‘The Foundry’ does an excellent job at developing Mary’s character while addressing real life issues we never thought we would see in this series. Like, the vertiginous advancement of technology.
Mary has been the main highlight of the season so far, but she hadn’t shone as brightly as she does in ‘The Foundry’. The passing of time, the odd situation she’s in, and even the relevance of this thing called ‘the Internet’ has finally caught up with her. To distract herself from her struggling, she tries to starts looking for cases, but the more she tries, the more she realizes she doesn’t quite fit in (anymore). The paranormal is still the same, but the hunting process has changed drastically. And while I think the writers pushed it a bit too much with the “no one talks on the phone anymore” commentary, they did an excellent job at addressing her dttachment from this modern world in a realistic and emotional way. In this week’s scary case (which was very fitting given that we’re nearing Halloween), she ends up being saved by Sam and Dean. However, she’s the one who figured out what was really going on because she was the one willing to listen to people and to put human communication over everything else. The themes of “losing one’s family” or “being left behind” were all there as well.
Furthermore, Mary sees in Castiel an example of how a piece that at first didn’t belong can end up fitting. Except… Castiel doesn’t, not really. The angel’s relationship with the Winchesters has always been on-off, despite playing into the “blood doesn’t make you family” theme that’s made the series so popular. It was only last season that we saw that Castiel saying ‘yes’ to Lucifer was a result of him feeling left out from the brothers, and like he wasn’t really needed anywhere. Those issues have yet to be addressed, but Castiel is just to focused on feeling responsible for Lucifer being free to do any thinking. He’s not looking for Sam and Dean either, as he feels they should focus on their mother first. The timing is just never right. Still, the fact that Mary sees Castiel (a being who’s supposed to be a very dear friend to her sons) still not feeling like he belongs, has to be discouraging for her.
Castiel’s adventure as an FBI agent brought the comedy to the episode, from him using the ‘Beyoncé’ alias to his sassy dynamics with Crowley. However, they didnt’ really do that much to advance the story as it was Rowena the one who (temporarily?) got rid of Lucifer in the end. She makes it a point that she’s not an ally, but that she’ll be there in case they need help when it comes to Lucifer.
At the end of the episode, Mary’s resolve is that she needs to leave. She doesn’t say where to, or what she will be doing, but that doesn’t really matter. It was already obvious that this would be a difficult transition for her, but the way she put it into words when offering her perspective was still sad. This is a woman whose last memories are of a happy family. Mary was in love with John, happily married to him, and had a toddler and a baby as sons. Now the situation is completely different, and it’ll take quite a lot of time for her to assimilate this new reality. Seeing Mary hunting is awesome, but her leaving makes all the sense, and it’s utltimately for the best. We don’t know if she’ll ever come back for good, but for now, ‘The Foundry’ ends on a sad note, leaving the Winchesters (especially Dean) devastated.