Recap: Supernatural, Episode 8.12 – As Time Goes By


It’s 1958 in Normal, Illinois and a well dressed man kisses his son goodnight as he heads to some sort of secret organization. His name’s Henry and he’s there for some sort of meeting when he suddenly hears screams come from a room. He hurries in to find a woman, Josie, possessed and attacking the other men in the room. One of them hands him a box and says not to let Abaddon get it.

Henry runs out and into another room down the hall where he mixes together a feather and some other ingredients, includes some of his blood and uses it to draw a symbol on a nearby door. He begins to recite something, he opens it and he comes flying out into Sam and Dean’s motel room.

Henry immediately asks which of them is John Winchester. The Bros of course think this guy is highly suspicious. They try to handcuff him, but he’s quicker and manages to run out of the room. He realizes it’s 2013. (“I guess the Mayans were wrong.”)

The Bros take him back into the room and while questioning him, Dean lets slip that John is their father. Suddenly Josie pops out of the closet too and the Bros see she is a demon. Dean stabs her, but it doesn’t work. They hurry away in the Impala.


They stop near the river and Henry quickly hops out to throw up. After he’s calmed down, he explains that JosieAbaddon’s from hell and that he’s from 1958 Normal, Illinois.

The Bros tell him that he can’t see John because he’s dead. But what’s it to him anyway? I’m his father, Henry says.

They go to a diner to have some dinner. Sam tries to get Dean to be a little more receptive of their grandfather, but Dean reminds Sam that Papa Winchester hated “that son of a bitch” for having abandoned him.

They rejoin Grandpa Henry at the table and he explains the portal he had conjured up leads to a blood relation or next of kin. He says he used some ingredients, a spell and tapped the power of his soul to create the portal. The Bros are surprised. Only angels could use the power of their souls.

Henry goes on to explain that he and his father and grandfather were Men of Letters and that Sam and Dean are supposed to be Legacies. He takes them to headquarters, or at least, where HQ is supposed to be. Before walking in, he tells them as Legacies, they should have continued on the Men of Letters’ responsibilities as the “beholders” who chronicle all things men don’t understand and only share their findings with a few trusted hunters who do the rest.

They eventually track down one of Henry’s old mentors, one of the elders of the organization, Larry who has assumed another man’s identity to keep Abaddon from finding him.

The Bros and Grandpa head to a motel for the night. He hums the tune of “As Time Goes By” and Dean vaguely recognizes it. Sam says Papa Winchester used to hum it too. Henry explains he had bought a music box for John that played the tune after he got scared of an Abbott and Costello movie.

Henry then explains that Abaddon is one of the first born demons, very pure, thus very strong, but likely the last of her kind.


The Bros show Henry the all-important journal kept by Papa Winchester. Henry says he was going to start journaling his experiences too after he officially became one of the Men of Letters. In fact, he had ordered one before that night. And it turns out, it is that journal that Papa John had used all this time.

Henry realizes that he might not make it back to 1958. The Bros explain to him that Papa Winchester had thought his father ran out of him. Henry is shocked and upset as the Bros tell him about the life John lived.

Dean says Henry had a responsibility to his family, not some “glorified book club.” I was a legacy, I had no choice, Henry says. Sam gives Dean a I think we know how you feel look, but Dean walks out.

Henry spends the night looking through the journal and decides to go out on his own before the Bros wake up the next morning. Dean goes looking for him while Sam goes to Larry.

Larry tells Sam how Abaddon had blinded him that night and is even lucky to have survived. He tells Sam that the key in the box (that Henry has) opens the door to every object and spell ever collected by the Men of Letters. “The Supernatural Mother Lode!”

Larry gives Sam the coordinates to the place, but advises him to go there, throw in the key and shut the door forever. Just walk away. It is the safest place on Earth to ward against any evil ever created and can only be opened with that key. But all that knowledge would be lost, Sam says. Larry replies that it’s the price to pay to keep the stuff from Abaddon. Unfortunately, Abaddon has possessed Larry’s wife and she kills him while knocking Sam unconscious.

Meanwhile, Dean finds Henry who is about to attempt to head back to 1958 to stop Abaddon from ever being able to get into the Men of Letters headquarters, let alone leaving John father-less. Dean tries to convince him that it’s a bad idea just as Abaddon calls wanting to trade Sam for Henry and the key.

Henry insists on going back in time, but Dean knocks him out and they drive to the meeting point. When Henry wakes up in the Impala, Dean tells him about being helpless when Papa Winchester died. He doesn’t want that to happen to Sam too. If he has a chance to save his brother, he’ll take it.


They arrive at the meeting point and they seem to make an even exchange with Abaddon, but she closes the door and keeps them in. She reaches into Henry, but he takes a gun and shoots her under the chin. She gets stuck. Turns out he had carved a devil’s trap on the bullet and it’s now stuck in her skull. Dean chops her head off and says they’ll cut her up and bury the pieces in cement without her ever being able to smoke her way into another vessel.

Henry is dying and apologizes for having judged them earlier for being dirty, uncivilized hunters. He should’ve known better since they are Winchesters. And as long as Winchesters are alive, there’s always hope. He didn’t know his son as a grown man, but by meeting John’s sons, he knows he would’ve been proud of him.

Winchester Bros Emo Moment of the Week
Sam and Dean bury their grandfather and reflect on their crazy family tree.


Episode Thoughts
Definitely nice to see an unexpected, but interesting look at the Winchester side of the family after meeting a lot of the Campbells in the past. I think Gil McKinney did a good job as Grandpa, though he’ll always be the teacher’s assistant Julie Taylor hooked up with on Friday Night Lights.

It looks like we have the big driver of the 2nd half of the season, I would assume. Just what does the Supernatural Mother Lode of magical stuffs hold?

I must say it was both fun and weird to see those first season scenes next to more recent clips. Supernatural has evolved so much (I’ll refrain from using “grown” so easily.) since it premiered. Who ever expected the stories the show would eventually tell? Seeing shorter haired Sam getting pulled by Dean out of Stanford, seeing scenes of Mama Winchester on the ceiling again, it feels so long ago.

Miss the episode or want to watch it again?
Download full episodes of Supernatural on
Supernatural - Season 8.

Also get Season 7 on Blu-ray and DVD at

0 thoughts on “Recap: Supernatural, Episode 8.12 – As Time Goes By

Share your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top