And that leaves me with the cliff hanger: Bobby! The final sequence was very effective, as I relaxed when the hunter finally jumped in the van. Yet Dick’s final shots were so coolly aimed I had a sinking feeling he would hit something . . . or someone. As a cliff hanger leading up to the mid-season finale, Bobby getting shot is a corker. I cannot believe the writers would kill Bobby. And yet . . .
The next part of the review will deal with pure speculation on my part. I have no knowledge of any spoilers.
My suspicion is Bobby will die. The description of this season is the Winchesters will lose everything that helped them in the past. Bobby is the last connection the boys have to their usual way of handling enemies—other than Crowley, I guess. Let’s say Bobby is the last clearly on their side connection Sam and Dean have. Killing him really sets the boys adrift, which is where the writers want them to be.
From one standpoint, I see the attraction. It does reboot the story and shake it up. I’m certainly on pins and needles and can’t wait to see what happens in the next episode. Sam and Dean would have to reach out to each other to get through Bobby’s loss and I love seeing relationship development between the two.
But from another standpoint, I wonder about the wisdom of taking away every reference point to the boys' past history. Supernatural has a very rich back-story at this point. We've bonded with several characters who were with Sam and Dean in dire circumstances and those characters opened up story telling. One blush from Jo reminded us she had a crush on Dean, while he viewed her more as a sister, leading Ellen to act as a pseudo-mom to him.
Castiel and Dean bonded over the pain of an absent father, making Castiel’s betrayal all the more poignant, particularly when he hurt Sam. Castiel’s entrance into the story would bring up the idea of forgiveness on both Sam and Dean’s parts without it needing to come out of subtext. The audience can fill in the gaps. We know the history. We have our investment in what we want to happen (in all the many permutations those hopes come in!).
Taking away both Castiel and Bobby in one season takes away so much history that can be referenced without having to write anything on the nose. And to me, referential writing makes richer writing. I like being able to read subtext based on what I know. I like having expectations as soon as I see a character. I don’t really see it benefitting the show to pare Sam and Dean down to, well, Sam and Dean.