Supernatural “The Raid” (12.14) | air date March 2, 2017. The episode starts right where “Family Feud” left off with Mary explaining to Sam and Dean why she’s been working with the Men of Letters.
Winchester recap : “I’m in.”
Sam wants to know how long she’s been working with them. “Since… before the lake house.” Mary also comes clean about the Ramiel hunt not being Wally’s idea. Sam and Dean remind her that Wally and Castiel were the victims of that hunt. Mary’s not blind to who the BMOLs are or what they did but their way is the “better way”. She’s doing it for Sam and Dean and playing three decades of catch up. Dean asks how she thinks it’s been for them. They’re her sons. She’s been gone all their lives and since she came back, she’s needed space from them. “How about for once, you just try to be a mom.” She’s their mom, but not just a mom, and he isn’t a child. “I never was.” Dean says that she made her choice and it’s not them, “so there’s the door”. Sam also tells her to go.
A few days later Dean’s mood hasn’t improved. He itching for a hunt because he needs to hit something. When Sam brings up Mary, reminds Dean that they’ve frozen her out for days, ignored her messages (“I’m sorry”, “Can we talk?”, I can explain”) and suggest they reach out to her, Dean doesn’t want to hear it. She’s been lying to them for months and there isn’t a good reason for working with the BMOLs. “But it’s Mom!”, “at the end of the day she’s family.” Dean criticizes Sam for his “peacemaker shtick”, accuses him of always playing the middle and tells him to pick a side for once before exiting the bunker.
Sam receives an urgent message from Mary asking to meet her. She tells him she knows she messed up and insists that the BMOLs are a chance to have a world without monsters, a world where Sam and Dean could have a normal life. When Sam tells her he chose this life, she speaks of the possibility of another future for him, “for us”. That’s what she’s fighting for and she just wants to give him a tour of the base and show him what they’re doing. Mick Davies comes to greet Sam. Sam makes a snide comment about the “low budget Mission Impossible” vibe of the place and refuses to shake his hand. Because Mick has received orders to recruit the top notch hunters that are Winchesters, he still tempts Sam with a briefing about their plan to exterminate every vampires in the United States. Another Man of Letter, a Lady of Letter and a hunter named Pierce also attend. Phase 1 of the plan focuses on the Midwestern region, and they already wiped 230 out of the 241 present in 12 states.
Dean comes home to an empty bunker and receives the visit of Arthur Ketch who bribes his way in with an expensive bottle of scotch. Dean tells him that if the BMOLs are so desperate to recruit them, they shouldn’t have sent an operative with murderous tendencies. Ketch admits that he wasn’t surprised by Toni’s actions. They used to date. He ends the meeting by telling Dean that the BMOLs are a great organisation for people like the two of them, “killers”, and he casually lets slip that he has vampires to kill. Dean tags along. He’s disturbed by Ketch’s techniques and stops him from battering the lone female vampire left at the location. He promises her to “make it quick” if she tells them what they need to know. The Alpha Vamp has cleared the nest and the vampires went out to hunt hunters.
The remaining Midwestern vampires the BMOLs were planning on taking by surprise have the base surrounded. They kill two guards and Sam asks Mick if they have a contingency plan for what’s happening. They don’t. They’re on lock down and the weapons they gather aren’t enough. When Sam asks for something “stronger”, Mary and Mick produce the Colt. Sam is shaken to learn that Mary stole it from Ramiel but he focuses on the task at hand: helping the BMOLs make bullets by sharing Bobby’s recipe, and handling the vampires that manage to break in while Mary and Pierce look for the anti-vampire device. There’s a traitor in their midst. Pierce has a financial arrangement with the Alpha Vampire and he knocks Mary out, destroys the anti-vamp device and lets the Alpha in. The Alpha kills the Man and the Lady of Letters and orders Mick to inform the British headquarters that their American incursion must come to an end. Sam sneaks in and buys himself enough time to load the Colt with the brand news bullets by cleverly distracting the Alpha with the help of Mick and Mary.
The Alpha is dead by the time Ketch and Dean arrive at the scene. He drove like “a bat out of Hell” when he heard the base was under attack because nothing else mattered when he thought Mary might be hurt. “The things I said―.” Dean cuts her off. It’s not her job to take care of him, he’s an adult, and he’ll have to get used to her making the choices she wants to make, even if he “really, really” doesn’t like them. Mick admits his failure as a leader and doesn’t want to think about what coud have happened if Sam wasn’t there. “Hardly and advertisement for the British Men of Letters.” In spite of all, Sam has made the decision to join the group. “You’re changing the world, and I want to be part of it.” As for Dean, he will work on getting him to come around.
Overall grade: 4/10
This Report is very late because I had to take time to recover from the episode after it aired, cool my head as it was on fire, and then try and fail several times to get through the episode again. The lowest grade I’ve given since I started the Winchester Brothers Report is 6/10. 8 is my cut off grade for when an episode constitutes a thoroughly pleasant viewing experience but even the more underwhelming offerings earned a passing grade until today. “The Raid” started off at 2.5 and then I had to focus on its structure and on plot advancement to scrounge up a few more points. Still, it’s one I would erase from my collection if I actually did things like that. The aggravation is simply not worth it.
Mary’s obsession with the BMOLs is downright disturbing at this point. She’s like a brainwashed cult member who starts every three sentences with “What the British Men of Letters are doing”. Even when she’s pretending to apologize “I messed up”, it’s automatically followed by a pitch about the BMOLs. She tells Sam she’s not trying to recruit him and immediately proceeds to giving him the grand tour of the BMOL base. Even when the moment doesn’t lend itself to it, or demands a different kind of emotion, a bit of understanding, self reflection, some degree of compassion, or God forbid, a motherly touch, she’s utterly incapable of breaking out of recruiter mode. Yes, but the BMOL. No, but the BMOL. What about the BMOL. She’s like a sheep who’s drunk the Kool-Aid and we know how that story ends. I can’t take her seriously when she calls the BMOL way, sending hunters to die on faulty intel and completely unraveling in the face of an external attack, the “better way”. Ding dong! Yep, you know it, time for…
Yet another scathing segment on Mother Dearest!
Dean asked Mary how she think it had been for them. Well, my dear, she doesn’t think about it. It’s all about her, her need for space, how inconvenient this Earth thing is for her, and now her grand, ill-advised plan to work with the shady BMOLs. How you feel about everything, what you need? Not her problem. Mary saying she’s not just a mom is laughable. That sentence only makes sense if she had spent any part of her time, actually being a mom. Her first order of business soon after she met her son was to leave and then stay gone. Her child is hurting, right in front of her, and she responds with most self-righteousness and selfishness. It’s past the time for him to expect to have a mom and be treated like a child. Her sons have been orphans all their lives. The first thing a decent mother would do when she finds them is sit with them and get to know them. Not bail and then get angry that those boys, broken and endlessly battered by life still have a longing for her because they’ve reached an arbitrary number of years that should magically rid them of the need to have ‘Mamma’.
“I’m doing this for you.”
What a joke. Mary’s idea of mothering is leaving her sons behind and running around with strangers. She has time for all those big elaborate hunting plans, but won’t stop a minute to truly, truly hear her son. Maybe she wouldn’t be so defensive if somewhere deep down she didn’t have some idea that she’s going about this all wrong. Mary says she wants normal lives for Sam and Dean. How about getting to know them first, see what their lives have truly been like, what they’ve been through, out of their own mouths instead of from the cold pages of John’s Journal. How about making an attempt to understand what they truly want. She’s the one who had a problem with her children being raised in the life. She’s trying to change their lives based on what she wants for them. Their actual desires are in fact, irrelevant to her. This is still about her. Grand gestures like the one she’s “fighting for” are meaningless when she’s so disconnected that she’s incapable of reaching out to her child from the heart. Everything with her rings hollow. There’s no warmth. No soul. No depth. No real significance to anything she does.
For those who are interested, here’s an interview Samantha Smith did with TV Line. She talks about fandom’s negative reaction to Mary and explains Mary’s motivations.
“It’s not your job to make my lunch and kiss me at night.”
What a crock of cow manure. It’s exactly what her job is. Her sons have been without a mother all her life, and this narrative is acting like it’s beyond her to take some time getting to know them, mother them a bit, and then go about her business. This is what happens when people are used to have nothing and are constantly denied. They feel guilty for expecting even crumbs that should be their birthright, and of course, Dean, who’s always ready to take the responsibility of everything on his shoulders, beat himself up for expecting people to step up and actually show up for him, is letting Mary off the hook for the appalling selfishness she’s demonstrated toward him. Sam of course, seems not to take it as personal. Maybe because he doesn’t have the same emotional wounds seeing as he actually had someone to take care of him even if it wasn’t always easy, someone to look after him and that someone didn’t quit even when he got big enough to pass as a giant on the pretext that “we’re adults” now. Dean’s a better mother than Mary.
Pick a side. Team Low Budget Mission Impossible. Team Scotch… Not!
I usually hate storylines that put the brothers are odds and am desperate for them to be resolved so they can go back to being a team. Of course, I’d love them to be united now but fact is, Sam has picked his side, and it’s not Dean’s. For once I’d like Dean to be his own island. Time and time again, he’s proven that he has very good instincts, and when he’s warned people to stay away from something, it usually ended up blowing up in their faces in a spectacular way. I would like for him to let these adults make their choices that are almost guaranteed to end badly for them. An organization that stands by while the world is on the brink of destruction time and time again, and is full with sociopaths and out of touch bureaucrats who think gizmos are superior to actual hunters. What could possibly go wrong here? Resist, Dean. Stay out of it. Unfortunately, I don’t think the show will let him. Sammy’s now the recruiter. Dean doesn’t stand a chance.
Team Scotch Not. Dean gets the “you’re a killer” speech, yet again, and somehow, he’s the one who stops Ketch when he goes Gordon Walker on the female vampire. When Ketch hauls the hunter off, saying that they have ways to deal with rogues, and that they aren’t “pleasant”, it’s Sam, who should know better, having experienced first hand the non “pleasant” ways in which BMOLs deal with hunters they have a problem with, who echoes Mary’s “good” while Dean looks a bit concerned. Once again, Dean is at a distance (an image we’ve seen several times this season), from Sam and Mary, and all I can say is son, stay on that island. Don’t let yourself get roped into this because Team Low Budget Mission Impossible is going nowhere good.
Best Dean moments
“I never was (a child).”
I don’t have the words to express the heartbreak and even contemplate the incredibly painful and traumatic history behind those words. Mary would know something about it if she took time out of her busy schedule to act like she’s someone’s mother.
“So, there’s the door.”
I kicked Mary out of the bunker in the previous Report and I was proud to see Dean follow suit. I was proud to see him express himself, express his pain and disappointment in Mary and glad that finally, Peacemaker Sam stopped interjecting to keep the peace, which had the unfortunate side effect of stifling Dean’s expression of his true and very valid feelings.
Best Sam moments
“You should go.” Sam looks so sad here. I appreciate him taking a stand. You can’t be a peacemaker all the time. Sometimes people have got to go.
Sam shooting the Alpha Vamp. Mixed feelings about this one. I liked seeing Sam use the Colt and I liked I like that the shot was filmed in a similar way that Dean’s shot at Azazel was filmed. I did however found the conclusion a bit underwhelming as Rick Worthy, a fan favorite who told us “See you next season” ages ago was dusted off and brought back basically so he could just stand there and be shot. Didn’t make one move, however futile, to save himself. Not exactly a death “worthy” of an Alpha.
Hunter Sam in charge, and looking good doing it. Sam was on fire at the base. Taking control of the situation in his own “Jus In Bello”, sharing priceless hunting knowledge, hacking vamps left and right, plus that clever clever stunt he pulled to kill the Alpha. 10s across the board! For the hunting part of things…
Lucy, I’m home! Dean channeling Desi Arnaz from “I love Lucy”, which make Sam Lucille Ball, aka, the wife. That old married couples joke again. Cute!
“Give me some time.”
They don’t need to be together for it to be a broment. Let’s call this a semi broment as it touches on how their relationship could be affected by Sam’s BMOL alliance. Many times on this show, when the boys were at odds, they were sneaking around, lying to each other. Here it looks like Sam is planning on recruiting Dean. Even if it doesn’t work out, it still matters to me that at least the initial intent wasn’t to shut Dean out and decide to lie to him about what’s going on indefinitely. Been there…
“Be a mom.”
And this right here is basically what all my Scathing Segments of Mother Dearest are about. Mary’s refusal or plain inability to “act” like a mom. And no, it doesn’t mean I wanted her standing in the kitchen all day, wiping Dean’s nose and not having any aspirations outside of the house either.
Final verdict: “We are your sons.”
“I need to hit something, now.”
Exactly how I felt watching this episode. “The Raid” gave us Mary fighting for all the wrong things, Sam deciding to join an organization after having front row seat to how incompetent they could be and Dean opening his door for Scotch like Rufus (who was mentioned in the episode by Pierce) did for some Johnny Walker Blue. Tsk tsk tsk.
On the other hand, Sam was fantastic when he was in hunter mode, proving again, that the hunter toolkit does in fact work, and Dean broke my heart with his words to Stone Cold Mary.
I didn’t care for his conversation with Mary at the end. There he goes again, conceding, compromising, while the other person isn’t expected to make the slightest adjustment to their behavior. He still snuck in there that he “really, really” didn’t like her choice but meh to the entire thing.
As for Mother Dearest, she remains withholding, selfish, and lacking in empathy. She hasn’t spent any valuable time being a mother but she can stay in recruiting mode all day. I need space, I’m gone, but I need you for this hunt so everybody shut up and hear my plan, I’m gone again, I’m back, come to this shady base and work for these shady dudes with a shady track record. I’m not just a mom. Get over it. Me, me, me. A good mother cares and heals. All this one has brought so far is heartache and division. I suppose I have too great, too loving and too caring a mother to ever manage to comprehend the monument of self-centeredness and ineptitude that is Mary Winchester. My blessing!
Keeping the Best Dean moment # 3 for the end, another first, because I need to lift my spirits after this.
Dean making love to that expensive scotch in slow motion and looking positively indecent. Just what this bitter girl needed!
The Winchester Brothers Report by Vee
12.01: “If he is not in one piece I will take you apart.”
12.02: “The only thing we had was each other.”
12.03: “Family hunting trip.”
12.04: “I hate you so much right now.”
12.05: “What do you think this is? Tickle party?”
12.06: “Where is my brother?”
12.07: “The brothers that rock together.”
12.08: “Impeach LOTUS, find Rosemary’s baby.”
12.09: “We’re the guys who saved the world.”
12.10: “I can’t see, did you get a plate?”
12.11: “It was everything. It was us, it was what we do.”
12.12: “They got gear, but they tried to kill my brother.”
12.13: “Where does that leave us?”