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Rewatch S12: Mamma Mia (12x02)

"Hey, weren't you going to do your rewatches faster this year? Like, more than one per week?"

Listen... listen, sometimes, when we go to California for a week in November, when we come back to darkest wettest Canada, we get smacked in the face with a bout of SAD, and end up sleeping most of the day and only managing to be productive in the form of crochet, while watching the Good Place and pining over Chidi who is the cutest. We also sometimes go to engagement parties and drink for 10 hours, and that doesn't help much. Also, sometimes the new episode of the show we're watching really pisses us off, which also doesn't help.

So, let's try to get our lives back on track here...


Mamma Mia

 

One of the reasons I wanted to do these faster was so I could remember what I said last time. Alas, it's been a whole week and I've forgotten. So, hopefully I'm not too repetitive.</span></br>This episode starts off with a rape scene. FUN! Granted, it's not your typical rape scene, as it's a roofie without the side-affect of near-unconsciousness.
 

Anyway, the interesting thing is that Toni DOES get the information she needs here - the scene starts with her saying "Surely American Hunters can't be as bad as you say." And Sam confirms that they are - she then goes on to explain how in the UK it's different and the Hunters work for them. Then she asks "who recruited you and your brother?" LIKE HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING!? Obviously, Sam told her how disorganized hunters were, but not much about how they come to be? It doesn't make any sense. Her follow-up questions shows that they have a PROFOUND lack of knowledge about Hunting, like...how can they know all about Sam and Dean's life and NOT know that they were "recruited" into the life as children by their father, who "recruited" himself after his wife died? Anyone looking at their records could pick out the story based on their residency history and death records.
 

Dean talking to Cas as an actual person would talk to their bestfriend is amazing though, especially Cas' follow-up line of "don't make things needlessly complicated as you humans tend to do."
 

And this episode set up so much great character stuff - the fact that Mary is worried about facing Sam, that she sees herself as starting all of this. Like, that would be a DELICIOUS to mirror with Sam's own feelings of guilt about being the root of all their problems. They could have done a lot more with that going forward then they did, in my opinion anyway. They did a LITTLE bit with it, but not as much as I would have liked.
 

Anyway, if people could stop raping Sam, I'd be happy.
 

Mary: "...funny stuff your dad did. He was a great father."
- Yet another thing they could have milked more, in my opnion. But, you all know I'm really only here for the character plots, so perhaps it's not surprising that the more SPN gets plot-driven, rather than character-driven, the more I find fault with it. (Though, in fairness, I DID last 4 seasons with Teen Wolf, an ENTIRELY plot-driven show, before I gave up on it... so it's not like enjoying plot-driven content is beyond me.)
 

\Dean: "Powerfully warded. Okay, you see, buddy, that was your headline right there."
Cas: "Are we still discussing the same thing?"
- Listen, I love them. And as my friend pointed out the other night, BuckLeming may not do plot well, but they can, from time to time, do banter really well.
 

But yet, even after Toni GOT THE INFORMATION about how the American Hunters were set-up - she's still trying to get all their names and contact information out of Sam. Like, DUDE, what are you trying to accomplish here?! You went into the Bunker, you shot him. Just STEAL HIS PHONE. He's not going to know more than that. You know how many numbers I know off the top of my head? Two. My own and my mother's. Then she wants the passwords to the MoL databases... uh, again, do you not have hackers? I'm sure someone could eventually guess Sam's "WedgeAntilles5eva!" password.
 

And we get introduced to Mick. I think this is my problem with Dabb - is that he really likes politics. That's what Bloodlines was trying to be - a political show with monsters. And here, Dabb is making a political Men of Letters group. And in S13, last week, they started setting up the different "political" factions that want Jack...but, I won't get too ahead of myself. I hate political shows. What I want to see is a show about two brothers who hunt monsters, and maybe they have a BFF who is an angel. And that's it.
 

And, while we're on the subject, the other thing I hate, which I realize SPN has been doing more and more of in the past few years - is seeing the enemy's movements before the hereos do. SPN S1-5, you RARELY saw things that the Winchesters didn't. A smattering of conversations between angels maybe, but one of those angels was usually Castiel, who counted as one of our heroes eventually. Or, you'd have maybe a scene between YED and Jake, or the like... but that was it. Everything else was revealed to us the same time it was revealed to the Winchesters, we didn't know more than they did at any given moment... at least not about the mytharc. Anyway, just something I noticed the other day. If I were to re-edit SPN (and part of me is seriously considering it) I'd have SO MUCH FAT to cut when it comes to these later seasons. Anyway...let's get back to talking about this episode...
 

This episode also reintroduces us to Rowena, who is trying to date, before Crowley comes to find her. And this would also be a FANTASTIC plot line that they could have DEVELOPED in the season. Crowley and Rowena are an excellent chance to EXPAND the exploration of Mother-Son relationships. We've been sort of doing it since S10. But the thing is, even when Crowley was apparently recovered from S8, he still spared her BECAUSE she was his mother. Then they did the whole betrayal thing back and forth, what is their relationship now? Let's actually explore it a little, rather than just continue the "favours" and double-crossing. If we're going to see enemy movements, make them movements that fit with the theme.
 

Dean tells Mary that Sam got out and then got sucked back in. And this actually DOES feed into Mary's motivations going forward. Because for Mary, she's still looking for a way to save her kids from the hunting life - so what she hears is "Sam tried to escape, but was sucked back in" and that basically ends up morphing into "If I get rid of anything that might suck Sam back into the life, he will get out of it. If there is nothing to hunt, they will stop hunting."
 

It IS cool to have the old-school build-up to a Lucifer possession. Especially as he's sticking with his "pretend to be a dead lover" trick.
 
I don't really like the fact that Dean tries to keep Mary away from hunting/danger. It ends up coming off as condescending/sexist, like he doesn't think she can handle herself. It's also in direct contrast to how he treated her only the episode before - where he handed her a gun and had to prevent her from shooting Castiel. Not only that, but she then killed someone to save him. So, it's quite obvious that she can not only handle herself, but is also great back-up.
 

And we get the reunion of Sam and Dean, where they can't hug... I'd have loved if we'd seen more that Sam couldn't believe it, or thought it was another hallucination. But I admit that's my h/c kink rearing it's head.
 

Also, then Mary shows up - Sam would have been like "I must HIGH as BALLS!"
 

So, then Mick comes in... and completely undoes everything. Like, they were worried about betrayers in the US, apparently? Or was that a lie? Technically, Hell DOES have agents in the Hunting society, but seriously? This whole torture storyline was so stupid. But fine, keep it in.
 

We get a closing scene at the bunker where we find out that Mary can't cook, and the meatloaf that Dean remembers was store-bought. And that's a great set-up to them discovering who their mother actually is, rather than who they thought she was.
 

And Sam and Mary's interaction at the table is cute, followed by Sam bringing her tea. It's really nicely done, and it's a great bit of character interaction. Sam has NEVER had a mother, so this relationship was one I was really hoping they would explore more.
 

Sam: "Well, this is my family. My family hunts, you know, this is what we do."
- And Mary's heart breaks.
 

And Sam gets teary and gets a hug... but that's a lot of pressure to put on Mary too.
 

And then we get a great montage of both Dean and Mary looking at old photos/documents and trying to come to terms with the people they thought they knew versus the who they seem to be in reality.
 

Now, with all my complaining about the BMoL storyline, they DO set-up Mick well, because they have him defending the Winchesters right off the bat, "they've had their share of successes" even if he's already called for Ketch and evil things seem to be brewing. But it's a nice foreshadow for his eventual turn to the light.
 
Rewrite:

1)No rape. Have the hallucination be Toni and Sam hanging out at the movies or something, or watching Netflix like friends. I mean, that's just as hard to explain as Sam suddenly being interested in fucking her.

2)The next rewrite would be to not have Dean try to keep Mary from helping/backing-him up.

3)I'd also ATTEMPT to make the BMoL storyline make sense. Like, reveal that Mick's story WAS a lie and they DO plan to eventually eliminate the Winchesters because they don't trust them anymore or something, but not until they get the full story out of them about what they're involved in so that they know what they're dealing with. That would make Toni's questions about Ruby and Benny more ontopic... they know the Winchesters are always mixed in with the biggest things going on, so they want to understand it before they get rid of them - perhaps they assume that the Winchesters are the compromised ones and are trying to get their EVIL contacts. That would make way more sense than trying to get Hunter contacts, and would also explain the torture approach.

Yeah, let's go with that - after the whole sun-almost-going-out thing, Toni wins her case with the BMoL that the Winchesters are secretly evil and they have to intervene. Mick, meanwhile, has his doubts, because he notices that they're also involved in things getting FIXED. So, he argues for a less torturous approach to doing the same thing - befriend them, gain their trust, find out if their good or evil, and if they're good, bring them into the fold of the BMoL and if they're evil kill them. With Toni's method resulting in Watt's death and Toni being overpowered and held at gunpoint, Mick gets to employ his method (as we later see that there are strong consequences to getting BMoL members killed, which is why Toni is recalled (for review). So, Mick gets to take over the operation (as Ketch will do later) and try his way.

We get introduced to this reasoning by A)Toni flat-out having a different line of questioning with Sam. B)A different conversation between Mick and Toni at the end. Mick argues his case once more, and then when she says that he's wrong, he tells her that it doesn't matter - since she's been recalled for getting Watt killed and now he's in charge of the operation. BUT, he admits that Ketch HAS been called in, to cover their bases. And Toni can still set-up how menacing Ketch is by repeating that he's a psychopath, and being reassured that it means the Winchesters are going to be killed.


Again, two hours, I like this new method, gets things done in half the time, and I still think I'm able to talk about everything important. BUT, if there's storyline that I've skipped over that you'd like to discuss, please bring it up in comments!




This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/546683.html.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Nov. 30th, 2017 06:44 am (UTC)
I want your rewrite version!

Your observation about the increase in 'political' plots is extremely astute--you always manage to cut to the chase about what is going on when I am just saying 'I don't care for that' without identifying what is off--you are so good at that!!!

And as much as I want to find something to salvage in the BMoL story because it took up so much time in season 12, the whole prmise is stupid! Like you say, if they know so much about Sam and Dean, then how is it they are so ignorant about 'the American hunter network?'It's harder to overlook the whiplash 'the BMoL are so smart/they are so dumb' arc than it is to accept Sam and Amelia!

Sigh...This is going to be a long painful rewatch, isn't it :( :( :(
hells_half_acre
Nov. 30th, 2017 06:53 am (UTC)
Well, I'll be continuing to outline my rewrite version as we go, so you'll at least get it in outline form!

Other than that, I just agree with you! There were good characters and good moments in the BMoL storyline, and good questions to raise, but alas... the way it was handled was just so... well, it's hard to see past the stupidity of it all, and BECAUSE of the stupidity of it all, we really missed out on actually addressing those questions or exploring those characters.

Sigh...This is going to be a long painful rewatch, isn't it :( :( :(

I mean... there's a reason I shortened my process for this rewatch.
percysowner
Dec. 1st, 2017 12:17 am (UTC)
I admit, my re-write would have had Toni being rogue, for personal reasons. I would have had her have a cousin Bella Talbot, who the Winchesters failed to save. Heck, Toni could have found out when Bella tried to enter Britain after being turned into a demon, a demon that Dean tortured into turning.

Basically, Toni seemed to be interested in the Winchesters on a personal level at the end of season 11 and I wish that had been explored.
hells_half_acre
Dec. 1st, 2017 01:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, something like that could have worked too - it comes down to giving her a REASON to have gone straight into torture-land, and a reason to have followed them as closely as she claims to have done.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )