Monday, March 16, 2009

Bobby Singer: Supernatural's Giles?

I wonder if Bobby Singer has ever been called a Redneck Rupert Giles. Because, in a lot of ways, Bobby is to the Winchester boys what Giles was to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Think about it -- who gets called when the main character(s) is/are stumped? Who is surrounded by piles and piles of books about all kinds of supernatural baddies? Who acts as a father figure in the absence of a real father? Despite the contrast between the trucker caps and flannel Bobby always wears and the tweedy professor look Giles prefers, these two characters have a lot in common. Although we've yet to see Bobby and the rest of the Supernatural cast in a musical episode yet. :)

Okay, let's focus on Bobby, played wonderfully by Jim Beaver. I just love this guy. He's funny, smart, tells it like it is, and obviously loves Sam and Dean like they were his own sons. And he's pretty darn handy to have around when you're fighting demons and the like.

Bobby first showed up in the Supernatural-verse toward the end of Season One, after Papa Winchester has been taken captive by meanie Meg. He helps the boys trap and perform an exorcism on Meg, and also explains to them about how the girl Meg was is still trapped inside her body. Bobby starts appearing more regularly in Season Two. The emotions surrounding his scenes run the gamut from touching (when he understands that while Sam is on the surface talking about the Impala when he says it's worth saving as long as one thing works, he's really talking about the near-death Dean) to funny (when he loans the boys the only working vehicle he has -- a minivan!) I can't help but giggle thinking about Dean and the minivan.

Bobby shows just how smart he is about all this supernatural stuff in "Tall Tales" when, after listening to Sam and Dean's wildly varying accounting of events, tells them that they're dealing with a trickster. This is one of the times when you can just see Bobby's mental eye-rolling at the boys.

While Bobby loves the boys, he doesn't always agree with them. One such instance is when Dean refuses to bury Sam after he's killed in "All Hell Breaks Loose," instead choosing to trade his soul for Sam's resurrection.

In Season Three, we finally see that Bobby, like so many other hunters, got into hunting because of a personal loss -- that of his wife, whom he killed when she became possessed. We also see that the Winchester boys are becoming more and more like family to him. As the season winds down, and the attack on Lilith is imminent, Dean tells Bobby that it isn't his fight. To which Bobby says, "Family don't end with blood, boy!"

I think my favorite Bobby moment of Season Four so far is when the boys discover his ghost- and demon-proof panic room. When Dean asks, "You have a ghost-proof panic room?", Bobby, in typical Bobby style, says, "I had a weekend off."

I've heard buzz that someone close to the boys may be killed off, and I really, REALLY hope it's not Bobby. He's just way too much fun. But going back to the Giles comparison, Buffy had to stand alone at some point and not depend on Giles, so Giles left her. He didn't die, but he wasn't there for her to call. So the possibility is there for Bobby to go bye-bye in some way, but I can't say I like it.

What do you think? Do you think Bobby will be around for Season Five? Why or why not?


Anonymous said...

Yes, Bobby will stick around because I'd be devastated if they killed him off! I love his dry wit and good ole boy ways mixed with an incredibly diverse knowledge base. Who would inherit the bank of phones, know how to speak Japanese, or make sure the boys only drink sodas before getting on the road?

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Excellent analysis, Trish! You're completely right, he's very much a Giles. Though since Giles was meant to be Giles from the beginning, I'd also call Bobby an old man Hermione Granger, the person who reads and retains everything and is the handy go-to source for information. :)

I think the rumored death ended up being Pam's (thank goodness--I love Pam, but I'll trade her for Bobby any time) and Jim Beaver's about to film episode 4.22, so that's hopeful.

Narratively, I agree that he *could* end up dying in the season finale, but I really hope they don't go in that direction. It's too much, too dark, and takes away the best show element apart from the boys. That Hermione Granger/convenient exposition thing is hopefully too beneficial for them to give up. :)

kaybee said...

I love Bobby and Jim Beaver plays him great. The boys need some type of father figure in their lives.

Bobby has to stick around. He has too. Or else all the fans will start sending trucker hats to the SN offices till they find a way to bring him back lol.

I think the rumored death will be Ruby. It's "someone close to Sam and Dean" and since Natalie pointed out that Jim Beaver is filming the season finale already, and we know the death is in April, I'd say it's Ruby. Anna wouldn't really count as a major death in my book.

Trish Milburn said...

Sorry I'm just now getting to comment on my own post. Been in a board meeting today and just got on the Internet. Hey, it's still sunny in California. :)

I like how you all think. Terri, I love Bobby's wit and observations too. He's also often comedic relief.

Natalie, I like the Hermione comparison. Who do you think the death is going to be?

Kaybee, LOL on the trucker hats! Like Jericho fans and the nuts. You know, I can see it being Ruby too. I think I'd be more upset by that if it was Katy Cassidy still playing her.

AuthorM said...


And Jim Beaver.

Ok, that doesn't add much to the convo.

But it's true!


Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Well, I *thought* the death was Pam, but Kayleigh says it's supposed to be in April, so now I don't know. Don't care, 'cause it's not Bobby! Unless he's a ghost at the end of the season.

Anonymous said...

I accidentally heard who it's supposed to be and it's not Bobby. :)

Trish Milburn said...

Yay on the accidental info, Terri. Glad it's not Bobby.