Supernatural: The Raid recap and review

It’s been a while since I last felt the burning need to review an episode of my favorite show, but I’m so intrigued by what’s happening in Season 12, I really need to! So here goes:

Standard SPOILER warning to all who have not seen this episode.

Written by Robert Berens and directed by John MacCarthy, Supernatural’s 14th entry of season 12 was a heart-breaking and heart-pounding romp start to finish.

First, the heartbreak:

We start this episode right where we left off in the last one; in the Bunker, Mary facing off against a united Sam and Dean over her working with the British Men of Letters. They do not understand why she’s chosen the Brits over her own sons. That’s what it looks like to Dean especially. When he angrily asks Mary why she can’t for once just be a mom, Mary responds that she is their mother but she isn’t just a mom and her boys are not children.

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Dean: I never was.

Ouch. Dean is speaking a deeply buried truth here, something he doesn’t normally do with anyone except maybe Sam. Dean is trying to convey to his once dead mother (only on Supernatural do we get to say things like that) this massive depth of pain over not having her his whole life. He’s yelling at her ‘you were gone!’ and then, when she’s so unexpectedly returned to life, the last thing he expects is that she wouldn’t want to be part of his or Sam’s life. That’s what it feels like to Dean. He can’t see it any other way – yet – and kicks Mom to the curb.Sam goes along with his big brother, this time, and tells her she should go.

And that was just the first five minutes. Before the titlecard even! So many feels! Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Samantha Smith nailed this entire encounter. Just nailed it.

Right from the jump, I’m weeping for both those boys. They haven’t exactly had an easy go of it. Dean ended up mostly raising his little brother and Sam just never knew his mother at all. Turns out neither of them did. It’s just heartbreaking to watch the total destruction of this ideal they had, the myth of Mary. Well, that ship has sure sailed. I completely understand their perspective.

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But…I also understand Mary. She didn’t want this life for her children. I thought all along when she went to the BMOL to work with them it was because she saw in them a way to fix what she feels she started. Except she didn’t start it. She was set up from the get-go to bring these two boys into the world. I’m not really buying that she died by accident. The angels and demons wanted Sam and Dean in this life, learning how to be hard and dangerous killers. They are the vessels of Michael and Lucifer, so no, Mary didn’t start them on this path. She either doesn’t know that, or can’t accept that she couldn’t do anything about it then. She’s trying to fix it now though.

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She explains that to Sam after he caves and goes to see her while Dean is off drinking away his heartbreak. Mary shows Sam the very cool BMOL HQ that seriously looked like the USS Enterprise. (Kudos to the entire production crew. That set was amazing!) Sam is hesitant and at first not really impressed – until he learns that the Brits have killed off all but 11 vamps in the entire midwest. Seriously? Really? No matter what you think about the BMOL – that’s some pretty decent work there. Sam thinks so too.

Meanwhile, Dean’s back in the bunker and finds a brief ‘Went out. Be back later’ note from Sam. And about that time, the enigmatic Mr. Ketch turns up bearing gifts. My twitter feed: Dean is now Rufus! A throwback to that time when Dean went to get info from Rufus bearing a bottle of Johnnie Walker, Ketch arrives with a very expensive bottle of scotch. Dean lets him in.

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He remains skeptical and pretty close to surly toward Ketch, who seems completely unaffected by that and in his dripping dapper way, announces he’s off to hunt some fang. Dean, who really wants to kill something to blow off steam and anger, is interested. They go off, driving separately, thank Chuck (Not sure I could have handled seeing Ketch riding in Baby. That’s a nope), and arrive to find the vamp nest … empty. Well except for one vampire Ketch finds hiding among the corpses.

Here is where the big difference between two men who are killers by trade are differentiated. One has humanity and the other is just a cold, cruel bastard. Ketch is a little like Gordon, with a single-minded, ‘kill all the monsters’ mentality. There are no shades of gray for him. Ketch starts to beat the vampire to get information out of her but Dean stops him. He’s still going to kill the vampire, but he’s not going to make her suffer, and he’s not going to torture her either. They find out from her that the home office is in trouble.

And boy are they. The Alpha Vamp, the big daddy of them all, has returned from Season 8 (so much for seeing us ‘next season’, lol) and he is pissed! He sends his vampire horde to the BMOL Star Trek bunker, which is fancy and all, but not designed to withstand a monster attack. See, those Brits are smart about killing monsters sure, but they have this better than everyone and everything mentality. A little bit too big for their britches here, and a whole bunch of people die because of their arrogance.

They’d all have died except for Sam Fucking Winchester. Full stop.

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Sam Winchester – the Vampire Slayer!

Even when Sam discovers the full extent of Mary’s behind their back actions (She stole the colt!), he keeps it together (barely) and forms a hasty plan to try and keep them all alive. Smart Sam is one of my favoritest things to see. He whips out a pad of paper and gives Mick Davies, who’s about to piss himself, the means to make bullets that will work in the colt. Then off he goes with Mary and another hunter for the armory to get the fancy toy.

Despite all that, it all goes to shit pretty fast. While Sam is killing vamps, Mary is getting the toys and gets knocked out cold by an American hunter, Pierce, who it turns out is on the payroll of the Alpha Vamp. Crap!

 

The BMOL ends up pretty decimated – the nerds get killed off and then Sam and Mary arrive. The BEST part ensues where the three of them, Sam, Mick and Mary trick AV into thinking that the Winchesters are going to hand over the Brit if they’re allowed to leave unharmed. A scuffle ensues between Mick, who is pissed at being thrown to the slaughter, and Sam. Mary almost gets herself killed attacking the Alpha, but turns out to be part of the unspoken ruse. She’s the distraction so that Mick can hand over the only bullet to Sam who then loads the Colt lickety split, all smooth-like and just like that Alpha Vamp goes down.

Sam Fucking Winchester!

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RIP in Purgatory good/notgood sir. I always liked the Alpha Vamp, which is admittedly a weird thing to say about a monster. He was deliciously evil. And who knows, maybe we’ll run across him again. It is Supernatural, after all.

AND THEN – Dean and Ketch arrive to find everything all sorted without them. Dean admits to Mary that when he thought something was going to happen to her, nothing else mattered to him. He gets it. She’s his mom. He’s an adult. He doesn’t need her to make him sandwiches or kiss him goodnight (He’s lying through his teeth. He barely got that out. My heart broke again). He doesn’t like what she’s doing but knows he’s not going to be able to stop her.

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AND THEN!!! – here’s the real kicker. Sam goes to tell Mick, head of BMOL-Stateside that he’s in. He’s going to join them. He’ll work on getting Dean to join up too.

And I get it. Sam has never wanted this life. He accepts that it is what it is, but it’s never been what he wanted. He’s said a couple times to Dean, is this it? Don’t you want anything more? His mother is telling him that she sees a way out for them all. He’s witnessed for himself that the BMOL are not wholly staffed by psychotic nutjobs like Torturing Toni. Maybe he really believes that this is the light at the end of a very long dark tunnel.

Or maybe not. Maybe he knows, like Dean, that his mom is sticking with these people and he’s going along so he can keep an eye on her. Maybe it’s a little of both. I really don’t know.

One of the things about this season that I absolutely adore is just that. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I don’t know if Sam is going to tell Dean right off what’s going on, or about the Colt, or if he’s going to wait for the right moment to break it to him. (That never goes well). I don’t know if Sam picked a side like Dean said he should. I don’t know if Dean, once he knows Sam is on board, will go along with it. Or maybe he’ll stubbornly stick to the original plan, which was to steer clear of the Brits as much as possible. I don’t know if Dean’s right or if Sam’s right or if Mary is right!

I don’t know if the BMOL are what they say they are and they’re only trying to help, or if there’s some underlying, very bad thing that’s going on that’s going to rear its ugly head a few eps down the road. I do know I don’t trust them. Ketch is just such a creepy mofo and then he’s super charming. One minute he seems to care a great deal about Mary and then blink and he’s that cold, cruel bastard who can put a bullet in the head of a psychic girl or cut the throats of Seal Team 6. One of these days, the Winchesters are going to find out about all that. I sure hope it’s soon.

And this is only one sliver of all the plots going on right now. There’s still Lucifer and his little bun in the oven to deal with. Somewhere, somehow, there are cosmic consequences coming at us. Holy crap! There’s only 9 eps left to find out. Season 12, man. Season 12.

Mad props to Adam Fergus (Mick Davies), and David Haydn-Jones (Mr. Ketch). They are a a brilliant addition to the amazing cast of this show. It was great to see Rick Worthy again and I’m sad to see him go. Everyone was stellar in this episode. Everyone. It had us barreling another mile down the road toward the finale and I can’t wait to see the amazing journey of Sam and Dean Winchester continue to unfold.

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