For better or worse, nearly all hauntings start in a house. This particular one is in Grand Rapids, Michigan where Naoki and her baby girl, Kat, are still getting settled into their new home. In the middle of Naoki tearing down the living room wallpaper, Kat screams. Something’s in the house, she tells Naoki, and that something ends up grabbing Kat and putting her in a coma.
It’s been two weeks and no word on Cas, the Darkness—anything—and the Winchesters need something to do. Sam comes across the Grand Rapids story and they don their finest FBI threads and investigate. Naoki fills them in on the story and they stop by the house in question when the typically nosey neighbor (head of the Neighborhood Watch, but of course) questions their presence. She does mention two rude agents that visited this home a number of years ago. When she confirms they were “elder statesmen”, Sam and Dean know exactly who she’s talking about…
A handful of years ago…
We’re thrown into Rufus and Bobby’s own investigation of the house. In this case, the victim is Will Henderson, son to Mary Henderson. Poor Will’s in a coma and sporting a strange mark on his arm that looks like a handprint. Is it a ghost or a baku? Bobby thinks it’s the former, Rufus the latter. The two dig up the graves of the only two reported deaths in the house and burn the bones—the same bones the Winchesters come across. Just as Naoki becomes the most recent victim, Mary Henderson falling prey to this entity confirms that it’s not a ghost they are hunting. Bobby ends up piecing together that it’s a souleater—a creature existing in a place between worlds and out of space and time. They create a Nest between worlds where they pull their victims’ souls into the Nest to continually feed upon. They cannot be killed but can be trapped. Bobby’s personal case in Tennessee and use of a Celtic sigil confirms this, so the elder hunters start on drawing the sigil—the same one Naoki broke during her house makeover—when Bobby falls victim to the soul eater.
In the present, after Naoki falls into a coma, Sam and Dean run into Dr. Richards. Though retired, she was around during the original case. She talks about how, the next day, Mary and Will Henderson just woke up. The boys end up paying a visit to Mary where they get a bit more information on the haunting. She was told not to touch the wallpaper and describes her dream/nightmare scenario while in the coma. The boys return to the house and discover the symbol. A bit more research and they realize it’s used to trap a soul eater but Sam does one better; he finds a similar sigil in the Men of Letters’ notes that will actually kill the soul eater. One tiny problem: one-half of the sigil needs to be drawn in the soul eater’s nest. Dean loses the ultimate decision-making game—Rock, Paper, Scissors—and allows himself to be pulled into the nest.
Now, all throughout the show, we see the Winchesters’ journey through the case juxtaposed with Bobby and Rufus’s own adventures. Where Dean runs into Kat, Bobby comes across Will. The two children talk about the others that are there and, though it takes a minute for them to manifest for the hunters, they eventually see all the victims of this particular soul eater. Speaking of the monster, it takes possession of the two hunters in the real world to prevent the completion of the sigil. Both Rufus and Sam fight off their respective partners and finish the sigil, but Sam ensures the soul eater is no more, killing it.
Before Dean’s soul returns to his body, he catches a glimpse of Bobby. Though both men catch sight of one another, they don’t dwell on things too much. There’s work to do and, per usual, an apocalypse to stop.
- It was such a grand time seeing Bobby and Rufus back in action. Two of the many that have fallen over the years, the motley pair have always given the show a kick start when needed. But it wasn’t only their presence but the seamlessness in how their investigation was integrated into Sam and Dean’s own hunting of the soul eater. Monster-of-the-week episode it may be, but “Safe House” was fun and well crafted.
- Sadly, this was but a detour in the grand scheme of things and, as such, probably one of the last times we’ll see Bobby and Rufus together. A bittersweet episode no doubt, but one I’d rather have than not.
- Rufus, during the case, has to remind Bobby of the “oldest rule of hunting…you can’t save everyone”. It’s the hardest pill to swallow for any hero, but even more so for the Winchesters who are all too often reminded off every day in their cause to killing things and saving people.
- Though it was only two-deep, the inclusion of Willie Nelson’s “Night Life” and the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider” were well-placed musical notes, something we’ve all come to expect from Supernatural.