It’s time for the Supernatural Season 12 Road So Far recap for the Brothers Winchester!
They are in every single episode (every single year for 12 years!) so their recap is going to be a bit … long. Grab a cuppa of your fav beverage.
We left the boys last season with one thinking the other was dead. That scene with the boys standing at Mary’s gravesite was sure a neon sign, but I didn’t guess it ahead of time. Dean turns out to not be dead after all (cuz ‘smart’ Dean talked the all powerful Gods off the ledge) but poor Sam goes home to what should have been an empty bunker and gets shot for the trouble. What a crappy way to end that day.
S12 picks right up with Dean meeting his not dead anymore mom. It’s hard to imagine what that would be like for him but the shock of it is painted across his face. Dean is thrown into emotional turmoil with her resurrection, and I’m not sure he’s recovered yet. It’s completely unexpected, this gift from the Darkness who says Mary is what he most needs. Those words are a little hard to reconcile with what then happens, which is the total demystification of Mary Winchester. She’s not the mother he remembered as a 4 year old. She doesn’t cook, and it turns out, she didn’t stop hunting even after he was born. She doesn’t react to her boys the way they imagined. Maybe that’s the problem. The way Dean imagined her was just that, an idea based on the memories of a little boy. Then his father promoted the myth and the pedestal mount, constantly reinforcing an somewhat unrealistic view of who his mother was. John gives Dean the details how he met her, a litany Dean memorized and could then recite.
Sam, of course, has a different view. He never knew his mom to begin with. He has no memories of her at all. She’s a picture in Dean’s wallet to him and other people’s memories of her. So he doesn’t have the same preconceived idea of who she is as opposed to who Dean thinks she is. It didn’t surprise me that Sam was first to pick up on the immediate difficulty Mary started out in.
When she leaves them, it hurts Sam, not only because he’s only just getting the first chance he’s ever had to get to know her, to fill in the long, terrible blank, but also because she hurts Dean – badly.
Dean was in denial over her difficulty in fitting in and being alive, thrown back into the mind of that 4 year old boy whose life was destroyed by her death. All he wanted was his family to be whole, as complete as it could be. He couldn’t see the trouble she was having. He has difficulty seeing Mary as a real person rather than the idealized memory.
4, 5 and 6 come and hints of the BMOL start to fold into the story line, but hints only. Sam and Dean are in the dark on the killing of Magda, the psychic girl they gave a second chance to. (One of the overarching themes of the season: the second chance).
Dean kills Hitler. No second chances there though. But he still doesn’t get to use the grenade launcher. Dean and Sam are a little more at ease over Mary’s absence. She’s communicating with them while she’s off trying to figure things out, but they run into her in Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox. (The hunter who accidentally kills Asa is given a second, albeit, unpleasant second chance as well. They don’t kill him after all.) We see a bit more of Sam’s understanding side toward his mom. He wants everything to work out just as much as Dean but his methods are different. Dean gets mad, takes a walk, and cools down. Both of them failed to mention their mother to Jody on a 5 hour trip to the funeral, so clearly, the wounds are deep. They are instantly terrified that Mary will agree with Billie the Reaper’s suggestion that she doesn’t belong, and then immediately relieved when she refuses what’s been offered. While they both want her to come back to the Bunker, they settle for breakfast, with lots of bacon.
7, 8, and 9 and we’re on the Lucifer track, trying to find him, trying to figure out a way to get rid of him. Sam was especially magnificent in Rock Never Dies, holding the concert hall doors open so everyone could escape and he did so against the power of an archangel. THE archangel.
Interesting that they try to talk him out of being a dick – there’s that second chance thing again – but of course, with Lucifer it doesn’t work and he vamooses out of poor shriveled Vince and in quick succession, right into POTUS, who is then LOTUS. Oh show.
Sam, once again and appropriately so, wields the golden egg thing against the devil to get him out of the President, and succeeds. The boys are in the dark about Lucifer not being in the cage though. Not good. Boy ain’t that gonna come as a surprise when they find out. And he’s back in Nick, who tortured Sam both in Hell (in that visage at least) and out of hell, so when Sam faces him again, it’s gonna be bad. It’ll be bad for Dean too because it’ll be bad for Sam. Brothers.
The Sam and Dean parts of ep 9 First Blood were nothing but spectacular. The badassery was in full epic force, especially the show down with the special forces team hunting them. Dean warned them after all. “You’re trapped out here with us.” But they didn’t believe it until the end when they didn’t die and could have. “We’re the guys who save the world,” says Sam and truer words were never spoken.
Of course those Winchesters make a not so smart deal with Billie the Reaper to initiate their getting out of lock down. I get it. Solitary confinement is considered torture in most civilized corners of the world. All kinds of terrible psychological effects are caused by it. Seriously, go look up the effects of that kind of deprivation and you’ll understand better why Dean equated it to hell. It was, however, still a bad deal, but thank Chuck for Cas, who put a quick end to Billie, cosmic consequences be damned. (He is so much a Winchester – initiation passed).
The boys are in the dark about Ketch killing all the people the boys just let live. The boys are in the dark about a lot of things! Ack! I don’t like it!
10, 11 and 12 are Cas and Dean intensely personal stories and 12 is the cluster F*ck that informs the rest of the season, and one of the best eps so far. Maybe Dean being in solitary for 6+ weeks led him to be all bent out of shape toward Cas over killing Billie, but snarky Dean is one of my favorite Deans and Sam in the middle was down right hilarious. Dean, of course, is just being over-protective Dean and he’s terrified, under the snark, that something terrible is going to happen to his best friend. I think Cas’ beautiful and raging mad speech threw both boys just a tad and prompted Dean to own up to being worried, not mad. Neither Sam or Dean like it much when other people (angels) treat their adopted brother like shit.
Jensen Ackles just shines in Regarding Dean, playing a nuanced new version of the elder Winchester we’ve never seen before. It was horrifying for Sam (and us) to watch his brother slipping away as if he had rapidly advancing Alzheimer’s. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I completely lost it when Dean sat in front of that mirror and couldn’t remember his name. Sam had a pretty tough time of it too, but I never tire of seeing Sam trying to save his brother. It’s my favorite Sam Winchester – and he does it impeccably.
It did have it’s funny moments too though:
Plus, there’s this:
The best thing about the season so far is how on the same page the Winchester brothers are. They still have the usual disagreements; on a number of issues. Dean, before he forgets, doesn’t want Sam to call Rowena to help save him. Sam doesn’t like working with Crowley, still, but Dean’s more okay with it. Sam’s more forgiving of his mom and gets Dean to see that she’s got to be allowed to live her own life. They still bicker and joke and tease, but when push comes to shove, they stand shoulder to shoulder. Stuck in the Middle (With You) was a perfect example of everything these boys are – the perfect team.
13, 14, 15 – Family Feud, The Raid, and Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell started with the world crashing down when the boys find out that Mary is working with the BMOL at the end of 13, thus the ep title.
And it’s not a season of Supernatural if at some point or the other the boys don’t keep a secret (or two), which is what Sam does after the Raid. Now he’s working with the BMOL. I get that too. He accepts his life and that he’s a hunter, but the methods he sees, which granted are just the surface of the BMOL methods, not the dark underbelly, give him a sense that maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not an oncoming train. I think he is momentarily enraptured with the idea that maybe there’s a way out, to a different life for he and his family. And we got another dose of BAMF Sam Winchester to boot, so the Raid was one of my favs as well.
Meanwhile, Dean is off sizing up the psycho Ketch and doesn’t like what he sees. He’s also coming to terms with what Mary is doing, though there was that little boy again, telling his mom he didn’t need her to make his sandwiches or kiss him goodnight – except his voice betrays that no really, that’s exactly what he wants. Why can’t you be just a mom for once? (from 12.13) but he’s an adult, he says and he has to get used to her doing things he really doesn’t like.
And now Dean is in the dark, momentarily, about Sam also working with the BMOL, but thankfully, it doesn’t last and Sam comes clean. Wonder of wonders – Dean doesn’t react the way I expected (or maybe anyone else). He’s calm. He’s almost withdrawn and part of me wonders if he’s just not walling himself off from all the betrayals coming at him. But in the end he agrees to go along with the plan to work with the Brits. He even tells Sam that he’s right, and I think I can count on one hand the number of times that’s happened. I was shocked.
The effect this has on Sam is interesting to note too. He’s all slouched over as he apologizes for lying about it all, but when Dean says he’s right, suddenly Sam gets 3 inches taller. Sam is perfectly capable. He’s a total bad ass, but deep down he still needs his brother’s approval, and when he gets it, it means the world to him.
I was also pretty wigged out about the hell hound following on Dean’s heels practically the whole damn ep and I’m glad BAMF Sam was the one to kill it. I hope, fervently, that Dean Winchester never has to deal with another hell hound – ever.
16, 17, 18 are Ladies Drink Free, The British Invasion and the Memory Remains – the last ep before we start back up into the juggernaut of the last 5 eps of Season 12. I can’t believe we’re almost there – already!
Mick Davies gets to hang out with Sam and Dean and Claire, who almost ends up a werewolf. He gets a second chance, short-lived though it is. Dean listens to other people again when it comes to making decisions for them – as in it’s not his call. Just like he doesn’t get to tell his mother what to do, he can’t tell Claire not to take the cure even though it might kill her.
This is a sea change for Dean to accept and cede control to others. A sign of maturity? Or just a huge mistake? It worked out well for Claire, who made the call and didn’t die, but Dean’s got great instincts that are rarely wrong. I’ve a feeling that when it all goes into the shitter, as it invariably will, that Dean Winchester is going to be the one standing there saying ‘SEE? I TOLD you!”
The British Invasion changes the stakes for everyone and sets the boys up for the rest of the season. Sam gets some quality time with one of our favorite guest hunters, Eileen Leahy and the flirt-fest that ensued was super cute. Mick ends up dead and a hit is put out on all American hunters.
The boys are in the dark about Mick being dead. The Memory Remains was another perfect Winchester’s in sync episodes, along with hysterical brother teasing to boot. It’s the life-long awareness of each other, the strengths and faults that allow them both to poke fun at each other that’s endearing and melts my heart when I get to see it. Also, another ep of BAMF Sam.
There’s almost been a little bit of a role reversal this season between these two. It’s not every year that we get to see Sam saving his brother from all comers, in quite a few episodes. It makes me a bit uneasy, and intrigued. I’m worried about the reflection Dean shared with his little brother, about their legacy, and while that ‘making their mark’ moment, carving their initials into the table was beautiful (and made me weep) it’s like a harbinger of doom.
Because this is Supernatural. And we don’t get to keep nice things.
So here we are and they’ve got us by the short and curlies:
- Mary is still working closely (too closely) with the BMOL
- Sam and Dean are on the same page, but don’t know what we know. Ack!
- Cas is MIA up in heaven.
- Lucifer is not in the cage, and about to be a father.
- Dagon, the Prince of Hell, has the ‘container’ Kelly Kline on lock down.
- There’s another Prince of Hell out there somewhere.
- Crowley is playing with fire and trying to secure the throne – again.
- The Brits are out to kill all the American Hunters.
- The Colt is back where it belongs – with Dean.
- Baby is 50 and looking mighty fine.
That’s a wrap on the recap! I’m sure I left bits and pieces out – maybe important ones. This has been a dense, complex, super packed season so far and I expect the rest of it will be one helluva rollercoaster ride. Buckle up, y’all!