NOW! Dean and Sam start off tailing a man (Jason Dohring) in an old-fashioned suit and fedora. The brothers split up when they realise he's heading downtown.
Walking behind him, Dean sees the mysterious man suck red essence out of a poor victim. The Winchester is too far away to stop him, but nonetheless charges at the suited bloke. Sam arrives to witness Dean tackle the man as they both vanish in red light.
After the oily titles screen, the episode hops back two days earlier to put the whole thing into context. Dean is on the internet reading about Dick Roman as Sam awakens to a phone call from Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes). Mills tips Sam off on a case in Canton, Ohio - a grad student was mummified (minus the wrapping).
The Winchesters drive up to Canton and make themselves as comfortable as they can inside an abandoned house. They then pay a visit to an eyewitness who saw the assault on the student, introducing themselves as Smith and Smith (ha!).
The witness explains that a man in a suit and fedora grabbed the victim by the neck as he consumed "red energy" from him. The guy further comments that the victim aged before his eyes.
The brothers continue their investigation as Sam points out that Canton is a hotspot for weird deaths - and they come about in sets of three.
Sam digs up information on the discovered bodies in 1928, 1957 and 1974. One of the deaths in 1957 made the front page of a newspaper. After Dean hacks into the town's local feeds (a trick he picked up from Frank) and spots the fedora man, the brothers realise that he doesn't appear to age - in the newspaper photo, he looks exactly the same.
Dean and Sam talk to the woman who found the corpse in the photo, and she identifies the man as Mr. Snyder, who lived on her parents' street. The Winchesters camp outside of Snyder's supposed place of residence at night, and eventually catch him leaving the house.
The start of the episode is replayed again as they tail Snyder and as Dean ends up disappearing with him in red light. This time, we see where they teleport to - actually, more like when. As Snyder flees, an armed Dean is promptly arrested by local police in 1944.
Cuffed and finding that his charm and lies won't work on a hostile interrogator, Dean is then alone with another law enforcer (Nicholas Lea) who asks him to recall the attack. Dean is shocked that this detective believes his story and works out that he's a hunter, too.
The two men agree to work together to take down the serial killer and introduce themselves. The lawman is none other than Eliot Ness.
In the present, Sam gets Sheriff Mills caught up with what's happened so far, and she insists on helping in this case.
Dean, meanwhile, is finding it difficult to contain his excitement that he's hunting with Eliot Ness, even as he's being fitted for new clothes that fit in with the time period (Jensen Ackles is very dapper in old-fashioned attire!).
Dean and Ness, with help from a woman named Ezra, and in the present Sam and Sheriff Mills all start looking into who - and what - 'Snyder' is. Everyone eventually susses out that he is Chronos, aka the God of Time. It seems he's killing people so he can use his godly power.
In 2012, Sam and Sheriff Mills discuss if it's possible to summon a god, while in the past, Ness wants to take a look at the house Chronos was living in in the present.
Sam and Sheriff Mills soon find a spell that can call Chronos to compel him to tell their futures. But calling the god isn't the problem - it's making sure that Chronos is physically touching Dean so Dean can surf back to the present. They have to time it right to the second, or they'll be up against an angry god with no brother.
In 1944, Dean and Ness break into Chronos's house but it's empty. A bit of digging around, however, leads them to discover that Chronos has been betting on horses that he knows will win races, which explains how he's so well off. A lead soon points them towards a diner which he frequents.
They spot Chronos in the diner, but their attention is soon turned to a pretty young woman in a red coat who walks out down the alley. Chronos suspiciously follows. Dean and Chronos prepare to jump the god, but stop themselves when they realise that Chronos and the woman in red are in a relationship - they kiss!
Her name is Lila Taylor. Armed with this new information, Ness suggests he keep an eye on her while Dean heads back to Ezra to see if she's come up with anything useful.
And indeed, she has - a thousand-year olive stake carved by vestal virgins and dipped in the blood of... she chooses not to be too explicit with the details. A stake to the heart will do the trick, but Dean only just now realises that if Chronos dies in 1944, he's stuck in this time forever. Inspired by Back to the Future III, he asks Ezra for some paper...
Ness, outside Lila's home, is suddenly attacked by Chronos and is punched to the ground when Lila calls out to "Ethan". It turns out Ethan is the name Chronos is going under, and he responds to his girlfriend giving Ness enough time to escape.
Chronos enters the house and tells his girlfriend to pack her bag - they're leaving tomorrow. A reluctant Lila is then scared when he loses his temper slightly.
Dean visits the abandoned house where he and Sam are staying in the present, only in this period, it's occupied by an oblivious old man. The Winchester walks to the bedroom and slips a carefully-placed note...
Sam, on orders from Sheriff Mills to get some rest, finds the note and excitedly gives it to Mills, which reads: "Sammy, turns out Snyder is Chronos! I rode him to 1944. Am working with Eliot Ness! Yes, that one! Tracked down Chronos, he's banging some chick named Lila Taylor and we got a weapon. We're going after him. Take care of yourself, Sam."
The letter is dated November 5, 1944. Sam and Sheriff Mills have a day, but they still need an exact time before they can perform the summon - so they speak with Lila.
The elderly Lila remembers Ethan, and she remembers the last time she saw him. It was the night the clock stopped at 11.34pm, and she remembers that two policemen were trying to arrest Ethan but he was violently choking Dean.
At Lila's in 1944, Dean lockpicks the house door but is attacked by Chronos. The god stops, though, when Ness comes out holding Lila at gunpoint.
The truth starts coming out as Chronos vehemently denies that he's a monster: "I'm the opposite. I'm a god!" He admits that he kills for Lila. Three "sacrifices" is what he requires and he can control when and where he lands. Why does he need to kill? Because he's always soon enough tossed through time.
Every time, he comes back to 1944 because he loves Lila. He was living the "worst existence" until he found her. However, Lila rejects him and calls him a monster.
Dean chooses this moment to try to surprise Chronos and stake him, but Chronos is one step ahead of him and quickly gets the upper hand. He starts choking Dean. Ness shoots the god a couple of times to no effect.
Then the clock hits 11.34pm. Sam and Sheriff Mills's summoning spell starts to work as red light is emitted from Chronos's chest. Just before Chronos disappears with Dean, Ness quickly grabs the stake and hurls it towards Dean...
Now in 2012, Sheriff Mills tends to Dean while Sam is knocked aside by Chronos. The god is furious at Dean, ranting that he's "destroyed" everything, before Sam stabs him with the olive stake Ness threw.
Chronos in his dying moments taunts Sam, teasing his future: "It's covered in thick, black ooze. It's everywhere. They're everywhere."
His last words before falling to the ground dead: "Enjoy oblivion."
• Overall, 'Time After Time' is a great instalment of Supernatural.
• This is not the first time that time-travel has been implemented, but the writers have added a really cool spin with Dean's trip to 1944. Eliot Ness, several Untouchables references and a suave-looking Jensen - Dean's adventures in the past were more entertaining than Sam trying to bring his brother back in 2012.
• When Veronica Mars alum Jason Dohring was cast as the ageless God of Time, we had our doubts, but Dohring didn't look out of place at all.
• Nicholas Lea was excellent as Ness, while it's also great to see Sheriff Mills play a prominent role in this episode.
• Not a criticism at all, but the selection of 'previously' scenes this week was rather odd. The Levianthans and Dick played no part at all aside from a brief mention and an amusing "d*ck" joke.