturing a man because The Boss Said So. I now see she has her own motivations. She’s Gordon Walker, with many more screws loose. A fanatic, who lives by rigid principles and will kill for them. Her identity is wrapped up in the Order that is the domination of man over beast, and she sees hunters who sympathize with the monsters they’re supposed to kill, as disgraces and abominations, who need to be set straight, by any means necessary.
On to another twisted lady, but the fun kind this time. Rowena dearie. So happy to see you again. She always puts a smile on my face. The High Priestess of the Mega Coven that never was is reinventing herself. She’s done with the monsters and the moldy caves (or so she thinks). She’s now a prima ballerina, and her date with Ben, a stable man who can take care of her, is going well, that is until that damned Fergus appears to pour her some wine! The scene where she looks at Waiter!Crowley like she’s just seen the devil, and Crowley stares back at her, full of sneakiness and sarcasm was priceless.
Thank you so much, Ruthie and Mark. How lovely to see you again! She was dramatic as ever, “When does it end?” and he remains the King of the one liner “What’s the bloody hold up. He’s the one and only Satan in the phone book.” I also loved the bit of parallel that gave us Rowena, fleeing the huntin-, I mean the witching life, and Yellow E-, Red Smoke Demon, yanking her right back in. Bye, bye, Stanford. “Bye, bye Boca Raton”.
Now, I was done with Lucifer after he got out of his Pellegrino hologram in season 11 but I really appreciated the callback to season 5. Lucifer’s modus operandi with Vince Vicente mirrored the tactic he used with Nick. Find a man, ravaged by guilt over the death of a woman he loves. Erode his mental strength by playing tricks on him, always involving copious amounts of blood (the blood drenched crib in season 5, the blood flowing out of the faucet in “Mamma Mia”) and then pounce, wearing silky lingerie and a perfume of promises of revenge, justice and the chance of a do-over. This might be a great time to mention how much I loved the original Lucifer, played by the glorious Bellamy Young who currently portrays Former First Lady and Republican presidential candidate Mellie Grant on “Scandal”. I still don’t feel connected to the Lucifer storyline, but I find that I enjoy Rick Springfield and would enjoy him even if he was playing somebody else, so that one goes into the plus column.
This is the new title for a section I once called, “Canon, What Canon?”. The duo that brought us Lucifer suddenly turning into the first son after a decade of mythos that established him as the rebellious little brother now throws a dynamite stick at another sacred cow of Supernatural‘s. “Swan Song”, and everything that came after it. So Lucifer can’t be sent in the Cage WHILE. IN. A. VESSEL??? My goodness why do they hate Sam so? So the Horsemen rings, Sam taking over Lucifer and falling into the Cage never happened? Sam being hatebanged for a good long while by Mike and Lucy in the Cage never happened? His psyche being fractured as a result… A hallucination? The consequences from his soul being shoved back in his body. It was all a dream?
Stop the madness. I beg of you.
Best Dean moments
Dean’s reaction to Mary describing John as a “great father”. We know Dean didn’t experience much of the John Mary knew, and Jensen managed to put into one facial expression all the devastation and bitter experiences Dean will forever carry with him as a result of being raised as “Daddy’s blunt little instrument”. Mister Ackles, I salute you.
Dean’s reaction to Mary asking if he still likes pie. “I mean…” Funny, charming and cute as a button. Kills Horsemen too. Impala 67 is the total package.
Dean looking blissful, as he goes to town on his pie. My son. I’m always fighting the urge to pet his hair and feed him pie. Nothing makes me happier than seeing him like this.
Dean having a quiet moment with the family pictures on the kitchen floor. I would sit in a corner, watch him quietly, and slide him another beer as he sorts out his feelings.
And this moment right here. Presented without commentary. If you can’t see why, I cannot help you.
Best Sam moments
The way Sam said “Mom”. The first time, he was confused, mentally exhausted and probably wondering if he was hallucinating again. This time, he knows she’s real, and in a way, it’s the first time he says the word, with meaning. Jared killed it. He couldn’t have done it better.
Sam opening up to Mary about what her return means to him. Jared was on fire during this entire scene.
Sam staring at Mary. That was a nice callback to the way he looked at her in “The Song Remains the Same”. That moment was very much in character.
Sam looking like a child as his mother hugs him for the first time. Rip my heart out Jared, why don’t you?
First Best broment doubles as Best quote: “The only thing we had in this world. The only thing, aside from this car, was each other.” Speak to my heart, Dean Winchester, as only you can.
Sam, in a haze of exhaustion and pain, calling out Dean’s name, wondering if it’s really him, and all I can think about is Dean promising Sam he wouldn’t leave him to die alone in a poisoned fog in “Red Meat” * grabs tissue *
Ah the old, I’m going to use your precious brother as a weapon against you. Back in season 3 Dean Dean told us Sam was his weakness and he was Sam’s. And the bad guys knew it too, and they used it against them. Some things never change…
Juicy bit: “I started all of this.”
Mary expressed her guilt for the way her deal with Azazel destroyed her family and the effect it had on Sam in particular. It was Dean who went back in time in “In the Beginning” and learned all about it. He talked about his trip with Sam but I don’t remember him actually spelling out to Sam that Mary’s deal with Yellow Eye was the reason Azazel chose Sam. I’m unclear on how much Sam actually knows, and I wonder how the truth could affect his relationship with Mary.
Overall, I enjoyed “Mamma Mia”. I didn’t care for the first scene and seeing Sam in bed with his torturer left a bad taste in my mouth, but I was happy to see Sam, Dean and Mary finally reunited.
The scenes between Sam and Mary were poignant and beautifully acted, by Jared especially. I suppose this mix of intense happiness and weirdness Dean is experiencing having Mary back is realistic. I still found it a bit sad to see and I hope they get more comfortable with each other, quickly.
I always get nervous when the show starts focusing on Sam’s feelings about The Hunt. That’s another very important and very realistic discussion to have, especially knowing how Mary felt about her sons being raised as hunters. I just pray this doesn’t devolve into another era of mixed feelings or yearning for that illusive civilian life that Sam was never meant to have.
I was delighted to see Crowley and Rowena again. They make a funny and entertaining pair and I can’t get enough of the twisted relationship they have. Blackmail, threats, at least they’re not trying to kill each other anymore. Baby steps.
I declared after the premiere that I was ready for Toni to fall down a flight of stairs. I feel I understand her a little better after “Mamma Mia”. She will never give me the warm and fuzzies and I pray that fabricated bedroom illusion is as far as she’ll get with Sam, but I enjoy Elizabeth Blackmore enough that I won’t mind seeing a couple more times.
Dean finally got his pie, and he got to enjoy it surrounded by his family. I live for small moments of pleasure like these. All is not yet right with their world and the CampbellWinchesters have a lot to sort out but they’re working on it, individually and as a family.
I expressed all my joy over Sam Smith’s return last week and I’m loving every moment she’s on screen. (Mary) Sandra (Campbell)’s Chicken was well-received. She didn’t cook it but I thought the brand, Sandy’s Chicken was a very nice touch. Mary also provided one of the most memorable moment of the episode: “We should call the Internet and find out as much as we can about these people.”
Oh Sandy. It’s good to have you back! Can’t wait to see you hunting with your boys in the near future.
The Winchester Brother Report by Vee
Season 11: 11.01, 11.02 to 11.23
12.01: “If he is not in one piece I will take you apart.”