Episode: Supernatural 7.19 – “Of Grave Importance”
Original Air Date: April 20, 2012
Screencaps by spn-caps.
With the promise of an old school hunt, coupled with the return of Bobby, this week’s episode had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, reality didn’t match the high expectations I had. While I didn’t dislike the episode, there was definitely a feeling of “but it could have been so much more!” For now, I’ll just focus on the good points: Bobby’s back, the boys know it, and the world just got a bit more complicated.
So, we have the set-up of an old school ghost hunt. A young couple gets confronted with an angry spirit as soon as they enter an abandoned mansion. Why anyone would tempt fate in, what I presume, is a well-known haunted house I do not know. But, if kids were smart, we’d never have a multitude of horror movies or hunts. It felt like a good opening, so I was excited to see how the boys would get roped into this case. Well, it was a bit more indirect than their usual hunts.
Annie, an old friend of Bobby’s, had some of his books. She called Dean, asking if the boys want to meet her and pick them up. Sounded like a good plan, yeah? Unfortunately, she wasn’t going to make the meeting. She gets killed on a hunt, trapped in an overflowing haunted house, and the boys are tasked to find out why she went missing. As a throwaway in there, we find out that Annie had previously slept with Bobby, Dean, and (Soulless)Sam. Uh, okay, nice forced joke? I heard they were playing this as “one hunter has slept with both Sam and Dean” prior to the episode, but I thought there would be more discussion about it. Sam was the first to reveal that Bobby and Annie had a thing in the past, then Dean admitted he and Annie had a temporary tumble, and finally Sam admitted he and Annie hooked up when he was soulless. Since Dean didn’t make a big deal out of sharing a lover with his brother, I’m going to assume it’s not the first time this happened. Considering the Winchester history, I bet high school had a whole lot of sharing and caring time between Sam and Dean and their respective lovers. Add Annie in there, too, now. Good to know the whole “Sleep with Sam Winchester and Die!” curse is still alive and well.
Moving on to the case, my expectations weren’t met nearly as often as I would have liked. I just felt that we were missing so many potential avenues of exploration and instead focused on Bobby receiving his “How To Be A Ghost” training alongside Annie. Here we had a whole house full of ghosts with lists of back-stories that we could touch upon, but we only got a few brief mentions and then they got killed off. Dexter, the vengeful ghost from the beginning, turned out to be warning potential victims to stay away rather than luring them to their death. Instead, the house’s owner, Whitman, was to blame for all the deaths. Who didn’t see that coming a mile off? There were no real surprises when it came to the case. The boys had to fight Whitman off when they accidentally took him for a ride, which was a minor adventure, and then they salted and burned his bones right before he took out Bobby forever. Other than the fact he transferred his power to Bobby, I didn’t find Whitman that interesting and certainly not as mysterious as the episode made him out to be.
The main point of this episode seemed to be Bobby and how he learns to be a ghost who can properly interact with the boys. He’s been attached to the flask the whole time, helping out the boys as best he could, but he doesn’t know how to engage at will. Bobby’s been moving objects, causing the audience to suspect he was around, but each event took so much energy out of him. I love Bobby, I’ve missed having him around, and I adore that he’s been trying to protect his boys the whole time. Why, then, did it feel like a bit of a chore to make it through his education in this episode? In order to affect the tangible environment around him, Bobby has to learn to either be really angry or really zen. We saw Ghost!Dean able to move an object during “In My Time of Dying” because he was so ticked off with his father and brother. Bobby doesn’t have the option of going around angry all the time, so he has to learn to achieve a sense of calmness in order to get his messages across. Kudos to him for being able to draw on the motel’s bathroom mirror while Dean was showering, though. At least he made some contact before the big reveal. The boys finally were able to put two and two together and realize that Bobby’s been hanging around this whole time. Now if only they could see him.
Oh, wait, now they can. When Whitman was taking on Bobby, and the boys burned his bones, it looked like his power transferred over to Bobby. It wasn’t clear, so I’m going by that theory. And since Bobby’s able to be seen now, the boys and he got to have a whole emotional reunion and it was lovely, but then Dean’s got to be all conflicted because he’s Dean Winchester and life is never going to be simple for him. Dean’s torn because he missed Bobby, of course he did, but having Bobby stick around upsets the natural order. I get that, I do, but it’s not like Dean’s got any room to talk. Yes, their entire lives were messed up because their loved ones screwed up the natural order: Mary brought John back from the dead, John brought Dean back from the dead, Dean brought Sam back from the dead. It’s the Winchester way! Bobby’s an adopted Winchester, so of course he’s not going to follow the natural order of death either. Dear Dean, deal with it. Your adoptive father chose to stay because of his boys, so if he wants to ride in the backseat with you and help you on cases and kill Richard Roman, well, you’ll just have to suck it up and accept it because he loves you! I personally like having Bobby back and I would be even more appreciative if they could give him back his body, but for now having Ghost!Bobby along for the ride is a-okay with me. I just hope their next case is a bit more engaging than this one.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars