Supernatural: Ghosting 101

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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

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