We don't always do the right thing for the ones we love.
Since there mother hasn't checked in for more than a day, Alicia and Max Banes call Mary Winchester looking for help but instead, they get Sam and Dean. Dean is reluctant but Sam stresses that they have no leads on Castiel and may as well try to occupy themselves while they wait. After meeting up with the Banes's, the four of them arrive at a bed and breakfast in Rock River, Wyoming where their mother was staying. Things seem weird but Alicia and Max are relieved when they see their mother, Tasha, and everything seems ok. Elsewhere at the temporary Men of Letters bunker, Ketch and Mary are "interrogating" a shifter for the whereabouts of its family but they have no luck. Mary didn't like how much enjoyment Ketch took from the torture but Ketch emphasizes that the ends justify the means. Later, while checking her voicemail, she overhears Ketch mention some vague details to someone on the phone about a container in the armoury; something that sounds like it's being kept away from her intentionally. Back at the bed and breakfast, Sam and Dean are catching up with the Banes family when Sam notices there is a missing persons flyer for a man that they encountered earlier that day. The two of them take a look outside and discover a basement cellar and once they break in, they only smell death. Inside, they find the remains of Tasha Banes without her heart. But if what they found is the body of Tasha Banes, who were they just talking to a minute ago?
Twigs and Twine and Tasha Banes toed the line between two competing stories and managed to succeed...about half the time. What surprisingly worked out is how the stories with the Winchesters and the Banes had its ups and downs but so did the Ketch/Mary story so neither was clearly better than the other. The problems with the story with the Banes is that while it was cool to catch up with characters that we have seen before, we didn't get enough time to let that naturally develop. While the relationships between the three of them were a contrast to the Winchesters, we only got to see part of that and the rest was commentary by either Sam or Dean. In between that, Mary's time with the Men of Letters completely shifted the tone whenever the focus was on her. The fight scene with Ketch, while entertaining, also felt off in the mood that was established with the Banes family. It would have been far more effective to have this story be cut into another episode in order to get more time with Max and Alicia. At the end of Twigs and Twine and Tasha Banes, Max Banes was a broken version of himself that chose to take on the burden of the dark power rather than be alone. He cut out his sister's heart and put it into a wooden doll to have her back and by all accounts, this hunt was more of a loss than anything else. Had the show spent more time leading up to that, it would have had a far greater impact.
Another missed opportunity for the episode would have been to tie the two stories together in a creative way rather than have them completely separate from one another. Ketch and Mary wanted the location of the family of shifters from one of their own but were unsuccessful in getting that information. Had there been no witch and instead a family of shifters occupying the bed and breakfast it would have shown that even though Sam and Dean are unorthodox in their methods, they do manage to get the job done.
While I doubt Supernatural will further explore the issue with only three episodes remaining, Ketch still brings up the question of whether the ends do actually justify the means in the world of Supernatural. Ketch mentioned that Sam and Dean are sloppy – and they are. They went with Max and Alicia to a location they knew nothing about everything fell apart. Alicia died and now Max may be someone they eventually have to confront. Point being, Supernatural has done a good job this season emphasizing how monstrous and terrible the British Men of Letters are but have done very little to show how much good they have done abroad. If Supernatural wants this terrible organization to not be so one dimensional, it needs to do a better job and rounding out its characters.
All in all, Twigs and Twine and Tasha Banes was another ok episode that sets up for something better next week but at this point, time is actually running out on the season and I'm not sure Supernatural can pull all of the threads together at this point without it feeling rushed. Hopefully Supernatural proves me wrong next week (I'll write about it if that happens!) when Lady Tony Bevell returns in There's Something About Mary.