Supernatural Review 12.18 – ‘The Memory Remains’
The Road So Far: British Man of Letters Mick Davies teams up with Sam and Dean again, this time after they get a lead on Kelly Klein and Lucifer’s baby. Before they can do anything, Dagon shows up and wrecks shop. Eileen accidentally kills a British Man of Letters but Mick lets her go thanks to prodding from the Winchesters. Eventually pays for that, as the lady in charge of the whole organization has Ketch kill him, then orders him to kill all hunters.
Season 12, Episode 18: The Memory Remains
Directed By: Phil Sgriccia
Written By: John Bring
(This review contains SPOILERS for this week’s episode. You have been warned.)
I believe this is the first time one of the episodes have been named after a Metallica song, but I could be wrong. With all the classic rock used on this show, you’d think Metallica would appear more on the soundtrack than they have. Anyway, the title is one of the only cool things about this week, which continues season twelve’s mediocre run of episodes. At least Lucifer’s not throwing tantrums in Rick Springfield’s body anymore.
This week we do get some fallout from the Brits declaring war on hunters, but it’s mostly in the background of a monster-of-the-week case. Ketch leads a team into the Den of Letters while Sam and Dean are away, searching everywhere for the Colt and taking stock of everything they have. He also plants a bug and steals a photo of Mary. So in spite of Ketch wanting to get the job done without a trace, you know they’re going to find out soon. Probably in the next episode. I’m guessing they go for the photo and find it’s missing.
The UK Men of Letters were more interesting last week when they had a sympathetic figure in Mick. Now they’re just factory-processed generic bad guys without any real personality. Honestly, they’ve been so non-descript this season that I think I prefer Dick Roman. At least he had a personality, smug as it was. The only thing this group has going for them is Ketch but his biggest trait is that he’s cold and unfeeling.
While their Den with surprisingly shoddy security is searched, Sam and Dean are out on the hunt of a mysterious goat man that is kidnapping people. The case isn’t all that interesting for the first half, but it does get a little better near the end. They discover that a human is behind the kidnappings, but only because they’re feeding innocents to an ancient god trapped in their basement. Sounds like a Goosebumps book.
We do find out that lower-tier gods in this universe can be killed with the Colt, which may or may not be important later. So far only Lucifer is confirmed as one of the ones it can’t. I would guess God and Amara are two others. If Death wasn’t dead maybe we’d know if he was included. Either way, it did the job against the god Moloch so that’s all Sam and Dean care about.
Moloch is never really visible outside of a few shots of its hands, making it one of the better monsters. After all, this show doesn’t really have the budget for impressive monsters (see: werewolves, Leviathans) so it’s better to let the audience imagine what it is than show something silly and get disappointed. Plus since he’s not a particularly powerful villain in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter that he was killed off so soon.
The best part about this episode is kind of random and shoehorned into the end. After their case is over, Sam and Dean return to the Den and have a heartfelt conversation about what kind of legacy they’re leaving, then etch their initials into a table. I mean, it’s nice to see them bond and everything but…really? This case is what makes them get emotional? It seems slightly out of character, especially for Dean, who brought it up. It’s not a big deal, it’s just something that felt off in comparison to the rest of the episode.
Overall, it was another average at best episode. This season has had the potential to be good with plenty of good ideas. But the ideas are never fleshed out, intriguing characters are killed before they can make any kind of an impact and our heroes regularly act out of character. This season has felt like, at times, a different kind of show set in the Supernatural universe. The season finale is closing in and while it might pick up (the show usually does around this time), this has been a disappointing follow-up to season eleven.
We’re taking a break next week, for some reason, so come back on April 27 for the next review.