Supernatural: As Time Goes By Review (

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Monday, February 04, 2013

I mentioned last weeks about the two different types of Supernatural—the standard episodes and the lighter, humorous ones.  Maybe I should have made it three different types or at least call it 2A because time travel has been an oft-used plot device throughout the show’s eight seasons.  However, instead of Sam and Dean travelling through time here someone comes from their past…their paternal grandfather Henry Winchester.  Henry is seen in 1958 at a gentleman’s club about to be initiated into a secret order.  However when a demon named Abaddon kills the other members, Henry casts a spell to escape into the future, carrying a mysterious small box.

Henry had attempted to move forward in time to find his son John, Sam and Dean’s father, but since he is dead, the spell brought Henry to his grandsons instead.  Henry reveals a secret to the boys that COULD change the whole tenor of the show.  The boys were never meant to be hunters, they were meant to be “Men of Letters”, an order that gathers and safeguards all the secrets of magic and the supernatural, a kind of scholarly hermetic order.  The box that Henry carries contains a key to a vast storehouse of magical items and knowledge.  He asks the boys to take the box and toss it into something that will lock it away forever.  But before they can accomplish the task, Abaddon kidnaps Henry and tells the boys she will trade him for the key.

This episodes helps the boys, especially Dean, come to grips with the father issues they have.  John Winchester had always thought his father ran out on him when he was a kid.  Consequently Dean has now carried on this grudge.  But now he knows that Henry jumped forward into time and died before he could return home to his son.  

The boys also learn that their lives could have been much difference.  Hunters were meant to carry out the dirty work with the knowledge provided by the Men of Letters.  The key is what will the show do with this new information?  Will it just be discarded or will this change things for the Winchesters?  One important note is that the boys had not cast the box into whatever it was that was supposed to keep it safe from the demons at the end of the episode and this could certainly present a lot of new storylines for the boys to come.

I like the idea of there being a kind of yin and yang with the hunters and Men of Letters.  The episode also introduced a new and more powerful type of demon.  Abaddon is a Knight of Hell and can’t be killed with the standard demon dagger.  Will we see more demons of this type?

Mania Grade: B
Episode: As Time Goes By (Episode 12, Season 8)
Starring: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Gil McKinney
Written By: Eric Kripke (creator), Adam Glass
Directed By: Serge Ladouceur
Network: The CW