Well, so did I, so I rewrote it.
12x01-12x02 – the BMoL set-up
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 set-up by changing the following:
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 both observe and intervene when needed. 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.
Small Additional Changes to 12x02:
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) Dean doesn’t try to keep Mary from helping/backing-him up – he knows she’s a capable hunter. The only case that it would make sense to baby her on would be if they were going after a demon. Canonically, there were VERY few demons in the world (1-4 cases per year only), before the Devil’s Gate was opened by Azazel in 2007. So, that’s the only type of case that Mary might not have much experience with.
12x04 – American Nightmare
Option #1: We see that Ketch’s actions at the end tie into the internal investigation the BMoL is running about whether the Winchesters are good or evil - Ketch is gathering evidence (impartially) based on the black/white morality of the BMoL. Things like this weigh more heavily on Toni's side, proving Mick wrong. Eventually, this would come out in their showdown and we'd see the doubt about whether this counts as evidence start affecting Mick and ultimately the outcome would be his disobedience and the ultimate dismantling of the BMoL as it relies on blind obedience to function the way it does.
Option #2 – Scenes stay as they are, and the above reasoning is revealed later in the season when we find out why Ketch is following the Winchesters and reporting back/killing people they save.
12x07 – Rock Never Dies
1) Have at least ONE line about what VinceVincente!Lucifer returning means for Sam during this conversations with Crowley and Castiel - instead of it just being exposition and sassy jokes.
2) Have dialogue that explores where Crowley’s character-arc is right now: What does it mean for Crowley to wrest control of Hell back away from Lucifer. Banish him, but then find that doesn't end the problem? Because if Lucifer came back twice in a 10 year period, the demons who follow him aren't likely to believe that Crowley's position as king is permanent, or worthy of being obeyed - and then you add in the fact that Crowley DOESN'T KNOW how to be King well, never actually sought the job, was just handed it (as we find out in Stuck in the Middle (with You) later on this season).
3) And then there's Rowena - how does she fit into Crowley's struggles? How do BOTH of them deal with having met God, having helped stop the darkness? What does that do to their good-evil alignments? Give us them both deciding where their loyalties lie and what to do next.
12x08 – LOTUS
Instead of the president, it's either the high-powered CEO of a weapons manufacturer, or it's a top ranking military general. You don't want Lucifer in charge of the US military, do you? Of course not. Personally, I prefer a top ranking military General, so we’re going to go with that…
Instead of Ketch just HAPPENING to mention the exorcism egg. We have Sam and Dean doing research and finding it referenced in the Bunker files, but it's location is listed as "in development in the UK." So, Sam's abortive call to Mick makes more sense -
"We can call Mick and ask for it."
"No, Sam, I don't want to deal with those douchebags that tried to kill you!"
Sam tries to call them in secret, but then changes his mind. When Ketch shows up, we still get the cool grenade launcher scene, but then Sam is like "the reason I called was because we need a thing..." It's still very much "thing conveniently exists" but at least Sam and Dean are the ones that do the research work to find it, and contact the people to get it, rather than having the people show up and just happening to have it, and just happen to describe what it does while giving an unprompted tour of their arsenal.
They still have to lure the top ranking person away from their secruity guards and whatnot, so it's still difficult. They still use Kelly.
They're successful (Crowley doesn't screw the pooch) and Lucifer is sent back to the cage. Good job. But, in order for Cas and Kelly to get away, Sam and Dean need to PURPOSEFULLY create a diversion, and end up getting captured as a result.
They're still top-ranking enough that Lucifer can set-up beforehand that they get sent to a secret facility.
Now, of course, with it not being the president, we don't get the Lucifer as President scenes... instead we'll either get Lucifer planning wars, or Lucifer selling arms to new countries in order to STOKE wars, OR, OR, and this is just my personal bias, we mostly just see the Lucifer+Kelly stuff for plot reasons, and then the rest of the time is spent with Sam and Dean on Lucifer’s trail or working out the existence of the egg thing...or maybe a scene where they acknowledge the fact that Lucifer tortured Sam for 100s of hell-years and now he's got to face him again.
Lucifer Option: given to me by percysowner on LJ, in case you don't mind Lucifer, but still don't want Crowley to be an idiot: "Since Lucifer looks like he's going to be a big part of this season, it might have worked better if Dagon had been the one to work the spell that kept Lucifer from going back into the Cage. Crowley wouldn't have been made out to be such an idiot, and Lucifer could still do whatever they wanted him to do. Heck Dagon could have been trying to recreate a stable vessel all last year and the final ingredient was the force generated when Jack was born. Lucifer is a disembodied presence until the finale. Mark P's vessel is reconstructed and then Mary can punch Lucifer into the AU to protect her kids. We end up where the season ended up without the interminable Crowley/Lucifer story."
12x09 – First Blood
Option #1: There is no deal with Billy. We see the badass Dean and Sam that we know figure out how to jail break. We saw Sam take out a gunman using a bracket before (Benders), Dean having a WHOLE SCREW should be enough. I mean, case-and-point, they just have to have a SEMBLANCE of death at 'chow-time' in order for the guard to open their cell door to check on them. So, slice open (shallow) a wrist on a screw, make it look like both - that gets you the door open, AND you still have the screw, that easily gets you hand-to-hand combat and possibly a weapon. Yeah, it might also bring the facility down on you, but you know tactics and strategy and we see later in the episode that given a defensible position, Sam and Dean can fight their way out of a situation.
Option #2: It's MARY who makes the deal with Billy. This makes INFINITELY more sense. We already know that Mary feels wrong about being back. We already know that she would do anything for her boys. So, have her summon Billy and offer to go with her, as long as Mary has enough time to see them safe. Billy then shows up and informs Sam and Dean. They still have something to make vague references to while running away - something that they need to talk about - but that something is 'Are we really letting mom sacrifice herself for us, or do we have a plan to avoid it?' or even 'There has to be a catch that we don't know about', if Billy just came in and helped them seemingly of her own free will. Mary making the deal with Billy makes a lot of sense in terms of character too, because we know that part of the reason that Dean was so willing to sacrifice his life and eternal soul for Sam, was because he already felt like he didn't deserve to be alive and at least this way his life could mean something - Mary might feel the same way. If she was brought back, then obviously she was brought back to help her boys, and this is a way she could do that.
ANY OPTION: Cas can't find them because they have tattooed ribs, this is canon. HOWEVER, there is no reason for Dean (or Sam) not to have been praying this whole time. There is no reason for Cas to not have heard ANYTHING. What we should be getting with the Castiel and Mary scenes is Castiel saying 'They say they're alright, but they're being kept in solitary confinement and they don't know where they are.' And if they ARE struggling with solitary, we should see that reflected in Castiel's reports - maybe a wish that praying could go both ways, because he knows they just need someone to talk to, etc.
If I had a one-way anytime telephone to my BFF, I'd be using it, ESPECIALLY if I were in solitary confinement.
We still need the BMoL in order to find out where exactly the boys are and assist in the rescue, and so that part of the story can stay the same.
Personally, my preference for rewrite option would probably be Option #1, and then with the time we have left over by not having Billy in the episode, we use to explore outsider POVs on the Winchesters. BUT, Option #2 has it look closest to how it looks now, so that's also good if you want to keep Castiel's awesome 'I love you' speech.
The most important thing in this episode is to get rid of Billy’s warning about “cosmic consequences” for breaking the deal, as that’s something that we never see any evidence of later and then is just written away with a single line in season 13 – so, let’s just not have it all. No warnings are better than empty ones.
12x10 – Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets
Just take out all the references to "cosmic consequences" if they wanted something for Dean and Cas to be bickering about in this episode - maybe have it be about how Cas called in the BMoL last episode. It can be about how they don't trust them and they don't want to be indebted to them or whatever. Or, you can have Dean MAKE UP the consequences thing - like he can't believe that they could get away with killing a reaper, that he's worried that another reaper might show up for vengeance or something.
12x12 – Stuck in the Middle (With You)
Lucifer is not in Crowley's throne room at the end of the episode. Instead the end scene is Crowley telling the demons to find the Colt, and some demon questioning his loyalty in saving the angel and helping the boys against a Prince of Hell. And won't the other Princes of Hell come after him now? And Crowley tells them to screw off, maybe even in a violent manner that reasserts his authority, but then we see him sit back down and take a drink of his whiskey and look genuinely conflicted about what consequences his actions may have incurred.
12x13 – Family Feud
In this episode, we’re replacing all the scenes with Crowley and Lucifer, since Lucifer has been successfully sent back to Hell…
Dagon can come to Crowley on behalf of herself and an unseen Asmodeus. She informs Crowley that her and Asmodeus are not please with Ramiel’s death – and that Crowley should perhaps watch himself.
Have Crowley be worried, but confident that he can manage this possible threat – the scene should convey that he might be in danger because he chose to help the Winchesters against Ramiel. Dagon questions his loyalty in front of his court – have his power be tenuous and at least half of the threat (Asmodeus) out of reach and therefore more foreboding.
(ALSO...hey, you know what sounds like "Cosmic Consequences"? Having the Princes of Hell return from their retirement. If you wanted to keep Billy's threats in 12x09, you could totally have a line somewhere about how they felt a shift in the universe, and thought to check in with the world, only to hear the rumours of Lucifer's child... and then, not weeks later, Ramiel's demise...)
Another thing you could do with this episode: show us more about how Gavin is living. That could replace a chunk of what was Crowley/Lucifer scene in the original season.
Crowley needs to find out that the Nephilim is still gestating - so, have that another scene with Crowley and Dagon. She can tell Crowley that the child is still alive and she'll be seeing to its upbringing, so that it can eventually take over Crowley's job. Then Crowley can get pissed at the Winchesters for failing, while Dagon tracks down Kelly.
Then when Dean calls and says he "need[s] a favour!" Crowley can be outraged not JUST because they failed to destroy the nephilim but also that it's become abundantly clear that Crowley's last favour to them has genuinely jeopardized his reign.
The last little montage could end on the cliffhanger of Dagon reporting back to Asmodeus (who is off frame) - we don't hear the words (because of the song) and we just see her smile evilly... and that's enough of a foreboding about the future, I think.
12x14 – The Raid
Mick's demand to recruit the Winchesters would be about getting them on board so that they could be regulated, because as long as they were 'rogue' there was no way to police their behaviour - and perhaps the more research he does, the more he thinks that they just need to be 'brought in line' rather than killed, like Toni wants to. So, the whole recruitment thing would be about SAVING them from Mick's POV, and then there'd be a lot more tension about it, because we'd know - as the audience - that the longer the Winchesters are defiant, the more Toni wins her case, and the more the danger increases that they'll become part of the BMoL's hunted rather than their potential allies in securing America.
Rewriting it this way, means Pierce’s betrayal amps up that tension, because we, the audience, already know that the BMoL think that the American Hunters are corrupt. Pierce would be further cementing that image and damaging Mick’s case that the Americans can be saved.
If the rest of the season had been rewritten with a better reason for the BMoL to be in the US and a better reason for them to trying to recruit Sam and Dean, then this episode would pack even more of a punch than it already does. If they were there to determine whether Sam and Dean should be killed, or recruit them in order to observe them, or put them on a leash, then Sam's actions in this episode would be even more thrilling – Sam’s bluff to the Alpha Vamp would be more tense, and his JOINING would be more tense, as we don't actually know what a leashed Winchester will look like, how much freedom he'd have, or what it'd mean if, inevitably, Sam disobeys or doesn't agree with one of their orders... and we would know that he was GOING to, because we'd already seen Ketch kill people that Sam showed mercy towards - so when THAT news got out, we'd know that shit would go down.
12x15 – Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell
Again, we’re replacing Lucifer scenes…
Option #1: Asmodeous and/or Dagon is threatening Crowley's power - after his experience with Abaddon, he does not want the low-demons to get wind that the remaining Princes of Hell are displeased with his reign. So, in this scene, Crowley could be in negotiations with one of their messengers, in secret, and has to be fetched.
Crowley, as we learned a few episodes ago, was given the Kingship and didn't seek it out - is he growing tied of his reign? Is he exhausted from trying to hold the most powerful position, when it's just not where his talent lies - would he PREFER to be someone else's lieutenant, and go back to living in luxury far away from the day to day matters of Hell? Could it be that what he's trying to negotiate, in secret, is a PEACEFUL takeover by one of the Princes... perhaps Asmodeus HASN'T stirred yet, but Dagon is in touch simply to tell him to mind his manners and stay out of her way (and keep the Winchesters out of her way as well), and Crowley is either debating, or making an attempt into, wooing her to the throne.
Option #2: Where's Rowena in this? If we're having an exploration in motherhood this season, why don't we explore this relationship? IS Crowley tired of the throne - perhaps Dagon and Asmodeus are making threats, and Crowley thinks - maybe, just maybe, it's time to give up Kingship willingly - and Rowena was always interested in power before... so maybe he's meeting with her, to ask if she wants to be Queen... thus setting her up to die? Or be subordinate to one or both Princes while Crowley makes his escape. Only, Rowena has lost the taste for pure evil after the events of S11 - or perhaps she sees through his ploy, since their last interaction was Rowena encouraging the death of Crowley's son in revenge.
WHICH, is another thing to note - how has Gavin's re-death affected Crowley? Perhaps, no matter what this scene is, it's an exploration into a Crowley who is disenchanted with being the King of Hell, because he couldn't even save his own son with that much power, and all it brings him is grief.
The new explanation for the Hell Hound being released:
Perhaps the hound was released on purpose, but it was released by Asmodeus (who we find out in S13 has a thing for hell-beasts anyway) or Dagon, to punish Crowley for Ramiel's death (as Crowley states, it DOES make him look bad, and his reign is tenuous at best.)
The escaped hell hound is INDEED enough for some demons to doubt Crowley, and perhaps they use his distraction to talk amongst themselves about it - or possibly, question who Crowley has been secretly meeting with, if not the Winchesters (like usual), and they go to investigate and find either the messenger from the Princes of Hell or one of the Princes of Hell, who further undermines Crowley's reign - or, tells them that soon the Nephilim will be born and will rule in Crowley's stead. Thus, Crowley loses the obedience of the demons, because why be obedient to someone who is about to be usurped? This could all be revealed to the demons over the same number of scenes as we get demon+Lucifer scenes now.
Crowley gets back to Hell and his demons know his secrets - they can even use the "two steps ahead" line... and Crowley can STILL fire back with his "ten steps ahead" thing - he could have punishments WAITING, because he saw the doubts and disobedience creeping into his subordinates. And he could make a big speech about how he's going to kill the Nephilim and they won't have a new king, they're stuck with him, etc. And we could see it as Crowley being clever, of his doubts being a show, or we could see it as a direct reaction/rebellion against the fact that the Winchesters HAVE changed him.
12x17 – The British Invasion
Instead of a fellow student, the child must kill a MONSTER child - maybe even a monster child who doesn't know they're a monster - think of things like the Ruguru, which SPN loves SAYING but has never actually shown since their first appearance. They don't "become" a monster until well into adulthood, up until then, they appear and believe themselves to be human. So, put the kid in a room with that sort of monster, you could even build it up like - maybe the headmistress had Mick tutoring this "new" kid and they become friends, as kids do, and then the reveal is that his new friend was a monster all along and it's a test. OR, you could even have it be a werewolf kid, and then that directly ties in with the previous episode, where now Mick has seen that they can be cured, and that Sam and Dean believe it's possible for them to be good, and now Mick is questioning the code.
If it's a friendly monster child, the headmistresses line of "but the code demands it" make WAY more sense. Since why the heck would a hunting society have a code that involved killing humans?
I actually DO like the level of freaked-out Mick is when he hears what happened with Lucifer, but I would like to dial it up - make it clear that they've never dealt with Lucifer before. Make it clear that they've never dealt with rogue angels before... make it clear that the BMoL are out of their depth and the Winchesters aren't.
For the Mick’s report to Hess, you just have to change the language a little - Mick be report about how he's trying to understand what code, if any, the Winchesters follow - have HQ tell him that if he can't prove that they follow THEIR code, and if they can't be brought to heel, then they should be eliminated.
Dagon and Kelly stuff can stay the same, FYI, just cut out the bits where Lucifer is talking to Dagon. Dagon is doing this for her own purposes alone.
Asmodeus (and/or) Dagon make a show of respecting Crowley's reign, after having previously threatened him. Crowley is suspicious...
Instead of Crowley being an idiot (because he's NOT), we get Asmodeus/Dagon, or a messenger, addressing the court while Crowley is "out" and telling them that Crowley's reign is coming to an end, and any show of loyalty they made was just to keep him complacent and his defenses low so that he can be usurped by one (or both) of the Princes of Hell and the Nephilim once it is born.
Optional: Crowley is actually overhearing this, and or, has a plant in the thrown room, and HEARS all this, and we get his reaction - is he angry? Is he tied? Does he double down his defenses? Does he want to retire anyway? We could be left with intriguing questions of character here as well as feel anticipation for how this coup may or may not go down.
In the final confrontation between Mick and Hess, we just need to change the language again: "They will be investigated, and if they're found guilty, they will be executed..." would become "Your investigation should have been concluded, and the Winchesters found guilty" and then Mick could make his argument that Hunters are always found guilty and it's not right." And then she could say "We do need them for the time-being, however, they obviously have connections to the Nephilim…" or something that indicates that the BMoL need the Winchesters alive for information only at this point, which would explain why Ketch doesn't go kill them right away.
Really, in both the original and my rewrite, it would be this scene where we'd find out that MICK was the "rogue" agent while Toni was very much in keeping with the company line.
12x18 – The Memory Remains
The fact that they have the Colt is enough to explain the BMoL breaking into the Bunker - you don't have to use it to "learn everything about the Winchesters" because why do they even need that information? The Winchesters are already TECHNICALLY working for them, and if they just want to kill them, then what's the point in understanding them first. So, yeah, the break-in is only to look for the Colt and plant the bug - because they a)want the Colt and b)want to know the Hunter's contacts so that they can kill them too, on their quest to rid America of corrupted hunters, and c)are hoping that the Winchesters have information on the Nephilim.
12x19 – The Future
We have Dagon monologuing about her motivations (instead of a conversation with Lucifer), while she ties Kelvin up.
I DO need the Colt destroyed, because they need to come up with the solution of trapping the villain in the AU. So, that must remain. And I LIKE Dagon's epic death, but is it NECESSARY? No, probably not. Instead of killing Dagon, Castiel could, instead, banish her to hell like Sam used to do. It would directly tie in Sam's powers with Jack's powers, which is a parallel that gets touched on a little in S13.
Also, Dagon being hard to kill solidifies the dangers of the Princes of Hell. So, Castiel sends Dagon back to hell, tells them something like "she'll be back, but this should buy us enough time for the baby to be born in safety." Then we can have the showdown at the end of this season with Dagon, since Lucifer isn't around.
I'd like her to keep the meatsuit, but that would probably be impossible unless Jack's "send demons to hell" powers manifested differently than Sam's. I really liked Dagon's actress. BUT, I also can't have everything, and having Dagon return in another vessel would give an opportunity to another awesome actress (or actor, but I think actress would be cooler, and it does sound like Dagon has always been a woman.) It's also be cool if she returned with a LITTLE less power somehow, since her default "explode the angels" messes with the fact that Castiel's corpse remains in the finale - but, it's also SPN, they don't explain why Dagon wastes time beating Cas up here before killing him, so I probably won't have to explain why she'd pick up an angel blade to kill him in the finale instead of exploding him. BUT, if I did, I could just have her come back "weakened" somehow, but still formidable.
12x20 – Twigs & Tasha Twined
I retitled this episode, that’s the first 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 to save his mother. It's still a tragedy, Max still sells his soul for his family (very Winchester) but he's not left completely alone. 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.
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 season, then sure, have Alicia die, and Max's tragedy was a foreshadow of Dean's - but Sam doesn't even get injured. He's never in any more danger than Dean is, so Alicia’s death really is needless in terms of story-telling.
12x21 – There’s Something About Mary
Eileen doesn't die, but she IS being hunted, we see her at the beginning of the episode, actively paranoid - perhaps dodging an attack, but she is being attacked by a hunter-agent, someone obviously BMoL related, possibly even Mary. We see Eileen escape, we see that she's in the US, possibly near or in Kansas.
Jody calls, but it's not with news of Eileen’s death, it's another hunter that they don't know. Dean still has the line about how two deaths isn't a pattern, and Sam still has the line about how Mom is missing so that might be a third. Instead of going to the morgue to have Jared break my heart despite bad writing (thank you Jared, for doing your best), we see them go back to the Bunker to research - they come up with the figure that Dean cites out of nowhere in the morgue (the fact that there have actually been 7 hunter deaths, not just 2, somehow learned between Mary's motel room and the morgue with no explanation), and just as that suspicious information is revealed, we have Eileen crashing in through the door, or knocking, or something - she announces that she's being hunted by a fellow hunter... she describes them, and it sounds suspiciously like Mary.
The scene between Crowley and Hess is cut completely. We already know the BMoL are evil, so that's not needed. We don't have the hell hound death, so the explanation isn't needed. So, do we need this scene at all? No, probably not, and that's just as well, because my Eileen arrival scene earlier would be longer than the mogue scene, so I need the extra time.
Another good reason to cut it is that earlier Crowley led a demon out of his thrown room like he was going to show him something, but now suddenly he's talking to Hess? What happened to showing that demon something? (Nothing - we don't know where the heck Crowley was going with that. So, we just cut it too)
Upon hearing that his mother may have attacked his
girlfriend, Sam wonders if Mary might be possessed - they never did show her getting the tattoo, so it's a valid concern for the audience as well, even if we didn't know the truth. He calls Crowley to ask. Crowley, of course, walks into a room on the phone, not realizing that the demons had assembled there to discuss a plot to overthrow him - perhaps Dagon (if sent to hell) has gotten a new vessel, and steps to the back of the crowd while Crowley is distracted on the phone, in the hopes that he won't recognize her. After he gets off the phone, Crowley asks the demons if anyone is possessing Mary, reiterating that being on the Winchester's good side is in their best interest, as the Nephilim is currently with Castiel, and Crowley needs the Winchesters in a position where they might give him information about where their pet angel is, etc. We see Dagon overhear this, and we know that her motivation is to get back to the Nephilim by any means necessary... so does this mean that her plot to usurp Crowley is put on hold? Or does this mean that she'll dethrone him and make the hunt herself?
We have Eileen relay the same information in person as she did in the letter - we see the scene where they search the bunker and find the microphone. You know what makes the scene of finding a microphone but not wanting to let on that you've found a microphone even better? HAVING A CHARACTER THAT KNOWS SIGN LANGUAGE. The scene becomes so much better. We have Eileen say something like "Do you really think it could be your mother? Has she been here? I found a microphone in my room..." and immediately, we see Sam and Dean's expressions change, and Sam says outloud "Are you sure?" and then in quick hand-signals, tells Dean to begin searching the room. Eileen understands right away, and plays along, expressing just enough doubt that Sam can follow up with a "It has to either be someone else, or she's possessed - we work with the BMoL, there's no reason for them to bug us...why don't we go back over our research..." and meanwhile, Dean finds the bug - then, using sign language (because Sam has, as we've seen, been LEARNING) they make their plan to stage a conversation, which we then see them do, just like in the actual episode...
This has the added benefit of showing how diversity is a STRENGTH – which is a message the world really needs right now.
I don't know, at this point, how to put in that reveal about Ketch killing the people they saved, but it has to go in THIS episode – there’s no room for it anywhere else. Perhaps, that's another scene I'd have to put in somehow... them researching in an unbugged room, perhaps, finding the deaths, putting it together. At that point, it'd be an unneeded nail in an already sealed coffin, but it'd at least be USED.
Instead of Lucifer scenes, we have Dagon stating her plan - get information from Crowley/find the Nephilim, and then kill Crowley.
Crowley then discovers the plot to overthrow him, and the extent of it. Have him EXHAUSTED by the concept of it. Let's not forget, Crowley's character-arc is that of a king tired of rule, regretting taking the job, exasperated by all the unstable politics involved in keeping it.
We see Crowley play into the hands of the usurpers - maybe he gives them false information on the Nephilim, pretending that Castiel or the Winchesters have slipped up and told him something. We see Dagon make her move to kill him and take the throne - Crowley escapes in a rat, but makes it look like Dagon was successful in killing him, just like he does with Lucifer here.
Then we get the cool action scene in the Bunker, that can stay.
I don't want Eileen there because she'll then be trapped in with them and that changes the dynamics of the next episode, so, instead, Sam and Dean have sent Eileen away to warn other hunters - (we'll throw in that scene to replace the Hess/Crowley scene, that serves absolutely no purpose, and/or the scene with Hess and Ketch where she introduces the concept of him and Toni competing for the American job, since that's redundant given that Ketch reiterates the same information to Toni in the Ketch/Toni scene in the armory).
When Ketch starts backing away and tells Toni that she's not coming - he INCLUDES in his speech that, he can't kill Toni because then the BMoL would put him on trial and probably find him guilty (ie: same thing that happened to Eileen) then he goes on to say that he's not HEARTLESS and wants to at least spare Mary from murdering her own sons, so he's decided to passively kill them instead, by shutting off their oxygen blah blah blah (this could be the extent of Mary's ability to affect Ketch, but it'd be more than enough, since it gives Sam and Dean a passing chance at escaping)... it's still a ridiculous bond-villain plot, but at least there's weird reasoning behind it. We could then re-enforce it by having Ketch mention that he's not sure Toni's reprogramming has been thorough enough and he doesn't want to test it, or have Toni mutter something about how the reprogramming isn't finished and she might not be able to do it anyway (that would have the benefit of giving the Winchesters a little more hope that she could be saved.)
Instead of Lucifer’s weird scenic escape at the end of the episode, we have Dagon following Crowley's lead and discovering that it's fake. It's not the mounting danger, but we can just throw in a line where she turns away and is like "It doesn't matter. We'll find him. It's only a matter of time - they'll be no hiding him once he exits the mother."
12x22 Who We Are
Simplest rewrite here, since Eileen was alive last episode and was sent off to warn others. All that needs to change here is this line - "Thankfully your friend Eileen had just left two hours before, so I knew what might be coming - still, I had no idea brainwashing could be so thorough…"
In the end scene, with Sam confronting Hess – instead of Hess revealing Lucifer’s existence, she’d be revealing that Dagon was once again top-side, and that Sam and Dean needed the BMoL’s help with a Prince of Hell.
I would also somehow emphasize how the BMoL are actually out of their depth when it comes to Lucifer/Princes of Hell level stuff. I would have snuck a line in here that indicated that Sam knew he didn't need them, that they were below him in skill - that they'd be more of a hindrance than help, even if they did play by his rules and not their own.
12x23 – All Along the Watchtower
Now, obviously, Dean's line here would be "…we get a Prince of Hell!" and then the concern remains that this Prince of Hell is on Castiel's tail. Basically, wherever they talk about Lucifer, they’d be talking about Dagon.
Obviously, if we're not dealing with Lucifer, we don't need Rowena. Which WORKS OUT GREAT! Because S13 then has one less unbelievable resurrection - Rowena, in fact, just never died. Problem solved.
So, what do we replace Rowena’s death scene with? Well, what function does it serve? It's a building of tension - their only solution for defeating the enemy is gone, and they are taunted. What do we replace that with?
Actually, let's use Rowena still, but this time we'll see Ruth Connell instead of a corpse. Have Dagon track her down to perform a scrying spell - Castiel's surely warded the house he and Kelly are in against demons and angels, but most likely not very powerful scrying magic, so Dagon goes to Rowena and tries to force her to do a scrying spell, but Rowena bamfed out of there before Dagon got her to scry.
She then calls Crowley, who we just saw pull himself from a grave, and she demands to know why a demon has attacked her to find the Winchester's pet angel, didn't she and him have a deal?! Crowley says something cryptic and witty and hangs up, and then calls the Winchesters to warn them, now that he's been ousted from Hell - Crowley needs to keep what allies of his remain, and helping the Winchesters always assures that they'll return the favour.
We can still have the magic portal, but it won't be what draws Dagon - that's what she needed the scrying spell for.
Naturally, they DO have more options for defeating a Prince of Hell, but not many. The Colt is still destroyed - they broke Ramiel's spear to save Castiel's life - the demon knife isn't strong enough for higher powered demons. They have angel blades... I suppose, but those are close combat weapons, and Dagon has proved to be extremely deadly in close combat. So, there's still a discussion to be had for the best way to defeat her.
Because Rowena escaped before Dagon got her scry - Sam and Dean still need to look for something weird and find it before Dagon does (or before Dagon finds another witch).
Crowley shows up to help them, we can still have Dean punch him and have that conversation - but instead of siting Crowley’s help with banishing Lucifer before, we can have Sam saying "Crowley helped us kill Ramiel, maybe he can help with Dagon..."
Crowley’s subsequent speech becomes not about how Crowley wanted to once and for all win his throne and so thought he could defeat the Devil himself - but rather about how the constant challenging for his throne has reached it's inevitable end, he's been ousted as King of Hell in favour of Dagon and the coming Nephilim. He's fine with it, he's tired of trying to play King when he was so much better living in luxury as simply the King of the Crossroads only - ultimately, he'd like to go back to that, but since Dagon would rather see him dead, rather than trust him as a crossroads demon, he doubts he can. So, before she has him killed, he at least wants to deal a blow to her rule. Which is why he's going to help them find the Nephilim and keep it from her clutches.
Crowley does help them, and there's no reason to stab him through the hand - if you want to delay him getting there, have him say he's going ahead to try to delay Dagon or something. Or scout on her movements for them. Make him a full ally before you off him.
Dean and Sam march in and warn Castiel that Dagon is on her way - can Castiel send her to hell again? Nope! Same answer as in the original – it was the baby who had that power, and the baby is busy being born! And then Sam goes to check the warding, and still discovers the portal and a plan is born...
The baiting of Lucifer scene, just turns into the baiting of Dagon instead... different words, still just about how Dagon is going to use the Nephilim to rule Hell and Earth and take over Heaven and all that jazz. And then the plan is still to seal Dagon into the alternate world, where heaven and hell are at war, just like Dagon wanted.
Crowley still sacrifices himself - because, as I've already mentioned, Dagon would never leave him alive anyway. Crowley gets to say his "even when I lose, I win" line, because I love it.
It's not AS poetic, but I still think it'd serve the same purpose if Mary punched Dagon into the AU. Obviously, there wouldn't be the exact same attempts to kill Dagon, as I'm not actually sure if an angel blade can kill a Prince of Hell (maybe)... so, it'd still be Dagon being pretty much untouchable and them using different means to a) keep her from throwing them/exploding them/ and b) keep her sealed in the rift.
I hope you enjoyed my version of Season 12 :)
I may do this again for Season 13...
This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/554399.html.