12.18 The Memory Remains

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SPN-1218.jpg
Title The Memory Remains
Episode # Season 12, Episode 18
First aired April 13, 2017
Directed by Phil Sgriccia
Written by John Bring
On IMDB The Memory Remains
Outline Sam and Dean uncover a dark secret in a small Wisconsin town when investigating a missing person, whose attacker was described as a man with the head of a goat.
Monster Moloch
Timeline
Location(s) Tomahawk, Wisconsin
Lebanon, Kansas
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Synopsis

In Tomahawk, Wisconsin, a group of young couples parties around a campfire in the woods late at night. Two boys sit apart from the rest of the romantically engaged couples. Jarrod is bored and wants to leave, citing that he has work early the next morning. Daryn encourages him to stay and “enjoy the show.” Jarrod leaves anyway and is walking alone through the woods when he hears a strange noise. He notices a backpack with a glow stick attached to it abandoned by a tree. The bag is filled with money, and when he picks it up it triggers a trap that binds him to the tree. He shouts out for Daryn, believing it to be a prank. Daryn goes to investigate his friend's shouts, and we see through the eyeholes of a mask as a creature approaches and bludgeons Jarrod unconscious. Daryn runs away, having witnessed the whole thing.

At the bunker, Dean is still trying to reach Castiel on the phone and leaves him yet another message updating him on the Dagon and Kelly Kline situation, telling him that they’d failed to kill Dagon even with the Colt. Sam and Dean discuss everything Dean’s already done to try to find Cas, and Sam reassures him that Cas will be fine, because he always is. Dean is unconvinced and continues cleaning his guns. Sam tells Dean he hasn’t been able to find anything useful about Dagon or the Princes of Hell in the library other than a few sparse mentions in every book they have on demons. Sam receives an email from “Mick” informing them of a new case: Jarrod Hayes’s disappearance, and the town of Tomahawk’s long history of yearly disappearances, one a year from 1898 until 1997, when they mysteriously stopped. Sam replies to tell him they’ll investigate, but we see it’s actually Ketch who receives Sam’s message, and announces to a group of associates, “It’s time.”

In Tomahawk, Sam and Dean visit Sheriff Barrett Bishop, Jr.’s office. He’s preoccupied with sewing a taxidermy animal, and seems disinterested in Jarrod’s disappearance. He’s more convinced that the boy ran away. He’d had a hard life with an abusive father he was now the sole caregiver for, and the sheriff wouldn’t blame him for bailing. Sam and Dean persist, asking about Jerrod’s friends who were with him that night. They interview Daryn Boston as FBI Agents Stark and Martell. Daryn drops the joint he’s smoking, but Dean picks it up and hands it back to him, telling him they aren’t interested in busting him, they just want information on Jarrod. He tells Sam and Dean about the goat-headed monster that hurt Jarrod – Black Bill.

In a cafe that evening, Sam is researching the local legend of Black Bill while Dean is visibly distracted by their waitress. Dean assigns Sam the task of finding out what sort of creature it is, while he figures out how to kill it, then excuses himself to go flirt with the waitress since he’s already figured out how to kill it – using the Colt because it will kill anything. Sam is mortified on Dean’s behalf over his objectively terrible “coffee pickup line.” Meanwhile, at the meat-packing factory where Daryn works, Daryn is confronted by his boss, Pete Garfinkle, over his tardiness. Pete claims to understand because he liked Jarrod too, a claim which Daryn disputes. Pete persists, asking for Daryn to be professional for tomorrow, because it’s a big day. Daryn leaves work and walks out to his truck in the snow, but before he can start the engine, the goat-headed creature smashes his window, drags him out of the truck, and bludgeons him with a mallet.

The next morning, Sam’s already in the cafe eating breakfast when Dean and the waitress from the previous night enter. She looks very pleased and Dean looks very rumpled. Dean uses the word “awesome” three times to describe his night, and then steals Sam’s veggie omelette. He complains that Sam should’ve ordered pancakes and Sam tries to take his food back, but Dean chokes it down anyway. Sam reports his research findings; he believes they’re dealing with a satyr, a creature of lust who lures its victims to the woods for orgies before consuming them. Sam tried to interview Daryn again to confirm that’s what he saw, but Daryn has now disappeared as well. They return to Billhook Meats and speak with Pete, who tells them Daryn didn’t show up for work that morning, despite knowing it was their “big day” due to a health inspector’s visit. The business has been failing for a while, and we learn that Sheriff Bishop owns the factory, too. Sam and Dean suspect that Sheriff Bishop may be behind Daryn’s disappearance since he’d known they were questioning him. They find Sheriff Bishop a few moments later and inform him that now they’re looking for both Jarrod and Daryn, and ask him what he’s heard about Black Bill. The sheriff scoffs that Black Bill is just a local boogeyman, a story. Sam brings up the yearly disappearances, and Barrett explains them as drifters passing through town to work at the plant before moving on again. He dismisses Daryn’s sighting of Black Bill as a drunken or stoned hallucination and his disappearance as “sleeping one off” somewhere safe and sound.

Meanwhile Daryn is waking up, but he’s not safe and sound. He’s in a red-lit freezer inside the factory. He bangs on the door yelling for help, but we see he’s in a closed-off section of the factory that’s boarded up with warning signs of a coolant leak to keep people away. Sam and Dean walk right past, but can’t hear him over the noise of the factory. Inside the freezer, Daryn finds Jarrod’s body, and then is attacked by a growling monster with goat horns -- not the same creature he’d seen in the woods.

Dean’s eating a burger at the cafe and Sam asks how he can even eat after their visit to the meat plant. Dean tells Sam to grow up, calls it “heaven,” and continues eating while they update each other on their respective research. Dean learned that all the Black Bill victims worked for Billhook Meats. Sam discovered that the Bishop family used to own the entire town of Tomahawk, but that Barrett Bishop began selling off the town to the residents several years earlier, except for the plant and the family estate, which they plan to investigate next. Sam gets a text from “Mick” and replies that they’re still working the case.

It’s actually Ketch again who receives Sam’s text, as he and his men break into the bunker to investigate Sam and Dean, looking for information on their allies and contacts, and most importantly how Sam gets his hair so shiny. Ketch states his primary objective is to retrieve the Colt. Sam and Dean arrive at the Barrett family mansion and break in to the abandoned house. Sam discovers the locked basement door, but Sheriff Barrett arrives while they’re exploring what looks like a murder room.

Sam and Dean question the Sheriff, and he tells them about his family secret, that they are Black Bill. The real monster lived under their house and made their family rich in exchange for a yearly blood sacrifice. His ancestors had bound the god Moloch, locked him under the basement floor, and starved him until he was willing to use his power to make them rich in exchange for sacrifices. His ancestors would wear the Black Bill mask when they hunted their victims, and then brought them back to the house to be sacrificed. When his father died, Barrett stopped the sacrifices. He’d hoped to starve Moloch to death, to make up for the bad his family had done and leave a different legacy. Sam discovers that the cage he’d kept Moloch in is empty. Armed with the Colt, Dean goes to investigate a noise upstairs. He sees the Black Bill costume and goes to take a closer look when he’s attacked from behind by Pete. He pushes Dean over the stair railing and knocks him unconscious then runs down and locks Sam and Barrett in the basement.

Sam tries to break the door down and Barrett brings him a meat cleaver to smash the door with. Once outside, Sam tracks Dean’s cell phone and they rush to his location. Meanwhile back at the bunker, the BMOL team is photographing everything, Ketch verifies that he can’t see anything through the telescope, and agents plant listening devices in various locations. Ketch searches Dean’s room himself. The only thing he seems interested in is the old photograph of Dean with Mary.

At Billhook Meats, Dean is waking up with a wound on the side of his head, bound to a chair with plastic wrap. We learn that Pete is Barrett’s illegitimate half brother who’d always been jealous that Barrett had everything while he’d had nothing. While searching the family mansion for things to sell, Pete found out the family’s secret and made a new deal with Moloch. He uses the line, “Hunting people, killing them. The family business.” Pete had intended to feed Barrett to Moloch next, but instead he wheels Dean into the freezer. Ketch and his team finish their inventory of the bunker, but don’t find the Colt. On his way out, Ketch plants a bug under the war room map table. Back in the freezer, Dean wheels himself around and spots Daryn’s body being dragged away by the monster, and he fights to break free of the plastic bindings. Sam and Barrett are just outside in the plant searching for him, but Pete is also lying in wait for them wearing the Black Bill mask.

Dean picks up a meathook to defend himself. While Sam and Barrett play cat and mouse with Pete, Dean does the same inside the freezer with Moloch. Sam hears the monster roar, but Pete bludgeons him as he approaches the freezer. Barrett tackles and unmasks Pete, and is shocked that his brother would do this. He says he gave Pete the plant, but Pete retorts that he knew it was failing. Pete wanted more, because his whole life he’d always been left with “the crap.” Pete throws Barrett off and aims the Colt at him. Dean’s frantically trying to escape Moloch in the freezer while Pete announces that he’s finally the hero who’s going to save the town. Before Pete can shoot Barrett, Sam shoots him. Dean scores a hit on Moloch with the meathook, but it barely slows the monster down and it rams Dean’s head against a post. Sam collects the Colt from Pete’s body, shoots his way into the locked freezer, and kills Moloch with the Colt. Dean collapses on the floor in relief.

While Barrett crouches over his dead brother in the background, Dean holds a frozen steak to his bruised temple. Sam asks how he’s feeling, and he responds, “Like I just went 12 rounds with a god, so, you know... normal.” Barrett tells them to go, that he’ll take care of everything, because this is his legacy. Back at the bunker, Sam and Dean sit in the library wondering what their legacy will be, if they’ll be remembered a hundred years from now. Sam suggests the people they saved will be their legacy, because they left the world better than they found it. Dean wonders about the bunker, if other hunters will move in. Dean gets out his knife and he and Sam carve their initials into the library table like they’d done to Baby as kids.

Sam calls “Mick” to report in on their case, but Ketch answers and tells them Mick flew back to London and that they’ll be reporting to him now. Dean’s report was, “We fought a god and won.” After they hang up, Sam and Dean complain about Ketch, saying that he creeps them out, and Dean disses his bike while Ketch listens to them on the surveillance monitor and stares at the picture of Mary and Dean that he stole from Dean’s room.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Prohibition (4th Amendment)" by Bongzilla
(playing at the party in the woods during the teaser)
  • "Music to Watch Girls By" by Tony Hatch
(playing in the diner as Sam is telling Dean about Black Bill)
  • "Burgers and Fries" by Charley Pride
(playing in the diner as Dean is eating his burger)

Quotes

Sam: I stayed up all night, going through every book we have on demons, and it turns out we have a lot of books on demons.
Dean: So we got a, uh, goat dude with a name like a pirate, which is a little insane, even for us. And that bar is... super high. So if it is real, what the hell is it?
Sam: Oh, don't do the hot coffee thing.
Dean: Boy this coffee is hot. Kind of like... Hi, what's your name?
Sam: Good night?
Dean: Awesome. It was an awesome night. So awesome.
Mr. Ketch: It's clear. Onward. Now remember your orders. By the time we leave, Dr. Hess wants to know everything about our 'friends' the Winchesters – their allies, their habits. How does Sam get his hair so shiny? How many ratty flannels does Dean own? So work quick, work quiet, and leave no trace. Oh, and apparently, Mick let Sam and Dean get their hands on the bloody Colt. Find it, huh?
Dean: Why is it always the rich ones? I mean, what, are they, like, 'Croquet's all right. But you know what'd be great? Murder.'
Sheriff Bishop: This is not what it looks like.
Dean: Really? 'Cause it looks like a straight up murder room to me.
Sam: Hey. How you feelin'?
Dean: Like I just went 12 rounds with a god. So, you know... normal.
Dean: Next time you hear me say our family is messed up, remind me that we could be psycho goat people.
Sam: Yeah, that's true enough.
Dean: You know, I was... thinking about what Bishop said. About... What do you think our legacy's gonna be? When we're gone, I mean, after all the stuff we've done, you think folks will remember us? You know, like, a hundred years from now?

Sam: No.
Dean: Oh, that's nice.

Sam: Well, I mean... guys like us, we're not exactly the type of people they write about in history books, you know? But the people we saved, they're our legacy. And they'll remember us and then I guess... we'll eventually fade away, too. That's fine, because we left the world better than we found it, you know.

Trivia & References

"The Memory Remains" is a reference to the song of the same name by Metallica off of their Load album.
Dean: What 'bout you? You got anything there, Reading Rainbow?
Reading Rainbow was a TV show about reading for kids that ran for 30 years until 2006. It was revived in 2014 as an app.
Sam and Dean use the aliases "Agents Stark and Martell," a reference to two of the major dynasties in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series by George Martin and its television adaptation Game of Thrones.
The name of the local legend of the goat man "Black Bill" is a reference to the goat Black Phillip who is a manifestation of Lucifer in the 2015 movie The Witch.
Sam: All right, well, he lives in the woods, so he's like a local Jersey Devil. And apparently he has the head of a goat.
The Jersey Devil is a legendary monster from Pine Barrens, New Jersey, dating back to the 1700s.
Sam: I have some idea what we're dealing with. Look at this. It's a saytr – half man, half goat from Greek mythology.

Dean: Oh come on. This guy's adorable. He plays a freakin' flute.
Sam: Yeah, Dean. That's – that's Pan. It's his flute.

Pan was the Greek god of nature who played a flute made of multiple reeds, known as Pan's pipes.
Dean: Grow up, Sam, okay? Burger's beef, bacon's pig, Soylent Green's people. But this – this... This is heaven.
In the 1973 movie Soylent Green the world is devastated by global warming, and people survive by eating a food called "Soylent Green." This is said to be made from plankton but it is actually made from human remains.
Dean: Wow. So who lives at the Addams Family house?
The Addams Family is a family featured in a cartoon, and later a television series and movie, about a creepy family who celebrate the macabre and live in a ruined Gothic mansion.
A Bob Seger Night Moves cassette can be spotted in Dean's nightstand drawer when Ketch is rummaging through it, alongside pictures of Sam and Dean; Sam, Dean and Bobby; and a young Dean and Mary.
Dean: Honestly? Sounds like a bad episode of Dynasty.
Dynasty was a 1980s prime-time soap opera about a rich oil family.
Dean: So now we're reporting to low rent Christian Bale? Seriously? I don't like that guy. He creeps me out.
Christian Bale is an English actor known for his role as Batman, and his temper.

Minutiae

Pete: And hell, I'm a Bishop. That's what we do, right? Hunting people. Killing them. The family business.
This line, which earns a glare from Dean, is the opposite of the Winchester family business as stated by Dean in 1.02 Wendigo: "saving people, hunting things, the family business."
Mr. Ketch: Just as I thought. Can't see a damn thing.
According to actor David Haydn-Jones, Ketch looking through the Bunker's telescope was an inside joke by director Phil Sgriccia.
This episode revealed that the Colt has the ability to kill pagan gods.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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