A new column at The Nerdy Girl Express is The Miller Twins Talk Supernatural Season 12. Here twins and The Nerdy Girl Express writers, Stacy Miller and Tracy Miller, will share their thoughts about the heroic Winchester boys, Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) as well as the many other wonderful characters on The CW’s longest running show. Will these twins agree on the characters and plot themes for each episode? Read below to find out.
“Keep Calm and Carry On” offered an impressive start to Supernatural Season 12. With Amara’s (Emily Swallow) gift to Dean at the end of Season 11, the return of Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith), the writers appear poised to integrate this character more fully into story lines. It’s a clever, arguably risky strategy. Will Mary’s presence be a help or hindrance to her sons? Will the plot threads in this season strictly follow canon or will they represent an approach (even if slightly) towards creative license?
I thought that this episode provided a promising entry to the season. I was happy that the episode picked up immediately where the season finale left off: Dean sees a nightgown clad Mary. This time, the elder Winchester isn’t looking into the face of an apparition.
Mary is confused especially when this stranger, this adult, claims to be her son because “her Dean” is four years old. The writers did a great job here- Mary is emotionally vulnerable yet her hunter instinct to fight what she sees as a threat is in full force as she pushes Dean to the ground. In addition, it was an inspired choice to have Dean share with Mary intimate details of her life (of which the viewer hadn’t been privy) that he apparently learned from John. I also liked how the writers noted that Mary’s memory was scrubbed to explain how she wouldn’t recall ever meeting adult Dean.
Samantha Smith’s work in this episode was flawless. I especially liked her scenes opposite Jensen Ackles. These skilled actors have strong chemistry and succeeded in using body language in conveying the emotional intensity of their characters’ reunion moment. There was a tentative and cautious interaction between Mary and Dean. Thirty-three years is a long time to be away so Mary must learn how to interact with an adult son who she doesn’t really know. Similarly for Dean, just because he had longed for his mother his entire life doesn’t mean that an instantly comfortable relationship will be the byproduct. Mother and son will have to learn about each other as well as adjust to each other rhythm. Arguably, Dean and Mary must learn how to love each again not as ghosts or childhood memories, but as the people they are today.
Against the backdrop of this long awaited Winchester family reunion, Sam has been shot by Lady Toni and subsequently kidnapped by the London chapter of the Men of Letters. His wound is fixed by a vet before he is forced to endure excruciating physical torture as the London chapter of the Men of Letters want the names of the American hunters. Sam refuses to place his fellow hunters in jeopardy. What is it with the writers wanting to physically torture Sam all the time? I can understand, to some extent why Sam is the character who is often the recipient of torture. Dramatically, this allows viewers to get to see Dean become the protective and determined older brother who will stop at nothing to save his brother. But these scenes are so difficult to watch. Still, I applaud Jared Padalecki in handling the physical discomfort required to lend credibility to the torture scenes. What, in my opinion, is even more incredible is how well Jared had a command over Sam’s emotional torture scenes (reminiscent for me of my all-time favorite Supernatural episode, When The Levee Breaks). Because Sam is a character who wears guilt like a second skin, Toni’s manipulation in having Sam relive the deaths of the people in his life with the hope that he would become more malleable to the London chapter of the Men of Letters’ demands seemed fool proof. Yet, Toni doesn’t know what Supernatural fans know: You never underestimate a Winchester! Sam plots his escape, making some bold choices which unfortunately for him, backfire.
Dean, Mary and Castiel search for Sam. This trio presents an interesting dynamic. Castiel has had to deal with being human so he can offer Mary advice as she navigates adjusting to a world that is very different from what she remembered. I like that Mary will be able to bond with someone other than her sons.
Meanwhile, Crowley is on his own search. The King of Hell is following demons hoping to locate Lucifer who has been leaping from vessel to vessel. I’m also curious to see Rick Springfield’s interpretation of Lucifer promised in promos for the next episode.
“Keep Calm and Carry On” was an engaging hour of television. I’m looking forward to seeing Sam’s interactions with Mary. I want to see how all three Winchesters adjust to this new and evolving family unit personally and professionally as hunters. How is the London chapter of Men of Letters interference in the Winchester lives going to influence the “family business”?
After the closing scene of last season’s Supernatural finale “Alpha and Omega,” in which Dean saw his mother Mary (Samantha Smith), I eagerly awaited the season premiere to learn what happened next. The season premiere “Keep Calm and Carry On” gets right down to business. Although shocked to see her alive, Dean reaches to touch his mother. Big mistake, Mary immediately goes into hunter mode and uses her training to subdue him while she demands to know who he is. Dean tells her he’s her son. Mary doesn’t believe this because her son Dean is four years old. I enjoyed watching Dean telling Mary about her family history. The writers did an excellent job in giving viewers more insight into how John and Mary met, where they married etc. We even learned Mary’s birthday, which is December 5 if you want to mark it on your calendar. Mary learned how John died and got a Cliff Notes version of the Winchester “Road So Far” up to and including God and The Darkness drama from last season. Then it was off to The Men of Letters bunker where Mary met Castiel (Misha Collins) and both she and Dean learned of Sam’s abduction.
Speaking of Sam (Jared Padalecki), he had been shot in the leg by Toni (Elizabeth Blackmore) and patched up by a vet. But does he get time to recuperate? Of course not because it’s right off to the torture scenes. These were my least favorite part of the episode. Jared Padalecki as always did a fabulous job convincing viewers of his physical (and later emotional) pain. But come on, how many times will Sam be tortured in Supernatural? I can imagine Jared Padalecki reading his script and saying “Okay, Sam gets tortured again. I knew that was coming.” But Padalecki is a pro and will give those scenes his all. You want to give Sam a hug for his suffering at the same time admiring his bravery and endurance.
I was taken aback by Castiel in “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Whereas Dean is usually the hit first to get your answers, Cas seem to have taken over the ‘bad cop’ mantle from the older Winchester brother. It looks like Castiel is becoming more human the more he becomes involved in Sam and Dean’s lives. But I would have thought he would have used some of his angel mojo, especially during the fight with Toni’s hench woman. But Castiel decided hand-to-hand combat was best. Which of course it wasn’t because Castiel can’t fight for crap leaving both he and Dean to be saved by Mary. I did enjoy the scenes between Mary and Castiel as they talked about computers. I think they’ll end up becoming good friends. Samantha Smith and Misha Collins already have great chemistry.
And then we have Crowley (Mark Sheppard) tailing his demons to learn the location of Lucifer, who is burning his way to finding the perfect vessel. I had hoped to see Rick Springfield in the premiere but guess we’ll just have to wait until Episode Two.
I thought the season premiere held promise for what will be an interesting season.
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