Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 06/29/17

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Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

Hey, all! Sorry for the missing section last week! Have to move, so this summer might see a week here or there without anything from me. Hopefully, I will be settled in an awesome place by the end of August! Keep your fingers crossed!

For fans of the old TV show Lois and Clark, Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain reunited for a fun photo reunion!

Fox has announced its fall premiere dates. Gotham is set to air on Thursday, September 28, while Lucifer and new show The Gifted are set to premiere on Monday, October 2.

American Gods: Season one is over, but there are hints of what to come in season two starting to trickle out. EW has up a video interview with comments from actors Pablo Schreiber, Yetide Badaki, Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, author Neil Gaiman, and executive producers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green. Deadline has up an interview with executive producer Michael Green and Bryan Fuller on season two’s tone. The Hollywood Reporter has up an interview with actress Yetide Badaki on Bilquis’ predicament.

American Horror Story: The show has cast former Arrow and Teen Wolf star Colton Haynes for an unknown new role.

Black Lightning: Idigitaltimes has up an interview with showrunner and co-creator Tony Isabella on the comic and the new CW series.

The Defenders: TV Line has up the latest promotional poster for the team-up series. It debuts Friday, August 18.

Doctor Who: Den of Geeks has a list of “easter eggs” for last weekend’s episode “The Eaters of Light.” The Royal Television website has up an interview with new showrunner Chris Chibnall on what he has planned for his first season as showrunner. The official ratings came out for “Empress of Mars.” The show was watched by 5.02 million viewers, making it 23rd-most-watched program of the week. It also had an Appreciation Index of 83. The official ratings for “Lie of the Land” also came out and the show was watched by 4.82 million viewers, making it the first time the show has officially fallen below five million viewers. Last weekend’s episode “The Eaters of Light” had an Appreciation Index of 81. It also had an overnight viewing figure of 2.89 million viewers. While that is the lowest the series has had so far, it was still a share of 22% of the total TV audience, as ratings for all series that night were down.

Game of Thrones: Deadline has up the latest promotional posters for each main character. There’s also some new footage out there for the new season.

Jessica Jones: Zimbio has up some season two set photos of Krysten Ritter and Rachel Taylor filming.

Legends of Tomorrow: The show has cast actor Billy Zane as P.T. Barnum, the famous circus man.

The Originals: The third season finale aired last week, and several outlets have some post-mortem interviews with exiting executive producer Michael Narducci. EW, TV Line and The Hollywood Reporter all have interviews up.

Preacher: TV Insider has up an interview with showrunner Sam Catlin on season two.

Star Trek Discovery: EW has up some details on how the new incarnation of show will be different from the previous incarnations in both storytelling and character writing. EW also has up the first look of Jason Issacs as Captain Lorca. And the show finally has an airdate! It will premiere on both CBS and CBS Access on Sunday, September 24.

Supergirl: The show has itself some new showrunners in the form of Jessica Queller and Robert Rovner. They will be “co-showrunners” alongside co-creator Andrew Kreisberg.

Wynonna Earp: EW has up an interview with showrunner Emily Andras on what’s going on with the characters in early season two.

Over at EW, the latest Spoiler Room has spoilers on shows Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow. And last week’s Spoiler Room column had Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spoilers.

At TV Line, the latest Ask Ausiello has spoilers on shows Fear the Walking Dead, Preacher, Supernatural and Stranger Things.

Supernatural (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

Check out my Patreon page. Help me keep this column going, pay Heather, and start doing Supernatural reviews again.

Filming begins July 12.

The repeats of season 12 continue tonight with 12.11 and 12.12. They won’t have any repeats next week, according to the print edition of TV Guide, so we may be done for the summer with season 12 reruns.

This fall, the show will remain at 8pm on Thursdays and come back on October 12. Its lead-out will be Arrow.

San Diego Comic-Con, runs July 20-23. The show is back in Hall H Sunday morning at 10:30 (PST) and will last an hour. It’s also the last show event of the con. No word yet on guests.

Season 12 is available for pre-order on Amazon and will come out on September 5.

There will be three calendars for 2018: two large calendars out on July 1 and two mini calendars on September 1.

For those following the repeats or otherwise trying to catch up, here is the Season 12 line-up (23 episodes): “Keep Calm and Carry On” (12.01) official photos and press release; “Mamma Mia” (12.02) synopsis and photos; “The Foundry” (12.03) synopsis, official photos, sneak peek, and promo; “American Nightmare” (12.04) synopsis, official photos and promo; “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” (12.05) synopsis, promo and set photos; “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” (12.06) synopsis, photos and promo; “Rock Never Dies” (12.07) synopsis, photos and promo; “LOTUS” (12.08) synopsis, photos and promo; “First Blood” (12.09) synopsis, photos, promo and sneak peek, as well as an extended promo; “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” (12.10) (this is the one with Alicia Witt) synopsis, photos and promo, and sneak peek; “Regarding Dean” (12.11) tech survey card, synopsis, set photo, promo and official photos; “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” (12.12) tech survey card, synopsis, preliminary photo (this one’s directed by Richard Speight Jr.), and official photos and promo; “Family Feud” (12.13) synopsis; “The Raid” (12.14) tech survey card, synopsis, and promo and official photos; “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” (12.15) tech survey card, synopsis, official photos and promo; “Ladies Drink Free” (12.16) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, sneak peeks, and promo; “The British Invasion” (12.17) synopsis, photos, mini-doc, promo and tech survey card; “The Memory Remains” (12.18) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, promo, sneak peek, and title; “The Future” (12.19) tech survey card and partial title card, showing the director is Amanda Tapping, and the writers are Robert Berens and Meredith Glynn, and synopsis and promo, sneak peek, and photos; “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” (12.20) tech survey card, showing Richard Speight Jr. returning to direct and synopsis; “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by John Showalter; and “Who We Are” (12.22) and “All Along the Watchtower” (12.23 – season finale) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by Robert Singer and written by Andrew Dabb.

The big news for last and this week was that they’re going to have another backdoor pilot for a spinoff, called “Wayward Sisters,” centered around Jody Mills. Briana Buckmaster (Donna) posted on Facebook that she was officially joining the spinoff, but then apparently deleted the post.

I like Jody and Donna a lot, but I’m skeptical about the official premise that Jody is going to start bringing in young girls who have been damaged by the supernatural world and train them to be crack Hunters. That’s a little too “Potentials on Buffy” for me and these particular showrunners can’t even make a decent premise work, let alone one as awful as the Potentials. They certainly don’t serve female characters well.

So, fingers and toes crossed on this one.

Show producer Jason Fischer reported on Twitter that everyone would start getting back to work on Wednesday (June 21).

I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Children, with reviews to follow. I’m working on the review for the season finale now.

Ratings for the repeats of 12.09 (“First Blood”) and 12.10 (“Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets”) “were even” at 0.2/1 in demo, and up a bit from last week to 0.73 and 0.83 million respectively.

For the year, Supernatural came in fifth in L+3 (average 0.9) and L+7 (1.0) demos, slightly behind the top four.

The show came in fourth (the link last week was too vague) on Netflix downloads for the year. The only other CW show in the top ten was Gilmore Girls, which was canceled a decade ago (though it did recently have a crowd-sourced miniseries revival).

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82 thoughts on “Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 06/29/17”

  1. Michael was basically withholding a terminal diagnosis from a dying woman. It is a bit of false mercy, but it also failed to allow her to make choices that might have put her mind at peace when she died. No wonder she came back as a ghost. Of course, Michael was using Azazel and Lucifer’s plans for Sam as a springboard for his own schemes for Dean.

    For me, this helps explain some of Mary’s ambivalence toward her sons. In addition to any guilt in regard to the demon deal, there is probably shame at the violation of her will, which kept her from using knowledge she rightfully had to save her family. Unfortunately, not facing that shame made her vulnerable to the MOL. The funny thing is at first she seemed to, but later she backed off. I think that was after Sam gave her John’s journal. I guess it was all just too much for her.

    The question of free will in Supernatural is an interesting one. Free will is a nearly constant theme, but the only character who ever consistently displays it is Dean. Angels only have it when they fall, and then they appear terrified by it. Ghosts and demons have mostly enslaved themselves. Mary is first exploited by angels, but in her second life she is easily manipulated as well. If John really gave it all up for vengeance, then he doomed himself in the process. Sam , of course, traded his for power. Mostly, free will is the rope they use to hang themselves.

    Of course, Dean has been exploited most of his life, which may explain why he clings so hard to his free will. But he’s willing to face himself, his faults and his difficult history, so he never loses this. All of the others could, ostensibly, face themselves and regain their will, but seem unwilling to do the work required. You have to face the ugly to be free. Maybe there is a chance for Mary now.

    1. Actually, Michael colludes in Azazel’s murder of Mary. Remember that not all of the deal-makers or mothers died in nursery fires. If Azazel was left alone, he didn’t kill anyone while he was poisoning the Psykids with his blood. Mary didn’t have to die.

      Dean not only is the only person in the story who consistently is able to engage in Free Will, but he also possesses the (so far unparalleled) superpower of enabling others to use their Free Will, as well, in the most dire of circumstances. The latest example is Mary, who was able to break the supposedly permanent and indelible LoL conditioning, not only to recognize Dean in her dream but to then shoot Retch to save her son.

      1. So true. And he has the ability to redeem any supernatural being who forms a relationship with him including God.

      2. Is there evidence that Michael communicated with Azazel or Lucifer over Mary’s situation? There might be, but I really don’t remember. If not, then Michael colluded with no one, but murdered her outright, using Azazel as his weapon.

        This does not make sense. As I understand it, Michael wanted Dean’s body as his vessel, not his soul. This did not require Mary’s death. After all, Dean was alive and well. Unless her death served some purpose of Michael’s that I am not aware of, her murder appears to be pure malice on Michael’s part.

        Dean’s superpower, as you call it, makes all the powers of all the others seem downright tawdry. All that glitters etc. Enabling others to use their free will could potentially have an iterative effect that is truly transforming.

        1. Michael wanted the Apocalypse. For that to happen Both Sam and Dean needed to play their roles as one true Vessels. Whereas we don’t necessarily see evidence of angelic tampering in Dean’s life other than making his parents fall in lI’ve and ensuring that Anna’s manipulation of the time line didn’t change the desired outcome, we did see that Azazel took a more proactive approach to ensure that Sam was corruptible
          Wiping Mary’s mind felt to me like Michael was ensuring the validity of th real time not changing it.
          Azazel was not a crossroads demon. We don’t know that he asked for anything other than a favor from Mary do we? There is no reason for her to expect her family would be harmed nor would hellhounds come a visiting 10 years down the road. In fact other than Lucifer’s favorite hellhound, the other hellhounds do their job without collateral damage as long as there is no interference. She had no reason to believe her family was at risk from the supernatural as long as they didn’t know about it. Dean took much the same approach with Lisa and Ben despite having seen so much morethan Mary.

          It was well established through the writing and acting that Mary felt guilty about her sons becoming hunters as a result of her deal. She joined with the MOL to rid the world of monsters so that her boys could have lives. This is so similar to Dean’s modus operandi of hunting to save people, save families as well as steadfastly protecting others from the knowledge of the supernatural world.
          One of the parallels in the Asa story was that Asa became a hunter because of Mary’s actions. She saved his life and took it away by introducing him to hunting. She felt guilty for that too.
          I think the reason that people have issues with resurrected Mary is that she is portrayed as a flawed human being, a Winchester, and a hunter rather than idealized perfect mommy. Whereas Dean comes to accepts this, forgives her for his lost childhood and forgives her for being a hunter not the perfect mommy; fans can’t forgive her. Dean, Sam and even John have behaved similarly yet they are revered for it. Dean saving Sam with a deal is canonized for his unselfish sacrifice even as it Jumpstart ed the Apocalypse.
          Double standard. Poor Mary. Poor Hillary. Both held to drastically different standards than the men bigly. So sad. So bad.

          1. All four of the archangels claimed there was a plan from the beginning and they appeared to have at least limited prescience about it. Even Gabriel was obsessed about it because they all felt that seeing the plan through would eventually bring things to some kind of resolution. Lucifer was determined to win. Michael thought he would by default. All of the archangels were willing to do things–some of them quite heinous–to ensue that the plan went through.

  2. Female Dr Who just named. Jodie Whittaker. Was in Broadchurch but don’t remember her. Will IMDB her to find out acting chops.

    1. I saw that before I left for work this morning. I’m sure the fandom is in full meltdown at this point.

  3. There was an article yesterday on io9.gizmodo.com which discussed Highlander, the TV series, and how ‘dated’ with ’90s tropes/film memes/however you describe it and how hard it was for the reviewer to watch just one season. There was discussion of how people picked fave episodes but ‘most’ series are 90% crap and that ‘most’ of her memories of Highlander were related to fanfic. I watched Highlander and loved it but I also remember that the show went to too many close-ups and stuff.

    Paula, I discussed with you how I liked the ‘film’ they used in the first few seasons and you said the technology changed to a different film. So never ‘going back’ to those days. Now for me the early seasons hold up very well, good scripts and GREAT acting. But I can’t pick out any particular ‘directorial’ things that have changed over the years.

    Anyone else see anything ‘yucky’ in earlier seasons? (Now in Season 6 rewatch and I have to say I found All Dogs Go to Heaven to be the bottom of the barrel. But again it’s the writing, I think the sets and the direction are not horrible or anything or do we have to go back 20yr to see all the differences?)

    1. People like that make me roll my eyes. As if anybody is forcing them to nostalgia-watch Highlander. Also, I hate to break it to her, but there was (and still is) plenty of shitty Highlander fanfic out there. Just thinking of Highlander torture porn (as in, X-rated porn that involved a huge amount of often-fatal torture) and the body-dysmorphic Duncan/Methos BDSM stuff still makes me cringe. Lord, did Highlander produce some bad fanfic. Some good stuff, too, but…damn. When it was bad, it was scary. I remember getting trashed for writing gen fic as if I were some kind of child molester–by people who thought writing about “sexy” child molestation was bold and groundbreaking, not creepy and kinda sad.

      Shows don’t age. They just look different twenty years later. The culture that judges them is twenty years different, the fans who used to love them twenty years older. But the shows? Nah, the shows don’t change. And some remain great, while some improve with time, while others…yeah.

      Highlander was always cheesy. It benefited from having some great stunt coordinators who produced brilliant sword fights (still miss those), some great locations in places like France and then-new British Columbia, and some wonderful side characters like Tessa, Joe, Amanda and Methos. But Duncan was always a bit of a putz (albeit very popular with a lot of fans at the time because Adrian Paul was very pretty in his prime), the historical flashbacks were almost invariably cheesy and poorly researched, and the writing was wildly uneven. I think that’s what ends up ageing shows the most–the writing.

      Maybe it’s just because I regularly watch older shows and classic movies that I don’t get my knickers in a bunch about “age.” A show you loved as a child that you no longer love didn’t change or age badly. You outgrew it. For example, I’m currently bingeing Star Trek:TOS on Netflix/Hulu and Relic Hunter on Comic-Con HQ, and enjoying both a lot more than I expected. I rewatched the musical Xena ep not too long ago and found it’s held up quite well. Made it through most of Bewitched and Emergency this past spring–yes, the earlier seasons are still good and yeah, they both fell off a bit the last few seasons.

      Regarding Supernatural, the last time I watched season two, I still think it’s held up very well. Season one…not so much with the lesser episodes. Things I used to just put up with that the show later went way too far on (Sam’s crap, looking at that) haven’t aged well. I also disliked, even when I first started watching, the cinematography and I still haven’t changed my mind on that. While I still think they could darken things a bit now, I found the show really murky and difficult to see at times in the first two seasons, especially on small screens. I also thought the editing was way too fast early on. And I know this isn’t popular, but the musical cues could be too much–too many, back-to-back, jarring and in-your-face in that way that was popular back in the mid-2000s and seems clumsy now.

      As far as the writing, it was stronger overall than I expected, but some episodes clearly fell flat. I’m thinking of “Hookman,” “Bloody Mary,” “Bugs,” “Route 666,” like that. The writing was really questionable on those. Big plot holes, character motivations that made no sense, general frat boy mentality, that sort of thing.

      I’m kinda glad JP stopped pouting and JA stopped letting his lower lip hang down, but overall, their acting holds up well. It’s amazing how much their buddy chemistry shines through.

      1. This has been an excellent thread. I wanted to start with that.

        Paula, I agree that Mary is a good complex character. CC, I agree with you that Mary thought the deal referred to HER and HER alone. I do not think I agree with Paula though that Mom’s ‘mind wipe’ in Song Remains The Same re to The DEAL but to me it was the ‘stay out of the nursery’ message of Dean in that episode. Because for me this was the 10Y anniversary of her parents’ deaths as well. I ‘read’ you as saying that Michael deleted all her memories but the bit about hunting when Dean was a toddler goes against that. What “I” got from the season was that Mary was a hunter. Demon came, killed Deana and Samuel, killed John before her. She made the deal to save John. Life goes on. She marries John. Hunts a little (don’t know if Dean was born or not, BOTH? Sam is born. 6mos later Azazel comes to bleed into Sam’s mouth. Mary walks in, recognizes Azazel, dies. I did ‘not’ get out of all that a total mind wipe. I believe she forgot DEAN’S message, but not the rest of it. SO I ‘still’ don’t think she protected her kids and that is the bottom line imo.

        1. Sorry, Eva, but there’s no ambiguity in the canon about this. Michael deletes all of Mary’s memories of Dean, including his warning and anything that might keep her out of that nursery. She has no idea that she has to protect her family against Azazel or her deal because Michael ensures that she doesn’t remember:

          Well, what about my dad?
          Better than new. In fact, I’m gonna do your mom and your dad a favor.
          Scrub their minds. They won’t remember me or you.
          You can’t do that.
          I’m just giving your mother what she wants. She can go back to her husband, her family—
          She’s gonna walk right into that nursery!
          MICHAEL turns away.
          And you always knew that was going to play out one way or another.”

          The best (or worst) we can say about Mary’s final hunting “clean-up” before her final “retirement” while Sam is a baby is that it’s some latent, subconscious warning bell she no longer has the conscious tools to recognize.

          1. I am so unsure of the timing of her ‘last’ Hunts. I can’t figure out if it was ‘before’ Dean was even conceived or if she already had Dean or Sam AND Dean or not. MY feelings in the matter is that she remembered being a Hunter, maybe she was cleaning up jobs (like Asa’s) in which her DAD had not got to. I just don’t know.

            My own head canon is that Dean ‘did’ see what happened to Mary ‘that night’ and went and hid in his closet until he heard his Dad yell and ‘then’ came out and the source of HIS guilt is that he did nothing to save his Mom. Now he would’ve died if ‘he’ had walked into Sam’s bedroom, and THAT is the source of my anger at Mary (for the situation when Azazel was in Sam’s nursery). But I admit to this just being MY belief. Or maybe as time went on Dean believed he DID see it all, so still guilt but even less reason. I just don’t KNOW but I don’t blame the show for not saying what was going on that night. I ‘do’ like the idea though that Amara brought her back so that Dean could come to grips with it all and forgive her for HIS OWN good. Dean needed that.

          2. It’s not the memories of Dean and his visits to the past. It is Mary’s OWN knowledge of hunting. I get that she thought it was on she herself to pay off Azazel for John’s life. I get that. BUT I don’t think she protected Dean at all in the scenario we saw. We ‘know’ she remembered Hunting from the way she said ‘you’ to Azazel. We know she hunted sporadically after her marriage. I don’t blame Dean, after he knew everything he knew about her for being pissed at her cavalier unconcern for her two kids and her husband. I know I have pushed this too far so I will let it go now. And it somewhat appeases me that the last episode of the season showed that she HAD to make the Deal in order to save the whole frickin’ world. I just wanted little Dean to be safe. And he wasn’t.

            1. The exchange between Dean and Michael makes it quite clear that whatever she did or did not remember, it involved her being unable to put two and two together, and coming up with “Protect my family from angels and don’t go into that nursery.”

              Her knowing about the supernatural world doesn’t mean much. Bobby tells the Brothers in season one that up until that point, demon possessions were extremely rare. The Brothers didn’t knowingly interact with one until “Phantom Traveler” and Young!Mary and her dad were quite surprised in “In the Beginning” when Dean informed them they were hunting a demon. If Michael took away all of her knowledge of angels (and, therefore, demons), Mary could use all the protections she wanted and still be no match for a powerful demon like Azazel who ignored things like salt, holy water and ordinary charms.

      2. A nostalgia channel in my area is running Night Stalker, which i absolutely loved but I taped a couple of episodes and I find it unwatchable mostly because of the close-ups. CHEESE AND CRACKERS they were constantly zooming into actors’ eyes. So that is a ‘style’ thing I don’t like.

        Can you name a scene in which JA let his lower lip hang down? I don’t remember those kinds of irritating ‘actor tics’ for him. It seemed to be such ‘straight’ acting for me (my idea of an ‘acting tic’ that drives one crazy is David Caruso and the sunglasses from CSI Miami. I can’t STAND that and could never figure out if it was a ‘directorial’ decision or Caruso settled on it and then could NOT be moved off the idea. THAT is the only police procedural I ever saw in which I wanted the killers to outwit the cops just because I hated Caruso and his smugness. Matter of fact, I can’t think of a single cast member I liked in that show!

  4. One of my cats (I must’ve had 20 cats or so over the years) had that once and the yowling is unforgettable.

    1. Ross was very quiet about being sick (which was one of the worrisome things), but he sure sang the blues when he was stuck in that bathroom.

      He’s being super-affectionate, now, though he gets paranoid whenever he thinks I’m going to pick him up and give him pills.

  5. Just got my new TV Guide. Saw SE Hinton comments. WHAT Oklahoma episode? Can think of Psi-Kid And and kook twin.

    Have to get new compute just lost next to S one!

    1. I got that last week. I still haven’t made it through the article. That relationship she has with the show is a little…odd.

      Sorry about your computer!

      Please bear with me, guys. The original plan last week was to wait until after July 4th to post a column, but then one of my cats ended up in kitty ER for over five hours on the 4th and I have a large research paper due this week. So, I’m working on it.

        1. Thanks! He spent five days in my bathroom, stoned to his eyeballs, then got a clean bill of health from the vet today. But he’s also got to be on this special prescription dry food, in addition to the usual canned, for 30 days to clear out his bladder for good. Since he’s probably the proverbial feline canary in the household coalmine with regards to bladder crystals, everybody’s on the food for a month. So far, he seems fine–though he doesn’t trust me as far as I can reach him right now. Fingers crossed.

          1. If he’s fighting back, he’s probably on the mend, but it sounds like he was one sick kitty. Hopefully none of the others get it. We just lost two cats and a dog in the past year, all due to extreme old age, so we’re in a bit of a grieving process right now. But at least we have one young dog and a middle aged cat left, and they seem to be pretty healthy.

            1. Thanks. He seems to be back to normal and if the very-expensive-medicinal-food-for-a-month thing works, the bladder crystals problem should be solved for everyone (albeit, I will still have to buy them the not-so-cheap stuff from now on to prevent a recurrence).

  6. Back to Sam’s relationship with John. I always suspected that John’s blood quest for the demon had less to do with avenging Mary than trying to get to the bottom of what effect this had on Sam. Revenge for the dead is just not enough to sustain this all those years, even though that’s how he framed it to his sons. And on some level, I think he suspected this had an effect, and “turned” Sam in some way. If he did not trust Sam as he got older, this would explain Sam’s feelings that there was something wrong with him. And I’m sure this became self reinforcing over time, causing Sam to focus more and more on himself. Once again, it’s not the actual effect of the demon blood that is the problem so much as what people perceive of its effect.

    1. She did a demon deal to save a loved one assuming she alone was at risk. She may have been the first Winchester to make this miscalculation. She wasn’t the last.

      I think revenge was part of John’s motivation. Sam has the impulse; it’s what spurs him into hunting post Jessica. But yes there came a point when John learned information about Sam and that became more prominent. I imagine that’s why he started training Dean too as a young child.

      1. Revenge was John’s canonical motivation. The only person who ever suggested otherwise, in the story, was Dean in season one. And even he’s backed down on that. Sam started out looking for revenge, but later got hung up in power and concern about being unclean. He also did have some concern about others and even about saving Dean, but he tends to be attracted to the bright-and-shiny power motive. That’s why turning down the LoL’s offer near the end of the season was so important.

        John was aware that something was up with Sam and the other Psykids for a while before the show started, but we never found out how long.

        Mary did a demon deal because she had nothing left. Azazel murdered her parents and the man she loved. We also have never found out how much she and John’s morality was twisted by the cupids making them love each other. So, it was inevitable she would make the deal. I was annoyed just a tad that Dabb “went there” by saying she *had* to make the deal or the world would fall apart. That says an awful lot of not-good things about Free Will in the story, but I’m sure Dabb never gave it the first thought.

        I think Mary is a good character. She’s just a victim of shitty writing. A few sentences here and there to indicate why she was running from her own sons (and the whole joining-the-LoL thing was stupid) would have done the trick. Instead, they left poor Sam Smith dangling and trying to justify Mary being a bitch just with her acting for 19 episodes too long. In addition to sucking at worldbuilding, Dabb’s no good at writing women, either.

        1. I am hung up on the fact that the 10yr anniversary had an unprotected family. Like Evan in Crossroads Blues, she should have sent her family ‘away’ OR gone away herself. THAT is my issue here.

          And I ‘do’ agree that once we found out about the Cupid stuff Mary and John had almost NO ‘free will’ in this whole plot-line. (I also noticed that every time we run into somebody who has been ‘spelled’ into loving a person they are ‘weird’ in multiple ways. So I get ‘that’ as well. It’s just I see how Dean was affected by all of this in real time of the past. )

          I can ‘see’ that Mary was always going to do ‘whatever’ she had to do to save John. But it was NOT that she was given a ‘forget it all’ spell. If ‘that’ had been what was written, OK. But they clearly show Mary was cognizant of YED and of her ‘hunter past.’ So I can’t forgive the character as written.

          1. She didn’t know. It’s a banged-home plot point at the climax of “The Song Remains the Same” that Michael wiped both Mary and John’s memories selectively in such a way that Mary would walk into that nursery just as planned, and not realize it until the very last second. Dean protests it in his confrontation with Michael, but Michael just blows him off. So, Mary was totally set up and Dean knew, but couldn’t change it. Dean probably still has a fair bit of guilt about that.

            One major reason I want them to keep Mary around is that now she and Dean finally have a real relationship, they can deal with this stuff together. The both of them are superlative Hunters who have been forcibly domesticated, set up, used and abused by all sorts of beings and powers over the years. If there’s anybody who gets Dean’s deal in AHBL2, it’s Mary.

        2. I agree with everything.
          I think Dabbler and hacks did their best work on the Mary storyline. They actually hit a lot of the notes for me. Still bad writing however they did best with this storyline. I think Jensen. Samantha and Letch helped tremendously with top notch acting.
          I agree about the angelic tampering. I brought it up earlier somewhere and also about the demon deal situatuon. Jeez. It2not as if John, Dean and sam haven’t tried the same thing.

          1. Jensen made a good point at one of the overseas cons (the Rome one, as I recall) that Dean needed to forgive Mary, which was why Amara brought her back (I groaned on his behalf when his story made clear that the writer of the episode didn’t think of that at all). But I also think that Dean has always wanted to *save* Mary. That’s what sparked the Family Business. That’s why he was so desperate to save her in “In the Beginning.” It was why Michael’s cold decision to wipe Mary and John’s memories at the end of TSRtS left him in such despair. He wanted to save her from that doom of walking into that nursery and having no idea her family was about to be ripped apart by her brutal death.

            And I think that was why he was so hellbent on breaking her conditioning. He finally had the chance to save her for real, from all of it. That was why, when he said he forgave her, that they could start fresh. They are finally beyond that damned nursery fire.

          2. I agree. Not only forgive her but accept that she’s human and has characteristics and desires outside his idealized memory of her.

            1. What Dean wants is a relationship with his mother. Sam does, too, but it’s more academic for Sam, so I don’t think Sam is consciously aware of what he’s missing, whereas Dean was old enough to keenly feel that loss.

  7. Back to the Mary question. Evave, you correctly pointed out that Mary did nothing to protect her children when they were young. No devil’s trap on the ceiling or salt around the crib. This is negligence on the level of John himself. The first episode in season 12 has her stating that she had been running from hunting all her life. And yet season 12 also shows her hunting competently back when Dean was a toddler. So she had no excuse for not providing them with basic protections. And yet she tells young Dean in the penultimate episode that she will always keep him safe. That he calls her out on it indicates that he remembered this exchange too, so it is not just wishful thinking on her part. What did she think she was keeping him safe from? Hunting itself, when she had a demon deal brewing? This shows some rather extreme cognitive dissonance. I had always thought that her guilt stemmed from the original demon deal, but then she was young enough and traumatized enough to make her choice understandable although wrong. Now I’m thinking her guilt was more related to her utter failure to do anything about it, when she clearly had the knowledge and resources to at least try to protect them. Why wouldn’t she at least try? Any thoughts, anyone.

    1. She did a demonstration deal to save a loved one assuming she alone was at risk. She may have been the first Winchester to make this miscalculation. She wasn’t the last.

      1. AGAIN the kids would have been liable to the HELLHOUND. Things happen. Understand she ‘assumed’ but keeping kids save #1 job.

  8. I’m not sure I agree with you about Rudy. Rudy was clearly in over his head, but Dean’s action when the vampire had Rudy was impulsive and negligent. He bears some fault.

    Sully is an interesting case. I just watched that the other day, and I was struck by how similar Sully’s reasoning was to Ruby’s, both when he talked to Sam as a child, and as an adult, when it was all “your the only one, when everyone else us too afraid. ” Of course Sully was trying to build up Sam’s self esteem, but it really backfired. I got the impression that Sully was just really bad at his job.

    Sam is definitely abusive toward Dean right from the beginning , but not all his relationships with others are this way, and not all of his actions irredeemable. In the first episode with Krissy (bear with me here, because I know Krissy is annoying ), it was Sam that first responded, not Dean. Even though he was ineffective and it could be argued that he should not have gone due to his weird Lucifer delirium, he appeared to do this out of genuine concern for a young girl in need. There certainly was nothing in it for him.

    I do wonder why Kripke thought Sam’s behavior toward Dean would make him a sympathetic hero. At least Carver called it what it was.

    As for Dean, he was amazing even as a demon.

    1. Couple points: I agree, Sully SUCKED at being a zanna. That twin whose sister died was CRUSHED and Sully abandoned her. “O I lost my confidence and went into management because I messed up. BOO HOO!”

      In Adventures in Babysitting my read was that after Bobby’s death BOTH needed to focus on something. Sam picked Krissy and Dean picked his incredible focus on killing Dick Roman. “He’s every card in my hit deck.” Once Dean takes a ‘mission’ it gets DONE. He killed a being that could kill ANGELS. So yeah Sam was more empathetic to Krissy. I just thought both of them were looking to ‘not’ think about Bobby.

      1. It’s interesting how we all interpret these episodes differently. But then, that’s part of the fun if discussing them.

        Re: your question above about whether Sam knows the difference between right and wrong, I would say he had the moral equivalent of tone deafness. Of course true tone deafness, in which the listener can’t distinguish music from noise, is extremely rare. More commonly, a person recognizes and may even enjoy music, but can’t tell if a scale goes up or down to save their soul. That, I think is the equivalent of Sam’s moral confusion. Sam is aware that right and wrong exist, and sometimes even appreciates seeing goodness in action. But he lacks the ability to understand what makes an action good or to figure out what he needs to do to be good because of his excessive self focus. The rare times he manages to think about others, he does stumble upon good actions. Though when he was younger, I think he wanted to be good because he identified it with “normal”.

        The reason Dean as the Righteous Man works for me is this: I’ve read the Bible. And in just about every description of a righteous individual, old testament and new, two qualities are consistently mentioned, even when everything else varies. And those qualities are 1. care and protection of the weak and vulnerable, and 2. keeping one’s word. It is hard to argue with those two qualities. They represent, to me, the essential kernel of moral living, a respect for others. And they describe Dean in spades.

        And of course, in Dean’s case, only the Righteous Man can be trusted to mete out justice. This is because he is the only one able to look past his own his own motives and desires, to apply justice and mercy correctly, instead of revenge or favoritism.

    2. I compare Dean and Rudy to Sam and Charlie. Or Lester or Oskar. Dean could have handled it better however he was not morally compromised in the manner that Sam was.
      I agree about Sully and Ruby; this is part of Carver’s perverted mirroring of the mytharc tropes regarding Sam. If one pays attention it is obvious that Carver was establishing Sam’s cosmic culpability and familial toxicity in seasons 1-7 throughout seadons 8-11. The fact that he did this whilst switching up the mytharc roles is brilliant. Not only does this emphasize fundamental differences between the brorhers’ individual character, it flat out tells us that being under supernatural influence is not an excuse for chronic bad choices. Dean sacrificed himself again when palshe with Crowley and was not manipulated to kill an innocent even as a demonic entity Jonesing to kill. Human Sam seduced a human into making a deal, manipulated Charlie to risk her life, risked the safety of the world and authorized a blood sacrifice.

      Sully’s role was to prop up a child’s confidence. The idea that Sam as a grown man needed an imaginary friend to prop up his ego driven desperation is laughable in a sense. And yes Ruby did the same to achieve her long conversation end game.

    3. And of course Dean had to bail him out and was much better at handling Krissy because he sized her up in a New York minute. He should have patted her down for lock picking tools however I assume he was being respectful of her personal space.

      1. Yeah, patting down a 14yo (or whatever she was in Adventures) would’ve been outside of Dean’s comfort zone. You can bet however the next time he was in a similar situation he would remove jewelry and/or hair doo-dads.

    1. Geena Davis has endowed a think-tank. I never thought ‘that’ would happen.

      Robert Wisdom, Uriel, has a part in a new series The Alienist I just saw an ad for on TNT for. I am looking forward to ‘that’ one.

      ALSO the guy who played the dipshit Styne who thought he could challenge Dean to a fist fight when Dean caught him breaking into the bunker is playing F Scott Fitzgerald in the series Z.

      I always point out the guy who played Guy the Crossroads Demon in Season 7 Time for a Wedding to my husband as a Grammy winner AND a good singer used in a couple of commercials…There’s Guy the Crossroads Demon, honey.

      The End was just on TNT. Golly Jared did a great job as Lucifer. I think he is the scariest version of Lucifer (and I ‘did’ like Rick Springfield’s version as the best at showing what an actual child Lucifer was, waa waa waa) in his portrayal of Lucifer’s arrogance and ride.

      1. Tony winner for Hamilton. I saw his show stopper on TV and it was amazing.
        I could tell he was uber talented in that episode. He mind of sort of stole every scene he was in.

        1. Yes, Guy The Crossroads Demon really stood out in that hideous episode (I just read a fanfic in which Becky ‘never’ filed the annulment papers. Now ‘that’ seemed like a Becky-move to me. Totally untrustworthy.) and I was hoping that somehow Becky would be one of the people who would be collateral damage. So many characters I liked in their episodes — like Krissy’s dad — have died, but Becky seems bullet-proof I guess.

  9. For me Sam was awful all along to Dean. It’s one of the reasons Dean bonded to Donna. She too was psychologically abused and criticized by family for who she was.
    My first episode was Faith and I still disliked Sam because he was selfish. I hated him by Bugs. He is one of those toxic people that Blames others for his mistakes and tears down Dean to make himself fell better.
    Carver intuitively and intellectually got this and framed his four seasons around ameliorating Kripke’s Fuck ups. Carver addressed my issues fully. For instance in the Sully episode he treats Sully like he treated Dean and apologizes. Sully and Dean are closely parallel.
    Later in the love curse episode Sam apologizes to Dean.
    In seasons 8-10 we have full on unsympathetic Sam tropes without the get out of jail free cards of demon blood and soullessNess. Hell we even get a good person who sacrifices himself because he can no longer trust himself to remain good.
    And demonic/MOC Dean is shown to be far more moral than Sam. Sure he liked violence, blood and a good fight; so does Dean. However he never killed an innocent. I would argue that he never put an innocent in harms way either. Rudy was dead because Rudy was in over his head.
    Dean’s grand gestures always involve self sacrifice for others as do Mary’s. Sam’s grand gestures are sacrificing others to make himself feel better. Even in Carver’s successful rehabilitation arc for Sam he didn’t rewrite the character. Sam had to be the one to save Dean no matter what and the entire world paid the price.

    In the love curse episode Sam ac

  10. I am rewatching ‘my’ First Episode, When the Levee Breaks. OK. Was Sam actually trying to strangle Dean and then changed his mind or was Sam throttling him to make a point? BOTH acts despicable but husband said Sam ‘gave it up’ too fast for it to be a ‘real’ plan to kill and I think he waited for Dean to ‘give up’ to death to express his ‘superiority’ to Dean at that moment and that was what he wanted. (DISGUSTING. I find it hard to believe I ever learned to like Sam after ‘this’ being my first introduction to the character.)

    1. Throttling someone is very personal. It usually takes a long time, which is why homicide detectives often comment on the fact that if you go through with it, you *really* want that person dead, that it indicates intent. On the other hand, these situations almost always occur during a fight and indicate a loss of control on the part of the killer. So, it’s clearly murder, but it’s also heat of the moment (second degree), if that makes sense.

      I think Sam lost control, but I also think he fully intended to kill Dean in that moment. He may have started the fight with the intent of dominating Dean and driving him away, but I also think he gave in to his anger and the demon blood, and only “snapped out of it” at the last moment. The totality of that storyline (whether or not Kripke intended something so complex, which I rather doubt) was about Sam making ugly choices that slowly chipped away at his free will. The literary irony was that Sam thought he was freeing himself from his family’s apparently malignant influence and becoming an independent person, when he was actually falling under Lucifer’s truly malignant influence and turning himself into the perfect mindless tool for Lucifer.

      The show pretty much lost me there with Sam. It was an ugly moment for him and I don’t think he’s ever really recovered from it morally speaking, mostly because the show just won’t let him. He’s become a morally weak character and that’s just the way it is.

      1. I was thinking about this some more today after my post. I saw Lucifer Rising and I thought every step of the way Sam made the wrong choice. I thought every step of the way Dean made the right one. I can not see how Kripke and the writing crew thought that the last half of S4 made Sam anything other than despicable. Watching him throw Dean thru the room divider, and then walk over his body and SIT on him and hold him down and throttle him until his eyes turned….It’s like every fork in the road he took the wrong turn and I agree ‘lost’ the ability to choose correctly. Cindy McClennan (?) and her terror and knowing he could have SAVED her…the way he walked into the chapel for his face-off with Lillith. I still can’t tell if Lillith was ‘always’ in on dying as the last seal but she DID accept her fate. And Dean yelling SAM at the door but then Sam letting himself be perverted into killing her…The second his eyes turn black it showed his total acceptance of his ‘destiny.’ Seeing it today really ‘did’ horrify me re the character. I don’t know if I would ever have the moral strength Dean exhibited but I ‘have’ to believe I would’ve told Ruby to screw off ‘WAY before then. And Dean was ‘still’ trying to get Sam away from the opening ‘door’ to the Cage! WOW. the last four episodes of S4, from Jump the Shark, when Sam’s hidden resentment of ADAM being raised in a ‘regular’ family and the look on Dean’s face when they were burning Adam’s body when he realized that Sam’s agenda with Adam was ‘spreading the pain’ of the Winchester Family Curse. Seeing those four episodes was pretty powerful today.

        1. I really think the seeds of Sam’s moral confusion have their roots all the way back in his childhood. His father prioritized Sam’s safety over Dean’s, but his own desires over both of them, so he provided no moral guidance. What little moral direction he got came from Dean. Dean, unfortunately, appears to have resorted to the “get them to behave by giving in to what they want,” method of child rearing, which can be effective in the short term, but disastrous in the long term. (Not that Dean could have been expected to understand this, as he was just a child himself.) So it had been well reinforced to Sam by the first season that following his own whims and desires is paramount. Of course, when his whims change his actions follow, causing the general unfaithfulness that plagues him throughout the series. You just can’t depend on him. The Woman in White calling Sam unfaithful in the pilot was the first bit of foreshadowing in the show.

          Of course, all of this was fodder for Ruby the succubus, as well as Lucifer. Once his only moral guide was gone, he was easy prey. His dalliance with Ruby merely reinforced his moral confusion, by amplifying his pride. I always thought the demon blood addiction was just a tool Ruby used to make Sam think he had no choice, and therefore no responsibility. Sadly, he is still vulnerable to manipulation from Lucifer and the Men of Letters even in the late seasons, when he does truly appear to want to do what is right. Sam’s tragedy is that he wants to be good, but he has absolutely no idea how.

          1. Reading this, do you think Sam ‘knows’ the difference between right and wrong. Dean sees a clear line (like ripping Nancy’s heart out in Jus in Bello) and Sam was weighing options. And making Nancy’s life part of a ‘calculation.’ At least in S4. I think looking back on how Dean and Sam approached cases in the ‘early years’ it seems that Sam always waited to get his cues from Dean. I mean not SO much but I also think Sam observed Dean all the time and while it is important to Sam how people viewed him I was always struck by how he was ’empathetic Sam’ with witnesses but then was just cold about them (like the kids from Wendigo or the people getting sacrificed in Scarecrow — people are always dying, Dean. I NEED ANSWERS. I NEED TO FIND DAD.) and my husband and I talked about it and He said the first season was definitely Sam’s story with Dean as our entry into Hunter World. But it was Sam as a result we were supposed to identify with. I really wish I had watched the show from the beginning so I was not ‘tainted’ by having see When the Levee Breaks as my first episode so when we got around to Season 1 again I was already seeing what I think of as Sam’s emptiness. When he said he always felt ‘different’ and knew he was not ‘wired’ right I ‘did’ feel sympathy for him. But I was and continue to be awed by Dean’s ability to always cut to the heart of the matter and do the ‘right’ thing for the right reasons.

          2. Sam thinks that the ends justify the means and he tends to favor end games that benefit him or flatter his view of himself. He rarely took responsibility for the negative outcome of his actions. More recently he has using the colloquial “we” to spread the blame around even though Dean said No all along and Cas was guilt tripped into helping.
            Dean is always willing to sacrifice himself to save others, big and small; and he is always willing to blame himself for anything that goes sideways.
            Dean is about saving others so that they don’t have to suffer the losses his family endured. His damaged psyche leads to the idea that he deserves nothing more than the life he has and his greatest contribution will be dying to save someone.

            Sam’s actions are mired in ego. He has always believed that he deserves more and blamed his family for his life. Early on he hunted for revenge against slights perpetuated against him or to establish that he is better and stronger than Dean. Now he hunts … shrugs. He has nothing else. Truly flawed writing. His first mytharc of unleashing the Apocalypse through selfish actions get took to assuage his
            fragile ego should have lead him to devote himself to hunting to right that wrong. But that would have meant admitting his flaws and responsibility. Kripke and Gamble would not allow it. Carver attempted this by proxy however Dabb has muddied Sam’s responsibility again. So now we are back to (shrugs) might as well hunt and make pissy Faces at Dean…

          3. This gave me good ground to think about Sam. Do you think Sam ‘always’ looked to Dean for ‘moral guidance’ because in the show every time there is a ‘moral’ decision (like clerk Nancy in JIB) Dean is so clean in what they are doing and WHY. Like in Wendigo, when Dean states The Family Business. Dean had a MORAL reason for his life: the comfort HE gets when he lays his head down at night is thinking that HE personally saved another family from going thru what the Winchesters did. Dean accepts The Winchester Curse. Now thinking on what you said (John prioritizing Sam’s safety over Dean’s: whatever was going on had ‘something’ to do with Sam. He could not be in multiple places — and John ‘was’ about Saving Others, I have no doubt about that. It appeared to me from the time Dean was FIVE YEARS OLD John ‘trusted’ Dean, he knew that Dean was always the one who would get the job done…but don’t bring up the idiocy of the Striga episode.) it was always a surprise to me that Sam knew almost NOTHING about That Night. Oh, it was MY bedroom. Oh, I did not know that…or that…or that — I remember over the first year there were multiple I-did-not-know-thats in the dialogue. It seemed obvious to me that John made the decision NOT to tell Sam because various things because he did not want him to feel in any way to blame. BUT I also thought on some level he did not ‘trust’ Sam as the years went by. By the time Sam was an ADULT he should have known ‘some’ particulars that John had found out. BUT in John fashion he left Sam’s ‘guidance’ to Dean. I think at least some of John not dealing with Sam AND the animosity between them was because on some level John ‘always’ knew there was Something Wrong with Sam.

          4. My take on Jus in Bello is that it’s our first clear sign that Sam can’t be saved from Lucifer. He has already fallen. Dean knows it too.
            Sam looked to Dean to indicate that sacrificing the Virgin is the viable option.
            That’s my take.

  11. Let’s hope that Dabb’s unerring talent for making decent ideas stink influences only the blurb and not the pilot. They already have Wayward Sisters. Donna, Claire and Alex are now connected with Jody who mentors and mothers them. Claire is a hunter. She would be better off with Jody’s blessing. Alex is off at school but can easily be dragged back in via a crisis. They have set up a cobbled together family that is Winchester lite and female. The bones are there just flesh them out.

    If they want to bring in additional ladies I vote for bizarro Apocalypse Ellen, Jo and Pamela. There was no good reason to kill off great characters. He’ll bring back Ash as the random dude. He was far more interesting as technical support than Charlie or Sam.

    They have to open a portal to retrieve Mary. They can reintroduce some oldies but goodies that way.

    Just please no Charlie or Krissy or Kate.

    1. Bring back Eileen. She was interesting. And it was so nice to see a character with a disability be presented as intelligent and capable on TV for once.

      I never noticed until you said it, but Jody and her brood do make an interesting parallel to the Winchesters. Alex, exploited by vampires and desparately seeking normal and Claire, emotionally damaged, followed by angels and preferring the hunting life. Jody, of course is an anti-John, providing a stable home, seeing to their education, working on this side of the law. I guess that makes Donna a happy go lucky Bobby. Maybe I’m just stating the obvious.

      1. They clearly set up both girls as female Sam and Dean. And yeah Jody puts them first unlike Either Winchester parent.
        Donna is normal yet very badass.

        1. I still think Donna and Dean should knock boots at some point. She needs to stay away guys named Doug.

          1. Second Doug seems like a keeper to me. I got a feeling he is a solid guy, someone who would help you move, you know? I rate people by who would show up to do something needed but not ‘fun.’

            BUT I am a big Dean/Donna fan. THOSE two I think would be a good match. (I liked very much that when Dean was with Lisa he was a total NON cheater. You’d think he would be all about ‘bodacious tatas’ but nah, he was committed.) From The (unlamented in any other way) Purge they just seemed simpatico.

          2. Oh, completely. They do have chemistry. Plus she’s the only one who’s ever really gotten Dean’s sense of humor.

      2. I liked Eileen. It still pisses me off that they not only killed her off, but killed her off like that. That was just plain disrespectful. And after that episode, she wasn’t mentioned again. I mean, remember the end of season ten, when we had to hear about how awful it was to lose Charlie, for *episodes* after she died? Not Eileen. Nuh-uh.

    2. Yes to Ash.

      I am watching Jump the Shark: John had worked with Joe Barton to clear out Ghoul Papa and I gather all the bodies were recovered. I ‘liked’ the actress who played Joe’s wife and said to myself, I hope they notified her that her husband and Adam and his mom were dead and where the bodies were. But ‘then’ I think about forensics and how the police would check the area for all forensic evidence and might find the ‘alive’ Winchesters again. And I ‘still’ remember the mom from S1E3 whose son was murdered by the two other little boys, did she ever find out what happened to her son? I remember Kathleen Hudak in The Benders who said she thought she would get peace from finding out what happened but the horror of the Bender family did not give her peace. But I wish Joe Barton’s wife and Peter Sweeney’s mom could find out but I don’t know how without revealing the Winchesters’ part in all of this.

    1. I have all of S12 on my DVR for rewatch until I can get Season 12 on dvd. So I don’t watch Thursday nights either. What I am surprised about for Season 12 is that I ‘do’ like some episodes (I liked Lily Sunday and Re Dean and have no problem on rewatch) but boy as a whole I just got madder and madder at Mary. Both you and Paula have good reasons for how Mary’s arc makes sense but I just keep thinking about her defenseless family and get mad again. So maybe I should work for some sympathy for ‘now’ Mary because I ‘can’ see how unmoored she is but I just get angrier on the rewatch…so not so much rewatch this year (last year I had 11 on dvr and watched it about 3x over the summer).

      1. I understand what you mean about Mary, maybe because I think about my own kids, and it makes me mad. I just remind myself that she was younger than both of her sons when she died, spent many years as a ghost, which presumably unmoored her, then went to heaven, which appears to be static existence with no opportunity for growth. So the Mary we get in season 12 is probably her worst version of herself.

        1. I am able to put myself in her shoes. She left her babies to be confronted by grown men. She feels guilt over how her deal with Azazel affected them. She feels guilt over the fact that they were motherless and at the mercy of a mentally unstable father. She feels guilty because of the lives they now lead.
          And she joined the LoL in order to rid the world of monsters to protect her sons which is so frigging Dean.
          She had a lot of emotional baggage to deal with and yes it was pretty Sammish to put her own needs first. It’s also healthy to put one’s own needs first in a crisis… something women rarely do.
          I think Dabbler and hacks did a good job of anchoring her story. Sam of course was absolutely outstanding. I think it was a mistake not to have had her join the LoL as an unfriendly agent because the organization was targeting, torturing and trying to kill her sons. I don’t think she should have rolled over.
          I am not a mother. I am a feminist. Mary grappled with an extreme of the identity issues that women have dealt with trying to balance family and career.
          Mary fell in love and married John, had the kids because of angelic manipulation. For all we know her past decision to abandon hunting grew put of that manipulation. We know that she was the only child of two hunters, one of which was the paterfamilias of the greatest hunting clan in America. She was born to hunt and was likely trained better than Dean who started his training as a vhild.
          It’seems not surprising that she sees hunting as a way to keep her family safe, a way to stabilize her mood (again how Dean is that) and something she enjoys and excels in.

          1. The ambivalence Mary feels towards her sons is entirely understandable given that she does not even know them. And her need to leave these two strange men to come to grips with things makes sense. Where I really had trouble was all the lying, even if only through omission, about the level of her involvement with the BMOL and with Ketch personally. I got the sense that she willfully ignored the warning signs and placed herself and them in danger all to assuage a guilty conscience. But then I just don’t think she was at her best due to circumstances mentioned in the prior post.

            As far as Mary and hunting, I think she clung to it as the only thing that was familiar. I suppose it is possible the angels were manipulating her into wanting to leave hunting, but at the time I thought she was trying more to get away from her Dad, who seemed creepy and possessive even before the demons got to him.

            It is canon now that she hunted at least once after she married. I found that interesting, because it put her early marital problems with John, shown in DSOTM, in a whole new light. Did she go on hunting trips often? What did she tell John? The truth? Did she lie? God knows what he thought. We know he was prone to suspicion. If she was approaching it as a career you would think she would have wanted to come clean and introduce him to what hunting actually was.

            As for being born to hunt, she was certainly raised in the life, and she appears to be fairly good at it, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that hunting is what she wanted, although she might have.

            By the way, I don’t get the dichotomy between motherhood and feminism. I’m sure there are mothers who are feminists, just as there are some women who’ve never wanted kids but are not feminists at all.

          2. You are discussing Mary “now” and I get your pov about her psychological problems with trying to get into life so far in the ‘future.’

            But what “I” am angry about is Mary ‘then.’ The Mary who the show this season told us had continued Hunting at least kept her hand in the game. I am talking about those little kids who were not protected by SALT or anything else. There is no excuse “I” can accept now for Mary’s inaction back then.

            You and Paula have both brought me to realizing that the actual ‘bullet points’ of Mary-returned-from-the-dead was well-done. I did not ‘like’ what her return and ‘remove’ did to Dean and Sam but it all make sense after I looked at it with both your insights.

            Now SPN got into it and showed a world in which Mary did not make the Deal and thus the world was destroyed. I can get behind that idea, that the Winchester family had to be cursed, had TO. But I had thought maybe Mary did not remember the Deal due to Michael but I watched The Song Remains the Same again and all Michael did was remove the memory of Dean telling her not to go into Sam’s bedroom on The Night. She ‘knew’ and did nothing. She HAD to remember the night her parents died and that it was 10yr to the day. So ‘if’ she thought it was a standard deal she would’ve thought hellhounds were coming over that night. No sympathy for 1983 Mary from me.

          3. Excellent reply again Rebekah.
            There doesn’t have to be a dichotomy between motherhood and feminism. It’s just that one of the few things Dabbler and hacks got right was allowing Mary to be her own personal, flaws and all. As I said elsewhere she appears to have all of Dean’s best traits and all of Sam’s worst.
            I grew up with a manic depressive, often megalomaniac, often distant, sometimes psychotic mother which is the real-life version of living with demons. Dad was loving but non-vocal, depressive and workaholic. Brother is younger, depressive and both resented me for having near-peer relationships with both parents and blamed me for the family dysfunction. Essentially I am Dean Winchester and I can also empathize with the other Winchesters if the writing allows it.

            I have had huge problems with Sam’s tendencies to not accept responsibility , blame Dean for everything that is wrong in his life and attack Dean to make himself feel better.

            Mary did none of those things. In fact she did a combination of classic Sam and Dean moves. She ran away and she hunted non-stop aiming to make the world safer in order to give her boys back the lives they lost. She apologized for not handling things better. She apologized for hurting Dean.

            As someone with a dysfunctional family my life could have been a co-dependant train wreck. It’s not because I am not co-dependent. I put up with dysfunction for a while because I am empathetic however I get to a point where I am done. In this light I recognize that both Mary and Sam’s flight impulse, which allows them to tend to their needs, is very healthy in the real world. In Mary’s case thy did an excellent job of making her sympathetic.
            Kripke/Gamble really screwed up because they could not admit Sam had flaws.

            I am considered a bad daughter for not giving up everything to live with my mother and forcing her into treatment. I feel guilty. I also know that I had it bad because she was ill after my birth and I was on my own a lot and pretty much took care of myself by the time I could walk. My parents used to tell stories about how I was such a little adult. I now realize I basically set myself up to not need her as soon as I was able. I fed me and my brother breakfast and lunch everyday at 5 onwards and often fended for myself as a toddler. I did not even realize that this was abnormal until my friends started having babies.

            People are forged by their circumstances.

            Dabbler and hacks also did an amazing job showing Dean’s realization of how messed up his family was even during the idyllic phase before Mary died, as well as his recogniRion that he idolized her memories making her something she wasn’t.

            They really struck gold with Mary and Dean this season.

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