While not at all what I expected from where we left off last week, There’s Something About Mary was, simply put, too short an episode that left me anxious and salivating for both karmic twists and conclusions. Typically by this point of the season there are so many things aligning and pieces being revealed to the viewer that – by and large – Sam and Dean and other major players aren’t quite fully privy to yet; it is usually my favourite part of the grand (or mega, for those who prefer) plot. The unfolding 12.21 is no exception, and the game is merely getting started.
As You Were: Mary Campbell
Last week being what it was, the plot involving Mary throughout 12.21 was nothing as I anticipated – for the better. Based on the story of the shifter and the creature assuming both Ketch and Mary’s façade throughout the episode it was well within the realm of possibility that while Mary was being tortured by “Lady” Bevel her imposter would be running around slaughtering and/or leading her sons to believe she was alive and well, at the very least. Certainly the first views of Mary killing a fellow hunter didn’t immediately dispel this – but wasn’t the reality better, story-wise?
The choice to have Mary being reprogrammed is a fresher plot with a multitude of ethical and moral ramifications, including the suffering it inflicted on Mary herself during the transition. The moments in the holding cell between Mary and Ketch offer one of the most sorrowful, tragic and emotional speeches from Mary since we’ve met her this season:
“I killed somebody. He was a-a friend…I believed in what you people were doing. I fought with you so that my boys could maybe live in a world without monsters…We worked together. We, We know each other…[Crying ] I need your help. Please…Kill me… All my life, all I ever had, other than my family, was my will. [Crying ] And it's going away. Sniffles ] I'm -- I'm putting people in danger. I'm putting my sons in danger. You have to please. For God's sake, kill me.”
Samantha Smith captured the authentic suffering of someone without control of their own mind, who feels everything they are, everything about them slipping away and the genuine anguished terror that comes with the understanding of this.
In particular, the connection between Ketch and Mary in this scene is also worth noting. In these moments, he is clearly affected by Mary’s distress and struggles to hold his composure. Ketch also does his best to offer a comfort – including the physical touch when she leans into him for just a moment even if that is a ruse on her part to get the gun - in the best way Ketch can by promising her that it will all be over soon. Later, as they leave the Bunker Ketch again tries to “comfort” her and checks in on her well-being. Ketch, to this point, has operated as a singular unit without attachments – though it is undeniable that in Mary he is connected. The question is: how will it end? We’ve had a tease now that Ketch too might have been programmed:“And so you know, this will become easier…Easier to hurt people you don't remember loving.” Will he remember at the last minute? Be a better man in death?
Regardless, one thing we know is certain – Mary will not let her sons die. The question then becomes: how does this come-correct? Share theories!
Puppeteering 101: Cutting the Strings
The Crowley and Lucifer storyline has been one of my least favourite ongoing storylines this season for various reasons. Primarily, the idea that Crowley would be so lackadaisical as to chain Lucifer to a chair in the basement of Hell without precaution, instead of the Cage for example, after all the difficulty he went through last time was maddening. Crowley has been witnessed to be one of the most cunning characters over the years, so that level of laziness doesn’t jive. This was somewhat corrected with the spell work on Lucifer’s vessel, to a point, until recently, when demon minion #5 started working on how to break that seal. Sigh. Really?And for a while, it seemed like we were going there in this episode. But then, a glimmer of hope in this line:
Death and Discoveries
Eileen: so few appearances and yet so beloved. It’s tragic that we won’t see Eileen again any time soon, and that she died so horribly. As openings go, Eileen’s frightened sprint through the woods and ragdoll massacre was abrupt, violent and harsh. Hopefully when all is said and done, Sam and Dean will be able to give her a Hunter’s Funeral as she deserved. Oh, and extract a hard vengeance on the Men of Letters.
Ironically, though they killed her, it was Eileen who outed the BMoL ultimately. Admittedly I’m curious about Sam and Dean’s mailing address and how that works for the bunker exactly – but that’s neither here nor there in the grand scheme. Eileen had come to suspect she was being watched and that everything was bugged. Her information led the boys to discover the bug long ago stuck on the underside of our favourite map table. It is interesting that during their time in the Bunker only one listening device was ultimately planted: good thing Sam and Dean never discussed anything in the privacy of their bedrooms?
I must mention the two scenes and the few moments acknowledging Sam’s bond with Eileen were well done. I’m glad these moments taken in an already busy episode – while the more visceral emotions are ever-present in the action and war throughout Supernatural, an opportunity to watch Jared and Jensen with the subtler emotions is always a pleasure on screen – and the grief here was no exception. Sam in particular was overcome with the news of her death and again in the morgue with Eileen’s body – even Dean recognized this, watching Sam closely. As we witnessed during both their initial meeting and Eileen’s last visit, she and Sam had a particularly close relationship.
At the end of the day, the letter and Eileen’s tip about the bugging also lead to the capture of our not-so-favourite Toni Bevel who, it is my great disappointment to say, was at no point in this episode punched by a Winchester. There’s still time though, you never know.
Locked In and Let Down
Betrayal is an ever-present theme in the Supernatural world: sometimes it’s straightforward and sometimes it’s complicated, for-your-own-good kind of betrayal and sometimes, the betrayer isn’t even aware they’ve committed the crime until the very end. Whatever the flavour, it always adds a dynamic twist to relationships in unexpected ways along the way and changes perspectives wholly. The British Men of Letters are no exception to this lesson, even if they don’t quite all know it yet.
Crowley and Hess’ relationship confirms things we’ve been speculating about for many months: that the British Men of Letters aren’t nearly so pure and “natural” as they might be led to believe. What a twist – except it’s not really to us, just to Hess’ subordinates. What else might this mean about them? Will this be the straw that breaks the deceived camel’s back when Ketch learns the truth? Maybe. What are your thoughts?
The moments in the Bunker at the end were some of my favourite – the choreography here cannot be understated: Sam and Dean moved with total mental synchronicity, like swat-trained dancers as they overtook Ketch and his men. This was simply beautifully conceived, superbly shot and exceptional composition. Despite their agility, the unexpected element of not-quite-Mom affected everything in a terrible way – though again I must commend the acting here. Mary’s betrayal is so unanticipated that Sam and Dean take a moment to realize she is speaking to them rather than the BMoL boys. And still another few minutes to even react and try to speak to her, so stunned are they by what has happened. As most of us might be if suddenly our mothers went from saving our lives to holding us at gunpoint.
Nevertheless, Mary leaves her boys in the bunker – as do we – trapped with Toni, betrayed by Ketch who has no love for her smirking face and snotty attitude (and really, I’m with him on this). Speaking of Ketch, he was certainly an efficient worker moving into the Bunker again and setting in place the necessary alterations as Sam and Dean were off capturing Toni. These may or may not have been part of the last trip of course, regardless he was certainly swift.
One thing though. The Impala is still housing that grenade launcher, right?
This was a good episode with some ironic timing ahead of Mother’s Day too. Part of me wanted to speculate that Mary was faking for some greater plan; but then would she have left Sam and Dean as she did in the Bunker? I doubt it. The best thing about this episode was the forward motion it offered on all plots that have been in a holding pattern for just too long to this point, especially the Lucifer/Crowley storyline. That needs to reach a conclusion for the last time, soon. And it’s not the only one. Time for the British Men of Letters to end – period. All those hunters that have died at their hands need to come together for some vengeance and demonstrate what exactly the hunters can do.
Next week is a two-hour finale, oh what will we be in for? If you’ve see the promos you know the teasers and the heart-stopping tidbits that have been offered, some in conjunction with the end we left Lucifer on most recently. Any thoughts on this end scene?