If you thought Mr. Ketch was a heartless attack dog, well, he’s got nothing on the missus of the British Men of Letters (BMoL), who just so happens to be a her.
There’s quite a bit going on in “The British Invasion”, with the primary story vein focused on the titular entrance of Dr. Hess as well as a short but extremely poignant backstory to Mick’s conditioning at the doctor’s hand and his present day evolution. From his initial introduction, Mick came off as a smooth-talking BMoL agent with clean hands and free reign. As it turns out, only one of those are true. The aforementioned peek into his days at Kendricks showcases BMoL’s ruthlessness and rejection of disobedience. Mick discovers this in the harshest of ways—more on that later.
To break a second from the foreboding hints of Mick’s fate, how about the unexpectedly tight partnership between Mary Winchester and the good Mr. Ketch! Though things have good swimmingly with the two, it wasn’t always that way. Still, was I the only one not surprised when, after their little chat in the hotel room and the underlying subtext of their last half dozen scenes together that they’ve made the beast with two backs? I’ll tell you two people that are going to be more than surprised at that nugget of information when they find out…
Speaking of Sam and Dean, with the help of Eileen Leahy (from last season’s “Into the Mystic”), track down Kelly Kline and have a bit of a “your child is going to be the death of us all” intervention that goes off the rails before it can really begin. Luckily, only one person ends up dying and, surprisingly it’s not from Dagon’s hands. Instead, Renny Rawlings, a newly minted British Man of Letters, and episode Red Shirt ends up being killed by Eileen when her bullet (from the Colt no less) meant for Dagon catches him flush in the chest. Mick’s reaction—coupled with flashbacks into his early life at Kendricks—gives us the background necessary to understand Mick’s programmed response that killing a Man of Letters is a death sentence, no matter the reason. But Mick shows that he’s more than the Code, that what’s right and wrong cannot be dictated by such an uncompromising train of thought. Sadly, this rejection of his lifelong indoctrination and open challenge of Dr. Hess ends like we all expected.
From the beginning, Mr. Ketch was framed as an obedient killing machine and his early appearances did nothing to dispel those sentiments. But then we had his interactions with the Winchesters—Sam, Dean, and especially Mary—that hinted at something more underneath those sociopathic vibes. Maybe, I thought, there was hope for Ketch. Maybe, with Mary’s influence, he would see that black and white decisions in the supernatural world were not actually black and white.
Blowing out the back of Mick Davies head kind of puts a damper on that thought.
It’s unfortunate circumstance that has befallen quite a few Supernatural characters. Mick’s death is especially disheartening when you consider his development over the season and this episode in particular. His was a life not of privilege but struggle and his rocky start allowed him to be molded in the BMoL’s fanatical way of thinking. His time with the Winchesters showed Mick there was a better way and the idea that the Code should be “absolute” was a fallacy. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Ketch has yet to reach the same conclusions. What Ketch doesn’t know just yet is that his adherence to the rigid ideals of BMoL will only end one way for him—and we all know what that particular end will be.
Finally, “The British Invasion” talk can’t be completed without touching on the politics of Hell. Specifically, Crowley’s taming of his own personal “Marmaduke”, better known as Lucifer. But as with all big time villains, Crowley’s biggest flaw is his raging case of hubris. His belief that Lucifer—the Morningstar, for goodness sakes—could be so easily brought to heel is laughable and, for Crowley, the keys to his future downfall and what, I believe, will be a legendary torment. Beware, my dear friends, for once Lucifer finds his release—with Lucifer Jr. in the wings, no less—and that stinky brown stuff is going to truly hit the fan.
- The glimpse into the real Mick Davies was the beating heart of the episode. Understanding the foundation for his subservience to the Code gave me a better understanding as to the internal struggle he’s been fighting now for the past few weeks. More to the point, it made me like him even more and I had hope that Mick Davies could possibly fall into the stable of supporting characters still walking around. I truly had hoped…
- …and this is why we can’t have nice things. Anytime a strong character meets the Supernatural end, I lament. Yes, the main cast is great and there are still some great supporting characters, Mick’s loss will be felt. It also casts the British Men of Letters—Dr. Hess in particular—as the big bad. She’s shown that she only accepts complete obedience and that she will murder to maintain her tenants. After all, it’s “assimilate or eliminate”.
- Though only mentioned twice and despite having a history of being in the wind, I have to ask the question: where the hell is Castiel? Something’s going on with him and it can’t be good. Does it have anything to do with the search for the Nephilim? Could Asmodeus, the only remaining Prince of Hell (aside from Dagon) be to blame? Or is it something not quite as serious? One thing I do know is that, as we wind down, the end of season 12 promises to bring a serious amount of chaos to the world of Supernatural.