Since I watched this episode two days ago Bobby’s life has been playing on repeat in the back of my mind. And all I can hear is the ticking of the reaper’s watch as the episode cut to black. I may very well be driven mad by the time the winter hellatus is over.  What a way to leave us hanging. It goes without saying that I want Bobby to live through this. I think we all do. But I have to admit that ‘Death’s Door’ would serve as a beautiful sendoff for such a well loved character. (Please don’t kill him!)

This is going to be a difficult review to write. I loved this episode. I loved learning things about Bobby’s life before we met him. I loved seeing him and Rufus working together again. I loved seeing how much he cares for Sam and Dean. But the context in which it all takes place sucks. I felt the same way about episodes like ‘Swan Song’ or ‘The Man Who Would Be King’. There’s no denying the quality of those episodes and there is something so beautifully sad about the stories they tell; But that pesky context. It feels strange to admire the greatness of the episode when you would gladly change the circumstances if you could. But it is what it is. And it’s awesome. 



I was really surprised by how quickly Bobby realized what was happening. Sure, it may have been a little too fast. But there was a lot of great stuff to get through so I appreciate the writers not wasting precious minutes on Bobby figuring out what we already knew. Plus Bobby’s been in a similar situation before (Dream a Little Dream of Me) so he is no stranger to being a prisoner in his own mind. And once he figured it out he realizes quickly that he’s got to get a message to Sam and Dean. And that becomes his motivation. He doesn’t even stop to worry about the fact that he’s dying. His impending death is only seen as an obstacle keeping him from sharing the numbers with Sam and Dean. I don’t know what 454895 means but I know that Bobby needed the boys to see it and nothing else mattered. I’m sure they’ll spend a good amount of time trying to crack that code after the hellatus. Hopefully while Bobby’s on bed rest. Do you guys have any guesses as to what those numbers represent? 

One of the best things about this episode was the opportunity it gave the writers to bring Rufus back. It was so great to see him and Bobby bickering like an old married couple again. And Rufus served as a nice tool for conveying what would have otherwise been Bobby’s inner monologue. Not to mention that Rufus happened to know that the way out of Bobby’s head was through his darkest memory. And was that ever a dark one. We learned earlier this season that Bobby’s dad was a drunk but that didn’t quite cover it. He was emotionally abusive to Bobby and I’m guessing it didn’t stop there. That’s a bad enough memory on its own. Now add in the fact that Bobby killed him protecting a mother who would never thank him; a mother that told him he’d be punished for what he did and that’s a truly awful memory. It’s no wonder Bobby was so apprehensive to go back to that day. 



What was so interesting about this terrible memory was all the other moments in his life that came as a result of it. If Bobby’s father hadn’t been the horrible, abusive, drunk he was Bobby would have never disappointed his wife the way he did. He would have gladly had children if he hadn’t had engrained in him the idea that he was destined to become the man he feared most. He wouldn’t have been so scared of breaking everything he touched. And he wouldn’t have to live with the guilt of never getting past his last fight with his wife. That’s a whole lot of ripple effect from one memory. But this awful memory resulted in some really beautiful moments as well. If Bobby had had a family of his own he may never have become a hunter. He may never have met John and taken Sam and Dean under his wing. He wouldn’t have taught them to play catch or hunt deer. He wouldn’t have been there to help them through the countless losses they’ve experienced. And that would have been a shame because Bobby has been more of a father to Sam and Dean than John could have ever been. 

It was this interwoven strand of memories that made ‘Death’s Door’ so intriguing. The emotion of it all was so tangible because that’s what life is, a series of ups and downs that build our character and force us to decide who we’re going to be. Bobby could have easily taken the cards he was dealt and become someone completely different. But he didn’t. 

“Bobby, you’ve helped.  You got handed a small unremarkable life and you did something with it. Most men like you die of liver disease watching Barney Miller reruns.”



Bobby chose to have his life mean something. He may have never had a family of his own, but then again family doesn’t end with blood, right?

I don’t mean for this to sound like a eulogy. Bobby could still pull through and I hope he does. I just think this episode gave us a too rare look at Bobby Singer. There’s a lot more there than a crabby fact-finder and it was nice to be reminded of that. 

I think it’s safe to say that Dean has found his reason to get back in the game. His conversation with Rowman proved that. But it hasn’t done much good for his mental state. He was on an emotional roller coaster the entire episode. He couldn’t even bring himself to talk about the possibility of Bobby not making it. 

“Listen to me, I’m only gonna say this once. He’s not going to die. It’s one bullet. He’s gonna be fine because he’s always fine.”



Denial has always been Dean’s crutch but Sam tried his best to keep Dean level headed. 

Sam: “We need to brace ourselves.” 
Dean: “Why?” 
Sam: “Because it’s real.”



Reality is a concept all too close to Sam’s heart at the moment. I can’t imagine what will happen if Bobby doesn’t survive. Sam is barely holding it together as it is and will need to grieve for Bobby in his own way but Dean is on a downward spiral and I honestly don’t know how he would process Bobby’s death without Sam’s help.

Bobby’s last conversation with the reaper has me worried that I’m being as unrealistic as Dean. The reaper made it very clear that Bobby’s memories are evaporating around him and soon there will be nothing left. But Bobby chooses to enjoy his last memory; a simple movie night with Sam and Dean. These memories must have been few and far between and this one night seemed to bring Bobby a great deal of joy. If this is indeed his final moment, I suppose it’s a good way to go.

So what did you all think of the episode? What do you think Bobby’s fate will be? Death? Amnesia? Miraculous recovery!? Are you also haunted by the sound of the ticking clock?

As usual there were some other moments worth mentioning. 

*Karen: “Expecting Farrah Fawcett?”
Bobby: “No, she always calls first.”

*Reaper: “I can find you anywhere. Even in this gin-soaked rat maze”

*Sam and Dean’s feud over Chuck Norris and Jet Li was great. Personally I think Chuck Norris is the bigger bad ass…Walker Texas Ranger anyone? 

*I loved the shot of the doctors working on Bobby behind the curtain. The lighting was just beautiful. 

Rufus: “I’m not dying on no plaid carpet, no thank you.”
Bobby: “I need my partner on this” 

Dean: “We’re coming for you and not just to hurt you, to kill you” - That’s the motivation Bobby was looking for. 

Dean: “You’re either laughing because you’re scared or your laughing because you’re stupid.”

Bobby: “I don’t care”
Reaper: Why”
Bobby: “Because they’re my boys.”

Bobby: “As fate would have it, I adopted two boys and they grew up great. They grew up heroes”



Reaper: “Well Bobby, stay or go? What’s it gonna be?” 

 

Comments  

elle
# elle 2011-12-05 14:51
Great review, Sofia. I agree with most everything you said - wonderful episode, even if the circumstances of it are terrible.

Your point about this being a beautiful send off is well made. While I hate when SPN kills off the characters we love, they tend to do it very well by giving the characters a goodbye they deserve like Ellen and Jo (yes, I'm ignoring the Cas thing because I'm in denial and refuse to come out of that state).

The lighting in this episode was especially stunning, I agree. That moment you point out with the doctors working on Bobby? Wow - it's very striking in still. Looks like a soul ascending to Heaven...but quickly returning to his body as a gruff and loving hunter who wears a ball cap all the time.

Those numbers: I haven't an idea what to make of them. My inclination is to coordinates (hello, season one) but I'm thinking those have fewer numbers (I'm not knowledgeable about geography though, at all, so this may be way off base). Maybe they have to enter the numbers in a computer every 108 minutes to...oh, wrong show. Nope, no idea about those numbers.

I really find something refreshing about the human-level of season seven so far. I mean, yes, Dick is a Leviathan but - they are attacking the boys in human ways (crime spree), Bobby has been injured by shooting, those plans were about construction of something on this plane of existence, not hell or purgatory or who knows where else, and I think those numbers will be something of this world too, not a supernatural in nature.

I have to go rewatch this episode now...reading your review makes me love it even more!
sofia
# sofia 2011-12-05 19:37
I'm also not very knowledgeable about geography but coordinates had crossed my mind. I have a feeling it won't be that easy though.

I agree about the human aspect of this season. I've really enjoyed that so far. It makes everything seem so much more fragile and the stakes higher.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-12-05 15:36
What a wonderful review and a great job on it! As for Bobby, I'm torn...I want him to return, but if he does, I don't want this tribute to be for nothing...if you know what I mean. I've watched the episode many times by now and each time I cry buckets. So many words written with such love for a character that will be missed by all.

However, I do disagree with you on one point. John and Bobby both loved those boys, but in much different ways. Bobby's love was unconditional and with no expectations as John's was the opposite. After all, John was also driven by revenge which changed him and his relationship with his children.

I have no idea what those numbers mean..A bank account number?? It's too long for coordinates unless it's 45 degrees and 4 minutes, -89 degrees and 5 minutes. That's in Wisconsin; NE of Wausau. Even with the missing digit, it still ends up being in the same area of Wisconsin. Since Bobby was looking at a map prior to getting away from Roman & co., that could be it.

This episode was wonderfully written, directed and acted. All the components worked in such harmony together. This episode deserves an Emmy nod.
sofia
# sofia 2011-12-05 19:41
I want Bobby to return but I have to agree with you that I don't want this beautiful episode to be for nothing.

I read what I said about John and I realized it came off way too harshly. Let me rephrase it. There is no doubt in my mind that John loved Sam and Dean the best he could. I just think he spent too much of his time blinded by revenge. Revenge wasn't an issue for Bobby so he was able to focus his energy on loving the boys and being there for them emotionally. Hope that makes more sense!
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-12-06 14:10
Yes, your clarification of John's love makes perfect sense and I believe that we both agree. It's a shame that John's relationship with his children evolved this way, but at least Sam and Dean were able to experience the unconditional love that Bobby offered to them. Plus Dean had the advantage of experiencing and remembering his mother's and his father's unconditional love before his mother's untimely death. After Mary's death, that must have been so hard for Dean to comprehend the change in John. Poor Sammy! He never got to remember any of this since he was so young, but I believe that he still gets it through Dean. However much Dean would like to be like his father John, he is his mother's son!
Pamela Bennett
# Pamela Bennett 2011-12-05 16:58
Great Review!! I thought it was a wonderful episode even tho I really don't want Bobby to be dead. I mean the boyz have lost so many loved ones already and Bobby is the last one they are close too....
Having said that, it was great seeing Dean get that old fire back!!!! And when Sam was rubbing his hand I know Lucifer was working on him and my heart breaks for what he must be dealing with. Again...an awesome ep. Great job to all the writers and cast. Those numbers I have no clue, just a guess that it has something to do with concordinates. Bobby was looking at a map. I love this show and I just watched a rerun this morning " A Very Supernatural Christmas" and I love that ep!! With the Weechesters and Sammie finding out there were REAL monsters out there and then at the end of the ep Sammie having Christmas for Dean cause it was to be the last CChristmas Dean was to have before his year was up. Classic Suupernatural!!
sofia
# sofia 2011-12-05 19:59
A Very Supernatural Christmas - one of my favorites!
subwoofer
# subwoofer 2011-12-05 18:28
Yay- good review :lol:

Yeah, Bobby`s got to live- and this episode was not a swan song, it was a really good show that gave us the insight we need to understand a really complex character. Bobby should will go out with the boys at the series finale wrap up. That`s the way it works in my head.

Beyond that, if Bobby is dead we should be marshaling our forces to launch a `bring Bobby back` campaign to let the powers that be know we are honked.

woof.
nancyL
# nancyL 2011-12-05 18:29
Sofia, Bobby is one smart SOB, that is why he figured it out right away. :-)

Has there been one 'good' father in SPN?
John was obsessed, Grandpa Sam was an a@@hole, Bela's dad abused her, Bobby's dad was a abusive drunk, Max Miller's dad was abusive, Cas' dad was 'absent', and Claire Novak's dad disappeared.

I also believe Sofia, that if Bobby and Karen hadn't had that fight, then she might not have been possessed and then they could have lived their lives differently. It is amazing how one little event can change a person's life.

Sorry, but I agree with Dean, until January 6, 2012, Bobby is not dead. Period, end of story.

Just to be shallow for a few seconds, am I the only one that found PissedOff!Dean hot????? Maybe it was just me. But then I loved Sniper!Dean. :lol:

Back to business, I found this episode to be a mild callback to 'Faith' and almost a mirror image of 'In my time of Dying'. The conversations between Bobby and the Reaper are similar to the conversations between Dean and Tessa. But there is no YED to save Bobby, hello Crowley????

Poor Sammy, he spent the whole episode looking like he needed a hug. It seemed to me, that he was seeing a lot of Lucifer and he could have used his big brother to just sit with him for a few minutes.

Is it January yet?
Bobby is not dead. Bobby is not dead.
Bobby is not dead. Bobby is not dead.
Bobby is not dead. Bobby is not dead.
Bobby is not dead. Bobby is not dead.
sofia
# sofia 2011-12-05 20:03
Maybe if we say it enough it will make it true? Bobby is not dead! (I hope)

Oh, you're not the only shallow one. PissedOff!Dean is very attractive! There's no denying it. And I'd gladly give Sam a hug if he needs one. :-)
nancyL
# nancyL 2011-12-05 19:10
I knew there was something else:

When Bobby took Wee!Dean to the park to play catch, I wondered, where was Sammy?
He couldn't have been with John, maybe he was still in school? Then why would Sam still be in school and not Dean.

Damn, I have something in my eye again.

Bobby is not dead. Bobby is not dead.
Bobby is not dead. Bobby is not dead.
sofia
# sofia 2011-12-05 20:06
I thought about that too. Where was little Sammy? Judging by how young Dean was Sam wouldn't have been able to play catch yet. The scene probably just worked better without a toddler. Still, I would have loved to have seen him!
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2011-12-06 09:10
Just wanted to add my 2 cents. Death's Door is a wonderful episode.

I also wish Bobby wouldn't die, but after watching (and rewatching) the episode, I strongly suspect that Bobby would choose to go (of course, whether something comes along to interfere or unravel that choice is altogether somethin different).

But if this is the last we see of Bobby, this is really a fine send-off.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2011-12-06 10:25
Great review Sofia. And NancyL, I'm going to start using your mantra until January 6th. Maybe Chuck will finally take an interest, knowing full well that Sam & Dean work their best with Bobby. I'm sure He would want the Leviathans back in Purgatory where they belong. Dick won't be smurking when that happens I'll bet ya!

Yeah, those numbers, I thought coordinates also, but that's probably too easy, as the Winchesters always say, when is it ever easy. Did anyone notice Rufus's earring? That was so cute, I love and miss him so much. Him & Bobby are so good together. Bobby saying that he needed his partner on this just brought it all home.

And I don't think you were too harsh on John. No, I don't think he was a bad father, his motivations were just all about revenge, and bringing up children in that context is a difficult situation. Thank Chuck they had Bobby as a surrogate.

Now, let's all take a breather and hope for the best come January.
sofia
# sofia 2011-12-06 11:02
I did notice Rufus' earring! Love it. And I loved Bobby admitting that he needed his partner. It was so heartwarming.
Kaitlin
# Kaitlin 2011-12-24 00:15
Sofia this was a great review. I definitely agree that the circumstances around the storyline sucked but it really was a beautiful way for Bobby to go (IF he goes-please don't go!). I really hope that they bring him back, at this point with Sam's inability to grasp reality, and dean's pent up (though not anymore) anger, death would probably kill the both of them. I just wish they had Cas for a little higher knowledge!