Ok so my first thought is: how does the obvious parallel between the banes and the Winchesters (and Max and Dean in particular) and their story in this ep fit into the "finding a better way / not repeating past mistakes" theme of this season? Even if Max didn't sell his soul, I find it difficult to see what he did as finding a better way instead of just history repeating itself...what do you think?
The problem is assuming that there are “obvious parallels” in s12.
And… even the parallel between Dean and Max is flawed…
I’m having an exceedingly difficult time writing coherent meta lately, because s12 is like one of those Magic Eye pictures that you can’t “see” unless you unfocus your eyes and stop TRYING to see it.
(funnily enough I can’t actually see the pictures in those damn books)
I told Lizbob the other day it’s the sound of one hand clapping. I’m starting to feel like a total flake trying to write meta about it, because it’s like writing meta on the sea.
Max didn’t take a deal (SUBVERTED!), Alicia isn’t actually resurrected because she’s just sticks and string with her consciousness overlaid with magic AND UNDER MAX’S CONTROL, not actually completely free. (SUBVERTED!)
I’d been expecting that to happen (or something similar) since Alicia was the first one possessed by the demon in 12.06.
Because in some ways, Max was a closer mirror to Sam, and Alicia was a closer mirror to Dean…
Max was the “natural witch,” the one with freaky magical powers (like Sam). He was the one convinced that their mother was doing the equivalent of Sam’s “pulling overtime on a Miller Time Shift” back in the pilot. HE DIDN’T WANT TO GO LOOKING FOR HER. LIKE SAM DIDN’T WANT TO GO LOOKING FOR JOHN. Max had a date, Sam had Jess.
Alicia was the “normal” one with no freaky psychic woo woo (like Dean), but the one who was legitimately concerned about her mother when she didn’t call in like she usually did. Max made fun of her for it, but she refused to take no for an answer (like Dean did in the pilot).
See what I mean about looking for perfect mirrors in s12? They don’t exist.
It’s like depending on what “layer” of the text you’re looking at, you see two completely different parallels. Opposites, even.
Now Tasha was obviously a good hunter (AND WITCH!) to have lived in the life as long as she did. I’ve even reblogged at least one post that paralleled her to John here. Unlike John, in the end SHE DID NOT TAKE THE DEAL.
Aside from the surface-level similarities in the fact she raised her kids to be hunters, that’s really as far as the parallel works. Everything else about her, and how she raised them (witchcraft! How to flirt with men!) was different.
Looking at the surface level of s12 and trying to speculate is… flawed at best. The mirrors are all broken. Yet the entire story is being told through broken mirrors. You have to unfocus your eyes and look at the cracks to see what’s really going on.
And that sounds idiotic, I know. But that’s how Dabb is telling this story.