So, this will hopefully be a short one consisting of mainly me rewriting things...
Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes
Firstly, I should say that I don't blame Steve Yockey for what he decided to do, he did a good job of it. I just don't like his initial plot decisions - and that's really just down to taste. What he executed, he executed very well. So, I'm not calling him a bad writer, I'm just saying that this particular episode wasn't to my personal taste. I'm sure my rewrites wouldn't be to his, and that's cool - we're all different people in this world.
Anyway, first thing I'd change would be the name of the episode, because it's ALMOST cool, but it'd only be cool if "Banes" rhymed with "Twine" and it doesn't. So, it's actually sort of annoying, because I want to say "Twigs & Twine & Tasha Bines" not "Banes" and I realize they named the twins in another episode, so they didn't foresee this problem, or maybe the title is a reference to something else that I don't know?But, my solution would just be to drop the Banes. "Twigs & Twine & Tasha" or "Twigs, Twine, Tasha" OR "Twigs & Tasha Twined" - yeah, man, that's way cooler. "Twigs & Tasha Twined" will be my version.
Okay, I interrupt my rewrite to talk about how HARD CORE Dean and Sam are worrying about Cas. And I can see their point, even though we know now that Cas is (probably) in the right.
Dean: "Cas said he had FAITH in Lucifer jr..."
- If you see it that way - not with Jack as SEPARATE from Lucifer, but as an EXTENTION of Lucifer - which is how Dean is obviously currently viewing him - then yeah, it is SUPER ALARMING, because if Jack is not separate from Lucifer, then what Dean heard is not "I have faith in this baby" but "I have faith in Lucifer." For someone who has always been their stalwart anti-Lucifer guy, then of COURSE Dean would "not recognize the guy standing in front of [him]".
And that's terrifying, because it's your best buddy.
And the Colt is toast.
Dean: "Can you fix it?"
Sam: "I hope so."
- You know, I wonder if he can? This whole time I'm been RIPing the Colt as (18-whatever - 2017), but maybe that's not the case!
Sam: "Their mom's on a hunting trip and hasn't been home in a week."
Dean: "Alright, let's go."
- And we finally return to the theme of mothers, and different people's experiences.
- This line the pilot purposefully of course, but it's not to be cutesy, and I say that because we're about to be shown that John Winchester's A+ Parenting didn't come from him being a man. And that fandom's belief that Mary may have done it better might be misplaced.
- Before I get into that though, I do want to point out that we have a parallel family in the Banes, with the mother as the hunting matriarch raising two kids in the life. And Max and Alicia start out here the same way Sam and Dean did for a reason - both young and in their twenties, with their mother missing, and then taken from them by death as well. We also see a similar relationship between the two, with Alicia concerned and Max insistent that their mother is fine (Sam, in the pilot, argued that their Dad was probably just drunk or something - it was only when evidence was gathered that he was chasing something big that Sam's concern grew, but even then, not enough to abandon his own life until that life was taken from him from him in a manner that caused him greater interest in his Dad's hunting quarry.
But, what really gets the conversation going here, in terms of John vs. Mary (for those who like that argument), is Dean's subsequent phonecall to Mary, which she ignores at Ketch's request.
Dean: "...if you can help out, that'd be great. And even if you can't swing by, can you call me back? There's just some stuff going down, kinda got me spun out. It'd be good to talk to you."
- Now, mind you, this isn't QUITE on the level of Dean's phonecall to John in Home. Or Sam's phonecall to John in Faith - but once again we have a (noticeably upset, IMO) Winchester son leaving a voice message for an absent parent. Their relationship with Mary has quickly morphed into a mirror of their relationship with John in under a year. Yes, now they're adults, but still - it's a relationship of absenteeism and a fundamental lack of communication when it comes to emotional well-being (of either party.)
Sam and Alicia bond over being distant from their parents. With Alicia feeling like Max and Tasha were more connected because of Magic, and Sam feeling like Dean and John were closer because of hunting. (We know that ironically, Dean also thought that John cared more for Sam, because he was more protected.)
Sam: "yeah, no, she gets into a case and just sort of vanishes."
Alicia: "Yeah, Mary's a great hunter. She doesn't seem like much of a hugger."
Sam: "Yeah, let's go find your mom."
- And we see that Sam has had a similar experience with Mary - where Mary has, like John, disappeared into hunting (or at least, disappears into hunting WHEN she's hunting...which is all the time now, btw.)
- And we get the refutation of both fandoms, and Sam's own, fantasies about what having Mary, the mother, around would be like - hugs, affection, comfort... that's what Sam's hallucination conjured in the panic room, but we find out right here that Mary is not the hugging type.
Dean and Tasha talk - Dean measures successful parents by happy children. Tasha laughs a little.
Tasha: "Parents always seem smart and strong and perfect, it's only when you grow up that you realize that they're just people."
- Which is really the lesson of the season, and our exploration of motherhood. I don't know if I necessarily agree... I mean, I AGREE with the message, but I'm not sure if should have been the complete message. To me, Supernatural has always been the tragedy of the missing-feminine - it's about the unhealthy toxic environment that springs up when you suppress or destroy the feminine. Now, maybe that's STILL the tragedy of Supernatural, even with the returned mother, because Mary is once again "suppressed" in this very episode. Also they aren't wrong - mothers are also people and that's a really good message... also, mother's don't necessarily have to carry the full burden of the "feminine" - and that's a good lesson as well.
Mary DOES call back though.
Mary: "And Dean, I'm sorry I haven't been there for you and Sam, but I want to be, I will be, it's just, I need to finish this - I miss you boys, I love you."
- This is actually pretty much John's exact attitude too, when he DID talk to Sam and Dean in S1. "I want Sam to go to school. I want Dean to have a home..." and the promise that they WILL have all that once they killed the demon - once they finished this. The problem is that both parents were operating under the delusion that THIS could be finished. Both Sam and Dean know that it can't, that it never ends - and that's something they've both been trying to come to grips with since S6... which is a whole other Theme.
The actor playing Max just rips my heart out by the way.
And the Winchesters watching someone discover their mother is dead - ugh, so heartbreaking.
Mary, meanwhile, discovers the duplicity of the BMoL and the death of Mick.
So, BMoL rewrites? We still need Mary to be captured and ultimately brainwashed, or at least captured and incapacitated - because as slightly ridiculous as the scenario was, I like the scene between Dean and Mary in Mary's dream. So, yeah, I'm pretty sure I still have the BMoL deciding to eliminate the Hunters in America. So, probably for once the BMoL part of this episode stays exactly the same.
No, the only thing I want to rewrite in this episode is the MOTW plot.
Rewrite: Alicia doesn't need to die. It's superfluous to the parallel - the episode is about Sam&Dean&Mary vs Alicia&Max&Tasha, the sibling relationship doesn't really enter into it. Sam and Dean aren't in danger in this season. If they WANTED to have Max do something dubious at the end of the episode, it would make WAY more sense for him to take the power in order to have his mother returned. It's still a tragedy, Max still sells his soul for his family (very Winchester) but he's not left COMPLETELY ALONE. Listen, I don't have a twin, but even I absolutely hate storylines that kill one twin and leave the other alive. Also, like I said, it just doesn't make sense for the parallel or even a foreshadow. TASHA's death DOES, but Alicia's death is there only to make the episode needlessly darker.
Okay, I do realize that Castiel dies at the end of this season, so you could argue that Alicia's death is a foreshadow for THAT "brother" death - BUT, it STILL doesn't work, because we spend the set-up of the episode equating Alicia to SAM, not Castiel. If SAM died at the end of the the season, then sure, have Alicia die, and Max's tragedy was a foreshadow of Dean's - but he doesn't. He doesn't even get injured. He's never in any more danger than Dean is.
Of course, another question in this episode is, is the deal actually done - Max didn't take it before Dean shot the witch. So, maybe Max actually avoids selling his soul... or maybe not, Dean says "you even touch that magic, you lose your soul" - so, maybe the choice is made to sell his soul after all.
Anyway, if you wanted the hysterics before the commercial break - have Alicia realize her mother is dead. Then have the final scene being her and Max sending the Winchesters away and then deciding to resurrect their mom. Or have it still be Max's decision alone, and have him lie to Alicia about how he resurrected their mom or something.
Dean: "You know, I was watching this loving family - the kind we should have had - and now, just like that, it's gone."
- It'd still be gone if it was just the mother - again, it's the mother parallel we were using here, not the sibling one.
- The other thing I want to say about this, and also Dean's earlier comment to Tasha about how her kids were happy so she much have done a good job as a parent - is that families who look happy on the outside aren't necessarily the product of good parenting. Dean's drawing conclusions based on very little - as we all do. The fact of the matter is that on the surface, most everyone's families look happier than our own, because we don't know them as well. That goes for other people's relationships as well. It's why we're always so shocked when celebrities break-up "but they looked so cute in pictures!" ...yeah, so does my dog, it doesn't mean he doesn't chew my shoes.*
And Dean gets the voicemail from Mary at the end of the episode - on high alert, because he just saw a mother get killed.
Next episode is going to be VERY MUCH REWRITTEN. I don't want to watch that one either. Ugh.
And finished disc 5! Yay! Just three more episodes left and the special features.
*I don't actually have a dog
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