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SUPERNATURAL Recap: Bobby and Rufus Take Us Back in Time

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Supernatural episode “Safe House.” If you haven’t watched it yet, hop into the Impala and drive away.

Characters have come and gone and come back to Supernatural over the years, but Jim Beaver’s Bobby Singer is the one I miss the most. That’s why I was thrilled to see him and Steven Williams’ Rufus (read what Williams had to say about coming back) return to the show in this week’s “Safe House,” in which they sort of worked a case alongside Dean and Sam. The Winchesters investigated an incident in Michigan that was a repeat of a case Bobby and Rufus handled back in the day (during the events of season four to be exact). The episode cut the past and present together in a creative way that highlighted the differences and similarities between the hunters.

It was so goddamned lovely to see Rufus and Bobby team up. They’re older (and grumpier) than Sam and Dean, and they’re fun to watch. Bobby helped Rufus with the case despite the craziness happening back then—you know, Lilith and the pending apocalypse. Even that was similar because Dean and Sam were rather occupied with the whole stopping Darkness and Lucifer business. But as both Rufus and Sam pointed out, they needed a win. I can respect needing a break. I relate it to taking a break to cross a small item off my to-do list when I’m in the middle of a huge looming project. Writing deadlines, the apocalypse—what I’m saying is they’re basically the same.

I’m glad they at least addressed the Darkness issue. In past seasons, Sam and Dean would take a detour from the big problem at hand without any explanation. Here, they made it a point to mention not having any leads for a couple of weeks.

When Sam and Dean arrived, they quickly learned they weren’t the only FBI agents to visit the home where the weirdness happened. They put two and two together and realized Bobby and Rufus had been around years ago. Bobby didn’t leave any helpful notes in his journal, so they had to solve the case all over again. This opened the door for some intriguing shots showing all the hunters taking the same steps years apart. For example, Dean and Sam stayed in the same motel room as Bobby and Rufus and there was a cool overhead look at both sets of hunters eating takeout and performing research. Bobby and Rufus had books, while Sam and Dean preferred electronics. It was a nice “everything changes but nothing changes” moment.

All the hunters came to the conclusion the creature causing humans to slip into a coma was a Soul Eater. And bejeezus, it was frightening. I’m not a fan of anything that grabs a person by the ankle and drags said person away. The soulless (at least, I think they were soulless) people in the nest were creepy, too. It’s been a while since I felt compelled to turn on the light while I watched Supernatural, but I needed the comfort of a lamp with “Safe House.”

The scares—by the way, I’m consistently amazed they can still expand the mythology after this many seasons—were balanced by humor between the brothers and especially between Rufus and Bobby. It’s a novelty to have other hunters around, and I’ve missed seeing other personalities. Rufus’ talent for self-preservation was on full display, and I was amused by how he didn’t quite understand Bobby’s relationship with the Winchesters. Incidentally, it made me a little teary-eyed to be reminded of how much Bobby loved those boys. He would have been a better father than John.

I’m looking forward to seeing Dean and Sam get back to saving Castiel and stopping Amara, but I didn’t mind this detour in the least. I will take more of Bobby and his calling everyone “idjits” however and whenever I can get it. As an added bonus to seeing Bobby again, “Safe House” was a lively mix of the past and present that enriched the mythology of the series.

Random observations:

  • Rufus left Bobby where he was to finish the sigil. Sam dragged Dean into the same room as him before he finished the sigil. It lined up with Rufus’ spouting about the oldest rule (“Not everyone can be saved”).
  • I will never not be amused by the Winchesters using rock-paper-scissors to determine who gets stuck doing the worst things.

What did you think of the way the episode flipped between the future and past? Did you like seeing Bobby and Rufus again? Talk to me in the comments.


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