Title lyric from “Solitude” by Black Sabbath
By Laura Ricchi
Don’t have time to rewatch Supernatural Season 12 before the October 12 premiere? Here’s what went down and what you may have forgotten.
If S12 had a theme, it was probably “Season 12 giveth, and Season 12 taketh away.” We lost a lot of people this season, new and old, and with the loss of as many beloved characters as we suffered in S12, it might be easier to forget the details and just hope for the best for S13. But as the saying goes, “Is anyone ever really dead in Supernatural?” Crowley is! And it’s still not okay.
S12 picked up right where S11 left off: with Amara’s gift to Dean. I guess nothing is off limits in the gift department when God’s sister is in love with you.
As it turns out, this was one of those be-careful-what-you-wish-for scenarios, as Mary wasn’t exactly a great gift for the boys, but what did we really expect from a homicidal being also known as The Darkness? Sure, in the end, she turned out to be a force for good, but getting there was pretty rough.
Mary’s S12 story followed a similar path but with a hero’s beginning, then a major downfall, and a heroic twist at the end. Her second chance at life started out lighthearted and heroic enough, like when she suggested Sam and Dean just “call the internet” to learn more about a case. And her reunion with Baby was terrific, especially the moment when Dean realized why his mother was smirking at the back seat. Not quite the “like mother, like son” bonding moment he was hoping for.
Dean, Mary, and Cas set out to rescue Sam, who was taken hostage by Lady Toni Bevell (AKA “Jodhpurs”) on behalf of the British Men of Letters. We endured some serious torture of Sam as a way to move exposition along, including how American Hunters and the BMOL have a very different take on what it means to rid the world of evil. Jodhpurs stopped at nothing to persuade Sam to their cause. When burning Sam’s foot with a blowtorch didn’t cause him to yield, she resorts to a drug-induced sexual hallucination, which sounds like mental roofies and therefore more rapey than most of us were comfortable with, TBH. [**cough**Buckleming**coughcough**—Dawn]
Just in case the BMOL aren’t antagonist enough, Lucifer is back and leaving a wake of smoked-out vessels before settling into Vince Vincente (Rick Springfield), an aging rock star well past his heyday. Cas and Crowley’s team up to search for Lucifer gives us some of the best moments from the beginning of the season. Agents Beyonce and Jay Z should have their own crime-fighting show. Was Cas’s sass toward Crowley a little left over Lucifer grace or was he channeling Queen Bey herself? Don’t know, don’t care. Nothing but love for it.
Mary leaves the boys so she can “find herself” and finds The British Men of Letters instead. Arthur Ketch and Mick Davies have taken over after Jodhpur’s failure to persuade the American Hunters and use Mary to infiltrate the American hunting world. Hitler was reborn and then killed. (We wish we were kidding about that, but at least one terrible thing that occurred this season stopped as quickly as it began.) Lucifer burns through Vince Vincente and then settles into the President of the United States, where he knocks up his aide, Kelly Kline. You might recall from previous seasons that a regular nephilim is already dangerous enough and forbidden. Now we have this poor woman pregnant with the spawn of the First of the Fallen himself. What else can be said other than this is going to be really, really bad.
The boys manage to get Lucifer out of POTUS and Kelly leaves with Cas, who promptly loses her. The Winchesters are arrested and jailed by the Secret Service and have to make a deal with Billie the Reaper, who requires a Winchester to die or face cosmic consequences. Mary steps up but—PLOT TWIST!—Cas kills Billie, because he loves the Winchesters and because, well, Cas doesn’t get a good day’s killing in very often.
Did you enjoy watching Mary step up to sacrifice herself for her boys? Us too. Too bad it was basically the only time she bothered in pretty much the entire season.
Speaking of Cas and his bad days, he was a big part of two of the best eps of the season: Ep10, “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets,” and Ep12, “Stuck in the Middle with You” (directed by Richard Speight, Jr.).
“Lily Sunder” centered on a family whose daughter is believed to be a nephilim. In it, we learned why Cas has always had concerns about killing nephilim—because he already had to kill a child nephilim once (when he was a woman! His previous vessel was a gorgeous brunette woman (with a truly excellent side eye)!
And also oopsy she wasn’t a nephilim after all which means Cas and his garrison murdered an innocent child. (Can angels get PTSD? Because we are pretty sure Cas has PTSD), leaving a very, very angry widow and mother—Lily Sunder (played to perfection by Alicia Witt). Current Cas comes up against Lily again, and his emotional struggle with all of it added great depth to our sweet angel.
When Now!Cas comes up against Lily again, his emotional struggle with all of it added great depth to our sweet angel.
“Stuck in the Middle” was a Tarantino homage that introduced us to a Prince and Princess of Hell. Prince Ramiel (played by badass Jerry Trimble, Jr.) really just wants to be left alone and enjoy demon retirement, unlike his sister, Princess Dagon (Ali Ahn) whose life purpose is now to protect the son of Lucifer. Things get bad; Castiel almost dies but is saved by Crowley, and all because Mary is secretly working for The BMOL and is on a mission to recover the Colt. Wasn’t it nice of Crowley to save his friend Feathers? Don’t break out the halo just yet—the episode ends with the excellent reveal of Crowley in the throne room, a chained-up Lucifer as his captive, with Luci played by none other than Mark Pellegrino.
At this point, it is easier to recap S12 by deaths. Are the writers trying to get the attention of George R. R. Martin? Maybe they are hoping their next gig is on Game of Thrones. Let’s count them down:
1. Vince Vicente: Lucifer’s dark and evil vessel, played by Rick Springfield, and sacrificed because everybody wanted Mark Pellegrino back, I guess. LuciVince was scary AF; they could have done a lot more with him. Instead, they destroyed this vessel a mere six eps into the season.
2. Billie the Reaper: She may not have loved The Winchesters, but we loved her. Beautiful and ominous, she had a style that made us envy her macabre existence. [And I never got my Billie/Crowley, which I shipped like crazy. — Dawn][This GIF’s just for you, Dawn. — Marge]
3. Gavin MacLeod: Crowley’s son, who sacrificed himself by going back in time to stop the vengeful ghost of his fiancée, Fiona. We really liked Gavin, who inherited the soft side of Crowley we have come to see and love, and we wish he had been used in a more interesting way.
5. Mick Davies: Mick! We hardly knew ye! This was so unfortunate because it seemed like he finally got his shit together and realized who the good guys really are. He deserved better than a getting shot in the back of the head by Ketch.
6. Princess Dagon: So much for this Big Bad, but at least her death was a turning point for Cas. Except that it happened when Cas was desperate for a win, and any time Cas is desperate for a win, things get bad.
7. Alicia Banes: Oh, look, another dead woman of color. Awesome lady hunter Alicia, who we only met (and instantly loved) back in 12×6. “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox,” gets to die so her brother can have something to do–namely, bring her back to life as a zombie twig doll. I’d offer to explain more but honestly, I doubt the writers will ever bother to bring it up again. Pour one out for Alicia. She was awesome. BTW, they killed her mother, too. Same ep.
8. The Colt: Yes, this crazy fandom did indeed mourn over the destruction of an inanimate object and with good reason–the Colt has been an integral part of SPN since Season 1.When Dagon melted it, it hurt our hearts.
9. Eileen Leahy: WE ARE NOT OK WITH THIS ONE. The fandom was devastated at the loss of this awesome, badass, deaf female hunter, especially because she was absolutely fridged and utterly ill-served by bad writing. Her death did nothing to further the plot, and we still mourn this senseless death and the loss of yet another Wayward sister. Shoshannah Stern, we miss you so hard. See you on the con circuit, we hope.
10. Lady Antonia “Toni” Bevell: She finally got her due, but it wasn’t a great end for those of us who had been waiting for her to come to a well-deserved bad end, preferably at the hands of Mary or the boys. Instead, she got it off-screen from Ketch. Fridge #2
11. Arthur Ketch: Shot in the head by Mary in 12×22, “Who We Are.” Thank you, Mary. It’s about freaking time you woke up and did the right thing.
12. Dr. Hess: That sociopathic bitch who ran the BMOL the way Umbridge would have run Hogwarts, had she been left unchecked. Shit, they even dressed alike (OK, Hess wasn’t that into pink, but still). Hess is killed by Wayward BAMF Jody Mills.
And then, it was the finale, and we lost two more characters we loved, and also everything fell apart including the fabric of the universe.
Rowena is dead—horribly, horribly, brutally dead. Lucifer stomped her to death and then set her on fire “just in case.” All off-screen, mind you, and we are holding onto the hope that either he is lying or she somehow managed to be not dead, because otherwise this season fridged YET ANOTHER badass female character and frankly what the actual fuck, you assholes. Too far, SPN. Too fucking far. Add Rowena to the list of things we are Not OK With.
Anyway. Nephilim-Jack’s impending birth literally rips a hole in the fabric of space and time and creates a portal into an apocalyptic world where Sam and Dean never existed. Apocalypse Bobby (alt-Bobby) is there; he’s an angel killer who doesn’t know who the boys are because they were never born. This world has been trapped in the battle between Heaven and Hell for a long time. A long, dark, awful time.
Luci shows up, and the boys run away and then back through the tear. Luci follows and now we are all back in Apocalypse World, which is definitely not the happiest place on earth. Dean tries using an automatic weapon loaded with angel-killing bullets he got from alt-Bobby to buy time for Crowley, who is trying to finish a spell to close the rift. But Crowley needs a life to complete it, so he gives it one: his own.
Have I mentioned that we are still not over that? Because we are REALLY not over that.
So Crowley is for-real dead, and Cas grabs the boys to throw them back to the normal world while jumping back into the rift himself to kill Luci. Dean tries to grab his friend; Sam grabs Dean and they run. Cas stabs Lucifer and jumps out of the rift. Lucifer follows and stabs Cas, who drops dead. Mary shows up because she was done playing midwife when Kelly gave birth to a fully-formed adult Nephilim thanks to her vagina going supernova, and then dying because really who could possibly survive that. Also, I’m not kidding about the vag supernova. They showed it—wide open legs and a BLINDING glowing light right where the lady garden should be.
Anyway, Mary legit punches Lucifer back into the alt universe, but he grabs her and takes her with him. The rift closes. And Jack the nephilim is found in the house, hiding all 5’10” of himself in the corner.
So yeah. Crowley is dead forever. Cas is dead forever? Sam and Dean are embarking on a twisted My Two Dads story with a full-grown nephilim and Mary is stuck in another universe with Lucifer. WHAT IS THIS EVEN I DON’T KNOW. Season 13, you have a lot of explaining to do.
Oh, and Dean killed Hitler. So at least they had that, I guess.