Supernatural S12E18: “The Memory Remains”

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Every family has its demons–some might just actually be gods living under said family’s basement, demanding blood sacrifices in return for wealth.

Extreme, yeah, but as the saying goes, “You’re watching Supernatural.”

This week’s episode begins with Sam and Dean getting an email from Mick (or, well, Ketch pretending to be Mick–more on that later) alerting them to a case in the town of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, which has a less-than-stellar past when it comes to people going missing. A missing persons case would show up once a year, but stopped a few years ago– until now. It sounds like something right up their alley; Sam’s had no luck digging up info on Dagon, and Dean also needs a distraction from the fact that Cas is still missing–his adorable voicemail made another appearance, but I’d rather that appearance be Cas himself–so they head out.

They meet up with Tomahawk’s sheriff, an unassuming, slightly dorky guy with a knack for taxidermy, to learn more about Jared, the kid in the cold open who got knocked out and dragged away by someone or something in a goat mask that seems to be from the same family as Frank’s from Donnie Darko. Bishop thinks Jared just left because his dad was abusive; soon enough, though, Sam and Dean learn that one of Jared’s friends, a kid named Daryn, saw everything happen.

Daryn, who’s basically a little Erlich Bachman, fills Sam and Dean in on Black Bill, a local urban legend that goes back over a hundred years. He’s this weird creature with a goat head that attacks people in the woods, kind of like the Jersey Devil, and Daryn says Black Bill is the one who grabbed Jared that night. Sure, Daryn was high when he saw everything happen, but his explanation is still more likely than Bishop’s, so the Winchesters follow his lead.

The brothers learn more about Black Bill, and also that Daryn went missing on his way home from work after talking to them, so they head to the meat plant where Daryn worked. Pete, Daryn’s boss, tells them that Bishop owns the meat plant, and while the three of them are talking, we cut to where Daryn is: just a few hundred feet away in the freezer, where whatever the hell is rampaging Tomahawk promptly kills him.

The next day, Dean tells Sam that all the victims who have gone missing in the past were employees at the meat plant, and that the majority of establishments in Tomahawk were owned by the Bishop family. The sheriff is in the process of selling everything but the plant and the family estate, so Sam and Dean make a beeline for it.

Remember how I said we’d get back to Ketch pretending to be Mick? As it turns out, the British Men of Letters threw this case the Winchesters’ way so they could break into the bunker, bug the place, and learn everything they needed to about the Winchesters (and find the Colt. That, too). Of course, Sam and Dean took the Colt with them, but Ketch ends up taking something of his own: the photo Dean has in his nightstand of him as a boy with Mary. On a show that’s full of creepy things, this is by far the creepiest, and added about 80 more tally marks in the “anti-Ketch” column for me.

While exploring the Bishop estate, Sam and Dean stumble upon the basement, which resembles nothing short of a murder room. The discovery prompts probably my favorite quote in the whole episode from Dean: “Why is it always the rich ones? I mean, what, are they like, ‘Croquet’s all right, but you know what would be great? Murder.’”

They originally had the house to themselves, but Bishop returns home and, after being held at gunpoint, fills Sam and Dean in on the real story. Apparently, a monster had been living under his family’s estate for generations. The monster, who we later find out is actually Moloch, the god of sacrifice, promised the Bishops wealth if they fed him human blood, and that’s exactly what they did, but not before donning a creepy-ass goat mask while nabbing their victims.

Bishop’s goal is to make up for all the bad his family had done, so he kept Moloch locked up without any more blood, hoping he’d starve himself to death. They quickly realize that Moloch’s lair is empty, and when Dean heads upstairs to investigate a loud noise, he’s knocked out by Pete and dragged back to the meat plant while Sam and Bishop are locked in the basement.

The plant is where we learn that Pete’s behind all the latest murders. He’s Bishop’s half-brother who didn’t get any of the wealth his half-brother got, so when he stumbled upon Moloch, who promised him fortune as well, he jumped on the opportunity. The Bishop family motto is eerily similar to the Winchesters’–”Killing people, hunting them, the family business”–and Bishop was supposed to have been the latest victim, but Pete says Dean will do, and locks him in the freezer to be killed by Moloch.

Sam and Bishop track the GPS in Dean’s cell phone and get into a fight with Pete, who’s seconds away from killing Bishop when Sam shoots him, then finds Dean and shoots Moloch with the Colt before it can kill Dean.

After Bishop says that he’ll clean up this mess, that it’s his family’s legacy, Sam and Dean return to the bunker. Dean asks Sam if he thinks they’ll leave behind a legacy. Sam says no, they won’t be written about in history books, but he thinks the people and families they saved will remember them. They’ll have left the world better than they found it, and that’s enough for him.

The bunker is the next topic of discussion, and Dean says he hopes a new generation of hunters come in and keep up the legacy; with that, he pulls out his pocketknife and he and Sam etch their initials into the table, just like in the Impala.

Which, excuse me, I wasn’t expecting all these feelings tonight and I won’t stand for it.


All I could think of during this scene was lyrics from Hamilton: “Legacy–what is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

Despite their doubts, I really do think the Winchesters’ garden will be full to bursting with all the flowers blooming from the seeds they left behind.

Instead of ending on that lovely little scene, we get more Ketch weirdness: he answers the phone when the Winchesters call Mick and tells them that Mick is back in London, and they’ll be reporting to him for the foreseeable future. The whole time, he’s staring at the photo of Mary and Dean, and I’m just so. done. with. him.

All in all, another solid monster of the week with some nice introspection and wonderful heartstrings-tugging moments at the end; definitely a good time.

Now if we could just get Cas back soon, that’d be great.

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