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Supernatural Reminds Us That Families are Awful

Rowena vs. Crowley. Mary vs. the Boys. Lucifer vs. Everybody.

MaryAnn Sleasman

"Family Feud" would be easier to talk about if it could just decide if it wanted to be an IMPORTANT episode of Supernaturalor flaky filler. I hate filler, and I love getting irrationally angry about things on the internet. I also love IMPORTANT episodes, and I love getting irrationally angry about things on the internet. It's a win/win scenario.

Unfortunately, "Family Feud" was just kind of there -- gloriously mediocre, edging on kind of boring-- in the aftermath of last week's (what I THOUGHT was) a comeback for season 12.

Supernatural busts out the ancient history books.

There's nothing more disappointing than an episode that isn't bad enough to ridicule or good enough to load heaps and heaps of praise upon, and that's how Supernatural opted to follow up on the mythology-bending shenanigans of "Stuck in the Middle (With You)."

Here are the important parts:

-- Mark Pellegrino is totally back as Lucifer, chained up in Crowley's (Mark Sheppard) basement, sassing the King of Hell and gleefully making the point we were all thinking, "Okay, so your best and brightest demons figured out how to basically build a portable cage for Luci so that...something something revenge...but srsly, YOU KNOW HE'S GOING TO ESCAPE. LIKE. C'MON."

-- COME. ON.

-- Maybe Crowley should take important intel-filled phone calls about his undead time-traveller son and Luci's antichrist baby momma on-the-run in another room. Because THAT obviously isn't going to bite everyone in the butt later.

-- Don't you hate when everyone is written to be dumber than we know they are just to force a plot together?

-- Mary ( Samantha Smith) spilled the beans about working with the British Men of Letters. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) did not take it well. Queue the sad montage.

Supernatural goes through the motions of manly angst.

The meat of "Family Feud" forced the not-as-buried-as-we-thought hatchet between Crowley and Rowena (Ruth McConnell) back to the front of their relationship because when Lucifer inevitably breaks out of his time-out chair, it would be entirely too convenient to have a competent witch on our side to clean the mess up. I honestly forgot about Oscar. Life was better that way.


Jensen Ackles and Ruth Connell, Supernatural

Dean Buscher/The CW

After the big reveal about Mary and the Brits last week, we could have used a solid follow-up to that particular plot point. I feel like we haven't paid any attention to the brothers Winchester in weeks and the drama surrounding Mary's resurrection and trouble with finding her place in the world and in her family has consistently been the best stuff this season. It was still the highlight of this week's Rowena/Crowley hate-fest, even if it only made up five minutes of screen time. The biggest problem with this half of Supernatural's season isn't that there is an absence of good storyline to work with, it's that the series is, inexplicably, ignoring the promising seeds to focus on the stuff that no one actually cared about to begin with.

We didn't need a waterlogged love story that ended with Crowley's son going back to his early grave right now. I forgot he existed, which is a problem when an entire episode is built around his demise. Remember when messing with timelines had actual serious repercussions on this show and sending someone back in time wasn't something so simple that Sam could throw the spell together in their freaking living room? REMEMBER? I miss that. I miss Sam and Dean actively participating in their own story. I miss when family feuds actually meant something on this show.

Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.

(Full disclosure: is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)