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Roundtable Discussion on Supernatural 12×1 “Keep Calm and Carry On”

We’re back with a full season of Supernatural roundtables. This episode was entitled “Keep Calm and Carry On” and Executive Producer Andrew Dabb wrote it, while Phil Sgriccia directed it.  Taking part in the roundtable are Kelly Silva, Michele Villery, Jackie Bojarski and Emyana Cee

As always, we love seeing your feedback. Feel free to leave your comments!  Here’re this week’s categories!

 

Categories:

Mary:

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Michele: The first few moments of seeing Mary in this episode were emotional for me. Samantha Smith was just brilliant. I couldn’t imagine being in her place and seeing your death and not seeing your children for over 30 years. Especially, since the last time she has seen both boys, one was an infant and the other a small child.

She now has to come to terms with the fact that her boys are in a lifestyle, she never wanted for them. She sacrificed her life for that, and now?  All of that was in vain. Mary was saddened and yet proud. Sam and Jensen were great in their scenes together, and now, I can’t wait to see Mary meet Sam.

Also, Mary, it seems never met an angel before.  She appeared to be a bit perplexed about Cas and his abilities.

I wonder where the story goes from here. I do like her presence. However, I feel it may be temporary. I think the boys need someone to help them carry on the hunting network and since Mary is a hunter, she could help with that. Her boys can more than take care of themselves. This is their family business, after all like Dean said.

Jackie: At first, I was skeptical about the writers bringing Mary back from the dead. For the last few seasons, the writers have demonstrated a bad habit of canon inconsistencies, and I worried that certain things from Mary’s storyline–like that she had seen the boys when she was a ghost in “Home”–would be overlooked or neglected. Luckily, that wasn’t the case. The writers did a great job in the premiere with keeping the new storyline in line with past storylines and details, although I do wonder if they were hinting that Dean was conceived in the Impala, which wouldn’t be consistent with canon….

Anyway, I’m very excited to see what they intend to do with Mary’s character from here. Will we see her take charge with hunting? Or will she take more of a backseat? I hope it’s the former!

Kelly: I have to admit I had mix emotions when I thought about Mary being brought back to life. Even though she was the driving force behind the boys’ motivation for the first five seasons, we never really got to know her as a character. I thought Samantha Smith did a fantastic job conveying Mary’s emotions. I felt her sadness, confusion, and disappointment. I’m glad that she and Dean didn’t fall into a quick mother/son relationship. They are strangers for all intent and purposes but when Dean needed help, her instinct to protect her son came through when she killed Ms. Watt. I’m really looking forward to how her relationship with Sam and Dean will develop.

Emyana Cee: Mary was everything that I had hoped for. She was “Take charge, get Sam, Bad Ass MOTHER (puns) f*cker.” In 12 seasons, all it took was one small exchange between Dean and Mary, and an “are you okay?” to get an honest real answer from Mary, and communication started. I appreciate that.

 

 

Sam:

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Michele: Jared knocked it out of the park. Sam Winchester refuses to back down. Like he said, what can Toni do to him? He’s been tortured by the devil himself. All of that was nothing to him. Sam is strong and so smart. (How about that faking out Toni?) You would think that the British Men of Letters would know that Sam was in The Cage. You can do whatever you have to do to him, and he will never break.  The torture scenes were hard to watch, but I could listen to Sam say, “Screw You!” all night. The scenes showed Sam’s resilience. Just amazing acting by Jared Padalecki.

 Jackie: Poor Sammy 🙁 It seems like he’s been tortured an excessive amount of times these last few years. At this point, he deserves a long trip to the spa for everything that he’s endured.

We once again saw Sam being tortured in the premiere for—well, it wasn’t very clear WHY he’s being tortured. For info about other hunters? Are the Winchesters even connected to a lot of hunters anymore? Or are the Men of Letters, in particular, Toni, testing his resilience? My gut tells me it’s the latter because if they had been watching the Winchesters for as long as they claim to have been watching them, they’d know that the Winchesters’ relationship with the rest of the hunting community was turbulent at best. With that said, I really hope Sam gets rescued soon!

Kelly: I loved Sam in this episode. He was strong, sassy and smart. Toni can’t even begin to understand the physical and mental trauma that Sam has endured in his life. The Men of Letters show time and time again how they underestimate Sam and Dean, only thinking of them as being Neanderthal hunters. Even though Sam was under the influence of a mind-altering drug, he had enough presence of mind to know where the camera in the room was and used it to his advantage. He fooled Toni into coming into the room so he could overtake her. Unfortunately, in his haste, he didn’t quite knock Toni out, and his injuries were hindering his movement so that he wasn’t able to escape. I want to give kudos to Jared Padalecki for his superb performance.

Emyana Cee: Everything about Sam in this episode was hard to watch. Maybe it was because I saw so much of Jarpad in Sam. I wish we could all start a GiveSamLove2016, because I personally, am tired of seeing him tortured and alone. That being said- I thought his character development this episode dealing with the MOL was reminiscent of soulless Sam. He was not weak in the slightest, even while tortured- was smart about his actions, and I know he will make it through okay. Bit unscathed, but okay. My hopes are that the writers give Sam/Jared 10 million hugs after this. Possibly a pup.

 

British Men of Letters: 

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Michele: I could slap Lady Toni. She’s cold, calculating and has her facts completely wrong. If you were watching Sam and Dean wouldn’t you know that only torturing Sam was never going to give you what you wanted? The dude spent centuries in Hell; he’s never going to break that easily. Also, in last year’s season finale, Toni said Sam was responsible for the Leviathans being released. Umm, nope. That could be Cas. I am curious to know more about the British Men of Letters and about the Men of Letters organization as a whole. But this chapter seems more like a gang of rich thugs than what we are used to. I honestly hope that we don’t see Toni and the boys working together. But, Toni’s last glance at Sam being alone in the basement, has me wondering if she’s having a change of heart.

Jackie: So far, they’ve proved themselves to be pretentious and morally corrupt. They might think that they are “superior” but they are proving that they’ve had to jeopardize their morals to get that way, so I think that they are going to prove to be a formidable foe this season. I also think that Toni will grow more sympathetic toward Sam and Dean and perhaps switch sides.

Kelly: Toni doesn’t know what she is getting into by torturing Sam. It’s never a good idea to get on the wrong side of Dean. If she’s telling the truth about how the BML handle monsters, why torture Sam? So, at this point, I don’t trust a word she says.

Emyana Cee: The short answer is, I need more information. I rate them a C, simply because I haven’t made my mind up one way or the other. I will say, if for some reason any of the MOL start being seen as a love interest, I will be disappointed. It IS really awesome to see new female blood on the show!

 

The Hunt for Lucifer:

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Michele: We didn’t see a whole lot of Crowley and what was going on. But Mark Sheppard as always is entertaining. Crowley is definitely on the hunt for Lucifer, and I hope Cas (since he was the one that got him out of the cage) helps Crowley not only get his seat back as the rightful King of Hell, but gets Lucifer back in the Cage. Once and for all.

Jackie: Honestly, I’m bored with Lucifer; I would rather they wrap up that storyline swiftly than drag it out. I also hope they give Crowley something more to do than just hunt Lucifer down.

Kelly: I was happy to see Crowley being more like himself from past seasons. While hunting Lucifer, he is also letting lower level demons know he’s taking back Hell. Crowley is one of my favorite characters I’m looking forward to seeing how he plans to take Lucifer out.

Emyana Cee: This seemed not to be a major theme this episode, rightfully so- as Sam is still missing. I do look forward to the Hunt in upcoming episodes!

 

Mother and Son Relationships:  

Michele: This is early on in the season, but I like how they have set things up so far between Mary and the boys. Granted, we haven’t seen her with Sam yet, but, I’m looking forward to it. I think the boys are missing a parental figure. Someone, like their late surrogate father Bobby to help them with lore and every so often with a hunt. Mary comes from a history of hunters, so it’ll take her some time to get used to technology and the Men of Letters. But, she could help with things that she may know with her history of hunting. It’ll be interesting to see what they do, how long Mary is on the show, and if she sacrifices herself again for her boys.

Jackie: We’re already seeing that Dean isn’t comfortable with his mother hunting so I anticipate that will be a recurring source of tension over the course of this season. I doubt Mary will allow Dean to keep her out of harm’s way. I also think we’re going to see a bit of a power struggle happen since Mary isn’t used to her children being grown ups yet. I’m most interested to see Mary and Sam’s interactions, though. There are a lot of things they need to discuss so it should be intriguing.

Kelly: Dean and Mary are strangers to each other. They have just met and are now trying to find Sam. Mary is struggling to deal with everything at once. Sam, on the other hand, thinks that Dean is dead and has no clue that Mary is back so the next episode will be fascinating.

Emyana Cee: So far, so good. Mary and Dean are two peas in a pod. My (irrational) fear is that the two characters are going to be so similar, they end up being caricatures of one another.

 

 

Cas:

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Michele: I don’t think Cas has all of his mojo from letting Lucifer in, so I was left wondering why he isn’t doing certain things that he normally could do.

I will say that every time, I saw Cas I wanted to scream at him for letting Lucifer out, to begin with. Yes, he thought he was helping and wanted to help the boys fight Amara, but since Amara is no longer a threat, he needs to answer for that and help Crowley get Lucifer back in that Cage.

Jackie: Cas was sure on edge this episode, wasn’t he? He looked like a ticking time bomb, and it’s clear he will do whatever it takes to get Sam back. What isn’t clear is whether or not he’ll get his mojo back. As far as I know, removing Lucifer left him in his pre-Lucifer state, so I look forward to a newly energized Cas in the future.

Kelly: I felt like things were choppy in this episode pertaining to Cas. He was angry, quick to act, and yet couldn’t stop Ms. Watts attack against him and Dean. It seemed uncharacteristic that he didn’t question why or how Mary was back.

Emyana Cee: I always look forward to Castiel. Always. I was touched by his excitement at seeing Dean was alive, and how he tried to relate, and talk with Mary. He seemed extremely eager, just as much as Dean/Mary to rescue Sam and that shows how connected Team Free Will is. It also tells me Cas has evolved from doing “what needs to be done for the world” to “what I need to do for my family.” My biggest issue this episode was why he didn’t use his angel mojo more. How was a human able to essentially kick his ass? I’m guessing he was not up to full power yet, on top of just coming from being Luci’s vessel. I am looking forward to seeing full-fledged Cas back this season.

  

Predictions:

Michele: Too early in the season, but, I think after the boys, and their mom has a relationship, we will see her sacrifice herself again for them. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind her sticking around and seeing her help out her sons and go on hunts with Jody Mills or Donna while Sam and Dean are in the bunker doing their own thing. If she dies again, that will break their hearts once again. Especially, Sam’s. I also think it’s time for the boys to begin the process of starting a new network of hunters within the Men of Letters. Let Mary and her experience, help out with that.

We also have a new Lucifer next week. Looking forward to seeing Rick Springfield’s take on Lucifer and seeing the boys finally reuniting with their mother.

Jackie: At this stage, the only prediction that I have is that Toni will end up being a reluctant ally. Other than that, the sky is the limit!

Kelly: Dean will find Sam. Sam is going be shocked to see Dean and Mary alive. I think Sam is going to be enthralled with Mary, but it will be Dean that has the hardest time accepting her back in his life.

Emyana Cee: By next episode or so I assume we will be getting Sam back and having Cas at full power and Lucifer is going to be the target. I foresee at least some of the MOL becoming allies with TFW/Crowley/Rowena and probably rather quickly. What I HOPE for, is more of a monster of the week ALONG with the hunt for the big bad format and that we see many of our favorite returning characters from the past 11 seasons. I feel like Andrew Dabb, and all of the writing staff have created an incredible show open, and this season is likely to be one of the best.

 

Overall Score:  

Michele: A very solid episode that set up a lot for a historic 12th season.  A-

Jackie: B-

Kelly: I give this episode a B+.  I’m intrigued to see what happens next.

Emyana Cee: A-/B+

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

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  1. I am really not convinced by the British MoL so far – and as a Brit, I’m embarrassed by them! What exactly is their objective? What do they want from Sam? If they know all about the Winchesters, how come they don’t know about every other hunter already – and what is their sudden interest in America anyway? And why in Chuck’s name did Lady T not seize the bunker for the MoL? Arguably, they have more claim to it than the Winchesters! They’d better improve or that will be the weak spot of the season.

    Sam Smith was incredible – I was in tears within 4 minutes of the episode starting, for goodness sake! Very much looking forward to how all the mother/son stuff pans out. I wasn’t surprised she didn’t know about angels – we know the MoL did, but hunters seemed to be largely unaware of their existence.

    One thing I don’t follow from your discussion: why is it inconsistent with canon to suggest that Dean was conceived in the Impala (which, by the way, Dean’s reaction when he realised what Mary was smiling about was my FAVOURITE bit of the episode!) – what am I forgetting from earlier ins the series?

  2. Just feel the need to point out since so many people apparently missed this detail.. the brass knuckles had sigils carved into them. They glowed and we’re obviously warded, which is how she was so easily able to take down Cas and Dean. 🙂

    Looking forward to this season – solid, wonderful opener that gave us great moments for all our main characters. I’m cautiously optimistic about the Dabb era and how he seems more willing to incorporate all the characters – i’d dearly love to see Dean, Sam, and Cas work together a lot more as the family they’ve become over the years! \o/

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