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S12.E03: The Foundry


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9 minutes ago, catrox14 said:

I'm kind of bothered by the below exchange between Dean and Sam .

What is the above bolded trying to imply about Dean here?  That Dean doesn't see Mary as a whole person? That she's just a thing to Dean?  I'm gonna fucking throw the bullshit flag on that because Dean KNEW HER as a young whole woman in 1973. He spent time with her. He said she was smart and happy and hopeful and a great hunter.  

If it's not that, then why would Sam take what Dean said and convert it in his mind that way? Why is Sam chastising Dean for something Dean didn't say and IMO didn't actually imply either?

What message is that scene trying to communicate about Dean here?

I think that Sam is saying that their mom coming back isn't the same as any other good news they've had. Her coming back is way bigger and more important than that.

I don't think Sam is saying that Dean thinks that Mary is a "thing," I think that Sam is saying that these are special circumstances.

How I hear the conversation:  Dean is like, can't we just have something good happen to us for once, and Sam is like, DUDE this is not just "something good."

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What is the above bolded trying to imply about Dean here?

I think the point was intended to be about Sam, as a reminder how understanding and empathic he is and how much he respects Mary. To make that point (at least in the world of SPN`s simplistic writing), he needed a bounce-off, another character who embodied the "negative". Unfortunately with a cast this small, this mostly happens to be Dean. Thereby, Dean`s remark is purposefully misunderstood. If Dean only said "why can`t we have a good thing", noone would have thought much by it because it`s pretty clear he means the situation, not Mary the person. Hence, no negative implication. If you will Dean drew the short straw here in being a prop.       

Edited by Aeryn13
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11 minutes ago, rue721 said:

I think that Sam is saying that their mom coming back isn't the same as any other good news they've had. Her coming back is way bigger and more important than that.

I don't think Sam is saying that Dean thinks that Mary is a "thing," I think that Sam is saying that these are special circumstances.

How I hear the conversation:  Dean is like, can't we just have something good happen to us for once, and Sam is like, DUDE this is not just "something good."

I agree, I don't think anyone was calling Mary a thing. Dean was just for once can't something just be good, just make us happy without all of the baggage.

 

6 minutes ago, Aeryn13 said:

I think the point was intended to be about Sam, as a reminder how understanding and empathic he is and how much he respects Mary. To make that point (at least in the world of SPN`s simplistic writing), he needed a bounce-off, another character who embodied the "negative". Unfortunately with a cast this small, this mostly happens to be Dean. Thereby, Dean`s remark is purposefully misunderstood. If Dean only said "why can`t we have a good thing", noone would have thought much by it because it`s pretty clear he means the situation, not Mary the person. Hence, no negative implication. If you will Dean drew the short straw here in being a prop.       

This I totally disagree with, but obviously YMMV here.

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I don't think anyone was calling Mary a thing. Dean was just for once can't something just be good,

I agree that this was what Dean was saying. But by Sam having say "Mom is not a thing, Dean" as if Dean HAD refered to Mary and say it in a clearly chastisizing tone, the writer shifted the scene to "Dean did something wrong, Sam had to correct him". Sam`s dialogue IMO fits with nothing else then purposefully misconstruing Dean`s point. If he wanted to reply to what Dean actually said, namely the "lets not look a gift horse in the mouth for a change", there would have been numerous ways to do it, none of them including the "Mom is not a thing" line. 

Equally, I think they could have made the "Sam respects Mary" point in a myriad of other ways, not including clumsy "Dean, you brute" dialogue. But for that to happen, they`d need a better caliber of writing than IMO they have on staff. And Berens is actually one of their better ones. 

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1 minute ago, Aeryn13 said:

I agree that this was what Dean was saying. But by Sam having say "Mom is not a thing, Dean" as if Dean HAD refered to Mary and say it in a clearly chastisizing tone, the writer shifted the scene to "Dean did something wrong, Sam had to correct him". Sam`s dialogue IMO fits with nothing else then purposefully misconstruing Dean`s point. If he wanted to reply to what Dean actually said, namely the "lets not look a gift horse in the mouth for a change", there would have been numerous ways to do it, none of them including the "Mom is not a thing" line. 

Equally, I think they could have made the "Sam respects Mary" point in a myriad of other ways, not including clumsy "Dean, you brute" dialogue. But for that to happen, they`d need a better caliber of writing than IMO they have on staff. And Berens is actually one of their better ones. 

I don't think this was negative in anyway for Dean, but then I don't see the show as a negative as it at least seems that you do. I don't think that the show favors Sam over Dean so I am going to leave it at that.

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58 minutes ago, ahrtee said:

I think you might be reading too much into that (even though, yeah, I don't trust the writers either most of the time...)  But IMO it was a tossaway line (maybe intended as a joke, maybe to acknowledge that fans might take offense at that-- ie, "mom is not a thing," and head them off from complaining about it).  I'm pretty sure it wasn't intended to make any particular point.  But YMMV.  

It's hard for me to dismiss it as  a toss away line given the seriousness of the acting in the scene. They were burning the bones of a child and one of them said it was grim work just before the conversation begins.

Sam didn't say it in a lighthearted manner and Dean was taken aback that Sam said what he did. 

If they thought the audience would take offense at Dean referring to the whole situation as being a good thing, which is what I thought he meant,  why write that dialogue in the first place? If it's not offensive why have Sam reframe it in such a way that it looks offensive when it wasn't before? It was as a though Sam thought Dean had to be reminded that Mary wasn't a thing.

ETA: it seemed to me from a character viewpoint that Sam DID think Dean was seeing Mary as a thing. I need to understand  why Sam would interpret what Dean said in the the way he did.

Edited by catrox14
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I could be off base here, but I actually thought it was sort of reminiscent of Sam and Dean's discussion at the end of "All Hell..., pt 2" when Sam knew something was up, but Dean deflected with "can we [just] celebrate for a minute?" and Sam was all "nope, I'm a dog with a bone here, and I'm not letting it go even if it rains on your delusional parade, Dean" guy. Sam can be a pain in the ass that way sometimes when he knows Dean is deflecting and/or ignoring stuff, and Sam sometimes just can't with the "pretend everything is good for a little while" thing when he sees a problem that affects someone else (in this case Mary). Sometimes when it's just him and Dean, Sam can let Dean have it for a while, even when they both know that's what it is. Sam did that in season 7 with his Lucifer hallucinations at first - tried to be "okay" for Dean. But in this case,  Mary was involved, so Sam was gonna be a pain about it.

And Sam's heard this all before with their discussions of their childhood, so I think Sam was a little harsh, but I think it was out of frustration. I think what Sam meant by "Mom is not a thing," was it was shorthand for "Mom is not something you (we) can fit into an idea of a happy family and just make it fit." Sam knows that Dean tries to do that - it's part of his history when he would try to be a facilitator between Sam and John. I think Sam was trying to say that in this case, that wasn't going to work, because Mary was struggling with her situation too much to even try to make herself fit.

That was my take on it, anyway.

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Sam can be a pain in the ass that way sometimes when he knows Dean is deflecting and/or ignoring stuff, and Sam sometimes just can't with the "pretend everything is good for a little while" thing when he sees a problem that affects someone else (in this case Mary). 

Well put.

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Sam can be a pain in the ass that way sometimes when he knows Dean is deflecting and/or ignoring stuff

I would have had no problem with that but by making the dialogue "can`t we have a good thing" / "Mom is not a thing", IMO it breaks it down to the literal meaning of "don`t call her a thing". If it was supposed to be any version of "you are in denial, that is not how it works", then that was just a really badly-written, nonsensical line. If I was Dean, I would have responded with "wtf? I didn`t call her a thing".

Dialogue like that, I would still buy from Castiel. Like in the vein of ep 2 "you could have taken me out without breaking a sweat" / "there is no part of me that sweats". If Dean had said "bla bla nice things" and Cas would have said "your mom is not a thing", I would have thought "okay, joke about Cas taking everything literal again".  Or a character like Sherlock on Elementary could say it, misunderstanding on purpose to be snobby. 

I actually don`t buy it for Sam. He can be snobby but he is not someone to go "a-ha, I will act as if I have no understanding of human lingo to shame you with it, hahaha". Huh? So, yeah, I found that line OOC and something I blame wholly on bad writing.  

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I think AwesomeO nailed it. Tonally, I certainly don't think it was a joke or a throwaway, but I don't think Sam was condemning Dean either. We've seen Sam and Dean say brutal and unfair things to each other before. This, IMO, wasn't one of them.

I don't think Sam was saying "don't objectify our mother, you ass." I think he was saying "We can't look at this simply as a good thing that happened to us -- mom has her own issues to work through." He was reinforcing this by making a semantic point that was more clever than true, but I don't think he literally thinks Dean thinks that Mary is just an object, or that he doesn't care deeply about her. 

I also think, in this case, Dean's judgment is more compromised than Sam's, because Sam has no childhood memories of Mary, and Dean does. So for Dean, it is harder to distinguish between "ideal memory mom" and "actual mom," plus he is more desperate to believe that everything is OK, since he's spent his life feeling the lack of Mary, while Sam has just had, as he said "a blank."

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I’ve read (and appreciate) the replies to my questions. They’ve helped me on the path to sort out why  “Mom is not a thing, Dean” exists at all.   IMO, if it was used as shorthand for  “this isn’t the same situation as before” it’s a HORRIBLE dialogue choice with unfortunate implications for Dean. Or it was intentional. I’m coming down on the intentional side beyond shorthand.

Berens writes great dialogue most of the time and it is typically quite specific with words and what he wants to communicate (i.e The Executioner’s Song/The Vessel/The Werther Project although there is Our Little World/Red Meat/We Happy Few sooo I DUNNO).

In the case with Sam here, it’s as though Sam thinks the only way to get Dean out of his denial/wishful thinking is to be cruel ( and I think that was cruel) WRT to how Sam thinks Dean views Mary.   If it’s intentional, why?

I’ve been thinking about Dabb’s comments before the season began with his premise that Mary was  not much more than a mythological, idealized and idolized figure, (an entity/thing to be worshiped if you will) whom the boys didn’t see as a real person.   

I have made it known that I do not believe that premise applies to Dean since  Dean DID canonically KNOW Mary, beyond his Mommy that made him soup when he was 4. TWICE he saw her as a full person. He EXPERIENCED her being a complete human being with dreams, desires, hopes and fears. He experienced her intelligence when he hunted with her in 1973.  He saw her be loving daughter who stood up for herself and John with Dean in the room. He saw her be brave. And he saw her fall apart and make a bad deal.  Most importantly Dean did NOT forget these experience. So right off that bat, I struggle with this premise working for Dean.

On the other hand, the idea that Sam sees Mary as mythological figure DOES work because he may or may not have clear memories of her but the rest is stories he heard from everyone else, things he's read, a handful of pictures and one time travel meeting (which does he remember that??)

I think “Mom’s not a thing, Dean” is an awkward attempt to reinforce the premise that Dean is mythologizing Mary even now so he can learn the lesson that Mary is a full person.  I say Dean here because Sam being empathetic and cognizant of Mary's plight IMO implies that he sees her as more real than Dean at this point. Otherwise I don’t see why those words exist in relation to Dean and Mary.

Edited by catrox14
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I think AwesomO4000 is correct as far as the meaning of the conversation.  Dean wants to believe that everything is fine just for 5 minutes, but Sam wants to make sure he realizes things are more dire than he's letting on.  Unfortunately, it was written very poorly, and did come across as if Sam had to chastise Dean for calling his mother a "thing", which Dean would absolutely never have done.  No one should ever question Dean's devotion to his mother.  So what should never have been an issue is only an issue due to awkward dialogue.

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I think he was saying "We can't look at this simply as a good thing that happened to us -- mom has her own issues to work through." He was reinforcing this by making a semantic point that was more clever than true,

I don`t even think it was any kind of subtle double entendre. For me it was the equivalent of someone asking me if I liked books or movies better and I answered with "you asshole". Then, naturally they would ask me what the hell my problem was and I would say "oh, what I meant was: I like books better but used a shorthand to get that across". That would make no sense. Unless Behrens is trying his hand at some weird version of Tourette-syndroming the dialogue where a character means one thing but the words out of their mouth mean something completely different.   

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I say Dean here because Sam being empathetic and cognizant of Mary's plight IMO implies that he sees her as more real than Dean at this point.

Yup, I still believe that was mostly the point re: Sam. Dean just got stuck on the bad side of chastitizing "you`re doing it wrong, you don`t respect other people`s personhood" dialogue. If he actually is guilty of that really matters not. After the dialogue called him out on it, it is decreed that he did it.    

Edited by Aeryn13
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4 hours ago, Aeryn13 said:

Yup, I still believe that was mostly the point re: Sam. Dean just got stuck on the bad side of chastitizing "you`re doing it wrong, you don`t respect other people`s personhood" dialogue. If he actually is guilty of that really matters not. After the dialogue called him out on it, it is decreed that he did it.  

Yeah, this is what I think happened, too. And no hand-waving will make it go away if Dean is made to apologize for anything. And Jensen or no Jensen, if Dean winds up apologizing for anything in that vein, this show will become history to me. I'm over and done with that BS for well and good.

Edited by Myrelle
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12 hours ago, Myrelle said:

I really hope that Dean's abandonment issues will be recognized by his family as the monster that they are for Dean and that his being parentified as a child by John will not be glossed over. But I'm getting the vibe that this will indeed happen yet again, even with that amazing performance by Mr. Ackles in that last scene. The brother scene was a portent for Dean being told to get over himself again and help his poor, poor mother who just has/had it so much worse than he ever did and/or(for reasons...) it will be far more important that Dean just suck it up again. Maybe this time we'll be lucky, though, and not get a boo hoo, princess added in there.

Not very hopeful for S12 after these first three. My only hope lies in the writers not opting to do the cut and paste in that regard again, so yeah...not very hopeful.

This episode, itself, was not bad but the weird brother scene and the ending were a bummer-again, mostly for what they portend for me, according to the writing history on this show.

I am completely confident that Dabb intends for the Mary arc to heal BOTH Sam and Dean and help them find real closure on their past. In the S12 opener, he handled Dean and Sam's characterization with a GREAT deal of depth.  All the feels were on display as we saw Dean meet his mother and Sam be mentally tortured by the tragedies in their life.  I really don't think he's dragging out the pain just to wallow.  I think he's reminding us of that pain so we can then watch it be healed.

As evidence, I'll give you a quick retrospective on the Carver years:
As much as many people hate Carver, Carver DID in fact make good on his plan to adjust the co-dependency issues of the brothers.  From S8 thru S11, we went on a journey where the brothers ended up on the same page and prepared to lose each other.  First Carver made it clear that their 'save the other brother at all costs' actions had bad consequences:
-gates of Hell weren't shut,
- Sam housed an Angel vessel without real consent,
- Kevin was killed,
- Dean's guilt (over Kevin and Sam) drove him to take on the Mark of Cain, which allowed him to kill Abaddon but turned him into a demon after he was killed
- Healing Dean from being a demon left him near the edge (where he killed Randy and the Rapists)
- Removing the Mark released the Darkness, where the fart cloud turned THOUSANDS of people into rabids who died.
But the start of S11, written by Carver, made it clear that while at that moment they would "do it again, in a heartbeat", they had to find a new way.  To get back to both parts of the bumper sticker.  And during S11, and still continuing on in S12, that's what they are doing.  They are killing humans less and were prepared to let each other die/suffer for humanity (first Sam with the Mark and then Dean as the bomb).

So, be as wary as you need to be. But I think the show has demonstrated that they understand the major issues for Sam and Dean and are working to ultimately resolve them.  Yes, in dramatic and painful ways.  But I think we're heading in a positive direction. *insert pithy 'it's always darkest before the dawn' cliche*

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7 hours ago, Aeryn13 said:

I actually don`t buy it for Sam. He can be snobby but he is not someone to go "a-ha, I will act as if I have no understanding of human lingo to shame you with it, hahaha". Huh? So, yeah, I found that line OOC and something I blame wholly on bad writing.

I agree that the snobby scenario wouldn't fit Sam, but I'm going to surprise myself - and probably you - and say that I don't think it was out of character for Sam... or at least not for Sam now in the Carver and beyond years. As @catrox14 above says, it was a bit cruel, but I disagree that it was because Sam thinks that's the only way to get through to Dean. I think as I  hinted at above, Sam was showing some frustration, and the frustration came out as momentarily cruel. Sam seemed to realize it immediately, too, and reeled it back in with the "Okay. Look, I'm happy, too, Dean. I am," conciliatory words and tone. But there is precedence. As much as I hated "The Purge", it's there, and it's in Sam's character history. And that final discussion put an exclamation point on the sometimes when Sam gets really frustrated, Sam gets a bit cruel character flaw, so there it is.

So yup for me it was in character. At least this time (unlike "The Purge"), Sam seemed to realize what he said was mean and not true, and sort of backtracked and tried to explain what he meant to say. It's actually kind of ironic, though, that when Sam did backtrack, Dean still wanted to debate and not agree with Sam's assessment at first. To me that showed just how one track Dean was there... Dean didn't object to the obviously erroneous / not really what Sam meant to say "Mom is not a thing" part of Sam's statement and narrowed in on the "something's going on with her" part that Dean didn't want to deal with. Which was very Dean, in my opinion.

I didn't think the dialogue was saying that Dean thought Mary was a thing. I thought it was showing Sam as frustrated that Dean was once again seeming to ignore or just not seeing something in favor of having "something good" for a little while. (And that might have been a bit better phrasing "Mom's not a 'something good'" - but as I said, I've accepted frustrated Sam = flawed, sometimes mean Sam. And that is a little awkward, so...)

So I saw the conversation less as a commentary on Dean and that Dean needs to be put straight on Mary being a person and more that this was a frustrated Sam. What Dean is having is some inadvertent denial. He just wants a family for a little while before something happens, but sadly the situation didn't let him have that

5 hours ago, Aeryn13 said:

I don`t even think it was any kind of subtle double entendre. For me it was the equivalent of someone asking me if I liked books or movies better and I answered with "you asshole". Then, naturally they would ask me what the hell my problem was and I would say "oh, what I meant was: I like books better but used a shorthand to get that across". That would make no sense. Unless Behrens is trying his hand at some weird version of Tourette-syndroming the dialogue where a character means one thing but the words out of their mouth mean something completely different.

For me the comparison would more be if you answered "You asshole, I like books better. I've told you that before, a hundred times." Because for me that's where Sam was coming from - a point of frustration. He's been through this kind of thing with Dean before many times*, and recognizes what it is, and knows how difficult it can be to get through to Dean in that state... And Dean being in that state, the "Mom is not a thing" goes in one ear and gets knocked out the other by "something's going on with her." And that's the thing Dean gloms onto and refutes, because that's the thing that threatens his desire to have the good thing of a happy family for a little while. Sam's frustrated outburst statement, doesn't even register.

At least that's my take on the conversation. Sam and Dean for me are being Sam and Dean... because they are not "normal" people, so their conversation is similarly not normal, but it's pretty much usual for them.


* The (admittedly more mild) frustration Sam had in "A Very Supernatural Christmas" comes to mind. As Dean is describing the take out chicken and the "awesome" stolen beer can wreath, Sam just knows what he's saying is going right past Dean and his rose-colored glasses memories, and he's not gonna convince Dean otherwise.

Edited by AwesomO4000
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5 minutes ago, AwesomO4000 said:

He's been through this kind of thing with Dean before many times*, and recognizes what it is, and knows how difficult it can be to get through to Dean in that state...

I think the "many times" is key. IIRC, later in that same conversation, Dean asks, "how do you know?" and Sam says, "many years of personal experience..." (or something similar. I forget the exact line).

Sam and Dean know each other inside out, and are incredibly comfortable with each other, and are phenomenal at working together as a team. This episode really highlighted that. They spoke to each other frankly -- when they were doing the salting-and-burning, when Dean made Mary's hunt into "a family hunting trip," etc. (Basically whenever Mary was out of earshot LOL). They were on the same page even when they were both wrong (about salting and burning the bodies, for example). They also came to decisions *very* quickly. They were basically tag teaming the entire time. And meanwhile, Mary was very alienated.

I think that was important. Both because it showed that there was really no organic way for Mary to "break in" and become part of their team, and because there was *such* a strong contrast between how comfortable and connected they were with each other, versus how awkward and alienated they were with her.

I mean, they weren't always this way. The whole first season was about them getting to know each other as adults. So this is another version of that imo -- and with Mary in Sam's old role, in a way? Weird.

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14 minutes ago, SueB said:

As much as many people hate Carver, Carver DID in fact make good on his plan to adjust the co-dependency issues of the brothers.  From S8 thru S11, we went on a journey where the brothers ended up on the same page and prepared to lose each other.  First Carver made it clear that their 'save the other brother at all costs' actions had bad consequences:

I'll give you some of this, but first Carver had Sam not save Dean at all costs, and then proceeded to show how crappy that was by putting Sam in a dysfunctional relationship, and with Bobby (and, in the end, even Lucifer) calling Sam out on not looking for Dean. I could've done without that little red herring part. And also with the part that had Sam agree with Dean that he (Sam) was wrong on the not saving part, only to then go with "Psych! Sam was sorta right to begin with about that part, but we'll have him apologize anyway, because he was a jerk about it. And now he's wrong, too, except even more so, (because he's also a hypocrite and caused a much bigger body count.)" Or whatever that was...

We'll leave it at Carver's message was somewhat muddled for me depending on who was doing the saving at all costs side of it. And Carver sometimes seemed to both want them to be codependent and not at the same time - as at the end of season 8. I couldn't tell whether Sam agreeing not to close the gates was a good thing or not. It seemed like Carver wanted it to be a good thing, but I couldn't tell for sure. And I'm not going to forgive him for having Sam have a huge majority of the "bad consequences" (in my opinion) along with most of the innocent bystander body count. I'm not sure what Carver had against Sam, but it took seasons to undo the damage to the character, and Carver couldn't leave fast enough for me.

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7 hours ago, SueB said:

As much as many people hate Carver, Carver DID in fact make good on his plan to adjust the co-dependency issues of the brothers.  From S8 thru S11, we went on a journey where the brothers ended up on the same page and prepared to lose each other.  First Carver made it clear that their 'save the other brother at all costs' actions had bad consequences:
-gates of Hell weren't shut,
- Sam housed an Angel vessel without real consent,
- Kevin was killed,
- Dean's guilt (over Kevin and Sam) drove him to take on the Mark of Cain, which allowed him to kill Abaddon but turned him into a demon after he was killed
- Healing Dean from being a demon left him near the edge (where he killed Randy and the Rapists)
- Removing the Mark released the Darkness, where the fart cloud turned THOUSANDS of people into rabids who died.
But the start of S11, written by Carver, made it clear that while at that moment they would "do it again, in a heartbeat", they had to find a new way.  To get back to both parts of the bumper sticker.  And during S11, and still continuing on in S12, that's what they are doing.  They are killing humans less and were prepared to let each other die/suffer for humanity (first Sam with the Mark and then Dean as the bomb).

Yeah, sorry, but this doesn't work for me.  I'm one of the loudest voices against Carver around here and three years of the Winchesters making bad decision after bad decision, IMO, cannot be waved away by one line by Sam and a couple of humans saved instead of killed.  Especially in comparison to the thousands who died as a result of the Darkness being released.  Sam and Dean put a band-aid on a gunshot wound.

I can't give Carver credit for anything that happened after the mid-season finale, either, because I truly believe that he stopped having any influence over the show around that time.  So when Sam (trying to take the Mark) and Dean (the bomb) offered to sacrifice themselves and the other didn't try (not very hard, anyway -- Dean did try to talk Sam out of taking the Mark) to stop them, that's Dabb's influence, IMO.

Long story short (too late!), I disagree that Carver adjusted the co-dependency issues of Sam and Dean.  I think he actually made them worse, looking at your list.  (You forgot to mention the murder of the Styne kid.  That was a much worse kill, IMO, than the men who attacked Claire.)

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2 hours ago, Demented Daisy said:

Long story short (too late!), I disagree that Carver adjusted the co-dependency issues of Sam and Dean.  I think he actually made them worse, looking at your list.  (You forgot to mention the murder of the Styne kid.  That was a much worse kill, IMO, than the men who attacked Claire.)

No worries. I don't expect many to agree with me.  I just see that the two ended up in a better place and I don't think it was all Dabb.  And you're right.  I forgot the Styne kid.

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I think Carver wanted to fix the uber-codependency but in the end caved to the "codependency or nothing" twitter crowd every single time. That`s why there are fix-it attempts but in the end the message is always "oh fuck it, we`d do it again". Of course his first attempt went over like a lead balloon when he went totally overboard and tried a "not looking for a loved one who disappeared is mature and wonderful" approach via those Comic Con interviews. That`s like wanting to dissuade a kid from running around the house and breaking their legs. Dude, walking is still okay. Because that was such an out-there approach, he didn`t just backtrack, he made backflips. 

With Mary and adressing emotional issues, depends on what the writers think those are. If it`s the usual approach of "Dean needs to change", I`m not interested. I had no problem how he reacted to Mary`s speech here and would have no problem if he puts up his walls in the future either. He did open himself up and it didn`t turn out well for him so the logical approach would be to protect himself emotionally. And if that hurts Mary, well, if she can "put herself first" so can anyone else. 

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4 minutes ago, Aeryn13 said:

I had no problem how he reacted to Mary`s speech here and would have no problem if he puts up his walls in the future either. He did open himself up and it didn`t turn out well for him so the logical approach would be to protect himself emotionally. And if that hurts Mary, well, if she can "put herself first" so can anyone else. 

If I could like this a billionty times I would. 

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As to Mary being a "thing,": Dean was in denial about the situation--which is what Dean was saying was a thing, not Mary herself--IMO, all Sam was saying was they can't just keep on ignoring the elephant in the room; that elephant could, at the very least, bite them in the ass. I think Dean already knew that, though, but just didn't want to say it out loud. He's been emotionally disconnected from Mary from the beginning and, IMO, it's his way of protecting himself for when the other shoe drops. And the other shoe always drops.

3 hours ago, Demented Daisy said:

Long story short (too late!), I disagree that Carver adjusted the co-dependency issues of Sam and Dean.  I think he actually made them worse, looking at your list.

Personally, I never really thought of Sam and Dean as co-dependent until Carver started running the show. Sure, they had issues--boy, did they have issues--but not being able to exist without the other is something Carver made into a "thing". So, if he did make them less co-dependent in the end, he was only cleaning up his own mess, IMO.

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5 minutes ago, DittyDotDot said:

He's been emotionally disconnected from Mary from the beginning and, IMO, it's his way of protecting himself for when the other shoe drops. And the other shoe always drops.

I sort of agree with this, and sort of don't. I think he didn't really know what he was feeling, so he chose to act like he was feeling what he thought he should have been feeling. Which is happy, comfortable, carefree, etc.

I don't think that Dean was especially guarded with her or that he was trying to keep a wall up or anything. I think he was actually trying pretty hard to be open and kind toward her, and to trust in their (ostensible) connection. Of course, they don't really know each other, or really have much of a connection (yet), so that was confusing and difficult. But I think he was actually trying to trust in it (and to trust her!) anyway.

I mean, we've seen him be guarded - and IMO he was even less guarded with Mary than he was way back in the day with John.

Now, I do think he feels betrayed, and he will have a guard up. The contrast will be pretty interesting, imo.

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2 hours ago, Demented Daisy said:

You forgot to mention the murder of the Styne kid.  That was a much worse kill, IMO, than the men who attacked Claire.)

I don't think Dean killing Cyrus Styne is any worse than him killing Randy and the Rapists or Lester or the Thinman.  Cyrus wasn't a kid. He was a older teenager who made a choice to kill another teenager rather than die himself but I won't belabor my reasoning here, I'll take it to the All Seasons thread if anyone cares to come along :). 

It is interesting to me though, that in this episode with Sam saying "Mom's not a thing"  to Dean,  is not unlike  Cas calling Cyrus a kid, when that wasn't really true either.   

IMO in both cases (and in many other cases ) it's writing that exists to make a situation seem worse(or better as the case may be) to move a plot or character point along which the writing failed to set up in the first place; it's "fixed" with a line of dialogue which ends up not making much sense with everything else.  In the case of The Prisoner,  Dabb having Cas declare Cyrus a "kid" didn't make it true.  That line and Dean's speech were  used to compel the audience to believe that Dean had acted wrongly and committed an especially egregious act of killing the Sam avatar so the audience would be extremely worried that Dean would kill Sam before it's all said and done .

IMO, in this episode, "Mom's not a thing" is there to support the ongoing narrative that Sam is the more sensitive and empathic character when it comes to other people that he and Dean both deal with. (Personally, I do not find that to actually be the case but that's for another thread). 

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6 hours ago, rue721 said:

I sort of agree with this, and sort of don't. I think he didn't really know what he was feeling, so he chose to act like he was feeling what he thought he should have been feeling. Which is happy, comfortable, carefree, etc.

I don't think that Dean was especially guarded with her or that he was trying to keep a wall up or anything. I think he was actually trying pretty hard to be open and kind toward her, and to trust in their (ostensible) connection. Of course, they don't really know each other, or really have much of a connection (yet), so that was confusing and difficult. But I think he was actually trying to trust in it (and to trust her!) anyway.

I mean, we've seen him be guarded - and IMO he was even less guarded with Mary than he was way back in the day with John.

Now, I do think he feels betrayed, and he will have a guard up. The contrast will be pretty interesting, imo.

I don't mean he's been guarded with her, but he's also not really engaging with her either. He chooses to look at "memories" of her rather than go talk with the living memory. I just think he's been subconsciously trying not to get too used to her being there, just in case she suddenly isn't there again. 

Edited by DittyDotDot
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I just think he's been subconsciously trying not to get too used to her being there, just in case she suddenly wasn't there again. 

Well, his instincts have always been pretty good. Maybe it`s a niggling feeling in the back of his brain he got from years of Cas` revolving plot-door.   

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The thing about the phones was kind of forced.  Yes, people still talk on the phone today and no, when you call someone for customer service they never say, "just look it up on the internet like everyone else."

They really went nuts on the agent names this time.  Agents Beyonce and Z, haha.  But Agents Shirley Partridge, Bonaduce, and Cassidy?  I can see some of the rock star names they've given going over some peoples' heads.  But the Partridge Family?  LOL.  On a side note, it was it a bit off that she gave the character name for Shirley but the real names for the other two.  I think Jones, Bonaduce, and Cassidy at least wouldn't have been quite as ridiculously obvious, though saying "Partridge" is a lot funnier.

That last scene with mom was pretty emotional.  I can see why she would feel the way she does, she never got to know Sam as a boy at all and only had Dean for a few years.  And the look on Dean's face, well JA always does those scenes well with the facial expressions.

Edited by Dobian
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20 minutes ago, Dobian said:

The thing about the phones was kind of forced.  Yes, people still talk on the phone today and no, when you call someone for customer service they never say, "just look it up on the internet like everyone else."

Though, while you're on hold for customer service, you're usually subjected to an hour of a recorded voice telling you that you can find the information on their website--which isn't very helpful when the only reason you're calling is because you *couldn't* get the information from their website...

Edited by ahrtee
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28 minutes ago, ahrtee said:

Though, while you're on hold for customer service, you're usually subjected to an hour of a recorded voice telling you that you can find the information on their website--which isn't very helpful when the only reason you're calling is because you *couldn't* get the information from their website...

So much this... And actually I have had a customer service representative or two actually tell me - as they are forwarding me to another representative who is in the "department" for my question - that I might also have the option of checking online if the wait is too long (though obviously not rudely like above.) This can be especially ironic, though, if the problem I am having is that my internet is not working like it is supposed to, and that is why I am calling in the first place.

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Rewatch notes:

  • Really enjoyed the Agent Beyonce/Agent Z team up!  Really going to miss this dynamic in light of the end of season stuff.  Too bad the show never really found a way to make this Crowley work more often - the semi-helpful frenemy.  He was good at that.  Much better than the Lucifer/Crowley not-so-merry-go-round.
  • Also good to see Rowena being a smart woman and getting the best of Lucifer!  Really liked her very sincere 'when you get Lucifer cornered, give me a call and I'll be there to help'.
  • Mary was really struggling this ep.  I picked up on it much more this time through.
  • Pretty good, creepy ghost story.  I just wanted to hug Lucas. 
  • The boys being the boys and all "big, beautiful, lumbering piles of flannel" when Mary got hurt and getting all protective and just steamrolling over her with leaving her at the motel - of course they didn't realize what they were doing.  That's what makes them so adorable.  :)
  • And I don't know how he did it, but somehow giant-sized Jared managed to make big ol' Sam look like a small boy (physically and emotionally) in that final scene with Mary when she says good bye. :(
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Like the Mary/Castiel interaction in the beginning. Like him refusing to let Sam and Dean leave their mom. "Dean, it's analog. I'm good." It's ridiculous the look Dean gives Mary for suggesting they knock on some doors. A "not yet" would've sufficed. Castiel primping is adorable. Seriously? No, it doesn't happen to Sam and Dean, Cas. They would've known to be Agents Knowles and Carter. I'm fine with the "Mom's not a thing" line. I don't think Sam thought Dean considered Mary a thing, but I don't think Dean was considering Mary's feelings. Sam says he's worried about Mom and Dean seems like he's trying to ignore the weirdness. Samantha Smith always does well with messed up versions of Mary. I like the moment where all the ghost children go into the light. I like the Moriarty ghost's motive. It's disturbing but understandable. Is it wrong that I started singing that song from the Buffy musical when she says it feels like she was just with young Sam and Dean in heaven? Aw, Dean stepped away from the Mary hug. Poor guy. He gets what he's always wanted and she just leaves. Jared is getting some good work in during these Mary hugs. That is Ackles-level eye closing right there. Oh, God, he flinched when the door closed. I don't blame Mary for leaving, coming back from the dead and timetravelling 33 years can't be easy, but I'm mad at her for hurting the boys. 

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21 hours ago, bettername2come said:

ridiculous the look Dean gives Mary for suggesting they knock on some doors. A "not yet" would've sufficed.

That and when Sam said that the internet had made interviewing obsolete.  Absolutely ridiculous as they do it all the time.  There were more subtle, realistic ways to show that Mary felt like a fish out of water.

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So, lots here.

I was actually kindof hoping Mary would stick around longer and frankly I'm surprised she didn't.  Yeah, I know the whole being yanked outta heaven, and I'm assuming her memories of being with John and her boys are from her life and not from heaven because of mind wipe, but even so, she can be with her boys now.  I know grown men and hunters, but still her boys and I just can't see a mother leaving them when she just got reunited again.  And poor Dean looked so heartbroken.  His greatest desire walking away from him.  He knows what he really feels like to lose his mother, much more than Sam, who never knew her as a child.

I also wanted her to stick around so we could see more Partridge Family FBI investigation.  LOL

And speaking of agents, Z and Beyonce, hahahah.  What a buddy cop team they make.  King of Heaven/demon and an Angel, what a pair.  And throw in Rowena as their side-kick, what a great team (and where's that spinoff).  Loved Rowena getting Lucifer yet again.  Though can't Lucifer teleport himself out of the ocean pretty quickly and into another new body?  Does this mean we're done with Rick Springfield.  He was doing very well in the role.

As to the mystery of the week, here we go again with Dean trying to take the 'easy' way out to salt and burn a child's bones, only to find out that wasn't the solution.  If the ghost was only after kids, why did he attack the adult couple?  Or did the freezing occur because of the child ghosts?

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On 10/27/2016 at 9:55 PM, Commando Cody said:

I thought this was very reminiscent of early Supernatural. A good old fashioned ghost hunt. 

 

Obviously, the last scene gives us a lot to talk about, but I agree that I loved the ghost story here. It was creepy and good and really really sad. 

 

On 10/28/2016 at 12:17 AM, SueB said:

Just watched (on the left coast this week).  I thought she took the journal and put it in her bag.

I'm really torn.  First off, it was a good episode.  But I'm torn about how to feel. On the one hand, I'm just gutted for the boys.  OTOH, it's like Buffy (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer for those who don't immediately recognize the reference) when she came back.  Mary was in HEAVEN and happy.  She had her dream John and dream Sam and Dean.  I don't think it was the real John or she would have known about hunting.  It was her happy place.  So, coming back to the cold light of day is just hard.  And I can see how she can't just "shake off" heaven and enjoy her live boys.  She's mourning the loss of her perfect happiness. 

But I feel so BAD for Sam and Dean.  Especially Dean.  Sam knew something was up with Mary. But Dean has to feel like he doesn't measure up to the sweet little boy he was.  The boy she is mourning.  He's not good enough (in his mind).  I don't blame him one jot for stepping back. Sometimes when you hurt, you hurt so bad you can't be touched.  That's how Dean felt to me.  He's not rejecting Mary, he's just not able to take the pain of her touching him.

Excellent work by all three actors tonight.

Interesting that Rowena is actually feeling remorse for letting Lucifer out and is prepared to help put him back.  I'm thinking her brief stint with God did her some good.  I thought Rick Springfield did a good job, but I think he would have gotten old.  I'm ready for Lucifer to be felt but not seen for a bit.  I'm ready for MOTW.

I don't know... I just need to go lie down and cry for Sam and Dean (but mostly Dean). It's not that Sam isn't feeling a huge loss, but Sam doesn't feel like he feels rejected. Dean feels rejected. And maybe he's feeling some horror at the thought that to make him (Dean) happy, Amara took his mother out of heaven and now she's unhappy.  I'm not sure exactly where his head is at (and I'm not sure he knows just yet either).  I'm betting Dean puts a moratorium on talking about her.  I could be wrong, but Dean shut down awfully fast.  I think it's just too painful for him.  I think Sam will respect that.

I have empathy for Mary, but right now I want her to find Carver Edlunds' books and read about her boys.  They are BDH, not mouth-breathing louts.  She needs to fall in love with them.  

Good episode.  I'm in a ton of pain here. Must be #Supernatural.

It was so hard to watch, and I totally get everyone's perspective here. I think Sam is in the best position to see both sides because his mother has always been a story. But poor Dean who wants to be able to curl up and be 4 again feeling hurt and rejected. It was hard to watch.

I don't think that Mary is saying she doesn't love them or even that she can't get there, but holy hell how do deal with all of those emotions while trying to stay in the role of "mom." Sometimes, I get all teary looking at pictures of my son as a baby and wondering where the time went. I can't imagine if he was suddenly an adult. 

I think Mary feels like she doesn't fit. It's like visiting somewhere you went as a kid. Everything is familiar but also totally different than it is in your head. 

Mind you, I am not saying that I don't wish that she hadn't tried to make it work with the boys around. Poor guys. 

On 10/28/2016 at 8:18 AM, Aeryn13 said:

The final scene was well-acted but the dialogue was badly done. And Mary going "I love you...I love you both" was very disingenuous. She just told them that the problem was basically that she CAN`T love them as they are now. She wants a four-year-old and a baby and their present-day-versions not only don`t do it for her, they make it worse. So at least be honest enough to continue making that distinction, you love the memories in your head but can`t force yourself to love the men they are now. You didn`t care too much about sugar-coating it in your speech, Mary, so I don`t buy the nicety. And that`s all it was. 

And there went Dean`d last happy place. I doubt he is gonna portray the family photos anymore.

I knew Mary being back would just be weird but couldn`t they have found a bit better way to kick her out the door for the upcoming MOTW. Who am I kidding, in 7 years, they have not found a good way to do the revolving door with Cas so why would they with Mary.   

This has probably already been said multiple times, but I don't think it is a matter of not loving them. 

On 10/28/2016 at 8:24 AM, mertensia said:

Basically 7 days ago Sam was still breastfeeding as far as Mary's mind, memories, etc. are concerned. I'd be more worried if she was peachy-keen fine. It feels real, and heart-breaking and, in my view, that's how this should be.

Exactly my feeling as well. This is a massive change PLUS the entire world has changed and the person she would normally talk to about it and lean on is dead (and apparently gave her kids a life she didn't want for them because of her death). That is an intense swing.

Maybe I won't like how this plays out in the future, but at this point I think it is a totally understandable reaction to say: I need to think about this. I need to think about my changed role and this new world and where I fit.

There is no real world analogue here except maybe a coma or reunion with a birthparent (or maybe deployment as I mentioned in the last thread). 

 

On 10/29/2016 at 4:34 PM, DittyDotDot said:

So I re-watched it, and despite it's flaws, I still enjoyed the family hunting trip. I especially found it cute Sam was going to fry fresh bacon for Mary. And how delighted Dean was to in sharing his snacks with her. It's like they're 8-year-olds trying to please mommy. Pretty cute. And then it got all sad. But, that's kinda Supernatural, isn't it?

Plus, ::Snort:: Her Majesty's Secret Suckbags! Ah, Dean, you always find the right words! 😉

Me too. I loved the bacon and the snacks and the cuteness of it all. 

 

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IMO, they tried so hard to make Mary a) an uber-badass and b) sympathetic, that it had the opposite effect.

11 minutes ago, The Companion said:

But poor Dean who wants to be able to curl up and be 4 again feeling hurt and rejected. It was hard to watch.

I will never understand this perspective. Dean never asked her to be his mommy. Of all people he knows that his 'dream mom' was not the real woman. He's the one who traveled to the past and found out who she really was. Of course coming back was a huge shock to the system, and I don't think anybody begrudged her the need for time to adjust, or even to never adjust at all. But the way they wrote her, she was completely self-centered and unsympathetic. Yes, she left behind babies - but she was also afforded a chance to know her grown sons. There's a reason her treatment of Dean and Sam post-resurrection was so shocking to many people - because it was out of character from all we knew of her. Even if Dean's memories were rose-coloured, we were shown Mary in the past, and this ice-queen was not her.

Once again, the storytelling and writing went off the rails. Just a few words would have made a world of different in how she was perceived, but they were more interested in making her a bad ass that the just made her an ass, instead.

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22 minutes ago, The Companion said:

This has probably already been said multiple times, but I don't think it is a matter of not loving them. 

No.  It's a matter of being confused.  A real world example would be a mom waking up after a 10 or 20 year coma.  The family would be in therapy.

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30 minutes ago, Katy M said:

No.  It's a matter of being confused.  A real world example would be a mom waking up after a 10 or 20 year coma.  The family would be in therapy.

First I have to say that I haven't really watched season 11 since it aired except for an occasional TNT rerun, so I don't remember specifics of episodes.  

I do remember being sympathetic to Mary in the first two episodes, because of the sudden confusion of a whole new world as well as two unknown men calling her "mom."  

But it's not really the same as a mom waking up after a 20 year coma.  All their memories of who she was would have been frozen at the time of loss, but Mary's basic character would have stayed the same.  So she may be confused at suddenly being faced with a new world and new children (though Grandpa Campbell seemed to have adjusted pretty quickly after a longer gap), but in theory she should still be the Mary Winchester she was in 1982.  

The problem to me (and I assume to the boys) is that that Mary Winchester apparently never existed.  The current Mary is a badass hunter who apparently wasn't that serious about being a mother:  she didn't cook, lied to her husband for their entire life together and (not sure if this has been shown yet so spoiler tag)

Spoiler

took off on hunts for days at a time and left her kids behind.   

So Mary may be having trouble dealing with grown sons, but I'd think Dean in particular would be feeling betrayed, not only by Mary rejecting him, but by learning that his whole life (and reason for hunting) has been a lie.  

It would probably have been easier for everyone involved to just acknowledge that they were unknown relatives and get to know each other as completely new individuals without any expectations from the past. (I think Sam was already doing that, since he had no memories to hold him back).

Hindsight, I know, and I'm not sure it would have worked, but just having someone say it probably would have relieved some of the pressure they were all under.  

Spoiler

OTOH, speaking of hindsight, now we can say this was another way Chuck was screwing with the boys, giving them "what they wanted but not in the way they expected."  Sheesh.

 

Edited by ahrtee
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6 minutes ago, ahrtee said:

But it's not really the same as a mom waking up after a 20 year coma.  All their memories of who she was would have been frozen at the time of loss, but Mary's basic character would have stayed the same.  So she may be confused at suddenly being faced with a new world and new children (though Grandpa Campbell seemed to have adjusted pretty quickly after a longer gap), but in theory she should still be the Mary Winchester she was in 1982.  

The problem to me (and I assume to the boys) is that that Mary Winchester apparently never existed.  The current Mary is a badass hunter who apparently wasn't that serious about being a mother:  she didn't cook, lied to her husband for their entire life together and (not sure if this has been shown yet so spoiler tag)

I also am annoyed by her super-hunteriness.  But, to me that's a separate issue.  Dean barely remembers his mom and it's already been stated, or at least suggested, that John romanticized his memories of her.

I'm also only commenting as of what we've seen up to this episode.

Edited by Katy M
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7 minutes ago, Katy M said:

I also am annoyed by her super-hunteriness.  But, to me that's a separate issue.  Dean barely remembers his mom and it's already been stated, or at least suggested, that John romanticized his memories of her.

He doesn't  have any *bad* memories of his mom:  not that she disappeared for days at a time or was disinterested in him or Sam.  His memories show her as warm and loving and taking care of the two of them, not as a hunter first and mom second.  

I wonder when John found out about the Campbells and that Mary was a hunter.  I assume it was fairly soon after he started hunting himself.  I wonder if he deliberately created the "supermom" image of Mary for his sons to hide (or lie to himself about) the fact that Mary had lied to him.  

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11 minutes ago, ahrtee said:

I wonder when John found out about the Campbells and that Mary was a hunter.  I assume it was fairly soon after he started hunting himself.  I wonder if he deliberately created the "supermom" image of Mary for his sons to hide (or lie to himself about) the fact that Mary had lied to him.  

I've always assumed he never knew about that.

 

12 minutes ago, ahrtee said:

He doesn't  have any *bad* memories of his mom:  not that she disappeared for days at a time or was disinterested in him or Sam.  His memories show her as warm and loving and taking care of the two of them, not as a hunter first and mom second.  

Again, I'm only discussing events that have happened up to the Foundry.  She's not disinterested in them.  She needs space to process.

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1 minute ago, Katy M said:

I've always assumed he never knew about that.

He wouldn't have been much of a hunter if he didn't find out at some point, especially when he hung out at the Roadhouse and with other hunters.  (And remember he was "a master" at putting together patterns.)

He did know about the YED and his plans for Sam.

3 minutes ago, Katy M said:

Again, I'm only discussing events that have happened up to the Foundry.  She's not disinterested in them.  She needs space to process.

Legitimate answer for now.  😊

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2 minutes ago, ahrtee said:

He wouldn't have been much of a hunter if he didn't find out at some point, especially when he hung out at the Roadhouse and with other hunters.  (And remember he was "a master" at putting together patterns.)

He did know about the YED and his plans for Sam.

Taking to the all Seasons discussion.

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