“The Memory Remains”
April 13, 2017
THEN: “These hunters are out of control. Exterminate them.”
Well if that’s not reason enough to stay out of the woods, I don’t know what is.
Dean tries again some more to reach Castiel, who has gone radio silent and MIA. I actually had to think a minute when I first watched this episode to remember where he was. And can we talk about the fact that Season 7 was the last time Cas had a storyline that actually felt organic or integral to the show? I mean, there was a whole season of him driving around in the hooptie with Hannah. That was his storyline in Season 10.
At one point I was sure that his grace had faded entirely, he was actually dead, and the never-ending Sunday drive was his Hell.
Sam reassures Dean that Cas will be fine. “He always is.” Dean is not comforted. He watches this show. He knows that Cas is rarely fine when left to his own devices. Dean distracts himself by cleaning the Colt. I would watch an entire episode of Dean cleaning guns.
Sam gets an email from Mick … FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE! He sends them a missing persons case from Tomahawk, Wisconsin. The town has a history of disappearances – one a year, every year, from 1898 to 1997. Sam emails back that they’re on it.
Ketch tells his team that it’s time.
In Tomahawk, Sheriff Bishop is more interested in his taxidermy than in the disappearance of Jared Hayes. He appears to be working on a small weasel. The boys are nonplussed. Also, they’re using the aliases Agents Stark and Martell.
They question Jared’s friend Darren at the meat packing plant where he works. He’s still shaken by what he saw in the woods. After some prodding by Dean, Darren says he ran to save Jared but he was too late. Black Bill got him.
The boys repair to a diner. Sam digs into the local lore. He calls Black Bill the local Jersey Devil. Stories about him date back a century and say he has the head of a goat. Dean is too busy digging on the blonde waitress to pay attention.
Look, I’m all for Dean getting his swerve on, but not in the middle of a case. Dammit man, you’re a professional! Act like it. Also, this is some Season 2 levels of horndog-ness and I am not here for it.
The next morning, Dean commandeers Sam’s egg white omelet – “Would it kill you to order pancakes?” – while Sam info dumps. He thinks they’re dealing with a satyr, but he can’t confirm his theory with Darren because he never made it home after work.
Darren is a no-show at the packing plant as well. Manager Pete shrugs it off. He’s preoccupied by the health inspector’s visit. He complains to Sam and Dean that the equipment is out of date and there’s no money to upgrade. They had to shut down half the plant just three months earlier. He gripes that the owner would rather play sheriff than take care of business.
Sam is like, back up to the part where the only witness to Jared’s disappearance himself goes missing the same day we question the owner of the business where they both worked. Sheriff Bishop sees nothing unusual in any of it. His name is on the paperwork, but Pete runs the day to day. He says that Black Bill is just a story parents tell their kids to keep them out of the woods. The “disappearances” are restless people who get bored with the town and move on. As for Darren, he was drunk, high, or both the night Jared disappeared, and is probably sleeping one off now.
“Hell, he’s probably waking up right now safe and sound.”
Jared comes to in one of the cold storage areas. He pounds on the door but the sound is muffled. His cries become a part of the background din of the plant. Sam and Dean walk right past and never hear a thing.
The boys split up for research and later regroup at the diner. Sam is appalled that Dean can eat after their tour of the plant. “Grow up, Sam. Burger’s beef, bacon’s pig, Soylent Green is people.” Also, the Bishop family founded the town and everyone ever reported as missing was an employee at the plant. The Bishops owned everything up until a few years ago when the sheriff started selling off family property.
Sam gets a checking-in text from Mick … FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE … and replies that they’re working the case. At the Bunker, Ketch gives his team the all clear to enter.
WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT CHANGING THE LOCKS? WHAT DID I SAY?!?
You know, it was bad enough when the Steins broke in, but this violation makes me physically, viscerally angry.
IT WILL NOT STAND.
Ketch reminds his men that Professor Umbridge wants to know everything about the Winchesters. “Their allies. Their habits. How does Sam get his hair so shiny? How many ratty flannels does Dean have?”
He tells them to work quick, work quiet, and leave no trace.
While one operative photographs everything in the library, the other places a bug in a wall speaker and another under the table. Ketch rifles through Dean’s room. He looks in the dresser and is flummoxed by all the black t-shirts. So many black t-shirts.
He scans through Dean’s porn stash before opening the drawer on the nightstand. He flips through Dean’s treasured snapshots. The one of him and Sam from “Dead in the Water.” The two of them together with Bobby. And the one of him and Mary. Ketch lingers on it and now we’ve entered the creepy stalker portion of his relationship with her.
Also in the nightstand – a cassette tape copy of Bob Seger’s “Night Moves.”
The Bishop house looks empty when Sam and Dean pull up. Inside all of the furniture is draped in white sheets. Sam finds a triple locked door that leads to a cellar. Dean calls down into the darkened space.
“Hello? Goat dude?”
Sam pulls the door partially closed and they start down the stairs. They are so totally getting locked down there. Sam flips the light switch to illuminate what looks like an abattoir. When the sheriff shows up he insists it’s not what it looks like.
“Really? Because it looks like a straight up murder room to me.”
Bishop says again that Black Bill is a story – but admits it’s one his family made up to hide their secret. One of his people way back bound a god – Moloch, the god of sacrifice – locked him away and starved him until he offered them a deal. Moloch used his power to make the family rich. In return, they kept him fed with human blood.
After Bishop’s father died in ’97, the sheriff put a stop to it. He says he tried to make up for all the bad his family did over the years. “I wanted to leave a legacy.” He kept Moloch locked up, hoping he would starve to death. He nods over to the small grate in the basement floor. The boys sidle over to it and peer into the space. Sam declares it empty.
They hear a noise upstairs in the house. Dean tells Sam to stay below and keep an eye on Bishop. Sam is like, but god. Dean brandishes the Colt. He’s cool. Dean goes up to the second floor. We get a through the mask POV of him as he comes up the stairs and MOLOCH IS RIGHT THERE! Only, it’s an empty costume. An unmasked Pete comes at Dean from behind.
Dean senses the attack, but isn’t quite fast enough. Pete knocks the Colt out of his hand. BUNGIE! Fight fight struggle fight. He backs Dean up against the railing and sends him tumbling to the floor below. Dean, NOOOOOO!! Sam charges up the stairs. Pete slams the door in his face and locks it.
Dean comes to at the plant just outside the cold storage room. He’s shrink wrapped to a rolling office chair. Pete wasn’t expecting to find Dean at the house. He went there looking for his brother, the sheriff. He says they weren’t raised together – Bishop grew up in the big house while he lived in a double wide. He seems bitter about the disparity in their fortunes. Dean says it sounds like a bad episode of Dynasty. Throw in some basketball and it’s the premise for One Tree Hill.
Pete says he discovered Moloch when he went to the house to steal whatever he could sell. The god offered Pete the power for food deal and he took it. Why shouldn’t he? He’s a Bishop! “That’s what we do, right?”
“Hunting people. Killing them! The family business.”
Pete says that Bishop was supposed to be Moloch’s next meal, but Dean will do.
Dean spots what’s left of Darren’s corpse and hears a low growl. He grabs a meat hook to use as a weapon. Dean and the god stalk each other. Dean moves to attack, but gets the hook caught up in a hanging slab of meat and I call shenanigans. SHENANIGANS! The guy who’s an expert at close-in fighting, who took on four demons in Cain’s kitchen, doesn’t have proximal awareness?
Whatever, Show. What. Ever.
He frees the hook and buries it in the god’s side. Moloch bellows in pain and slams Dean’s already concussed skull into a concrete pillar. Sam shoots Pete, blows the lock off the door, and puts a hole through Moloch with the Colt. Yay! Ice cream for all! Bishop tells the boys to go. He’ll clean up the mess. “This is my legacy.”
Dean trudges into the library. He tells Sam to remind him when he says their family is messed up that at least they’re not psycho goat people. He grabs two beers from the mini fridge and asks Sam what he thinks their legacy could be. Does he think people will remember them after they’re gone? Sam matter of factly says, “No.” They’re not exactly the kind of guys who make it into history books.
You sure about that, kitten?
Sam grows thoughtful. He says the people they’ve saved … that’s their legacy. They will remember, until they eventually fade away, too.
“That’s fine. Because we left the world better than we found it.”
Dean lets that thought settle. He looks around the Bunker and wonders what will happen to it. Will some hunter move in and keep fighting the fight? They both hope so.
Dean reaches into his pocket and pulls out a knife. He carves his initials, “DW,” into the wood of the table. “I’m leaving our mark.” As he does, we flash back to wee!Dean from “Swan Song” doing the same thing in the sill behind Baby’s back seat. MY HEART! He passes the knife to Sam. He smiles and adds his own “SW” mark next to Dean’s.
Sam calls Mick to debrief, but it’s Ketch who answers the phone. He says that Mick flew back to London to answer for Dagon and Douchebag Percy. He does not tell them that Mick is traveling in a body bag. Dean groans at the change in command structure. Ketch says he doesn’t like it any more than they do. He’d much rather be with their mother.
HUNTING … for chupacabra in Texas. So, Wisconsin? Dean growls that they fought a god and won. Ketch pats them on the head and says he’ll be in touch. He ends the call but continues listening in through the bug. He hears Dean call him a creepy, low-rent Christian Bale. Ketch appears to seethe at the unflattering, yet wholly accurate, description. He doesn’t notice when Dean says he also rides the oldest, worst, most unreliable bike. Ketch is too busy fixating on the snapshot of Mary and wee!Dean that he stole from the Bunker.
And now if you will excuse me, I have to crawl into my TV and murder this sumbitch with my bare hands.
Supernatural airs Thursday at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) on The CW. Follow Whitney on twitter @Watcher_Whitney.