With Season 12 pass the halfway point and quickly approaching its finale, there are a slew of nagging questions remaining, but the one that I keep pondering: Could Mary Winchester be soulless?
When Amara gave Dean the gift of his mother alive at the end of the Season 11 finale, “Alpha and Omega, at first glance, it seemed as if Dean’s lifelong dream had been realized. Remember back in the Season 2 episode, “What Is and What Should Never Be,” a djinn plunged Dean in a dream-like state where Mary Winchester never died that fateful November 2, 1983 night. As blissful as this new reality was for Dean, it was in fact, a djinn induced illusion. To make matters worst, Dean realized that having Mary alive meant that he and Sam never fulfilled their hunter destinies (thus, all the people that they saved from supernatural-related deaths were now dead) and Dean lacked a strong brotherly bond with the Sam of the new reality (although Sam was happily engaged to Jessica and attending law school). So, while Dean had his mother alive and a devoted girlfriend in Carmen, this happiness was clearly outweighed by the countless lives lost. “Self-sacrifice is the Winchester way” as Lilith later reminded Sam in Season 4. Season 2 Dean knew that all too well; he fought through the djinn power and woke up to his own reality. Alas, Mary was dead.
Having his mother actually alive in Season 12 should be cause for celebration for the Winchester boys, right? Well, before you break out the pie and beer, let’s just say, all has not been contentedly cruising down the road in Baby to the sound of classic rock tunes. There is more than a palpable awkwardness afoot in the Winchester family dynamics. Being dead for thirty-four years and seeing the little boy and baby you knew as grown men (effectively strangers) is a shock (to say the least). Having technology and the world progress while your memories are fixed in the early 1980s is another significant impediment. Adjustment under these conditions is difficult at best. But for Mary, could it be something more?
My twin sister Stacy and I write a weekly column for The Nerdy Girl Express, “The Miller Twins Talk Supernatural.” We have looked at Mary’s behavior since she returned from the dead (secretly working with the British Men of Letters, her single minded determination when it comes to hunting and her emotional disconnect when it comes to her boys) and the one thing that springs to our minds: Could Mary Winchester be soulless?
The topic of a Soulless Mary Winchester has been bandied about a great deal by the Miller Twins. In fact, we have drawn interesting parallels between Mary’s behavior and Sam’s behavior back in Season 6. Seeing Mary conspiring with the British Men of Letters knowing that Lady Toni tortured Sam seems like the ultimate betrayal by a mother; yet, if Mary is indeed soulless, some pieces begin to fit together.
When Sam was soulless, he was an unfeeling, killing machine. Emotional attachment was forsaken for the hunting mission. Scores of innocent people were killed. And on top of all that, Sam betrayed Dean by allowing Dean to be turned by a vampire when Sam could have stopped it from happening (Live Free or Twihard). “I just don’t feel it” Sam honestly confessed to Dean towards the end of “You Can’t Handle The Truth.” Castiel “diagnosed” Sam’s soulless in “Family Matters.”
Now I may be on the wrong track here in my supposition that Mary is indeed soulless and I’m sure other Supernatural fans have embraced this theory as well. Perhaps the writers have an entirely different endgame and Mary’s behavior can be explained with another reason. Either way, Samantha Smith has brought her “A” game to her chilling performances as Mary.
For now, I will to sit back and continue to enjoy watching this plot and others unfold in Season 12.