Supernatural – As Time Goes By

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Breaking news:  Tonight’s episode of SUPERNATURAL was by far the best episode of SUPERNATURAL in the past two seasons.  Getting back to basics in a big way, it was a dark gritty demon-driven episode with Sam and Dean even bickering back and forth about their daddy issues again.  This tone is exactly what season 7 and 8 should have been all along.  Unfortunately, it ends up messing with the overall storyline a little too much, but I will let that pass in exchange for a few more like this one every now and again.

Confusing the family tree even further, we are introduced to John Winchester’s side of the family…

Find out more inside!

True to MWTVG geographical locale, we start in Normal, IL circa 1958 during some sort of exorcism/devil worship ceremony involving Sam and Dean’s paternal grandfather Henry played by GIL MCKINNEY from FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and ER.  In a reverse timetravel trip, he falls through Sam and Dean’s hotel room closet on the run from the demon Abadon (not to be confused with the angel Abaddon who helped them here and there in seasons 7 and 8) who was in search of some sort of wooden box.

Henry, unbeknownst to Sam and Dean was part of a secret society called The Men of Letters that explored and chronicled the unknown.  Or, an upscale and gentlemanly version of modern-day hunters.

The box in question acts as some sort of key that unlocks the secrets of both angelic and demonic knowledge.  There is also some sort of safehouse teased by one of the Men of Letters that will no doubt play an important role in the remainder of the season.  As far as Abadon goes, she is a pretty bad baddie and is extremely tough to kill as she was one of Lucifer’s original demons.  They figure it out eventually by the classic beheading method, but not before she kills their grandfather.

As far as plotholes go, where the hell was Cas?  Couldn’t he have just swooped in and cleaned up like he usually does?  Then Grandpa could have stayed alive.  20/20 hindsight is a bear sometimes.

And on another sidenote, I really don’t appreciate how this puts a bad ding on the original storyline of the show.  John Winchester (Sam and Dean’s dad)  was thrust into the hunter lifestyle by necessity after his wife Mary was killed by the yellow eyed demon.  Having Mary and her dad be hunters later in the seasons was not a bad choice, because it starts to explain how John picked up on the finer details of hunting early on.  John’s extended family is irrelevant at that point and that’s how it should have stayed.

Now bringing John’s father in as a secret-society occultist just feels desperate and contrived.  There could have been more ways of having the exact same episode without destroying the story.  How about Mary’s grandfather?  And even if they wanted to stick with the grandpa’s-an-occultist theme, why burn it in one episode?  And Abadon was not a bad antagonist either, so why not build a little three or four episode story arc around her chasing gramps around for a while?  Shame on the lack of forward thinking.  The disconnection between episodes has been hurting the show as far as I’m concerned.

But with gripes aside, this episode was a total win for the show.  A- overall.

Next week: Sam and Dean vs the Nazis?  Maybe the ‘A grades’ will be short lived after all…