Heeeeey Tiiiiiink, *sidles up (somewhat creepily)* We know that Sam & Dean knew that Mary was a bamf before having them but Mary didnt know that they knew right? So when she came back why didnt she even try to keep up the mumsy facade? She just went straight to hunter!Mary. It wouldve been lovely (& sad) if she'd kept the long hair for a bit longer & tried to be squishy but she didnt bother. Is this a meta decision or was it cut for time or something else? Thanks, as always, you rock. 😄
Hi! FYI my answer to this got a bit shouty, but I’m not shouting at you anon, I just have big feels about Mary’s story and some people’s reaction to it :) So…
I mean… why would anyone keep up a squishy facade when it’s not who they really are?
I kind of feel like this ask answers itself, like, surely this is OBVIOUSLY A BAD THING?!!! Pretending to be someone you’re not?! It’s already shown through Dean that this is a terrible thing to do!
Mary’s story in season 12 is a mirror for Sam, Cas and Dean’s past “protect you” bad ways of dealing with things as well as making her her own character, she is a massive mirror and exposition for the characters we care about (TFW) and how their “protect you at all cost even through lying to you” actions never work out in the end. It’s to make us see that this isn’t what we want, we don’t want toxic codependency and “dying for you” tropes, we want working together, being open and honest! THAT is what works in the end in 12x22. It’s to make us see this and feel this on an emotional level so that it makes us happy when it finally happens in 12x22 and hopefully much more moving forwards for the characters we ultimately really care about, for TFW.
Season 12 was a freaking funhouse of mirrors and it was epic!
It’s also… just totally unfair for her own character to assume that she has to put who she really is below being squishy for her sons? Sons who are grown up big hunter men and seem to her to have it relatively together.
Because importantly they DON’T show her that they’re struggling too, she doesn’t KNOW, by the time Dean calls her to say he’s spun out over Cas she’s already been brainwashed, it’s too late!
That is again another part of the story for Dean, to show him that perhaps if he had been more open and honest earlier she may have stayed and helped him? If they hadn’t all gone off to their own rooms on their own in that really sad last scene of 12x02, perhaps if they’d been open and talked, if generally Dean and Mary were both open and honest they could have helped each other and Sam would have helped them too?! A lack of honesty out of wishing to protect / not facing your own issues leading to problems. I mean this isn’t new :) BUT it’s now leading somewhere big in the way it was framed and boy did it by 12x22.
Anyway, meanwhile she is really struggling, coping with coming back from Heaven and a place where she was happy with her two babies into a harsh world where the first day she comes back she ends up killing someone, meeting her son as a grown ass adult, his Angel
boyfriend, her other son being kidnapped. She is really really struggling and, true to Winchester fashion, she bottles it up, isn’t honest and tries to Keep Calm and Carry On, tries to protect her boys and look after them from afar. It’s not RIGHT but she’s SUFFERING TRAGIC LOSS AND IS A MESS!
Perhaps it’s because I’m a 30 year old woman trying for my first child but yeah, this idea that Mary just has to put on a squishy facade and be a perfect mother for any amount of time, cutting the crusts off the PB&Js and not her own character with her own issues that are CLEARLY SHOWN FROM THE OFF is really worrisome to me. She doesn’t just serve the narrative as Sam and Dean’s mom, they made her her own character with her own issues and I LOVE that. It’s kinda the whole point of season 12 too, that it’s Mary and Cas who hold the narrative in man ways, are mirrors of each other, struggling, depressed, trying to protect them and pulling a Winchester to do it. Showing that when Sam and Dean did it for each other it was bad then too!
I feel like I’m often defending Mary but…. really?! I just see her in this totally awful position, step away from seeing everything through Sam and Dean’s eyes (which is SO absolutely necessary to make sense of this season re: Cas’ actions too, so it’s clearly what we are supposed to do) and its blatant that her story is absolutely TRAGIC.
To just say she didn’t both is like…. I don’t even know how to respond without being upset by it to be honest. I abhor this idea that everyone in the show has to revolve around making Sam and Dean’s lives better regardless of their own huge tragic struggles (Mary’s issues with returning to this apparently awful life in comparison to what she had in Heaven, just compare it with Buffy after she got back from Heave and her season long struggle, it’s so much the same but we just see it more from Buffy’s side as she’s the main character but the concept is clearly supposed to be the same! and then there’s also Cas who is struggling with extreme suicidal depression in season 12 and I get so upset by people who are upset with how he apparently “treats” Dean in season 12 and how this makes Dean kinda sad and worried, boohoo, like JEEZ YOU try being depressed and a total mess and see how you cope!!!)(Not you anon! Just you in general).
So yeah, whilst it might have been fluffy as a squishy nice idea for Mary to be sweet and lovely and motherly to the boys, it’s just not her story in season 12. Also it just doesn’t fit the way that Dean had to figure out his shit either.
Her story is one of coping with the tragic loss of her perfect false paradise, trying to do the best she can for her boys, pulling a classic Winchester and lying to them, hiding what she’s doing because she’s trying to protect them (and if I hear anyone say that this is bad and makes them dislike her then well I don’t know what to say cos this is what Dean has been doing for 12 years and we don’t hate HIM now do we?! The point is to show us that what Dean in particular but all of TFW have done like this in the past is bad but it doesn’t make them bad people :p).
So yeah, the narrative is that of course we are supposed to struggle with what Mary has done and totally see that it’s bad (and SO IMPORTANTLY see that it is/was bad when Sam and Dean and Cas do it too!) but NOT to totally vilify her (not that thats what you’re doing anon, I just see other people do it and it just… confuses me so much. It’s missing the point so hard).
Mary’s story is to show us that the “protect them” way of doing things is wrong, the “working together” way of doing things is what works, that’s why it works in 12x22.
She also serves to further Dean’s story through his being so upset with her that he finally turns around and says “I DESERVE MORE” and lo and behold he becomes so emancipated over the season that we get him literally blowing down his facade / walls in 12x22 in the same episode that he faces her and is HONEST with her about how he feels.
I’m sure that we will see much more Mary being a better mother to the boys next season, fulfilling more of the standard “mother” role, but that just wasn’t her story in season 12.
I also kinda love it cos she was SUCH a standard mother figure in her “kill the mom” trope in the pilot that for her to come back and be totally the OPPOSITE of the “classic sweet mom” trope was fantastic!!!!! Kudos!!!!!
Let Mary be her own character and for the boys to learn who she really is, not just as their mom but as a person, in order for them all to get to loving each other for WHO they are and not WHAT they are… I want them to love her not just for being their mom and making them cookies and being sweet but for who her badass hunting character is, how she might have a great sense of humour or loyalty or… whatever, not JUST the fact that she’s their mom you know?!!
I hope so anyway :D