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SUPERNATURAL: “Time After Time” – RECAP
With every new episode of Supernatural, it becomes clearer and clearer to me the show has used up nearly all its gas. Yes, “Death’s Door” was a phenomenal episode, but its greatness owed a lot to Jim Beaver and the fans’ love for Bobby. Since that episode, things have floundered. It’s still good television, but there’s a sense of repetition and an unwillingness to really churn out the absolute best stories. There’s a moment in “Time After Time” when Dean, having gone back in time to the 1940s, is explaining to Eliot Ness (leader of The Untouchables) that time travel isn’t something you normally come across as a hunter from the future. Now, just off the top of my head I can think of three episodes in the last few seasons that featured time travel, including last year’s “Frontierland,” which had a very similar vibe to “Time After Time.” Sorry Dean, but you travel through time way too often.
The problem isn’t so much that the show has gone back in time one too many times, it’s that they haven’t really done anything special with it. This hit a lot of the same notes we’ve seen before in “Frontierland,” including the use of a monster that displays a softer, more human side, and a famous historical figure who also happens to be a hunter. The writer’s couldn’t have made Dean’s trip to the ‘40s a tad more interesting? It played out like a regular episode, but with fancier clothing. I kept thinking to myself, why did Dean have to go to the ‘40s? What was so special about that? Going to the old west was fun because of Dean’s childlike love for cowboy movies and making him sheriff of a town, but aside from a couple of references to The Untouchables, there wasn’t a whole lot that was done with the era in “Time After Time.” They could have sent him to the ‘60s or the 1720s; it wouldn’t have made a difference. It would still be Dean trapped in a random time.
In one of the promos for the episode, it showed Dean firing a tommy gun like a boss, but that scene never came even close to happening in the actual episode itself. Dean had the gun, but he never once fired a shot from it. Now if the show had gone for a full on Untouchables homage, I might have enjoyed myself a lot more, but all we got were jokes and references, nothing full blown. That about sums up what I’m starting to feel about Season 7: it’s not digging deep enough. It’s staying on the surface for its storylines, not wanting to get too intense or engaging. Maybe they’re saving the really good stuff for later in the season, but if so that’s a terrible way to structure a show. I’m bored of Supernatural for the first time in seven seasons. Where’s the excitement? Where are the thrills?
I’m really starting to hope this is the last season of Supernatural. It really has been a shadow of its formal self. I know it can do better than what it’s been doing. I’ve seen what it’s capable of. If by some miracle it can become a gripping horror series again, then by all means give it an eighth season, but I don’t think I could stand the show if it continues down the current road it’s on.