It’s finale time, and this one’s a two-parter! Okay, well, not really. What they really did was just cram both episodes into one night. Because of that, we’ll be touching on both in one review. Each episode has its own strong moments, despite one of them being much better than the other. Most importantly: Dean finally gets to use his grenade launcher! The opener of “Who We Are” is the boys and Lady Bevel trapped in the bunker. Everyone wants their home as a tomb, right? Not on Dean’s watch! They blow out of the bunker with no time to spare. Fixing that later is going to suck.
Somehow, Sam Winchester has never had the realization that he’s not a leader. Seems pretty strange after a life full of following, but okay. His lack of introspection aside, he decides to become the leader now. He’s in a room full of hunters that either don’t know him, or have actively tried to murder him. He fumbles at first, but finds his footing quickly enough. Every American hunter’s life is threatened, and none of them are going to take it laying down. And they don’t. Sam leads the hunters to the British Men of Letters’ headquarters and eradicates them like they had tried to eradicate the hunters. There are some casualties among the hunters, but no one we know. That’s for later! For once in his life, Sammy Winchester makes the right choice when facing a difficult crossroad. He doesn’t take Lady Hess’ offer to team up to stop Lucifer. Because he’s Sammy, he pauses a millisecond before killing her. She almost gets the drop on him, but not on Jody’s watch. You don’t touch her boys.
While Sammy’s off on a trial-by-fire leadership course, Dean’s tasked himself with getting their mother back. As one would expect, this ends up being one of the most heartfelt moments of the season. Dean hates Mary. That’s a particularly difficult thing to hear, but it’s true all the same. The fact that she can see him in her mind and refuses to acknowledge him doesn’t make his rage any better, either. Every terrible thing that’s happened in their lives has been because of her deal with Azazel. She made a deal, so her sons suffered. Dean had to try to be everything. A mother, a father, a brother, and he failed at every single one of them. He hates her, but he forgives her too. It’s all very touching, but Ketch has other plans for their little reunion.
Lady Bevel is dead by the time Dean wakes up (no son for you, lady), and Ketch thinks he’s gonna kill Dean Winchester. Maybe he would have succeeded, but, like Jody, Mary doesn’t like it when you hurt her boys. Ketch is dead, and it’s time for “All Along the Watchtower”!
Honestly, not a lot goes down in the beginning of the episode. Crowley’s back, but no one expected him to be dead in the first place, so no big reveal there. Cas is playing house with Kelly, the Winchesters are trying to find them, and so is ol’ Lucifer. The Winchesters find them first, ‘cause them’s the rules. They need time to check out the terrifying war world that they’ll be locking Lucifer up in later.
Who do they meet in the world that the Winchesters never saved? Bobby. Effing. SINGER! Listen, y’all. I know it being Bobby adds literally nothing to the story. It’s fan service, and that’s it. And that’s okay. There’s never much joy in a Supernatural finale episode (or in the show in general), so they have to find ways to sneak it in where they can. This Bobby may have been trapped in this terrifying other world, but he seemed pretty happy about it, so it’s all good. There’s a lot that we can delve into in this alternate reality. The notion that it’s what happened because the Winchester brothers were never born is interesting, but we’ll have to wait until season thirteen to explore that more.
Where were we? Oh yeah. The boys beat Lucifer to the house on the lake. They leave Crowley in the bunker since they can’t trust him, but he’s a wriggly little worm and meets up with them in short order. Lucky for them, because Crowley’s got a plan to best the Devil. It even works this time, but only as a result of Crowley sacrificing his life. A lot of things pointed to this conclusion throughout the season, but the fact that it ended up with the King of Hell becoming a martyr was a nice touch.
Remember that review where all we did was talk about how much of an idiot Castiel was? Guess what, boys and girls, it’s time for Cas Is a Dumbass, talk! He wants a piece of Lucifer, so he stomps into the other world with no idea what the hell is happening. He punches Luci a few times, then manages to escape back to, um, Earth 1? Important rule: never stand directly in front of portals after punching the Devil around! He will kill you. You will die. And then he will walk right out of his trap that hasn’t quite closed yet like nothing happened.
Thank god for Mary Winchester. She may not be the ideal mother that Dean always touted her to be, but she’s still a damn good one. After the complete nonsense treatment of her and Eileen in the previous episode, “All Along the Watchtower” was a nice palate cleanser. Mary may have been the cause of the hell that her boys lived through, but she’d stand between them and the Devil any day of the week. Momma Winchester literally punches Lucifer in the face until he falls back into the other world. Minor detail—he takes her with him.
During all this the Nephilim was born. So, to close out the season we’ve got a dead Crowley, a dead Cas, Mary trapped with Lucifer in the other world, Dean’s with his best friend’s corpse and Sam’s meeting with what is very clearly a monster child. Cas may have seen complete peace and harmony, but when has that ever been a good thing? No war, no discourse, and no problems typically means that there’s no free will, and we all know that our boys aren’t cool with that.
Best guess? Crowley’s gone for good, but the Nephilim will bring Cas back to life after he’s done creeping in a corner. And Jack? What kind of name is that for the spawn of Satan? C’mon Kelly!
So, that’s it for season twelve. “Who We Are” was wonderful. One of their best in a while. It had strong themes, and both boys did something great independent of one another. We got solid Jody action, and some of the deepest emotional stuff in a while. “All Along the Watchtower” is… middling. It’s not bad, it’s not great, it just is. There was a lot of what was supposed to be emotional turmoil going on, but none of it really hit home. I’m the gal that will cry at the drop of a hat in a show, but I just watched one of my favorite characters die and didn’t shed a tear. And it’s not because there’s a lot that can be done to remedy that whole death situation. That usually wouldn’t matter, but still, nothing. Crowley was an ass, but there should have been something there for his sacrifice. Still, nothing. The Winchesters got me in “Who We Are” but “All Along the Watchtower” just… was.
In the end, we got our “Bitch”, “Jerk” moment, we got a “son of a bitch” from Dean, and we got our badass ladies not taking crap from anyone. It wasn’t perfect, but we’ll meet back up with the Winchesters in October for season thirteen, hopefully with our idiot in a trench coat in tow. You know what to do with your wild fan-theories and your thoughts on the episodes. The comments await!
Author’s Note: What. The. Hell. Are. Billy’s. Cosmic. Consequences?!