In a universe with countless options for villains and monsters, sometimes it’s nice to return to the classics. It’s vampire week on Supernatural! You can’t have vampire week without the Alpha vamp himself returning to the fray. Unfortunately, he wasn’t back for long. But he did get one hell of an exit. Not every baddy gets to be taken out by the Colt!
The Alpha vampire has always been the most interesting of the first-born monsters. It just goes to show you that some good can come out of the worst of seasons. In his return he reminds us that he is both a badass and humorous from time to time. The first vampire looking at someone who intends to murder them and telling him to get off his lawn? C’mon. That’s funny. The humor and tangible frustration at the death of his children are cut short by his death, but the scene was shot in a way that Supernatural doesn’t often play with. The flashback to how Sam got the bullet and the pan through the hole the Alpha’s head made the fact that we were saying a quick goodbye to a fun character more tolerable.
Family problems aren’t new on Supernatural. Hell, they’re basically the backbone of the show. But through all the John drama, Bobby’s death, and issues with God there has always been one constant: Mary. It’s easy to put someone you hardly knew on a pedestal, which is exactly what the boys have done with their mother. To no one’s surprise, Mary is just as fallible as John. Unfortunately, that means her perceived betrayal cuts deeper to Sam and Dean.
Dean calling his mother Mary and telling her to get out of the bunker is a scene that I’d honestly never expected to see. Though we all know the moment won’t last, it wasn’t easy to watch. It also goes to show that at the end of the day, Dean will always choose Sam and Cas, even over the one person he’s wanted back his whole life. Not that Mary made it hard, considering they almost lost Cas on a mission the British Men of Letters threw them into.
Making Dean mad isn’t difficult, it’s his default setting. Sammy, though? Sam’s the peace keeper. The dude’s literally used a puppy dog face to get out of getting arrested. It’s safe to say he’s a little bit softer than his brother. What’s his breaking point, you might wonder? Finding out that their mother lied to them not once, but twice. In the face of protecting her boys and admitting to Ramiel she stole, she lied to complete a mission. The bonus here is that Jared Padalecki has had a lot of opportunity to perfect his betrayed face over twelve seasons. Mary’s second lie was his breaking point. Or at least it should be.
We have this moment of complete betrayal and wrath from Sam, and then at the end of it all he tells Mick that he’s joining up with his mom. Sure, Sammy chose a side, just the wrong one. It took seasons upon seasons for the Winchesters to realize that not all creatures are monsters, but here we are with the empathetic puppy dog signing up to wipe them all out in one fell swoop. The very same puppy dog who was furious with Dean for killing his werewolf friend just a few years back.
This is all very irritating, but it is Sam’s turn to be the dumb brother. Dean had the last two seasons to go on killing sprees, so it’s his round at humanity. Is that a lot of back-and-forth? Yeah. Is it a little tired? Yeah. The show’s in its twelfth season, it’s gonna happen. It would be a hell of a lot better if Sam wasn’t going to lie to Dean about it, but hey, they’ve been hit on the head a lot. Baby steps.
The primary problem with this current story arc is that it’s so obvious how much it’s going to blow up in their faces. Sam Winchester, king of empathy, is going to realize what a dummy he is. The only way Dean’s coming over is through blackmail or to save his family. But by the time either of those things go down, the British Men of Letters will already know everything they need to. Hell, Sam already gave them the recipe for the colt bullets. Most dangerous weapon in your arsenal, but sure, yeah, let’s teach the people who tortured you how to use it. Winchesters, man.
The frustration with the trope rehash is a touch more palatable since they won’t be spending a ton of time with Dean being mad at Mary. By the end of the episode he’s already calling her mom again. That anger’s going to redirect at Sammy once Dean finds out what he’s done, but hey, like I said—What’s Supernatural without the family drama?