that sam has no real memories of mary

I’m watching 5.16 again, and my fingers are itching to make another post about it, but I just watched it on April 20 and made an extensive post about it then. It was in the bye week between 12.18 and 12.19, and there’s a few things that I think need to be said since then, especially post 12.22–

In my last post, I didn’t have Dean’s scene in Mary’s mind, so similar to Dean’s Heaven Memory of Mary in their old house in which we have the closest thing to Dean telling anyone he loves them, saying it to Mary when he was four. Now we have Dean saying it to her for real, as an adult, after venting his frustration and anger at her for real, telling her he hated her for what became of his childhood after her death, but telling her he still loved her anyway despite all of that.

From that extensive post linked above:

The one thing Dean has to reclaim for himself is Mary. She’s absolutely not this warped Torture Hallucination Version that Zachariah presented him with, but she’s also not just that “Blessed Memory” version that Dean had presented himself… Nor are Sam and Dean the little boys that she thinks she remembers from her own version of Heaven. They’re just as fake as Dean’s childhood memory of Mary was in his heaven.

And… that’s pretty much 12.22.

Also in light of this answer from lizbob yesterday about Michael which also touched on Zachariah, this whole scene just supports that notion that Zach– as Michael’s mouthpiece and functionary– was the officially sanctioned agent of Michael’s authority:

ZACHARIAH: Let me tell you something. I was on the fast track once. Employee of the month, every month, forever. I would walk these halls and people would AVERT THEIR EYES! (The house rumbles and shakes.) I HAD ‘‘RESPECT’’! And then they assigned me you. Now look at me. (He chuckles unhappily.) I can’t close the deal on a couple of flannel-wearing maggots? Everybody’s laughing at me… and they’re right to do it. So! Say yes, don’t say yes; I’m still going to take it out of your asses. It’s personal now, boys, and the last person in the history of creation you want as your enemy is me. And I’ll tell you why. Lucifer may be strong, but I’m… ‘‘petty’’. I’m going to be the angel on your shoulder for the rest of eternity.

This little speech was all about HIM and that position he occupied as essentially Michael’s lackey. And he’s definitely petty.

And NONE OF THAT reflects particularly well back on his boss– Michael.

Supernatural’s eleventh season took sibling rivalries to a new level by introducing God’s sister, Amara. Fans learned all about how creation began, how God locked his sister away for billions of years, and by the end of the season, how two siblings could overcome all of it.

But where do you go from there? Well, considering you can’t go bigger than God’s family drama, new showrunner Andrew Dabb is refocusing on smaller family drama, but one that’s a bit closer to the hearts of fans — the Winchesters.

“Every time we do a big world-spanning story, we feel we’re really stretching our show,” Dabb tells EW. “What our show was designed to be and I think functions best as is smaller personal stories with a genre twist.”

And it’s hard not to tell a personal story when season 11 ended with the resurrection of Mary Winchester, Sam and Dean’s mother, who died in the pilot. “At the heart, the dynamic of the show is unchanged in that it’s always going to be about the brothers, it’s always going to be about the family they’ve put together,” Dabb says. “And Mary doesn’t so much upset that as complement it. When she comes in, it’s family through another lens.”

As Jensen Ackles puts it, “You’re going to see two brothers be sons. We saw that [with their dad, John], but when you’re a son to your father, it’s a different son than you are to your mother.” 

For Sam, it’s his first real chance to meet his mom, who died when he was 6 months old. “I think Sam has glorified mom so much in his head,” Jared Padalecki says. “It’s almost like a blind date and Sam’s already in love with the person he hasn’t met yet. It’s been fun for me, after 240-something episodes, to have a brand-new facet of Sam’s personality to play.”

And for Dean, it’s a chance to see how this Mary compares to the one he remembers. “There are very faint memories that Dean has of mom. Those memories have, in my opinion, been embellished over the years. Memories can evolve over time as you need it to relate to your own life,” Ackles says. “To have her back now, he’s pulling all these memories up, and obviously he’s a different person now. He doesn’t have the relationship with her that he had as a child because he doesn’t really even understand that relationship.”

Mary will find herself in the bunker — which will make for some awkward family moments — and on the road, hunting. “She is their origin myth,” Dabb says. “At first, they’re really excited to have her back, but also aren’t quite sure how she’s going to respond to them because they know the last thing she wanted was for her kids to be hunters, and now she’s walking into a world where her kids are hunters. It’s a relationship that’s going to evolve over time as Mary herself comes out and she sees her kids and she doesn’t want to get into hunting but she of course lives in our world and you can’t turn your back on it forever. She gets kind of pulled back in and has mixed feelings about that.”

“[This season is] more Sam and Dean on the road. Mary is there. Cas is there. Crowley is there,” Dabb continues. “There’s more monsters of the week this year. It’s more about telling smaller stories that also impact more of our characters.”

And that includes a new friendship between Castiel and Mary. “He has a shared experience of feeling like an outsider with the brothers yet feeling connected to them,” Misha Collins says. “He is pushing them to confront the emotional bomb that is their mother showing up.”

As for how they’ll confront that “emotional bomb,” fans can expect Sam to take the more academic approach of trying to understand mom’s side of things, whereas Dean might react a bit more emotionally. So in other words, how they typically react to things.

Dean’s mother not living up to the angel he created in his mind. Dean’s mother falling hard from that pedestal and hitting every bump on the way down. Dean’s mother abandoning him.

Mary Winchester desperate to reclaim a piece of herself that was lost decades ago. Mary Winchester loving her sons completely, without even really knowing them. Mary Winchester leaving her boys, but intending to return in some capacity once she figures out what it means to be alive again.

This is good stuff, guys.

I am here for Dean realizing that his mother isn’t just his mother. That she is a woman who has her own life, her own memories, and her own desires. It’s important that Mary is set up as a character on her own, not just someone for Sam and Dean to play off of.

But I am also here for Dean struggling with his extremely justified feelings of abandonment. He is a man who has always been desperate for his mother’s love. Then his mother returns… and she doesn’t want him. That kind of pain is visceral. It’s real. It’s the kind of pain only a Winchester could endure without falling to pieces. That look on Dean’s face at the end of the episode? Beyond betrayed. Beyond hurt. He was completely heartbroken.

This is the kind of shit I show up every week for. It’s painful, but man is it real.