Supernatural: Death's Door
September 26, 2021 5:29 AM - Season 7, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Bobby is comatose and trying to find his way through a maze of his own memories and figure out how to get an important message to Sam and Dean before his reaper catches up with him.


Bobby: Well that's a load of crap. Who the hell were you to say?
Ed Singer: I'm your father. And you show your father respect.
Bobby: The day he deserves it. You drunken bully. Punching women and kids, is that what they call fatherhood in your day?
Ed Singer: You deserved it. Believe me, you were nothing but ungrateful.
Bobby: I was a kid! Kids ain't supposed to be grateful. They're supposed to eat your food and break your heart, ya selfish dick! You died and I was still so afraid I'd turn into you, I never even had kids of my own.
Ed Singer: Good. You break everything you touch.
Bobby: Well, as fate would have it, I adopted two boys and they grew up great. They grew up heroes. So you can go to hell!

Dean: All right, scoot, jerkface. Show your elders some respect.
Sam: You scoot, asshat.
Dean: Did we get licorice?
Sam: No, we did not get licorice. We got good snacks. Licorice is disgusting.
Dean: I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand that, uh, Mr. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich.
Sam: I stand by that sandwich. Nobody likes licorice. It's -- it's made of dirt.
Dean: It is a classic movie food. It's right up there with popcorn.
Sam: Popcorn?
Dean: Yeah.
Sam: You're out of your mind.
Dean: What, it's like little chewy pieces of heaven.
Sam: Oh, chewy pieces of heaven if you're a girl.

Dean: We're coming for you. And not just to hurt you -- to kill you. You understand me?
Dick Roman: Come on, Dean, I can't be killed.
Dean: You're gonna wish you could, then.
Dick Roman: [laughs] That's some conviction. You'd really crush it on the motivational circuit.
Dean: You're either laughing because you're scared or you're laughing because you're stupid. I'll see you soon, Dick.

Rufus: Seriously, though, Bobby, how come...?
Bobby: Dog with a bone, Rufus.
Rufus: No, I really want to know, man -- why no kids?
Bobby: Ain't that deep. Dad was a mean drunk. I figured I'd be just like him. And, hey, look, I was right. No sense passing on the legacy.
Rufus: You're too hard on yourself. You're more of a cranky drunk.

Dean: What's going on with your head?
Bobby: I got shot in it.

Bobby: Mother Mary, I've got a messed-up fruitcake.

Bobby: I've heard of you guys grabbing reapees in broad daylight and in their sleep, but I never heard of a reaper showing up inside a guy's custard.
Bobby's Reaper: You're in a coma, genius. This is what happens. I climb in your... custard and fish you out.

Rufus: Your worst memory. Think. Focus. You got it? The worst, okay?
Bobby: I got a metric ton of worst.

Bobby's Reaper: [to Bobby, regarding both him and his father getting shot] You got the only genetic case of bullet in the brain I've ever seen.

Rufus: Pretty sure I almost crossed over.
Bobby: And what did you see?
Rufus: What did I see? What are you so riled up about, paco?
Bobby: ...
Rufus: All right, all right. I saw a hallway, uh, plaid carpet, uh, the apartment building from when I was a kid.
Bobby: And?
Rufus: And I wanted out. I'm not dying on no damn plaid carpet.

Karen: I feel like we haven't talked in ages.
Bobby: I know just how you feel.

Bobby: How am I supposed to know what I don't want me to know?

Bobby's Reaper: You think you can lose me?
Bobby: I'm gonna try.
Bobby's Reaper: I've got places to be, Singer. Don't waste my time.
Bobby: Might as well, while I got it.

Bobby: Listen to me, Rufus. I'm gonna die.
Rufus: Oh, now, that's a realistic view of the mortality rate on a ghost hunt.

Bobby: [In his memories] Something bad's about to happen...
Dean: Yeah, well, danger's kind of on the W2, Bobby. That's why we got the guns.

Bobby: Karen?
Karen: You were expecting Farrah Fawcett?
Bobby: No. She always calls first.

Bobby's Reaper: Got to admit -- first time anyone's pulled one on me while actually unconscious.


In an October 2014 interview with, celebrating the 200th episode of the show, Jared Padalecki stated "Death's Door" was his favourite episode of the series to date. Jensen Ackles added that it was his favourite episode as well.

In the hospital after Dean punches the glass, "code grey" is heard on the overhead speaker. Code grey is a common code in many healthcare facilities for a combative person.

When Bobby is brought into the hospital one of the healthcare professionals states "GCS 5". This is in reference to the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). The Glasgow Coma Scale is a 15 (sometimes 14) point scale where a patient is checked for eye response, verbal response, and motor response and the values are added up. Example: eyes don't open = 1; eyes open in response to pain = 2; eyes open in response to voice = 3; no verbal anything = 1; groans and moans = 2; gibberish words = 3, etc. A GCS of 3 is completely unresponsive. A GCS of 5 means severe damage or coma.

When Bobby mentions "the eternal sunshine" it is a reference to the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Bobby is wheeled into the trauma OR and a doctor orders 80 grams of mannitol. Mannitol is a sugar alcohol. It is used to treat cerebral edema, which is a serious matter. If you sprain your ankle you take off your boot and the ankle has room to swell (edema). If your brain swells, there is no extra room in the skull and the pressure can kill your brain cells. Edema is extra water in tissue and it can be treated by drawing water from the tissue in question. Mannitol does not readily leave the blood to enter brain cells (blood-brain barrier) so mannitol in the bloodstream draws water out of the brain tissue and into the bloodstream (osmotic diuretic). It is a standard short-term treatment.

In speaking of the doctor's surgical options Sam says, "The word is abrading, I think," but he probably misremembered what the doctor said as abrading involves rubbing with sandpaper or a wire brush, something you might do to a rough surface. The word the doctor used was probably debriding. Debriding a penetrating brain injury means removing dead tissue, bone chips, and other debris from inside the brain, and it is very risky when any swelling is present. Even without cerebral edema complicating things surgeons don't always agree on whether debridement is worth it.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
Did Bobby actually kill his father when he was a boy, bury him behind the shed on their property, and get away with it, or was that something he wished he'd done and the counsel he gave his younger self something he wished he'd known at the time? Because that... seems like a stretch.

I had to cringe at Bobby's "Karen and I never got a chance to get past this". Dude, you married a woman whom you knew wanted children without telling her you were determined not to have any. That's not something you can get past.

Poor Sam and Dean, losing their foster father who had taken more real care of them than their actual father had ever done, who actually created a space in which they could be kids. You can see it in Sam and Dean's Jet Li vs. Chuck Norris and licorice arguments. I bet they never could relax to the point of having trivial arguments like that around John. Bobby was always crusty with them, never told them he loved them or was proud of them, but they knew full well he did and he was always there for them whenever they needed anything -- he often knew what they needed before they knew it themselves. They had such respect for him, and such trust in him. In their chaotic, brutal, tragic lives, he was the one bedrock they had.

I feel like I need to know whether it was red or black licorice that Sam and Dean were arguing about. If red, I would take Dean's part, but if black, I'm with Sam.
posted by orange swan at 5:46 AM on September 26, 2021 [2 favorites]

Bobby dreaming up what he needs to try and save himself, which turns out to mostly be other people, is admittedly a pretty badass move while your brain’s disintegrating.

Bobby clearly carried the effects of his childhood abuse into adulthood and I feel for him, but man, marrying Karen under the pretense he'd have kids with her is..."low" is not exactly the word I want, but it was a bad thing to do to her. The fact that decades later, knowing she was about to die, he wishes he'd told her anything she wanted to hear that day, presumably including that he did actually want kids, is...quite something.

This show really already had more than enough daddy issues to be getting on with. But the idea that Bobby didn't want kids because he was scared of what he'd do to them does slightly reorient for me why he attached himself to these two extremely dramatic knuckleheads in particular, and almost certainly ended his friendship with John over how John was raising them.

There are a few different angles you could take on how this show changed over time and specifically its first couple years post-S5, but all that aside, this feels like a point where Sam and Dean's world gets really small. Even in season 1, they knew their dad was out there somewhere and their goals were directly related to him and Jessica and Mary. Just in the past few episodes they (and the show) have lost Castiel, Bobby's house, Bobby himself, and they can't even drive the Impala because the whole world thinks they're mass murderers.
posted by jameaterblues at 7:17 AM on September 26, 2021 [3 favorites]

Aw, damn. Bobby was definitely my favourite character.
posted by porpoise at 9:44 AM on September 26, 2021

This is the episode I was referring to a while back when I made a comment about reapers being bad at their jobs.

Look at how much effort Bobby has expend to avoid his reaper--and not just effort, but knowledge gained from years of hunting and borrowed from Rufus. If Bobby needs to make this much effort, how do regular people with no clue and no experience escape their reapers to become ghosts and spirits? Yes, we talked about people with agendas yet to be fulfilled, who are able to stay on this plane, but it still doesn't seem possible, given what we know of how dogged reapers are.
posted by sardonyx at 11:27 AM on September 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

Huh, interesting plot hole there. Maybe there are different tiers of reapers?

I wonder if a lot of scrub reapers are just tired and fed up with their jobs, and when some spirit is really nutso, will just throw up their hands and say "Fine, if you want to stay, stay. I've got better things to do. <grumble>" Ghosts we've seen so far seem to trend deranged. Though, the boys are usually only alerted to troublemakers (like that car crash woman and the crazy farmer ghosts).

Around here there are a lot of mentally ill and/ or drug addicted underhoused people and... there just aren't enough resources (or the political will to devote more resources) to help everyone to the degree that they need help. Frustratingly, many of the most troublesome to the rest of society actively reject the kind of help that's available.
posted by porpoise at 12:10 PM on September 26, 2021

I don't think a reaper can force anyone to come with them. They'll lean on them, resort to some special effects, but the person has to agree to go. Even at the end of this episode, the reaper asks Bobby whether he's coming or not.
posted by orange swan at 4:28 PM on September 26, 2021

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