Supernatural reverted back to its traditional form of Monster of the Week in episode 3: The Foundry; and what a bittersweet episode it was. Here’s my review and analysis of this week’s episode. Beware of spoilers ahead.
So this week’s Supernatural episode thrusts the British Men of Letters arc into the background as we follow Mary’s induction into the hunting life once again. The talent Mamma Winchester obviously possesses for hunting contrasts with how out of place she feels in this new world. We also get a little insight into the close relationship Mary and Castiel will have as the series progresses before our resident Angel of the Lord embarks on his quest to stop Lucifer. He, begrudgingly, teams up with our resident friendly neighborhood demon, Crowley and his witch mother Rowena, in the hunt for heaven’s most rebellious angel. Rowena also gives us a taste of her powers as she tricks Lucifer into a spell that transports him into the middle of the ocean, literally. But alas, things are not smooth sailing as Mary struggles with forgetting the life she clearly remembers in her heaven and accepting this new, alien world she’s been thrown into. The episode concludes with Mary saying goodbye to the boys for a while as she goes off to find herself.
On With the Analysis and Review
Mary’s struggle with this new world has been evident since episode 1 but it seems to be the focus of this week’s episode. She struggles with how technology in the present year has completely changed how everything is done now. She embarks on a possible case with the boys but their hunting styles are glaringly different. Mary chooses to use old methods of hunting: finding cases in newspapers, speaking to people in the town and looking through public records. The boys simply browse through the internet. Her detachment is so present and tangible in this episode and it seeps into her relationship with her sons. As much as she wants to be their mother and as much as she wants their happily ever after, she knows it isn’t that simple. Mary has spent the last thirty years in heaven with her family; with her husband and with her little boys. As much as Sam and Dean are her sons, she doesn’t know them. She hasn’t seen them grow, hasn’t watched them develop into the men they are today. They’re essentially strangers to her. And I think this is what makes this season of Supernatural so interesting. The different dynamics at play and how the characters deal with these changes is portrayed so realistically. Mary’s scene with Castiel portrays this sense of realism. As they interact, we see that both these characters struggle with the prospect of fitting in, even though Castiel has been on earth for eight years. The emotional struggles that the characters face in this supernatural world filled with magic grounds the show in a stark sense of realism, which I have to commend.
The Monster of the Week format follows the Winchesters as they take on a ghost who has killed people by luring them in with crying baby noises. While being vastly creepy, the hunt does resonate with Mary who feels as though she has also lost her children. The hunt primarily focuses on Mary and how she uses old hunting methods to determine who the ghost is. Tensions do arise when Mary is possessed by the ghost they’re hunting. She almost kills Dean, but her mamma bear instincts kick in and she’s able to stop the ghost’s control for a moment. It is essentially an average hunt, more impactful in the emotional sense than in the entertainment sense.
A side arc to this episode is the hunt for Lucifer. Our favorite angel in a trench coat takes the up the hunt and is accompanied by Crowley. They follow Lucifer’s trail to his vessel’s family, a paraplegic sister who is miraculously healed. While there’s not much we’ve given in regards to the plot itself, watching Crowley and Castiel interact is a nice juxtaposition to Mary’s emotional battles.
Last week’s episode left Rowena in the clutches of Satan himself and that’s where she starts off in this week’s episode. Lucifer’s vessel seems to be degrading already and he is looking for a spell to make it more stable and permanent. This is where Rowena, a centuries old witch with a vast array of magical knowledge, comes in handy. The witch has been used as a pawn in the previous few seasons, either by Crowley, the Winchesters and Amara. This episode displays how Rowena is definitely not someone to be messed with and that there’s a reason she is centuries old. Completely put out with Lucifer holding her hostage, she tricks him into allowing her to use a spell that both speeds up the decaying process and teleports him into the middle of the ocean. With both her own witchy knowledge, as well as everything Rowena has learnt from the Book of the Damned, she is sure to be a formidable character in later episodes. She agrees to help Crowley and Castiel with Lucifer once they have caught him. Rowena’s elevated role in the series is something I’m definitely looking forward to seeing. There’s a vast array of things this witch can do and if she can trick the devil himself, who knows what else she is capable of.