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October 10, 2015

'Supernatural' Season 6, Episode 4 Recap

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 17th 2010 3:45PM
['Supernatural' - 'Weekend at Bobby's']

Here's a pitch for the CW Network: Three cranky dudes, one of them a demon, two of them demon hunters, share a ramshackle old house in the middle of nowhere. When not fending off/fomenting demonic destruction or pursuing/ruling demonic creatures, they trade quips, barbs and irritated banter about the shortcomings of everyone younger and less competent than them.

Call it 'Golden Ghouls.' And I believe we got a preview of that show -- complete with a heaping helping of awesomesauce -- on Friday night.

To hell, quite literally, with any kind of deep analysis of 'Weekend at Bobby's.' This episode was pure fanservice at the highest level, and I loved almost every second of it.

Sure, if I wanted there to be any depth to this review, I could talk about the deeper meaning of the episode -- the moral of the story. But as far as I can tell, the moral of the story is that if you are Bobby Singer, you never get to enjoy delicious peach cobbler! And that's kind of a drag! I mean, as hard as Dean works, he at least gets to stop for pie once in a while.

There was only a tiny amount of Different!Sam and Concerned!Dean. There was no family trauma, little in the way of dark analogies or demons as metaphors for painful situations. This was just a wonderful showcase for three of my favorite 'Supernatural' actors as well as the kind of comedic outing we get at least once a season -- now with fewer (but well deployed) Winchesters! All in all, 'Weekend at Bobby's' was just about perfect.

Here are some of the Most Awesome Aspects of 'Weekend at Bobby's':

1. Bobby/Crowley scenes. I seriously died laughing at Mark Sheppard's recap of a Bobby/Crowley conversation: "I want my soul back, eedjet!" "'Fraid not." "But I'm surly and got a beard! Gimme!" Seriously, that was one of the funniest 'Supernatural' moments ever. And there were so many great lines between them, among them, "I had very athletic calves" and "Oh no. What am I going to do?" Bobby and Crowley's sometimes angry, sometimes resigned, always funny bromance is just delightful. I want more!

2. Bobby/Rufus scenes. I've always been a big Rufus fan, and when I saw before the episode that Steven Williams would be in it, I did a little happy dance. Even better: We saw a more jaunty Rufus than the rather somber hunter we've seen in the past. For me, it makes sense that Rufus would be a bit lighter with one of his best and oldest friends, and Williams simply killed in all his scenes. "What am I, a heathen? I know what Craig is!" "I know what I want for Hannukah!" Bobby and Rufus as Grumpy Old Hunters was hugely entertaining and I want more!

3. The barely glimpsed Lamia fight that Sam and Dean were engaged in. As everyone reading this probably knows, Jensen Ackles directed this episode, and I think he absolutely nailed it. Not just because everything about the episode was competent and fit in with the usual 'Supernatural' aesthetic. More importantly, he nailed the comedy, which is no small feat. No matter how good the material and the performances, comedy can be mangled by bad direction (if the timing, camera placement and rhythms are off, the comedy often dies a painful death). But the way the Lamia scenes were shot were economical and concise and Ackles' handling of it wrung all the potential comedy from the way in which the boys were being thrown off their game by this former Greek hellraiser. (Sam being thrown into a pillar in the church was particularly hilarious). When it comes to the episode as a whole, kudos to Ackles for making the most of an excellent script by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin. And I must mention the episode's editor, Anthony Pinker, and director of photography, Serge Ladouceur, who did a great job of making the scenes flow and the rhythms pop.

4. Getting to see life from Bobby's perspective. OK, happy spazzing aside, there was actually a worthwhile point to the episode, which made the Winchesters realize that Bobby is not simply their servant, there to deal with all their emotional needs when he's not doing their homework for them. Who didn't vicariously enjoy Bobby's verbal takedown of the boys, one that has been years in coming? Sure, yeah, maybe he was overreacting a bit, but every human being has their limit and it's surprising that he hasn't reached the end of his rope more often with these sometimes self-absorbed eedjets. Jim Beaver did a sensational job, not surprisingly, with both the comedy and Bobby's understandable frustration. "Do I sound like I'm done!?" A classic (and overdue) Bobby moment, one that was nicely contrasted with the boys' justified gratitude to their mentor and almost-father toward the end of the hour.

5. Bobby's cleverness. Practically speaking, Bobby having sold his soul was one bit of Season 5 business that the show needed to take care of this season. It was done in a very entertaining fashion, and Bobby's solution -- to get Crowley's son to spill the beans on the location of his dad's bones -- was sheer elegance in its simplicity. But I call a bit of shenanigans on the whole burn-demon-bones-to-kill-the-demon business. Holy bejeebus, that would have come in handy during previous seasons, eh?! I mean, until Season 3, the show's mythology held that only the Colt could kill demons, but now with this bit of retconning, apparently there's a Plan B available (the invaluable SuperWiki notes that there are few other methods of killing demons out there as well). Ah well, if this weren't one of my favorite comedic episodes ever, I might be inclined to complain about the fact that Bobby never shared this particular bit of lore with the boys before. But I'll let it go.

6. Bobby's super-fun "date night" with the nice neighbor lady, which inevitably ended with a murderous critter being spewed out a woodchipper and the neighbor covered head to toe with blood. Yeah, movie night at Marcy's is not going to happen any time soon.

7. More random fun: The MacLeod reference (clearly a 'Highlander' shoutout); "Balls!"; "Rufus Turner a.k.a. Luther Vandross a.k.a. Ruben Studdard"; "I'll be damned if I'm going to ... be damned!"; "jack with a side of squat!"; the reference to 'Drag Me to Hell,' which also had a crazed Lamia running around.

In case you couldn't tell, I enjoyed the hell out of 'Weekend at Bobby's,' which managed to reference a few Season 6 concerns this season (Different!Sam, Bobby's soul, the odd stuff going on in the supernatural critter realm, etc) while providing a nice respite from the rather melancholy vibe of the season. I can be hard on 'Supernatural' at times, but only because I know it's capable of knocking it out of the park. This comedic yet entirely deserved tribute to Robert Steven Singer was a real treat, solidly constructed and deftly delivered. Well done, one and all.

A few final thoughts and questions:

* So a deal's not a deal for Crowley, who decided not to honor his pact with Bobby, but Sam did want to honor the deal they'd made with Crowley. Why? It's not as if Crowley is Captain Ethics. I'm not sure what Sam was thinking there, but I can see the benefit of keeping Crowley as the king of Hell. He is, after all, the devil you know. Well, almost-devil.

* Crowley appears to be dealing with as much insanity and wackiness as the hunters are these days. Clearly we haven't gotten the full story on why creatures are appearing way outside their native habitats and why the normal order of the creature/demon universe just isn't quite what it used to be. As Bobby said to Rufus: "Monsters lately. Is it me, or is it weird?" It's not just you, Bobby.

* What is this "new way" that Crowley is trying to teach the demons? And I love the fact that the show is portraying him as having quite a bit in common with the Winchesters and Bobby. Like them, he's not a particular fan of demons and finds dealing with them trying and frustrating. The tentative alliance this group had in Season 5 might well continue, given the weird problems that keep cropping up in all their lives (and yes, I want the alliance to continue partly because I love what Mark Sheppard brings to the role of Crowley, plus Sheppard and Beaver are just terrific together). Despite protestations on both their parts, I think Bobby and Crowley kind of like each other. I'm telling you, a demon-human bromantic comedy between these two would be golden. I smell Season 7!

* Here's a question that keeps occurring to me: If Bobby is hooked in to almost every hunter network out there (as we saw from his constantly ringing phone), how plausible is it that he wouldn't have come across the Campbells? Thoughts, fellow fans? Might we find out down the road that Bobby did come across them now and then? There has to be more there than meets the eye. Sure, Bobby knew John Winchester, but what about other members of the Campbell clan? If they've been hunters for hundreds of years, it stands to reason he's come across them or stories about them.

* Who is Garth? He's clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

* Why am I not surprised that Bobby appears to have a dialup modem on his cranky old computer?

* OK, I have one miniscule nitpick on the direction of the episode: In the final confrontation scene with Bobby, Crowley and Crowley's son, we didn't get a clear sense of the eyelines among the characters. Crowley's son Gavin appeared to be staring into space, rather than glaring at his dead dad. Maybe he was supposed to be staring into space, but the static nature of the almost-silent character who appeared to be staring into nothing wasn't really spooky or threatening at all. But seriously, that is a tiny nitpick.

* Ha! The sight of Dean driving a cramped car in Scotland (or rather, Photoshop Scotland) was mildly hilarious.

* Fergus McCloud selling his soul in order to get into double-digits, er, down below. Why does that not surprise me?

* I really love the rapport between Bobby and Sheriff Jodie Mills. Clearly Bobby's lifestyle limits his dating options, but Jodie knows what Bobby does, she has a grudging respect for him and she even appears to enjoy (a little) the crazy shenanigans he brings to her town. In a show that regularly kills off its female characters (and too often the ones I like most), I'm glad that Lisa and Jodie are on the scene and I hope they're not killed off in predictable "Oh no the girls are in danger!" scenarios (I'm not anticipating that, but I'm just sayin'). In any event, I would love a Bobby/Jodie romance. Come on, ladies love the gruff but lovable guys who may not be fashion plates but know how to slay demonic beasts. And bury them with heavy machinery!

* OK, if you're not a fan of 'Golden Ghouls' as a name for the Bobby-Crowley-Rufus spinoff, how about 'Hell's Angels'? 'That's the Spirit'? 'Grumpy Old Hunters'? 'There's No 'I' in Eedjet!' Please feel free to leave your suggestions below!

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love your reviews of supernatural...please tell me you plan to review the most recent episode soon, I'm quite concerned about sam after his behavior in 'live free or twi-hard' and look forward to hearing your insight on what you think is going on!

October 24 2010 at 3:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some things are just taken on faith. The boys can cover three or four states in no time flat. Somebody I know had the same problem with the movie Elizabethtown, traveling from Louisville to Nashville in about half an hour or so.

Loved every bit of this episode. Just dismissed out of hand the improbability of international travel (as like harder than visiting Heaven and coming back?).

Ackles and crew did a wonderful job, second the smiling Kim Manners comment. Actors all magnificent. Thanks, Mo. Your extras before the show aired made it even better.

I watched this one away from home. Wouldn't everybody choose to watch SPN on Friday night while on vacation in San Francisco? Of course we had walked our legs off after arriving two hours after leaving EDT that morning.

October 22 2010 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's actually not true!Well written and insightful.

October 19 2010 at 9:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My favorite episode of the season by far, and one the best of the series.

October 18 2010 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would have loved to have seen Dean and Sam on that plane to Scotland or the trip back. Did they talk? How did Sam get Dean on the plane anyway? Did Dean spend the whole trip barfing? Was Sam supportive? Did alcohol figure into this trip at all?
One small quibble -- how did Sam and Dean get passports so fast? Passports are not that fast and easy to get and they are hard to forge. I know, the show is just fiction but still, I'm still wondering.

October 18 2010 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ChicagoGrrl's comment

Sam actually said to Bobby that Dean went through four 'puke bags; when they were talking to him at the end in the car.

As for passports, they have always had them. When/if they get busted they are usually referred to, along with their fake driver's licenses and credit cards. Come on guys..if those two twits can get into the White House, do you really think someone using a fake passport is all that impossible? Not to mention, you can get one in less than five days if you want to pay for it...just saying...

LOVED this episode. I adore Jim Beaver, and will watch anything with him in it. It was great that we got to see a bit more of Bobby, and I felt so bad for the guy...I mean all he wanted was a piece of cobbler and some ice cream! Let him have a bit of a life....maybe with the pretty little sheriff? Please...

October 19 2010 at 6:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fantastic episode, full of laughs. Very well-written, directed, acted. I am so happy that the veteran actors got a chance to be front and center for once. There was good, old monster-hunting (the okami woodchipper scene was gold), plus huge storyarc points, which was a nice balance. Bring on a Bobby/Rufuf/Crowley spin off, and a angels in heaven on the verge of a civil war spin-off. I'd gladly watch.

Like a few others above, I am puzzled by Sam wanting to "honor" a deal with Crowley, who himself had reneged on a deal. I hope this wasn't a throwaway but will be explored later. Is Sam a spokesperson for demons now? Because he hasn't been too sympathetic to humans thus far in season 6.

My one nitpick in this episode was Concerned!Dean's phone call to Bobby. I wish they had left that out, we don't need to be reminded about Concerned!Dean's concern about Weird!Sam every single episode. But then we wouldn't have got Bobby's very-well played rant to the brothers.

"And I love the fact that the show is portraying him as having quite a bit in common with the Winchesters and Bobby."

I thought Crowley has much more in common with Castiel in charge in heaven now than with Bobby and the Winchesters, who are not trying to "rule" earth. Wouldn't the Campbells fit that bill better than Bobby or the WInchesters?

October 18 2010 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pity, they lost an opportunity to introduce hunters from the "old country". It would have made a lot more sense than Sam and Dean flying to the UK. You know maybe even a true spin-off. Think of all the mythology they could cover such as the Loch Ness Monster.


October 18 2010 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When Bobby turned to his computer, I saw a Windows 95/8 OS. Pure comedy gold for us techs. This show was so riddled with little hidden gems. This was definitely the easter egg episode of all time.

By the way, I love the in-depth review. It's honestly one of the most intelligent and well dissected recaps on this site or on any others. Why can't you review all the shows I watch?

October 18 2010 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This has been my favorite episode of the season so far, and not just because I've been a long time fan of Bobby. And I think Crowley teamed with just about anyone would make for an awesome spinoff. I've been pushing a "Highway to Hell" spinoff, where Crowley and Castiel travel the roads of America. I'm not entirely sure what they'd do, but it would be comedy gold. Grumpy Old Hunters would work as well, just for more Rufus. Oh, Steven Williams, you've come a long way since Mr. X.

October 18 2010 at 7:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lovely write up of a truly delightful episode. The Bobby/Crowley Bobby/Rufus banter was totally charming. I love Bobby Singer, I always have, so I'm real happy that he finally got his very own episode. Also, it meant we got lots of Jim Beaver and when is that ever bad? This is my favourite episode of the season so far and will become a firm favourite of mine across all seasons I am sure. Dabb & Loflin really understand that balance between comedy and drama that Supernatural manages to juggle so well. I thoroughly enjoyed Bobby's rant at the Winchesters. Honestly, they deserve a kick up the pants every so often, the pair of them. This ep was full of so much awesomeness I grinned like a fool from beginning to end. More Bobby, more Rufus and lots more Crowley please! Oh and the boys in that clown car just made me hoot! Very funny episode, nicely performed and delivered by all involved.

October 18 2010 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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