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Quick Reaction: 14x18 Absence

 Hello!!!!!

So, I drank 2 large glasses of wine and a half-shot of some 19% dessert wine on an empty stomach. I was going to make dinner and absorb some of that before I wrote up the episode, but now I'm thinking it'll be more fun this way...

Standard reminder: Have drunk a bunch, watched episode once (while drinking), taken bad notes, am tipsy - quotes are therefore paraphrased and I am ridiculous.

I seriously thought this episode would piss me off, but it ended up being QUITE GOOD! Let's discuss!!!

We are reminded what happened last week, while I drink and remember that due to a very stressful afternoon, I've been running all over the place and haven't eaten much. "I wonder how fast this wine will hit my blood stream? " I wonder... 

NOW!

The boys get home and are calling for "mom!" and "Jack!" expecting them to have beaten them there, since they were flying. They get no answer. They figure that they stopped somewhere on the way back. Dean expresses thankfulness for Jack, because he saved Sam's life and also defeated Michael, and he doesn't know where the heck they'd be without the kid. (Well, Sam would be dead, and Dean would be in a box at the bottom of the ocean, I guess.) It's all a little, perhaps we should say, TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!?!

Dean tries Mary's cellphone, and discovers that it's in the bunker at the end of the warroom table - that Mary and Jack left earlier by flight without taking their stuff. This concerns Dean and Sam.

Meanwhile, Jack is freaking out.

Dean calls Jody, but she hasn't heard anything. Sam calls EVERYONE ELSE, and they haven't heard anything either. He also has called Rowena and she's going to attempt a spell to locate Jack.

Cas calls Dean back and is like "Jack and Mary were together....ALONE?" like that's not as suspicious as heck. And then Cas tells Dean about watching Jack kill Felix the snake, that it looks like Jack thought death was a mercy, and how he thinks that Jack is unwell. Dean hangs up.

Sam tries to use "locate phone" to track Jack's phone down in the world. Jack is in Nepal... and then Peru, and then France, and then Madagascar.... and Sam realizes that Jack is flying all over the place.

Jack seems to be flying around willy nilly in an attempt to pass out? Here my notes say "definitely seems to have killed Mary"... 

And then Lucifer shows up - only it's not Lucifer, OR NICK, but rather Hallucifer - Jack's got a bit of the Sam's dementia here, where he's so distraught that he's picturing Lucifer as his you-should-not-listen-to subconscious. Whatever the opposite of Jimminy Cricket is, that's Hallucifer in the SPN universe. And he's here solely because BuckLeming have a hardon for Mark Pelligrino, but whatever, as long as the character(s) isn't (aren't) alive, I can live with it.

Hallucifer confirms that Mary is dead though - he states outright that Jack killed her. Jack says it was an accident, but Hallucifer keeps pressing him about it. Jack tells him to shut-up and then turns him to hallucinated dust - which gives us a bit of a preview (or post-view?) of what happened to Mary. 

(I should state that during the Now, my friend was like "no woman would ever do that - if they saw an unstable guy, no matter what age they were, they would back the fuck away"... so, we continue to be very victim-blamey towards Mary. :P )

Sam and Dean start heading towards the cabin that Jack keeps returning to (the "scene of the crime" as Hallucifer says). Dean is unwilling to listen to Sam's reasoning for why Jack may have killed the snake. Dean doesn't seem to want to talk about it. Sam thinks Jack may have done it thinking he was doing the snake a kindness (he's right). Dean doesn't want to discuss it though - and I'm trying to figure out if he's in denial about Mary or about Jack (most likely it's both). 

When they get to the cabin, Sam goes inside and Dean goes out back. Sam finds Nick's body. Dean finds a bunch of ashes and doesn't know what the heck happened. :(

Cas, meanwhile, is sitting in his truck remembering Mary. It seems to be after a vamp hunt, shortly after Mary got back... but they mention "the boys will be waiting" and I'm confused, because as far as I know the only time Cas and Mary hunted together was while the boys were in prison and Cas and Mary didn't know where they were. 

Anyway, in the memory, Mary is still afraid of Cas, or doesn't trust him enough to have him heal her wounds. Cas presses upon her that it's good that she's back - that the boys are happy, that now they don't have to be so alone. Mary replies with the statement that they were never alone. It's all very touching.

Back with Sam and Dean at the cabin. Sam is also perturbed by the manner in which Nick seems to have been killed. (Again, he and everyone else in the show seems to have stricter morality than myself or my corner of the fandom.)

Cas arrives. Dean keeps repeating that they don't know what happened.... leading me to believe he really is just, at this point, in denial about EVERYTHING. But when he sees Cas, he says that if Mary is dead, then Cas is dead to him. He blames Cas for not telling them about his concerns for Jack, about the dead snake and his suspicious. Cas is, understandably, stricken by this. He explains that he was scared - that he always had such faith in Jack, that he was good for the world, but that was when he knew Jack had a good soul - he was scared that Jack's soul was lost and he tried to fix it by himself, which was why he took off.

Rowena calls then with the results of her scrying spell. She tells them that the spell for Jack isn't working... and then she has to break the news that "Mary Winchester is no longer on this earth." Oh man, I feel SO BAD for Rowena. I once had to break the news to someone that an ex boyfriend of theirs was dead - and I really don't think I did a good job of it.... it is the WORST.

Dean breaks stuff. Sam asks "what do we do?" because that's the go-to question for any Winchester facing the death of a loved one. Dean answers that they do what they always do when one of their own dies - they fight to bring them back. (Oh Dean....). They figure Rowena might know of a spell to bring back the dead, since she resurrected herself so many times. Dean then orders Cas to go to Heaven and find Mary.

We then shift to Rowena, who is copying notes out at her apartment (??). Have we ever seen Rowena's apartment before?!  It looks quite nice! 

Jack shows up, not the Winchesters - and MAN, can i just say that Ruth really knocks it out of the park in this episode with the way Rowena reacts to everything. I mean, obviously, it's also the writing... but she manages to make it so that we know what's up with her reactions, but they're subtle enough that we can believe Jack doesn't pick up on them - and it makes it all the more believable and grounded in reality. And basically THIS is how women tend to react to emotionally distraught/unstable men. Again, I should really stop victim blaming Mary, as she spent a lot of time in with Jack in the AU, so obviously thought she could badger him into talking to her without any repercussions, so it's not her fault that he lost control of his powers. She also wasn't around for the months in which he was trying to master them and failing.

Jack needs magic. When Rowena asks him why, he has to admit for the first time to a human that he killed Mary. He explains that he just wanted her to shut-up and go away, and he just THOUGHT it, and then it was too late. Rowena carefully and calmly explains that her resurrection spells only work with satchels inserted under the skin in advance.

Jack then brings up the book of the damned, and Rowena admits there are spells in there that might work... she draws out the story a little bit, about why Agnes, the witch who wrote the book, might have developed the spells... and she's doing a really good job of stalling. And sure enough, a knock comes from the door, and Jack realizes what she's doing. Rowena encourages him to just talk to the Winchesters, "they're your kin!" but Jack whisks her away and Sam and Dean break into an empty apartment.

At the Bunker, Jack sees marks on the floor, and remembers Mary teaching him how to handle a knife. Here, my notes say "Do they have no respect for hardwood floors?" and then in the Memory, Jack comments that Dean will kill him for what they've done to the floors. And once again, Dean is me. Mary covers the marks by shifting the library table over.

Then Sam walks into this memory scene as Jack leaves... and I'm like "wait, hold the phone, I thought this was Jack's memory?" but Sam takes it over and has a private conversation with Mary. This is obviously in the months/weeks when Dean was missing with Michael. Sam has his beard (which is mostly make-up, but we suspend our disbelief). Sam expresses how he feels bad that he's been so caught up in trying to find Dean that he's left Mary to deal with Jack on her own. Mary states that she's glad that she's not the only one feeling parental guilt... but that Sam shouldn't worry, because in her experience, even when you miss out on stuff with your kids, they become the bravest, kindest, and most heroic men on the planet. 

We then transition to seeing Sam thinking in the present, so Sam REALLY DID take over that memory. Sam and Dean are still at Rowena's, trying to figure out their next move.

Dean is still SUPER MAD. But Sam defends Cas for not telling them. Pointing out that Sam also had his fears. That Sam blames himself for the soul-spell to begin with, when they brought Jack back without really talking to him about it first...how Dean tried to warn him, and Sam did it anyway. Sam goes on to say how after Maggie and the other hunters were killed, he just "took off" and left Jack to be Dean and Cas' problem. Dean acquiesces and admits that he also pawned the problem off on Donatello... taking Donatello's word that Jack seemed fine, and ignoring his warning that it was hard to tell, and that Jack was so powerful.

I hope this means that Dean will forgive Castiel. My friend chimed in with "when there's a problem with the kid, the parents split up" and I very much do not want that to be the case! 

In the Bunker with Rowena and Jack, Rowena is still stalling as she carefully selects the ingredients for the spell.

Jack is still DISTRAUGHT and Hallucifer shows up again to illustrate this. He taunts Jack with saying that the unease Jack feels now, the guilt, is just remembered unease, that Jack knows that he can't feel anything, that his soul is gone. Rowena clocks pretty quick that Jack is unstable and reacting to things that aren't there, she very carefully stays quiet and pretends she doesn't... but is clearly creeped out.

The last spell ingredient is the body, and aye, there's the rub.

Cas, meanwhile, is calling for Naoimi at the gate of heaven. Duma shows up instead. She tells him that Mary Winchester is in heaven, and she is at peace. Cas wants her back "because she's gone!" but Duma tells him that Mary is complete, and that he and the Winchesters may not be - but Mary is.

Jack takes Rowena to the field of Mary's ashes. Rowena says that the spell can't be done without a body. Jack tells her that he'll do it himself! Rowena warns him that disposition affects magic... that whatever he brought back wouldn't be Mary. Jack asks if she'll help him, but Rowena stands her ground and says that she won't. Jack blasts her back to her apartment.

She calls Sam, and discovers that he and Dean only just left. She warns him about what Jack is about to do and tells him that he has to stop Jack, else he bring back something horrible.

Jack tries the magic. Everything is purple. My friend exclaims "He's summoning Prince!" we laugh.

Sam and Dean arrive, but Jack hears the engine and shuts off the Impala before they can drive all the way to the cabin. They quickly get out and run on foot. 

The spell, unsurprisingly, doesn't work. Jack flies away after he announces this - and we see that he only brought Mary's body back, but not her.

Dean holds Mary's body and has his own flashback - of Mary sleeping on his shoulder in the Impala. 

Jack has flown somewhere unknown, his only company now the hallucination of Lucifer. Hallucifer tells him that it's worse trying to have a family - that there's no going back - that they'll never trust him now, and because they won't trust him, Jack can never trust them either.

Back at the Bunker, Sam looks through his memory box at his photographs.

Cas comes in and tells Sam about how Mary is in Heaven now. That she's at Peace. Dean overheads from the doorway and questions whether Cas just took Duma's word for it. Cas says that they let him in to Heaven so he could confirm. That he saw Mary with John, and that she was experiencing just joy, without guilt or suffering.

It is explained that they believe Jack just brought back a replica - and empty shell, incapable of holding life. (And ouch, because if disposition affects Magic, what does it mean that Jack brought back an EMPTY shell.)

Once again, Sam asks what they should do now? And Dean responds with "what we always do?" and this time he doesn't mean "fight to bring them back", he means a funeral pyre. Sam also seemingly burns one of his pictures of her too - just, you know, to burn a picture? Seriously, I hate it when people burn pictures THOSE ARE PHYSICAL MEMORIES. 

Anyway, we then get a montage of Mary scenes... and because I was very drunk at this point, I sang the "makeover" song from Clone High over top of it, because I, too, am soulless... or rather, I avoid emotion through humour, and the makeover song always plays in my head over montages.

Also, Cas makes a move to go over and console Dean, but Sam holds him back... so, that's still ominous for their relationship.

We then pan to the Bunker table, where Mary has also inscribed her initials next to the boys. (They should have had John do that too... maybe they did, and you just had to pan further out.)

And thus endeth the return of Mary... it's sad. I still don't think that Jack is irredeemable, but that's me. I want them to figure out how to restore his soul, and forgive him, and for them to be a family again. I don't know if that's what we'll get though. There's only two more episodes left of the season, and so far Jack is the only storyline... and seasons ALWAYS end on a depressing cliffhanger (I mean, I think the most cheerful one we ever got was S2 and Dean was a dead-man walking...or S4 when Lucifer was free but at least Dean had forgiven Sam.)

We shall see!



Let me know you're own thoughts! I got thoroughly distracted while writing this up, so I'm now sober and this probably wasn't as entertaining as I hoped. That's what drinking gets you, kids... 






This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/577232.html.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
jennytork
Apr. 12th, 2019 06:46 am (UTC)
Much as I hate burning pictures too == for a Hunter, it makes sense. There's an old superstition that states that a picture holds part of a soul, so by burning a picture of the beloved on the pyre, they're symbolically releasing the soul to keep it from becoming vengeful.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 12th, 2019 06:58 am (UTC)
Oooo... I didn't know that! Okay, I forgive Sam, and I like that addition now.

Thank you!!
jennytork
Apr. 12th, 2019 07:07 am (UTC)
Very welcome!

I probably wouldn't have known it either, except I grew up in a tradition similar to that. When a loved one died, we would -- especially if it was an older person or a child-- symbolically burn a picture to release their ties to the world.

When they burned Ellen and Jo's picture in Abandon All Hope and again tonight, I saw that same tradition in play.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 12th, 2019 04:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, I was more understanding in Abandon All Hope, as they didn't have a bodies to burn... so I saw the picture as a symbol of the missing bodies. But hadn't considered it a symbol of the missing soul-ties... I guess because in my head as soon as a person dies, anything that was their soul is gone, and does not need further action taken to release it.

But yeah, that's just me! Obviously there is possible cultural significance there that I wasn't aware of, because my own family's culture puts very little ritual to death.
borgmama1of5
Apr. 12th, 2019 07:40 am (UTC)
I thought the ep was very effectively written--not even confirming Mary was dead until a ways in, leaving us to suspect the worst but still have a tiny hope...and Jack's behavior was very understandable and felt true to his character, like that of a young kid trying to fix a mistake (tho I could have done without the Hallucifer conscience, Jack could just have been talking to a vision of himself...and why didn't he have a 'good angel' on his other shoulder, like Cas or Gabe?)

Dean, oh poor Dean...and Sam, poor, poor Sam--I felt everything they were feeling from their faces (dammit, Jensen and Jared, you made me cry at the pyre!)

The flashbacks were obviously an attempt to flesh out Mary's time since her return and make us more sympathetic to the flawed way she'd been behaving (written) and on the one had that was annoying but on the other it kind of worked, the last 2 episodes they were trying to acknowledge she hadn't been the war and fuzzy Mary fandom had wanted.

Bottom line: iz sad...
hells_half_acre
Apr. 12th, 2019 05:21 pm (UTC)
I agree. Berens did a great job on the writing, as usual.

And I also agree, that the appearance of Hallucifer wasn't needed.

Yeah, I've had problems with the way Mary was written over the past three seasons - in that I think we should have gotten these scenes as scenes, rather than flashbacks... or at least had them in addition to having seen similar scenes regularly in the past. I think Berens was trying to make up for the failure of the writing team to flesh her out before now... so, on the one hand, he did it really well, and it certainly helped to drive home the loss in the episode... on the other hand, he shouldn't have had to.

I'm not saying that Mary should have been more warm and fuzzy, of course... I'm just saying that we should have seen these moments of them bonding with her as she was more often.
raloria
Apr. 12th, 2019 08:00 am (UTC)
And he's here solely because BuckLeming have a hardon for Mark Pelligrino

Yeah, I'm pretty sure this is the ONLY reason Mark was in the episode tonight. Grrrr!
Because why on earth would Jack have Nick or Lucifer as his subconscious???? Would't it make more sense to be a version of himself? But no, we've just gotta give more screentime to Mark. I adore Mark P. but enough is enough! Sheesh!

Btw, when Rowena told Jack that disposition effected a spell, she meant his disposition because she said he was "spinning". She knew how out of control he was and because of that it would effect the spell to bring Mary back.

I'm sad to see Mary go, but I'm glad she's at peace, in Heaven with John. I'm just afraid that the boys are going to want to kill Jack now instead of trying to save him - especially Dean. I truly hope and believe that Jack can be saved. Killing Mary was a mistake. He didn't do it out of hate or a place of evil. But....

Based on the promo for next week...I've got a theory.
Maybe the angels somehow made Jack kill Mary? Because he was clutching his head just before he killed her, so something was happening there. I'm not sure he acted alone. And the promo for next week implies that Duma takes Jack under her wing and is training him for something.

Either way - I hope Jack can be saved and that the boys can forgive him.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 12th, 2019 05:28 pm (UTC)
Yes, there's no character reason why Jack would call up Lucifer to guide him... he's spent 1 episode's worth of time with him ONCE... maybe a little time with Nick afterwards, but I doubt it? In the writer's favour, I will say that we needed a character that we wouldn't trust - and who we would know was feeding Jack bad advice - and that's really only Lucifer at this point.

And I know that Rowena meant Jack when she said that - I guess I didn't make that clear in the write-up, sorry! That's what happens when you drink and recap, sloppy wording.

Agreed about not wanting the boys to kill Jack. I really want them to figure out a way to restore a soul - something that's BELIEVABLE would be nice... since, you know, having your soul-destroyed is the one thing the show still has that can't be walked back from. But I really want Jack to be saved, not killed.

Oooo!! I like your theory! That makes sense, because it WAS the symptoms of being overwhelmed by angels-speaking that Jack used to get in the very beginning when the angels were coming after him. I really hope that is the case and that Sam and Dean are able to uncover the conspiracy and forgive Jack as a result.
liliaeth
Apr. 14th, 2019 10:25 am (UTC)
maybe the reason Jack saw Lucifer, is because part of him blames his bad actions on being Lucifer's son?
hells_half_acre
Apr. 14th, 2019 05:22 pm (UTC)
True, good point. That's the stigma that Jack was born with and has been what he's always been trying to escape... and this accident undoes that work. :(
supernutjapan
Apr. 12th, 2019 09:11 am (UTC)
what does it mean that Jack brought back an EMPTY shell.
Good point!
I do not think Jack is irredeemable either but it will be interesting to see how they do it.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 12th, 2019 05:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I really hope that the arc is SAVING Jack, and not hunting Jack.
elvit
Apr. 12th, 2019 03:01 pm (UTC)
The biggest mystery of this episode? How do Cas and the brothers know that the snake's name was Felix? ))

Last episode I was afraid that Nick wasn't killed. Now that we see Hallucifer number 2 I've got more certainty about his death. That's good. I'd prefer Lucifer-not-Pellegrino to Bad Jack though. I used to love Pellegrino as Lucifer but enough is enough, this image became boring at least a couple of seasons ago. Still I guess we'll continue to see him, meh.

I also was afraid that Jack would summon Lucifer from Empty to Mary's shell but that didn't happen - the 2nd reason to feel good. )
hells_half_acre
Apr. 12th, 2019 05:31 pm (UTC)
Oh man! I forgot to mention that!!! I really wish I hadn't gotten so very distracted while I was writing up the review - I feel like I let everyone down. But you're right... maybe Jack and/or Cas can talk to snakes? :P

I agree with you about Pellegrino as Lucifer. The writers need to learn how to let him go. That being said, I prefer him as a hallucination to any other form. I'm glad both actual Lucifer and Nick seem to be well away from being around again. I'll take a hallucination until Jack is better if I have to - though hopefully by the preview, Jack will soon be too distracted to see him.

And yes, bringing back just a body was the best case scenario going through my head when Jack started the spell!
elvit
Apr. 13th, 2019 08:43 pm (UTC)
Please, don't, your reviews are so inspiring!
Maybe Cas can. Certainly not Jack, or he would have asked the snake what he had liked to eat. :P

Yes. And it's easier to accept Hallucifer for Jack (for me) because he seems less tormenting for Jack than for Sam. Soulles Jack doesn't need sleeping.
I also hope it'll be about saving Jack.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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