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Supernatural: Safe House

"Grand Rapids, Michigan. Possible ghost hunt with jackass."

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?"
Rufus: "Deadly."

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 has been reviewing Supernatural for so long that Dean and Sam Winchester feel like old friends. Courageous, adventurous, gorgeous old friends.


  1. I give this ep four backhoes. It was so nice to see Rufus and Bobby again, and that one moment where Dean's gaze met Bobby's brought tears to my eyes. This show never stops giving me feels, and I will watch till the bitter end, no matter what.


  2. At some point Bobby mentions Lilith, so I'd put it in season 4

  3. awesome episode, very refreshing, loved it. it's a four.

  4. by the way, it was season 4, apocalypse coming, looking for Lilith, Bobby not in a wheelchair.

  5. Now that's how to combine the past with the present without cheesy dissolving flashbacks. It flowed so seamlessly with all the characters coming and going, I'm very impressed. This one I'll want to watch over and over, just to spot the subtle changes between times and also the great story. So timey wimey, spooky and heartwarming all at once. It reminded me of the Wirther Project which was one of the best episodes of last season. Sam's remark about him being comforted that Dean saw him dead is a little strange. Better dead than the Empty? Just glad Dean still loves him the most? A reference to Amara's thrall over Dean? Dean just let the remark slide. I would have said "What???"

  6. I laughed at your comment about how Bobby should have picked nicer wallpaper, but I don't think interior decorating is Bobby's thing. Plus, it had to kill again so that Sam and Dean could come and kill it and let Bobby loose in order for Bobby to put wallpaper up in the first place.

  7. Easy four backhoes. Wish I could give it a few more. I love this series. Yes, I can see that the writers are struggling a bit. Don't give up, People! I know that you're going to work out how to tie it together, and until you do, I'll be watching.

  8. LOVED this episode. So. Much. Time travel stories far too often paint themselves into a corner, but this one held together nicely. It was great seeing Bobby & Rufus again. Loved the paying off of multiple references, like Rufus using the Sabbath to get out of heavy lifting, and the bottle of Johnny Walker. I really loved how Sam & Dean killing the Soul Eater in the present not only got Dean & the modern victims' souls out, but it freed all the past souls as well, including Bobby, so the boys could find his notes about it.

    I gotta say, the standalones in this season have been especially good. With an enemy as powerful as Amara, they kinda had to have her go to ground for a while, nobody stands a chance against her at this point in the season. They could only have so many confrontations where the heroes fail but survive before it strained credulity. Is she still building up power at this point though, or is there another reason why she's not making her move?

  9. At first I thought when Bobby and Rufus were mentioning the apocalypse it was an apocalypse they were fighting independently of Sam and Dean, possibly even before the show started. I thought that was a cool way of showing there's an apocalyptic struggle and hey, Bobby and Rufus handled their fair share of those that we knew nothing about. So it was bittersweet when we learned it was the Lilith thing.

    This show has a problem with killing off its characters, particularly its best characters. The writers have a single-minded focus on it being just the two boys and everyone else dies along the way before we even reach the end. There is absolutely no reason Bobby or especially Rufus, who really wasn't allowed to appear that much, should be dead. This show needed those characters.

    It was a good episode. You made me think when you wrote that if Bobby wanted that wallpaper to be kept, he should have rung some better wallpaper. I never would have thought of that.

  10. Wonderful episode! Yes, bittersweet that it probably was only 4 years prior, that the boys, were fighting the Apocalypse involving Yellow eyed- demon/crew.
    I really felt sad that Bobby and Dean didn't get to communicate when they were in the Nest... I must have missed Sam saying anything to Dean about His not wanting to survive without Amara.


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