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Recap / Supernatural S 07 E 12 Time After Time

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 7, Episode 12

Time After Time

Written by Robbie Thompson.

Directed by Philip Sgriccia.

Air Date: January 13, 2012.

Dean and Sam are investigating a series of corpses found shriveled and mummified when Dean tackles the killer and...hitches a ride with him back to the 1940s. Dean adapts pretty quickly and, with the aid of Eliot Ness, sets about trying to find the monster. Back in the present, Sam teams up with Sheriff Mills to try and get Dean back.


Body Count:

For this episode = 1 human and 1 god.

For the series so far = At least 772 humans (of which 6 were witches), 89 demons, 55 angels, 36 ghosts, 36 Jefferson Starships, 26 vampires, 19 zombies, 15 gods, 9 hellhounds, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 shapeshifters, 4 ghouls, 3 djinn, 2 Arachnes, 2 dogs, 2 kitsunes, 2 vetalas, 2 werewolves, 1 crocotta, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 Khan worm, 1 lamia, 1 Leviathan, the Mother of All, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rugaru, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, and 1 wraith.



  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: Dean apparently believes this as, when Sam suggests that "cartoon smut" would be a better (or at least healthier) use of his time than constantly researching the Big Bad, he states, "It is called anime. And it's an art form."
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: And damn if Dean don't look purty!
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Dean claims to be from the Department of Homeland...Termite Invasion?
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Eliot Ness was a Hunter.
  • Cassandra Truth: Subverted. Dean thinks Ness won't believe what he says, but he does. Turns out he's also a Hunter.
  • Changed My Jumper: The first thing Ness does is haul Dean off to a tailor to get a proper suit and Fedora of Asskicking so he doesn't look like a bindlestiff.
    Dean: I'll stiff your bin... what's a bindle? Bindle?note 
  • Advertisement:
  • Comically Missing the Point: After Dean starts going on about how many times he's seen his movie, Elliot Ness asks if he goes into the movie business in the future.
  • Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit
  • Cool Guns: Dean gleefully helps himself to a Thompson submachine gun with drum magazine.
  • Classical Mythology: The Monster of the Week is Chronos, god of time.
  • Death of the Old Gods: Mentioned.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Dean tries to use his fake badge from the present in 1944. He doesn't realize that now it was issued 68 years in the future.
  • Dirty Old Woman: Ezra steals a kiss from Dean.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Ezra is basically a female version of Bobby, right down to using the word "idjits". This doesn't go unnoticed by Dean.
  • Double Entendre: Really, Sam?
    "Lookin' for more anime, or are you strictly into Dick now?"
  • Dress-Up Episode: Obviously. And we get to see Dean in a very nice suit.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Chronos with Lila. Ness is not impressed, as she was actually supposed to be his third victim before he fell for her, and is now just taking victims from other times instead.
  • Everything Is Online: Dean uses a trick Frank showed him to instantly hack security cameras.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: Ness and Ezra take it in stride that Dean is a time traveler, though revealing that a black guy is president makes them blink.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Or in Ness' case, a feet and Badass Longcoat introduction.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Averted; apart from his usual tendency to believe history is like the movie version, Dean fits in fine.
  • The '40s: 1944.
  • Future Slang: Dean saying "Awesome!" confuses Ness and Ezra.
    Ezra: "Awesome?" You some kinda religious kook?
  • Get Back to the Future
  • Give Me a Sword: Justified; Ness throws Dean a stake so he can kill Chronos after returning to his time.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: The old ones, like Chronos, have way less juice now because of this trope.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Ness uses Lila as a Human Shield against Chronos.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Unfortunately Chronos is stronger.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Ness' exact words on seeing a Lady in Red.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Dean makes a quip about punching Hitler. He has no idea.
  • Historical Domain Character: Eliot Ness.
  • Hollywood History: As in "Frontierland", Dean confuses what he's seen in the movies with what actually happened in the past.
  • I'm Mr. [Future Pop Culture Reference]: Dean announces that he is Special Agent Costner. He also spends a lot of time rhapsodizing about the Untouchables when he finds out who Ness is.
  • In Medias Res
  • It's Personal: Averted; Dean wants to know who died to get Ness into Hunting. Ness is surprised, as just the existence of demons was enough.
  • Meaningful Echo: Dean asks if he's an Untouchable now he's hooked up with Ness, who doesn't know what he's talking about. However he shouts, "Hey, Untouchable!" in the Give Me a Sword scene.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future...
  • "Mister Sandman" Sequence: Dean rushes out of the alley after Chronos and stops in amazement at the sight and sounds of the 1940's.
  • Monster Sob Story: Chronos argues that he's cursed to jump through time, and is only killing so he has the energy to stay with Lila. Ness is not impressed.
    Chronos: Three sacrifices, and I can control when and where I land. But once I get there, it's never for long before I'm tossed through time again. That's my life, Lila. And all I want is to get back here.
    Ness: Because you just love the clean Canton air?
    Chronos: Because I love her! Because I lived the worst existence you can imagine, and then I found you.
    Ness: After you killed Tyler Crosby and Cathy Porter? Lila here was gonna be victim number three, am I right? Don't act like you never killed a soul before you met her, pal. Something tells me you used to kill three saps just for a change of scenery.
  • Mr. Smith: Sam and Dean make enquires as Agent Smith and Agent Smith.
  • Nightmare Fetishist
    Dean: Awesome!
    Ness: How does that seem awesome?
  • "Open!" Says Me: Dean asks Ness if he has his lockpick (standard issue for all Hunters). Ness says, "Sure" and kicks in the door.
  • Perp Sweating: Dean punches a little guy they've brought in for questioning, then looks at Ness for approval. Ness frowns, then goes into the Good Cop/Bad Cop routine, portraying Dean as a Shell-Shocked Veteran.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Dean keeps forgetting he's in the '40s and makes cultural references no one else understands.
  • Quick Nip: Dean is surprised when Ness takes out a hip flask, despite his Incorruptible Pure Pureness media image. Ness jokes that was why he went after Capone, because he had the best booze.
  • Quit Your Whining: Ness is not impressed by this future Hunter angsting about his life. Ness points out that Everyone Dies and "Where else can you find a job with this clarity?"
  • Rule of Three: When Ness tells Ezra that Dean's a time traveler, he quickly rattles off "Gas costs four bucks, you can get cheese in a spray can, and the president's a black guy. I could go on." The last visibly startles Ness and convinces Ezra.
  • Running Gag: Dean watching hentai is referenced again. In the past, people wonder why the hell he keeps saying "awesome".
  • San Dimas Time: Sam's actions in the present are in sync with Dean's in 1944, but only for narrative purposes. Sam has to figure out exactly what date and time to summon Kronos from so Dean is brought with him. If he's wrong, Dean will be unable to return.
  • Say My Name
  • Shown Their Work: Ness did have a drinking problem, contrary to his teetotaler image. The reference to Ness encountering his first supernatural case in Cleveland is likely a reference to the Torso Murders, a Serial Killer case the real Elliot Ness investigated.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Dean can't help himself from quoting The Untouchables at every turn. Ness is not amused, partially because be has no idea what Dean's quoting from.
    • Several to the Back to the Future franchise. Chronos is making cash by betting (shoutout to II), and Dean uses an idea from Back to the Future Part III to write a letter to Sam.
  • Stopped Clock: Clocks stop whenever Chronos time-travels. Sam uses this to find out the exact time Dean will be fighting him.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Usually calm-cool-and-collected Dean can barely contain his excitement at getting to work along side legendary lawman Eliot Ness.
  • Tainted Veins: As he's dying, Chronos veins glow and pulsate.
  • Time-Travel Episode
  • Time Travel Romance: Subverted
  • Time Travelers are Spies: Justified given that it's World War Two, and Dean is carrying a fake ID and an electronic gadget displaying the words NO SIGNAL.
  • To Absent Friends: Jody and Sam find a bottle that Rufus gave to Bobby, so drink it in his memory.
  • Try Not to Die
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: Jody/Sam and Ness/Dean discussing the case.
  • Right on the Tick: Sam has to find the exact time Dean will be fighting Chronos, before summoning him to the present day.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Used for Not So Dire; Ness and Dean grab More Dakka on seeing Chronos apparently stalking his next victim. He seizes hold of her arm in a dark alley...then they kiss.
  • Summoning Ritual: Jody Mills finds a spell to summon Chronos (so he can tell you your future). But Sam points out it's useless unless Dean is literally holding onto Chronos at the time. Fortunately they're able to work out the exact date and time this happens.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: As he's dying, Chronos taunts the Winchesters that their future is full of black ooze.
  • Vampiric Draining: And Chronos is assumed to be a vampire at first. He's even killed by a wooden stake.
  • Wall of Weapons: Ness too has a trunk full of weapons.
  • The Web Always Existed: Averted as Dean's cellphone can't pick up a signal.
  • What Year Is This?: Dean's interrogator tells him how out-of-date his FBI badge is, and Dean works out the year from that.
  • Wooden Stake: Like with Loki, it takes a specially prepared wooden stake in the heart from the god's homeland/mythos.
  • Write Back to the Future: Dean leaves a message to Sam in the house they were squatting in before the time-shift, thus helping Sam with the ritual required to bring him back. He remembers where Sam placed his sleeping bag and carves "Sam" into the wall near the floor. When Sam lays down to get some sleep, his eyes look straight at that section of the wall and he figures out that a letter is hidden in the wall.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: What blood is being used, that is.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: With the stoner the Winchesters interview, and later Dean with Eliot Ness. Both are surprised when they are believed.
  • You Monster!: Lila's response when she realises Chronos killed someone she knew.

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