Season 12, Episode 13 “Family Feud”
Written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Lemming
Directed by P. J. Pesce
This episode is part dysfunctional family dynamics and part romantic ghost story. Ghosts often symbolize regret and guilt, even on Supernatural, where any unjustly killed person can become a ghost if they stay around too long and refuse to go to their heavenly reward or Hellish punishment. As a ghost, they become warped and vengeful whether they want to or not.
Quite a bit happens in this episode that is not related to the ghost story. The first of this that we see is Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith) using a ray gun to fry the brains of some monsters. Mr. Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) is clocking how long it takes to work on them. I believe it’s a good weapon. The sound is horrible. She gets a call from Dean (Jensen Ackles), who invites her to join their case, which is a school teacher with their tongue cut out and innards squished. She turns him down nicely.
Later, Ketch, who seems quite admiring of Mary, points out that she is softer when talking to her sons. He advises that she puts some distance between her and them.
We find out why Crowley (Mark Sheppard) hasn’t been around much lately. He’s been up to his own no good tricks. He patched together Lucifer’s old vessel (Mark Pellegrino) and readied it for occupation. It turns out that he diverted the spell that Sam (Jared Padalecki) used on Lucifer when they drew him from the president and sent him to the vessel, which means I was right! He didn’t go in the orb! And he wasn’t in the cage in the depths of Hell. This is a foolish move on Crowley’s part. As difficult as it was to catch Lucifer and get him off of our realm, it’s not something you want to have to do again. And why did Crowley do it? So he could make Lucifer grovel, they way Lucifer did to him? He’s not getting that kind of satisfaction out of Lucifer.
A very frightened Kelly (Courtney Ford) is found by angels, who try to kill her. Dagon (Ali Ahn) shows up and saves her and takes her under her wing.
Several teachers were killed in different locations but they had all taken a field trip to a museum recently. The Museum houses artifacts from the Star, the ship on which Crowley’s son Gavin (Theo Devaney) met his demise in — the first time around, before he was brought to this time by Abaddon. Crowley is unwilling to help the boys. He has just found out that they left Kelly and Lucifer’s unborn child alive. They call Rowena (Ruth Connell) to help them find Gavin and bring him to the museum. She is thrilled to find out that she has a grandchild and seems quite taken with him.
Gavin finds, to his alarm, that a locket he had given to his fiancée was in the list of items recovered. Since he never made it on the ship, he didn’t know that Fiona (Candace Woods) was on it. She wasn’t supposed to be. They have a seance so that Gavin can talk to her. She shows up and says she was a stowaway on the ship but was brutalized when found without Gavin there to protect her. The Fiona ghost is angry at teachers because her old teacher on the ship slut-shamed her for pursuing Gavin and did not help protect her.
Sam and Dean think he should go back. For the record, that’s what they thought when he was first brought to the future. Crowley made the decision to keep him in the future. Gavin thinks he should go back, too. He wants to save Fiona. Rowena agrees to help and Gavin disappears into the past. We see the couple, briefly, as ghosts together before they go to their heavenly reward. One hopes that they had some happy moments together before the ship went down.
All of the teachers and the scoutmaster that were killed are still alive. As sweet as this was, I’m not sure one should have to go back to the past. If one gets a “get out of fate free” card, run with it.
Crowley and Rowena talk. He doesn’t believe that her motive was altruistic. She says she wanted to get back at him for making her kill her apprentice in an earlier season. A boy she loved more than she loved Crowley. I don’t think that was really her motive, but her motive in saying it was to hurt him.
Mary comes home and tells the boys she’s been working with the British Men of Letters. They aren’t happy, but they talk. In contrast to Crowley and Rowena, the Winchesters are a functional family. They are trying to pull together, not apart. Rowena’s last jab at Crowley may be a permanent rift. They could have pulled together over their mutual grief. He is more alone than ever and vulnerable to Lucifer’s ploys.
Now I’m going to talk about Mary. In reading people’s posts and lurking other places I was surprised to find so much anger towards her, and feeling that she has betrayed her sons, and not understanding why she would work with the Men of Letters. I agree that the Men of Letters should not be trusted. Ketch looks like a psychopath. Sometimes I wonder if he is even human. All we know about him is that he admires a good weapon, and he looks at Mary the same way as he did the Colt. Torturing Sam is a deal breaker for me.
And we know, although the Winchesters don’t, that Ketch killed the little girl in the bathroom just because she had psychic powers and killed the soldiers who had held Sam and Dean captive even though the brothers worked hard to spare their lives. Sam and Dean are right. Mary is wrong.
But I know why she is doing it. To me it was so clear I haven’t talked about it before. Mary was born in a hunting family and tried hard to escape it. She never wanted this life for her own family. She wanted a nice, normal, white picket fence life with a handsome guy who liked cars. And she had it until she died. And she had it in Heaven. But she came back to Earth and found out that Sam and Dean, her babies, never had that growing up after all, because she died and John turned into a hunter.
It’s decades too late and there’s nothing she can do to fix it. So when her sons have disappeared for six weeks, being held by the real authorities for nothing more than doing their jobs, she is susceptible to Mitch’s pitch, which they even used in the voice-over in this week’s episode. ”Let me paint you a picture of a world without monsters or demons or any of those little buggers that go bump in the night. Of a world where no one has to die because of the supernatural. Of a new world, a better world.”
Mary joined up with the British Men of Letters to eradicate every supernatural critter on the planet. Or at least the U.S. That’s why she talked to Wally of efficiency, and body count. She’s trying to put Sam and Dean out of their jobs. She’s trying to give them no reason to be heroes anymore. It’s smart of her that she knows she can’t change who they are. And yes, she will do it even if they don’t like it because you do things for your kids that they don’t like that are for their own good. You get them shots and make them eat their vegetables.
So, no, she’s not going to betray them for this quest. It’s for them.
I think we’re going to find out some more about this in the next episode. I really wish the Winchesters would get to see some of the horrible stuff that we’ve seen that the BMoL have done. I would like to see their eyes opened.
Supernatural airs on the CW On Thursday nights at 8pm/7c.