In this case, while Dean (Jensen Ackles) has successfully brought God and his sister together in a fairly peaceful manner, Lucifer is on the lam, Sam (Jared Padalecki) has been captured by a mysterious woman, and Dean finds himself reunited with his long-dead mother, Mary (Samantha Smith), as she was 30 years before just prior to her gruesome death. Of course, she has no idea what's going on, who Dean is, and why she is there. Let's just say, their initial reunion isn't all hugs and kisses and Mary shows off the fact that she was raised as a hunter and knows how to handle herself.
On the Sam side of things, the younger Winchester soon learns that his capture, and torturer, Lady Antonia "Toni" Bevell (Elizabeth Blackmore, The Vampire Diaries, 2013's Evil Dead), is a member of the British chapter of the Men of Letters. Her mission is to get a list of all of the American hunters so that she and her team can track them down and bring them in line. It seems that the British Men of Letters have secured their borders from supernatural creatures and strictly enforce a zero-tolerance policy on any monsters that dare to enter England. Now, they want to do the same to the U.S.
Toni soon learns why you don't mess with the Winchesters, especially since there are now three of them, and while the Men of Letters from across the pond are an issue, Sam, Dean, and Mary will have to deal with them later, as their first goal is to track down Lucifer (typically played by Mark Pellegrino, Dexter, Lost) and find some way to put him back in The Cage before he causes too much trouble. In order to do this, they will not only need the help of their favorite angel, Castiel (Misha Collins), but they will also need to get aid from Crowley (Mark Sheppard), the current King of Hell and his mother, the witch Rowena (Ruth Connell), the only person who knows how to send Lucifer back to his prison.
Before the team can, hopefully, stop Lucifer once and for all, the fallen angel takes control over a washed-up, but still famous rock star named Vince Vincente (musician Rick Springfield), and with a taste of profound fandom, Lucifer decides that the power he was striving for all these millennia wasn't quite what he wanted. With Vince not being a strong enough vessel to hold Lucifer, the archangel soon finds himself hopping from host to host until he lands himself in the body of U.S. President Jefferson Rooney (David Chisum), and while Lucifer's immediate threat ends at this latest possession, what no one expects is that an illicit affair while in the President's body results in conception and the impending birth of a Nephilim, the offspring of an angel and a human, a being with great power and the potential to do either much good or terrifying evil.
So now, Sam and Dean have a new problem to track down. They must find Lucifer's baby-momma and figure out how to resolve the situation while keeping innocents safe, which includes the baby's mother, of course. When Lucifer's top lieutenants, Yellow-Eyed demons like the one that started Supernatural, start making their presence known in order to insure the baby is born untouched, things get really dicey for the Winchesters.
Meanwhile, the British Men of Letters situation is growing fast. When the organization contacts Sam, Dean, and Mary again, they explain that Toni had taken things too far and was acting outside of her mission's parameters. They are introduced to Mick Davies (Adam Fergus), the head of the local team and someone who seems to be truly intent on keeping everything civil and above the table. They also meet Ketch (David Haydn-Jones), the organization's top-operative. As the British Men of Letters attempt to woo the Winchesters, they reveal that their vast library of knowledge, high tech equipment, and fancy weapons make pretty much any encounter with monsters a breeze to get through, and when Mary starts to work with the group behind Sam and Dean's back, she starts to see just what good they can be. She even starts to help recruit other American hunters into the organization.
Interestingly, because of Mary's involvement and because of the introduction to the British Men of Letters, this season delves more into the culture of the American hunters than we've seen before. In past seasons, Sam and Dean have had their core group of friends, and they've rarely dealt with others of their profession. Given Mary's history though, and given the British Men of Letters' desire to reach out to other hunters, Sam and Dean end up getting to know some of the others that run around the country. In one episode, Sam and Dean attend a funeral for another hunter, and in doing so, they meet a lot of others. They seem to treat the Winchesters as celebrities in their circles, and considering how many creatures the pair have gone up against and how many times they have saved the Earth, that shouldn't be too surprising. Of course, the evening doesn't go as planned and all of the hunters find themselves fighting for their lives.
In another episode, the brothers help another pair of hunter siblings as they track down their missing mother. Alicia (Kara Royster) and Max Banes (Kendrick Sampson) are both powerful witches and they were taught at the hand of their mother, Tasha (Alvina August). What the Banes siblings and the Winchesters learn at the hotel where Tasha's trail leads will change the Banes family forever, and not in a good way.
Of course, some well-established hunters return for some one-off episodes. Not only does Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) appear in the funeral episode, but Castiel's host's daughter, Claire Novak (Kathryn Newton) also shows up in an episode where she is tracking down a werewolf and the Winchesters show up to lend a hand. And while all of these episodes add some nice variety to the season, as well as expand on the overall mythos of the show, Season Twelve's primary focus is on Lucifer's baby and the British Men of Letters. As always, Sam and Dean will have their hands full before it all plays out, and as you might expect, the final scenes of this season once again make for an interesting setup for the shows yet to come.
Supernatural: The Complete Twelfth Season's featurettes easily highlight three of the main themes this season. One is about Mary Winchester, her history, and how she finds the world she returns to, another is on the British Men of Letters and their goals in the U.S., while the third delves deeper into hunters and their lives. While this last one touches on Sam and Dean, it is more of a generic featurette that can apply to more than just the two main characters. This Blu-ray set also comes with an amusing Comic-Con panel, deleted scenes, and a gag reel that is kicked off with an homage to Monty Python's Flying Circus, no doubt because of the British Men of Letters.
As the showrunners explained during the Comic-Con panel, you can't really get bigger than God, and while Supernatural has always worked to have each season top the previous one, they recognized that they might have had some problems doing so, given the nature of Season Eleven. So, as they put it, they went back to the basics with Season Twelve, and the British Men of Letters helped the show do that. Of course, the sub-plot of the impending Nephilim birth means that Season Thirteen could have the brothers facing off against yet another supernatural bad-ass. Only time will tell. Either way, I enjoyed Season Twelve as it didn't fit exactly into the same pattern that previous seasons of the show had fallen into. I can't wait to see what happens next.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a copy of the Blu-ray. The opinions I share are my own.