12.20 Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes

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SPN-1220.jpg
Title Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes
Episode # Season 12, Episode 20
First aired May 4, 2017
Directed by Richard Speight, Jr.
Written by Steve Yockey
On IMDB Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes
Outline Sam and Dean intercept a phone call from Alicia Banes, who is looking for help in finding her mother who has gone missing while hunting a powerful witch. Meanwhile, Mary begins to see the darker side to how the British Men of Letters operate.
Monster Witch
Timeline
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
Rock River, Wyoming
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Synopsis

Synopsis: A woman arrives in Rock River, Wyoming, at the Mountain Slumber Boarding House, and is met in the front room of the pastoral inn by an unpleasant older woman winding yarn. The front desk clerk greets the woman, Tasha Banes, more pleasantly and checks her in. In her room, Tasha’s phone chimes an alert that Alicia called, but Tasha is busy performing a ritual, chanting “reveal” as she dangles a talisman over a cluster of candles. Her eyes glow purple and she follows the glowing charm outside and into a storm cellar. She explores the cellar, but is stabbed from behind.

Meanwhile in the bunker library, Sam and Dean discuss the previous night’s events with Castiel and Kelly Kline. Dean insists the unborn nephilim “sock puppeted” Cas, and he’s concerned about Cas’s sudden and uncharacteristic faith. With nothing more to go on to find Cas, Sam examines the remains of The Colt, and their study is interrupted by a buzzing phone somewhere in the library. Sam finds one of Mary’s phones and answers a call from Alicia Banes.

Alicia had been trying to reach Mary for help in tracking down their mother, while Max insists that she’s probably fine and Alicia’s overreacting. Sam offers to drive out to Wyoming to help them, but Dean’s indignant that they’re not focusing their attention on finding Cas. Sam explains to Dean that they’ve done everything in their power, including having Jody put an APB out for Cas. He finally gets Dean to agree by telling him, “Their mom’s on a hunting trip and hasn’t been home in a week.”

Dean tries to call Mary, and we see “Mary” strapped to an interrogation chair at the British Men of Letters headquarters. Arthur Ketch splashes her in the face with a glass of water, but then we see the real Mary walking around behind the subject in the chair-- a shapeshifter that’s taken her form. Mary dismisses Dean’s call on Ketch’s order, so Dean leaves a message about going to help Max and Alicia. He then asks her to at least call him back, as he wants to talk to her about his own personal issues.

Ketch continues torturing the Mary shapeshifter while Mary watches uncomfortably. She tries to convince him the shapeshifter won’t talk, but Ketch persists. Ketch punches the shifter, and it takes his form, which still doesn’t dissuade him from continuing the torture.

Sam and Dean meet up with Max and Alicia and they learn about the case Tasha had been working, a “borrower witch” who gets her power from a demon deal. Dean gives Max the tour of Baby, and they bond over the grenade launcher while Sam and Alicia talk about feeling like outsiders in their own families. Sam talks about Dean and their dad bonding over hunting, while Alicia says Max and their mom bonded over their shared magical powers.

At the boarding house, they find Tasha’s car, but also see a man oddly standing out in the woods near the cellar doors, staring at them. He wanders off when Sam tries to wave hello. Inside, Tasha greets them, seemingly confused as to why they’re there. Max explains that Alicia had been worried for her safety, and had made Sam and Dean come along in case she needed backup. Tasha insists she’s fine and invites them up to her room for wine. Alicia asks why Tasha never returned her calls if there was no case in town, and she replies that her phone hadn’t been charging, and it just slipped her mind. Tasha’s finger breaks while she’s opening the wine, and she turns her back to the room and straightens it out with a snap. Sam leaves Dean awkwardly sipping wine with the Banes family and goes to pick up their dinner.

Back at the MoL HQ, Mary and Ketch have finished their interrogation. Ketch propositions Mary for sex, which she turns down. Instead, she angrily informs him that their torture session was a waste of time and accuses him of enjoying it. Ketch dismisses her opinion and tells her if she has a problem with him that she should file a report with Mick Davies. Mary says she hasn’t been able to reach Mick by phone or email, and Ketch tries to explain that away as well. He taunts her about returning Dean’s call and walks away.

Meanwhile Dean checks his phone. There are no new messages, either from Mary or Cas, but he puts it down on the table when Tasha joins him. While Max and Alicia banter back and forth in the background, Dean compliments Tasha on how well she raised them. Tasha asks Dean about growing up in the life. When she asks about his mom, Dean tells her it’s complicated, and she reminds him that it’s not until kids grow up that they realize their parents aren’t “smart and strong and perfect,” but just people.

Mary finally listens to Dean’s message. She’s about to call him back when she overhears Ketch in Mick’s office making arrangements to send a package to England. Ketch looms over her as she sits at Mick’s computer to check her email. Mary finds a new message from “Mick,” stating that he’ll be stuck in London for a few weeks, at which point Ketch walks off again.

Sam returns to the boarding house with dinner and asks to speak to Dean out in the hall. While he was at the restaurant, he found a missing person flyer for the man they’d seen in the woods, so they decide to investigate. As they leave the boarding house, we see the unpleasant woman from the opening scene in her room, humming and building a life-size doll out of twigs.

Mary finally tries to call Dean back, but he left his phone on the table in Tasha’s room and misses her call. In her message, she apologizes for not having been there for him and Sam, but insists that she wants to be. Her message chimes through to Dean’s phone while the Banes family laughs and talks together.

Outside, Sam and Dean discover the storm cellar where Tasha had been stabbed. Back in the room, Max leaves Tasha and Alicia to meet up with a bartender he’d made a date with earlier in the day. In the cellar, Sam and Dean find the decomposing corpses of the man they’d seen in the woods, Andy the front desk clerk, and Tasha Banes; their hearts have been ripped out. But if Tasha’s body is there, then who is up in Tasha’s room? Max finds them, having seen the light in the cellar from the parking lot. Sam and Dean scramble to hide his mother’s body from him, but he sees her anyway.

Meanwhile, Mary goes investigating the package she’d heard Ketch discussing on the phone and finds Mick’s body, confirming that Ketch has been lying to her all along. She sneaks into a secure room and discovers the MoL have been tracking and spying on not only Sam and Dean, but numerous other hunters. She tries to call Dean again, leaving him a second message that they’ve got a problem. She tries to leave, but is immediately caught by Ketch. Mary questions him about Mick’s death, and asks if he killed Mick. A fight breaks out, and Ketch argues that Mick and others like Sam and Dean are incapable of wiping out the monsters. When he calls the boys “sloppy,” Mary counters with “decent.” Ketch tells her he can protect her from the extermination of the American hunters if she cooperates, but she continues to fight, pulling out the Enochian brass knuckles and punching Ketch several times. As she tries to leave, he tasers her and knocks her unconscious.

Max storms back into Tasha’s room, wrestling her against a wall while Sam and Dean hold Alicia back from running to “Tasha’s” aid. Max questions Tasha as to her identity; his eyes glow purple as he casts a reveal spell on Tasha. Tasha shakes and crackles, but she reveals the location of the witch controlling her -- the unpleasant woman with the twig doll. The witch snaps her fingers, activating her control over Andy, and his eyes glow white. The man from the woods confronts Max and Dean in the hallway, and Max magically throws him out the window before pursuing the witch. Max’s spell on Tasha leaves her collapsed to the ground, where Alicia runs to tend to what she still believes is her mother.

Dean and Max find the witch, but she immediately disarms Dean. His gun clatters to the floor as he is thrown into a chair. Meanwhile, Sam tries to convince Alicia that the woman on the floor is not her mother, while the witch offers Max the same deal she’d offered Tasha. Sam fights off Andy, who seems practically indestructible, while Max accuses the witch of killing his mother. She forces a vision of exactly what she did to Tasha onto both Max and Dean. She tells them she’s reaching the end of her life and needs to pass on her “borrowed” magic to someone else in order to avoid going to Hell. The witch offered her power to Tasha, who refused it, so the witch cut out her heart and installed it into a twig doll that possesses all of Tasha’s memories but is under her control. The witch tells Max that if he kills her, then all of her creations will fall apart, including Tasha. She offers Max her power, with the caveat of exchanging his soul for hers in her demon deal, so that he can keep Tasha “alive.” Dean tries to talk Max out of the deal so the witch silences him with a snap of her fingers.

In the other room, Sam is losing his fight against twig!Andy, and Alicia runs to his aid. She fights Andy off, but turns around and is pleasantly surprised to see Tasha back on her feet, until twig!Tasha stabs Alicia in the stomach. Sam now rushes to Alicia’s aid. Meanwhile Dean is fighting against the witch’s control, still unable to speak, trying to reach his gun loaded with witch-killing bullets. Max is just about to take the ring and the witch’s power when Dean shoots her dead. As promised, her twig dolls immediately crumble to ashes, leaving Sam to tend to Alicia’s wound. Max is distraught with Dean, but Dean reminds him that the deal wasn’t with the witch, but with a demon, and the magic wasn’t worth his soul. Sam shouts out for Dean, and by the time he and Max return to the room, it’s too late and Alicia is dead. Outside the boarding house, Sam and Dean try to comfort Max, but he’s inconsolable right now. Sam and Dean tell him they need to burn the bodies, but Max tells them to leave, that he’ll do it himself. Sam and Dean leave, and Sam tells Dean he did the right thing by killing the witch and saving Max.

Dean laments the happy, loving family that was wiped out all at once, and argues that Max is anything but saved. As Sam tries to convince Dean that Max will be okay, we see Max pick up the witch’s ring and prepare the ritual to turn Alicia into a twig doll. As he leaves with twig!Alicia, he burns his sister’s body. Sam’s nodded off in the car, and Dean finally checks his messages from Mary. He instantly knows something is very wrong and tries to wake Sam.

Mary is again in Ketch’s interrogation chair having water splashed in her face, but this time it really is Mary and not a shapeshifter. Ketch tells her to remember that he gave her a chance, and Mary asks if he’s going to kill her. Mary’s phone rings with a call from Dean, but Lady Antonia Bevell dismisses it and tells Mary that they have other plans for her.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "A Real One" (Instrumental) by Raphael Lake, Aaron Levy and Dumi Maraire
(playing in Tasha's hotel room as the wine is being poured)
  • "In Peaceful Dreams" by Seasick Steve
(playing as Max creates the new "Alicia")

Quotes

Sam: And what about you? Uh, with magic.

Alicia: Nah, I don't have it. It's just kind of a lot of noise to me. Magic is definitely their thing, you know?

Sam: Yeah. When I was growing up, Dean and my dad had the same thing with hunting, that bond.
Dean: You know, I gotta say you did a bang up job with those two.

Tasha: You must be drunk.

Dean: Off of wine?
Tasha: Alicia said you grew up in the life.

Dean: Yeah. Yeah, my dad raised me and Sam to hunt.
Tasha: And your mother?
Dean: That's complicated.

Tasha: Yeah. Yeah. Family's always complicated. Parents always seem smart and strong and perfect. It's only when you grow up that you realize that they're just people.
Mary: Hey. It's me. Sorry I couldn't pick up before. I've been on a hunt with Ketch. And, Dean... I'm sorry I haven't been there for you and Sam. But I wanna be. I will be. I just... I need to finish this. I miss you boys. I love you.
Mary: What are you doing here? Why is Mick's body in a box?

Mr. Ketch: An unfortunate werewolf mishap.
Mary: A werewolf shot him in the head?

Mr. Ketch: It's not impossible.
Mr. Ketch: I've been cleaning up after them for months. I took care of those federal agents they stupidly allowed to live. I killed a psychic girl who they thought was... human. Honestly, they're damn sloppy.
Mary: I think you mean... decent.
Sam: Hey, Max, um, this is, uh... Look, you -- you're probably in shock right now, but it's gonna pass.

Dean: And then it's gonna hurt.
Max: I could've saved them... My mom. If I had just... taken Alicia seriously.
Dean: Come on, man, you can't think like that.

Max: Just stop talking. Please.
Sam: You did the right thing. You saved him.

Dean: Yeah. Yeah, he seemed super saved. You know, I was watching them, this loving family. The kind we should've had. And now just like that, it's gone.
Sam: Dean, you couldn't let Max make some deal for his soul.
Dean: Sam, we do terrible things all the time to save each other. I mean, that's what you do for family. Who am I to stop him?
Sam: Well, he's strong. He'll be all right.

Dean: Yeah, I'm not so sure.
Mr. Ketch: If only you'd been as ruthless as I hoped, this could have worked out. Remember, Mary, I gave you a chance.

Mary: So now what? You kill me?

Lady Bevell: Don't be silly. You're an asset. We have other plans for you. Now, Mary... Let's begin.

Trivia & References

Dean: Okay, so last night... that Super Mario power-up crap? That wasn't Cas. That freaking baby isn't even born yet and it sock puppeted him. Think about it. Cas said that he had 'faith' in Lucifer Jr.? What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Super Mario is the main character in the Nintendo game of the same name. To "power-up" is to gain some extra ability or benefit in the game.
Mr. Ketch: Yes, well, Mary, I'm sad to say that you won't become the Jiminy Cricket of the British Men of Letters. We don't need a conscience. Such a trite idea, but we firmly believe the ends do justify the means.
Jiminy Cricket is a character from a 19th century Italian novel and later Disney movie "The Adventures of Pinocchio." Pinocchio is a wooden puppet who wants to be a real boy and a cricket called Jiminy agrees to act as his conscience.
Mr. Ketch: I'm sure he's busy. When you get called to London by the old men, it's not all pints of stout and trips to Savile Row. Oh, and you should probably return Dean's call. Wouldn't want him to think Mummy doesn't love him.
Savile Row is a street in London that is the location of many fine tailors.

Minutiae

Linda Darlow, who played Demon Borrower Witch, previously played Ezra Moore in 7.12 Time After Time.
Sam: Their mom's on a hunting trip and hasn't been home in a week.
A spin on Dean's line from 1.01 Pilot: "Dad's on a hunting trip. And he hasn't been home in a few days."
This is the fifth episode in twelve seasons where one of the Winchesters have directly killed a witch or witches. The others were the shtriga in 1.18 Something Wicked, Spencer in 8.15 Man's Best Friend with Benefits, Sonja in 11.13 Love Hurts and Gideon, Catriona & Boyd Loughlin in 12.11 Regarding Dean.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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