Just as the British Men of Letters declared that their partnership with the American hunters was over, one Winchester got closer than ever to a member. Mary Winchester has always been more on the side of the British Men of Letters than either of her sons but the bed she shared with the hunters from across the pond was metaphorical. In “The British Invasion” that bed turned literal as Mary hooked up with Mr. Ketch.
Though Mary told the British killer that the affair is / was meaningless it was obvious he didn’t feel the same way. The romance was unexpected and maybe a little bit weird but it could be what Supernatural needs as the British Men of Letters vs. American hunters conflict kicks into high gear.
Move over (and Onward from) Mick
Mick Davies did get a pretty good death scene in “The British Invasion.” Mick’s death was shocking and unexpected but at the last moment he did make the right choice and side more with humanity than his code. Mick’s death was an effective way to introduce Dr. Hess as a villain but Supernatural really needed Mick as a character. Mick was the face of the British Men of Letters and did an tremendous amount to humanize the organization as a whole.
Through Mick we understood the British Men of Letters as people, not mindless killing automatons. They were ruthless and flawed but really no different in terms of morality than Sam and Dean. Now that Mick is dead and has been established as outlier in the organization, Supernatural is back to square one with British Men of Letters as one-dimensional evil villain types. Unless, that is, they explore the relationship between Ketch and Mary a little bit more.
It was a bit sloppy to introduce and consummate Mary and Ketch’s chemistry in one episode, the same episode that killed off Mick. Still, Ketch having feelings for Mama Winchester did reveal an interesting side to a character who has so far represented the worst of the British Men of Letters. Ketch was almost childlike in his affection for Mary in their bedroom scene, which is an interesting contrast given his otherwise bloody and murderous nature. Dr. Hess leaves a lot to be desired as a villain, as she is just as evil as Lucifer without the charm, wit or desire to watch anything more from her. Ketch being torn between his orders and growing affection for Mary, and by consequence her sons, is a good base for a villain on Supernatural.
Picking up the Pieces
It’s not exactly an ideal situation. Supernatural shouldn’t explore the well-worn trope of a villain turning to the light because of the love of a hero. This is especially true since Mary seems to have no real interest in Ketch beyond a one-night stand. Ketch is also a rather awful replacement for John Winchester, or at least the John that Mary loved and married, not the abusive loner he became later in life.
Supernatural needs to keep up giving us reasons to care about the British Men of Letters as characters, however. They were doing a good job of making the British Men of Letters seem interesting and multilayered with Mick but now that he is dead that development is not only stopped it’s almost reversed. Ketch needs to pick up the slack now. Ketch’s feelings for Mary exposing a little bit of his humanity wouldn’t exactly be the most original storyline Supernatural has ever attempted. It is nevertheless necessary.
The British Men of Letters and Dr. Hess can spout off about the code and that they’re the good guys but it is all going to ring hollow. Dr. Hess and the other British Men of Letters don’t seem human, they look and act more like demons and unless that is the big twist coming, this needs to change. There needs to be more conflict within the British Men of Letters with what they accomplish and how they go about it. Otherwise there is going to be no tension in Sam and Dean (inevitably) surviving their conflict with them. It’s just going to be another monster for the boys to defeat, just this time they are human beings.
But what do you think? Was it a mistake to kill off Mick? Do you want to see more exploration of Ketch’s feelings for Mary? Could the romance redeem Ketch? Should it redeem Ketch?
(Image courtesy of The CW)