Supernatural Season 12 Episode 20 Review: Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes

A pair of characters made a reappearance for a Supernatural episode about family, sacrifice, and stick puppets.

This Supernatural review contains spoilers

Supernatural Season 12 Episode 20

We’re gearing up for the season finale by revisiting a couple of characters from episode six this season: Alicia and Max Bane, the twin siblings from the hunter-heavy episode “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox.” Supernatural does like the occasional random-character-name episode, doesn’t it?

The main storyline in this episode is kickstarted when Alicia Banes calls the Winchesters for help finding her mother. Tasha Banes went missing while investigating some other disappearances. There’s a hesitation before Dean accepts that he and Sam should help. The turning point is when Sam says that the Banes’ mother went on a hunting trip and hasn’t been home in a few days. This is a direct call back to the pilot episode, in which Dean got Sam back into the life in order to search for John.

Our villain in this episode was a twist on the classic witch I’m glad she wasn’t like the average witch on Supernatural. We can’t keep getting repeats of villains like werewolves, vampires, witches, and shifters without there being some unique angles thrown in to keep us on our toes. We’re twelve seasons in here, people. Variety is the spice of life.

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The villain, “Demon Borrower Witch” as she is called on IMDB, uses her power in a unique way, delaying her own ride to hell with a complicated borrowing ritual that rips the hearts and memories of her victims and places them in Blair Witch-esque twig puppets. Mad props to the sound department and Foley artists for the bone jarring crunching and cracking sounds produced by these puppets. I will hear that in my nightmares for sure.

Meanwhile, Mary “I Don’t Play Nice” Winchester is finally figuring out that Mr. Ketch is no catch. See what I did there? Mary has had her suspicions, she’s no dummy, but her need to hunt and make a difference got the better of her. I like the subtle use of camera moves and geography in the British Men of Letters headquarters to ramp up the tension. Smooth Steadicam shots led Mary away from the room she wasn’t supposed to see, wrapping around corners and causing interesting contrasting lines in the hallways of the building. The tension is palpable and visual.

The moral dilemma presented at the end of the episode, when Max needs to make a soul-selling decision, reflects the impulse decisions Sam and Dean have made to save each other, time and time again. Max, however, isn’t lucky enough to be the main character of a TV show. His decision could have lasting consequences.


4 out of 5