Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Supernatural season 12 premiere “Keep Calm and Carry On.” If you haven’t watched the episode yet, jump into the Impala and drive away.
When the Darkness left alongside God at the end of season 11 of Supernatural, presumably to go enlist in some intense therapy boot camp, she gave Dean a parting gift. Not for some engraved plaque, no—she went bigger and more personal: she resurrected Mary Winchester. The return of Mama Winchester is a huge turn for the show. Her death is the reason Sam and Dean grew up as hunters. But how did she affect the family dynamic in the season 12 premiere?
Well, firstly, she only got time with Dean. It, unsurprisingly, seems like a jarring sensation to have been brought back from the dead, so it’s no wonder she was a little unsure and off the entire episode. When she first encountered grown-up Dean, she had no idea who he was and didn’t even realize she’d been dead for over 30 years. But for a person who had to digest a lot of bizarre information in a short span of time, Mary actually held it together well. She used to be a hunter; elements like angels and God were above her pay grade in her hunting days, but she didn’t need to have her hand held. As Dean so simply and accurately put it, “It’s a lot.”
I like how Mary rolled with information about God and his sister and Castiel being an angel without really blinking an eye—there was the slightest amount of “What?!” in her voice though—but she got hung up on technology. Jumping into this present when most of us are connected to screens during many of our waking hours had to be a slap in the face. Mary’s incredulity at the tech around her was apparent, and it gave her a cool way to relate to Castiel and interact with him.
They didn’t spend a lot of time unpacking all the emotion and angst, but it’s only the beginning. They had some Catch-Up 101 to get through. Mary will likely be around for a while, and she’ll have plenty of time to talk with her sons after she, Dean, and Castiel rescue Sammy from the British Men of Letters.
The organization was another high point in “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Overall, the episode was a little sleepy for a season premiere. Emotions ran high, a new and serious threat was introduced, and they followed up a little on the Lucifer thread, but I wasn’t on the edge of my seat, you know? I still enjoyed much of what we saw, especially little moments like Dean realizing why his mother looked so lovingly at the backseat of the Impala.
But back to the British Men of Letters. I’m impressed. Don’t get me wrong, they’re going about their “make America safe” program (sound familiar to anyone?) in a terrible fashion, but it’s interesting to see how hunting is handled in another country. Of course the British would be so proper and systematic about it. They haven’t lost an innocent life to a monster since 1965 thanks to their proactive, no-nonsense system. They’ve made hunting clinical. I’m not sure what to think about the change.
The concept of other branches of Men of Letters still being around and kicking gives the mythology a kick in the pants it needs to keep season 12 fresh. I have a hunch Toni won’t be the only agent we see, and based on how she reacted to Sam, maybe she’ll come around and start working with the Winchesters. I want her to see the ways they can make forward steps without her having to resort to torture. America isn’t her or the British Men of Letters’ problem to fix.
Random thought before I wrap up: Did Cass seem to be more blunt and careless to anyone else? He left the truck driver who found him behind, he didn’t hesitate to beat up the veterinarian to get answers, and he’s wasn’t kind and cuddly unless he was hugging Dean. Is this a return to the more dickish Cass we met way back when? By the way, I’m changing my spelling to Cass instead of Cas because Misha Collins just shared a pic of one of his scripts and the print says Cass. It doesn’t get more official than that.
Are looking forward to seeing more of the dynamic Mary brings to the team? Tell me in the comments.
Images: The CW