Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
Stand by for full power.
When more and more mechanical issues start creeping up in the bunker, Dean knows it's time to roll up their sleeves and fix the problem. After going into the boiler room, he and Sam notice that the power is noted to still be in standby mode. Using the classic turn it off and then on again method, Dean flips the switch and everything seems to be fine until he sees an older woman in his room – folding his underwear. He brings the discovery of a new roommate to Sam who is just as thrown off as his brother. It turns out, her name is Mrs. Butters and she's a wood elf who has been with the Men of Letters since before the war. She went into hibernation and put the bunker into standby mode when they didn't return...in 1958. The boys are reluctant to let her stay but after she points them to a nearby nest of vampires and has the place decorated like it's Christmas when they get back, it may be something they can get used to. Everything seems fine until she meets Jack and immediately doesn't trust him. The caring matriarch of the bunker has secrets of her own that might come back to bite the Winchesters.
After several months away due to the pandemic, Supernatural is back with Last Holiday – an light hearted episode that shines another light into the Men of Letters but never takes itself seriously enough to dim the mood. Overall, that worked well for the story of Last Holiday and presented Mrs. Butters as a character that was defined by protecting her home and her family, to a deadly fault. What the Winchesters got was a simplicity they have probably never had in the series and lunch bags on their way to work. If anything, Sam, Dean and Jack celebrating all the missed holidays was a series of touching moments. They were together as a family and happy for it. Between those moments, Sam and Dean's hunts were kept short and snappy, never becoming a focus of the episode since it was never based on the action. As Last Holiday began to wrap up, it was good to see Mrs. Butters story end on a positive note. With this being the last season, the Men of Letters story is drawing to a close but after death and torture, the last remnant of the old guard was freed from the chains of the past and allowed to go back to her home. The Winchesters didn't attack her and in the end, she forced Sam and Dean to really look at Jack and see the good in him.
Speaking of Mrs. Butters, Meagen Fay was excellent in her portrayal of the character. Always careful to toe the line between sincerity and comedy, Mrs. Butters is a character that could have easily been campy and the Sam torture scene could have been a disaster. Instead, Fay had the right mix of caring parent and an organic love of wanting her family to be safe. Many, many guest stars have come onto Supernatural and turned their series character into a parody but Fay skillfully avoided that and Mrs. Butters still came out the other side as an empathetic, likeable character.
Overall, Last Holiday was a good episode of Supernatural with nothing inherently wrong with it, besides missing Castiel. It was fun, light and a good way to get back into the series before it all goes to hell. It might be exactly what was needed. We'll how things change when the Winchesters search for Amara in next week's, Gimme Shelter.