Supernatural “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21)
Original air date May 11, 2017.
Sam and Dean worry about Mary when they learn hunters are dying in suspicious accidents all over the country.
Overall grade : 6.5/10
Death, rebirth, transformation. “There’s Something About Mary” had a little bit of everything. The episode started with a death, Eileen’s, in a heartbreaking scene that left me feeling defeated. I was still recovering when came the letter in which she was asking the boys if she could bunk with them for a few days. Eileen never made it to the bunker. She was left in the mud, shredded, and alone in the dark. Her being gone is devastating enough, but I’m also bothered by the way her death came about.
I found it strange that Ketch, a mere mortal, could control a hellhound. Sure, Crowley could have used magic or simply crooned ‘Julian, it’s Papa, be good’, to get the dog to surrender to Ketch but it doesn’t jive with everything I’ve known about hounds since they appeared on the scene. We’ve seen in “The Devil You Know” and then in “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” that not even Crowley himself has control over all the hellhounds. That’s how mythical and unattainable these creatures used to be. The idea that these fearsome demonic beasts are now pets you can lend to your neighbor, and expect to behave, was hard to swallow. It feels like yet another formidable creature/character from the Supernatural lore has been bastardized and stripped of what made them unique, and otherworldly. At least they stopped writing the show like angel blades were on sale at every Biggerson’s in the land…
The boys are finally connecting the dots between the missing hunters and the BMOL. They also learn of Mick’s demise and thanks to Eileen, they found the bug planted in the bunker (as predicted, Dean found it near the gun holster).
The brothers took a moment to take in the news of Eileen’s death, and react to it. I say this because the show doesn’t seem to care much how they’re affected by the events in their lives lately. Remember when Sam found out Dean hadn’t exploded and when Dean found Sam getting tortured after looking all over for him praying he was still in one piece? Yeah, neither does the show.
I liked the nuances that showed that Eileen’s death hit Sam especially hard, as it should have given the relationship they were starting to develop. Not only were the boys given a chance to emote, they were also allowed to get in on the action, and as it so happens every time they do, they shone and stole the show (hey, they have to work for the spotlight like any other guest star these days). When they’re allowed to be the smart, resourceful, quick-thinking, intelligent, highly trained and experienced legends that they are, they don’t disappoint. More on that later.
Mary continues her journey as faithful servant to the BMOL. These were my observations from the “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” Report on one of the underlying themes of this season.
I identified that one theme being explored this season was brainwashing. I called Mary a Kool-Aid drinking cult member all the way back to “The Raid”, and then “Ladies Drink Free” showed us just how much brainwashing was involved in the BMOL operatives’ training.
The theme of loss of free will resurfaces when Dean describes what the nephilim did to Castiel: “It sock-puppeted him.” (…)
The sock-puppet theme continues with the Twig dolls which by their nature are designed to obey their master. (…)
Ketch also showed his inner puppeteer this episode when he asked Mary to be a good doll and just “play, nice.”
The BMOL have finally turned Mary into a good doll, a sockpuppet. She’s killing hunters for them and just like Twig Tasha killed Alicia on the old witch’s orders, Twig-ish Mary is orchestrating her children’s demise on the BMOL’s orders. The Juicy Bit from the “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” Report is coming true. I suggested that just like Sam 2.0 aka Alicia Banes, our Sam might be in peril and that peril could come through his mother. Another parallel completed, to the difference that here, Dean is in danger too.
Antonia Bevell is back and she has a few choice words for Mother Mary. I appreciated the confrontation between Toni and Mary.
“All those secrets you kept from your beloved John. That you were a hunter. That you invited Azazel to visit when he spare John’s life.”
Someone needed to tell Mary the truth about herself and preferably someone who could be brutal about it seeing as Mary is in complete denial about how selfish and self-centered her actions have been. Lying to herself and others is part of that denial, which is why she keeps complaining that she’s being forced to choose and wants to have it all as if she’s actually burdened by some kind of moral dilemma when comes the time to choose between her sons and her own interests (“Stuck In The Middle”).
After watching “The Raid”, I felt that:
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 (…) hear her son. (…) 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.
Mary doesn’t know much about Sam and Dean. How delicious that the show chose someone who doesn’t even have a conscience to tell Mary about the suffering Sam and Dean endured, something Mary would have known herself, had she tried to get to know her children.
“After you died, your beloved John was a man slowly going mad, searching for revenge. What your boys didn’t tell you? The drunken rages. The weeks of abandonment. Child abuse, really.”
Does Mary, in her self-righteous and delusional haze, realize that she’s been doubling down on the abandonment Sam and Dean experienced in their youth? Does she grasp, the fact that she willingly sold herself out to an organization that shaped her into the perfect tool to dish out more of that “child abuse” that already damaged Sam and Dean the first time around?
I look at Mary, her complete lack of common sense, insight, foresight, deductive reasoning and I understand why she was such an easy prey for the BMOL. How does she process information, if she thinks an organization that hurt her kid is the horse to bet on? Where is her logic, if she believes for one second that organization won’t hurt her too? I knew she was missing her heart and soul but it seems her brain stayed in Heaven too. There she was, for all intents and purposes, an empty vessel, now stripped of the last thing she owned, her will, moaning, begging, kneeling and sniffling in her cell, turning a gun to her head and I kept thinking, someone wake me up when we reach the part where we’re supposed to feel sorry for her.
“I’m putting my sons, in danger.”
Now I’m awake, and someone please call 911 because I busted a rib laughing. She’s been putting her sons in danger for months and it’s only dawning on her now that she’s in trouble? What kind alternative Sims reality is Mary living in?
“Enough with the fairy tale.”
Yes Toni, please, make it stop.
“We are returning you to a more pure version of yourself. Mary Campbell, natural born killer.”
The opinion I formed in “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” that this version of Mary only makes sense as a villain has solidified with every episode since. I wish the show would have the guts to finish what it started and let her die as one. I do not believe she can be redeemed, in any capacity.
Even when she was putting Sam through the ringer, Toni Bevell didn’t infuriate me as much as Mary does because at least Toni made sense. She’s a villain, and I had no expectations of her being kind, decent, moral or treating the Winchesters well, and I will say this, for all her sociopathic tendencies, she reads them like open books. Cue her comment about Sam and Dean being in denial about who Mary is.
My belief has always been that Sam is way more in denial about Mary than Dean could ever be. I’ve been as annoyed with Sam’s “oedipal myopia” when it comes to Mary as I used to be annoyed with Dean’s blind worship of John. It’s because I love these boys. Their need to be loved by their parents, their desperation even, is normal, natural, and human, but it hurts to see them constantly begging for scraps. I’m sure that since Mary is on her road to recurring guest star redemption, Sam will never come out of the clouds and see her for who she is, the way Dean was eventually brought to a place where he had no choice but to admit to himself how much damage John Winchester inflicted upon his psyche.
A word on the King
Crowley is revealed to be an ally of the BMOL, in the UK and now in the US and of course he’s double crossing them and trying to get Dr. Hess killed because she’s trying to boss him around and I suspect, kill his favorite denim-wrapped nightmares, the same nightmares Crowley begged Ramiel to spare. He also has designs on the nephilim and wants to give his Uncle Crowley routine another try after it failed with Amara. I won’t speculate on this possible upcoming story because at this point, I only have one wish when it comes to Mark Sheppard. Should he come back after season 12, I hope they start writing his character with a little bit of decorum and spare us this animal fetish, or whatever is that animal-adjacent situation that has become a recurring theme in Crowley’s characterization in recent seasons.
Best Dean moments
Dean shooting stunt BMOL operative # 2 from behind his back. The sheer badassery. Ladies and gentlemen:
Dean reacting to sockpuppet Mary. The emotions on Jensen’s face. The betrayal, the pain, the disbelief, I could go on. Well done, Sir.
Dean’s BAMF slide. The first time he did this, he dove bombed into a tomb at breakneck speed and stabbed a revenant in the chest. That was season 2’s “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things”. It took my breath away, knocked my socks off and left me gasping for air. It has the same effect on me now. Wow…
Best Sam moments
Sam tricking Toni. In a split second, Sam went from cornered to back in control, dropping stunt BMOL operative # 1 and taking Miss Bevell hostage. I mean… He’s Sam Freaking Winchester, right?
Sam reacting to sockpuppet Mary. The pain, the disappointment, and everything else in between. Well done, Sir.
Sam turning the tables on Toni. Who’s in charge now? It was so satisfying to see Sam take back control of the situation, especially after Toni stripped him of his freedom, his dignity, tortured and mind-raped him. I loathe the fact that once again, they’re forcing Sam to share the oxygen in his house with his torturer like they did with Lucifer in “We Happy Few” but at least, Sam got an opportunity to take back some of his power here.
Sam and Dean’s silent communication in the bunker. It’s that Team HunterWinchester magic that I live for. From the moment they made eye contact, they had a whole strategy planned out without exchanging a single word and they proceeded to kick butt like there was no tomorrow. It’s that bond they’ve developed as siblings and trained soldiers whose lives depend upon their ability to remain in sync with their partner. Just beautiful.
Mary continues to be the empty-headed, empty-hearted, treacherous, BMOL sockpuppet she’s been since she decided that she was too busy to hunt with Sam and Dean but always had time for Ketch and his gizmos. That role suits her. She should keep it.
Meanwhile, amazing women who stole my heart keep on dying this season. I’m constantly surprised by the way my eye starts twitching when I think of Eileen or stumble upon Shoshannah’s comments on Twitter. I knew I liked Eileen, I guess I didn’t know how desperate I was to hold on to those great few men and women who keep falling, leaving nothing to balance out the ever-growing monster that is Mary Winchester and her fellow villains, who are given free rein to spread their poison, leaving this show overrun by evil.
The guardians who used to shine a light bright enough to drown the darkness have left their post. They made an appearance this episode, and lit it up for the few moments we got to enjoy them. The silent communication, the synchronization, the grace, the power: the Winchesters in the glory that should be theirs always. A rare treat. Too little, very late; but Chuck bless Jared and Jensen. Give them something to do and they nail it. This is the kind of top-notch work I’ll remember them for while wondering whose bright idea it was to turn this show’s best asset into pretty wallpapers asleep at the wheel, or ya know, on the side of the road (yeah, I’m still on this).
I hear ya, Samuel. Me too.
The Winchester Brothers Report by Vee
Season 11: 11.01 to 11.23
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?”
12.14: “Sammy? Lucy, I’m―”
12.15: “We hate them. Us. Together.”
12.16: “Either you get good fast or you get dead faster.”
12.17: “Did you break into our house?”
12.18: “Leave our marks.”
12.19: “Whoa, that’s a beautiful mind.”
12.20: “We do terrible things, all the time to save each other.”