Friday, December 2, 2011

Tanya's Holy Crap Recap (Death's Door)

You should be aware that this post contains mega spoilers for the Dec. 2 episode "Death's Door," as well as wildly uninformed speculation on where Bobby's character goes from here.

I've mentioned before that I don't read spoilers. I like talking about ideas with other fans and I like taking note of what future guest stars may be on the show (Jason Dohring!) but beyond that, I don't look. So I went into this episode with no idea whether or not Jim Beaver is shuffling off the show ala Misha Collins. The show certainly hasn't hesitated to kill off characters in the past, so I've been a little concerned ever since the last episode when the aptly named Dick, aka Head Leviathan, shot Bobby in the head.

We pick up where we left off, with Sam and Dean freaking out and Bobby bleeding. As they rush him to the hospital, we cut to a different take from a scene last week, when they find a victim up a tree. But Bobby quickly realizes that this isn't exactly reality and that he in fact is the victim. From there, he begins bouncing around to different scenes in his life, including a meaningful conversation with his wife (although we're not sure yet why it's meaningful) and a job he once worked with Rufus (nice to see him again!) There are also some memories of Sam and Dean, then Bobby seeing his mother in his kitchen and instantly closing the door. (Major foreshadowing and I called the eventual plot development right there.)

Meanwhile, in what Bobby calls the waking world, doctors tell Dean and Sam to prepare themselves for Bobby's likely death. At one point later in the episode, a hapless hospital admin approaches Dean to ask how Bobby felt about being an organ donor. Who else got chills in that scene?

It turns out that the reason Bobby's mind went to that particular job with Rufus was because his former partner had a near-death experience. Rufus shared with Bobby that the way he escaped death was finding the right door--the one that makes you walk right through the memory you least want to face. Bobby explains that he's been shot and that Rufus isn't even real and his former partner becomes his spirit guide or what have you. They return to the scene where his wife Karen was, who is now violently upset. Turns out that she and Bobby had argued bitterly that night because he didn't want to have kids. (More accurately, because he didn't want to be a father.) Their argument was only three days before her posession and his eventually having to kill her and one of his worst regrets. Rufus is hopeful that this was the memory Bobby had to confront, but of course there's way too much left in the episode for it to be that easy! And, as Bobby has a Reaper on his tail (or, as Bobby put it, in his custard) we know it's going to be quite difficult. At this point, I was betting Bobby would in fact die.

In one of my favorite scenes, we see Bobby playing baseball with a young Dean even though they'd been expressly ordered by John Winchester (worst dad ever) to practice shooting. We also get a funny memory of adult Sam and Dean asking Bobby to solve the debate of who's a bigger bad-ass: Chuck Norris or Jet-Li. (Feel free to weigh in with your vote in the comments.)

Bobby tells Rufus that while you can't stop a Reaper permanently, he and the boys have run across them enough to pick up a few tricks. He manages to trap the Reaper, but the Reaper points out how parts of Bobby's mental world are disappearing because his brain is dying. Because of that, the trap will eventually fade and the Reaper will get him. Is Bobby merely postponing the inevitable because he has knowledge of the Leviathans he needs to give the boys?

The theme of the episode was clearly fatherhood (with the secondary theme of Bobby Singer Rocks) and we get a glimpse of Bobby on the phone arguing with John and admitting, "I know I'm not their father." But come on, we all know differently. Bobby Singer was the best parent those poor kids ever had. And in the final confrontation with his own abusive, aloholic father, Bobby concludes that as well. Bobby's late dad sneers that he's glad Bobby never had kids because he would have sucked and Bobby rejoins that, as a matter of fact, he adopted two and they grew up GREAT. They're HEROES. (Big Damn, if you'll pardon the Firefly reference.)

The awful childhood memory played out the way I figured it would, with young Bobby shooting his father in order to save his mother (at which point she immediately told him God would punish him. Yikes, the parents on this show.) And as the Reaper lunges for Bobby, he finally escapes death through the right door and...

His eyes opened in the hospital. Dean and Sam were ecstatic and for a second I actually thought the status had been returned to quo (they've dodged death plenty of times before). He tries unsuccessfully to tell them something and when they get him a pen, he scrawls the important numbers (what they are and why they're important, I don't know) on Sam's hand. Then he smiles at them and it hit me in the gut that he was totally gonna die. He opened his mouth and I braced myself for an admission of "I love you" that would make me sob. My husband said, "He's gonna say 'I'm ready.'" But, no. In classic Bobby fashion, all he said was, "Idjits." And then he flatlined. And I sobbed.

I thought that was the end of the show and was surprised to see us back again in Bobby's "house," the darkness ever growing outside it. Sam and Dean are in the living room arguing about proper movie snacks (and I laughed out loud at Dean's insistence that licorice is "chewy bites of heaven"). The Reaper tells Bobby it's now or never, is he gonna cross over peacefully or become a stuck spirit? He also says, "They'll be all right without you," the boys fade, and credits roll.

So, without citing interviews or spoilers that give us the answer (assuming they exist), what do you guys think? Is Bobby gone??? Will he return a horrible shade in the new year, caught between two worlds and warped by his own good intentions? (If so, did dude learn NOTHING from Cass?) What were those numbers? It all makes my head hurt. Although that could be from the crying.

What I do know is that, even if Bobby's "gone," this show is great at unexpectedly bringing back the dead for guest spots and episodes showcasing Jim Beaver's talents are always excellent. That said, holy crap, they killed Bobby!

12 comments:

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I thought killing Bobby would be the death of the show. And I'm sure there will be plenty of people who think so. But damn, if they didn't do it in a way that makes me accept it.

And yet! They left it open at the end. I think it's entirely possible Bobby would say "I'm stayin'," and NOT become a vengeful spirit. His reason for staying would be love, not revenge, and he'd have the boys. If they knew he was there and he could interact with them, he'd never become the horror they'd have to hunt. Wouldn't that be an awesome way to twist their mythology?

That said, he'd be tied to the hospital or a burned-down house with no resources he could point the boys to, so...

Great write-up, Tanya. I didn't cry watching the ep, but you got me a little misty describing it.

Tanya Michaels said...

Natalie, like you, I feel the writers wrote his death in a way that makes me accept it. In fact, after that poignant goodbye, if the next episode found him sitting up in his hospital bed, I'd be angry and stop trusting the writers! But I hope this isn't the last we see of Jim Beaver. Rufus, Ellen, and Jo have all been on the show since their deaths. (Ash in heaven was one of my favorite cameos.)

I'll miss Bobby a lot (and I still miss seeing Misha) but I loved the early seasons of the show and they were always more focused on Sam and Dean.

Glad you liked the write up--thanks for the kind words :-)

Melissa Bradley said...

Super fantastic write-up!! This was a hard ep for me to watch and you're so right, holy crap the parents on this show. I don't know what will happen to Bobby, but I did like the way they had him go out if he is in fact going to remain "dead." I just hate that we have to wait for more eps. Sigh...

kp said...

I loved it. It seems fitting that Bobby should go this way. Parents die, Sam and Dean aren't exceptions to this rule. Still, I can't imagine how they are going to fill Bobby & Cas' shoes. Stripping away S & D's support systems like this isn't going to bring the 1st season magic back. They are grown men now not 'guys on a road trip'. Too much has happened. I hope the writers realize that. It's just like people in Hollywood who don't really look younger when they are spraytanned and botoxed within an inch of their lives, Our guys can't be kids again no matter what you do. Also, they are going to need SOMETHING to stop them from pulling so much into themselves they have no reason to fight the good fight anymore. My $.02 Thank you so much for the recap!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

I was out of town and didn't get to watch the show last night, so just now finished watching it. Wah!! I don't Bobby to be gone. Like others, I already miss Cass. Don't know what happens from here, but I wonder if the numbers are longitude and latitude coordinates to some place significant.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Natalie, I like the way you think! I'll take Bobby as Helpful Spirit for 200, Alex.

TerriClark said...

Great recap, Tanya! And it was a holy crap episode. I screamed and cried and I'm not a crier when it comes to TV shows.

But I REFUSE to believe Bobby is dead. Sorry, guys that's one death I absolutely can't accept. Frankly, I'd be pissed, even if it was done beautifully.

And the preview for the next episode looks too light hearted for the boys to lose the person they've loved most in their life.

Nope, I'm convinced he'll still be around and Cass will be back.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

kp, I think you're right, and with the way they've handled things so far and from what they've said in interviews, I'm mostly hopeful they won't be trying to "recreate" the early seasons, but more cycle around to them. Return to some of the sensibility of that time without ignoring how the boys have changed.

So Terri, how do you think they can keep Bobby alive considering the reaper telling him his brain is essentially dead? The only way I think they could consistently keep him is as a spirit. Unless, of course, "Chuck" brought him back to life again. :)

Pamela Hill said...

Terri, I'm with you! I cannot accept Bobby's death either. They certainly could keep him around as a friendly ghost, as Natalie suggests. I'm not sure how that would work.
The previews certainly show a light hearted eppy, so color me confused...
I don't know how I will be able to wait until JANUARY until the next episode!

TerriClark said...

Hi Pam! I don't know how to make it until the hellatus is over either. I'm already having Walking Dead withdrawal (incidentally did you all see Bella on there. I didn't recognize her at first since she wasn't a fancy British bitch. LOL) and now I have to add SPN on there.

Melissa Bradley said...

OMG I totally did not recognize Bella on Walking Dead! I love her as Maggie.

JustinJohnson said...

Hey guys do any of you know how i can watch that last episode? I forgot to record it.