In the fourth episode of the sixth season of Supernatural, BOBBY. BOBBY. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.
Oh, this episode was just so wonderful, y’all, and IT NEEDED TO HAPPEN. It’s undeniable that Supernatural is the Sam and Dean show. (Well, I think it’s more Dean than Sam.) While Bobby is the most common recurring character, he still hasn’t had nearly enough time on screen. This episode felt like an acknowledgment of that as well as a vehicle to explore what Bobby’s experience as a hunter is like. It’s funny, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s one of the finer entries in this show’s canon. I LOVE SO MUCH OF WHAT THIS EPISODE CHOOSES TO BE.
The impetus for this story is rooted in an unresolved plot from the previous season that I may have forgotten was unresolved in the first place. WHOOPS. Yeah, Crowley didn’t return Bobby’s soul as part of the deal he made due to a technicality. (Carved into Bobby’s nether regions, which is ironic, given what we learn of Crowley – I mean, Fergus – later in the episode.) Now, if this had just been an episode about Bobby trying to get his soul back from Crowley, I think it would have been mildly interesting. But this script is so strong because it provides us with the onscreen evidence of how often Bobby puts other before himself. To his deep frustration, the more he tries to help himself out of this predicament, the more others ask of him.
There’s a great example of this in the opening “case,” on that we’re lead to believe is the focus of “Weekend at Bobby’s” until we realize that the Winchester case really isn’t that important to the greater narrative. Despite that Bobby says he’s “busy,” he drops what he’s doing, breaks into a library, steals a book that he needs for research, walks home after his car won’t start, and then stays up all night to give Dean what he needs to defeat a lamia. This whole time? HE’S GOT ONE OF CROWLEY’S DEMONS CAPTURED IN HIS BASEMENT.
Now, there are large elements of this episode that are played for their humor, and I appreciate that there’s such a light tone present here. It’s funny to see Rufus return in this capacity because he is an endless delight. It’s through them that the show reveals just how many people rely on Bobby to save their asses. I mean, I lost count of how many different names I heard from Bobby while he answered his phones. Hell, even Rufus poked fun at Bobby for staying in and “answering phones,” but it’s also clear that Rufus needed Bobby. Often. FREQUENTLY.
I also think this episode does a much better job of demonstrating Bobby’s role in the town he lives in! He’s clearly well known for being a weirdo, and with the return of Sheriff Mills (BE STILL MY HEART), we see how Bobby’s selflessness gets him trouble all the goddamn time. There are real-world implications for what Bobby does, but the people who ask him for help never get to see this. They don’t! I think that only Sheriff Mills ever does, and while she appreciates his help around town, there’s only so much she can do to keep the law away from Bobby Singer.
Again, I don’t think the humor is out of place at all, and I love that it’s here. But because this is a Supernatural episode, that means any funny episodes will flatten us with sadness, and good fucking god, “Weekend at Bobby’s” does that in spades. This episode has a distinct sense of loneliness to it, one that never quite goes away, even with the “happy” ending. Bobby is pursued by his adorable neighbor, Marcy Ward, who brings him PEACH AND GINGER COBBLER. This is a sign of true love. However, this episode more or less confirms that Bobby can never, ever have a normal life, and that he’s never going to get the sort of company that most people get. I know it was kind of funny to watch him constantly get interrupted every time he tried to eat the cobbler, but isn’t it also deeply sad? Bobby’s life as a hunter interrupts even the smallest moments of joy for him.
Of course, there’s a much bigger issue here, since Marcy is definitely pushed away from Bobby due to his… life? His occupational hazards? I mean, look, Bobby does not get the same reaction from people he saves as Dean or Sam do. How many times has this show “rewarded” Dean with the damsel in distress? Here, things don’t work out quite as well for Bobby. (UNDERSTANDABLY SO, BECAUSE OH MY GOD, THE WOODCHIPPER.) So while there’s an undeniably comic terror to the okami death, I was ultimately left feeling super sad for Bobby!
That’s why I’m so thankful we get that incredible scene where Bobby finally lets loose on Dean and Sam. Yes, it’s partly due to the timing of Dean’s call. I think what Dean brings up – Sam’s changed nature – is deeply important to the story. But after what Bobby’s gone through in this episode, it’s just the wrong time. Like, THE WORST TIME IMAGINABLE. After Bobby’s lost perhaps the only chance for some companionship, Dean’s trying to tell him that he’s selfish? OH, DEAN, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’VE JUST UNLEASHED UPON THE WORLD. But that conversation has needed to happen for years. Not one thing he says is a lie. He’s been bailing out the Winchesters (and a whole lot of other people) for a long, long time. How often have these people concerned themselves with Bobby’s welfare? How often are they asking Bobby if he needs anything? How often do we ever see the Winchesters coming to save Bobby’s ass?
It’s not that Bobby doesn’t want to help out his friends, and it’s clear that he loves those boys and will UNTIL THE END OF TIME. But there’s nothing wrong with his need to feel respected and appreciated, particularly when he’s never felt so deep in shit himself. I love it, then, that this story focuses so completely on Bobby. We don’t get to see how the Winchesters choose to help him until they’ve already made it to Scotland. Bobby’s victory over Crowley is his own, and it’s a pleasure to watch. For me, “Weekend at Bobby’s” feels like Bobby getting his due. He comes up with the plan to put Crowley in such a tight spot that Crowley feels compelled to bend to the whims of a human. WHICH IS A VERY DIFFICULT THING TO DO! Crowley is a ridiculously clever demon, which is how I imagine he was able to become the King of Hell. Bobby outsmarted him. He outsmarted the King of the Crossroads, y’all. And this is not the first time that Bobby’s been able to think outside the box; that’s why everyone relies on him! But this time, he does it entirely for himself, and it’s a beautiful thing to witness.
Also, YOU CAN BURN THE BONES OF A DEMON’S VESSEL AND KILL THE DEMON. HOLY SHIT.
I really think that this episode, directed by Jensen Ackles himself, was one of the best in the entire show’s run. It’s touching and sad, but not just for the sake of being sad. It felt like an honest celebration of a character who has contributed a lot to this universe, and I am so happy that I got to experience. NOW PLEASE GIVE ME MY MILLS/RUFUS/BOBBY COP COMEDY. I WANT THIS SO MUCH.
The video for “Weekend at Bobby’s” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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