And now, my emotions are a bit scattered. And by a bit, I mean they're pretty much like a handful of beads dropped on a hardwood floor. Let me see if I can pull it together enough to give you a decent Ramble, since I'm already a day late as it is. *sucks in air*
So, with the THENs, we got reminded that the Levi’s can’t be killed and are scary, the demons are going to stay away at Crowley’s say-so (plus he hates the Levi’s), the boys are off the grid (but on the map), and Dean’s definitely not okay.
With the NOW, we can see from the POV of someone—or something—scurrying through the woods, peering at what appears to be a tent. But turns out it’s unlike any tent I’ve ever seen, unless you count the magic tents in Harry Potter. It’s raining outside, but our campers (if you can call them that) are snug and cozy with their generator running (and really, how safe is that to have an open electrical socket in a rainstorm??), a bed (complete with wooden headboard), end tables, lamps, and a remote-controlled TV.
The couple is comfortably burrowed in their cocoon-like sleeping bags and when the husband turns off the lights, he turns on his mini iPod thingy so that he can listen to nature sounds. While sleeping in the middle of the woods. *shakes head* Yeah, they’re roughin’ it boy. The funny thing is, I was in my living room, sitting on a borrowed lawn chair while I watched because we’d donated our couch to the Salvation Army (and don’t get our other one for a few days). Heh.
Next thing we know, the husband is waking up hanging upside down from a tree. That’s one sound sleeper, ya’ll. He was transported out of his cush bed, taken outside, and it’s not until after he’s hanging upside down that he comes to. Someone sneezing two rooms over will wake me up. I might be a little jealous. Anyway, dude wakes up, totally freaks out (understandably) and starts screaming for his wife. He can’t get free from the cocoon-bag and is terrified. He hears some scary noises in the tree above him (at his feet) and screams louder.
And then he’s eaten. While his iPod continues to play nature sounds.
After the opening blast, we see that we’re in Hammonton, NJ, inside a rather run-down, abandoned house. The boys are using jumper cables to, well, basically jump-start the house’s electricity via the fuse box. I didn’t know you could do that, honestly. *makes note for possible use in future stories*
Back upstairs, Bobby’s bringing in the rest of their supplies and Dean’s grumbling that this is cozy. Sam’s like, “Motel 6 ain’t leaving the light on.”
Bobby: When everyone’s out to get you, paranoia is common sense.
I want that on a bumper sticker. Plus, I was glad to see them living like they really were off the grid. With the exception of seeing another layer of Dean’s protective shield peeled away at the thought of not being needed and noting that the demons were being held at bay by Crowley until this whole Leviathan business is done, I’d almost prefer to skip right from the end of The Mentalists to this episode as far as continuity goes.
Dean is visibly disgruntled by their current digs, revealing in his dialog that we’ve missed some time here – they’ve apparently been living homeless and off the grid like this for weeks.
Dean: Been living with cold showers, cold Hot Pockets, cold everything for weeks. This is the bottom we’re living in.
And you know, sitting in my comfy lawn chair, thinking of his job as a hunter, I could almost say he sounded like he was whining a bit. But the moment that thought glanced off my perception, I thought about how soldiers at war have to live in miserable conditions, always too cold, too wet, too hot, soggy food, bug-infested food, sandy food, little sleep, little shelter, little safety – but the thing that they have going for them (the majority of them anyway) is that they have a cause. A reason. A mission to fight for. Someone or something to protect. Something they can help make the misery worth it.
And even before Dean’s confession, I had been wondering if our boys could still say the same after all they’d been through. So, I don’t blame them for being ticked off that they can’t even sleep in a real bed once in awhile because the universe once again dealt them a bad hand in a stacked deck. And I don’t blame Dean for grumbling about it, either. Heck, I had to sleep on our futon for four nights this week because my husband is sick and I almost cried with relief when I got to climb into my bed last night.
Bobby: We don’t know how many of those ‘big mouths’ are out there. Now’s not the time to be laying our bedrolls out on the grid.
Just then, the house sparks and the power dies. Sam turns on a camping light as Dean drags his hand down his face.
Dean: That’s just great. This is stupid. Our quality of life is crap. Purgatory’s least wanted is everywhere. (He moves the cooler from the table over to next to a couch and unrolls his sleeping bag, sitting down.) We’re on our third The World’s Screwed issue in, what? Three years? (Bobby moves to stand over by Sam and watches Dean with careful eyes.) We’ve steered the bus away from the cliff twice already.
Sam: Someone’s got to do it.
Dean: What if the bus wants to go over the cliff.
*heart hitches* And by ‘bus’…I kinda think he meant ‘Dean.’
Sam (long hair giving him a youngish look): You think the world wants to end??
Dean (leaning forward, elbows on knees): I think that if we didn’t take its belt and all its pens away each year, the whole enchilada would have offed itself already.
Bobby’s watching him with worried eyes, his face shutting down by increments as he sees what Dean doesn’t realize he’s showing with his words.
Bobby: Stop trying to wrestle with the big picture, Son. You’re gonna hurt your head.
That or, you’re heading down a mountain road without your headlights on and scaring the crap outta me, so pull over.
Dean digs a beer out of the cooler and lays down as Sam brings Bobby up to speed—with a newspaper and pre-printed web page articles—on the MotW, which appears to be the Jersey Devil. Bobby thought the Jersey Devil was local tall tale crap, but Sam says that the lore goes back about 200 years and that some people describe it as having wings, some with a tail, and some with a horse’s head.
Dean: Sketch looks more like a Chewbacca head. (hee)
Bobby: Sounds kinda mixed up.
Dean (sipping his beer, looking tiiiired): Yeah, like it should be fighting a Japanese robot.
Sam (still focused): Mixed up or not, it might just have a body count.
He talks about the ‘human burrito’ and the missing persons from the area (including the burrito’s wife) and says (with an oh, and get this tone) that local law is blaming a ‘rogue bear.’
Dean is in the background, rubbing his eyes as Sam talks. I actually took note of this director (thank you, Twitter) and I have to say that Guy Bee is one of my favorites in the way he has the action happening everywhere, not just on the people the camera and action is focused on. While Sam and Bobby are in the foreground bringing us up to speed on the hunt, Dean is in the background still telling us a story, only his is more personal and subtle. This happens more than once in this episode and I like it. It’s not like I haven’t noticed it before; I’m just remembering to talk about it this time.
Dean: When’s the last time you saw a bear string up its own piñata?
Bobby: We’re going honest-to-goodness wilderness hunting. Haven’t used my .30-30 in awhile.
Hee. Kinda dig that they’re using Winchester rifles.
Dean: Okay, Davy Crockett. But this is gonna wait until tomorrow and after our suit and tie dance. Wanna make sure it’s not just some backwoods crack head who likes to roll glampers.
Me: Roll what now?
Bobby: What the hell’s a glamper?
Me: Thanks, Bobby.
Sam (small grin shrugging up the corners of his mouth): High-end campers. Back to nature, zero inconvenience.
Bobby (looking horrified): That’s idiotic.
Sam (looking a tinge sad): Yeah. Some people just don’t know how to live.
Next day, boys are at a Biggerson’s, dancing the suit & tie dance with a local ranger – Ranger Rick. The Ranger is eating a sandwich and looking like he doesn’t have a care in the world, even though people in his town are being eaten up about as fast as he’s noshing on his sammich. As the boys watch him, expressions an even split between horrified and bemused, he tells them he knows the ‘human burrito’ wasn’t a rogue brown, but that he’s got no idea what’s out there.
Ranger Rick: Respect Mother Nature or she’ll string you up and eat your ass right through the gortex.
Yeah…not really bumper sticker material, that. He tells them that his “Assistant Chief Ranger” Phil and he have been finding leftovers out in the woods for weeks now…and come to think of it, he hasn’t seen Phil for a few days.
Ranger Rick: I should probably report that.
Bobby walks in, suited up as well, and they bid adieu to Ranger Rick to see what Bobby found out at the morgue.
Bobby: Got a look at the body. Not a happy camper.
Bu-dum-ching. Dean rolls his eyes good-naturedly as Bobby continues. He says the bite marks are too small to be Leviathans, heart is still there, so no werewolf. Bobby’s got no precedence for the Jersey Devil – since until now he thought it was made up and all. They all agree they’re hungry and Dean snags “Brandon,” a waiter, who, despite his excellent use of flair, does not like his job. When Dean asks for a table, Brandon calls him a douchewad and says the hostess will seat them.
Brandon: Do I look like a freakin’ hostess?
Dean: Do you want to look like a hostess?
HA! I thought it was a decent threat, but Sam laughs as Brandon stomps off saying he didn’t think what Dean said made sense. It’s actually a really cute laugh made funnier by Dean’s totally puzzlement at Brandon’s behavior.
Dean: What the hell was that?
Bobby: Sure hope we don’t get Brandon’s section.
Brandon delivers their food, calling Sam “Big Bird,” Dean “Ken Doll,” and Bobby “Creepy Uncle.” Niiiice.
Dean: What is your problem?
Brandon (yelling): YOU’RE my problem.
Bobby: Brandon’s got his flair up in a bunch.
Heh – for some reason the thought of Bobby watching Office Space totally cracks me up.
Sam (grinning): There goes his 18%.
I had a brief flash to Jensen's Alec in an episode of Dark Angel telling Max, “You just lost your tip.”
Dean (turning back around and picking up his sandwich): ANYWAY. Chief Ranger Rick doesn’t believe in the Jersey Devil.
Sam: Did he seem a little stoned to you?
Dean: Definitely growing his own in the back 40 and smoking all the profits.
Bobby is eating a salad with chopsticks. That kinda cracked me up, too. I mean, I get that it was a Chinese chicken salad or whatever but…, yeah. It’s a Biggersons. Anyway, he starts talking but Dean breaks in exclaiming that his sandwich is AWESOME. I mean, we know Dean loves food, but he is loving this sandwich. In the background, though…Brandon quits with a rather eloquent exclamation of up yours to his boss. Okay, then.
So, the boys head out into the woods to hunt up the whatever it is that’s eating people. I don’t really know a ton about guns, but I kinda wanted Bobby to carry his rifle pointed the other way – the barrel wavering in Dean’s general direction made me nervous – and Sam looked a little like a college kid on a nature hike. I have no idea if Dean was holding his rifle correctly or not, but he sure looked good. I liked the green jacket all buttoned up, the rifle on a strap on his shoulder. I believed he’d been hunting before.
Bobby finds some tufts of hair and tells them that it was most likely two bucks fighting it out, leading Sam to recall that before Bobby was a hunter, he was a hunter. Dean says he remembers that Bobby would take them hunting when John dumped them off on Bobby and that Bobby taught them a lot of what they knew about tracking. I liked this little peek into their past with him – one we knew they’d had for awhile now, especially considering Sam got the amulet Dean wore from ‘Uncle Bobby’ as a gift for John. And they looked like they were around 9 and 13 at the time.
And because I’m sensitive to what some in fandom could say about different elements of dialog potentially invoke, I’ll just say that these memories or the way they were brought up didn’t put any lesser light on John for me. We already knew the boys spent a good amount of time either alone or with someone John trusted to care for them – which, IMO, is a lot better than taking them with him on potentially dangerous hunts. I was a lot more judgmental of my parent’s choices with how they raised me before I became a parent myself. Now, while I still stick with a good deal of I’ll never do that with my child decisions, I can understand that they were doing the best they could with the understanding and knowledge they had at the time. For me, same holds true for John.
Bobby razzes them about not being able to shoot a deer. Dean teases that they couldn’t shoot Bambi, but Bobby returns that they don’t shoot Bambi, they shoot Bambi’s mother. *shakes head* Oh, men.
They head a bit further in, then stop, all three staring up in the tree at a mangled arm hanging down. Dean says he thinks they found Phil. They call Ranger Rick who climbs out of his truck all, got your message, no idea what you were talking about. It’s dark by this time, so they all three turn their flashlights (mounted on their rifles) up to the body hanging from the tree.
Ranger Rick: Huh. Think we found Phil. I should probably call this in.
Sam: Yeah. Solid move, Rick.
Okay, I know I was pretty ‘surfacey’ in the last Ramble, so I’ll keep this to a minimum, but either the lighting in this episode was awesome, or something was working extremely well for Dean. There were three moments where I literally couldn’t take my eyes off of him and would have loved to freeze the moment. The first was in the cabin when he was leaning forward, elbows on knees, talking about the world ending. The second was here, standing in the shifting light of the flashlights and headlights, watching Rick with an odd curiosity. The third, we haven’t gotten to yet, but it’s in the van with Bobby. I’ll tell you when. I’d take an avi from any one of them, thanks. *grins*
Rick goes to his truck and calls someone on his CB and as he does so, the boys and Bobby hear something stirring in the forest.
Bobby: I think we’ve got company.
Just then, Ranger Rick gets grabbed from behind and hauled into the forest. The boys and Bobby give chase, Sam crying out Ranger Rick’s name. They skid to a stop, hearing noise up in the trees. They aim their rifles upwards, the light from the flashlights dancing on the undersides of the leaves.
Bobby: Lights off.
Dean obeys immediately, but Sam hesitates, all is that a good idea?
Bobby: Shut up. Shut off. And listen.
What they hear? Is the…thing…eating Rick. Bllleeaaack.
Dean: Aw, man. I liked Rick.
Sam and Bobby give him a sidelong look and Dean shuts up. Then Bobby does this totally cool thing that makes me – and the boys – remember that he’s so much more than just a surrogate father and an Obi-Wan of hunter's knowledge. He closes his eyes, listens, and fires. Someone cries out – either in pain or fear, I couldn’t tell. I also couldn’t tell who it was. But seconds later, a body falls out of the tree.
Both boys stare, open-mouthed, at the body, their guns trained on it.
Dean (a bit breathless): Wow. Nice shot, Bobby!
Sam (same exact tone): Seriously.
Bobby (utterly calm): We’ve all got our gifts.
Okay, so random sketches aside, the body looked nothing like a Jersey Devil. In fact, it looked more like a reject from The Walking Dead. The eyes were bugging out, the flesh was blue/black and rotten looking, mouth was bloody and clutched in its arm was…an arm. Ranger Rick’s arm, to be exact. They figure that Rick called in his “10/20” (I’m guessing situation and location?) and that his other peeps would find his body soon enough. They had work to do.
So, they haul the body back to the abandoned house – and this is before we knew that Bobby has an A-Team-worthy van, so I was kinda squicked out thinking about the body in the trunk of the Patchwork Dodge with all the weapons. They lay the body on the table and Bobby remarks that it was super-model skinny, but wicked strong. They’re all flanking the body, Dean and Sam along the side, Bobby at the feet.
Sam: Only took one bullet to bring it down.
Dean: And not even a silver bullet, just a bullet bullet.
I totally should have seen this coming, but I didn’t. All this training and watching and late nights and tired has me off my horror-genre game.
Without warning, the body SITS UP then jumps to its feet on the table. I jumped back with a gasp. The boys jump back and as one they all three pull their weapons and fire at the thing until it’s down again. I love it when they do things instinctively like that. So. Cool.
When it falls once more, Sam and Dean are puffing out breaths and look at each other very W.T.F. was that?!
Bobby: Guess I just stunned it.
Dean’s like, let’s see who this Dude is, and goes to check his pocket for some ID. Which isn’t what I would have thought to do, honestly. So good on him. He pulls out the wallet and looks at all the blood and…gunk…on it.
Dean: Uuunhh, that’s just gonna…ruin the leather.
Sam gives him an irritated glance and grabs the wallet.
Bobby: Are you feeling okay?
Dean: Yeah! I feel great!
And it’s because I believed him in that moment that I knew something was up (told you, off my game). Until he said “I feel great” with such a profound sense of…release…I was just thinking it was Dean being…well, Dean. Sometimes our guy can be irreverent, y’know? And he wasn’t off his game as far as reaction time. But then, he said this and I thought back and realized that ‘liking Rick’ wasn’t really how he would have reacted to a person getting eaten, nor was a comment about the leather with a dead body sprawled out in front of him.
Sam reads the ID and I swear the zombie dude’s name changed like three times – it sounded different to me every time I heard from the different guys. At first I heard Gerald Broughton. Then Joe Broughton. Then later on, Gary Broughton. So, henceforth in this ramble Gerald/Joe/Gary is just gonna be Broughton because sometimes even I can’t understand their Midwest accents and I’m as Midwest as you can get.
Anyway, according to his ID, Broughton was supposed to be 235 lbs. Dean looks at the body all, Whoa.
Bobby: Apparently he’s lost a little pudge. (hee)
Dean: Maybe it’s a lap-band side effect.
Sam gives him a look and Dean, undaunted by his brother’s disdain, helpfully stretches his hands across his middle to illustrate the lap band. *laughs* Oh, boy. Bobby, well…he pokes the body with a stick, which I probably shouldn’t have but found rather funny. He pulls out some purple…goo…and says they better have a look under Broughton’s hood.
So, Sam and Bobby flank the body, cut it open, and start rooting around inside. It’s obviously gross and judging by their faces, stinks to high-Heaven. Dean comes in, looking totally unaffected by it all, and pours himself some whiskey, leaning against the mantel piece and asking them if they’re getting hungry. ‘Cause, y’know, he’s hungry. They give him A Look.
Sam (looking totally grossed out): Uh, that’s human, right there.
Bobby: That’s fresh Rick. Plus…a pine cone. (He drops the pine cone in a bucket next to Sam, making Sam jump.) Pack of gum, in the wrapper.
Dean just leans on the mantel, sipping his whiskey, picking lint off his jacket. It’s another of those foreground/background shots that I like where you can watched the (gag-worthy) action in front of you or shift your eyes to the person in the back and you still get layers of the story.
Sam: That’s older. Maybe Phil? Or the glamper? And that’s uh…yeah. That’s a cat’s head.
UCK. I mean, seriously uck.
Bobby: You gotta be damn hungry to eat a cat’s head.
Bobby pulls something else out of the body and says it’s Broughton’s adrenal gland which is supposed to be the size of a bar of hotel soap and orange. It looks like a mutated watermelon and is purple/gray. So, they realize that the thing in the woods killing and eating people isn’t the Jersey Devil (which was slightly a bummer, because I miss the actual monsters in MotW episodes, to be honest), but he wasn’t Broughton anymore either (no, ‘cause he’s a zombie, guys…seriously).
Meanwhile, Dean’s like, guys, seriously, time for dinner?
Sam gives him a yeah, okay, sure, whatever look and they all head out – presumably leaving the hacked up body of Broughton on the table. *shudder*
At Biggerson’s, Sam’s using the wifi hotspot to look up Broughton and find out that he went missing 8 days ago. Sam and Bobby postulate that he might’ve been what happened to the campers, but what happened to him is the mystery. Meanwhile, Dean is practically making love to his Turduckin Slammer. I mean the sounds he’s making…yeah. Staring at him, Sam’s all what do you think?
Dean: I’m not that worried about it.
Dean (sounding totally stoned…and, I’m sorry, kind of adorable): That’s funny, right? I could give two shakes of a rat’s ass. Wait…is that right? Does the rat shake its ass or is it something else?
Bobby and Sam finally look around and see that everyone in the restaurant is eating the Turduckin and loooooovin’ it. Sam grabs Dean’s sandwich, causing Dean to protest like a five-year-old.
Bobby: There’s some funky chicken in the Turduckin Slammer.
So, they take it back to the house (hilariously wrapped in swan foil) and put it on the table. I have to say, I kind of loved stoned Dean. We’ve seen him slightly uninhibited before, we’ve seen him scared out of his mind before, but this is a first we’ve seen him toooooootally mellowed out, man. It was refreshingly endearing.
Dean (hanging back and leaning against the kitchen counter): Stupid. My sammich din’t do anything. Don’t know what y’think you’re gonna find.
Bobby (staring incredulously at him): There’s something wrong with you, Dean.
Dean: Are you kidding? I’m fine. (He hops up to sit on the counter.) I actually feel better than I have in a couple of months. Cas. Black goo. I don’t even care anymore. What’s even better is, I don’t care that I don’t care.
It’s interesting what they each reveal when “under the influence,” isn’t it? When Sam was dosed, he let slip that he’s moving on with his life and doesn’t need Dean anymore. Sure, he retracted it and blamed it on the potion, but it was still partially true for him. Now Dean reveals that one of the main things that has him coiled so tight all the time you could bounce a quarter off of him is Cas. The loss of his friend is a heavy, heavy weight on his heart and this…whatever it is…has released him from that for the moment. I bet he felt like he could float if he wanted to.
Personally, I almost wish I could know what that feels like.
Bobby looks at him and like a child, Dean mocks his stare, then pouts, “I just want my slammer back.”
Sam: Dude, you are completely stoned. Just like Ranger Rick.
Bobby: And like the dinner rush. Everyone loves the Turduckin.
Suddenly, the sandwich kinda…burps up the purple goo they’d found inside Broughton. Seriously, ya’ll? That’ll turn me off white meat for awhile. That was just…nasty doesn’t fully encompass the shudder of revulsion I felt in that moment.
Dean: I think you pissed off my sandwich.
Everyone draws their head back. Dean slides off the counter.
Dean: That’s…in me?
Sam (weak smile): O-only half of it.
Unless you count the day before…then it’s one and a half.
Sam: So, whoever turned Broughton into a Pumpkin Head and is currently turning Dean into an idiot—
Dean: I’m…right here. Right here.
Bobby: It’s in the meat.
Dean (with a slightly dazed-looking grin): If I wasn’t chilled out right now, I would puke.
So, in Bobby’s A-Team van (which is a bit more tricked-out inside than the one he had when he couldn’t walk), they stake out Biggerson’s. Dean’s sleeping off the tryptophan coma in the back, his head resting against Bobby’s front seat. Sam and Bobby are in the front seat alternating watching the warehouse and surreptitiously checking on Dean.
Sam: So, you think he’s okay?
Bobby: He’s all right.
Sam: So you don’t…worry about him?
Bobby: You mean before the Turduckin?
Sam (fidgeting, obviously unsure how to bring up what he’s thinking about): Yeah, I mean like…before my head broke and we lost Cas.
Bobby just watches Sam talk and it struck me then how differently he treats these two. I’m not sure I’ve quite got the pulse of it, because it doesn’t always feel consistent – much like a real parent of two very different children might behave. It’s like…well, like he wants to treat them the same because they’re both adults, both hunters, have both been through Hell and back, but is constantly reminded that he can’t because they simply don’t look at the world the same.
Not only that, he expects different things from them – Bobby needs them differently.
He loves Sam, you can tell that by the way he looks at him and how he tells Dean to go easy on him or give him a break or don’t lose faith in him (different times over the past seasons). He feels for him, too. But (and this is just the way I see it), he doesn’t need Sam like he needs Dean. Dean reminds Bobby of himself, and he’s said before that Dean’s his favorite. I get this feeling that Dean keeps Bobby whole, keeps him together.
A lot of the time it feels like he needs Sam to stay in one piece because without that, Dean would fall apart. That’s not to say in any way that he doesn’t care about Sam outside of Dean, but, well, that’s what I see at the base. He gives Sam a certain leeway, space to be the kind of man he’s going to be. But he demands the Dean be the kind of man he expects him to be. Sam’s allowed to be ‘deep’ and reflective, Dean needs to suck it up and pull himself together.
It’s not exactly fair, but it’s very human. And I don’t think Bobby can help it. Especially now. If he still had his home base, his ground, his supply of weaponry and memories to ground him, maybe he could let Dean ‘talk it out’ like he’s willing to let Sam. But now, with the way things are, he’s just reacting from a place of fear for both of them and when his fear bounces off of Sam it turns soft and when it bounces off of Dean it turns hard.
Sam: You ever feel like he’s…going through the same motions but he’s not the same Dean?
Bobby: How could he be?
There’s a shot of Dean sleeping and looking at him look peaceful for a moment, I realized I was glad someone said that – how could either of them be the same, right? After all they’ve been through? It’s like taking an 18-year-old class clown who’d never held a gun, putting him through basic training, sending him to war, making him kill people, watch his friends die, and get wounded, and then bringing him home and expecting him to be the class clown again. Neither Sam nor Dean is the same.
But since they were talking about Dean, I’m glad they said that because I think Sam needed to hear it – especially after his ‘gift’ last episode of letting Dean take care of himself. Despite his protestations to the contrary in Season 1, back then Dean probably could have easily adapted to the idea of just watching out for himself. Dad was still alive, monsters were their biggest worry, Sam hadn’t even really started to have his death visions. But now? Seven years, too many deaths, and two different tours in Hell later? No, he isn’t going to handle that easily. He isn’t handling anything easily.
And I think Sam knows that – he just needed to hear it pointed out (in the simplest way possible) by the only other person in the world close to Dean.
Sam: Yeah, but…what if?
Bobby: What if, what? You worry about him, all he does is worry about you, who’s left to live their own life here? (Sam looks away and Bobby sighs heavily.) The two of you. Aren’t you full up just playing Snuffleuppagus with the Devil all the live long?
Sam (reflective): I don’t know. Seeing Lucifer’s fine with me.
Bobby: Come again?
Sam (rubbing his scarred hand): It’s not fun, but…I kinda see it as the best case scenario. At least all my crazy is under one umbrella. I know what I’m dealing with. A lot of people got it worse.
*rubs heart* Aw, Sammy. I like that. I’d been not sure how I felt about him being ‘okay’ when they spent so much energy last year talking about how not okay he’d be if the wall came down, but I like that he’s found his compartment to put it in, and that he’s cognizant that others aren’t so easily able to do that with the stuff that messes them up emotionally – his brother included.
Bobby: You always were one deep little son of a bitch.
Sam grins but then there’s action at Biggerson’s drawing their attention. A truck with “Midwest Meat and Poultry” drives up, delivers several boxes, and heads out. They follow. Elsewhere, outside of N.E. Law Center, a woman is walking to her car and is attached by none other than Mr. SuperFlair himself, Brandon. He beats her head against the ground and leans in to nosh when another car pulls up and some random cowboy dude (who we only see from the belt buckle down) gets out and biffs Brandon.
The boys and Bobby follow the truck to a big warehouse. Dean is awake, still in the back, and drinking coffee. They all agree that a place like Biggerson’s getting its meat from some random warehouse is weird. And then, a Caddy pulls up and Edgar gets out. Sam has a momentary freak out as he remembers the last time they saw Edgar, a Chevy was dropped on him. Turns out Edgar was the random cowboy guy. He gets Brandon out of the trunk – a bag over his head and his flair illuminating the night like lights from a Ferris wheel.
Dean: Son of a bitch.
You can say that again.
Edgar hauls Brandon into the warehouse and we, the audience, follow. Turns out Dr. Handsome from back at the hospital in Bobby’s hometown is there. I gotta be honest with you all – all the stuff with the Leviathans was a little…dull. For me. I don’t really find them scary. I find them interesting – and there were certain moments of omgtheydidnotjustdothat, but by and large, they’re too human to be monstrously scary and too much monster to be a psychotic human so they fall into this middle gray area that I’m a little meh about.
I’m hanging with it, of course – I mean there’s something to be said for the unkillable creature whose only mission in life is to make us fat and complacent so that they can gorge themselves. They seem to have no big agenda beyond living large and lazy. They want to take over the powerful so that they can turn the human race into a smorgasbord. It’s daunting, yes, but it’s one of those things that feels like it could take awhile so…it doesn’t strike this chord of fear in me.
You may now throw things at me if you want. Nothing is going to make me stop watching the plight of our heroes as they continue to push the boulder up the hill and try to save the world once again, narrowly avoiding their own demise in the process. I think, honestly, the Leviathans might be scarier to me if we hadn’t survived angels and demons already. That’s just me and I’ll shut up about it for now.
Edgar puts Brandon in a cage near another woman who’s much further down the zombified chain and tells Dr. Handsome to burn them. Dr. Handsome is all, but they’re research and Edgar tells him “Dick” is coming. Dr. Handsome turns to an orderly-looking guy and is like, burn them.
Back in the A-Team van, Dean’s in the front seat, sipping coffee, and Sam’s doing a recon of the back of the building – giving Bobby time to talk with Dean.
Bobby: How’s your head?
Dean: I think the slammer’s pretty much worn off. Between that and 20 cups of coffee, I’m nice and tense and alarmed.
Bobby: I wasn’t talking about that.
Dean (closing his eyes with a quiet groan): Don’t go all Sigmund Freud on me. I just got drugged by a sandwich.
Bobby: I want to talk about your new party line. The world’s a suicide case. We save it; it just steals more pills.
Dean (jaw tense, looking away): I’m here, okay? I’m on the case. What’s the problem?
Bobby: I’ve seen a lot of hunters live and die. You’re starting to talk like one of the dead ones, Dean.
Dean (looking at him, clipping off each word at the end): No. I’m talking the way a person talks when they’ve had it. When they can’t figure out why they used to think this all mattered.
*rubs heart* He’s giving Bobby what Bobby had asked for back before the Leviathan’s burned his house down. He’s cracking the door open and showing him a tiny glimpse of his wounded self, confessing for the first time since Bobby tried to get him to open up that he’s got nothing left. He’s running on fumes. And he doesn’t want to do it anymore. He can’t bring himself to say and this is why and he doesn’t know how to say this is what I need to fix it. He just knows he’s done.
The sad part is, it’s not the first time. He’s been done a few times before, but the world won’t let him go, and he’s too much of a fighter to cash in his chips and go home.
Bobby: You poor, sorry…. You’re not a person.
Dean (looks front with a stony expression): Thanks.
And this is moment #3 of Gaelic wants an avi. The expression on his face, the lighting in that van, the emotions crashing against him…man. I am ruined. He has ruined me.
Bobby: You tried to be a person with Lisa and Ben and now here you are with a mean old coot and a van full of guns. That ain’t “person” behavior, Son.
I got what he was saying – to Bobby, Dean’s more than a “person.” The way he said the word, Bobby labeled the regulars, the civvies, the people they saved as “person.” He held what Dean was as a level above that – worth more than that. And he was trying to dig inside the fragile, hollowed-out shell of this kid sitting next to him to find the trigger that would ignite Dean’s fight again. He couldn’t do it with the quiet, you sure are deep approach that he’d allowed Sam – one because he’s never treated Dean that way, and two because Sam hasn’t given up, which he sees Dean doing.
Bobby: You’re whatever job you’re doing. You get a case of the Anne Sexton something’s gonna come up behind you and rip your fool head off.
Dean gives him a sidelong glance, filled with both resistance and knowing. He knew this man next to him well enough to recognize “I love you” wrapped up inside a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” lecture.
Bobby: You find your reasons to get back in the game. I don’t care if it’s love or spite or a $10 bet. I’ve been to enough funerals. I mean it. You die before me and I’ll kill you.
*rubs heart* Man, these guys. I wished so bad in that moment we would have gotten confirmation from Bobby that he’d heard Dean’s similar plea on his own voicemail. I wanted to know that Bobby knew Dean was teetering even back then. But that’s just me needing details. I think Bobby’s admission that he couldn’t live with Dean dead any more than Dean could’ve lived with Sam dead was going to have to be enough. It was also a bit of foreshadowing to the end of the episode.
Dean’s lips tremble a moment, as if he’s mentally running through a myriad of possible responses before he settles on, “We need to scrape some money together and get you a condo or something.”
At that moment, Sam jumps in all, “Something’s up.” A convoy of black SUVs pulls up and Bobby looks through the binoculars.
Bobby: I’ll be a squirrel in a skirt. It’s Dick Friggin Roman.
Dean: Who the hell is Dick Roman?
Me: Thanks, Dean.
And we’re watching a convergence of news coverage on Sam’s laptop (I think) inside Bobby’s van, the headline beneath the smooth, suave, all-too-put-together, American Psycho-esque image of Dick Roman says, “The Rise of Dick.”
Does it make me too much of a 14 year-old-boy if I laughed at that? If so, just pretend I never said anything.
So, Roman is this a member of the NRA, self-made bazillionaire, says things like he believes in unlimited growth, and that if you want to win you have to be a shark and sharks have to eat, he believes in merging or coming out on top, I mean double entendres all over the place for us in the “Leviathan” know. He’s not running for office (yet) but he does have a best seller called “When in Rome.”
Watching this, Dean puts the puzzle pieces together about Crowley hating ‘Dick.’ He thought he was just being general, but…well, this makes more sense. Heh. Sam states that they can’t outgun them, so Bobby pulls out this…tiny satellite dish looking thing that spies use to hear conversations from far, far away.
Dean: Where’d you get that mother?
Bobby: On loan from Frank. Picks up vocal vibrations from ½ mile away.
Sam = impressed.
So, in the warehouse, Dr. Handsome is showing Dick through an observation window a successful case of his Turduckin experiment – an obese family (mom, son, dad) sitting on a couch, eating the sandwich while watching an eye surgery on TV (nnnnarrrgghhhh – eye things just…*shudders*). They’re so complacent they don’t even notice that Grandma, who is in an adjacent chair, is no longer among the living.
Dick: You know what I love, besides handball and a really crisp Chardonnay? Progress.
*eye roll* I can’t decide if I feel revulsion or disgust with this guy. I just want him gone.
To summarize the whole Leviathan thing, The Golden Rule for them is that there’s no such thing as monsters. Dr. Handome’s experimental failures running amuck in the woods, grabbing and eating people and leaving the leftovers to be found caused the locals to cry Jersey Devil and the facts made the papers. This is bad, you see, because Dick runs a tight ship and doesn’t want to draw attention to what they’re up to – he has that much in common with Crowley, it seems.
He decides to shut Dr. Handsome’s program down and “make an example” of him – another thing he has in common with Crowley. Bobby’s listening to all this on a rooftop perch, peering into Dick’s office which has a wall of windows on one side. Inside the office, he can see Dick, his assistant Susan, and Dr. Handsome.
Susan pulls something out of a briefcase and Dr. Handsome gulps, “You’re going to bib me?”
I had this sudden flash to Lethal Weapon 2 and the South African bad guy saying, “Just making sure I wasn’t standing on plastic.”
We see Dr. Handsome’s monster mouth open up, his hand rise, and then we switch to Bobby who says, “Now I have officially seen it all. He’s making the doctor eat himself.”
Bobby starts to repeat, but then the orderly guy shows up out of nowhere and biffs him. Oops. Not good. The boys head to Bobby’s perch and see Frank’s listening thingy on the ground, but no Bobby.
Dean (voice shaking): They got him.
Sam: Dean, there are at least four Leviathans out there. We don’t know how to kill one.
Dean exhales a shaking breath, but then sees a van pull up below with ACME Industrial Cleaning on the side. Light bulb!
Dean: Gonna be quite a shock when we walk in through the front door, then, won’t it?
Sam = gulp.
Bobby wakes up in Dicks office, not tied to the chair he’s sitting in because Dick knows Bobby won’t get past him. There’s an exchange of words where Dick confidently tells Bobby that they can have anyone they want – even him if he was worth the effort.
Dick: It’s an us eat dog world.
He shows Bobby a case of beautiful, pearl-handled Colts and starts to load one saying he can imagine that Bobby appreciates guns. Bobby’s like, I’d appreciate one about now. Dick finds that amusing. I almost expected him to pat Bobby on the head. He says that he thinks humans have “spunk,” that Earth is like a planet of just the cutest little engines that could.
Dick: But, like the whores you kick out of the Presidential suite, cute don’t quite hack it, sugar.
Bobby wants him to cut to the chase and Dick’s all I’m gonna eat you, Bob. But he’s going to wait a bit because he’s pretty sure the boys are going to come after Bobby.
Bobby: They’re too smart. They know they don’t have the numbers. It would be suicide. I’ve run my race. Could die worse.
Just then, though, the boys burst into the warehouse below with power sprayers and tanks filled with borax. Whoever had that super-soaker idea a few Rambles ago? You weren’t far off! *grins* They spray all the Levi’s they see – including Edgar – and they’re all writhing in pain, their faces melting, smoking, all that jazz. Up in the office, Dick hears the screaming and goes to investigate, telling Bobby to stay in the chair.
Bobby gets up, looks through the files on the desk as fast as he can, loads the remaining Colt, has to pause to take a steadying breath – obviously terrified and dizzy from the adrenaline rush – then grabs the files and starts to head out. Susan the assistant stops him with a mighty back-hand at the door, knocking the files out of his hands. He shoots her in the face, buying him enough time to get past her and get out of the office.
Down in the warehouse, Sam uses the last of his spray on Dick’s face, but then is empty and throws the tank aside, backing into a corner, the fear on his face making him look about 10 years old.
Dick (calmly wiping the boraz from his melted features): Sam! That is not how we communicate from a place of yes.
Seriously can’t wait until they put this guy down. I want all the monsters in the world to band together with the Winchesters for one totally bizarre throw-down and melt him. *laughs at self*
Bobby shoots Dick in the back twice with the Colt he stole. Dick’s all, hey, that’s mine! And Dean uses his distraction to throw the last of his borax at Dick, yelling at Sam to go, go go! As Dick’s all, would you stop it with that stuff the boys run, get the van, pull it up to the door. Bobby gets blocked by a BIG Levi, shoots it with the Colt, runs out, jumps into the van while Dick follows – waaaay too calm for anything good to come of it.
Dick shoots at the van as Bobby slides the door shut and Dean peels off. And I knew. I know you knew, too.
Dean: Son of a bitch! Thank God you got in. Almost took your freakin’ head off, man!
Sam: Bobby, here’s your hat.
And then he sees and feels a bullet hole in the brim. Both turn, calling out Bobby’s name.
Dean: Oh, God. Bobby?
Screen goes black.
Dean’s totally desperate, panicked voice shouts, “Bobby!” one last time before the end.
The previews look like the next episode just might break my heart. Bobby’s always been one of my favorites. He’s been with them since season 1, and has meant so much to their stability and sense of family and home that I love the guy. I was crushed when they killed Ellen and Jo – we’re talking sobbing mess. I will be worse if they take Bobby from the boys – from Dean. The previews give us just enough to throw tons of question marks all over the place (and it almost sounded like Placebo’s Running Up That Hill was playing in the background, which has a personal significance for me, so guhhhh…).
Sam has his “crazy” under one umbrella and has himself on a good, healing road. Part of that has to do with the never-ending support and care he gets from his brother, and the reassurance that they have at least one ‘family’ member left. I’m not sure how he’d react to losing Bobby, honestly. I actually think he could be okay as long as he had Dean, but I could be waaaay off. It’s hard to gauge with how controlled he’s managed to become.
But it would destroy Dean, or Dean will destroy everything around him, one of the two. He’s already admitted that losing Cas has him unraveling, spinning and sinking with the weight of it. He’s already admitted that if the Levi’s had killed Bobby back at his house, he’d take Sam and drive off the end of a pier. He’s already admitted that he’s had it – and one “bootstraps” pep talk isn’t going to fix so many years of being hollowed out. If they lose Bobby, I fear for Dean. Just the brush with death is going to take his legs out from under him.
And that would be a prime moment for a Leviathan to attack, too. What a way to lead us into the mid-season hiatus, man. They really know how to turn the screws.
Before I depart, just a reminder that we’ve no epi next Friday the 25th due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the States. The next epi will air on Friday the 2nd – however, my Ramble will be late because that’s the same weekend the hubs and I head to Las Vegas to do the half-marathon. I’ll be back on the 5th, then watch and Ramble on the 6th. It’s killing me that I’ll have to wait so long to see what happens, but I hope you’ll all come back and share your own reactions and thoughts.
Thank you as always for reading and if you take a moment to share your thoughts, I appreciate it.