12.06 Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox

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SN1206B-0070b.jpg
Title Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox
Episode # Season 12, Episode 6
First aired November 17, 2016
Directed by John Badham
Written by Steve Yockey
On IMDB Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox
Outline Sam, Dean, Mary, and Jody must take action when a demon begins picking off mourners at the wake of recently fallen hunter, Asa Fox.
Monster Jael
Timeline
Location(s) Emerson, Manitoba, Canada
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Synopsis

Emerson, Manitoba, 1980. A young man runs through the woods. Trapped up against a tree by a werewolf, he is sliced across the cheek; just when he thinks he's dead, a shot rings out. Mary Winchester drives the boy home. After a silent car ride, he reveals his name is Asa Fox. Mary tells him he's going to be fine, but Asa just wants to know what that thing was. She explains that it was a werewolf, something she had been tracking for a long time. She tries to explain that she's retired but Asa wants to know if she retires, who will to save people like him. She straightens out the boy's hair before leaving him at his door and as she turns away, Asa snaps a picture.

Hunting becomes Asa's obsession. As he grows, he learns the ropes, becoming adept at everything supernatural. With each hunt, Asa tries to let the mysterious Mary know how he’s doing, writing her postcards he can never send. Running through the woods, chasing after something, Asa falls into a trap that leaves him hanging from a tree, dead.

In Sioux Falls, Jody is about to enjoy some Netflix and pizza on her day off, when Sam and Dean drop in. The boys just finished a hunt and figured they would stop by. She notes how smelly they are while they make themselves at home and Dean gladly announces his latest triumph: killing Hitler. While eating pizza, Dean questions Jody why she would be watching a chick flick, and asks if she is a romcom chick; Jody quickly asks Dean if he is. Sam interjects and tells Jody of Dean's predilection for "animated Japanese erotica," much to Dean's embarrassment and Jody's delight. Before the conversation can go further, Jody gets a phone call. She returns to the living room in tears.

She tells them that a friend, Asa Fox, has passed. He'd rolled through town on a hunt a few months ago, and since then he and Jody had met up a few times for "coffee or... something". The boys acknowledge that they have heard stories of him from Ellen at the Roadhouse, how he supposedly killed five wendigos in one night. Sam and Dean offer to take the trip with her, telling her they never go to hunter's gatherings because John believed they were trouble. Jody agrees, but tells them they need to shower first if they are going to be spending five hours in the Impala together.

They enter Canada, pulling up to a house that is clearly filled with people and loud music. As they enter, Jody is greeted by Asa's mother Lorraine Fox, who hugs her tightly. Dean makes his way to the kitchen and grabs a beer, finding out from the hunters there that the Winchesters are now the "celebrities" of the day.

Sam chats with a set of twins who were raised by a witch, before being "fan-girled" by a man named Elvis Katz. Elvis questions him about Lucifer, bringing the twins to Sam's defense. Sam, a little taken aback by the questions, leaves to grab a beer. Finding Dean in Asa's room, they are surprised to see a real angel blade among the man's effects. Sam is a little shocked that people tells stories about them. Dean reminds him that they're not in the long-life business. As the night wears on, people begin to leave and Bucky Sims begins to tell stories about Asa's life. The boys find out that Jody and Asa knew each other more intimately than Jody had indicated. As a hunter named Randy Bull goes to get more beer, he is grabbed from behind in the hallway and his throat is slit.

Mary, having heard of Asa's death, arrives late to the wake and is introduced to Jody by Sam and Dean. Jody is overwhelmed but she steps out of the room to let Mary and the boys have a small chat. Mary tells them she's been all over and is using John’s journal to help navigate around. Dean gets a little snippy about the fact that she's on a quest for answers when she could have just asked her sons. Mary tells the boys that she knew Asa, which sets Dean further on edge, and he decides he needs air. On his way out of the house, Jody stops Dean for a "motherly" talk, chiding him for not mentioning his mother's resurrection, and reassuring him that it's understandable for him to struggle with it.

Lorraine confronts Mary in the kitchen because Mary was the reason that Asa began hunting. She gives Mary the box of unsent postcards, bemoaning that his obsession with hunting kept Asa from building a life, having a family, and now he's dead. Sam finds Mary, wracked with guilt at Lorraine's words. Sam reassures her that Asa made his own choices, and he saved lives. Mary can't stop feeling like everything she does is wrong. Sam tells her he gets it -- he understands that she needs space, and so does Dean. He acknowledges the truth shown by Asa's postcards: Mary was sneaking out to tie up loose ends on old hunts even after Dean was born. Hunting is in her blood, just like it's in Sam's and Dean's, and Asa's. Paying their respects to Asa, Sam and Mary find Randy's body roped to the ceiling. They tell the others, who decide they all need to leave, as they are dealing with a crossroads demon named Jael that Asa had made an enemy of. As they try to exit the front door, they find that it has been warded; they are all trapped in the house.

Outside, Billie approaches Dean and tells him that she was just in the house reaping a soul. Dean pleads with Billie to get him back into the house, while inside Bucky explains exactly what went on between Jael and Asa. They soon find that Alicia had been possessed, but now the demon is elsewhere. Breaking off into teams, they try to find it. Dean makes a deal with Billie to get in, but once inside he finds that Elvis is now possessed. Battling Elvis, Dean learns that Hell is in turmoil. As Dean prepared to exorcise Jael, the demon kills Elvis, snapping his neck 180 degrees around before leaving his body. As the remaining hunters try to set a trap for Jael, Mary grabs the angel blade from Asa's room. Jody tries to convince Sam and Dean that Mary is the demon, but Sam and Dean realize that Jody is not acting like herself and is the one that is possessed.

Mary tries to stab Jody with the blade, but Jael proves stronger, and sends everyone to the ground with a simple gesture. Jael then starts taunting the group. First talking about Sam with Lucifer, then revealing the twins are actually Asa’s children, and how Lorraine would try to sabotage Asa's jeep and supplies in hopes of keeping him from hunting, and finally telling everyone that Jody really cared for Asa and was hoping to build a life with him. When Bucky tries to attack Jael, the demon forces him to admit that he was the one that killed Asa. Dean begins the exorcism rite, and when Jael knocks him down, Sam continues it, until as a group, the hunters finally banish Jael.

With Jael gone, Bucky confesses that he and Asa had argued over how to handle a hunt. The argument got physical, and when Asa shoved him, Bucky shoved back, knocking Asa to the ground where he hit his head on a rock and died instantly. Out of fear, Bucky hung his body to cover up what had really happened, hoping people would believe Jael killed Asa. When Bucky asks what they are going to do to him, the group decides that his punishment will be that they are going to tell every hunter what he had done, shunning him from the life.

As morning breaks, everyone gathers around the fire to pay tribute to Asa, Randy, and Elvis. Lorraine smiles, telling Mary that Asa actually did have a family, and that she has grandchildren. Jody tells Mary that Sam and Dean are the best men she knows; Mary replies that the boys aren't the problem. Sam and Dean approach Mary but Billie steps in. She acknowledges that Mary hates being here, that she feels like she doesn't fit. Billie believes that what's dead should stay dead, and offers to take Mary’s soul back to Heaven. Mary seems to consider her offer but ultimately turns her down, telling Billie she’s just going to have to wait. Billie appears annoyed, but understands; she tells Mary that if she ever changes her mind, if any of the Winchesters change their minds, then they can call out to her to accept her offer, before she departs. Mary explains that she needs a little more time before coming home and Sam and Dean offer breakfast at least before they part ways.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Roll on Down the Highway" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
(plays over the montage of Asa Fox becoming a hunter)
  • "Man in the Box" by Alice in Chains
(plays from Asa Fox's family home during his wake)

Quotes

Dean: Oh, uh... Since the last time we saw you? I killed Hitler.
Jody: ...Thank you?
Dean: This is a real angel blade. I mean, this guy was legit.

Sam: Did you know people tell stories about us?

Dean: Yeah. Yeah, apparently we're a little bit legendary.
Dean: I mean, come on Sam, it's not like we're in the 'live till you're ninety and die in your sleep' business. This? This only ends one way.
Dean: Where you been?

Mary: All over. I went back to Lawrence for a few days. And then, um, I've been using John's journal to retrace a few things. Try to catch up on what I've missed.

Dean: You could've just asked us, you know?
Jody: You okay?

Dean: Swell.

Jody: Huh. Is that why you spent the entire ride up here telling me in extreme, excruciating detail how you killed Hitler, but, uh, you neglected to mention the fact that your mom is back from the dead?
Sam: Yeah, mom, you don't have to explain anything. I get it. You need space. And-- and so does Dean, you know? I-- I mean, he-- He's just... We just got you back, and he's just scared that we're gonna lose you again, that -- that because we're hunters you're gonna walk away. But I know that's not true. Even looking at these... I mean you saved Asa in 1980, um, after Dean was born, after everyone thought you quit hunting. Seems like you couldn't stop then, and... I'm guessing you can't stop now either. This job, this life... It's crazy and insane. But it's in our blood.
Dean: How about you go to Hell?
Jael: Please. It's a complete trainwreck down there. No Lucifer, no Crowley. It's messy.
Jael: Oh, I have heard so many stories about you Winchesters. And... I desperately want the Lucifer thing to be true. The idea that he left a meatsuit alive is just so deliciously weak. As for the rest of you, I have been inside your heads. I know all about you! For example, the twins -- too frightened to tell anyone that they actually came to say goodbye to their daddy. Or the grieving mother who hated the fact that her son was a hunter so much, she'd hide his gear, she'd sabotage his jeep, anything to keep him from hunting. Not that it worked. Could've tried harder, huh? And this... Meatsuit that you all seem to care so much about, she actually fantasized about a life with Asa. Can you believe that? Like that worthless man-
Jody: I don't know what's going on between you and your boys. But I gotta tell you, mom to mom... They are good men. Best I've ever met.
Mary: I know. They're not the problem.
Billie: The look in your eyes, I've seen it before. It's a dead man's look -- eyes that say no matter where you go or what you do, it feels like this world doesn't fit anymore, like you're all alone.

Dean: Well, she's not alone.
Billie: Tell me I'm wrong. I'm not here to hurt you. I'm here to offer you mercy. A one-way ticket upstairs, away from all of this.
Mary: How would it work?
Sam: Mom?
Mary: You just kill me again?
Billie: Reapers don't kill people. Rules.
Mary: Well... then... Then I guess you're just gonna have to wait.

Billie: Winchesters. If you change your mind -- if any of you change your minds -- you know my name.

Trivia & References

Sam: Figured we'd stop by on the way home, see you, Claire and Alex.

Jody: Aw, that's fun. Unfortunately, the girls are in Omaha for the weekend, being angsty at a Radiohead concert. But I can feed you.

Radiohead are an English rock band known for their unique and emotional style.
Dean: Jody, you watching some kind of chick flick here?

Jody: Well, Dean, I'm a chick.
Dean: No. No, no, you're -- you're a badass sheriff chick. You're not a-a romcom chick. Wait, are you a romcom chick?
Jody: Are you?
Sam: He's more of a, uh... animated Japanese erotica chick.

Hentai is a catch-all term to describe pornographic anime or manga. It was revealed in season seven that Dean is a fan of "animated cartoon porn" and sees anime as an art form.
Jody: Yeah. Yeah, he was a hunter. He, uh, rolled into town a few months back, tried to convince me he was FBI Agent Fox Mulder. He was chasing a pack of ghouls, and I helped. He'd pass through every once in a while and we'd grab coffee or... something. Oh, he was a good man. The-- the wake's tonight and, um, they're going to salt and burn the body tomorrow. I can't believe I just said that like it's something normal.
FBI Agent Fox Mulder was one of the main characters on the TV show The X-Files. He and his partner Dana Scully hunted aliens among other supernatural and paranormal cases.
Sam: Wait, so you guys were raised by a witch, but you're hunters?

Max: Yep. She was, like, a good witch. Very Enya. It was the '90s.

Enya is an Irish musician who was hugely popular in the '90s with her Celtic/new age music.
Billie: You can huff and puff, but that house is on supernatural lockdown. They can't even hear you.
To "huff and puff" is a reference to the tale of the Three Little Pigs, and the effort the wolf puts in to destroy their house.
Jael: An exorcism? Unh-unh. Elvis is leaving the building.
A take on the phrase "Elvis has left the building" originally used to disperse the audience at an Elvis concert that hoped for an encore.
Max: What kind of a devil's trap?

Sam: Standard pentagram. Nothing fancy.
Max: I like a Fifth Pentacle of Mars. It's got more character.

The "Fifth Pentacle of Mars" is one of the magic pentacles in the Greater Key of Solomon, used for protection against demons. Specifically it is used to force a demon to submit to the possessor of the pentacle.

Minutiae

Shaine Jones, who played Asa Fox, previously played Demon Medic in 7.17 The Born-Again Identity.
Billy Wickman, who played Elvis Katz, previously played Brian in 7.19 Of Grave Importance.
This is the first time the Winchesters have visited Canada, other than their Vancouver visit in the alternate reality shown in 6.15 The French Mistake.
Previously it had been believed that Mary Winchester gave up hunting when she married John Winchester, but it is revealed that she was still hunting at least a year after Dean was born. However, she makes it seem like it was a temporary thing as she was "tying up a few loose ends."
Randy: No freakin' way. Aren't you dead? Like, four times?

Dean: Yeah. It, uh, didn't take.

Dean has in fact been dead or assumed dead four times in the series. First when he was killed by a hellhound in 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked, second was being shot by Walt and Roy alongside Sam in 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon, he was assumed dead by Sam after being sucked into Purgatory at the end of 7.23 Survival of the Fittest and being stabbed and killed by Metatron in 9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles?.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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