Max and Alicia Banes made their return on Supernatural Season 12 Episode 20, but it wasn’t a happy ending for the two.
And then there was Mary Winchester learning the truth from the British Men of Letters. But what’s her fate in the long run?
TV Fanatic staff writers Sean McKenna and Christine Laskodi and The Winchester Family Business’ Alice and Nightsky had a variety of opinions on “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes.”
But they were pretty unanimous about one thing in particular.
Join in the latest Supernatural Round Table to find out!
What was your favorite scene or quote?
Alice: I’m going with a quote from twig Tasha Barnes because it’s the statement of the season: “Yeah, family's always complicated. Parents always seem smart and strong and perfect. It's only when you grow up that you realize that they are just people.” So, can everyone give Mary a break now? Yeah, me neither.
Nightsky: A memorable moment for me was Sam reminding Dean that a set of siblings were scared for their parent in the same way the brothers had been 12 years before: “Their mom’s on a hunting trip and hasn’t been home in a week.”
I liked that there was a deep emotional resonance in that statement that both Dean and the fans understood.
Christine: Yeah, the callback to Sam telling Dean that their mother had been gone hunting for a week - it was a nice "full circle" moment, and it was exactly what Dean needed to hear to be motivated to help another set of siblings.
Sean: It’s got to be that “their mom’s on a hunting trip” line. It’s something the fans know and Dean would recognize, so it made sense in the moment. It was just a cool little nod that fit what was going on.
Were you excited to see Max and Alicia return?
Alice: I wasn’t, but surprisingly, I enjoyed watching them. Their backstory turned out to be interesting, and I think this is the first witch story I actually liked. Max really blew me away with his reactions to both his mother’s and sister’s deaths. I’ll admit it got me teary.
It certainly sold his emotional place when he decided to do what he did. He was relatable, and that’s so rare with guest characters anymore.
Nightsky: I really was! I loved their chemistry and wit in the Asa Fox episode and have been anxiously awaiting their return. I was truly hoping them would become long term additions to the Winchesters’ short list of hunting allies, like Jody or Donna.
I very much liked their mom, too, even in the short time we had to get to know her. Their demise is a big loss of rich characters.
Christine: Not particularly, Not that I didn't enjoy them during the hunter funeral a while back. They were interesting. I just think with everything else going on, and being so close to the end of the season, I wasn't thrilled with the focus being on anyone who wasn't a major player in the season.
Sean: I really enjoyed seeing them the first time, so it was exciting getting them back. They have such fresh personalities. It’s disappointing that Alicia had to die, but it really brought out a whole new side to Max as well. These were two interesting hunters, even if we only have gotten to know them for a short time.
Were you surprised by Max's decision to bring his sister "back" at the end?
Alice: Surprised? You know what show we’re watching, right? Desperate times and desperate situations mean that the characters will make insanely desperate decisions. It’s kind of the golden rule. He’s only following in the footsteps of the great Dean Winchester himself.
He would rather spend an eternity in hell than live this life without his only sibling, the person that means more to him than anything. I would have been really surprised if he had let her stay dead.
Nightsky: I agree with everything Alice said, but still, yes, I was surprised. It makes total sense looking back at it, but in the moment I thought Dean’s bullet ended the temptation. Why would Sam and Dean leave that ring lying around? Why wouldn’t they bring it back and catalog it in the Men of Letters’ dangerous artifacts room?
That was sloppy.
Christine: Not even a little. Going with what the others said, it's just a classic Dean Winchester move, and the episode did a great job building the parallels between Max and Dean.
Sean: OK. I was a bit surprised. I truly thought that Max would keep her dead, but then I realized the brothers didn’t get that ring. It makes me wonder what’s next for Max then.
Should we be worried about Mary surviving through the end of the season?
Alice: I’ve been worried about her dying again ever since they brought her back! I’m just super mad that she reached out to Dean too late. However, I don’t think the British Men of Letters are going to kill her.
I think they’ll either brainwash her or use her as leverage against Sam and Dean who are their real targets. She’ll probably die in the crossfire though. She’s got that “tragic, sacrificial victim” vibe.Then I’ll spend eternity wondering why in the world they brought her back in the first place.
Nightsky: Worried? Yes, absolutely! Her promise to be with the boys soon could only mean that the show is teasing her tragic death.
I can think of only two ways Mary survives this season: 1) she is part of a female hunting spinoff or 2) she is taken to Hell or captured by Lucifer or something that sets up a “Save Mary” plotline for Supernatural Season 13.
Christine: It's so awful, but I'm so disappointed by what they did to Mary this season that I just don't care whether she goes or stays. But for the emotional story of Sam and Dean, I hope she survives, or at the very least, goes out in a very heroic way that gives the boys some closure.
But my question is whether or not we'll see Amara back and tied to Mary's fate. The Darkness revived Mary... that's gotta count for something, right? Am I alone in that thought process?
Sean: You’re not alone, Christine. I feel like the Darkness has to have some callback involving Mary, right? Either way, it feels like she will probably go down protecting her boys.
What did you think of Toni's return?
Alice: Not impressed. I didn’t like her in the first couple of episodes, I don’t like her now. All I really hope is that she’ll suffer a horrible bloody death before the season ends. Yeah, that would be nice.
Nightsky: THAT was the true tragedy of this episode! I detest that woman. She is trite and uninteresting. What is with female villains wearing overly tight, bad fashion pants suits (thinking of Naomi here!) I deplore that Lady Bevel is back in the story!
Christine: I audibly said, "UGH... WHY?!" when she appeared. Toni did nothing in the early part of the season to make herself memorable and as I said above, this close to the end, I want the focus to be on the major players, not the forgettable ones.
Sean: Yeah, I didn’t really care. And that’s too bad, clearly, because her return felt like it was supposed to be this huge thing. Oh well.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.