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Supernatural: As Time Goes By

"You do that for blood."

So I'm going, noooo! not another out-of-time grandfather! Haven't they done this already?

But I was pleasantly surprised by the full-circle-ness of this episode. It was more successful (in my opinion) than the season six episodes with Samuel Campbell, and let me quickly add again that I love Mitch Pileggi in almost everything – especially in "In the Beginning," one of my favorite Supernatural episodes ever.

I didn't think it was possible to expand the family history any further, but I hadn't considered that we've really only seen the Campbell side. Henry Winchester was quirky, intellectual and nonviolent, unlike his son John or his grandsons, but he gave his life for his family in what is now a multi-generational Winchester family tradition. I was sad that he died, and even got a little teary. Although I should have known he was going to die, because if he hadn't, he would have found a way to get back to John in 1958.

It was touching and made total sense that Henry was so focused on what happened to John, to the point of possibly sacrificing the existence of his inferior hunter grandsons. (Although the John/Mary pairing was destined to be, of course.) Once upon a time way back when, Dean and Sam were fine with the idea of never having existed at all. Not any more.

(It's season eight. Isn't it way past time that they find a way to bring John Winchester back? What happened to him and where his soul currently resides is a huge, unanswered question. Come on, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Couldn't you make the time to do an episode of Supernatural? Of course, maybe they can't afford him now.)

Interestingly, smack in the middle of season eight, this episode gave us some serious new Supernatural lore, as well as some new, cool toys. "Men of Letters"? Do they still exist somewhere? And don't they feel like the Watchers in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Highlander, but with mage-like powers? Their "Aquarian star" symbol looked sort of like an anti-pentagram, which makes sense. Was Henry chanting Enochian? It sure sounded a lot like it.

The best reveal of all was that John's journal, the one that the boys have been carrying for the entire series, was supposed to be Henry's Men of Letters journal and had his monogram on it. Loved the Devil's trap carved into the head of bullet, and the blood sigil that leads you to your next of kin. Plus there was the magic cigarette box, the supernatural motherlode, the key to every spell. Are the boys going to travel to those coordinates and throw in the key? Maybe they should take it to Kevin. Does it relate somehow to the God Rocks?

I also enjoyed seeing Alaina Huffman from Stargate again as the new and interesting demon Abaddon, chosen first by Lucifer. Of course it was awhile ago, since Lucifer isn't available now. I liked her smoke-in-the-mouth trick. Was she really the last Knight of Hell? I doubt it, somehow.

Bits and pieces:

— Great casting of Henry Winchester (Gil McKinney). Henry looked a lot like Sam. Loved the blue suit.

— I can so easily see Sam as a Man of Letters. Dean, not so much. Of course, he has other skills.

— Albert Magnus was a codeword, and the greatest alchemist of the middle ages. Was that a little homage to Amanda Tapping's character Helen Magnus in Sanctuary?

— This week: Normal, Illinois, where things were not normal. The purple-themed Byway Inn had a... was it black and white? motel room, and the Strip whatever motel had a silver and yellow color scheme, possibly the ugliest combination ever. (Silver and yellow together makes both colors look dirty.)

— Henry was immediately attracted to the Impala. And by the way, did they stop somewhere and get the Impala's window fixed? Because in those last travel scenes, the window was back.


Henry: (looking at the 2013 sticker on the Impala) "I guess the Mayans were wrong."
Loved that one.

Dean: "Seriously? Dude's time-traveling through motel room closets. That's what we've come to?"

Dean: "I frigging hate time travel, man."

Henry: "Where'd you get that?"
Dean: "Demon gave it to me. We've been around this block so many times."

Henry: "What level are you two?"
And I immediately thought Dean and Sam should answer, "Five."

Dean: "So you're like Yoda to our Jedis?"

Henry: "You boys ever exhume a body?"

Dean: "Your responsibility was to your family, not to some glorified book club."

Dean: "I'm guessing he's gonna whip up another one of those blood spells and Marty McFly himself back to the 1950s."

Four out of four Aquarian stars,

Billie Doux has been reviewing Supernatural for so long that Dean and Sam Winchester feel like old friends. Courageous, adventurous, gorgeous old friends.


  1. I had exactly the same thought about what Sam and Dean should say when asked what their level was.

    I enjoyed this more than I thought, too--they folded the story into the existing mythology nicely.

  2. All the signs seem to be pointing towards John coming back in one form or another (If not JDM, then maybe Matt Cohen?), but it's Supernatural and it wouldn't be the first time they've yanked the carpet out from underneath us.

    One thing this show does well: casting.

  3. Very good episode!
    One thing I noticed, which I'm not sure if they've touched on before, is that the boys sleep on the sheets and in their clothes.
    A subtle but good way of showing how they're always prepared to go at a moments notice.

  4. I really liked the "previously on" in this one. A nice trip in the "way back" machine.

    This whole legacy business suddenly has me wondering if lonely, empty lives isn't the ultimate endgame for the boys. At least one of them needs to survive and procreate now, right? Because as long as the Winchesters are alive, "there's always hope." Maybe a nice light at the end of the tunnel, coming just a few episodes after they basically sacrificed outside connections and potential happiness for each other and "the good fight." Hope I'd long since stopped believing was a possibility.

  5. Is anyone else becoming more convinced that we are watching the end or is it just me? The “Then” section was almost a recap of the first two seasons, and I reveled in the trip down memory lane. I’ve said it before, but I can’t get over how young both boys look back then!

    I loved this one, but I always love the episodes that show the boys’ extended family, be it blood or not. What I thought was exceptional was, as Dean pointed out, the brain and brawn aspect of the story. From the beginning, this has been one of the mainstays of the series. I, too, got a tad emotional at the end.

    I had the same feeling as Jess. Henry’s “there’s always hope” just seemed like a shining beacon to show us that at least one of them must survive. Or else, one of them already has a son and doesn’t know it yet. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we learn later that Amelia is currently with child...

    Normal, Illinois? LOL

  6. I loved this episode. The boys were back to working well together, and the introduction of John's dad (and demise) was perfect. Or almost, because I'd swear in another time-travel episode John's dad was alive (or at least assumed to be, since someone asked John about his "old man.").

  7. I spent a lot of time while I was writing my review wondering if the stuff they were introducing about the Men of Letters and the magic cigarette box would be continuing and important to the series. I just read an interview with Robert Singer that answers these questions. It includes a fair number of spoilers about where season eight is going, though, so read it at your own risk.


  8. i really liked the episode, but it was really sad, i mean another member of their family dies for them/in front of them? they've lost SO much, i felt really sorry for them.. John, Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Marry.. at least they still have Cas thats something... although he's kinda off right now, but they'll fix him :)
    i love this show.. and i actually love the time travel episodes.

    can't wait for next week :)

  9. Wow, I loved this episode! I was a little surprised that Dean wasn't so against the whole "fate" train as the past seven seasons. But things change.

    I laughed out loud about Normal, Illinois, because I spent 12 years growing up there and it is stunningly normal/boring! Perfect spot to pick!!

  10. I liked this episode a lot but the ending was sad, it was like Dean said, their family tree is full of dead people.

  11. I bet the blue suit was there as a subltle shoutout to the 10th Doctor. :)

  12. Just rewatching this one. Blind old man whose name I can't remember said Abaddon was a hired gun. I think I missed that the first time around. Who hired her? Why? Will we ever know? *cry of despair*

  13. The six-pointed star symbol in this episode is actually known as a unicursal hexagram and was used by the magician Aleister Crowley.

  14. When I watched this episode, I knew that it was going to introduce a new demon character (Abbadon) and that was exciting, but I was a little put off by the fact that their grandfather was going to make an appearance. Surprisingly for me, I enjoyed this episode very much, even though it was one of those time-travel episodes. Definitely the best one of all.

  15. Of course they have to produce an excellent episode right after I criticized them for running out of ideas. ;) There was still the obligatory blood on the walls, but not in the opening scene. In fact, that was an awesome opening scene! Did granddad have to die, though?

  16. Since season 1, my husband has been saying why isn't there a watchers council? I wonder if Sam would have gone through his rebellious stage (by that I mean going to college) if he had had this as another option. It seems to fit Sam so well. I usually cringe at the use of time travel (it's why I don't like the Terminator movies), but Supernatural always somehow makes it work.


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