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It seems like I was just, finally, getting used to her being around the bunker again and being part of the family. This season she was not distracted by the British Men of Letters; she was there for Sam and Dean more than she ever had been before and suddenly, she was gone.
I have plenty of issues with the decision to bring Mary back at all in the first place. She was a gift to Dean from God, but her death was the reason for the entire series and I spent years enjoying glimpses of her in flashbacks, the idealized memories of young Dean, and in Sam’s longing for the mother he never knew. I also enjoyed it when some big bad used Mary’s image to get to Sam and Dean, as when she took the form of Eve or was used by the Djinn to try to lull Dean into letting his physical body die as his brain lived in a fantasy where Mary was still alive.
When she arrived back on the scene as her real self, she was a woman dropped into the world of her adult sons whom she did not know. She was written and played by Samantha Smith as someone trying to find her place in this new, strange world, and she was a bit too understated and emotionless for my taste. One could also argue that it was nice to see a woman on TV who was not overly-emotional, who was tough.
I heard Samantha Smith speak about playing Mary at the 2019 Chicago Supernatural convention. Her solo panel was the day after “Absence” aired where we learned that Jack hadn’t just injured her, he had killed her and there was no way to bring her back.
Sam Smith said that she got the call that her character would be killed off when she was at the vet with her dog. Andrew Dabb was on the phone and he told her about where the story would be heading. She said it was not a happy day for her. She said it has been the honor of her life to play Mary, that she never expected to be brought back as a main cast member in later seasons, and that she loved playing a tough woman who could fight. She liked fight training. She has auditioned to play so many “crying wives” that she hopes she never has to audition for a role like that again. I hope not too.
Sam said she was happy that Mary did not die as the victim of a monster. She didn’t die fighting. She was, basically killed accidentally by a too-powerful Jack who could not control his power. In her own words, as she wouldn’t drop it when Jack kept telling her to leave him alone, she wanted to help him while he was going through something difficult and, as a result, “She mothered herself to death.” She also said that she is “super dead” and is sure she will not be coming back as a living character. (Those are my words…I wonder if there will be flashbacks?). Ironic that she died trying to be a good mother to Jack when many fans feel she has been a decidedly lackluster mother to Sam and Dean.
I did find myself feeling sad over Mary’s death. Even though I was not always the biggest fan of what they did with her character. I feel like it was just yesterday that I felt the 300th episode finally wrung some emotion out of her character; some softness with John and her sons, and some elevation of their family (a nice dinner with wine) and a recognition among all of them at how special their family is and how much they love each other in spite of all the mistakes along the way, and then, suddenly, she was gone.
I can report that, in person, Sam Smith is incredibly thoughtful and kind. She’s even more beautiful than she looks in photos if you can believe that. She was nice enough to fill out a blank recipe card for me for “Winchester Surprise” which has been referenced so many times (for the first time!) in season 14…and it was on my mind; this weird casserole that it seemed their entire family loved and associated with her. FYI, she filled it out just as she had posted on Twitter: “3 pounds beef, 3 pounds pork, 3 pounds cheese”…so a real, work-able recipe is, I think, still up to us fans, but I love having a recipe card for “Winchester Surprise” written in her handwriting.
I suppose her death was needed to create massive amounts of tension over what to do with Jack and to reveal how dangerous he is now, but I’m actually sorry to see her go. It makes the 300th episode all that more heart-wrenching. It’s a continuous theme of Supernatural; Sam and Dean lose everything and everyone but each other.
Some questions were asked of Jared and Jensen how they felt about Mary’s initials being carved into the table along with theirs. Jensen seemed to feel mixed, but Sam Smith was definitely honored.
I love that the same actress stuck with the show and with us for so many years. Sam Smith seemed to truly love playing Mary and was brought to tears several times during her panel and the panel with several other SPN actresses the next day when people thanked her for the job she did as Mary. Her co-workers had nothing but lovely things to say about her.
On the last day of filming, she said she went up to Jensen’s trailer and knocked on the door and he came out…she said she had just come to say goodbye and promptly burst into tears. He came down the stairs and hugged her. At Jared’s trailer, she didn’t even get any words out, just started crying when he opened the door. He rushed down to comfort her as well.
All of us strangers, whether we love the show or work on it, have become a family. It was apparent that Mary’s death caused real sadness in the woman who has played our family’s kick-ass mom for 14 years.
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photos courtesy of PigNaPoke
taken at the Chicago Supernatural convention on
Friday, April 12th, the day after the episode confirming
Mary’s death aired.
SUBMITTED BY: Journalbookbinder

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