Saturday, 4 March 2017

Review: Supernatural 12x14 “The Raid” - by sweetondean

This week’s Supernatural was a tour de force of character driven moments, alongside some pretty damn cool action. I liked “The Raid” a lot for these reasons, and because, once again, we are left with so many questions, which because we are who we are, sprouts so many theories! At this stage of the season, we usually have some inkling where it’s all going to go and how it’s going intersect, but right now I don’t! My assumption is we’ll have to deal with Lucifer and his Nephilim spawn, and maybe the British Men of Letters will be involved with that alongside the Winchesters, except that I have a distinct feeling that the brothers’ relationship with Mick, Ketch and sundry is not going to be a match made in hunter heaven! So it’s all a great big mystery and I’m loving that aspect of season 12.

I adored that we picked up the episode right where we left off with Mary, Sam and Dean - the three of them in the bunker locked in vehement disagreement over Mary’s decision to join forces with the British Men of Letters. In last week’s episode as Dean stood at Sam’s shoulder, Sam spoke on the brothers’ behalf, relaying their confusing as to why Mary would hunt with the assclowns who hurt both her sons. This time it was Dean speaking for the brothers, explaining to their mother why this whole thing sucks ass! The scene was magnificent, as it played out before the titles and then in flash back through Mary’s memory. It was magnificent and heart breaking. Heart breaking to hear Dean articulate what we all know - they lived their life without her and they pined for what they missed - he didn’t have to say those words, for those words to be heard.

Dean was right about Mary, maybe not about his expectations of her as a mum, but that for a mother who hadn’t been there as they grew up, she sure as hell seems to also not want to be there for them now. I think both brothers where thinking the same thing, we gave her space to find her footing, but really she just didn’t want to be around us. On the face of it this could seem like their pain talking, but I actually think it’s true. I don’t think she does. Now here me out - I’m not doubting Mary loves Sam and Dean, I’m absolutely sure she does, but I don’t believe the sole reason she is with the BMoL is to put an end to the supernatural so her sons can have a “normal” life - well actually that is why she’s there, but I think this stems from guilt, and I think that is a big reason why she has ostracised herself from the boys, and I think she’s denying that to herself. Of course she would know that they wouldn’t like her decision, so that’s why she lied - classic Winchester move - but I think it was easier not to be with Sam and Dean, because being with them reminds her of everything, of John and him being dead, but mostly of what her choices ended up doing to her sons - that they wound up being exactly the thing she had tried to get away from herself. 

I’m pretty sure Mary has no clue what Sam and Dean’s life has been, I mean she seems to be clueless about The Colt, and I think the reason she doesn’t know, is because she doesn’t want to know, because that’s a world of painful guilt she knows would be crippling. I also think Sam and Dean probably don’t want to lump all their horrors on her. But I think they deserve to have their story heard. They deserve to have their mum fully understand who they are, what they’ve been through, and what they’ve done. They deserve that. According to recent interviews with Sam Smith, all Mary knows is what’s in John’s journal and that’s NOTHING! And also, that’s not good enough! I remember thinking, when Dean said to Ramiel, “Do you know who we are?”, that I hoped he’d lay it out there, because I wanted Mary to hear it and to hear the pride with which her children now speak of saving the world. They deserve that. They deserve for her to see them as the magnificent men and brilliant hunters that they are. I don’t think she really has any idea.

The conversation between Mary and the boys was raw to the bone, I nearly curled into a ball when Dean said he’d never been a child. It’s true of course, his childhood stopped before it could even begin, when he suddenly became more a parent than a child, and then more a hunter than a child. And you know what, she needed to hear that, she needed to hear that about both her sons, because yep, they deserve that too.

Of course, the boys upbringing can not be solely laid at Mary’s feet, John could have chosen a different route when his wife’s past came back to kill her and infect her youngest son. But the blame is still there, and though I’m not sure the boys are piling that on her, I’m pretty sure she’s piling it on herself - and like I said, I think that has lent to her focus being on killing all evil things in the hope that she can change the course of her children’s lives - while steering clear of them, because love them or not, looking at them is hard.

I’m so enjoying this back and forth between the Winchester brothers and their mum, it’s amazingly deep character work. We are seeing the anger, the hurt, the confusion. We are hearing deep, never forgotten pain of loss on all sides. Mary has been delivered to us as a riddle wrapped inside an enigma wrapped inside a taco! She’s way more than I thought she was going to be, while also being way less, and while I really don’t like her that much right now, I do enjoy her. If that’s makes sense! The whole thing is a complicated triangle of angst! And I love it. I loved when Sam asked when she joined the BMoL. I love that the boys called her on getting Wally killed, and nearly getting Cas killed - let alone them. I loved that Dean ended up calling her Mary and not mum. I loved all of it, every damn second and I loved that Sam had Dean’s back and held firm with his brother when he asked Mary to leave. Love love love love LOVE!

This scene is what this show does so well. It may have vampires in it, and action and gore, but it’s these complex emotional beats that sets Supernatural apart from so many other shows on TV. It’s why we’re so invested in these characters, because they’re so real and we can believe in them, believe in their emotions, and hurt alongside them. GAH! I love this show!

LORD I HAVE BARLEY GOT PAST THE OPENING TITLES! You might want to grab a cuppa or something….

As Dean went out to hit the drink because he needed to hit something, Mary manipulated Sam into going to see her. Really bad form FYI sending your son a text like that when you are both in a kill or be killed line of work…anyhoo. Sam went off to the BMoL space bunker! Seriously, that joint looked like something from a 1970’s space show! And it turned out to be a useless piece of crap that any old monster can break into!

I adored how Sam really never gave anyone anything until the very end of the episode. You would never have known if he was going to agree to be a part of the Brits or not, because he literally gave nothing away the entire time. The way he used his size was so cool. I mean, Sam is a big dude and towers above everyone naturally, and in this case, he really used it to establish his presence in the room. 

Not sitting when the briefing was happening set him up as a take absolutely no shit guy. He just stood there looming! Bigger than big! God damn he looked magnificent! And the way he took over when everything went pear-shaped. DAMN. I mean DAMN! There was a moment there where he’s perched on the table and everyone is around him, he is literally commanding the whole room without even a tiny bit of effort, as he stepped up and show those assclowns what a real hunter is, and who really is the best Winchester (along with Dean of course!). Sam was so epic.

And then The Colt came out and I simply wasn’t prepared for the emotion that moment had. I just wasn’t prepared for Sam’s tear-filled eyes! 

The Colt is a piece of the brothers’ history, good and bad. It was theirs. It killed the demon that killed their mother - and she doesn’t even know that. They tried it on Lucifer, for a while they thought it might save Dean. They travelled back in time and Sam even met the man who created it. They saw it unlock the gate to Hell. That gun. Just to see it brought tears to Sam’s eyes, but then to discover that his mother stole it, that she stole it from Ramiel, that she was the thief the Prince of Hell was talking about. And this gun, this gun that really is rightfully the Winchesters if anyones, was handed over by his own mother to the men who once tried to kill him. Lord. The pain. How he could swallow down the emotion of that moment and kick some serious ass I really don’t know! But he did and he put in bullet through the Alpha Vamp’s brain in what was an exceptional headshot! Nice VFX! How good was it to see The Colt in action again. It’s funny how in this show objects like John’s Journal, The Colt and Baby have grown to have their own emotional connection for us. I gasped when Sam fired that gun. Gosh it was, and he was, spectacular.

You have to wonder though, why Mick paraded the gun out if they knew they didn’t have the magical bullets required to fire it. Do they know the Winchester boys’ history with that gun - if they’ve been following their deeds as they said they were, they may well know. In that case, did they know that Sam may know the spell? That Sam could help them get the gun working. Part of me was starting to wonder if Mary was involved in another deception to get Sam there, and part of me wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case to be honest. I can’t trust her now. I’m constantly side-eyeing that woman! In any rate, Sam bloody well better have popped that gun in Baby’s trunk. That thing needs to be back with its rightful owners, Sam and Dean Winchester! I’m pretty stoked The Colt is back in play.

And while Sam was being awesome killing the Alpha Vamp, Dean was scoping out Ketch.

Another fantastic scene was that of Dean and Mr Ketch in the bunker. Dean giving Ketch absolutely nothing, and when he did speak, he spoke as “us”, man I love the unity of the brothers this season. 

I don’t think Dean simply invited Ketch in for his fancy booze, just as I don’t think he went with Ketch on the vamp hunt, simply because he needed to hit something. I think Dean saw an opportunity to get a bit of up close and personal intel on this man and the men that are shadowing his and his brother’s lives and that has managed to win their mum over - both to try and figure out what they truly want and also, to see what their mum has got herself into - his way to ensure she’s okay and safe.

Ketch - who I am disturbing starting to like in that love the bad guys in this show way - seems to think he and Dean are comrades in kills, the one difference that he doesn’t distinguish is, that though there is no doubt Dean does enjoy the work, and the kills, he is not a sociopath. Dean has a strong moral compass, and we saw that play out as Ketch chose to unnecessarily beat the information out of the vampire girl, and obviously enjoy doing it. When Dean stepped in and said “Enough”, Ketch said, “she’s a monster”, and though Dean agreed, he took a different route - one that wasn’t so cruel, even if the outcome of her dying was the same. Dean knows that the chances are this vampire, who was once a human, did not choose to be this thing. 

This scene reflected something I spoke to Jensen about recently. I asked him specifically about the growth we’ve seen in Dean in the last couple of seasons and if he agreed there had been growth and if there was something he found particularly interesting or was particularly proud of for Dean. He spoke about how there had definitely been growth in Dean and that there had to be, because his character couldn’t remain unchanged for 12 years, 1. because that’s unrealistic, and 2. because that would be boring for both the audience and him if the character did not grow. He didn’t think he’d be able to play Dean for as long as he has if the character had not grown through the seasons. He said that one of the areas that he found the most interesting in Dean’s growth is his take on supernatural creatures. He talked about how in the beginning Dean was very black and white in his approach to hunting and to the creatures he hunted, but through the years, through his experiences, he’s come to understand that it’s not all black and white, that just because something is a monster, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s evil and has to die. He talked about how the black and white for Dean is now a very grey area and he thinks that’s an important change in Dean and something that he personally finds very interesting and interesting to portray.

I think that change in approach came into play in the scene with Ketch and the vampire girl, and I think it’s going to come into play later, especially if the brothers discover (which I suspect they will), that the BMoL killed Magda and all those soldiers, people that Sam and Dean specifically went out of their way to ensure did not die at their hands. Ketch’s approach to the work and Dean’s is different, even if Ketch doesn’t see it yet, and I think this is going to be the thing that blows the BMoL and whichever Winchesters are working with them, up. I mean, what will the boys do if the BMoL go to eradicate all werewolves, there is no way that Sam and Dean will allow Garth and Kate to die. Would they allow Crowley to die if demons were next? Rowena if they went after witches? Would they go after angels? The brothers’ world is riddled with supernatural allies and frenemies. I think this will be a problem!

In the end of the episode, somewhat surprisingly, Sam tells Mick that he’s onboard with the British Men of Letters, and to give him time, he’ll try to get Dean to come around too. There’s two ways that you can look at this, as Sam being pragmatic, or as Sam being shifty and playing the Brits.

I think it’s probably the simpler answer, Sam being pragmatic. One thing Sam has always been able to do is strip the emotion out of something if he thinks that it is the right direction to go. Everyone always says Sam is the more emotional brother, and though I agree he’s certainly the more empathetic brother, I think it’s Dean who is the emotional one. Dean’s decisions come from his gut and heart more than his head a lot of the time…it sometimes takes a while for his head to intervene, his head does get there eventually though! Sam is able to allow his head to make the call over his heart far more readily than his brother can, and I think this is what he may be doing here. Even though the British Men of Letters royally screwed up on two occasions, he can probably see with his and his brother’s skills and the BMoL’s backing and technology, they really could make a bigger dent in the supernatural world. Is this because he can see that it might improve their ability to do the job big picture and save more people doing it, or that it might, as Mary said to him, give him and his brother a life away from the life. Sam may want that for himself, but I believe he wants if even more for Dean. In fact he wants it for both of them. We’ve heard him say it, we’ve heard him offer to take Dean to the light at the end of the tunnel of hunting, we’ve seen him squirrel away a brochure for a retirement home Dean made an off the cuff remark about making a reservation at for the both of them. 

So maybe Sam’s motivation is two fold, the job and the future. 

Or maybe he just wants to keep close to his mother to ensure that she doesn’t get killed in amongst this less than brilliant group who are supposed to be brilliant! Or maybe he's going to play double agent! Oooooo! The brothers are great at keeping their enemies close.

That’s also why Dean rushed straight to the BMoL bunker - because of Mary, because he knew, once they’d sussed out where the vamps had gone, that his mum might be in trouble, and no matter how hurt and confused and angry he is at her, he loves her, and she’s family, and for Dean, that trumps everything. Nothing else mattered in that moment. I don’t think that means the hurt is gone, or that he’s forgiven her, but sometimes you have to put that stuff to the side. I think Dean, no matter what, would want to have a relationship with Mary. I think it would kill him to have her out there and him to be estranged from her. 

I loved that Dean pointedly called Mary mum in the final scene- as a bookend to him calling her Mary in the opening scene - and that we hear Dean say that he will accept Mary’s choices, even if he really, really doesn’t like them (he cracks me up with his really, really). I love that Dean is now capable of this. That’s been a lovely growth in Dean’s character and is why Sam and Dean are so harmonious now in their lives, because Dean, for the most part, has released that need to make all the calls and be the one to protect everyone even if they don’t need or want it, even when goes against the grain! The brothers are more equals now because of this, and you can see that clearly in their relationship. There is a balance because of that equality, and we reap the benefits. It’s such a blessing to have them on an even keel!

Now…speaking of blessings and even keels, the one thing I hope doesn’t happen is that Sam goes behind Dean’s back and works with the BMoL without telling his brother. That would be a disaster, FOR ALL OF US! But I don’t think Sam will do that, and though Dean might be exasperated by Sam’s decision/desire to work with the Brits, I think that he’ll understand - if it allows them to ensure their mum is okay, at the same time as save more people, and maybe Sam can have that normal life Dean’s always wanted for him…. I dunno, but bottom line I think Dean will give it a go for Sam, maybe a little unwillingly but I think he will follow Sam’s lead on it. I do expect some heated discussions though, but I’m hoping that it’s no more than that! I truly don’t think Dabb would screw with their relationship, he loves it too much.

Okay, I’ve gone on way too long, so I’m just going to quickly hit a few other points.

I like very much that we got more of an insight into Mick and Mr Ketch. They are no longer two dimensional bad guys and I find them interesting and I can’t deny, I enjoyed them both immensely in this episode. Mick is disarmingly likeable, and Ketch, though evil in a human way, is thoroughly watchable. I’m looking forward to seeing how everything plays out with them. I’m damn fascinated.

I loved having the Alpha back. I’d forgotten how creepy he was. Damn, Rick Worthy did a great job with that character. I’m sad he got killed, but it had to happen, and if a character has to go out, that’s a damn good death, at the hands of Sam Winchester wielding The Colt. And adored the conversation between the Alpha and Sam, and that Sam had all that information on big daddy vamp. When the Serena said that the Alpha had been in Morocco for 10 years and Sam goes, “WRONG”, I freakin’ laughed out loud! Go Sam!

Who the hell are these “Old Lads/Men” we keep hearing about. Will we get to see them? What do they really want with the Winchesters? Because I seriously have doubts that it’s just because they want the boys to hunt. I think there must be something else going on. They want them for something and I don’t think Mick knows, but maybe Ketch does? Or vice versa? Something fishy is definitely going on!

Is Lady Toni being set up as a patsy? Everyone keeps harping on about her going rogue, but I have the distinct feeling she carried out her mission exactly right, which allowed Mick to swoop in as a good guy and that, they hoped would win the brothers over. I think Mary was the surprise package in it all and has been very beneficial to them. Of course Mick also ordered Ketch to kill Magda and the soldiers, so there’s more to him for sure. He comes across as the good cop, but if he’s pulling Ketch’s killer strings….

Did anyone else wonder if the whole vampire thing was a set up? If it wasn’t for Mick question Mr Ketch at the end, I would have thought the whole thing was a rouse to get Dean to the bunker to save his mother? What if Ketch knew the hunter Piece was a mole and used him to make the whole thing go down? Reaching? I’m side-eyeing them too!

It’s pretty interesting that in the last few weeks, we’ve got the long lost Colt back, sent Gavin back to his own time period, and killed the Alpha Vamp. That’s some seriously threads being tied up there!

The Raid was a really solid, edge of the seat, thoroughly enjoyable episode. Another season high point, if for the character work alone! The cast, each and everyone of them, was so good, and everything is so weird and murky now and I have no clue who’s going to do what when and to whom and what the outcome will be! I’m actually enjoying the British Men of Letters now and I really didn’t think I would, so go Show for turning me around on that one!

Anyhoo, I’ma gunna shut up now! I’m sure I missed a bunch of stuff but I gotta stop!

Thanks for persevering and reading this long assed stream consciousness! 



  1. Oh I loved this also. But then I say that each week don't I? My favorite scene was in the bunker. Finally they got some of that crap out and the unity between the brothers this season is just amazing. That stuff needed to be said. Mary needed to hear that and more, and I am hoping at some point that they do sit down and let her know just what all they have been through because I believe she needs to hear it as much as the boys need to say it.
    I like the BMOL also but with a guarded raised eye, cause we all know that not all is as it seems in this show. The interaction between Arthur and Dean were interesting to say the least. I love that Dean was not giving him anything.
    Then there is the bigger than life Sam and the rest of them with the parallel of also not giving them anything.
    Robert Berens has always been one of my favorite writers and boy he definitely did not disappoint in this one either.
    Great review as always Amy and loved that you shared a bit of your discussion with Jensen. I always love ❤️ hearing his viewpoints on the show and especially his character.

    1. The boys were completely mute with the British Men of Letters! Lord, neither was giving away a damn thing! They're so awesome!

      I love talking to Jensen about Dean. I thought this was a good question seeing the changes in Dean this season. He really got his teeth into the question and I loved that he spoke specifically about Dean's change in attitude towards the monsters. Oh! And I just remembered he actually said that subject matter had just come up in the ep they were shooting at the time, or just finished, (I think it was 16 - probably why it was fresh in his mind), so that's something interestng to look forward to!

      Thanks for your comment, Sue.

  2. Hi Qmy,
    I'm thinking Sam joined the BMoL because he felt betrayed by Dean and him putting Mary's life above Sam's. The "Of course" comment when he learns that Dean rushed to the BMoL when he found out the vamps were attacking. Sam and have only had each other and have sacrificed everything now Mom comes along..Sam's mom was Dean now Sean, regardless of his tough words throws everything aside to help her? Maybe Sam is hurt and sees joining the BMoL as a "screw you buddy". I know it seems simplistic, but this episode shows how incapable they are in a crutch situation... I also wonder if their main goal was to trap the Alpha in the first place. Mary getting Sam there BECAUSE he knows all about the Colt. They know the boys' history. Hate to think it, but Mary isn't as clean as people think. We just assume she's good but her actions speak differently. She's just a liar. Even hunting when Dean was a baby. Lying to John... I don't trust her or even like her and how crushed will the boys' be when she betrays them!

    1. Hi there
      Oooooo, no I don't see that as a reason why Sam joined up. I don't think Dean betrayed him in anyway. Sam would have done exactly the same thing, hell he did by responding to her text! I didn't see his reaction as angry or hurt, and his conversation with Mick was too even keeled for any anger at Dean to be underlyng. He wouldn't be mad at Dean wanting to protect their mum. The Colt thing is very interesting, seeing as it was useless before Sam arrived, and like I said, I also wondered about whether Mary duped her son to get him to the BMoL bunker for nefarious reasons. Lord I hope not, but I really don't trust her after everything.
      Thanks so much for your comment!

  3. Yikes! Sorry this was filled with typos. I need new glasses Amy!

  4. I agree with you on just about everything. I sat on the edge of my seat through the whole thing. I truly think Sam is doing an undercover thing though. He was too visibly upset to truly trust them. Jared was phenomenal, by the way. Like you I really have no idea where it's going. I am truly excited to see where it's all going. I always enjoy reading your upbeat synopsis. Thanks.

  5. Thank you for your paragraphs about Mary and trying to understand her. I have been defending Mary from the beginning. As a mom, we tend to lose our our personal identities while raising children and once those children reach adulthood, as a mom you have to reinvent yourself once again. I told Samatha Smith this during a M&G and she gave me a spontanious hug. Mary is the first three-dimentional female character on the show and it's been surprising the feedback she and showrunners are getting about Mary. I am also glad you brought up the change in Dean. I mean come on the guy is in her 30s now. If he hadn't learned a lesson or two turning those years. :) However, have you noticed that this season is mirroring the first couple seasons of the show in a role reversal. Instead of Sam not getting along with John and Dean caught in the middle, it's now Dean not getting along with Mary and Sam caught in the middle. Sam had to step up and give Dean the talk about Monsters and gave it a hero twist to make Dean feel better, much like when Dean did the same to a young Sam at Christmas. Which brings me back to Mary, as she is going to favor Sam more because Sam is very much his father's son while Dean is very much is mother's son. When similar personalities get together, it's oil and vineger. They don't mix well but when they do, the taste can be intoxicating. Opposites find more of a balance which is why Sam and Dean are at a really good place right now. Sam found that balance a few years ago; Dean has grown to recognize it but his role as caretaker has been set for more the three decades. This whole season has been about motherhood/parenting, nature versus nurture. The battle is going to come down to Lucifier's child. Just because everyone things Lucifier is such an evil being, does it really mean his child will be too? I could go on but I know you can see past the eye candy to the deeper meaning of the show. Thank you for the lengthy review.

    1. The parenting theme is super strong throughout the season, Mary and the boys, Rowena and Crowley, Crowley and Gavin, Kelly and her baby/Lucifer and his Nephilim. It's raising a lot of questions about what a parent is as seen by a parent and as seen by a child. It's super interesting, especially as essentially the parenting aspect of Sam and Dean's relationship has been released.

      And yep, the show likes to reverse the brothers' roles season to season and there are definitely similarities between Sam being in the middle of Mary and Dean and Dean being in the middle of Sam and John. The show has made pains to demonstrate that each brother is like the other parent, Sam like John - that's why the butted heads, and now Dean like Mary - and their stubborn streak.

      If the Nephilim is not evil, which it may well end up not being, it may wind up being the big thing that sets the Winchesters against the BMoL, because the brothers are not going to kill a child that hasn't done anything evil and is just a baby - remember how they were with the shifter baby, monster or not, they tried to protect that child. I think the nature v nurture aspect will be interesting and I'm super fascinated with what's going to happen here.

      Thanks for your great comment!

  6. I loved your review as always. I'm confused about something though, Didn't John write in his journal that Dean didn't speak for a long time after Mary's death and that Dean also climbed into baby Sammy's crib at night. I seem to remember that, Mary now having John's journal should know that shouldn't she? Just curious, you can just ignore me.

    1. Yup. She sure would know that. If she's read John's journal, she'd know anything he related about his boys in those early days. Maybe that is also contributing to her guilt. Good point!

  7. great review amy...and as you may already know I too have quite a few theories...I just love that after all this time, 12 yrs in , this show can still make us all wonder this way.

    I too am not on the Mary bandwagon as of yet. I had originally noted that in my piece, how I didn't appreciate her manipulating her sons in order to get them to see her way of doing things. That misleading text to Sam...very ala didn't like it then and so didn't like it this time. Mary and Dean really are a lot like in many ways. Anyway, I was totally with Dean on this one and his argument was the same one I had been spewing. Glad she finally got to hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

    I do think Mary's distance from her sons could be in part due to her guilt. After all their lifestyle is a constant reminder of her failure as their mom. The life they live now is because of the deal she made ...she started it heaven, with her babies and her husband, she lived in her own fantasy..her version of heaven. Here on earth she's faced with the truth..the reality of what she did.

    But, and here's the but...I'm still not sure I really trust her. I can't shake the whole unfinished business comment she made in Asa Fox. She claimed she wanted out of the life, but she was still hunting while Dean was in pull ups and watching the Wiggles. So I gotta wonder if what she's into now is only about ridding the world of monsters for her it just about redemption or is it something more. This to me is what makes Mary intriguing.

  8. got so many theories swimming in my head right now. Got lots of questions too.

    We still don't know Sam's true motivations yet as to why he wants in. Is it because he doesn't trust them and witnessed first hand their inability to survive an impromptu attack? I mean if he hadn't been there, they'd be dead...advanced technology, gadgets and all. The BMOL operation is a great concept, one with potential, but with any lack of experience and skill, what' good is it. The BMOL brag about ridding the world of monsters in England, but England is small in comparison to the US. How many monsters actually live in England anyway? Maybe the BMOL exaggerated on the numbers, in their efforts to recruit the boys. Did anyone ever wonder why the BMOL would give a rats ass about monsters in America in the first place? Is this really about monsters at all? Where do all these BMOL toys come from anyway? Asmodeus loves his toys...connection anyone?

    I wonder if these are questions either Sam and Dean asked themselves? We know they don't trust them, and I don't see the trust growing after what Sam just witnessed. So I asked myself....Why does Sam want in? Is he being pragmatic, realizing that with the Winchesters involvement, the BMOL would better be able to achieve their "so called goal"...or is he in because he doesn't trust them and he wants to keep an eye on his mom?

    Is it a mix of the two...does Sam see potential but just doesn't trust in the Bmol to accomplish this because they don't have the experience necessary or the survival skills?
    was this all a set up from the start, the BMOL appearing seemingly inept, to get Sam Winchester on board? more manipulation by both Mom and Mick? or at least Mick...I only mentioned mom because she was the one who nodded to Mick to bring out the colt..even though the colt would be useless without bullets. How much do they know of Sam's knowledge?

    whatever the deal is...I do believe that Sam is not going into this as blind as we may think.....I do think that there is something more going on with him.... Sam is, after all, the King of Plan B.

    I also think that Sam will be totally straight with Dean, because no matter what his motivations are, at the very core, he'll have his family in his thoughts first and foremost. Whether it's distrust or trying to get Dean to that light, or simply protecting Mom, Sam will want to do it with his brother...take the journey together...and I think Dean will go along for the ride..for all of the same reasons.

    what's going to be fun is when the boys find out the truth..that's when bmol's shit is going to hit the fan....I forsee Winchesters vs. BMOL...that's going to be wicked fun.

    1. Oooo I haven't read your piece yet - I will when I post it soooon! I can't wait to read all your theories!

      I agree, Sam is no way going in blind, he doesn't do that! He's got his reasons, and I agree, I think he will articulate it to Dean - I'm pretty sure there is not going to be a great big lie going down. And there's no way he'd be trusting the BMoL at this stage, but the best way to find out what they're really up to is to infiltrate them! Also, that keeps him close to his mum...

      The whole Colt thing is a head scratcher and I totally would not put it past Mary to have been involved in some collusion to get her son there to assist with getting that gun going. Lord I hope not, but I can't help thinking it with the way everything rolled out!

      And YES her unfinished business with hunting and her hunting while Dean was a kid! That's got to mean something, right? I think we will definitely get some sort of redemption story for Mary, it really feels like it's leading there. She needs redeeming quite frankly!!! (Also, no Wiggles for 4 year old Dean, at that stage they were a Sydney pub band called The Cockroaches! :D )

      Looking forward to posting your piece and reading all your thoughts!

      Thanks for commenting, Anna.

  9. Enjoyed your review! And I agree with a lot of your perspective. Curious though, what did you think about the end when Sam and Mary approve of BMoL "dealing" with the rogue hunter. That was pretty shocking, at least to see that response from Sam. I realize they're trying to set up a divide between Sam and Mary with BMoL and Dean outside right now, but still, that seemed surprisingly harsh.

    1. Well I guess, apart from nearly killing Mary and then nearly getting everyone else killed, that hunter had been working for the Alpha Vamp, feeding him information and most likely got other hunters killed, as well as other humans. He was an absolute traitor to everything Sam and Dean do and stand for.

      We have seen the brothers take a harsh view on humans that are more monstrous than monster before, they have even killed them. There was no doubt that Pearce was doing that of his own volition, for the cash - he was not a victim (like say, Alex).

      Under the circumstances of all of that and of what had just gone down, I wasn't phased by the reaction at all. I think if Dean were aware of it, he would have also said good.

      Also, if Sam is going to come onboard with the BMoL to get on the inside, to keep close to his mum or for intel on the Brits - if that is his reasoning, then agreeing would be prudent.

      But really, that hunter was as much a monster as the Alpha - I didn't have issue with that reaction for all of these reason - though I know many did.

      Thanks for asking!

  10. Yes to your entire review. My reaction/emotions/fears exactly.
    I do think the whole vampire hunt was a set up. Why did they steal the Colt? I think the Old Men/man knew exactly where the Alpha Vamp was. And They knew the only weapon that could kill him was the Colt. However it was useless. How do they get it to work? Mary calls Sam on an "urgent matter, that wasn't urgent. I think that Pierce was paid off to join the AV and lead him to the Bunker where the Colt was and the guy who can make it work (the Winchester Gospels probably had everything in it they needed except the spell). I also think that Ketch took Dean off on a "hunt" to keep him busy so as not to interfere.
    I loved Dean's moment with Mary in the beginning and at the end. He was so hurt by her decision to work with anyone other than them. But when she was in danger none of that mattered. If she has betrayed them again then Dean has serious beef with Amara. Some gift!
    I'm having a very difficult time with Sam's decision to join the BMOL's. Of course he doesn't know what we all know but he does know that he has been involved on two botched hunts. Yes they killed a lot of vamps and yes there is a promise of a utopian future but isn't that what the angels promised? After the apocalypse all would be at peace? And it will cost you is your freedom.
    What do they do with "rogue" hunters? Isn't that what Toni thought of Sam? This is a hostile invasion from a foreign country. Even if Sam doesn't realize it yet I'm betting Dean will figure it out.
    I can't figure out Mary at all. Sam Smith is playing her so close the vest at times. Why does she want her sons to join the BMOL's? Is it because they will be eliminated if they don't comply? So many questions and so little season left.

    1. Hey Cheryl,

      I actually think I might have written something to that effect. I'm always looking for the conspiracy....and in a lot of ways this feels like one to me. I just wonder if Mary was in on it...yes...I did post somewhere that I thought that the whole attack on the bunker was a set up...kind of found it fishy that the only ones to survive were mick and mary...and the alpha traitor. Will they really torture Pierce or was he one of Toni... My conspiracy theory is that the whole thing was about getting the bullets for that gun...

    2. I must admit I wondered that too. It was all kind of convenient. Ketch arriving when Dean was alone and taking him on a hunt, which was non-existent, while his brother was duped into going to see his mum and brought into the bunker where the real stoush took place. Then out comes the Colt and only Sam can help make it work. All very convenient. The only thing was that we overheard Mick asking Ketch where he was at the end of the ep, and only they were around, no-one else was there to overhear, so it didn't seem staged. So I don't know - maybe the rouse was about the Colt and the Alpha/vamp attack just was a coincidence. Maybe Mick wasn't in on the double cross hunt.... But something sure all smelt fishy!

    3. I was thinking about it when I saw a post in another thread who had the same idea I did. What if Mary, Mick and Ketch set the whole thing up. So, I've already noted that I believe that Ketch may actually have bugged the bunker. It's obvious from his presence on Dean's doorstep that he knew where it was. We know from past eps he's been following them. So who's to say that when Sam and Dean weren't home, Ketch didn't pay them a little visit. I still find it way too convenient and coincidental that Ketch arrived with a bottle and a hunt, both things that Dean and Sam had been discussing earlier.
      So let's say that Mary, Mick and Ketch devised this little scheme to get Sam Winchester to the BMOL bunker. Mary had been trying to text Dean, but he wasn't answering. So she went to Sam. He of course came running when she sent the "urgent" text. One of the first things she said to him was that she wasn't trying to recruit him, she just wanted him to see what the BMOL were about. (I happen to think that she was trying to recruit him)...but this wasn't just about trying to recruit Sam, because there was a good chance that would fail. The real reason I think they brought Sam to the bunker was to put him in a position that would make him give them the spell to make bullets for the Colt, which as powerful as it was, was basically a paper weight. I know, how would they know Sam knew about the bullets...well according to Toni and all her pics on the wall, they've been studying the Winchesters for a very long time now.
      I know, why in the world would they set themselves up for an attack like that? Isn't it risky? What if Sam had left before the Vamp showed? Well, I think that's where Ketch came in. Ketch was supposed to be their strong arm...their protection, but Ketch didn't show up...and that's why Mick was so upset. Where were you? I kept leaving you messages.....Ketch's response was that he was busy wooing the other Winchester.
      What if Ketch didn't show up because he's not really Ketch...what if he is Asmodeus and the Alpha Vamp would've been able to recognize him. The Alpha is very very old and very powerful....what if he could see through the façade? What if he knew of Asmodeus?
      I know what if Sam didn't save everyone..what if he had been killed before he provided them with the spell for the bullets? Well, Ketch was wooing Dean W. If they had all died in that Raid, Dean would've been a wreck. He would seek revenge. Ketch, a la Ruby, would weasel his way in and offer to provide Dean what he needed...and I'm sure along the way he could've convinced him that they needed the colt and Dean is the only other one who can provide the spell for the bullets.....Ketch would then have one of the most powerful weapons in the world in his possession....or Asmodeus would......
      how's that for a whack a doodle theory

    4. I had another thought. The Colt can kill Alpha's. Mick is promising a world without monsters. In order to do that they needed the Colt. I think to some extent Mary is in on that plan. However if they erradicate all monsters what does that do to Ketch? What will he gut, torture, punch and kill? Ketch took Dean off on a bogus hunt in order for his operative (Pierce) to lure the AV to the bunker and kill everyone including Sam and Mary without interference. He has a brand new land full of monsters and he doesn't want that changed.

  11. Initially, I was very distressed by this episode. Probably because I'd just had a really bad day, and I was watching it very late at night, so I was exhausted. I was pretty unhappy with the lack of communication between the boys this episode, but I was really upset when Sam agreed to work with the BMoL.
    So now I've had time to stew on it and re-watch it and after reading your review I feel much better about it.
    I do agree with you that Mary's text was misleading. She knew she had a better shot of getting Sam to listen to her, but at the same time, I think if she'd just given them a little time to calm down, they would have come around. There was no need to make it seem like there was some sort of an emergency.
    I'm just waiting for next week so I can hear Sam explain to Dean why he's working with the Brits. There are three things I want to hear from him:
    1) That his look into the workings of the BMoL have shown him that they are very intelligent, very organized, and extremely well-equipped (even if they weren't prepared for the attack, their gadgets and observations about the vampires were very impressive. From the start, the men of letters were introduced as scholars and scientists, not soldiers. That's why they need to recruit hunters, and they've been having problems gaining the trust of American hunters. So the fact that they were unprepared for that attack makes total sense to me). Even if the BMoL's methods are pretty ruthless (and I don't agree with them at all), Sam and Dean don't really know that yet. So it makes total sense to me that the British Men of Letters would be appealing to Sam. I always thought that if Mick had been the first to approach them and sit down and civilly discuss what they wanted to do, Sam would have worked with them from the beginning.
    2) But Sam's also not stupid, and it would be pretty stupid to just trust the Brits before they really do anything to earn that trust. I really want to hear him tell Dean that the BMoL are smart and dangerous, and whether or not they agree with what the Brits are doing, monumental crap is gonna be going down, and they need to know about it. If Sam works with the BMoL, no way is he just going to lay down and do whatever they tell him. He'll have inside knowledge of what they're doing, and he can prevent something catastrophic from happening (uh, just like he prevented that entire group, including Mary, from being wiped out by the Alpha). As long as Sam goes into this with both eyes OPEN and stays on his toes, I think this could be a good thing.
    3) He really, really, really needs to be very honest with Dean about everything. I really seriously doubt that he'll lie, mostly because both he and Dean were so upset with Mary for lying to them. She just came clean, so it makes absolutely zero sense that Mary would openly work with the BMoL, but Sam would work with them secretly. Obviously, Dean will be frustrated, but I think that as long as Sam is reasonable and clear about how he's tentatively hopeful about their methods (which are very effective), that he doesn't completely trust them, and that it gives them a tactical advantage to have inside knowledge of the Brits' movements, I think Dean will understand.

    1. I'm hoping he will come clean with Dean and be straight up honest. I think, after making peace with his mum and hearing Sam out, Dean will understand...maybe a little unwillingly, but I'm also hoping how that all goes down. Hopefully Dean will see it as an opportunity to see what the BMoL are up to, because he sure was scoping out Ketch and saw an interesting side of him.

      Thanks for your comment!

  12. If the BMoL fail to recruit the Winchesters, do you suppose that killing them may be the next goal? BMoL may think that leaving the North American hunters leaderless may make other hunters more compliant, more easily recruited.

    1. Maybe. Though I feel like there might be more to their plan for the Winchesters than simply recruiting them!

  13. Great review as always Amy. One thing I'm surprised I haven't seen mentioned when discussing Sam's emotional reaction to seeing the colt is something else he probably remembers way back. John gave that gun to YED for Dean's life. That is why John died! I feel that's one of the biggest reasons it was so emotional for him. Just my opinion.

  14. fantastic review Amy, as always, this surely was another high point of the season! Last week’s ep was a bit meh (although a lot of illuminative and important information came by), but Robert Berens certainly is one of my favourite writers at the moment. I loved the “handing an expensive bottle of scotch to Dean” titbit, was anyone else strongly reminded of Dean handing a bottle to Rufus way back when first meeting him??
    As to Lady Tony, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if in due course she would discover something or other about the BMoL they didn’t want to share with her, or some plans of throwing her under the bus, and she actually came to Sam & Dean for help and reunite against the BMoL… Just throwing it out there ;-)

  15. I've been thinking about bringing up Sam's past, but not in a negative kind of way. They've been bringing up Sam's past and his abilities, but not necessarily only his psychic ones. Azazel's plan was for Sam to lead the demon army. he was to be the boy king. while there were some like the demon who turned ruby who didn't believe in sam, there were others, like casey who was ready to follow him. There were those, like the demon in the priest who told sam he could be a leader.
    Dean too has also been seen as a good soldier, capable on the ground, capable in battle.
    Now we have the BMOL old men whoever they are that want Sam and dean Winchester, because recruiting them, other American hunters are sure to follow their lead.
    We witnessed once again, Sam's ability to take control of a desperate situation and have others follow him without question. As the demons once believed, Sam is a capable leader, as Mick now witnessed first hand. Hunters would follow Sam. They would follow Dean.....we got a glimpse in Asa Fox that hunters do talk of the Winchesters. they are legendary. of the ones we did get to see, they would follow the boys' lead.
    I'm looking at the long haul here...perhaps what Dabb is going back to here is Sam's destiny to lead, but not a demon army. Leading a demon army was never Sam's destiny...perhaps Sam's true destiny is to lead American Hunters.
    I think a lot depends on who the old men are and who ketch really could be.
    ramiel gave us the impression that neither he, dagon or asmodeus was interested in ruling hell. they were content to live on earth. ramiel seemingly wanted peace and solitude. dagon, her hobbies....and asmodeus his toys.
    so what exactly are asmodeus' toys? are they actual weapons of destruction or are the people? if asmodeus goal is to kill all monsters so that he alone can have the power to rule.....rule what though? does he want to rule the planet? were his goals bigger than running hell? does he want to rule over all of it...? is asmodeus using the ruse of ridding the world of monsters so the world can be a better place, simply a way to get the Winchesters on board to rid the world of all asmodeus believes to be his rivals for power? Mary, Sam, even Dean would find ridding the world of monsters a noble and worthwhile cause.
    but I can't imagine that there isn't someone within the BMOL, one of the old men that might be aware of the danger the world is in, and with that this individual, knowing the Winchesters success rate at saving the world, would too want the Winchesters on board, to recruit them in order to stop Asmodeus from succeeding with his plan.
    Ketch is confusing...playing both sides...but if ketch is asmodeus then he wouldn't want the boys joining up...or would he...after all the boys can help in his plan.
    if one of the old men is aware of asmodeus' plan, the Winchesters would be likely the only way to stop him, which is why they would be for recruiting them.
    it's like s4...when both angels and demons wanted the Winchesters but ea. for their own plan.