SUPERNATURAL 7.11 ‘Adventures in Babysitting’

Dean seeks revenge on Dick Roman while Sam comes to the aid of a hunter and his daughter.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Episode Title: "Adventures in Babysitting"

Writer: Adam Glass

Director: Jeannot Szwarc

Previously on "Supernatural":

Episode 7.10: "Death's Door"

Story:

Somewhere on the road, a hunter named Lee (Ian Tracey) watches a girl called Sally (Meghan Ory) as she apparently solicits a trucker at a truck stop. Lee hurriedly pays his waitress, Marlene (Paula Lindberg) and he rushes after Sally and her John. But Lee finds no trace of them. Instead, Marlene confronts Lee and says that she spiked his food before bearing her fangs and biting him.

But no one cares about that! We just want to know what happened to Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) after he was shot in the head by the Leviathan a**hole, Dick Roman (James Patrick Stuart). And as Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) grieve for weeks, it becomes clear that Bobby must have perished from his wounds. Although, Dean's mysteriously disappearing beer seems to suggest that Bobby may be with them in spirit. As the Winchesters attempt to figure out the significance of Bobby's last message, Sam answers Bobby's phone and hears a young girl, Krissy (Madison McLaughlin) desperately trying to reach Bobby before hanging up.

Looking up Krissy's number in Bobby's address book, Sam realizes that her father Lee, is a hunter and one of Bobby's allies. Dean scoffs at Sam's potential interruption of their research, but Sam goes to help Krissy while Dean meets up with Frank Deveraux (Kevin R. McNally), the paranoid genius whom Dean paid a great deal of money to crack the numbers that Bobby gave them. When Dean finds Frank, he is convinced that everyone is a Leviathan until Dean is able to prove his humanity. Frank also reveals that Bobby missed one of the numbers, which lead to a field in Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, Sam finds Krissy at home alone and he convinces her to let him help her. Sam also does his best to hide the reality of her father's calling as a hunter before he finds the evidence that sends him towards the truck stop where Lee was last seen. After examining some recently discovered bodies, Sam determines that the killer is a Vetala and he leaves a message for Dean to come help him. Elsewhere, Dean and Frank pose as electrical workers to set up surveillance on the field, only to discover that the Leviathans have installed too many security cameras for them to successfully leave any of their own. 

So, Frank resolves to use the Leviathans' security system against them and he volunteers for the first monitoring shift as Dean passes out in a chair. At the truck stop, Sam meets Marlene, who admits serving Lee a few days before. She tells Sam that he should speak to Sally, who seems willing to warn Sam that something strange is happening. And when Marlene attacks Sam, he soon finds that Sally is also a Vetala before they easily overpower him. Some time later, Dean awakens and Frank tells him that he slept for 36 hours.

Catching up on his messages, Dean hears Sam's first message and he fields a call from Krissy, after Sam failed to check in on her as promised. Dean races over to Krissy's home to find out more about her father's case, but he's so surly that he doesn't bother to coddle her about her father's profession. But as it turns out, Krissy knows everything about her dad's life and she destroys her father's map prior to Dean's arrival to force him into bringing her along on the quest to save their loved ones. Elsewhere, Sam wakes up next to Lee, who is still barely alive. To save Lee from a fatal feeding, Sam goads the Vetala to feed from him instead.

Krissy proves to be an adept wingman and she spots Marlene behaving suspiciously at the truck stop before Dean does. Despite his obvious reluctance, Dean becomes fond of Krissy and he attempts to keep her out of danger by locking her to the steering wheel. However, Krissy breaks free easily and she runs into the warehouse while Dean tries to fight the two Vetala. Sally takes Krissy hostage and she forces Dean to drop his knife. But Krissy slips free and kills Sally herself before freeing Sam to kill a vengeful Marlene.

As the Winchesters visit Lee in the hospital, they urge him to leave the life of a hunter behind and allow his daughter to actually have a life. Before leaving, Dean and Krissy share a fond farewell, before Dean and Sam drive off. Privately, Sam admits that he's having trouble dealing with Bobby's death, while Dean insists that he's fine. And when Sam slips off to sleep, a wave of emotions pass over Dean's face as he tries to fake a smile… just as Frank told him to earlier in the episode.

Breakdown:

When Jim Beaver signed up for an extended arc on "Justified," the writing was on the wall about the fate of Bobby Singer. And if we never see Bobby again on "Supernatural," I'll be okay with that because he got a great sendoff in the prior episode. It's not like Bobby walked into a body of water and exploded into gooey Leviathans offscreen. His death had an emotional resonance that suitably acknowledged his importance on the series.

And this is "Supernatural," after all. Death is only as final as the writers want it to be. Losing Bobby may put the screws to the Winchesters, but there are a few hints in this episode that Bobby's spirit may still be around. Unless Dean's beer somehow managed to drink itself. In the last episode, Bobby had the choice of moving on to the afterlife or staying behind on Earth. And while his choice was ambiguous, I think we'll see Bobby again before too long.

The upside to Bobby's demise is the way that Sam and Dean react to the loss. Even more than John Winchester, Bobby Singer was their father figure. This grief isn't something that can or should be ignored by the show's writers and fortunately, they don't appear to be. The last scene with Dean in the car trying to force a smile was very compelling. He's trying to cover up his pain with a facade of happiness. But considering that he took this advice from a clearly damaged individual like Frank, Dean should have probably considered the source.

Among the guest stars, Madison McLaughlin stole the show as Krissy, thanks to her easy rapport with Dean. Although he's still relatively young, it's hilarious that Dean comes off like an old man compared to Krissy. Everything about Dean that made him cool when he was younger only makes him seem like a dork in Krissy's eyes. Krissy is kind of a "Buffy-in-training" and it would be unfortunate if she never pops up again. As the Winchesters have said, nobody ever leaves being a hunter behind and the life always seems to catch up with those who try to escape it.

Kevin R. McNally's Frank was also a lot of fun in this episode. Is Frank going to be a surrogate Bobby? Probably not, as he doesn't seem to have the nurturing side that Bobby displayed at times. If anything, Frank's rational mind went decades ago and his advice to Dean probably won't lead to anything resembling a state of mental health. But McNally's monologue in that scene was really good and it painted a picture of that character as more than just a comedy relief caricature. Frank and Dean also had some great comedy bits while pretending to be electrical workers. This could be the start of an interesting partnership.

Both of the Vetalas were pretty standard freaks-of-the week and not particularly worthwhile. That's been a recurring problem on "Supernatural" this season. Not only are the Leviathans among the least fascinating villains ever on the show, the standard monsters haven't been particularly exciting either. There's some good character development going on between Sam and Dean, but the show needs than just the brothers to really breathe some life into the current storyline.

Regardless, this was a very solid episode following one of the best hours of the season. Bobby's death has given "Supernatural" a kick that it hasn't had in a while and I'm once again looking forward to seeing where that takes the Winchesters in the weeks ahead.

Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.