February 23, 2017
Kelly Kline is still in the wind and so the boys hunt. Sam finds a case. A teacher found dead in a museum parking lot in Des Moines. It seems thin, the kind of job Dean would normally declare not their thing – but it might be one that Mary would want in on. Dean comments that they haven’t seen their mother in a while.
Mary tells him it’s sweet that he thought of her for the job, but says she’s still sort of resting up from the whole Ramiel thing. She’s just going to hang at her motel in Newark with the pay-per-view and magic fingers. But if they need her, she’s there. Mary says, “I love you” as she hangs up.
She’s actually in an abandoned parking garage killing rugarus with Mr. Ketch. He compliments her excellent lying skills, but says he understands. Sam and Dean aren’t the biggest fans of the BMoL … because torture, which Ketch hand waves away. That was all Lady Cardboard and it’s been dealt with, so. “Drink?”
I swear to Chuck, if these two end up having the sexy times I will burn something down.
Well, the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch really did work – sort of. Crowley is enjoying getting Lucifer settled into his new accommodations. He’s not in the Cage, but back in his old vessel. Nick’s discarded meatsuit has been freshly repaired and improved to provide a final home for the archangel’s essence.
Crowley gloats that, in time, the humiliation of his utter helplessness will wear on Lucifer, and then he will be the one calling Crowley ‘master.’ There’s a shadow of a smile on Lucifer’s face. Yeah, I don’t think he’s going to break any time soon. And I’m slightly less bored by the Lucifer storyline now that Mark Pellegrino is back. I’ve enjoyed the other portrayals, but he is and will always be the finest Lucifer.
Also, those chains now holding him, forged by loyal demons from the same materials as the Cage, are totally going to fail at some point. And I guess Lucifer is still on Earth? And now can’t go back into the Cage because he’s bound to his vessel? Yeah, no way that goes bad.
Lucifer agrees with me. This does not end well.
Mary and Mr. Ketch arrive at their night’s accommodations. It clearly snowed like a mother in Vancouver while they were filming this episode. This scene is particular is serving some The Shining realness. Ketch tries again to entice Mary to have a drink with him. She takes a hard pass.
She turns back when Ketch says, “Your sons …” The look on her face warns him to choose his words carefully. He gently suggests it might be best if she were to … disengage … from them a bit. He says their work is demanding and it must come first.
Mary is like sorry not sorry, but nothing comes before her family. Mr. Ketch pushes back on her. Is that the truth … or just what she wants to believe? He says when she’s playing at being mummy she’s softer. Weaker. But when she’s hunting, she’s one of the best he’s ever seen.
“That’s the real you. The best you. And I think you know it.”
Oh, yeah. He’s totally into her and I. AM. NOT. HERE. FOR. IT.
The boys motor to Iowa. Sam finds another death matching their case, this one in Andover, MA. He says it’s too bad Mary couldn’t make it. Dean makes a scoffing noise. He worries that something is going on with her and she’s not talking about it. Sam dismisses Dean’s concerns – and maybe tries to allay his own. He says the job is a grind. She just needs some time, that’s all.
Samuel, when Dean’s Spidey senses are tingling you should listen.
At the museum in Des Moines, a scout troop leader ushers his kids into a van before popping back inside to the men’s room. My dad was a scout leader, which makes me very sad for this man, but I hope my father would have been smart enough to GET THE HELL OUT when the lights started flickering, stall doors began slamming, and the water froze in the running tap.
I’m sorry, but natural selection simply chose against this poor fellow.
The boys arrive at the museum the next morning. Dean suggests they’re dealing with a ghost, not a witch – and they’ve got an entire building full of possible tethers to sift through. Dean starts with the objects from an Aztec exhibit. He picks up a blade and resists the urge to run his thumb along the edge.
He seems to have learned his lesson.
He muses that Aztecs were pretty serious about their ritual killings. He likes the idea of an Aztec ghost. He puts the artifact back on its stand … and promptly drops it.
Sam calls him over to another area of the lab. He’s going through objects from a ship wreck exhibit. It’s currently on loan from a maritime museum in – wait for it – Andover, where the first victim was found. The ship sank in a storm in 1723. Something pings in the back of Dean’s brain. Bells go off when Sam says the ship sailed from Leith, Scotland. Dean tells him this was Crowley’s son Gavin’s ship.
Wait … did we just get smart!Dean in a Buckner and Ross-Leming episode? And! And! The signet ring that Bobby used in Season 6 to summon Gavin to learn where Crowley’s bones were buried so that he could get his soul back was part of the collection of the maritime museum in Andover. So, smart!Dean AND continuity?
We truly are living in the upside down y’all.
Dean calls Crowley, who is feeling less than helpful after learning from Lucifer that his hell spawn lives. “Turns out that behind that whole moron facade you and your brother are, in fact, MORONS!” Dean is like, speaking of allowing spawn to live, they didn’t hunt Gavin down, so. Crowley owes them. Dean face shrugs at Sam. Sam face shrugs back. Seems legit.
Crowley spits that they’ll talk about his son – maybe – after Rocky and Bullwinkle fix their mess.
“Oh my dad!” Lucifer has been listening and loves that he and Crowley are both single fathers. And he could certainly use the advice. “When do you let them date?”
Kelly could use a little parental support of her own right now. She walks along a dark empty street. An angel steps out of a shadow behind her. Kelly ducks down an alley but a second angel cuts her off. The blades come out. A voice shouts at them to get away from Kelly. The demon doesn’t care that the angels have orders. It’s not her problem. Her eyes flip yellow.
Angel of the first attacks. The demon blocks his blow and punches through his chest. He explodes in a burst of grace and a cloud of smoke, followed by the second angel. Wait, what? A Prince of Hell can do that? Is that some kind of super special angel splodey power that Lucifer gave them? How does that even work?
Kelly thinks she’s next. She slowly crumples to the ground, softly pleading with the demon. Dagon extends her hand.
“Come with me if you want to live.”
They repair to a warehouse where Kelly tries to process. Dagon tells her not to get hung up on labels. She’s a demon. “You’re Rosemary, complete with baby.” Dagon shakes her head at the amount of
fake news propaganda humans have been fed. When they were telling Kelly about Lucifer’s horns and pitchfork in Sunday School, did they happen to mention he’s an archangel? Once one of God’s most trusted?
Dagon says it’s ain’t all black and white. The people who just tried to kill Kelly? Angels. “Not quite the harps and halos you thought.” She reassures Kelly that no one is born good or bad. It’s all in the upbringing.
“This child. Your child. He could save us all.”
And Dagon can protect him. She can protect Kelly. Kelly doesn’t have to run anymore.
I’m sure Dagon has some nefarious plan, but I like her! She can stay!
When Crowley won’t help then find Gavin, the boys turn to Rowena. Her curiosity gets the better of her. After a brief family reunion at the bus station it’s back to the museum. Gavin flips through a catalog of artifacts. Nothing registers as familiar (except Mr. McCallum’s hook) until he sees the locket.
Gavin says he bought it for his Fiona – Fiona Duncan, the love of his life. Rowena is delighted that he had a wee girlfriend. Gavin remembers what he calls “that terrible night”. He was packing and expecting a visit from Fiona. She was going to beg him one final time to bring her with him to America. But Abaddon came knocking first.
Gavin supposes that Fiona must have smuggled herself aboard the ship. Dean quietly says she would have died pissed as hell and heartbroken. She’s tethered to the locket, which they soon discover is missing from the museum. Fiona mojoed it into the pocket of a teacher from a local girls’ school. Which I guess is something that Buckner and Ross-Leming have decided that ghosts can do.
Anyhoo, Sam and Dean arrive at the school and rock salt Fiona back into the ether before she can harm anyone. Gavin is able to summon her and learns her sad fate. She did hide herself aboard the ship. She says when she was discovered, the crew scorned and mocked her … and worse. Of course they did, because it’s not a Buckner and Ross-Leming episode with a little lol!consent thrown in.
Fiona says the other passengers did nothing to help her. Mistress Alloway, the village school teacher, said Fiona deserved it for throwing herself at Gavin. Fiona couldn’t punish her then, but grimly vows that others will pay her debt.
Sam and Dean debate whether burning the locket will be enough to put Fiona to rest. Gavin says even if they do, it won’t bring back the people she killed. Sam looks at Dean. Dean eyebrows back. Sam carefully says there is a way to fix everything … if Gavin is on the ship as he was intended to be. Rowena is horrified that their solution is to send Gavin to his death.
“I didn’t say it was the fun one, okay? Just the one.”
Gavin is of the same mind as the boys. He says he and Fiona loved each other. He can spare her the nightmare she’s trapped in. And they’ll spend eternity together. Here, he’s alone in a world that he doesn’t fit.
“Never gonna happen.”
Crowley barks that “dim and dimmer” don’t get to mess with his family just because they can’t keep theirs in the same dimension! Gavin patiently says that this is what he wants. He called his father – “You called him?” – to say goodbye. Rowena backs Gavin. She tells Crowley to let him go. “He’s not like us. He believes in things.”
“Let him do what he believes is right.”
Crowley tries to abscond with Gavin (again) but Rowena is faster on the draw. She throws a spell at the demon that renders him immobile. Rowena says her goodbyes and sends Gavin off with the Winchesters.
Back at the Bunker, Sam mixes up Henry’s time travel spell. Dean says they’ve never used it before, but Rowena put a tweak on it so it should work. Sam and Dean both have the feels about sending Gavin back to the ship. Although, couldn’t they have just sent him back to that next morning? He could collect Fiona and neither one of them would have to die? Granted, that would make it difficult for Bobby to get his soul back, so.
Sam reads the incantation. Gavin waits anxiously for the spell to take effect. The blood sigil flares with power. Fiona appears next to him. They join hands and dissipate in a flash of glowing, golden light.
Rowena sips from a thermos of tea as she waits for her bus. Crowley appears next to her. He says what she did is a low, even for her. He wants to know what her ugly, spiteful, rancid reason was for sending his son – her grandson – to his death.
“The child I loved more than you. The boy you made me kill.” Well, made. It was Rowena’s choice to complete the spell to remove the Mark of Cain. Rowena may have loved Oskar, but she wanted the magic in the Book of the Damned more than she wanted him, so.
She says that what Gavin did was the right thing for him. And it allowed her to watch Crowley suffer the loss of a child. “I’m your mother, dear. Who better to crush your shriveled heart?”
Sam does a search for news about Fiona’s victims and declares history back on track. The Bunker’s front door squeals open and Mary comes down the stairs. Sam translates Dean’s grumpy greeting into, “We missed you. Glad you’re back.” He gives her the sweetest puppy dog smile. Dean declares all forgiven when she presents them with burgers and beer. He asks what she’s been up to.
“Oh, jogging, tai-chi, meditation … melting rugaru brains.”
Mary takes a deep breath. There’s no easy way to say it, so she just puts it out there. “I have sort of been working with the British Men of Letters.”
The words hit Sam like a physical blow. He’s gobsmacked. I’m stunned that Show put it out there so quickly. Dean is just like, there it is. There’s the other shoe he’s been waiting all season to drop. With great effort he bites back and swallows his anger.
Sam reminds his mother that they have a … history … with the BMoL. Mary’s voice takes on a defensive edge. She says it was a hard decision, but they’re doing good work. Dean looks thoroughly disgusted and would very much like to put his fist through a wall.
Mary insists that she’s helped them save people – a lot of people! She says they can learn from the BMoL. The boys are silent. She snaps at Dean to not give her ‘the face’. He knows the one. I wanted very badly for Dean to tell Mary that she doesn’t get to play the mom card right now.
Sam says they have their own tool kit that works just fine. And for obvious reasons – like being shot and tortured and burned and mind fucked – they don’t trust the BMoL.
“So where does that leave us?”
Dean finally speaks. He stares his mother down. All of his hurt and disappointment is like a wall between them. Mary says same as always.
But it sounds like she’s trying to convince herself as much as her sons. And it’s a hard sell for all of them.
I’m not crazy with the direction that Show is taking Mary and I’m trying to decide how much of that has to do with gender norms. I was struck by how detached – cold – she seemed at times in “Stuck in the Middle,” which is something women, and women who are mothers, aren’t allowed to be. If this was John on a hunt, would it have read as focused and determined instead?
And maybe the snowy scene with Mr. Ketch is Show’s way of trying to address that question. Can she be a warm, loving mother and a cold, calculated killer? Does the one make her weaker as the other? It’s certainly at the heart of the conflict of her working with the BMoL.
And I guess we’re meant to assume that her goal is a monster-free world for her children’s sake, but that would feel more authentic if we actually spent any time with them as a family. Other than those few early conversations with Dean and Sam we haven’t seen Mary getting to know her sons as the adults they are now. What does she know about them? Their lives? Their hopes and dreams and disappointments?
In Season 6, Sam had a moment of doubt after he killed Zombie Grandpa, wondering what their mother would say about it. Dean’s response was that Mary would say, “Just cause you’re blood doesn’t make you family. You gotta earn that.” I wonder if that’s true. And if she has earned the right to call Sam and Dean family.
Supernatural airs Thursday at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) on The CW.