Supernatural returns for it’s 14th season on October 11. I think we’re all wondering what’s next for the Winchesters as many questions remain unanswered. What does Michael have in store for this world? How are Team Free Will 2.0 going to defeat him and get his brother back? What does being completely human mean for Jack? Is it possible that he still has some nephilim powers left? How will his relationship with Castiel develop? What is happening with the survivors from the AU? When will we see Charlie, Rowena and Ketch again? What is next for Mary?
Speaking of Mary, since she returned at the beginning of season 12, her character has been the a source of conflict. I’ve been sad for her and angry at her. (Don’t get me started on The Foundry, the third episode of season 12, when she leaves the boys – watching Dean back away from her when she reaches out to him still shatters my heart.) Mostly, I’m curious about where she fits in the boys’ lives.
Whether you love her or hate her, it looks like Mary Winchester is here to stay. Let’s take a look back at her biggest moments from season 13 to help us get through these last days of hellatus and maybe speculate a little on what is to come.
Since Mary is trapped in Apocalypse World, we only get to see her periodically throughout this season but when we do, it’s memorable.
Season 13, Episode 1 – “Lost and Found”
This episode starts on a low note. Cas and Crowley are dead. Mary and Lucifer are stuck in the alternate universe. There are so many rapid changes to the brother’s world, and poor Sam and Dean don’t get even a minute to feel their losses. They are immediately thrown into the hunt for Jack when he flees the scene after attacking the boys and leaving them unconscious on the floor. They need to find him quickly because they aren’t the only ones on Jack’s trail – the angels are hunting him as well. This lost and found, seek and find scenario is a major theme for the entire season.
I picked this episode as a highlight for Mary (even though we only see her for a few minutes at the end) because she is actually at her lowest point here. She’s in an unfamiliar land, cut off from family and friends. Despite that, her determination to survive is obvious. Even after Lucifer catches her and takes her prisoner, she doesn’t back down, not even from him as she growls, “So what now? You kill me?” She might be temporarily defeated, but don’t ever underestimate a Winchester – even one that started out as a Campbell.
Season 13, Episode 2 – “The Rising Son”
This episode introduces us to two new bad ass characters – and I don’t mean that as a compliment. With the death of Crowley, Hell has been without leadership. Enter Asmodeus, the fourth prince of hell. He quickly begins to put what he considers “his house” in order and there is literal hell to pay for anyone that gets in his way. We also meet the Apocalypse World’s Michael, and discover that this version is a bigger jerk than he ever was in the Winchester universe.
Michael can’t believe his eyes when he finds Lucifer alive and well after killing the alternate universe version of Lucifer in a previous fight. Michael learns that this Lucifer is from the other universe and the wheels start turning. He realizes he can use Lucifer and exploit his powers to open the portal to the other universe.
Mary is caught in the crossfire as Michael takes her prisoner as well. Again, we are seeing her adrift in circumstances that she can’t control but she manages to keep it together. That Winchester tenacity holds her in good stead. Since returning to Earth, she has dealt with the knowledge that her husband is dead, her boys grew into men without her, the entire world has gone on without her. In her mind, what can another cocky archangel possibly do to her?
In these early episodes, it may seem like Mary is being blown around like a leaf on the winds of change but she’s more like a cat stalking its prey, just biding her time and waiting for the perfect time to pounce.
Season 13, Episode 14 – “Good Intentions”
This is also an episode that builds from a low point. As it starts, we see Jack has been captured by Michael. He has Zachariah manipulating Jack’s mind into opening the portal to the other universe. Time and time again, Zachariah creates illusions in Jack’s head that make him believe that the only way to fix things is by opening the portal. Jack however, is much stronger than they know, and he detects their ruse. When he refuses to cooperate, Michael, in his anger, throws him into a prison cell that is also occupied by Mary. Michael assures Jack that he will open the portal or they will use Mary to force him to open it.
Mary and Jack realize that the warding that is being used on their cell is weak in a certain spot and they manage to escape. Shortly after their escape, they run into Bobby who, once he decides they actually are human, takes them to a resistance camp for sanctuary while they try to figure out their next move.
Jack’s unorthodox shadow puppet show draws the attention of Bobby who has been connecting with Mary. He tells her stories of the Mary he knew, the one that didn’t take the deal offered by Yellow Eyes (Azazel) which subsequently led to this world’s apocalypse. Mary trusts Bobby enough to divulge Jack’s secret – but when he learns the truth about Jack’s half angel heritage, he demands that Jack leave the camp.
Mary tells Bobby that, “If he goes, I go with him.” This describes perfectly the unofficial Winchester motto of, no man left behind. It may take them a while to trust you, but once you are “in”, then you are considered family – family is not left behind, ever. Because Jack is connected to her boys then he is connected to Mary as far as she is concerned.
In this episode, Mary the hunter-protector is emerging again. She is not the victim anymore. And we get to see a little of Mary getting to be the mother she never had the chance to be to Sam and Dean. Jack needs some guidance, and Mary is there to provide it.
Season 13, Episode 21 – “Beat the Devil”
This episode is actually begins in a much better place. Sam, Dean, Cas, and Gabriel make it to the AU with the help of Rowena’s spell which is keeping Lucifer held captive and using a continuous stream of his grace to keep the portal open.
The thing I notice about this episode is how much it represents hope to me. Sam is happy to finally be proactive in the hunt to find his mother. Dean is thankful to see his brother finally in a good place. Cas can see the future of Heaven in the face of Gabriel and everything seems to be coming together. But this is Supernatural, and we know that other shoe is always waiting to drop.
The optimism is short lived, when the group saves a couple, Maggie and Floyd, against a ravenously hungry vampire. This confrontation ultimately leads the group to the decision that the only way to get Jack and Mary is through a tunnel that is populated with more hungry vampires.
In the bunker, Lucifer, senses his bonds weakening, begins goading Rowena into losing her concentration and thus losing her hold on him. When he succeeds, he is able to escape and jump through the rift into the apocalypse world.
Back in the tunnel, things go south in a hurry when the group is attacked by vampires and Sam sacrifices himself so the others can make it out. Dean witnesses Sam’s attack and ultimate abduction by the vampires. Cas runs after Sam but is unable to rescue him. Dean wants to rush headlong into the breach to rescue his brother but Cas stops him and Dean has to, very reluctantly, leave Sam in the tunnel.
The Dean that comes out of that tunnel is not anything like the Dean that went in. All of his optimism is gone. He has had the life sucked right out of him. The somber and devastated group finally makes it to their destination (the resistance camp where Mary and Jack are) but instead of a celebration, Dean has to tell Mary about the death of Sam.
Mary’s big moment in this episode happens right here. Mary asks,”Dean…where’s Sam?” Dean is fighting with all he has but the tears escape and the silent message is transferred between mother and son. Sam is gone and the knowledge of it is written all over Dean’s face and reflected in Mary’s. Samantha Smith does such an amazing job of portraying Mary and that is epitomized in this scene in the handling of her grief. Mary has to absorb the blow that her son is gone and keep on going because people depend on her. She doesn’t have time to fall apart.
Season 13, Episode 22-“Exodus”
The title of this episode says it all. Sam is back in the land of the living thanks to Lucifer’s intervention. Sam and Dean are reunited with Mary and Jack and they want nothing more than to get back to the portal and out of the alternate universe with their family.
However, Mary is a woman who knows her own mind. She has found a place for herself with the resistance fighters in the alternative universe. I think this is something that she has longed for and missed since she came back into the boy’s lives. They are grown men now and while she loves them, she is willing to sacrifice living with them to be able to help this universe.
She tells the boys, “I fought beside these people. I respect them. I respect their cause. You can’t expect me to abandon them.” This is a defining moment for Mary. She is a reflection of her boys – she is both Sam’s voice of reason and Dean’s stubborn refusal to give up.
Dean looks to Sam to help him convince Mary to come back with them but surprisingly, Sam takes Mary’s side. He gets it. It’s the same decision he made in the tunnel in the previous episode, sacrificing himself for the greater good. He knows she doesn’t make the decision lightly and he can read the determination in her face. This is a battle that he and Dean will lose.
Ultimately the decision is taken out of her hands when the boys decide to bring the whole group back to their universe. The war is far from over but at this juncture, retreat is definitely the better part of valor. But it remains a critical moment of Mary’s character – she’s a helper. Just like her boys.
Well there it is, for good or bad, these are the Mary moments that stood out for me. They also got me speculating about what lies ahead for her. What will her role be in the coming season? How will she handle the Michael!Dean situation? Will she try to mother Sam or be more a friend? Will she run across Ketch again and what exactly does Bobby mean to her?
All we can do now is wait to see how season 14 plays out! What are your favorite Mary moments? Let us know in the comments below!