Previously on Supernatural, “The Future”
Per Sam’s insistence, the Winchesters drive to Rock River, Wyoming to help the Banes siblings locate their witch mother, who’s on the hunt for a few bad eggs. Things are far worse than they appear and once the evil has been revealed, all four hunters came to the realization that the next day isn’t guaranteed, and their number could be called at any time.
Though this was only the second appearance of Max and Alicia Banes, the natural charisma and playful digs shared between Kendrick Sampson and Kara Royster gave us a pair of siblings that had a genuinely warm and affectionate relationship, in spite of the perils associated with their chosen profession. It was apparent the Winchesters and Banes were meant to be mirrors of one another but also a portent for the younger counterparts about the costs of being legendary hunters. Family is the through line for them all; it’s what gives the Winchesters the focus and strength to endure great trials over and again. Unfortunately for the Banes, their close-knit family is scattered to the wind by a measly borrower witch with a penchant for crafting.
Meanwhile at MoL HQ, Mary finally began to regret her decision to align herself with the Brits. Ketch’s sadism has grown from uncomfortable to if-I-don’t-leave-the-room-now-he’ll-skin-me-alive; it didn’t help that Mary witnessed Arthur torture a shifter that mimicked the Winchester’s appearance. Never will Mary receive a better sign to hightail it out of the base than witnessing Ketch repeatedly stab a creature that resembled the women he obsesses over. And you thought you had relationship issues.
By the third arc, pretty much everything was hitting the fan for the Banes and the Winchesters. Mary was pretty much in the fight of her life against an increasingly deranged Ketch (and boy was that some brutal fisticuffs by Haydn-Jones, Smith, and the stunt team… props to them!) and Max lost his cool after realizing his mother was dead all along and replaced by a twig doll. Like his older, surly counterpart, Banes went on the offensive without a game plan and when his rage subsided, Max was down another family member.
Just when we thought we’d have some new blood on the show, two-thirds of the Banes family is lying cold on the floor. Seeing as it was the mother and sister who met their untimely demise, the knee-jerk reaction to the third act is “here we go with the fridging again.” So many characters have taken permanent dirt naps way before their time during Supernatural’s run. However in the latest seasons, it’s felt as though the more dynamic, generally appealing roles – typically played by women – are snuffed out to drive the overarching plot or renew the personal motivations of male characters.
Since the fan uproar from Charlie Bradbury’s death in season 10, Supernatural has gotten slightly better in its introduction and use of supporting characters. Everyone knows that it’s the Sam and Dean show, but the pair isn’t the be-all, end-all as prophesied anymore. Some of their best work (and episodes) occurred when they played nice with a squad, be it a combination of the Harvelles, Bobby, Meg, Garth, etc. While Fitzgerald has been hinted to return this episode, it would be a welcoming change of pace if hunters other than him and Max were portrayed as more than demon fodder. Seeing that Jody, Claire and Mary have survived thus far, we can remain cautiously hopeful that gang we know now is the gang that’ll last until the Winchester’s final ride.
"Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes"
Supernatural – S12E20 – Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes | Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Samantha Smith, David Haydn-Jones | Writer: Steve Yockey | Director: Richard Speight Jr.