What happened to Dean’s beer? This is the biggest question I took away from this week’s episode. There was a lot going on in this midseason premier and some other important questions were raised, but this is the one that is sticking around and driving me nuts. 

Sam had a point when he told Dean he probably just drank it without noticing. He’s been drowning himself in alcohol all season (and even before that). But we know that’s not the case. We heard that little magical chime sound when Dean picked it up. Something else is going on.  There are two possibilities that stick out in my mind. Please tell me if you’ve thought of anything different because I’m dying to figure this out. It could very well be Bobby’s spirit. He was given one final chance to follow the reaper and instead he chose to savor his final memory with Sam and Dean. So if he was never reaped then he’d still be floating around, right? And he’d definitely be drinking beer. The other possibility that comes to mind is that it could be a set up for Castiel’s 1-2 episode return. (Did they ever confirm if it would be two episodes?) I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time he hid out in the background watching Sam and Dean. I think he’d be less likely to make himself known by drinking Dean’s beer. But I don’t want to rule out any possibilities. 

So if this phantom drinker is Bobby, where is this storyline going? It’s unlikely that he’ll be able to stick around as their invisible colleague so will they find a way to bring him back? Or is he just hanging around to help get revenge on Dick Roman? Will Sam and Dean have to find a way to help Bobby let go so they can put his spirit to rest? There are so many questions. And if it turns out to be Castiel, which I think is less likely, what does that mean? Has he been watching them this whole time? Is he trying to help Sam and Dean or is he simply gathering information? And where the hell is the impala!? Oh sorry, that question slipped in there. 

I kind of can’t believe how much else they managed to fit in to this episode. It was a whirlwind of information but somehow it didn’t feel rushed. The writers even managed to include an interesting and well-developed monster of the week storyline.  I’d put that in the win column. 

The flashes of the weeks following Bobby’s death were heartbreaking. We all know how much these boys have lost but this felt like a new level of pain for them. It left them completely immobilized which is something I’ve not seen from them before. Even when John died Dean worked on fixing his car and Sam worked on fixing Dean.  They were both doing something. They did eventually get off the couch and start obsessing over the numbers Bobby left them until they got a call from Krissy. 



I really liked Krissy. She was smart and sassy and she gave Dean a run for his money. There have been a fair number of child-focused episodes in the past seven seasons and it’s always a bit of a risk in my opinion. It can be hard to get a believable performance out of a child, but throw in the Supernatural aspect of the show and you make it even harder. There have been many very good episodes with kids and in my opinion this was one of them. It wasn’t a stretch to believe that Krissy was raised in the life. I actually thought she was playing dumb when Sam first came. There’s no way to hide the fact that you’re a hunter from your child. Especially if they think you’re a salesman. The injuries alone would give you away. Still she was able to outsmart two very capable hunters. 

Krissy’s scenes with Dean were very funny and enlightening. Dean made it pretty clear that he didn’t give a rat’s ass about hunting these vetala or saving Krissy’s father. The only reason he showed up was to save Sam.  That’s classic Dean tunnel vision at work. He’s completely obsessed with getting revenge for Bobby’s death and the only thing that could distract him from that is Sam’s safety. So he was actually pretty rude to Krissy when he first met her. Although her pulling a gun on him and destroying the research didn’t help her case much. Dean does eventually soften towards her in the car. Once he sees her desire to go to college he tells her she could leave the life if she wanted to. Dean is maybe the last person on the planet I would expect that from. He’s the only hunter Bobby ever knew that got out and managed to start a new life. And even he couldn’t make it stick. But when he begs her father to give up hunting and start a new life I realized that he still think it’s a possibility. Just not for him. 



While Sam was off hunting the vetala Dean spent some quality time with Frank. Using probability generation Frank was able to figure out that the numbers Bobby left were part of some coordinates. And he realized that the coordinates pinpointed a piece of land in Wisconsin that was recently purchased by a subsidiary of Richard Roman Enterprises. But this plot development wasn’t the most interesting piece I took away from Dean’s time with Frank. Frank’s story about finding his wife and children dead was much more heartbreaking. As was his advice to Dean to either give up hunting or decide to make it through the day and plaster a fake smile on his face. I mean that may work for a while but look at Frank now? He’s lives in solitude, losing track of time, obsessing over his work. Plus he’s just crazy. Probably driven mad with grief that he never dealt with. But Dean latched on to this advice because it means pushing his feelings under the rug instead of dealing with them. Watching Dean try to smile at the end of the episode was awful because his pain was so evident. But we know Dean so we know he’ll make this approach work for him for as long as possible. 

Meanwhile Sam had no trouble admitting that he’s not ok. And who can blame him? We’ve been told that the second half of the season would be focused more on Sam’s Lucifer problem and I can’t help but wonder if this emotional stress will be the thing that puts him over the edge. If it is, I wish we had seen a few indications of it in this episode. Lucifer was mentioned in The Road So Far but we didn’t get anything after that. Maybe this episode was meant to give Dean a way to present the strong front he’ll need to help Sam through a possible breakdown? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. 

So what did you guys think of the episode? Were there any other’s out there hoping we’d see Bobby alive and well? I was 75% sure we wouldn’t but that 25% was holding on for dear life! What did you make of the land Dick Roman acquired? 

There were some other moments and funny quotes worth mentioning:

* “Gweneth Paltrow’s not a leviathan…”

*Frank: “You think it's easy to see inside what's real, and also be bi-polar with delusional ideation. There's no pill for my situation sweety-pop, so yeah the big mouths are on to me. Next question!”

*Sam: “Since when do you read?”
Dean: “Don’t be rude to me, Sam.” 

*Dean: “What’s she doing?”
Frank: “Being a naughty, bossy little girl.”
Dean: “I'd hate to ask for that in the non-porno version.”

*Dean in the cherry picker was priceless. Talk about drawing attention to yourself. 



*Dean: “I’m not gonna walk out on my brother.”

*Dean: “I’m a fun guy. I’m actually awesome. But right now I’m not in the mood.”

*Dean: “Now shut up. Eat a cookie or something.”

*Krissy: “You’re brother’s the size of a car”

*Krissy: “What century is this? No-one fist bumps anymore.”
Dean: “C'mon. Give it up!”
Krissy: “You're a dweeb.” 

*Dean: “I will frisk you.” And she hands over the lock pick? I am so confused by that!

*Lee: “Ever know anyone who left the life?”
Dean: “No - they all get killed first.”
 

Comments  

Teresa Pezzino
# Teresa Pezzino 2012-01-08 16:35
"What happened to Dean's beer?" Knowing how badly Bobby's death is affecting the boys, this is the question that surfaced highest on my list of questions generated by this episode. Based on BardicVoices' Spectral Speculations article on this website, the beer disappearing shortly after Sam brought Bobby's pack into the cabin and Dean took out Bobby's flask, and Jim Michaels tweet about the disappearing beer, I say Bobby is now a spirit who attached himself to his flask, knowing it likely that Dean would carry that close to his person. I expect the boys to begin to notice strange occurrences, make a comment or two about Bobby's 'hunter's funeral', and eventually utilize a seance or ouiji board. It is going to be an interesting 2nd half, especially when you throw Misha Collins into the mix!!!
Teresa Pezzino
# Teresa Pezzino 2012-01-08 16:41
Forgive me, I hit send without realizing I didn't put in the second half of my comments! Sofia, loved the review - it hit all the high points and pointed out an item or two I missed! I agree that Sam & Dean are both in very bad places now, and I think Sam is showing his stress because he has withdrawn almost as much as Dean does. Love the lines you quoted!
Nazli
# Nazli 2012-01-08 16:45
I think also they were very much focused on time in this episode. Frank saying 4 days and Dean insisting on 4 weeks, Dean sleeping 36 hours straight even though it wasn`t like 36 hours passed. and i don`t think dean actually had decent 8 hours sleep since coming from hell. it can be set up for Castiel or something much bigger to tie the season`s storyline.
Kelly
# Kelly 2012-01-08 17:06
I noticed that too. I think the time thing is going to come up later.
I loved Krissy. I kept thinking too bad she's not 10 years older she'd be quite the match for Dean. But I always love the big brother role on him too.
Annie
# Annie 2012-01-08 17:00
I, too, was holding out that 25% hope that we'd see Bobby. However, we also DIDN'T see the boys burn his body...so I still have faith. I don't think the Bobby Singer story is over yet.
sofia
# sofia 2012-01-09 08:26
Let's cross our fingers! I would love to have him back!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-01-08 17:03
From what I read Castiel is slated for 1 definite episode (episode 17) and AT LEAST 2 additional episodes. I also have heard that the next episode and episode 15 will be Dean centric. All the producers said was that Sam's Hell issues would never go away. That isn't anywhere near a promise to deal with them in the second half of the season. I hope they do, but really we're running out of episodes to do it in.
sofia
# sofia 2012-01-09 08:27
I certainly don't want them to rush through the Sam storyline but I do wish they'd get it moving. There is so much potential there. Too bad Mark Pellegrino is so busy. I would love to see him in more episodes!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-01-09 14:15
Well I'm going to call shenanigans on using Mark Pellegrino being unavailable as the reason they can't deal with Sam's hell experience. We have already seen that Sam hallucinated Lucifer impersonating Dean for goodness sake. Let Sam break and have his hallucinations involve Dean being Lucifer. That gives Jensen a meaty evil role and lets us explore Sam's mental state.

Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that the writers are totally disinterested in a Sam storyline.
Suzanne
# Suzanne 2012-01-08 17:05
Love your review. One thing that didn't get mentioned is the women in the trench coat. She was in the field and Frank saw her in the binoculars. Could it be Cas?
sofia
# sofia 2012-01-09 08:10
It's so funny that you mention that because when I saw her I thought for half a second that it was Cas! That would be so interesting if it turns out to be him!
May
# May 2012-01-08 17:09
Maybe was the God of Time pre-attacking (guest star 7x12 Jason Dohring)..think about it....it makes sense to me.
Ashley
# Ashley 2012-01-08 17:09
With the missing beer, I wondered if it could in some way be related to next weeks episode. There were a couple of other weird time references in the episode, Frank saying Dean contacted him 4 days ago, not weeks, as well as Dean sleeping on a chair for 36 straight hours.
Pam
# Pam 2012-01-08 17:53
I thought the smile from Dean at the very end had everthing to do with the song that was on the radio..Finally a classic from the past ..Have not heard many in this season..
sn_chills
# sn_chills 2012-01-08 17:55
Ok I was finally able to give this a 2nd looked and I'm pleased to say I'm gonna put this weeks episode in the plus category. Yes there were issues, and mine are all the ones most everyone else is having but I think there were still more pluses than minuses. Loved Krissy, wished there had been more of her father (because I love Ian Tracy). Loved Frank and all his wackiness. The whole time thing is pretty interesting. There is no way Dean could have slept in that chair for 36 hrs. Not to be crass but he would have had to pee at some point, right? Since Frank mistook 4 weeks for 4 days I'm thinking 36 hrs is probably actually around 9 or so.

I'm still not impressed with the MOTW but it worked and thats what mattered. And the boys splitting up. Never a good idea but hey at least they are back together in the end.

As far as the beer thing goes, it didn't even occur to me that it could be Ghost/Bobby until I got in the forums and read everyone else's posts. I went totally along with Sam, thinking Dean had probably already drank it and not remembered. I'm sad that Bobby may actually be dead but hopeful that he may be sticking around then in his less than corporeal form, at least for a little bit. And if thats really the case, I hope it won't have to be Sam or Dean who will have to salt and burn him. The boys are destroyed enough.

Neither boys are in a good place right now but are muddling through anyway. Fake it till you make it, right? The other shoes’ gonna drop on them both pretty soon I think. Which one is gonna lose it first? Will Sam's hallucinations finally take over (and will Dean be able to still pull him back) or Will Dean finally hit his absolute rock bottom (and will Sam be able to pull Dean back)?

Stay tuned my friends.
Elizabeth Austin
# Elizabeth Austin 2012-01-08 18:16
When it happened, instantly my gut said Bobby!! And honestly...I don't feel like Bobby died, I mean, yeah, they said it, but was it convincing? Not to me. It was like a "he's in coma...but we're telling ourselfs he's dead for some stupid reason!" answer. As for the return of Cas...I am pretty sure whatever I read confirmed AT LEAST 2 episodes, starting with episode 17. I didn't have time to read all this...I'm overly busy, but wanted to contribute. :) Can't wait until next Friday though!
Paula The Cat
# Paula The Cat 2012-01-08 18:59
Okay, so... Dean is losing time a lot here. I have noticed a lot of people in episodes all season with some sort of "Cas-like overcoats". I wonder if more than Bobby's death is effecting Dean's perceptions.
maggie
# maggie 2012-01-08 19:45
Oh come on people of course Dean didn't sleep 36 hours !!! we know Frank has problems with time, he said had just passed 4 days when Dean called him and we know were 4 weeks, because we saw the 3 weeks when Sam and Dean were grieving Bobby. Besides Frank had the same clothes.

And I think the Bobby (ghost) took Dean's beer too.

Thanks Sofia for the recap, I have been checking the site for an Adventures in babysitting recap.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-01-08 20:00
I never noticed the weird time thing until I read this article. I just thought it was crazy Frank. But wouldn't Dean be going forward, instead of backward if he though it was four weeks and not four days? Now I'm interested to see what this is all about.

I hated Krissy, but then I hate child actors. To me, Krissy was the stereotypical teenager...bad attitude, know-it-all, in your face adolescent. I did enjoy Dean's scenes with her, though. Whoever she is may be a good actress, but her delivery didn't work for me, and I didn't find her nearly as good as Colin Ford, who is about the same age.

Overall, I liked this episode. I think Bobby chose not to go with the Reaper and his spirit is sticking around to help the brothers. That feels like audience manipulation to me. I do like Bobby in the show, and I just hope I don't end up feeling like my chain is being jerked.

I also liked these monsters, but I regret that the show didn't have a good role for Ian Tracey, who is a very accomplished actor and one that I like very much. It reminded me of how misused Michael Shanks was when he was on the show.

I did like Frank better this episode. He kind of annoyed me the first time around, mainly because I kept comparing him to Ash and wanted Ash undead and back. But Frank works, and mostly because it was made clear he would not become a Bobby surrogate. He'll appear every once in a while, and I hope in small doses, but I sure could tell from this episode that Kevin McNally is a very good actor (I didn't know him before).

No idea where this story is going, and I don't even know what the quest is for this season yet, but Dean in handcuffs, a fedora, and holding a Tommy gun sure does perk my interest for next week. The actor playing Elliot Ness (and I don't know him) sure does look like he knows his job, too.
maggie
# maggie 2012-01-08 20:55
it were weeks even Dean asked Sam if it were weeks since he called Frank, (when they were still in the cabin, before the girl called to Bobby's cell).
sofia
# sofia 2012-01-09 08:19
I agree, I liked Frank so much better in this episode. I thought he was funny and quirky the first time around but I could see him getting annoying quickly. I liked that they shared a little about why he is the way he is. It makes him less of a caricature.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-01-08 22:58
I have not yet watched the episode but about vetala ,I don't know whether you guys know it is kind of a good monster which appears in a indian story called vetala panchavimshati ,i think it is that monster they were ..it is a very interesting story that is why i told you guys..we used to have a tv show based on that...
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-01-08 23:27
I THINK THE BEER WAS BOBBY'S SPIRIT TRYING TO KEEP DEAN FROM DRINKING SO MUCH. AS FAR AS DEAN SLEEPING FOR 36 HOURS, THAT JUST SHOWS HOW EMOTIONALLY, AND PHYSICALLY DRAINED HE IS RIGHT NOW. GOOD CHARACTER POINT BY THE WRITERS AS USUAL
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-01-09 01:51
I liked your article. Great job!

I just have a few things to add and I would like to tie it in on the Winchester Bros. podcast with Adam Glass who was the writer on this episode. As for the beer disappearing, he was evasive as to what really happened...and so, I take that as a point where the writers have several options of explanation which could be explored eventually. Another thing that was brought up was that the last digit that wasn't conveyed to the guys from Bobby was a 5 not a 3 as per Frank. So is this all that the Leviathans have up their sleeves? He never really addressed this point and so that may have been an error that never got caught in post...or was it?? And third....He stated that Dean did indeed sleep 36 hours and that Frank got that right. It seems that Dean really was exhausted and things like bathroom breaks weren't addressed...unn ecessary detail is what I got from his response. Anyway, I found the podcast very enlightening and was able to get a lot of my answers as to the writers approach to making an episode. It definitely helped me feel a lot better about some of the choices that have been made and why. I highly suggest that you listen to it if you can. It's long...over an hour, but very entertaining. I think it may help. :lol:

Here's the link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mediablvd/2012/01/08/winchester-radio-adventures-in-babysitting-w-adam-glass
sofia
# sofia 2012-01-09 08:22
Thanks for clearing that up. I never thought anything of Dean sleeping for 36 hours straight. He was exhausted and emotionally drained. I think once Frank figured out what the numbers meant Dean knew he could finally stop thinking about it long enough to get some sleep.

I'll have to listen to that podcast. Thanks for linking it up!
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2012-01-09 15:52
Hey, thanks for the clarification.

And not to be too crass, but I have a "friend" who was exhausted enough to sleep through for a similar amount of time. This "friend" discovered the miricle wonder of bladder endurance. It can be done! :-)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-01-09 09:14
Great review as ever Sofia. I've had time to watch the episode three times, so I have my opinion pretty much made up now. I did like it, although as I pointed out on Ardeospina's review, the two storylines would have been more interesting separately IMO.

The time lapse is quite intriguing actually. Bobby's spirit hanging around? That would be kind of cool, but I think he would go of his own accord once the Leviathans are taken care of. I don't see him wanting to be stuck around permanently to be salted & burned by some future hunters. Maybe Death could give Bobby back his life, He seems to kind of like Dean and He's done him a big favour before. A girl can dream. I miss Bobby's presence already.

As for Dean sleeping 36 hours without a bathroom break, I think it's quite possible if you're as exhausted as he was. Then again, Frank doesn't exactly have a good grasp of time, 4 days and 4 weeks aren't quite the same.

Now to the MOTW. I did find the Vetalas interesting, and I like Krissy. She was like a miniature Dean. And yes, some posters think she was just an annoying teenager, but I think she had a right to be. Her father was missing, probably dead, one hunter was already gone, she wasn't about to let the other get away without taking her along. So, yeah, I kind of agree with her on that. I was glad that Sam was the one that killed one of the Vetalas though. He's very low key these days, our Sammy. Is the s*** about to hit the fan?

Next weeks episode looks like it might have some very fun moments, and I am so happy to see Nicholas Rea back. I love Kricek from the X-Files.
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2012-01-09 13:38
After reading the comments here I had a rewatch and discovered this:

It seems to be correct that Dean slept 36 hours. How do I now? Because the info is all there. Sam takes off to see Krissy and Dean looks upFrank. Supposedly all of that happening at the same time. Then Sam tells Krissy that in case he is not back in a couple of days she should call that number (which turns out to be Dean's number). So if she calls Dean because she hadn't heard anything from Sam for at least 2 days then the 36 hours is within the correct time line.
Marlana
# Marlana 2012-01-09 14:12
I liked Krissy and Dean's interaction too. I think that the empty beer was Bobby's way to let the boys know he was still there but they were to distraught over his death to put two and two together.
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2012-01-09 16:04
Sofia, loved your review. Do you take hugs? Cuz if so I'm offering! I didn't just love your review, I loved the excitement and joy that I heard behind the words. I've been missing that lately in reading through fandom. It was like coming home again. THANK YOU.

Loved this episode, though heartbroken about Bobby. Krissy won me over, and I couldn't help thinking that if Dean were 10...15...uh 18? years younger, he would have totally been hitting on her. Speaking of Dean, he nearly broke my heart (again) at the end with that tragic smile. It was beautiful, but a return to his life long habit of burying things. It has worked, but I was hopeful that his time of evolution into being a man who loved himself had come. Ah well, that's what Show does, break our hearts.

And Sammy....oh Sammy. His head is shattered, he's lost another father, and he still clings to the Winchester way of putting the lives of others over his own safety.

Last, I was actually pleased to see the lack of drama surrounding the brothers going seperate ways. I saw it as a sign of how they are secure and comfortable enough in their relationship that they (Dean especially) don't need to cling to eachother so closely. Yay! Of course, them splitting up never actually leads to good things, but still.
sofia
# sofia 2012-01-09 20:57
Yvonne, I'm so happy you enjoyed the article! I take air hugs by the way. :) I still have so much faith in this show. Some episodes are better than others but I've never once been disappointed in a season.

I agree! Dean would be all over a girl like Krissy if she was a bit older. She's just his type.

I still think Dean will have to deal with his issues at some point. I do think he'll try to bury his pain for a while but it always comes out.

I too loved the lack of drama between the brothers. They need that strong front right now.
subwoofer
# subwoofer 2012-01-09 17:38
I just figured Dean did an Austin Powers after he slept and went to the privy for a long, long, long, long, long time.

Dean and Krissy. Dean and kids period. Heh. IIRC in wishful thinking Dean has bags of fun with the kids of the town. "With great power comes great resposibility" *smoke* And the astronaut that creams the car. Dean gets no love from kids.

Sam is as big as a car. Heh. And yet he's got a glass jaw when it comes to being hit in the head area. And as somebody else has mentioned this- weapons on bungee cords guys, or maybe crazy glue. Something to stop the things that save your butt from flying sideways.

Just sayin'.

My initial rant was much more harsh, but that's on the spoiler thread. Suffice to say that I am not impressed with the montage trope. Super lame.

Adam Glass. Gah.

Woofâ„¢.
Supernatural sweet
# Supernatural sweet 2012-01-11 16:04
If you turn up the volume you can hear Bobby voice sigh right before dean says something