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Roundtable Discussion on Supernatural S12/E13 “Family Feud”

Welcome to the TNWU roundtable discussion of this week’s Supernatural.  We are a little more than halfway through the season, and as the title suggests, everything seems to be coming down to family connections.  Read on to see what Jackie, Lissy, Kelly and I thought about this week’s offering.  As always, we hope that you’ll join in the roundtable by leaving your comments below….

 

Dean and Sam:

Thoughts about the case?

Jackie:  They solved the case in typical Sam and Dean fashion: interviewing witnesses, investigating the crime scene and drawing conclusions from the evidence. Unfortunately for Gavin (and Crowley), this case just happened to have personal ramifications that would affect them both forever.

Debbi:  Honestly, other than the connection to Gavin this case was pretty run of the mill.  A vengeful spirit has got to be a walk in the park to these two by now.  I do love that with the inclusion of Gavin in the case the writers were able to bring out the competitive natures of both Crowley and Rowena.

Kelly:  This was one of those bitter-sweet episodes.  I love a good old fashioned ghost story. I loved that Dean remembered that the ship in the museum was the same one as Gavin’s.  I think Sam and Dean did the only thing they could in this case and that was to send Gavin back to his time to fulfill his original destiny.

Lissy:  They are relying less on their smarts and more and more on dark forces. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rowena, but their willingness to call on Rowena, sacrifice Gavin, and not even attempt to stop Fiona a different way is worrisome.

 

Thoughts about how they felt about Gavin?

Jackie:  I’m not sure that they had any real feelings for Gavin beyond sympathy. From what we’ve seen of him, he seems like a good person—at least, he didn’t inherit the conniving, bloodthirsty qualities of Rowena or Crowley—but, aside from that, I don’t think they really invested a lot emotionally in him or his welfare, which is understandable considering that they really haven’t spent a significant amount of time with him.

Debbi:  I think that both Sam and Dean probably admire the sacrifice that Gavin made to return to his time and to his Fiona.  Although even the witchcraft involved in sending him back was pretty tame for the Winchesters at this point.  I did love the special effects used in bringing Gavin and Fiona together and then returning them.

Kelly:  Both Sam and Dean were torn up over doing the right thing. I think Gavin was more at peace with the decision than the Winchesters were.

Lissy:  Gavin is a good guy, but I think right until the end they thought of him as Crowley’s son and not an individual. Now that they are relying more and more on Rowena and Crowley, that seems to have helped them see Gavin for the kind guy he is.

 

Their reactions to Mary’s confession.

Jackie:  I was incredibly impressed with how Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles each chose to handle this scene as actors. Jared knew that Sam would be more disappointed, confused and hurt than anything else, and he was able to convey that magnificently. As for Dean, Jensen knew that he’d be much angrier and much less willing to listen to Mary’s excuses than Sam would be, and that showed on every line of his face. For me, their reactions were true to their characters.

Debbi:  I agree with Jackie in that the reactions of both Sam and Dean were dead on in terms of how the two of them have viewed their lives and their choices from the beginning.  It was hard to see how disappointed they both were by Mary’s actions.  Dean, angry and almost bitter, and Sam, hurt and confused.  I would have to say that Dean seemed to expect this betrayal which is a sad comment on the Winchester family dynamic.  It will be interesting to see how the boys relate to Mary going forward.  I don’t see any happy family dinners in their immediate future.

Kelly:  This was the part of the episode where my heart broke for both Sam and Dean.  It was painful to listen to Sam explain to his mother why they don’t trust the BMoL. “For obvious reasons like broken ribs and burnt feet.” He shouldn’t have had to say that to his mother.  Dean’s reaction was priceless when he asked: “So where does that leave us?”  Mary stuck the knife in their backs and twisted it.

Lissy:  Sam is so gentle and understanding. He was literally tortured and yet was able to speak so calmly to his mom. Dean’s reaction was as expected and completely warranted. The BMoL tried to kill them both, and they should not forget that.

 

Mary:

Thoughts on Mary working with Ketch.

Jackie:  I understand that Mary wants to make the world a safer place for both her own family as well as everyone else, but I think that she went into this partnership with blinders on. She doesn’t really know a lot about Ketch or the British Men of Letters besides Sam and Dean’s dealings with them, and as we can see, that still wasn’t enough to turn her off from them for good. She’s already starting to learn how little regard they have for things like family so maybe she’ll see their true colors in the future.

Debbi:  I have a really hard time with this although I do understand the appeal of a world without monsters.  I just don’t think any mother (even Rowena) would voluntarily work for the organization who beat and tortured her children.  I even get that Mary feels less like their mother and more like a contemporary, but I’d still be sick every time I looked at Ketch if I were her.  At least she didn’t go drinking, or end up in bed, with him.

Kelly:  I don’t understand Mary. How she can work with Ketch and the BMoL after what they did to Sam. I don’t believe for one moment that Ketch didn’t know what Ramiel was when he sent Mary after him.  She is spending more time with Ketch than her own sons.

Lissy:  This was a bad idea that I think will eventually cause Mary’s demise.

 

Why was he persuading her to keep quiet about working together?

Jackie:  I think he was persuading her to keep quiet about working together because he knew that Sam and Dean wouldn’t approve and he didn’t want them interfering with the British Men of Letters’ plans. That’s the only explanation with which I can come up.

Debbi:  Personally, I think Ketch can’t be trusted and is up to no good.  It is in his best interest to keep Mary from talking to her sons so that there is less of a chance that they will persuade her to cut Ketch loose.  The whole relationship between Mary and Ketch is suspect.

Kelly:  I think to most this would have sent some red flags up. I thought that the BMoL wanted to work with all hunters in the U.S.  This sends up major red flags, and yet Mary gives him another pass.

Lissy:  Ketch knows Mary will choose her sons over him in the end. So, the longer he could keep her silent, the more she would get sucked in and want to keep up their work together.

 

What did you think about her confession to Sam and Dean?

Jackie:  I thought it was sincere, to a point. While she told them that she’s been working with the British Men of Letters, she left out the part where she recently put Sam and Dean’s lives in jeopardy in order to retrieve something for them—nor did she tell them that she found and handed over The Colt, one of the most useful weapons in the fight against demons. Moreover, I think that she’s too high on her moral high horse to really take their feelings or concerns into consideration. She’s more interested in making excuses for her actions than she is listening to Sam and Dean.

Debbi:  One word, prevarication.  Mary told them just enough, with the most important bits left out, to jerk their chains.  I don’t know why she decided to confess or why when confessing she conveniently left out the most incriminating parts of the story.  This is still the woman who allowed a Prince of Hell to threaten her sons with death rather than hand over a weapon to spare their lives – granted the demon would have killed them all anyway, but come on!  I need to know why she was willing to steal for the BMoL and then hid this fact from her boys before I’ll ever trust a word out of her mouth.  I’d like to believe that Dean won’t capitulate too easily and will continue to watch both his and Sam’s backs.

Mary is giving Rowena a run in the ‘worst mother of the year’ competition.

Kelly:  Her coming clean is too little too late.  I think she may have lost her sons and she doesn’t even realize it.

Lissy:  Finally she cut the lies and told the truth! Obviously, they have every right to be mad at her, but at least she sucked it up and told the truth.

 

Rowena:

What did you think about her reason for helping Sam and Dean?

Jackie:  Well, it was a considerable step backward for Rowena’s character, but I guess I shouldn’t have expected her to change so rapidly. When I learned the true motive behind Rowena’s actions, I was slightly disappointed because I thought that she had come further than that. However, it also didn’t seem that out of character for her to use Sam and Dean to hurt Crowley, especially since she still hasn’t forgiven him for a lot of things. This won’t be the last time that Crowley and Rowena’s issues rear their ugly heads, mark my words.

Debbi:  I love this woman!  She is loyal to one person and one person only…. herself and she is wonderfully unashamed of her actions.  Crowley and Rowena make the words ‘dysfunctional family’ sound like a compliment.  I don’t think that a moment goes by where these two aren’t thinking of how they could screw the other one over.  Even Crowley snatching Lucifer from her spell was a taunt at Rowena.  All that said, the only reason she helped Sam and Dean was to hurt Crowley.  She’s loud, she’s proud, and she’ll screw you over in a heartbeat, but she’ll be your BFF if she thinks she can use you to stick it to her son.

Kelly:  What I love about Rowena is she is consistent.  She is all about Rowena. Her motivation was to get back at Crowley.

Lissy:  I really don’t buy that as the reason. I get that she wants to torture Crowley, but she seemed to care for Gavin, and I think she was moved by his love for Fiona.

 

Crowley:

Changing Rowena’s spell that would have put Lucifer in the cage.

Jackie:  I have, but one thought regarding this: STUPID. Although I enjoyed seeing Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer again, Crowley should really stop underestimating him. Lucifer isn’t one to be contained for long. I guarantee that he will break out of there before the season is out.

Debbi:  I like Crowley, I really do. Mark Sheppard is brilliant in this role. It is a shame that the PTB can’t allow the King of Hell to actually learn from his mistakes – I know, I know, Crowley is a conceited ass and learning is outside of his wheelhouse.  However, it bugs me to no end that he still hasn’t learned not to mess with Lucifer. Sadly, Crowley will pay a steep price for his arrogance.

Kelly:  I knew it was weird the way Lucifer’s essence went down the vent.  I thought at the time Sam was worried too. I can’t believe Crowley would do such a stupid thing.  However, I’m glad he found a way to bring back Lucifer’s original vessel because I could watch Mark Pellegrino all day long.

Lissy:  Arrogance and pride will always be Crowley’s downfall, and he bit off way more than he can chew with this stunt.

 

Upgrading Lucifer’s vessel.

Jackie:  And here we have my first pet peeve of the episode! It seems to me that the writers have completely forgotten about that whole “True Vessel” part of this show’s canon—you know, the part that says that Sam is Lucifer’s true vessel and that Dean is Michael’s? Now, they are trying to spin it like Nick is Lucifer’s true and most natural vessel, and that irritates me. I understand that they were looking for a way to keep Mark Pellegrino in the show but this is such a glaring canon rewrite that I don’t think I’m even going to be able to enjoy watching him on my screen because I’ll be too busy making note of all the canon inconsistencies that enabled him to be there.

Debbi: I think Pellegrino is brilliant as Lucifer and I understand why the producers would want him back on the show, but – and it is a big but – Nick as a vessel, should have been destroyed when Lucifer broke free of the cage.  In fact, it bothered me to see that the Nick vessel wasn’t degrading after all those years caged up. Unless Lucifer has suddenly picked up a new power that allows him to preserve any vessel he chooses, this is just wrong.  Perhaps when a show has been on as long as Supernatural canon becomes malleable because the writers/showrunners/producers run out of original ideas. It’s really kind of sad.

Lissy:  Smart? I don’t think so, Crowley. The cage held Lucifer since the dawn of man; it was Lucifer’s mind games that got him sprung the last time, nothing but solitary confinement in the cage can keep him locked away.

 

His feelings for Gavin and Rowena.

Jackie:  Crowley obviously feels something for both of them; if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have been so adamant about protecting Gavin and keeping his “family” together. A sense of duty, perhaps? Or maybe it really is legitimate affection…Regardless, I don’t think Rowena’s recent actions in respect to Gavin will benefit her relationship with Crowley.

Debbi:  I believe that Crowley really loved Gavin and felt that he’d done his best as a father by allowing him to stay alive in the 21st century.  I also think that Crowley still pines for a momma who will love and take care of her son the same way.  Sadly, that momma is not Rowena, and there’s nothing he can do to change that fact.  Do these feelings make Crowley more human and less demonic?  Perhaps, but that is the paradox that is the King of Hell.

Kelly:  I actually believe that Crowley cared for his son in his own way.  It’s weird to me that Crowley doesn’t kill Rowena.  He let her go after her confession. Their relationship is strange.

Lissy:  I was surprised he still had feelings for Gavin. I thought his humanity was wiped clean already. It was nice to see Crowley’s softer side again

 

Gavin:

How did you feel about Gavin’s sacrifice?

Jackie:  I thought that Gavin was brave for sacrificing himself for his lost love. I don’t think I’d be able to do that if I knew that I would be meeting my death shortly afterwards. With that said, I was sad to see him go; I felt that there was still ground to cover for his character and would’ve liked to see more interaction between him, Crowley and Rowena.

Debbi: I think it was fitting and definitely something that man raised in that time and place would do for his love. Let’s hope they get to spend eternity together. I’m also kind of glad that Gavin didn’t stick around to experience any more of the animosity between his father and grandmother. He doesn’t need to see first-hand just how selfish they are.

Kelly:  I think Gavin loved Fiona and wanted to be with her.  So, in the end, it was an easy decision for him.

Lissy:  How many people would have made the same choice? Certain, terrible death awaits him, but he chose it to save his love and the lives of innocent people. The fact he came from Crowley and Rowena is a definite statement that individuals can choose to be good or bad. Their family history does not decide their humanity.

 

Kelly Kline and Dagon:

What do you think about Dagon offering to help keep Kelly and her baby safe?

Jackie:  I have a suspicion that Dagon is working for Lucifer, so I think that she will protect Kelly until the baby is born; then, I think she will probably kill Kelly. I can’t visualize a scenario where Kelly comes out of this situation alive.

Debbi: It wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that Dagon is Lucifer’s tool and doing his bidding on earth. That said, it would be much more interesting if she is working for herself and sees Luci’s child as a way to make put herself forward as the supreme demon, perhaps even taking Lucifer on head to head. We don’t have nearly enough information at this point to speculate further, but I do agree with Jackie, Kelly is a dead girl walking.

Kelly:  This isn’t a good thing for anyone.  I’m excited to see where this is headed.

Lissy:  Nothing good will come of this. Dagon wanting to save and raise Satan’s spawn is not surprising, but a war with Dagon, Lucifer, and his spawn? Yikes!

 

Favorite family moment/Least favorite family moment:

Jackie:  My favorite family moment and my least favorite family moment occurred in the same scene: the one where Mary returns to the Bunker to confess to Sam and Dean. Let’s start with the bad: my least favorite family moment was the part where she hands over beer and burgers, which Dean greets with a comment about how everything is now forgiven. I wish they’d stop writing Dean as so easily appeased.

On the flip side, my favorite family moment was the part where Mary tells Dean to stop making “the face.” It was such a genuine comment that indicated that she really is getting to know the boys and their mannerisms.

Debbi:  Hmm – tough call on this. My favorite family moment was Crowley and Rowena at the bus stop. This wasn’t a happy scene or a fuzzy family gathering, but this scene was true to who these two are and what they mean to each other. The contempt was overflowing, and they each had to walk away wondering what the other will do next. Perfect ending for this round of McLeod drama.

My least favorite would be the scene in the bunker where Mary returns and then proceeds to ‘confess’ while lying through her teeth. I’d like to believe that Dean is wiser at this point than to forgive all for a burger and that his comment was thinly veiled sarcasm, but it’s hard to say one way or the other. What was evident in both Sam and Dean’s reactions was the hurt they felt at learning their mother would join arms with one of their enemies – and make no mistake – the BMoL are still enemies of the Winchesters. I don’t for a second think that Ketch has changed his mind about eliminating the “Winchester problem.”

Kelly:  My favorite family moment was actually Crowley and Gavin.  Like I said earlier, Crowley cared about Gavin in his own way. He didn’t want him to die.

The least favorite moment was Mary buying her sons burgers and beer to smooth over the announcement she was about to make.

Lissy:  My favorite family moment was when Sam is calmly and sweetly telling his mom why they don’t trust the BMoL. He had every right to be angry, but instead, he chose patience and kindness.

My least favorite was when Mary lied to her boys about resting when she was training with BMoL.

 

Predictions:

Jackie:  I think that we’re going to be seeing Lucifer’s offspring be born very soon and I also think that he or she will grow fast like other supernatural children in this show. I also think that we will learn more about what the British Men of Letters are planning and that Sam and Dean will encourage their mother to keep them informed of their movements.

Debbi:  Wow, there is so much in play right now that it’s hard to focus on what the future might hold. I’m sure that Lucifer getting out of the cage (again) is in the cards since I can’t see him not welcoming his son to the world. I hope Sam and Dean don’t fall for Mary’s less than truthful confession and start to trust her – that way be dragons and these boys don’t need to be hurt by their parents any more than they already have.  I feel pretty safe speculating that Sam and Dean will save the world… again.

Kelly:  I predict that Sam and Dean are both going to distance themselves from Mary and they are going to ramp up their search for Kelly and her baby.

Lissy:  We are definitely going to see a war with Lucifer and his children waged against Crowley/BMoL and the Winchesters.

 

Overall Score:

Jackie:  C+. It wasn’t my favorite episode, but it wasn’t terrible.

Debbi:  C. Despite the return of both Gavin and Rowena this episode was less than thrilling.

Kelly:  B.  Kudos to Supernatural for using the Rolling Stones “Play with Fire” song at the end.

Lissy:  A-

 

Nice job co-panelists, we are all over the board this week! What about you? Did you love it, hate it or somewhere in between it? What are your thoughts about the departure from canon? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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