You’d think after her previous experience, the last thing Mary Winchester would be about is going into spooky nurseries alone to investigate eerie baby cries, but that’s exactly what happened in this week’s episode, which combined a standalone ghost story with some season arc advancement.
Feeling out of time and out of sorts, Mary chopped off her long blonde locks and threw herself back into hunting, finding a case in Minnesota where a couple had died of acute hypothermia, their hearts literally frozen, after hearing some distressed mewling from an abandoned house. While Sam and Dean believed this to be a straightforward case of vengeful child spirits (when is it ever that simple, boys?) and set about salting and burning a bunch of murdered kids’ remains, Mary followed a hunch and used such prehistoric techniques as landlines, writing things down on paper, and talking face to face to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Meanwhile, Cas, anxious to clean up after himself and re-cage Lucifer, reluctantly teamed up with Crowley after the angel and the demon followed the same lead. Last time this unholy allegiance happened, it was an unmitigated disaster, but I guess there’s a lot of water under bridge since Season 7 and the whole Leviathan thing. I’m sure nothing could possibly go wrong this time…
But before the odd couple could track down Vince and his Hellish meat suit stowaway, Rowena, the resourceful minx, fooled The Devil into letting her perform a spell, not to preserve his vessel, as he thought, but to weaken it so she could banish him to the bottom of the ocean. While this may have bought her escape for now, I have a feeling this is going to come back to bite her on the arse, big time. Still, it was heartening to see her fight so hard for a way out of her former life, and to promise to help her son and Castiel put Luci back in the box when the time comes. Gave me the warm and fuzzies, it did.
Back at the haunted house, Mary unearthed the remains of the child killer binding all the souls to the property, and got herself possessed by his spirit. Sam and Dean encouraged her to stay strong and fight, an echo of Dean pleading with John in Season 1’s “Devil’s Trap”. Although now I can’t think about John Winchester without thinking of him wielding a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, and the sound of splintering bone, so thanks for warping all my precious paternal memories, The Walking Dead!
Having defeated the vengeful ghost, and releasing the souls of the child victims, Mary returned to the bunker with her sons, but only to explain that she needed to leave. With over thirty years having passed without her, and seemingly in the blink of an eye, Mary decided that having her grown up boys around her served as a painful reminder of the husband and little boys she has yet to grieve for. I kind of understand where she’s coming from, but three episodes into the new season is pretty early for this epiphany to have happened. And Dean’s broken little face will haunt my dreams this week. Poor guy can never catch a break.
So with both Mary and Lucifer out of the picture for now, I’m slightly confused as to where the focus is going to be this season. Crowley and Rowena presumably will have little to do, which leaves us with the UK Men of Letters investigation. Perhaps Mr. Ketch is going to become an issue for the boys in coming weeks, but the sense of threat is currently lower than ever. After twelve years, are the Winchesters coming to the end of the road when it comes to finding new stories? Or is this simply the calm before the storm? I really hope there is still gas in the tank…
Final Grade: C
+ Loved the purple Prince tribute motel room in Minnesota.
+ Cas’ FBI alias, Agent Beyonce, made me laugh out loud. Nearly, champ. Nearly.
+ I really enjoyed the pathologist who looked like a character from Bob’s Burgers come to life.
– Still not really feeling Lucifer in his rock star vessel. This is a trope which could be really fun, but so far the character has had very little to do.
– Having Mary around clearly upsets the dynamic between Sam and Dean, but it felt a little contrived to have both boys set upon the most obvious answer while Mary was going on intuition. It seemed as though the brothers were being dumbed down to make the point that Mary is a good hunter in her own right, even though she can’t work the internet.
– Usually I can spot a Robert Berens script a mile away, but sadly this wasn’t as nuanced or layered as his usual fare.
If Lucifer is at the bottom of the ocean, could he potentially come back as a shark? It’s a thought…
Also next week’s episode promo has Sam and Dean dressed as priests, so I’m already inclined to give it an A+ on that basis alone.
What did you think? Was “The Foundry” a lost cause? Sound off in the comments, or on Twitter.