My goodness, I love our show. I just…I do. I love it, plot holes, nit-picks, leaps of faith and all. It always entertains me. I don’t want to say too much above the cut except…I really liked this one.
Before I get started, I just wanted to reiterate something I said in a few replies to last week’s comments. I like the idea of Bobby as a ghost. Not in a warm-fuzzy, oh-yay-the-band’s-back-together way, but in a this could really add layers and story potential way. I said in the Ramble for the episode where Bobby died that I wanted death to have dominion – I wanted his death to mean something. I wanted what was dead to stay dead this time. And I mean that.
That doesn’t negate all that came before – Sam and Dean and Bobby have all died and come back. And I am good with how they’ve done things in the past; the story is what it is. But this time, I didn’t want Bobby brought back from the dead or miraculously healed because I felt that would render his death meaningless in a way. I wanted his life to have the impact it was supposed to have and his death to have the import we all knew it would hold.
His being a ghost doesn’t change any of that (for me). At first I wasn’t sure – back with the whole disappearing beer and the paper appearing on the top of the stack. But I warmed to the idea and when we saw him last week, I thrilled at it simply because I love a good ghost story and having him around offered him and the boys (and us, in a way) a chance to complete things left undone, say things left unsaid, and then move on. Plus? It added a layer of angst-worthy complexity to the age-old question of “now what” that we didn’t have before when Bobby was simply gone. And I adore Jim Beaver -- so getting to see more of him is always a bonus.
There’s a lot that they could do with this in the next few episodes. SO. I’m not simply giddy with delight and squeeing at getting back one of my favorite characters in any way, shape, or form, but I am happy to have this added storytelling opportunity. I hope that makes sense.
And just so it’s clear, it’s totally fine if you don’t agree – I enjoy the various opinions and ideas you all share with me in your comments. Okay! So, now that’s out of the way…let’s Ramble On.
The THEN refreshed our memories about Bobby’s death, dodging the Reaper, the boys mourning, Sam telling Dean he’d tried to contact Bobby with no luck. NOW, the boys are sitting on the hood of this week’s Random Stolen Car (I didn’t even bother to figure out what kind it was…primer gray, boxy, looked like a Caddy or Lincoln of some kind…*MISSES THE IMPALA LIKE WHOA*), pulled off to an empty side road, eating take-out tacos that taste, according to Dean, the exact same from any drive-through in any town in the nation.
Of that, I have no doubt.
A cell phone rings and at first they’re both patting their pockets before Dean pulls out his phone. There’s this moment of a subtle pause where you can almost hear them thinking who could be calling us…everyone we know is dead.
Dean answers and says the name Annie with a certain warm familiarity that brings Sam’s head around. Dean tells her it’s a nice surprise and then Annie – a pretty, mid-30’s red-head – tells Dean she heard about Bobby and is sorry. Dean has trouble replying to that. When the wound is still so raw, sometimes you think you’ve got it under control…and then someone offers you sympathy and it empties your lungs of air.
She tells him that she has some of Bobby’s old books and figured they’d want them. Tells him she’s in Bodega Bay at the Crows Nest Inn and asks if they’re close. Dean says they’re close enough and they decide to meet up the next day at the Pier Something restaurant for lunch. We then shift to an outside shot of this big, stately, and very much abandoned estate-slash-house.
Inside a teenaged couple is making out on a couch with candles lit all around. The fact that they weren’t supposed to be there just heightens their excitement…until they hear a car pulling up and think it’s the cops. It’s actually Annie, but…close enough. The teens book it out of the room when they hear the car door slam, heading to another room. As soon as they get there, though, their flashlights freak out and they look up to see the ghost of a Very Large Man (like deep and wide, seriously) standing in the hallway.
The ghost bellows, “You shouldn’t have come here!” Then rushes at them. Next thing we see is Annie heading inside, shining her flashlight around and the beam of light suddenly falls on the bodies of the two teens sprawled at her feet, both covered in blood. Just then the door slams behind her and she turns, gasping.
Next day, the boys are sitting at the Pier Something restaurant, Dean reading a paper, Sam a menu, waiting for Annie. Dean finds out that Dick Roman has funded another archeological dig.
Sam: Anything on what he’s digging for?
Dean: Don’t you think I would’ve led with that?
Sam's question sounds like me when I know something is important to a friend, but I don’t really know about it…or really care about it, personally. I try to find a question to ask that’s relevant because I know they want to talk about it, but I don’t know enough details to make the question grab hold. It’s not that I don’t think Sam wants to end the Leviathans…I just don’t think he holds close to the same obsession his brother has with ending Dick Roman.
They both agree that Annie’s never late, and that her not showing up doesn’t really feel right. Dean decides to call her again.
And if I might be allowed a shallow moment, can I just say: Dean’s. Green. Eyes. Holy Luminescence those peepers are amazing. I paused a couple of times in this scene just to…stare. *ahem* Sorry. Where was I? Oh, right, Annie. (Though I’ll be looking for screen caps for that scene….)
Sam: You know she and Bobby had a thing, right?
Dean (with a quick glance at Sam): Yeah. Yeah, I knew that. (pause, then another look) Really?!
Sam: Kind of a foxhole thing. Very Hemingway.
The way he put that just made it sound really appealing and romantic. More of a this might be our last night on earth romantic than Nicholas Sparks romantic, though. I dug it. Everyone should have at least one Hemingway moment. Which, as it turns out….
Dean (listening to the phone ring, nods in a well, what do you know manner, then says, grudgingly): She and I kinda went Hemingway this one time, too.
He gives Sam a tiny shrug, half looking at him. Sam looks slightly sheepish as he says, “All right, well. That happens.” Then he does this grin that just cracked me right up. Totally a, Hee…whoops! HA!
Dean sets his phone on his shoulder and looks at his brother with a you’ve gotta be kidding me expression, saying, “Wait, you, too?!”
Sam (back peddling): It was awhile back! We ended up on the same case. She was stressed…I didn’t…have a soul. (Vocal Shrug.)
Dean (turning back to his phone): That’s a lot of foxholes.
You’re telling me. When I was in high school, my mother – in an effort to scare me out of even thinking about having sex – told me that when you slept with someone, you slept with everyone they had ever slept with, too. I thought about that for a moment during the foxhole story. I’m just saying….
And aside – though I know they will return to Cas and deal with what he pulled from Sam, and I know that somehow angels and demons are going to come into play once more and drop the weight of the universe’s fate on the shoulders of our favorite brothers – I have to say I really enjoyed the boys being brothers again in this episode. Just…getting along. Things felt really easy and right between them. It was nice.
Annie isn’t answering her phone. Dean hangs up, then pulls out his (Bobby’s) flask and spices up his coffee a smidge with a, “Here’s to ghosts that aren’t here,” toast.
Sam: You sound kinda disappointed.
Dean: It’s better this way. Even though I wish we could see him again, it doesn’t mean we should.
So they drink their coffee and look at their menus. Then Dean exclaims, “Are we being stood up?”
Sam: Let’s hope that’s all this is.
The camera pulls focus to Dean’s flask on the table next to him as it rocks ever-so-slightly. As they leave the restaurant, Dean’s calling Annie again and getting no answer, saying it goes straight to voice mail. He pulls out his flask and sees that it’s empty, saying he needs a refill. Yeah, don’t want to go through withdraws in the middle of a hunt. Yikes.
Sam suggests that maybe he pack the flask away for awhile since it just reminds them of Bobby. Subtext (at least for me) was a bit of a, “Brother, you’re a functioning alcoholic…maybe we should try to taper you down?” Dean says he’s thought about putting it away, but…he can’t. Not yet. As he walks around the Primer Gray Mobile to get in the driver’s side, we see Bobby’s ghost sitting in the back seat looking sad.
The boys head over to check out Annie’s motel room. That was something I liked about this episode – how organic the hunt was. It wasn’t one of those where they’re just heading somewhere and a hunt kinda finds them, or where they’re scouring the papers for something and head over to search up the supernatural baddie. They were just going to meet a friend to pick up some books – and it just so happened this friend was already on a job…then this friend became the job. I liked it.
Anyway, in the motel room they find a Wall of Weird (hunter-style) and files on unsolved disappearances going back years – all teenagers. The one thing these disappearances had in common was a place called the Van Hess House. While they’re talking about the house – Sam sitting at a table, Dean moving from the bed to a kitchenette sink – we see Bobby sitting on the other chair. He makes the curtain next to Sam move, but Sam doesn’t see.
Bobby (frustrated): Could you look in the right place at the right time?!
When the boys realize that the Van Hess house is on the most haunted house in America list, Bobby’s like, “Let’s get rolling,” and Dean says to Sam, “Let’s get rolling.” Hee.
They head out – Sam grabbing his coat, Dean just leaving. For a moment, Bobby’s left standing there in the empty motel room, but then Dean’s hand snakes in and grabs his jacket from the chair where Bobby had been sitting (with the flask in his pocket) and Bobby blinks out (much to his relief).
The brothers enter the Van Hess House, flashlight beams skimming the surfaces around them, Dean muttering a sarcastic (but oddly appropriate), “Honey, I’m home.”
Bobby follows them and for a moment looks afraid, and that’s when we see what he’s seeing. All over the room, in various manner and period of dress, are dozens and dozens of ghosts. Nicely creepy.
So this is one aspect of this episode that I really liked – the ghost-eye view. The idea that all those ghosts were around and that Dean and Sam were just…walking through them. That was chilling to me. I’m easily startled – ask anyone. I jump sky-high at the slightest unexpected glimpse of…anything. So anytime you have the screaming ghost launch itself at you or rush across the room ala Woman In Black (yes, that totally creeped me out) I’m gonna squeal and jump and grab my pillow as a protective shield.
But the idea that all those ghosts were around, unseen, and always present…now that’s scary to me. You never know what they see, what they hear, where they are. It’s one of the reasons I freak myself out when I wash my face…I’m always just a tiny bit convinced that when I wipe the soap from my eyes, for a split second I’ll see a reflection in the mirror next to me.
Gah, it’s way too late for me to be writing this! *thinks sunshine and flowers and happiness and rainbows*
But, that is one of the reasons I thought having Bobby as a ghost could offer such layered storytelling in a supernatural-themed show. With maybe one or two exceptions, ghosts have always the menace, the thing to kill or stop. This gives us something else to think about.
Bobby: Hi. I’m Bobby. I’m a ghost. (Half expected some of the ghosts to reply 'Hi, Bobby.') Gonna do a little…ghost orientation here? (He looks around then says ‘my name is Bobby’ in French)
Dean calls out for Annie. Sam has the EMF on and it’s going nuts. Dean calls Annie’s phone again and suddenly they hear it ringing in the back of the room (which was a little weird, I thought, since he’d said that it was going straight to voice mail just a bit ago *hand wave*).
Back in the main room, Bobby is still staring around at all the other ghosts who are just…wandering, aimlessly, staring at nothing. Looking up the stairway, he sees the big guy (Dexter) getting schooled by a man in a black suit. The man is saying that what Dexter did was forbidden in his house and if he did it again, there would be consequences. Duh duh duhhh.
The boys come back in the room and head up the stairs – right past the two men, presumably, though we can’t see them anymore. Bobby watches them head up when suddenly he hears his name called. It’s Annie. Ghost!Annie and Ghost! Bobby are both pale with bloodless lips, but other than that, they’re not marked or marred at all, which is interesting because some of the ghosts wandering the Van Hess house were.
Bobby: We’ve been looking for you!
Annie: I can’t believe you’re here!
Bobby: Yeah. Than a doornail. Bad news. If you can see me…you are, too.
So, Annie and Bobby sit down to have themselves a little chat. Annie’s trying to absorb the fact that she’s dead. And a ghost. She says she feels like she was drugged. Bobby tells her it was a month before he even realized he was still here.
Bobby: Did you duck your Reaper, too?
Annie: What? No. I never saw one!
Then she realizes that Bobby purposely ran away from his Reaper and says he’s crazy. They banter a bit about how he remembers a time she liked his brand of crazy, and they both agree they have unfinished business. Annie’s is the teens whose bodies she found when she entered the house (said teens wander through the room, not engaging, no looking at anyone, holding on to each other).
Bobby tells Annie that he can’t figure out this ghost thing. He’s seen a poltergeist bench-press a piano, but he tried to help the boys by knocking a book off the table and blacked out for two weeks. Annie realizes that Sam and Dean don’t know he’s there, which she agrees totally sucks.
Meanwhile, the boys are searching the house, the EMF going nutty, and Dean’s checking the VM on Annie’s phone (must not have been password protected). He hears a weird message from a few weeks back with a woman’s voice saying “Free me” and EMF running through it, the number on the caller ID nothing but a bunch of asterisks. He has Sam listen to it and they agree it’s more than weird.
Back at the ghost reunion, Bobby and Annie sit forward as a man wearing an older-style suit walks through the wall, heads to the bar, and – with a book in one hand – moves a chair over to sit down and read.
Annie: All right, that’s cool.
Bobby (to the man): ‘Scuse me. Hey, Boss.
The dude ignores them.
Bobby says that ghosts aren’t sociable – as evidenced by the rest of the ghosts in the room who are simply standing and staring at…nothing. Bobby thinks that if the Suit can do it, so can he, and he tries to move the trunk in front of the couch they’re sitting on, ending up falling through it and landing on all fours – making Annie laugh.
The Suit mutters that they’re novices and they all make the same mistakes. Annie and Bobby make their way over and the Suit tells them he can do what he does because he’s been at it for 80 years. Annie tells him she doesn’t know what happened to her. Bobby says he was shot in his melon; didn’t feel a thing (which is a relief, honestly). Suit man says he was stabbed, brutally, right there at that bar in April of 1932. Bobby wants to know who stabbed him and Suit looks like he’s going to leave.
Annie turns on the charm and asks him his name: Haskell Craig.
Annie: Haskell, could you do me a solid and show me how to move that chair?
Haskell: Baby steps, gorgeous.
He tells them to try to move the candle first. When both of them try, but their hands go through it, he tells them that they’re “angsting” at it. That they have to calm themselves and let go of all of “that” and tell the thing what to do. Either that or use explosive anger and red-hot rage.
Was anyone else flashing to Ghost and the Subway Ghost's advice to Sam Wheat? You gotta take all your emotions, all your anger, all your love, all your hate and push it way down here into the pit of your stomach, then let it explode like a reactor….
Maybe I saw Ghost one too many times in the ‘90s. *ahem*
Bobby: For the record, I hated that Swayze flick. Romantic bullcrap.
Whoops. Don’t tell Bobby I can quote it, okay?
Bobby tries once more to move the candle when behind them there’s a hair-raising scream. They turn and a freaky-assed, insane-looking woman rushes at them, then dissolves into smoke.
Bobby (to Haskell): What in cold Hell was that?
Haskell: You, one day. All of us. We deteriorate, some sooner, some later, eventually all…like that.
In what is the first of several reminders that Bobby choosing to be a ghost can only end in tears and is not the way things were supposed to happen, Haskell gestures to an old, scarred woman staring around vacantly before he moves away.
Bobby and Annie look at her with horror.
Bobby: Ghost Alzheimer’s.
Annie: I’m liking this less.
Just then, the boys walk into the room and both Annie and Bobby light up a bit.
Dean: That’s every inch of this place. No bodies. No pieces of body. No Annie. All sizzle, no steak.
Meanwhile, the EMF in Sam’s hands it going batty.
Sam: Maybe no news is good news?
Sam: Maybe she’s just not here. Maybe she’s okay.
Aww, Sammy. You break my heart when you sound hopeful.
Dean: What does your gut say?
Sam’s silence is his answer. They decide to leave to see if there’s something else in her research. Annie calls out to them as they head out of the room.
Bobby: Honey, don’t you think I’ve tried that? I’ve shouted myself hoarse.
Annie: But I’m right here!
Bobby: You just have to wait until they find you.
Annie: I don’t know where I am and I’ve searched every room! No wonder they’re walking away.
Bobby, though, has noticed that a dark-haired female ghost in a ‘20’s or ‘30’s style dress is staring at him.
Bobby: Is it me, or am I being checked out?
They move over to talk to her and she introduces herself as Victoria and says she knows what kind of work Annie did.
Annie: I’m still doing it. Other dimensionally speaking.
Bobby: Atta girl.
Annie pieces together that Victoria is the voice on her phone – spectral voice transference. Oookay, if that’s what the kids are calling it these days. Victoria is the reason Annie’s there in the first place. She asks Victoria what she meant by “Free me” but before Victoria can answer, Bobby flashes out because Dean (and the flask) got too far away.
In the car, Dean is drinking from the flask and despite Bobby saying that the party was back at the house, the decide to check out the Historical Society, which is where most of Annie’s research came from. Once there, they get the lowdown on the Van Hess House from the Society…curator, or whatever he is. Bobby’s off to the side trying to get zen and make a lantern move.
The curator guy tells them about Whittaker (I think?) Van Hess, the son of the man who built the house. The younger Van Hess was dogged by tragedy – he lost the family fortune, and the house. The house was turned into a brothel at one point (which earned a smirk from Dean) and Van Hess lived in isolation at the house until his death.
Bobby’s like, he’s still there.
They see a picture of Van Hess next to Dexter and the curator guy tells them that Dexter was a convict, very violent, but that Van Hess took pity on him and had him working as a grounds keeper. Dexter apparently killed Van Hess’ fiance the day before their wedding.
Bobby’s like, yeah, he’s still there, too.
The curator tells the boys that Annie was there earlier and he’ll tell them what he told her: stay away. The house is dangerous. They’re basically like, yeah, thanks, we’ll keep that in mind. Not.
Back at the motel, Bobby’s trying to move a quarter and Sam’s reading from a newspaper, his voice raised so that Dean can hear him. Dean is taking a shower – with the door to the bathroom open so he can still talk to Sam. Hee. Sam tells him that Dexter also killed some of the hookers from the brothel, but before they could hang him, he escaped and was found shot to death back at the house. Sam’s like, why would he run back to the house?
Dean calls back, “Add that to the list of things I don’t know.”
Bobby’s standing in front of the mirror giving himself an awesome psych-up speech: I can kill werewolves, fix a pinto, and bake cornbread. I will be damned if I can’t get zen….
That’s about when the story kinda telegraphed itself to me. You all probably got it long before I did, but when Sam talked about how Dexter died, I realized that Dexter wasn’t the bad guy – and he wasn’t killing the people he rushed toward in his ghost state, he was warning them. But…those thoughts were summarily banished in the next moment as Dean peeked out from behind the shower curtain and reached for a towel.
I cannot explain why the sight of his bare arm and shoulder did a number on me, but I bet you my No Chick Flicks Moment coffee mug that I wasn’t the only one. The best part? The shallowness doesn’t end there. Oh, no. There's more.
But first, we cut away to go back to the Van Hess House and two teenage boys making a vid about the last known place their friends (the two teens from the beginning of the episode) had been. I will call these two the Cheesy Twins because their running commentary on this home movie thingy was just…well, cheesy.
Back at the motel, Dean is out of the shower wearing a snug-fitting green T-shirt (holy crap) and rubbing his wet hair (Holy. Crap.). Seriously, folks, I can no more be objective and focus on the storyline with that on my screen than I can survive a week without water.
He glances up at the steam-covered mirror (while I try to focus on something other than how well that T-shirt fits him), then he does a double take, angling his body toward the doorway and calling for Sam. Dean doesn’t take his eyes from the mirror, and when Sam appears in the doorway, he goes, “Tell me you wrote that.”
We then get to see the mirror and written on it are the words Annie trapped in house.
Sam: No. No, I didn’t.
Dean, looking angry, bellows, “Who’s there?!”
They watch in part horror, part fascination as the hot water faucet turns on and steam rises, fogging up the mirror once more. Then, slowly, Bobby’s name appears.
Dean (his voice breaking): Bobby?
Bobby (relieved): Yes.
Dean (in rapid speak, looking around the bathroom, at the mirror, over at Sam): This whole time…this whole time we were trying to talk ourselves out of it he’s been…what’s he doing here?
Sam is looking out into the motel room and suddenly picks up Bobby’s flask, handing it to Dean with a, “Dude!”
Bobby’s like, “We don’t have time for this! Get back to the house!”
Dean: We gotta get back to that house, STAT.
That’s the second time Dean’s words have echoed Bobby’s, even though he can’t hear him. I liked that.
Unfortunately, they’re already too late for the Cheesy Twins. Annie saw them, but couldn’t do anything. Dexter’s ghost rushed at them, telling them they shouldn’t have come there. Van Hess’ ghost stopped Dexter and the Cheesy Twins actually utter a terrified thanks…just before Van Hess shoves his ghost hands through their chests and kills them, then turns to Dexter, saying that he told him there would be consequences if he tried to warn anyone else away. Dexter is all, you have enough, they’re just kids…y’know, the stuff good guys say. Van Hess is having none of it and shoves his hand into Dexter, turning him into a ball of light and…absorbing him. Or something.
After he’s gone, Annie stands over the bodies of the dead boys, trying to figure out a way to get their camera. Victoria shows up, but says she can’t help. She breaks it down for us – how Van Hess actually killed everyone in that house and uses them for his food or entertainment. That he “drained” Dexter and now Dexter is just…gone. She tells Annie that she was a “fancy lady” when this house was a brothel and Van Hess slit her throat (though her ghost!throat is unmarked).
Annie wants to know where he keeps the bodies, but Victoria doesn’t know. Annie convinces her to grab the camera, but then Van Hess returns and they skedaddle out of there. Annie, ever the hunter, pauses to watch Van Hess drag the bodies away and we see him pull a candle holder down to reveal a secret panel behind a bookshelf where he drags the Cheesy Twins in what is, presumably, where all the bodies are hidden. Ewww. Smelly room.
The boys are outside the house in the Primer Gray Mobile, gearing up with rock salt shotguns.
Dean: We combed the crap out of this place. If Annie’s in there and we didn’t find her—
Sam: It’s ‘cause someone didn’t want us to.
Dean: Awesome. Well, let’s walk right into that.
The boys (and Bobby) head inside. Just inside the entrance, Bobby manages to sneak his flask from Dean’s pocket and hide it in a nearby drawer, saying he’s leaving the pack. Sam heads upstairs. Dean calls out to Annie and just as he does, the video camera slides across the floor to his feet.
Dean: That’s not odd.
Dean calls Sam to come back downstairs.
Dean: Annie? (pause, quieter voice) Slimer?
They watch the video the Cheesy Twins made and see Annie’s ghost image on it, determining she is in the house, just not in a good way. Dean calls out to Annie again and Bobby, standing off to the side with Annie and Victoria says, “Give ‘em a minute. They’ve gotten slower since I left.”
Annie convinces Victoria to show herself to the boys because they can help free her. She flashes visible and the boys are like Whoa! They bring their shotguns up to point at her and she raises her hands to stop them, telling them her name and says she was a “fancy lady” at the house. Takes Dean all of one heartbeat to realize she meant hooker and anther heartbeat to wipe the half-grin from his face.
She tells them that Annie is there, but they can’t see her. They look down and Dean steps back.
Victoria: You’re not standing on her.
Annie’s like, tell them already, but Victoria, playing the Oda Mae Brown role in this scene, basically says she has to do it her own way. I couldn’t help but whisper, Molly, you in danger, girl, to myself when Victoria says that Annie is in terrible danger from Van Hess. Hee.
Dean: He’s dead, you’re dead…define 'terrible danger'.
She tells the boys about Van Hess’ power and that he was the real bad guy killing everyone, and that they can help free all the ghosts trapped there…but of course Van Hess has been listening (as have countless other ghosts roaming aimlessly around the house) and before Victoria is able to tell them how they can free them, she bursts into flames and disappears.
Dean: I’m gonna say she was telling the truth considering she just got ghost killed.
Van Hess is in the room – unseen by the boys – and slips a key into Sam’s pocket as they leave to go salt and burn his bones. Bobby stays behind with Annie, thanks to the hidden flask, and they look on in despair as they watch Van Hess sitting in the back seat of the Primer Gray Mobile when the boys pull away.
Bobby’s kicking himself, of course, because he thought that Van Hess couldn’t leave the house either and now he’s not with the boys, but Annie’s like, well, the only thing we can do is our job, so let’s finish this. Bobby’s not happy, but goes along. They search the house, finally finding the Van Hess’ room. Annie tells Bobby the house had also once been a Speak Easy in addition to a brothel, so they start looking for hidden panels. Bobby is able to get zen once more and pulls down the candlestick thingy, opening the panel behind the bookshelf and revealing the Room O’ Corpses.
Annie comes face to face with her own dead body. Yikes.
Bobby: You and me burned our fair share of bones and sent a lot of ghosts packing.
Annie: It’s a little different on the receiving end.
She tells him that she wants a hunters funeral. Says that it’s better than this; she’s ready for some peace. It’s lonely, what they do. Bobby says that his life is the one he picked and Annie points out that he had the boys, she only had her work and that’s done. Bobby argues that he’s not done, but Annie is, and she wants him to do this for her (since he’s figured out how to Swayze things now).
It’s another part to the story where they drive home the point that Bobby making this choice can go one of two ways – a resolution of finished business and a peaceful goodbye, or continuing to hang on until he turns empty and insane and vengeful.
Meanwhile, in the car Sam does some google-fu on what looks like an iPad and finds out where the Van Hess mausoleum is.
Dean: Let’s light up the bastard and finish him off.
Just then, the Primer Gray Mobile accelerates.
Sam: Take it easy; we’ll get there.
Dean: Uh, that’s not me.
Suddenly, Van Hess flashes visible between them and grabs the wheel, pressing down on the accelerator, sending the car careening out of control. Dean wrestles with it and him and finally manages to stop. The brothers bail out of either side of the car simultaneously trying to figure out how Van Hess is with them. Dean figures they must have something on them.
Just as Sam finds the key in his pocket, Van Hess grabs Sam – I think thrusting his hand into his back, but I couldn’t really tell. Dean knocks the key from Sam’s hand and shoots it, freeing Sam, but unfortunately snapping the ghost back to his favorite haunt.
Back at the house, Bobby and Annie are starting to burn the bodies, but Van Hess is heading their way with such angry determination I heard the Wicked Witch of the West theme in my head. They hear him just in time and managed to hide, almost getting away, before he finds them and traps them in the main entry way. He tries to ghost-kill Bobby like he did Dexter, but luckily the boys have found his grave and salt and burn his bones, turning his ghost to ashes and “saving” Bobby.
Bobby…passes out, if ghosts can do that. Annie’s sitting next to him on the ground when he comes to, sitting up groggily. He says he feels okay – dead, sure, but okay. He’s sitting on the ground when the boys walk into the house. He gives them a casual, “Hi, boys,” fully expecting to be invisible to them, but when they stare at him with heart-stopping shock, he blinks at them.
Dean (barely audible): Bobby?
Bobby: Wait…you can see me?
I can’t even imagine what the boys had to be feeling in that moment. It’s one thing to get confirmation that the ghost of your mentor and father-figure is still around…but to see him? *rubs heart* Oh, boys.
Bobby stands up, looking back at the boys. “You’re staring. Annie’s here, too.”
The boys look out and around, saying a small, “Hi, Annie.”
Annie: Hi, guys.
Bobby (pointing to where she is): She says you both look uglier than she remembers.
Dean is looking totally shell-shocked at all of this; Sam manages a slight smile.
Sam: How’d you stay here?
Bobby goes to the desk and pulls out his flask, tossing it to Dean.
Bobby: Suck on that, Swayze.
Sam (his voice holding that youthful wonder that tugs at my heart): That’s why you never answered me. I tried calling you. Talking board, the works. I was always alone. Dean always had that in his pocket. That’s why the EMF only went off half the time. We thought we were going crazy.
Dean’s still staring at his flask, his lips barely parted. He closes his eyes, lifting his head, then looks over at Bobby.
Dean (voice breathless, slightly shaking): So…so…what happened? Did you…get stuck? Or…what?
Bobby: I wanted to stay.
Dean (sad): Bobby…
Bobby: I need to help.
Sam: Not if it means you have to…be this.
Bobby: Life wasn’t comfy, why should death be? C’mon. Annie and I found all the bodies. Let’s put ‘em to rest. And keep my flask away from the fire. Obviously.
And right then I had this feeling that sometime in the next four episodes, that’s exactly what was going to happen. I hope it’s after Bobby helps them finish this – finish the Leviathans and Dick Roman. I hope the writers allow that before his flask heads to the flames and his soul to peace.
Later, the boys are putting supplies back in the trunk of the Primer Gray Mobile, Bobby standing nearby.
Bobby: I’ll miss her.
Boys: Me, too.
Bobby: You didn’t know her like I did.
Boys (sharing a look): *awkward*
Dean (taking out his flask): Here’s to Annie. She got the hunter’s funeral she wanted.
Bobby’s watching him and I couldn’t quite figure out his expression. I wondered if he might say something about him drinking from the flask. But he didn’t get a chance.
Dean (his voice going hard): Kinda like the one we thought we gave you.
Dean (turning to Bobby, his back to Sam): What were you thinking, Bobby? You should be in Heaven right now, drinking beer at Harvelle’s. Not stuck—
Bobby: Stuck here with you? We still have work to do. I just thought that was kind of important, Dean.
Dean’s argument right then just had me hurting for him. He knew on so many levels why this was bad…just bad bad bad. And he wanted the reassurance that there was a chance of peace when he was done. That Bobby really was “in a better place.” Not stuck observing a life of never-ending struggle and weariness.
Dean: It’s not right; you know that.
Bobby (voice all pissy): Sorry. You’re right. What was I thinking?
He blinks out and Dean puts the flask in the trunk. They get in the car and are driving down the road, at dark.
Sam: What do you think we should do?
Dean: We did what we should do. Now…I don’t know.
I liked that he was open about his uncertainty. I like that he didn’t have a black and white answer because this wasn’t a black and white situation. This wasn’t just any ghost. This was Bobby.
Sam: Think it’s possible we could make it work somehow?
Aw, Sammy, there you go killing me with your hope again. *rubs heart* I so hope they give you something at the end of this story, kiddo. I hope they give you a reward for having hope.
Dean: I have no idea. Maybe. I’ve never heard of it. (glances askance at Sam) You know what I do know? It ain’t the natural order of things. Everything is supposed to end. He was supposed— (his voice catches and he pauses before making himself go on) Now…what are the odds this ends well? What are the odds?
If anyone knows about the natural order of things, it’s Dean. Not even taking into account the fact that he lost his dad to a crossroads deal to save his life, or the price he paid in Hell for making a deal for Sam’s life…he had to spend a day as Death – again as part of a deal for Sam’s life. But during that time, the fact that things end, that there’s a natural order of things, was driven home in a very real, visceral way. A way that no one else could really understand because…well, they hadn’t had to do that. They hadn’t been through what he’d been through.
I heard in his words a need for death to have dominion once more – and through that, life to have more meaning. If there’s no end, it’s hard to take pleasure in the fleeting beauty of life. If you just go on, or are brought back time and again, then what does it all matter? If there’s no peace at the end, no reward of an end to all of this fighting and pain and struggling and need and hope and fear, then why fight at all?
I think it’s more than just Dean worrying about what are they going to do about Bobby being a ghost and can they make it work in a sort of a Being Human twist. I think it’s more than fear that Bobby will turn vengeful. I think it’s Dean getting something he thought he wanted – seeing Bobby again – and realizing that it wasn’t really what he wanted after all. Sam had been right – he’d just really missed Bobby, which was real, and right, and natural. But now he sees that it’s not over for Bobby and that’s just another weight on Dean, added to the burden he already bears.
Bobby listens to their conversation from the backseat and just looks lost and lonely and heartbroken.
And I know that it’s going to sound heartless of me, but I like the spot they’re in because story-wise, they could go so many different directions from here and they’ve given our boys both a moral and emotional dilemma to deal with at a moment when they’re finally back on a level playing ground (or as level as they can ever get) with Sam’s soul no longer broken.
I think the next four episodes could be really good.
Speaking of, though, I have to forewarn you – I’m going to be late with next week’s Ramble. The hubs and I are taking Mo Chuisle to Disneyworld and I won’t be able to watch episode 7.20 until Wednesday, May 2nd. I’ll still write up a Ramble for it, but since it will be basically two days before 7.21 airs, it’ll probably be a shorter one.
I’d still love for you to come back and read and share your thoughts with me, though. Without saying too much, the previews make it look like we might be revving up for a show down.
Good news is that I will be on time for the final three of the season. So, Yay! Anyone hear if we’ve been renewed for a season 8 yet?
Thanks for reading!
- Where Am I?:home office
- How Do I Feel?: contemplative
- Feeding the Muse:Shake it Out by Florence + the Machine