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Sweatpants & TV | Supernatural, Season 12, Episodes 22 and 23: “Who We Are” and “All Along the Watchtower”

By Barbara Doyle

My husband, after watching the finale with me tonight, could only quote the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode: “The battle’s done…and we kind of won…where do we go from here?” Excellent question. Seems Supernatural reset the board in the final episodes. But which pieces are still in play? Settle in, kids. I’m making it a double.

All I Need is The Air That I Breathe

While Mary’s killing her way through the most eligible hunters list, the boys (and Toni—ugh) are still stuck in the Bunker, just using up air. Also? Good news! There is a manual override for the Bunker. Yay!!! Bad news? It’s outside the Bunker. Boo!!! They try hoodoo on Day One, re-virginizing themselves (again?) to perform a Romanian spell on the locks. And it would have worked, too, if it weren’t for those meddling BMoLs! Apparently Ketch thought they’d try that and he fixed it so magic won’t work.

Live Fast, Die Hard

Dean decides brawn is the new word of the day, and they’re gonna straight up “Shawshank this bitch.” Sadly, the concrete of the Bunker is thick, and they end up exhausted and talking. Dean (foreshadowing?) muses that he thought they had everyone back but now, Sam says, they’re all gone. Sam realizes that he followed the BMoL ‘cause it was easier than leading. They never planned to go out like this. And thanks to Dean’s grenade launcher and the Winchester brand of crazy, they won’t! “You’re lunatics,” Toni says. Indeed. Of the best kind. “Yippee-ki-yay, mother…” says Dean, and blows the wall of the Bunker to bits, miraculously only hurting his leg in the process. (Bonus points to you if “the process” makes you think of one of the gag reels.)

Sound the Alarm

Once out, the boys warn Garth of the BMoL plans and then head for Jody, who was next on Mary’s list. Fortunately, she and Alex have Mary bound and tied. Mary is cold and cruel, and Jody is warm and wonderful, as usual. Sadly, Toni lied and she can’t fix Mary. Not easily, at least. Toni tells them to run, but the boys wants to fight, so Jody summons a few hunters, including Walt and Roy (YES, THAT WALT AND ROY, who should be dead, right?) Sam gives a hell of a Braveheart speech, inspiring them all to rush BMoL headquarters and take their country back. “They’re scared of us,” Sam says. “Yeah. Good. They should be.”

Brotherly Love

Dean’s leg is busted, and more than that? He wants to allow Sam to lead while he stays behind to save Mary. He is proud of Sam for stepping up, smiling at him like an indulgent father. While Alex says goodbye to Jody (telling her to “kick it in the ass”, and we all nod our heads briefly for the wonderful Kim Manners) Dean and Sam have a wonderful broment and the magnificent brotherly hug we’ve been waiting for for ages. “You come back,” Dean demands. “Promise,” says Sam. “Bitch.” “Jerk.” SWOOOOOOOON.

Mothers and Sons

Toni hooks Dean and Mary up to one another through electrodes, linking their psyches and knocks them out. Dean looks for Mary in her head and finds her in their old house, caring for a four year old him and baby Sammy. And when she ignores him in favor of her pseudo-perfect life? He says something we never thought we’d hear him say to Mary: “I hate you.”

Invasion of the BMoL Snatchers

Hess releases her hounds of war while Ketch goes to find Mary. Before the BMoL agents get far, though, Sam and his band of hunters storm the place, and, though they suffer many losses, they take it down, person by person. Jody is an utter badass, per uszh, as she acts as Sam’s second in command, falling to the ground and shooting a BMoL on her back. What did you expect? It’s Jody FREAKIN’ Mills!

Love and Anger

In an utterly heartbreaking scene that showcases the true talent of Jensen Ackles, Dean tells Mary that her deal forced him to be a mother and father to Sam—made him and Sam suffer immensely at the hands of devils and angels alike. She left them alone with a shell of a Dad to live a life of danger and loss. “That wasn’t fair,” he says, plainly. Devastatingly. “I hate you,” he says, tears falling, “I hate you and I love you. ‘Cause I can’t help it. You’re my mom.” He tells her he understands what she did, and he forgives her (and man, am I crying now, too, or what?) They can start over if she just fights and sees him. And she seems to, before Dean is abruptly awakened. By a Toni-mudering Ketch.

Farewell, M’Lady

Sam, Jody and the remaining hunter guy (sorry, dude, I can’t remember which one you are) finally pin down Hess, and man, is that satisfying. She tries to bargain with “Dean.” “It’s Sam,” Sam says, and there goes that advantage. She shows him the file photos that show that Lucifer is free, and tells Sam they need to work together to bring him and the nephilim down. “Pass,” Sam says finally. He blows out her connection to London and before Hess can take a shot, Jody puts a bullet through her brain. (Did I mention that I love Jody? Because I do.) And then? They blow BMoL, American branch straight to hell.

Mommy, Dearest

Ketch is brutal to Dean, both with his words and his fists (but mostly his fists.) Dean tries his best to fight back and manages to get a few good licks in but not enough before Ketch manages to draw his gun. And just as he’s about to shoot a defiantly faced Dean? His gun arm is blasted out of play by none other than Mary. “I knew you were a killer,” Ketch says. “You both are.” “You’re right,” answers Dean, and Mary shoots Ketch in the head.

Forgiveness

Later, Mary says that everything is horrible because of her, and it’s not okay. It was too hard to be close to the boys since she’d been back, because it was too hard to see what her deal had wrought. “Mom, what you did? The deal? Everything that’s happened since? Has made us who we are. And who we are? We kick ass. We save the world.” (Insert sigh of happiness here.) But Mary is still scared. What if Sam can’t forgive her? “Mom,” Sam says, “You don’t have to be scared of me.” And he takes her into his arms as Dean claps his shoulder. “Glad you’re back, man,” Dean says, and joins the embrace and thus ends one of my new favorite episodes of SPN.

AND THEN…

Home by the Sea

Cas and Kelly are hiding in a little house in the pacific northwest, building IKEA cribs and painting murals with the name “Jack.” Cas is gentle with her—loving—promising her a life for her son that she would be proud of. Kelly has a contraction and…leaks? I guess?…gold matter into the air that swirls into the back yard to ominously open some sort of tear in the world. And oh, no. That can’t be good. Cas touches it and ends up in an apocalyptic wasteland, confused. And just as he is about to get killed by a horny little devil someone shoots the demon dead. “You?” Cas asks his savior. But who is it?

Death and Resurrection

Of course, Crowley is alive. And I have beef—we saw no red smoke go into the rat last week but there it is in the flashback and I call shenanigans. Bigger calling of angry-making shenanigans? Rowena is dead, and we didn’t even get to see her try to fight. In a scene we weren’t shown, Lucifer has killed her and burned her body. Sam calls Rowena and Lucifer tells him, in his typical devious fashion, that they can’t kill him or cage him now so he’s off to find Cas and his son.

Big and Bad

The Winchester trio is researching weird, looking for signs of Kelly and the baby, when Crowley appears in the Bunker. Dean immediately pins him down to kill him in retribution for letting Lucifer free, but Sam stops him, at least temporarily (Mark Sheppard’s smile at the reprieve and then deadpan expression at his possible future was hilarious there.) Crowley says he has come to realize that he has been jockeying for his job for so long he didn’t stop to realize that he doesn’t even want it any more. He doesn’t care. He just knows that when the world is about to end, there is one thing he can count on. “You big, beautiful, lumbering piles of flannel.” He tells them that if they put Lucifer back in the cage he’ll seal the gates of hell for them. Sounds a little too good to be true. Is it?

Mother-To-Be

The Winchesters finally track Cas and Kelly down, and Kelly is in full-on labor. To calm herself she asks Cas to tell her again what the nephilim showed him. He saw a future of peace and happiness—paradise on Earth. Mary goes to sit with Kelly while Cas shows Sam and Dean the new features of the back yard. Cas tells them it is a tear in space and time that leads to another world, an alternate reality. “So it’s a bizarro world, or like the place we got zapped to where we were actors on a tv show,” Sam says. “Oh, yeah, and the supernatural wasn’t real,” Dean says. “Yeah,” Sam agrees. “And you were Polish?” Dean adds. “Right,” Sam says. (Ha! I always like to be reminded of old episodes and “The French Mistake” is a good one to remember.) And what’s beyond the tear? “You don’t wanna know,” Cas says. “Probably,” Dean agrees. “But we need to.” And they enter the rift.

The Alternaverse

In the apocalyptic wasteland, Cas tells them it is a warring earth, where demons and angels constantly battle and the few humans left are caught in the crossfire. And he knows this, because his new friend told him. And who is that friend? ALTERNA-BOBBY! But this Bobby doesn’t know the Winchesters, because in his world, Mary didn’t take the deal, John died 40 years before, and Mary Campbell died ten years back at Azazel’s hand. “Cas, what the hell is this?” asks Sam. “This is a world where you were never born,” Cas says, soberly. “It’s a world you never saved.” Sam and Dean finally get to see just what the prevented. Finally know their worth. Too bad they have too much to worry about to appreciate it.

A Man and His Gun

Alterna-Bobby tells the boys that he usually slaughters “fly-boys” with his beloved gun Rufus (sigh!) filled with angel killing bullets made from melted down angel blades. (Didn’t the boys already know that trick? Guess not.) Later, they come back through the portal (sans Bobby) and Dean is stumped—Lucifer on one side, hell on earth on the other—where do they even begin? As Cas goes to Kelly, Dean tells Sam, “Cas has faith in this kid. I hope he’s right, but me? I have faith in us. You, me, mom, Cas, and Crowley, sometimes.” Their plan, whatever it is, will work. It has to.

Enter Satan, Exit King

Lucifer shows, facing our favorite trio down. Mark Pellegrino is deliciously snarky as usual as he taunts them, telling them he wants to control the world and have apocalypse part two. He tosses Cas aside and makes for the Winchesters who bolt for the backyard. He follows them through the rift and likes what he sees. Until he sees Dean with Rufus, filled with angel bullets. “Say hello to my little friend,” Dean says, shooting, while Sam runs to a spell-prepping Crowley and gets to work. The bullets don’t kill archangels, but they slow him down for a second—long enough for the spell to get going. They’re going to lock Lucifer in the alternaverse by sealing the rift with Luci in it. The thing is? The spell needs the sacrifice of a life, and Crowley is just spiteful enough to do it. Sam spirits Dean away to the rift and Mark Sheppard, ever the charmer, has a great exit scene and gets out a “Bye, boys,” as he stabs himself with an angel blade and crumples to the ground. Sadness.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Cas storms in, looking to attack Lucifer with a vengeance, even though the boys had it under control. The boys fall back through the rift to our earth, Kelly dies in childbirth whispering “I love you”, and Mary is knocked unconscious. And Cas? Is he stuck there with Lucifer? No! He comes back! Thank Chuck. But..what…NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Lucifer follows him through and runs him through with his own angel blade, and Cas lights up, falling to the ground, dead. And I am stunned.

The End

Lucifer smiles, saying playtime is over, as the boys stare at Cas, disbelieving. “Get away from them!” Mary says, coming to her boys’ defense. She dons the Enochian brass knuckles and, with an “I love you” to her sons, she punches the devil right in the kisser, again and again, until he staggers back to the rift. She’s gonna knock him in! She’s gonna do it! And then? NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Lucifer grabs her arm, just like Sam did to Michael in Swan Song, and he pulls Mary in too. And, as the rift closes, she’s gone, trapped in the alternaverse with a pissed off Lucifer to face and no alterna-Bobby in sight.

The Beginning?

The boys are alone. With just each other. No Mom. No Cas. No Crowley. Dean falls to his knees in front of his dead best friend, looking at the space where his mother once was, lost, while Sam races upstairs to find a dead Kelly Kline and footprints—decidedly not baby sized footprints—leading to Jack’s nursery. And Jack greets Sam from a shadowy corner, as Azazel once did before him, with bright yellow eyes and a grin.

A moment of silent sadness for Crowley and Cas and that’s a wrap, folks! Let Hellatus 2017 begin. Thanks for a great season. See you in the fall!

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About Barbara Doyle (153 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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