The boys are back in town! No offense to Sam and Dean, but my all-time fave character on Supernatural is Bobby Singer. I still haven't forgiven the showrunners for the totally unnecessary killing of Bobby, and I'm sure I am not alone in that feeling. Thankfully they have brought him back as an angel and in other iterations since. This time it's a flashback to a case that Bobby and Rufus investigated a few years back. The structure of the ep is cool as well, inter-cutting the present day case that Sam and Dean are working with the past case in the same house by Bobby and Rufus.
Sam and Dean are at a standstill in their search for dirt on how to smite 'The Darkness' and decide to take a case to 'finally get a win'. On its face it seems like a straight up ghost hunt. But some aspects don't fit, such as the vics being in comas and a child with a hand print burned into their ankle.
Flashback to Bobby and Rufus, who have the same initial reaction to their case. The weird aspects cause a disagreement between our Grumpy Old Men, and it's a grand sight to see the the acidic and hilarious banter between Bobby and Rufus. The chemistry between the two actors is palpable, and it shows what a grave mistake it was for the producers to kill off both of them.
The parallel investigations are almost identical, showing how close the hunters are in their methodology. The only difference is that Sam and Dean have the benefit of the massive intel from the Men of Letters, while Bobby and Rufus must go old school. Eventually both sets of hunters come to the conclusion that the baddie is a 'Soul Eater', a particularly nasty being who creates a 'nest' in another dimension in whatever house he targets. So even though he is in the house, he is in a dimension outside of time and space and can't be seen. He takes the souls to snack on later, and all the past and future souls can see each other in this alternate dimension. This is very important later on.
Bobby and Rufus figure out a way to trap the Soul Eater, but can't suss out a way to kill it. This means the vics can't be saved, and as Rufus tells Bobby many times in the ep, 'First rule of hunting - you can't save everybody.' Flash to present day, where Sam finds lore from the Men of Letters on how to kill the baddie. The trap and the kill both involve sigils (magical symbols painted on the wall). The trick to killing the Soul Eater involves painting the sigil in the real world AND in the alternate dimension where the Soul Eater lives. So that means Sam or Dean have to be taken into the alternate dimension - not good. One round of their favorite tie-breaker 'rock-paper-scissors' and it's Dean who must take the trip.
Once inside the dimension Dean sees Past Bobby, who was taken by the Soul Eater during Rufus and Bobby's attempt to trap the demon years ago. And in a freaky scene both Bobby and Dean see the dead bodies of Sam and Dean on the floor - does your head hurt yet - because mine does!
The Soul Eater comes into the real world and takes possession of Bobby's body in the past and Dean's body in present to prevent Rufus and Sam from completing the sigils. Both fights are brutal, but Rufus and Sam both complete the symbols. And get this - since all the Soul Eater's past and future vics are in the alternate dimension together, the kill symbol saves everyone from the past and the present. In a truly trippy moment, Present Day Dean essentially saves Past Bobby from the clutches of the Soul Eater and both emerge back into their bodies (Bobby in the past and Dean in present day) in the real world - brain freeze!
The ep ends with both sets of hunters victorious, with both driving away to the strains of The Allman Brothers 'Midnight Rider'. Any episode with Bobby is a 10 for me, and having Rufus back to do the old married couple vibe with Bobby is a plus. As good as it was I was sad to see it end. They need to figure out a way to bring Bobby back FOR GOOD!