Supernatural: Ghosting 101

Supernatural S07E19: "Of Grave Importance"

Supernatural returned from break on Friday and wasted little time picking up where it left off: with Ghost Bobby insulting the Winchester idjuts for not being able to see him or knowing he'd been right alongside them for weeks. But before we could figure out how Supernatural would bring Bobby back into Sam and Dean's Scooby-Doo operation, we needed to learn a few things about ghosts.

"Of Grave Importance" was a classic haunted-house story with a twist. Sam and Dean contacted Annie, a hunter from their past who had the distinction of being previously sexed by Dean, Sam, and Bobby. However, it was never made clear who got to her first, which is a pretty important detail if you ask me. And before we even got a chance to see what our three buds saw in her, Annie croaked while investigating a haunted house. Sam, Dean, and Bobby went to check it out, and that's where the twist came in. Rather than give us scene after scene full of handsome hunters with flashlights strolling through an old Victorian, the episode spent half its time showing us things from the ghosts' point of view.

But for all the potential of a good spooky story, "Of Grave Importance" felt pretty lifeless and yes that pun was intended and it was a good one so take your groans elsewhere. Maybe it was Jamie Luner's flat performance as Annie, or the lack of emotion from both Annie and Bobby over being ghosts, but there was an alarming lack of spunk from everyone. Are all ghosts this droll and boring? Just because you're dead it doesn't mean you have to act dead. Liven up, people! Rattle some chains! Get excited about walking through walls!

Supernatural's ghost stories tend to lack bite, because they're all pretty simple. Find bones, burn bones, save the day. And in the end, that's exactly what Sam and Dean did. It's a shame too, because there were some pretty cool effects sprinkled throughout the episode. Sam and Dean were also in pretty funny form, exhibiting that light tone we all love about this show. And for the ladies, there was even a Dean shower scene!

One of the more interesting parts of the episode (aside from trying to figure out who got sloppy seconds and who got really sloppy thirds) was watching Bobby and Annie get schooled in the art of ghosting and learning backstory on Supernatural's take on ghosts. An old ghost taught Bobby how to move objects (though he seemed to be able to move the sword in the last episode with no problems). Also, we learned that ghosts in Supernatural's world deteriorate over time, and that ghosts can kill/capture other ghosts to become more powerful. There will be a quiz on this stuff later.

In the end, Bobby got his wish and became visible to Sam and Dean. Why now? No idea. Maybe I missed that part or maybe the writers suddenly decided the show would be better if the three guys could all see each other. But now ghost Bobby is rollin' with Sam and Dean, and no one is quite sure how to feel about that. Including me.

I didn't love or hate "Of Grave Importance," even though I tried to do both. The episode did some things really well and other things not so well, while still providing an important step in the series' story. Now Bobby is back, but if he's just going to be a mopey ghost, is it worth it?



Super-note-urals

– Look at this pic of Dean! It's not even a publicity photo, it's a screen capture! Jensen Ackles just can't not be a male model.

– I thought about referring to Ghost Bobby as "Boo-bby," but then I didn't. You're welcome!

– Ghost Bobby did what any girl ghost would do: He hung out in the bathroom while Dean showered.

– Annie was in her 30s? Are we sure about that? Just checked IMDB, and Jamie Luner was born in 1971. My age-dar still works!

– Dean had a bunch of great lines this week, but "Slimer?" was probably my favorite.



Supernatural Season 7 Power Rankings

"Of Grave Importance" should have been a lot better than it was, but instead falls right in the middle of the pack of this season's episodes. There wasn't a whole lot to love or hate about it, leaving us with an episode that just was.

1. "Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie" (Episode 14)
Sam and Dean investigated mysterious deaths around a kid's pizza-and-games party house. Unicorns farting rainbows, ball pit sharks spraying blood, and octo-vamps giving fatal hickeys made this a fun episode.

2. "Party On, Garth" (Episode 18)
A Japanese ghost can only be seen by drunks, Garth returns, and Mr. Fizzles the sock puppet! But we finally learn the truth about what Bobby is up to in the afterlife.

3. "Shut Up, Dr. Phil" (Episode 5)
A pair of witches needed some couples counseling in a gory fun-fest that guest-starred Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters.

4. "Death's Door" (Episode 10)
Bobby fought for his life and delved into his past as he tried to deliver a message to Sam and Dean from beyond the plane of the living.

5. "The Mentalists" (Episode 7)
More standalone fun as the brothers investigated murders in a town full of psychics.

6. "Meet the New Boss" (Episode 1)
Castiel got all righteous on those who didn't respect The Good Word, and it was great.

7. "Repo Man" (Episode 15)
The brothers visit a man they saved from a murderous demon four years ago, and Lucifer blabs Sam's ear off.

8. "Born-Again Identity" (Episode 17)
Sam ended up in a mental hospital after too many chats with mind-Satan, and Castiel returned to smite and then get left behind.

9. "Adventures in Babysitting" (Episode 11)
Sam and Dean coped with Bobby's death and met a fellow hunter's young daughter.

10. "Out With the Old" (Episode 16)
A tale of cursed ballerina slippers became a story about a Leviathan real estate agent.

11. "Of Grave Importance" (Episode 19)
Sam and Dean headed to a haunted house, where Bobby learned a thing or two about ghosts and finally became visible to Sam and Dean.

12. "Slash Fiction" (Episode 6)
Two Leviathans disguised themselves as Sam and Dean and took off on a cross-country shootin' spree!

13. "The Slice Girls" (Episode 13)
Dean had a one-night stand with an Amazonian lady, and Sam took Dean's Daddy card away.

14. "Hello, Cruel World" (Episode 2)
The Leviathans set up a buffet at a hospital after spreading into the water supply.

15. "Time After Time" (Episode 12)
Dean traveled back to 1944 and battled the God of Time with Eliot Ness.

16. "How To Win Friends And Influence Monsters" (Episode 9)
Hyperadrenalized cannibals and stoner sandwiches! Dick Roman's plan was sort of unveiled! And Bobby got shot!

17. "The Girl Next Door" (Episode 3)
Via flashback, we saw Sam's first kiss... with a monster! Then Dean killed her.

18. "Defending Your Life" (Episode 4)
Dean went on trial before Osiris because of the guilt he carries. Jo came back to blow him up!

19. "Season 7, Time for a Wedding" (Episode 8)
Too. Much. Becky. Larson.



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (36)
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I have to ask, why did deadly-dull Annie get the extremely weird plot point of having slept with all three guys - ranging in profile from Bobby to Dean to Sam?! I'm not saying it's IMPOSSIBLE, but WHY? Does Annie sleep with EVERY hunter? Should we have a planchet with Rufus?
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When Whitman was trying to take Bobby's energy, and the boys salted and burned the bones, his energy flowed into Bobby. Thus, allowing him to make himself known to the boys.
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I thought that whatever the ghost did to Bobby before the boys got the chance to destroy it changed Bobby's ghost-MOJO.Made him able to cross into this realm or what not. That's what I assumed at least.



I think Bobby being a ghost has something to do with how the boys will take down the Leviathans. There's got to be a reason why they killed Bobby and made him a ghost. It would have other wise been pointless...just wait the season is just now winding down to a close.



I'm waiting for Season 7's version of 'The Man That Would Be King'...a real slap-you -in-the-face-with-information-until-your-brain-overloads episode. Since we've got an extra episode this year...maybe # 21?
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I guess Bobby showed up in the end cause when they destroyed the enemy ghost he end up absorbing it, getting more power.
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Yes! More demons and ghosts, and fewer Leviathan please. At first I thought they were going somewhere neat with the whole HP Lovecraft plot, but it's gotten nowhere, not to mention killed off two of my favorite characters. Now that they're back, I wish it were over. The leviathans, not the show. I don't know what I will do without Sam and Dean, so I hope this is NOT the end. Not yet. There's a whole world out there filled with mysteries and myths that haven't been touched, not to mention the fact that there's more that could have been done with a planet that's just skirted the apocalypse. With fate always coming back to bite the characters themselves, you'd think fate would come back around on the planet and the world would start a different path toward the end. One not involving leviathans hopefully.
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I'm hoping that this is the last season of Supernatural because they just don't seem to have much story left. However, I liked this episode and the idea of treating ghosts more in the nature of other worldly beings rather than just another monster. It's more in tone with real ghost stories. But I think this episode was just setting things up for a season/series finale storyline that involves Bobby's ghost, the leviathans and the devil-haunted Cas.
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If Bobby is going to be hanging out with the guys now, and he can talk to them and they can see him, and he can move things etc, why did they bother killing him off? To me it feels like the writers have realised they made a mistake in killing off such an important character as Bobby and are finding any way possible to back-track.
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I kinda thought that too, but I think they are looking to see change in the characters. Having Bobby face that choice- to move on to heaven or to stay with his boys-showed that he truly cares more about helping them and being with them than himself. He has basically sacrificed eternity to help Sam and Dean and not leave them alone. I think it also presents the brothers with an interesting problem. Do they burn the flask and send Bobby off to the unknown or do they keep him around and burn it later? Obviously they do not want to see Bobby go all tortured crazy ghost on them, so the question I have is how long will that take to happen? Will we see Bobby start to descend into ghost madness with a face that looks like Harvey Dent's and will that force the boys to send Bobby off? Not sure if the writers would want to turn him into that. I remember back when he got killed off a lot of ppl were disappointed in how he died in such a simple way instead of the dramatic death that Jo and her Mom got. Perhaps he will get a dramatic send off at the end of this season. OOOHHH idea! Wouldn't it be awesome if we could have an episode of Dean being possessed by Bobby! Sorry, I had an ADD moment, but it is an awesome idea don't you think?

:)
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I don't think we needed more proof of how much Bobby cares about the boys, we have had about 5 seasons to establish that, so him choosing to 'stay back' is irrelevant if THAT is the point being made.



Dean's choice to burn the flask, yeah, that would be a dilemma, but at this point feels like an unnecessary bit of drama if it's just going to be 5 minutes of sad-talk and then Dean burns the flask. It's always epic to see hurt-Dean / weepy-Jensen, but laborious plot as such.



The tortured ghost thing can take upto 200 years, so mostly likely ghost-Bobby will outlive (if that's the word) Sam & Dean.



Bobby will obviously get a second 'send-off', as will Cas, but as someone who's been watching loyally since Minute 1, I'm finding all this completely wasteful. I adore Bobby, but a character is basically what the writers / plot makes him or her, and all these screwy tactics make it tough to connect emotionally with the plot because nothing feels 'natural' anymore.
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Maybe Bobby take some of the mustache guy power when he try to 'absorve' him.

I'm enjoying the lastest episodes of Supernatural because it's about demons and ghosts, because the leviathan plot it's pretty boring because it's bad written and badly executed.
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It's nice to see that Bobby will be back for one more chapter. Plus, I think this season needs to improve a little, or the show will fail.
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Supernatural has failed this season and 4-5 episodes back I just stoped watching it. It has to end really soon!!! It's failing so hard, it embarrass me for having watched it so many years.
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Dean is just too beautiful a man.
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I'm just glad Bobby's back, he's one of my favorite characters and with Cas gone for the foreseeable future we need more familiar characters than just Sam and Dean, even though we love them it's hard to float a show on just two recurring characters.
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all I know is I've F*ck*ng missed Bobby so much that this episode was gold for me. I heart that crotchety dead b*stard!
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Tim, why are you taking screen captures of Dean? Are you a Dean-boy then? Is this photo your phone wallpaper?
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I liked the episode, even if it was only to see Bobby again. Although I think showing him to Sam and Dean was a bit too quick, as it would have been funnier the other way around - aware but not able to see, I have given up on hoping for season five-quality. Just enjoying the episodes now and I hope with new showrunner, the next season will finally make some sense.
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Exactly, within 5 minutes of figuring out how to 'make contact', Bobby was only conceptually a ghost - he could talk, touch, kick ass, the whole deal...! WHAT was that about... and that's a great idea, Sam & Dean being 'aware' of Bobby but not able to see and chat with him.



Just a question - can the guys touch Bobby? I'm guessing Bobby can touch them, but vice versa?
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As to why Bobby suddenly became visible: the ghost of the rich murderer was in the middle of ghost killing Bobby when Sam and Dean burned his bones. I think all of his power must have gone to Bobby as a result.
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That's what I thought as well.
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I hate to say but this show is kind of boring now. This episode wasnt bad but just really lack luster I just wanna get to the main story line so we can get this season over with.
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I liked the episode. It was super creepy to realize that ghost can be everywhere.
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With all due respect, this show is a ghost compared to what it used to be. It's agonizing towards the end. The Leviathans are supposed to be the big bad guys, and the main story arc, but they are so lame as villains that the writers seem to have completely dropped that. They'll only come back to it at the very end because they have to, because if they could they'd just sweep it under the rug. After facing the Devil, they know no other villain would compare so they are not even trying anymore.
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Exactly this is how I feel, I thought they were going to the devil with God Cas but.they just shoved him off and introduced these lame leviathans. I just wanted to see the brothers face off against their confused power hungry friend.
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*yawn*



Pretty sure I'm done with this show at the end of this season. Wish I quit at the end of Season 5.
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This episode was OK. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad or anything. I really loved seeing Bobby back, but I think this was more for nostalgia's sake. Everything skewed towards the bland side this week. Am I the only one who just really wants to get back to the Leviathan storyline (even if it is the worst seasonal antagonist plot ever)?

Best things about this episode: When the lady ghost said, "I was a fancy lady" and both Annie and Dean were like "You mean a hooker?"
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Esp the way the lady ghost pouted after Dean said it :)
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I wouldn't ever say women are reusable, as that's just crass, but they do wash you know. I don't think it matters who was there first. God willing, someone was there first, coz who wants to deal with a virgin?
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This was a good episode. The only issue I had with it was, what happened to the whole Smart Phones can see ghosts bit? I thought that had been pretty well established in Supernatural ghost lore.
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The writers keep forgetting the rules of their universe. Someone in the production office needs to make a list of how the universe works so they can refer to it when need be.
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im glad i wasnt the only one that was startled by that screamer ghost lol. supernaturals monsters dont normally even phase me anymore, but that one definitely gave me the chills.
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Hahaha the first thing that really made me go "WTF" was the Annie in her 30's looking hot part. Definitely looked 45ish, glad im not the only one who caught that
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Guessing that Annie died, I'd say Sam got sloppy thirds. Another confirmed victim of his raging case of Toxic Cock Syndrome. As for the ghost stuff, the cool customer at the bar said that they have to focus to be able to move stuff and appear to the living. I guess each time Bobby was giving the boys hints, he was just focused on helping them, but not without consequences... Where Bobby blacked out to for two weeks though is still a mystery. It's why the needed the fancy lady to confront Sam and Dean, since she had practice with being a ghost. All I can figure is that after going toe to toe with the dead homeowner, Bobby was finally able to focus or whatever. For a good ol' ghost story, it was pretty interesting but it just reeked of an excuse to bring Bobby back into the fold. Even Annie said he should have known better than to run from his reaper, but the writers just can't stick to their guns when they kill characters off, I suppose.
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P.S. That header pic looks like something from Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series. Love it!
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I actually liked this episode it was pretty good not great but pretty good can't wait to see the rest of the season hope it gets picked back up for an eighth and final season :D
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I really, really hope Supernatural gets put out of its misery after this season. It's criminal to watch how far this once awesome show has fallen since its apex in Season 5.
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