Last week’s Supernatural left the fate of Bobby Singer unknown, after he was shot in the head by Dick Roman, head of the Leviathans. At the end of this week’s episode…well, not much had changed. Bobby’s fate still hangs in the balance as we break for the winter hiatus, but following an hour of surfing through the brain of Bobby, one thing has changed: I love him even more than before. [Don’t read on if you haven’t watched this week’s episode!]
Now, this was clearly an episode designed to be a starring vehicle for Jim Beaver, which is understandable, considering every character is entitled to a shining moment every now and then. But I’ll admit to having my doubts about whether or not Bobby was the proper character to have helm the midseason finale. (In fact, I’m still not entirely sure it’s what I would have done, but that’s why they let the professionals run the shows. Ha.) Regardless of what side of the fence you fall on, though, you have to admit that the episode was a great exploration of the man we know as Bobby Singer and featured a lot of those little moments that Supernatural fans love. Let me explain:
The hour found Bobby in a coma jumping through his memories with Rufus (WELCOME BACK!) as he was chased by a reaper, who came to take him to the afterlife. While the jumping was in part to evade the reaper, it was also done with the intention of finding a way to communicate a message to Sam and Dean. (There were some numbers that Bobby needed to give Sam and Dean that would help them figure out what the Leviathans are up to. Those will without a doubt come up again in the second half of the season, but at this point, I’m stumped as to what they mean.)
In the real world, Sam and Dean paced the hospital as they waited for word of Bobby’s condition — and didn’t do much else. Although, props to Jensen Ackles for his intense interaction with the organ donation man (Supernatural viewing buddy Adam: “That was hot.” Me: “Um, YEAH IT WAS!”) and with Dick Roman (“You’re either smiling because you’re scared or stupid.” — Dean). And I nearly lost it during Sam’s goodbye to Bobby in the hospital, when he told him, simply, “thanks.” But while I definitely wish the brothers’ role was more beefy in the midseason finale, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some fantastic moments, courtesy of Bobby’s memories.
You see, we’ve always known Bobby’s mind to be a scramble of bad memories — his wife’s death, deaths in general. But little did we know that there was a lot more where that came from — the most surprising being the revelation that Bobby shot his abusive father when he was a boy. (The scenes where little Bobby’s dad told him that he broke “everything he touched” were just wrenching.) And another sad flashback showed Bobby’s wife heartbroken over his refusal to have children with her, which also related back to his bad memories with his father.
Seemingly to balance all the darkness, we were also shown the few bright spots in his life — all of which featured Sam and Dean, which I guess, in a way, also means the boys played a big part in the episode despite not having an overtly active role. In one scene, Bobby ignored John’s orders and took a maybe 8-year-old Dean to the park to toss around a baseball, telling him that he deserved a chance to be a “regular, snot-nosed little jerk.” Bobby, you poet. Watching this play out, present day Bobby smiled, just a bit — and I smiled a lot. (Side note: Hooray for finally finding a convincing young Dean! Keep this kids number, casting department!) But easily the best moment came at the end of the episode, when the Reaper appeared to tell Bobby he was out of memories in which to hide. (The bullet, it seems, was chipping away at Bobby’s memories.) “This is the last chance for you to come with me and move on. For your own good, Bobby, let go. They’ll be okay without you,” the Reaper told him. “Last memory, huh?” Bobby asked. “Glad I saved the best for last.”
And it was the best.
Whereas we sometimes believe that milestone and big events will be the memories we treasure forever, I love that the Supernatural writers appear to subscribe to the same belief I do: When all is said and done, it’s the simple days you treasure. In Bobby’s case, it was sitting down with bickering Sam and Dean (“Scooch, jerkface. Show your elders some respect.” “You scooch, asshat.”) to watch Chuck Norris movies over beer and candy. Licorice not optional. (Although, sorry, Dean. I’m with Sam. It’s disgusting.)
The episode then ended with a choice. “Well, Bobby, stay or go? What’s it going to be?” the Reaper asked. Oh, dear God, please stay, Bobby.
I’m emotionally spent after that episode, but not so much so that I can’t take a second to laud the great performances and character insights. Agree, fans? Tell me your thoughts on the episode below!
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