Can we talk about how at the end of 12.12 Mary said, "I almost lost one of my boys." Like, no, she's hardly the best mother figure, but the fact that Cas is "one of her boys"? omg. That felt huge to me.
I have to say - I’m having complicated feelings for Mary right now - not only Mary not coming clean about the Colt to Ramiel when there was a slight chance he was going to kill her and let the others go, but mostly Mary turning over one of the most powerful weapons in existence to a secret organization she knows nothing about - also people who tortured and skinned her son.
The kindest explanation for Mary not saying anything in that barn was to assume she’d sort of - frozen in fear? After all, she may have caught up with her reading (we don’t know what she’s been up to, exactly), but to her, yellow-eyes demons must be the worst kind of enemies - much more close and personal than anything else. And as for her involvement with the BMoL - I’ll go all Tale of The Three Brothers on this and say Mary’s sort on a path of self-destruction, and she doesn’t care who else gets hurt as long as she gets what she was promised: the end of the supernatural threat utterly and completely. I’m not saying she doesn’t love Sam and Dean, and, as you say, she seems to have taken to Cas as well (even if, I’ll admit, it seemed a bit forced to me), but we know she feels a big disconnect with the world around her, because that’s not where she belongs. And in her mind, her sons are already dead, in a sense, because everything she’d hoped for them went up in flames in that nursery, and if she could only fix that - if she could rid the world of monsters, once and for all - any price is worth that, including, I suspect, the lives of anyone she’s ever met, like Wally, whom she considered a friend, or even Sam and Dean.
I’m probably wrong, but I’ve been wondering, on and off, how much guilt Mary is carrying around. In a way, she got her parents killed, and we know that with their deaths, a whole dynasty of hunters crumbled away into nothingness. How many lives were lost because Samuel Campbell wasn’t there to coordinate the hunts on those monsters? Is that why Mary kept hunting, even if she’d gotten out? Because one day she turned on the radio in her ordinary, sigil-free kitchen and heard about two kids who’d been gutted in an ‘animal attack’ and knew - she just did - that this was a nest of vampires her father had been tracking before she traded his life for John’s?
All this to say that, if it make sense, her inclusion of Cas as one of ‘my boys’ wasn’t so much as a statement in Cas’ favour, but a downgrading of her own sons, in my view. We already know she’s feeling complicated feelings for both of them, and now we’re learning that those extend to not involving them in her decisions and not trusting them and even putting their lives on the line if necessary. And I’m sure Mary loves her sons, and that she’s including Cas in her brood because of that hunter/soldier philosophy they all seem to function by, but I think she also feels responsible for the rest of the world - perhaps even for giving birth to the archangels’ vessels, who knows - and since she hasn’t long left on Earth, she’s determined to put everything right, no matter the cost.
And, by the way - not that I’m still obsessing over that, but Cas’ I love you - I’ve read some people frowning at the fact there were two different sentences there, and I now think Mary was the reason why. It wasn’t singular and plural - it was two different plurals. Because, well, look at Cas’ whole speech -
Thank you. Knowing you, it - it’s been the best part of my life. And the things that - the things we’ve shared together, they have changed me. You’re my family. I love you.
- where does Mary fit into that? Cas’ known her, like, two months? That speech is for Sam and Dean, not Mary. As is that first I love you - which is why we get a second one, I love all of you, which is a more inclusive plural.
Anyway - I should specify this is not Mary hate - I like the character they’re building there, and I like how they’re working against the classic motherhood tropes. Still, she’s truly her sons’ mother - as guilt-ridden and martyrdom-seeking as Dean, as secretive and randomly hubristic as Sam - not a good combination.