The Winchester family tension regarding the British Men of Letters is in full force in season 12 episode 14 of Supernatural. Right at the beginning we pick up where we left off, with Mary (Samantha Smith) asking to be heard out by her sons. She explains that she knows who this group is and what they’ve done, but they do offer a better way to hunt. This leads to the question of how long she has been working with the Brits to which she has to admit it’s been since before the lake house with Ramiel. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) are rightly upset about the fact she not only lied and kept secrets, Castiel almost died and a hunter did die. Mary clearly feels guilty about what happened yet Dean is completely unsympathetic.
Mary tries to explain that she’s playing three decades of catch-up and Dean reminds her they are too, that she’s been gone for most of their lives. He only wants her to try and be a mom. She does have to point out that she is not only a mom and he is no longer a child. The argument continues until Dean puts an end to it by stating that she’s made her choice, pointing her to the door before storming out of the room. Mary turns to Sam to talk to him only to get a response from her youngest son that she should just go.
Flash-forward to three days later, we see Mary and Mr. Arthur Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) driving a van into a secured facility and unloading after a successful hunt. Arthur is impressed with Mary’s work and with their new toy which kills vampires easily and without a mess. Mary is obviously distracted as he speaks but when asked, she doesn’t share her thoughts. Instead, she makes her way to her room, looking at all the unanswered texts she’d sent to her sons and reflecting on their fight.
Mr. Ketch checks in with Mick (Adam Fergus), informing him that the hunt went well. Mick is more interested in whether Mary has mentioned anything about her boys. Arthur feels that they don’t need Dean and Sam; they have the best Winchester on their side already. Mick disagrees, claiming that where the brothers go, the rest of the American hunters will follow.
At the bunker, Dean tells Sam that he’s found a case. Although when Sam reviews the facts, he points out it’s not an actual case but a normal murder. Dean is apparently on edge and needing a hunt to release some steam. He wants to know what Mary could possibly be thinking. So the more rational brother states they should ask her, that she must have had a good reason for her decision. This only irritates Dean more, causing him to say he’s going out for drinks. On his way out, Dean tells Sam that this playing peacemaker, always staying neutral has to stop. He needs to pick a side at some point.
After his big brother leaves, Sam finally looks at his texts from Mary and reads the last one that says it’s urgent she meets with him. He goes, meeting her at the Men of Letters facility. She explains that she messed up yet what the MoL are doing is bigger than them. They have the ability to rid the world of monsters, meaning her sons could live a normal life. Sam states he chose this life, which she understands. But what if he didn’t have to choose? All she wants is to show him what they are doing.
Showing him around the high-tech facility, Mick greets Sam. Wanting nothing to do with the man, Sam decides to leave until Mick invites him to join the upcoming briefing…where they will discuss their plan to exterminate every vampire in America. This is enough to pique Sam’s interest, so he goes to at least listen. In the meeting, the youngest Winchester is introduced to the two techies working for Mick and a not-so-tough hunter that had been recruited, Pierce. Sam is surprised as the discussion begins to find that British Men of Letters plan has already succeeded in ridding the Midwest U.S. of all but 11 vampires. Instead of dealing with out-of-line vampires as they are found then moving on, this group watches them to find the entire line and takes them all out. They even have the location of the remaining vampires and have put a plan in action to finish them off. Mick asks Sam about his thoughts on the group then explains they’ve struggled to attract the top-shelf hunters like Sam.
Meanwhile, Dean returns to the bunker after more than a few drinks to find Sam gone. A knock at the door reveals Mr. Ketch on the other side, bearing gifts of really good scotch. He knows the way to Dean’s liver and this gets Dean to let him in. The two sit and drink, while every effort at conversation by Arthur is ignored. Eventually the surly hunter states he know Arthur is there to recruit him and his brother. The man admits he doesn’t care if they are recruited, but the higher ups do want the Winchester brothers on their side. He also tries to relate to Dean, that the Men of Letters is a good fit for men like them. They are killers; they must have something to hunt and when they don’t, things get ugly. Working for this group is not a bad life. Getting up, Mr. Ketch excuses himself, saying he has some vampires to take care of. This obviously interests Dean, resulting in an invitation to join the hunt.
Arriving at the vampire hideout, Dean gets a glimpse at the fun toys available to Arthur before they head inside. However, the place looks completely empty. A bit later, Mr. Ketch drags a female vampire along that he found in the basement. She refuses to tell them where her friends are and he begins to try beating it out of her. Dean steps in, stopping him and crouching down to talk to the girl. She asks if he’ll let her go if she tells him to which he responds that he’ll at least make her death quick. Accepting her fate, the woman tells him that her friends are out hunting the hunters.
The tables are turned at the Men of Letters facility when the guard outside is killed by the vampires. Everyone inside watches as the group gains entrance through the gates. Sam jumps into action, telling them to lock the place down while Mary calls on a radio to the men outside to retreat. A few of the vamps are able to overtake one man running into the building, getting inside before he can lock the door. Mother and son are able to fight them off, killing most and taking one hostage.
Mick is confused about how these monsters knew who they were and where to find them. According to their prisoner, their father told them – the alpha-vamp. Apparently, the alpha-vamp was supposed to be dead according to their intel. Not at all true, as Sam reveals he met the guy only years ago so their information was obviously incorrect. To make matters worse, they were trapped and the vampires have the whole building surrounded.
Now knowing what they were about to deal with, the group takes stock of their available weapons and who’s capable of fighting. Sam, Dean, and Pierce are the only ones who have ever killed a supernatural being. Not much help against the group and the alpha about to break into the place. They do have their anti-vampire device in the armory but they’ll have to go retrieve it. Mary does have a plan to put it in the ventilation system in order to kill the whole group. This won’t help at all with an alpha, though. So Mary turns to Mick and tells him to get the Colt. Sam is understandably a bit surprised to see the weapon, resulting in Mary admitting she stole it from Ramiel. He doesn’t have time to react to this news other than give her a look because Mick states it won’t work since they don’t have any bullets for it. However, thanks to our beloved, deceased Bobby, Sam has a recipe to make bullets and he puts Mick to work on that while the hunters head to the armory.
On the way there, the three are attacked as soon as they open one of the doors and Sam has to hold them off while the other two find another route to their destination. Mary and Pierce do manage to make it to the room and grab the device. Mick also works on the bullets when Pierce bangs on the door to be let in. He’s not alone, but it’s not Mary with him now. It’s the alpha-vamp who quickly kills everyone in the room except Mick.
Evidently, the hunter has an arrangement with the alpha, explaining how he knew where to find the people who had killed so many of his children. The alpha went on to tell him that he prefers to live quietly, so even though he’d heard of the Men of Letters killing vampires, it was in a different country so he didn’t step in. But now they are messing with America and it was time to intervene, time for Mick to get off his lawn.
After taking care of the vampires he was holding off, Sam finds an unconscious Mary and a destroyed device in the armory, both thanks to Pierce. Waking his mom up, they hurry back to the room where Mick is about to be killed by the alpha. Sam grabs the Colt, negotiating with the alpha to let him and his mother go and he can have the Brit. Mick doesn’t take this well and jumps at Sam. While the two men scuffle, Mary goes after the alpha. Both Mick and Mary end up on the floor and Sam raises the gun again. Mick’s reaction was a way to get the bullet for the Colt to Sam, and Mary was the distraction so Sam could load the gun. The trigger is pulled and the alpha is killed at last.
During the aftermath of the attack, Mick is shaken by the sight of his team now dead. When Mr. Ketch returns with Dean in tow, Mick is upset that he wasn’t there to help during the fight. Arthur explains that in the fight, unlike in the ivory tower Mick is used to, people die. And that he had been making headway getting Dean recruited until this operation went completely sideways.
Dean is reuniting with his mother and brother, saying they’d rushed there as soon as they’d found out the Men of Letters were getting attacked. He knew Mary was there and if anything had happened to her he couldn’t live with himself. His attitude toward her has shifted. It’s not her job to take care of him like a child. They are all adults and she’s free to make her own choices so he has to respect them, even if he really hates them.
The Winchesters watch as Arthur takes Pierce out of the facility to be “dealt with” and none of them have any problem with this. Sam goes over to Mick while Dean and Mary continue talking. The man knows this wasn’t a good first impression with Men of Letters and seems about to argue that they are trying to do good when Sam flatly states that he is in. He wants to be part of changing the world. When asked about Dean, he also says to give him some time. So, that’s two of the three Winchesters on board with the group. Dean will surely not be so easy to convince, right?
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