Saturday, May 20, 2017

Supernatural, Season 12, Episode 22: Who We Are

The newly brainwashed Mary is now hunting down other American Hunters – and Jody Mills is on her list.

Oh, Supernatural if you pull a Charlie on Jody there will be ructions!

In the bunker after Arthur has decided to embrace his inner Bond villain and leave them all to die slowly rather than just shoot them, the Winchesters and Toni discuss options. Option 1 is to kill Toni because EVIL. But she says she can deprogram Mary so they let her live for now.

So it’s time to escape.

Idea #1 involves Romani magic - and for once when drawing on Romani woo-woo we have both a lack of demonisation as evil and an open acknowledgement of Romani oppression.

It doesn’t work even with the purified virgin blood. Plan b involves sledgehammers (and blatantly remembered goggles which amused me muchly) which also doesn’t work

So time for Plan C – a grenade launcher

See, all problems in the world can be solved by a big enough explosion.

It breaks the door down – but it also injures Dean’s leg pretty badly.

They quickly send out warnings to the other hunters that the Men of Letters are totally evil guys before hurrying to warn Jody

Mary got their first – and is now tied to a chair because Jody and Alex are Not Playing.

Time for a big hunter reunion – and you can tell they’re all American hunters because of the sheer amount of flannel in the room. They must buy it wholesale.

There Sam confesses that he’s been totally taken in by the Men of Letters, reveals their true intention and begins to rally the hunters to attack. Frankly I don’t buy the whole speech. It’s too emotional, too dramatic, too idealistic. I don’t think the flannel wearing gang are the kind of people to be that moved by emotion

Still it works and they charge in and start murdering men of letters. After all the Men of Letters spends most of their time murdering each other and most of the rest seem to have no combat abilities. Also the Men of Letters have no concept on how to defend a place. Really, they’re astonishingly bad at this.

There ends in a confrontation with Dr. Hess who insists they need the British Men of Letters because Lucifer is out and about – and they have footage to prove it. Sam considers it but rightly decides against trusting them again and shoots the computer – while Jody shoots Dr. Hess (I think because Supernatural is concerned at the optics of a man they designate good guy shooting a woman). The Men of Letters are finished

Except Arthur Ketch who is tracking Mary.

Mary was left with Dean and Toni – because Dean’s leg meant he didn’t want to go on the attack – or so he claimed; it was a useful excuse. Because he wants to fix mother Mary

Trusting Toni and her electrodes and drugs (ye gods, why would he trust her!)

The drugs work magically and allow him to enter Mary’s head where she has weaved a happy fantasy of her and her two sons as small children and her playing mother. And Dean savagely and emotionally attacks her – invoking the whole life he has had to live since she died, since she “left them.” How their father became completely absent, how he was left to basically raise Sam alone, all the things Sam had to endure, from going to hell to losing his soul et al. He drops it all on Mary, says it was all her fault while at the same time emotionally forgiving her for everything.

Gah, no. And yes. I mean yes because Dean’s anger, emotions rage, et al – that’s all reasonable. The target isn’t – but Dean having a chance to rant and cry over what life has served them? That’s powerful. That’s pointful, that’s important. He has every right to be angry at his life and what he endured. He has every right to be furious about everything, to rage against this and double points for finally acknowledging that John Winchester was an utterly terrible father

But putting it on Mary? No, that’s intolerable – there’s absolutely no way she can carry the blame for DYING just because of Motherhood. And I get needing an emotional shock to rally her – but this is a problem when it’s picked up later

Getting to that – first while Dean is brain visiting with Mary, he’s rudely awakened by Arthur who has already murdered Toni (again sparing us the bad optics of Dean killing Toni and the terrible decision of letting her actually live). Arthur and the injured and drugged Dean fight, because Arthur seems to have just decided to do everything the long way and isn’t just going to shoot people any more. Which gives Mary time to wake up and shoot him. Twice. Now the Men of Letters are dead

And we can have a reunion of the Winchesters and especially Dean and Mary talking about their lives and a fresh start. But she’s fully internalised the idea that she’s to blame for Sam and Dean’s lives. She talks about whether Sam could ever forgive her and is absorbing a whole lot of guilt. See guilt about the Hunters she killed? I can get that, I can run with that. But guilt because she died and “failed” as a mother? Guilt because Sam and Dean led unpleasant lives because she died? No, I can’t accept this – this HAS to be challenged. To make Mary responsible for their entire

Especially since John never came into even half the slam that Mary just has – and he had far less excuse for being such a terrible parent. John got the heartfelt but quiet disapproval of Bobby (oh I miss Bobby. And you want to do a scene about parenting the Winchesters and how badly it went? Bring Bobby back somehow and have Mary thank him for being the one true parents her sons ever had), nothing like this emotional savaging.

This whole episode had a lot of emotional moments in classic Supernatural fashion but I think they were all off - they were poorly directed or to a wrong audience or just a bit contrived. But at least Jody lived