Supernatural: Safe House
March 29, 2016 11:36 AM - Season 11, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean tackle a possible ghost case at a house that Bobby and Rufus once investigated.

- The bottle that Rufus left in Bobby's car at the end is in 7.12 Time After Time, where Sam and Jody found it and wondered what bet Bobby won.
- The voice introducing "Midnight Rider" at the end of the episode is none other than executive producer Robert Singer.

I was unaware that Bobby and Rufus were getting brought back for this episode, and I don't know the production reasoning, or if this is a one time thing or not. But I was SO EXCITED for Bobby and Rufus! And the space time aspect of the episode was super neat! I love that Bobby was rescued in the past because Sam and Dean defeated the soul eater in the future.
posted by numaner (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This was a really well done episode and a reminder of what the show can be when it's at its peak. Sentimental without being campy. It's rare enough for a show to make it to 11 seasons, but to put out some of its best episodes when it has already surpassed 200 is phenomenal.

I know it's impossible for them to back off from the season long arcs where the Winchesters save the world, but some of the better episodes of late have been more one-off variety.

Also, they have renewed the show for season 12. I guess that means we are not going to permanently lose one of the Winchesters this season like they've hinted at. Castiel, on the other hand...

The monster this week was very inventive. I also loved the out-of-time crossover and that S/D saved Bobby that way. And that S/D realized who the neighbor was talking about simply by her describing the agents as rude. Also, Bobby and Rufus chose the names Riggs and Murtagh (video). And I think Sam threw in an "I'm too old for this" at one point. (We got that line from Rufus way back in S5.)
posted by 2ht at 1:15 PM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

The bottle that Rufus left in Bobby's car at the end is in 7.12 Time After Time, where Sam and Jody found it and wondered what bet Bobby won.

Wow! That's a great Easter egg. I wonder if they planned something like this way back then, or if they remembered the bottle and thought of a way to bring it back all this time later.

I thought it was a fun episode, but while Jim Beaver is as great as ever the actor playing Rufus seemed... off, to me. He's usually a very intense actor (He was Mr. X, after all!) but he just seemed kind of distracted here, like he wasn't taking it seriously or something. It gave his scenes a weird feel.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:27 PM on March 29, 2016

Great to see Bobby and Rufus again, workin' a case and being cranky. Additional plus, very little Boy Melodrama.
posted by Ber at 8:07 PM on March 29, 2016

I think it's just lazy Rufus, when he's just trying to put a case on Bobby and sit back, how they always rolled back in the day. Our more recent experience with him was more intense when he's in the middle of it with the rest of them.
posted by numaner at 9:56 AM on March 30, 2016

If they want to backdoor a pilot, I would watch the shit out of "Grumpy Old Men of Letters."
posted by terilou at 8:33 PM on April 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Bobby Singer: Were you ever nice?
Rufus Turner: 1985. Worst year of my life.

Naoki Himura: [regarding the supernatural attack on her daughter] Even the internet thinks I am crazy!


The events in the Bobby & Rufus flashbacks take place during season 4 of Supernatural.

When Sam introduces himself and Dean as FBI agents, he calls them Agent Biehn and Agent Reiser. These are the surnames of the actors who played Hicks (Michael Biehn) and Burke (Paul Reiser) in Aliens. In the flashbacks, Bobby and Rufus' FBI names are Riggs and Murtaugh. These are the main characters in Lethal Weapon, played by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.

When Sam and Dean meet the neighborhood watch lady, Sam introduces himself as Special Agent Reiser but in the hospital later, he introduces Dean as Special Agent Reiser to Dr. Richards.

In addition to Bobby and Rufus using the main characters names from Lethal Weapon as their FBI names, Sam also quotes the movie by saying he's getting too old for this, which is a famous quote from the movie.

This is the first appearance of Steven Williams as Rufus since "Death's Door" (ep. 7.10). This is also the first appearance of Rufus as himself and not a hallucination since his death in "And Then There Were None" (ep. 6.16).

The hospital shown in this episode is named St. Eligius, which is possibly a reference to the 1982 TV drama series St. Elsewhere, which took place in St. Eligius Hospital.

The bottle of Johnny Walker and the attached note are the same bottle and note Sheriff Jodie Mills finds amongst Bobby's things in "Time After Time" (ep. 2012).

Rufus uses Shabbat -- a Jewish day of rest -- as an excuse for letting Bobby do all the work on their case. Rufus had previously been mentioned to be Jewish, but tended to only follow the rules when they suited him, such as to get out of working.
posted by orange swan at 10:09 AM on December 30, 2021

Rufus was a lot of fun in this one. He and Bobby do have a comradery that's similar to Sam and Dean's. Working together and saving each other's lives repeatedly builds deep bonds -- as I've heard it does in the military.

If the next owners renovate and break the sigil, won't that soul eater just come back again? Or did Sam and Dean finally defeat it?

Dean called Bobby lazy for not finishing the journal entry regarding the soul eater case, but in the end of the episode it's revealed that Bobby never finished his journal entry because Dean called on him very peremptorily for help. Those boys never did realize just how much Bobby had on his plate and how much he had to scramble to help them every time they called on him.
posted by orange swan at 10:15 AM on December 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

Truly a season 11 flex to do a flashback episode within your own canon. This episode, along with Baby and Red Meat and a couple others, are a large part of why I remember season 11 with a lot of affection out of the later seasons.

This is one among a few times where you get Bobby's point of view on Sam and Dean, and the show notably takes the opportunity to make them look like jerks who treat him like he's a supporting character in a TV show about them, which I always thought was kind of an interesting choice.

Cutting from Sam and Dean miserably sweating six feet down a hole to Bobby with a digger and probably forged papers to use it is funny even when I know it’s coming.

Considering Rufus knew him for a long time before he got close to the Winchesters as adults, I can see how from his perspective it might be a little odd for Bobby of all people to suddenly be all papa bear about them. Rufus and Bobby are a lot of fun, but you don't always get a great sense of what they liked about working together or why they tolerated each other and almost no one else. But it’s interesting that Rufus’s answer to Bobby's worry for Sam and Dean is that any or all of them could be dead tomorrow and worry won't protect Bobby from grieving them someday.
posted by jameaterblues at 9:06 PM on February 2, 2022

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