What a lovely blast from the past.
How wonderful to see Jim Beaver and Steven Williams hunting evil again, and not as ghosts or visions, but as "grumpy old Men of Letters" only "a handful of years ago." See, this is why you really shouldn't kill off characters played by outstanding character actors while a show is still running. (Although, eleven seasons. Who knew?)
Repetitive scenes can be boring if they're done poorly, but this episode was so well written and these four characters so well-established that it was all enormous fun. We saw our "elder statesmen" going through all of the same steps in the hunt that Dean and Sam did, but in their own particular way. Just like present day Dean, Bobby was fretting about the looming Apocalypse, while Rufus and Sam just wanted a "lay-up", to chalk up a win. Dean and Sam dug up two graves to find that Bobby and Rufus had already burned the bones, while Rufus used Shabbat as an excuse not to dig, and Bobby was smart enough to find a backhoe. They questioned the same two witnesses (neighborhood watch woman and Dr. Richards at the hospital), and Sam deliberately took the same motel room "for luck". I particularly liked the way Rufus carefully painted his sigil on the wall, but the boys did theirs like bloody fingerpaint.
Of course, it got serious, with the soul-eater foreshadowing. The theme of the episode, repeated several times by Rufus, was that they couldn't save everybody. (Apt, since both Bobby and Rufus have died.) While trapped in the "nest" outside of space and time, Bobby saw the boys dead, while Dean saw a dead Sam. Is Sam going to die? Again? I am assuming that it won't be permanent, and frankly, death for the Winchesters is a dramatic twist that stopped working a long time ago. Maybe what this episode foreshadowed was separation, that thing about dying and being trapped in nothingness?
At least Dean and Bobby were on the same plane for a moment, and saw each other. I wish they had had a moment to talk.
Does anyone know exactly when these flashbacks took place? Was it season five? I keep track of where the boys go in all of my reviews, and I couldn't find an episode of Supernatural that took place in Reno.
-- The Johnny Walker call-back was sweet but sad. I remember Bobby taking Johnny Walker to Rufus's grave.
-- Bobby's car was so decrepit that just looking at it made me laugh.
-- Bobby and Rufus referred to a baku hunt they did in Alaska.
-- Rock paper scissors. Dean will never learn.
-- If Bobby hadn't wanted the sigil broken, he should have installed much nicer wallpaper.
-- This week: Grand Rapids, Michigan, past and present. Sam and Dean were Special Agents Rizer and Bean, and Bobby and Rufus were Special Agents Riggs and Murtaugh. Google tells me that Rizer and Bean are partners in a video game called Contra Force. And of course, Riggs and Murtaugh were the leads in the Lethal Weapon movies.
Bobby: "I'm supposed to be your friggin' backup?"
Rufus: "Yeah. Well, if by backup you mean you do all the heavy lifting while I watch. It's Shabbat."
Bobby: "Are you serious?"
Bobby: "Were you ever nice?"
Rufus: "1985. Worst year of my life."
Rufus: "Would it kill you to at least wash this damn thing? It smells like roadkill casserole in here."
Bobby: "Just shut up, you idgit."
I counted three "idjits." We miss you, Bobby.
Rufus: "Oldest rule of hunting, Bobby. You can't save everyone."
Supernatural has been renewed and will be getting a twelfth season. I'm starting to think that Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, or possibly both, are compelled to continue filming this particular television series until some sort of curse is broken.
Three out of four backhoes,
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.
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