Monday, 31 October 2016

Supernatural Think Tank- Anna's Thinky Thoughts on 1203 The Foundry

I could see where this episode was going from the moment we saw Mary ask Cas when it was he started to feel like he belonged.  It was apparent from when Mary first appeared, that contrary to the joy Dean and then Sam felt upon her arrival, for Mary it was different.  When this episode ended the first thought that came into my mind was Amara.  I know what you must be thinking, how in fact does your mind actually work?  Why in the world would Amara be your first thought?  Well,  I kept going back to what Amara told Dean at the end of Alpha & Omega.  Amara had said to him that he gave her what She needed and She wanted to do the same for him....and then lo and behold, Dean comes face to face with Mom.   So this thought had occurred to me, I don't recall  Dean had never declaring a need for his mom.  Dean wanted to have his mom.  The only time I can remember Dean using the words need was in Home when Dean called John and asked for his help....he said "I need you Dad".  The only other time Dean used the word need was referring to Sam. He's told Sam he needed him on more than one occasion, Sacrifice coming to mind at the moment.   As a matter of fact,  what could've been Dean's last words to Amara, were thoughts of his brother.  He spoke of Sam and told her "I need him and he needs me".  In fact I think that was the last thing Dean said to Amara, which enabled Her to realise that She didn't want to kill Her brother, She, in fact, needed Him.   Do you recall What is and What Should Never Be?  Dean told Sam, it was just a wish, Mom hadn't died and you got married, and we never went hunting.  The title alone, What is and What Shouldn't be is obviously letting Dean and the audience know that what did really happen,"What Is", is exactly what was meant to be.  What shouldn't be was Dean's wish, that his Mom were alive. As all these thoughts went swirling in my head, and as I again I got to thinking about Amara's exact words to Dean it occurred to me how specific her words were.   She wanted to give Dean what he needed, not what he wanted, so I'm thinking that perhaps Amara's gift isn't so obvious.  The way I look at it, maybe it's not Mom that's the gift Amara offers Dean, perhaps what She is offering Dean is peace, acceptance and closure.

Now I'm focusing on Dean here because my theory is based on Amara's words to Dean, the circumstances in which She returned the favour and the Dean's history or what we've seen of it over the years. I am not unaware of Sam in any of this, but the circumstances with Sam are a bit different and it was apparent in his reaction when his mom told them she had to go. For the moment I think it's important to explain where I'm coming from. I believe that what Dean wants and what Dean needs are two different things.  I believe Amara, being who and what She is, understood that.  So much like the hard but very important lesson She learnt and the roundabout but necessary way in which She learnt it, I feel that She is doing the same for Dean, after all it's the hard and important lessons we tend to carry with us and remember. The first thing that becomes apparent as Dean and Mom spend time together is that the childhood image of Mary that Dean carried all these years is in fact just that, a fantasy. Dean's childhood memories are shattered little by little as he learns certain truths about his Mom.  Mary actually didn't cook for Dean as he thought, she couldn't cook at all, Dean's home cooked meals, in fact, were prepared by the Piggly Wiggly. Mary isn't the Mom Dean remembers at four years old.  The truth is that Mary was always a well trained hunter, living on the road, and was likely the furthest thing from being domestic.  She ran from that life so she can have a normal family, yet Mary is the one who made the deal that cursed them all, something Dean found out and actually witnessed himself, but could never bear to tarnish the view he has of his mother. Dean has long held onto the little boy's image of his Mom and this image that brought him joy is also what has burdened him with pain.  What I mean is, Dean's view of his mom as perfect, is what I believe to be the contributing factor of his low self esteem.  Mom's perfect, she would never leave him, so it must be Dean's fault.  Dean has carried this belief well into adulthood and has been what drives him into most of his decisions, especially the bad ones.

As we see Mary trying to come to terms with what's happening to her it becomes pretty clear that what Dean wants and Mom needs and wants are very different things. Mary is basically the equivalent to an alien from another planet who crash landed on Earth and has no idea of what to do or how to fit in. Of course if one looks at Mary from the boy's perspective, Mary is loved by her two sons and in time she will get used to her surroundings, her situation and her children.  They will be there to help her transition.  They will support her.  She just has to give them and herself time. Easy right?   Well maybe from the boy's point of view yes...but perhaps not so easy from the point of view of Mary.  There's an important tidbit of information here that needs to be addressed and what very well is contributing to her inability to adjust right now.  Mary has memories of her Heaven and she was  happy there.  In her Heaven, she had her husband and her baby and her little boy. All of this was taken away. Her reality is that her husband is dead, her babies and the chance to watch them grow are gone.  She has grown up sons, who she knows nothing about living a life she ran away from.  As she reads her husband's journal she discovers what became of him, of all of them and is devastated by the life they ended up in, the one she ran from and never wanted for her children.  She is faced with the knowledge that she is the one who started it all.  Her first interaction with her baby is to rescue him from his torturers.  She then had to save Dean as well all the while probably thinking, this is happening because of what I did. That's a lot of guilt and to face her children every day, hunting no less.  If anything happens to either one of them, it's because a of horrible decision she made so long ago.  We've seen that Mary and Dean share similar traits, one being, when hit with a truth they don't like or can't handle they run.  At the moment, Mary is overwhelmed by everything and while it is many people's belief that staying with the boys will help her come to terms, for Mary it seems the opposite is true.  That the love her boys have for her, their need to protect her, her desire to protect them, all of it is actually too much for her to handle right now.  She is in fact overwhelmed by all of it, including them, even though they are being so careful and understanding.  It seems to me that before Mary can become what Dean wants her to be, Mary needs to figure out what who and what she is supposed to do.  She needs space and some time.   I think Amara wanted Dean to see this.  It's important that Dean recognises that his childhood image of his mom is not reality, not even then. He's been fantasising what his Mom should/would be for years and years.  It's part of what has driven him, but more than that it's been a contributing factor in how Dean perceives himself.  So maybe it's time at last for Dean to let that image go.  To let this version of his Mom go.  Dean needs to  come to terms with the reality of who she is and accept that.  Then perhaps Dean can finally get what he needs....peace. .  For Dean, maybe he can finally start understanding and believing that when people leave, it's not because of him or anything he's done.  Sometimes people leave of their own free will because it's something they might need to do for themselves or, as in the case of Mom, they die and it's out of their control.  I think this is the lesson Amara wants Dean to learn, that he needs to learn, in order to find peace within himself, he has to let his Mom go. He needs to accept and love her as she is now, not as he imagined her to be in his head. Most importantly he must  let her find her peace and her happiness the way she sees fit. He must allow her to have what she wants and what she needs, even if it means she wants her Heaven back.  I think when Dean can come to terms with this, he can learn to love himself and see himself with less loathing and more self acceptance.  A lesson like this can't come easy, Dean has to be shown and come to understand on his own, Amara can't just tell him.  Like I said, perhaps her gift isn't the obvious one.

That's my take on Mary's resurrection.  Now I'd like to just mention some other stuff I enjoyed about this episode.

Everyone just knocked it out of the park, especially Jared, Jensen and Sam.  As much as the boys as usual were sheer perfection, I want to give a Kudos to the ladies, especially Rowena.  She never fails to come out on top no matter the situation.  I really enjoyed her wiles and her smarts as she decayed Luci's vessel and possibly sent him to the bottom of the ocean.  I love that Rowena is never portrayed as a damsel and can totally take care of her son, especially when he takes off and leaves her in the clutches of Luci.  I do wonder if Cas was right though...I kind of think he might have been and Crowley did in fact go to Cas to have him help him rescue his mom.  Boys and their moms, it is what it is...LOL.

Loved Rick Springfield as Luci and so would love to see him back.  I feel kind of cheated that we never got to hear him sing hoo.   I don't think Luci is necessarily trapped with the fishes, I'd like to think of him in search of Jessie's Girl...maybe she can help him....LOL...sorry just had to go there...

I really do enjoy Crowley and Cas teaming up, it's not over the top funny.  Dare I say that I think Cas secretly loves Pop Music and is enamoured with female pop stars.

It's always cool to see people we've seen before on show.  Lucas' mother, ironically, was played by the same woman who had lost her little boy in Sam, Interrupted.  I learnt that Vince's buddy was actually Marshall Hall from Faith.  I'm not sure and I didn't look it up, so maybe someone could...but didn't the lady who played Vince's sister sound a lot like the lady from Long Distance Caller?  You know the wife of the guy who blew his brains out...she had that scratchy voice that sounded like her.  Anyway, those were the blast from the past besides of course the whole getting possessed by a pissed off spirit. Yikes.

I really enjoyed Sam tonight.  I loved how he so wanted to keep his mom safe, but still against every bone in his body went along with her hunting.  I also love how in tune Sam is with his Mom.  He immediately recognises that Mary is struggling, with everything and he oozes both sympathy and empathy.  It wasn't easy for Sam to hear his Mom tell them she had to go.  You can see his understanding when she spoke of how happy she was in heaven and how now it's all gone, it was taken from her.  Sam knows a little about that.  You can see that he understood her need to leave even though he ached at hearing those words.  The way he hugged her, when Dean couldn't just exemplified how much he understands her need to do what she needs to do....after all, Sam's just been through that in Alpha and Omega.

Dean in his usual way tried to make lemonade out of lemons.  Where Sam recognised Mary's struggle, Dean chose to not so much ignore it, but more like disguise it.  While Sam recognised Mary's need to hunt to try to find her place, Dean saw this as a way to bond, to get to know each other, a family hunting trip. I think deep down, Dean knew what Sam basically said aloud, but he just refused to face it....Like mother like son.  I did feel for Dean when Mary said she needed to leave.  Dean was trying so hard and hearing that....he goes right back to that self loathing way of thinking...she's leaving because of something he did.  He, they weren't enough.  You can tell by the way he wouldn't hug his mom...he couldn't see this wasn't about him, this was about her.   I'm hoping in time, he will come to see this isn't the case at all.

So an excellent eppy all around.  Loved the whole creepy aspect.  Loved that this episode revolved around parents and how the loss of their children affected them all differently.  I especially like the way this episode drummed up all of Mary's guilt as she was reminded once again of the night she died and why.  I feel a conversation about this with Sam is looming....fingers crossed.  I understand why Mary took the journal, but I do hope at some point she gives it back, after all not only is that the boys connection to their Dad, but it's one hell of a great source of information. LOL

That's it for this one.  Hope you enjoy the read.  Hope to hear all of your thoughts.

Til next time....Anna

Check out sweetondean's review of The Foundry


  1. Love, love, love your analysis. Especially of Mary and her struggle. Great theory on Amara's real intention with what Dean needs. Awesome!!

  2. Very believable and logical view on Mary's motivations, and Amara's "gift". I wondered about her phrasing "...what you need most" after watching the episode, too; I totally agree with you that what Dean, what Mary, heck what everyone of us NEED and what we WANT are two different things (at least most of the time). Especially being a parent, we are confronted with walking that line where our kids and where we ourselves as persons (aside from our role) are concerned.
    Which brings me to something else: even while It was painful to see the last scene with Mary coming to her decision and acting on it, and her sons' understandable reaction, after rewatching a few times, I was seriously impressed by the writers' courage. They had us believe in Mary as the uber-mother figure just like Dean (even if his fantasy image of the perfect world before Mary's death recieved its first crack in "what is and what should never be"). And now, we get a Mary that is so much more than her idealized roleas mother: a loving mother, yes. A skilled hunter, as well. But most of all, a person, with flaws and needs and strong sides and the strength to make a painful decision FOR HERSELF.... Something you don't see a lot on TV, especially in female characters. And they gave her all that knowing it would piss off a lot of fans, just because the effect it would have on Sam&Dean. Bold move! I hope your theory is right, and all of the remaining Winchesters will learn their lesson and get their share of clarity and peace out of all the pain...
    As to the "boys'" sovery different reactions: I think Sam can relate to Mary cause he knows how it is to leave (and learn to live with it). Dean only knows how to be left (and how to live with it). Maybe it's so hard for Dean to accept Mary's decision because it's one he himself never had the chance to make; not only because how John raised him, but probably also because that's just the way he ticks.
    I'm really thrilled to see where all this family drama is going....with all the other stuff going on...what a start into the season!

    1. Yesm great thought on the BRAVE writers. I indeed so a LOT of ticked off fans on twitter. But I 'got' Mary. As a mom to adult sons I have a looming decision that affects my life greatly and maybe theirs a bit too. I just hope I don't get the kind of rejection Dean gave Mary. But at the same time I totally understand Dean's response and ache for him as well.

  3. Thanks for reading. Love hearing your thoughts. I think one of the reasons this show is so relatable is because all our characters that we love so much are flawed. With each character, despite their flaws, they always keep fighting....keep trying...and it's inspirational to watch.

    PS..just wanted to apologize for the typos I just noticed....hope it didn't make it confusing for you.

    Looking forward to this week

    Happy Halloween everyone

  4. Hey Anna, loved reading your thoughts on Mary, Sam and Dean. I hadn't thought about the episode in this way before and after rewatching, I can totally see this side. I just feel so sad for all of them because really there is no real happy ending for anyone as yet. Yes Mary was struggling and Sam could see this but Dean just wanted it to be one happy thing for them. Poor Dean, it's as all his happy memories were self-destructing one at a time and it was killing him. I think Sam has always been the more practical and understanding one, but Dean has always gone with his heart, his impulse which is why he's always put the brash, cocky front on, to shield his soft centre if you will. Dean feel's the leaving as a rejection because as you say, his mother was this idolized person, Dean already has shockingly bad self-esteem and just can't see it as anything else. Dean is crushed and it will be interesting to see if he will forgive her. Ok, that's my little ramble over, lol I hope it makes sense. As to the rest of the episode, I totally loved it. Bobo Berens is my one of my favourite writers and it didn't disappoint. The creep factor, awesome and the Cas/Crowley team up, I loved it. Agent Beyonce and Agent Jay z, lol!! Both boys were awesome, but Jensen in that final scene was amazing! Damn you Jensen Ackles, why do you do this to me, lol!! I admit I was bawling my eyes out. Til next episode, ciao!!

  5. Nice thinky thoughts Anna. Interesting perspective. I will have to keep that in mind when I do a re watch.

  6. Thank you for reading guys. I know sometimes my thoughts come way out of left field. I just kept getting reminded of little things you know. Amara and Dean's deep did it actually go? what could she feel from him....she is a goddess after all...did she feel his connection or know his thoughts about his mom? when she saw that picture did she connect those feelings she already knew to an actual image? Once Amara knew what Mary looked like, her being a Goddess, would she know where she was and who she really was? Given her words at the end of Alpha & Omega, and the lesson Dean had enabled her to learn, it seemed plausible that she would want to return the favor to Dean. Then it occurred to me that Dean's version of Mary and the reality of Mary are not the same. It is Dean's version of Mary that has sustained him, but also brought him great pain. His ideal of her, I really believed was the beginning of his disdain of himself. She was the first to leave him. His Dad didn't help in shaping Dean's low opinion of himself either. What you end up with is someone who looks at everyone's decision to leave, as personal against him, as them trying to get away from him. When Sam left for college, he wasn't running from his brother, he was running from the life. Now in most normal situations, a child going to college is not seen as running's actually the first real step to adulthood, which as much as it hurts parents sometimes, it's also allows the child to become the adult and allows the adult to have time for themselves...this of course is supernatural where normal doesn't necessarily apply.

    The more I watched Dean's version of Mary shatter and the more I saw the true struggle Mary was having I just felt like there is more going on here. I don't just think it's about another chance at happiness for Dean or Sam to simply go to the crapper....I feel like there's something important here and harkening on Amara's words...this is the first thought that came to me.

    of course it's just my personal theory...but i'm sticking with least for now...LOL