Synopsis of 12×18: ‘The Memory Remains’ opens with a kid walking down a dark, lonely road (this should sound familiar because this exact scenario happened two episodes ago) and is attacked by a human in a goat mask. The Winchesters get the case via text from someone pretending to be Mic.
The Winchesters go to the town where the case is at and meet the Sheriff, who seems unconcerned about the boy who disappeared. They meet with Darren, the friend who witnessed his friend’s abduction and who works that the local meat factory. Darren explains that he saw his friend abducted by the Goatman, and later he is confronted by his creepy boss, Pete.
Dean and Sam meet at the local diner, where Dean hits on a waitress and goes home with her. I must admit, Dean is a little creepy and comes off as a tad desperate when he is hitting on the young waitresses. Sam explains that there is an urban legend about Black Bill and Sam believes it is a sadder that feeds of the pleasures of others.
The Winchesters discover that the creepy and aloof Sheriff really owns the meat factory that they are at and suspect that he is behind the disappearances. While Sam and Dean are away on business, the Brits invade the Bunker and go through all of the boy’s stuff and plant a bug. Mr. Ketch steals Dean’s picture of him and his mom. Hopefully, this indicates that Mr. Ketch has a soul somewhere deep down in there and will not go through with the eradication of the American hunters.
The boys continue to discover that all of the people who have disappeared have all worked at the meat packing plant. They investigate the Sheriff’s house and find that their basement is a murder basement, which prompts Dean to say one of the best lines of the episode, “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 confront the Sheriff, who surprise, surprise, has a dark family history of feeding the god, Moloch, people in exchange for riches and prosperity. The Sheriff looks completely downtrodden and explains that after his father had died, he was just attempting to right the wrongs of his family and do some good. That should sound somewhat familiar, as that is partially what the Winchesters have also continued to do. There’s a noise, and Dean goes to investigate, and he is attacked and abducted by the Goatman.
Dean wakes up tied to a chair and realizes that his abductor is none other than the half brother of the Sheriff, who has decided to continue the family biz. He gives the traditional bad guy spiel of why and what his plans are. This leads to the bastardization of the Winchesters motto, when Pete says, “ Hunting people, killing people, that’s the family business.” He also completely disregards human life, as he justifies the abduction of the two boys, because “they weren’t going anywhere.”
Dean is locked in a meat freezer and left to fight Moloch with a meat hook. The Sheriff and his half brother start to fight, and Sam has to kill the half-brother before he kills the Sheriff. Sam then saves Dean by killing Moloch with the Colt. Moloch was never really fully in the forefront, and thus the audience only saw parts of him from a distance. The Winchester’s offer to help the Sheriff clean up the mess and the Sheriff sadly announces that he will clean up the mess, because that was his legacy. The boys give their report to Ketch, who they are unhappy to find out have replaced Mic.
The episode ends with the boys discussing their family and realizing that they are not as messed up as other people. Sam and Dean also have a heart to heart about what their legacy was going to be and if they would be remembered after they die. Sam explains that they probably would not be remembered and the that the people that they have saved was their legacy, and that was okay because they left the world a better place than they found it. Together, Dean and Sam carve their initials into the wooden table, like they did with the Impala when they were kids.
The episode ends on a very hopeful note, that even though there are awful legacies and events that have happened, hope still exists through small or large acts. This episode, though a phenomenal stand alone, appears to be filler for the overarching theme of the season, which given that there are only three more episodes until the end of the season, the Nephilim story-arc may not wrap up by the end of the season.