Official CW Description — Still reeling after what happened to Bobby, Dean becomes dangerously obsessed over finding a way to take down Dick Roman (guest star James Patrick Stuart). Meanwhile, Sam decides to help a teenage girl (guest star Madison Mclaughlin) look for her father (guest star Ian Tracey), a hunter who has gone missing. Sam traces his last steps to a truck stop where the help (guest star Once Upon a Time’s Meghan Ory) turns out not to be so friendly. Jeannot Szwarc directed the episode written by Adam Glass.
I swear I was okay until literally the last minute. And now I am trying to swallow around a football-sized lump in my throat. Man, it was good to see our boys again, wasn’t it?
Well, we’ve had a month to process, to reason, to rationalize. We’ve had a month to decide if we’re going to be okay with this or with that. To try to figure out the method to the writer’s madness. To miss our heroes.
One thing I think we all can agree on is that when REO’s “Riding the Storm Out” began to play over the ‘road so far’ there was a collective, fandom-wide grin.
And what a road it’s been, you guys. I mean, I haven’t missed a beat, but as they recapped everything from Sam seeing Hallucifer to Cas Leviathaning out and walking into that lake to Bobby’s being shot…I was winded. And I don’t know about you guys, but I have this odd feeling…like the rest of this season is going to be a slow, subtle goodbye. I know every year it’s been THE big question: will SPN get renewed? But during this episode, I really felt this…sad, quiet exhale.
Oddly, I simultaneously embraced and rejected this idea. I’ve always said I don’t want our show to over-stay its welcome, to run itself into the ground X-files-style. But, I have to say, the minute I saw Dean? I felt an entirely different kind of exhale. The kind that says, “Oh, there you are; I’ve been waiting for you!”
So, I don’t know. Maybe I’m reading too much into things. It’s happened before. Anyway. Moving on!
To set up one of the episode’s focal points, we see a rough-around-the-edges man (who we later learn is Lee Chambers – played by an actor I remember from an early episode of Smallville), sitting in a truck stop diner, watching what looks like a hooker and a john outside in the parking lot. A blonde waitress comes up, asks him if he needs anything else, and when he reaches to pay her, we see he’s got a knife strapped to his belt. So, hunter.
He heads out after the couple, following them between two parked semi-trucks, but before he can find them, he’s confronted by Blondie from the diner who reveals that she’s slipped him a venom mickey. His vision blurs as he pulls his knife. She goes all snake-eyes on him and grows some nasty fangs before slamming him against the side of the semi and takes him down.
As we transition back to our boys, we realize that Bobby is dead. I found myself waiting to hear that he was in a coma or something, but he’s really gone (or as ‘gone’ as anyone ever is in Supernatural). And even if we didn’t want it to be true or don’t understand why the writers decided to go this route, it made sense after what they left us with prior to the hiatus. He had to be gone, really.
I thought they worked through the time from Bobby’s death to the action portion of the episode very well. Not that I wouldn’t have wanted to see them emote or physically react, but this fit our show right now. This isn’t a fanfic where we can delve into the whys and what fors and the inner workings of the characters psyche (which is one of my favorite things to do). And it’s not a show like…One Tree Hill where drama is the name of the game. Not that I actually watch One Tree Hill, but the pervasive CW previews give you that idea. No offense to any OTH fans out there.
Not only that, but I thought back to when they lost John. It was sudden and unexpected and sucked the air from the room around them, just like with Bobby. When John died, we saw tears – more from Sam than Dean, but that fit – and we saw Dean beat the hell out of his Impala, helpless for a way to express his pain and anger and grief. It had to be different this time. For one, they’ve been through so much more now than they had when John died. And secondly, Bobby held a different role in their lives and was basically their last connection to family.
They didn’t just lose their friend, their ‘Uncle’ – they lost their last connection to a life outside of themselves, outside of blood and brothers and the tangle of living in each other’s pockets. They lost the only reminder that they’re not alone in the world. The reaction to that isn’t immediate or comprehensive. It’s not something that happens the moment the reality of the loss sinks in. It’s something that happens slowly. Over time. With small reminders. Like a smell, or an object, or the turn of a phrase, or the moment you’re distracted and you forget for one brief second that they’re gone and you almost turn to speak to them or say their name and then you remember and the pain is sharp and real and right in your heart.