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Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.22 "Who We Are," aka A Family Healed

Wednesday’s Watching Supernatural 12.22 “Who We Are”

Thoughts on Supernatural 12.22 & 12.23: The Season 12 Finale

Supernatural Bits & Pieces May 20, 2017

Threads: Supernatural 12.22 "Who We Are" and 12.23 "All Along the...

Let's Speculate: Supernatural 12.22 "Who We Are" and 12.23 "All Along the...

WFB Supernatural Gift Guide

Latest Supernatural News and Spoilers

24 May 2017 15:07

TV Line has more details.

24 May 2017 09:41

 Now that season 12 is over, our stars are working for charity.

21 May 2017 09:14

Jared has launched part two of his AKF campaign.

20 May 2017 16:46

We have a few spoilers that came out of the Jus In Bello Convention this weekend.

19 May 2017 11:25

Here are the ratings for last night's finale episodes.

18 May 2017 21:38

Well, we were uninamous, but that's not necessarily good.  All four of us at the TV Fanatic Rou

18 May 2017 15:34

Jared talks about the season finale, season 13 spoilers and relaunching his Always Keep Fighting Cam

18 May 2017 12:05

We are getting our first spoilers for next season at the CW upfront presentation.

18 May 2017 08:52

The CW has released its schedule for next season.

17 May 2017 14:21

EW has published an interview with Andrew Dabb about the final episodes of season 12.

15 May 2017 07:44

The shows continue to fall as networks are poised to announce their 2017-2018 schedule.

13 May 2017 13:42

Yes, NBC changed its mind and renewed Timeless

13 May 2017 07:14

Our wonderful Lilah Kane made screengrabs of the Shaving People, Punting Things Promo.

13 May 2017 00:46

Apologies, but the total **** storm generated by 12.21 made me forget to put up the link for the TV

12 May 2017 14:02

Here are the pictures for the finale.

12 May 2017 12:20

We have the preliminary ratings for last night's episode.

11 May 2017 21:33

The trailer for the season 12 finale

11 May 2017 07:07

It's been a bad week for our former writing staff.

10 May 2017 13:01

We have a sneak peek for episode 21.

08 May 2017 19:16

The CW canceled two freshman shows today.

08 May 2017 10:53

Jeffrey Dean Morgan won the 2017 MTV Award for Best Villain for his role as Negan on The Walking Dea

05 May 2017 14:51

We have pictures for the next episode.

05 May 2017 12:45

The ratings for episode 20  'Twigs & Twine and Tasha Banes'

04 May 2017 21:16

The trailer for the next episode.

03 May 2017 15:09

We have the sneak peek for episode 20

30 Apr 2017 15:42

Supernatural won Best Writing in Canadagraphs's "Best of TV" Awards!

28 Apr 2017 15:08

We have the pictures for episode 20.

28 Apr 2017 11:16

Here are the ratings for Supernatural's 'The Future':

27 Apr 2017 21:42

The trailer for episode 20.

27 Apr 2017 21:15

The CW has released the synopses for episode 22 and 23

25 Apr 2017 23:27

It's really funny how Nightsky and I seem to be on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to a

25 Apr 2017 14:28

April 24 was Baby's 50th birthday and Eric Kripke's 43rd. Congratulations flooded in from our cast.

24 Apr 2017 20:32

Andrew Dabb sat down with TV Line to discuss the end of season 12.

24 Apr 2017 12:31

TVLine and EW have posted their Season Finale Previews for several shows.

20 Apr 2017 20:55

We have the synopsis for episode 21.

20 Apr 2017 07:46

We have pictures for next week's episode.

14 Apr 2017 15:14

The people from Shaving People, Punting things have done it again.

14 Apr 2017 11:46

Here are the ratings for 'The Memory Remains'

14 Apr 2017 00:08

At this week's TV Fanatic Roundtable, the good news is our group, myself, Nightsky and Christine Las

13 Apr 2017 21:20

The trailer for the April 27 episode

13 Apr 2017 19:06

We have the synopsis for episode 20.

12 Apr 2017 13:31

We have our sneak peek for this week's episode

12 Apr 2017 10:09

It's that time of year! The fun of GISHWHES is about to begin.

10 Apr 2017 16:13

Pictures for episode 18

07 Apr 2017 15:11

From Shaving People, Punting things.

07 Apr 2017 12:09

We have preliminary ratings for Supernatural episode 17

WFB Feature Articles

May 31 2017 | Alice

Thank you, thank you, thank you Robert Berens!  I just can’t say that enough.  I was lef

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May 31 2017 | Wednesday

  A Thirst Quenching Gem!

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May 31 2017 | Elle

Who We Are and All Along the Watchtower were excellent, both independent and united. Season twelve h

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May 31 2017 | Percysowner

Supernatural in the news this week!

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May 31 2017 | Nightsky

The Morning After

I am overwhelmed. Emotionally drained and intellectually stunned. THAT is the Sup

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May 31 2017 | Bookdal

This recap will address both 12.22 and 12.23. The first hour of the finale was written by Robert Ber

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May 31 2017 | Percysowner

It's the season 12 finale! Here's what we know. Now with sneak peek

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May 31 2017 | Nightsky

Six Days Later

I’m a little late to the party this week. Usually "Threads" is The WFB’s first r

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May 31 2017 | Wednesday

Aspects To Love & A Little Something About Eileen

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May 31 2017 | Alice

I've struggled with this review for several days.  I've considered, started, and then reconside

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May 31 2017 | Elle

While not at all what I expected from where we left off last week, There’s Something About Mary

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May 31 2017 | Percysowner

Supernatural in the news.

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May 31 2017 | Bookdal

 

This episode, written by Ross-Leming and Buckner, is titled “There’s Something About Mar

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May 31 2017 | Percysowner

What we know about episode 21.

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May 31 2017 | Wednesday

That was Scary! Craftily Entwined Resurrections and Reveals.  

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May 31 2017 | Alice

Episode 20 in this show has always been a bit of an odd duck.  It’s meant to be the warmup to

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May 31 2017 | Elle

Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes had all the perfect ingredients and knew exactly how to blend th

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May 31 2017 | Percysowner

Supernatural in the news this week!

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May 31 2017 | Nightsky

The Morning After

Well that was a depressing, nobody wins episode! Supernatural’s “Twigs and Tw

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May 31 2017 | Bookdal

This episode, written by Steven Yockey and directed by Richard Speight Jr., is titled “Twigs &

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May 31 2017 | Percysowner

What we know about episode 20.

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May 31 2017 | Elle

Whoa! That was quite the unexpected episode in some of the best ways. The Future was all about addre

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May 31 2017 | Wednesday

The Script “Winging it” With Angelic Direction.

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Apr 30 2017 | Alice

Huh, that was interesting.  That’s good “interesting.”  I can’t explain how or why

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Apr 30 2017 | Percysowner

Supernatural in the news this week!

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Apr 30 2017 | Nightsky

The Morning After Another shocking Supernatural season 12 episode! I honestly thought “The Future

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Apr 30 2017 | Alice

Apologies for the delayed spec tonight.  Bookdal had a prior engagement and her fill in, aka mo

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Nightsky's New Book!

Whew!  What a relief.  I was really starting to think that “Supernatural” had forgotten what it was truly about.  Thank you John Bring and Phil Sgriccia for reminding everyone.
 
While I'm not going to go as far as calling "The Memory Remains" a series classic or even a totally brilliant hour, it was a most welcome hour.  The last few weeks have been disconcerting so for this episode to address some of those issues itself makes it extraordinary.  Who knows, I might even watch this again someday.  There are very few episodes in this season where I can say that.  
 
My biggest issue with of the last few weeks was aptly addressed in this MOTW episode.  Welcome back Sam and Dean to the center focus of the story!  We really missed you guys.  No matter what great plots they give the supporting characters, the show centers around Sam and Dean and their relationship.  It’s what has always made this show extraordinary.  How refreshing though was it to see a creepy, suspenseful, engaging MOTW hunt on top Sam and Dean actually dominating the story?  It felt pretty damn good.  Sure the story was a little formulaic at first, even ludicrious when it focused on the local urban legend of "Black Bill," but eventually it built up into something interesting.  There wasn't a cartoon villain in sight, and this was a story about a guy with a goat head killing people!  That synopsis had cheesefest written all over it.  Somehow though, it added up.  
 
spn1218 0151
 
How?  One of my other recent criticisms has been how poorly the horror aspect has been done.  There was no suspense to the threat, no fright in the pit of your stomach.  This week remembered the basic elements needed for horror.  It all starts with tone, something that “The X-Files” maintained all through it’s run, even in the weak years.  Horror is grim.  It’s not supposed to be a guy just getting slashed and then show trademark blood spatter on the wall.  The setting is dark and ominous.  The cinematography sets just the right mood.  The victims are stalked and terrorized slowly before meeting their horrific end.  They were scared to death and I felt it!  I felt the terror when dude #1 was a sitting duck, mashed against that tree via inescapable barbed wire.  I felt the terror when dude #2 was trapped in the meat locker, unsuspecting Sam and Dean outside, waiting anxiously for his inevitable end at the hands of one very creepy God in between all those racks of meat in the freezing cold.
 
I was also at the edge of my seat when Sam cautiously approached the grate in the basement, looking for the supposedly trapped God underneath.  I have no idea why since we knew he wasn't in there, but the way the whole slow build was shot freaked me out.  It helps that this episode was shot by Phil Sgriccia who Is no stranger to terror and suspense on SPN.  He’s been there since season one and remembers what it was like.  It’s great to see that in that in season 12, he's still got it.  
 
Establishing that dreaded feeling early was vital to the confrontation at the end when Dean was trapped.  Of course I knew that Dean wasn't going to die.  But I was still really nervous that he was put into the meat locker of doom strapped to a chair, being stalked in the dim red lighting, knowing that even with a meat hook for a weapon that wasn't enough to take out this blood-thirsty God.  Predictable as Sam's last second save was, it was still freaking exciting to watch.  It just goes to show, tone means everything.  Not enough attention is being paid to tone every week and it's showing.  The episodes are less scary and more melodramatic now.  I adore this strong reminder of how it's supposed to be done.
 
This episode left me uneasy in other ways too and that was the foreshadowing.  Sam and Dean, carving their initials into the table was both sweetly sentimental and strangely ominous.   Since we know Sam and Dean aren't going to die, could it mean they're setting up a scenario where they have to abandon the bunker or destroy it?  The fact that the British Men of Letters can get in there so easily hints that could happen, as well as the fact that Sam and Dean's key allows them to enter any bunker in the world.  Unless the British Men of Letters are destroyed, I don’t know how Sam and Dean can stay in the bunker living productive lives.
 
spn1218 2153 
 
There was also the parallels between the sheriff and Pete and Sam and Dean.  Two sets of brothers both on different sides of the spectrum when it comes to a God of sacrifice.  Come on, Pete’s comment even cemented the polar opposites.  "I'm a Bishop. That's what we do, right? Hunting people. Killing them. The family business.”  (LOVE Dean’s reaction to that comment).  Could that symbolize the division between Sam and Dean and the British Men of Letters?  It’s a bit of a stretch, but the question is, who will be sacrificed in this ordeal?  My money is on Mary.  I have a feeling something big is coming down and no one will come out unscathed.  Or, maybe Sam and Dean and Ketch will blow away together in a dark and white cloud and spend eternity together.  (You caught me, I’m being facetious.  I’ll stop.)  
 
The sheriff was a good man who was protecting a horrible family secret.  He had to put an end to the horrors his family was inflicting with Moloch.  He’s the one that has to clean up the mess when things go wrong.  Could that be some thinly veiled symbolism that Mr. Ketch is in the same position?  That he was really feeling something when he killed Mick and that what he did was wrong?  His search of the bunker resulted in some careless errors on his part.  Putting the bug under the table where it can easily found?  Taking the picture of Mary?  That’s bush league and he’s not bush league.  Of course he just could be a psychopath that doesn’t care either.  There’s not enough evidence yet.  
 
spn1218 1980
 
Since I’ve moved onto Mr. Ketch, the B story was light and tolerable.  I at first wondered what happened to the "eliminate them" order from last week and why Mr. Ketch didn't show up with guns blazing, but then I remembered Mick's whole speech a few episodes ago where he mentioned that they like to do surveillance on their targets and study them before going in for the kill.  So they're treating Sam and Dean like they would a pack of monsters?  Interesting. I wonder what they hope to accomplish by doing that.   Personally, I was more interested if anyone found the secret as to what makes Sam's hair so shiny!  I need to know that secret.  
 
As I said, I don't like Mary's chance of survival after Mr. Ketch found the picture of her and four year old Dean.  Cat's out of the bag I guess.  I’m just not sure if it’s coming at the hands of Mr. Ketch or someone else.  Somehow though, that doesn't bother me so much.  It's hard to fret over an unsympathetic character, no matter how important that person is in the lore.  Bringing her back is proving to be a huge mistake and a risk that doesn't seem to be paying off.  That's no slam on Samantha Smith though who's done a wonderful job.  It's all been in the writing.  But I'm straying so excuse me.  The fact is, the whole thing didn't detract from the main story yet moved things forward. That's a win in my book.  
 
The real highlight though?  The slam dunk that cemented this episode in the plus column for me?  Sam F***ing Winchester storming in with the colt and saving the day.    Fantastic!
 
spn1218 2459
 
"The Colt.  It dusts anything."  
 
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All and all an enjoyable hour and a nice diversion until the supposed real action starts.  I try to avoid comparisons to the old days so not to invite comments that the show isn’t like it was in the early seasons,  but let’s just call this “old school.”   That means that the show remembered it’s roots while keeping it current.  
 
Odds and Ends
 
We had a Busty Asian Beauties sighting!  As I mentioned in my article, Ten Great Running Bits in Supernatural, we haven't had a Busty Asian Beauties sighting since season 10!  They can check that one off the to do list now.  We're satisfied until at least next season. 
 
spn1218 1945
 
I loved when Mr. Ketch addressed that long standing fan curiosity about the telescope.  You can't see anything through it!  Too bad, I was half hoping it worked.  
 
For those keeping track, we can mark this 12.18 as a "Dean got laid" episode.  Man, when was the last time that happened?  Part of me thinks it was earlier this season but honestly, I can't find it.  I don't recall it happening at all last season, unless you want to count Dean and Amara undressing one another with their eyes.  Help me out fandom!  Someone out there has to know it.  For the record, Sam's last roll in the sack was last season's "Baby".  Working on those night moves...
 
Best quote is courtesy of Dean Winchester:  "Next time you hear me say our family is messed up, remind me that we could be psycho goat people." 
 
The Red Headed Monster
 
This week, the monster is playing very concerned citizen.  Consider this more of a public service announcement.  Someone very near and dear to us has been missing.  Have you seen this person?
 
Okay, not so much a person as an angel in a human vessel.  This being is about six foot tall, wears a blue suit, white shirt, dark striped tie and a beige trench coat.  He hasn’t been seen since early March, and he’s supposed to be one of the principal cast members of the show.  His goes by the name of Castiel (appropriately the angel of Thursday) but honestly he responds to a variety of names...
 
Cas
 
12.15 98 Cas wrong 
 
Cass (psst, don't say that name around any fan girls.  You'll be lynched!)
 
12.01 0187 Cas Crawling 
 
Clarence 
 
SPN 1172
 
Feathers
 
04 
 
Halo
 
12.08 0974 Cas Fireball
 
Dumbass
 
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His friends have noticed he’s gone, but their worry has been relegated to “Where’s Castiel?  Oh well, he won’t answer his phone.  Let’s work a case.”  How does that happen??  I mean, he's like their best friend.  They've even called him family!!!  They should be turning over Heaven, Hell and Earth trying to find him!!!  ARGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
 
Ahem.  Anyone with a shred of information (and I’m not talking next week’s preview), please share to help ease the monster’s mind.  We clearly don’t like where this is going and we are really, really starting to worry.   Thank you.  
 
Overall grade, a B+.  A little slow at the beginning but for those who stuck it out, it all did lead to something.  I'm so grateful!  Enjoy your week break before we get into the final stretch.