Bobby. Bobby. Bobby. Our favorite gruff father figure/hunter is at "Death's Door." Again. Things are looking serious and permanent after being shot in the head in "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters." While Bobby's in a coma, a reaper visits him, which is never a good sign. And as he experiences some of his life's greatest (and worst) hits and tries to find a way to get some essential Leviathan intel to Sam and Dean, we find out a lot about the character and proceed to get all teary-eyed in the process.
The last Supernatural of 2011 is a very emotional episode. Jim Beaver does an excellent job of conveying a man desperate to outwit, outlast and outplay a reaper who's after Bobby. In order to figure out a way to get back to the boys and give them some much needed information he got while in Leviathan captivity, he has to work through some painful memories. But reliving his worst memory may be the key to getting back to the boys.
Steven Williams is back for "Death's Door." I'm still (more than) a little bitter over Rufus having been killed off in Season 6 but at least this look through Bobby's brain includes seeing Bobby & Rufus in action as ghost-hunting partners. Rufus also ends up accompanying Singer on this look through his "fruitcake" and acts as sort of a guide. It's good to see Rufus return although what was up with that earring? It was dangling.
A couple running themes develop. Something that keeps getting repeated is Bobby "breaks" everything he touches. Also, the ghost he and Rufus are trying to rid the world of calls him a heart breaker. And his wife tells him he broke her heart. Poor Bobby. So many reasons add up to why he's pretty much broken on the inside. Thanks to his abusive childhood, he's damaged. He has an alcoholic for a dad and a victimized enabler of a mom that keeps making excuses and blaming her son for his dad's abusive behavior. The kid can't do anything without the dad taking it out on his family.
In this very "Eternal friggin' Sunshine" look through Bobby's mind, it's going from one memory to another to another so fast I'm not always sure what is real. Like when a young Bobby shoots his dad after the adult Bobby finally confronts him. Did that really happen? Did Bobby really shoot and kill his dad when he was so young? And then when he was an adult he had to kill his possessed wife? So unfair. Like the reaper said, he's "about the only case of genetic bullet-in-the-brain he's ever seen." He also hits the bottle a little too much like his father. No wonder Bobby didn't want to have any kids.
And that's the big revelation we learned concerning his wife. She realized Bobby didn't want to have any kids and felt betrayed and her heart broke because she wanted them badly and he knew she did. We learn she got possessed only three days after their confrontation and now we know why. She was more susceptible to being taken over because of her fragile state of mind. Bobby blames himself for what happened to his wife. After all, he does break everything he touches.
The other theme that develops is not a new one. It just gets fleshed out more. Bobby's relationship with Sam and Dean is probably the most significant relationship of his life other than the one with his wife. And I just got a little teary writing that sentence which is crazy. One of the memories we see is Bobby and Dean in a park. Per John's orders, Dean's supposed to be practicing to shoot double-barrel shotguns but Bobby takes him to play catch. Later, he even has to defend himself to John about playing catch with Dean instead of training him. We learn how important the boys are to him throughout the episode but more on that a little later.
First, let's take a break from Bobby's noggin' and discuss what's going on in the real world. Sam and Dean are understandably worried and upset and concerned for their "uncle." Sam doesn't move far from Bobby's room. There's definitely a lot simmering underneath but he's in control. At one point, he's working that scar on his hand so he's probably seeing Lucifer and trying to make things go away. Sam also wants to talk to Dean about what they're going to have to do if/when Bobby dies. Sam's just trying to be realistic.
Dean's the exact opposite of course. He's moving around a lot, his tension is right at the surface and he looks like he's ready to blow at any second. When that hospital administrator talks to Bobby's next of kin (Dean) about Mr. Singer donating his organs, Dean punches the wall and tells the guy to get away from him. Good move, guy. Then he goes outside where he sees the smuggy smuggerson known as Leviathan Dick Roman. Dean's trying to provoke some sort of reaction but Dick doesn't budge. He tells Dean to go check on Bobby. After all, he's a very good shot.
There were a few moments that made me tear up. I know I probably wasn't the only one:
- "You've done enough. Believe me." "I don't care." "Why?" "Because they're my boys."
- Bobby wakes up and writes the numbers (the Leviathan intel) on Sam's hand. He musters up the strength to say "idjits" and then immediately starts to flatline.
- "You break everything you touch." "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!"
- "They'll be OK without you." "Last memory, huh? Glad I saved the best for last." Bobby walks into the room where Sam and Dean are quarreling like brothers over menial things. Dean wants Sam to show "his elders some respect" and Sam calls Dean an "a--hat." It's nice to see them that way. Bobby thinks so too. All he can do is sit back and drink it all in. And then the brothers disappear, the bullet melting his memories away. The reaper shows up once more and says: "Well, Bobby? Stay or go. What's it going to be?" Credits.
My issue with "Death's Door": Other than the cliff-hanger ending, this didn't really seem like a midseason finale to me. Other than Bobby getting the numbers to Sam and Dean, it didn't really move any big picture action forward very much. That's cool for regular weekly episodes but for a midseason finale, I expect a little more
-They went all CSI a couple times to show the path the bullet went through Bobby's brain, didn't they?
-How many times did Bobby say "balls?"
-Big Daddy Winchester is again made to look like a bad dad. If Jeffrey Dean Morgan ever shows up to play John again (and I sincerely hope he does), I wonder how the show's going to handle this? The boys have a lot to be angry about. And I want to see it all play out. Just like Bobby got to do with his dad.
-Obviously Ridge Canipe is too old to play the young Dean Winchester needed in this flashback (he's 17 now). But it was still odd to see a new kid actor playing him. Seeing Bobby and Dean play catch is a great moment but I was slightly taken out of it because this kid looks so different from Ridge.
-Again, James Patrick Stuart excels at making this guy super smarmy. I don't know how he does it.
-Dean and Sam were debating the skills of Chuck Norris versus Jet Li. And then during one of the commercial breaks was an ad for something that featured Chuck Norris. Weird.
-How sad was it when things kept disappearing in Bobby's limbo-land? It's because his brain matter was disappearing. Boo.
-Numbers on Supernatural? Seems more like Lost.
-Dean loves licorice and Sam loves peanut butter and banana sandwiches? How did we not know this before?
-Love how clever Bobby was in trapping the reaper. Of course, he admitted he had learned a bit from Sam and Dean's dealings with reapers. This episode did remind me of "In My Time of Dying" in more ways than one. Sam and Dean waiting helplessly as their father (or father figure) flatlines. Wanting to return because they're needed. The reaper trying to take care of business and then being thwarted. Or in this case, possibly thwarted. We won't know for sure until Friday January 6, 2012. Talk to you guys then.
Let the winter hellatus begin.
Bobby. Bobby. Bobby. Our favorite gruff father figure/hunter is at "Death's Door." Again. Things are looking serious and permanent after being shot in the head in "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters." While Bobby's in a coma, a reaper visits him, which is never a good sign. And as he experiences some of his life's greatest ...