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Supernatural: Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes

"Their mom's on a hunting trip, and hasn't been home in a week."

Once again, we see the devastating effect that the hunting life can have on a family. But this time, it wasn't the Winchesters.

We first met twins Alicia and Max Banes at Asa Fox's wonderful wake, when it turned out that they were Asa's kids. This time, we met their very cool witch hunter mom, Tasha Banes, whom I liked immediately, dammit. Because unfortunately, she's already dead. What is it with losing cool female characters on this show?

We've been told, I think by Rowena, that there are different ways for witches to get their power. The bad witch here whose name I didn't catch was a "borrower" who got her power from a crossroads deal, and who was using the hearts of locals to create "dolls" out of twigs to be her slaves. Sort of shapeshiftery, but not. The sound of those breaking twigs was darned creepy.

Was it sexist of me to hope that if we lost one of the twins, it would be the guy? Maybe it's just because I'm tired of losing cool female characters on this show. Or that Alicia seemed cooler than Max, who came off as something of a self-involved jerk. But then again, Max is the natural witch, the one with all the power. Plus, okay, he really liked the Impala. In the end, I couldn't help but feel for Max. The boys shouldn't have left him alone back at that pink rooming house in Wyoming, even though he told them forcefully to go. It was blindingly obvious that Max wasn't handling his loss well, and it wasn't smart for the boys to leave with an easy way for Max to reverse it right in front of him.

And now Max has sold his soul, much like Dean did for Sam way back when, and he didn't even get the real Alicia in return. Instead, it's a version of Alicia that is "mostly" her, but not. Will we see Max and "Alicia" again this season? I think so, since I'm assuming the finale will be all about the American hunters versus the British Men of Letters.

The B plot continued with the same theme of powerful moms slash talented hunters in serious danger, beginning with a little preview of coming attractions as Ketch tortured a shapeshifter in Mary's form before it was Mary's turn. Honestly, it's a bit of a surprise that it took this long for Mary to internalize how evil and awful Ketch is. I loved the bit with the brass knuckles, and the way she hit him in the nuts. Too bad it didn't work.

Yes, we all know Dean and Sam are on their way, but I'm honestly not looking forward to seeing Lady Toni torture Mary Winchester, even briefly. Could the boys please arrive very, very soon?


— Dean's somewhat needy voice mail to Mary was so sad. Poor Dean. Alicia observed correctly that Mary didn't seem like much of a hugger.

— Castiel and Kelly are in the wind, and the Colt is still in pieces. But apparently, Sam can fix it.

— The hunter information Mary saw on the computer screens included Garth, Eileen and Claire. I hope this doesn't mean we're going to lose them in the run-up to the season finale.

— Does Dean really think that wine won't make you drunk?

— Dean's other, other cell voice mail made another appearance. So did the grenade launcher, which probably means we're going to see it used soon.

— The taser hitting Mary in the back looked like bad CGI. Or maybe my TV picture just wobbled. Did anyone else notice?

— This episode was directed by Richard Speight, Jr., who is still missed as a beloved recurring guest star. This is the third Supernatural episode he has directed.

— This week: Rock River, Wyoming, and the Mountain Slumber Boarding House, as well as both MoL bunkers.


Dean: "So last night, that Mario power-up crap, that wasn't Cas. That freaking baby isn't even born yet, and it sock-puppeted him."

Ketch: (to Mary) "I'm sad to say you won't become the Jiminy Cricket of the British Men of Letters. We don't need a conscience. Such a trite idea, but we firmly believe the ends do justify the means."

Mary: "Why is Mick's body in a box?"
Ketch: "An unfortunate werewolf mishap."
Mary: "A werewolf shot him in the head?"
Ketch: "It's not impossible."

Ketch: "I've been cleaning up after them for months. I took care of those federal agents they stupidly allowed to live. I killed a psychic girl who they thought was human. Honestly, they're damn sloppy."
Mary: "I think you mean 'decent'."

Sam: "Dean, you couldn't let Max make some deal for his soul."
Dean: "Sam, we do terrible things all the time to save each other. I mean, that's what you do for family."

Good one. Three out of four glasses of wine,

Billie Doux has been reviewing Supernatural for so long that Dean and Sam Winchester feel like old friends. Courageous, adventurous, gorgeous old friends.


  1. Speight is a damn good director. I was about to leave once or twice during the episode,so scary it looked.And I'm with you that too many girls are dying on the show. Now, I'm afraid to think whose turn is next.
    (sign) Frightened to the core :)

  2. Ever since we got Mary back, I have feared losing her. I just can't see her surviving past the end of this season, but wouldn't it be wonderful if she did? As for this week's episode, I foresee tragedy for the brother who made the pact to bring his sister back. We all know the results of similar deals. Castiel is acting the way he did before he unleashed the Leviathans on the world, and that was a pure tragedy. So we are heading for a double denouement for the end of season 12, and I'm eagerly--and nervously--awaiting to see where the cast and crew of SUPERNATURAL takes us this year.

  3. Not Jody Mills! And by extension... please not: Donna Hanscum, Mrs. Tran, Eileen Leahy. I'll follow the Winchesters anywhere, but I'm still not over Charlie.

  4. Am I crazy, or did the staging of the final scene imply that "Ketch" and "Lady Toni" are the same person?

  5. This was one of my favorite episodes this season! I'm so very pleased to see the writers upping their game again. (No! Not Garth. However, I'm not a fan of Claire, so writers, do what you will. Leave Jodi alone, though, please.)Just good writing all around, although a little sloppy leaving the twin with the deal-making ring thing.

  6. If they killed the brother they would be accused of Burying Gays so they stuck to the tried and tested Supernatural female character treatment. ;)

    Was nice to see Garth's picture but then again it's Supernatural we're talking about, if characters don't appear they at least can't die... But a UK vs US hunter battle would be awesome.

  7. The boys used their hearts and left Max to handle his dead family, and it backfired just like the British MoL tell us it would. They're setting up an interesting struggle they have always had, how ruthless do they need to be.

    Seeing Toni in the room with Mary made my blood run cold, don't hurt Mary!

  8. I hate Dr. Toni, cried with Max at losing his family, you are so right about creepy twig people! I really detest the BMOL. All of them Head lady needs to be painfully destroyed....


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