7.10 Death's Door

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Promo still Death's Door.jpg
Title Death's Door
Episode # Season 7, Episode 10
First aired December 2, 2011
Directed by Robert Singer
Written by Sera Gamble
On IMDB Death's Door
Outline While Sam and Dean stand vigil at the hospital, a wounded Bobby fights a battle in his own splintered mind.
Monster Leviathans
Timeline Directly after the events of 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters
Location(s) Hammonton, New Jersey
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Directly following 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters, Dean and Sam rush Bobby, who's been shot in the head by Dick Roman, to the Hammonton Regional Hospital Trauma Center. As Dean drives, we see that although Bobby's body is unresponsive, his mind is busy.

In Bobby's subconscious, Bobby, Dean, and Sam are walking through the Wharton State Forest. They come across the body of Ranger Phil in a tree, and Bobby gets a weird feeling and realizes that something bad has happened. Blood drips from his forehead, but when he touches his head, he doesn't find a wound. They leave and head back to the abandoned house where they're squatting, and Dean and Sam ask him what's going on. Bobby tells them that he was shot in the head, but Dean and Sam insist that nothing like that happened. He ignores them because he knows that what he's seeing now is just in his subconscious mind, but there's something he has to remember to tell the real Dean and Sam when he wakes up, the key to the Leviathans' plan. He finds a pad and marker and writes down a number, 454895, then tears off the paper and puts it in his jacket pocket.

When Bobby looks up, he's suddenly in his bedroom, reliving a moment with his dead wife, Karen Singer. He hands her a glass of wine and she takes his hand, determined to talk to him about something serious. Bobby recognizes the scene, but when he hears a storm coming in, he looks out the window. He sees a teenager running towards the house from behind a distant wood shed. When he turns back to Karen, he tells her that he has to go.

The moment he walks through the bedroom door, he's standing in the rain outside a church with Rufus Turner. They're dressed like pest control workers and are on a ghost hunt. Bobby tries to tell Rufus that he's dying, but Rufus doesn't listen—his EMF meter lights up and he goes inside the church. Bobby looks back at the street and sees the same teenager running by. Rufus calls for him to get inside, and suddenly the teenager is in front of him, grabbing him by the arm. He tells Bobby that God will punish him, and Bobby looks down to see a glass of milk shattering on a black-and-red-checked tile floor. Disturbed, Bobby goes into the church, but the building starts to shake, people vanish, and the lights go out.

Once it's dark, a thin man in a suit approaches. He carries a watch on a chain and tells Bobby that his time is up. Bobby immediately recognizes him as a reaper, even though he's never heard of one going inside someone's head before. The reaper tells him that he's in a coma and that it's his time to die. Bobby decides to lead him on a chase before giving up and dying, and the next memory he stumbles into is one of him, Dean, and Sam hanging out at his house. Dean and Sam are arguing about who's better, Jet Li or Chuck Norris, and Dean asks Bobby to get him a beer. When Bobby goes into the kitchen, however, he sees his mother setting the table for dinner. She tells him he's filthy and scolds him, saying "It's like you want him to get mad." He closes the door on her and turns around in time to catch a shotgun thrown to him by Rufus.

They're in a mausoleum, and Rufus is getting ready to pull out Lara Coggins' corpse so that Bobby can burn it. Lara killed herself after being left at the altar and is now killing men who break women's hearts. Bobby tries to tell Rufus that a reaper is after him, but Rufus doesn't take him seriously.

Meanwhile in the real world, Bobby is being wheeled into the trauma center. He has a bullet wound in his head and no exit wound, so the nurses and doctors are trying to get him stable. They have to wait for the swelling to go down before they can even think about trying to remove the bullet. Sam and Dean are pushed out of his room as the EMTs work.

Back in Bobby's subconscious, Lara's spirit appears and calls Bobby a heartbreaker before shoving her hand in his chest. He's going into cardiac arrest, in his mind and in the real world, when Rufus slashes through her with iron. He stabilizes, but she picks up Rufus and throws him to the ground, knocking him out. Bobby quickly grabs his homemade flamethrower and lights her remains on fire, destroying her spirit.

Suddenly Bobby finds himself outside a hospital and again sees the boy. Rufus comes out of the hospital, and Bobby prompts him to recount his near death experience. Rufus says that he traveled through doors between different memories and found the way back to consciousness, to life, through his deepest, darkest memory.

The next scene finds Rufus and Bobby back in Bobby's bedroom and facing his wife Karen, who is angry and sobbing. This was the night Bobby told her he never wanted to have children, something she hadn't known. Bobby apologizes to her memory, and then tells Rufus that this fight happened three days before Karen was possessed. His biggest regret wasn't killing her, but that they never got past this last fight. Rufus tells him to try the door, and Bobby steps through...

To a park, where a younger Bobby is playing catch with a ten-year-old Dean (rather than practicing shooting as John Winchester ordered). Rufus asks why Bobby never wanted to have kids, and Bobby explains that his father was a mean drunk, and Bobby had been worried he'd end up like him. They walk away from the scene and approach another door, which Bobby slides open to reveal...

Dinner at the Singers' house with a young Bobby — the boy Bobby has been seeing. Young Bobby accidentally spills a glass of milk, and his father becomes enraged at both Bobby and his mom. Bobby explains to Rufus that this was a regular event. Again the ground shakes and thunder is heard. Bobby suggests to Rufus that he has a way to delay the reaper coming for him.

Back in the real world, an administrator approaches Dean about using Bobby's organs for donation. Dean explodes in anger and punches a wall, then walks outside to cool off. In front of the hospital is a nice car with tinted windows, and Dean approaches it, certain that Dick Roman is inside. Indeed, Dick rolls down the window and, due to his fame, a crowd gathers and starts taking photos. Dean challenges Roman to kill him, taunting him that he won't do it in front of a crowd. Dick is nonplussed. When Dean goes back into the hospital, he tells Sam that Dick Roman is outside, but that he's not making a move. Sam tells him that Bobby seems to have stabilized, but that they should prepare for him to die. Dean angrily walks away and leaves Sam alone, rubbing at the spot on his palm that he uses to help distinguish reality from his hallucinations.

In Bobby's subconscious he is inside his living room. He tells Rufus he knows how to bind a reaper; however, things are subtly disappearing — a Bible has blank pages and the faces on photos are fading. As Bobby prepares the spell, he sees a younger version of himself in another room, on the phone to John, arguing over Dean. John reminds Bobby that he is not Dean's father. When the Reaper is bound, he reveals that the trap won't last long. The damage the bullet did to Bobby's brain is destroying it and he will die. His only choice is whether to stay on Earth as a ghost, or to cross over with the reaper. Rufus urges him to go, but Bobby insists he has to stay — for his boys.

Young Bobby appears again, and Bobby follows him back to the scene of the family dinner. Ed Singer is in a rage, hitting his wife, and he screams at Bobby that it's his fault. Suddenly young Bobby appears with a rifle, telling his father to leave his mother alone. When he mocks Bobby and refuses, Bobby shoots him in the head, killing him.

Sam and Dean are at Bobby's bedside as he is about to go into surgery. He regains consciousness briefly and manages to write part of the number he memorized earlier on Sam's palm: 45489. He whispers "Idjits" at them before his heart stops.

Back in his mind, Bobby is at his house and all is dark outside the windows. The reaper appears and tells Bobby this is the last piece of his mind alive. It's the memory from earlier with Sam and Dean getting ready for a night of DVDs and beer. "Glad I saved the best for last," Bobby tells the reaper, and then brings Sam and Dean beers while they argue about movie snacks. As they fade, the reaper checks his watch and asks Bobby whether he wants to stay — as a ghost — or cross over. Bobby looks at him, and the screen fades to black to the ticking of the reaper's watch.






Karen: You were expecting Farrah Fawcett?
Bobby: No, she always calls first.
Ed: Oh, you deserved it. You were nothing but ungrateful.
Bobby: I was a kid! Kids aren't supposed to be grateful. They're supposed to eat your food and break your heart, you selfish dick.
Reaper: Bobby... you've helped. You got handed a small, unremarkable life, and you did something with it. Most men like you die of liver disease, watching Barney Miller reruns. You've done enough. Believe me.

Bobby: I don't care.
Reaper: Why?

Bobby: Because they're my boys.
Bobby: As fate would have it, I adopted two boys. And they grew up great. They grew up heroes.
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.

Trivia & References

"Death's door" is a colloquial saying to refer to the point just before dying.
Bobby: Something bad's about to happen.

Dean: Yeah, well, danger's kind of on the W-2, Bobby. That's why we got the guns.

A W-2 is a standard tax form showing the total wages paid to an employee and the taxes withheld during the calendar year.
The numbers relating to the Leviathan plot which Bobby writes down on the piece of paper are 454895. We only see him write 45489 — one digit less — on Sam's hand. The latitude 45.4 and longitude -89.5 are the coordinates for Beaver Lake, in Lincoln County in Wisconsin, which could be one of the spots marked on Roman's map in 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters. source For more, see Bobby's Numbers.
Bobby's reaper: You're in a coma, genius. This is what happens. I climb in your... custard, and fish you out.
A possible reference to the Eleventh Doctor's love of fish fingers and custard in Dr. Who. For more, see Doctor Who.
The DVDs for Sam and Dean's movie night at Bobby's are "Chuck Norris American Hero Collection" and The Delta Force. The second one seems redundant since The Delta Force is part of the "American Hero Collection."
Rufus: All right, let's put this damn ghost to bed. I got plans for Purim.
Purim is a Jewish holiday commemorating the survival of the Jews who, in the 5th century BCE, were marked for death by their Persian rulers. The story is related in the biblical Book of Esther. It is usually celebrated in March.
Bobby: Hey! Yeah, you! You, kid! Hey, what are you making like a white rabbit all over the place for, you grubby little--
Either a reference to the 1950 James Stewart movie Harvey in which the main character Elwood P. Dowd claims to see a 6'3.5" tall rabbit named Harvey, or a reference to the character of the same name in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. White rabbits were previously referenced by Sam in 7.02 Hello, Cruel World.
Rufus: Don't sit Shiva for me yet, Bobby.
Shiva is a period of seven days where a Jewish family has a formal mourning time to honor their loved one after their death.
Rufus: What year is this? '89-ish?

Bobby: What's it matter? I'm still stuck in eternal friggin' sunshine.

Bobby is referring to the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which is about a couple who have their memories of each other erased.
Ed Singer is reading a newspaper with an article concerning the Soviet Union's preparation for the launching of Sputnik 1 which occurred on October 4, 1957. This narrows down the date of death for Ed Singer, meaning Bobby was only seven years old when he killed his father.
Reaper: Bobby... you've helped. You got handed a small, unremarkable life, and you did something with it. Most men like you die of liver disease, watching Barney Miller reruns.
Barney Miller is a 1970s sitcom set around a New York City detectives' squad room.
Bobby: The only way out is through.
A reference to the famous line from Robert Frost's poem A Servant to Servants: 'He says the best way out is always through.' Bobby's love of poetry was previously mentioned in 7.06 Slash Fiction.


This episode was originally called 'Not Fade Away'.source
The flashback scenes that feature Bobby, Sam & Dean in the forest were shot during the filming of the previous episode 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters.S7DVD
Chelah Horsdal who plays Bobby's mother previously appeared as the librarian in 1.07 Hook Man.
Nicolai Guistra who plays ten-year-old Dean in this episode also played Dean in the flashback scene in 5.22 Swan Song.
Bobby's father is reading a newspaper with a headline which says, The Past Is Best Left in the Past.
Bobby's father becomes violent after Bobby accidentally knocks over a glass of milk, and Bobby kills him to protect his mother. Ironically, the saying don't cry over spilt milk means to let go of mishaps.
The exterior of Hammonton Regional Hospital was previously used in 6.21 Let It Bleed as the exterior of Oakview Memorial Hospital where Dean took Lisa when she was stabbed by the demon possessing her.
In the Bobby's final memory, Sam wears a distinctive shirt that he's worn since season two.
Tweets from Jim Michaels during the episode.
Deleted scene: From the end of the episode where Dick muses to Susan about how it's a nice night. She tells him Bobby shot her, and he comments that he 'returned the favor' before asking her to get his car brought around. Read the transcript here.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts