It's hard to believe that Bobby is truly gone from Supernatural.
Carrying on is in itself a difficult matter and "Adventures in Babysitting" took to exploring just how well Sam and Dean were able to handle such a tragic loss.
In fact, the return from hiatus was something of a quiet one, giving more time for reflecting on Bobby, the idea of moving forward and simply acknowledging he really was dead.
I wasn't entirely sure where everything would pick back up. Would there be a time jump? Would it be moments after "Death's Door?" Thankfully, there was a bit of both, leaving Sam and Dean relatively speechless and in a state of mourning that progressed them towards ways of coping without dragging things out or jumping so far ahead that the boys seemed perfectly fine. It truly allowed the tragic moment to resonate for both viewers and the characters.
Which, of course, meant that Sam needed to fill his time by saving others and Dean, besides even further copious amounts of alcohol, was focused on the singular task of revenge. Which also meant that Sam and Dean split up. Again. Haven't they learned that splitting up is a bad thing?
At least Dean was off to see one of my new favorite characters, Frank. He's unlike many of the other friends and acquaintances that the brothers have gotten to know along the way, in that aside from being technologically savvy and a bit of a crazy person, Frank offers up moments of sanity that are bluntly laid out on the table.
Sure, he's hilarious and renders Dean, master of wit and joke, speechless with his sharp tongue, but he's so straightforward it's refreshing. He tells Dean that he looks like crap. He knows that the brothers go hunting when they have to find a way to pass the time. And he knows exactly how it feels to lose someone.
The way he told Dean to put on a smile and move forward day by day was perfect. Frank never told Dean to forget Bobby, but merely go on living because that's what you're supposed to do. And it's true, no matter how much I wish Bobby was still around, life continues. Frank is such a vastly different character that his liveliness and oddball antics make for fun scenes to watch.
And I love that the numbers Bobby gave the brothers wasn't a plot device that would be strung out till the end of the season. Sure, it took a bit of time for Frank to figure them out, but the reveal that they were coordinates was intriguing. Especially because the Leviathan are building something.
It provided the show with a sense of mystery and possibility for what I've felt to be rather bland bad guys so far. Even though I know nothing about their plan, the fact that I know that a project is in the works peaks my curiosity. I actually have an interest in what the Leviathan have in store. But really, what are they building?
Unfortunately, Sam spent most of his time tied up and captured, but this meant that Dean had plenty of opportunities to reflect on everything from Bobby to hunting to even his own life. Dean really had a lot of work to do this episode. It's no wonder he was so exhausted.
Also, bringing in another child for Dean to bond with brought out his own parenting skills and recognition about being a hunter and the repercussions of such. Although, as much as he was preaching about living a normal life and getting away, Dean did try that and it didn't work. Similarly, the other hunters acknowledged that idea of never quitting the business. It's as if once your in, no matter how much you want a different life, it will never leave you. It was good to see that even Dean understood it, even if he didn't like it.
I love that the little girl was calling Dean a dweeb for the fist bump or that he was an old man, while at the same time Dean was boldly saying that normally he's tons of fun and just plain awesome. If anything Jensen Ackles does a great job in playing off other actors creating a chemistry and fun banter no matter what the age or person.
Yet, it was that final moment that focused solely on Ackles abilities to convey emotion without saying a word. Seeing the tears well up in his eyes and putting his best smile on was dramatic and impactful for his character. Sure, he's going to continue to hunt down Dick Roman and the Leviathan, but he's also going to live his life. He's going to take it one day at a time and despite letting Bobby's death truly sink in, he's not going to simply dwell or quit. Great quiet way to close the episode.
While I can't say it was one of my favorite episodes, the lack of guns blazing, action packed moments kept the hour grounded and allowed for a nice transition from Bobby's death. I'm prepared for the upswing on these back end episodes and look forward to where the Leviathan mystery takes viewers. And please, Sam and Dean, stop separating. It's only going to get you two into trouble!
** Check out the promo for next week's time-traveling episode now!
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.