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.

Bring it!!

Thanks for reading, Elle2





 

Comments  

magichappening
# magichappening 2010-10-17 08:09
Hi Elle,

Great review. Love that although you love this show you do not let them get away with anything! The 4 day weekend analysis etc. I second your demand for excellence! With a show as capable of classic as this, anything less than stellar is not good enough :-)

I had not thought of Sheriff Mills as the new Ellen, but now that you point it out I can see what you mean. Perhaps she is a mixture of Ellen and that cop in The Benders from ages ago? I always thought that character was really interesting.

And I completely agree about the level of humour being spot on. I loved the 'I'm not asking for your help', 'well I'm not asking for your permission'. Grumpy old men is right. Hope Rufus and the Sheriff continue to come back.

Anyway thanks very much for making me think again about this episode. Love the reviews on this site as each person tends to see the stories in a slightly diffferent way. Can't wait until next week. I thought it was going to be a complete spoof from the way they referenced it at Comic Con, but it looks a lot more dramatic than that. Excellent!
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-17 09:05
I enjoyed reading your review, Elle. [And I certainly think no apologies are necessary for "not responding to comments" :-)]

I agree with much of your assessment of "Weekend at Bobby's" - although I liked the "overly friendly neighbour", Marcy, quite a bit more than you did. :P

I liked your point (which I missed) about how "Weekend at Bobby's" was filmed first, and yet it flowed seamlessly from episodes 6.01 to 6.03. That's quite a feat.
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-10-17 14:53
Thanks for your review Elle2.

Only by reading the reviews did I find out what I tried to watch on Friday. I'm in Canada and had to watch on that crummy channel that screwed up the sync between pic and dialogue. I was so mad I didn't know what I was watching as up until 10 minutes were left they didn't fix the problem. Couldn't even figure out why Dean was driving on the wrong side of the car! :sad:

Have to watch it Wednesday on Space channel to see it properly. They never screw up and they don't pan and scan either like the crappy channel does.

Sorry for the rant but screwing up Supernatural is a crime in my book. :evil:
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-10-17 15:53
Elle2, love your reviews.

When I saw Sam and Dean in Scotland, the first thing that came to my mind was, 'but Dean doesn't like flying'. Then, Sam explained to Bobby and us, about poor Dean, I thought 'mystery solved'. I could just picture Dean saying to himself (in between barfing), 'this is for Bobby' over and over again. :D :D

Did they know about the burning of the Crossroad Demon's bones in Season 3 ?? It may of helped with Dean's deal.

Next week Vampire!Dean, but the Campbells have a cure, what is the catch?
elle2
# elle2 2010-10-17 17:05
Hi, magichappening, CitizenKane2, Bevie and nancyL,

Thanks for the comments and I'm so glad you all seemed to have as much fun with the episode as I did (and many others I believe) :-)

Magichappening, I liked the deputy from The Benders as well, Sheriff Mills does remind me a bit of her. I like that Bobby's world is expanded in that his town was affected last season's events and that the Sheriff is in the know now. It's a nice addition.

CitizenKane2 -- appreciate your understanding 8-)

Marcy is growing on me upon a third watch and more pondering (as well as your comments) It is fun watching Bobby try to juggle all the things coming at him and a little moment of innocence helps put the perspective on things. Of all the events that happened, Marcy's was the only one that was outside of hunting at least in the beginning. Everything else was all hunting but Marcy was the tiny thread of normalcy, ginger peach cobbler and all that wove through the entire episode -- btw, if she made it gluten free I'd really dig into it!

Bevie,

Rant away about the screwing up of the sound, heck, two weeks ago I couldn't record the darn show but at least I could watch it. (Thanks to Dany, however, I was able to find the link and rewatch the episode :-)

Hopefully Space channel will have it good to go on Wednesday and then there will only be a two day wait until the vampire episode...that will be fun then (the two day wait that is, right now it sucks a**)

nancyL, I agree, nothing is easy or straightforward with the Campbells, Samuel may have a plan but I don't think it's all for Dean's and Sam's benefit...I am very much looking forward to the episode.

Thanks for the comments!
Ashke
# Ashke 2010-10-17 18:12
Thanks again for a great review. Although I don't think they're being literal with the "Weekend" thing. There seems to be a running theme this season with the titles all being spoofs of movie titles or quotes. "Live Free or Die Hard", "You can't handle the truth" (from "A Few Good Men") isn't this just a spoof of "Weekend at Bernies"

You were dead on about all the call backs to previous episodes, especially Dean's fear of flying. Considering his other big problem with flying was no weapons I loved the fact that he "had a fork". I couldn't stop laughing.

I have to admit that at first I wondered if the next door neighbor was either a demon/monster or a red shirt. And I was leaning heavily on monster until the "single, white, female" line came up. So I wasn't too upset about the pacing there although I could see your point.

Rufus, Crowley, and Bobby. How can that not be good. You're also right about Sheriff Mills potentially filling an Ellen type role. Could be interesting.

I didn't really have a problem with Bobby's dressing down or Dean's complaining. Bobby is the father figure and I don't know anyone who doesn't think that their parent's world shouldn't revolve around them at least some of the time. Dean's going through something major and he's got no idea what's on Bobby's plate so he's being self centered but not "whiney". That Bobby called him on it was surprising (I hadn't seen the clip) but not out of character, especially considering what he was dealing with at the moment.

As I said before I thought Jensen did a wonderful job with his first foray into directing. He made many interesting choices especially with his opening tracking shot that went from the tv set to Crowley's entrance. These are not the things first time director's usually think of much less have the time to do on a tv schedule. Major Kudos!

Just out of curiousity, I wonder if this episode was written out of sequence too.

Although next week looks fascinating in an angst/guilt filled kind of way and I'm really interested to see how Dean is "Cured", doesn't cause more problems for the boys. If Vampires can be cured is ethical to kill them. Then again they don't seem to have that many problems killing demons anymore even though they know real people are in there.

Your thoughts.
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-10-17 18:29
another call back:
When the demon girl tells Bobby "you gonna get that or what" while they are discussing Crowley. Originally from A VERY SPN XMAS, whle Marge and Edward are preparing Sam and Dean, the doorbell rings, Dean asks "Somebody’s gonna get that?, you should get that".

Also, Marcy was wearing the 'white nightgown of death', BUT SHE LIVED. :D

A suggestion: have Sam and Dean go off into the sunset, side by side, in the Impala to end the season, and have season 7 be the adventures of Bobby and Rufus.
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-17 21:36
Just a couple of more random thoughts.

If demons are just spirits, that means that when Sam was all pumped up on demon blood, his powers probably could have worked on all spirits (and not just demons, as he thought).

As already pointed out, if Bobby could get out of his deal with Crowley by threatening to burn Crowley's bones, could Dean have attempted to get out of his deal (in Seaon 3) by doing the same thing ? (It still might not have worked though in Dean's case, if the cross-roads demon holding Dean's soul was prepared to go down in flames to free Lucifer).

In the Supernatural world, what happens to a deceased that is cremanted - is that deceased's soul destroyed ? :P

Question : Crowley's words to Sam "moose" and "get bent" - what do those expressions normally mean ?

For those who haven't already seen it, the CW trailer for "Live Free or Twi-hard", courtesy of Supernatural Fans Online - http://supernaturalfansonline.com/2010/10/16/6-05-live-free-or-twi-hard-trailer/
Suze
# Suze 2010-10-18 07:48
That's OK, blank us all you like, we can take it ... ;-)

Enjoyed this one. Bobby/Rufus/Cro wley dynamic is great fun and the farce-ish elements - Pie bearing Mrs. Next Door interupts basement S'n'M, Ooo-er ... weren't overdone. Loved Bobby's hissy fit, well overdue!

Only slight quibble ... That was supposed to be Caithness? Really? :lol: :lol: :lol:
elle2
# elle2 2010-10-18 10:03
Hi, Ashke, nancyL, CitizenKane2, Suze, Dany,

Admittedly I'm not someone who usually comments on directing, although sometimes a shot or two stands out to me so that tracking shot from the TV to Crowley didn't mean anything to me likely because I take it for granted. Now that you point it out I think, hmm, cool indeed. :-)

I did like the whole Sam face planted into the pole and the seeing the fight happening behind Dean through the perspective of the kitchen cupboards...tha t is pretty cool. And I did like the overhead shot into the grave with Rufus and Bobby in Bobby's yard. The episode flowed very well which to my mind is a credit to the writing, the directing and the editing. I give A's all around to all!

Don't know if the burning of demon bones messes with what we know about demons as I've read in some places, although I do agree that it would have been handy to know back in Season 3. To me the crux of it is that you have to know the identity of the demon, not the person they're inhabiting. So while we call Meg Meg and Ruby Ruby they were actually on those people the first time we met them since that was the body they inhabited when we met them. Meg was actually Sam at one point and whoever the girl is she 'rode' in Season 5.

I think Bobby did a year's worth of work to find out the identity of one demon, found her bones and then summoned her to him so he could torture her for the information. How he was able to do all that is anyone's guess but we are to believe that Bobby is no slouch as a hunter, so like he built a panic room during a free weekend, he identified, dug up and summoned a demon and got what he needed. No easy feat.

It does also make sense that demons are nothing more than spirits. People die and their spirits go to heaven or to hell...or in the case of ghosts are trapped in between. So, after many centuries a resident of hell becomes a demon and yet they're still a spirit. Whether Sam's powers would have worked on ghosts, I don't know. Don't think it calls into play Wendigos and Vampires and all the rest as they're creatures not spirits. Still, it's fun to have more things to analyze.

Suze...blank you...never! :o

You do have me on Caithness...what?

There are som many call backs that SPN can and does do especially now that it's into season 6 and for all that I complain about Dabb and Loflin they do consistently show that they'd done (and continue to do) their homework on the show. I don't mind reusing or slightly retooling a line, especially when it is one that is played so well as... "you gonna get that? you should probably get that." Thanks for pointing that out, nancyL, I love that line from Dean in AVSC and I'll watch it again in Weekend at Bobby's with a fresh and fun perspective.


Dany, it was a fun, fun episode and one I know I'll enjoying cueing up and seeing again.

You can ramble as long as you want, they're always fun!!! It's almost Friday...really , it is.

:D
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-10-18 15:07
Elle2, there is no need to apologize, dear! I know how life sometimes gets in the way of doing what you want - we just live with it, eh?

I loved your review, as always, and I am happy that you continue to share your thoughts and emotions with us. Just a short note this time, as I have some psychiatric reports to finish, guess I'll be glued to my computer for another three or four hours, for work, alas, not fun. Sniff.

Love, Jas
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2010-10-18 16:38
Thanks for another review, Elle2. Seriously, I was in heaven when I woke up this morning and there were 4, FOUR!!!!, new articles waiting to be read.

Good catch on the 4 day weekend thing. It’s weird; I could drive from the top to the bottom of the country, twice, in about 30 hours. For me, it boggles the mind to think of the distance the boys have covered in the Impala. I'm telling you, cars were built to last back in those days!

Anyhoo... There was so much great stuff going on in this episode. Bobby’s ‘How are you still alive?’ is a quote I’m definitely going to be using! Rufus, I can’t love you (cos of the whole thing I got going on with Papa Winchester...) but dude, I love you. When you’re with Bobby... Donkey and Shrek, sorry, all I can think of. Even the way Rufus intonates certain words and the end of his sentences... Classic.

And Bobby, if you don’t grow old with Rufus, then Marcy is still waiting in the sidelines. Dude, the blood will wash off, don’t worry about it. And she makes pie, so she's already won Dean over!

I thought the boys reaction to Bobbys phone call was quite telling. I couldn’t find any guilt on Sams face (a bit of exasperation when he realised Dean had been talking to Bobby about him) but it was like he couldn’t understand all this pent up frustration (maybe Sam should give Bobby the hookers phone number...). Even the way he says, ‘All you had to do was ask’ is so matter of fact. It doesn’t take any emotional investment from his part to say that. It’s like, ‘Ask me and I’ll do it, like I would if Samuel and Dean asked but don't try to guilt trip me into doing it.’

Dean, on the other hand, did look guilty because he could understand the emotion and helplessness behind it and his offer of help stemmed from there. Maybe I’m overanalysing.. .

Next up, vampires. I don’t think the second spoiler clip is up here (and I have no clue how to post it so...) but just, um, learn how to spell ‘Pattinson’ .

Yeah, next episode has won me over after just 2 minutes so I’m looking forward to your analysis on that!
Suze
# Suze 2010-10-19 06:15
Just kidding, Elle2. It amazes me how you guys find the time to keep us all amused and have a life ... Kudos, me dear ...

Caithness is where Crowley is supposed to hail from originally and is way up at the far northern tip of Scotland and, though beautiful, is just a touch more windswept than shown. I spent part of the summer up there and it's definitely bracing! ( Gives one a great excuse to get stuck into the whisky ... :D )
elle2
# elle2 2010-10-19 08:44
Jas, Tim and Suze

Jas, hope you got those reports done! My life this week is paperwork times 10...but all is not terrible, I don't have to dress up any finer than a turtleneck and comfy sweats...the commute is awesome (10 steps) :-)

Tim, so glad we were able to give you so many things to enjoy at the beginning of the week. I love coming here and seeing something new.

Rufus and Bobby scenes are all awesome and like you... How are you still alive?! is a classic. Loved how smooth Bobby was 'blend herbs, saute over a high heat, cook well! Enjoy the roast." Too funny.

Suze,

Ah, see that's what happens when I 'hear' something on the show but don't know how to spell it -- thank goodness for the speedy speedsters on Supernatual wiki who had the recap up the next day so I could get the spelling for the monsters. Caithness...aft er I posted my comment to you I thought, hmm, I wonder if that's the part of Scotland they're supposed to be in. Well, thank you, my dear, for setting me right!

I read a review somewhere yesterday that hit the nail on the head with the one overt quibble I had with the episode (don't ask me where the review was) and the writer there had the same overt quibble...the Dean calling Bobby selfish. To me that was OCC and I didn't see the buildup for it. The Bobby rants was pitch perfect but that's really the only part that bothers me...but it's not enough to put me off the episode or the efforts made here by Mr. Dabb and Mr. Loflin. This episode just gets better and better each time I watch it.

For these two, I put DSOTM in first place with WAB's in second and JTS in third for my faves. I think they wrote episode number 7, Family Matters, and I'm hoping they have built upon their success here.

:-) Only three days (ok, three and a half) ;-)