We start with Sam and Dean on the hood of the car eating dinner. Dean takes out what looks like a taco - maybe from Taco Bell, telling Sam that despite all the stuff with the Leviathans, at least they can always get the same order from this chain store all over their "great" country LOL
Then a sudden phone call from Annie, a fellow hunter, who wants to meet them to give them some books of Bobby's. They seem to be close enough to her location on the job - Bodega Bay - so Dean agrees for them to meet her at a nice restaurant there for lunch.
Meanwhile, two teenagers are making out in a haunted house where Annie has her "job." Scared by her car lights, they run through the house looking for a place to hide when they come to a hallway and right in front of them is this huge man telling them they shouldn't have come. Then suddenly, he rushes at them and all is black.
Annie comes in and finds them on the floor right in front of her. Then she gets attacked as well. From her description later, she also saw the huge guy running at her.
Sam and Dean are waiting for Annie at the restaurant, which is quite a nice one for them - on the pier, beautiful scenery behind the huge windows - and quite a contrast from the tacos the night before. Dean is reading the news as they wait and mentions that Dick is funding another dig. Unfortunately it doesn't say what he is looking for. If I remember correctly, he is looking for the Leviathan tablet, because this holds the key for destroying the Leviathan and Dick doesn't want the demons or humans to find it.
Sam asks Dean if he knew Annie had a thing ("fox hole, very Hemmingway")with Bobby. Dean says oh really? Well actually I had a thing with her too. Then Sam admits that he also had a thing with her when he was soulless(and she was stressed),
(Sam's eyes here!! It must be the nice light through the windows<3<3)
- which is probably when he found out about her Hemingway with Bobby. This actually gives us an idea of Annie right away as someone who doesn't have a family or commitments. Annie tells Bobby later as well that she doesn't have any family, only the job, and is quite lonely - so this habit of making good memories with other (handsome) hunters makes quite a bit of sense.
Dean tries to contact Annie on his cell but she doesn't answer. He pulls out the flask and pours some liquor into his coffee.
DEAN:Well, here's to ghosts that aren't there.
SAM:You sound kind of disappointed.
DEAN:Ah, it's better this way. I mean, even though I wish we could see him again doesn't mean that we should.
So finally Dean actually says why he has been accepting Sam's word for it that Bobby isn't there - the duality of both wanting to see him again, and knowing that it would actually be a bad thing if they did.
The flask rocks a bit back and forth on the table but nobody notices. And some of us contemplate how Bobby might be looking at this point and how frustrated he must be feeling.
When Annie doesn't appear, Sam and Dean know that something has happened. They try to contact her on her phone but they cannot so they go to her hotel room to find out what job she was working on. That kind of reminds me of them going to their dad's motel room in the pilot and come to think of it, they probably have quite a bit of experience with such situations. We saw it in Adventures in Babysitting as well.
On the way to the car, Dean finds that the flask is empty and talks about getting a refill.
SAM:You know what, man? Why don't you, uh, just pack it away for a while? All it does is remind us of him, you know?
DEAN:Yeah, I thought about that, but, uh... not yet.
Just as Bobby is clinging to his life with the boys, Dean is also clinging to Bobby's memory aye? I guess burning the flask later on both symbolizes Bobby's and Dean's willingness to move on.
Anyway, at Annie's quaint little hotel room they are studying up on the information that Annie collected while Bobby's trying to get their attention in any way possible, getting frustrated that they can't notice the curtain shimmying and other little things he is doing around them. I kind of love this scene with the three of them together again, finally.
Sam and Dean go to check out the house and Bobby's left in the hotel room until Dean remembers his jacket with the flask in the pocket.
When they get to the house, Dean finds Annie's cellphone almost right away. Can I just note here that it's rather strange that Dean did find the phone so quickly especially considering the video camera later. In any case, while Dean finds the single phone, Bobby finds a ton of ghosts that Sam and Dean obviously cannot see. We see right away that Bobby has an advantage of sorts with figuring out the case. As he tries to introduce himself to the ghosts though, no one takes any notice of him. Then he sees two ghosts on the stairs - one ghost, who looks to be in charge, scolding the big guy, Dexter, who scared the teenagers in the earlier scene. Both of the ghosts again totally ignore Bobby, which is also interesting. We know from what this boss Witman Van Ness says later that he knew Bobby was there. Witman is telling the big guy not to do "it" again or there would be consequences. A first time watcher might possibly think that he is warning Dexter not to kill anymore. Bobby then finds Annie, who thankfully recognizes him and he breaks it to her that if she can see him, she's also dead.
Sam and Dean continue searching upstairs for a body while listening to Annie's phone. Meanwhile, Bobby gives Annie ghost orientation. It seems that it usually takes a bit of time for spirits to figure out that they are still there - which explains the vague faces of some new spirits wandering around later. Bobby says it took him a month to realize it, which is an interesting tidbit. Annie, therefore, is a pretty rare individual to be so aware so quickly. Another rare thing about her is that she never saw her reaper - which might have something to do with how she was killed by the ghost in this house. I wonder if the reapers are scared to enter this house too? It's an interesting question about all those haunted houses with a ton of spirits like mental hospitals that Dean and Sam visit. We never really find out whether certain ghosts have the power to keep other ghosts away from their reapers and how. It is definitely an interesting mystery.
Annie finds the teenagers whom she could not save and tries to talk to them, but they don't even see her, which gives credence to Bobby's previous words about it taking time to wake up and realize you are dead.
ANNIE:Kids! Hello? You're dead.
BOBBY:Well, they're not the brightest bulbs on the string.
However, here Bobby talks as if the reason they don't hear Annie is that they are stupid. Wait... This is where they should have had a conversation like.."So what does that say about you, Bobby?" "Shut up, I have a bullet in my brain for an excuse." Actually, Bobby makes fun of more than these teens in this ep. He also makes fun of Sam and Dean to Annie for not being able to figure out the situation as quickly as he wishes they could. Victoria also mentions to Annie how she was under the impression that Sam and Dean were smarter than they actually seem to be. Maybe it's just about the frustration of being a ghost and being unable to influence things the way they wish they could. They are taking it out on others, as if it's their stupidity that is the problem, in order to try to deal with their new situation. In any case, it doesn't make sense for the reason the kids don't hear Annie to be that "they're not the brightest bulbs on the string." Maybe Annie was able to become aware early because she saw a familiar face who just happened to be a spirit himself, and if the teen couple had seen someone they knew, they would have become aware quickly as well.
Anyway, Bobby then talks about how he still hasn't got the hang of manipulating objects. It reminds me of how Sam and Dean needed to be taught how to do this by Cole in Death Takes a Holiday (S4), and it shouldn't be surprising that Bobby might need help too. Dean tells Sam in a previous episode that Bobby'd be instant "Swazy" and be in contact with them right away - but he could have been being sarcastic (or doubtful) considering the rest of what he said to Sam at that time.
As they are talking, a guy-ghost comes in, goes to the bar and moves a chair so he can sit down. Annie and Bobby are both intrigued and try to talk to him but he doesn't answer them at first. Bobby gets huffy and tries to move the table in front of him but fails and falls on his face. It's only then that the ghost, Haskel Crane, turns around and makes fun of Bobby, saying he's a novice and they all make the same mistakes.
Encouraged by the fact that he is talking to them, they go closer. By way of introduction, Annie tells him that she just died and doesn't know what hit her, and Bobby that he was shot in the melon. Then Bobby asks about how Haskel was killed. Haskel tells them that he was stabbed, right in this house. But when Bobby asks further - who killed him and why there are so many ghosts, he clams up and starts to leave. ANOTHER mystery! We never do find out exactly who this guy is except for that he was also killed by Whitman, probably while Whitman was alive since the killing method is the same as for the "fancy ladies," and that he also fears Whitman's powers.
ANNIE:I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Uh, my friend is a little nosy, mister...?
HASKEL CRANE :Crane – Haskel Crane.
ANNIE:Haskel... you're right. We are novices, so, could you do me a solid and show me how to move that chair? It's one stupid chair.
HASKEL CRANE:Baby steps, gorgeous. Try this first.
He has some really good advice for her. It seems that in death as in life, it's always better to start small and not have too big goals from the start aye? He pushes over a candle stick to her and tells them that what they have to do is focus their mind on the object and "tell" it to move. Of course there is another way and that is a burst of anger, but that is even harder to do because who has such anger to focus in such a burst? Bobby is a stubbon SOB and doesn't like the idea of "swazying" something with his mind. He acts insulted when told that he doesn't have the anger needed to move anything. In a way, maybe this shows how his feelings of anger and vengeance are already taking over a bit and making him unreasonable.
Annie tries and then Bobby, but they can't do it. While Haskel is explaining to them, a ghost rushes toward them suddenly and then turns to dust and vanishes. Haskel explains that this is what happens to them all in the end. They look around the room and see that many of the ghosts' faces are disintegrating like they are decomposing along with their bodies. So, there is a time limit to ghosts? They don't "live" forever, aye?
Dean and Sam are still going through the house looking for bodies while listening to Annie's messages. An older message sounds like it's from a ghost, again like in the Pilot, saying "Free me." They decide to go to the local museum to find out more. Annie tries to call to Dean and Sam as they walk through the room that she and Bobby are in but of course they can't see her.
BOBBY: You just have to wait until they find you.
Hmmm... So maybe this getting the living to notice you has something to do with the state of mind of the living, as well as the ghost's ability to "let go" and make themselves visible to the living.
Bobby then notices that there is a woman ghost looking at him. Annie suggests that she's not looking at him, she's looking at Annie. Annie goes to talk to the ghost, Victoria, and figures out that Victoria is the one that called out to her for help on her phone messages. Just as Annie is about to get intel from Victoria, Bobby disappears. He's been pulled into the car with the boys.
Bobby is frustrated that they are leaving because he wants to find out more there, but he's tied to the flask because he hasn't figured out how to manipulate objects yet. He's dragged to the museum against his will.
Bobby continues to be frustrated listening to the curator tell the story of the ghosts in the house, thinking he knows everything already from what he has seen, or at least he thinks his information is more accurate. He's just grumbling, "they're there!" "I saw him" while working on his ghost mojo. Of course the curator has it wrong - we know the big guy was just trying to protect people from his boss, who is the real serial killer both in life and in death but what Bobby and Annie find out as ghosts is far from enough for us to understand the whole story so we need to listen to the curator's version to get as much as the story as we can.
The curator talks of Whitman Van Ness as a man of tragedy - losing the family fortune and the house so the house became a "bordello" and then living in isolation until his death at the age of 40. I stop to wonder what kind of death this was. It seems strange that a sick serial killer would waste away in isolation and die of sickness.
The curator also tells them that another tragedy was that the convict Dexter that he took in as a grounds worker out of kindness, killed his wife on his wedding night. Dexter was also convicted of killing some hookers at the bordello. We find out later from Victoria that Dexter actually did not kill the wife or hookers but was framed by Whitman who was a serial killer. So, did Witman accuse Dexter of the murder of his wife after the hooker murders or vice versa? Dexter would have had to have continued to be in Witman's employ the whole time, right? Sam finds out from another source later that Dexter first fled when convicted, but then came back and was shot to death in the house. Dexter may have come back to have it out with Witman. Ahhhhg. Can you see? This could be such a fabulous story. A whole book could be written on it. And it is so unfinished it's frustrating.
Anyway, the curator ends his little story by warning Sam and Dean not to go into the house because it is "dangerous." And we have these fabulous expressions -
We then have a scene of Sam and Dean at the motel, talking about the case together while Dean takes a shower.
(Gaaahhh... that arm...)
Bobby is looking at the steamed up mirror, trying to use the mojo to write a message. He finally succeeds. Dean sees it, and calls Sam, And they finally admit to themselves that Bobby is there and that it is because of the flask.
Bobby impatiently waits as they also figure out that they need to go back to the house.
Meanwhile, two teens who were friends of the previous victims are preparing to go into the house. How stupid is that, aye? At least they should have checked out the Ghostfacers website, taken precautions if they really thought there was something in the house.
The teens are walking around when Dexter again rushes at them and tells them to leave. Whitman comes and catches him this time though and the teenagers think he's on their side, but actually he's the one that kills for the pleasure of it, and keeps the bodies for "food" as Victoria says later. While they are thanking him for saving them from Dexter, he sticks his hand into them and they start gurgling blood and die.
He then turns to Dexter and "kills him" too by absorbing his soul- is what it looks like. According to Victoria later, this gives Whitman extra power - makes him strong and able to do things that other ghosts are unable to do and gives him an advantage over other ghosts, at least.
Dexter is not one of the bodies Whitman has in his secret room, since Dexter was FOUND shot in the house. Whitman, then, can absorb the souls of ghosts even if he doesn't have their bodies. The ghosts with no bodies, like Bobby and Dexter are there because they have unfinished business, but the only way to keep other ghosts there is to hide their bodies so that they are not taken away or burned and the souls taken from him before he harvests them. But then why let the ghosts roam? Why not just take the souls right away? Maybe so he can use them to lure more people? Not the best of explanations, but it'll have to do for now. He of course uses the bodies to threaten the ghosts into doing what he wants - or at least not meddling in his business. Maybe he takes perverse pleasure in that as well. Again, the story itself doesn't give us any explanations or answers at all. Whitman never explains the what and why of his actions and Victoria's explanations are insufficient so we go away having just a vague idea of the whole situation. What a waste.
Anyway, Annie is watching the teenagers get killed from the shadows. When did Annie get there? We find out later that she is in the video that the teenage boys were taking, right in front of them, yelling at them and trying to save them before Dexter did his thing. And they should have seen her in the camera just as Sam and Dean do later... but for some reason they don't. Possibly because they are distracted by the closing door (Whitman?) and then Dexter at the end of the hall. I suppose Annie hides when Dexter comes, since she probably thinks he is the bad guy until Whitman "kills" him
After Witman is gone, she goes over to the bodies and tries to get their camera but she can't manipulate things yet. Victoria comes and Annie asks her to grab the camera but at first Victoria refuses because she is afraid of Whitman.
Annie reminds Victoria that she is there to help her so Victoria has to help herself in a sense. Victoria then explains what Whitman did to Dexter - "drained him" and that his is what makes him strong.
VICTORIA: We are merely food to him. Food and perverse entertainment.
Victoria explains that Whitman slit Victoria's throat when she was a "fancy lady." When Annie corrects her saying, "a hooker?" Victoria looks hurt.
Sam and Dean come back and start combing the place again for the bodies. Bobby is now able to take his flask out of Dean's pocket and he hides it in a drawer so that he's not blown away when the boys leave.
Dean then finds the camera on the floor by his feet (which Victoria has slid toward them) and calls Sam back. They look at the teenagers' video together and see Annie as a ghost there, seemingly trying to shout into the camera.
The next scene we see Annie and Victoria waiting impatiently for Sam and Dean's reaction as they stand right in front of them. Annie wants to let them know that she's there, but she can't so she asks Victoria. Of course, Victoria hesitates at first, but she is finally convinced after Annie tells her that Sam and Dean can help if they know Annie and Victoria are there.
Victoria consciously shows herself to Sam and Dean, which indicates that this is a sort of an ability in the same way that picking up objects is (at least in some cases). When she explains to them that she was a "fancy lady," Dean of course has to ask, "a hooker?" and we have Sam's bitch face as well as Victoria's. I guess this whole thing by Annie and Dean is the writers making sure we know what a "fancy lady" is. If they are aiming for humor, it's not quite there for me :P Victoria explains to Sam and Dean that all the ghosts are in terrible danger. Whitman hears her from the stairs as she is explaining about him however, and burns her body in his room.
Victoria's ghost-self also burns up in front of Sam and Dean and proves to them that she was telling the truth and that it's Whitman that they have to salt and burn. Poor Victoria.
Whitman's bones are not in the house - which would have been a good thing if Whitman didn't know what they were up to. He quickly puts an old key in Sam's pocket so he can go along with them and stop them from burning his bones. Ghosts can attach themselves to things that have meaning to them right? I wonder if this key had any significance to Whitman. It doesn't seem like it the way he just randomly chooses an object. Maybe Whitman is attached to the house itself, and because a key is almost part of the building itself, taking the key is like taking a part of the house along with him?
Witman seems to smile back at Bobby and Annie as he rides away in the back seat of the car. Bobby and Annie can't do anything for the boys (and it's a good thing Bobby took his flask because he would have been no match for Whitman with both of them in the car) but they can look for Witman's secret room in peace now that he is gone. They go to his room and first find a fire in the fireplace with Victoria's body in it. Then, as Annie tells Bobby that one of the things the house used to be was a speakeasy, Bobby figures out that there must be a hidaway and quickly finds the lever for it.
They find bodies, new and old, including Annie's. They talk about what happens to the souls when the bodies are burned up. Bobby says he thinks they are just "gone": not in heaven or hell, and Annie adds that she thinks so too and would like it that way.
ANNIE: That's what I want.
We find out that this is not true later. Bobby's body and flask are burned up but he goes to hell and to heaven in Season 8, doesn't he? Maybe the burning or decomposition of the bodies just forces the souls to their respective places. What about the souls absorbed by Whitman? Maybe they are also released to heaven or hell when his body is burned, or maybe if he uses the power from the souls then the souls are burned up. [Spoiler for season11 (click to open)]I keep thinking of all those souls at the end of Season 11 - and what would have happened to them when the "bomb" went off. Maybe it's just using the power of the souls and the souls themselves aren't destroyed.
Annie also talks about how she had a lonely life as a hunter without a family to love like Bobby had the boys. Bobby tells her he's not done - that he doesn't want the kind of end that Annie wants yet. He still has work to do - revenge on the Leviathan, but Annie is done and asks him to burn her bones. Let me just stop and think here about Victoria, and the reason Victoria called Annie here in the first place. What does "free me" mean? Did she just want Annie to get rid of Whitman so she and others wouldn't be under his control? Or maybe she wanted to be given the hunter's burial, just as Annie did. Maybe she was happy with the result of being burned by Whitman instead of her soul being sucked out by him. It's interesting to think about.
Meanwhile, Sam and Dean are nearing the cemetary and Whitman speeds up the car to try to kill them. Dean is somehow able to stop the car and they get out. Another mystery here is how Whitman was so quickly overpowered in the car. We've seen much stronger ghosts previously who could control the car so that it couldn't be stopped. How did Dean gain control?
As they search for the thing that brought Whitman with them, Sam finds the key in his pocket. Just as he throws it onto the ground, Whitman attacks him by putting his hand on Sam's chest as he did the teenagers. Sam doesn't start spouting blood right away like the teenagers, though. He just looks like he is having a heart attack. Could this be explained as Whitman not having as much power outside of his own home? Or maybe he just decided on a different way to kill Sam LOL
Dean quickly shoots the key and Whitman gets blown away - back to the house where Bobby and Annie have found the hidaway. There is some nice suspense here as he runs up to his room.
Whitman rushes up to his secret rooom but finds it empty of Bobby and Annie, who have hidden behind a wall. They quickly leave before he sees them. Unfortunately, he knows they have been there and he finds them downstairs.
WHITMAN VAN NESS: This is how you repay my hospitality.
An interesting line, suggesting that Whitman knew Bobby was there but let him be. He tries to suck out Bobby's soul, but Sam and Dean get to Whitman's bones right on time and Whitman burns up before he can finish.
(This is an interesting set of screencaps - one where Whitman is grabbing Bobby's soul, then the second where he is burning up because Sam and Dean are burning his bones below - also a set I really like.)
Next scene, Annie is leaning over Bobby, calling to him. Bobby opens his eyes.
ANNIE: Are you OK?
BOBBY: Sure, I mean, I'm dead, I'm a ghost, but basically, swell.
Then Dean and Sam come in and find Bobby (but can't see Annie) there on the floor in front of them.
Another interesting mystery. Can they see Bobby because Bobby has gained this new ability? or because they finally believe that he is really there? I guess it's both. They could see Victoria even when they didn't know she was there, because she "let them" see her, consciously. We also see Bobby hiding himself from the boys consciously. Which means there must be an ability involved. However, Bobby told Annie previously that she just has to wait until they find her, and in this scene he is surprised that they can see him, which means he didn't consciously let them see him. This could mean that it also helps for the living to be in a state of acceptance - believing that the ghost is really there.
Bobby tells them that Annie is there too (but that doesn't help Sam and Dean see her) and also tells them that he chose to stay rather than go with the reaper.
BOBBY: I need to help.
BOBBY: Life wasn't comfy. Why should death be?
He then shows the boys the bodies and they burn Annie's body along with the rest, although we don't actually see this. (Again, not enough time and so much content missing that it would have been nicer to have. Just a scene of them saying goodbye to Annie would have been nice.)
At the car, Bobby tells them that he's going to miss Annie.
DEAN: Me too.
BOBBY: Well, you didn't know her like I did.
And Dean and Sam just laugh quietly and don't tell Bobby their little Hemingways with Annie. Then, Dean brings up the obvious problem of Bobby still being there.
DEAN: Here's to Annnie. She got the hunter's funeral she wanted. Kind of like the one we thought we gave you.
Dean is bothered now that he knows Bobby is really haunting them. Just as he said at the restaurant - just because they wanted to see him again, doesn't mean they should. Bobby gets upset and disappears.
Sam and Dean get into the car and Sam asks Dean what they should do. Dean doesn't have an answer but he is not happy.
DEAN: It aint the natural order of things. Everything is supposed to end.
Which totally reminds me of Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things but is also laughable when we consider Dean and Sam and how many times they have defied the natural order and come back since then. And also goes to show that even Bobby who was their second father does not get the same treatment as Sam and Dean give each other.
While Dean is saying that the odds are it's not going to end well, Bobby's there in the back, hidden from sight but hearing every word and not looking too happy.