By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated April 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT
Jack Rowand/The CW

I was excited as anyone about the return of Bobby (Jim Beaver) at the end of the last new episode of Supernatural. But tonight’s episode simply bummed me out — in a good way.

Much of my trouble with certain episodes of Supernatural this season was that I was beginning to feel an emotional disconnect from all that was going on. (Maybe you’ve felt the same way?) But these last few episodes have really given me back the feelings I love having toward these characters and this show. In last night’s episode, for example, as Jim Beaver promised me earlier this week, we saw Bobby struggling with reality being a ghost. The once-capable hunter was now limited in abilities and knowledge of his abilities. So in typical Bobby fashion, he studied up, learned what he could and put it to the test — all with a little help from fellow hunter-turned-specter Annie.

I thought it was clever to pair Bobby’s struggles with this back-to-the-basics ghost hunt the Winchester brothers found themselves on in this episode. I’ve always been a fan of the no-frills cases because that’s often a sign of a much weightier emotional story that’s in play. (And, frankly, that’s the meat and potatoes of what makes Supernatural one of my favorite shows.)

In the end, Bobby was able to help the boys close the case, and also found a way to become visible to the boys again. Because the hour-long build up to this had been pretty much perfect (including, but not limited to, the shower scene where Bobby wrote in the steam), the moment when the boys came face-to-ghost-face with Bobby again was completely on-point, too. (Honorable mention moment: Bobby: “Annie’s here, too, ya know.” Boys: [Look everywhere except where they’re supposed to] “Hi, Annie…”)

Dean: So what happened? Did ya get stuck?

Bobby: I wanted to stay.

Dean: Bobby…

Bobby: I need to help.

Sam: Not if you have to be this.

Bobby: Life wasn’t comfy, why should death be?

Because it’s death, Bobby. You know, resting in peace? But he didn’t see it that way. All he saw were the two boys who made his life worth living needing his help. That’s reason enough for Bobby to do anything, by his thinking. The boys, however, remained unconvinced it was worth the sacrifice. That, undoubtedly, hurt Bobby, as we saw in the final shot of the episode, with him sitting sadly in the back seat as Dean pondered the issue with Sam.

So, yes, Dean, I do think the odds of this ending well are slim. If Bobby finds a way to cross over again, the boys lose him for a second time. If he doesn’t, Bobby could suffer the same fate as those deteriorating ghosts we saw in the house. Lose-lose.

That said, I love this emotional conflict. Do you feel the same PopWatchers? Also, is Annie the luckiest girl in the world for bagging both Sam and Dean? (Or just a filthy little…) Did you like the overlap of the storyline with the case of the week? Was that shower scene long enough (NOPE! Nor visible enough.) And what were your favorite moments from the episode?