Supernatural: Time After Time
September 28, 2021 6:58 AM - Season 7, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Dean attacks the time god Chronos to prevent him from killing someone, and finds that he's been whisked back in time to 1944.


Sam: 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 again is just... self-punishment.
Dean: It's called anime, and it's an art form.

Sam: You going to look at more anime, or are you strictly into Dick now?

Eliot Ness: Ezra Moore, Dean Winchester.
Dean: Hey.
Ezra Moore: Who's he, some farmer clown?
Eliot Ness: He's, uh, from the future.
Dean: Yeah. Gas costs four bucks, you get cheese out of a spray can. The President is a black man. I could go on.
Ezra Moore: Paint me impressed.

Eliot Ness: One witness said that she saw an assailant light up red after sucking the life out of a man.
Dean: Awesome.
Eliot Ness: How does that fill you with awe?

Dean: Awesome.
Ezra Moore: "Awesome"? Is he some religious kook?
Eliot Ness: No, he just likes saying that.

Sam: Well, there's a semi-functional bathroom and one un-rancid bedroom.
Dean: Describe "semi-functional", and do not use the words "hole in the floor".

Dean: [with Sam, presenting fake ID's to a civilian] Special Agent Smith. [points to Sam] This is, uh... Special Agent Smith. No relation.

Dean: How does paper beat a rock? It's stupid.

Sheriff Jody Mills: I think Bobby may have had a slight hoarding issue. I could barely get the door open on that storage locker. And, um, I'm pretty sure something's alive in at least three of those boxes.

Sheriff Jody Mills: You go get some shut-eye.
Sam: Uh, that's okay. I can, uh...
Sheriff Jody Mills: Do I have to use my mom voice?

Sam: How does a sheriff in Sioux Falls get wind of a case in Ohio?
Sheriff Jody Mills: I'm just that nosy.

Dean: I'm stuck in 1944?
1944 Policeman: We're all "stuck" in 1944, ya bunny.

Dean: [Ness takes out a flask] Thought you were Mr. Boy Scout.
Eliot Ness: Why do you think I went after Capone in the first place? Guy made the best hooch in Chicago.

Old Lila Taylor: Is Michael in trouble again? I told him not to read those comic books.

Dean: It looks empty. You got a lock pick?
Eliot Ness: Sure. [kicks in the door]


Jodi finds a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue that Rufus had given Bobby from losing a bet. Jodi reads the note attached to it signed "R". She asks "Who's 'R'?" Sam replies "Rufus". Jodi seems to have no idea who that is. However, she helped get Rufus extradited so that he could help Bobby with getting his soul back. It was a huge favour she was doing Bobby that could have in her words "nuked her career", and it doesn't seem likely that she wouldn't remember Rufus.

When Dean sees the betting record with future information, he remarks, "He's using the Biff strategy!" This refers to Biff Tannen from Back to the Future Part II, who uses a 21st century sports almanac to place winning bets on horse races in 1955.

Chronos/Chronus is a deity in Greek mythology, a personification of time. He is at times identified with the similarly named Titan, Kronos/Cronus, the God of the Harvest.

The title of the episode, "Time after Time", is a common phrase which might refer to: the 1979 movie Time After Time, in which H.G. Wells's character time-travels from 1893 to 1979; the lyrics from the 1977 Queen song "We Are the Champions"; or the Cyndi Lauper song "Time After Time", released in 1984.

Ness calls Dean a "bindle stiff". A bindle stiff is a hobo, usually carrying a bedroll or wrapped bundle on a stick.

The date on Dean's letter to Sam has several other time travel movie/TV series connections. It is the date that Marty McFly travels to in all three Back to the Future movies. It is the date that H.G. Wells travels to in the film Time After Time. It is the birth date of the late Jon-Erik Hexum -- who starred in the 1982 TV time travel series Voyagers!

The bottle of Johnny Walker that Jody finds in one of Bobby's boxes is the bottle Bobby wins from Rufus in a flashback scene in "Safe House" (ep. 11.16).

When Eliot Ness asks Dean what happened in the alley, Dean says, "Well, I'm '12 monkey'ed' no matter what I say, so here goes." He is referring to the 1995 Bruce Willis sci-fi movie, 12 Monkeys, about a convict sent back in time to avert a disaster.

When Sam and Sheriff Jody Mills visit with old Lila Taylor she tells them that all the clocks stopped in the house at 11:34. Also, Sam used his blood to write the numbers on the paper used in the summoning spell. 11:34 viewed upside down spells "hell" both in written and digital form.

The technique of planting the message in the house was used in the 2000 movie Frequency.

When Dean pretends to be a termite inspector to get into the house where he and Sam will stay in the future, a background radio show is doing a PSA on Victory Gardens. In WW2 the war effort was using up so many resources that the U.S. government had to ration civilian food, fuel, rubber, all metals, paper, cloth, leather, etc. The Victory Gardens, most of them in urban and suburban yards, provided about a third of all the produce available to civilians. Similar community garden programs were carried out in other countries.

During the end credits, 40s-style big band music is played.
posted by orange swan (5 comments total)
It was fun to see Krycek Nicholas Lea pop up in this. The X-Files exists as a TV show in the Supernatural universe, but the show uses quite a few X-Files alumnae without making any meta jokes about them.

I was surprised that Dean even knew who Eliot Ness was, but it was soon made clear that he knew about Eliot Ness from watching The Untouchables, and as with the old west episode, we have the conflict between what Dean thinks he knows about the past from consuming pop culture, and historical reality.

Dean certainly relished those 1940s duds, probably because he liked looking like a character out of The Untouchables. And he rocked them, especially the fedora. Nicholas Lea also has the right sort of looks for 1940s attire, but then I suppose pretty boys like those two look good in just about anything.

That house that Sam and Dean were squatting in looked like a beautiful house -- all those stained glass windows!

Dean always prints in block caps whenever he has a letter to write. I suspect Jensen Ackles' handwriting may not be good. Mine isn't, and that's what I do when I need to write something for someone else's perusal because my block printing is pretty good and I don't want to have to listen to anyone complain about my writing.

I liked the Ezra character a lot and kind of wished she could be brought forward in time when Dean came back. Her kissing him was a bit much, but as a middle-aged woman who was expected to provide clothing and other support for hunters on the spot and without mention of compensation, perhaps she felt she was entitled to a perquisite or two.

I had never heard of Ezra as a woman's name before, but it turns out it's unisex.
posted by orange swan at 7:14 AM on September 28, 2021

Also, Dean having to subtract numbers on his fingers to figure out what year he was in was funny.
posted by orange swan at 7:57 AM on September 28, 2021

That is a weird fact about Jon-Erik Hexum's birthday that I never knew before today. (If we're talking about "pretty boys" he definitely fit the bill.)

As for my scattershot thoughts on this episode:

Love the stained glass accents in the abandoned house.

The gold and brown in the lighting and set and costuming in the custody scene are very flattering to Ackles. That’s his colour palette for sure.

I think the cut and style are slightly off for the time period but there is no arguing with that ensemble Dean got from Ezra. I want to see that suit (and coat!) on him again.

Ness is wearing guyliner on his lower lids.

I swear Sam is going to end up unable to use his hands. It’s not bad enough that the stitches on his previous (this shows me this reality is real) palm cut looked terribly and pretty much guaranteed to leave scars, but now he’s just slicing up his other palm. Idiot.

Yeah, it's a shame we couldn't see Ezra in the present. She might be just what the boys need to smarten them up a bit.
posted by sardonyx at 12:30 PM on September 28, 2021

Just once I want to see somebody go to slash their palm, only to be told off.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:16 PM on September 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

No judgment but I am at this point pretty sure Jensen Ackles just likes wearing costumes and will do it on the barest pretext. Like maybe Dean too, but Dean likes it because JA likes it.

I too sometimes have to count on my fingers to remember what year it is, so fair enough.
posted by jameaterblues at 6:39 PM on September 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

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