I love the time travel episodes. Love them. I love that through them we've found out Mary was a hunter, that she made the deal with the YED that sealed Sam's fate, that the vessel thing was in the bloodline of the brothers, I love that stuff. I love that we can go forward whilst going back to flesh out the story that we thought we knew, add more layers to it and discover new things to over think! So guess what? Pop me into the camp that dug "As Time Goes By". Sure, it wasn't perfect. When you take on something as monumental as revealing the true nature of why these boys ended up with the destiny they did, when you boldy tackle the history of a family we all know so well - 8 seasons in to a series – well some things are bound to get lost in the wash. And yes, I felt the mythology bumps in the road and had to side step a couple of plot holes as I careened towards the end of this episode and I acknowledge that, but did it impact my enjoyment of the story? Nup. I was sucked in from the first moment, glued to my couch though out and when it finished, I was very excited where we landed. Very excited.
 
Hee. I just stopped writing and watched the episode again, how great was that "Then"? That was epic!

Anyhoo, So John Winchester was supposed to grow up as one of the 'Men of Letters' (not in love with that name btw, it's a big naff), but instead, he became a Hunter. I'm kinda glad he did, I think Hunters are way hotter!
 
It's hard to equate Henry Winchester to John, talk about chalk and cheese. Henry's so stiff and formal, while John, well I guess we didn't really get to know John that well, only through the hearts and minds and memories of his sons.
 
We still basically know nothing about John, only that his dad disappeared when he was a kid and he carried that hurt with him, which he told his boys, because clearly they knew that John grew up feeling abandoned and angry. This of course doesn't mean John didn't have a father figure in his life, in fact we have to assume he did, because a father figure was referenced for John in 4.03 "In The Beginning". At some stage, John moved from Normal, Illinois to Lawrence, Kansas, so maybe his mum remarried or something. But, we still don't know. I hope now that we've opened up this door, we can open up another to more of the Winchester history, I definitely want to know more. I reckon I could go for a good tie-in novel that fleshed this out a bit maybe? But I digress,

When we first started hearing about this episode, I wondered how Henry Winchester could be a time traveller, what must he be in order to be able to do that, because we knew John came to hunting through the loss of Mary. I also started to think, how much sense it makes for both sides of the boy's family to be somehow linked to the supernatural, to somehow both have a connection to the family business. Especially off what Cupid said about John and Mary being a priority match up and what the Archangel Michael said about the vessel thing being in the bloodline. All of a sudden it made perfect sense that the Winchester line must have some role in this whole epic tale beyond which we already knew. I started to wonder if they were like "Watchers" or something. Not too far off I guess. The Winchester legacy is being the keepers of all the supernatural secrets. They were the ones with the knowledge, knowledge they only shared with a few Hunters. I guess when the 'Men of Letters' got decimated by Abaddon, Hunters had to learn to find their own way without the help of some elite group of bookworms. Hunters became the bookworms as well as the warriors. That's pretty neat. And seeing as for the longest time, Sam and Dean knew very few hunters and certainly knew nothing of any kind of Hunter network, it's not surprising that the memory of the 'MoL' was lost - Hunters not being the chattiest of folk.
 
I love that the Winchesters were the brains and the Campbells were the brawn. I love that, because it's Sam and Dean (though they both have brains and brawn really). Sam's all let's find out what we need I'm going to look it up, Dean's all tell me what I need so I can go stab it in the face. Even in this episode, when Dean used the comic-book chick's computer, he handed it straight to Sam (while Dean gave the chick the silent how you doin'! Bless his flirty heart).

It's interesting that Sam wanted to go to college and leave hunting, making him more like the Winchesters than he could ever have known, hungry for knowledge, with a love of books. He's been likened to John because of his focus on the job above all else. Dean called him out on it in "Jump the Shark", when he said Sam was more like John than Dean would ever be, but little did they know, he was like a Winchester of the past. Maybe that makes Dean more like Mary and the Campbells. Being the caretaker, the "mother" in the family, raising Sam, making sure his family was looked after, being the peacemaker between his brother and father when they butted heads, being happy to do the fighting and let someone else do the research. There was definitely a picture being painted of the two families that splashed more colour onto the boys in this episode. Even I feel like I have a little better understanding of the brothers and their place in their families, through this reveal of new history.
 
I found "As Time Goes By" emotionally engaging. I was a tad teary at the end I have to say, not for Henry, but just for the overwhelming loss of everyone in the brother's family – on both sides. I also found myself wishing this episode were longer. We were given so much information about the legacy, about Abaddon, about Knights of Hell, about the 'MoL' and their super-double-triple-secret batcave, that we didn't have time to find out more about Henry and he didn't have time to find out more about his grandsons or his son. I wished they'd had an opportunity to talk. I really wanted them all to sit down and have a good natter!

I get that Sam and Dean were not in a caring and sharing mood though. I mean those guys keep getting royally screwed (and not in the good way that means we get shirtless episodes). I get why they didn't trust Henry, not just because he popped out of their closet, but also because of the history they'd been told. They thought he was a deadbeat. Dean, in particular was falling in line with what his father told him about his grandfather and was being ultra-protective of his dad and his memory. At first I thought this was a little bull-headed, even for Dean. But when I watched the episode again, it didn't come across like that at all. I felt him defending the memory of a man, that sometimes he couldn't even defend himself. All those feelings coming to the surface again. Like he said, he's read John's journal more times than Henry could imagine and it hurts every time. There was a lot of pain being relived here. All he could do was back his dad. I get that. Also, Henry called them apes! Well screw you very much buddy! Ooo that sounded like I didn't like Henry. I quite liked him...but don't call the boys apes 'k?

And the brothers backed each other. They really felt like a team in this episode. Moving as one, conscious of each other. After their wonderful LARPing moment last week, I was hopeful we'd see them in a better place and for me, we sure did. They felt pretty solid. I appreciated that Sam never chastised Dean when he was berating Henry, it smacked of solidarity. Also, that even when he had a moment on his own to talk to Henry, he didn't, once again, backing his brother, his family and not sharing information that Dean was unwilling to share, with a man who was essentially a stranger. Not giving into feelings of sympathy for a grandfather that he didn't know. I think Sam would have been feeling just as conflicted as Dean was, Sam just has less bluster about such things. It felt like Sam was silently supporting Dean and it made Sam feel very strong to me. Calm and Zen to Dean's tense and angry.
 
At one point I was thinking, hey guys, tell Henry about all the stuff you know about Lucifer and the angels and the like! Then I thought, well, really, if I were the vessels of the Apocalypse, would I share that information? "Hey grandad, so this one time, I was like, Lucifer's vessel and you know, he was in me for a bit and, " yeah probably not! They've learnt to keep their secrets close. There's a hell of a lot those brothers know that they've never shared with another soul. I did appreciate Dean big upping them when he was trying to prevent Henry from jumping back through time though, "We stopped the Apocalypse!" Yes you did! Shout it loud and proud baby! Funny that Henry didn't say, "Hang on! You stopped the what now?"

Beyond all the conflict though, Dean worked with Henry. Dean and Henry nutted out a plan that would not only save Sam, as Dean made it perfectly clear, that was going to be the endgame no matter what, but if they pulled it off, it would stop Abaddon forever. Their plan was simple and it worked and it was family working together. It was the Winchester family brains and brawn, coming together to win the day – even though it was at the loss of one of them. And in his final moments, Henry saw the men that his grandsons were and in doing so, got a glimpse of who his son must have been.

I was so worried that this would be another lump of guilt for Dean to drag around, that he'd think he was partly responsible for his father not having a father, but I was happy to see they didn't go that way. Instead we got the brothers talking, sharing their feelings about what just happened, what they'd just learnt. Sam seeing some sense in the whole thing, Dean seeing more dead. Even though it was a sad scene, it wasn't, because they were together, being who they've always been and being it side by side. Boy-howdy, I loved that scene. It packed the emotional wallop I've been pining for.

This new layer to the Winchester mythology, this legacy business, this secret batcave joint that they now have the fancy key to, all the knowledge inside, man, this feels like it opens up a whole lot of story. I've been wondering if that's where they end up stashing those damn tablets. My first thought was, oh there will be clues to help with decoding the tablets and then I thought, hang-on, impenetrable supernatural Fort Knox, what better place to pop the tablets to keep the demon's and angel's grubby mitts off them. I've always kind of thought that the comeuppance of using the tablets would be so great that they wouldn't be able to use them, maybe they lock them up forever, like the Arc of the Covenant or something? Anyway, I'm craptastic at theories, so I'll just say I'm really looking forward to seeing this secret lair of the 'Men of Letters'.

What this show always does best is family. When the show focuses on the story behind these boys, when it focuses on the strength and importance of family, this is where it really flies. "As Time Goes By" was all about family. It was about Sam and Dean finding out about their roots. It was about them putting to rest something that haunted their dad. In "As Time Goes By" I felt a little closure somehow, like both Sam and Dean have come to a place within their hearts where they can understand John better. But not only that, in finding out about their family, they were left with a better understanding of themselves and why they were thrust into this life. I don't know about you, but I felt hope, the most hope I've felt for a long time. As Sam and Dean stood over their grandfather's grave, in my heart I felt this little tingling of hope that maybe they'll be able to put the anger and conflict from the first half of this season behind them and move forward into this new chapter together as brothers, as family. I mean, they're Winchesters, and as long as they're alive there's always hope right?
 
I'm excited to see where this takes us.
 
And just because I hate leaving you on such a deep thought, please enjoy these caps.



Thanks for reading, see you next time!
-sweetondean


Comments  

Tiny
# Tiny 2013-02-02 09:27
Nice review Amy! I think I am in love with this episode a bit more than I should! I mean, putting the time travel AND a Winchester family element together.. this is my top 3 fav eps of all time.

I agree, there are questions. But I can forget that and look forward to seeing the future. I think the Men of Letters thing add new blood to the show without messing up the foundation. I thought this episode was very clever. For Adam Glass and team to put this together is a big big think!

This is game-changing! The boys have a powerful advantage now, after being the angels' puppets for a long time.

Dean was definitely being Dean towards Henry, and Sam was a bit more open mind. But I love it that you mentioned about Dean being ultra-protectiv e of his dad and his memory. No matter how hurt it was, and how much they resend John, John will always be the hero in their eyes. He taught them how to hunt and they are proud to be John's sons, and hunters.

I thought it was a brilliant episode! BEST like.. BEST! I'm in love with it!

Next week, bring the Batcave!!!

Tiny
xx
st50
# st50 2013-02-02 09:46
I've commented on this episode elsewhere, so won't repeat my feelings here.
Very nice review, sweetondean, and glad you liked it.
Thanks for the beautiful screencaps! ;-)
E
# E 2013-02-02 09:53
He....Dean STILL sleeps in his clothes!
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-02 11:55
Can you blame him? They are in a motel and you do know about the cleanliness of them. I'm equally surprised that they even lay on the bedspreads or use the pillows for that very reason but they are hunters and just don't think that way. I think the whole sleeping in their clothes is just because of who they are, hunters. They would never want to be caught with their pants down (pun intended) if ever they found themselves under attack.
NoLieFe
# NoLieFe 2013-02-02 10:10
Like you, I appreciated a lot this episode and I felt the strength of the family bond between Sam and Dean and a respect from Sam towards Dean. I am so happy, and maybe a little proud, to watch a serie where the scenarist can offer us new fresh ideas in the 8th season.
The concept of visiting the other side of the family through a time travel fits for me and I can't wait to learn more informations about what's behind the door that the key will open. Henry was a nice character and I shared the bro's pain when he died, I wanted to listen more storys of the letter's men.
Plus I loved so much this beautiful actress playing Abadon : so classy, so disturbing.
40 mn pf pleasure vs one week of waiting : that's not fair !
NoLieFe
kazkriz
# kazkriz 2013-02-02 10:26
thanks!! girl I do love your reviews... specially cuz I loved .. seriously LOVED this episode... I think Henry is such a hot granpa and even though there are some holes... I don't care... I'm so excited abt were this is goin.. the secret place, the key, everything... I actually came up with an idea... but I'm not quite sure... what if that key is also a sort of portal or something to get the tablets?! huh? ...
Well. I loved this epie.. I've cried the three times I've seen it. Loved the ending,... Henry's dying words... everything!
great review Amy!!!
Ginger
# Ginger 2013-02-02 10:33
Nice review, Sweetondean. John will always be a moving force in Dean's character, and Dean will always be a moving force in Sam's character. That's never going away, so I too was happy to see Dean support John's memory and Sam support Dean's actions.

I liked this episode and don't mind at all that what went on for the first nine episodes seems to be put aside for a new direction. All of the stories were weak and not flushed out (well, except for Samelia, which was too flushed out for my tastes), so I'm willing to play along with the writers and pretend all has been resolved.

This episode left me looking forward to the second half of the season. Here's hoping the writers make up for some lost time between here and the end of the season.
aelaine
# aelaine 2013-02-02 11:33
Great review, thanks sweetondean! I know everyone didn't like this episode mainly because of plot holes, but there was so much to this story, I am hopeful that once they get in the "bat cave" it will answer a lot of questions. Love the look back at the Winchester side of the family and learn that Yes they were involved in the supernatural! Letting Henry go back could have changed things and made things even worse, the boys grew up how they needed to, to be able to do all that they both have done. Makes you wonder for how long have their poor families been in the hands of others, but yet they saved the world their way! I am so glad they are coming together again as brothers, they will always be in disagreement with one another in some way, it's just the way they are lol, but hopefully we are past the worst of it for the season. Apparently R. Singer and Co. like "Amelia" good for him, he can keep her, but off the show please, it's played out I say. That is my only big grip for the season, Just excited to see where we go from here! The Bat Cave, can't wait!!
krystal
# krystal 2013-02-02 11:36
Thanks for a great review Sweeondean! As always it helped me to see the episode in a bit of a different light. I had mixed feelings about it the first time I watched it. If felt like so much was trying to be crammed into such a short time that a lot was lost. After rewatching I now feel a little bit different about it. I was able to focus more on the story and the subtle gestures of the guys. I still feel it was a too much for one episode, but it felt a bit more like what I would expect from a new developing story line with unanswered questions but also a jumping off point.

I really enjoyed the family drama. I agree the abandonment issues were new, but I loved how Dean as always defended his dad. Dean showed thees same emotions with Adam and so that felt very much in character for him. Sam supporting Dean instead of the new family member to him was a bit off, but it also showed maturity. That was refreshing and well placed in season 8. I like that both came around a bit, obviously Sam more than Dean, but it still happened for both.

I'm glad it was Henry coming forward in time rather than the boys going backwards - that was refreshing for the time travel concept. It was a nice way to wrap up why John didn't have his father around - because of family.

Overall I am looking forward to the next episode and seeing how the key ( for which - "then there has to be a lock") works out. (Yes, that's all I could think about when Sam held the box out with the key.)
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-02 12:11
Spot on again Amy. I agree with and feel the same way as you on all counts of this episode. Great writing as always from you.

Henry being somewhat stiff I believe can be accredited to the time period he is from and partially the bookworm in him. It was great getting the back story and made one feel bad that John never got to know what really happened. Does make one wonder what would have happened with the John and the boys but on the other hand really glad it turned out this way, otherwise we may not be enjoying them at all.

I get where Dean was coming from and why he acted the way he did. He's Dean and after all the family crap and mistrust from the Campbell side it's no wonder why he would be on guard. He did come around as we knew he would in the end and that was another heartfelt performance from both the boys.

I still don't get why some people keep carrying around this dislike for the writers and the direction the show is going and feeling slighted about not getting all the answers. We do have to remember it is only 42 minutes and not all can be exposed in that brief time. If this were a book there could be a whole lot more revealed and then all our answers could be gotten but this is TV so I say move on and get over it.

I loved that the brothers are finally back to that wonderful family unity. They had each others backs like a well oiled machine again. Dean making saving Sammy his ultimate priority and Sam backing Dean even without saying a word but just sticking by his side.

I too am very anxious for next weeks episode to see the new "homebase" and just love the direction this is going and all the new possibilities this can open up. I am very curious to see how they take this to be safe from Demons and Angels, especially since it seems to be underground. Only time will tell and I'm waiting on pins and needles for next Wednesday to get here.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-02-02 12:46
It is not about Sam sitting there backing up Dean who again gets to express a emotional response. It was about Sam , how many chances was he going to have to talk to his grandfather Winchester one on one in a moment where the scene was begging for it.

Just maybe there is too many silent Sam moments for this one to sit right with me. But I know not everybody will view it that way as he was' quietly' backing up Dean but it was sad for me.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-02 12:12
Quote:
Also, that even when he had a moment on his own to talk to Henry, he didn’t, once again, backing his brother, his family and not sharing information that Dean was unwilling to share, with a man who was essentially a stranger. Not giving into feelings of sympathy for a grandfather that he didn’t know. I think Sam would have been feeling just as conflicted as Dean was, Sam just has less bluster about such things. It felt like Sam was silently supporting Dean and it made Sam feel very strong to me. Calm and Zen to Dean’s tense and angry.
It felt like another lost opportunity for Sam to connect to a family member .Sam is the " brain" so why is it that in the show he does not get to connect to his grandfather who is the "brain". Are the writers afraid to have Sam connect with someone from family or simply clueless or plain incompetent? Sam can and has shown solidarity with Dean and I did not want Sam to lose having a bonding moment with Henry so as to show how he supports his brother and in turn lose his voice.Quote:
He’s been likened to John because of his focus on the job above all else.
I saw it as a lost opportunity and the worst kind for that matter...A huge mistake nothing else.The one person who he should have connected.I would have been happy if Dean had gone to talk to that old man and Sam to talk with Henry.Quote:
I get why they didn’t trust Henry,
You might have got why Dean didn't trust Henry . Sam's POV which could have been cleared in the motel scene after Dean left was neglected.Quote:
I think Sam would have been feeling just as conflicted as Dean was, Sam just has less bluster about such things.
These "feelings" and "theories" that we have only and only for Sam are getting tiresome and making me frustratedQuote:
At first I thought this was a little bull-headed, even for Dean.
I felt he was bull-headed and abrasive
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-02 14:10
Hi anonymousN, I have to agree with you up to and including Dean being bull-headed. That IS sort of his go-to stance sometimes. I love him warts and all but I felt he was a little too abrasive this episode. Maybe Sam was showing solidarity by walking away but it seemed like a missed opportunity to shed some light on some of what is going on in Sam's head.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-02 14:35
Quote:
Sam was showing solidarity by walking away but it seemed like a missed opportunity to shed some light on some of what is going on in Sam's head.
Leah, Thank you for understanding.A fter Dean left it looked like sam was trying to make eye contact and say something to Henry ..I was so happy but it was for nothing
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-02 12:19
Thanks sweeondean, I wasn't fond of this episode and I know I am in the minority. I won't go into the reasons again because even to ME they seem nitpicky. Maybe it was a letdown after last week or I was expecting something different or simply in a wrong mood. After reading your review I will give it a rewatch and try and see it with new eyes. I am usually in sync with you and your love for the show. I do think that, even though I am glad the guys are acting like they care about each other again, that it should have taken a little longer to get from that awful place they were to where they seem to be now. But they got there, so great! VERY exited about new base of ops The new elements are intriguing. I hope it's not a case of too many ingredients in the stew. If they handle things right, this could be game changing and open up so many possibilities.
Thanks again for the review, they are always very entertaining. " Hey grandad, so this one time, I was like Lucifer's vessel...." LOL.
Amy
# Amy 2013-02-02 12:50
I'm trying to like the episode....I even got that Show of solidarity with Dean by Sam not talking to Henry even though he was chomping at the bit to do so.

No matter how good things get between the guys I still feel betrayed and heartsick that the writers chose to throw Sam under the bus with his not looking for Dean. Espeically when Dean was all "I'll never stop trying to save Sam."

It just plain hurts.

The MOL.....i thought should have been a part of Season 4. Bobby should have been a member watching over Sam and Dean as Legacy royalty. The thing I love most about the legacy storyline and the MOL is it brings back the human aspect of Supernatural that was missing.
E
# E 2013-02-02 19:42
Hi Amy, I did like the episode quite a bit, and am sorry you didn't. I do think your points and Alice's about forgetting all about Sam's past history are valid and it's an annoying issue. It's one thing to replace Dean's gun over and over, or magically fix Baby's window, it's quite another to conveniently "forget" eight years worth of character develop because it's suddenly inconvenient. Hopefully they (the writers) will correct some of this down the road.

I really agree with you on the 'human' aspect of where they are taking the basic mytharc at the moment... it's really great to see it back. The MoL storyline has the unique effect of making the Winchester brothers special in the world of hunting again without turning them into power wielding superheroes. Great and clever idea IMHO.
JoRuth
# JoRuth 2013-02-02 12:51
Loved it so much too. Thanks for adding to the love!!!!
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2013-02-02 13:07
***** FIVE STARS ON YOUR REVIEW! I loved how they tied in so much of the shows history. All the while beginning a story that will go on for as many years as they want to continue the show. They could even start up the "Men of Letters" again to assist hunters of the future.That would make it's own tv show. But I digress.

I think they try so hard to keep the show interesting and moving forward. After 8 yrs it is still the best hour of tv I have ever seen. I have fallen in love with it all over again this season.
E
# E 2013-02-02 19:50
Oh, I really agree with you there! I know that some fans complain about retcon, but I don't mind it so much as long as it's clever and inventive, and this seems to be clever and inventive. It's like the croatoan virus issue. It was raised in season 2's Croatoan, and then went know where. Then in season 5's The End it's back again in the most awesome way. I am sure that that was a TOTAL retcon, but it worked, and I think that this is working too.
Daisymae
# Daisymae 2013-02-02 13:51
I watched this episode a second time and appreciated it more and the implications. I love the brains and brawn analogy-not a perfect fit but it will do. The main point is this new direction will give the show more story to work with, which a show needs when it keeps going this long. As for plot holes-I don't care. I'm also thinking that the first person ( and maybe the only person) Sam & Dean would tell about this is Bobby. I watchd the video so I know about what happens next week. I wish I could stop looking at those spoilers!! Anyone else have that problem. grrr
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2013-02-04 07:18
Daisymae, I totally have that problem. Last time I actually managed to avoid spoilers was in season 5. It also doesn't help that over here we get the shows later, either, so it's hard to stay away.
galen
# galen 2013-02-02 14:04
This episode made me very happy. I think Sam could see now how he could fit in this world. Sam was different than John and Dean. No memory of a normal life, no passion for hunting, always the new kid at school with hand me down clothes, demon blood, no soul ... just never quite fitting in. This is a role that Sam fits, a man of letters, a legacy of hope. A true Winchester.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-02 19:33
I agree. And love that the 'Winchester' name has gotten the respect it deserves!
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2013-02-03 00:23
I agree, and this is why it was so frustrating that Sam didn't get to talk to Henry about the Winchester legacy and how much he would try to preserve the records and such.

I don't know why the writers insist on Dean being the only one to interact with others, because sometimes Sam can identify more with the new character and the show could benefit from the audience hearing Sam's thoughts more often.
Valgal
# Valgal 2013-02-02 14:13
Sweetondean-
First time I watched, I was a little overwhelmed by all the information. Subsequent viewings are more enjoyable and revealing each time I watch. I LOVE this episode. I really enjoyed your interpretation. A few things I also noticed.
I agree that both Sam and Dean behaved very much within the parameters of their characters.

There are always concerns about how effusive Sam is and I always believe still waters run deep. Wasn't it Bobby who told Sam, "You were always one deep little son of a bitch?" It was Sam who held Henry when he died. It was Sam who retrieved the key. It was Sam who took the key out of his pocket at the gravesite with, I believe, a glimmer of that "Winchester hope" his grandfather spoke of.

A consistent motif throughout the eight seasons is that while both Sam and Dean are very intelligent and insightful men, it is Sam who naturally gravitates to research. It is Sam who received the location of the secret site. It was Sam who allowed Henry the time to learn about his adult son John by allowing him time to quietly read the journal. What might Henry have learned about Sam from some from those gestures? Sam is compassionate, thoughtful, loyal and willing to let Henry form his own opinions about the son he only saw as a young child.

What do we the audience understand that Sam probably does? Sam knew odds are that Henry would not be able to return to 1958 because of how his actions might have affected Sam and Dean. I don't see Sam's silence around Henry as a negative, I, too, see it as a sign of maturity.

Henry learned about Dean's memories of his father through Dean's spoken words. Sam's silence allowed John's voice to be understood through his writings. When Henry speaks his final words to both his grandsons and holds both their hands, it is not only with love and pride for his family line, but with an understanding of the kind of man his son became through both his grandsons' actions and his son's words.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-02 14:34
That is a lovely comment Valgal, I do wish that so much of what might be going on with Sam wasn't implied. We usually know exactly where Dean stands.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-02 19:30
Lovely comments Valgal. I also thought their basic characters stayed in tact. They are different men with different perceptions. Just because they are brothers doesn't mean they think the same way. I have 3 adult sons and they are very different in how they process information, interact with others and deal with stress. I find Sam and Dean totally believable in their reactions to Henry. Love them, love them, love them!
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-03 00:02
Quote:
Sam knew odds are that Henry would not be able to return to 1958 because of how his actions might have affected Sam and Dean.
I don't know about this as there was nothing that suggested this was why they had Sam silent.Quote:
Henry learned about Dean's memories of his father through Dean's spoken words.
Some of them could have been through Sam's words too.I wanted Sam to have a talk with Henry ...have a bonding moment exclusively without interruption from Dean.
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2013-02-03 16:21
One of Sam's most basic character traits is that the ONLY person he shares his true feelings with is Dean. He doesn't do THAT very easily. He is always quiet, and thoughtful. Dean has always been the one with a quick remark. After all this time, if you are a true fan of Sam, how could you want to completely re-write how he reacts? Sam has always keep EVERYTHING very "close to the vest", so to speak. Makes him interesting.
The writers are trying to make a more mature version of both Sam and Dean, seeing as they are getting into their thirties now. Personally, It just makes them both more real to me
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-02-03 17:11
Quote:
One of Sam's most basic character traits is that the ONLY person he shares his true feelings with is Dean. He doesn't do THAT very easily. He is always quiet, and thoughtful. Dean has always been the one with a quick remark. After all this time, if you are a true fan of Sam, how could you want to completely re-write how he reacts? Sam has always keep EVERYTHING very "close to the vest", so to speak. Makes him interesting.
The writers are trying to make a more mature version of both Sam and Dean, seeing as they are getting into their thirties now. Personally, It just makes them both more real to me
Sorry but I dont agree with this how does Sam talking to his grandfather completely changes how he reacts?. Why does he have to react the same in every given situation ? It may make him interesting but it also has made him a easy target and as a Sam fan I never believed it was written in stone that Sam can only react and be seen one way. I wanted him to have that moment with Henry to see a exchange between the two not Sam just getting up and walking away . Sam can and should be allowed to talk to others express his thoughts not necessarily his true feelings and yet he didnt even do that with Amelia. It isnt always possible with Dean either for one reason or being at odds with Dean . I dont understand why people think Sam can only be written a certain way when to me it isnt necessary .
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-03 17:24
Quote:
I dont understand why people think Sam can only be written a certain way when to me it isnt necessary .
Because those people supposedly want a mature Sam but he should be written the Same.Nice Logic.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-03 17:15
Quote:
One of Sam's most basic character traits is that the ONLY person he shares his true feelings with is Dean.
Oh so that is why Dean is so critical of Sam "because he shares his true feelings" with Dean.If you were a "true fan" of Dean you would know that Dean has no interest of knowing what Sam went through, that is Dean's trait.Also I must have had a dream of the limited characters Sam has had a heart to heart to .Writers simply don't want to or don't care.Characters like Spock can get emotional exploration but Sam can't because of his trait where he shares his true feelings with ONLY one character poor big brother Dean.Quote:
After all this time, if you are a true fan of Sam, how could you want to completely re-write how he reacts?
Are you one of the writers PENNY JAIME because if you are not then whatever you have told now is your perception and not gospel truth.Stop thinking that you are an authority and get to question me about this I believe from the bottom of my heart that you don't even know how Sam reacts judging by your first statement.Quote:
Sam has always keep EVERYTHING very "close to the vest", so to speak.
Really really sorry but because we are privy to Sam's feelings only when Dean deigns it necessary that he knows Sam feels.Even if you don't agree with this Sam opening up to someone else is as you say "mature version" of Sam

FROM a TRUE Sam Fan.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-03 18:37
Wow, maybe some of the above could benefit on a different thread? I'm sorry, but I sense some true bitterness here. Which makes me so sad. This show blows me away at how deep fans have come to feel they 'know' the characters through their own perceptions, as I have as well. But IMO none of us 'knows' exactly what Sam will do all the time. We all base it on our perception of past Sam actions. Does anyone really feel comfortable predicting anyone else's reactions in their life? Can we? People process things differently and that process evolves in our own selves. I don't think I process the same way I did possibly even 5 years ago. Life causes that process and our perceptions to change. IMHO.

I don't feel Penny Jaime implied she was a writer or had canon. She was simply giving her percepted opinion. (Is that a word? Ha). Plus, both are characters in a TV show. Can their processing and perceptions evolve as well? I think they can and they have, however, I think their basic personality traits have remained in tact. Again IMO. I do see maturity, without loss of their individual personality traits. I mean how many of us can change a habit or trait on a dime? I find I can adapt better as I age and know my traits and failings, but it is still hard. I personally find Dean and Sam very believable as they are. Flawed, as we all are, but for the most part in character.

Sometimes I think some of us get so passionate about a character because we see something of ourselves in them that we admire or maybe wish we could change. I know for me I love both boys equally, but I can identify more with Dean as the oldest sibling who did a LOT of caring for them. And not on purpose, but I probably have done a lot of talking for them too! I think it is often a natural family dynamic if the eldest was the 'protector and caretaker'. I am sure they didn't always appreciate my role, but it did help shape our family dynamics, as it has for Sam and Dean IMO. Sometimes could there just be a deference to an older sibling out of habit or to avoid conflict? Like I have said before. I have 3 grown sons and my youngest(who is named Sam ironically) is the quietest and is the least likely to 'share' his thoughts, especially if they contradict an older brothers. Don't get me wrong, he's not a marshmallow, but he just really seems to be more thoughtful about what he says and maybe he doesn't have anything to say at all about something.

Sorry, I digress. I just hope all of us can try to separate our own lives from these characters(some times difficult I know) and understand we all love the show. Or why do we watch it? If we want tons of frustration life can do that for us! Differences of opinions are fine, but I think we are all TRUE fans. :) IMHO!
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-03 19:01
Quote:
I don't feel Penny Jaime implied she was a writer or had canon.
I know this ( or think I do)but saying things likeQuote:
After all this time, if you are a true fan of Sam, how could you want to completely re-write how he reacts?
is not giving her "perceived opinion".This statement only shows that the poster thinks that i am not a true Sam fan as i do not conform to her views.That is unfair and thus resulted in my bitterness.We are here to give our opinions not to pass judgements about one another.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-03 19:51
Duly noted on the second quote. Thus my last sentence above.
Alice
# Alice 2013-02-04 01:40
Hey guys, nice discussion, but you all are straying off topic here. We're supposed to be talking about the episode here, not "he said, she said." Please take such topics to a "Let's Discuss" thread. I especially do not approve of anyone accusing anyone else of being a "True Fan" in any aspect. So, Penny Jaime, please refrain from that language. As for anonymousN, yeah, I know, she ruffled feathers, but try not to take such comments so personally. Thank you!
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-03 19:31
Quote:
One of Sam's most basic character traits is that the ONLY person he shares his true feelings with is Dean.
Except that wasn't what Sam was to begin with. He shared his grief with both Lori in Hookman and Sarah in Provenance because they had similar feelings. He talked to Max about his powers in Nightmare. He talked to Matt in Bugs about feeling like an outsider in his own family and how it gets better when you can leave and be yourself. He more than shared his feelings with John. They fought because Sam told John exactly how he felt. Sam talked about his powers with Ava and his feelings about Dean with her as well. He talked to the other psy kids, especially Jake about responsibility and how scary having the powers were in AHBL. In After School Special he talked to the ghost telling him neither of them were evil and he talked to the teacher about feeling trapped in his family's life. He talked to Amy about being a freak when they were kids. He shared things with Madison. He talked about the fact that you can love someone and still want to bash their skull in with Doctor Cara in Sex and Violence. Sam talked to Chuck in The Monster At The End of This Book. Sam has been willing to talk to and share with pretty much anyone who is willing to listen. As late as 99 Problems Sam was talking to the guy at the bar who didn't believe in the girl who was supposed to be hearing from God and expressed some of his feelings.

The problem is the writers have completely cut Sam off from anyone willing to listen. Bobby liked Dean more and has actively walked away from Sam. Ellen ignored Sam several times when he was alive and only gave a message to Dean. Jo was interested in Dean and then when Meg tried to rape her she understandably was unwilling to interact with Sam. Cas viewed Sam as an abomination and even though he calls Sam a friend, he does not initiate conversations with Sam or show any interest in interacting with Sam. I do think that trusting Ruby and having everyone he knew be unable and unwilling to trust him after that did make Sam retreat into himself. Then he lost his soul and when he got it back, he was still cut off from part of himself. By season seven, Sam only had Dean and Dean was falling apart.

Sam didn't start out as only sharing with Dean. Sam DID talk to others quite a lot in earlier seasons and now he has no one who wants to listen to him. Sam tried to tell Dean what he had found in his year off and Dean didn't want to hear it. Sam's not interacting with others isn't a part of his inbred personality, IMHO. It is a function of the writers refusing to give Sam anyone to talk to. Even with Amelia so much of his time with her happened off screen.
lala2
# lala2 2013-02-03 21:31
Quote:
Sam's not interacting with others isn't a part of his inbred personality, IMHO. It is a function of the writers refusing to give Sam anyone to talk to. Even with Amelia so much of his time with her happened off screen.
I couldn't agree more with you! The writers simply don't write dialogue for Sam anymore; he never had a problem sharing his feelings in the earlier seasons. Did he keep some things private like his psychic visions or the demon blood? Sure, but for the most part, Sam was pretty vocal about his feelings/though ts. That's why most fanfic has Sam emoting all over the place while Dean is more tightlipped.
Alice
# Alice 2013-02-04 01:47
You know percysowner, I do agree with you. I especially think these newer writers came in with a cliched perception of Sam and Dean and have been writing that way. It bothers me a lot because it really does prevent some great character development, with both brothers. I think they believe Sam is withdrawn, mysterious, and doesn't interact with anyone and should always write him that way. It's really wrong.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-03 23:08
Penny Jamie, I have to disagree with you. First, making small connections with people doesn't mean telling everyone his deepest thoughts. Second, by taking such a hardline then we never get any insight into Sam when he and Dean are fighting. Third, I don't agree that Sam has always only opened up to Dean. Yes, he has always trusted Dean the most, but in the first three seasons, he confided several times in other people in limited ways.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-02-02 14:33
Nice review... this episode has certainly elicited strong opinions on both sides and it's interesting reading everyone's opinions.

I didn't like the episode the first time around - (the time travel stuff is hard to do right) but watched it a second time and loved it. Amy's comments were spot on about this bringing the human aspect back in to the storyline. I like Cas but having him around all the time can make it too easy to magically fix things or get out of a tough situation.

The MOL/ "legacies" does open up some great possibilities for the rest of the season and beyond; also looks like they finally found something to do with Sam - his storyline has been pretty blah this year. That's not to say Sam will be hanging out in the bat cave all the time while Dean hunts (I think they'll always hunt together), but this whole MOL thing ties in well with Sam's character/personality.

As a relatively new fan of the show (have seen them all though), I had a question - many references to John's journal and it was a nice touch that the journal turned out to be the one Henry had ordered before he disappeared in 1958. Why don't Dean and/or Sam keep a journal? I realize it's the 21st century so a blog might be more appropriate but journals are a lot cooler. In an upcoming episode, might we see Dean giving Sam a journal or vice versa?
Kathy K
# Kathy K 2013-02-02 16:43
Thank you. I have been wondering forever why San and Dean don't have a journal of their own. I know with our technology that it makes sense that it would be online or a blog but, while that might work for Sam I think Dean is oldschool enough to keep a physical journal. If Sam had a journal on his laptop, and it wasn't saved somewhere it was lost when Frank smashed his computer to bits and peices in Slash Fiction.
KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2013-02-03 03:59
Quote:
I have been wondering forever why San and Dean don't have a journal of their own.
I think Sam & Dean would've kept making notes in John's journal. Do you remember when Dean first got the journal while he was in custody. John had written 'Dean' and some coordinates in it... and this wasn't on the back page. I also noticed that it was the type of journal that you can add pages to, so I think they would've just continued to use John's journal and add to his research :-)
Ale
# Ale 2013-02-03 08:10
KG_SPN,

Your explanation makes a lot o sense. Still, for the amount of things JW and S&D have been through, the journal would be a hole lot thicker. Like, 5.000 pages :lol:
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2013-02-04 07:30
Sam probably has one on his computer, and being Sam, I'd expect he has at least a backup or has stored it somewhere where he'd be able to retireve it if he needs to. Kind of like how Bobby stashed photocopies of his books all over the place.
Bevie
# Bevie 2013-02-02 15:10
Sweetondean, your review is so far, the one that agrees the most with my view of the episode. Just thank you so much for bringing the joy and appreciation of what we've been hoping for for years now! The reunion of the brothers and the importance of the family! Isn't that what Kripke said in his finale? "They chose family!" and they did good (per Chuck). Sniff sniff! Couldn't help the tear at the end of the episode, even though so happy to see them stand together.

You continue to be my favourite reviewer, along with Bardicvoice who is back, baby! You cheer me up when down and Mary analyses why things are as they are without doom and gloom, and you are both a pleasure to read without fearing the nasty!
Joyful
# Joyful 2013-02-02 16:54
Lovely review as always Amy, thankyou. I really enjoyed this episode, for many of the reasons that you mentioned. I too can overlook some of the minor nitpicks and loved the focus on family. I don't think Dean was bull-headed - as you said Amy, his ingrained response is to defend John and anyway, why would you immediately open your heart and arms to someone who calls you apes?!?! Seriously!?! Both boys needed the time to suss out Henry and his story before they all came together to defeat Abaddon. Love how this also opens up some exciting storylines for the rest of the season, and dare I say it, Season 9! :lol:
Grace232
# Grace232 2013-02-02 16:58
Thank you so much for this review. This has been my favorite episode so far this season (just ahead of last week's) and your review explains all the reasons why, so much more eloquently than I could ever explain! This is the Supernatural of old. I am so happy! Thanks again for sharing your review. I now need to go watch the episode for the 5th time. So grateful CW is now on demand. In the old days, I would have to wait for the season to end and the DVD to come out to rewatch my favorites again and again (of course, I can now watch on my iPad too - just got it last year - but much rather see on the tv screen).
Bunyip
# Bunyip 2013-02-02 19:24
Thanks for the great review. I loved the episode as well, except now I want to find out about Grandma. Is she still alive? Why didn't Henry even ask about her? Surely he would have felt as concerned for her (leaving her 'abandoned' in the 1950's where life wasn't as supportive for single mothers), unless he knew that she was quite capable of looking after herself.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-03 02:34
Oh SweetonDean you have no idea how much I love reading your reviews. They are so positive and fill of yummy, cherry-on-the-t op, warm fuzzy feels. Just thank you so much, I am off for a 3 hour run now and I cannot tell you how light my feet are going to feel now that I have read this.
Texas Great Grams
# Texas Great Grams 2013-02-03 02:53
Great review of an amazing episode. So much history I did not have any idea of. Gives us more of an idea as to why Dean & Sam were "destined" to be who they are. One of my favorite episodes and really love your explanation of why you loved it so much. We are certainly on the same page with this episode. Can't wait to see how the wonderful writers bring more of the lives of Dean and Sam to us.
KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2013-02-03 04:15
Thanks SweetonDean for another great review. Your blog is the one I enjoy the most because I tend to agree with most of your conclusions ;-)

I must admit, during my initial viewing, I was unsure about the whole 'Men of Letters' concept, and I had to take some time to reflect on the episode (because there was just so much to take in). But by the end of my second watch, I was totally blown away by all the possibilities that this storyline creates. Exploring the Winchester family history for the first time... makes me wonder why they didn't do this sooner. I too, love how they manage to flesh out the story and add more layers to it.

I also loved that quote: We're Winchesters…a nd as long as we're alive there’s always hope, and what you said about the brothers having a better understanding of themselves and why they were thrust into this life. I too, felt hope. For one thing, Sam has always felt like he didn't belong in this life. The tingling feeling in my heart was that perhaps now Sam can find the purpose he needs to be happy in this life (like Dean is).

There was one thing you mentioned that I wasn't sure about - keeping the tablets in this hideout. I suspect it was easier to keep this place a secret in the 1950s, but it may not be so easy these days. I think they need to be very careful not to bring attention to the 'bat-cave', so I wouldn't be taking Kevin or the tablets there. That would put the eye of Sauron (Crowley) right on them. And the last thing they would want is Crowley accidentally discovering this 'mother lode' just because he's hunting for Kevin. Just a thought.

SO looking forward to Ben Edlund's episode!
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-02-03 04:26
No, I wasn't meaning put them in there now with Kevin either -- I'm with you they need to keep that place a secret and not share the information about the lair with anyone! I was thinking maybe eventually, I wouldn't be surprised if that's where they end up, locked up safe, because I think they're going to be more trouble than they're worth.
KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2013-02-03 06:55
Oh, I see. I misunderstood. But now I've had another thought. What if some of the tablets are already stashed there. Larry told Sam that "every object, scroll, spell ever collected in a 1000 years" was under one roof. Any chance the angel tablet is hidden there??
sucharita
# sucharita 2013-02-03 04:48
awesome review.....i always enjoy your views.
RGNYC Rebecca
# RGNYC Rebecca 2013-02-03 08:47
Thank you for your spot on review,SweetonD ean! I loved the episode. Didn't the young John look just like JDM? I thought the demon was deliciously evil and the effect of the carving a devil's trap in the bullet was brilliant. I too wondered why Sam didn't say anything on first viewing but have now come to see his walking away as the sign of solidarity. Looking forward to this whole new adventure the new digs will bring. Cheers!
Pam
# Pam 2013-02-03 09:16
I so enjoyed reading this review and all the comments thus far. I continue to be impressed by the intelligence and insightfulness of this fandom. The deep love of the show really does come through in this thread of discussion.
paintgirl770
# paintgirl770 2013-02-03 14:15
Great review as always. You put my feeling for this episode into words very nicely. I carry a slight concern that the whole "Batcave" concept is adding more plot to an already packed season, what with the tablets AND the whole Castiel/Heaven conspiracy mystery, but you pointed out a couple of ways the writers could dovetail it all together, so thanks for that!

The ending scene - so moving. I think the whole Legacy idea really spoke to Sam, and will hopefully be the thing the recharges his hunting spirit (as being in Purgatory did with Dean). Loved that they worked together and no rehashing of their grievances. Also, the actor who played Henry did a great job, I thought, portraying the character's realizations of all that he had inadvertently done, and learning to appreciate that hunter's are not in fact apes, but heroes.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-02-03 14:54
Quote:
I felt him defending the memory of a man, that sometimes he couldn’t even defend himself.
Yes, and what a beautifully-wor ded way of putting it.

Thanks for a lovely review. :)
ryder21
# ryder21 2013-02-03 16:21
As always sweetondean, an insightful and entertaining review. I love the way you love this show, it always makes me smile along with you. :lol:

I am thoroughly enjoying season 8 so far and this is just another gem to add to my stash.

Quote:
I love that the Winchesters were the brains and the Campbells were the brawn. I love that, because it’s Sam and Dean (though they both have brains and brawn really). Sam’s all let’s find out what we need I’m going to look it up, Dean’s all tell me what I need so I can go stab it in the face. Even in this episode, when Dean used the comic-book chick’s computer, he handed it straight to Sam (while Dean gave the chick the silent how you doin’! Bless his flirty heart).
I love my boys and they are quite different individuals with a natural tendency, while Sam likes to ponder and research, Dean is all bluster and action. That is not to say, as we all know, that each is not apt in the other field, Sam is extremely capable at hand to hand, and Dean can research with the best of them and often devises exceedingly strategic plans. But they both have , and I am so glad that Sam can now realize that he had a deeper connection to his family and the past through the Winchester side.

Dean has his favourite gun back! I have read a bit of disbelief about this in comments but it makes sense to me. When Charlie stabbed the book in LARP Boltars sword turned back into a prop, so it figures that the feathers would turn back into the boys guns.

Bring on the 'batcave', I am so excited. How long till the next episode?????
P.S. Love the screen caps as always, especially the last ones. Very pretty.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-02-03 18:54
Hey, it just occurred to me -

• Henry Winchester died in Sam’s arms
• Sam shot Samuel Campbell (justifiable but still…)
• Sam finds his father John dead on the hospital room floor
• Sam’s mother dies in his nursery (not his fault but still…)
• How many times has Dean died around Sam?

Being related to Sam Winchester is bad for your health
Grace232
# Grace232 2013-02-04 04:03
Have I mentioned I love this episode? Hey - question - I think the music playing while Henry is dying is the same music that played when Sam was dying in Dean's arms at the end of All Hell Breaks Loose Part 1. Anyone know if I am right?
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-02-04 08:50
Thanks for the great review. I agree, this episode brings up so many interesting threads, I just can't wait to see where we go with it.

Quote:
It’s interesting that Sam wanted to go to college and leave hunting, making him more like the Winchesters than he could ever have known, hungry for knowledge, with a love of books. He’s been likened to John because of his focus on the job above all else. Dean called him out on it in “Jump the Shark”, when he said Sam was more like John than Dean would ever be, but little did they know, he was like a Winchester of the past. Maybe that makes Dean more like Mary and the Campbells. Being the caretaker, the “mother” in the family, raising Sam, making sure his family was looked after, being the peacemaker between his brother and father when they butted heads, being happy to do the fighting and let someone else do the research. There was definitely a picture being painted of the two families that splashed more colour onto the boys in this episode. Even I feel like I have a little better understanding of the brothers and their place in their families, through this reveal of new history.
Absolutely, that is the perfect way to see things.

On closing, loved seeing both boys asleep on their beds. Man, Jared is so tall, his feet stick out. :lol: Thanks for those beautiful screenshots. I swear, you gals have better pictures on this site than the calendars put out by Creation Entertainment. Maybe they should hire one of you for that! ;-)
ryder21
# ryder21 2013-02-13 06:23
I don't know if I'm repeating the obvious here, but did anyone else notice that the motivational poster from this episode, where Sam is in front of Larry's house, this exactly the same scene from Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.
Just thought this was interesting.
Yea Season 9 :lol: