This week’s episode was helmed by two of my favorite people in the behind the scenes universe of Supernatural. One of my new favorite writers, Steve Yockey, handed his material to the ever awesome Richard Speight Jr. to direct. An excellent combination, I thoroughly enjoyed the episode from start to finish.
First of all, the “Then” segment? Season 1 episode 1 Dean? Such a baby, oh my goodness. He and I are the same age. Was I such a baby when the show was born?
To the episode. Since it was two episodes in one, I’d like to take a bit of a different approach. I’m thinking I’ll talk about each story individually, then we can wrap with how they dovetailed together in terms of theme.
Let’s begin with Mary and Ketch. Because I love Ketch. Did you know that yet? And yes, after this episode, I still love him. I think he’s beautifully ruthless. And he plays his cards so close to the vest. The exception, of course, was the scene in the corridor with Mary. When she rejected him, reminding him their tryst was a “one time thing”, he was hurt. It could not have been more clear as he verbally lashed her that he thought his charm and good looks would change her mind. If that’s not proof of emotions, I don’t know what is.
And if he’s human, as his feelings for Mary prove, he can be turned.
Now, as I’ve said before, I could be completely off base about this. I know for certain I’m injecting my own desires into this and am coloring my ideas with those feelings. The parallels I see between Ketch and Dean are so clear, I want Ketch to be saved just as Dean has been. But I will admit it would be almost just as powerful to see what would have happened to Dean had he not been redeemed. To watch someone stay on that black and white path and fall because of it.
But I do so love a good redemption arc. I enjoy exploring the dark pathways we can take and still come out into the light at the other end. It’s because of this I see the light in Ketch and want him to be saved.
We get a glimpse into his methods in the sterile BMoL torture room, where Ketch is in his element. Enjoying the bloodier things in life. Raise your hand if you were surprised he enjoys torture. No? Sorry, Mary, you were the only one not expecting it.
Sort of tells you what kind of lover he must be.
Ahem. Sorry. Anyway, his sense of the Men of Letters’ complete rightness, his total faith in their methods and mission statement, was fully exposed in this episode. He has not only the desire but the need to eliminate the “things that go bump in the night”, and he believes there is a stark divide between humans and monsters. We knew this. But when he fought with Mary and made the statement about the psychic girl, I finally considered what he would have done to Sam if he’d met him in season 4. I honestly don’t think I’d considered that before. He would have killed Sammy without hesitation, and as we know, that cannot stand. The line in the sand was never more clear. Ketch must either be turned, or be destroyed. We simply cannot have that sort of threat running around.
In the end, he defeated Mary in combat, though he got his ass firmly handed to him first. “Enochian brass knuckles only work on angels.” Yeah, they’re still brass knucks, dude. His use of the taser, while a bit dirty, should not have been unexpected. The thing I couldn’t believe was Mary’s total shock at finding the dossiers on each of them.
Side note, does this mean we’ll get to see Garth again sometime soon??? I hope, I hope, I hope. DJ Qualls is a joy.
Her boys knew what they were getting into the the BMoL. Well, her eldest did. I just can’t believe they haven’t found that damned mic yet.
So, speaking of the boys. Our raison d’etre. We catch up with them talking over what just happened with Castiel. Broke my heart to watch Dean say he didn’t recognize the man staring back at him. I love Cass and so do our boys, but that feathery asshole can make some pretty poor decisions. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, again, in that he was being controlled by one of the more powerful beings we’ve ever encountered. But I don’t think Sam can fix the Colt. And if he can, it won’t be ready until season 13, at the least.
But they get a call from Alicia and Max, the witch twins from Asa Fox. Now see, these two had potential as a spin-off. Believe me, I’ll be getting back to that. We’re going to go a little long because I have a rant about the spin-off situation. I hope you’ll stick with me.
At any rate, they go on a witch hunt. Enjoyably, they interact with Alicia, Max, and their mother. All the while Dean keeps trying to contact his own and they keep missing each other. Knowing that we saw the twins’ mother get murdered at the beginning of the episode, I spent a large portion of this wondering how they were going to react. What their goodbye scene was going to be like. It was nice to find out more about the twins, to know that Max was the witch and Alicia was basically just the hunter. They have a nice balance, and are certainly people the BMoL would not suffer to live.
The hunt goes as expected, as necessary, and they find their mother is not who she purports to be. The scene where Max finds his mother’s body, after having been so convinced Alicia was worried over nothing, was particularly touching. I love that the Winchesters didn’t really try to talk to him. They’ve been there. They know. They felt his pain as he did.
I found myself concerned with the twins’ survival throughout the episode, and when Alicia died I was not sad. I was pissed. This is not how this should have gone, guys. Yes yes of course Max ran the boys off, picked up the ring, and brought his sister back to “life”. Once again, for the second time this season, the Winchesters did something I consider completely out of character. They should have stayed to destroy the ring and help burn the bodies. I wanted to scream at them, if it was one of you dead up there, would you give a shit if you had to sell your soul to bring the other back to life? When the power sat right there on the floor? No. No you would not care.
Good lord, both of them have done that for the other. Leaving without cleaning up the mess was reckless and made no sense. The only thing it did do was leave the door open to see Max and Alicia again. And possibly kill them because now Max has crossed a line. On the rewatch, however, I discovered that Dean very well knew what was going to happen. And he allowed it anyway. So, I’ll give Steve a pass on that one.
Now these two storylines dovetailed quite nicely together. From the shifter Ketch and Mary were interrogating to Castiel running off with Luci’s babymamadrama, this episode was about family.
The BMoL are Ketch’s family, he’d do anything for them. Mary put herself in great peril to discover the secrets Ketch was trying to hide from her, so she could warn her boys. Max lost everything, including his soul, in order to maintain his own family. And the boys watched over all of it, having been in each and every one of these positions before. One of the very best things this season has given us is their bond. They are a united front like they haven’t been in so very long. They have each other’s backs, no matter what. It’s quite lovely.
Also, it’s bad news for anyone that comes between them and what they want.
-So Miss Lady Bitch Pants Suit is back. Like she didn’t learn her lesson the first time around.
-Seriously, Mary kicked Ketch’s ass. Girl can punch.
-But it seems no one actually knows Mary’s deal. Hm.
-Seeing the Colt like that is so heartbreaking. I can’t even.
-Witches, man. Witches.
Alright, so here’s my P.S.
I don’t know if the CW still wants to do a spin-off of Supernatural. The first attempt failed something miserable. I have thoughts and theories as to why. Think about the successful spin-offs you know. One that comes to mind is Frasier. Look at that character. He was in several episodes of Cheers. I don’t even know how many per season. A healthy handful. We met his wife, we heard about his drama, he dated Diane. He was a part of the show. When he went off to get his own show, we followed, not just because we liked the character and not just because we liked Cheers and wanted more. We followed because we’d heard bits and pieces of his story and we wanted more. We gave a shit about him.
When they tried to spin Supernatural off the first time, they tried to give us a one off. Bones made this same mistake. Just one episode, introduce some random stranger and say “poof! You care about them because we said so!” No. It doesn’t work that way. With few exceptions, we have to meet a character at least twice before we have anything close to empathy for them. Before we want to hear more about their story. I feel like TPTB with Supernatural cannot see the spin-off material literally staring them in the face.
Let’s go back to season 3. I thought Agent Henrickson would have made a wonderful hunter. I would have enjoyed watching him learn the ropes and kick some ass. Nope. Killed him in the same episode where he found out the truth.
Fine. My next thought was Charlie. Her adventures in Oz would have been fantastic! The boys could come to Oz from time to time! She could fight all KINDS of supernatural foes in Oz, and make such a variety of allies it would be stupid. Nope! Killed her.
Side note: I cannot take credit for this idea but someone in one of my groups mentioned that Charlie could have sent a clockwork person back from Oz. Maybe it wasn’t the real Charlie that died?
Ok, so that’s two options down. The first time I saw Alicia and Max, I thought they’d make a great spin-off. I’d watch it, for sure. They have a rich backstory, a great dynamic, and no doubt a very interesting life. Well. We see what happened with that.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Wayward Daughters. I’d watch the hell out of that, too. Hire Kim and Briana and make this happen, people.
My point, and what makes me so angry I just wrote like six thousand words about it is that TPTB really don’t seem to be able to see the forest for the trees. They keep taking these golden spin-off opportunities and imploding the shit out of them. Just once, I’d like for them to see what they have.
(all pics and screenshots property of the CW)