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I’m gonna warn right now.  If you haven’t seen tonight’s episode, “Of Grave Importance” you might not want to read this.  We will be discussing the episode and revealing plot details.  You have been warned! 

Even though there were some wonderful parts in “Of Grave Importance,” I’m afraid to say the episode was a mixed bag.  Before digging in though, let's jump to the oh so shallow goodness.  A Dean shower scene!!!  The only thing that was missing was more soap.  Oh, and a flimsier shower curtain, but I’ll digress.  We haven’t had this since season three, so I’m counting my blessings in droves.  Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

(thanks to sweetondean for the prompt photo)

Also, Bobby is back!  Yay!  I was so elated to see him on the screen.  This ghost life hasn't been easy, but it's great he could learn things like being zen from his own kind.  It all turned out to be a valuable lesson. 

I so wish I could gush over the rest, but alas no.  Once again, the flow of the episode was choppy and the scenes just didn’t blend well together.  The editing again was too hurried, didn’t take time to properly build the suspense and take advantage of what should have been a creepy ghost story.  Actually, it wasn’t a well done ghost story at all.  For one, it's completely depressing that the helpful ghosts got killed off.  What’s wrong with a happy outcome for some of these beings once in a while?  Reward for breaking pattern and being helpful?  I’ll stop there though, because there’s plenty more here to stir up a good debate. 

The story was Bobby and Annie’s, and their time together was great.  It was nice to see Bobby on a hunt again and with someone that he had great spark and chemistry with.  She also could relate to the ghost predicament which was very helpful.  The scene when Annie was overcome by the site of her body, choosing to move on, was just beautiful.  Oh, and she once up on a time banged Bobby, Dean, and Sam (soulless)???  Man, she got around.  Is that what female hunters do?  I must say, I don’t blame her with the brothers.  I’d get into the hunting life for that.  What did you all think of Annie?  

The ending bummed me out completely.  I get where Sam and Dean are coming from, sort of.  They had a right to be shocked.  And dismayed.  After all, it probably took everything they had to say goodbye to Bobby.  However, I’m a little confused.  In their conversations in both “The Slice Girls” and “Party On, Garth,” Sam and Dean decided that it wasn’t Bobby because they didn’t want to set themselves up for disappointment.  At least that’s the impression I got.  Am I wrong in this assumption?  They even showed the comment in the preview, "It's not Bobby because we want it to be."  They now find out it is Bobby and they’re concerned about the natural order?  Didn’t that cross their minds during all that time when they were debating that Bobby was still around?  They’re hunters that are all too familiar with ghosts, why didn’t that come up in prior conversations?  

I accept that they were probably feeling some very mixed emotions at the time, but that’s a complete 180 from “this can’t be real.”  They have been burned in their lives by fighting the natural order, but how can they be hard on Bobby taking that route when they’ve done it themselves countless times?  I need more time to analyze this, but a few things didn’t add up to me.  What do you make of Sam and Dean’s reaction?  

Do you think Bobby made the right decision to stick around and help Sam and Dean?  (Responses of “They shouldn’t have killed Bobby to begin with,” cannot be used).   I loved Dean’s line that Bobby could have been in Heaven having a beer at Harvelle’s.  That’s a complete turn around of Dean being there in Heaven himself and not liking how it wasn’t real.  What about the foreshadowing that Bobby being a Ghost won’t end well?  Bobby did mention that his life wasn’t any good, so why should his death be?  He knew the risks, so didn't he have that right to choose? 

Also, Sam and Dean couldn’t see Bobby before the whole episode, then he gets zapped by evil ghost dude, wakes up, and suddenly he can be seen by them?  That didn’t make a lot of sense to me.  I’ll entertain all theories on how that happened.  Perhaps I’m missing something in ghost mechanics.  

I’ll also entertain theories why after the conversation in “The Slice Girls” when Dean speculated that Bobby was attached to the flask, Sam didn’t put two and two together then and realize the flask wasn’t around when he contacted Bobby?  Sam does miss things from time to time, but he’s not that slow.  I especially find it weird since this episode and “The Slice Girls” were written by the same writers.  Did they not check their own continuity?  Or were they taking the fall for Adam Glass missing continuity in the last episode?  Either way, it seems kind of sloppy to me.  

I need a rewatch before I can form totally coherent opinions, but other than moving the Bobby situation forward, not a lot happened.  Again, I was hoping for something a little more emotional when the boys and Bobby were reunited.  I get that the shock was too much though for that to happen, but that doesn’t change that cheated feeling.  When the most emotional moment of the episode came from a ghost seeing her body, something might be off.   

Time to speculate away!  While speculating, share what you thought about the episode overall.  





# SPN KAT 2012-04-21 00:20
How surprised were we when Bobby was actually talking to Sam and Dean when he said, "You can see me?" Sam asks "Bobby how'd you stay here?" Thought he meant here here not here in the house here! So he's actually attached to the flask but now that he's more powerful, I would think that he would be able to "exist" independently of the flask. But I'm rambling! Kind of like the episode. I'm thinking the boys will rethink the whole "natural order" argument in favor of "we've both cheated death" now it's Bobby's turn! What makes Ghosts deteriorate anyway? Maybe it's the fact that they DON'T know what is going on & get more & more confused & angry/vengeful? If anybody understands what is going on it's Bobby. If anyone can be a ghost successfully then I routing for Bobby. Oh AND where the hell is the Impala???
# Beverly 2012-04-21 00:29
Oh AND where the hell is the Impala???
When the big bad ghost (sorry I'm not good with names) took over control of the car, I actually thought "thank god, it's NOT the Impala."
# Alice 2012-04-21 01:10
Amen. Where is the Impala?

That's an interesting point about Sam's line. I'll have to check out that scene again. I did like the ep overall, but not love.
# Beverly 2012-04-21 00:27
Alice, I too was confused why the boys could all of a sudden see him after he was zapped. The only explanation I could come up with was either it was the next stage of evolution in "ghostness" since he had by that point mastered moving objects or he was too zapped to be angry so he was at maximum "zen" level.

As for the boys' reaction at the end, to me, it falls into the "watch what you wish for" category. Yes, all this time they secretly hoped that Bobby was there helping them as a ghost but only as an option that it was not done willing. He somehow got trapped into this world. What they found out instead was that he willingly chose this path. That is why they are cross with him. It's not "naturally" done this way . . . and by this time in their lives, the boys who have bucked the natural order of things more than once themselves know that nothing good comes out of things going against the "natural" order.

Overall, I thought is was a good episode . . . and I introduced both my parents to Supernatural for the first time tonight so I was kind of glad it was mostly filler and I did not have to try to explain leviathans to them . . . it was tough enough explaining the ghost rules to them. :-)
Michelle Kinseth
# Michelle Kinseth 2012-04-21 00:48

As for the boys' reaction at the end, to me, it falls into the "watch what you wish for" category. Yes, all this time they secretly hoped that Bobby was there helping them as a ghost but only as an option that it was not done willing. He somehow got trapped into this world. What they found out instead was that he willingly chose this path. That is why they are cross with him. It's not "naturally" done this way . . . and by this time in their lives, the boys who have bucked the natural order of things more than once themselves know that nothing good comes out of things going against the "natural" order.
Yes, this is exactly what I was trying to say, unsuccessfully, below! Besides, obviously it'll be short-lived anger...Dean can't stay mad at his surrogate-dad!
# Alice 2012-04-21 01:09
I feel lucky that I can't scream "filler!" on this one. It did have a purpose.

That's so true, it did seem to be a "watch what your wish for" scenario.

I hope your folks liked it! I can't get mine to watch. I wouldn't want to try and explain everything to them. That's why they watch procedurals.
# Beverly 2012-04-21 01:28
The thing is that I do not have TV access at my house, so I normally spoil myself on the reviews on this site before I actually watch the show. If it is one that I am interested in I will risk CW's video player on their site once they release it in a day or two. If it is one that I can wait for, I'll wait the 8 days for it to get to Hulu. However, there have been 2 this season I decided I couldn't wait for. Perwinkle's clown show and this one (this mini-hiatus felt extremely long for 2 weeks), Perwinkle's they weren't home so I just went up there to watch it. Tonight I "invited" myself up since I knew all of Dad's shows were on repeats . . . they both seemed to enjoy it even though my mom insists that she doesn't like watching TV and she was in the kitchen decorating a cake . . . from where she could see the TV and she kept asking me intelligent questions.
# Ginger 2012-04-21 07:29
I'll respond here to the question about how the boys were able to finally see Bobby:

Think of it like Cas having to 'touch it' (a little part of Bobby's soul in Frontierland). The powerful villian ghost was touching Bobby when he was salted and burned and all or some of his power was transferred to Bobby, ah la! Bobby's now so powerful that he was visible to Sam and Dean...

Yeah, I know.
# Autumn 2012-04-21 00:31
I completely agree that things felt choppy and hurried. A lot of episodes recently have felt that way to me. I think maybe they had more story than they had season and they didn't realize it till it was too late. The writing does definitely feel kinda sloppy recently and as a writer it's annoying. As for them suddenly being able to see Bobby, what i assumed happened was when that other ghost was trying to kill Bobby and then they set his bones on fire all his power and energy got transferred to Bobby. And I also didn't quite understand why Sam and Dean were so upset. I could see them being somewhat shocked to see Bobby and upset with him for staying but they were acting like he had willing become a blood sucking vamp. And they talk about it not being the natural order but how many times have they died and come back? Yes, it wasn't always by their doing but when it comes to the Winchesters and the people around them the natural order has kinda been tossed out the window.
# Alice 2012-04-21 00:54
I think that's why I probably have a lot bigger problem with mechanics of an episode than most. I am a writer and a technical junkie, so I inspect far more than what's on the screen. I look at all the little nuances. Season seven has been falling short in that area. The total package isn't all together. They've really been guilty of that lately, more so than the rest of the season.

I certainly didn't hate this though. It's nice to see a ghost episode from the perspective of a ghost, especially one we've been missing lately.
Michelle Kinseth
# Michelle Kinseth 2012-04-21 00:33
I'm gonna address Sam and Dean's reaction at the end, first. I think there's a big difference between having hope that someone is still around, and knowing for sure that someone is still around. I think the hope that Dean had, that Bobby was there and helping them out was just that, hope. I don't think he really thought it could be true, even if he wanted it to be. As for Sam, maybe he should have realized the flask might be important - but even though the direction of "Party On, Garth" telegraphed that the flask was the key to Bobby's presence, I don't know that Sam would have figured it out beforehand. He did what he knew how to do to contact a spirit and there was no response. Since they'd burned Bobby's bones, he would have no reason to think that there'd be any special reason Bobby wouldn't answer him if called. It was Sam who did realize the flask was the key, after the shower scene.

Dean and Heaven. Well, even though Dean has expressed his distaste with Heaven I don't think he begrudges anyone else the enjoyment. I would hazard to guess that since his conversation with Pamela in "Dark Side of the Moon" that he realizes Heaven is good for most people. Just not good for Dean himself. Plus, I feel like what Dean really wants is rest and peace for Bobby. After everything they've been through. His anger at the end could stem from the fact that Dean can't believe Bobby choosing to stay instead of giving himself rest, like what Annie said she wanted.

I also agree the episode was a little all over the place. It wasn't bad, and it'll certainly get many rewatches from me just to see those two boys faces again when they realize Bobby is really, truly there; and of course when they see him.

As for Bobby being visible somehow? I'm gonna go with the fact that since the evil ghost guy (whose name I've totally forgotten already) was "killing" ghost Bobby when he got salted and burned, some of his "power", as Victoria called it, transferred to Bobby and he now has a lot more control over his "ghostness".

I can't wait for my iTunes download so I can rewatch the episode. The sound on The CW is so crappy and for some reason both J's have taken to mumbling their lines on occasion so I missed some of the dialogue. Plus, it always takes a few views before I have a real opinion on an episode. But again, overall I enjoyed it, it's not one of the best eps, but it's so much better than that string of bad early s7 eps (eps 3, 4, 5 I'm looking at you).
# Alice 2012-04-21 01:01
That's a good point, there is a difference when it becomes knowing for sure. Often times that doesn't bring relief.

In "The Slice Girls" Dean implied that Bobby was attached to the flask. He waved it at Sam. In "Party On, Garth" Sam said he did the talking board after that beer disappeared. What I'm trying to figure out is why didn't it click in "The Slice Girls" then that he wasn't successful because the flask wasn't there. I say it's because Adam Glass didn't do his homework! There just seems to be a disconnect with the way those facts have been presented. I'll go back and examine those scenes for the review and see if I missed anything.

I'm with you on the sound. It was bad. I end up hearing so many things differently when I get it on iTunes.

I liked this ep, but I haven't figured out where it ranks yet.
Michelle Kinseth
# Michelle Kinseth 2012-04-21 01:13
Oh man, you are right about the flask in Slice Girls...though maybe Dean just waved it around just to indicate he meant it could be Bobby? Hmmm...
# TeresaPezzino 2012-04-21 11:26
I think an answer to why Sam didn't think flask may be that he tried when the flask was around but Bobby was 'unconscious' after trying to communicate and couldn't answer. If they had tried a talking board right after the sword moved, they would have gotten no answer.
# Ginger 2012-04-21 07:43
What I actually think about Sam and the whole flask thing is that it doesn't matter if Sam's reaction was why are you here, here or why are you still around. This is another case of the story driving the characters.

I think the show was trying to correct the impression that Bobby loved Dean best, so they explained away why Sam hasn't been connected to that story (the talking board and Sam not being in any scenes where Bobby was trying to show himself to Dean.

The reason I think that is because in past years, ghosts did not have to stay in the one place where their 'object' was. They were running all over towns killing people in their quest of 'unfinished business.' Now, all of a sudden, they are confined to the place where their object of attachment (the way they are able to stay here and not move on).

And why is it that Annie did not meet her reaper yet? Unexplained and made no sense.
# purplehairedwonder 2012-04-21 01:00
My first thought after the boys' reaction to Bobby was to think back to Dean in CSPWDT and the whole "What's dead should stay dead" mantra he had going after John's death. John made a deal to buck the natural order for Dean's sake and Bobby's done something similar here, bucking the natural order by remaining a ghost for the brothers' sake.

I think Sam and Dean have accepted breaking the natural order for themselves, but they don't want anyone else to suffer for them. They've suffered a lot from being resurrected/buc king the natural order and know a lot of pain is going to come from it. (Though it could also be that Death's lesson from AIS has sunk in.)

I also think there's the fact that it's like having to start mourning for Bobby all over again, knowing the inevitable fate of a ghost. They were nearly catatonic that first week after Bobby's death and now they might have to go through it again? I'm not surprised there's some anger/frustrati on flying around as a defense mechanism, particularly from Dean.
# Freyja 2012-04-21 01:05
I loved the episode it might have been edited a bit choppy; but I am ok with that.

As for Dean's reaction I took it as character growth over the last 7 years. He's said in the past that if he had the chance he would have gone with Tessa the reaper he also said he wouldn't have brought Sam back as well.

He doesn't want Bobby to suffer they know what happens to Angry Ghosts. So unless Castiel Angel's up and brings Bobby back to life, he needs to be put to rest for good.

I liked Annie, funny as hell she did all 3 of them, can't blame her I totally would if I could. =) I was sad she was dead though, wish she stayed around alive that is. :D

But overall I enjoyed the episode nice good ole fashion ghost hunt :)
# KELLY 2012-04-21 01:23
Dean's reaction seemed realistic to me (I thought Sam seemed more accepting, but was just hesitant). When he could chalk it up to wishful thinking he I liked the idea of Bobby being near or not losing him altogether. Dean wanted(wants) Bobby to be there but when hit in the face with what that means, he becomes upset because what that means for Bobby (no heaven and maybe becoming an angry spirit). Especially when he learns that Bobby deliberately chose to stay to help them. Once again sacrificing himself for them (Dean always has a problem with that).

I'm giving Sam the benefit of the doubt that his brain has been pretty scrambled most the year. And maybe he didn't want to think to much about it because it might get his hopes up. (It's probably a bit of a continuity error honestly but not really enough to bother me).

I liked Annie too, especially that moment when she sees her body. I would of liked her to have scenes with the boys too, especially given she'd had uh relations with ALL THREE of them (which is wrong and funny-I agree the boys I understand I mean how many women could resist-but Bobby-I love me some Bobby but...Then again I'm glad he got a little something something).

I think it fits perfectly within Bobby's character to stick around and help his boys. I wasn't sure if this ghost Bobby would be end up being a jump the shark type of thing for me, but I thought it worked nicely. Oh, the only seeing him at the end I thought was because he'd absorbed some of that guys energy, since that is what the guy had been doing to other ghosts and when they burned as he was doing it to Bobby it had a backlash effect.

I didn't really find the episode creepy really (I didn't really care that the ghost were taken out they didn't really seem that happy-hopefully their at peace now like Annie). I agree the editing has been an issue in a few episodes recently.

But I did enjoy it (and it is a definite rewatch-in fact already have)because the focus for me was on the relationships and Bobby. And they did have several little moments in there. Is it pathetic of me that I loved when Dean grabbed Sam and yell his name when he was in danger? And them in the restaurant talking about Annie (the look on Sam's face when he admit had sex with her too was precious). And I loved that whole scene where Dean's in the shower (no towel only scene was a miss for me-but even wet Dean is very nice) and finding the message on the mirror.

So it hit a lot of beats for me. I'm hoping the next one hits even more I'd like some more emotional scene with Bobby and the boys too, but I thoroughly enjoy this one. I give it a 8.5 probably.
# Gwen 2012-04-21 20:07
Is it pathetic of me that I loved when Dean grabbed Sam and yell his name when he was in danger?
Not pathetic at all. I loved that moment too. :lol: I just adore any 'Sam- in- peril, protective big brother Dean' moment.

I really enjoyed the episode. I loved that it was a ghost hunt and that we saw things from the ghost perspective. It felt like an episode from the early seasons - a huge plus point in my eyes as I'm someone who considers S1-3 to be the classic years.

Loved all the Bobby and Annie scenes. I'd have liked to have seen more of Annie, I wish she'd been introduced at an earlier time in the series so we could have seen her a few times before she got killed off.

I loved that the boys worked together and didn't separate in this episode and that they weren't doing their Fed routine.

This episode had my emotions going up and down like a yo-yo. For example the restaurant scene was fabulous, Sam's face when he talked about his 'encounter' with Annie was priceless :lol: and then the scene got all heartwrenchingl y sad when they talked about Bobby and Dean talked about how even though he wanted to see Bobby, it didn't mean that they should. Same with the shower scene - wonderful moment and Dean's shower hair was so cute but then boys' reactions when they saw Bobby's name in the steam made my heart clench. And my eyes water somewhat.

The last scene was so sad, I loved Sam wondering if maybe they could make it all work, he looked so very little brothery in that scene. Dean's ever so resigned 'what are the odds it ends well' was so gut wrenchingly ominous.

Poor Bobby. Poor boys.
# percysowner 2012-04-21 01:23
I just rewatched the ending and Sam is already trying for optimism and thinking that they can make it work. Dean is the one that is truly opposed. This does fit with their characters. Sam has always held out more hope that supernatural beings can be good.

My impression is that Dean did want Bobby around but was upset that Bobby CHOSE to stay. If Bobby had gotten stuck then Dean might have been more understanding, but Bobby deliberately messed with the "natural order". I think this played into Dean's "what's dead should stay dead (unless it's Sam)" mentality. I think Dean prefers to be in control of the situation and in this case, Bobby was in control.

I'm guessing that Bobby could be seen after the tussle with the head ghost either because he gained mojo from the ghost or that when the ghost pulled his ghost force from his body he became able to be seen. Certainly it seemed to be related to Bobby being attacked by the head ghost.

There were lots of holes in the plot. Not only the non-explanation of how Bobby was seen, but also why the ghosts were trapped in the house. When Bobby and Annie entered the guarded room I was certain they were going to find a spell that kept Reapers out of the house. Then they would break the spell and all the ghosts would have a chance to choose to move on, but no, I guess the bad ghost was just that powerful. I like the Reaper barricade idea better, myself.

On the upside I liked Annie and Bobby was amusing. I actually felt the brotherly bond in this one. Sam and Dean were actually working together and in synch. So YAY! for that.

All in all I thought this was charming and amusing and needed tweaking to make it come together a little better. I do wish that the helpful ghost hadn't been brutally murdered, but then it turned out that her bones had been burned and in the end that's pretty much what they did to all the ghosts, minus the pulling of their energy first.

I think this is an episode that I will enjoy if I don't examine it too closely. Nice brother interaction, some fun dialog, a couple of good female characters and plot holes you could drive, well not a truck, but a small wagon through.
# KELLY 2012-04-21 08:36
These are obviously just guesses, but I think Bobby could now be seen since some of the bad guy's powers backlashed on Bobby when he was trying to take Bobby's energy.
And the guy(sorry can't remember his name) said something about keeping them here- I'm assuming he meant the ghosts. So I got the impression that he somehow trapped the souls from moving on.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-04-21 04:00
I liked it. It had a real ‘The Listeners’ vibe about it. Just with added ghost hunters. I liked Annie. She kinda reminded me of Dean before he got all maudlin. ‘No stud, she’s checking me out.’ (I totally misinterpreted that comment first time round.) And it’s totally realistic that she would have relations with all three of them. Okay, apart from the hottie factor, if you’re in life and death situations every freaking day you’re going to want to be reminded of the living part of life wherever possible so hello foxholes. It seems hunting is a great way to meet hot guys! (Is it wrong that I don’t find it at all skeevy that she slept with all three of them?) Plus, another woman that Sam slept with died. Some things never change. Speculation for next season; Sam joins a monastery. The female population will be devastated, but somewhat relieved.

The moment where she bore her soul about her loneliness etc was really poignant and also had shades of Dean in it. (And I guess she’s learned the hard way why it’s best to hunt with a partner). I’d still class her more of a strawberry blonde than a redhead though.

The final scene shows that, to a certain extent the boys are back in their old roles. Sam is hopeful that this crazy thing will work (though whether he was saying it for Dean’s or his own benefit, I don’t know) and Dean is almost endorsing being dead (I can feel the depression being cranked up after this...). His look of incredulity when Bobby says that he chose this and also his reference to being ‘stuck here’ is hugely telling. Way to enjoy life, dude. And I’m sure Dean’s guilt for not being thrilled that Bobby is back is going to sit heavy with him as well.

Dean does have a fair point. What are the odds it’ll end well because it never ends well for those guys. For the most part, all the good intentions they’ve had over the years have ended up arseways. Bobby’s look at the end is equally as interesting as Sam and Dean’s comments. Is he disappointed that Sam and Dean aren’t thrilled he’s back? Is he, only now, thinking of how this might truly end? I think Annie’s spiel about loneliness and being ready for some peace hit him hard. Even now that he can make himself visible again it’s still going to be a hugely lonely, and awkward, existence for Bobby.

Actually it’s going to be really awkward for Sam and Dean as well. Imagine knowing that there’s always someone watching, popping up at will. ‘Me time’ will be a thing of the past....

Bobby went from angry to being Zenned up pretty quickly. Now, I guess he could do yoga and meditate and stuff because he seems like a well-travelled and pretty open minded kinda guy but even with that, it’s very quick. In one moment he wasn’t able to move a coin yet in the time it took Dean to take a shower he was able to solidify himself enough to write him a message. Either Bobby is a very quick learner or Dean takes really long showers.

Some quick thoughts before I go back to bed (or get up for the day).

Ghost Bobby is kinda stroppy.

Anyone with a good enough screen could probably get Dean’s phone number from that shot of Annies phone on the ground.

When Dean was reading the message on the mirror he was wearing a towel (well, either that or towel coloured jeans).

There’s an emergency to get to the graveyard in order to burn the Van Ness bones so Sam and Dean walk to the crypt and then gently tap away at the headstone. I know ‘More haste, less speed’ but any hope of finding second gear there, lads??

The curator in the museum talks like Dumbledore.

Did Dean call for ‘Slimer’ when he was in the house?? That’s so funny. I wonder if those guys used ‘Ghostbusters ’ as a kind of training manual?

Seriously, you’re going to go into an old house where there have been several deaths/disappea rances/whatever , fill the place up with lighted candles and then get to getting it on on a filthy couch? Have all teenagers got a death wish or something. I think I'm going to put a ladder against a wall, crack a pavement under it and get a black cat to walk over and back in front of it and then sell tickets to all teenagers. Let then get their kicks that way.

Sam and Dean in a real restaurant with a tablecloth and real cutlery was so cool! Beats a greasy diner top. And Dean’s ‘Are we being stood up?’ was hilarious. Seriously, is being dead any excuse for standing up Sam and Dean?

Seems there is a hell of a lot more to ghosts than we originally thought. Might be cool to explore that more. I wonder if Bobby, knowing what he know now, will be able to kill ghosts now. Actually, when you think about it, it's really not that surprising that there are so many ghosts around. I dare say that if I had an untimely death and a reaper came looking for me to go with him/her I'd be like 'Hell, no', especially if you don't know where you're going.

Did Van Ness do the hand in the chest thing to Sam? And seriously, there has to be some health related side effects to that.

How did Annie have Dean's number if Dean went underground? Did he not take a bit of Franks advice on board??

‘You know she and Bobby had a thing, right?’ Sam, you are such an auld woman for the gossip! And ‘I didn’t have a soul?’ (cue rueful grin) is the best excuse ever. Actually, that whole scene was pure gold.

Dean did not, in fact, get a haircut.

Sam did not, in fact, eat the taco. I was a little excited to think we’d see him eat something that wasn’t green and stalky but alas no.

If (when) Bobby decides to pass on, there is going to be a string of women there waiting for him. That could get awkward.

And.... the curator had (not entirely obviously but I saw it and I wear glasses) cold fog breath.
# Beverly 2012-04-21 09:14
Seriously, you’re going to go into an old house where there have been several deaths/disappearances/whatever, fill the place up with lighted candles and then get to getting it on on a filthy couch? Have all teenagers got a death wish or something. I think I'm going to put a ladder against a wall, crack a pavement under it and get a black cat to walk over and back in front of it and then sell tickets to all teenagers. Let then get their kicks that way.
LOL . . . I turned to Dad (who was watching Supernatural for the 1st time) and explained to him that for some reason teenagers on this show find haunted places perfect for dates . . . Hell House and the Haunted Insane Asylum are two other instances. Also when their two buddies show up to "investigate" their disappearance . . . talk about idgits.


How did Annie have Dean's number if Dean went underground? Did he not take a bit of Franks advice on board??
He probably called her and at least left a message when Sam was dying in the insane asylum. He went through all of Bobby's contacts.

‘You know she and Bobby had a thing, right?’ Sam, you are such an auld woman for the gossip! And ‘I didn’t have a soul?’ (cue rueful grin) is the best excuse ever. Actually, that whole scene was pure gold.
Ditto!!! :lol:
# Luciano 2012-04-21 05:20
Im sorry but i had to stop reading half way. I found this review really bad. The episode was great and had many great scenes. If they left the other ghosts they would have turned into vengeful spirits. About the ending, as you said mixed feelings they are not robots their humans going through a hard time. Directing and script lacked abit fine but it still felt like a great MOTW with a gret and story driven story... Great episode
# Alice 2012-04-22 02:00
This isn't a review. It's a quick reaction to the episode that at the time I wrote it doesn't reflect my true feelings about the episode. Just a first reaction. That's why it's called "Let's Speculate". It's the chance to let everyone else give their first impressions too. I would agree, from a review sense, it is pretty bad. Good thing it's not intended to be one!

I'm thrilled you loved the episode. It honestly wasn't a bad one. I had a few questions afterward and it sounds like there are many great answers here! I love the way fans see things.
# Ginger 2012-04-21 07:20
I haven't read all the comments, so I'm just going to give my impression and apologize if some of this has been said already.

First off, I like a good old haunting episode, and I thought this one had an earlier season feel to it. Despite the screwed up canon and lots of little stuff that could be talked about, I thought it was a solid episode. I liked Annie and how they handled the two Winchesters under her belt angle.

For the first time this season, I was moved. In the ending scene, Dean was clearly absolutely devastated that Bobby is hanging around and JA acted it beautifully. Dean knows nothing good ever comes from the Supernatural.

In fact, I thought in the scenes between Dean and Bobby that the looks they were giving each other were ominous, not to mention the dialogue between Annie and Bobby. Yes, all was presented as being heartwarming, including the music cues, but that wasn't matching the acting that was going on between the two of them. I don't know if this will go anywhere coherent or not -- there is not a lot of coherency these days.

So, I liked the episode, but I am still one super pissed off lady because: the one consistent story that has been told this season is Bobby's and Bobby is a support character! Sam's story is over. I don't know now whether Dean had a story or not. Was he drinking because of his depression over Bobby? Well, Bobby is dead, but he's not gone. Was he drinking because the flask had to be in the show so Bobby's ghost story could play out? Is Dean just a tool for the Bobby story like Sam was a tool for the re-introduction of Cas?

We've had three Bobby-centric episodes now (it took 2 to kill him off), and there's the Becky episode, the Garth episode, a Buffy alum episode, and Cas had two pretty much Cas devoted episodes. Now, we all knew the last episodes would be somewhat Sam light, because babies are the bosses and that's the way it should be, but why in the hell couldn't the show use this opportunity to focus on Dean and a story, instead of a support character. It's not like I haven't waited many, many years for one.

Yes, I liked the episode, but I also think that it could not have been clearer that when Bobby is around, the brothers become Bobby apprentices. As long as Bobby is around, the Winchester boys will never reach full adulthood and become the best hunters on the planet. They will never reach the level of Dead-Eye-Shot-I n-The-Dark JediBobby. They will never be as smart as good ole Bobby. Bobby needs to go away permanently -- Sorry, Jim, you're a great guy.

P.S. Who didn't love Dean's shower hair? And where's the damned Impala?
# cd28 2012-04-21 10:23
On the positive side - I thought it was an interesting story, and I liked seeing a haunted house from a ghost's perspective. I'm glad they revisited the question of what happens to ghosts when their bones are burned.

On the negative side - I don't understand why reapers didn't come into this house. If the bad ghost had some power to keep spirits from moving on, that should have been part of the episode. I thought the dialogue seemed a little stiff. And Bobby was wrong when he said that Sam and Dean slowed down after he left - they slowed down long before that. This was Sam and Dean (especially Sam) dumbed down to embarassing levels.

One other part that I did like was Sam and Dean's reaction to Bobby's decision. It felt more real than their previous hopeful tone, given all they had seen. Something to consider is that Sam and Dean have never been comfortable with people making sacrifices for them. Remembering Dean's reaction when he realized John had sacrificed himself for him, and Sam's reaction when he realized Dean had sacrificed himself, it makes sense that the news that Bobby was in a bad place because of them would trigger a mixed reaction.

One final point - this episode was like a lot of others this season that showed Dean really being the lead on the case. He was the one speaking with most of the other characters, and he was the only one we really got a strong reaction from about Bobby's decision. I'm tired of Sam being wallpaper or just the research guy.

EDIT: Sorry to bring this topic up again. I know it's been covered to death. Sam's passivity just really bothered me in this one (and several others this season). I just went through the episode again noting the types of comments. Whereas Dean initiates all of the action with comments like lets get rolling or time to burn his bones, Sam mostly asks questions (which makes him look a little slow) or makes observations about research. Dean has the phone calls with Annie, is contacted by Bobby, pushes the serious issues with Bobby, and even walks a couple of steps ahead of Sam a couple of times. Dean's written as the stereotypical male, and Sam's written as the female in this relationship. It's these subtle cues that most people wouldn't even notice that lead to the impression that this is Dean's story. And it wasn't always like this. Sam used to initiate a lot in the earlier seasons. It was more of an equal partnership back then.
# Sylvie 2012-04-21 10:51
All right. Honestly, I had to watch the episode twice before I formed an opinion. Last night, half asleep, and this morning after a good nights rest. So, I thought it was pretty good, not great by all means, but enjoyable. I love Bobby and I thought he and Annie had great chemistry together. It was nice to see a female hunter, even though she turned into a ghost, and lucky girl, both Winchesters and Bobby!

I must say I liked the scene when Bobby walks into the house with the boys and he sees all the ghosts and introduces himself "Hi I'm Bobby and I'm a ghost, here for a little ghost orientation", he even introduced himself in French, "Je m'appelle Bobby"! LOL.

I think Ginger mentioned it first, and I agree with her on this, I think the boys finally see Bobby after Van Ness tries to kill him because some of his ethereal mojo got transferred to Bobby. As for Dean's reaction to Bobby deciding to stick around after death, it had a little of "beware what you wish for" quality to it. He so wanted Bobby to be around, but he's also sorry that he is because who better than hunters to know what happens to ghosts after some time. Hell, even that ghost in the house told Bobby what happens to ghosts that stick around for too long.

That last scene between Sam & Dean in the car was quite sad. Sam is trying to be an optimist about Bobby still being around and Dean is talking about the natural order of things. I'm thinking Death really got to Dean when he told him in "Appointment in Samarra" what happens when you mess with the natural order. That's all the Winchesters ever do, and it never has a very good outcome. It'll be interesting to see how TPTB handle having ghost Bobby around and for how long.

In parting I want to thank Tim the Enchanter for making me spew my coffee with this line: Plus, another woman that Sam slept with died. Some things never change. Speculation for next season; Sam joins a monastery. The female population will be devastated, but somewhat relieved.
# Ginger 2012-04-21 12:49
I think the boys finally see Bobby after Van Ness tries to kill him because some of his ethereal mojo got transferred to Bobby.
This could also be ghost possession. That would put Bobby into the position of having to fight not only turning vengeful over time, which this episode clearly reinforced, but it could set up Bobby's S8 story in that he has to fight the evil ghost inside him, along with what happens to ghosts organically over time.

That last scene between Sam & Dean in the car was quite sad. Sam is trying to be an optimist about Bobby still being around and Dean is talking about the natural order of things.

Sam trying to be optimistic may also be him showing concern for Dean. I thought that scene showed Dean absolutely devastated, because both Dean and Sam know what happens to ghosts and that they will have to burn the flask. Now, it may not be until the end of S8, but this episode left no room for a ghost not turning vengeful.

That may be Dean's story for S8 -- angsting between not wanting to burn the flask and knowing he should burn it. (God, I hope not another emo Dean story!) It may end up being that Dean just can't do it and Sam has too. That's what family is for, after all, making those hard decisions... like the Amy thing, given to the other brother.

Although that is something I hope Carver changes -- remakes of the same stories with the other brother.
# suzee51 2012-04-21 13:01
"I think that's why I probably have a lot bigger problem with mechanics of an episode than most. I am a writer and a technical junkie, so I inspect far more than what's on the screen. I look at all the little nuances." (Alice Jester)

Alice: May I ask a rather odd question? Is it just me or do the current SPN episodes "LOOK" different? This is hard to explain but visually, when I look at episodes from early seasons and compare them to the "look" of current seasons, there just seems to be a total change. I don't know how to express this clearly - but to me, it's like the camera just captures the action as it happens in front of it.
It feels very simplistic, very straightforward - where in early episodes, the camera work seemed much more considered and tremendously added to my visual experience. Early episodes were kind of "grainy" and that really added to the overall tone of the show. Now it feels too "smooth", too canned - and much more lack luster. Someone else mentioned that they are putting too much make-up on Dean and that she liked it better when she could see Jensen's natural freckles. And that is a part of this, too. In the beginning there seemed to be an attempt to make the boys seem natural, like real people. (Granted they were GORGEOUS "real" people, but you get my point!) Now it looks like I am watching movie stars portraying "real" people.

Am I making any sense? :sigh:
# cd28 2012-04-21 17:12
This may different than what you're talking about, but when I watch SPN on my TV (it's flat-screen but a little older and not high-def), sometimes the background looks so fake it gets to be really distracting. This is especially true when they're having an Impala chat in front of a body of water. The background almost looks superimposed, like the way 70s TV programs would have really fake backdrops.

I only find this true for SPN. If I switch the channel to Fringe, the quality is good. I don't notice a problem with Nikita either. When I watch those SPN episodes on my laptop, they look much better. Although I don't watch the older SPN episodes very often on my TV set, I don't recall having the same issue with them. I've been wondering why this is.
# Alice 2012-04-22 02:16
That is digital vs. film. Plain and simple. Digital looks more fake. It's the way the hard drives process visual images. That started happening in season four with they started using the digital cameras. I think it's actually a little better now, but there are some scenes in season 4 and 5 where it does look really fake (even though it isn't). Have you noticed that in the last two seasons?
# cd28 2012-04-22 10:02
Thanks for explaining. That makes sense. I'm not sure when exactly this changed since I don't watch the older episodes on my TV much (just on my laptop).
# Alice 2012-04-22 02:13
Sure you're making sense! It's not an odd question at all. I do have an answer.

In season four, the show switched to using digital cameras. Seasons 1-3 were shot on 35mm film cameras. That changed the look somewhat. The type of cameras they were using still had somewhat of a grainy quality to them a little, especially the studio cameras. They didn't have the clarity that the location cameras did. They also didn't handle lower light very well.

In season six (and seven), they started shooting with the Arriflex Alexa digital cameras. That really changed things. Those cameras work more like traditional film, but they have a clarity to them that you don't get with regular film. They can do a lot more with them. They are used on location and in the studio. That has affected things a lot, because the grainy quality is all but gone now. They have changed the visual experience for sure. Because of these high quality cameras and HD, the makeup artists have to really make the boys look pretty now. Every single little flaw shows up now.

Hopefully that answers the question!
# suzee51 2012-04-22 03:25
. . . they have a clarity to them that you don't get with regular film.
Thank you very much for explaining all of this to me. What you said makes a lot of sense . . . however, I for one think that they are sacrificing artistic style for clarity. And I must really be weird because I LIKE all the little flaws . . . it makes the boys seem more believable to me!

Did they also change camera men? I mean, I just don't see the same kind of effort into producing visually stunning moments . . . like right off the top of my head: remember right after Sam & Dean just left Lenore's house and they were talking over the roof of the Impala? Sam got in and the camera locked on Dean staring back at Lenore's house with a gorgeous sun halo effect. OR When Sam & Dean had Gabriel trapped in a holy oil fire circle in that giant warehouse and the camera pulled way back to show a perfect reflection in the pool of water on the warehouse floor. Those are just two examples off the top of my head but they typify the style of camera work we see in earlier episodes. I don't see that anymore. Now it seems to be straight on "just capture a clear image" photography with no artistic images. I find that to be lack luster and boring.

Know what I mean?
# Alice 2012-04-23 14:06
From my understanding, about 90% of the crew now has been there since the first season. This was much of the crew that did The X-Files so they know each other well. They haven't changed camera men as far as I know.

There have been some visually stunning moments in later seasons. The one that comes to mind for me is from "Frontierland" with Sam and Dean in the graveyard. That was an iconic shot. There was another one in "Family Matters" I think with the sunrise coming up over a barn that was just amazing.

What you're probably seeing is a change in the tone from the editing. I'm not sure what's going on there, but this season in particular, the editing has been very choppy. They haven't really been going for those glory shots after the big scenes. I've noticed scenes aren't hanging on particular shots as long as they used to either. They've been guilty of cutting back and forth too much in a frenzy. I think that's why some of the emotion has been lost, but I'm sure that's not the only reason. Writing plays a role in that too. I'm working on a editing comparison article, but it likely won't be ready until Summer Hellatus now.

I read that they're trying to cut down 46 minutes worth of first cut into 40 to 42 minutes in the editing room. If that's happening every episode, no wonder the editing has been shotty. That's too much chopping to do justice to the story. I don't know if they've done that in prior seasons. Either way, maybe if they tried to balance out the scripts a little better, that wouldn't be a problem. But again, that's me not having a lot of inside info, just going off of interviews I've read and what I'm seeing visually.

Could it be that's what you're seeing?
# suzee51 2012-04-23 16:08
What you're probably seeing is a change in the tone from the editing. I'm not sure what's going on there, but this season in particular, the editing has been very choppy. They haven't really been going for those glory shots after the big scenes. I've noticed scenes aren't hanging on particular shots as long as they used to either. . .

Could it be that's what you're seeing?
You know what Alice? Sometimes you remind me of the little ring at the top of the kaleidoscope. You know, the one that when you turn it to the left or right brings the image in to fine tune so that you can see things perfectly?

After reading your explanation I believe that is exactly correct. It isn't a change in camera work, it's a change in editing that for me is significantly eroding the overall effectiveness of recent episodes.

Thank you for bringing things in to focus for me, Alice!
# hedi 2012-04-21 16:38
i watched it online and it got disconnected like a million times! i knew what really happened but i definitely need to re-watch it.
from what i saw , i liked this episode but not loving it. i think the problem with these episodes is that they have too many story-lines right now , and they kinda messed up of fix them all together in a not-rushing way. i'm with you on that "editing" thing , i guess it totally ruined the scene where bobby was getting zapped by the ghost-killer and dean and sam were trying to find the bones and yada yada. it was too rushed! i mean i was like : no bobby! please stay and then BOOM! they burned the bones! it was like 20 seconds!
other than that , i do agree with dean , because he loves bobby and he doesn't want bobby to suffer like he did. he is not supposed to be here because of John's deal , and now he still feels sorry for being brought back like this . but i don't think that he would say the same thing about Sam! maybe natural order doesn't work for dean when its sam's death we're talking about!
any who , great review with important points.
# paintgirl770 2012-04-21 17:51
I LOVED the episode. They gave us viewers a lot to think (ok, obsess) about. First, the ghost story had a new twist I have not seen before, that intense and sick little ghost society in that house. I'm already expecting more than a few fanfic's about that particular "Ghost Protocol".

I like Annie. She reminded me of a younger Ellen. And getting with both our boys? My hat is off to you, lady. I enjoyed seeing her and Bobby work the case together. She figured out in a few hours where the skeletons in the closet were, so to speak, when the hooker ghost didn't know after how many years? Bless her fancy lady heart.

I am beyond happy to have Bobby back and helping the boys. I don't think it's at all unusual to want something that you know you shouldn't, and then be conflicted when you get it. And of course knowing Dean, he probably feels guilty and is blaming himself for Bobby not being at peace.

So we had a ghost story with a twist, a cool lady hunter, the return of Bobby, some brotherly moments (in the restaurant - "are we getting stood up?". And the conversation in the car), the setup to a very satisfying Leviathan resolution to come, and lots of emotion, which for me is what this show does best. Did it end on a depressing note? Sure. But Dean is not going to stay mad at Bobby long, and Bobby has a long way to go before he turns, and as we all know, with this show, anything can happen.
# rmoats8621 2012-04-21 20:50
I liked this episode. It wasn't great, but it did have a lot of good information contained within it.

I agree with you, Alice. The writing isn't consistent, but I don't think it's this set of writers fault. I believe that Glass may be the one who made the error. His error wasn't corrected. Continuity has suffered on the show and mainly with his episodes. Also, I find him to be a lack luster writer. I was very hopeful last year since he came with such great credentials, but now I know that he is my least favorite. I also find that the something is missing with the editing. Lately, I have found that to be sloppy too. Too much of the good stuff is being left on the editing room floor. The stories are suffering because of it.

I did like the shower scene. I did find it strange that Dean left the door open. I thought the door should have been cracked. Oh....and to answer someone else's comment from above....Dean likes long showers. Check out Bugs! He was in that shower most of the night! Sam was quite irritated with him when he went to get him out of the bathroom. Sam pounded on the bathroom door in order to get him out of that shower! :-)

Annie reminded me of Ellen. Both were women with a lot of spit fire! I wasn't surprised about Bobby's attraction. I was a little surprised at Dean and Sam's attraction to her. I guess it might be that fox hole syndrome. And if that's the case, then did Anna and Cas experience the same since they were in the same fox hole for many, many years??? Just wondering....
# kazkriz 2012-04-21 21:52
I liked this epi very very much... and I can't believe I was pissed at Dean yesterday... that usually never happens!!! but I kept saying .. Bobby choose to stay because of YOU!! AND YOU ARE TALKING ABT DAMN NATURAL ORDER!!!!!!!??? ? but then I kept thinking abt it and now it makes sense... I'm sorry I yelled at Dean (lol) but overall I did liked it! I was so glad to see bobby again!!!
# FMJemena 2012-04-27 05:35
Thank you for the article.
ANNIE: Very, very, very lucky girl to have had 'foxhole' moments with Sam, Dean, and Bobby. I envy her.
BOBBY: Maybe his new situation will be used as a tool to deal with the Leviathans? After all, they're both denizens of the Other Side now. Also, I think some of Van Ness' powers moved into Bobby--which could be useful in the fight against the Leviathans.
DEAN & SAM: great acting, as usual. Although we could have done with a more extended, sheer-shower-cu rtain scene.
WHAT HAPPENS TO GHOSTS (after staying too long on earth): Reminds me of a Wincest fiction I read in 2010. In that fiction, Dean died after saving Ben in S2(?) and became a ghost. As a ghost, he still helped Sam, but it was clear that, had he remained a ghost, he would eventually become a murderous, crazy one--from loneliness and not being able to communicate with those who live.