Episode 12.3

‘The Foundry’ Review

By Annie Kenney

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Here we are in week 3 and, despite a lot of criticism, I personally am enjoying Season 12. This season seems smaller, more self-contained with no huge sprawling plot lines and so many characters your head is spinning. The writers have done what they promised and paired the series back so that it is more like Season’s 1 and 2. I am even liking characters that I disliked before (but more of that later).

The beginning of this episode was very creepy indeed; I find old dolls scary and old dolls with black hollow eyes are even worse. I found myself half hiding behind a cushion so that was a good start because a series called Supernatural should be chilling and, for the last few seasons at least, it seems to have lost the ability to thrill.

Down in the bunker Mary is clearly struggling to fit in. As a mother, myself I can feel her pain and confusion. The husband she loved and gave up hunting for is dead and her baby boys are strapping men who she neither knows or recognizes. Castiel can see this and he can empathize too but it is clear Dean can’t (or won’t) admit there is a problem. I don’t think this makes Dean in the wrong and this is not a criticism of him, but his focus has always been on family and, more importantly, a family that stays together. His own memories of mom are fond and from a little boy’s perspective. As with his dad (at the start of the series) Dean refuses to see anything bad about his mom and he just wants everything to be perfect. Sam, however, can see how confused and conflicted his mother is but he doesn’t quite know how to deal with it. Again, he has no real role model to follow and no real memories. It is a poignant situation and the writers (and actors) are dealing with it in an excellent and believable manner.

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So, the family Winchester go off hunting the ghosts while Castiel goes in search of Lucifer and finds Crowley along the way. Now I’ve not been a fan of Castiel over the past few seasons, but I’m really enjoying him at the moment and I’m liking Crowley too. Their reluctant partnership works well and led to some excellent comedy moments (I loved their FBI handles).  I have also found myself getting oddly fond of Rowena and was actually really glad to see her stand up to Lucifer. She seems to have quietened down this year and she isn’t so hammy or so faux Scottish! It’s good to see Supernatural promote some strong female characters again and long may it continue.

Now we come to my weekly moan: Vince’s sister…now I might be wrong or I might have nodded off for a few minutes last week but I am pretty damn sure that no one mentioned her in the last episode. It seemed to me that she was shoehorned into the THEN part of the introduction so that she could be a plot device this week! Please tell me if I have missed something because it jarred and it just didn’t work for me. Shame because the rest of the Lucifer plot line was good and I’m sure he isn’t going to be on the bottom of the sea for long.

Meanwhile the Winchesters are attempting (and failing) to hunt as a trio. Mary, wanting to go door-to-door to research and Sam finding everything on the internet. It was nice to see that Mary’s old fashioned methods got a good result, but I was worried when she went off on her own.

It was a nice touch to make the ghost a little boy because Mary clearly was drawn to him. However, after saving the boys last week, she was reduced to a damsel in distress with Sam and Dean coming to her rescue. It might be just me, but the plot got a little bit too confusing and cluttered at this point and I sort of lost it (yes I did indeed lose the plot!). All I do know is that the children’s souls went to heaven and that little Lucas was the last to go. His obvious bond with Mary was very touching given the circumstances but it was also the catalyst for what happened next.

I wasn’t surprised to see Mary leave, but it was very sad all the same; Dean’s reaction sort of shocked me, but I could understand it. Another family member was leaving him and it must have hurt. The real kicker though was Sam’s jerk when the bunker door slammed, the expression on his face made me want to cry and give him a huge hug. Sam has always been more open with his emotions and it was actually hard to watch. Kudos to Jared for such a brilliant performance.

So, Mary has gone and Lucifer is on the bottom of the sea. The Winchester’s are orphans again and Castiel and Crowley want to work with Rowena but can she be persuaded. All in all, this was a satisfying episode, quiet and self-contained and a vast improvement on what had come before. I hope it will continue.