“When I was a child, I had nothing. I owed you everything, and I obeyed. But I’m a man now, Dr. Hess, and I can see the choices, and I choose to do the right thing.”
— Mick, “The British Invasion”
One of the best things about this show, especially considering that it’s now in its 12th season, is the fact that just as you thinks you know what’s going to happen, a big event completely flips the script. “The British Invasion” seemed as if it would be another monster-of-the-week hunt in which Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) bicker and bond with new frenemy Mick Davies (Adam Fergus); instead, the episode explored several important season 12 character arcs.
On the less compelling side, the pregnant Kelly Kline (Courtney Ford) has been having strange pains and demands for her demonic friend/captor Dagon (Ali Ahn) to take her to a doctor’s office. Dagon bewitches a doctor (Michael Meneer) into saying that everything about her pregnancy is completely normal, and sends a demon (Alex Barima) to kill the doctor days later. The events of the rest of the episode cause Kelly to second-guess a lot of things, especially after a rather annoyed Dagon tells her that every woman who’s ever given birth to a nephilim (the product of an angel and a human) has died during childbirth. Previous episodes seem to prove her wrong, but Kelly (and perhaps Dagon) wouldn’t know about that.
Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) is trying to free himself and take over Hell from the inside; he has a demon (Ian Edwards) hard at work on removing the curse placed inside his vessel. In the meantime, he feigns subservience to Crowley (Mark Sheppard) by mouthing silent words and flashing his red eyes in order to threaten demons while he speaks to them about obeying “the true king of Hell”.
Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith) has been sleeping with Mr. Ketch (David Haydn-Jones), but she tells him that she doesn’t have any sort of romantic feelings for him. Ketch seems a little surprised by this, which we can either chalk up to him actually having feelings for her, or just being arrogant enough to assume he’s irresistable. At least we were spared from seeing the usual heavy breathing, face-licking, weird music-accentuated love scene that most TV shows and movies feel the need to inflict upon viewers. It’s hard to care enough about this development, at least until the end of the episode in which we finally see just how bad of a guy is Mr. Ketch.
The episode really takes off when Irish-American hunter Eileen (Shoshannah Stern), who we met in last season’s “Into The Mystic”, tells the Winchesters that she’s pinpointed the location of Kelly and Dagon thanks to security camera footage. While there was obvious chemistry between Eileen and Sam, it was more interesting to see a character arc in which a hunter not only continues, but also seems to enjoy “saving people, hunting things” even after getting her own personal revenge. Unfortunately, she’ll suffer another tragedy before the episode’s ends.
Which brings us to this week’s main plotline: the battle over Mick Davies’ (Adam Fergus) soul. While “Ladies Drink Free” left open the question of whether Mick was one of the good guys, “The British Invasion” definitively answers the question with a “yes”.
Throughout the episode, Mick flashes back to his time at the British Men of Letters’ Kendricks Academy. His memories turn into the realm of typical opening scene macabre when his headmistress Dr. Hess (Gillian Barber, who previously appeared in season one’s “Faith” as the desperate mother of a cancer patient) orders a young Mick (Spencer Drever) and his best friend (Luke Seybold) to engage in a fight to the death just because she (and the British Men of Letters’ code) demands it. Naturally, his guilt about what he willingly did in order to graduate has been weighing heavy on his conscience ever since he met the Winchesters, and although he still argues that Kelly should be killed, they’ve managed to change him enough to be willing to give her and her child a chance.
Dr. Hess, now a major part of the organization’s American outpost, orders her submissive assistant Renny (Darren Adams) to oversee Mick and the Winchesters’ mission to destroy Dagon. Renny, who looks like an adult version of Mick’s murdered classmate, reluctantly hands over the magical Colt to Dean. In the melee that happens in the fight between Dagon and everybody else, Eileen is left holding the Colt. She shoots straight at a fleeing Dagon, only to have the bullet completely pass through the demon and straight into Renny.
Mick tearfully aims his gun at Eileen, stating that the code orders agents to kill anyone who has killed a fellow agent, whether or not it was an accident. Sam inspires Mick to “follow his own code”, and a visibly shaken Eileen lives to see another episode. Unbeknownst to the Winchesters, however, Dr. Hess and Mr. Ketch refuse to listen to Mick’s pleas for common decency back at headquarters. Mr. Ketch shoots him in the head, and as Mick bleeds out on their ornate table, Dr. Hess orders that all American hunters are to be destroyed.
With that surprising turn goes the last shred of decency for the British Men of Letters had. At this point, it seems highly unlikely that the Winchesters will be able to reform the organization, or turn them into anything other than an obstacle, a “big bad” villain that attempts to thwart them at every turn.
All in all, color me impressed. Just as we were getting to know Mick Davies, and even wondered if he would become a series regular, he was killed. Despite the many plot holes in the Dagon/Lucifer’s baby plotline, the show is traversing an interesting road to the season finalé.