It’s been a long time coming and though the signs have been there for quite some time, Sam and Dean’s curmudgeon of an Uncle, Bobby Singer, is officially back and still doing what he’s always done; helping his boys.
Taking breaks where they can get them, the Winchesters take pleasure in one of the few vices still available to them—the almighty bastion that is fast food. One bite into a deliciously disgusting taco, Dean gets a call from Annie, a fellow hunter who offers her condolences regarding Bobby. On her own job, she offers to meet the boys the next day to give them some leftover books she had of their deceased Uncle. Cut to a pair of necking young folk in a house that screams bad news; Annie pulls up to the place and when the teens hear her car, they freak and try to bolt. They end up running into what I’d call a serviceable impression of the Blob. A few minutes later, Annie runs across their torn up bodies seconds before her own flashlight winks out and the front door shuts behind her.
The next day, while the brothers wait for Annie’s arrival Dean finds that Dick Roman is making headlines with another archaeological dig. Sam notices the time and both agree that Annie’s never this late. Dean gives her a call and as he waits for her to answer, the brothers realize they shared one more thing with Bobby; a bit of on-the-job tension relief with Bobby, to which Dean replies “that’s a lot of foxholes.” They get back on the topic of Bobby and Dean suggests that, while they’d love to see him, it’s probably better that they don’t. On the way to the car, he gives Annie another call and it goes straight to voicemail. They know something ain’t right. Sam casually suggests Dean put away the flask as it reminds them of Bobby and Dean shies away from the suggestion, as Mr. Singer sits morosely in the back seat, trying to figure out how he’s going to get in contact with them.
Before going on the job, the boys do a bit of online research on the Old Van Ness house, known for its haunted ways. They make their way into the house with Bobby in tow; there are quite a few ghosts in tow, though the brothers don’t see. Bobby tries to make peace with them to no avail. The brothers make their way through the house and find Annie’s phone. As Bobby watches a dapper man berate the Blob (or Dexter, as he’s called) Annie gets his attention. Though he’s happy to see her, the fact they can interact is proof positive that she’s joined him on the other side. She’s none too happy about it and is even less amused when Bobby admits to ducking his reaper. Judging from their bantering, Annie was a handful in life as she is in the ghostly realm. She gives Bobby a description of her final memories while he shares with her his futile attempts to contact the boys.
While Sam’s EMF continues to pop with ghostly vibes, Dean catches some noise on Annie’s phone. After trying quite a bit, one of the ghosts (Haskell) talks to them. He even demonstrates how to move solid objects though the less than patient Bobby fails miserably at the task. When one ghost explodes into nothing, Haskell tells Bobby and Annie that’s their eventual fate, maybe sooner, maybe later. Finished searching the house, the brothers have a good idea about Annie’s fate and leave to do a bit more research. Bobby and Annie try to get the brothers’ attention to no avail. One ghost—Victoria—talks to them; she’s the same ghost Annie (and Dean) heard on Annie’s phone. Annie asks Victoria what she meant to free her when Bobby disappears, reappearing nearer the flask.
The Winchesters pay a visit to the local historian who gives them a rundown of the history of Van Ness. The historian even mentions Annie’s interest in the house a few days prior. Back at the motel, the brothers go over a few more points about the house while Bobby is finally successful in communicating with them. As the brothers watch in surprise, two idgits think it’s a good idea to go sauntering through the house their friends disappeared in. It’s no surprise they don’t get out alive but what is surprising is Dexter’s failed attempt at warning them; it has been Witman doing all the killing, framing Dexter all those years ago. Annie watches, powerless, as Witman absorbs Dexter’s essence. Victoria explains how Witman kills to entertain himself and absorbs his ghostly victims to gain power. Annie has Victoria take the camera but she stays, watching where Witman keeps the bodies of those he kills.
The brothers return with weapons at the ready and Bobby slips the flask out of Dean’s pocket and puts it in the house. Victoria slips them the camera and then appears to the boys to deliver the message but is interrupted by Witman who kills her. They leave to burn Witman’s bones but the murdering bastard is a clever one; he puts a key in Sam’s pocket, allowing him to go along with the boys, no doubt with murder on his mind.
Bobby berates himself for not being able to help the boys until Annie points out the sneaking they can do with big bad Witman gone. Showing he’s getting the hang of the ghostly hand, Bobby opens the passage where Witman’s kept the bodies. Annie sees her own corpse and it understandably has a sobering effect on her. She gets introspective on things and requests a hunter’s funeral. Though Bobby isn’t ready to give up the ghost, Annie is.
On the way to the graveyard, Witman tries to make the brothers crash but they’re able to get rid of him, snapping the ghost back to his residence. His reappearance interrupts Annie and Bobby’s attempts to put the other ghosts at rest; they try to get away but Witman cuts them off and slams a hand into Bobby’s chest, intent on vaporizing him the same way he did Dexter. Bobby’s nearly a goner when Sam and Dean get to Witman’s bones and burn them away. Bobby wakes up quite a bit later to Annie. He sits up as Sam and Dean re-enter the house and the biggest surprise of the night occurs when their shocked faces coinciding with vocal disbelief of seeing their Uncle in the flesh, or ectoplasm. Their talk isn’t hugs and puppies, with Dean especially harsh with Bobby’s intent to stay and help. Feeling less than appreciated, Bobby disappears. The brothers commiserate in the car (unaware of Bobby’s presence in the back seat) unsure of where to go now. One thing Dean does know is that whatever’s going on isn’t natural and most likely won’t be ending well.
While it may be a copout, I’m not going to complain when one of the best ‘Supernatural’ characters is back in the saddle. We knew Bobby was returning but not when or how long. As it stands, it looks like he’s back for the long haul, ready to fight Big Dick Roman and the Leviathan at Sam and Dean’s side. With their most stable ally a demon and most powerful one crazy as a canary, the brothers need all the help they can get. Even then, it may not be enough and like Dean says, it probably won’t end well.
If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Supernatural: Party On, Garth’ recap to catch up.
- Bobby Singer is back! It’s been a bit sparse in the ‘Supernatural’ universe with their friends dying left and right. With Cas on the far side of crazy, the boys need a strong friendly face. Okay, so Bobby’s not super friendly but he’s just what they need at just the right time.
- Sam and Dean learning that they were–hmmmm, how to say this?–“foxhole buddies” with Bobby in regards to Annie was priceless. If only Bobby was able to share in on the joke…
- Why do shows introduce such good characters only to have them go the way of the do-do after an episode or two? Annie was quite a woman, reminiscent of Ellen but with a bit lighter personality. It would’ve been quite a treat to have her at the Winchesters’ side, battling the big bads.
- Though they do touch on Dick Roman’s activities at the start of the episode, we are still left wondering with Big D’s up to. Instead we were given a second rate story (with an admittedly interesting twist) as we await the big showdown.
- Now that Bobby’s fully visible to the boys, just how far do his powers reach? It’s definitely a boon having a ghost in their corner, so long as the flask remains intact.