This is a review of 12x21 that ends on a positive note.
I will expand further here why I think this episode was badly written and poorly executed, but did further the overall positive outlook for the season.
Important first impression: - The overall season arc plot points (and therefore not written specifically by Bucklemming) were greatly moved forwards. - The points that were just relevant to this episode and were painful, unnecessary and not even used well or referenced by the actual protagonists were all Bucklemming.
1. Eileen. Fucking Eileen, man.
She didn’t have to die. She didn’t have to die like that. She didn’t have to die like that and then have barely any real reaction from Sam and Dean about it.
Where was Sam’s textualised pain? Where was the Red Meat parallel of Dean having to console Sam? I know he looked a bit anguished but I’m putting this down to Jared and direction, not the writers.
However, I am going to give the smallest part of the benefit of the doubt and parallel this with Sam’s reaction to Dean about Cas, where Sam is all business and logic, trying to lessen the pain that way, rather than it being not caring.
BUT… how does this further Sam’s personal arc? He is supposed to be reconciling the hunting life and his previous want to get out? Killing off any friends and potential endgame love interests does this how? If I was Sam now after this as an example of the pain, I would want out NOW! NO MORE SAM AND DEAN HUNTING, SAVING PEOPLE, THE FAMILY BUSINESS. IT MAKES NO SENSE.
On top of this, after all the heavy Saileen/Destiel parallels written by the same writers and the theme of Dean opening up more and realising that emotions should be voiced, how does this further Dean’s arc of realising he should just tell Cas how he feels before it’s too late?
It was a massive opportunity WASTED for not just endgame Saileen but also how her death could have been a valid character development moment for both of them.
These are the only valid reasons Eileen should have been killed off - to be referenced in some way by the protagonists. Even Charlie’s unnecessary death was a lazily written ‘turning point’ for Dean’s MoC fall into Darkness. But instead we have…well, nothing really.
I hope the writers of the next episodes maybe pick up on it and it’s just a delayed reaction otherwise it is just such a waste.
Destiel side note: Yes I did see that Crowley called Cas their ‘love slave’. I would flail about this except as I was saying with @elizabethrobertajones yesterday, there is so much real Destiel fodder now it kind of is not that important. HOWEVER I stick to the fact that Lucifer has been inside Cas and canonically knows how he feels and Crowley also knows how they both feel. So I guess, small wins and all that.
Mary believes she used to have Free Will. Well, that hurts because we know it isn’t true (cupid).
BUT Mary prefers to die rather than kill innocents (yes, thank you, redemption arc). Mary cannot break out of the brainwashing when Dean pleads with her (thank you Cas 8x17 mirror - found family is stronger than blood family and all that).
Mary must have had an inkling but now it has been voiced on the show that : A. John was a child abuser and B. that Mary now knows.
We have all been waiting for this since 12x01 so YES good thank you. Plot line moved forwards.
Dean is going to confront her about Azazel in 12x22….Now I’m assuming she is either brainwashed and he is trying to jump her out of it with harsh words or she is out of it already and Dean is just so fucking DONE that it comes out. This will be so interesting I’m actually kind of sad they’re back to back so we won't have time to process what seems to be going to be an amazing episode character wise.
I mean, Chuck how lazy was that? “The polarity is reversed’. Jeez. Ok but, so Crowley is a rat, OK. Whatever.
Lucifer’s plot line though…
THIS IS THE BIG PLOT POINT FOR ME THAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT FROM THIS EPISODE:
Lucifer thinks he has won. He is on top of the world. “MY SON”.
Yes. Your son, who will be your downfall, who is the sunrise, who will bring the world to it’s feet (yes, again, sorry, I believe @amwritingmeta is totally right about this).
Who is being aided by your perfect mirror - the Fallen Angel who loves Humanity, while you hate it. Who doesn’t give a damn about God anymore, while you crave his attention. Who is constantly linked to the SUN.
I keep harping on that is time for Cas to be the Hero.
He was a hero as part of TFW in season 4 and in season 5, in season 6 he was the hero even though he thought he should lie to Sam and Dean to do so, in order to protect them (hello 12x19), yes he went behind their backs but he stopped the second apocalypse ON HIS OWN. Since then it is just one big ball of hazy messes on everyone’s sides, meanwhile Cas has been getting more depressed, suicidal and full of self doubt.
THIS IS HIS HERO ARC.This is the culmination of his self worth arc, his faith arc, his Humanity arc.
This child will restore balance but it will also help to restore Cas’s faith in himself and self worth through his CHOICE to help it and convince Sam and Dean of it.
There is a reason I think Cas seems brainwashed, because he is much more the old Castiel now than the broken shell that is Cas, not in terms of being brainwashed by Heaven etc but his self assurance and faith, while at the same time still being CAS.
We are always talking about Sam and Dean reconciling the different parts of themselves together, THIS IS IT FOR CAS.
This is the best that he can be and if this isn’t the case and he is brainwashed past the season finale then honestly I don’t even know what their endgame is other than to just kill all of TFW and their fans painfully.
So yeah, Cas is the hero. He will convince the boys of the righteous cause, they will be Team Free Will again.
Cas literally IS the sunrise and so is the child.
Meanwhile, Lucifer thinks he is on top. He thinks he has won when actually he has brought defeat on himself.
An incomplete list of ideas I’ve had for Whitestone during the time jump that I haven’t written in the last two weeks and won’t write before Thursday.
- Vex is weirded out by the voluntary separation from her brother, their first ever in their lives. She and Trinket disappear into the woods for a few days while she gets her balance back.
- Tary sticks around Whitestone because Percy is helping him build Doty 2.0. They get overly involved in the whole process, and it compounds Vex’s feelings of weirdness and loneliness. This is how she ends up bonding with Cassandra.
- Vex finds out that Cassandra has never in her life traveled outside of Whitestone. She sends a message to Vax and Keyleth, and tells Percy “I’m taking your sister to Zephyra, you’re in charge for a few days, bye!” And Cassandra gets a few days to just be a young woman without any responsibility with the Ashari.
- (Percy is utter shit at being in charge. He gains a bit of perspective on what his sister has been dealing with, and promises to come out of his workshop more often. No, really, he means it this time.)
- Percy actually does keep his word, and helps more with the day-to-day running of the city, but he also keeps himself occupied by helping plan/build Vex’s new house.
- While Tary is there, the three of them (occasionally with Cassandra, Jarret, and/or Kynan in tow) frequent the town tavern quite often, where Vex and Percy regale the other two with the ridiculous and completely true tales of Vox Machina. Everyone else in the tavern eventually stops pretending they’re not listening, and the stories of Lord Percival and Lady Vex’ahlia and their friends become legendary in Whitestone, passed from person to person, with a lot of accusations of people making shit up because really, a SPHINX?
- During one of their visits, Percy asks Keyleth to cast Speak With Animals for him. Because while he has no intention of asking Vax for anything resembling permission, he rather wants to know what Trinket would think about him marrying Vex. He has to laugh when Trinket is just confused that they’re not permanently mated already. “You belong to her, just like me,” Trinket says, and Percy really can’t argue with that.
"If you continue your attempts at flirting, I will be forced to take DRASTIC measures."
"I like watching you from behind."
"Stunning deduction sherlock."
*demonic voice* "by the darkest sun that casts its menacing rays of the furthest madness, we sense your intentions, (name). the gibbering of mad cultists whisper wicked words to temporal winds, they inform us that you are not to be trusted. Usurper. Usurper."
"I've heard a lot about you and your extensive collection of tank tops, like I'm thinking about getting like 10 more."
"Calm down little dude."
"the fear of drowning is a primal one. it's a feeling of helplessness, of losing all control. struggling against an inevitable fate as your lungs fill with water..."
"I don't need a piece of paper to tell me how to swim or how to fuck Dean Winchester."
"You know I had a dream like this once, you surprisingly had more clothes on, though, at least at the start."
"ten bucks says he dies."
"I'm gonna go run my feelings off."
"Yeah it didn't work out... for them."
"I have to go scream confusing, end-of-the-world ramblings at people under the freeway."
"I feel like I should argue this, but the potential for implied sexual antics is far too appealing."
"do not be alarmed! I am about to be hilarious."
"Maybe you should stop dragging me to these rap battles then!"
"I WANT YOU TO SHARE THE THINGS IN MY LIFE THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO ME!"
"I was under the impression there would be implied sexual antics, time to take matters into my own hands!"
"This feels a little exploitative."
"I need a soda. Or therapy. Probably both."
"Yeah it started because K-pop concert security is tougher than it looks but I just got hooked on the feeling of crushing someones face in with a solid right cross."
"sHHSHHshhshhhhh shut up shut up! shh I SMELL BOYS BEING GAY."
"Excuse me I am trying to scream my feelings into your mouth!"
"That wasn't hot... it was just fucking weird..."
"It's not what I would have you in, but I do appreciate beauty in all its many forms. mostly that cute booty though."
"hey, the heart wants what the heart wants."
"It may be hard to believe, but recently I lost the ability to read."
"Just because you can't read the words, doesn't mean you can't enjoy the book in a different way."
"boom! done. advice over. let's go get shitfaced!"
"Alright I brought the bitch-board for (name)."
"Alright let's call it what it is, a sissy paddle."
"calm down (name) we weren't talking about your internet search history."
"MY SWEET BABY SWAM!"
"didn't we make a pact to stop her from doing this weeb shit?"
"this better not be anymore or (name)'s weird porn!"
"Please call the police, because I look so good in this it should be against the law! uh, don't actually call the police though, I WILL incriminate all of you."
"Yeah but didn't they train on those islands where all those teenagers were killed? ...and those witch burnings happened? ...and all that toxic waste was spilled?"
"if you die, I get fired and I like this job. people don't ask questions here."
"fish-men walk among us. conquerers of land, BORN FROM THE OCEAN--"
"I don't need him to make weird pornography, I have prawns for that."
"Finally moving out, son? I'd like to say it's been fun. I'd like to. But I won't."
"hey check me out! I'm on a bout!"
"Sit down and stop making 2009 references!"
"nah, I scream enough at the unforgiving void of space."
"DON'T STEAL MY BONES!"
"You know, the ocean goblin? He lives in the ocean and if you don't brush your teeth he steals your bones."
"Ok I'm done for the day. If anyone needs me I'm gonna be in the tent looking at weird porn."
"Hey, you miss every ball you don't hit."
"You say 'you people' like you're not part of the family. I've got some news for you, you're already on the christmas card."
"You think these antics would fly at the german club?"
"brush your teeth, kid."
"Can you hear it? the ocean... it wants blood."
"I'm the best damn shot we've got."
"You know, when I was a kid, before my dad got hit by that train, he said, '(name) don't let your friends swim out into the ocean and get stranded on the haunted island of camp kill-a-teen.' and here we are... stranded on the... haunted island of camp kill-a-teen..."
"hey tweedle-dee and tweedle-dumbass!"
"It's fine, baby, if you get scared you can squeeze my hand."
"now let's make like scooby-doo and split up to find a clue."
"In 1991 a case was discovered where a man had the remains of over fifteen victims hidden in his apartment, over 40% of which were stored within his refrigerator. do you know how unsanitary that is?"
"you're so cute when you never shut up. Now shut up."
"all hail decision cube!"
"that's when you started walking on the wild side, right?"
"I AM NOT SOME PETTY CRIMINAL!"
"Does anyone want to hear my tragic backstory?"
"Bed? But what about possible axe-murderers?"
"And we solved the curse of the island, and realized that the real axe murderer was love, all along."
"It was a good night for all of us, let's spend more nights in abandoned lighthouses."
"That hottie from the track team is here and I wanna ask politely is he wants to get rowdy in the back of my dad's Prius."
What she means:
You know what makes me crazy? I'm sorry, can I say this? You know what makes me nuts? The fact that we could be together, here together, sharing our night, spending our time. And you are gonna choose someone else to be with, no, you are, yes, Jamie, that's EXACTLY what you're doing; You could be here with me or be there with them, as usual, guess which you pick! No, Jamie, you do not have to go to another party, with the same twenty jerks you already know. You could stay with your wife on her FUCKING birthday! And you could, god forbid, even see my show, and I know in your soul it must drive you crazy, that you won't get to play with your little girlfriends. No, I'm not, no I'm not! And the point is, Jamie, that you can't spend a single day that's not about YOU.
Max is from the books, and Madzie is from the TV show, in an AU I combined both.
Magnus woke up to an empty bed. He got scared for a second, it was like three in the morning, and he was sure Alec went to bed with him. He got out quickly and put on a robe. God, his son and daughter were just in the other rooms. Alec and Magnus got Madzie six months ago, after finally being able to rescue her; a year after they became an oficial couple; and Max? Max was left at the entrance of the institute two months ago, and with some persuasion, Alec finally accept to adopt him too. Madzie was 7, Max was 1; but maybe Alec finally realized it was too much for him. That being the father of a kid (warlock kid) wasn’t that bad, but of 2? And abobe that one of them being a crying, sweet baby? Magnus felt a shot in his chest. He loved Alec, and the idea of having a family with him, made him the happiest person alive, but maybe Alec didn’t felt that way.
He checked Madzie’s room first, she was sleeping peacefully on her bed, little harmless shots of pink magic coming out of her little fingers. Magnus smile and fixed the blanked on his daughter’s body, then closed the door and silently went to Max’s room. He frowned when he saw the door slightly open. But the moment he reached his son’s room, he froze dead on the door.
Alec was there, his beautiful lover, with dark circles on his eyes that were dimly illuminated by dark blue sparks of magic. He looked completely tired but at the same time in complete peace; so happy that Magnus felt his heart racing. Max was in his arms, his eyes wide and cristal with a trace of tears that indicated he’d been crying. But he wasn’t anymore, he was looking with complete adoration at his father, one small blue hand wrapped around a big finger. Alec was singing, a lullaby, he wasn’t a good singer but in the soft whisper he was chanting, it sounded beautiful. The song was a mixture of latin and old english, Magnus got some parts of the lyrics, things about protection, love, and a baby becoming his parent’s pride. It was so pure and beautiful that it left Magnus breathless.
He realized it was his son’s reaction too. Because he had stoped crying and was paying full attention to the song, he was looking straight into his father’s eyes, as if he could read his pure soul while listening; also he had a trace of a soft smile in his lips, Magnus wanted to kiss him. Actually he wanted to cry out of happiness, then kiss his son, and then his boyfriend. Alec’s look over Max, his warlock son, made any doubt Magnus had before disappear. He was looking at him with the same pure adoration, smiling at his son’s reaction over the song; moving his finger softly to keep Max’s concentration on him, Magnus was overwhelmed and mesmerized.
Alec finish the song and started speaking, “I see you liked the song, honey,” he whispered. “You see? There is no need to cry and wake up papa. Your daddy is here with you and you know I love you and protect you, baby.” Max pouted beautifully at the words and hugged his father, resting his little blue face and dark blue hair in his shoulder. Alec smiled and kissed his son in the head; Magnus melted.
“I love you, and you’ll be fine… By the Angel!” He exclaimed over a louder whisper when he turned around and saw Magnus. “Magnus, how long have you been there?” When Max felt the change in his daddy’s body he looked up, towards his father; and the warlock took a deep breath.
“Long enough. You weren’t in bed and I wanted to check the kids”, he was surprised of how wrecked his voice sounded. Alec crossed the room in long fast steps, with a deep frown.
“Babe, are you crying?” And with that Magnus realized why his voice was like that. Alec made him cry. His sweet boyfriend put a hand on his cheek, removing a tear gently. Max was curious so he poked with a tiny finger the other tear. Magnus smiled and kissed his son’s hand.
“I guess I am. But don’t worry sweetheart, they are touched tears because of the scene I just saw.” Alec blushed but smile too, kissing his son again.
“I heard him crying and I din’t want him to wake you or Madzie up, so I remember a lullaby that mom used to sing to me to make me stop crying; and well, Max liked it more than I used to when I was young.” Magnus smiled and kissed Alec softly.
“Clearly. I think it’s because you sing better than your mom.” Alec laughed softly and started kissing Magnus again. They kissed until they felt a small finger pocking at their entwined lips. They pulled away to see Max looking at them with a curiosity frown; Alec blushed but Magnus giggled, kissing his son’s head, and then his cheek.
“Maybe it’ll be better if we sleep with him”, Magnus suggested. Alec nodded and pecked his son.
“Magnus”, he called. “I know the song is pretty, and all, but not to the point of making people cry.” He pointed out. Magnus smiled again.
“It wasn’t only the song, it was you and… And the way you two were looking at each other. I never in my life would’ve imagine a Shadowhunter loving a downwolder so unconditionally, and you, Alec, you love three. I’m lucky to be one of them, and my children are the other two. I’ve dreamed of having a family for a while know, and you know that the downwolders that I take under my care are like my kids. But now I really have two of my own, and you, a Shadowhunter, the love of my life, is the father of those kids. I was just so happy to have you.” Magnus’ voice became lower with each word, but Alec heard him perfectly; he melted, his eyes where looking at Magnus with so much love, he felt like he was going to combust.
“I love you, Magnus,” he finally whisper. “I love you, and I could never asked for someone better to be the father of my children too. And I love our sons, doesn’t matter what they are. One they they’ll be just as amazing as you, and I’m going to be more than very proud of them.” Magnus smiled and kissed Alec again until Max pocked at their lips again.
“I love you too,” Magnus answered resting his forehead agains Alec’s.
“Papa, what’s going on?” A sleepy voice came from the door. When they pulled completely away, they saw Madzie, rubbing an eye with an sleepy pout. Magnus knelt to be at her height.
“Did we wake you up, my sweet dolphin?” He asked caressing her hair. Magnus called her that because Madzie liked dolphins and since she had gills, he thought that, just as blueberry was accurate for his blue skinned son, sweet or little dolphin was perfect for his daughter. Madzie shooked her head.
“I just woke, and then I heard daddy’s whisper so I came.”
“We are going to take your brother to sleep with us, he was crying a lot,” Alec told her while Max was pulling at his hair in a playful manner. “Wanna come, darling?” He asked. Madzie smile, a sweet inocente smile that could light a room; and then nodded.
“Ok, let’s go”, Magnus said taking her in his arms as they walked out of the room. When they where all settled in the bed, Max was already falling asleep. Alec told the three members of his family how much he loved them, with a kiss for each of them. Magnus did the same and then Madzie in a lazy voice said:
“I love you too daddy and papa. Thank you for saving me and Max.” That made the two fathers melt before going to sleep with a smile on their faces.