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Supernatural - The Foundry - Review



Supernatural “The Foundry” was written by Robert Berens and directed by Robert Singer. This was a real return to the show’s roots with a good, old fashioned (in several respects!) ghost hunt. While the two threads of the story might have appeared to have little relation to each other, they did carry the through line of mothers. Both Mary (Samantha Smith) and Rowena (Ruth Connell) say good bye to their sons – at least temporarily.

While it seemed like a refreshing change to see the EMF readers pulled out again, having Crowley (Mark Sheppard) and Castiel (Misha Collins) team up again felt stale. Really? A heaven and hell against Lucifer (Rick Springfield) storyline again? There’s no doubt that these two play well off each other – who didn’t love the Agents Beyonce and Jay-Zee? – it also feels like a waste of their talents to use them as the comic relief.

Annoying hipsters Dave (Kyle Warren) and Nat (Aadila Dosani) are lured into an abandoned house by a crying baby. After they find a creepy doll, because creepy dolls!,both have their hearts frozen.

The scene between Castiel and Mary is terrific. Mary wants to know how long it took Castiel to feel like he fit or belonged after leaving heaven. Castiel is still struggling – and a nice reminder that he doesn’t sleep. Because him wandering around the bunker all night isn’t creepy. Castiel tells Mary that she does fit – she’s human after all. But it’s clear that she is still really struggling. She cuts her hair – it’s a way to break from the past and what she’s been, to try to find who she is now.

Castiel has a lead on Lucifer and promises to call if he finds him. Castiel tells them that they are needed there. Sam (Jared Padalecki) immediately realizes that he means Mary, but Dean (Jensen Ackles) is oblivious or in denial. He wants her to be fine. I like that they find a balance between what Sam and Dean have in common with her. Especially, in this breakfast scene. Dean bonds with her over bacon, and Sam over hair. Naturally, Sam is the one to notice it. Mary explains it’s better for hunting – nothing to pull on, and Dean says he’s been trying to convince Sam of that for years. Dean also misses the point of Sam’s hair – it’s a defiance to the hunting life, a way of staking out his own identity. (also, the fans would riot if he cut it…)

Mary is the one who finds the case – but she finds it and works it old school. She found it via the newspapers that Dean brought her. Sam is worried she’s not ready and that she still needs some R&R. Dean is over the moon about a family hunting trip, however. It’s how Dean would deal with things. Dean catches her up on the variety of snack foods. It’s a bit funny that Sam is immediately relegated to the back seat. And it’s no surprise that Mary loves “Born to be Wild” – it’s music from her past – and I loved her turning the volume up. After all. Let’s not forget that she’s really their age too.

I loved the Agent names that Mary clearly picked – the Partridge family! Shirley Partridge (Shirley Jones starred) and of course Danny Bonaduce has been infamous since the show and David Cassidy was the heartthrob lead – and the father of Katie Cassidy – Ruby 1.0!

Crowley trying to convince Castiel to work with him again is hilarious. Especially the physical comedy of them back and forth between the truck windows. The scene is really nicely blocked – from the walk and talk to the truck. It also reinforces that the two are a decent team. It would just be a lot more interesting to really see a bit more struggle between heaven and hell – but then neither is purely of where they came from anymore – ie Castiel is hardly angelic and Crowley is hardly demonic.

Dean fusses a bit over Mary being comfortable with the EMF, but she assures him that she’s good – it’s analog! It was a nice throwback to the blue flashlights and creepy settings of the early seasons – and who better to take the audience back there than Robert Singer who’s been with the show since the beginning.

Sam and Dean end up having to rescue Mary after she gets a little too up close and personal with the ghost. It’s also not a huge surprise that Mary identifies with the ghost – after all, the first time we really saw her after the “Pilot” was as a ghost in “Home.” She also feels like a displaced soul.

Mary is ready to knock on some doors. And that really underscores how much the hunting techniques of the brothers have changed – not only from Mary’s day but since the beginning of the show. In the end, of course, Mary proves that a little human contact – even over the phone yields better results.

Again, it’s funny when Castiel wonders if Dean and Sam get doors slammed in their face when he and Crowley go to see Wendy (Nancy Kerr). Wendy drops that Vince has a red-headed groupie with him, and Castiel is shocked – Sheppard’s innocent face is hilarious. In point of fact, Collins’ shocked face is perhaps the most genuine, non-mugging we get to see from him in the episode – barring his scene with Mary, in which he does manage that awkward almost-human vibe. Crowley does insist that they have to save Rowena because she’s a powerful weapon and the only one who can get Lucifer back in the cage. This is a fine line – Crowley’s mommy issues – that Sheppard and the writers play fairly well. And we do get to see heaven stop a little demonic behavior.

Rowena proves to be the equal to Lucifer. It was pretty funny that Springfield asked for a beauty spell! Rowena takes him from Keith Richards to Iggy Pop – hilarious – and then sends him to the bottom of the ocean. Why do I see a diving expedition running into problems soon?

It was nice to see the brothers actually turning to “the lore” again! It’s Mary who isn’t satisfied that what they’ve found really fits. Mary tries to convince them that the ghost was scared and both brothers are just a little condescending. When she has a vision of the ghost, she doesn’t help her case and Dean and Sam go off to burn the bones of all the victims.

Nice to see the brothers standing over a burning grave again! Not something I’d really ever thought I’d write! It’s another beautifully shot scene, and Ackles and Padalecki are terrific in it. Dean still thinks that they can have nice things. He’s trying to avoid dealing with Mary. Dean sees it as adjusting and Sam sees it as struggling. Sam identifies with burying yourself in hunting to avoid dealing – he’s done it, Dean’s done it, and John did it.

Mary goes back to the house and discovers it’s really the father of the little girl who was killed. She manages to possess her. And that wasn’t a throwback I was hoping to ever see. I still remember how hard it was for anyone to keep a straight face over ectoplasm in the first season. Mary breaks free long enough to send Sam to the basement to burn the bones of the father, leaving Dean the choice to saltgun his mother – like that was ever going to happen! – or risk more damage to himself of Sam. In the end he throws a chain around her - and it's a nice symbol for how tightly he is trying to hold on to his mother. We get a really nice special effect in which the murder goes up in flames as his bones are burned and the children are released to heaven. It’s certainly a satisfying end for Mary’s first hunt back – and maybe her last.

Crowley and Castiel arrive at Vince’s hideaway to find Rowena taking tea. And there’s the big difference between Rowena and Mary – Rowena is quite capable of taking care of herself. She isn’t going to help them find Lucifer, but does promise to come back and help when – and if – they get Lucifer cornered.

Dean tells Mary that she kicked ass. Mary points out that they saved her, and then she goes on to explain her feelings about the situation. Moriarty (Cameron Grierson) bound the children to him to get his power. Mary sees him as greedy. Is she thinking that binding herself to her own children is also greedy? She is clearly deeply affected by the hunt. Dean tells her it’s ok, she’s home. But Mary tells him no, she’s not. She misses John and her boys. Sam tells her they’re right there, but she’s mourning them as she knew them.

Mary tells them that she thought hunting and working would clear her head, but it hasn’t. She has to go. She needs some time to adjust. Sam understands, but Dean is simply hurt by what he clearly sees as a rejection. He turns away from her when Mary would hug him. Sam hugs her and she tells them both that she loves them before taking John’s journal and leaving.

And while this last scene was brilliantly acted, from a writing standpoint, it’s ridiculous. What is Mary planning on doing with her time? How is she going to get around? Is she taking Baby? How is she going to pay for anything? Get a job? There are just too many questions here.

So, a lot to like about this comfort-food type episode – with a heavy side dish of comedy and a dessert course of angst. But a few issues too. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!



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