With two season arc-specific episodes under our belts, week three of Supernatural takes things back a bit to its root with an old school ghost story.
It starts in St. Paul, Minnesota where two people follow the cries of a child into an abandoned house only to become victims themselves. A listless Mary discovers the fishy nature of their deaths the old-fashioned way—scouring the newspaper. She brings it to Sam and Dean’s attention and though everything about her demeanor screams that she wants to go it alone, the boys tag along. It doesn’t take long for the trio to discover that they’re dealing with ghosts and after Mary’s nearly taken by a small boy, the Winchester boys’ research brings up several cases of children that have died of mysterious circumstances in and around the house. Easy fix: salt and burn the bones of said children. Case close, right?
Not so fast my friends.
Whether it be her own detachment from this brave new world or motherly instincts kicking in, Mary plays her hunch that something else is going down. Turns out that she’s right and the children are tethered to this world, not because they want to be, but because of Moriarty—a man who, after losing his daughter to a hit-and-run, buried himself alive in the basement of the house and lured unsuspecting children to their deaths due to his rage and anger. Yeah, it’s pretty impossible to have sympathy for the guy’s loss when he goes completely nutzo and takes it out on innocents. But I digress. After a few harrowing moments, one of which involves Moriarty’s possession of Mary, the Winchesters, with an assist from the ghostly Lucas, find and burn Moriarty’s bones, banishing him and freeing his child victims from their imprisonment. Teamwork, thy name is Winchester.
Speaking of teamwork, the two sub-stories involve Castiel and Crowley running into one another in Cleveland as they look to track down Lucifer and Rowena’s ordeal in the clutches of said Light Bringer.
Starting with the less sunny partnership, the terrified Rowena has a choice to make; help Lucifer stave off the decay of his most recent meat suit or die screaming. As choices go, neither are what I’d call slam dunks, especially since they rely on the word of the always mercurial Morningstar. Hence, it shouldn’t be a surprise when Rowena options for door number three. The spell she promised Lucifer not only accelerates the decay but she hits him with the coup de grace and big time F-U when she teleports him to the bottom of the ocean. It’s one of her best cons yet and is a reminder of Lucifer’s own hubris.
There aren’t too many moments of humor in “The Foundry”, but most of the levity revolves around Crowley and Castiel. Both supernatural beings are on a mission to take Lucifer down and once they run into each other, it’s almost like an episode of The Odd Couple. The two play off one another quite well and, at one point, Cas goes about mocking Crowley, citing the demon just wants to “save [his] mother” (said with an uncharacteristically, well, mocking tone). Eventually, the two come to the ever familiar uneasy alliance, finding their way to Sagamore Hills and the cabin of Lucifer’s current body. By the time they arrive, Lucifer’s gone and the tea-sipping Rowena delivers the news on Lucifer’s current whereabouts. More importantly, she offers her help in sending the first of the Fallen back to his rightful spot in the Cage.
More than anything, “The Foundry” is about Mary trying her damnedest to come to terms with a new life thirty years after her original death. Some of the character beats reminds me of Buffy when the vampire slayer was rejected. That feeling of restlessness, not being able to adjust, hell, she even cuts her hair. She even shares her feelings with a long coat wearing outcast like Buffy did with Spike. Early on Mary asks Castiel how long it took him to feel like he belonged. “I’m not sure I do,” he tells her and though the response is for his own predicament, Mary relates more than she’d like. Eventually, after the ghost busting and more time with her thoughts, she knows what she has to do: take time away, for herself. She tries relaying her dilemma with her boys but, without meaning to, the honesty of her emotions—“Every moment I spend with you reminds me of every moment I lost with them”—is a knife to Sam and Dean, especially to the latter.
As she says goodbye to Sam, Dean falls inside himself, unable to put aside the pain and betrayal long enough to hug Mary goodbye.
Supernatural: The Foundry – 3/5 Impalas
- One of the most difficult things we as people face is letting someone go for their own good, especially when that someone means the world to you. The entirety of Dean’s life has revolved around losing his mother and, thanks to Amara, he had her back. To lose her again, even if it may only be for a short time, rips at the emotional scars he’s never been able to heal. While Sam is hurt by Mary’s choice, he is better at understanding her mindset. Though some of it is just who he is, a part of it is lacking that connection his older brother had developed with Mary as a child. One has to believe this will have a profound effect on the boys throughout the remainder of season twelve.
- We may have only gotten a taste of the Cas & Crowley partnership, if the Supernatural writers are reading this, PLEASE GIVE US MORE! Aside from Mark Sheppard’s brilliance, Misha Collins is bringing something a bit different this year with Cas. Though he’s not back to the angel of old that first appeared in season four, there is a bite to him we haven’t seen for several years. Hell, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Cas/Crowley-centric episode sometime this year. I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment. Now, what to do to get this ball rolling…