Previously on Supernatural, “Mamma Mia”
For the entire span of the series, there has seldom been a time when the theme of family wasn’t prevalent in the Winchester’s adventures. Despite the many times they’ve died, been possessed, lost their souls or “retired” for a handful of episodes, one brother always had the other’s back, no matter the cost. After their latest gauntlet with Amara, the boys are closer than ever. Now with mom back, the dynamic has changed though mostly for the better. At least it has from the Sam and Dean’s perspective. In “The Foundry” we discover the hidden anguish Mary feels from leaving Heaven; concurrently, Rowena is ready to start anew after lifetimes of hollow pursuits and grisly revenge.
Sam and Dean may have done their fair share of demon/angel/beast/god-slaying over the years so it’s natural for them to presume their mother needs a refresher on how to hunt. The family decides to tackle a case in Minnesota involving ghost children that scare their victims stiff. While researching their targets, Sam isn’t oblivious to the fact Mary cannot adjust to the fast-paced, impersonal attitudes in the 21st century. However he and Dean don’t realize Mary wanted to take on this case her way and all on her lonesome.
The introduction of Mary Winchester’s personal struggles has been an intriguing new layer to an already prolific series, and it’s finally come to a head with candid scripting by producer/writer Robert Berens.
At this moment the only person who can genuinely relate to her is Castiel, who admitted his own difficulties assimilating to the contrarian views and actions of his earthen associates. It’s obvious that Heaven as it’s represented in Supernatural is a realm where the truly unimaginable occurs. All one ever desired or loved in their former life is manifest in all its splendor, indefinitely. In her version of Heaven, Mary had her baby Sam, little Dean and her dear hubby
Negan John and all was perfect. Amara might have believed she did Dean a massive favor but in ripped Mary out from behind the pearly gates, she’s created a whole new level of pain for the entire family. There’s no other recourse for Mary but to move on. She knows these men are her sons, but they’re essentially strangers among a terrifying, unfamiliar world. Try as she did to keep up – and Mary performed admirably – it’ll take more than a few hunts to clear her mind.
Naturally, in true Dean fashion, he buried his disappointment deep and won’t speak of it again. Not even a goodbye to your own mother? Someone needs a time out.
Elsewhere, Castiel is hot on the trail of Lucifer’s new host and Crowley accidentally (on purpose) bumped into him and proposed a temporary alliance to sort out their mutual enemy. As beings of considerable power, it didn’t take long to for the duo to find Vince Vincente’s sister Wendy (Nancy Kerr), who was a paraplegic only hours ago. While Fergus wants to take back what Lucifer gave her, Castiel appeals to Wendy’s concerns for her wayward brother’s soul.
Like much of season 12 so far, Supernatural has gone back-to-basics and that includes Castiel and Crowley’s always entertaining tête-à-tête. Even after all these seasons, it’s amusing to watch a seraph and crossroads demon trade barbs like an old married couple. While the two of them are nearing the end of their search for Lucifer, Rowena’s life literally hanged in the balance as the Fallen One demanded her services for a final time.
From the moment Ruth Connell stepped in the scene during season 10, she’s displayed a wondrous ability to become the perfect counter-punch for practically every lead’s particular sense of humor. Rowena’s tiffs with Fergus have been a masterclass for ancient phrases of profanity and her snide comments are wicked enough to make even Castiel frown harder than usual. Rowena’s snipes and taunts were put to the wayside as Satan (Rick Springfield) forced the world’s most powerful witch to fortify his already withering vessel. In spite of the very serious possibility of a permanent death, Rowena was brazen enough to cast a spell to hasten Lucifer’s decomposition and teleport him to the ocean floor.
Who needs to be rescued? Not that lady!
Although Rowena may be an immortal enchantress of remarkable skill, after centuries of persecution and ridicule and likely multiple deaths at the hands of numerous enemies both human and supernatural, she’s simply sick of it all.
There’s a lot of mirroring between hers and Mary’s story: here are two formidable women known for their prowess in an era long past, with children who cannot fathom the complex feelings they’re currently experiencing. Rowena and Mama Winchester may not share a multitude of qualities – or scruples for that matter – yet they both long for some semblance of contentment and normalcy in a world rife with abnormal happenings.
Honestly, it wouldn’t be all that bad an idea if Mary and Rowena somehow met during their paths of self-discovery and became the best of pals, never knowing their kids are in the same class.
“The Foundry” was a pleasant return to the monster-of-the-week formula that deftly provided the women of Supernatural opportunities to showcase their distinct skills and unyielding strength among fearsome enemies. Though the two may be out of the picture for the moment, their impact is felt among Sam, Dean and yes, even Crowley every week. Like mother, like sons after all.
Supernatural S12E3 = 8.7/10