This time last year, we were traveling to Toronto for a Supernatural convention, where we watched the Season 15 premiere with other members of the #SPNfamily. No one anticipated a real life pandemic would interrupt the final season of this beloved series. The coronavirus may not be demonic in nature like the Croatoan virus, but it has caused a lot of horror and havoc. A delay in production wasn’t ideal, but it’s given viewers something to look forward to this fall.
After this unexpected hiatus, Supernatural returns with a fun monster-of-the-week episode. “Last Holiday” may be welcoming us to the end, but as Mrs. Butters reminds us, “Don’t be so dour. Take a break and enjoy the world [the Winchesters] are fighting for.” “Last Holiday” was directed by Eduardo Sanchez (The Chitters) and written by Jeremy Adams (Scoobynatural).
Monster Radar and Family Dinner
Guest star Meagan Fey plays Mrs. Butters, a wood nymph who makes herself at home in the bunker. The Men of Letters used her magic to give the bunker a little “oomph.” She introduces Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) to the joys of monster radar, pumpkin carving, and pre-packed lunches. Fey plays Mrs. Butters with just the right amount of warmth and strength.
After being directed to a vampire nest, Sam and Dean start to wonder if Mrs. Butters might be too good to be true. Inside the decrepit cabin, a slurpee-drinking vampire watching a movie about the undead, ponders, “How come vampires like that live in mansions and we live here?” They are quickly dispatched by the Winchesters. Upon returning to the bunker, Sam and Dean find that Mrs. Butters has decked out the place with Christmas decorations. She quickly wins the boys over.
Upon meeting Jack (Alexander Calvert), Mrs. Butters asks, “What are you?” Dean reveals that he’s a millennial. Some might prefer the son of Satan to that generational label. Mrs. Butters manages to get more information once she’s alone with Jack. When he talks about killing Mary, Mrs. Butter sounds reassuring, “Life gives us second chances. It’s our obligation to hold onto them.”
Through a rock-themed montage, we learn the boys are making the most of their newfound ability to find and kill monsters, while enjoying home-cooked meals and family celebrations they rarely experienced growing up. Mrs. Butters is like the mother they never quite had. While the brothers are out on a job, Jack learns that Mrs. Butters is a powerful creature who joined the Men of Letters during the war.
Keeping the family safe
Though Jack has suspicions about their new caretaker, Sam and Dean are enjoying her efforts. With much prepping from Mrs. Butters, Sam heads out on a date with Eileen. She has also fixed the TV in the Deancave. With both Winchesters occupied, Jack confronts Mrs. Butters about who she is.
It turns out she has laid a trap for Jack based on her own suspicions. She asks, “Have you ever thought that Sam and Dean keep her you here, closed in and secure, because they’re scared you’ll do something to someone else like you did to their mother?” She has weakened Jack with green smoothies, and locks him in the basement. As if green smoothies needed another strike against them.
When Dean returns from the Deancave Mrs. Butters offers a snack, telling him, “Eat up dear. You’ll need your strength so you can go kill Jack.” When Dean suggests freeing Jack instead, she locks him up with Jack, claiming he’s been infected, “Just like his father, just like the serpent in the garden.”
When Sam gets home, he seems to catch on faster to the danger than the rest of them. He really is the smart one. Not smart enough to have researched Mrs. Butters’ powers prior to this crisis though. And not quite smart enough to pull one over on Mrs. Butters.
As they try to figure out how to escape, Jack asks Dean, “Do you still think I’m a monster?” Dean has been trying to forgive Jack, but he’s still angry. Despite his feelings, Dean reassures him, “I’m not going to let some evil Mary Poppins take you out.”
Upstairs, Mrs. Butters has Sam bound, telling him, “I already had one monster take out my family, I won’t have it happen again.” Sam tries to convince her that Jack isn’t a monster, but his resistance only leads her to utilize torture methods she learned at the hands of the Men of Letters.
Though still trapped, Dean doesn’t want Jack to use any power that will alert Chuck to his presence. Dean reassures Jack that “pain is just weakness leaving the body” as they finally escape. They save Sam from an extended torture session, but it’s not so easy to put the wood nymph back into the bunker. Mrs. Butters insists she must stop Jack from hurting the Winchesters, “I have to keep you safe.” When Dean finally blurts out, “He can save the world,” it seems to surprise Jack as much as it does Mrs. Butters. She finally relents, telling them how much she misses her own family.
After they succeed in stopping Mrs. Butters from killing Jack, locking up Dean, and torturing Sam, there’s forgiveness all around. But perhaps it’s for the best that it’s decided she should head back to her home. She tells the boys, “I would love to see the woods again. To see the sun streaming through the trees.” Before she leaves, Mrs. Butters reminds Dean to eat his vegetables and Sam to cut his hair. And she tells Jack, “Go save the world.”
Despite growing faith in him, Jack still has his own doubts about his ability to kill God.
Jack: “Sam do you really think I can do this?”
Sam: “Jack, you’re the only one who can.”
Mrs. Butters has left the Winchesters with more than a reinvigorated belief in Jack. There’s cake too. In “Last Holiday” Supernatural provides a little family fun, while Sam, Dean, and Jack reconnect. They’re certain to need each other more than ever as they head towards a face-off with God.