It was really interesting what this episode did with time. Two different times, yet one ongoing, interwoven story- what happened in the past affected the present, but also what happened in the present actually affected the past. After all, there’s no reason that trapping the Soul Eater would eject all the souls, and Bobby suspects as much himself- yet it does make sense that killing the soul-eater would eject the souls. And if Bobby and Dean were in the nest at the same time, then what Dean did there would affect Bobby as well.
To build on the theme of time, the two stories were filmed in such a way that they were essentially interchangeable, and yet the parallels threw into sharp contrast the subtle differences. Sam and Dean followed in Rufus and Bobby’s footsteps almost exactly, including what they argued about, but because Sam and Dean had just one extra resource, they were able to take the hunt one step further. Not just trap the bad, but kill it, and free the souls trapped within. History is repeating itself, with an outcome that appears to be similar, but is actually fundamentally different.
-which of course has serious implications for the mytharc this season. Finding a way not just to repeat history but to expand on it, find a real solution that will allow for life to continue afterward. Not just accept that you can’t save everyone, but fight to do it anyway.
Lastly on the theme of time, I also found it interesting that the Bobby & Rufus story was “some years ago” rather than a specific date. The ambiguity of the time period added to the interwoven quality of the two stories, placing them in that space outside of the linear dimension of time. It also meant that even with Bobby mentioning the apocalypse, it was unclear when in the show’s history the hunt took place- until Dean mentioned Lilith at the end, it wasn’t even clear whether the hunt was before or after Lucifer was set free. Given the context of season 11, I assumed that the hunt took place during season 5. But Bobby’s hunt took place in the period before Lucifer was set free, back when they didn’t realize that Lilith was the final seal, that Sam is Lucifer’s true vessel and Dean is Michael’s, back before they knew they wouldn’t be able to kill the devil, only trap him. It’s almost as if Bobby’s hunt took place in the window of time before the Darkness was released, reminding us that it’s not just the individual hunt that’s repeating, it’s the entire timeline.
With that, though, we’re also reminded that even though it seems that history is repeating itself, this time won’t end up exactly like the last. Maybe they’ll find a way to actually kill the devil- maybe they’ll find a way to actually kill Amara. History isn’t worth anything if you don’t learn from it, build on the work that others have done before you. And maybe the way that Sam and Dean solve this problem will have a profound impact not just on the future, but on the way they view the past as well.
My head is just swimming in theories of what jack’s first text was.
Was it super Jackish like a “see you soon”? Or “have a good summer”?
Or was it more romantic? Where Jack is like “fly safe, plane’s got precious cargo on it, text me when you land.” Or something simple yet affective like, “I’m glad that happened. Text me when you land I miss you already”.
Or was it romantic but also Jackish “how do I send the picture of the yellow guy blowing a kiss?” Or “how do I download beyonce on my phone?”