Weekend at Bobby’s, by Elle2
First off, my apologies to Jeannine, Suze, faye, Tim the Enchanter, CitizenKane2 and Jas for not responding to your comments and joining in on the interesting discussion on the review I did of The Third Man. I try at a minimum to respond to everyone who takes the time to write something to me, although I am aware I miss writing things to other people but I will try to be better. Anyway, happily for me work was dragging me out of the house for about eight to eleven hours most days only to return me home to work another four to six into the night, needless to say there was not much energy to do much else.
I did however have just enough energy to stay awake during “Weekend at Bobby’s.” Me happy, see ”
I’ve made no secret that Mr. Dabb and Mr. Loflin are my least favorite writers and last week I stated that while I was insanely looking forward to this episode I was worried about what the writers would do. I’m happy to say Dabb and Loflin delivered an episode that while not quite a “Dark Side of the Moon,” it’s nowhere near a “Sam, Interrupted,” “Hammer of the Gods,” or “Yellow Fever.”
Dabb and Loflin were tasked with writing a Dean and Sam light episode as well as writing a Bobby heavy that included hefty does of Rufus, Sheriff Mills (the new Ellen? only for Bobby) and Crowley. They succeeded. The episode had some flaws, I don’t expect perfection and this is Supernatural so I’m willing to go with the flow. I don’t think we’re supposed to take some aspects of the show as seriously as we do anyway.
Sure the boys somehow managing to wrangle themselves appropriate ID’s to travel abroad is a stretch”¦but it did call back to Dean’s fear of flying in “Phantom Traveler” and I laughed at imagining the two six-foot plus characters stuffed inside a tiny European car traveling the back roads of Scotland. Both Jared and Jensen cracked me up as they were squished tight, leaning into the frame together, holding the phone and occasionally hitting the horn on the car because there was no room to move” – bwah! This was a moment that Castiel could have been called into action to assist with the international travel but since this season Cas is not the beck-and-call angel he has been a few times in the past I am glad that direction was not taken; I’m sure it was discussed but laid aside for it would have been out of this season’s character. Good call.
I’m not sure if “Weekend at Bobby’s” is supposed to be taken literally as “a weekend at Bobby’s” if it is, then Rufus getting from South Dakota to Andover, Mass and then somehow spirited back by Sheriff Mills is beyond believable”. I’m going to believe it’s a longer time frame because little/big details like that will simply annoy me if I don’t just throw them out the window. I’ll go with it’s a four-day weekend, yeah, that works. Here in the United States (and likely other places but I don’t know for a fact) four-day weekends happen from time to time. Let’s see here, um, Thanksgiving is on a Thursday and then Friday is kind of a wasted day at work most times (unless you’re in retail but we know none of the characters here are) so yeah, instant four-day weekend, oh, yeah, and throw in a superintendent’s day on Monday at school. Done. Still it’s a stretch.
I love that we have Rufus and Bobby as “˜grumpy old men’ hunters. It’s a great call back to last season’s exchange between Bobby and Dean (as played by Chad Everrett). I enjoy seeing Bobby having a gruff friendship with a contemporary and Steven Williams is a great actor who has made Rufus enjoyable to watch each time, even though I felt he was a bit wasted in Good God, Y’all. Still that did allow us to see him back in fighting form from Time is on My Side. Here he was given some fun lines and great supporting moments from exchanging barbs with Bobby about the best way to kill an Okami and bickering over whether he had done it right or not “Clearly it’s seven!”” yeah, that was fun. I also like that it was Rufus who brought out that vulnerable side of Bobby that we always knew was there but just was never given room to be viewed, Bobby doesn’t like to ask for or to need help. Oh how being in a wheelchair must have hurt!
I’ll admit that I’m not above seeing a moment of an episode during a preview and hoping that what I think it means isn’t what it means — you know what I mean? And the sight of Bobby yelling at ‘someone’ who I guessed at the least was Dean but could have encompassed Sam as well – and telling them to sack up and help him for once had me mildly cringing. While I disagreed with some fans back in Season 4 who thought Dean needed to man up and get over his time in hell “ really! Really!?” and rather liked the hurt Dean moments allowing the character to ‘feel’ the aftermath of hell, here I don’t like the idea that Dean is seen as whiny. He does wonder about Sam and rightly so and there is a mystery here that hasn’t been revealed so I don’t like the idea of Dean being portrayed as whiny and all and I was worried about Bobby going off on him.
However, when it came I laughed and laughed and yelled, yeah, Bobby, you tell him! I was so into what was happening with Bobby that I felt for him fully. Also, can you just imagine Sam and Dean on their hunt and us along with them and having only those brief moments with Bobby like we would any other episode? The moment worked, it worked even better when Jared deadpanned Sam’s response”, “You know, Bobby, all you had to do was ask.” Yep, a little help from your friends, Bobby; Rufus, Sheriff Mills and the boys all came through — even if Sheriff Mills didn’t want to at first. I will admit though that Dean was a little bit out of character in this episode, I don’t believe he would have simply hung up on Bobby after that first bit of advice about how to kill the Lamia without a thank you. We’ve usually seen/heard a thank you in those exchanges so that felt a bit off.
Bobby’s tirade on the boys was hilarious and worked well in what Bobby was experiencing at the time but upon reflection (known as a night’s rest) I realized that it is really quite brilliant and is a fun poke at the last five seasons, notably the last two. What an inside joke on the show, the writers’ and everything Supernatural has been about since Dean returned in “Lazarus Rising.” Sam and Dean are not the center of the universe! Really? They have been the center of the universe with heaven and hell fighting over them and with them, now, they’re not the center. That’s a nice reminder from Sera and company that this is a new turn for the show and the huge cosmos depends on the actions of Sam and Dean Winchester aspect is done. I like it. I wonder how many rewrites that moment took to get just the right amount of zingers in without going overboard. It’s brilliant and I give Dabb and Loflin applause for that moment alone, although overall the episode deserves much applause.
There are moments it dragged and there are some things in there that don’t quite fit. The overly friendly neighbor is a device and nothing more and so she works but at the same time doesn’t work. I do like awkward Bobby with a homemade dessert in hand trying to fend off feminine advances whilst a demon is restrained in his basement. I like that we see an action sequence with Bobby in full hunter mode as he kills the Okami that Rufus so obviously did not. And it is nice to see Bobby interacting outside of the cocoon of a hunter’s life. Of all the hunters we’ve met “now that the lovely Ellen and Jo are gone” Bobby is the most connected to the world, so it is fun watching him ably shift between secretive hunter with a demon in the basement, a body in the yard and Dean ‘cooking with rosemary and salt’; Jim Beaver brought his A+++ game.
The Crowley and Bobby moments are pure gold. Mark Sheppard and Jim Beaver play off each other fluidly and I enjoy their time onscreen. Not only do we get some background on Crowley, and learn that he’s the new King of Hell, but we also get a deepening of lore surrounding demons which is fascinating – they can be killed by burning their bones. The opening sequence that introduced that new twist was intriguingly mysterious about what was in the sack and I wanted to know very much what the demon and Bobby were referring to, love how it came back into play at the end of the episode.
This was a win all the way around. I have to be mindful of the fact that this was shot first, so Jared and Jensen had to play their characters having already gone through Episodes 1, 2 and 3. I believe where the characters are at. That is a credit to, yes the director, but also to the writers for clearly communicating what had transpired before.
I applaud Mr. Dabb and Mr. Loflin for broadening what we know about demons, as well as calling back to earlier moments in the show, notably Dean’s fear of flying, Bobby’s many phones and the brilliant writing that Jeremy Carver gifted us with in “Changing Channels”; the repetition of one line can be hilarious. In “Changing Channels” it was son of a bitch in a variety of inflections, here is was “balls” in a multitude of circumstances as well as the fun touch of “bollocks” by Crowley balls and bollocks mean the same thing depending upon which country you live in. Fun!
There were nice plot touches along the way, Crowley’s reveal of his favorite scotch gets picked up by Bobby but also by Rufus, who we remember from “Time Is On My Side,” has an affinity for scotch. Once again Dabb and Loflin have done their homework on the show. There is plenty of humor abounding and it isn’t the juvenile, simple humor that has been displayed in the past. This time it is dry witty sarcasm that has me rolling on the floor. I replay the scene of Bobby and the many phone calls over and over again and laugh out loud each time he wonders how the hunter he told to call the FBI actually turns around and calls him. BWYAH!!!!
I remain cautious when it comes to the writing of Mr. Dabb and Mr. Loflin, they have some opportunities coming up, but Weekend at Bobby’s fits into my category of classic episodes – even though there is no Impala. But since Sera, Ben, Julie, Cathryn and Eric have all pulled such a stunt before I won’t hold that as a serious offense against them, don’t do it again though!
I loved “Weekend at Bobby’s.” We got to ‘see’ life through Bobby’s eyes as well as get a deeper characterization of Rufus Turner – please let him appear again this season, get some dirt on Crowley – who I also hope returns this season, and I truly enjoy that the writers invested in Sheriff Mills from “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” and have opened the supernatural world to yet another member of law enforcement. We’ve had quite a few strong female characters appear once who were in law enforcement and had their eyes opened (or as in the case of “Folsom Prison Blues” a public defender) and Sheriff Mills makes a nice addition.
Next week we get Dean as a vampire. I’m hoping for some reactions from Sam that show he will protect his brother I’m expecting he will. I’m interested in the Samuel/Sam dynamic as well as to see how Lisa and Ben will fit into this new nightmare for Dean. Dean has been confronted time and time again with becoming something he fears or fights, “IMTOD” becoming an angry spirit, “Malleus Maleficarum” the realization that all demons were once human, Sympathy for the Devil becoming an angel condom and now he gets to actually become a vampire. Very cool.
Bring on episode five. Supernatural is excellent in its pacing this season in that it is still an unknown destination and the journey is nowhere near mapped out but each week brings a new piece of the puzzle fitting into place and one day we’ll see the actual picture that is being developed.
Thanks for reading, Elle2