Time After Time is the 12th episode of Season 7. It aired on January 13th, 2012.
|There was something about being there... It felt pure.|
This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.
DO NOT CHANGE!
Sam and Dean tangle with the God of Time (guest star Jason Dohring), who sends Dean back to 1944, where he is immediately arrested by none other than the one and only Eliot Ness (guest star Nicholas Lea). While trying to figure out how to retrieve his brother, Sam is surprised by the reappearance of an old friend.
On a stormy night, Dean and Sam watch a man in a trench coat walk into an alleyway. They split up and follow him, and Dean spots the man leaning over a body, glowing with a red light. He throws himself at the man and they both disappear in a burst of energy as Sam arrives.
Two Days Earlier
Dean and Sam are at a motel. Sam is sleeping while Dean does research on Dick Roman. The phone rings and Dean has Sam answer it. It's Sheriff Mills, who tells Sam that a corpse turned up mummified in Canton, Ohio, and thought they'd be interested. Sam agrees and they hang up, and Sam points out that Dean will get nowhere reading about Dick over and over.
Sam and Dean arrive in Canton and set up in an old abandoned house. They then go to talk to the man who saw the assault. The witness, who was self-medicating, reluctantly explains that he was out medicating when he heard fighting. Durbin was arguing with a man dressed in an old-style suit and fedora, who grabbed Durbin's neck. Red energy passed through Durbin into the hat guy and the victim aged to death in seconds. The brothers thank him for his help and head back to the house to check their info sources. Sam confirms that a lot of weird dead bodies turn up in Canton going back to 1928. In each case, the victims died the same way as Durbin, each time in groups of three. Dean taps into the local feeds, explaining that Frank taught him how to do it, and accesses the camera near the gas station where Durbin died. They spot the man in the old-style suit and Sam points out that the same man is in photos of the older murders.
The brothers talk to Terry Cervantes, who was a young girl and found one of the mummified corpses decades ago. She recognizes the man in the photo as Ethan Snider, who lived on her parents' street. The Winchesters go there and wait, and finally spot Snider coming out of a house. He walks down an alleyway and the brothers split up to follow him, and Dean sees Snider killing another victim. He throws himself at the man and they struggle, and Dean catches a glimpse of his ring, with an infinity symbol on it. Snider manages to get away and runs off. When Dean goes after him, he finds himself on a street in 1944. Two cops spot him with his gun and order him to surrender, and a surprised Dean reluctantly does so.
Down at the station, Dean tries to pass himself off as a FBI agent without success. The investigating officer can't figure out what his cell phone is and figures that he's a German spy. Dean finally realizes that he's in 1944. A man comes in and the local cop hastily leaves, and the newcomer demands answers. Dean tells him exactly what happens and the newcomer apparently believes him, asking him more about the red light. Surprised, Dean realizes that the man is a hunter. After a moment he admits it and introduces himself as Eliot Ness.
In the present, Sam is putting up clippings of the deaths when Jody calls him. She insists on helping and he asks her to come help him drive and lift heavy boxes.Ness gets some files and comes back to the holding room. Dean admits that time travel isn't common where he came from, and they figure they're hunting the same thing in different centuries. Ness shows him photos of two dead men who were mummified, and figures that the third victim will be killed soon. He takes Dean out but insists that he has to get some new clothing. They stop at a tailor, Ezra Moore, and set up Dean with a suit and fedora. Jody arrives at the house after stopping at one of Bobby's storage lockers and picking up the boxes.
Dean puts on his new suit and slicks back his hair. Ness tells Ezra that they need her help and that they are hunting a time traveler. Sam and Jody go over photos of the crime scenes and spot Snider, and Sam recognizes the symbol on the ring.
Ezra identifies the symbol on the ring and explains that it belongs to Chronos, the God of Time. Sam explains that the ancient gods aren't what they used to be and are really pissed. Ezra figures Chronos is killing people for his "time-juice." Back in the present, Sam tells Jody that they need to find a way to summon a god.
Ezra tells Ness that she'll find something to stop Chronos, and Dean and Ness head to Snider's house. Ness kicks in the door and they go inside, guns drawn. There's no sign of Chronos but the Chronos is expensively appointed. Dean finds Chronos' appointment book and realizes that Chronos is making money by betting on races he already knows the outcome. They find initials belonging to Lester Young, the local bookie, and track him down and interrogate him. The two men play good cop/bad cop and Lester admits that Chronos was a creepy guy. He finally tells them that Chronos gets his payoffs at a diner and gives them the address.
Jody and Sam finally find a summoning ritual, but they realize that they have to summon Chronos at the exact moment he's touching Dean or Sam's brother will be lost forever. As they consider the matter, Jody finds a bottle of whiskey that Rufus gave to Bobby to pay off a bet. She admits she had no idea about much of Bobby's history and figure that they should drink it in his honor, and Sam agrees.
Ness and Dean go to the diner and spot Chronos. As they wait for him to make a move, Ness takes a drink and admits that he's not the Boy Scout that history made him out to be. He explains that he became a hunter when vampires showed up in Cleveland and started turning people, and that he hunts because it makes him feel free. Dean explains that he doesn't know why he's doing much of anything anymore, but Ness calls him a Nancy and tells him that everyone dies and the best anyone can do is enjoy it.
Both men ogle a waitress, Lila Taylor, as she leaves the diner. Chronos follows her down the street and into an alleyway. Ness goes to his trunk and an arsenal of weapons, and they both grab weapons and prepare to fire as Chronos grabs the woman. However, he kisses her and nothing happens.
Ness and Dean follow the woman out into the country and Ness confirms that Lila owns a nearby house and lives alone. Ness stands watch while Dean drives back to find out what Ezra has. She has a thousand-year-old olive branch soaked in blood, and tells Dean he has to stab it in Chronos' heart. However, Dean realizes that he'll be trapped in the past. Ezra says that it isn't so bad, grabs Dean, and kisses him, assuring him that 1944 isn't so bad. Dean is less than thrilled with the kiss and prepares to leave, but notices a bundle of envelopes on the counter and gets an idea.
Ness is outside the house when Chronos comes after him. He explains that he already stopped by the police station to take care of Dean and realized that Ness was onto him. They fight and Chronos easily knocks him down and through the nearby barn wall. Lila comes out, doesn't see Ness, and Chronos pretends that he's a normal man, since she doesn't know what he really is. When she goes back inside, Chronos realizes that Ness has slipped away. Chronos goes back inside and tells Lila that she should pack a bag. He invites her to come with him and insists that everything is fine, including her.
Dean goes to the house where they're staying in 2012 and tells the owner that he has to do an inspection for termites. The owner lets him in and Dean goes to the bedroom and moves the bed. He lies where Sam lies in 2012 and spots the floorboard he needs to send his message.
Jody comes back and discovers that Sam has fallen asleep. She sends him into the bedroom to sleep and he lies down on the spot where Dean was working. Sam spots his name carved into the floorboard and pulls it loose, and finds a message from 1944 from Dean. He shows it to Jody and they realize that Dean knows what is going on and is going after Chronos. The letter is dated and they know what date Dean touched Chronos. Now they need the time, and track down a now-elderly Lila at the retirement home. They ask her about Chronos and she recognizes him as her lover, Snider. She tells them that the last time she saw Snider was at 11:34 in November 5 when every clock in the house stopped. Lila tells them that Snider said awful things and then strangled one of the two policemen that came to arrest him. Sam shows her a photo of Dean and she identifies him as the man that Snider strangled to death.
Dean goes to Lila's house with the olive stake and calls for Ness without getting an answer. He then goes into the house and Snider grabs him. They struggle but Ness comes in with Lila as a hostage. Present time, Sam and Jody prepare the ritual.
Snider begs Ness not to hurt Lila. He explains that he's a god and that he's only killed for Lila. As the time approaches 11:34, Dean tells Lila that Chronos kills three people to travel through time, and Chronos admits that he used to wander, killing three people each time. However, he met Lila and fell in love. When Ness mentions the people that Chronos killed, Lila realizes that one of them was a customer from the diner and calls Chronos a monster. Dean tries to stab him with the stake and Chronos starts strangling him while Ness shoots him to no effect.
At 11:34, Sam casts the ritual. Chronos begins to glow with a red light. He disappears and Dean goes with him. As they disappear, Ness tosses Dean the stake. Dean reappears and Chronos throws him aside. Sam attacks him and manages to stab him with the olive stake. As he dies, Chronos tells them that their future- "its covered in thick black ooze. It's everywhere. They're everywhere."
- Nicholas Lea as Eliot Ness
- Jason Dohring as Chronos
- Melissa Roxburgh as Lila Taylor
- Linda Darlow as Ezra Moore
- Gabe Khouth as Lester Young
- Catherine Barroll as Lila Taylor
Featured Supernatural Beings
- The last time time travel was used in an episode was in Season 6's Frontierland. It is also the third episode, and the first since Season 5's The End that Dean has been sent to the past alone.
- Sam and Dean's dialogue in the opening scene doesn't exactly match what is said when they redo the scene in the car and alley fifteen minutes later into the episode.
- Last time a god was featured in an episode was in Season 7's Defending Your Life.
- The title is a possible reference to the song of the same name by Cyndi Lauper.
- This is the first episode where Dean played a different hand other than scissors. Somehow, he still managed to lose. This is known because he says "How does paper beat a rock?"
- The date that Dean writes on the letter, Nov. 5 1944, is a reference to Back to the Future. Nov. 5 1955 is the day Marty McFly traveled back to, and it is also the day that Doc Brown conceived the flux capacitor, which made time travel possible.
- Dean's mention of the "Biff strategy" may be a reference to Back to the Future part II, where Biff Tannen acquires a sports almanac from the future and becomes a millionaire by betting on sports games he knew the results of.
- Dean reveals to Eliot Ness that the President of the United States is a black man, likely a reference to then-president Barack Obama.
- Jody finds a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue among Bobby's things with a note from Rufus Turner about a bet Bobby won with it. The origin of this bottle and the exact nature of the bet is revealed in Season 11's Safe House.
- This episode marks the first time that Jody Mills actively takes part in a hunt by choice rather than by circumstance and that she called the Winchesters in on a case. She would later go on to call the Winchesters in on other cases over the years and ultimately become a hunter herself.
- Dean makes multiple references to the movie The Untouchables while working with Eliot Ness. Ness just shows confusion whenever Dean imitates a scene or a line from the movie.
- 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.
- Eliot: Let's kill that bastard because that...
- Dean: Is the Chicago way.
- Ezra: Chicago way?
- Eliot: Who talks like that?
- Dean: Sean Connery.
- Sam: You gonna look up more anime, or are you strictly into Dick now?
- Ness: Yeah, hunting sets me free. Isn't that why you hunt?
- Dean: I used to do it because that's what my family did. But they just seemed 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. Tell me, are all hunters as soft as you in the future? Everybody loses everybody and then one day, boom, your number is up. But at least you're making a difference. So enjoy it while it lasts kid, because hunting is the only clarity you're going to find in this life. That makes you luckier than most.
- French: Les Incorruptibles (The Untouchables)