by Billie Doux
Supernatural is smart enough to keep going back to their original format. I can't even remember how many times they've done an episode that started out funny, featured an effective hunt for a monster, and ended with incredible sadness.
Even though Mary has been fighting depression and sleepless nights because she doesn't feel like she belongs back in the world and has cut her hair, a traditional act of mourning, the early scenes in the bunker were great as the Winchesters bonded over cold bacon and decided that all of the tension would be resolved if they went on a family hunting trip. A locked room double murder mystery slash ghost story? Perfect. And they're off in the Impala introducing Mary to modern snack foods and new methods of supernatural research, blasting John's rock music as they went.
But the thing is, a monster hunt is never just a monster hunt. The cause of the haunting was sad beyond belief: a grieving father who committed suicide by walling himself up alive, driven by greed to kill and take other people's children. When Mary saw that gnarly doll in the old crib, she flashed back to baby Sam on the night of her own death, and the little boy ghost who kept appearing to her must have reminded her of little Dean. I was really struck by the scene in the cemetery where Dean and Sam were salting and burning the body of a small child while discussing their worries about their unhappily resurrected mother. The Winchesters do not lead normal lives, and hunting monsters is not a joyful calling.
I hadn't even thought about it, but of course, Mary was yanked out of Heaven where she was with her heavenly version of John and her kids. (Reminding me of Buffy season six.) Although intellectually, Mary Winchester knows that these grown men are her boys, she can't make the emotional connection between them and her own little Dean and baby Sam. The frozen hearts of the ghost's victims were this episode's Most Obvious Symbolism. In the end, before she left (taking John's journal with her), Mary pointed out the obvious to her boys: that they hunt because they can't deal with the sadness in their own lives. Sam was heartbroken at her departure, but Dean was clearly devastated.
Excuse me for a moment while I go sob now.
In an unrelated but fun parallel hunt, Castiel and Crowley (as Agent Beyonce and Agent Jay-Z) teamed up to track down Lucifer Springfield and managed to recover Rowena, who was clever enough to accelerate the decay of Lucifer's vessel and send him to the bottom of the ocean. How come I'm so certain that he won't be that easy to defeat?
-- Nice opener with Mary and Castiel. For some reason, I was hoping that he'd tell her that he took Dean out of Hell. Not that that would be an appropriate topic while Mary was having trouble sleeping.
-- Nothing this week from "Her Majesty's secret suckbags." Good.
-- Was Vince's sister mentioned last week? I thought he only talked about his suicidal love, Jen.
-- Lucifer implied to Rowena that Vince was supposed to be a longer lasting vessel, but didn't say why. Maybe Vince is related to the Winchesters.
-- The father ghost touched Mary in the center of her chest in the same way that Rowena touched Lucifer in the previous scene. Nice little parallel there.
-- This week: St. Paul, Minnesota; Cleveland, Ohio; MoL bunker.
-- The motel room was black and purple and had a leather and lace theme, with interlocked male and female symbols as the decor. A rent-by-the-hour motel? Seems a bit inappropriate for a place to stay with your mom. (Note that there was a foldaway bed so we wouldn't speculate where everyone was sleeping.)
-- Mary was Agent Shirley Partridge, while Dean was Agent Cassidy and Sam Agent Bonaduce. Loved that.
Dean: "That's probably cold by now, Mom."
Mary: "It's bacon."
Dean: "Wow. We are so related."
Mary: "Why give the bad guys the advantage of long, pullable hair, right?"
Dean: "Wow. I've been trying to tell Sam that for years."
Dean: "Look, man. Cas healed your S'mores foot, all right? I got Baby back to mint, we're road ready. And if Mom wants to hunt, I say we hunt."
S'mores foot. I don't know why I thought that was hilarious, but I did.
Mary: "Dean, it's analog. I'm good."
Lucifer: "Red, what did you do?"
Rowena: "Sped up the decaying process, my lord. You thought Keith Richards was bad? Try Iggy Pop."
Crowley: "You're just mad you're only my second choice for a Lucifer hunt team-up."
Castiel: "No. Actually, I think it's sweet. I thought your motivation was ambition and revenge. Now I know you just want to save your mother."
So sad. Three out of four frozen hearts,
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.