Supernatural Season 8: “As Time Goes By”

Season 8 has a lot to do with Purgatory, the Trials and getting the angels off the trail of the Winchesters. And then we meet the Men of Letters; a group of academics who research and gather information about the supernatural and then share the information with an elite group of hunters. They also cease to exist in the 1950s when they are wiped out by the powerful demon, Abaddon, a knight of Hell. The Winchester boys are connected by blood to this organization and they find this out from their time traveling grandfather, Henry Winchester–who inexplicably pops out of a closet and into Sam and Dean’s motel room in 2013. Family hijinx ensue.

Henry Winchester and his time traveling closet.
Henry Winchester and his time traveling closet.


S08xE12 AKA The Episode We Meet the Men of Letters, another Winchester and the Queen of Hell.

Dean’s Best Line:

“When my Dad died, I couldn’t save him, no matter how bad I wanted to. Well, I never want that to happen to Sam, ever. If there’s a chance that I could save him, I’m gonna do it. He’s my brother. He’s the only family I got.”

Sam’s Best Line:

“I’ll tell ya what. When one of us falls out of your closet, then you can ask the questions.”


Henry Winchester, John’s estranged father and Sam and Dean’s non-homicidal grandfather, is a Man of Letters who escapes Abaddon the Knight of Hell with a blood sigil that leads blood to blood. On the hunt for his son, Henry ends up in the cheap motel closet of Sam and Dean, running from the demon who destroyed his frat brothers (and sisters). After a faulty start, the Winchesters start working together and, when Sam is captured by Abaddon, Henry and Dean work on a plan to get him back that ends up being the death of Henry Winchester. After meeting Henry, Sam and Dean finally understand that Henry didn’t abandon John, he travelled in time, met the boys and died saving his grandson. The boys walk away from the incident with the key to the Men of Letters bunker and Abaddon’s head in a box.

What This Episode Reveals About the Winchesters:

The boys are willing do whatever it takes to save each other. Dean has to save Sammy, because he couldn’t save his dad, and because he has a whole lot of guilt. We also learn that the Winchester family comes from the academic side of supernatural hunting. John would have become a Man of Letters if his father had not time travelled. It is part of the Winchester Legacy. In fact, Henry is a bit mortified when he finds out his grandsons are crass, shoot-first-and-don’t-bother-to-ask-questions-later hunters.

Winchester family meeting.
Winchester family meeting.

The Big Picture:

This episode introduces a new plot point for season 8 and the upcoming season 9. The Men of Letters theme has potential to introduce new back story to the Winchester family history as well as the history of supernatural occurrences in the world. The Men of Letters bunker, the lock to which the mysterious key will soon open, is a new chapter in the Winchester’s life. Knowing that they are part of a bigger picture, not just hunters but thinkers and doers (and Winchesters!) adds another layer of development to the Winchester boys.

My Favorite Scene:

As bookish as Henry is, he is still a Winchester and therefore, willingly sacrifices his life for his grandsons. Only with his death does Dean cut him some slack.



The Collectiva Diva