Supernatural Recap: Not Another Creepy Doll Episode

Another week, another round of Winchester family angst on Supernatural -- but they definitely get brownie points for nuance in this week's haunted murder doll adventure.

The case itself, like so many cases of the week on Supernatural, fell to the wayside as Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), and Mary (Samantha Smith) worked through their damaged dynamic with a backpack full of salt and lighter fluid. After 12 seasons, resurrection is still a bitch on this show, even if the resurrected party is saintly Mary Winchester; fridged momma and first of the many dead chicks who haunt Dean and Sam's sad, violent lives.

Supernatural: The Winchester boys have serious mommy issues

Mary Winchester is a treasure, btw. If that smattering of time-travel/flashback episodes a few seasons ago and the introduction of the Men of Letters tried to shed some light on the influences, big and small, that shaped who Sam and Dean Winchester are, then Mary is the final piece of the puzzle -- the empty space that Sam, Dean, and the audience needed to complete the picture.

I love that Mary is a perfectly capable hunter, with or without the internet. I love the implication that Dean's junk food diet wasn't necessarily born out of a lifetime on the road, where the closest thing to home cooked anything was a bucket of extra crispy and maybe some Boston Market if John was feeling really fancy. I love that Mary struggles with her outsiderness and feels as adrift in her own life as Sam so often has over the years. "Like sons, like mother," is absolutely right.

Of course, this is Supernatural, where all good things must come to an end (or go on hiatus). Struggling to fit into this life her sons built -- a life that she never wanted for them -- Mary left the bunker at the end of "The Foundry" to make peace with her resurrection and herself.

The things that Mary loses in the 30 years following her death are no small price. She left this plane a young mother in a pre-internet world, confident that she had shaken off her hunter pedigree and was ready for a blissfully boring small-town life. Then she died, which sucked, but apparently her Heaven was better than the trainwreck Sam and Dean got to experience back in Season 5.

And now here she is, presented as a reward to her sons for a job well done, plonked down in a world that has changed so much since she was last here, completely alone. Completely alone. John has been dead for years and yes, Dean and Sam are her sons, and there's no question that she loves them, but Dean and Sam in 2016 are not her Dean and Sam. She last saw them in 1983 and, in a way, those boys are long dead too. That's a lot to take in, even with the knowledge and understanding that this is how the world works. Sometimes people just come back from the dead.

Mary's exit at the end of this week's episode, while awful for those of us who have grown rather attached in the handful of episodes since her return to the land of the living, is a good thing. Rather than trying to plow through a literal (after)lifetime of issues in just a few quick and dirty episodes, Supernatural is showing that it's comfortable with its leads being a little uncomfortable. Mary didn't leave the boys on bad terms, but they weren't particularly great terms either. I'm sure we'll see her again, but when that time will come is hard to say.

This is a woman who clearly wants a relationship with her sons, but doesn't know how to create one with the materials she has -- and frankly, neither do her sons. Is she the sacred mother who must be protected at all costs? Is she a hunting buddy? Is she an authority figure? Mary Winchester is roughly the same age that her sons currently are and they've grown up revering her memory without having to navigate her as a person. Can mother ever truly know best when it comes to Sam and Dean? She doesn't know them and they don't know her. This isn't something that can be worked out in a few quick hunts.

Plus, for the cynical viewer in us, sending Mary on an eat-pray-love adventure of her very own means we (theoretically) don't have to worry about the early demise that plagues so many of our favorites. She's safe, guys. SHE'S SAFE.

For now.

Supernatural airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)

This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Nov 04, 2016
Huh. A lot of the fans responding on this thread seem to be suffering from serious fan fatigue. Three episodes into a 22 episode season and they're already complaining about what they seem to think is a 'ruined' story arc. Mary's not dead. Just off to get her head together for very good reasons, which she explained before she left. The show will focus on the central cast for a little while then probably use her return for good dramatic effect that none of us are aware of yet. She'll be back. There's a whole season to build up all the layers. Let it breath guys. Let it breath :)
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Nov 04, 2016
Oh my, Supernatural messed the main plot by removing Mary from the picture... how sad.
What did you expect dudes? Supernatural made a name by destroying all the premises from last Season, here's one of them.
Now you get angry on this... poor guys, never learn.
On another thing, series is hitting a new low of viewers/m...
Their numbers are similar with Season 7... People are not watching Supernatural anymore and the reason is BS stories with mediocre actors. We've telling that as hard as we could.
Now, deal with it Supernatural HQ because you didn't listened to simple words.
Series goes down, it seems it's the only way Rowena can die.
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Nov 08, 2016
I agree with everything but one statement. " mediocre actors " .
I believe that Jensen Ackles is an amazing actor especially, when it comes to comedy. Slap stick comedy actor of years past. I have been around a long time and you don't see this talent anymore. Very underrated. But they seem to like where they are.
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Nov 08, 2016
My bad...
I do agree that Ackles and Padalecki are amazing actors.
I was referring to "Guest stars", not the Stars but i see now i wrote that in completely wrong fashion. Sorry. I loved every star actor on the show, except Rowena. But i believe Jensen's quality have falled over the years, probably because the script is weak all over the place.
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Nov 04, 2016
Very well-written. That's all I will say right now.
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Nov 03, 2016
I don't understand. Really I don't. What is the reason for the writers to bring Mary Winchester back to life. Is she not the main reason the that show was founded on ? The reason the show exists ? The reason why John became a hunter and dragged his boy's into hunting ? By bringing Mary back, the writers just erased one of the most pivotal points why SPN came to fruition. What a train wreck with the creativity and continuity these writers have. Supernatural was astonishly brilliant. a show I respected and adored. Now i just shake my head and think , how can this show ever redeem itself ?
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Oct 31, 2016
Goddamnit! Make videos NOT-autoplayable!!!!
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Oct 30, 2016
I hate what they did with Mary,
I liked the character, I like that she is so much like Dean (but in something I would mention later) and I was sure the character could not stay around because this is not a show about two brothers and their mom who are hunting.
But I hate they way they did it. What Dean would never do is abandon his family. And she did,. She first lied to the boys (in the first episode she appeared, she said she had no memory of the afterlife, but now she remembers a whole fantasy live in Heaven), than she tells them she misses her little ones and then she takes their dad journal without even asking for it.
She says she loves them, but her actions say otherwise. She refuses the chance to actually meet her children and to create memories with them. She tells them she doesn't care for them as much as she cares for the memories of what they were. That's awful. And I cannot like the character anymore because she hurt her children. She was selfish and that is not the Winchesters' way.
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Oct 31, 2016
well there's that and the whole thing where samantha smith isn't one of the main stars of the show so you knew she wasn't going to end up being there every week; week-in / week-out, week-in / week-out /, etc etc ---- at least they didn't kill her!
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Nov 03, 2016
As I said, I was not surprised because she left but I didn't like how they did it.
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Oct 29, 2016
Supernaturals fundamental problem now is: what is the recurring theme, the leitmotif?
I mean they went to hell came back, met god, going first base with his sister...
So what is the grand scheme here anyway? Lucy was handled by Rowenna, "bromance" between Cas and Crowley, and family soap drama for the Winchesters? So what's next? Chucks godfather is taking over? This was episode 3 already and no big story around, just episodes. Don't get me wrong, i love this series but this looks much like mopping up after the silvester party.
Hopefully they don't keep mopping into the golden sunset aka golden episode 300 (or was it 666?).
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Oct 29, 2016
So why is it called "The Factory", anyway?
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Oct 30, 2016
It is called "The Foundry"
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Oct 30, 2016
That, too.
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Oct 29, 2016
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Oct 29, 2016
i'm sorry but i fucking hate the ghost chasers. those for me are easily the worst episodes of the entire series. i like the actors just NOT the characters. anyways it was a good episode but last week's i think was better. i didn't like she left but after reading the review it did get me thinking that i'd rather her do not NOW in episode #3 of this season rather than later on during the X-mas break where that ends up being the cliff-hanger. i can understand why she is having trouble.

i think what's going to happen is this, i dunno about the next episode but possibly the next one you will have Cass talk with her in possibly an entire episode at least to look out for her. since from what's been said her and Cass are going to be close friends because they both are in a way outsiders to our world. so the boys no doubt will ask Cass to look out for her. i do wonder when Crowley will found out about her though. no doubt he will at some point, him not having any scenes with the boys yet i'm okay with that actually.

i have a feeling she won't be gone long either course i have no sources cause i have no idea if i'm right but it's just that they've had the boys go off on their own many times in the past and they only spend an episode or two away from each other normally. in short it's normally not very long. no doubt talking with Cass will help her go back to the guys. one wonders though if they have told her that ALL her friends are now dead cause if you recall back in season 2 i think?

the Yellow Eyed Demon went around and killed them all. but what the writers need to do is at least Mention Adam and ask her if she knew about it? and you know acknowledge him at least. he hasn't been talked about or been on the show since fucking season 5! i think? wasn't it?
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Oct 29, 2016

Not sure it would be that short a while before we see her again, but there is no way of knowing. Nice recall on Mary's friends. Did they die before or after Mary?

As for Adam, there is no way for her to know. He was born after her death, his mother and John's affair was after her death(I don't think Mary would mind). Adam had no reason to meet her in heaven. He didn't think much of John, and found out about his brothers while he was being killed horribly. He didn't return to heaven after he met them on earth. And even if he did, he didn't seem like he would want to meet or even spare a thought for Mary. I understand people saying that Adam should be mentioned once in a while, but he and Mary have nothing in common. Maybe she can do the motherly thing when she finds out and ask why he can't be sent to heaven if the cage is falling apart, but that's about it.

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Oct 30, 2016
Adam is still in the cage in Hell, right?
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Oct 30, 2016
at the moment yes he is because they haven't mentioned him at all since like season 5 or season 6. why they didn't show him when they were all in the cage themselves last season i have NO idea. he wasn't even mentioned at all.
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Oct 30, 2016
honestly i had completely forgotten about that, i've only seen that episode once to be fair. but i believe you don't worry. i don't get why they didn't even mention him when they were in the cage last season. or hell even shown him since he was in the cage supposely. sorry for my shit spelling. i wonder if they were unable to get the actor who played Adam again or maybe he's done with the show i have no idea. i just wish they would at least had Lucifer say oh your brother is in a worse place than this etc... kinda like how they more or less forgot about Chuck than he does a cameo in the 200th. and than of course shows up at the end of last season.
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Oct 30, 2016
He was mentioned in the 200 episode, in the musical the girls did. Dean and Sam exchanged awkward looks an that was all. I agree with you, I don't know why they didn't mention him last season.
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Oct 30, 2016
if memory Serves me right it was During Season 2 when The Yellow Eyed Demon went around killing them all. cause didn't the boys try to save some of them and failed? i can't remember on that one.

but i do remember her friends being killed all some manner of some kind. a fire i think each time? i think? i could be wrong on that though. i also remember the Yellow Eyed Demon throwing that in Sam's face that he killed them all. it was his way of trying to erase Mary's Memory from everyone who knew her. we never did find out who many friends John ended up having since we still do meet some of them every now and than.

but i think Mary's Friends she had during (1983) at least are all dead if memory serves me right. and you are right i have no way of knowing when she will be back. but it wouldn't surprise me at all if she does come back but not to the boys right away. she has her adventure that something at some point happens that causes her to go back home to the boys. it wouldn't surprise me if she keeps in touch with them at least.

Hence the episode i am predicting of her being with Cass and them talking about how she feels out of place in this world. and going by the show's history something normally happens to one of the boys that 1. their cases overlap if Mary chooses to continue to Hunt. 2. she is attacked for some reason at some point and the boys rescue her after she gets a word out some how. and they end up back together or she chooses to leave again.

it is also possible the dude who is going to torture the boys and she gets wind of it and rescues them. it can be a number of different things is my point. i just don't want them to have Mary away from them too long cause i love seeing them together and hunting as a family. they killed John off way to damn soon to show that further. and i hope they end up not killing Mary off this season at all or turn her Evil or anything that will ruin the character.
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Oct 31, 2016
Those are some pretty good guesses on the manner of Mary's return. Back to Mary's friends though, It was Ruby who told Sam they were dead back in the very begining - that means season 3. I don't really remember why and when it was done other than that.
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Oct 31, 2016
you might be right, it has been awhile since i last saw that season. either way all i remember is 2 things, 1 is Sam doing research on his laptop for any of her friends and finding out they are all dead. and 2 and i may be wrong on his this, the yellow eyed demon at some point throwing that in his face. but like i said i may be wrong on that. like i said it's been awhile so i may be wrong
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Oct 29, 2016
Well, I saw this coming. No supporting character stays around to help the boys all the time. Even Cas, who's a main character, spends roughly 1/3rd of the season doing his own thing while the boys have a few bros only episodes. Even in season 1, when John Winchester was around and reunited with the boys, he was only in four episodes. As wonderful as Mary is, the show is ultimately about the brothers, and their adventures.

So Lucifer's rock star body was destroyed and sent away... I wonder who he'll possess next. Luci really has his threat level lowered ever since Amara kicked his ass. I doubt we'll see much more of him as the source of all evil, especially since the British Men of Letters seems to be more of a direct threat to the Winchesters. (Sorry, fans who want a second Biblical Apocalypse arc... that dream doesn't seem to be coming true.)

Crowley and his fruity drinks will always be the highlight of every episode. I love the dynamic he and Cas have as partners.

I always love ghost episodes, and this one's no exception. 8 out of 10. Now are we gonna get a comedy episode, cause dead children is a REAL downer.
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Oct 30, 2016
Cas is supporting character, no matter how cas' s fans wants opposite
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Oct 29, 2016
It was obvious mom had to go. What remains less so is how was her time wherever went and what happened there? I remain amazed as to why there wasn't far more on that.
Crowley remains the light entertainment bringer. And thank the demon for that; as this was yet another dragging episode, that felt like nothing happened even though Mary left.
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Oct 28, 2016
I can't wait until Mary shows up in one of the slapstick episodes. Can you imagine her interactions with the Ghostfacers?
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Oct 29, 2016
I think the Ghostfacers split up in season 9. Garth the goofy werewolf, though, is still around... and (shudder) Becky...

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