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Bobby's Rough Ride
Bobby: I'm old and broke-down, and I can't...I ain't a hunter no more. I'm useless. And if I wasn't such a coward, I'd've stuck a gun in my mouth the day I got home from the hospital.
For all that Bobby has been a steady presence in Sam and Dean's lives, he hasn't had an easy go of things, especially in season 5. He got into hunting because he killed his wife, who was possessed by a demon. He didn't know it at the time, didn't know what was wrong with her, but when she turned on him, he defended himself and killed her. He was still guilty enough about it that Jeremy used it against him in "Dream a Little Dream of Me," and that's no surprise, really. Who wouldn't feel eternally guilty for having to kill a loved one even when they didn't have a choice? Bobby went to a pretty dark place when Dean was in hell, turning to liquor for comfort. Sam was gone, too, so he had no one to help him through the pain of losing Dean.
But season 5 has really put Bobby through the wringer. First he gets possessed by a demon, which, really, how the hell did that happen? Bobby? Possessed by a demon? Ugh, handwave for plot, I guess, because I just cannot believe that one. At any rate, he gets possessed and has to hear himself cut Sam out of his life, which had to hurt so much. Then he attacks Dean, but he manages to fight back just enough to not kill him, taking the knife and stabbing it into himself instead. That costs him the use of his legs, which pushes Bobby into a very bad place. Dean tries his best to reassure Bobby that they can still fight, can still do something to stop Lucifer and Michael and Heaven and Hell, though he doesn't really believe it himself. But Bobby needed to hear it, so Dean said it.
Bobby is not handling the loss of his legs very well, as we see in "The Curious Case of Dean Winchester." He feels like his whole purpose for living, being a hunter, is gone because he's been relegated to the sidelines due to the wheelchair. The world is falling apart around him, literally, and he feels like there's nothing he can do to stop it. He's so hopeless that he even tells the boys he'd be better off dead, which doesn't sit well with them at all, especially Dean. At the end of the episode, Dean again does his best to reassure Bobby, telling him he's doesn't stop being a hunter just because he's wounded, that he's family, and that Dean can't keep on going without Bobby. He needs Bobby and hates to see him in so much pain. I think his little speech helped, but just how much remains to be seen.
"Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid"
Bobby: She was the love of my life. How many times do I gotta kill her?
Oh, Bobby. This episode was just so hard on him.
So, what did we learn about Bobby in this episode? For one, he's considered the town drunk. I wonder when he gained that reputation? We've seen him turn to alcohol in times of crisis, like when Dean was in hell, so it wouldn't surprise me if he gained it after his wife died the first time. He wasn't very popular with the town sheriff, seeing as he had racked up a number of drunk-and-disorderly and mail-fraud charges. Really, though, considering what he has to do as a hunter, that's not too bad. Well, bad if you're the sheriff, but just look at how much trouble Sam and Dean have gotten themselves into.
We also learned that Bobby has good taste in women. Karen Singer was awesome! I know she was a zombie, but she was great. I mean, how can you not like someone who feeds Dean pie? She was sweet, a little feisty, smart, and she obviously loved Bobby a lot. And as hard as it was for Bobby to have to kill her again, I am so glad that the show didn't have her turn on him and attack him again. Karen just wanted to protect Bobby, whether it was not telling him she remembered being possessed and that he killed her the first time or about Death's message for him. She just wanted to see Bobby happy, to see him smile.
Speaking of Death and his message for Bobby, that was pretty brutal. Minion of hell and all, but still. Lucifer is really starting to use some underhand tactics here. Direct pleas to Sam aren't working, so how about going after the people who are helping him say no, such as Bobby? It would be easier to just kill him and be done, but going after his spirit, trying to break him is so much worse. That way he's not only incapacitated and not helping Sam directly but Sam will have the added guilt of knowing that Bobby's broken emotional state is because of him. And Bobby is really close to the edge right now. I'm really not sure how much longer he can keep going. Sam and Dean both need him, but will he be able to help when push comes to shove? I really hope so, but I'm worried for him. Just how much can one person take?
The Man Behind the Curtain
I just want to take a moment here to praise Jim Beaver because I truly believe without him, Bobby Singer wouldn't be nearly as good a character. The first time I saw him in anything, or became aware of him as an actor, maybe, was in Deadwood. He played Whitney Ellsworth, the most decent man in the whole town of Deadwood. He was brilliant on that show, just incredible. So I was so happy when he turned up as Bobby Singer because I just knew that he was going to make him an incredible character. And he really has. Jim has such great chemistry with Jared and Jensen, and he really just nails every scene he's in. He's a wonderful addition to the cast. I love seeing his name in the credits because I enjoy every scene he's in. His contribution to Supernatural is invaluable. So thanks, Jim, for kicking so much ass and for making Bobby Singer such a fantastic character.
Well, as you can tell, I really love Bobby Singer. I think he's a fantastic, superbly acted character, the rock in Sam and Dean's wayward lives. You can always count on Bobby to be there when you need him, no matter what or where the job is. I really hope he makes it out of this season alive because if Bobby dies, I am going to be devastated. And I know I won't be the only one. So, I tip my trucker hat to you, Bobby Singer! Now pass me a beer, preferably not spiked with holy water, would ya?