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Review "7.18 "Party On, Garth"
By sweetondean
Warning "“ contains HUGE episode spoilers

"I'm right here you idjit! Balls!"

If I wasn't in love with Jim Beaver before, I sure as hell am now! Abominable Snowman movie my ass! Here I was, looking at all the pictures he was tweeting thinking, crikey, that looks cold! Here I was watching him at Burcon thinking...why haven't the "Supernatural" Powers-That-Be rung Jim yet, booo on them. Yeah, like he'd tell us anyway. Then last night's episode, "Party On, Garth" happens. An innocuous little amuser I will get to later, and I'm sitting on the couch, watching Sam and Dean leave the hotel room after a chat that left me feeling a tad sad, camera pulls back, pans left, .OH. MY. GOD! The noise heard across Australia was Amy screaming! I screamed "Oh my God!" Then I screamed "Bobbbbbbby!" Then I cried. Then Dean remembered his flask. Then I gasped. Then I held my breath. Then Dean didn't see Bobby. Oh no. Idjits. Balls. Then it kind of went something like this, Bobby, sob, sob, oh my God, oh my God, sob, sob, sob, Bobby, sob, huh, giggle, Bobby, gasping in air, ha ha ha, sniffle, oh I can't, ..tweet, tweet, tweet, laugh, sniffle, laugh, grin like an idiot. Grin for about 3 hours. Wake up grinning. Weeeeeeeee another "Supernatural" rollercoaster ride! Everyone please check your safety bar! Bobby. Yay! Mr Beaver, your pants were so on fire I'm surprised a national disaster was not declared! Abominable Snow man movie my ASS! I'm still laughing. Bad Jim, bad! He looks so trustworthy too! Bloody brilliant hoax. Really great acting by everyone at Burcon, like I'd expect less. My love for this show has grown even more, if that's at all possible, because the cast and crew are such sneaky S.O.B.s! Because they worked so hard to keep us from being spoiled. Thank you. AbSno. Oh the laughter.

"Party, On Garth" was one of those onion episodes. There were layers. Sure the guts of it was an amusing MOTW story that required booze to be drunk for a purpose other than dulling pain, but under it all was another glimpse at how Sam and Dean are dealing with grief. The most surprising part of this is that they're talking about it. Like, talking. Actually, talking. In a Sam and Dean way of course.

I was happy to see that we opened the episode with Dean on the phone to Meg, checking on Cas' status. I was worried the Angel in question wouldn't get a mention. It's happened before. The big event of the previous episode sometimes fails to get a look-in, which usually irritates the hell out of me. But they're checking in with Meg to see if there's any change in Cas, which unfortunately, there isn't, .if Meg is to be believed of course. Let's not forget, Lucifer is her boss after all. In this scene we also saw how guilty Sam is feeling about passing the crazy onto Cas. Like the tape in "The Ring." This isn't any surprise. Sam's going to be feeling damn guilty. Also, I expect he's still getting his custard sorted. Poor guy. Dean goes to talk to him about it, Sam says he doesn't want to, Dean's phone rings! Why does that always happen when we're about to get a bit of bro chat? Saved by the damn bell. The fans get Garthed, again!

I like Garth. I didn't really care for the wedding episode where he made his first appearance. Not because of Becky so much, though she was grating and not because as a fan I found her offensive, but because it just wasn't funny and it just wasn't that good. But Garth I liked. Dean's right. He grows on you. How he's alive I do not know, but he seems to bumble through somehow. He was savvy enough to put two and two together with the Japanese Booze Monster (with some help from Dean) and then to twig to the love child of the brewery owner, so I guess he's got a hunter's mind, just not a hunter's body! He seems to get knocked out an awful lot. Actually, they all do! I hope he doesn't get killed off because I've always liked the idea of other hunters being out there that the brothers work with or run into from time to time. It fills out their claustrophobic Universe a little. Also, to kill Garth would seem extra cruel for some reason. He seems kinda defenceless! Drunk on one beer? Like I said, how'd he ever survive? D.J. Qualls does a great job with this character and he's one I hope we continue to see, every once in a while.

Speaking of drunk, drunk Dean is priceless. I wish we'd seen more of Sam and Dean drunk. That scene in the office was just getting good when Randy burst in. I literally laughed out loud when Dean spat his drink back into his glass. I replayed that little bit about 5 times. Just precious! And what was he drinking? Did you notice how Jensen stood when he was downing a glass of whatever that was supposed to be? Bend at the knees please! And Sam and his "So, he "“ he let that thing out of the box, and it must have just followed him to the place with all the thingies." Ha! All the thingies! Then seeing drunk Sam commandeering that cab! "Brewery. Step on it!" The tiny little old cab driver who likes to ", drive safe you know." I must admit I giggled an awful lot through "Party On, Garth". I find Adam Glass, who wrote this one, fairly hit and miss, but he penned some pretty funny lines and scenes in this episode. I thought Sam's side-swipe at Dean's drinking was a bit mean though, he's been doing so well lately! Maybe Sam didn't notice like we did, be that he was all crazy at the time. 

And then there was the Bobby talk. Another thing that Garth was perceptive about was the whole Ghost!Bobby situation. The EMF monitor going off around the flask, the idea that Bobby might be riding Dean's wave (I love that idea so much). It's something Dean doesn't want to discuss, either because he doesn't want to believe it or he really does and he doesn't want that bubble burst. It's the later right? He was pretty surprised that Sam had tried to contact Bobby without him. I love how these boys are sort of the opposite of what you think they'd be. Sam is so emotional. He's the one who likes to talk, get it out, empathise. But then he's the one who wants clear-cut answers. He's the one to hit the books to try and find the truth. Dean is also emotional, but in a very different way. He's explosive. He's got walls in front of walls. He doesn't like to feel his feelings. But when it comes to everything else, he goes by his gut. His gut has a pretty good accuracy rate I might add. He hadn't tried to reach Bobby through traditional methods, he was just going with what he felt and he felt that Bobby was around. I think this was both his hunter instincts and wishful thinking. I think part of the reason he didn't go for the truth and get out a talking board himself was because the disappointment might have been too much for him to bear. Which is also why I think Sam didn't tell him. I love how different the brothers are in this sense and yet how they compliment each other. They are two halves of the one thought. Dean seemed to buy Sam's version of what was going on, that it was just the way they saw things through their grief and their job. I also think Sam's too scared to think it's Bobby for the same reason Dean's too scared find out it's not. Disappointment. Like he said in "The Slice Girl's" because they want it to be. Why would their luck change now? But it has! Yay! This whole talking to each other thing is just too awesome for words. Dean said it when he was drunk "I miss these talks." Me too Dean, me too. 

Some other bits I enjoyed in "Party On, Garth" were....the exasperated looks between Sam and Dean when they were with Garth. The grin Sam gave Dean when he teamed Dean up with Garth. Such a brother thing to do. Dean's "We'll talk about this later" to Sam when they were discussing Ghost!Bobby. I think he was channelling John there! Even I felt chastised! Mr Fizzles. At first I was with Dean, shut-up Mr Fizzles. But my whole attitude changed when Dean said he'd stick that sock puppet where the sun don't shine and Mr Fizzles looked around shocked! That was pretty funny. I was onboard with the sock puppet after that. Did you notice, it got a credit! Dean creating a "˜spring' over the sword as it was being blessed. Clever Dean makes me happy (every Dean makes me happy). The MOTW was creepy and nice and gory. Very Japanese horror movie in appearance, which I thought was nice synergy for the story concept and also the early reference to "The Ring." "Come with me if you want to live." This show quotes all my favourite movies! Garth's insistence on hugging. Bless him! Bobby. Bobby. BOBBY!

So why can't the boys see Bobby if he's trying to be seen? He can affect an object, that's obvious. He didn't or couldn't speak to Sam when Sam tried to contact him. He doesn't seem to be able to show his presence when asked, like when Dean asked him to do something in the brewery, which was so damn heartbreaking. I want Dean to see Bobby so bad. So what's the deal? Is he still learning the ghostly tricks as per "Death Takes A Holiday"? Or is there some other reason? Is something preventing him? I'm assuming that he knows a lot more about the Big Mouths than he was able to convey before he died, so I'm guessing he'll be an integral part of their downfall, once he's able to contact the boys that is. I want him corporeal again though. I don't want Ghost!Bobby I want real, honest to goodness, grumpy old fully fleshed out Bobby. I'm so happy he's back. So very, very happy.

To be perfectly honest, if Bobby hadn't have popped up at the end there, "Party On, Garth" would have been enjoyable, but nothing out of the box. Certainly plenty of fun and laughs, but not an instant classic like some of the other comedic episodes we've had. But by adding in the Sam and Dean deep and meaningfuls and then the pulling the wool over our eyes with the whole Bobby suddenly appearing twist, it was elevated to something a bit special. I can't remember the last time I was that surprised. This was another one of those episodes that seemed to be about something else, when on closer inspection, it was really about the season long emotional arc. That's happened a lot in season seven and as drunk Dean would say, me likey.

So we have Cas and Bobby back, but not quite whole, now where's the bloody Impala? For goodness sake give us back that damn car. Seriously, Sam and Dean don't need the car to look conspicuous, I mean LOOK AT THEM. Please. They do tend to stand out somewhat on their own, errr, charms. Bring back baby!

Now we have to wait 2 weeks to find out what happens next! Cruel, cruel and capricious CW. 

So were you happy to see Bobby back? What did you think of the episode? Thanks for reading! See you next time.

- sweetondean


# Nitewoman7 2012-04-01 02:01
I am so fricgging happy Bobby showed up. I missed him terribly. Just wasn't the same without him. I squewlled sobed grinned the same as you. Garth was great & I don't mind seeing him once in a while. Drunk Dean...Me Likey! I want Baby back too.
# Vanda 2012-04-01 04:49
I loved this episode, DJ Qualls brings such a great character to life... Loved the typical horror movie start, love the brotherly interaction between Sam & Dean, and love the drinking! Also loved that a favorite character made a reappearance in a very significant yet invisible way! So much more to look forward to!
# Ginger 2012-04-01 08:27
Actually, after watching the episode a second time, I went from underwhelmed to ticked off. Realizing that I am in the minority, I'll just state a few reasons.

Bobby: While it was nice to see Bobby again, the whole thing was so predictable and unimaginative. I remember when surprises used to come through excellent writing and creative ideas, not audience manipulation, and I was hoping the moving objects sub-plot would be handled creatively. This way, to me, seems to just drag the Bobby's death story out way too long -- one of the problems I've found with the series for the past couple of years -- dragging crap out too long.

Why can't the boys see Bobby when, in the past, they have had no trouble seeing ghosts (John, for instance). No idea, and I don't want to fill in the blanks with speculation. That's another problem with this season's writing; the audience has to fill in the blanks. We know they'll see him next episode, so no big deal anyway.

Garth: Qualls does do a good job, and he may have grown on Dean and Sam, but I absolutely cannot stand the character. First, he's stupid and annoying like Becky. Second, because that brand of humor does nothing for me. Third, a village idiot can be a competent hunter who gets the job done in his own unique way. The village idiot hunts alone and has no trouble staying alive. A village idiot, despite having suffered personal losses, has found balance in his life, enjoys meaningful relationships, enjoys and finds value in hunting, and isn't/wasn't/ha sn't been driven crazy. Looking at Garth, Becky, certifiable Frank, and adolescent Krissy, I'm left thinking the job is more than our two heroes can handle, since anyone bi-pedal apparently can do it.

An example of what I'm talking about. Dean figuratively and literally was in the background of the scene when the sock puppet coached the info from the little girl. I remember when Dean talking to a kid gave us deep insight into a lead's character (Dead in the Water). Besides, when a grown man carries an intricately sewn puppet around in his coat pocket, my head is screaming, "Pervert. Take the twins and run." That's just mega- creepy. Oh, and I really don't watch SPN to get close-up shots of sock puppets.

The Impala: Flat-out mad about Baby. The theme of the show this season has been to take everything away and give it all back, so I'm thinking that I watched the whole season just to ask the question: Where in this world is the Impala? I'll finish up the season just to see the answer to this sub-plot. I hope that's not one of them that's dropped, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was.

The episode left nothing to discuss except 'Glad to see Bobby back' and 'I like/did not like Garth' going into a 3-week hiatus (Apr 20th is 3 weeks away). No forward momentum.

What I did like:

Sam and Dean. Sam seems very worried about Dean. I like that Sam.

Drunk Dean. He's so damned little-boy cute when he's drunk. Wasn't enough of that in the episode. I want more of Dean drinking. (I know, it's not PC, so that will do away by the end of the season.)

The Japanese cook was adorable.

Dean said, "Bitch." These days I judge an episode as to whether or not Dean says, "SOB," but I count "bitch" as redeemable.

Following this episode, I am left disappointed in a season that I thought was going better than S6. Not so sure of that now. The prospects aren't looking good.

Oh, and I didn't win the Lotto. How sad is that?
# Tillytutian 2012-04-02 20:47
I'm with you Ginger.
# PENNY JAIME 2012-04-01 11:06
WOW! people love to pick apart the epi's, don't they. Myself, It was great when Bobby showed up. I'm like you, I have not been surprised in a long time. That did it! Hand to mouth time. Loved the sword across the floor into Dean's hand also. As far as the sock, seeing Dean get all cranky was funny. HE thought it was as stupid as all the people complaining about it, that was the point. Garth, well he just shows how amazing Sam & Dean are (as if we need any help there).
I don't see how Bobby being around is predictable to some people. No other person has done this. John came back for one scene. Jo was Brought back. So even with all the deaths, this is the 1st time they have actually been "haunted" so to speak. Makes the whole thing unique to me. Especially since they torched him. I love how the season is playing out. Oh, except for the Impala. I don't see the point in waiting until the last epi to bring it back, but I'm not a writer, I just along for the ride
# buffsgirl 2012-04-01 15:23
Another GREAT write up! I love reading your reviews, they always make me laugh. :lol:

I am AMAZED they were able to keep the Bobby thing under wraps and I gasped and started laughing when I saw J.B. I too went to bed with a smile on my face and woke up still smiling. LOVE!!!!!!
# Valgal 2012-04-01 15:43
This is my first time to post. I watch each episode and for the most part, find each enjoyable. I like the supporting cast because they offer us viewers ways to unfold the myriad layers that comprise each brother.
I like Garth. He brings a sense of joy to the job and he is very intuitive. His levity sheds light on the MOTW as well as to the issues facing Sam and Dean. Garth sees and says what they both seem tenuous about addressing: Could Bobby still be around?
I had an OMG moment when I saw Jim Beaver's back when Dean walked out of the hotel room. I yelled for joy. I didn't realize how much I missed Bobby and what light he brings to the show as well as to Sam and Dean.
While I am not sure where his story line will go, I hope his presence can allow both Sam and Dean to better process their grief and return to being the totally kick ass hunters we've come to know and love.
# carolej126 2012-04-01 17:07
I was so happy with this episode, and can't wait to watch it again. :)
# belluvsmiami 2012-04-02 04:56
I love your reaction, I had pretty much the same for about half an hour, with my Dad sitting beside like WTF is wrong with you? LoL

I personally love DJ Qualls, he makes me laugh & he looks geeky which for me geeks are cool. 1 beer = sounds about right for some youngens these days haha.

I watched the episode for a third time with my husband and he too laughed his ass off when Dean spat his drink out and at the Mr Fizzles scene - we likey!

But Bobby appearing at the end, that just topped it off. BOBBY! HES BACK! and then for him to say the two most classic lines for Bobby EVEN BETTER!

So I enjoyed it, and that was good they remembered to mention Cas. Pretty cool special effects when Dean put a sword through the Monster.
# Sylvie 2012-04-02 12:33
I love your enthusiasm with these reviews. There is a whole bunch of things that made me happy in this episode, starting with drunk Dean. He is just so damn adorable, whether drunk or high on Turducken! Spitting the drink out when the guy walked in, LOL. I like Garth. I know some people thought that he took too much of a front seat on this case, but I liked his insight about Bobby riding Dean's coattails. And, yes, we pretty much had it figured out, but oh it was so nice to see Bobby again. As to why Dean didn't see him, that's a mystery worth waiting for IMO.

I'll be waiting impatiently gnawing my fingers until April 20th.