As the Supernatural fandom eagerly awaits (and simultaneously dreads) the final chapters in season 12’s story, we have a one week break to consider what heartbreak might be in store for our heroes this year. A recent Supernatural convention participant reported that Jensen said this finale will be the hardest he and Jared have ever had to film. I don’t know about you, but my heart gets tied up in knots just thinking what that could mean!
What is going to happen in episodes 19 through 23 and what are the writers setting up for season 13? Fans on Twitter know that showrunner Andrew Dabb likes to tease riddles each Thursday morning before a new episode airs to both excite and taunt viewers. What if he has also been slipping clues to Supernatural’s future into the most recent season 12 scripts? Bob Singer openly acknowledged in the “Ladies Drink Free” Producer’s Preview that something within that episode was a set up for season 13 so I thought it would be fun (you know me and looking for clues!) to try to figure out what they’ve been trying to tell us about the end of season 12 and the plotlines of season 13!
The question is, how can we separate real clues from unimportant casual dialog? Without the insight of knowing the conclusion of myth arcs this season, there have been a few ominous comments made during our heroes’ most recent adventures that seem to have been included in the dialog solely for the purpose of foreshadowing. Some of these comments have simply been casual remarks that made me pause because they seemed slightly out of place. Others were shocking new revelations that were suspiciously underemphasized at the time. Since Mr. Singer admitted “Ladies Drink Free” included a seed for the future, let’s start there, then work through the top ten most ominous foreshadowing quotes from the latter half of season 12. One or more of these may hold the key to Supernatural’s future! Can we tell the difference between real clues and misdirects?
1. "I've been hunting. Alone. And I know it's not what you want to hear. And I know it sounds scary. It scares me, too, sometimes, but... this is something I have to do on my own. Just for a little while. But I'm ready, and I never would've been if it wasn't for you being my mother." - Claire, 12.16 “Ladies Drink Free”
Negative Interpretation: This foreshadows nothing more than another Claire-gets-in-trouble hunt in season 13. I actually like Claire and suspect that her next appearance may be her graduation from angsty teen to responsible adult hunter-in-training, so I don’t object to her recurring role.
Positive Interpretation: As the original series ages, the writers are slowly building the backstory for a Supernatural spinoff. Claire’s confession and prediction that her rebellious years might soon end might imply that she and Jody will hunt together sometime in the future. Add in the rest of the wayward clan, notably Donna, and we have a Lady Hunters series!
Anyone want to estimate the odds on this one? Are there other hints that support one or the other of these scenarios?
2. Pulling Garth back into the story – Dean, 12.16 “Ladies Drink Free”
SAM: I mean, werewolves aren't like most monsters. Some can control it. I mean, we -- we have a buddy got bit. Nothing but beef hearts ever since.
MICK: And you trust him? Well, killing is a fundamental need for werewolves. And monsters don't just stop being monsters.
DEAN: Well, Garth did.
Dean’s comment to Mick seemed suspiciously unguarded and out-of-place to me. Dean doesn’t trust Mick or the BMoL yet he blurts out the name of his buddy? (Sam started it by saying there is a cache of monsters hidden away somewhere.)
Positive Interpretation: This was simply a name drop to preview that Garth will be returning either later this season or sometime next season, which would be a fun reprise of his role.
Negative Interpretation: Garth is now a target of the BMoL. If Mick included this new intelligence about the leader of a werewolf pack in a report, Garth’s family is probably already on a kill list from the monster killing society.
Do you think Garth will survive season 12 to remain a friend to the Winchesters or do you think he’ll be killed off like so many of their other past associates?
3. "The Kendricks School. It's where the British Men of Letters train their operatives." – Mick, 12.16 “The British Invasion”
This was a huge expansion of the MoL canon! Suddenly, monster & spell knowledge isn’t passed down through families who have to achieve increasing levels of indoctrination, as Henry and the American society were previously portrayed. Instead, there is a boarding school in England where children are taught this craft as a way of life.
Positive Interpretation: This expands one of my theories about the end of the Supernatural series, i.e. Sam will teach the next generation of Men and Women of Letters. In this version, he becomes our own Professor Xavier as he takes over as headmaster of the school, teaching lore and an ethical use of knowledge. The school will be expanded to include hunters and Dean will reprise his role as a teacher (ala “After School Special”) of young minds. Sam and Dean together will bridge the gap between the traditionally hands-off knowledge of the Men of Letters with the lore-starved field work of the hunters.
Negative Interpretation: Judging from the size of the school building, the Winchesters are up against vastly superior numbers of trained, brain-washed operatives. Their “legacy” has possibly turned into a curse of daunting proportions.
Of course we now know that the school is run by disreputable people who enforce a cruel code of conduct. Do you think season 12 will be the end of this school’s storyline? Was it a mere convenience to show Mick’s background or is it a set up for a new multi-year battle for free will... or a UK hunting chapter/spin-off?
4. "[Eileen’s] heading back to Ireland for a while. Just needs some time, I guess." – Sam, 12.17 “The British Invasion”
Speaking of worrying about Sam and Dean’s friends, we know for sure that Eileen is marked for death for her accidental shooting of a BMoL.
Positive Interpretation: Sam and Dean are going to the United Kingdom! They will warn then help defend Eileen, and possibly investigate or fight against the Kendricks school. Once safe, Eileen will join the Supernatural Lady Hunters spin-off!
Negative Interpretation: Eileen was simply a plot device. Just as Charlie was killed by the Stynes, who were an overrated, short-lived plot insertion, Eileen is going to be killed off by the BMoL just to hurt Sam and enrage Dean in their war with the BMoLs.
I think it is highly unlikely that Warner Brothers would spring for a filming trip abroad. It’s worth dreaming about, though, no? Pie-in-the-sky scenarios aside, do you think we’ll get to see Eileen again or do you think the brothers will simply learn of her death through a taunting remark from Mr. Ketch, Lady Bevel or Dr. Hess? Is has to be more than a coincidence that the adversaries this year are from Britain and an Irish hunter is reintroduced to the story for a short time, only to have her return to the Emerald Isle. Maybe she is able to fend off the BMoL assault and she is instrumental in organizing a UK resistance to Kendricks and BMoL corruption. There has to be a bigger plan at work here. What’s your guess?
5. “Our house. Men of Letters. Did you know that your key opens every Men of Letters chapter house in the world?” – Mick 12.17 “British Invasion”
This revelation was a bit of a surprise since the bunker’s key was given to Sam and Dean for sacred keeping with the implicit understanding that the location or even existence of the bunker was a well-guarded secret. Granted, there wasn’t much opportunity to question the last known living American Men of Letters when they got the key so their understanding (and the plotline) evolved gradually. Eventually, Sam, Dean and the viewers learned of other American MoL chapters, then from Olivette and Delphine we learned of chapters around the world. Still, the security of the bunker seemed absolute. Nothing implied they were all accessible through a master key.
Positive Interpretation: The brothers can access a vast network of MoL libraries worldwide, if they can find the list of where the “chapter houses” are located.
Negative Interpretation: The bunker is not nearly as secure as the brothers once thought. Now being marked for death by British Men of Letters, the enemy can freely enter their home to ambush them (ref: Lady Bevel and Mr. Ketch tactics). Given the brothers' talk in "Memory" about the future of the bunker, some fans have even speculated that the brothers may need to abandon their refuge (more on this later).
How might this vast network affect the brothers’ safety (down side) or hunting effectiveness (upside)? Do you think this MoL extended network will extend beyond the end of season 12? Is their leader the “big bad” for S13, as we've speculated in the Threads reviews?
See the Superwiki MoL page for canon history on the MoL chapters around the world.
Hit *Next* for 5 more clues!
6. “I must say, when I first met you I didn’t see this coming. My thought at the time was “I’ll end up shooting this one.” – Mr. Ketch about Mary, 12.17 “British Invasion”
Ketch so coldly killed Mick Davies even though they had been allies and obviously had some history together. Do you think Mr. Ketch could do the same thing to Mary?
Positive Interpretation: Mr. Ketch will not “see coming” that he cannot bring himself to kill Mary in the end, thereby redeeming himself. He will either join Dean (kindred spirits) in his fight against the BMoL or ala Metatron, die in an attempt to save Mary and her family. Mary will join the Lady Hunting spin-off when she learns that her BMoL allies turned against her.
Negative Interpretation: Mr. Ketch actually kills Mary. That will be the horrible death that will tear us (me at least) apart at the end of S12.
Ketch had a scary look on his face in that last shot of 12.18 “The Memory Remains”. Even that title implies that all that will be left of Mary will be her memory. Will Ketch let his romantic feelings for her interfere with the kill order he is now supposed to obey? Do you think Mary will survive season 12 into 13? Is her death the Winchester debt owed to the universe for Billie’s deal?
7. “Don’t fail me Dagon, not again.” – Lucifer, 12.17 “The British Invasion”
I really don’t see any potential upsides to this plot grenade. Apparently Dagon failed Lucifer in some prior assignment. What might that have been? Did Lucifer try to produce an offspring before this? I could ask if you think Dagon and Kelly will survive into season 13 or be casualties of the Nephilim war that is clearly brewing, but the more important question is whether the Nephilim will survive the end of 12 and be a significant player in 13 either as an ally or enemy of his father. What say you?
8. “There is only one true ruler of Hell” – Lucifer, 12.17 “The British Invasion”
Positive Interpretation: Crowley in on a redemptive path. He never liked being King anyway. He was bored with administration and surrounded by fools. So far this season, he has been portrayed as a father genuinely grieving for the loss of his son, a friend who saved Castiel even though he could have easily let the supposed foe die, and has defended the intelligence and resourcefulness of the Winchesters. Lucifer is voicing the idea that Crowley isn’t evil enough to rule Hell, and that he doesn’t really belong in that position. This would free Crowley for a brand new plotline. A less radical implication would be that Crowley anticipated Lucifer's double-cross and is ready to defend his kingdom.
Negative Interpretation: Crowley looked like a fool in his “court” when he paraded Lucifer as his dog. Is it possible that the show would kill Crowley??
My vote is for the former implication. It fits my positive series-ending scenarios. I will admit, though, that killing off Crowley may be the first step in winding down the series. His death fits in with the following two unspeakable options as well.
9. "Knowing you, it... it’s been the best part of my life. And the things that... the things we’ve shared together, they have changed me. You’re my family. I love you. I love all of you. Just please... please, don’t make my last moments be spent watching you die. Just run. Save yourselves." – Castiel, 12.12 “Stuck in the Middle with You”
This was Castiel’s declaration of love for the entire Winchester family when he thought he was seconds away from death.
Positive Interpretation: This was a moment of real character growth for Cas. He was saved and this speech will be remembered as his emotional adoption into the Winchester family.
Negative Interpretation: Even though Crowley saved Cas’ life at the last moment, Castiel’s speech still echoes as the last words of a tragic hero who has a dying epiphany of self-awareness and emotional bonding just before he tearfully leaves a story.
Why, after 9 years, would the writers have Castiel express himself so openly? Do you think it's even possible that Castiel will die? Is his death the marker required by breaking Billie's deal? I have never before doubted that Castiel would remain with the Winchesters until the very end of the series, and frankly, I still don't, but the next speech from the central characters of this saga make me wonder what exactly we’re hearing.
10. The immensely worrisome talk about legacy and being forgotten between Sam and Dean in 12.18 “The Memory Remains”
This emotionally poignant conversation has been discussed at length in terms of its implications for the story. Are Sam and Dean moving out of the bunker? Will the bunker be destroyed? Personally, I don’t feel either of those will happen (or just can’t fathom that the writers would do that!). Rather, when I heard this dialog, I heard a conversation between Jensen and Jared. Listen in as they talk about their work on Supernatural:
Jensen: What do you think our legacy will be? When we’re gone, after all the stuff we’ve done, think folks will remember us, you know like 100 years from now?
Jensen: Well that’s nice.
Jared: Guys like us, we’re not exactly the type of people they write about in history books, you know. But the people we saved – they’re our legacy and they’ll remember us, then I guess we’ll eventually fade away too. That’s fine because we left the world better than we found it, you know?
Jensen: Wonder what’s gonna happen to this place. After we’re gone, think some hunter will move in, keep fightin’ the fight?
Jared: Yeah, I hope so.
Jensen: Yeah, me too.
Jared and Jensen have often admitted that they talk about their roles on Supernatural. They don’t consider themselves A-list stars (“guys like us don’t make the history books”) but they know that Supernatural is important to people. In real life, separate from their Sam and Dean counterparts, they have also saved countless people with their messages of hope, courage, family, enduring, etc. After wondering if they or their work will be remembered and if they’ve made a mark on this world, I think it would be very natural for them to wonder what will happen to their sets - the space in this world that has belonged to them and Supernatural for at least 13 years - after they’ve quit the show. They’ve grown up on that stage in Vancouver. They have to wonder if the Supernatural legacy will die with them or continue with a spin-off show of new hunters who will keep the Supernatural franchise alive.
Positive Interpretation: This was another beautiful broment for the series. We shouldn’t read any more into it than that.
Negative Interpretation: There are, of course, the implications mentioned above for the end of the bunker. Personally, I am more disturbed by the meta interpretation of their talk. It truly felt like the first warning that there is an end in sight for them. The writers are slowly preparing us to let go of Sam and Dean, asking that we remember them for 100 years. What do you think the odds are that season 13 will be their last? I have never, ever wanted to talk about the end of the show! In fact, last year I wouldn’t let Alice write an article asking how and when the show should end because I told her it would upset me too much! This talk, though, cannot be ignored. This was about what will happen after season 13. I can’t even.
So there you have the top 10 most suspicious, foreboding comments that might be our crystal ball into the future. With the exception of number 10, I choose to believe all the positive scenarios. How about you? Use the numbers 1-10 to give your opinions! Are there other quotes that sounded to you like warnings or clues? As always, let’s figure this out together!
New Screencaps courtesy of http://www.homeofthenutty.com/supernatural
Some transcript quotes courtesy of http://www.supernaturalwiki.com