Since I watched this episode two days ago Bobbyâ€™s life has been playing on repeat in the back of my mind. And all I can hear is the ticking of the reaperâ€™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 â€˜Deathâ€™s Doorâ€™ would serve as a beautiful sendoff for such a well loved character. (Please donâ€™t kill him!)
This is going to be a difficult review to write. I loved this episode. I loved learning things about Bobbyâ€™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 â€˜Swan Songâ€™ or â€˜The Man Who Would Be Kingâ€™. Thereâ€™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 itâ€™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 Bobbyâ€™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 heâ€™s got to get a message to Sam and Dean. And that becomes his motivation. He doesnâ€™t even stop to worry about the fact that heâ€™s dying. His impending death is only seen as an obstacle keeping him from sharing the numbers with Sam and Dean. I donâ€™t know what 454895 means but I know that Bobby needed the boys to see it and nothing else mattered. Iâ€™m sure theyâ€™ll spend a good amount of time trying to crack that code after the hellatus. Hopefully while Bobbyâ€™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 Bobbyâ€™s inner monologue. Not to mention that Rufus happened to know that the way out of Bobbyâ€™s head was through his darkest memory. And was that ever a dark one. We learned earlier this season that Bobbyâ€™s dad was a drunk but that didnâ€™t quite cover it. He was emotionally abusive to Bobby and Iâ€™m guessing it didnâ€™t stop there. Thatâ€™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 heâ€™d be punished for what he did and thatâ€™s a truly awful memory. Itâ€™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 Bobbyâ€™s father hadnâ€™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 hadnâ€™t had engrained in him the idea that he was destined to become the man he feared most. He wouldnâ€™t have been so scared of breaking everything he touched. And he wouldnâ€™t have to live with the guilt of never getting past his last fight with his wife. Thatâ€™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 wouldnâ€™t have taught them to play catch or hunt deer. He wouldnâ€™t have been there to help them through the countless losses theyâ€™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 â€˜Deathâ€™s Doorâ€™ so intriguing. The emotion of it all was so tangible because thatâ€™s what life is, a series of ups and downs that build our character and force us to decide who weâ€™re going to be. Bobby could have easily taken the cards he was dealt and become someone completely different. But he didnâ€™t.
â€œBobby, youâ€™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.â€
Bobby chose to have his life mean something. He may have never had a family of his own, but then again family doesnâ€™t end with blood, right?
I donâ€™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. Thereâ€™s a lot more there than a crabby fact-finder and it was nice to be reminded of that.
I think itâ€™s safe to say that Dean has found his reason to get back in the game. His conversation with Rowman proved that. But it hasnâ€™t done much good for his mental state. He was on an emotional roller coaster the entire episode. He couldnâ€™t even bring himself to talk about the possibility of Bobby not making it.
â€œListen to me, Iâ€™m only gonna say this once. Heâ€™s not going to die. Itâ€™s one bullet. Heâ€™s gonna be fine because heâ€™s always fine.â€
Denial has always been Deanâ€™s crutch but Sam tried his best to keep Dean level headed.
Sam: â€œWe need to brace ourselves.â€
Sam: â€œBecause itâ€™s real.â€
Reality is a concept all too close to Samâ€™s heart at the moment. I canâ€™t imagine what will happen if Bobby doesnâ€™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 donâ€™t know how he would process Bobbyâ€™s death without Samâ€™s help.
Bobbyâ€™s last conversation with the reaper has me worried that Iâ€™m being as unrealistic as Dean. The reaper made it very clear that Bobbyâ€™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 itâ€™s a good way to go.
So what did you all think of the episode? What do you think Bobbyâ€™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: â€œExpecting Farrah Fawcett?â€
Bobby: â€œNo, she always calls first.â€
*Reaper: â€œI can find you anywhere. Even in this gin-soaked rat mazeâ€
*Sam and Deanâ€™s feud over Chuck Norris and Jet Li was great. Personally I think Chuck Norris is the bigger bad assâ€¦Walker Texas Ranger anyone?
*I loved the shot of the doctors working on Bobby behind the curtain. The lighting was just beautiful.
Rufus: â€œIâ€™m not dying on no plaid carpet, no thank you.â€
Bobby: â€œI need my partner on thisâ€
Dean: â€œWeâ€™re coming for you and not just to hurt you, to kill youâ€ - Thatâ€™s the motivation Bobby was looking for.
Dean: â€œYouâ€™re either laughing because youâ€™re scared or your laughing because youâ€™re stupid.â€
Bobby: â€œI donâ€™t careâ€
Bobby: â€œBecause theyâ€™re my boys.â€
Bobby: â€œAs fate would have it, I adopted two boys and they grew up great. They grew up heroesâ€
Reaper: â€œWell Bobby, stay or go? Whatâ€™s it gonna be?â€