‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ is easily one of the most fun, heartwarming and yet violent of the series, and isn’t that a pefect summary of Supernatural?
Season 12 of Supernatural sets itself apart from most of the other seasons from the very first minutes of its premiere. This time, there’s no big mess to be fixed. The Season 11 finale was a closed ending that promised nothing but good things and hope for the future. In fact, the biggest hook for this season (besides the cliffhanger involving Sam, which I’ll get to later) was the return of Mary Winchester.
There was no timeskip this time. ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ picks up right at the moment when Dean finds Mary. As expected, Mary only remembers up until the night she died, and has no recollection of any of the other moments they have met in different timelines. Gone is the night gown as this time she’s back for real. It feels organic, exciting, and it’s the most gratifying reward Dean could have gotten for all his effort. Supernatural shines the brightest when it focuses on the Winchesters, and having Dean and Mary catch up while Dean’s theme plays in the background is the best way to hit right in the feels.
It’s not all going to be easy from here on, though. Even though Sam and Dean are her sons, it’s been over 30 years, and her sons might as well be strangers to her at this point. There’s also the rapid advancement of technology. However, while confusing at first, I don’t think this is going to be a big problem for her in the long run. Mary’s a hunter, so they don’t need to introduce her to the most important thing in the series, which is the paranormal. Hell, she even saved Dean and Castiel in this episode. And, speaking of the angel, she’s not alone in the whole “being confused by technology” situation. The Winchester parents meeting Castiel is something that many fans have fantasized with many times, and Mary meeting with Castiel was done beautifully. It was both cute and hilarious, and Castiel’s humor was also on point this time (“I don’t have a harp”, “I don’t trust them”). Castiel was actually a lot more serious and violent (in fact, the whole episode was very violent in nature), as he probably wants to make amends after all that happened last season with him being “Cassifer”. Seeing him working as another member of the family was great, and it also shows that he cares a lot about Sam and that he would do anything for these brothers.
Sam got the short end of the stick this time. We already knew that he would be in danger, but I doubt anyone was expecting it to be this bad. British Women of Letters Lady Antonia Bevell (Elizabeth Blackmore) and Ms. Watt (Bronagh Waugh) are ruthless. I know that after having followed the Winchesters for so many years we’re probably biased, and so I tried to keep an open mind about these two. And sure, they’re incredibly strong and really skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and I guess they do have a point in some of the things they say. However, even though they believe they’re doing the right thing, the end does not justify the means. Sam “I’ve been tortured by the Devil himself, what can you do to me?” Winchester realizes this and chooses to stand his ground. They hurt him both physically and mentally, and Sam proves once again that he’s as smart and badass as he can be. Sadly, that’s not enough, and it seems like we will have to wait a bit more for him to be rescued.
‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ makes good on the writers’ promise about this season being more about interpersonal relationships and dealing with smaller problems. Even though Mary has been a very important character since the beginning of the series, her inclusion in the story as an actual alive, active character brings a breath of fresh air to the plot. It promises many new fun opportunities for the Winchester family dynamics, while still giving us a new badass female hunter (am I the only one who was reminded of Ellen with that color scheme?). So no more fighting the end of the world, as it seems like the biggest threat this season is going to be hunter politics. Well, there’s also the demons siding with either Crowley or Lucifer, but hopefully that won’t threaten the world…