Supernatural comes back from its hiatus with ‘Safe House’, possibly the best monster-of-the-week episode in a while.
WARNING: This review contains spoilers
Listen, Supernatural bringing Jim Beaver back is nothing new. It’s more like a seasonal event at this point. Personally, I have never been a big fan of bringing dead characters back and that is something that Supernatural does a lot, especially with Bobby. Ever since he died in Season 7, we have seen him in Hell, in Heaven, as a ghost, as a memory… But this time it was different. Bobby did not only come back accompanied by his best friend Rufus (Steven Williams), whom we haven’t seen in a while, but the reason for them being in the episode was actually quite clever and more than justified.
Is it any wonder that Robbie Thompson is a gift to this series? All his episodes are often highly entertaining and offer new original elements in the mythology of the series. Between the addition of a new monster called “soul eater” and the whole transcending time-space situation, ‘Safe House’ at times feels like a Doctor Who episode, which is a big compliment. Supernatural used to be much scarier, but ‘Safe House’ actually manages to create an eerie, innovative atmosphere that we hadn’t seen in the series in a long time. Furthermore, I don’t remember when was the last time Supernatural put so much detail in the research aspect of a case and it’s truly a shame that we won’t get to see Bobby and Rufus being grumpy Men of Letters, always bickering in the Bunker. ‘Safe House’ also past the test in the use of flashbacks. Alternating between present and past is always risky as it’s very easy to cause the viewer to get lost. However, this particular case allowed for this alternation of timelines to work effortlessly, connecting past and present (or was it all present?) perfectly.
‘Safe House’ was so focused on the mythology side of the case that there was barely any talk about Amara and the Darkness (although there were some parallels and subtle foreshadowing here and there). The fact that none of the side-characters died, adding the fact that one of them as a queer woman of color, was something that I believe we all welcomed with open arms. Overall, as scary and creepy as it got, ‘Safe House’ was a very nice episode full of small details that will make Supernatural fans smile, from the good old “idjits” (and the sweet “my boys”) to the cool callback to Season 4 when Dean called Bobbie to talk about the hunt for Lilith.