The oldest rule of hunting: you can't save everyone.
Another week and still no news on Amara or Castiel. Looking for a layup, Sam suggests that he and Dean take a case in Grand Rapids where a young girl has suddenly fallen into a coma. Dean is hesitant but they head to the hospital and talk to the girl's mother, Naoki. She tells them that they just moved into house and her daughter heard noises and that the house got cold when she found her daughter on the floor with a strange hand print around her ankle. As it turns out, Bobby helped Rufus on the exact same case years ago while the boys were deep in the fight against Lilith. Bobby and Rufus go back and forth trying to determine if it's a ghost or a baku (some type of Japanese thing). After their own crack at the research, Sam figured out that the demon is a soul eater that takes the souls of its victims into its nest, a place outside of time and space, while their bodies wither and die. Just to make matters worse, Naoki gets been taken by the soul eater. Unlike Bobby and Rufus, Sam has found a way to kill the monster instead of trap it but there's a catch – one of them has to let the monster take their soul into its nest.
Back from a month long hiatus, Supernatural has brought back some familiar faces in Safe House. What worked well in Safe House is how the Winchesters were working to resolve an old case that Bobby and Rufus couldn't finish from several years ago. Sam and Dean retraced their steps and the similarities between the two told one complete story. Though the execution to tell that one story was excellent, the parallel stories shared far too much overlap and didn't diverge until Sam was able to kill the soul eater. Besides that, they were virtually identical. Had there been more obstacles for the Winchesters or Rufus and Bobby the two tales could have served to contrast one another in pacing or tone. Also, the amount of overlap began to feel forced as it was simply too coincidental that they would be at the same motel, talking with the same doctor and a few other details.
The unquestionable highlight of the episode was definitely the return of Jim Beaver and Steven Williams as Bobby Singer and Rufus Turner. The two jumped back into their roles as if they had never left and still retained that grumpy old men chemistry that made them so likeable on their old cases together. They also further illustrate the void that they left, especially Beaver, when their characters were killed off. The Winchesters has been missing that moral compass for years; the voice that would tell them how crazy their plans are and how it they will get everyone killed and Bobby did just that. If anything, I would have loved for the entire episode to be told from the perspective of Bobby and Rufus while Sam or Dean read Bobby's journal of everything that happened. The episode could have finished with either of them finding the way to kill the soul eater and heading out to finish the job. That would have cut out a lot of the overlap and gave the sense that the boys were continuing their work rather than repeating it several years later.
Safe House was a good episode because of the guest stars Singer and Turner but without them, it wouldn't have been able to stand on its own merit. We'll see if next week's episode, Red Meat, can bring the excitement when the Winchesters hunt a pack of werewolves.