8.12 As Time Goes By

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Title As Time Goes By
Episode # Season 8, Episode 12
First aired January 30, 2013
Directed by Serge Ladouceur
Written by Adam Glass
On IMDB As Time Goes By
Outline Sam and Dean get's a visit from the past from their grandfather who is being chased by a powerful demon. They have to stop her from getting access to the largest collection of supernatural knowledge in the world.
Monster Abaddon
Location(s) Normal, Illinois
Lebanon, Kansas
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Normal Illinois, 1958 Late at night, young John Winchester sleeps in his bed. His dad comes in and wakes him and says goodbye as he leaves for work. John asks about pin Henry is wearing. It is an Aquarian Star. Henry tells him we will explain all about it one day.

A secret knock opens the door with a mark that matches the pin Henry is wearing. Inside, Henry meets Josie Sands. Josie is called into another room by a hooded man and then fighting, screaming and commotion ensues behind the door. Henry runs in and a man with bleeding eyes hands him a box and tells him not to let Abaddon get it. Abaddon has possessed Josie Sands. She kills the remaining men in the room, as Henry runs out. Henry hides and starts a spell which propels him into Sam and Dean’s motel room. He falls out of their closet and asks for John.

Sam and Dean throw him against the wall questioning him. Since John isn’t there, Henry tries to leave. Sam and Dean attempt to handcuff him but Henry turns it on them and he escapes. Henry breaks into the Impala but Dean and Sam stop him before he had time to hotwire her and drive away. In the hotel room Dean and Sam start to interrogate him. Abaddon breaks through the closet door. Dean stabs her with the demon-killing knife, but it doesn’t kill her. Dean, Sam and Henry jump into the Impala and drive away. The motel manager tries to chase them own, but Abaddon reads his mind and then kills him. Roadside, Henry tells Sam and Dean about his time travel. Dean and Sam tell Henry John is dead. Henry confesses he is John’s father.

In a diner and stepped away from Henry, Dean and Sam hash out what they know. Henry’s knowledge proves his is who he says. He supposedly abandoned John and his mother as a child, but perhaps it was an accident. He traveled to 2013 and got stuck.

Henry assumes his grandsons are Men of Letters and explains who they are. Sam tells Henry they and John are/were hunters. Henry is appalled. “Hunters are apes.” Sam and Dean are legacies. Henry takes them to the building the Men of Letters were in the night he traveled. Henry’s father and grandfather were also Men of Letters. They are a family of preceptors. It is their responsibility to chronicle all things supernatural. They share that knowledge with a few elite hunters. The three enter the building which in present day has become a comic shop.

Henry thinks Abaddon is after the box he was given by the Men of Letters, but he has no idea what the box is. What happened the night Henry traveled through time as been covered up as a “fire.” All 4 of the men from the club there are dead. The three Winchesters head to their gravesite. One of the tombstones reads Albert Magnus – the alias the Men of letters would use incognito. The Aquarian Star is found on all of the tombstones except one, Larry Ganem.

Abaddon goes to the comic shop and finds out where the Winchesters headed next. Back in the graveyard, the boys have dug up Larry’s grave. The body is not his. Doing research, the boys find Larry is living in Lebanon, Kansas with the alias of the body that was in his grave (Tom Carey). He revels that Abaddon is a Knight of Hell. They are some of the first fallen and first born demons. They are thought to have all been killed by archangels, so Abaddon may be the last of their kind. Henry tells Sam and Dean about John, and figures out John thinks he deserted him. Dean gets heated and walks out. That night, Henry sneaks away while Sam and Dean sleep. Henry breaks into a local Hoodoo shop, as well as the Impala trunk to get what he needs for the spell. When Sam and Dean are looking for him, they discover that the girl for the comic shop has been murdered. Sam heads to Larry’s home.

Larry tells Sam that the box Henry is carrying is the key to the Men of Letters headquarters. Every scroll, spell and piece of knowledge the Men of Letters had is there. Larry gives Sam the coordinates to it. It is the safest place on earth, impervious to any entry without the key and protected from all evil. Abaddon is possessing Larry’s wife. She knocks Sam out and kills Larry. Dean finds Henry in the Hoodoo store starting the spell and they argue. Abaddon calls Dean. She wants to trade Henry and the key for Sam’s life. Henry refuses to stop the spell, so Dean knocks him out and takes him to Abaddon. She has Sam, and they make the trade, but Abaddon won’t let them leave. She wounds Henry, but he shoots her in the head with a devils trapped carved bullet. She’s not dead, but she is trapped in the head of the body. Henry is dying. He makes up with Sam and Dean. He apologizes and gives them the box. They bury him with the rest of the Men of Letters.




(plays on young John Winchester's music box, and whistled by Henry Winchester)
  • "The Future Is Strange" by Watt Son
(plays from a car as Henry escapes the motel room)
  • "Surf's Up America" by Bodega Girls feat. Anthony Rossomando
(plays when Sam, Dean and Henry enter Astro Comics)


Dean: Let me tell you what I understand! Some asshat pops out of my closet asking about my dad, smashes up my ride. So why am I not getting violent, again?
Abaddon: Henry. Silly man, you forgot to lock the door. But then spells never were your best subject, were they? Why don't you be a doll and give me what I want? And I promise to kill you and your friends here quickly.
Dean: Where'd you come from?

Henry: She's from Hell. I'm from Normal, Illinois – 1958.

Dean: Yeah, right. Seriously? Dudes time-travelling through motel-room closets? That's what we've come to?
Dean: How come she didn't die when I stabbed her?

Henry: Because demons can't be killed by run-of-the-mill cutlery. At the very least, you'd need an ancient demon-killing knife of the Kurds.
Dean: That's what this is.
Henry: Where'd you get that?

Dean: Demon gave it to me. We've been around this block so many times.
Sam: Wait, wait, wait. Listen to this. According to dad's journal, he once tortured a demon that said he made his bones working for Abaddon, who, it turns out, is a Knight of Hell.

Dean: What does that even mean?

Henry: Knights of Hell are hand-picked by Lucifer himself. They are of the first-fallen, first-born demons.
Henry: John was a legacy. I was supposed to teach him the ways of the Letters.

Dean: Well, he learned things a little differently.
Henry: How?

Dean: The hard way. Surviving a lonely childhood, a stinking war... only to get married and have his wife taken by a demon... and later killed by one himself. That man got a bum rap around every turn. But you know what? He kept going. And in the end, he did a hell of a lot more good than he did bad.
Dean: Listen, I understand that this is not your idea of a happy ending, okay, and that – that you're disappointed that me and Sam are mouth-breathing hunters. But you know what? We stopped the Apocalypse.
Dean: Henry, you need to understand something. When my dad died, I couldn't save him... no matter how bad I wanted to. I never want that to happen to Sam... ever. If there's a chance that I can save him, I'm gonna do it. He's my brother. He's the only family I got.
Abaddon: You still didn't kill me.
Dean: No, but you'll wish we did. The demon trap in your noggin is gonna keep you from smoking out. We're gonna cut you into little steaks and bury each strip under cement. You might not be dead, but you'll wish you were.
Henry: I'm sorry I judged you two so harshly for being hunters. I should have known better.

Sam: About?

Henry: You're also Winchesters. As long as we're alive, there's always hope. I didn't know my son as a man, but having met you two... I know I would have been proud of him.

Trivia & References

The episode title is also the name of a song written in the 1930s, and most famously sung by Dooley Wilson in the movie Casablanca. It is also the tune playing on the music box that Henry buys for John to help him sleep after he is scared by the movie Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy. Sam says he remembers John whistling it sometimes.
Henry: 2013 – my god. Guess the Mayans were wrong.
Henry is referring to the Mayan prophecy that predicted the end of the world in December 2012.
Henry: Like you could fit a computer in this room.
In the late 1950s computers were really really big. The IBM 650 was one of the first commercial mainframes and was popular due to its "small" size – it weighed over 900kg, with a separate 1350kg power supply. In the 1950s computers used vacuum tubes or discrete transistors and could store one bit on a piece of hardware the size of a thumb. With the invention of integrated computer chips (1970s and on) millions of bits could be stored on a chip the same size.
Dean: Yeah, well, now that you're done blowing chunks, you want to tell us who Betty Crocker was?
Betty Crocker is the cultural icon and brand name of the General Mills company. She is typically depicted as a red head.
Dean: Let's not forget that H.G. Wells over there left Dad high and dry when he was a kid.
Herbert George Wells was a notable author who wrote in a wide range of genres, amongst which the 1895 fiction novel The Time Machine, a book accredited with popularizing the idea of time travel.
Henry: Level of knowledge. You're Men of Letters, correct?

Dean: I'm a little rusty on my boy bands. Men of what?
Henry: Men of Letters, like your father, who taught you our ways.

A Man of Letters is a term derived from the French belletrist or homme de lettres. The term simply denoted that a man was literate, during a period of time in the 17th and 18th centuries where literacy was less common.
Dean: So you're like Yodas to our Jedis. Never mind. You'll get there.
In Star Wars, Yoda is a powerful Jedi master who trains other Jedi.
Henry: Hand me your walkie-talkie.

Sam: You mean my phone?
Henry: Even better... Operator, I need Delta 457.

Delta 457 is a reference to telephone exchange names that were used during Henry Winchester's time period.
Albert Magnus is the name the Men of Letters use when going incognito. Albertus Magnus was a German Dominican friar from the 13th century who advocated the peaceful coexistence of religion and science.
Dean: He broke in to the trunk, stole an angel feather. I'm guessing he's gonna whip up another one of those blood spells and Marty McFly himself back to the 1950s.
Marty McFly is main character/time traveler of the Back to the Future franchise.
Abaddon: Good boy. Now listen up – I want to make a good, old-fashioned horse trade. Henry and the key for your brother. Or he dies. Am I clear?
Horse trading was literally the buying and selling of horses. However it came to be a term used to describe unethical business practices.
Dean:How come she didn't die when I stabbed her?

Henry:Because demons can't be killed by run-of-the-mill cutlery. At the very least, you'd need an ancient demon-killing knife of the Kurds.

Dean:That's what this is.

Henry:Where'd you get that?

Dean:Demon gave it to me. We've been around this block so many times.

Abaddon was stabbed through the backbone into the heart, but she survives despite the immense damages. Thus Abaddon was the first demon ever established as truly immune to it.


This is the first episode to be directed by Supernatural’s Director of Photography Serge Ladouceur. Camera Operator Brad Creasser acted as DP on this episode, as well as 8.11 LARP and the Real Girl, while Serge was prepping this episode.
In the diner, Dean and Henry have a burger and fries. Sam has a salad.
The Aquarian Star which is the symbol of the Men of Letters can also be seen on young Mary Campbell's charm bracelet in the time travel episode 4.03 In the Beginning. The shape is a unicursal hexagram.
The Haitian symbol on Larry Ganem's tombstone resembles the veve for Baron Samedi, the loa of the dead and resurrection. Baron Samedi previously made an appearance in 5.19 Hammer of the Gods.
A copy of Adam Glass' Suicide Squad #14 can be seen in the Astro Comics Shop next to the punk girl.
When Sam, Dean and Henry first enter the Astro Comics Shop, a DJ Sam poster is visible next to the door. Several DJ Sam posters were last seen in 6.01 Exile on Main St.
The scene where Sam walks up to Larry Ganem's house is the exact same scene used in 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid when Sam walks up to the Jones residence.
Sam: I get it now, what Cupid said about Heaven busting ass to get Mom and Dad together. Winchesters and the Campbells – the brains and the brawn.
In 5.14 My Bloody Valentine, Sam and Dean encounter the angel Cupid who tells them that Heaven is interested in certain people falling in love and having children "You know, certain bloodlines, certain destinies. Oh, like yours... the union of John and Mary Winchester – very big deal upstairs, top priority arrangement. Mm. It wasn't easy, either. Ooh, they couldn't stand each other at first. But when we were done with them – perfect couple. The orders were very clear. You and Sam needed to be born. Your parents were just, uh... meant to be. (sings) A match made in heaven – heaven!"
In 4.03 In the Beginning, in 1973 a guy at a diner says to a young John Winchester, "Say hello to your old man for me," implying the presence of a paternal figure. Of course it is possible that John's mother (who was never mentioned) remarried and this refers to a step-father, or that John and his mother moved in with a grandparent. John later also states that he is a "mechanic from a family of mechanics," but never specifically said his father was a mechanic. While it seems that Henry and his father were not mechanics, other family members may have been, including his mother which is plausible given the number of women that entered the profession during World War II.
During the scene at the comic shop, when Sam pulls up the search for the names Henry gives him, he says the events happened at 242 Gaines Street. (The number on the door was 242.) It can be seen clearly on the screen, however, that the events are listed as happening at a gentleman's club at 422 Polar Street, Normal, Illinois. The second result shows the comic store as being at 422 Poplar Street, Normal, Illinois.
Sam's search results.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts