Supernatural 12.1 “Keep Calm and Carry On” Review

Oh my goodness, you people. Are you as happy as I am that Supernatural is back?? Of course you are, that’s why you’re reading this. Let’s dive in, shall we?

You should be expecting this, but I’ll say it for those in the back. SPOILER ALERT.

So, over hellatus, we all had time to wonder what was going to happen to Supernatural when we heard Jeremy Carver was leaving (check out his new show, Frequency, it’s pretty good). For myself, I wasn’t worried for long. The article I read about Jeremy leaving also informed us of the new show runners, Bob Singer and Andrew Dabb. If I had to pick one person still working there who knows what makes Supernatural Supernatural, it would be Bob Singer. I trust his capable hands. If I had to pick two, the other would probably be Phil Sgriccia (who directed this episode), but Andrew Dabb is a solid choice. Anyhow. I didn’t even think about these changes for the first half hour. I did not notice a difference. It’s business as usual over there on set, it seems.

The Business, as Dean explains to Mary, of saving people and hunting things. If she’d mary-deancome along at a different time in their lives, she may have gotten a different attitude. But I can see now I was wrong about Dean. He’s not mad anymore, he’s accepted what he & Sam’s lives look like, and he proved it during that little talk with Mary.

Let’s rewind to early in the episode, though. As Dean explained to Mary who he was and when/where she was, my heart broke for her a little. I didn’t expect it, but Samantha (who goes by Sam, but I’m going to call her Samantha to avoid confusion) did such an excellent job it killed me a little to see Mary realize how much she’d missed. We all know what Dean told her as they sat on that cold park bench all night. I don’t know if she’s realized the full import of some of it, but as a mother of a son I can only imagine how I’d feel if he told me half the shit Dean would’ve told Mary.

So, Dean and Castiel’s reunion gave me unexpected feels. Cass doesn’t usually show much emotion so this was a welcome exception (Destiel shippers rejoice! If you choose to see it, which I don’t – but I don’t judge – this episode was full of subtext). Cass has learned quite a bit about humans and I was impressed to see him immediately grasp how Dean would feel about his mother being brought back to life. Being brought back is not new to Supernatural, but it’s something different when you thought that person was gone for good. Remember, no one in heaven has even seen Mary. Nobody even knew where she was to bring her back. Apparently Amara had the inside track.

Who didn’t just fall in love with the scene where Mary sees Baby? We got to admire Baby with new eyes, and see her in a slightly different light as the place where Dean was probably conceived. And his face when he realizes his mom has the same fun memories of the backseat as he does… Priceless. Jensen’s comedic timing is such a blessing.

And where are they going in Baby? To save Sammy of course. This is where I got my seven chuckles in. This bitch right here?toni This “accent in a pantsuit”? She did a nice job trying to convince us she could hurt Sam with her little pen cap and cool demeanor. Raise your hand if you thought she was going to break Sammy.


Me neither. It was fun to watch her realize her failure, though. She started off on an extra high horse so her fall was more obvious to us. It was almost cartoonish to watch her realize how powerless she is against a Winchester. Lady, you should be afraid of Dean. But it’s Sammy you really need to worry about.

It hurt to see poor Sam getting tortured without any time to mourn Dean. But he’s strong, we know he’ll be OK. When Toni saw physical torture wasn’t working and said, “we break his mind”, I almost fell off the couch with laughter. If Lucifer himself couldn’t do it, really you don’t stand a chance. You either get on their side with a quickness, or your son never sees you again. Those are your choices.

It was nice to see the Winchesters back on top. Even cuffed to a chair, we all knew Sam was in charge of that room.

That’s most of it, but before I wind down on this episode, I need to give a quick shout out to Samantha. She just killed last night. My boyfriend was not surprised and really I wasn’t either, but remember, this is not the role Samantha was cast for. She was cast as suburban wife who falls victim to a Supernatural occurrence. She was cast as the token first-five-minutes death. Who Mary is now is light years away from who she was. And Samantha handled it with grace, strength, and realism. I look forward to seeing much more of her.

One more quick note on Sammy before I go. I knew he wouldn’t be broken. But please, writers, don’t make him be alone much longer. He broke my heart at the end, as he curled up on the stairs and inched next to tears. He’s all alone, and he’s a hero, but he’s also scared and sad. I want to hug him. I want to give him Dean back. They’ve had many reunions over the years but Sam never knows which one will be the last, and he thinks he’s already had it. I cannot wait to see his face when Dean and Mary get there.


And a ps. I don’t get to live tweet with the cast because of my time zone, but I did get to watch without distraction as Misha’s Twitter devolved from live tweeting the episode to a fight over how to abbreviate Castiel. For the record, the writers spell it “Cass” in the script. They always have. There’s a couple reasons I won’t bore you with, unless you ask me to, but rest assured they spell it with two esses. Much of the fandom spells it with one, and it was all but mutiny on Twitter last night when they “found out” the truth. I spell it like the writers do, but it’s understood that the one S version is an acceptable alternate. It was pretty funny watching half the fandom lose its shit, though.

As I wrote this, Misha’s heartfelt discussion about what to do came last night:



Published by bperrywrites

Author of Give Me Grace, runner up in the 20-21 Rainbow Awards. Also the Reclamation Series, a human zombie story. I love all things sci-fi or horror. She/Her

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