Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki), Alicia Banes (guest star Kara Royster) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Padalecki) in 'Supernatural' 12x20.
Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki), Alicia Banes (guest star Kara Royster) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Padalecki) in 'Supernatural' 12x20. The CW

“Supernatural” season 12 episode 20 had Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) helping the twin witches they met earlier in the season. “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” has had Dean pining for his mum Mary (Samantha Smith) and defending Castiel (Castiel Collins) even after the angel’s supposed betrayal last week. Also, is Sam okay?

This article contains spoilers from “Supernatural” season 12 episode 20, which aired in the US on Thursday on The CW. It will air Monday in Australia on Eleven.

The episode starts with the aforementioned Tasha Banes (Alvina August), a powerful witch, apparently hunting a supernatural creature but ended up getting stabbed by an unknown assailant. Her daughter, Alicia (Kara Royster), was worried she was not answering her calls, but her son, Max (Kendrick Sampson), thought his twin was worrying over nothing. Alicia nevertheless enlisted the Winchesters’ help in locating Tasha.

Sam and Dean and the twins ended up in the same bed and breakfast that Tasha checked in earlier. They found her alive and unharmed. As the group caught up with each other, Sam and Dean stepped away for a while to investigate what appeared to be a new case. They saw a man leave a shed earlier, but Sam found out he was missing for over a month.

The brothers went to the shed and found the corpses of the missing man and the innkeeper, as well as Tasha’s. Max, who left his sister and mother to go to a date, found Sam and Dean in the shed, thereby also discovering that his mother was actually dead.

Furious, Max confronted the fake Tasha, who turned out to be made of twigs and twines. It was a brainchild of an elderly woman who made a deal with a demon and was near the end of her contract. To avoid going to hell, she was looking for someone to take her place. Tasha refused her offer so she killed her, stuffing her heart into a life-size twig mannequin. The new Tasha had the memories of the real one but still under the control of the woman.

The woman gave Max the same offer, telling him that he would still have his mum. However, before he could accept and take the woman’s ring, Dean shot her, prompting her creations to vanish. In the other room before the fake Tasha vanished, she had fatally stabbed Alicia. A forlorn Max ended up with his mother and his twin sister dead. When Sam and Dean left him alone, Max took the woman’s ring and revived his sister through the twig mannequin the woman made earlier.

Mary and Mr Ketch

Meanwhile, Mary and Mr Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) were interrogating a shapeshifter, with the British Men of Letters agent torturing the creature. Mary wasn’t fond of her one-time bed partner’s method in interrogation, but Mr Ketch said it was necessary. Later on, she found Mick Davies’ (Adam Fergus) body in a room, as well as the BMoL’s spying device on her sons and other hunters. She called Dean’s voicemail to warn him but did not say anything revealing.

Her discovery led to a physical argument with Mr Ketch, who later tied her to a chair, the same one in which he tortured the shapeshifter. And then Lady Toni Bevell (Elizabeth Blackmore) showed up.

Unresponsive Sam

While Dean was driving, he listened to his mum’s voicemails and heard Mary’s last frantic phone call. He tried to wake up Sam, but the younger Winchester did not seem to budge even just a bit. What was going on there? Did the camera shot just ended too abruptly before Sam could even respond or did he really not respond at all?

‘Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes’ review

Dean had an excuse for Castiel’s action immediately. It can be recalled that last week, a nephilim-powered Castiel put both him and Sam to sleep when the brothers opposed his plan to save Kelly and Lucifer’s baby. Sam appeared to be doubtful, but Dean jumped right on to the angel’s defence, telling his brother that it wasn’t Cas that he saw when he looked at his eyes. It was the nephilim’s power, he said, and it was probably controlling Cas. Later, he tried to call their mother, perhaps to open up to her or just have her close. Dean needing the parent who had betrayed them once was a rare sight to behold. The eldest Winchester son had to grow up fast to take care of his brother, but him showing vulnerability in needing his mother is a sign of maturity.

Max’s grief in losing both his mother and sister in this episode was a heartbreaking sight. His eventual guilt in not taking Alicia’s concerns seriously messed up with him as well. This caused him to take drastic action to save his twin even though he knew the consequences. It’s a bad move, but Sam and Dean, if they knew what Max did, would probably understand. After all, how many times have they done the same thing just to save each other?

The 20th episode started with a heartache and ended with more. Viewers already know Tasha’s death would be significant, but the moment when Max realised it still left lasting impact. The questions the episode left also had viewers clamouring for the next episode already.

Watch the trailer for ‘Supernatural’ season 12 episode 20

The CW Television Network/YouTube

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