Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
Stuck in void between life and death with a reaper on his trail, Bobby has to choose: move on to the afterlife or stay behind and risk becoming something worse in the void.
As Bobby is being rushed to the hospital by Sam and Dean he is trapped in his own mind, reliving past memories seemingly at random. Somehow, Bobby is conscious of the gunshot wound to his head but just when he realizes the Sam and Dean in front of him aren't real, he's thrown into memory when he was with his ex wife, shortly before she was possessed. Before that concludes he's back with his old mentor and partner, Rufus, who is trying to get Bobby's help on a job but the memory takes on a new spin when a reaper appears to take Bobby to the next life. Unwilling to go quietly into the night, Bobby runs from the reaper and picks up Rufus on the way to help guide him back to the light. Based on past experience, Rufus tells Bobby he escaped a similar situation by finding the exit, which is unfortunately buried under the worst memories of their lives. Even though Bobby won't give in, he is still dying and it is only a matter of time before the reaper catches up or he is stuck in his own mind forever.
Without a doubt, Death's Door is the best episode of season seven yet. Even though the concept of Bobby being stuck in between life and death seemed complicated, it was done incredibly well and easily better than most of the previous trips to heaven from past seasons. What worked so well was that we have seen Bobby Singer for years and yet Supernatural still manages to find another way to show more of the character in stunning fashion.
The only part of the episode that I could have done without was the scene between Dean and Richard Roman (played by James Patrick Stewart) because he is one of the worst villains Supernatural has had. Stewart lacks the charisma and sense of unpredictability of past characters; it doesn't lend well to his scenes or the overall story.
When given the goods, Jim Beaver is simply fantastic as Bobby Singer. Although the episode was entirely focused on Bobby, Singer delivered in every scene and Bobby's emotions were organic and heartfelt in everything from his ex wife to his alcohol, rage driven father. I sincerely hope Bobby stays around because Supernatural would be at a huge loss without him as he is one of the few characters Supernatural could not do without.
Speaking of great performances, Steven Williams returned as Rufus and it was a treat to see him and Bobby as partners before things went south and Rufus started hating Bobby. It was incredible to get a sense of nostalgia even though we have only seen the two of the work together a handful of times through the course of the series. Also, I couldn't find the name of the person who played the reaper but he was great as well. Most portrayals of reapers have been cheesy and facetious but he showed for better or worse, it's a job. He wasn't out to destroy Bobby or to save him, just to take him from one life to the next before there is nothing left. It was an intelligent performance that we don't get to see as often as we should when it comes to reapers.
Death's Door was a great episode and I hope that after hiatus, Supernatural comes back just as strong. We'll see when the show returns January 6, 2012 with Adventures in Babysitting.