Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes is the 20th episode of Season 12. It aired on May 4, 2017.
|There was something about being there... It felt pure.|
This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.
DO NOT CHANGE!
Alicia Banes (guest star Kara Royster) calls Mary (guest star Samantha Smith) for help after her mother, Tasha (guest star Alvina August), goes missing. Sam answers Mary's phone and he and Dean head out to help Alicia and her twin brother, Max (guest star Kendrick Sampson), find their mother who was hunting a powerful witch. Meanwhile, Mary starts to have some doubts about the British Men of Letters.
In Rock River, Wyoming, a woman arrives at the Mountain Slumber Boarding House. In the front room of the inn, anolder woman sits winding yarn. Behind the front desk, an amiable clerk greets the newcomer, Tasha Banes, and checks her in. Upstairs in her room, Tasha's phone chimes and shows a missed call from Alicia, but Tasha is preoccupied with performing a ritual, chanting "reveal" as she dangles a talisman over a group of candles. Tasha's eyes glow purple as the charm begins to radiate light. Following the charm, Tasha enters a storm cellar. As she explores the cellar, she is stabbed from behind.
Meanwhile, in the bunker library, Sam and Dean discuss the previous night's events, which culminated with Castiel killing Dagon using the borrowed power of Kelly Kline's unborn baby, then knocking the brothers out before leaving in his truck with Kelly. Dean insists that the unborn nephilm influenced Cas and voices concern for Castiel's sudden and unwavering faith that Kelly's baby will not be evil. As Sam examines the melted and deformed remains of the Colt, the silence is broken by a buzzing phone somewhere in the library. After a brief search, Sam finds one of Mary's phones and answers a call from Alicia Banes.
Alicia was trying to reach Mary to ask for her help in tracking down her mother. Alica's brother, Max, insists that she's fine and that Alicia is overreacting. Sam offers to come to Wyoming to help the siblings in their search, but Dean insists that their attention should be focused on finding Castiel. Sam tells Dean that they've done everything they can, including asking Jody to put an APB out for Castiel. Sam finally gets Dean to agree by saying "Their mom's on a hunting trip and hasn't been home in a week."
Dean tries to call Mary, and the scene changes to show Mary strapped to a chair in an interrogation room at the British Men of Letters compound. Arthur Ketch splashes her in the face with a glass of water, but another Mary walks behind the one in the chair. The Mary in the chair is not the real Mary Winchester; rather, it is a shapeshifter that has taken her form. On Ketch's command, Mary dismisses the call from Dean, who leaves a message telling Mary that he and Sam are headed to go help Max and Alicia Banes find their mom. He asks Mary to call him back, saying he wants to talk about other, more personal, issues. Ketch continues to torture the shapeshifter while Mary looks on uncomfortably. She tries to convince Ketch that the shifter won't talk, but Ketch carries on, punching the shapeshifter, which takes his form. Ketch continues to torture the shapeshifter, despite the fact that it has taken his shape.
In Wyoming, Dean and Sam meet up with the Banes siblings and learn more about the case that Tasha had been working that involved a "borrower witch", who gets their powers from a demon deal. Dean shows Max the Impala and the two bond over their shared love of the grenade launcher while Sam and Alicia talk about feeling left out of their own families. Sam talks about Dean and John's shared love of hunting. Alicia shares that Max and their mom bonded over their magical powers, powers that Alicia does not have.
At the boarding house, the four find Tasha's car and notice a man standing in the woods near the doors of the storm cellar, staring at them. When Sam waves hello, the man wanders away. Inside the boarding house, Tasha happily greets her children and the Winchester brothers, though she seems confused as to why they're there. Max explains that Alicia had been worried about her and had asked Sam and Dean to come along in case they needed backup. Tasha insists that she's fine and invites the group up to her room for wine. When Alicia asks her mother why she hadn't returned any of her calls, Tasha says that her phone had died and she had forgotten to charge it. When opening the bottle of wine, Tasha's finger breaks, but she turns her back on the group and fixes it with an abrupt snap. Sam leaves Dean and the Banes family and goes to pick up their dinner.
Back at the British Men of Letters compound, Mary and Ketch finish their interrogation of the shapeshifter. Ketch proposes that the two go off and have sex, but Mary declines, saying that their interrogation was pointless. Mary accuses Ketch of enjoying the torture of the shapeshifter, but Ketch dismisses her, saying that if she has a problem she should file a report with Mick Davies. Mary says that she hasn't been able to get in touch with Mick and Ketch does his best to gloss over the lack of contact from Mick, but he is unable to come up with a decent explanation. Ketch then taunts Mary about returning Dean's call and walks away.
Meanwhile, in Wyoming, Dean checks his phone for any new messages, but there is no word from Castiel or Mary. While Max and Alicia banter back and forth in the background, Dean compliments Tasha on her parenting. Tasha asks Dean about growing up as a hunter and Dean talks freely, but when Tasha asks about Mary, Dean becomes guarded, saying it's complicated. Tasha reminds Dean that kids only realize that their parents aren't "smart and strong and perfect" when they've grown up. Mary finally listens to Dean's message and is about to call him back when she overhears Ketch in Mick's office, making arrangements to send a package to England. Ketch stands over Mary as she checks her email on Mick's computer. She receives a new message from Mick saying that he'll be stuck in London for a few weeks. When Mary is done reading, Ketch walks away.
Sam returns to the boarding house with dinner and asks to talk to Dean in the hall. While Sam was at the restaurant, he found a missing person for the man they'd seen in the woods. The brothers decide to investigate. As they leave the boarding house, the scene changes to show the mysterious older woman that Tasha had encountered earlier humming as she builds a life-sized figure out of twigs.
Mary tries to return Dean's call, but he left his phone on the table in Tasha's room. In her voicemail, Mary apologizes for not having been there for Dean and Sam, but she says that she wants to be. Her message lights up Dean's phone as the Banes family laughs together in the background.
Outside the boarding house, Sam and Dean discover the storm cellar. Back in the room, Max leaves Tasha and Alicia to meet up with a bartender he'd met earlier that day. In the storm cellar, the Winchesters find the decomposing corpses of the missing man, the front desk clerk, Andy, and Tasha Banes. All of them had had their hearts ripped out. Max enters the cellar, having seen their flashlights from the parking lot. Dean and Sam scramble to conceal Tasha's body from her son, but he sees it anyway.
Meanwhile, Mary goes about investigating the package she'd overheard Ketch discussing earlier. She opens it to find Mick Davies' body, confirming her suspicion that Ketch had been lying to her for a long time. She sneaks into a secure room and learns that the British Men of Letters have been spying on dozens of hunters, along with Sam and Dean. Mary tries to call Dean again, but he doesn't pick up. She leaves a second message telling them that they've got a problem. As she tries to leave, Mary is confronted by Ketch. Mary questions him about Mick and asks Ketch if he was responsible for Mick's death. A fight ensues, and Ketch argues that Mick and others like Dean and Sam are incapable of truly eradicating monsters. Ketch tells Mary that he can protect her from the extermination of the American hunters if she cooperates with him, but she pulls out a pair of Enochian brass knuckles and punches Ketch several times. As she makes her way to the door, Ketch tasers her and knocks her unconscious.
Max bursts into Tasha’s room, pinning her against a wall while Sam and Dean hold Alicia back. Max questions Tasha as to her identity. His eyes glow purple as he casts a reveal spell on Tasha. Tasha quivers and crackles, but she reveals the location of the witch controlling her -- the woman with the twig doll. The witch snaps her fingers, activating her control over Andy, the desk clerk, and his eyes glow white. The man from the woods confronts Max and Dean in the hallway, and Max magically tosses him out the window before continuing his pursuit of the witch. Max’s spell on Tasha causes her to collapse onto the floor, where Alicia rushes to tend to what she still believes is her mother.
Dean and Max find the witch, but she immediately disarms Dean. He is thrown into a chair as his gun drops to the floor. Meanwhile, Sam tries to convince Alicia that the woman lying on the floor is not really her mother. Back in the cellar, the witch offers Max the same deal she'd offered Tasha. Sam continues to fight Andy, who seems invincible, while Max accuses the witch of killing his mother. She shares a vision of what she did to Tasha with Dean and Max. She tells them she's reaching the end of her life and needs to pass her borrowed magic on 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 placed it in a twig doll that possesses all of Tasha’s memories, but is under the witch's control. The witch tells Max that if he kills her, then all of her creations will fall apart, including Tasha. The witch offers Max her power, with the caveat of exchanging his soul for hers in her demon deal, so that he can keep Tasha “alive.” When Dean tries to talk Max out of the deal, the witch silences him with a snap of her fingers.
In the boarding house room, Sam is losing his battle against the twig doll Andy, and Alicia runs to his aid. She fights Andy off, while, unbeknownst to Alicia, her mother is stirring. When Alicia turns around, the twig version of Tasha stabs her in the stomach. Sam rushes to Alicia’s side. Meanwhile, Dean is struggling against the witch’s control, still unable to speak. He is desperately trying to reach his gun, which is loaded with witch-killing bullets. Max is just about to take the witch's ring and powers when Dean shoots her. As promised, her twig dolls immediately crumble to ashes, leaving Sam to tend to Alicia's wound. Max is distraught, but Dean reminds him that the deal wasn’t with the witch, but with a demon, and says that the magic wasn’t worth his soul. Sam calls for Dean, but 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 is too distraught to listen. Sam and Dean tell him they need to burn the bodies, but Max tells them to leave. Sam and Dean oblige, and Sam tells Dean he did the right thing by killing the witch and saving Max.
Dean laments the fate of the Banes family as Sam tries to convince him that Max will be okay. The scene changes to show Max picking up the witch’s ring and preparing the ritual to turn Alicia into a twig doll. As he leaves with the twig version of Alicia, he burns his sister’s real body. Sam slowly falls asleep in the Impala as Dean checks his messages. Seeing the missed call from Mary, he knows that something is amiss.
Mary is once again in the British Men of Letters interrogation room, but this time it's the real Mary in the chair. Ketch reminds her that he tried to give her and the rest of the American hunters a chance, and Mary asks if he’s going to kill her. Mary's phone begins to ring with an incoming call from Dean, but it is dismissed by Lady Toni Bevell. When Mary asks if they're going to kill her, Lady Bevell smiles and says that they have other plans for her.
- Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester and Captured Shapeshifter
- Elizabeth Blackmore as Lady Toni Bevell (uncredited)
- David Haydn-Jones as Arthur Ketch and Captured Shapeshifter
- Kendrick Sampson as Max Banes
- Kara Royster as Alicia Banes
- Alvina August as Tasha Banes
- Tim Carlson as Andy
- Paul Rogic as Rick Walsh
- Linda Darlow as Witch
Featured Supernatural Beings
- Archangel (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Nephilim (Jack Kline, referenced only)
- Psychic (Magda Peterson, referenced only)
- Seraph (Castiel, mentioned only)
- Shapeshifter (Captured Shapeshifter)
- Werewolf (Garth Fitzgerald IV, photo only)
- Witches (Borrower Witch, Max Banes, Tasha Banes)
- Alicia and Max Banes previously physically appeared in Celebrating The Life Of Asa Fox.
- Alicia's voice was heard in First Blood.
- Celebrating The Life Of Asa Fox was also written by Steve Yockey.
- Lady Toni Bevell previously appeared in Mamma Mia.
- Arthur Ketch admits to killing the Secret Service Agents and Magda Peterson while informing Mary how he's been cleaning up after Sam and Dean.
- The Grenade Launcher was previously shown in Regarding Dean.
- The Enochian Brass Knuckles was previously used in Stuck in the Middle (With You).
- The episode was watched by 1.51 million viewers and got a 0.5 rating.
- This is the second episode in Season 12 that Richard Speight Jr. directed. The first one was Stuck in the Middle (With You). This makes him the first cast member to direct multiple episodes in one season.
- This is the second time Steve Yockey wrote an episode that featured Max Banes, Alicia Banes and Mary Winchester.
- Sam's line, "their mom's on a hunting trip and hasn't been home for a week", is a reference to Dean's line in the Pilot: "Dad's on a hunting trip and he hasn't been home in a few days."
- Sam revealed that Jody put an APB on Castiel and Kelly across 3 states.
- The painting seen inside the Mountain Slumber Boarding House, is actually the same place Castiel asked for God's guidance in the season 6 episode, The Man Who Would Be King.
- This is the first time the Enochian Brass Knuckles was used on a human.
- The ages, place of birth and current resident of Garth Fitzgerald IV, Claire Novak and Eileen Leahy are revealed through the British Men of Letters database.
- Both Claire and Eileen's current residence are listed as "In transit". Garth is listed as "Grantsburg, Wisconsin".
- This episode reveals that it is possible for witches who obtain their magic through demon deals to escape damnation by giving their magic powers to another witch.
- Although it is still strange that the borrower witch hoped not to go to hell anyway, since the deals are not the only way to condemn the soul.
- In the scene where Dean is talking to Alicia, Max and the fake Tasha, he is seen wearing the same red polo shirt he wore in the season 10 episode, Inside Man.
- It's unknown how the Winchesters and the twins Banes know the classification of witches as borrowers and naturals as Rowena establishes that this nomenclature was given by the Grand Coven.
- It is unknown how well Mick's body is being preserved, or why has it been kept for so long. Mary was able to identify the gun shot wound that killed Mick and recognize the corpse upon sight.
- On Netflix, the episode is misspelled as Twigs & Twine & Naomi Banes.
- It's implied that being born of a natural witch doesn't make anyone necessarily one, as Max was a natural witch and Alicia not. However, this could be due to the father.
|“||If Cass messed up, if he did something wrong but he thought it was for the right reasons, I got it, right? But last night? When I looked at him? I did not recognize the guy staring back at me.||”|
|“||Okay. So, last night... that Super Mario power-up crap. That wasn't Cass. That freakin' baby isn't even born yet, and it sock puppeted him. Think about it, Cass said that he had 'faith' in Lucifer Jr., what's that supposed to mean to me?||”|
|“||Family's always complicated. Parents always seem smart and strong and perfect. It's only when you grow up that you realize that they are just people.||”|
|“||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's voice mail
|“||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.||”|
|“||Now Mary... Let's begin.||”|