Sam, Dean and Mary investigate a pair of deaths within an abandoned home in Minnesota that contains the ghost of a child who may be responsible for their deaths. Meanwhile, Castiel travels alone to find Lucifer and reluctantly teams up with Crowley, who is also searching for the devil. Lucifer himself orders Rowena to find a way to keep his current vessel permanent so he won’t have to switch bodies anymore. As she does so, she secretly betrays him and uses the spell to decay his form and banishes him into isolation. Back in Minnesota, Mary pursues the ghost story on her own after believing the child is innocent. She is eventually possessed by a different spirit, one who sought revenge against families with children after losing his own and dying from grief. Sam and Dean stop the ghost and release Mary which later leads to her departure from her sons claiming to need time mourn her old life. She leaves with a saddened Sam and a frustrated Dean looking on.
Mary’s act of leaving her boys came a lot sooner than I expected after theorizing plenty of plot points those three could have gone through together. This also marks the departure of Lucifer until a time when either return to resume the arc at hand. Without either character driving the season, the Winchesters and Castiel will be at a crossroads on how to proceed which after three episodes seems a bit too early, but the ghost story in question had its moments of light-hearted humor and artistic depression that can consume any person who came back from the dead missing their old life. Temperamental at times, tonight’s episode produces a solid stand-alone plot and a familiar kind of cliffhanger that leaves the Winchesters speechless and melancholy, for episodes on no doubt.
Mary continued to be a beacon of nostalgia for many points of reference like holding casual conversations on the phone and investigating without the internet. This could have gone for several storylines but the heart of her issue was that she’s still lonely and longs for what she lost. To her sons, it makes little sense that she would abandon them so soon after returning, but to us, I believe it holds a crafty necessity considering how they’ve tried to shelter her only to realize she doesn’t need protection. It might become a tired trope and thus her leaving forces the brothers to maintain a scarred vigilance that can only be fixed by more hunting and/or partying depending on the Winchester and his feelings on the matter. Suffice it to say, I’m okay with Mary leaving for the short term, as long as she returns with more badassery and help to boot.
The ghost story in question was relatively mediocre with the exception of the ghost’s abilities and way about killing. Freezing fits with the parameters of his being and we haven’t seen possession like this in quite a while. The plot was simple to follow and didn’t contain too much twisty-ness with the exception of the child being labeled as the villain for a short time. Where the episode loses some of its gleam is the generic nature with how ghosts react and what they represent as the emotional culmination of pain and suffering expelled as a violent force that known no reason. After twelve seasons, it’s one of the more predictable elements on the show and will never stand out like the old days when they fooled us into thinking the guest star was real and turned out to be a ghost herself. These ghost stories need to hold stronger ties and not just be parables for the main characters to reflect on their own misgivings and hardships.
When Rowena banished Lucifer. That’s not something you see everyday and while it’s been fascinating watching an aged rockstar handle the mantel of the devil, her victory was actually a pleasure to watch and there wasn’t any backlash, as of yet. She may not be on the path to redemption, but she definitely did everyone else a solid by outperforming Lucifer at a game of trickery.
Again, it should be Rowena this time simply because of the mess she cleaned up and taking that kind of responsibility can really elevate a character’s status on the show. Mary has issues she needs to work out but she’s already a heroine. Rowena can be she just has to really accept what being a good person means. So far though, I can get behind the new Rowena and her style.
I’m taking a rough stab in the dark, but I think it would be interesting if Mary finds something in John’s journal that compels her to seek out something unfinished or connected to John that the brothers never recognized because they didn’t know what to look for. The journal has appeared too many times to be just a lazily spread around this season and I think will have a part to play sometime in the near future.
I like how this show can choose to let characters battle ghost possession simply because the brothers have stern looks on their faces and an ability to get through to those they care about. It doesn’t happen often and if ghosts are so powerful, someone like Mary shouldn’t have been able to fight him off, but the point was to show how deeply connected she is with her sons even though it cost her the ability to stay with them. One would think she’d easily accept a quick trip to the past to make things right if it came down to it.
Will this be the last time we see Crowley for a while? He’s still technically the king of hell, but considering how low priority the demons have been as of late I’d hate to see the underworld take too much of a step back considering they were the original bad guys that started this whole saga off. Maybe something old and sinister needs to step above the ranks, but after 12 years, what kind of demon can still exist and be a threat to anyone?
Sam and Dean will likely be on opposite dies of the fence on how to deal with their mother leaving. Dean will take it very personally while Sam will struggle to accept what’s happened. I’d like to see them swap those issues, but Dean is better when he’s complaining and distracted by hunting things instead of dealing with his pain like Sam does on a constant basis. Maybe this will make Dean more reckless in the future for Sam to search for Mary and bring her back when things get really bad.
7 out of 10. Not the worst ghost story ever told, but certainly not one of the better ones. It held little mystery to the viewer and was more of a backdrop to Mary’s conundrum with her place in the world that also mixed an unexpected victory with Rowena dealing Lucifer a hurtful blow. The uncertainty is high moving forward and though that leaves room for plenty to look forward to, this season still has yet to grasp the long arc with the exception of the men of letters who have yet to make a stronger presence in America. Let’s hope the local hunters ban together when the London chapter storms in on their territory. Civil war, Supernatural style. Thanks for reading.
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