“Sam and Me. Saving people. Hunting things. This is our life. I think we make the world a better place. I know we do.”
The SPNFamily (myself included) has survived yet another Hellatus! Those four months are just excruciating! But if you’re anything like me, you spent them rewatching the series on Netflix (and a few hundred convention videos) so it wasn’t that bad. Our boys returned with an episode that surely proved to any naysayers that just because the show has reached puberty, doesn’t mean it still can’t kickass!
Season premieres of Supernatural always manage to perfectly bridge the gap between two seasons; they’re an extension of the previous finale but effortlessly segue into new storylines ahead. “Keep Calm and Carry On” is a prime example. The final moment of season 11 (which might be my second favorite final moment, #1 being “Open your eyes, Dean…And let’s go take a howl at that moon.”) left us with the resurrection of Mary Winchester and Dean’s stunned “Mom”. Tonight’s premiere picked up a millisecond afterward, with Mother Mary stunned herself. Before Dean could fully grasp what was happening, we were all reminded that Mary isn’t any ole’ Mommy; she knocks Dean down, pinning him with her foot to his neck. She releases him as he explains who he is and that she died 33 years ago. Couldn’t have doled out the truth bombs a little slower, Dean? Mary attempts to absorb it all as she fearfully remembers her own death. Samantha Smith picked this character back up flawlessly, playing the rattled-confusion/shell shock naturally without coming off as cheap like a soap opera character awaking from a coma. The moment where we see her beginning to accept it all as she examines her son’s face was beautifully played by both Smith and Ackles. He may be 38, but a mother will always recognize her own child. Dean too begins to recognize something: his mother’s touch, something he hasn’t truly felt for decades. The two hug like strangers, body’s stiff with uncertainty but when we return to them (after Cas’ crash landing into a Mystery Spot billboard) they sit alongside each other on a bench, easing into familiarity. Dean tells Mary a fraction of a fraction of what he’s been up to all these years before insisting to “get her home”. Sidebar: I will never not melt everytime Sam or Dean refers to the bunker as “home”, they deserve that sanctuary and man I just love to hear them acknowledge it!
Meanwhile Sam is having a day. British MOL, Lady Bevell, has in fact shot my sweet innocent Sammy (just in the leg, so he’ll survive!) and ties him up in a storm cellar where she intends to torture him for answers about his hunting history. Is the torture really necessary? Okay- you shot him, you fixed up his wound, but why torture? It’s not like he has plans to bomb a building and you need answers ASAP. You just want to hear his biography? This could have been settled with a knock at the bunker door and a casual chat over coffee! But I digress, Icy Kate Middleton is no match for my darling Samuel who has been “tortured by the devil himself” (anyone else have this reaction to that line?). Your cold shower has no affect on my boy, it only feeds his need to piss you off, Michelle Dockery.
The English tag team decides to up their torture game by means of fire but my Moose is indestructible. Their final choice of torture is chemical warfare; they inject him with a hallucinogen in hopes he will spill the beans while tripping
balls out. Strike three, you Brits are out. Sam pulls a fast one on Maggie Smith, feigning suicide* and getting her to check on him – he takes her down HOWEVER that little lady is pretty resilient and manages to keep him locked in the cellar. [Had he not been severely burned and drugged, she would be ganked. I just needed to defend dear Samuel, okay?]
At the bunker, Mama meets the boyfriend! Kidding. But seriously, she meets Castiel, whom she first directs her gun at before Dean steps in and gets the hug of the century from Cas (who thought he was blown to smithereens).
A+ acting across the board this episode, I have to quickly add. Misha makes a blink and you’ll miss it expression that screams “This is so great for you, Dean”. So subtle and worthy of a virtual standing O. Cas fills them in on the whereabouts of Sam and Team Free Will 2.0 get to investigating! To the
Batmobile Impala! Unlike the majority of Supernatural episodes, “Keep Calm and Carry On” had only 2 or 3 comedic beats, but the first was unforgettable. Mary is reunited with Baby, sweeping her hand across the shiny hood (you can tell this is the only thing in 2016, she really feels a connection to so far). She and Dean both peer into the interior, but as Mary’s eyes reach the back seat, she smirks, remembering all the good times back there – to Dean’s disgust.
The road to young and beautiful Sammy is not a smooth one, as Keira Knightley’s henchwoman T-Bones the impala with her car. She manages to subdue Dean and Cas (with her warded brass knuckles which admittedly are awesome) but Mama Winchester comes in for the kill with a angel blade stab through the chest! Good to have you back, Samantha! The kill does rattle Mary quite a bit (she escaped the hunting life and is now back in the thick of it), but not enough for her to quit searching for her baby boy. It is mind boggling to me that Sam has never interacted with Sam Smith’s Mary. Sure he has seen her (Zachariah and Eve used her for a moment) but Sam has never truly met his mother in the form that his brother knows her. I am beyond excited for the two to finally meet, I do wonder if we will see a bit of favoritism? Will Mary have a stronger connection to one brother over the other? You could argue both sides: She met Dean in the present first, he’s her first born whom she got to know as a child but then again Sam is her baby, who is often said to be most like John. Gosh, what’s it going to be like with Sam, Dean, and Mary in the same room? The possibilities are endless! Also the kleenex will need to be endless because the tears will surely be abundant for me.
This premiere was well worth the wait. Twelve seasons in and this show still keeps me desperately wanting more. Many people say Supernatural has been on too long or that it should end already. These people either don’t watch the show or watch the show without believing in it. I believe in the Winchesters, I believe in this love they share, this indestructible family. I am here 12 season later with the same (if not more) amount of love and admiration for this show as the day I started watching.** Season 8 felt like new chapter, a new beginning and since then the show has progressed creatively in every way. Season 12 is looking like yet another advancement in this unstoppable ascension. I cannot wait to see what’s to come for our boys this season and I know if you’ve made it to this end of this recap, so are you!
Hope to have you back on The TV Takeover next week!
Some Extra Thoughts:
- I am over the moon (and across the whole damn galaxy) that Supernatural is back! This show is such a positive part of my life. I could go on for days about the importance of this show to my life or honestly, my sanity, but I won’t. Maybe sometime in the future when I can properly gather my thoughts. To put it simply: this show makes me happy no matter what mood I’m in, no matter how miserable or depressed I am. This show lifts my spirits and gahhh I’m just glad it’s back, okay?
- This is the first episode with Andrew Dabb at the helm, and I won’t go into detail, all I will say is: In Dabb We Trust!
- These . Parallels. Thanks tumblr for sending me to my grave.
- *I found it quite shocking that, knowing that Jared Padalecki is a source of strength for suicidal fans, the Supernatural writers would have his character cut his own throat (yes it was actually his hand in the end but the mere visual of Sam Winchester possibly slitting his throat surely upset some people).
- So England’s method of hunting is insanely efficient! America must seem like a violent mess to them, no wonder the British MOL is worried.
- For some reason, Jared with wet matted hair makes him look even more like his son Shep!
- So did that Dean/Cas hug break tumblr?
- This whole scene I will never forget, let it go down in SPN history as one of the many iconic moments, please.
- Jensen Ackles, am I right?
- Different fans will interpret this look differently, but I’m Team Mary-Is-Totally-Questioning-This-Relationship-They-Seem-Too-Close
- Anyone else have flashbacks to the Smallville pilot during Cas’ crash landing?
- **This was taken from a tumblr post I wrote about the season 11 finale by the way
- OOOH WHAT A FEELING / BEING’S BELIEVING / I CAN HAVE IT ALL NOW I’M DANCING FOR MY LIIIIIFE