I can honestly say that there wasn’t one thing about this episode I didn’t like. Not. One. Thing. And now I want to go watch The Untouchables again because that movie is just awesome. Yes. It indeed fills me with awe. *wink*
Not that I wouldn’t have minded some classic rock, or to have the Impala back, or didn’t have to hand-wave things or any of that, but this episode was fantastic, entertaining, and one of the more well-paced, non-arc-driven ones they’ve had yet this season. It was one of those episodes that if someone found out this show won Best Drama on the People’s Choice Awards and wanted to check it out, you’d want them to watch. I just thought it was fun fun fun, ya’ll!
BUT! This Ramble is still an ‘all are welcome’ safety zone, so don’t feel obligated to agree. Share with me your thoughts – just beware: squee ahead.
I missed the THEN because of some sort of weird technical glitch, but you can probably fill in the blanks of ‘here’s all the stuff from before we think you need to know before you watch tonight.’ They used one of my favorite storytelling techniques with this episode: start in the middle, then go back to show how you got there, then keep going to show what happens next.
Not only is it a nice teaser, it gets you right into the action straight away – and instead of setting the stage with the Bad Guy or MotW killing Nameless Innocent Victim, we get to see the boys mixed up in all the ruckus. I dig it.
So, it’s night and the boys are in a random car – not the Skylark from last episode, which is too bad, because I could almost get used to that until Baby gets back – and they’re staking out a house. A man in a fedora and long overcoat leaves the house and Dean immediately grabs up his gun.
Dean: Okay. Let’s do this. We gotta be fast.
Sam: Wait, wait – what’s the plan exactly?
Dean: Don’t die.
I had the weirdest sense of déjà vu when he said that – thinking I might’ve seen a spoiler or something without realizing it, until I remembered I had Sam say, “We just try not to die,” in response to the, “What is it you guys do, exactly” question in my story, Sense. So I got a kick out of that line.
They get out of the car and follow Hat Man as he heads down an alley – toward downtown, apparently, according to Sam. Dean tells Sam to take the street and he’ll take the alley and they’ll meet in the middle. Dean hurries around a corner and sees Hat Man doing some red light mojo on a homeless person. Muttering his trademark, “Son of a….” he finds another gear and rushes the Hat Man, slamming into him just as the red light seems to surround them both.
Sam comes around his own corner just in time to see Dean running. He calls out his brother’s name, but Dean’s already moving too fast. Sam sees Dean crash into Hat Man, sees the red light more or less explode and then air rushes at him, forcing him to raise his hands in protection and then…nothing. No Dean, no Hat Man. Just the husk of a homeless person’s body.
Two days earlier….
It’s night. Dean’s on the laptop, the room around him dark, a beer next to him. He’s researching the latest and greatest on Dick Roman. Sam’s asleep on a bed across the room. A cell phone rings and Sam stirs, waking slowly, sitting up and looking at Dean with a full-on Grumpy Face. It looks like they’re in some kind of abandoned house judging by the condition of the roughed up fridge behind Dean and the bare mattress Sam is sleeping on.
But, they have power, so…maybe a hot-wired, abandoned house.
Dean: Don’t give me that dirty diaper look. I ain’t calling you.
I’m gonna pause right there and say that even though they are only physically together for about 30% of this episode, this is the most together I’ve seen our boys in awhile. They act like real brothers – not like protector and protected, or even co-workers who have no choice but to stay near each other out of self-preservation. They kid each other, work with each other, and figure out ways to communicate only they would ‘get.’ It was both really nice to see…and left me rubbing my heart a bit. Sometimes they make me really miss my family...crazy as my family is.
Sam answers his phone – it’s Sheriff Jodi Mills. She’s in her police car somewhere where it’s raining and tells them that there’s a body in Canton, OH, and it smells like their thing. Okay, I haven’t taken time to look it up – since I just turned off my TV about 10 mins ago to sit down and write this – but there is something in the back of my head about Canton, OH. Another episode maybe? If it sounds familiar to any of you who have much better memories than me, please help a gal out. Or it could be story research crossing wires with real life, in which case, totally ignore me.
Mills tells Sam that the body was a perfectly normal grad student names Charles Durham (I think) before he went missing and then turned up as a mummy…minus the wrapping. It’s the second body in Canton like that in a couple of weeks.
Mills: Sound like a song you boys tap to?
Sam: Uh, yeah…that’s our kind of number.
Dean watches Sam from behind his laptop, face impassive. Mills tells Sam that she got wind of it because she’s nosy and after everything she’s through and then with Bobby…. Her voice gets thick with emotion when she says his name. I’d been waiting the whole conversation to see if she knew – since they’d never said if they called Bobby’s peeps, I was worried she didn’t. The sound of her voice saying Bobby’s name like that made my eyes well. Other people’s pain is sometimes more poignant than my own.
Sam tells her they’ll look into it, hangs up, then looks up at Dean saying that it was Sheriff Mills and she caught them one.Dean (deadpanned): Aw, now I feel bad. We didn’t get her anything.
Ha! He makes me smile even when he’s snarky.
Sam (registering what Dean is doing for the first time): I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I hope you’re watching cartoon smut because reading Dick Roman crap over and over is just self punishment.
Dean opens his mouth to argue, looks askance, then closes the laptop. Leveling his eyes at his brother he replies in all seriousness, “It’s called Anime. And it’s an art form.”
Sam’s like, uh huh.
In same said random car from the first scene, the boys pull up to another abandoned house, chain link fence surrounding it, and a sign saying it was up for auction. They’re dressed in suits – already ready already to do this investigating thing – and decided this place looks as good as any. They go around back to check it out. I really like that they’re showing them more and more staying off the grid, finding different hovels to set up shop – not staying in hotels over and over.
Dean’s hauling a beat-up, round table to a center room and Sam’s coming down the stairs carrying a chair. He tells Dean that there’s one “semi-functioning” bathroom and one un-rancid bedroom. I think that's what he called it, anyway. I couldn’t quite figure out the words, but I think he meant that the bedroom was away from the bathroom. Regardless, it was desirable.
Dean: Define ‘semi-functioning’ and don’t use the words ‘hole in the floor.’
Sam tries. Can’t. Then assumes the position for rock/paper/scissors. *love* Sam wins and unrolls his bedroll in the bedroom they were competing for. Dean walks in all…pouty, his backpack hanging loosely from his fingers, his face down trodden. Sam ignores him, clearly very happy with his spoils of ‘war.’
Dean: How does paper beat rock? It’s stupid.
*laugh* I love it. Especially because my five year old has asked the same question of me before and my only answer is, “Because it does.”
With their living arrangements handled, they start investigating, clad in suits and heavy overcoats, take-out coffee in hand. They’re out in front of the a house of a guy who witnessed the attack of the mummified grad student and Sam’s catching Dean up on what he learned when he got the mummy’s file. Apparently the witness was deemed ‘unreliable’ by the cops. So, the boys go see what they can find out.
The witness, a young Paul Giamatti look-alike, opens the door, a knitted afghan around his shoulders. They flash their badges and Dean introduces them as Agent Smith and Agent Smith…no relation. Nice Die Hard shout-out, there, Dean. Sorta. *grins* The guy asks if they can talk outside because his mom is sleeping. He says they’re just going to laugh at him like the other cops and Dean promises they won’t laugh. Dean gives the guy that tight, c’mon, you can tell me smile that crinkle the edges of his eyes just so. *sighs happily*
The guy is all, okay, why not and tells them that he was on the steps…medicating (which earns him a barely-suppressed eye roll from Dean and a smirk from Sam) and he heard fighting, then saw Durham with some guy dressed like his Grandpa. Sam’s like, come again? Guy says that the man was wearing snappy shoes, a suit, and one of those Justin Timberlake hats.
Sam: A fedora?
Me: JustinTimberlake? Really? Not even Indiana Jones?? Go back to your medicating, man.Guy says that a red energy passed through Durham and into the Hat Guy and that his watch stopped and Durham aged before his eyes and looked like a raisin. The boys thank him for his help and as they turn away Dean’s like, “Wow.” Yeah, no kidding.
Back at the Winchester Temporary HQ, they’re trying to figure out who the Hat Guy is, looking through the files and searching online (and seriously, they have to be wireless hotspot ninjas). Dean cracks a beer and listens as Sam calls out a history of weird bodies in Canton over several decades – random vics, random years, the only commonality is the condition of the bodies and the location. That, and the bodies drop in threes, so there’s still one more victim.
Dean tells Sam to let him drive a sec.
Sam (eyes smiling): You gonna look at more Anime or are you strictly into Dick now?
BWAH! Okay, I’m sorry, but that was funny. *shakes head* Boys.
Dean drops his eyes to the side giving his brother A. Look. Sam’s all smug, and Dean raises his eyebrows all, oh, yeah, smart guy? Then he types “Canton Web Cams” into some search bar and BAM. They have access to all the web cams around the city.
Sam = totally impressed.
Sam: Are those local feeds? How did you do that so fast?Dean sips his beer, suppressing a grin, as he answers. “Little tutorial from Frank. Don’t worry. We’ll pretend this never happened.”
Sam has the grace to look chagrined as Dean finds the cameras around where the first victim was found.
Sam: You need to teach me that trick.
Hee. Love it.
Sam sees something, though, and grabs the laptop, turning it toward him. Dean frowns, drinking his beer.
Dean: You can’t even let me bask in the glory for a second, can you.
Sam: Shut up. Look.
He points out Hat Guy from back in the ‘70’s and then a man caught on the web cam – not only is it the same guy, he hasn’t aged a day. SO…they decide to find out if someone else might still be around from that time who could ID Hat Man – namely the little girl who found the body back in the ‘70’s. She’s still in Canton, working at some place that looks like a nursing home and they show her the picture. She says his name is Mr. Snyder and he lived on her parent’s street.
Now, I will say that I found it interesting that later on we find out this guy only takes these “sacrifices” so that he has control of how he moves through time and so I’m not sure why he’d be hanging around to be photographed near one of his own kills, but I’m sure that could be explained if I wanted to worry about it. Which I don’t, really. Just found it…interesting.
The boys head to the street where Mr. Snyder lived back in the ‘70’s and stake out the place, eating fast food in the car.
Dean: What do you think this is, a vamp that got too sucky?
Sam: Nope. Coroner’s report says there was blood in the bodies. 300 year old blood, but…blood.
Just then, Snyder heads out of the house and we’re back at the start of the episode with the chase, the tackle, and Dean disappearing in a ball of red light, only this time we follow Dean through the light. He’s rattled from the tackle-slash-time-travel and manages to grab the guy’s hand, seeing a ring with what looks like the Infinity symbol on it before the guy gets away. Dean stumbles to his feet, pulling his weapon and follows the guy…skidding to a stop when the alley empties into a circa 1940’s street.Whoops.
Two cops jump out, tell him to drop his gun, which Dean does, looking around with an expression of pure what…the…hell…on his face.
Another pause here to say that I thought the whole 1940’s “set” to be fantastic. They never showed too much to bring us out of that time. Cars, bystander dress, music, stenciling on the business signs and windows, décor...it all looked like something out of The Winds of War. I grew up on John Wayne and WWII movies. And while I’m not a ‘historian’ by any means, I’ve seen enough to appreciate keeping your audience in the moment of a period story. The time travel was really well done. I liked it.
Dean’s in the basement of (presumably) a police station, old cuffs on his wrists that I imagine would probably be harder to pick than the modern-day ones. A cop is sitting across from him, going through his possessions – knife, wallet, ‘badge,’ cell phone – and eyeing him suspiciously. Dean tries to say something and the cop interrupts him.
Cop: If you tell me you’re from the Bureau one more time, I’m gonna air you out myself, got it?
The cop opens Dean’s cell and it beeps, surprising him, then he reads ‘no signal.’
Copy: You some kind of Gerry spy?
Dean: Jerry who?Cop gives him a hard time about his ‘fake’ FBI badge since it’s issued 68 years from now. Dean starts to do the math – using his fingers, which I was having to do myself as math (even this simple) has never been my strong suit…ask anyone – and blurts out, “I’m stuck in 1944?!”
The cop is like, “We’re all ‘stuck’ in 1944,” and just then the door behind them opens and a man walks in – obviously important judging by the way the cop starts to straighten his uniform and put on his hat. The cop stands and the man tells him to “take a powder” and the cop leaves. The man’s dressed in an overcoat and fedora, his face in shadow and Dean’s watching him carefully.
Dean: I don’t like freakin’ sauerkraut, so you can skip past the—
Man: What happened in the alley? Paint me a real picture.
Dean (frowning, cautious, then rolling his head): Allright, well, I’m 12 Monkey’d no matter what I say, so here goes. (leaning forward so his face is lit) I was chasing this dude I’d just seen mummify a guy. So, I jump him. He lights up red. Poof. We’re in 1944.
The man sits down and takes off his hat, sets it carefully next to him, then settles back against his chair. I knew from the previews who he was going to be, of course, but I couldn’t help a gleeful cry of, “Krycek!” They’ve now had Mr. X (Stephen Williams) and Krycek (Nicholas Lea)…too bad Cancer Man wasn’t one of the Four Horsemen. That would have been cool. Also? Thought it a bit fitting to have an X-files alum on the episode that aired on Kim Manners’ birthday.
In his best ‘Chicago’ accent, the man demands Dean tell him more about the red light.
Dean (eyebrows up, taken aback): Are you seriously asking—
Man: You want out of this jail, you’re going to tell me everything you can about that man. And this…so-called light.
Dean (slowly): Okay. I saw it. And then we were here.
Man: Would you say that it was all around you? Or that it came…from inside this fella?
Dean (incredulous): You believe me. (realization taking hold, turning his face from disbelieving to relieved to almost triumphant) You’re a hunter.
Man (shifting uncomfortably in his chair): I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Dean (leaning forward, warming to the subject): Demons. Ghosts. Shifters. I’ve killed them all. You’re the same. Just 68 years before me.
The man is watching him carefully. Suddenly, he sticks his hand out with a soft exhale.
Man: Your name is?
Dean (reaching for his hand – awkwardly, due to the cuffs): Dean. Winchester.
Man: Ness. Elliott Ness.Dean = No. Effing. Way.
Back in the present, Sam is making a Mummy Wall O’Weird in the Winchester Temporary HQ, tagging years to the pics of the dead people. His phone rings – Sam crosses the room fast, instantly thinking it’s Dean. It’s Jodi Mills. She wants to know where Dean is once she hears the tension in Sam's voice when he says his brother's name by way of greeting.
Sam (sounding like a scared, frustrated little brother): The thing that’s been mummifying people took him in a friggin’ ball of red light and disappeared.
Mills: You guys get that a lot?
Sam: Yeah. More than most people.
Mills wants to help, so Sam asks her how she feels about driving and carrying boxes leaving me with a big buzzuhh? He’s so clever, our Sammy. I totally didn’t see where he was going until he was already there. *love it*
Back in ’44, Dean is out of cuffs, but still in the basement interrogation room. Ness comes in with a folder and suddenly Dean goes a full-on fanboy, complete with huge grin and hand waving (literal hand waving, not the kind I do to make a plot work...but you knew that).
Dean: The Untouchables is one of my most favorite movies ever. I must have seen that thing like…50 times.
(Me too, Dean. And I quote it. A lot. Plus? Always loved that scene in the train station where Andy Garcia stops the baby carriage and still manages to keep his gun trained on the bad guy holding onto the bookkeeper. Now that’s awesome.)
Ness is all…what? Seen it? I’m in a…?
Dean: You don’t even know. I mean, you are like (makes hand gesture to demonstrate an explosion).
Ness: Wait. Wait. Slow down…time travel. Is that something that happens a lot in the future?
Dean: It’s not normally on the menu (aside - unless your best friend is an angel). Trust me, I’m as surprised as you are that I’m here.
Ness: We’re hunting the same thing…just in different centuries.
He shows Dean a file and tells him some of the facts of who the Hat Man killed in Canton in 1944. Dean scans the file, muttering, “Awesome.”
Ness (frowning): How does that fill you with awe?
For a moment, he sounds so much like Cas I had to smile. Dean just looks at him, puzzled as to how to respond.
Ness: Look, Dean, it kills—
Dean: In three’s.
Ness: -- in three’s.
Dean (shrugging): You already know that.
Ness is like, two down. So, they’re in the same sitch in ’44 and 2012. Which is still interesting considering why the sacrifices are being made…if the god is just trying to get back to 1944 over and over, why is he also taking sacrifices in that time? *stops worrying about it*
Ness watches Dean read the file. Dean looks up, questions plain in his eyes. Ness stands, declares Dean is coming with him and Dean can’t quite wipe the grin off his face. He’s literally giddy to be hunting with Elliott Freakin’ Ness. *grins just thinking about it*Dean: Does this mean I’m an Untouchable now?
Ness: Means we gotta get you some new clothes. You look like some kind of…”something” stiff.I didn’t get it. Apparently Dean didn’t get it either because he frowns, mumbles a bit, then says, “Stiff…wha?” before following Ness out of the room. They head to a store where a solidly-built, older, red-headed woman is mending some pants. We’re looking from the inside out, watching as Dean gapes at the storefront and utterly forties-ish environment. Ness grabs his shoulder and hauls him into the store. Without turning around, the woman says, “What’s the rumpus, Elliott.”
Ness introduces Dean to her – Ezra Moore…who thinks Dean looks like “some farmer clown.”
Ness (totally serious): He’s from the future.
Dean (grinning): Gas costs $4. You can get cheese out of a spray can. President is a black guy. I could go on.
Ezra: Ain’t we impressed. You need some new clothes.
Back in 2012, Sherriff Mills is hauling two boxes into Winchester Temporary HQ. Sam tries to take them from her to help, but she tells him to go get the other 20 in her truck. Setting the boxes down on the floor she says that Bobby might have had a slight hoarding issue; she could barely get the door open in the storage locker.
Me: Oh! Sammy, you’re a GENIUS!
(Hey…it’s been a long week…go easy on a gal.)
She tells Sam to be careful because she’s pretty sure something’s alive in at least three of the boxes. Sam nods and leaves to get more boxes – and total aside, but I have to mention this because I so rarely do, the way the light hit Sam’s eyes in that scene was perfect. I don’t often notice how pretty his eyes are, but they are really quite pretty. If he could just reduce the sideburns a smidge, I might see his eyes more. What? I’m just sayin’!
Back in ’44….
Sharp. Dressed. Man.
Good Lord, Dean in that dark blue, perfectly tailor for his body, zoot suit…. Even Ness whistled. I’m not kidding! He did!
Dean catches his reflection in the mirror as Ezra is adjusting the fit and grins at himself.
Ezra: Awesome? This some religious nut?
Ness (sitting in the back, reading the paper and watching): No. He just…likes saying that.
Ezra: What bucket of syrup did you two idjits step into?
Dean looks down, chuckling softly…his shoulders curving in slightly.
Ezra: Something funny, sweetheart?Dean (softly, looking up slowly): No. You just…kinda remind me of someone.
And that’s what I meant last week. This loss isn’t one of those purged by a harsh, immediate release of emotion. It’s a slow leak, a wince, a chuckle, a sigh as little things remind them.
Ness: Ezra, we need your help. We’re hunting a time traveler.
And then there's this cool weave of time as the different teams of hunters and helpers research and come to the same conclusions. Sam and Jodi Mills at Winchester Temporary HQ in 2012 – Ness, Ezra, and Dean in Ezra’s shop back in ’44. Ezra and Mills find a picture of the ring with the infinity symbol on it, both sides identifying it as the mark of Chronos, the god of time.
Sam to Mills: With the old gods, they were sort of invincible, but got their mojo from worshipers – people feeding them.
Mills: These days…not so much.Sam: They make up for the lack of power by being twice as pissed off and a lot more…hands-on.
In ’44, Ezra concludes that Chornos is killing folks for “time juice.” Listening, Dean picks up a 40’s era flask and puts it in his pocket, asking how he’s gonna ride Chronos back to 2012. Ezra’s like, “He could grab you, if you don’t mind him using you for gasoline.”
In 2012, Mills asks how they are going to get Dean back or find Chronos.
Sam: Find a way to summon a god…?
In ’44, Dean’s checking a flashlight to make sure it works – couldn’t tell if it was maybe one he brought with him or one from the era – while Ness is saying they should stick with what they know and tells Ezra to find a way to kill a god. Ezra’s like, sure, no problem, come back in a few hours. I want someone like that in my life. Seriously. Hi, person, I have this totally impossible problem that has to be fixed or the world could end. Oh, okay, come back in a few hours. I gotcha covered.
Ness to Dean: You said you found his house. Let’s go see if it’s been built yet. (puts on his gloves, looking serious) I’m gonna kill that bastard because that –
Dean (sliding on a gray Fedora…yum): It's the Chicago way.
He does a decent Connery…Anthony DiNozzo’s may have been a smidge better. *grins*
Everyone stops, staring at him. Dean tries to hold the tough-guy expression as Ezra asks, puzzled, “Chicago way?”
Ness: Who talks like that?
Dean (losing confidence, but holding the expression): Sean Connery.
Ness looks at him a moment longer, then walks off. Huffing and rolling his neck, Dean goes over to Ezra and lets her help him shrug into his overcoat, muttering, “I’m never watching that movie again.”
Aw, Dean. Don’t give up on the movie! C’mon! Did he sound anything like that? What are you prepared to do? You’re not from Chicago. There are so many awesome lines! *laugh*
They find Snyder’s house. Dean peeks in the window at the top of the door, his muffled voice saying it looks empty. He asks Ness if he has a lock pick. Ness is like, yeah, then BAM! Kicks the door in. Dean blinks after him for a moment, then hurries in after, his pearl-handled Colt drawn. They look around the living room, Ness wondering aloud, “Where’s he getting all the lettuce to support this?”
Dean finds a ledger with racing stats.
Dean: He’s using the Biff strategy. (HEE!)
Ness is like, huh? But Dean continues quickly.
Dean: Chronos is betting on races he already knows the outcome of.
They see the letters L.Y. in the ledger and Ness knows that’s the name of a bookie. Or the guy who places the bets for the bookies. I couldn’t figure that part out, but the bottom line was, they grabbed Lester because he could lead them to Snyder/Chronos. They haul Lester into the basement interrogation room, but Lester’s no stoolie, see. He ain’t talking.
Dean cracks him a good one across the jaw, sending Lester sprawling from the chair. Ness gives Dean a mildly disapproving look.
Dean: What? I learned it from watching you.
(That reminded me of this really bad anti-drug commercial from the ‘80s, but I digress….)
Ness uses that, though, in this really awesome (Sorry! But it was!) tag-team, good-cop/bad-cop questioning style. As Dean steps back and removes his overcoat and suit jacket, starting to roll up his sleeves (and OMG that shoulder holster…crimeny, he needs to go back to the ‘40’s more often…I just wanted to pause my TV…), Ness rests his hip on the table and leans close to Lester and talks to him almost sympathetically, saying he seems like a nice guy, and he wants to help him, but his partner (looking at Dean) just got back from the war.Ness: He spent the last two years kicking in Nazi skulls and if he doesn’t kick in a skull every few days…he gets a little touchy.
Dean (not missing a beat): Lester. Is that a German name?
Lester (appropriately freaked out) says that he cut Snyder off from payment because the guy creeped him out, but when Dean steps in kind of threateningly, Lester says they could find Snyder at a diner called the Early Bird.Back in 2012, Sam is reading by halogen lamplight, Mills reading behind him. He sits back with a frustrated, “Dammit,” just as she sits forward, declaring, “This is it!”
Sam: Okay, yours sounds better. You first.
HA! That was funny. I liked them working together. I like her, period.
Mills tells him that she found out that people can summon Chronos to get him to tell their future. Sam says he has the spell to do it. She’s all, why the dammit, and he says that the problem isn’t summoning the god – it’s making sure Dean is right there when they do it.
Mills: We have to get the time right or we get an angry god, but no big brother.
Sam: And he’s trapped there forever.
This is really small, but…I kinda liked how she referred to Dean as a “big brother.” Partly because she was working with Sam, but also because it identified him as something other than a hunter. He’s Sam’s big brother. And that’s the biggest reason to get him back. Y’know?
Sam leans back, frustrated, and just then Mills finds a bottle in one of the boxes – a note wrapped around it. She reads the note aloud.
“Fine, you ass. You win for once. Enjoy. – R.”
She asks Sam who ‘R’ is and he says (with a small, sad smile) that it’s Rufus. A family friend. *rubs heart* He wonders aloud what they were betting on.
Mills: Whatever it was, Rufus sure was a sore loser.
Sam (looking sad): Yeah.
Mills (her voice tight with emotion): It’s weird, huh? Like their life’s a big puzzle, and we just keep finding pieces of it scattered all over the place. We should drink this. He’d want us to.
Sam (listening quietly to her tight grief): It would be rude not to.
*rubs heart* Gah, this show. Seriously.In ’44, Ness and Dean are sitting in a car, staking out the diner. They see Snyder/Chronos in there and Ness thinks he looks a bit puny for a god. Ness takes out a flask and sips. He offers it to Dean, but instead of taking a drink – did you notice? No drink – Dean says he thought Ness was Mr. Boy Scout.
Ness (grinning): Why do you think I went after Capone in the first place? Guy had the best hooch in Chicago.
Ha! Totally made me think of Ness’s parting line in The Untouchables when asked what he’d do if Prohibition got overturned – “Have a drink.”
Dean: Who died in your life to make you a hunter?Ness: Nobody died, you morbid son of a bitch. I stared doing this because vamps were turning folks in Cleveland.
Okay, funny. Literally just last Ramble I talked with several peeps about how it would be nice for the writers to pick a different reason for someone to get into hunting other than seeing a loved one ripped to shreds and voila! This time, you guys, let’s talk about getting the Impala back! *wink*
Dean’s watching Ness talk (and…YUM…those profile shots…seriously) and surmises that’s when he got the hunting ‘bug.’Ness: Sometimes you just want to punch through the red tape with a silver bullet. Hunting sets me free. That why you do it?
Dean (pensive): Used to do it ‘cause that’s what my family did. (softer) But they just seem to keep dying. Tell you the truth…I don’t know why I’m doing much of anything anymore.
Ness: Boo-hoo! Cry me a river, you Nancy. All hunters as soft as you in the future?As Dean gives Ness this side-long WTF glance, I swear I heard some of fandom groan out loud because once more Dean gets the ‘boo-hoo’ speech when he exposes a piece of his heart. And, yeah, maybe the writers are trying to hammer a point home or maybe there’s a legitimate argument that they need to allow Dean a moment to just break down for Pete’s sake. But, in this situation, I thought it worked. And I’ll tell you why.
Ness: 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. ‘Cause hunting’s the only clarity you’re gonna find in this life. That makes you luckier than most.
Okay, so…let’s consider who Dean exposed that little corner of his heart to – a lawman in the ‘40’s who has experienced his own losses of friends and loved ones and has hardened himself against letting those feelings get in the way of his job and who knows literally nothing about what Dean’s been through and survived. His response to Dean’s inadvertent admission was totally in line with the time and character (as I know it, and as they show it) of Ness.
But, now Dean’s had the “smile because it’s your job” speech and the “at least you’re making a difference” speech. I have to think that the writers are grooming him to be able to withstand something big coming up. Something that he’ll have to handle on his own – maybe Sam losing his grip on his hallucinations at a really inopportune time, or something. I don’t know – I’m unspoiled and want to stay that way, but all I can think is that this is the writer’s way of pushing Dean past his pain and grief. Not allowing him to work through it, but rather forcing him over it so that he can handle what comes on the other side.
In real life, I’d wonder when the pain he’s leaping over will steam roll back across him – because in real life? It always does. But in Supernatural, I gotta wonder. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Dean really be allowed to cry.
Also, what Ness said about clarity gave me pause. Ness likes it because (as I see it) he’s in the John Winchester frame of mind when it comes to hunting. Monsters = bad. Bad = kill them. He doesn’t have to deal with the red tape of the law…arresting them, due process, court, all that jazz. If Al Capone had been an actual demon instead of just an evil person, Ness could have killed him (or tried to, you get the picture) and been justified, but as it was he had to be satisfied with jail for tax evasion regardless of how many people – including his friends – the man had killed.
And, yes, I’m aware I’m tangling a real person with Hollywood, but the show did first, so I’m just following their lead. Hush.
In Dean and Sam’s world, the monsters haven’t always been evil. It’s not as black and white as Ness suggested, not always. Lenore, Casey, Castiel, Crowley, even Chronos, if you think about it. But…with the evolution of the Levi’s into the storyline and the obsession Dean has with getting Dick Roman, I wonder if he’s starting to regain his ‘clarity’ about hunting.
In any case, the message that Dean seems to be getting from multiple sources and across the centuries is “keep hunting.” Find a reason to stay in the game, accept your losses, and push on. Not really sure how I feel about that, to be honest. It requires more thought. And more viewing of episodes.
After Ness’ speech, a pretty blonde woman leaves the diner and the two men watch her appreciatively as she walks past the car.
Ness: Hello, Nurse.
Dean = grin.
And then Chronos leaves the diner and when he passes their car, they get out, Ness popping the trunk and revealing a cadre of weaponry.
Dean: Sweet merciful awesome.
*Adds to list of favorite Deanisms*
The music is really close to the “get the bad guys” music from The Untouchables, too. It was cool.
Loaded for bear, the two man follow Chronos down the alley, and, standing in front of a USO War Bonds poster, they raise their weapons as Chronos catches the woman’s arm…and then kisses her. Dean and Ness look at each other totally confused. Later, under a (rather pretty) fool moon, Dean is waiting in the car on the side of a country road as Ness questions some farmer dude hauling hay about the blonde – I surmised they followed her to a house in the country and stopped the truck to ask who lived at the house. Ness comes back and leans against Dean’s window.
Dean: Talk to me.
Ness: I am.
Dean shakes his head as Ness gives him the skinny on the blonde. Her name is Lila Taylor and supposedly she lives at the house alone. Ness says he’s going to stay at the house to watch and Dean hands him a gun and drives back to Ezra to get the weapon to kill Chronos – which of course she has. A 1,000 year old olive branch, carved by vestal virgins, and dipped in the blood of…something we apparently don’t want to know about.
Ezra says he and Ness owe her and Dean’s like, you can have whatever you want as soon as we gank this thing. However, when she says that he has to stab the god in the heart or he’ll eat Dean for supper, Dean realizes that once he kills Chronos, he’s stuck. Ezra says that 1944 isn’t so bad and Dean grumbles, making a crack about heading to Europe to punch Hitler in the neck. Ezra, getting really close to him and giving him this…look…tells him that there are ways to pass the time.
And then she kisses him full on the mouth. Sure she’s old enough to be his mother, but who can blame her? He’s totally caught off guard, eyebrows up, gaping at her as she pulls away and wipes her lipstick from his lips, telling him that the kiss was for luck…’cause she’s lucky.
She sure is….
Dean turns away, wiping a hand subtly across his lips, then puts on his fedora with a swish across the brim that would make Neal Caffrey proud. Just then, he sees a stack of envelopes on the counter and his eyes light up. Grinning, he says, “Back to the Future, 3,” then turns to Ezra and asks for some paper.
Back at Lila’s house, Ness is watching but totally gets jumped by Chronos. Aw, Don’t feel bad, Elliott. He’s a god. What can you do?
They fight and for a ‘puny’ guy, Chronos is bad. ass. He totally kicks Ness through the wall of the barn – but before he can finish him off, Lila steps out saying he can’t take the trash out without the trash. Silly. She calls him "Ethan" – wonder if that was Snyder’s first name. I don’t think we ever find out. Anyway, he’s distracted by Lila and when he turns back, Ness is gone.
Back inside, Lila is winding a grandfather clock. “Ethan” tells her to pack a bag – she’s always wanted to see where go goes, so he’s taking her. Tonight. Now. He scares her a bit, but insists she pack a bag and go.
In town, meanwhile, Dean has found the house that in 68 years will be the Winchester Temporary HQ. In 1944, it’s a really pretty, very cool house. He goes up to the door and an old guy answers. Dean ID’s himself as Agent Costner (HA!) and fumbles a bit saying he’s from the Department of Homeland Termite Invasion and he needs to inspect the perimeter to make sure it’s secure. The old guy lets him in…so trusting back then, eh?Dean heads upstairs to the bedroom that Sam will win by rock/paper/scissors in 2012, pushes the bed away the bed from the wall, eyeballs where he saw Sam’s bedroll laid out and lies down. The old guy comes in all, everything okay? Dean says it is and he’s going to install something that will protect this house forever.
In 2012, Jodi Mills comes in with coffee and sees Sam basically passed out, head down on the table. She wakes him, tells him he’s toast and to go get some shut eye, she’ll take over. She even threatens to use her “mom voice.”
Seriously love this woman. Hear that, Show? Please do not be killing off Sherriff Jodi Mills? Okay??
Sam heads upstairs – obviously fearing the ‘mom voice’…I know mine is pretty scary – and literally flops down on his bedroll. He kinda twists and turns a bit, trying to get comfy, and then suddenly sees something, zeroing in. It’s his name, carved into a piece of the baseboard, right at his eyeline.
Even though I totally knew that was coming, it was still kinda freaky-slash-cool when Sam saw his name in this totally random house. I thought it was a cool trick when they did it in the movie Frequency, too.
Using the camping light, he scrambles across the room, pries off the painted-over baseboard, and pulls out a 68 year old letter. He runs downstairs and Mills stands up, hands on her hips, but doesn’t get out more than, All right, young man, before Sam – with this incredibly, adorable, heart-warming grin – shoves the letter at her and demand she read.
Obviously it’s from Dean and he’s dated it November 5, 1944. Now, he’s my one teensy, tiny quibble…Dean keeps referencing getting back to 2012, and the letter was dated in November and if I understood it right, they needed to have it be the exact date and time to get Dean back…so now? They’re apparently in our future. It’s November 2012 in their ‘verse. Which isn’t a problem, really. I just always kinda had them jiving with us. Anyway! Moving on.
Sherriff Mills reads the letter out loud while Sam watches her, his grin getting bigger and more adorable as her expression goes from confusion to surprise to incredulity to worry. Sam was pretty darn awesome in this moment – getting this letter through time from his big brother. It seemed to be a little bit hearing from Dean and a little bit, now they can make a plan. I loved it.
Turns out Snyder is Chronos. I rode him to 1944 and am working with Elliott Ness – yes that one. We tracked down Chronos. He’s banging some chic named Lila Taylor. We’ve got a weapon, and we’re going after him. Take care of yourself.”
So, for Sam’s summoning spell to work, they had everything they needed to know except the exact time Dean goes after Chronos -- with that info, they can get him back. They decide to talk to Lila Taylor – who is in a nursing home in Canton. They ID themselves as being with the police and show her a picture of Chronos, asking her if she knows him. After a few confused moments, she tells them that’s Ethan and she hasn’t seen him since the awful night when every clock in her house stopped at 11:34. She tells them that Ethan said awful things and then he strangled that poor man. His face pale, Sam shows her a picture of Dean on an ID card. Lila says that Dean was one of the two policemen who came to arrest Ethan and Ethan “choked the life out of that man.”
Sam looks like Lila punched him in the gut.
Back in 1944, Dean is heading up to Lila’s house, calling for Ness, seeing the evidence of the fight, but no Ness. He picks the lock and lets himself into the house, looking around carefully. He catches sight of shadows moving beneath a door, but before he can look into it, Chronos jumps him from behind, knocks him down and gets a few good punches in.Before Chronos can truly get the best of Dean, Ness suddenly shows up, using Lila as a human shield, his gun trained on her belly. Lila is crying, scared.
In 2012, Sam and Mills have all the ingredients needed to summon Chronos and are hurriedly getting everything in a bowl – and it looks like a lot of stuff, too…including broken light bulbs, what looks almost like vitamins, some of Sam’s blood to write “11:34” on a parchment.
Back in ’44, Ness is saying that Chronos is a monster and Lila wants to know if Ness is right, if “Ethan” really did kill those people. Chronos/Ethan is looking desperately at Lila, while trying to keep an eye on Dean behind him. Dean is on his feet, watching Chronos, waiting for the right moment. Chronos/Ethan yells that he’s not a monster, he’s a god and he had to sacrifice those people so he could control where and when he lands – he always wanted to get back to Lila. He loves Lila.
Ness ain’t buying it – said he killed people long before he ever met her, and Chronos is like, well, yeah, but then after he met her it was all about getting back to her. Ness keeps trying to goad him and Dean is getting closer, the olive branch in his hand, but before he can stab him, Chronos whirls, grabbing Dean – one hand on his throat, the other on his wrist, forcing the olive branch out of his grip and squeezing Dean's throat.
Ness shoots Chronos twice, but the god is strong, ya’ll, and Dean’s face his red, his eyes glassy, and it honestly looks like he’s dying.
Back in 2012, Sam is chanting, then lights the concoction in the bowl on fire, the parchment with “11:34” on it burning.
In 1944, Chronos begins to glow and shifts his grip on Dean so that he’s pulling him close, using Dean as a shield, and Dean’s half gone—out of it. Ness grabs the olive branch, yells, “Hey! Untouchable!” and tosses it to Dean.
I loved him for that. Loved that he gave Dean that one last chance to kill the god and that he called him Untouchable – pulling Dean from his stupor long enough to grab the olive branch.Dean and Chronos are pulled through time, the red blast causing Sam and Sheriff Mills to block their faces. Chronos rolls off of Dean, the olive branch skittering across the floor, but Dean isn’t getting up. Mills yells his name and rushes over to him, kinda half-gathering him up, supporting him as Sam tries to take a swing at Chronos.
The god blocks his swing and tosses Sam back. Chronos turns to Dean, who is barely up and is more or less leaning on Sheriff Mills, and bellows that he destroyed everything. Sam uses the god's distraction and grabs the olive branch, and just as Chronos turns to face him, Sam stabs him in the heart muttering, “Is that the best you got?”
Now, one might wonder how Sam knew how and where to stab the god when Dean had to ask that question of Ezra, but I just skimmed over that because I wanted to.
Sam staggers back, breathing hard and Chronos goes to his knees, the sound of his slowing heartbeat filling the room as his veins flash like lightning up his neck. His mouth full of blood, he half-laughs and looks up at Sam, then back over at Dean.
Chronos: You want to know your future? I know your future. It’s covered in thick black ooze. It’s everywhere. They’re everywhere. Enjoy oblivion.
Then he falls down and dies. Sam looks at his brother. Dean looks at Sam. Both of their eyes register shock, denial, and infinite weariness. Then Dean sags against Sherriff Mills, and our screen goes black.
Well. If there’s one thing that movies have taught me, it’s that there’s no future except what we make for ourselves and that always in motion, is future. So, sure, right now that’s what Chronos sees because they haven’t figured out how to get rid of Dick’s Ooze Crew of Big Mouths. But they will. Because these are our heroes. So, while that bitter delivery of a dire future may seem a bit hopeless, I hope the boys don’t let it shake them too badly, because if any of the Big Bads they’ve faced deserve to be obliterated, it’s the Levi’s. For the simple reason that they’re a bit too Corporate America for me.Kidding. They’re also evil and stuff. *wink*
So, previews for the next episode – which airs on February 3rd – look way interesting. Two words: Shirtless. Dean. *UNF*
However! I have a PSA about the Ramble for that episode. There is the distinct possibility that I will be traveling to Sydney, Australia to help conduct a two-day training session for my job. The training is the 6th and the 7th, but as it’s like a 21+ hour flight, I’d be leaving on Friday and missing the episode.
As luck would have it, if this happens, I will get to see my dear friend lovinjackson (and maybe one other...) for the first time ever and she and I will watch the epi together on Sunday. Squee! I will post the ramble for 7.13 before 7.14 airs, I promise…just not sure exactly when.
So, if you enjoy reading these and look forward to them, please come back and check that one out. I will post an update in my journal as to whether or not that Ramble will be delayed by February 1st. Thanks so much for understanding and I hope to see you guys after that episode!
Thanks so much for reading. Slainte!