Supernatural: Last Holiday
October 8, 2020 6:06 PM - Season 15, Episode 14 - Subscribe

I feel equal parts "yay, new Supernatural" and "I am really going to miss this show". Mrs. Butters + Dean was adorable, I think I would have been happy if she'd become a regular for these final 7 episodes.

One down, six to go.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:12 PM on October 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

I liked this one, but the energy felt a little strange. Part of that may have been that it just felt weird to be watching this show again at all, after it'd been in this limbo for a long time and we weren't totally sure when or if it'd come back. I was trying to figure out why it seemed like so, so long since we last saw these guys. After all, it was only a few months ago! Then I remembered that the last episode aired in the early days of the pandemic, approximately eleventy billion real-life horrors ago.

I have a feeling Mrs. Butters was a character the writers had talked about for a long time, maybe as a potential regular. Her origin and the whole "reset" thing seemed pretty thought-through, and her arc felt like something that could have been teased out for a season or two. She was a compelling character here, but it could have been really shocking if we'd grown to trust her over time and then she turned on the boys. But I suppose the writers would've had the same problem they have with Cas, where somebody that powerful can solve too many problems too easily. Speaking of Cas, he pulled another one of his weird disappearing acts this time. This whole plot might have played out very differently if he'd been around, but he was away for... weeks? Months? I was never sure how long this story was taking, but Sam and Dean sure went through a lot of holidays and sack lunches!

I was kind of surprised Dean never once referred to the turncoat Mrs. B as Dolores Umbridge. I mean, it was right there, and she was really much more of an Umbridge than a Ratched. I'm guessing he probably did drop an Umbridge reference in an earlier draft but then JK Rowling had her anti-trans meltdown and they didn't want to give her the shout-out.

Reminder that this show is winding down FAST. Let's keep those comments coming, folks!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:23 AM on October 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Mrs. Butters is definitely a character I would have like to have seen on a permanent basis. My wife was yelling "she's going to go Umbridge" at the screen so yeah, it's likely a lot of folks saw that parallel. I just wish once, ONCE, the boys would hit on a good thing and it would STICK. I mean, c'mon. They need someone to watch out for them. Maybe after a couple episodes she could pop back and be all pissed off because the Nazis turfed her forest and now Volkswagen made it into a parking lot.
posted by Ber at 9:34 AM on October 11, 2020

"the wood nymph put herself in standby mode" feels like being flung down the stairs in a way that honestly only this show can summon in me

It is lowkey extremely hilarious that Dean had his phone on him the entire time but must have at some point explained to Jack that they weren't going to text Sam for help because he might be having sex. "I have a great idea bud, just stand right there while I shoot you through this door" is peak older brother chaotic energy.

I know the episode wasn't going to slow down for this but it's kind of shitty they lived with her for months and apparently never asked her why a wood nymph decided to live in a concrete bunker and clean up after manchildren all day.

Ursula Hitler, I'm with you on the weird energy, and the feeling that this episode could've mostly been thrown in almost anywhere since they got to the bunker (seven seasons ago(!)).
posted by jameaterblues at 9:37 AM on October 11, 2020

It was a fun fluff episode. It was nice to see the guys being happy, even if "servile woman slave" was kinda what was going on there (sigh). They never did get any holidays in their lives and they seemed to do Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween in reverse? Was this over a year or just throwing holidays for fun pretty frequently?

I'm glad they didn't kill her and she just left. That was a relief.

It's so weird to see a show filmed during a pandemic and it seems like....normal? Like, how?
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:06 PM on October 12, 2020

Well, but they didn't really know they were filming in a pandemic when they shot this one - for all that it's practically a bottle episode what with the montage of Sam & Dean entering various monster lairs rather than multiple monster-fighting scenes, this was one of the 5 episodes that they'd finished filming before the shutdown but hadn't finished post-production on. It's only the last two that will reflect pandemic changes - I expect if they originally planned for any massive multi-person/creature fight sequences in the finale, they've been scaled back to core characters only.
posted by oh yeah! at 3:50 AM on October 13, 2020


Dean: I thought this place was supposed to be state-of-the art.
Sam: It was, in the 50's.

Dean: Dude, we fought the Devil, okay? I've killed Hitler. I think we can handle a few old pipes.

Dean: Look at me, I'm the picture of health.
Sam: Ignoring your trauma doesn't make you healthy.
Dean: Sure, it does.

Mrs. Butters: You should be nicer to your brother.
Dean: Well, now, why would I do that?


Sam is shown wielding Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor, on a hunt. Mjolnir previously appeared in "What's Up, Tiger Mommy" (ep. 8.2) where Sam used it to kill the Norse god Vili.

Dean is shown wearing his lilac nightgown and nightcap, which he last wore as a cartoon character in the fan-favorite episode "Scoobynatural" (ep. 13.16).

Included in the picture of the Men of Letters is Cuthbert Sinclair. Mrs. Butters also mentions Mr. Markham, who appeared "The Werther Project" (ep. 10.19), and Larry Ganem, who appeared in "As Time Goes By" (ep. 8.12).

This episode marks the first appearance of a wood nymph, which is another term for a dryad in Greek mythology. Drys signifies "oak" in Greek, and dryads are specifically the nymphs of oak trees, but the term has come to be used for tree nymphs in general, or human-tree hybrids in fantasy.

Mrs. Butters identifies the telescope in the bunker as an interdimensional geoscope. When Dean tells her that he couldn't see anything looking through it, Mrs. Butters becomes worried and states that this is not a good thing, presumably because of Chuck's destruction of the other Earths rather than any limitation on Dean's part.

This episode was originally supposed to air in March 2020 but got postponed to October because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vampires are watching an episode of the Vampire soap opera "Dark Shadows".

In this episode Dean yells "we got one" just like the Ghostbusters do when they get a call. During the montage scene where they hunt and celebrate different holidays the song "Cleaning up the Town", from the Ghostbusters soundtrack, is playing in homage to a similar scene in that movie.
posted by orange swan at 10:34 AM on May 13, 2022

Mrs. Butters was so much fun that I wish she'd lasted longer than just one episode, even if it seemed a little unlikely that a wood nymph could be that powerful. I mean... what on earth would she use those powers of her for in the woods?

I take the point made above about one of the bunker's resources being a servile female, but Sam and Dean have had shitty lives, and have never really been taken care of, had to raise themselves, and have saved countless lives and the entire world repeatedly at the cost of nearly everyone and practically everything they've ever cared about. If anyone ever deserved to be spoiled it is them. particularly if it's by a supernatural being who clearly found it easy and a pleasure to do so.

I'm a little curious as to how Sam's date went. Did he and Eileen... practice their sign language?
posted by orange swan at 10:36 AM on May 13, 2022

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