Sera Gamble can write a brilliant episode and she did with this one. Unfortunately, Sera also kills the characters off and she did that here too.
There was a movie in 1977 called A Bridge Too Far which was an adaptation of the novel by the same name; it was about a World War II military operation by the Allied troops; the operation failed. The book/movie title comes from a comment made by one of the generals (allegedly) in which he suggested, while the plan was being formulated, that they may be â€˜going a bridge too far.â€™ For me, Supernatural (and by proxy, Sera Gamble) has gone a death too far.
Iâ€™m going to discuss this episode itself as well as what it shows me about the state of Supernatural. The episode is beautiful, the only flaws are in the â€˜real timeâ€™ interactions between Dean and Sam for they tell the tale only too well of why it is dangerous and, for me, fatal that this show has decided to shrink its universe down to two characters only.
For a swan song for Jim Beaver this episode delivers! (I donâ€™t even *need* to say that Jim Beaver delivers but oh, how he does!!!!)
I love that we had so much insight into how Bobby came to be, filling in so many blanks of his childhood, why perhaps he clashed with John as he did (not just in this episode but also as in how we first met him in Devilâ€™s Trap), why the death of his wife has even deeper grief for himâ€¦ â€œWe never got to get past this.â€ Oh, the agony! We got to spend time with Bobby and Rufus (how I miss you, Rufus!) and I so enjoy the interplay of those two characters. (Need I even say Rufusâ€™ death last season was pointless and unnecessary? No, Iâ€™m sure I donâ€™t, some will agree with me, some wonâ€™t; however, I stand by my initial thoughts after his death, there was no point in it. Rufus died simply because Supernatural kills off characters.)
I love the memories of Bobby in his interactions with Sam and Dean, teaching Dean to play catch, listening to the brotherly bickering over movie night and the snacksâ€¦sob!!!!!
I find it distinctly poignant to realize that Bobbyâ€™s memories of Sam and Dean are clearly the memories from years in the past. There is a lightness to both Sam and Dean in those scenes that to me states loud and clear that those events in no way occurred after Samâ€™s return from hell, for there was no lightness and joy in Season 6 for either brother. I also do not believe that those memories could have occurred in Season 5 and find it doubtful that they occurred during Season 4 either. To me this is symptomatic of how dark, depressing and desolate Supernatural has become. And here is where I turn my thoughts to what this episode means for the state of Supernatural.
Do I believe Bobby is dead? Yes, wholeheartedly (and sorrowfully) I believe Bobby is dead. I believe the first inkling of Bobbyâ€™s death was in the destruction of Bobbyâ€™s house (never properly lamented) to the desperation and suicidal moment with Deanâ€™s phone call (never properly acknowledged or built upon) to Bobbyâ€™s lame attempt (lame because of writing, not the character or the actor) to get Sam and Dean individually to â€˜betterâ€™ places. This was all ways for the character to be seen as loosing everything and â€˜putting things in orderâ€™ (ie Sam and Dean.)
In seasons past Supernatural had writers (of which Sera was one of them) that knew how to get at the core of the emotional issues and bring them out in beautiful ways, sometimes through humor, sometimes through gore, sometimes through chick/flick moments. For far too long however this show has decided to take the path of least resistance and simply bury the issues down, sweep them aside, gloss over them or simply pretend they never happened. Bobbyâ€™s house burns down, no worries, Sheriff Mills plays clean up for an episode and Bobby has all his books stashed at Rufusâ€™ old hideout. Never mind that Bobbyâ€™s house was where he grew up, where he was married, where he killed his wife, where he met the Winchesters, where they at times livedâ€¦it was due a memorial in some manner; at least a few passing words. Nope, pretend it never was. Same thing with Deanâ€™s near suicidal phone call to Bobby at the end of Episode 7.02; Dean gets a pat on the cheek and all is well.
Samâ€™s wall fell (thanks to Cas)â€¦letâ€™s just gloss over that. A few moments of true brilliance but then, because the writers set themselves up for this epic fail of a storyline back when they planned (?) season 6, weâ€™re all left with the occasional glimpse of a slightly wilted Sam pressing on his scarred palm. I was never a fan of the storyline because it could only ever be this awful upon execution. Sam never should have stayed in hell for multiple reasons: SPN writes its own rules on heaven and hell, thus it simply should have been God/Chuck delivering Sam from Luciferâ€™s cage, not a â€˜confidentâ€™ Castiel â€“ horrible retconning of all it took to break Lucifer from the box in the first place. Iâ€™d have rather explored the idea that a fully intact Sam decided to leave Dean to the apple pie life only to return when he realized the hunt was coming for Dean. That conflict would not have been great but I believe it would have come from the heart of Sam yearning for his brother to have some normalcyâ€¦as misplaced as allowing Dean to grieve Samâ€™s death would be it would have played better (to me) than this debacle.
I wonâ€™t even go into the mess of the Amy storyline but to say that the writers should have had Sam and Dean work together (with Dean only laid up with broken ribs for goodness sake, that would be slightly more believable) and Sam be totally truthful about letting Amy go and Dean being entirely honest and saying he trusted Sam and actually do itâ€¦TRUST. End of Amyâ€¦sheâ€™s out living with her son with fair warning that the Winchesters (Sam in particular) are watching. They let the witches live just a few weeks later, why not Amy?
The writers have found their niche in setting up ridiculous tension between the brothers and never truly clearing the air. I love Bobby and know that his attempts to get the brothers to be closer and heal would have been much better handled were they handled as they had been in the past. Bobby of all people knows that Sam and Dean are each otherâ€™s strength. Rather than counseling Sam to take care of himself and not worry about Dean he should have supported Samâ€™s concern for Dean. I know from experience when I am in despair and hurting I find healing and comfort when I can look past my own problems and help someone else in need. Iâ€™m comforted by being able to be useful and the sharing of pain truly does ease mine own. Also, Bobby, rather than shouting at Dean in anger telling him to â€˜find a reasonâ€™ to get in the fight he should have known that Dean is always reached best when it is a near chick/flick moment. We saw such moments in AHBL II in the salvage yard, as well as in DALDOM when he thanks Dean for saving him from the dream root nightmare and again in The Curious Case of Dean Winchester when Dean opens up to Bobby about how important Bobby is to themâ€¦Bobby knows that deep down Dean like the gentle emotional moments and in those he responds.
Similarly the writers need to stop blocking Samâ€™s attempts but rather push through and have Sam actually be able to reach Dean; this would require the writers to also alter their writing for Dean and have him not so walled off and blocking and denying Samâ€™s every attempt. Sam reached Dean in â€œEverybody Loves A Clownâ€ and â€œCroatoanâ€ by being honest about his own pain and earnest in his desire to help Deanâ€¦weâ€™ve not seen that in a long time.
â€œDeathâ€™s Doorâ€ showed such a contrast between Sam and Dean, Bobbyâ€™s memories of the boys are warm, sweet, tender, happy memories. Contrast those to what was shown in the hospital as the brothers barely looked at each other, were on opposite sides of the room at times, had Dean walking away in his helplessness and anger and Sam sitting down in his agony and hallucinations. Sera can say that the brothers are â€˜tighter, stronger, more in step than they have been in a long timeâ€™ until the cows come home; it does not translate to what is shown on screen.
Supernatural (Sera) killed off Bobby Singer. Why? Because she can. Because she thinks itâ€™s great drama. Because the Winchesters are up against the worst possible evil there is. Sorry, Sera, itâ€™s one death too far. The brothers are now alone in the world just like in Season 1 but this time there is no hunt for Bobby like there was for John; because Bobby is dead. Thereâ€™s no purpose, kill the thing that killed mom, because the Leviathans canâ€™t be killed (and frankly the Leviathans canâ€™t kill Sam and Dean either or they would have done so already, so they arenâ€™t even that scary). Iâ€™d stay with the show even with the silly Leviathan story, but you killed Bobby simply because you could.
Sorry, Sera, itâ€™s one death too far.