In this ridiculously entertaining episode -- directed by Jensen Ackles, in case you haven't heard -- we spend a few days with Bobby up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to see what his life's really like when he's not being roped into some angst-ridden wankfest by The Drippy Duo, and Supernatural hasn't been this fun in months. Remember Crowley, the lead crossroads demon who still holds a contract on Bobby's soul? Well, Bobby summons him back to Earth to ensnare that wickedly delightful nemesis of his in a devil's trap until Crowley agrees to cancel the deal. Of course, Crowley's not going to stand for such nonsense, and he quickly unleashes his personal Hellhound to pant heavily in Bobby's face until Bobby lets its master go.
Fortunately, Bobby's got a Plan B that involves torturing yet another sassy crossroads demonette until she reveals Crowley's human name. The demonette's none too happy with this situation, of course, because Crowley evidently took control of Hell after Lucifer got thrown back into his cage at the end of last season, and the red-eyed miss quite naturally fears for her life should she spill. Bobby's especially persuasive, however, and after he treats the demonette to an impromptu barbecue in his basement, she finally screams it out: Fergus Roderick MacLeod.
Wee Fergus -- his demonic underlings call him "Lucky The Leprechaun" behind his back -- was a Scottish tailor born in 1661, and some further research by Bobby reveals Fergus had a son, Gavin, who died in a shipwreck off Puerto Vallarta after his coked-up cruise director finally lost it and went berserker on everybody's ass. Or something like that. Gavin MacLeod's remains were never found, but a museum in Andover, Massachusetts, has his signet ring, so Bobby sends Rufus -- remember the paranoid lunatic with a taste for Johnnie Walker Blue? -- to swipe the thing so Bobby can summon Gavin's restless spirit for a little chat about Dad.
A little chat about Dad that ends up being quite revealing, as it turns out. Wee Fergus was tiny in more ways than one, apparently, for he sold his soul way back in the day for a couple of extra inches below his belt, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Even better, Ghastly Gavin remembers where Dear Old Dad's buried, and by the time Bobby again summons Crowley to The Emporium, Our Intrepid Heroes have jetted across the Atlantic to dig up Wee Fergus's earthly remains. You see, while burning the bones of a ghost simply releases the poor soul into whatever comes afterwards, burning the bones of a ghost who became a demon actually destroys the demon. Crowley, then, has little choice but to release Bobby from his contract, though Bobby -- ever the sharp one -- makes sure he retains use of his legs.
It was a tight, sensible, quick-moving story that actually achieved a full resolution by the end of the hour, and I haven't even mentioned the amusing side plots involving Lamias, Okamis, Bobby's new next-door neighbor Marcy, and a woodchipper. A woodchipper. By far the best episode of the season, and possibly the best episode of the year.
Rattle, Rattle Tacky Blue Glitter THEN! Last year, Bobby pawned his immortal, hairy soul to Chief Crossroads Demon Crowley, who then rather rudely refused to return it, as Crowley now views Bobby's immortal, hairy soul as insurance against all sorts of nasty things Our Intrepid Heroes might do to him. Also, a very long time ago, we met Rufus Turner, who had a certain special way with sawed-off pump-action shotguns and a taste for Johnnie Walker Blue. We then met Jody Mills, the efficient sheriff of Sioux Falls, who forged an uneasy alliance with Bobby and the boys back when the unquiet dead of southeastern South Dakota rose from their graves practically begging to have their heads blown off. Since then, of course, Bobby regained full use of his squishy legs with a little assist from the aforementioned Crossroads Chief, and Dashing El Deano began to suspect that Darling Sammy Might Possibly Have Come Back Wrong For The Fifth Or Sixth Time Since This Godforsaken Show Began.
Rattle, Rattle Tacky Blue Glitter NOTHING! I know you were expecting the Tacky Blue Glitter NOW! at this point, but the NOW! got the week off because this first scene's taking place "One Year Ago," if the little card that eventually appears at the bottom of the screen is telling us the truth. You never know with this show. So, instead of the NOW!, we get a couple of seconds of inky blackness, from which Bobby's ancient television set eventually emerges. It's tuned to KLOT Channel 44, which is (or, you know, was) broadcasting images of a ferocious hurricane that attacked the Galveston coast for all of one day before vaporizing, almost as if it had never existed in the first place. I believe this is meant to remind us of The Storm That (Almost) Ate Chicago and indicate that Houston was similarly on the verge of utter catastrophe when the abortive Apocalypse was suddenly averted at the last possible minute, though to be honest with you, I completely missed the "One Year Ago" card when this episode first aired, and I thought the sudden disappearance of Hurricane Tiffany simply represented yet another example of how strange things have become since The Apocalypse ended last season.
Anyway, the camera slowly tracks away from the TV to land upon a dark summoning ritual already in progress. Six flaming black candles have been arranged atop the intricate sigil Bobby's chalked onto his desk, and there's a silver bowl off to the side brimming with (I'm guessing) yarrow flowers. As the somewhat intrusive underscoring thrums away on the soundtrack, Bobby slices open the palm of his left hand to drip a little blood into the bowl, then Enochiates while striking a match, which he tosses on top of the grisly mix. A tiny flash of red illuminates Bobby's face as the camera tracks along behind his back, and by the time the camera's reached his right side, Crowley's materialized to lounge in the archway leading to Bobby's kitchen. "Been making merry, have we?" Crowley opens. "Bite me," Bobby retorts. "If that's your thing," Crowley shrugs. The demon smirks a bit at his own little joke before stepping forward into the parlor proper, at which point he snaps his fingers at Bobby's TV to fry the thing's circuits. He smirks again, just to rub it in, then drily observes, "That swan dive of Sam's was a thing of beauty -- tens all the way 'round, standing O from the Romanian judge -- you should be proud, Bobby! As deaths go, it wasn't too shabby." God love him. Even he knows how shitty those special effects were.
Bobby, of course, remains grim-faced, and even menacingly toys with a switchblade for a bit until Crowley crows, "Cheer up, mate! We just saved the sodding world together!" Bobby gruffs something snide at that, but does politely offer Crowley a cocktail by way of celebration. Crowley takes one look at the crap Bobby pours for himself and swiftly declines. Bobby of course takes umbrage at this slight, amusingly mocks Crowley's high-falutin' accent for a bit, and eventually inquires after Crowley's cocktail of choice. "Creag," Crowley replies, "aged thirty years, at least -- I've been drinking it since grade school." Bobby takes a moment to make a mental note of that, after which he defiantly reaffirms his preference for Early Times and takes a massive swig from his glass, allowing Crowley a nice segue into this scene's actual topic. "Swill like that is gonna burn a hole in your soul," he claims. "Ooops! My soul!" he corrects himself. "But that's why you called -- our little deal?" Bobby confirms this, and tightly suggests it's time for Crowley to hold up his end of said deal by returning ownership of the soul in question to the craggy hairball in the trucker cap. Crowley would love to, of course, but it seems Bobby didn't read the fine print on his contract. Crowley snaps his fingers again, and Bobby immediately leaps to his feet in pain as a series of symbols and ancient lettering pushes itself up through the skin on his forearms and hands. As well as every other inch of his body below the neck, it turns out, as Crowley confirms when he cites the relevant clause like so: "Paragraph 18, Subsection B -- which is on your naughty bits -- states I only have to make 'best efforts' to give you back your soul." "Meaning what?" Bobby growls. "Meaning I'd like to," Crowley replies, "but I can't."
Bobby, by now thoroughly pissed off, grumbles something threatening, but Crowley simply and rather blithely reminds him of the contract's ten-year term and makes as if to leave. Bobby's all, "Not so fast, you poncy sack of shit," and flicks on a convenient black light to reveal that Crowley's been standing on a heretofore invisible devil's trap. D'OH! According to Bobby, Crowley's thus free to rot where he stands until he decides to return Bobby's soul. "What am I going to do?" Crowley sardonically wonders, right before he slyly whistles for his massive Hellhound. The beast quickly answers its master's summons, and unleashes a ferocious and extremely windy bark directly in Bobby's face. Bobby's all, "Curses! Foiled again!" and he stoops to scrape a break in the trap, after which he rises to vow, "This ain't over." "I wouldn't have it any other way!" Crowley airily replies, and with that, the demon steps across the break, straight into the...
...Tinkle, Tinkle RAAAWWWR! And as Raoul The Big Gay Supernatural Dragon still refuses to acknowledge the dreadful Season Six title card, I suppose we can get right into the episode proper. "Hmph!" Are you simply expressing disdain, my scaly friend, or do you actually have something to say at this juncture? "Hmph!" Disdain it is, then.