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Supernatural: Death's Door


If you're reading this review on my site, you're probably aware that I'm passionate about my favorite shows and about the characters I love. I've had two weeks to think about the possibility that Bobby would die in this episode, and it might have enabled me to go through the fictional character stages of grief. Because if you're going to write out a long-running, much beloved character, people, this is the way to do it.

It was fitting that this episode was about fathers and sons. They filled in so many blanks about Bobby, and it made sense that the first monster he killed was his own father. That he swore he'd never be the man his father was, and he certainly kept his word, didn't he? That he chose not to have children because he didn't want to take the chance that he might abuse them, and yet, he became a wonderful father, anyway. I loved how the Reaper put it – that Bobby had been given a small, unremarkable life, and had made something extraordinary out of it. Bobby fought evil for years, saved people who never thanked him, and he was a good father to two heroes who have repeatedly saved the world. Who could ask for a better epitaph than that?

I loved that Bobby knew where he was the whole time, and that he was strong enough to wake up and get the boys his message before he left them. I loved that his last and best memory was of a good time with them. Jim Beaver put such love and fondness in his last word to Dean and Sam: "Idjits." It was Bobby's word, the perfect last word.

Sera Gamble did such a good job with the story elements, too: the lights going out, the glass breaking in scene after scene ("You break everything you touch"), the Reaper with the ticking clock, the doors that kept reminding me of Being Human. We got mentions of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, young Bobby as the white rabbit in The Matrix, the pages of books blank a la Pleasantville.

Best of all, we got a whole lot of Rufus. It was smart writing to have Bobby hunting down his best and worst memories with his old partner at his side, and it gave Jim Beaver someone terrific to do expositiony dialog with. I thought we might see what happened in Omaha, but I don't think it was needed. I also thought we'd see Bobby kill Karen, but again, I don't think it was needed. We saw what we needed to see.

They left us with that last second of "maybe," but this is the end, isn't it? It would cheapen the beauty and depth of this superior send-off if Bobby somehow came back from the dead. And they gave us a reminder of what happens to ghosts who don't move on, making it unlikely that Bobby would choose such a fate for himself. Although it's different when it's you. Bobby as an angry ghost would be heartbreaking – and I'll admit, sort of fascinating. Supernatural is a show that constantly brings back dead characters. Hey, we saw a lot of Rufus and Karen in this one, didn't we? We could see Bobby again in some way. I'm certainly hoping that we see Castiel again.

There were several hints that Bobby might not go to heaven. Little Bobby told his older self that God would punish him. Is justifiable patricide enough to send Bobby to Hell? It's an amusing thought that Bobby actually knows the king of Hell personally, and the guy is fond of him. Bobby's final, best memory was an ordinary evening watching a movie with the Winchesters, and the last thing he saw was Dean talking about licorice being "chewy pieces of heaven." So maybe it'll be heaven. I wonder if we'll ever know?

This devastating loss wasn't new ground for Supernatural. The Winchesters lose everyone they love. When it comes down to it, all that Dean and Sam really have is each other. The only possible ending to this series that would be true to the story is the Winchesters dying, too, and we all know it. Not that I'm looking forward to it.

Bits and pieces:

— Bobby wrote the numbers on the palm of Sam's right hand. Considering that Sam presses his left hand in order to bring himself back to reality, that was a nice touch. (No pun intended.) So what do the numbers mean? Latitude and longitude, like what John did back in season one?

— It was very like Bobby to be prepared ahead of time to ward off a Reaper.

— No organ donation for hunters. Not after the episode about the haunting-by-kidney. It was kind of Dean not to burden Sam with that.

— We got yet another actor playing young Dean. And it was touching that while John had left orders for weapons training, Bobby chose instead to toss a baseball with little Dean. No wonder the boys loved him so much. He let them be kids when their father didn't, or couldn't.

— I liked Dean's confrontation with Dick, who was wonderfully slimy again. Dean really does have no fear. When it comes to monsters, that is. He was certainly afraid of losing Bobby.

— This week: Hammonton Regional Hospital in New Jersey, and Bobby's custard. The scenes in the hospital reminded me of John's death in season two. This might be the last we see of Bobby's house set.

— This was the fall finale, of course. That's when they kill off characters we love. The next episode airs January 6.


Dean: "What's going on with your head?"
Bobby: "I got shot in it."

Bobby: "Karen."
Karen: "You were expecting Farrah Fawcett?"
Bobby: "No, she always calls first."

Rufus: "Let's put this damn ghost to bed. I got plans for Purim."

Dean: "He's gonna be fine. Because he's always fine."

Reaper: "Most men like you die of liver disease while watching Barney Miller reruns. You've done enough."

Bobby's father: "You break everything you touch."
Bobby: "Uh huh. Well, as fate would have it, I adopted two boys and they grew up great. They grew up heroes. So you can go to hell!"
That was just beautiful.

Four out of four gold acting stars for Jim Beaver,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. First 10 of 10 ep in a long time. I loved/hated it like many others.

    Standout moments are: seeing Rufus again (I'm still bitter about him dying,) Dean confronting Dick, Sam's brokenhearted acceptance of what's coming, Bobby's best memories of just hanging with his boys (awww,) and of course that one last "Idjits" *sniff*. Yes, I lost it there.

    Billie, I don't want you to be right about this really being the end for Bobby but I'm worried that you are. I'm not going to completely give up hope that they will have him back somehow. (...just changed my mind about posting my spoilery thoughts on this) But if this really is it they sure did do it right. Bravo! We love you, Bobby!

    And just for the record - I may not have ever actually seen a Jet Li movie or eaten a banana and peanut butter sandwich, but I still take Sam's side of both arguments. My hatred of that horrible sugary plastic called licorice and the many Norris movies my ex dragged me to make them easy calls.


  2. Well, count me as another "loved it/hated it" vote. I'm extremely unhappy about losing Bobby, and I'm really not sure how much longer I'll be sticking with the show (it depends on how they move forward from this devastating loss), but I will say that this was a damn fine swan song for Bobby. Lots of really touching and beautiful moments. I hope that Bobby went with the reaper and didn't choose to remain as a pissed-off, not-right ghost. Because after such a wonderful, powerful send-off, it would almost be a shame to keep him hanging on.

    I spent the last couple weeks getting good and pissed at the possibility of losing Bobby and building up my armor, so that I could be angry and not moved if the end came. But I started to feel myself crack when I saw the shot of Sam looking sad and worried. Jared and the boy that plays young Sam look so much alike that when I saw Sam's sad, scared face, all I could see was the little boy faced with the possibility of losing his Uncle Bobby, and it really got to me. The reaper telling Bobby he'd earned his rest, and Bobby insisting on fighting for "his boys" continued to break me down, and by the end, I was sobbing. "Idjits" and "Well, then I saved the best for last." Damn.

  3. to be honest im glad he's gone id john over bobby anyday sorry but i love papa winchester more then any tv father in the world

  4. Can I hope that they operate on him and bring him back somehow? I can't bear the thought of Bobby leaving the boys! I'd even prefer that Crowley show up and offer him a deal for his soul again than see him die. Love, Robin

  5. Lovely, Billie. Reading your review made me want to cry all over again. That was powerful.

    And I'm with you. As much as I love Bobby, he should stay dead. Bringing him back to life would only be a disservice. This was a perfect goodbye,and anything else would taint it.

    I kept thinking of the LOST episode "Greates Hits", one of my favorites. That was a perfect goodbye too. The character that died then reappeared in other forms in the show, but it was different.

    And that's how I hope we see Bob again. If Sam and Dean have to sacrifice themselves to kill Dick and save the world, I could think of no better end than they both getting to Heaven and meeting all those dearly departed they've lost so far. And I'm sure Bobby went to Heaven, especially after making peace with his killing his father.

    I also hope it's SN's last season, unless they dare to take a leap and place God as the Big Bad next season. The Leviathans are cool and all, but they're a stretch. End it now, please.

    Goodbye,Bobby. Rest in peace.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Just a reminder, everyone: disagreement is great, insults are not.

  8. Did anyone else expect Dean to say 'Dude, where's the pie?' when he inspected the contents of the bag? I really thought that he would.

    Bobby really loved his boys and his boys love him.

  9. Wow. It's not that I haven't enjoyed this season, but I think that's the best ep we've had in a long time. I was freaking bawling (I am very attached to fictional characters. Surely this is a sickness?) and I think I got a little misty eyed reading your review. Bobby was awesome! I'm gonna miss Bobby!

    He should totes stay dead, though.

    This is another reason that I find it hard to believe we're never going to see Castiel again. Obviously the writers for Supernatural know how to do a proper character send-off. A floating trench coat doesn't count.

    Argh. Nothing else to say. Brain filled with too much fiction sad.

  10. I agree with you review and I too think that Bobby should stay dead. This was a great farewell episode for him and if he comes back to life, it will cheapen the experience. Also, I feel the show and this season need a major change and maybe a major blow.

  11. Since Bobby may or may not be moving on, if he ends up in purgatory, he may come back into play somehow to help the boys with the leviathans.

  12. And THAT is how you send off a beloved character. No floating trench coat and disolving into a lake, you give them a proper goodbye.

    Platinum acting stars for Jim Beaver. He did an amazing job with an episode that I either love but can't help but hate, or hate but can't help but love. Not sure yet. But I loved how Bobby got to go on one last job with his oldest friend (awesome to see Rufus again. I loved his earing) and managed to make peace with himself over killing his father. He shouldn't go to hell for that. Really, he shouldn't. And if he does, then Crowley should kick him out. Because Bobby deserves to go to Heaven and to the Roadhouse with Ash and Ellen and Jo and Pam and Rufus and everybody else.

    Dean's conforation with Dick was probably the only time in the episode I was outright grinning and chuckling. I loved Dean's comment on how Dick was either laughing because he was scared or stupid. And I don't take Dick for being stupid. He should be scared too. Killing people Dean loves never ever ends well.

    (Almost done, I swear.) The idea of Bobby coming back as an angry ghost is interesting, as long as it was handled correctly. But I would much rather prefer Bobby staying dead. This was the perfect send off for him.

    One last thing. Jared and Jensen also did an awesome job with this. Sam's quiet acceptance and Dean's anger were really well done.

    "Well, as fate would have it, I adopted two boys and they grew up great. They grew up heroes. So you can go to hell!" Beautiful. And the final "Idgits" made me cry.

  13. Anonymous, Bobby wouldn't go to purgatory because only monsters go there. Bobby would go to Hell (though I really doubt it). Bobby deserves heaven; I agree with Gus Brunetti that if he's dead for good it would be great for the boys to meet him in heaven.

    Anyway, this has definitely been the best episode of the 7th season, maybe of the past two seasons. I really don't see a way for them to save Bobby at this point, but I still can hope he isn't dead, right? Disservice or not, Bobby is all "the boys" have left. Especially if Cas is also gone for good. I'm just having a hard time with the loss of two major characters in 10 short episodes.

    Maybe this really is the last season of Supernatural. I hope it isn't, though, because besides this ep, the one with Cordelia and Spike, and the very first one, I think this has been the weakest season with the weakest big bad.

  14. I suddenly expected him to write, "not pennys boat"

  15. I liked the episode. I hope he chose to move on, but I can see them using the open-ended bit for one of two wackadoodle plot twists:

    Bobby does become an angry ghost, and hunts and kills Leviathans. He cannot be eaten, and he cannot be killed because he's already dead. He goes after Dick and rips him to pieces.

    OR. . .

    Bobby goes to hell, but as you said, he has connections there. Crowley rather likes him (even though Crowley is an untrustworthy scumbag, let's face it). Also, Crowley hates the Leviathans, and so is happy to give Bobby some demon juice to "come back" and possess people to screw with them.

    However, if what I heard was correct--that Jim Beaver thought it was time for him to leave the show--then I think Bobby is dead. And probably in heaven. Though I imagine that place is in disarray thise days.

  16. Oh Wow. I just shed about a month's tears in one go. They just gave us heartrending scenes galore. I don't know if it was the "They grew up heroes" bit that tore me up the most, or the looks on Sam's and Dean's faces. It's a hard thing to do to look sadder than you would if you were crying, but Jared and Jensen managed to look like they were on the verge of tears without ever spilling over, for practically the whole episode.

    Great review Billie, I cried again reading it!

  17. Oh dear God! This show has made me cry so many times, but it's been a while since it got to me this badly. It was probably the season five finale, "Swan Song," that I still count as the most moving hour of television I have ever watched. This one is a close second. And damn, Billie, if your review didn't make me cry all over again.

    I loved the small beats in this monster of an episode, but my favorite was the final scene with the two boys bickering about candy. The look on Jim Beaver's face was priceless.

    I agree with most of the comments here that Bobby should exit now. I agree with Billie that the only way to end this show is for the boys to die and I want Bobby to be waiting for them when it happens.

    Congratulations, Mr. Beaver. You deserve all the kudos possible for how you played this role over the years. Your final performance was your best.

  18. I cried when I saw the episode, and teared up just now while reading the review. Wonderful writing, Billie.

  19. Thanks so much, KidLazarus. That was a tough episode to review.


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