On SUPERNATURAL, the Hunters Become the Hunted

Season 12, Episode 14 “The Raid”
Written by Robert Berens
Directed by John McCarthy

This is an excellent episode that shows why the Winchesters are the at the top of the hunter hierarchy. I would call them the most likely to survive, but we all know they’ve died several times.

The episode begins right where we left off, with Mary (Samantha Smith) and her boys talking about her working with the British Men of Letters. Dean (Jensen Ackles) is hurt. He’s very hurt. He even retorts at one point that he didn’t have a childhood, which is true, but is only going to push his mother in the direction that she’s going. He even calls her Mary. Sam (Jared Padalecki) is probably as hurt, but not as vocal.

My feelings are really hurt. Mary. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

We see Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) and Mary returning to the Men of Letters’ temporary compound after a successful raid on a vampire nest. We find out a few things in a short period of time. The Men of Letters use an Anti-Vampire Device. I don’t know how it works because it seems to be airborne, and do vampires even need to breathe?

We find out that the “old man”, someone over Mick (Adam Fergus) and Ketch, wants the Winchester brothers to join them. We also see Ketch treat a young woman (Sunita Prasad) with profound disrespect, which reminds us that Ketch is not nice. She responds that she has two PhDs. I think his snobbery is not due to the fact that she’s a woman, but the fact that she’s a noncombatant. The other thing we find out is that the boys have frozen their mom out for a couple of days, despite her attempts to call and text them.

The boys argue about their mom. Sam is in favor of listening to her. Dean is still feeling betrayed. He goes off to get a few drinks. Sam goes off to meet with Mary. She takes him into the Men of Letters compound to show him around. She also tells him what I knew, that she is doing this so he and Dean can have a life without hunting. Sam is impressed with their operation. He thinks the two researchers are smart, but he’s not impressed with the only other hunter they have working with them, Pierce Moncrieff (Aaron Douglas), someone Sam already knows.

Ketch goes to Sam and Dean’s lair and entices him with Scotch and a run at a vampire’s nest. He tells Dean that the Men of Letters helps him channel his impulses into something constructive. He assumes that he and Dean are the same. Dean goes with him. He was saying he wanted something to hit.

Dean and I are both killers, but he doesn’t have my English rose complexion. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

The nest is empty except for a small female vamp who had survived an attack on her group and has come to this one for safety. Ketch knocks her around. You can tell he enjoys it but it makes Dean uncomfortable. Dean offers the girl a quick death in exchange for information, and this is how they find out that the hunted have become the hunters.

The compound is quickly in trouble because it’s under attack by the very vampire nest that Ketch and Dean are trying to raid. Vamps take the guards out. Sam and Mary jump into the fray and then get back into the compound with one live undead guy (Andrew Tkach). They ask him some questions and he says that their father came back because of the raids on vampire nests. The young lady says that their intel said he’s been in Morocco for the last decade. Sam says that’s not true, he met him in North Dakota five years ago. That would be when they needed the blood of an alpha monster to defeat the leviathans.

The family that slays together survives together. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

They make an assessment of what weapons they have. It’s not pretty. They ask who in the room has ever killed anyone and only the lousy hunter, Moncrieff, raises his hand. Mary gives Mick a look. He does have the Colt. But it doesn’t have any bullets. Sam knows the recipe and spell to make bullets for it.

Mary is knocked out when she goes to the armory to get the AVD. We soon find out that Moncrieff knocked her out and destroyed it. He also let the alpha vampire in. The alpha vampire (Rick Worthy) quickly kills the two smart people, Serena Colman (Sunita Prasad) and Alton Morehead (Kett Turton). At least the girl tried to fight back. Sam threatens the alpha with the Colt. He claims to be one of the five things that the Colt can’t kill. Yeah, right. He’s full of himself.

Sam gives him a spiel about how they can return to the old ways. Cops and Robbers. Vamps and Hunters. Only vamps that stick their heads out get them cut off. Just let him and his mom walk away. He claims not to care what happens to Mick, and when he does, Mick makes a half-hearted attack on him. Sam literally shrugs him off.

The head vampire says that he thinks the Colt isn’t loaded and then realized that Mick gave Sam a bullet and Mary’s attack on him was a distraction. It turns out that he is not one of the five beings the Colt can’t kill.

Ketch and Dean arrive to find everything over and done with. Dean admits that he could think of nothing else but rescuing Mary after he found that the compound was under attack. He calls her Mom again.

Ketch and Mick have a confrontation. Mick didn’t know where Ketch was, and thought he should have been there to protect them. Ketch gives back some attitude. He says people get killed down in the muck. He drags Moncrieff off and says they have ways to handle rogue hunters and they aren’t pretty. Reactions range from “good” to who cares. I guess no one cares about Renfield.

Mick is embarrassed, to say the least, and apologizes to Sam. Sam says he’s in. They’re trying to change the world, and he wants to help. The head vampire did get killed. Sam will work on Dean about it.

Sam shouldn’t be impressed that the alpha vampire was vanquished. It was almost all due to the Winchesters. Mary stole the gun from Ramiel. Sam knew the incantation and ingredients to make a silver bullet into a bullet fit for the Colt. Sam held off the vampire, Mary distracted him, and Mick’s only part was to get the bullet to Sam.

This is why I say that this episode shows why they are head and shoulders above other hunters, and I don’t just mean Sam. They are tremendously learned and experienced. They are not above trickery, when necessary. They know their foes. The Men of Letters, London Chapter, need the Winchesters far more than the Winchesters need them.

Another big mistake they are making is having people work for them that are not able to protect themselves. Sam and Dean know that doesn’t work. That’s how they lost Charlie and Kevin. It doesn’t matter how good they are at their specialized skill if they aren’t also hunters.

Head and shoulders above everyone else. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

What about the quest that the British Men of Letters are on? Is it at all feasible? England is an island. You can eradicate rabies there. Ireland is an island. You can drive all the snakes out. But America is vast and has borders with two other countries. We also have a lot of unoccupied land.

Do they really think they can kill every monster? Lycanthropy and vampirism are contagious, although werewolves don’t make too many new werewolves because they like to tear their victim’s hearts out. Anyone who is killed unjustly or hangs around too long after death can become a ghost. You can learn to be a witch. It takes pretty much an act of God to close the Gates of Hell or keep the angels in Heaven. They would not only have to keep demons from inhabiting people and wipe out all vamps, werewolves and similar monsters, they’d have to cut down our high murder rate.

Mr. Ketch is getting interesting. It appears that he resents being the low man on the totem pole when he is doing all the dirty work. I think, despite his R.P. English accent and posh wardrobe that he came from humble beginnings. He also claims to have dated Lady Toni. I wonder if he is the father of her child? It certainly explains why she didn’t want them to call him for backup when she was first in the U.S.

It may be that Sam is not as on board with their ideas as it seems. He’s a smart cookie and may realize that as long as their mom is on this quest, they’d better be there to protect her.


Supernatural airs on the CW on Thursday nights, 8pm/7c.


Teresa Wickersham

Teresa Wickersham has dabbled in fanfic, gone to a few conventions, created some award-winning (and not so award winning) masquerade costumes, worked on the Save Farscape campaign, and occasionally presents herself as a fluffy bunny or a Krampus.

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