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Supernatural - The Memory Remains - Review

Supernatural “The Memory Remains” was written by John Bring and was directed by Phil Sgriccia. The episode really does continue the season’s stroll down memory lane, bringing back the show’s tag line about the family business in an unusual way, having that picture of Dean and Mary play a role, and the nice echo of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) carved initials.

The episode begins with the monster of the week set up as two friends – Jared (Daniel Doheny) and Daryn (Antonio Marziale) attend a party in the woods at night. Jared, naturally, decides to walk home alone, and Daryn sees him tied to a tree, getting clubbed with a hammer by a goat-headed creature.

At the bunker, Dean is worried about Cas (Misha Collins) who has dropped off the map. Sam tries to reassure him that Cas will be fine. Sam’s been investigating Dagon and coming up pretty much empty. Sam receives a case – in Tomahawk, Wisconson – via email from Mick. But of course, it’s not Mick, who is still, unfortunately, very much dead, it’s from Ketch (David Haydn-Jones). Ketch just wants them out of the bunker so the BMoL can come in and search the bunker and plant surveillance.

Dean and Sam visit the local Sheriff – Barrett Bishop Jr. (Steve Boyle) who is more interested in his taxidermy than the missing guy. He tells them that Jared was abused by his father and is now his father’s caregiver. The Sheriff wouldn’t blame him at all for skipping town.

Dean and Sam interview the only witness – Daryn. It’s hilarious when they come upon him having a quiet joint. Dean quickly reassures him they don’t care as it’s obviously for “medicinal” purposes! Daryn is reluctant to talk at first, but finally tells them what he saw – it was Black Bill (Bill Nikolai)!

Dean and Sam head to the local diner for a bite to eat, and Sam starts digging into Black Bill. It’s been fans’ greatest wish that the show tackle the Jersey Devil urban legend, so it’s a nice nod to that when Sam describes Black Bill as a local Jersey Devil! Dean, of course, is stuck on a creature with a goat’s head and a pirate’s name! Dean is also completely distracted by the super-hot waitress – Carmen (Aliesha Pearson). Sam keeps getting annoyed at Dean’s lack of focus, but Dean has a plan. They divide the work the way they always do. Sam figures out what it is, and Dean figures out how to kill it. And Dean’s already done that – he’s got the colt! It’ll dust anything. Dean tells Sam: “Work smarter, Sammy, not harder!” And then Dean is done for the night…. Another nod to earlier seasons!

Meanwhile, Daryn is not having a good night at work. First, his boss, Pete (Ryan McDonald) gives him a hard time, and then he’s attacked by Black Bill! Daryn wakes up in the meat locker where he finds Jared’s frozen body. And Black Bart…

Dean catches up with Sam in the morning and tells him it was an awesome night – right before stealing Sam’s very healthy breakfast! Dean would prefer pancakes. I felt a little badly for Ackles in this episode as Dean seemed to eat in almost every scene! Of course, Dean’s appetite is another throwback to early seasons. Sam has been busy and has uncovered that Black Bill is a satyr.

Dean and Sam head back to the meat packing plant where Daryn works. They meet Pete who tells him Daryn didn’t show up to work. Pete is more concerned about the health inspector currently inspecting the plant. He does tell them that the Sheriff owns the plant but doesn’t take sufficient interest in it. Given that satyr’s like to fill their bellies with the wet, slippery meat of their victims, this seems delightfully on the nose!

The Sheriff is at the plant and tells Dean and Sam that Pete runs the day to day at the plant. He tells them that he didn’t know Daryn hadn’t come to work. Black Bart is a story parents tell to kids, and he also tells them that people often come to town, work in the plant for a while, get bored, and leave. He’s sure that Daryn is just holed up somewhere sleeping off his latest high or drunk.

There’s a nice cut from Daryn’s scream as he’s attacked by Black Bill to Dean slathering ketchup on his burger! Thanks Phil Sgriccia for finding the most creative “blood spatter” of the season! Sam is appalled Dean can eat – see above comment on fan service here – and Dean insists he grow up – “Burger’s beef, bacon’s pig, soylent green’s people, but this is heaven!”

Dean has found a link between the Plant and the victims – they all worked there. Sam has discovered that the Bishop’s founded the town. The Sheriff has been selling off all the family’s assets – except the plant and the creepy “Addam’s Family house.”

While the brothers work, after sending a text supposedly by Mick to confirm, Ketch and his men search the bunker. Ketch wants to know “how Sam gets his hair so shiny and how many ratty flannels Dean owns!” He’s also keen to get the colt back.

In the Bishop house, Sam finds a door with multiple locks. And of course, we get some beautiful shots of X-Files blue flashlights as the brothers have to investigate the creepy basement. The Sheriff finds them in the basement, but Dean gets the drop on him with a great shot of the colt! The Sheriff tells them it’s not what it looks like – “a straight-up murder room” to Dean!

The Sheriff tells them that Black Bill isn’t real, it’s them. His father told him growing up that there was a monster living under their house that made them rich. His father and his father before him used to sacrifice to people to Moloch (John DeSantis) – a god! They simply wore the goat head. The Sheriff had kept Moloch locked up in hopes that he’d starve to death. There’s a nice build up of creepy music as the brother’s approach the cell, but it’s empty. The Sheriff insists that it shouldn’t be.

Dean tells Sam to stay with the Sheriff when they hear a noise upstairs. He’s got the colt and therefore – foolishly! – feels invincible. Dean is spooked by the goat costume, and Pete manages to surprise him and knock him over a balcony, locking Sam and the Sheriff in the basement before taking off with Dean.

Meanwhile, back at the bunker, Ketch does what we’ve all wanted to do – look through the giant telescope! He confirms what he thought – you can’t see a damn thing! Ketch also has another shout out for fans, when he finds Dean’s stash of Busty Asian Beauties – and seems to appreciate them! And then he finds the picture of Mary and Dean. Does it give him pause because of his feelings for Mary? Does he not want to hurt her sons? Is he jealous?

Pete has Dean at the meat plant and reveals that he and the Sheriff are half brothers. Dean makes light of Pete’s situation – a bad episode of Dynasty! Pete freaked out when the Sheriff started giving away the family fortune and went to the house to take anything he could sell, finding Moloch instead. I loved his perversion of “Hunting people, killing them! The family business!” And Dean’s face! Pete insists that he’s saving the town. Pete locks Dean in the meat locker with Moloch.

Sam tracks Dean’s cell phone, and he and the Sheriff go after him when they get out of the basement. There’s a nice cut back and forth in the action between Dean in the meat locker with Moloch and Sam and the Sheriff in the meat plant after Pete.

Sam has the colt but Pete gets him with his hammer. Pete and the Sheriff fight. The Sheriff gave Pete the plant, but that’s not enough. He’s about to shoot the Sheriff when Sam shoots him. Meanwhile, Dean grapples with giant Moloch, sticking him with a meat hook and getting slammed into the wall for his trouble. Sam breaks into the locker and shoots Moloch: “Colt. Dusts anything!”

There’s a beautiful shot of the two sets of brothers. One brother crouching in front of the other. The Sheriff tells them to leave. Sam offers to stay and help clean up, but the Sheriff insists that this is his legacy.

The brothers return to the bunker. Dean asks Sam what he thinks their legacy will be – will people remember them in a hundred years? Sam says no, and Dean is clearly disappointed. But Sam goes on to clarify, the people they saved will remember them. They’re their legacy. They’ll remember them, but that will eventually fade away too. But that’s fine because they’ve left the world better than they found it. And this could also be a message to their fans – the ones who will remember the show, and so many of the fans feel that the show itself saved them in some way.

Dean wonders what will happen to the Bunker once they’re gone. They both hope that some hunter will move in and keep fighting the fight. Dean pulls out his knife and the two carve their initials into the table – leaving their mark. And this is beautifully interspersed with the scene from the season five finale “Swan Song” of them doing the same as boys in the Impala. A memory that remains for all fans of the show. As the two carve their initials, finally laying claim to the Bunker as their home the way that the Impala was in their childhood, it’s ironic that they’ve never been in more danger of losing it.

Dean suggests calling Mick to “de-brief” and get Ketch. He informs them that for the moment they report to him, and he doesn’t like it any more than they do – he’d rather be with their mother…. Hunting…. Chupacabras… yeah… Dean tells them they fought a god and won – de-brief over.

As soon as they hang up, Dean complains about having to report to “low-rent Christian Bale” – he clearly sees Ketch’s “psycho” tendencies! But Ketch is listening. Dean goes on to say that he doesn’t like Ketch. He creeps him out – and true to that, Ketch is sitting there, listening to them, and looking at the picture of Mary and Dean that he stole. Is he hurt that he likes Dean but Dean doesn’t like him? Does he feel badly that he’s about to kill Mary’s sons? Does he think he’s doing Mary a favor by taking family out of the hunting equation for her? What memories does that picture spark in him?

I thought this episode had a lot of nice throwbacks and echoes - memories that remain – and sets us up for the run to the finale. Of course, now we’ve got pretty serious action on two fronts, and the Dagon/Lucifer storyline has taken rather a backseat. Hopefully, they won’t rush that storyline. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


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