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Sweatpants & TV | Supernatural, Season 12, Episode 20: “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes”

The magical Banes twins are back! Looks like we’re up for some witch on witch on hunters action this week, as Sam and Dean help Max and Alicia find their missing mom.

Yo Mama’s a Witch

Tasha Banes, witchy mom of the hunting Banes twins (look at her—did she have those kids when she was eleven or something?) is on a hunting trip, and she hasn’t called home in a few days. And what happened to her? We know it was something involving an acerbic old lady, a creepy/smelly basement and a blade through the gut. And that’s an SPN combo that leads nowhere good.

Broken Colt

Sam and Dean are musing heartily in the HuntCave, mostly about Cas and his new belief that Satan’s literal spawn must be born with all of his full power. They know they need to find him (and Kelly Kline), but they aren’t sure how. Another thing they aren’t sure how to do? Fix the Colt, which is still in the two twisted pieces Dagon left it in. A call from the Banes twins, or Alicia at least, asking for help finding their mom? Must seem like a child’s task, compared to all the rest. All it takes is Sam paraphrasing that “Dad’s on a hunting trip” line to get them on the road.

Call Your Mother

Before Dean goes, he calls Mary to tell her that they’re going to help Max and Alicia. “Even if you can’t swing by, can you call me back?” Dean nearly pleads. “Just some stuff going down, kinda got me spun out.” It’s so touching to see how Dean still wants—needs—his family when he’s lost or confused. Of course, Mary is busy watching Ketch torture a shifter that wears familiar faces. And her disgust with the whole thing makes me (and her) realize she has been away from the goodness of her boys for far too long.

Sibling Rivalry

Max and Alicia tell the boys that Tasha was tracking a witch who got her power from a demon deal, and they figured out where she was staying. Max, who thinks Tasha is fine (poor, soon-to-be-sad Max) tours the Impala with Dean (Favorite lines? “Is that a grenade launcher?” “Yes, she is.”) while Alicia and Sam bond over their somewhat poor connections to their parents. The four head out to find Tasha, amiable as friends. I like the twins, I must say. The parallels to Sam and Dean are there without them being anvils to the head. And they are both, like the Winchesters, extensively easy on the eyes.

Dead and Breakfast

As the boys and the twins head for Tasha’s location, they see a weird looking guy coming out of the creepy basement and are a bit skeeved out, but relax when they see Tasha, alive and well and so, so, young looking, staying at the inn. She is sweet and kind and mom-like and wonderful, and her connection with the twins is adorable. Of course, she now has this odd habit of severely breaking her fingers and then just putting them back in place like so many bendy straws. So…Tasha? Not so much.

Ketch and Release

Ketch tries to put the moves on Mary again and she rebuffs. She’s growing cold toward the BMoL and Ketch sees it. Later, she calls Dean back and tells him via voicemail that she misses and loves him and Sam, and she wants to be there for them (about time, Mary). She also happens to overhear that there is a mysterious package in the armory that she immediately knows is important and she sneaks around until she finds that it is Mick Davies’ body in a box. As she hides in a room from Ketch she sees info reels and tracking statuses for her, Sam, Dean, Eileen Leahy, Garth Fitzgerald, and Claire Novak. She calls Dean and tells him they have a problem. And as she opens the door to see Ketch waiting for her, she knows she really does. They have a knock down, drag-out fight that almost concludes with a very satisfying Enochian brass knuckled punch to the balls by Mary, but then Ketch tases her from behind, knocking her out. As Dean would say? Son of a bitch!

Doll-pleganger

Sam discovers that the odd man they saw before is a missing person. He and Dean go into the scary basement and find two dead bodies…oh, sadness. Make that three. Tasha Banes is indeed dead and missing her heart to boot. Unfortunately, Max follows them downstairs and sees his mother and is crushed. And scared. Because if Tasha’s in the basement, what is talking to Alicia upstairs?

Reveal

While a bewildered Alicia struggles to stop it, Max tackles the not-Tasha and the old lady from the beginning of the episode activates her “dolls”. Turns out she is the powerful witch Tasha was hunting, and she likes to kill people, rip their hearts out and fashion them into walking, talking, life-sized dolls complete with their old memories and totally under her control. And now? She also needs another witch to take her power, because that way she can avoid her soul being reaped to hell. Tasha denied her, and the old woman killed her painfully. Knowing he would have the power to bring his mother back, will Max, as powerful a witch as his mother before him, deny her too?

Scattered Straws

Sam fights one of the dolls and is losing heartily since they are magical and basically cannot “die.” And Alicia? Well, the Tasha doll turns too and runs Alicia’s own blade through her gut. As Sam watches her die, Dean manages to kill the old woman before Max can accept her power as his own and the dolls turn to dust. Of course, later, when he sees what has happened to his sister he sends Sam and Dean on their way, promising to burn the bodies, but instead? He does what a brother will. Sam and Dean talk in the Impala on the way back to the Bunker. Sam is adamant that they couldn’t let Max barter away his soul. “Sam we do terrible things, all the time, to save each other,” Dean replies. “I mean, that’s what you do for family. Who am I to stop him?” And as they talk, back at the inn, Max takes the witches ring and spellbook, relinquishing his soul to bring Alicia back as one of the dolls, taking her away before anyone can find them.

Night Shift

Dean drives back to the Bunker while Sam sleeps, occasionally looking at him, undoubtedly grateful that his sibling, unlike Max’s, is still alive. He listens to Mary’s messages, at first touched, and then worried. He shouts Sam’s name as we cut to Mary, in the chair like the tortured shifter was before her. Ketch is disappointed she didn’t cooperate, so he could welcome her into the fold. She asks if he plans to kill her and a woman’s gentle voice tells her not to be silly. That she is an asset. That there are other plans for her. “Now, Mary,” says Toni Bevell, taking out her pen, “Let’s begin.”

Begin to go where? We’ll find out next week in episode twenty one, “There’s Something About Mary”. See you then!

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About Barbara Doyle (159 Articles)
Barbara Sirois Doyle is a Contributing Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee. She is a writer, mixed-media artist, and, most important, a wife and mother to her boyos three. She is a voracious reader, unapologetic uber-geek, and lover of all types of music, from Public Enemy to Rachmaninoff. If she's not watching Supernatural or Doctor Who, she is likely trolling the internet for amusing cat photos. She takes her coffee light with no sugar.

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