Also? I’m so glad I am a spoilerphobe. This was one episode I would not want to have had prior knowledge of. That said, if you are among those who reads this ramble before watching the episode, you obviously don’t mind that I spoil you for the whole thing – but there’s a scene in this episode that really deserves to be seen first for the sheer impact.
Just make sure you come back…. *grins*
I got to watch this episode with my good friend thruterryseyes and my favorite beer – Newcastle Brown Ale, if you’re wondering. So, it was enjoyable on multiple levels. And there were moments I had to pause simply because she fed my laughter and I didn’t want to miss anything. Plus, there were a few ‘Dean Looks’ that we just had to see again. Because of the reason. *grins*
The title and previews gave me the ‘this is going to be a light, filler episode’ feeling – especially with DJ Qualls returning his Garth character to our boys – and I wasn’t disappointed. They nailed some funnier than heck scenes in this episode – and all without going meta on us. But at the same time, there were some serious undertones that I really appreciated. Undercurrents of need and pain that are never far from Dean’s eyes.
Okay, I’m just gonna dive in because if I do too much musing here at the front I’ll get way too far ahead of myself. Besides, this was one of those episodes that amused, entertained, and surprised me to the point that any plot holes and hand waving were forgiven.
The THEN reminded us about Garth, aka The Skinniest Hunter In the History of Ever. Flashes of Dean grousing to Bobby on the phone that he doesn’t want to hook up with another hunter, flashes of Bobby on the phone with Garth (“Not me, the real FBI! How are you still alive?”), flashes of Dean (wearing the blue sweater vest…*sigh*) and Garth hunting…. So, Garth. With me? Good.
NOW we have a group of teens around a campfire, huddled together under sleeping bags to ward off the chill. One is telling the other three the obligatory ‘it’s a dark and stormy night’ ghost story about a homeless girl named Jenny Greentree who froze to death in these very words…under the very tree they were camping under…. Just as they’re all skittish, a bottle breaks against said tree and they all jump. It’s the (very drunk) brother of one of the campers.
The older brother – Ray – gets up to try to get his younger brother – Trevor – to go home when he realizes that Trevor is three sheets. Trevor’s all, “you gonna call dad?” and Ray’s trying to be the responsible one when Trevor suddenly stills and asks if he hears something. No one does, but Trevor startles like he hears whatever it is again, then looks past his brother with horror etched on his features gasping out, “You gotta run!”
Before Ray can do much more than look over his shoulder, Trevor’s off and running. A few moments later, they all hear him scream from deeper in the woods and Ray heads after him, calling his name. A few yards down a dirt path, Ray finds his brother against a tree, dead, a big hole where his guts used to be and the air littered with feathers from his down-filled coat.
Next we get the money shot of…an El Camino pulling up to a curb. Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” is blaring from the speakers…aaaandd, I just flashed back to high school. *laughs and shakes self* Garth emerges from the car, aviator shades in place, and makes his way up to an outside table at a café where the two girls who had been part of the camping trip were seated.
They start off by mocking his shades, until he flashes his (very fake) badge and asks for some respect. He wants to know about the death at the campsite. The girls start talking at once and Garth calmly holds up his hand to get them to stop, then points at one. His Rico Suave demeanor was grin-inducing.
The chosen one tells him about the ghost of Jenny Greentree and that she was a girl who was buried in a local cemetery. Next thing we know, Garth is standing above Jenny’s grave and dropping a match into the hole saying solemnly, “You’ve been Garthed.”
He walks away – in slow-mo – with “Poison” playing in the background and the flames from his vanquishing fire burning high and bright behind him. Thought it interesting he didn’t stay until the fire was out and refill the grave, but…different strokes, right?
Elsewhere, Ray is sitting in the cab of a truck, drinking some kind of whiskey (almost looked like Wild Turkey, actually), a shotgun next to him on the seat. He’s ignoring the voicemail from a woman telling him he should be with his family right now. He gets out – a flashlight attached to the barrel of the gun – and starts looking around the woods…presumably for the thing that killed his brother. Sadly, he finds it.
Through his drunken, blurred vision, he sees a flash of a figure in white, long dark hair hanging down. I instantly thought of the creepy girl from The Ring. *shudders* I wrote a story called “In the Light” several years ago with a baddie called an Ikiryoh and this was exactly how I pictured that. Even had the cover art look like it. I kinda scared myself at times writing that one. *laughs…pauses…shudders again*
He tries to get away, but it’s useless. He’s grabbed from what appears to be above and behind, drag up a tree and then…well, there’s a whole lotta blood and some leg twitching.
Walking away from a Mexican Food Truck called “Guanaco” (*laughs*), Garth is on the phone with his honey saying his problem was solved and to get the hot tub fired up, signing off with a slightly adorable, mostly awkward, “No, I heart you more.”
He gets into his car and hears on the police scanner that another body was found torn to shreds up at Widows Peak (or maybe Widows Point? I didn’t quite catch it – but it’s the same place the kids were camping) and he gaps at the police scanner all, “What?! I Garthed her!”
And then – our boys! Yay. After all they went through last episode, I was really happy to see them. Sam’s driving and Dean’s on the phone with Meg getting an update on Cas. Which was just…, well, weird, actually. He asks her to let them know if/when Cas wakes up, then thanks her for her help – looking like he might’ve thrown up in his mouth a little when he says it.
Dean: What a bitch.
Okay, so no love lost there, thank goodness.
Dean checks on Sam’s “custard” which Sam says is getting better, despite the fact that he feels like something out of The Ring (which…funny that he said that very movie…or maybe foreshadowing…probably foreshadowing) because he passed on ‘the crazy' to Cas. Dean tries to reassure him, sounding like he’s reiterating words said several times over the past however long, but Sam interrupts him saying he doesn’t want to get into it.
I can understand that. Sometimes you just need to feel bad about something in order to find a way to deal with it.
Dean gets another call and for a moment looks totally confused, finally asking who it was. It’s Garth Fitzgerald IV. Hee. There’s three more of them. That’s funny. He tells Dean there’s something hinky going on in Junction City, KS (of COURSE it’s Kansas…every time to they come to Kansas bad things happen) and he needs their help. He also reminds Dean that he owes him for the demon thing (not sure why Dean owes Garth, but everyone else went with it, so I did, too).
They show up at the morgue suited up, only to find Garth there in Army fatigues posing as one Corporal James Brown (ha!), cousin of the deceased. They get the skinny on the dead guy and Sam asks the M.E. for the files. The M.E. gets a call from his wife and leaves the room. Sam immediately pounces on Garth about the fact that the two victims were brothers. I thought that was interesting – not sure why it was important to the case, but it sure was important to Sam.
Dean: You allergic to a suit?
Garth: I look good in a uniform.
He breaks it down for them and Dean stands next to the body listening to Garth and peering under the sheet at the wound as Sam moves to the computer. I liked how Dean took in the facts that Garth gave them. He might view him as an annoying second cousin he has to put up with at family reunions, but he does recognize Garth is a hunter – one that Bobby paired him with when he needed help at one point. He listens to him and speculates with him.
He also pulls out his EMF and gets a reading, which surprises Garth because he hadn’t gotten a reading – leaving him to surmise that his EMF was broken. Again. He tells Dean that the first vic was killed by something invisible, even though the wounds look less ghost and more monster.
Dean: Invisible Ghost Werewolf?
(Aside – now that’s an intriguing baddie…a werewolf is killed, but its human side still has unfinished business, so it becomes a spirit, only is the spirit that of the human or the wolf…aaannnddd now I want to write a story.)
Garth: Why do you think I called for backup?
Sam (from over at the computer): Hey, have you guys heard of Thigh-Slapper Ale?
Garth: Is that a stripper or a beverage?
Dean: It’s a beverage for douche bags.
Douche bags or not, the owner of the local brewery is the father of the dead brothers.
Garth: Right, so can the uniform. Go Fed. See you at the brewery.
And he’s off! Dean gives Sam a sheepish smile and says that he grows on you.
At the brewery (which boasted a “Party on!” advertisement on the wall), they meet Marie, the manager and the owner’s daughter (sister to the dead brothers). This part was a bit confusing to me as far as how they rolled out the brewery family tree, so I’ll just sum it up here and save us all the trouble of wading through it in a play-by-play.
Thigh-Slapper Ale was run by a triad partnership between Jim McMann (dead brother’s dad), Randy Baxter (the “axe man”) and Dale Somebody. Didn’t get his last name. Dale was the master brewer and the company was “his baby.” Right before they are about to make this big, lucrative business deal, Randy and Jim force Dale out – not really sure why. Dale’s distraught and kills himself. Dale’s wife sues the company because “she’s angry and grieving and this is America.”
When the boys get there to question the owners they see Randy reading the riot act to one of the janitors, telling him this is his third strike. Jim’s just watching from the background. Jim’s daughter Marie is the only one who worked there – her brothers didn’t and apparently Randy didn’t have any kids, but felt like Jim’s kids were like his own. He’s the one who ends up answering the questions from Sam and Garth while Dean talks to Marie.
Later that night, back at the McMann house, a blonde woman (and I never did figure out if she was Jim’s wife or daughter) is fixing herself a vodka-OJ with a regular OJ for a little girl sitting at the table (her daughter?). Jim comes in the door, distracting the woman, and she sets both drinks down. Predictably, the little girl picks up the vodka mix, takes a big swig, then pulls it back, all “Oops.”
Jim sits down next to the girl and asks her what she’s drawing. She starts to giggle and we see her vision is blurry. That’s some potent vodka, ya’ll. She frowns at something and gets up, moving around the corner, following whatever it was she saw, then makes her way into the kitchen, Jim behind her. Standing next to the blond woman (who is at an island fixing dinner) is The Creepy Girl Who Could Be From The Ring (hereafter known as Creepy Girl). The little girl points and the adults give her confused looks until the blonde woman looks to her right and sees Creepy Girl. She gasps, starts to turn away and the thing shoves her hand through the woman, back to front.
The boys have joined Garth at his – somewhat cheesy and morally questionable – motel. Garth is sitting at a bar working on his EMF, Dean is sitting on a couch working on emptying his (/Bobby’s) flask, and Sam’s sitting at a table working on the computer. Y’know, come to think of it? I don’t remember seeing a bed in that motel room. Huh.
Dean mutters that there are a million things that go bump in the night, but not too many are invisible. He looks at the motel sign on the end table and gives Garth hell for his selection.
Garth: You want a nice hot tub after a day at the office.
Dean looks at Sam and Sam gives him a “hey, he’s your friend” gesture. The looks these two toss each other throughout the episode made me feel like I was in on a secret or something. I liked it. Dean drinks from his flask and listens as Garth laments about the poor dead guys. Sam goes back to his research and that’s when we find out that Dale is the brew master. Grumpily, Dean gets up and goes to the kitchenette. He sets Bobby’s flask down on the counter as he passes Garth and the EMF Garth was working on flares up. Curiouser and curiouser.
Dean: Beer isn’t food. It’s…whatever water is.
Oh, Dean. *smirk*
He gets out three bottles of Thigh-Slapper and passes them out. Sam and Dean twist off the tops of their beers without hesitation, but Garth has to use the edge of his sleeve. Hee. Dean takes a drink and a look of wonder crosses his face.
Dean: Wow. That’s actually awesome. I’m not even mad anymore.
Garth downs his beer like he’s on a Coke commercial and the boys look on like Holy Shotgunned Beer, Batman. When Garth finishes it off, Dean tips his beer to him, “Party on, Garth!”
The camera shots in this scene were playing with my head. Each time they showed Garth, I was all tense that Creepy Girl was going to show up in the background because it was a wide shot with Garth off to the right rather than centered. They did that a few times, actually, and I was tense every time. SPN has made me suspicious of friggin’ camera angles. *laugh*
Garth (giggling): You want to hear a joke?
Sam (at the same time): This is something interesting….
Garth is full-on laughing and the boys are looking at him, incredulous and…slightly irritated, in Dean’s case.
Sam: Are you drunk?!
Garth: I just drank a whole beer. Of course I’m drunk.
Well, the dude weighs like 80 pounds soaken wet. He probably gets drunk rinsing with mouthwash. He asks for another beer, but Dean shoots him down.
Dean: No. Coffee for you, Tara Reid.
Garth: Coffee with Kahlua?
That earns him a Dean glare and the boys continue to talk through the case – musing that maybe Dale is an angry spirit because he was forced out of the business. After all, his wife is suing the company so…? Just then, the police scanner calls all units to the McMann house. Oops. Garth pushes back from the counter, slip-falling from his stool.
Garth: Let’s go check it!
Sam: You two go. I’m gonna visit the widow.
Dean = glare
Sam = cute lil’bro grin
Me = *giggle*
At the McMann house, Garth tells Dean that he didn’t get any EMF reading around the house – and he used both his and Dean’s since his was broken. Dean frowns at that, then says he thinks the little girl – Tessa – knows something but she isn’t talking. Garth says he’ll “take a run at her” because his “special lady” has twins. Dean follows behind muttering a perplexed, “Special lady?”
Garth sits down in front of Tessa (after they ask Jim and Marie if they can talk with her…not sure if she was Jim’s daughter or granddaughter) and asks if she will tell him what happened. She shakes her head. So, Garth pulls out…a sock puppet. Named Mr. Fizzles. I thought Dean was going to implode right there. He can barely keep himself from grabbing Mr. Fizzles and losing it in the drier.
The funniest part of this scene was how the camera focused on Mr. Fizzles as Garth talked for it – and not on Garth – and the fact that every time Dean protested, Mr. Fizzles would look over at Garth. The sock puppet worked, and they find out from Tessa that not only did a ‘monster with sharp claws’ fill the blonde woman (who may or may not have been her mother), but that Tessa ‘drank a grown up drink’ with alcohol in it and was terrified she was going to be arrested.
And there’s your alcohol safety lesson for the night, kids.
Sam is with Dale’s widow and she tells Sam that before Dale died, he sent his former partners a gift to show he forgave them. Said it was a (haunted) bottle of sake he brought back from one of his trips, and he put it in a pretty box – just like one Sam remembers seeing in Jim’s office when he and Garth were questioning Randy. She said that Dale didn’t even let her touch it.
Dean and Garth are leaving the McMann house in Garth’s El Camino (aside – Dean hasn’t been doing much driving lately…he needs his baby back), breaking down what Tessa told them and trying to figure out why she saw the ‘monster’ and no one else did.
Garth: Certain mutants see infrared.
Dean = you gotta be kidding me glance. And then it hits him – grown-up drink.
Garth: A monster you gotta be drunk to see. Cool. Also? Hard to fight.
Yeah, no joke. And since the blonde woman saw her, I’m wondering exactly how drunk you have to be…? Dean takes out his flask and takes a swig. Then another. Aaannnddd one more. But he tells Garth he’s strictly on wine coolers, which is fine with Garth as he likes anything sweet. Which prompts Dean to take another shot from the flask.
I know we haven’t been seeing him drink constantly over every episode as we’ve focused on other issues, and that triggered the thought that they dropped that storyline, but I think that it’s always been there in the background. Not visible to us, necessarily, but as much a part of what Dean does every day as are the change up of cars we never see, or the money they hustle that we never see. I didn’t see this as a resurgence of a storyline they’d dropped but a moment to focus a bit on a habit that’s always been there, just couldn’t be highlighted when there were other things that needed the spotlight.
Garth: What’s up with the grody flask?
Dean: It’s Bobby’s.
Garth flashes to the EMF going off back at the motel when Dean set the flask down. He asks Dean if he thinks there’s a possibility that Bobby’s riding his wave, but Dean shakes his head once, pulling in on himself a bit. He says they gave him a hunter’s wake and Garth protests that that doesn’t necessarily mean anything (which Dean should know based on other hunts) and cites examples, but Dean cuts him off.
Dean: We’re not talking about this during work.
He looked torn between hopeful and irritated. Just then, his phone rings and it’s Sam telling him that they need to head back to the brewery to look at that box in Jim’s office. Once there, Garth waits in the car while the boys break in. They get into the office, open the box and pull out the bottle of sake, seeing that the seal has been broken and it’s not full.
Glancing around, Dean sees a security camera and grins.
Dean: God, I love paranoid people.
He gestures to the computer, prompting Sam to hack in and find the security feed/tapes, which of course Sam can do because Sam has mad computer hacking skillz. *arches eyebrow* He finds the video of them, now, and both wave at the camera. Hee. That was cute.
They rewind the feed to four days ago, where they see Trevor break into the office and snag a bottle of whiskey, but nothing else happening. Nothing that they can see, Dean realizes, and starts to search the cabinets behind him. He gets a bottle of whiskey and a tumbler out and sets them in front of Sam – which prompted me to guess he’d shared what he and Garth had come up with about the monster only being visible when you’re drunk, because Sam didn’t question it.
Sam: Can you even get drunk anymore? Kind of like drinking a vitamin for you, right?
He’s still trying to find something to drink as Sam’s downing a glass of whiskey. He finds some clear liquor in a circular bottle – no clue there, never saw the label, any guesses? Gin, maybe? – and sniffs at it, taking a sip, recoiling with a, “Holy….” Whatever it is, he decides it’ll do the trick and comes over to Sam with a tumbler of his own, clinking Sam’s glass. Bottom’s up!
I had to pause the next few moments a couple of times because I was laughing. Dean drinking, knees bent to cushion the impact of the liquor on his system, gasping for breath and looking as if he could breathe fire as he finished the glass was hilarious. After a few glasses, they were pretty plastered, though they weren’t quite slurring. Yet.
Dean’s now sitting next to Sam and gestures for his brother to rewind the tape again. They watch Trevor steal the bottle of booze and see the Creepy Girl show up, then fade out and follow him from the room.
Sam (blinking with surprise): He must’ve let the…thing out of the box…and it followed him to the place with all the…thingies.
Interestingly enough, I followed that perfectly. *glances at bottle of Newcastle* Also? He sounds like me when I’m tired and literally can’t think of simple words like…chair.
Dean (eyes wide and slightly innocent looking): Yes. YES. That’s smart.
He slouches back and looks at his empty glass.
Dean (sounding slightly surprised): I’m actually kinda drunk. (Holds up circle bottle) What is this? Me likee. (Pours more) I miss these talks.
Aww. I liked that. Drunk talks with his brother. I know what you mean, Dean. Just as Dean takes another drink, Randy bursts into the office all, “What the hell?!” Dean spits the liquor back into his glass and I had to pause again so that I could blink away my laughter-tears. The look of oh, we’re so busted on his face was priceless.
Dean (to Sam): Oh, man. Turn it off turn it off turn it off.
Randy starts to call the cops and the boys try to stop him, reassure him, but they can’t get their words in the right order. Just then, ZAP! Garth saves the day with a taser and stuns Randy before he can say anything to the 911 operator. Yeah, that was a bit awesome. The whole scene. *is still grinning*
The boys take the box to what looks like the back of a sushi restaurant and manage to get one of the chefs to read the writing for them. They are both standing very still – the kind of still that says they’re working to not sway with the rotation of the earth – holding coffee as if it’s a lifeline, staring at the sushi chef. He’s reading the words in Japanese, then translates them to, “What you took will be taken from you…like eye for an eye….”
He glances up at them, frowning. “You with me?”
They nod in unison, but don’t speak. Looking doubtful, the chef continues to read, then suddenly shoves the box back into Sam’s arms asking where they got it from. They’re all why, what’s it say and he tells them that it talks about a Shojo – a Japanese alcohol spirit, not known for its friendliness.
Back at the hotel, Garth’s doing Tai Chi. Sorta. What I loved about this scene was that Dean saw Garth right away and stopped dead in his tracks. Sam came in and put the box down, then saw Dean, staring at him questioningly a moment before following his eye line and doing a double take at Garth. Hee.
They ask him where Randy is and Garth motions toward the hot tub. Which is good because when the boys were at the sushi restaurant I was all, whoa, wait, did they just leave that dude there? He’s going to come look for them! But…they covered their bases this time. Good writers.
Garth: He’s heavier than he looks, FYI.
Dean: You’ve got the CEO of the douchiest microbrewery in the world bound and gagged in your hot tub. Really think that’s going to end well?
Aside – Microsoft Word does not recognize the word ‘douchiest.’ Just so you know.
Also aside – the boys sobered up rather fast. Dean doesn’t surprise me, but I was impressed by Sam.
So, while Dean refills his flask, Sam looks up Shojo – Japanese booze monster, according to Dean – and finds out that one can harness the will of it so that you basically have a spiritual attack dog. Since Jim and Randy had taken the business away from Dale (his “baby”), Dale decided to take their family away from them. Nasty. Luckily it’s also killable, this Shojo. You just need a Samurai sword that has been consecrated by a Shinto blessing. No big deal. *laughs*
They figure the Shojo (the spirit formerly known as Creepy Girl) would be going after Marie – last kid standing from the McMann clan. While they’re plotting and planning, Garth “drops” Dean’s EMF and it turns on, lighting up. He says he’s sorry, “Unless I have nothing to be sorry for…?”
Dean’s all shut it, but Sam wants to know what’s going on. So, Garth tells him that he thinks Bobby’s haunting them. Sam reluctantly reveals that he tried the talking board after the beer disappeared – without Dean, a fact that Dean Does Not Like – and got nothing. The flinch around Dean’s eyes had my heart hitch a bit. It was like someone casually mentioning the name of a lost loved one in conversation, not realizing they were gone.
So, see? We weren’t seeing things, we observant fans. We knew something was going on! Even if the talking board didn’t talk back.
Dean tells Sam they’ll talk about all of that later, his eyes holding onto that wounded look. They head out, Dean going after the Samurai sword, Sam babysitting Marie. Randy wakes up and Garth heads over to the hot tub, pulling the sheet off of him. He channels his inner Columbo and through some deductive reasoning and google-fu reveals that he knows Randy actually does have a kid.
He calls Randy on giving the slacker janitor at the beginning three tries when typically he’s the axe man – the one to fire ‘em. Garth found out that the kid – Lee, I think – is the son of the woman who’d been Randy’s secretary way back when, only Randy was still married. Randy doesn’t deny it and says that things didn’t end well with Lee’s mom and she told him never to tell Lee the truth.
Garth is all it doesn’t matter if anyone else knows, that thing knows he’s your kid and is going after him! He tosses the handcuff keys to Randy, grabs all the mini-liquor bottles in the kitchenette and heads out of there. I will admit, for a brief moment there, I had a bad feeling about Garth’s fate. I don’t trust our show when it comes to killing off people I like – even if they did have to grow on me. I’m still crossing my fingers that Sheriff Mills makes it out of it all alive.
Meanwhile, Lee is working the graveyard shift at the brewery (a fact Garth knew after overhearing the dressing-down the kid got at the beginning). He’s spraying the windows with cleaner and as he squeegies them clean, we see the Shojo standing on the other side of the window.
At first I was like, wait, what? He’s cleaning while drunk? Then I realized that he couldn’t see her – only we could see her. Maybe we were drunk. I swear, I only had one beer…. *shifty eyes*
Dean has a Samurai sword (which still had the tags on it) and a bottle of water and takes both to the sushi chef so that he can consecrate it (under a flowing spring…hence the bottle of water *smirk*). When he’s done, Dean heads to his car and gets a call from Garth.
Garth: Baxter had a secret love child!
Dean: Slow down….
Garth: I’m trying to save lives here!
Dean: Are you drunk?
Garth is trying to pick the lock at the brewery while holding the phone and that…just doesn’t work well. He drops the phone and Dean’s on the other end all, Helllooo? He guesses that Garth dropped the phone and sighs, waiting patiently for Garth to get himself collected.
Garth: Sorry sorry sorry….
He gets into the brewery and his vision is all bleary and he sees Lee working with the Shojo behind him and whispers into the phone (in a total, non-quiet, stage whisper), “Dean! It’s here!”
He hangs up, rushing over to Lee (who has earbuds in while he works, so he’s heard none of Garth’s break-in noise), and grabs his arm, scaring the crap out of the guy.
Garth: Come with me if you want to live!
*love it!* That’s one of my favorite hero-lines ever! *grins*
Meanwhile, Sam’s at a bar, drinking, and keeping an eye on Marie – who’s sitting with a bunch of friends and laughing as if three of her family haven’t been recently eviscerated, which is odd but not worth dwelling on. Dean calls him.
Dean: You good to drive?
Dean: Get a ride. It’s at the brewery.There’s another kid.
Sam pauses, looks at Marie, confused.
Dean: Don’t think. Move.
Okay, I loved that line a little bit.
Sam drunk-runs out of the bar and snags a cab from an older couple citing National Security and flashing his FBI badge (luckily right side up). He gets into the cab and sees that the Oldest Cab Driver In The World is behind the wheel.
Back at the brewery, Garth is having trouble getting Lee to follow him – mainly because he’s rip-roaring drunk. So, he cuts to the chase and lays it out for the guy. Lee doesn’t believe him until the Shojo shows up and throws Garth through a huge glass window and into a pile of…grain bags? I think. Ouch.
That convinces Lee and he takes off, but he can’t see what he’s running from. The Shojo boxes him in (and does that creepy, invisible claws along the wall thing). As Lee is trying to figure out another escape, Sam bursts into the room looking a bit frazzled. He yells at Lee, asking where Garth is and Lee tells him he got knocked out. Sam sees the Shojo and shoves Lee behind him.
Lee: You can see it? Are you –
Sam: Yeah. I’m skunked.
Ha! You wear it well, son.
Sam sees the fire exit and whispers to Lee that they’re going to head that direc—whoops, wait, that won’t work since the Shojo just slammed the door shut. The Shojo appears in front of Sam, picks him up and throws him against the wall where he slumps, unconscious. Just then Dean shows up, grabbing Lee on the shoulder and scaring him half to death.
He moves Lee out of the way and waves the sword in the air – obviously not drunk. He can’t see what he’s aiming for. The Shojo hits him and sends him sprawling across the floor, knocking the sword out of his hands. Dean looks wildly back over his shoulder at Sam’s unconscious form, a line of worry bisecting his brow. He looks back at the sword…and just then, the weapon Obi-Wan’s itself right into his grip.
He struggles to his feet and Sam comes to, sitting up, groggy.
Dean: Where is it?!
Sam: Sw-swing right!
Sam: My right!
Dean swings, trying to move around Lee.
Sam: 3 o’clock, Dean!
Sam: 6 o’clock!
Dean turns, facing Lee. Lee ducks, and Dean shoves the sword forward, catching the Shojo mid-chest. For a moment all they see is the sword balanced in mid-air and then the Shojo appears briefly before falling back and shattering into nothing. Whew! And YAY! Dean killed the baddie!! *does mini dance*
Dean checks on Sam, then tells them to go find Garth before bending down and picking up the sword – and it cracks me up that the thing still has the price tag hanging from it. Nice touch, that. Sam and Lee run to the front just as Garth sits up in the middle of the rubble all, What’d I miss?
Dean, though, can’t quite leave the scene of the battle. He’s looking around the empty room, his eyes heavy with grief he won’t let himself feel, face tight with an unspoken need and a myriad of questions.
Dean (looking at the sword): This thing moved…. (Looks up, around, eyes pleading) Bobby? Are you here? (Pauses, waiting, whole body practically shimmering with hope) C’mon, do something.
When nothing happens, pain flashes across his face so potent it looks almost physical, but so quickly it’s obviously not. *rubs heart* As his shoulders sag a bit, the camera widens and we can see Sam peering around the corner, his expression sad as it's obvious he's heard his brother.
Back at the motel, the boys are standing outside with Garth. A Merc Mobile (I kid you not, it was Wayne and Garth’s car…pretty much) is parked next to Garth’s El Camino. I kinda wanted to hear shades of “Bohemian Rhapsody” playing in the background.
Garth gives Dean a hug goodbye and tells him to call anytime. Dean’s all, heh, shucks, okay that’s enough. Sam sticks out his hand, but Garth makes him bring it in for the real thing. He heads around to the driver’s side calling out, “Sayonara Kimosabes!” He notices the Merc Mobile and grins. “Nice ride!”
As he pulls away, Sam admits, “You’re right. He’s growing on me.”
They head back into the motel room to pack up, and this was another of those wide camera shots that had me watching the whole screen at the same time. Sam confronts Dean almost immediately.
Sam: Let’s talk about it.
Dean: About wha—oh, the talking board? Nevermind, I get why—
Sam: Not the board. I heard you. What happened in the brewery? I know something did…be straight with me.
Dean starts to resist, knowing that Sam’s going to dismiss it and not wanting it dismissed, but he eventually gives in. He talks fast, his voice anxious, as if he has to get it all out before it evaporates inside of him. He says rapidly how he was down on the ground and the sword moved into his hand, his beer drank itself, the paper just landed on the bed, and the book fell with Mackey’s card coming out of it.
Dean (sarcastic): Sure. It’s nothing. (turns, paces) I mean, is Bobby here or not?!
Sam says he thinks regular people see things all the time – faces in crowds type thing – of people they love, too. Because they miss them. He says that when the beer disappeared, he went a little nuts about it.
Dean: Why didn’t you tell me?
Sam repeats that he was a little nuts at the time, which Dean accepts, but you can see it hurts a little that Sam thought there just might be a possibility – enough to explore the option with the talking board – but outwardly dismissed the idea to Dean. Especially because Dean so obviously needs to believe – needs it to be true. Needs something to believe in.
Dean: If it wasn’t Bobby, what Jedi’d that sword across the room?
Sam says it was probably the Shojo reaching for it since it had shut the door from across the room. After a moment of internal struggle, Dean looks as if he decides to buy that – though, to me, that sounds like the kind of logic those of us who don’t see ghosts every day attribute to the happenings of ghosts to help us make sense of it. Just…saying.
Dean (working his expression into one of acceptance): If it was Bobby, he’d let us know. Who knows more about being a ghost than Bobby? Instant Swayze, right?
It sounds like they’re trying to convince each other…but of what, exactly? I’m not sure I know what each of them hope for at this moment.
Dean (turning away and stuffing the rest of his things in his duffel): Okay, so your theory is that we’re regular people for once.
He nods as if working that over in his mind, trying to get a grip on it, find traction in the concept. Sam nods and Dean takes a breath, forcing his voice into the casual, I’m always all right tone that gets him through so much. He asks Sam if he wants brunch and brews and Sam groans, saying he’s so hung over he just wants to get on the road.
They walk out of the room and the wide angle of the camera had me scanning the room because I was convinced they’d forgotten something, so I was looking at the couch and the table and the bar as the camera pulled back a bit and—
OH. MY. GOD.
I literally said that out loud – very loud – and put my hands in my hair.
Bobby. Was. Standing. There.
For the briefest of moments I thought that they were going to leave it as us looking at his back (so that it could have been a stand-in), but they tracked around to his front and it was Bobby. I had goose bumps. Lots of them.
I did NOT see that coming. At all. And it was perfectly, perfectly done.
In the Merc Mobile, Dean pauses, telling Sam to hang on, and he heads back inside. He opens the door and Bobby’s face lights up. Dean looks across the room and for a moment it looks like he actually sees his old friend. His eyes soften and he half smiles, saying, very softly, “There you are.”
He crosses the room, picks up the flask, and puts it in his pocket. As he's walking away, Bobby hollers, “I’m right here, ya idjit!”
Dean pauses at the door, looking back as if something caused the hairs on the back of his neck to rise, but then he shrugs it off and heads out. Bobby snarls, “BALLS!” before flashing out of sight as the boys drive away.
Seriously, that just…caught me TOTALLY by surprise. I suspected from the start that each of those mysterious moments of help was Bobby’s spirit but I never expected them to not only confirm that so soon but also SHOW HIM! Seeing Jim Beaver was a thrilling shock and I’m so excited to see how they play this out.
The thing that made me anxious was how frustrated Bobby sounded when he couldn’t get Dean to see him, to know he was there. My only hope is that he heard how badly Dean wanted to believe, how he said he needed a ‘sign’ something to prove in the moment that Bobby was there. Not only that, the fact that Sam looked for him -- used the talking board to find him -- has to show Bobby that they want it, they're just afraid to trust in the possibility. Faith is one of the hardest things to have -- no matter what it's in.
To me, it’s obvious that Bobby’s tied to the flask. That’s why the talking board didn’t work – Sam did it away from Dean, so the flask wasn’t nearby. It almost makes me want to go back through each of those moments and see where the flask was – ala The Sixth Sense reveal. *laugh*
I said all along that the only reason this could go south for me is if the boys had to “vanquish” Bobby because he’d turned into an angry spirit. There are ways for them to help him move on, if they are able to see him...see that he’s been there the whole time, helping them, watching them, hurting with and for them. I hope that whatever the writers have planned takes care of this beloved character and our boys…and if they do it right? Could offer the straw moment Dean needs to breathe again.
Because for a long time now, Dean has had this sense of not being able to take a deep breath about him – the world is too heavy, the weight to costly to release. And during this episode, when he stood in that empty hall at the brewery and asked Bobby to give him something, that burden was almost visible in the curve of his shoulders, the tightness of his face.
Interestingly, though, that moment he opened the door and saw the flask? For that brief moment, he looked as if a fraction of that weight lifted – which was why I thought he was actually seeing Bobby. *rubs heart with a lump in throat* Man, he gets to me.
The next episode isn’t until April 20th so we have a couple weeks to wait – but that makes sense for the pacing of a finale in May after we know if they’re coming back. Still, it’s going to be hard to wait after seeing those previews. All I’ll say is: haunted house! Squee! *grins*
Thanks for reading – I look forward to hearing your thoughts.