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Supernatural - 8.12 - 'As Time Goes By' Recap (Spoilers)

As some of you may know from my Justified recap, I’ve been sick for two weeks and I missed you all. As for what I missed in terms of recapping: Felicia Day came back and nearly got it on with a hot girl fairy. The episode before I almost entirely missed so please check Lisa’s review for the details.

Tonight’s Supernatural starts as many of our shows do, in the past. The location: the midwest. The time period: John Winchester’s childhood. A man, Henry Winchester, tucks his son into bed before going off to see the initiation of a Miss Jody Sands to an unknown organization. From the shouting going on in the room, Henry surmises that something’s gone wrong so he enters to find the monks killed and Jody possessed. One of the monks hands him a small box with the instructions to not let Jody get it. Henry locks himself in another room, cuts open his hand into a brass bowl, traces a sigil, and chants some Latin which sends him hurtling into the future where he meets his grandsons but demands to know which one is his son. The boys break the news that neither of them are their father despite Dean being his father’s son. Dean pins granddad to the wall but the man talks them down. He goes to leave and both boys block him before demanding answers. He gives them the slip and steps into the 21st century.

Seeing John’s car and the date on the expiration tag, he attempts to steal Dean’s baby. Dean points gun in his face as retribution for the broken window. In the hotel room, none of the demon tests proved anything against Henry and Dean drops the bomb the John was his father. Jody bursts thru the door telling him he forgot to lock the portal and sending both of our usual guys to the wall after demanding the box. Henry tries to talk her down during which Dean stabs her in the back with the knife that kills any demon. It doesn’t work so all three men pile in to the Impala and drive off causing a bystander to start shouting and then be taken over by the demon enough to gain his memories. His predicament doesn’t last long though as his throat is then slit.

Sam and Dean have to pull over to let Henry hurl in the grass after their break which allows Dean to demand who the demon was. Henry tells them he’s from Normal, Illinois, probably the last time any of them have come from normal, and Sam in turn tells Henry his son is dead. Henry reveals himself to the boys to be John’s father and when they come back from commercial break, all three are in a dinner but the younger Winchesters are discussing the situation separate from their newfound kin. Dean brings up that John hated his father believing him to have run off when he was younger but Sam points out that Henry could have time traveled and simply not returned. Henry knows of their knife, that didn’t work, but didn’t recognize it.

Dean and Sam postulate that if they can’t kill Jody, they could shove her back thru the portal to send her back to her time. Henry lists all the things he needs to recreate it including a week for his soul to recharge and when neither boy know what he means he asks them how high they are in the order of the Men of Letters. Neither knows what that means and Sam informs his grandfather of their hunter status. Henry then tells them that hunters are apes compared to their legacies and Dean asks what we’re all thinking: “Legacies of what?”

They go to where the order used to be and find a comic book shop. Henry declares this to be a façade and explains his dislike of hunters comes from the fact they tend to be dirty and have a shoot first ask questions later manner. He tells them that they are preceptors and beholders of all that men do not understand sharing their knowledge only with a few trusted hunters. Explains why John was drawn to Mary then. Henry tells them that Jody must have stopped the knowledge of the order. He also admits to knowing nothing the demon from which they are running. He requests Sam’s phone and attempts to use it as if it were a Star Trek communicator. Showing his age, Henry is surprised that a computer can now fit in the room. He gives Sam a couple of men to look up on the computer and Sam find evidence that all the men listed died in a fire in a men’s club but one name stands out.

“Friend of yours?”
“Even better.”

Henry tells them that the name, Albertus Magnus, was the greatest alchemist he knew of and that the name was used as code. Dean sees the symbols on the headstones, Henry interrupts them, and then Henry asks the relatively dumb question of whether they’ve ever dug up a body. Jody goes into the comic book store and does her smoke version of a mind meld with the shop keeper knowing what they were up to until the time they left the store.

Meanwhile with the gravediggers, Dean finds a tag on the body. Sam reads it out but it means nothing to Henry. They put all the dirt back and check into one of their legendary motels. Henry hums the title tune to the episode ‘As Time Goes By’ and tells them that an Abbott and Costello movie scared the hell out of John when he was young so he bought him a music box with the tune. Dean finds the name to be a living 120-something year old and Sam finds the demon to be a knight of hell. As the angels killed all of the knights of hell, they assume her to be the last of her kind. We find out that not only was John’s journal supposed to be Henry’s but that Henry left the day after ordering it when he was supposed to take his vows to join the Men of Letters. Dean briefs Henry on what happened to John including growing up alone, having his wife killed by a demon, and being killed by one as well. Dean also says that his father did a hell of a lot more good than bad but Henry counts this as the price. Dean walks out needing time to process all of this and you can hardly blame him. Sam does the same.

Henry, meanwhile, flips through the journal and learns what his son knew about demons. The boys wake up to find Henry gone having left a note that he was going to fix everything. Henry goes to a shop where he orders the tear of a dragon and a pinch of the sands of time. The owner tells him that she doesn’t sell those but he tells her that the signs in her window mean that she does. She points a gun at him and he knocks her out with a small amount of chamomile and a slightly larger amount of Latin. The boys learn that the shop keeper of the comic store was killed and Sam goes to talk to the survivor, who was merely blinded not killed in the earlier skirmish. The man was under the impression that Henry had survived but he tells Sam that in the box is the key to every part of the supernatural motherload the order collected over the years.

Dean walks in on Henry casting another spell where Henry tells him that he let his son down. He’s certain that he can go back because it’s the right thing to do. Dean argues that he and Sam might cease to exist and points out that they stopped the apocalypse. Once Sam releases that the knightly demon wants the knowledge the key could give her, the man gives him some coordinates the throw the key into even though the knowledge might be lost and that they might need it soon. The demon finishes what she started by possessing the old man’s wife and having her kill him. The demon wants to exchange Henry and the key for Sam.

Henry is more determined than ever to cast his spell and Dean stops him by temporarily cutting off his airway. Dean makes a cursory apology but Henry sees right through it. Dean explains the pain he felt not being able to save his father when he had the chance and he refuses to let that happen to Sam. Henry accuses Dean of being short-sighted and Dean points out at least hunters not extinct. Dean forces Henry to go over to the demon where she handcuffs him then he shoots her. She grabs what she thinks is the box and finds what looks to be a deck of cards. The demon tries to move but then the flashback reveals that she was shot with a bullet with a devil’s trap engraved in the end. Dean then decapitates her and tells her of his plan to cut her up and bury the pieces in cement. Along the way, she’s punched her way into Henry’s abdomen and Henry gives a beautiful speech saying as long as Winchesters are alive there is always hope and after meeting his grandsons he knows he would have been proud of his son.

In conclusion, Sam sees the good side to both their mother’s and father’s heritage. Dean’s glad Sam sees it that way as all he sees is a bunch of dead. Dean then says he wishes that his father had known that Henry did not leave him but died trying to do the right thing. Sam asks if he thinks it would have made a difference and they decide that their father did the best he could. The fate of the Men of Letters is yet unknown but if you read the article I posted earlier today, you know that answers might be in store by the end of the season.

So what do you think? Back on top form?

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