First let me offer congratulations to the cast and crew of “Supernatural” for their double win at the People’s Choice Awards – Favorite Network Drama and Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show!
Season Seven, Episode Thirteen, “The Slice Girls”, airs Friday, February 3rd, 2012, 9 pm ET. After a one-night stand with a mysterious woman (Sara Canning of “The Vampire Diaries“), Dean learns that he has fathered a daughter that is born and grows into a teenager within a matter of days. We include the promotional trailer below for your enjoyment!
Time After Time:
Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester are in Canton, Ohio, tracking a man in a fedora and long coat through streets and back alleys. Dean catches up with their mystery man as he sucks red light from a transient’s body. As Sam rounds the corner, Dean tackles the aggressor – and the two of them disappear into an explosion of more red light.
Cut to two days earlier. Sam and Dean are still holed up in a hunting cabin in Montana, and Dean is continuing to obsess over Dick Roman (James Patrick Stewart), the head Leviathan that murdered their father figure, Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver). They get a call from Sioux Falls Sheriff Jody Mills (the authoritative yet vulnerable Kim Rhodes) – last seen receiving a kiss from Bobby when she inadvertently discovered that Leviathans are vulnerable to borax.
She tells the boys that she’s been keeping her ears open for odd cases and clues them into the case in Ohio…cases, actually. Two bodies have been found “mummified minus the wrapping“; it sounds like their usual fare, so they agree to take the case.
Sam glances at Dean pouring over his laptop and remarks, “I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I hope you’re watching cartoon smut, cuz reading Dick Roman crap over and over again is just self-punishment.“
Dean answers, “It’s called anime…and it’s an art form.“
They travel to Canton, Ohio, where they set up shop in an abandoned house. After Dean loses yet another round of rock-paper-scissors (an ongoing joke in the series), Sam gets to unroll his sleeping bag in the sole “un-rancid” bedroom.
Using their new alias of Special Agents Smith and Smith (“No relation“), Sam and Dean speak to an eyewitness to the last murder, the killing of one Charles Darbis. Strangely, the police have labeled the witness as “unreliable“…and after a few seconds of conversation, they see why. It can be difficult to trust anyone who begins their statement with “I’m on the steps…’medicating’…”
Their semi-baked spectator saw his friend Darbis attacked by “some dude dressed like my grampa“. They ask him to elaborate, he explains, “…Snappy shoes, suit, one of those, um, Justin Timberlake hats…” which Sam figures out is a fedora. Furthermore, the Fedora Man turned Darbis into “a raisin“.
After some more research, Sam and Dean discover that Canton has been “a hot spot for weird dead bodies” for quite some time. Shriveled-up corpses have popped up from time to time, in 1928, 1957, and 1974, and the murders always occurred in groups of three. That means that the killer will strike once more before vanishing again.
Dean reaches for the laptop, and Sam feels the need to let loose with a low-brow joke that (I have to confess) left me giggling like I was in junior high school again : “What, are you gonna look up more anime, or are you strictly into Dick now?“
But it turns out that Dean actually learned a few tricks from his time with Frank (Kevin R. MacNally) – namely, how to use the various closed circuit cameras that have been set up around Canton. They find that Fedora Man was caught on film in the areas when and where the first two murders took place. And, even stranger, he shows up in a newspaper photograph from 1957…and he appears unchanged.
Sam and Dean track down Terry Cervantes (Nancy Bell), who found one of the bodies when she was a little girl in 1957. She identifies the Fedora Man as Mr. Snider (Jason Dohring, of “Veronica Mars” and the highly underrated “Moonlight”), who lived on her street. That evening, the boys stake out the house and realize that Fedora Man is still living there.
They follow the man, and the events of the opening teaser segment play themselves out. When the red light around Dean fades, he makes a grab for Mr. Snider. He fails to detain him, but he does manage to get a good look at the man’s ring, which has a strange hourglass-type insignia.
Mr. Snider manages to wriggle away and Dean chases after him, gun drawn. But when he reaches the street, Dean discovers that things have…changed somewhat (to put it mildly) – there is no way that this is still 2012; he has been flung back into the 1940s. And this is the point where “Time After Time” ceases to be just another “monster of the week” episode and turns into something special (also putting it mildly).
Every aspect of the attention to detail in the 1940s scenes is astonishing : set design, lighting, costumes, props, sound editing… From the cars and trucks, down to tiny touches, like the period-appropriate handcuffs that are slapped on Dean (who is promptly arrested for brandishing a gun), are pitch-perfect. Director Phil Sgriccia and Director of Photography Serge Ladouceur have done a magnificent job of recreating WWII-era America, and I almost feel sad that this will be the only episode where we get to see all these astounding features.
The policeman questioning Dean accuses him of being a “Jerry [German] spy” and then later calls him a “bunny“, the first two of several slang phrases that throw off the 21st-century hunter.
Writer Robbie Thompson must have done significant amounts of research for the script – I consider myself fairly versed in WWII-era America (having had grandparents who were eager to discuss it, and because of my own general interest in the time period), but a few of the phrases were so delightfully obscure that I found myself hitting Google just to understand them.
The policeman informs Dean that his phony badge is so terrible that it “was issued 68 years from now“. Dean quickly does the math (using his fingers to help him calculate – something I found rather adorable) and realizes just how far back in time Mr. Snider slung him…1944. Another man enters the room and dismisses the cop; after a few moments of conversation, Dean is able to peg the man as a fellow hunter. And once the other man introduces himself as Eliot Ness (played with slick gravitas by “X-Files” alum Nicholas Lea), Dean goes slack-jawed in amazement.
Meanwhile, Jody is somewhat distraught to learn that the boys ran into trouble while investigating a case that she recommended, so she offers her assistance. Sam sends her to clean out Bobby’s storage locker and bring him the contents, hoping that they might be able to find something useful.
In 1944, Dean and Ness compare notes on their killer, after Dean “geeks out” a little first, telling him that “…’The Untouchables‘ is like one of my most favorite movies ever…I must’ve seen that thing like fifty times.” That turns out to be the first of several references to the classic 1987 film, directed by Brian de Palma, that starred Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, Robert De Niro as Al Capone, and Sean Connery in the Academy Award winning Oscar role of Jim Malone. Later in the episode, the music by “Supernatural” composers Jay Gruska and Christopher Lennertz mimics the motifs of the original film’s thrilling score by Ennio Morricone.
Dean and Ness compare notes on their killer, and the latter is quite confused when Dean sarcastically remarks “Awesome,” after seeing crime scene photos. The word’s meaning was quite different seventy years ago, so Ness’ response is understandable : “How does that fill you with awe?” he asks. He then declares that if Dean is going to help him hunt down their monster, “…we got to get you into some new clothes. You look like some sort of bindlestiff.” Dean, of course, has no idea what a “bindlestiff” is (and neither did any of my Twitter friends – it means a hobo, in case you were wondering), so he lamely replies, “Stiff your br—bin—what?“
Ness takes Dean to see Ezra Moore (Linda Darlow, who steals her scenes with such panache that I have no doubt Ezra would become a recurring role if her character was not stuck in the last days of WWII), a Bobby Singer-esque hunter working out of a tailor’s shop. She soon has Dean decked out in an ensemble so swoon-inducing that Twitter nearly exploded.
Vest. Tailored pants and shirt. Tie. Fitted jacket. Pocket handkerchief. My jaw was on the floor. This is how men should dress. Not just in the 40s…I mean now. Later on, Ezra adds a shoulder holster, overcoat, and fedora to the outfit; the overall effect left me scarcely able to breathe.
In the present, Jody arrives in Canton with a truckload of cartons. “And, um, I’m pretty sure that something’s alive in at least three of those boxes,” she tells Sam.
The two of them then try to track down what took Dean…and sixty-eight years in the past, Dean, Ness, and Ezra do the same. The insignia on Mr. Snider’s ring is the “infinite hourglass“, the symbol of the Greco-Roman god of time, Chronos.
The Winchesters have tangled with gods before, most notably in episode 5×19, “Hammer of the Gods” (in which deities like Odin, Baldur, and Mercury held a summit to discuss the Judeo-Christian apocalypse; most of them were slaughtered by Lucifer). They used to get strength from their worshippers, but as paganism waned, so did their power. To jump around the fourth dimension, Chronos now needs to suck energy from human beings, turning them into withered husks in the process.
After Dean makes another “Untouchables” joke that completely sails over the heads of his new friends, he and Ness break into Chronos’ house. It turns out that the god has been supporting himself by using what Dean labels “the Biff strategy” – jumping through time to learn the outcomes of horse races. (The reference alludes to the film “Back to the Future, Part II”, in which the villainous Biff Tannen uses a sports almanac from 2015 to place bets and amass a fortune.)
Dean and Ness bring Chronos’ lowlife bookie, Lester Young (Gabe Khouth), into the police station, where Dean indulges in his unofficial “Untouchables” status by decking Lester after the bookie declares, “I ain’t talkin’…I’m no stoolie.” Dean and Ness work a “good cop, bad cop” routine, and soon Lester tells them that Chronos “practically lives” in a diner called the Early Bird.
Jody and Sam continue their research as well. Jody discovers that humans can summon Chronos to tell them their futures just as Sam unearths the spell to actually do it. However, he reads that Chronos will have to physically be touching Dean when they summon the god to 2012, or else, as Jody says, “…We get an angry god but no big brother.“
In 1944, Dean and Ness watch Chronos eating at the Early Bird Diner (“Kinda puny for a god,” Ness sneers), and the two hunters talk about what got them into the life. Ness scoffs at the notion that hunting has to be about vengeance (which is why the Winchester men began chasing demons and monsters in the first place); he began because vampires were running rampant in Cleveland, and hunting them down made him feel free. “Sometimes you just want to punch through the red tape with a silver bullet,” he comments.
When Dean expresses sorrow that people he loves keep dying, and that the life is getting too hard for him to bear, he gets yet another “suck it up” style speech (the first was from Bobby a few episodes ago and second was delivered by Frank last week). Ness says :
“Boo-hoo. Cry me a river, ya Nancy. Tell me, are all hunters as soft as you in the future? Everybody loses everybody. And then one day, boom. Your number’s up, but at least you’re making a difference. So enjoy it while it lasts, kid, cuz hunting’s the only clarity you’re gonna find in this life. And that makes you luckier than most.“
A pretty blonde woman (Melissa Roxburgh) leaves the diner, and Chronos follows her. Ness shows Dean the weapons stash in his trunk, prompting Dean to unleash a line that will most likely become a classic : “Sweet merciful awesome.” They expect that Chronos is stalking his final victim, so their guns are at the ready. Instead, they witness Chronos and the young woman kissing.
Ness learns that the woman’s name is Lila Taylor; he stays and watches over her house while Dean heads back to Ezra. She gives him a weapon to kill Chronos, “…a one-thousand-year-old olive carved by vestal virgins and dipped in the blood of — you don’t wanna know…” Dean figures out that if he is able to dispatch the god, most likely he will be making 1944 his permanent home. While looking at a pile of letters, however, he gets an idea of how to tell Sam what happened to him…a goodbye, in case he never gets back.
Chronos finds Ness watching Lila’s house; the two spar, with the god getting the upper hand, throwing Ness into a shed. But when Lila distracts him, Ness is able to slip away. In a bit of a panic, Chronos tells Lila to pack a bag.
Dean finds the house where he and Sam were squatting in 2012; he tells the owner that he is “Special Agent Costner, with the…Department of Homeland Termite Invasion“. He figures out exactly where Sam will be laying his head, and where his eyes will inevitably land.
In 2012, Jody orders Sam to bed after she finds him exhausted and passed out on his pile of research, threatening to use her “mom voice” should he refuse. After he collapses onto his bedroll and tries to get comfortable, he realizes that his name has been scratched into the wooden molding around the door.
Dean has written down all the pertinent information – the date, Chronos, Eliot Ness, Lila Taylor – and stuffed the letter behind the wood. Sam and Jody set out to find Lila…if she is still alive, that is.
Thankfully, they find an elderly Lila (Catherine Barroll) in a nursing home, still among the living, although not in the best mental state. (She asks them to help her find “The Ed Sullivan Show” on TV so she can watch Frankie Valli.) She knew Chronos as Ethan, who disappeared on the night of November 5, 1944 (the same date that Dean put on his letter), when two policemen came to arrest him. It was “the night the clocks stopped” at exactly 11:34. “Ethan said awful things. And then…and then he strangled that poor man.” When Sam shows her a picture of Dean, she confirms that he was Ethan’s victim.
In 1944, Dean heads to Lila’s house and realizes something is amiss when he sees where Ness crashed through the shed. He breaks into the house but is soon intercepted by Chronos. Dean is on the ropes until Ness enters, holding Lila at gunpoint. Things quickly jump back and forth between 1944 and 2012 as Sam and Jody race to prepare the summoning spell while Dean just tries to stay alive.
Chronos attempts to explain to Lila that he never meant to hurt anyone, that he is not the monster that Dean and Ness insist that he is. He does it all so he can be with her, since once his power is drained, he can be “tossed through time” with no control. Taking three human lives as “sacrifices” gives him the juice he needs to get back to her. Needless to say, Lila is horrified, especially when she learns that one of his latest victims was a friend of hers.
Dean attempts to stab Chronos with the olive-wood spear, but fails; the god soon has him by the throat. Sam speaks the summoning incantation, and a red light appears in Chronos’ torso. Ness throws Dean the spear, doing him the ultimate compliment of calling him “Untouchable” before the hunter and the god disappear in a blinding red light, traveling back to 2012.
Sam swiftly impales Chronos with the spear. But as he dies, the god smirks and tells the boys their future. “…It’s covered in thick, black ooze. It’s everywhere. They’re everywhere. Enjoy oblivion.“
I can only speak my personal opinion, but that is not a destiny that I would like to hear from the god of time. Not if I knew that Leviathans were on my tail and that they bleed an inky black goop. I can only guess where the back end of season seven is heading.
Many thanks to you for reading and you for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency to read about our continuing coverage of the great Supernatural series!
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