This episode had the feel of being handled by a seasoned Supernatural vet - it was dark, the characters were totally on point and the plot rolled forward. This review will be a bit shorter than usual, I think, because this episode felt largely like a vehicle to get to next week which is just fine with this viewer because overall it was a pretty good episode. Though not quite as humorous as I was expecting, giving that Ben Edlund was responsible for this one. Nevertheless, it laid some substantial groundwork for the mid-season finale in two weeks and I eagerly await the heart-pounding cliff hanger that I'm sure we are going to be left with at the end of episode 10!
I'm sorry if this part of my reviews is getting redundant, but I love continuity and references to past events in any shows history, so these are fun for me. We continued the game of throwbacks to the past in this episode: we had mentions of Cas, Lisa and Ben and Dean's "apple-pie" life attempt, wendigos and werewolves, the Biggersons (of course), the continued running gag of "flare" on servers and even John Winchester had a bit of a shout out. *Claps excitedly*
Okay, on to the good stuff!
This episode again saw Sam admitting that yes, his head is scrambled, but it is okay because he's kind of got it under control and there are worse things. During his conversation with Bobby in the van, we witnessed Sam pressing his palm, his connection to reality. Does this mean that even though the wound has healed, this pressure point (as it were) can still draw a bright red circle around hallucinations so he knows what is real and what is not? We didn't get a whole lot of Sam in this episode, but we can see he is concerned for his brother and, despite any other issues with Sam's storyline this season (though I maintain it will come to fruition, we just have to be patient €“ and I am willing to wait to get the juicy stuff) he definitely feels like Sam here. Personally, I haven't felt he was out of character in the previous installments of season seven, but this writing was spot on Sam Winchester. It was nice to see Bobby chatting with each of the boys one on one in this episode. His discussion with Sam about how the boys spend too much time worrying about each other to have their own lives is in line with the discussion of the last two weeks about Dean not needing to take care of Sammy anymore. It goes both ways though, which is a nice reminder for Sam I think. He deserves his own life too.
Poor Dean. Stomach gets him into trouble again. It was interesting to see Dean "stoned" after eating the sandwich and Jensen played it just right. I cheered when we had a mention of Cas' demise in this episode (twice!). Dean's inebriated state gave us the chance to see a bit more inside his head, though like Sam's, this storyline won't fully be paid off for a bit yet (I think, anyways). Bobby's speech to Dean reminded me a great deal of what Zachariah said to Dean back at the end of It's a Terrible Life: more or less, that he's a hunter through and through and he needs to get back on that horse and keep going, despite how difficult or fruitless or hopeless things may seem to get. Bobby of course added the sentimental: "if you die before me, I'll kill ya" and I really hope Dean can shake out of his funk. Maybe Bobby's near-fatal shooting will be the catalyst to get him angry and motivated? Only time will tell.
This episode felt like it was really about Bobby, at its core. We were able to see his perspective on the latest series of events and the impact it's had on the Winchesters. We know he's concerned for both boys, and as he has in the past, he was able to give them something to think on in a language individual to the brother (gruff for Dean, less so for Sam).
Bobby, it turns out, was a skilled hunter before he was a Hunter and he taught the boys a lot about tracking when they were young and John would drop them off with Bobby. It seems Bobby has been a father figure for a long, long time. And he has impressive night shooting skills.
Bobby also got the first meet of the three with Dick Roman, evil Leviathan leader. I can't begin to guess what the plans Bobby saw entailed, but he just got some serious 411 on the baddies. Since I can't imagine that we'll lose Bobby next week, this will definitely come in handy in the defeat Leviathan game.
The last minute of this episode was quite intense. First, nightfall came with lightening speed. No, just kidding. Though that was a funny transition from day (when the boys entered to get Bobby) to night (when he ran out and jumped in the van), or was it just me? Regardless, I was very anxious wondering if (a) Bobby would get out and if he did (b) would he be Bobby or Levi!Bobby? Yes and no. He certainly made it into the van, but not unscathed. Watching realization dawn on Sam as he held up Bobby's hat with the hole in it€¦.wow. Should have known all that chat about Bobby and death was cruel foreshadowing for events to come! We'll have to wait two weeks now, to see how Bobby will survive this one. It's going to be a LONG two weeks.
It didn't take long in this episode to learn that it was not a Jersey Devil at the heart of the killings, but some rabid humans that had eaten one too many turducken sandwiches. On board for this episode we had the three chief Leviathan players: the good doctor Gaines, Edgar, and Dick Roman. The doctor from way back at the beginning of season seven has been running experiments, with the endgame being human complacency, apparently. Sadly, he had some failures in this experiment and was made to eat himself. Every time I think I've reached my disgust/gross-out limit, Supernatural proves me wrong.
Dick is quite a charismatic baddie, is he not? He would make a fine political candidate, for all his smooth talking and toothy grins. Dick doesn't want the golden rule broken: monsters are not real and the pesky little humans must not be upset by silly notions because then they are difficult to control. Or maybe it's like with Tinkerbell, only in reverse, clap if you believe in Leviathan and they die! No, that'd be too easy. Why do they need humanity complacent? Why not just wipe us off the face of the planet one snack attack at a time? There was a lot of groundwork laid about the Leviathan this time through and I suspect we are standing on the precipice of grand realization about the details of their endgame.
Bobby's shooting, in my mind has a number of possible resolutions. One, of course that he is repaired medically and on the mend for a while - but this is Supernatural and it can't really be that easy, can it? On the other hand, we do know a certain crossroads demon that may avail his services in this arena in order to further the fight against the Leviathan. Is a deal on the horizon?
Assuming no Supernatural intervention and Bobby is saved through medical magic; I can't imagine he'll be back in the game immediately, what with a bullet to the head and all that. So now we have the boys truly without allies shoulder to shoulder with them. Without Bobby, they have been right and truly stripped down to what they were back in season one: two guys hunting evil on the road. And maybe they have to go back to their roots for this one. It reminds me of a quote from Buffy at the end of season two when she was in a similar situation (many life lessons I have taken from that show): "Now that's everything, huh? No weapons... No friends...No hope. Take all that away... and what's left?" Can't speculate much at this point on how the season will end and the big battle will play out, but in Buffy, to this question she answers "me" and kicks some serious ass. Just saying...