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Supernatural Round Table: "As Time Goes By"

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Supernatural aired a major episode last Wednesday, a standout installment that took us deeper inside the Winchester family.

In this edition of the TV Fanatic Round Table, staffers Carissa Pavlica, Carla Day and Sean McKenna are joined by Alice Jester (from The Winchester Family Business) as they break down "As Time Goes By." Gather around now!

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What did you think of Henry Winchester?
Carissa: His voice was a lot like John's. He wasn't very endearing. I get that he was a "man of letters" but landing with his grandsons and discovering he left his son childless and probably was ready to die, I expected a bit more emotion. He seemed so distant that I just didn't care about him much.

Carla: Unlike Carissa, I really enjoyed Henry. His involvement with the "Men of Letters" added to the intriguing Winchester mythology. Even though he never was able to share his knowledge with John, his son ended up in the family business of sorts. More importantly, it reminded Dean and Sam of their value in the world and of their brotherly bond.

Alice: I loved Henry.  He’s quite a sharp contrast to the rest of the family members we’ve met so far.  Of course, it’s always nice to see a grandfather that isn’t trying to kill his grandsons.  He really cared for John and I was moved by his reaction that John was dead.  I didn’t expect he would survive, but I’m pleased he left this world knowing that the Winchester legacy would go on honorably thanks to his grandsons. 

Sean: I thought he was great. There was a little bit of John there, but he added some interesting background. Plus, he seemed adamant to do the right thing even if they meant going to his death. Henry worked well with his grandsons and that was nice to see rather than like Alice said, having Samuel Campbell trying to get rid of them.

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Was the new mythology of the Winchester's past a hit or a miss?
Carissa: For now, I'm going with a miss. There wasn't enough of it to make it a hit. I still don't understand what the hell a man of letters is, and I've watched three times. Am I that dense (shut up!) or was it just glossed over? Why wouldn't John have told them any of that if it was so important? He called them hunters, and all of a sudden they're "men of letters?" Blech.

Carla: So far, I like the idea, but it's too early to say if it's a hit or miss. The theme of the show will adjust based on this information, I hope for the better. Will having a home base provide stability that adds to the story or will it hold it back. I'm not sure.

Alice: I’m on the fence about it.  I do love the idea that Henry was part of a secret society, but I still don’t buy that suddenly John grew up without a father and he assumed Henry ran out on him.  It’s not like it ever came up before.  That’s pretty important info.  All in all though, if you look at it sideways, it could fit.  Henry’s bookworm ways of the supernatural at least explains why Sam has such a natural propensity for research.  He’s going to fit right in as part of the Men of Letters.

Sean: I think it worked at least in allowing the brothers to understand their past, their destiny, and a bit of why they are who they are. I did read that someone said that during one of the episodes where Dean went back in time to see John, that someone said to John, "Say hi to your dad." Now how can that work if he was dead or maybe it was a foster dad? But even if it does change some of the past, I still liked what came out of it. I guess I found the idea of a more bookworm group of supernatural info dudes to be interesting, as well as the type of man that Henry Winchester was.

What will Sam and Dean do with all that supernatural info if they find it?
Carissa: I got nothin. Use it against the bad guys like they always do? I don't see anything they learned from their grandfather in one day usurping what they learned from their father in 20 years of training. They'll always follow in his footsteps first, using his ways as theirs. 

Carla: They will use it to help them protect the world. It's going to be like their father's book times a million. I'm very excited for them to gain this knowledge. It could shift the fight much more in their favor.

Alice: It opens up a whole new direction.  I could easily see all that taking us into season 15!  I’m sure there will be info in there relevant to the tablets and whatever is happening between Heaven and Hell.  Plus Sam and Dean will be learning a whole lot of new tricks and spells which I’m sure will come in handy in the future.  I can see them teaming up with Garth to organize a whole team of hunters too.  It’s all rather exciting.

Sean: Who knows really. While I do think it sounds cool, having all that info, and how the show handles it is the major question. Remember when we had the ultimate, unbeatable Leviathan? Kind of a dud result. I just hope that this treasure trove turns the show in a new exciting direction and not one where Sam and Dean now can't be beat. Then again, I'm kind of looking forward to seeing what they find.

Will Abaddon escape or was she a one time deal?
Carissa: I hope she doesn't come back. She wasn't much of a menace, didn't offer much to the table other than thinking she was hot stuff and could use her sexy looks to kill. Puhlease.

Carla: She's gone.

Alice: I think she’s a one time deal, but that probably won’t be the last we hear of the Knights of Hell.  What I wonder is what does Crowley think of them?  Are they working for him now, or was Abaddon the last one?  I’m sure he’ll at least want to learn that using black smoke to read someone’s mind trick.

Sean: She's done and over. The concept of Lucifer's knights of hell was interesting, but I kind of want to get back to Crowley and just the regular demon gang.

Think we might ever meet Grandma Winchester?
Carissa: We might, but I don't think it's necessary. What could she add to the story? Henry barely added anything and he was a legacy. Am i being a thin skinned in my dislike of Henry and this episode? Oops. Sorry.

Carla: Perhaps, but I doubt it will be any time soon. I don't really care either way.

Alice: I don’t see why not.  If it does happen, it’ll be in season eleven or twelve around midseason when they’re sorely grasping for ideas.  I expected her to be a carbon copy of John Winchester, stubborn as a mule. 

Sean: I don't think it will be integral to the story at all, but sometimes I thought that maybe Grandma Winchester would be like a feisty hunter or something. Yet, while I know Henry wasn't of the hunter squad, having a Grandmother for the boys could be funny at the very least.

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    11 Comments New Comment Subscribe

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    This story line is wrong. It had John's father leaving him when he was a child but in season 4 "In The Begining" John's father was still alive! In the scene when Dean goes into the coffee shop, John is sitting at the counter and a man asked him how his "father" is, and John said he doing fine. So, if his father died or disappear when he was a child who's this "father" he said is ok? This is why I was confuse with this story. I like to learn more about the Winchester side of the family but the writers are going to have to watch past stories so they don't make this kind of mistake again.

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    this has become one of my top five favourite episodes. Like a breath of fresh air midway into season 8. Should've come earlier in the season. The MoL concept is more exciting than the tablets (which seems stalled and dull now). I wish both Henry and Abaddon could've survived to fight another day - especially evil Abaddon... And now the 'Bat Cave' notion --- even more intriguing. Can't wait for the next episode.

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    I hated this episode and its ret-con of canon. So what, Dean and Sam are going to be wizards now? Will Sam get to wear a pointed hat? There's already so much going on this season, this feels like a desperate attempt to keep the show going.

    Henry seemed like Cas-lite to me; even down to the blue suit. So now they won't need Cas anymore when they can work their miracles?

    BTW, there were only what, five or six Men of Letters? All white guys? The Legacy/Preceptors/Key business made me think of Sam bad-acting: "Where there's a key, there's going to be a lock" in The French Mistake.

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    Agree with the criticism of Carissa - this episode was the best of a very bad Season 8. I mean, what the fog? It was a good story and kept my interest from beginning to end.

    Loved, absolutely LOVED Henry Winchester and Abbadon - wonderful characters. Pity they're dead and won't be coming back while unfortunately we have stupid Garth, irritating Trans and there's even a possibility of the worst Spn character ever, godawful Amelia, coming back, *shudders and pukes*

    It was wonderful seeing the real Sam and Dean back - working together like the unit they are without all the contrived angst.

    Ten stars out of ten!

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    @Anon completely agree with you - if Carissa is going to be a regular she will need to make the effort to watch the episodes PROPERLY. Hell, I only watched it once but I still heard Henry when he said that he never got to tell John about the Men of Letters and made the effort to extrapolate that John couldn't pass on knowledge that he didn't have. Sheesh.
    I enjoyed this episode because it added to the mythology and further explains why Sam and Dean are such badasses - even for hunters and I'm pretty sure it foreshadows big things to come.

    Ilkvomit

    DirecTV kills you and your shitty hopper

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    Okay, why was this "Carissa" person even here?? While the others attempted to have a round table discussion, she just bitched non-stop about how very much she hates this episode and every character in it, and in no way actually contributed to the discussion! Not to mention, it doesn't help that the overwhelming majority of reviewers vigorously disagree with her opinion.

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    Yeah, my only real problem with this episode is how it completely came out of no where and leaves us with no clue exactly how important this episode is going to be for the future of the show, if important at all to begin with.

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    Henry should not have died -- yet. He should have stuck around for a few more episodes, all the while getting closer to Sam & Dean and also revealing more and more about the Winchester family. Then we could have had an emotional goodbye episode.

    Also, I felt that his appearance at this point in the story was somewhat random. There should have been more of a tie-in with Naomi or Crawley.

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    1. I thought Henry was an interesting character. It would've been nice to have a little more time with him though. Even if the episode had just been in two parts. To introduce the Men of Letters and then there are NONE left anywhere?? No living hunters had heard any stories about them? (Obviously the hunters they worked with would've been dead). But back to Henry, he reminded me a lot of young John. We Dean meets John he's back from the war but he's still a nice guy who just wants to marry the girl he loves and have a nice family. I think John wanted to be what he thought Henry wasn't and as we've seen, it never quite works out for the Winchesters in dad roles.
    2. Too soon to tell where they're going with the new mythology. I was disappointed to learn that the Men of Letters were basically Watchers. I was also hoping there'd still be a few around.
    3. Seeing as they're having cosmic problems again this season, and it seemed the Men of Letters knew about the angels, maybe there will be new approaches to the angel/demon mythology. I hope we see some more Knights of Hell too (although unlikely of Abbadon was the last one). Give them a proper way of dealing with them.
    4. I hope she was a one off deal. I didn't really like her.
    5. I don't think it's necessary to meet her. If she wasn't around when the boys were little, it'd be kind of nice to get at least a mention why. Did maybe one grandparent not get murdered by a demon? Maybe?




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