UPDATE 7th Feb: town name in Pennsylvania changed from Wilsbury to Wilkes-Barre. Thanks to user Kelsey Smith for the correction! Also corrected a few minor typos towards then end.
Remember where we left off?
This week’s recap re-enforces what we all suspected in that the Men of Letters is a major turning point for the show. So far so good but can they keep it up?
It appears to be a Germanic county. One solider pulls up to another. They have a brief conversation before the solider outside gets sent thru the window. A higher-up hands a book to one of his companions who hides it in a briefcase. A giant bursts in and kills the majority of the men in the room. Another man starts a spell and sets it on fire which turns him invisible just as the giant walks in. The spell also sets to room on fire before we flash forward to the present.
The boys pull up to a drain pipe where Dean (Jensen Ackles) takes the key from his pocket before he and Sam (Jared Padalecki) go investigate their inheritance. They find everything as it was when the Men of Letters left it including a telegraph and a mid-game glass chess set. Dean finds the light and illuminates the place.
“Son of a bitch.”
Sammy’s reaction when he finds out that it’s bigger on the inside is a nice twist on what’s usually Dean’s phrase. Dean quips that they’ve found the Bat Cave. Later he raves about the water pressure as he wanders about in a robe. He tells his brother not to go all geek even as he starts playing with a gorgeous curved blade. Sam points out that this was a secret society and that there might be something there that could help them to save humanity. Maybe this is where the other tablets are assuming there are other tablets we haven’t heard of yet.
An old man, Rabbi Bass (guest star Hal Linden), walks up to a curator, Tovald, who knows him and doesn’t believe that the older man is being followed. Tovald takes him to a cubicle where Bass now wearing archival gloves sorts through a manuscript with names written in neat little columns. What he’s found is very important. He tells the Bass that he can’t take the manuscript with him because of a tracking spell of some sort before stealing it.
And old timey looking man watches Bass in a bar where he excitedly tells a person over the phone to meet him. Bass invites the invisible one in and his clothes start to smoke. He burns up in front of the entire bar.
And still at the bunker. There’s no new news from Kevin but Garth says ‘hi’. Sam has nothing new from Cas either and Dean replies the angel isn’t answering. Nice way to keep the viewers thinking about those characters without actually having to bring them on. Sam has found a file he thinks they should check out about a group of rabbis working on sabotaging the Nazis. Sam has run a search and found that Isaac Bass had joined when he was seventeen. His death, unsurprisingly, was classified a spontaneous combustion.
“So, we’ve got a case.”
Sam talks to the librarian-with-the-bug-his-ass about what the victim was looking at the day he died. Dean talks to a couple of co-eds in the bar who tell him that the victim was always going on about Nazi necromancers before they lament on how sad it is that old people have to go crazy. How are these girls in college? They then say it was like the fire was following the Bass and Dean spots a shift looking guy in the bar. He introduces himself to Mr. Shifty as Sam discovers the fake book that was left in the manuscript’s place in the library. Mr. Shifty thought he and Dean had shared a moment back at the library quad and persists in his flirting which makes Dean very uncomfortable but to his credit, he tries not to show it even as he runs into a table.
The four of them go back to Mr. Shifty’s place where he introduces himself as Isaac Bas’s grandchild, Aaron (Adam Rose). And no, he didn’t share a moment with Dean earlier. Aaron is not thrilled with any of his heritage but since he’s the last surviving member of the Initiative he’s keeping it. Sam mentions the Judah Initiative and the golem (John DeSantis) asks what they know of it which still isn’t very much. Dean tries to talk down to the golem but Sam reasons with him telling him that he knew about it because of their grandfather being a Man of Letters. They explain their heritage and the grandson explains his lack of knowledge by telling them that his heritage as stories when he was a child. The man and his golem are not on happy terms with the golem thinking that he’s just a pretender. Our boys tell Aaron that the secret society that he thinks is fake is real and the golem demands that the organization is found so that he can avenge his Issac’s death. He then tells the brother about the message that was left for Aaron by his grandfather and the “weird equation” that goes with it. Sammy recognizes it as a call number and guesses the book is on birds.
Sam dashes up the stairs to get the book. He retrieves it and then in shot in the neck with a magical dart by the invisible Nazi who demands the ledger. Sam throws a cart at him and runs down the stairs. The grandson is shot not long after Sam collapses down the stairs. While Dean takes care of the patients he sends the golem to find the Nazi. The golem is shot but it unaffected pulling the no longer invisible man thru a row of books. He brings him down to Dean before snapping the man’s neck. The magic is reversed the second he dies.
Sam tells them that the experiments were ways of trying to figure out how to bring back their own dead soldiers. The pages are a list of every solider brought back from the dead. If the body isn’t burnt within twelve hours after being killed again, it will be resurrected a second time. Good thing they burnt the body there. The creepy curator of the library (Tovald) and another nazi go up to the library to investigate the death.
The Touhl Society is one that no one knows anything about. Sam is looking up ways to destroy the golem. Aaron isn’t happy about their planning and tells them that they have no right to make that decision. Sam rightly points out that the golem was built for war which he was not trained for. The Nazis break in and turn off the golem. He takes the scroll and tells Adam that though he awoke the golem, to own him, he has to write his name on the scroll. The Nazi demands the red ledger and Sam tells him to screw himself. Neither of them want to talk to the Nazi other than to stall him. Aaron sees the paper and Dean gets the idea to grab a shotgun he sees at the floor. Aaron surprises everyone but hitting the commandant with a bit of wood. It knocks him over but not out. The commandant says they can kill him but not the movement. Both boys go for a headshot. What? He said they could kill him.
The golem is still frozen when the three men return later that night. Adam decides to take up the cause and writes his name on the scroll. He puts it back in the golem’s mouth and the golem greats him in Hebrew after he announces that he’s the Judah Initiative,
Back at the Bat Cave, Sam archives the ledger. Dean pours them both a drink and decides that it’s a good thing Sam is now a man of letters. He puts his feet up and relaxes as his brother does research.
Next time on Supernatural: Kevin has figured out the tests they need to accomplish to close the gates of hell
♥Creating the suspense of whether the golem was going to be a good guy or a bad one.
♥Bringing in the Men of Letters archives.
What didn’t work:
≠ Showing Dean not seeing the full potential of the Men of Letters until the end of the episode. Obviously he liked the idea otherwise, they wouldn’t have gone there so amicably. But like many characters, I think Dean was hiding his intelligence from even his brother.
I particularly liked that now Dean and Sam have a permanent place to go. In previous seasons, they could go back to Bobby’s but since he died and I don’t get the impression that they like Garth nearly as much, they haven’t really had a place to go.