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Supernatural Actress Discusses Mary Winchester's Journey

Mary Winchester finally returned to her sons' lives in season twelve of Supernatural, but it hasn't been smooth sailing for the newly reunited family. Shortly after joining up with Sam and Dean again, Mary decided she had to take some time off to figure herself out. Their relationship has become even more complicated as Mary revealed to her sons that she has been working with the British Men of Letters, who brutally tortured Sam in the season premiere.

Actress Samantha Smith sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about Mary's journey throughout the season, saying that it was tough as an actress to toggle from being the "iconic perfect mother figure" to now being a fully fleshed out human. "She has fears; she has flaws; she makes mistakes; she gets confused," said Smith. "She still has that piece of her that is this amazing mom but it's being eclipsed by her circumstance."

"As an actress, I had to accept the disconnect that she is embracing right now and I think it's to cover the pain and the fear and the confusion, but she is definitely emotionally checked out some of the time," she added. "She's coming back around, but that was hard because Mary has always been devoted to her boys and I think she still is, she doesn't know how to show it right now."

Smith defended Mary's motivations for working with the British Men of Letters, which obviously came much to the chagrin of her sons (and Sam's probably still healing foot). According to Smith, Mary is just trying to "make the world safe for her boys in any way she can," and she sees the well-connected, well-educated British Men of Letters as the way to do that. "They have everything at their disposal, so while the Winchesters do manage to always squeak by, it's pretty hairy and they've all died plenty of times, so the most prudent route might be what seems to be the most professional, together, militarized one," she said.

According to Smith, Mary's biggest struggle is figuring out how to act as a parent to two grown men who haven't known her since they were children. "She can't parent them," she said. "She can love them, but what is her place with them? I don't think that she has found it yet and I think that is one of the reasons she feels like she needs to keep leaving because she doesn't feel like she's helping them."

Supernatural airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW. In the meantime, check out why we think that series star Jared Padalecki should take over the role of Wolverine as Hugh Jackman preps to leave the part.