Rewatch time! ...and it's a BOBBY EPISODE! Yay!!
This one I did pretty quick folks, because although it's a fantastic episode, I didn't have that much to talk about, besides loving on it. So, enjoy!
I was talking with someone recently who pretty much stopped watching the show as soon as Bobby was killed... everyone has their breaking points, I guess. Granted he WAS killed in one of the suckiest seasons, so can't say I blame them.
Anyway, episode!! Yay asian family! I am sorry that tragedy must befall you, no matter how temporary, such is the lot of whomever is in the first five minutes of the show.
The girl's instinct to get under her bed immediately is pretty awesome.
Sam and Dean!
As they discuss the case, and the fact that now DEAN is the one resisting doing anything but tracking down Amara and Cas, and Sam is the one pushing for taking the case... let us notice that they are in everyone's favourite (secret-ish) local North Vancouver attraction - the Tomahawk!! If you look, you can see the First Nations/Native designs behind them (and before anyone worried about cultural appropriation - yes, this diner is VERY kitschy BUT they've been a family run business for generations and have a very good relationship with the local reserves and First Nations.)
Sam's wearing his S3 Orange Plaid, first debuted in Bedtime Stories.
Then we switch locations to Riverview!
Mother: "My wife's flying back from London, but her flights been delayed, so..."
- YAY! Asians! Same-sex couples! Normalization and acceptance!
Neighbourhood watch lady tells them that it's not the first time the FBI have been to the house.
Lady: "...they were two fo the rudest people I ever met."
Sam: "By any chance were these agents, um...older statesmen?"
- Oh Sam, that's the most hilarious way to diplomatically say "old guys"
- Also, I love the fact that just because they were rude, Sam knows right away that it's a high likelyhood that it was Bobby and Rufus - I guess everyone has their signature moves as hunters, and hunters who know each other recognize them. I wonder how people identify whether Sam and Dean have been by "A tall fellow and an even taller fellow" or maybe "well, the tall one was sweet, but the shorter one could use some manners." The possibilities are endless.
"A handful of years ago"
- But Bobby gives us evidence in his speech about when exactly it is later...
Bobby: "The apocalypse is on the the horizon and you want to hunt a damn ghost."
- There's our first clue that it was in S4 or S5, he'll narrow it down for us later. I already did all this work the first time I watched it, but I figured it might be interesting to some how I do timelining based on dialogue.
Rufus: "Well, if by backup you mean you do all the heavy-lifting while I watch. It's shibbat."
Bobby: "Are you serious?"
Bobby: "You drove over here! Ain't that against the rules!"
Rufus: "Uh uh uh, less talking, more hunting."
- Oh Rufus... that excuse is only going to fly for so long, and you and Bobby both know it.
Bobby: "Were you ever nice?"
Rufus: "1985. Worst year of my life."
- Hahaha, I should put that in the timeline.
Back to Sam and Dean...
Dean: "I've got a couple of Bobby's old journals in the trunk. Why don't we dig into those, dig into the house, see what's what..."
- I love how Dean just has Bobby's journals. I mean, it actually makes sense. Sam and Charlie rigged up the database at the Men of Letters to be internet accessible (or accessible to Sam's laptop anyway, since probably there was enough space on the laptop to store the entire database, given how little memory really old computers had.) So, the other succinct resources they have are the traditional hunter journals, where they can read what local hunters have come across, where, and practical solutions. I guess it's like throwing a quick-guide into your trunk...and since they have Dad's journal, and their own, it makes sense to add whatever of Bobby's journals were salvaged (which given that Bobby was a paranoid bastard, he probably had copied them all and put them in storage).
AH HA! There are more timeclues that I missed the first time!!
The Recent Sales History on the house that Sam's reading...
March 6, 2016 - purchased by N. Himura
April 17, 2009 - purchased by E. Henderson (which is the people that Bobby and Rufus are interviewing)
January 4th, 2006 - K Jackson
October 9 2001 - Y. Nathan
December 19 1996 - H. Jenkins.
Oh man, now I've gotta fly to my timeline... hold up... So, yeah, that means that Bobby and Rufus' hunt has to take place between April 17th and May 3rd. It was around April 17th, 2009, coincidentally, that Sam and Dean discovered that they had a younger half-brother.
Cool! Actually able to timeline better! Yay!
Bobby: "I know what Baku is, you dumbass, we hunted one together in Alaska."
- Ah, so much history here! I love these two.
Bobby: "Well, get ready to buying me a bottle of Johnny, because it's not a baku it's a ghost..."
- I forgot this was the episode where they bet the bottle of Johnny Walker Blue.
Dean: "Son of a bitch! Ashes! There's gotta be an easier way to dig graves."
*flashback to Bobby using a backhoe*
- HAHAHAAHA, one of the best cuts ever.
Rufus: "I cannot help you, it is Sabbath!"
Bobby: "It is after sundown, so get to digging."
Rufus: "Good catch."
- :) Again, I just love these two.
Rufus: "Bobby, can I ask you something?"
Bobby: "As long as it's not about why I was sleeping in my car earlier"
Rufus: "Why were you sleeping in your car earlier?"
- Aww, friends. Seriously, they're so great. Anyway, here is where I narrowed it down to the spring of S4 through dialogue, even before I found that screenshot.
Bobby: "...Sam and Dean are right in the middle of this thing. I'm worried about my boys, Rufus."
Rufus: "You're boys?! Alright, eh, eh, papa bear."
- Rufus and Bobby had broken up before Sam and Dean came into Bobby's life, I think. Whatever happened between them at Omaha meant that by the time John Winchester came along, Bobby never even mentioned Rufus. This is mainly evidenced by the fact that Dean didn't know about him until S3. I think Rufus was probably "retired" for a good 20 years at least, outside of hunts like this... and possibly hunts like this only happened after Bobby "broke the ice" by sending Dean to Rufus for help... and the apocalypse drawing Rufus back into hunting for his final 3 years.
Rufus: "Oldest rule of hunting, Bobby. You can't save everyone."
- Yeah, but it's another thing to stomach when it's your foster/adopted kids.
I love how out breath Sam and Dean are and frustrated when they find the second burned body.
Sam: "Bobby always was thorough."
- Yup, you really should have just assumed - though, good on you for double-checking.
Ms. Himura! Oh no!
Doctor: "Mary Henderson went home to get her son's favourite doll..."
- I also love this little subtle thing. The doctor doesn't say "toy" or "teddy bear" or "stuffed toy" or anything, she specifically says "doll" - it's a nice little jab at the whole doll=/=toy for a boy. I mean, she could very well mean it was a stuffy tiger or something, but I like the word choice.
Mary Henderson: "Oh god, is it happening again? Is my son in danger?!"
- I love dialogue, and acting like this, because it's realistic and believable, I guess. I like it when writers remember that people have emotions and feeling. A lot of the time, side characters can be weirdly unemotional about things, or their reactions bland when you consider what is/has actually happened to them. (Just looked it up and this was a Robbie Thompson episode... I am not surprised, and my goodness I miss him.)
Mary: "When I was in the coma, I had a dream - only it was more like a nightmare. I was in the house, but it wasn't the house - it was dark, faded. At first I was alone, but then I started to see things..."
- She found the Upsidedown! Haha, oh man, that's a freaky parallel to notice. (Sorry, I really liked Stranger Things)
I love the camera work in this episode - good job, Director Stefan Plezczynski!
Dean *reading from Bobby's journal*: "...so he goes down there... gunshots! Guns blazing!-"
*cut to flashback*
Rufus: "No no no no no, do not tell me how you tell it! Tell me how it really happened."
Bobby: "I set one foot inside that house and filled my drawers, you could FEEL the badness, Rufus."
- Haha, I love how we find out that Bobby...embellishes...his journals. Like, it doesn't discount the fact that Bobby was a badass, but I love that there's a little canon to support the idea that you must always read a hunter's journal while taking the hunter/author into consideration - much like studying any historical document!
Rufus: "So, Harv?"
Bobby: "He never did wake up."
- So, this episode DOES have really weird mindbendy timestuff in it...which I'll get into later, maybe.
Dean: "So if the sigil only trapped it, how did Mary and her son's souls get out of the nest?"
Sam: "Maybe the trap forced their souls out? I don't know - there's gotta be more to this."
- I love the way Jared deliveres that line - it's just so pure, 'I have absolutely no idea and this guess is ridiculous.'
- But this is also what leads Sam to discover (in all of ten seconds) that there's a way to kill the soul-eater thing. Which, inevitably also saves Bobby...since Bobby's solution would have only been able to trap it (and thus himself) inside while only Rufus survived. Man, imagine S5 with no Bobby...yikes!
ROCK PAPER SCISSORS!
Dean: "We are never settling anything with that stupid game again, ever!"
- Hehehe, I wonder if Sam won because Dean threw scissors, or if Dean's now switched to only throwing paper, and Sam's adapted to now throwing scissors.
Hunting scenes...I always get a bit captivated...especially when they're filming in this house, because I love the door/window trims.
Dean: "Come and get me, you son of a bitch."
Bobby: "Stay away from me, you son of a bitch."
- Hehe, I love the thought that Dean's emulating Bobby's journals, while Bobby is being authentically Bobby and not Journal-Bobby. If that makes any sense.
Jensen does such a marvelous job when Dean sees Sam dead. There's such a subtle thing here, because YES, Dean knows it's not real, but at the same time, you can't look at a loved one dead like that and not be moved.
Also, I think body position of Sam is interesting - because both times Dean's had Sam's dead body laying down next to him, Sam's head has been turned to the left like that. The first was on the bed in All Hell Breaks Loose II, and the second was when Sam was shot point blank in Dark Side of the Moon.
Bobby sees the boys, and it's sad. :(
So creepy... "the sad people" - kids have the creepiest names for things.
Rufus: "Oldest rule Bobby, oldest damn rule. I'm sorry."
Sam *drags Dean's body downstairs and into the kitchen*: Alright, I gotcha, stay with me. I'm getting too old for this."
- I love the contrast here. I mean, it's not really a contrast. Rufus knew going in that Bobby couldn't save Harv, and therefore if either one of them was taken by the spirit, they'd most likely die too. Whereas Sam knows that if he successfully kills the spirit, then Dean will live, so it makes sense that Rufus would immediately accept that there's no saving Bobby, whereas Sam would take measures to keep an eye on his brother's body (which he will need to reinhabit once he's released from the nest.
- I also love Sam's muttered "I'm getting too old for this" because he's still half the age that Rufus is. Which is probably another reason Rufus didn't drag Bobby's body anywhere.
Kat: "It's pretty."
- Awww... again, it's the little things - Dean doesn't take offense to a bloody spirit-killing sigil being called pretty. :)
I love how Sam fights Dean, because you can see him being like "oops sorry!" everytime he successfully lands a hit. Haha, up until he hits him with a chair.
And then Dean sees Bobby and Bobby sees Dean... and it's beautiful.
And we get hugs!! And pats on the head that Deann doesn't know what to do with!
Rufus: "What did you see, Bobby?"
Bobby: "My boys - both of them - dead. Then I saw - I don't know what I saw."
Rufus: "Forget the oldest rule, Bobby!"
Bobby:" You getting soft on me, Rufus?"
Rufus: "Yeah, soft this." *hangs up*
- I like how Rufus comes around and realizes that what Bobby needs is hope, not preparation for the worst - he's already accepted that his boys might die, and what he needs now is to believe that they won't.
- I think there's a parallel there with what we see with Sam and Dean when it comes to Cas - with Sam trying to prepare Dean for the fact that it might be hard to save him, or impossible, if Cas CHOSE to be posssessed, but then also realizing that Dean needs the motivation of the HOPE of rescuing Cas to press forward and not get super depressed.
Then Bobby gets a rude phone call from Dean...oh Dean, you are so John Winchester sometimes. But it's DEAN'S call that makes Bobby never fill in the journal.
Dean: "...and you said that the nest exists outside of space and time, could he and I have been there at the same time?"
Sam: "My head hurts."
Dean: "Let's get drunk and never think of this again."
- Haha, this is basically Robbie Thompson telling us not to examine this too closely, because technically, if the nest is outside space and time, then Sam and Dean saved A LOT of people, unless their souls had been consumed already... BUT killing the monster doesn't erase the event from ever happening at all, so instead they're just trapped in there for differing amounts of time, before being returned to their atrophying bodies. :P
Sam: "First we gotta stop in Tennessee though, Bobby's old soul-eater case. He wouldn't want any unfinished business on the books, man."
Dean: "Ugh, fine! This time you're going in the nest."
- This is a rare time when they mention what the next case will be at the end of the episode, and an even rarer (possibly the first) time we never see it. That's interesting. I should include it in the timeline too, since they'll have to do it before the next episode.
- Also, if they DO kill the soul-eater in Tennessee, then what does that mean for the fact that Harv never work up? Was his body just too decayed/dead? Or was his soul consumed before Sam and Dean could get there? A time travel troubles...
Sam: "Hey, you said the soul-eater made you see things, plural."
Dean: "I saw you, dead on the floor."
Sam: "How messed up are our lives that you seeing a vision of dead me is actually kind of comforting."
Dean: "Ha, yeah."
- It IS though... because it's the same old fears, and Sam's also reassured that he's the most important person in Dean's life, despite Dean being emotionally-roofied by Amara right now.
I also like this episode because it's very much an episode where you see that the boys are now Bobby's peers. Right up until he died, Bobby was always their elder and far more learned than they were - but here, for what feels like the first time to me, we see the boys having access too more knowledge than Bobby and being able to save Bobby, instead of the other way around.
I used my Bobby Ex Machina icon, because I rarely get to use it anymore - but this episode is actually Sam&Dean Ex Machina as far as Bobby is concerned. Bobby KNOWS he's doomed to die as soon as he wakes up in the nest, but then he sees Dean and miraculously, seconds later, he's saved.
And that's it! Next weekend I'm going down to WA to visit my sister, so I won't be doing a rewatch...possibly? It depends what time I get home on Sunday.