SUPERNATURAL Review 12.21 “There’s Something About Mary”
Watch it here.
Read the previous reviewhere.
“There’s Something About Mary” is a rollercoaster. Not of emotions, but of quality. There are moments that are pretty good, and others that are either infuriating or just downright bad. The British Men of Letters have been plucking off hunters, and it turns out that they’ve been using Mary (and a hellhound) to do it. We only see a couple of them die, and the first isn’t an American at all. She’s Irish.
Supernatural has caught a lot of hell for its treatment of women. Typically, I’m one of the first to bring up the constant torture that everyone goes through in the show, regardless of gender. But not this week. The brutal murder of Eileen was not only unnecessary and without preamble, but it was poorly executed to boot. Something about the effects throughout the episode were deeply strange. That includes Mary’s brainwashing scenes, which furthers the episode’s theme of irritation.
It’s not that Mary’s plea against the brainwashing wasn’t believable. It’s more that it was completely avoidable to begin with. Angst after the fact would have been reasonable, but breaking down the matriarch of the family in such a devastating manner after leaving John Winchester the ever-stoic mess that he was is… troubling. All that said, Sam Smith performed swimmingly. She’s not the problem here, the writing is. And all of this isn’t to say that the show hasn’t made strides introducing and utilizing more interesting and functional women, but damn, “There’s Something About Mary” was a big step in the wrong direction.
After all that, the episode moves on to be mostly okay. The entire arc between Crowley and Lucifer has been nothing but waiting for Luci to break out of Crowley’s little spell. We haven’t gotten much explanation as to how, but that finally came to pass tonight. As is standard with Mark Pellegrino’s Lucifer, each scene was comical in one way or another. You know you should hate him, but you can’t help but giggle. Once he knows he’s free, that murderous charm goes in full-swing, and Crowley goes full grovel. Don’t worry, y’all. He’s not dead. He’s just a rat like he should be.
Will that rat scurry off to meet up with Dr. Hess? Until now, we had no knowledge of she and Crowley’s little alliance, but it makes sense. Crowley’s been leaning toward heading back to actual evil as of late, and his involvement in the death of Eileen should solidify that. If that doesn’t sell the boys, there’s always the fact that he’s got a partnership going with the woman who ordered their friends’ deaths and brainwashed their mother.
Sammy may care for everyone, but it was clear that he had a soft spot for Eileen. Hunters live a hard life, and the fact that she navigated it while deaf shows up every hunter we’ve met to date. The British Men of Letters are batting a thousand for a Winchester revenge tour, but their biggest mistake was going after Mary. Her brainwashing is complete by the end of the episode, and it’s just in time to be used as an instrument against her boys.
Mama Winchester has left the building, and the Brits seem to have won the game. After locking Sam, Dean, and Lady Bevel in the bunker, Mary is nowhere to be seen in her conversation with Ketch. She acknowledges that she loves her boys, but like when Sam lost his soul in season six, this is a thing she understands but does not comprehend.
“There’s Something About Mary” manages to have a few shining moments in spite of itself. Mary learns the truth about what her husband became, and the abuse that her sons went through growing up. Crowley calls Castiel the Winchester’s love slave, and Lucifer calls his shot as he’s throwing Crowley around in hell. Sam’s reactions to everything involving Eileen are also worth the accolades, but aren’t so much in the humor department like the others. He always has the puppy face on deck and ready to go, but there was a deeper sadness than what we usually see. Of all the cards that were dealt to Eileen in this episode, that’s the one she deserved. Also? Never make “he fucked your mom” jokes to Dean Winchester. He’s not about it.
So, how’s Sam going to deal with being stuck in the bunker with the woman who orchestrated most of that? The outcome probably won’t be great, but the Winchesters have worked with a lot of monsters as a means to an end in the past. Next week will be the two hour season finale, and we’ll see if they can sort out their slump or if they go into season thirteen with a whisper. At this point it seems safe to assume that the writers have simply forgotten that they killed Billy, and we won’t be seeing her “cosmic consequences”.