Supernatural returned from its three-week hiatus with an episode that brought a couple of the season’s previous plotlines back to the forefront while keeping the Leviathan story on the backburner. “The Slice Girls” begins with one of the goriest openings I can recall as some poor sap gets tossed against a wall, has his hands and feet chopped off and gets a symbol carved into his chest. We get the typical blood splatter but the visceral, disturbing nature of the opening murder was particularly unsettling. The brutal murders attract Sam and Dean’s attention, and after some initial research, Dean impregnates a girl he meets at a bar. Between the graphic murder and the PG-13 sex scene, this was an edgy episode!

When an episode passes the “swear test.”

I know the surprise of this episode – seeing Lydia’s pregnant belly while talking to Dean – was successful since it caused my wife, who was only half paying attention, to utter “WTF” (spelled out) in disbelief. I wasn’t as shocked as she was but the twist definitely worked. In fact, the plot kept my attention this week because it didn’t hit any familiar Supernatural beats along the way. As I’m sure is the case with most fans of the show, I can usually see where an episode is headed by the midway point. I originally thought it was Lydia chopping off the body parts but the relevance of the rapidly-aging children and their incredibly butch overlords eluded me. The Amazonian legend was a bit “out there” but it worked well enough. I’m not going to complain after last week’s god of time/Eliot Ness combination.

The confrontation between Emma and Dean in the hotel room brought back memories of Sam struggling with the decision to kill or spare Amy from “The Girl Next Door.” I know some fans were happy to see the Amy storyline wrapped up but it gracefully came full circle here as Sam shot and killed Emma. Seeing Dean grapple with the decision to shoot his “daughter” – an image that didn’t feel overly strange since the girl was so old – felt pretty contrived (she had a knife and would’ve murdered him!) but the payoff was worth it. Sam took care of Emma and got karmic revenge for Dean killing Amy, hopefully putting this storyline to rest once and for all. Speaking of which, it appears we’ll be seeing these Amazonian women again and thank goodness for that. A little continuity goes a long way, after all.

The shark is circling and seems to have its jumping shoes on.

Besides Amy, the other storyline that got revisited in “The Slice Girls” was Bobby apparently aiding the brothers from beyond the grave. The possibility of “ghost Bobby” took a serious hit with the news that the brothers salted and burned his bones but the significance of his flask seems to indicate that Bobby’s spirit could be tethered to Dean’s keepsake. However, I did get the impression from the “Previously on Supernatural” recap that Bobby could be stuck in purgatory as the ambiguity of his decision looms larger than ever. Despite what Sam thinks, I feel we’re headed for a reappearance by Bobby at a crucial time later in the season. Perhaps during the inevitable showdown with Dick Roman just like John Winchester did in the season 2 battle between the brothers and Azazel?

Bobby’s return will be a mistake regardless of how it pans out, however. I might be alone in my opinion but it seems unfair to the show’s heart and soul to kill Bobby off but keep him around as a plot element to be revealed later. Granted, death and resurrection have lost all emotional impact on this show given the number of times the Winchesters and Co. have done a u-turn along their road to the great beyond, but this whole thing feels like a cop-out to keep Jim Beaver involved with the show. With a return from Castiel still possible (since as I recall only angels can kill other angels), Supernatural is guilty of wanting to have its cake and eat it, too. I can’t say I blame them given how much I loved Castiel and Bobby, but if you’re going to kill two characters and have them remain dead longer than one episode, you need to cut bait and move on with so new characters and some fresh dynamics.

Line of the week

Dean: “It could be useful.”

Sam: “Yeah, in a pile of ‘it could be useful.’”

Next week on Supernatural...

Another killer clown episode… hey Cinema Blend, can someone else recap that one? Please?

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