Supernatural Episode 7.11 Review: Smile, Though Your Heart is Aching
I'll admit, I found out about Bobby's fate shortly before Supernatural aired tonight and I was so angry. Angry enough that I typed three pages about my feelings. Then I watched the episode and I was still angry (and I saw where they were going with the whole thing). After the episode, I didn't throw away my rant, but I did modify it, because despite Frank's big proclamation about why hunters do what they do, I still think there's flaws in the argument. I also apologize about the length of this review, but I had so many things to say about motivation after watching it that literally spans the entire series, so I hope you'll stick with it.
The Five Stages of Grief
However, before we get to that, let's start at the beginning. Bobby (Jim Beaver) is dead. Supernatural took a page out of Twilight's book (and it pains me to even admit I know this scene happened in that movie) and showed the passage of time with silent stares. After Bobby flat-lined in the hospital, the boys regrouped at Rufus'cabin. A few weeks past. Sam (Jared Padalecki) brooded, while Dean (Jensen Ackles) silently planned his revenge against Dick Roman. Said plan included a hunter's wall of clippings, photos and notes, along with sending the numbers Bobby wrote on Sam's hand to Frank to decipher their meaning. Well, it was taking Frank a few weeks to get back to Dean, so the eldest Winchester decided to head off to see him. Sam, meanwhile, went off on a case, but we'll get to that later.
Dean managed to track down Frank and they both convinced the other that they weren't leviathans in disguise. Dean pushed Frank to tell him the meaning of the numbers and eventually Frank revealed they were coordinates, with one number missing. Specifically, coordinates to a field in Wisconsin. So they headed there to do surveillance, only to realize that the field was already being surveilled by Dick Roman and his people. After tapping into the video feed, they spotted a woman surveying the property, indicating that someone was going to be built there. That's when Dean got called away to help Sam on his case.
So, a Hunter Walked Into a Diner....
Speaking of Sam's case, it's clear that it was meant to draw parallels to the Winchester's life. Before the boys separated, Sam took a call on Bobby's phone from a 14 year old girl named Krissy, who was looking for help. Sam wanted to help her and tracked her down, only to learn her father went missing. He realized her father was a hunter and set off to follow his trail. He came across two monsters in a diner where the hunter (Lee) was last seen. These monsters - vetalas - were sort of similar to vampires in that the drank blood. Sam got ambushed by two of them and brought to a warehouse where he found Lee (still alive) and several other drained hunters.
That's when Dean was called up by Krissy and learned that his brother had disappeared. He also realized Sam didn't know that vetalas hunted in pairs based on a voicemail Sam left for his brother. So he headed to Krissy's apartment and quickly realized she knew her father was a hunter. Not only that, but she demanded that Dean take her on the rescue mission. Like I said on Twitter during the episode, Dean finally met his match in a teenage girl. Krissy was sassy and fairly self-confident. Dean was convinced she was afraid - or should have been - when faced with a real hunt, but she was able to handle herself. They tracked down the warehouse and Dean went inside, handcuffing Krissy to the steering wheel.
Unfortunately, Dean couldn't exactly get the jump on the two vetalas inside. And then Krissy burst in and got captured. It looked like all hope was lost until the girl managed to stab the vetala holding her and freed Sam, who killed the other monster.
Later, at the hospital, Dean told Lee he should quit the life so that his daughter could be normal. Lee insisted that hunters didn't just quit the life, but Sam and Dean had hopes that this family could. Like I said, there were so many parallels between Lee and Krissy and the Winchesters. You had a single father raising a child to hunt. Krissy nearly lost her father like Sam and Dean had recently lost their father figure. And Dean was trying to convince Lee to take an option that the Winchesters could no longer take. This is where my problem lies, but we'll get to that soon enough. The point is the brothers had another 'emo conversation in the car'moment at the end of the episode, where Sam said he wasn't fine, but just wanted to work. Dean, meanwhile, just wants to go on.
Bobby, the Friendly Ghost
So, Bobby's dead. But we all know where this is going, right? No one actually came out and said it, but it's clear that Bobby is around. Remember that scene at the beginning where Dean's beer disappeared? Well, I'm pretty sure that was Bobby. Not because ghost Bobby likes to drink, but because he was trying to stop Dean from burying his grief in alcohol, as per usual. So, now is the opportune time to talk about my reaction to what happened to Bobby, the flaws in Frank's argument, and why something's gotta give.
Concluded on next page....