Jack Rowand/The CW
March 31, 2015 at 04:49 PM EDT

We sometimes take our support systems for granted, forgetting that they should function as two-way streets. Last night, we explored this concept through the eyes of the Winchesters’ papa-by-proxy Bobby Singer. In fact, this week’s episode of Supernatural (directed by Jensen Ackles!) showed us that more people depend on Bobby than we realized — audience included!

(Psst…much more on first-time episode helmsman Ackles in a bit.)

As you remember, at the end of last season, Bobby sold his soul to Crowley (current King of Hell) in exchange for information about death’s whereabouts and a pair of fully functioning legs. We learned this week via flashback that he had tried to get it back after Sam’s swan dive into hell. (Does anyone else still get a lump in their throat referring to that scene?). His efforts to reclaim his soul were unsuccessful, however, because he had overlooked some precariously placed fine print in his contract. Crowley — being a demon and all — went back on his word and told him he had ten years to live. (By the way, Bobby’s mocking of Crowley earned him five cool points. Too bad they were revoked after he killed the “Balls!” joke, salted its bones, and set it aflame.)

Back in present day, Dean was digging through guts in broad daylight as children played nearby. (Dark humor, how I love thee.) He found a claw inside the body and promptly mailed a picture to Bobby (who still has dial-up!) for ID. After hours of tireless research and a few eff yous from life (all played hilariously by Jim Beaver), Bobby discovered that the claw was from a Lamia, a Grecian creature that — until then — had stayed in Greece. The oddness of the situation continued this season’s Monsters Go Nuts storyline.

By now, I think we all have to acknowledge the presence of a pattern — monsters are not acting as they usually do. I wish the writers would realize it’s not necessary to take several episodes to beat a point into us. Supe fans are smart and catch on quickly to plot set-ups and overarching story arcs. It’s about due time for some answers, no? Any kind of movement is appreciated. I’ll even settle for a hint.

Meanwhile, Bobby would have settled for a simple Thank you from Dean and Sam for his efforts, but much to his annoyance, those words never came. He didn’t have time to ponder his anger too much, though, since he had a demon in the basement to attend to. He tortured a scantily-clad hell bot for information on Crowley by burning her bones with a torch, which apparently affects demons much like it would a ghost. (Burn the bones; they burn, too.)

It struck me as a little odd that they played this as a big mystery in the episode. When Bobby said “These are yours,” I assumed he meant bones and wondered why they hadn’t shown them. Then, I realized it was supposed to be a build up to a big reveal. At that point, I became a little annoyed that this was such a sudden, fairly large change in the mythology we know about demons. Anyone else have a similar response?

Also strange was the cobbler-baking neighbor’s crush on Bobby. In fact, Bobby seemed as perplexed as I was by the whole thing. I had gotten so accustomed to his surly front, that I never really thought of him making a love connection. Caught me by surprise — but in good way. I liked Marcy. I secretly hoped it was her calling Bobby at the end of the episode. He did, after all, save her life.

NEXT: When blood-spray horror happens to white nightgowns.

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Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as the Winchester brothers, hellbent on battling the paranormal forces of evil.
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