Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Kim Rhodes, Nicholas Lea, Jason Dohring, Melissa Roxburgh, Linda Darlow
Writer: Robbie Thompson, series created by Eric Kripke
Director: Phil Sgriccia
Network: The CW, Fridays @ 9 PM
Original Airdate: January 13, 2012
Time travel isn’t exactly new on SUPERNATURAL, but seeing Dean (Jensen Ackles) go all fanboy over the one and only Eliot Ness (Nicholas Lea, who was Alex Krycek on THE X-FILES) puts an entertaining spin on it.
“Time After Time” splits its point of view between Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean after the brothers tangle with Chronos (Jason Dohring), God of Time. Chronos has been killing strangers in Canton,Ohio, to feed on their life force, which allows him to jump through time. When Dean tries to stop Chronos, Chronos yanks them both back to 1944. Dean is arrested, but when Ness takes an interest in his case, the two soon recognize one another as Hunters. Given this shared secret,Ness believes Dean’s assertion that he’s from the future. The two find that Chronos has been jumping back to 1944 Cantonto romance Lila (Melissa Roxburgh), who has no idea of Chronos’ true name or nature.
In the present, Sam and sympathetic sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) locate a ritual that can bring Dean back, but this requires them to know the exact moment that he and Chronos grab one another in the past. Fortunately, Dean has seen enough time-travel movies to leave a note for Sam to find in the future (even though Dean thinks it’s a goodbye note, as he doesn’t know his brother has figured out a rescue plan) with the date he and Ness are going after Chronos. From there, Sam deduces that the now-elderly Lila may know the time of day to do the spell – which she does, since all the clocks stopped when Dean and Chronos collided again in the past. The ritual works, Dean is brought back to the present while Chronos is trying to feed off him and Sam stabs Chronos with the appropriate weapon. Chronos, who can see the future, says with his dying breath that the Winchesters will be confronting a lot of black muck (i.e., Leviathan sludge) and exhorts them to “enjoy oblivion.”
This last sounds suitably bleak, but then again, it’s rare for a SUPERNATURAL to end on an upbeat note. “Time After Time” does have an upbeat middle, though, with Dean so psyched to be meeting his hero Ness that he forgets to brood or even drink too much. Dean even notices how good he looks in the Forties threads Ness has him wear to prevent him from looking like a homeless person of that era (what goes for style nowadays looked like poverty clothing back then).
Ackles and Lea quickly strike up a rapport in their performances that is very enjoyable, and Dohring likewise does a fine job of honing in on how to convey godhood SUPERNATURAL style. Padalecki and Rhodes get the more mundane material, but show becoming enthusiasm. Linda Darlow has fun with an ally of Ness who is disconcertingly like Bobby in one respect and disconcertingly sexual in another.
“Time After Time” gets the blend of humor, angst and tension right, making it a good episode to show to newcomers or just to appreciate as an example of what SUPERNATURAL is like when all of its elements jell.
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Article: TV Review – SUPERNATURAL – Season 7 – “Time After Time”