‘Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox’ Review
By Annie Kenney
This episode was absolutely brilliant and I loved it from start to finish. A really cracking story that appeared to be about one thing, but was actually about another. What seemed to be a simple episode that had Sam and Dean meet other hunters turned into a deep meaningful look at something that Supernatural does very well, it turned into a story about family.
I thought the flashback at the beginning was wonderful and it was interesting to see that Mary never actually gave up hunting. Although we didn’t’ see that much of him I thought Asa Fox was a brilliant character and I wish we had seen a bit more of him. He would have made a great foil for Sam and Dean and it would have been good to see him at the Roadhouse or sharing a beer with Garth.
Jody Mills is one of my favorite female characters and I often think of her as a second mom for the boys so it was fascinating to see her interact with the boy’s real mom (but more of that later). When Sam and Dean turned up at her door it was nice to see them do something other than hunt monsters. It is always good to see the Winchesters do normal and seeing them gulping down pizza and watching chick flicks was more than a little amusing. I loved Dean’s embarrassment when Sam told Jody about his love of Asian porn and Sam’s declaration that it was that that made Dean – well – Dean.
Clever writing to link Jody with Asa (romantically as it turned out) and to have her take Sam and Dean to the hunter’s wake. Since the Roadhouse burned down we haven’t really seen much of the hunting community (apart from guest appearances from Rufus and Garth) so to see a room full of them was quite marvelous and very thought-provoking. It was enthralling to see the Winchester’s through the eyes of others and, just as Sam and Dean thought Asa was legendary, these other hunters were captivated with Sam and Dean. Dean’s shock at being legendary and Sam’s obvious discomfort when Elvis mentioned his time as Lucifer’s vessel was both funny and yet bitter sweet. The Winchester’s don’t see themselves as anything special but, of course, we know better.
When Mary turned up it got awkward; Jody’s delight, Sam’s shock and Dean’s hurt all mixed up together and made for a really tense few minutes. No one was surprised by Dean’s reaction but it was clear he was upset that his mom had made the journey to Canada to see a boy she saved years ago, and yet only sent the occasional text to her eldest son. This is something that has affected Dean badly and, as soon as Mary appears, he really does revert to being a little boy once more.
It was a surprise to see Billie again and now Dean owes her something which could cause complications in the future. I think Billie is another fantastic introduction to the Supernatural universe and I’m certain we haven’t seen the last of her. She seems determined to reap a Winchester and, somehow, I have a horrible suspicion it will happen one day.
The climax of the episode was excellent and very tense; The demon was suitably creepy and powerful and Kim Rhodes did an excellent job of being possessed. I like a good whodunit and it was a good twist to find out that it was actually Bucky that had killed Asa.
The end scene made me cry; Jody talking mother to mother to Mary and telling her just how wonderful her boys were. Asa’s mom finding out that her son did have a family after all and embracing her newly discovered grandchildren. Sam and Dean taking their mom out for breakfast.
As I said, the episode was really, truly about family; Jody’s longing to have her own husband and child back, Mary’s desperation to fit in with her sons lives and yet not being able to, the loneliness of being a hunter and the realization that it wasn’t a life that would end in retirement or, indeed, peacefully.
One of the best episodes I’ve seen for a while and I am really, really enjoying Season 12. Long may it continue.