Rick Springfield as Vince Vincente in SUPERNATURAL - Season 12 - "Mama Mia" | © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Diyah Pera

Rick Springfield as Vince Vincente in SUPERNATURAL – Season 12 – “Mamma Mia” | © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Diyah Pera

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard, Rick Springfield, Ruth Connell, Samantha Smith, Elizabeth Blackmore, Bronagh Waugh, Woody Jeffreys, Adam Fergus
Writers: Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming, series created by Eric Kripke
Director: Thomas J. Wright
Network: The CW, Thursdays @ 8 PM
Original Airdate: October 20, 2016

One of the pleasures of the SUPERNATURAL Season 12 episode “Mamma Mia” is seeing that Samantha Smith, as Mary Winchester, mother of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), fits comfortably into the ensemble. The actress is likable, neither over the top nor stiff. Mary comes across as vulnerable and maternal, yet also pragmatic and kickass when necessary. It’s a case of good calibration.

Mary’s skills come in handy in rescuing Sam, who is being held prisoner and questioned by English Person of Letters Lady Toni Bevell (Elizabeth Blackmore). Since torture hasn’t yielded results, Toni has slapped a magical whammy on Sammy. Sam hallucinates that he and Toni are lovers and engages in a bit of pillow talk before snapping out of it. Of course, Toni thinks that Dean and Sam were recruited into being Hunters and also supposes that monster hunting in the U.S. is way more organized than it is. She’s asking about a hierarchy that doesn’t exist.

Castiel (Misha Collins) locates the abandoned farmhouse where Toni has got Sam stashed. Castiel can’t get in because of the magical wards. Dean gets in, but Toni gets the drop on him. She threatens to torture Dean if Sam doesn’t talk. Then Mary comes in, there’s a struggle – and then Toni’s associate Mick (Adam Fergus) enters, accompanied by Castiel. Mick has wiped away the wards so that Cass can enter as a sign of good faith toward the Winchesters. Seems that Toni is acting without authorization. She was meant to befriend the American Hunters, not interrogate them.

Alone with Toni, Mick says that if enhanced interrogation is necessary, they’ll bring in their apparently quite formidable expert.

Back at Men of Letters headquarters, Sam lets Mary’s existence sink in. He’s happy to have his Mom, although she died so early in his life that he never knew her. Mary has guilt about bringing her entire family into Hunting, although when she died, she had no idea that her husband would turn his life – and their sons’ lives – into a quest for vengeance. Nobody is sure how to make small talk.

Meanwhile, Lucifer jumps into the body of rocker Vince Vincent (Rick Springfield). Crowley (Mark A. Sheppard) wants to put Lucifer back in the cage in Hell. He blackmails Rowena (Ruth Connell) into helping him try, but Crowley bails when the spell doesn’t work. Lucifer decides to keep Rowena prisoner – she’s a talented witch and has the Book of the Damned, which could come in handy.

Springfield is a good choice as Lucifer, though in terms of continuity, it seems like the apology from Dad (aka God) last season should have had a little more effect. (We also miss Mark Pellegrino, because he was generally awesome as Lucifer.) Resetting the playing field with him as a primary adversary seems like a good strategy.

The British contingent of Hunters doesn’t seem as formidable as the King of Hell, though the script informs us that we haven’t seen them at full strength yet. They remain a question mark in terms of true intentions and in terms of how much they can bring to the party.

The highlight of “Mamma Mia” is seeing the creative team and the actors work delicately and without much dialogue in establishing the tentative give and take and growing bonds between the Winchesters. It’s effective, it has impact and it’s not pressed too hard.

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TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 12 – “Mamma Mia”

 

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