Usual disclaimer stands - been drinking, going to make mistakes - those mistakes aren't important, unless they are, but *I'll* be the judge of that! (Oh, also my spellcheck doesn't work, so... yeah, just ignore any crimes against the english language that occur.)
Let's get into it!
So, yeah, I know the end is what everyone wants to talk about, but we gotta get there first - and I should probably work-up to it, even though all I did on my walk home was try to figure out how I was going to talk about it... but we will endeavour to begin at the beginning.
The THEN tells us that we're going to be dealing with Lucifer and Ghost possession - though, I think the ghost possession was pretty obvious and we didn't need to be reminded, but you know, whatever!
We begin in St. Paul Minnosota, even though no one actually sounds like my friend Paul, who is from Minnosota... but then, maybe the two hipster/millenials we meet up with are from away. I do know that my friend Paul moved to Portland, where he felt right at home - so... yeah, I could believe that the whole... uh, avacado toast thing could be in Minnosota too. Anyway...
They get lured into a creepy house by baby cries and there's a creepy doll in a crib. And who even left that crib in the house? SUPER CREEPY YOU GUY.
So, Millenials are now dead, I'm sure Gen X will rejoice and then realize there is no longer anyone paying their old age security and then they'll cry.
TO THE BUNKER!
Mary is up late at night reading John's journal, unable to sleep. Is this the very night that Sam gave it to her?
Regardless, Castiel finds her and they have a little chat. Mary asks Castiel how long, after leaving Heaven, did he feel like he belonged on earth. Castiel - honest to a fault - tells her that he still isn't sure he does. Of course, he doesn't point out that he's an angel and not human, and angels weren't really MEANT to live amongst humanity as long as Castiel has.... or as "closely" as Castiel has. In anycase, Castiel does try to tell Mary that SHE belongs, so that' something.
Mary decides that a haircut will make her feel better. It will also probably make the hair and make-up department feel better, because long-wigs are expensive to maintain!
Cut to the next morning, and Sam and Dean are discussing Men of Letters research over breakfast. Sam's only found one letter concerning the UK MoL and it's super heavily redacted and therefore useless.
Castiel stops by to tell them that he's leaving - he's got a lead on Lucifer in... um... Ohio. Cleaveland. (Cleveland? Yeah, that looks right.) Some dude said someone's "eyes burnt red" - and here's a question you can actually answer! Did Lucifer's eyes burn red BEFORE this season? Like, back iin S5, were there red eyes happening? Because I don't remember that... but I could just be forgetting, you know, it WAS 6 years ago... or 7, or whatever. The point is, I'm old and my brain can't hold THAT many facts about a TV show no matter how much I practice.
After Cas departs, Mary comes down for breakfast and is happy with cold bacon, even though Sam offers to make her some fresh. This is endearing to Dean, who also appreciates bacon. Dean notices her haircut. "Did you cut your hair?" Dean, she's missing like a foot of hair... (it reminds me of the time my BFF was super confused - "so, when your hair is long it's blond but when it's short it's brown?" "Uh, buddy, I dyed it.")
Mary tells Dean that if she's going to be hunting, she didn't think she should have "long pullable hair" - Dean is also overjoyed at this, since it gives him the opportunity to quip that he's been trying to tell Sam that for ages. Sam's not as impressed with Dean's joke, but he decides to focus in on the fact that Mary is talking about hunting.
Mary found a hunt in the newspapers that Dean had bought for her. Dean is upset that she used the newspapers to find a hunt, but Mary insists that she found the hunt accidentally.
I'm not sure they can really be mad at her though - they both basically told her the same thing - hunting is good because it saves people, they're good at it, and "this is my family, my family hunts". If anything, this is Mary TRYING to fit in with the world... it's going to ultimately fail, but it's an attempt.
They hit the road towards Minnosota, which, as it turns out, is only 8 hours away.
They stop on the way for snacks, and first, Dean sees a nice motocycle and comments on how it's nice... for NO APPARENT REASON... which means that I can only assume that either Berens of Singer put it in there because of the super depressing ending to Supernatural that Jensen dreamt of that one time, and then proceded to tell fans about at conventions... where Dean sells the Impala for a bike and drives off into the sunset, because he doesn't need a passenger seat anymore. So... yeah... LET'S NOT DO THAT GUYS! Geez... now I'm panicking that they're sowing seeds. Hopefully, it's just a cruel cruel shout-out.
Sam's riding in the backseat, which is cool, and I'm sure was status-quo when it was John with them.
Dean introduces Mary to his favourite flavour of jerky, and then Mary turns up the music before they drive off. Surprising Sam and Dean by the gesture - at this point, my friend was like "what did you expect - you have a 29 year-old mother."
Then we cut to Castiel, who is playing an FBI agent and interviewing perfect Tommy, from Vince's band, about being thrown through a door. It's definitely Lucifer, you guys... but we knew that. Castiel has once again gone with a female musical reference as an alias and a super obvious one - Beyonce - and I kind of love that call back to the last time he did that and it was Spears or Agulara (I probably spelt that wrong) or something.
Then... surprise Crowley, who catches Castiel on the way out and declares that he'll have to play the part of Jay-Z. Kinky, Crowley, but I don't think Cas is into that.
Sam, Dean, and Mary, meanwhile, are being cute and using the Partridge Family actors as their aliases. It turns out that the victims died of frostbite and being frozen to death. Sucks to be them!
Cas and Crowley have an argument about Crowley's participation in the investigation while they walk to Cas' truck... and it occurs to me that I'm not sure what happened to Castiel's car... did he never recover it after Metatron stole it? I'll have to keep an eye out... because it seems that Castiel has decided to stick with his truck full of Hay. I guess it's good, not that he sleeps, but he could sleep on the hay in the back if he felt like it. Also, I like the fact that, like the caddy, it's also the colour of his trench coat.
Crowley claims that it's been MONTHs since they last tried to kill each other - so now I'm going to have to look up when the last time that was.... might as well do it now...let's see, Castiel was Lucifer for most of last season...so... yeah, it's been at least since last year.
Back to the Winchesters... they head to the evil house - at night, because they're all cocky like that, I guess. Mary assures them that she knows what she's doing with the EMF meter because it's analog. But she still ends up wandering off on her own - which is a definite bad idea, but so is coming to a haunted house at night.
She finds the crib with the creepy doll, and at this point, I actually have in my notes "Does she not have PTSD about this scenario?!"
She sees a little boy ghost, who grabs her arm. Sam and Dean pry open the closed door and save her, but she still gets the frost-bite handprint.
The next morning they are back at the motel. Sam and Dean are researching. Mary has bandaged up her arm and says they should go start "knocking on doors" - Sam and Dean both look at her askance, and then realize that her methods are those of the pre-information age... Sam accidentally puts it a little too bluntly and tells her that the internet has made those methods "obsolete"... which, unintentionally reinforces the idea that Mary herself is obsolete in their lives... but we'll get there...
Sam's dug up the police reports for the house. They assure Mary that they're teach her how to use the internet, but it's consolation at best.
Back to Cas and Crowley.... who, in my notes, I have written as "C&C" and so, I kept getting "Everybody Dance Now" stuck in my head whenever they were on screen.
They are at Vince's sisters house, trying to ask her questions. I like how Castiel is super nervous as he gives his fake FBI story. It's... believable nervous, not OTT. It doesn't work (or DOES IT? It does! She totally buys it) and the sister slams the door in their faces - so, Crowley goes in the magic way, and then lets Cas in the backdoor. And that's when it occurs to me that at least in terms of TRAVELING, Crowley is way more powerful than Cas at the moment.
Anyway, we find out that the sister was recently healed from being confined to a wheelchair, and it was "Vince" that did it - but he was cold about it, like it was an errand and not a big deal. Also, she says that he had a "red-headed groupie" with him.
This is when Castiel puts it together that Crowley's only helping him because he's trying to track down his mother - Castiel tries to tease Crowley about it, all condescendingly, and to me THIS felt a little occ for Cas in the delivery, it's more smarmy than Cas usually is... but then, Cas HAS been hanging out with Crowley, so it could very well be that he's purposefully immitating his style of delivery in order to get under his skin about it even more.
Crowley makes the point that it's not so much about rescuing Rowena as it is about removing a weapon from Lucifer's hands.
Then we actually cut to Lucifer and Rowena, and we find out that Lucifer is still burning through the Vince meatsuit. He LIKES the Vince meatsuit and wants Rowena to do a spell to help hold it together. Rowena claims that she can't do the spell without the Book of the Damned, but Lucifer calls her bluff on not having it memorized, and then tells her that he'll kill her unless she helps him. So, he's won that argument, I suppose.
Sam and Dean, meanwhile, figure out that the ghost is some sort of scandinavean child-ghost... Mary argue that the lore doesn't really match up with what she experienced - which was a scared little boy - but Sam is like "eh, the lore is never EXACTLY spot on" and Mary is kinda put out that he's dismissing her valid concerns.
Then she has a flashback and my note say "SHE DOES! HAVE PTSD!" (because I punctuate mid-sentence when I'm really excited.) But this small flashback is enough for the boys to grow concened and "bench" her for the rest of the hunt - which they believe just involves going to the graveyard to burn a bunch of children bones.
Mary, meanwhile, picks up the landline and starts doing the hunt the way she wanted to - by talking to people.
Sam and Dean, meanwhile, have a chat in the graveyard. Sam's worried about mom, because she's withdrawn. Dean wants, for just once, to NOT turn everything into a problem. He's desperately clinging to this one slice of happiness and determined not to address that it's also sort of fucked up and a really hard thing to adjust to. They argue about it - Sam thinks that Mary is burying herself in hunting to avoid dealing with her issues... and he figures she's doing that because that's what THEY do - like mother like sons.
And this is a really cool concept that I'll probably talk more about at the end - but Sam introduces it here - that Sam and Dean's unhealthy coping mechanisms might not have ONLY come from Dad. Or, perhaps better said, Mary - the idolized dead mother - might just have faults that they never had the priviledge of knowing about. It's easy for someone to be the pinnacle of mental health when they're dead.
Sam and Dean return to an empty motel room. Mary has gone off to hunt - now that she has the information she needs.
She finds the little boy ghost in the house, and tries to look as non-threatening as possible - mentions his mom, and he points her to the basement door, and then to a wall in the basement.
Sam and Dean call wondering where she is - and tell her they burnt all the bones. She tells them it had no effect on Lucas... and then the REAL ghost strikes, so Sam and Dean rush out of the motel room to come help.
Back to Rowena and Lucifer - Rowena has set up the spell and makes a good show of telling him that she can't promise forever, but she can buy him more time, and asks if he'll please spare her life once she's done, that she can be of more use... and then she does the spell and we find out that it's a spell to SPEED UP the decay, and she's double-crossed him. Then, to top it off, she sends him to the bottom of the ocean. So, good on you, Rowena!
Back to Mary - the creepy kid tells her that a "him" is keeping the boy there. So, that's super creepy. Then Mary gets the ol' ghost breath... and we find out that it's the father of the first girl who died in the house that's the REAL dangerous ghost. He starts turning Mary's heart to ice, but Dean and Sam intervene... but then he possess Mary, and she punches Dean, and starts leaking ectoplasm out her eyes.
Dean's good ol' superpower doesn't fail him though, and when Mary has him pinned up against the wall, turning his heart to ice, he's able to break through the possession with his pleading - Mary takes back control long enough for Dean not to die and to tell Sam to get to the basement. Dean and Mary get into a fight. Sam knocks down the basement wall and finds a skeleton to burn, and the trapped children all go to heaven once the ghost is dead.
Back to C&C Music Factory....
They get to Vince's cabin and find only Rowena there. She tells them what happened to Lucifer and informs them that she won't help them - but that they can call her if they get backed into a corner at any point.
The Winchesters get back to the Bunker... and Dean apologizes to Mary for side-lining her, that she did a good job and they should have listened to her. She scoffs at that and reminds him that he and Sam had to come save her - but he tells her that she was right about the hunt the whole time and he and Sam were wrong, and that's what counts.
Mary then tells Dean that she knows the ghosts motivations - that he "told" her what they were when he possessed her - that when his daughter died, he was so overcome with grief that he sealed himself in the wall in the basement and starved to death. But then he was a ghost, and when other people moved into the house, he got jealous that they had kids when his was dead, so he stole theirs and trapped them for himself.
Dean/Sam tells her that it's okay, because she's "home now" and Mary says "No, I'm not." and confessess that she misses John, that she misses her boys - baby Sam and little boy Dean - and that she's mourning the loss of them. She says that just yesterday they were all together in heaven, and now she's here. And really, she implies that all the adult versions of Dean and Sam are doing is reminding her of everything she's lost (like an entire 34 years of watching her children grow.)
Mary decides to leave and claims that she just needs a little time. She moves towards Dean, but he backs away, so she moves back towards Sam, hugs him, and tells him that she loves him - then repeats to the room (because Dean won't look at her) that she loves them both - then she basically runs out of the Bunker.
(Sam flinches when the door slams, mainly, I'm sure, because that door REALLY needs to be greased and it's probably something he's been meaning to get around to, and that's just another reminder. I mean, that's why *I* would have flinched... or.... oh, you think it's because his long-lost mother just abandoned him of her own free will? Well, I mean, FINE... I suppose that's a possibility, if you're going to be EMOTIONAL ABOUT IT!)
Then we basically just get DEVASTATED WINCHESTERS.
And this is where my friend is really pissed off, because "THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!"
But, I think that's kinda what might be INTERESTING about it...
I mean, don't get me wrong, it's devasting and my reaction was "Dudes, maybe you should have told her about your crippling abandonment issues before she abandoned you like that..."
BUT... like I said earlier, it's easy for someone to be the pinnacal of mental-health when their dead. It's easy for them to the smart one, the loving one, the one that would have never made these horrible mistakes... and I think the boys, the writers, and the fandom, have all falling into the same sort of trope... where "if only Mary were alive..."
And there is SOME truth in that - because I still maintain that S1-S5 of Supernatural especially were an exploration of how masculinity in the absense of feminity (or with the forced repression of femininity) is fundamentally a bad thing in the mental-health of males. And one of the reasons I was/am jazzed about the possibilities of S12, was because it was an opportunity to reintroduce feminity (though they've been doing that slowly over the years to varying degrees) and see what happens...
BUT, there's also the exploration of what it means to have put something on a pedestal - and how that's just as much of a prison as being put in a pit.
Mary, at the end of the day, is a person - and she was also raised a hunter, and she was also raised by an overbearing father. In the end, it's not completely a surprise that she might share Sam and Dean's unhealthy coping mechanisms right along with their love of bacon, books, and Baby. Now, was it right for her to abandon them? Probably not. Was it right for Sam to bolt every time he and Dean got into a major argument? Probably not. But it's what he does - and it's apparently what Mary does too.
And of course the MOTW parallels Mary's storyline - because it's a father who was so overcome with grief that he walled himself up in a basement. Mary IS grieving, and you CAN grieve while still being surrounded by those that you are grieving for. She's not grieving the loss of her kids so much as the loss of the 30+ years that she missed of their lives.
A week ago, or not even, she was in Heaven, in a memory, where Dean was 4 and Sam was still breastfeeding... and then suddenly she's with two men who are OLDER Than her, and are her children... but were raised without her, and have personalities she doesn't know, and are both living a life she had spent 10 years hiding from. It's jarring to say the least.
Now, is that going to get easier with time alone away from them? No, probably not. But I think she's working through her grief - she was at the stage where she tried to deny it, tried to bury herself in hunting to ignore it... and now she's at the stage where she would like to wall herself off from the world... and unfortunately, Sam and Dean are the only people she knows in the world, so they're exactly who she is going to wall herself off from.
Of course, I still stand by the fact that MAYBE they should have told her about their crippling abandonment issues.... because I have a feeling that she's going to have a hard time coming back from this. But then, you don't really want to GUILT her into staying, I guess... that wouldn't help anyone. And she has to learn somehow, might as well be the Winchester way (ie: the hard way.)
Anyway, looks like we're well on our way to processing Winchester emotions in a series of MOTW episodes from here until the mid-season finale!
Tell me your thoughts in comments! :)