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Initial reaction 12.21: "There's Something About Mary" (with bonus episode tag!)

THEN: Kill the hunters. Lucifetus. Mary and Ketch.

NOW: Can we just pretend this didn't happen? Please?


Okay. A woman is running through a forest. It's Eileen Leahy. She's killed by a hellhound, who is under Ketch's control. Now let's get drunk and never think about it again.

I mean, seriously, goddammit.

I refused to believe it at first. Because the hellhound didn't rip her apart; it just shook her and tossed her around. I told myself she was just unconscious, that Ketch was simply using the hellhound to catch her, and that she'd be held captive in the BMoL compound as bait for the Winchesters or something. (Why would Ketch use a hellhound to capture her? I don't know. Why would he use one to kill her? Either is ridiculous.)

Farewell Eileen, you beautiful little badass. You deserved better.

Title card!

Sam and Dean enter a hotel room, looking for Mary. Sam is perfectly fine, which means that weirdness at the end of the previous episode, with Dean not being able to wake him in the car, was nothing. Thanks a lot, Show.

Seriously, goddammit.

(Sidebar: I started watching the show with half a glass of wine. At this point I got up and poured myself a full glass.)

Carrying on. All of Mary's stuff is gone and she apparently hasn't been there for a while. Sam suggests contacting the BMoL, since she's been staying there as well, but Dean says Mick hasn't answered a single call since they "sent him to London." (Which I kind of like as a euphemism for violently murdered him.) He calls Ketch, who pretends not to know who he is (apparently asking "Dean who?") and then claims to have not seen Mary in over a week. The guys know this is a lie, since Mary called two days ago and said she was on a case with him.

Sam's phone interrupts this conversation. It's Jody, calling with the news about Eileen being sent to London. Sam holds it together, but when he describes what happened to Eileen ("mauled by a wild animal in an area that doesn't have animals that do that") his voice gets a little shaky and then he turns away and puts his hand over his mouth and damn you, Jared. You got me. Her death is distressing not only because it's Eileen, but because it's the second hunter they've heard about in the last two weeks. (Honestly? Hunting's a dangerous job. Two hunters in two weeks doesn't seem that far off the mark.) Dean agrees with me and says that two hunters doesn't mean a pattern. "But three would," Sam points out. "Mom is a hunter, and no one knows where she is." Duh duh duuuuuhhhh!!!

Sad boys! Worried boys!

And then Jared gets me even worse when we cut to the Winchesters at the morgue, with Eileen's body. There's no music, just Sam standing silently over her body. Dean gives him a concerned look, and I like that it's acknowledged that she was Sam's friend in particular. He's clearly on the verge of tears as they discuss Eileen's wounds and decide it had to be a hellhound. Although we've seen hellhound victims, up close and personal, and they weren't just tossed around. They were clawed open. But okay. Dean doesn't exhibit any PTSD symptoms that one might expect upon seeing a hellhound victim, possibly because Eileen doesn't look like one at all, and questions why she left Ireland. Let me remind you that as I pointed out earlier, Ireland's a lot closer to the BMoL homeland, so, maybe not so safe. (And yet America was obviously not so safe either.)

Sam and his unshed tears are KILLING ME.

Dean now says there have been seven hunter deaths in three weeks, so either they learned more about things that happened before the two-week window they mentioned earlier, or it's been another week since they heard about Eileen and there have been more deaths. Dean wonders if all the things out there are suddenly working together, and Sam says monsters and demons don't team up. (Spoiler alert: I wouldn't be so sure about that, Sam.) But hunters are dying and Cas is AWOL with Lucifer's baby mama and Mary is missing and Mick is missing and Ketch is lying and Sam says what we're all thinking: he wants to punch something in the face. "Good," says Dean. "Hold onto that. Cause it's looks like we've got a hellhound to deal with, which means..."

Before we cut to what this means, let me point out that this is actually a lovely scene. It's sad, quiet, dark, and intense. The lack of the typical sad piano music as Sam looks down on Eileen's corpse effectively intensifies the horror of the whole thing. Whatever else Show fucks up tonight, they did a nice job here.

And it should go without saying that it was also very, very pretty.

And now, cut to Crowley, ordering a minion to find Kelly Kline, in case we've forgotten he was interested in that. (Yawn.) Next!

Next we see a hunter entering his house. We know he's a hunter because he drops a bloody machete into an umbrella stand at his front door. So we also know he's a sloppy hunter who doesn't take care of his tools, cause that's nasty. He's surprised to find Mary Winchester in his living room, and even more surprised when she attacks and kills him (though he does manage to slice her with a broken beer bottle).

Cut to Mary waking up in the BMoL bunker. Was that a dream? Toni Bevell walks in and there's a lot of talk but I don't care. The gist of it is that Mary's being drugged and brainwashed ("realigned" into natural born killer Mary Campbell, according to Toni), that the BMoL know about Mary and Azazel, and Mary finds out what John really did after she died. Mary sees a stitched-up cut on her hand and realizes she actually did kill that hunter.

Meanwhile, Dr. Evil Hess is going through some files when we hear a familiar Limey voice behind her. This bunker has, like, no warding at all, does it? Crowley wants to make sure the arrangement he has with the BMoL in the UK will carry over to the colonies when all the American hunters have been killed. Ah, looks like monsters and demons work together after all. (Because people are monsters, get it?) Hess agrees that as long as Crowley's demons stick to people who have signed away their souls, and share info as needed, they won't have a problem. Um, what does that mean for unwilling demon vessels? Anyway, I'm sure none of the Powers That Be give a rat's ass about this particular detail, but I like that this explains why Crowley was able to pop into Scotland unobstructed, lo these many years ago. We learn that Crowley is the one who provided a hellhound to Ketch, and that he and Hess are equally interested in finding the Lucifetus. Hess tells Crowley she's not going to spare the Winchesters when it comes to eliminating the American hunters, and he doesn't respond; he just smiles. Which could mean "absolutely" or could mean "ha, like I'm going to let you destroy my favorites, you silly twit."

Back in Hell Adjacent, Lucifer's little buddy is still working on releasing him, and I'm afraid I couldn't care less. What I do care about is that while this is happening, Crowley is on the phone with Sam, claiming he knows nothing about the hellhound that killed Eileen. Because yay, angry Sam. Though it does seem like this is a call Dean would have made, not Sam, so I'm going to side a bit with you Dean!Girls who feel he's being marginalized this season.

But still. Angry Sam bitching at Crowley? Come on. This is good stuff.

There's some Lucifer/Crowley nonsense which I'm going to skip because I really, literally, do not care. Crowley wants to raise the Lucifetus as his own son. Did we already know this? {shrug}

At the BMoL, an unconscious Mary is carried into her room. Toni walks smugly down the hall and brags to Hess about her progress to. Ketch makes fun of her and she flounces out. Hess tells Ketch how proud she is that he's willing to torture and brainwash Mary when he was sleeping with her just days ago, and that he might end up in charge of the American branch eventually. Or it might be Toni. (How much do I care? Guess.)

Back to "Lebanon," although this city with a large post office and multi-story buildings is obviously not Lebanon. The Winchesters are picking up their mail, and Dean announces they have a letter from Eileen. She thought her phone and computer were hacked, so she sent snail mail four days ago. According to the letter, she was too scared to stay in Ireland and fled to the U.S. after finding a microphone in her room. Sam reads the letter aloud, his voice cracking when she asks if she can stay with them for a few days. And there's an awful lot to dislike about this episode, my friends, but the way they're letting Sam actually grieve Eileen... it's fantastic. (Compare it to how glib Dean was about Sam being missing, at the beginning of the season, for example.)

I really am a sadist, because I love this.

Dean deduces that if Eileen was convinced the BMoL were after her, they might be the ones who killed her, and next we see the guys searching the bunker for bugs. Dean eventually locates the microphone under the table in the war room, silently signaling his discovery to Sam. They have a conversation about a mythical hunter named Terry who has figured out what's going on, and set up a fake meeting.

Oh, yay, more Lucifer. His little demon buddy discovers that whatever he's doing is increasing Lucifer's power over Crowley as Crowley's power over Lucifer decreases.

At the BMoL compound, Ketch and Toni are awkwardly training the hellhound. It's a bit cute that Ketch says he's not going to say "bad dog," no matter what the dog does. Ketch tells her Mick's job is practically his, and she tells him Hess told her the same thing, so now he knows she's his direct competition. Once again, everyone on this show is so eager to play their hand. I'd have just said "oh, how nice for you," and then laughed when I got the job. But I guess discretion doesn't move the plot along, does it? (It's not just Supernatural. Everyone does this.) One thing we learn is that Toni and Ketch's relationship occurred while they were at BMoLwarts School for Young Psychopaths, which means it's not something recent. Which means he could be the father of her son. Hmm.

Ketch is told Mary's asking for him, so he goes to her cell. She's affectionate, but he rejects her, saying they made it clear they didn't have a relationship (Oooh, bet you regret that decision now, Mary). He tells her she doesn't know the real him and wouldn't want to, and we're going to talk about that later. She embraces him anyway, but it's a ploy to get his gun and try to kill herself. She should have shot him first, because when she puts the gun to her jaw, Ketch grabs it away from her. She then begs him to kill her, because "all I've had, all my life, other than my family, is my will, and it's it going away." She recognizes she's putting her sons in danger, and she'd rather die. Ketch promises that this will all be over soon, and leaves.

Next the Impala pulls up at a warehouse, the location of the fake meeting with fake hunter Terry. A different big black car pulls up. Toni stays in the car, but two thugs with her sneak into the warehouse behind the Winchesters. Sam and Dean lock them inside (hee) while Toni watches angrily. She then gets out her little lady gun, but the passenger side window suddenly shatters. As she turns toward it and shoots, her own door opens behind her and Dean yanks her out of the car, causing her to drop her gun. They fight and he seems to lose but then she looks up and sees this.

That's right, bitch.

Oh, lord, even more Crowley and Lucifer. Lucifer makes Crowley his puppet for a while before Crowley actually catches on, and I guess it's cute, but I'm just over it. Let's get the rest of this out of the way right now. Lucifer removes his chains and instead of zapping out, Crowley immediately tries sucking up and then tries to physically run. He's stopped by Lucifer and gets flung around Hell Adjacent and then stabbed with an angel blade. There's no flash of light, so we know he's not dead. We see a mouse approach right before he's stabbed, and when his "body" is dragged from the room, the mouse follows. Gee, I wonder who's in that mouse. Will it be next week, or S13, when we get the flashback to Crowley invisibly smoking out and possessing the mouse?

And on to more important things. In the Impala, Sam keeps a gun on Toni and asks why she's spying on them, and what she knows about Eileen. "Rule of thumb," she says, "if you think we killed someone, then we probably did." She's not afraid of Sam, possibly because she remembers he could have killed her in that farmhouse basement and didn't. She reminds the Winchesters that attacking a BMoL means they're subject to punishment, possibly at the hands of their own mother, who is their "permanent guest." Not just a guest, but one of their best killers. Dean snarks that Mary doesn't like any of them, including Ketch, and Toni's all ha ha ha, why is she banging him then? The guys are offended that Ketch said it was "some of the best sex he'd ever had," so she quickly clarifies that it was definitely the best sex he'd ever had. (Sorry, Toni, I know that was hard for you.) Strangely enough, this doesn't mollify them. I guess they'd have preferred that Ketch said she was a lousy lay.

The guys are stunned to learn that Mick is "quite dead." (Sidebar: Toni uses quite the way an American would, to mean very, but I thought Brits used it to mean sort of. Of course, Toni's dialog was written by Americans, I suppose, although now that I think of it, Eugenie Ross-Leming does sound like a very British name, and let's just drop this and carry on, shall we?) She explains that Mick was considered too sentimental, too much like every American hunter, and that's why every American hunter will also soon be quite dead. "Jody Mills, Claire Novak, all of your other flannel-wearing, whiskey-swilling friends. They're dead." The way she says that makes it sound like they could already be dead, but I choose to believe she means they are as good as dead. Because if they kill Billie and Eileen AND Jody this season, I'm going to be very, very unhappy. (Claire can go. I'm okay with that one.)

No mother jokes, Toni. They don't go for that.

The Winchesters herd Toni down the bunker stairs, with Sam's gun still on her. Dean instructs her to tell Ketch that if he wants to see her alive, he'll get his "prissy ass" over here, because Dean assumes Ketch wants her kept alive. But Ketch's prissy ass is already there, with three of his own thugs. Everyone points guns at the Winchesters and the first time I watched this, I thought Dean had his gun out as well and I was all, dammit guys, you KNOW they're going to kill you, you've literally got nothing to lose here, JUST SHOOT THEM. But Sam's the only one with a gun in his hand. Ketch tells Toni to disarm them and Sam relaxes his stance and I wait angrily for the disarming, but then they exchange a look and all of a sudden they jump into BAMF mode. As Toni reaches for Sam's gun, he grabs her arm in slow-motion and shoots Thug 1 next to him. Dean grabs his own gun and shoots behind his back, because he's Dean Fucking Winchester, taking out Thug 2 on his side. He then runs across the room, shooting action-movie style, at Ketch and the remaining thug, as Sam drags Toni and uses her as a human shield. Ketch sends Thug 3 down the hall (why?) but Dean intercepts him, then sneaks up behind Ketch with an awesome little slide and snags his gun.

I'm totally willing to act as Sam's human shield if it means he'll crush me against a wall like that. Just putting that out there. (Also, how big of a box do you think Toni is standing on?)

Dean holds a gun to Ketch's head and demands to know where their mom is, which is of course Mary's cute to show up, pointing her own gun. The guys are relieved to see her until they realize she's on the BMoL side. Sam doesn't fight at all as she relieves him of his gun; I'd elbow her in the face or something. No, I wouldn't, but he's Sam Fucking Winchester. He would. But he does, at least, recognize that they've done something to Mary, so at least he knows she didn't turn of her own free will. He's got experience; he knows what the BMoL can do to someone's mind.

Ketch leaves with Mary, but when Toni goes to follow, he points his gun at her and informs her that she's expendable and she's not coming with him. Well, that's one way to get rid of the competition. Awfully dumb of Toni to let him know she actually was the competition. I don't think she's very good at her job. Dean tries to get Mary to look at him and break the spell, because Dean knows that everyone who loves him has been able to break through someone else's control to avoid killing him, but apparently the BMoL brainwashing is stronger than demons, officious controlling angels, and Lucifer himself. Or is it just that Mary is weaker than Bobby, Cas, or Sam? Discuss. Because this time, the power of love does not save the day, and Mary remains unmoved. Ketch tells them he's locking the bunker from the outside, shutting off the water, and reversing the pumps that supply air, and they have two or three days of oxygen. He leaves with Mary, the red lights come on, and things do not look good at all.

Well. Some things do look very good.

Aftermath! As Ketch drives them back to the BMoL compound, he compliments Toni's successful "treatment" and promises Mary it will become easier. "Easier to hurt people I love?" Mary asks. So, she knows. She remembers who those boys are, and that she loves them. "Easier to hurt people you don't remember loving," he responds. So that part's going to go away. He asks how she feels, and she robotically says "Fine. I'm fine."

The last scene is Lucifer standing on a lovely hilltop looking at a sunrise. Or sunset. Either way, he smiles and declares "my sun." Or "my son." Probably not much difference in his mind.


The first time I watched this episode, I felt like this.

But on rewatch, it's... I don't want to say it's good. But it's not horrible, other than Eileen's death. It does have some very good parts. It's just hard to care about a lot of it because I'm really not interested in Mary, or the Lucifetus.

Eileen is dead. And obviously I'm crushed. But there are a lot of people calling for the Buckleming's head(s) over this one, and we really can't blame them. We can blame them for a lot of things - clunky exposition, annoying retconning, non-con tendencies, etc. But they don't decide if a recurring character lives or dies. Someone gave them the assignment to kill Eileen, and I'm shocked to say that I'm at least pleased with how it was handled, with the way Sam was able to show his feelings, to actually grieve. Pleased and shocked.

Who is the "real" Arthur Ketch; the one he thinks Mary wouldn't want to know? And why does he know so much about how she feels right now, after being "realigned?" I think it's because he was realigned himself. In 12.20, Shifter!Ketch revealed that Ketch doesn't even actually have a natural British accent. I think at some point, little American Arthur Ketch was picked up by the BMoL, perhaps "rescued" the way Mick Davies was, and realigned into a soulless killing machine with a Brit accent. And that's why he understands what Mary is going through. Does this mean I'm going to be expected to have sympathy for him in the future? Because I just don't see that happening.

Sam and Dean are obviously going to be forced to work with Toni, unless they kill her to save oxygen. (And I really, really hope they do that, but I'm not counting on it.) Well, there's something new and exciting - Sam forced to work with someone who tortured him! Who could have possibly seen that coming? There is only one thing that could make me feel good about this particular development, and that is if they end it like this:


An hour outside Lebanon, Toni's headache has finally subsided. Ketch was probably being optimistic when he said there might be three days left of oxygen in the bunker; it took them two days to get out and she's fairly certain that for most of day two, half of what she was breathing was carbon dioxide.

But that's all behind them. The Winchesters figured out how to escape, and couldn't have done it without her - neither of them would have fit in the ductwork she had to shimmy through - and though their alliance sits uneasy in the pit of her stomach, it is what it is. They're speeding toward the BMoL compound, and they've contacted a few surviving American hunters to join them. Once Ketch and his reprobate crew are dispatched, she'll be in a good position to take care of the remaining Americans, by persuasion or by other means, and claim her rightful spot as the head of the new American Men of Letters.

Sam Winchester turns from the front seat to look at her. He's no longer wearing the pinched expression, no longer rubbing his forehead, so his headache must have eased as well. Time to make her pitch. "Well," she smiles. "I suppose we're even, now that I've helped save your lives. Let's wipe the slate clean then, shall we? Start from scratch, as allies, and figure out how the British Men of Letters can guide you Americans into the future of monster control."

Sam's mouth twists into something that's not quite a smile. He doesn't reply to her, but taps his brother on the shoulder and points to the left. Dean pulls onto a rutted dirt road that leads to an old farmhouse. It seems abandoned, with peeling paint and overgrown shrubs surrounding it, but there are two cars parked outside. One is marked Sioux Falls Sheriff's Department, and she sighs with relief. Looks like Jody Mills hasn't been taken out just yet, which is in her favor if she wants to keep the Winchesters in her back pocket for any length of time. She doesn't recognize the other car.

Dean pulls up next to the house, and she waits in the car until he opens her door. "The hunters are gathering here?" she asks.

"Yeah. We'll meet here before we go take care of things." But instead of taking the steps up to the porch, he steers her toward a cellar door against the foundation. He pulls the heavy door open and motions her down the steps.

"Ah. Secretive, aren't we?" She hesitates.

Sam rolls his eyes at her and pushes past her to go down the stairs. "Jesus," he says. "What happened to us being even? Have a little faith." He pulls the chain dangling from a bare bulb on the ceiling, and she sees the cellar, bare and fairly clean, with a circle of chairs set up in preparation for a meeting of hunters.

"You know we don't kill people if we can help it," Dean says. "We're too sentimental, remember? So come on." He heads down the stairs himself, and if he's willing to do that, willing to turn his back on her and leave her the opportunity to run... well, that's promising. She follows him down.

It's cool, and musty smelling, and she shudders at a sudden memory of the cellar in that farmhouse where she'd held Sam for questioning. But there is no single chair already fitted with handcuffs here, no icy shower, no table of implements. No reason for her to be afraid.

Until she turns around and sees Sam Winchester across the room, pointing his gun in her direction. Not at her head, or her heart. She throws up a hand and cries "no!" and her right knee explodes in agony. She falls to the ground, screaming. Through a haze of pain and terror, she sees Dean standing over her, pointing his gun at her other knee. "No, God, please," she sobs.

"Whaddya think, Sammy?" Dean says, never taking his eyes off her face, or his gun off its target.

Sam walks over and stands at his brother's side. "Nah. One's good. We're done."

The Winchesters turn for the stairs out of the cellar. As Dean goes up, Sam grasps the chain to the light. He turns to her and smiles. "Now we're even," he says. As she howls in pain, he puts out the light and heads up the stairs, locking the cellar door behind him.


What did you think of the episode? And remember, no spoilers please!

Posts from This Journal by “initial reaction” Tag

Heh heh though I don't condone violence and kneecapping is a classic IRA move, I'm happy to roll with your version of their future escape.
Yeah, I'm with you on this one. As far as dialogue and pacing and hitting emotional beats, it wasn't brilliant but it wasn't worth dragging the writers over either.

Hell, I didn't even take issue with Ketch forgoing the just shoot them!!! approach for Bond-villain slow murder. This just clears up that he's in this for the sadistic kicks more than he cares about efficiently completing the mission. If he weren't with the BMoL he'd probably have gone all H.H Holmes.

Honestly, as far as these things go-- --clunky exposition, annoying retconning, non-con tendencies--I think Bucklemming has become fandom's scapegoat/punching bag for issues that are generally pervasive through the writer's room/up the chain of command.

I'm sure Mary will break through the brainwashing at two minutes to midnight. And die. As long as I'm being gloomy, I'll predict she takes out Jody first.
Okay. So Mary will be sent to take out Jody but instead they'll form a 'connection' ifyouknowwhatImean and it'll be the power of their sizzling chemistry that snaps Mary out of the brainwashing. Together they'll burn down the BMoL. And have sex.

Sam and Dean would help but they've started taking advantage of their locked-in-a-room situation to have long conversations about all the things they never talk about. Eventually they'll do the sensible thing, break out the incense and incantations, and summon Rowena so she can let them out. She'll agree but only after she's taken a moment to drink in the sight of them sweating and gasping and wearing only single layers, tears glistening on their cheeks from the deep emotional confessions they've just shared.

See? Was that so hard?

(Though I'm not sure I can get behind Mary/Jody. With Eileen gone, Jody is my last remaining hope for Sam.)
I very much like your tag fic, VERY satisfying :)

As for Mary overcoming mind control to save Dean, she kinda/sorta did it this season already, when they fought that ghost dude who was killing kids, and the one kid's ghost helped Mary figure out what was going on? I don't know why what the BMOL have done to her is apparently so much stronger :/

But I totally agree with your theory that Ketch has at some point gone through the exact same thing. And as much as I hate to, I think I kind of DO feel a little sympathy for him.

Oh. Suddenly remembering him telling Mary that he's "not wired that way" when she implied he might have feelings for her. Hmm.

Also agreed re: HATING that Eileen is dead but LOVING how they let Sam grieve for her. <3
Oh. Suddenly remembering him telling Mary that he's "not wired that way" when she implied he might have feelings for her. Hmm.

Except I thought the scene showed he did have feelings for her, and was disappointed she didn't feel the same way, and trying to cover up and pretending he couldn't possibly feel anything
I agree, I think it DID show that he had feelings for her... but his choice of wording is interesting, given current events :P

Because he was at some point "rewired" by the BMOL to prevent his feelings getting in the way of what they might require of him.
I took Mary succumbing to their brainwashing to imply that Sam is much more badass than that scene made him look, that he's just that much more resistant to their brainwashing. I don't care if that's how they wanted me to take it, that's the way I'm gonna take it.
"Whaddya think, Sammy?" Dean says, never taking his eyes off her face, or his gun off its target.

Sam walks over and stands at his brother's side. "Nah. One's good. We're done."
oops didn't mean to post so soon. GIMME THIS ALL OF IT //clutches it to me and hisses
More later when I've had time to watch it in one sitting but my initial comment is - yes we got to see Sam, have some emotions over Eileen, but when he comes face to face with the woman who tortured him and sexually assaulted him (even if it was in his head, it felt real to him) and he just acts like she's an annoyance? Can't we do better than that?
Thanks for this! I watched the episode the next morning, and honestly, it annoyed me so much. The BMoL are a complete waste of space. And Crowley/Lucifer expositioning and threatening each other...yawn. Why on earth would Crowley think he could control Lucifer? I wish Crowley would just be evil, for God's sake.

I love your coda. I also loved Sam throughout this episode. Grieving Sam, BAMF Sam, all the Sam.
I do like the idea of the boys being trapped inside the bunker. I think after seeing them carve their initials into the desk, make it feel like their home, and now seeing it trying to kill them is interesting and has potential.

I think we all feared that Eileen's death was coming, but I was hoping for emotion and drama than we got. But like you say Jared saved it with acting, as he didn't have many words to go on. Honestly I would have liked less explosion and a few from words on her death.

This may sound harsh but I was hoping that Crowley was dead (but he is totally in that rat!) because I feel like we need to shake things up going into next season. Get some new characters, some new blood. Really, they should have killed Crowley and left Eileen alive.

I loved Mary here, especially in two scenes with Ketch; one where she had her will, and one where she didn't. I loved the scene where she was begging him to kill her and letting us see a different side of her; the desperation, and the need to protect her boys. Show gets A+ for that.

I think you're right about Ketch; I've been think that he was brainwashed too. Perhaps after he and Toni had a kid together maybe?

I'm trying to hold back my expectations going forward, but I loved your tag too; that would be awesome!!!
Yeah, the bunker turning into a death trap/unmarked tomb is kind of ironic after the recent references to home and legacy.

I get the lines people read as alluding to Ketch being brainwashed, and maybe? But this episode had me thinking he'd be a nasty piece of work even if he weren't involved with the BMoL. His method of killing Sam and Dean makes little sense outside of his sadism--it's counterproductive to his mission, so I'm taking that as him putting his sick personal satisfaction ahead of serving the BMoL. He could still have been 'conditioned' to be loyal at some point, but I don't think there's much chance he's got a conscience suppressed under it.