Weekend At Bobby’s : On the Nature of Friends

The team of Rufus and Bobby is one of my favorites. We didn’t get to see nearly as much of them as we should, but at least got some small reconciliation, just before Bobby’s death.

Weekend at Bobby’s title is a shout out to the movie Weekend at Bernie’s, where two teenagers have to deal with the death of the caregiver they were visiting that weekend. They get into a lot of funny situations where they have to convince the people who knew Bernie that he’s still alive because being teenaged boys in a film comedy, they are seemingly unable to cope with, or know nothing about the machinery of death, like calling a paramedic.

The first time Rufus and Bobby met, Rufus helped kill Bobby’s possessed wife. They became estranged on a hunt in Omaha, when a woman close to Rufus got fridged. They may have been estranged, but Bobby still trusted him enough to send Dean, with a bottle of Whiskey, to procure information on Bela Talbot. Essentially, even though Rufus was angry with Bobby, they still communicated with each other.

In season four, it was Rufus who reached out to Bobby, with information on the breaking of the 66 seals. And in season five, although the two had not yet reconciled, when Bobby needed help getting his soul back from Crowley, it was Rufus, after some amount of bitching and yelling, who stepped up to help him get it back. This made Rufus’ death all the more poignant when Bobby, possessed by the Khan Worm, killed one of his oldest friends, the man who inspired him to become a hunter.

And it was Rufus, having already passed on, who tried to help Bobby to accept his own death, and move on into the afterlife, although he was unsuccessful at it, as Bobby chose to remain a spirit on Earth. Rufus may have been angry with him, and ultimately the two of them never verbally reconciled, but regardless of how either of them may have felt, those feelings never severed the trust they’d built over many years.

I think the only reason they never did, was they were  manly men who didn’t believe in discussing their feelings. That the two of them cared for each other was without question and I think they expressed their love and trust in the only way that such men can ever feel comfortable, by being reliable and trustworthy and coming to the aid of whichever of them needed it most.

Bobby and Rufus were much alike. Older, set in their ways, cranky, alcoholic, know-it-alls, still dealing with the pain of loss, and though Rufus may never have said he forgave Bobby for what happened in Omaha, Bobby knew Rufus favorite Whiskey and trusted him enough to send one of his favorite sons to meet him. When Bobby needed Crowley’s ring, Rufus broke into a museum to get it, and sped across town, while dodging the police, to save his friend’s soul.

But this episode isn’t only notable for Rufus and Bobby. When Dean and Sam call Bobby for help with a case and use that time to bitch about each other, it’s what Bobby says to them about their behavior that brings his relationship with Rufus into a new perspective. The gist of his, rather unkind, commentary is that he needed their help, but because he is who he is, it never occurred to them, that he would ever need help. Not because they don’t love him or don’t care, but because Bobby’s position in their relationship is that of a “grounder”.

People who are the grounding for other people’s lives (parents, elder siblings, crazy uncles) are rarely considered to be helpless. It’s a pyramidal power dynamic, only they are at the foundation, rather than the top. The “grounders” job is to aid, not be aided – to provide emotional support – not to be provided for, and the Singer/Winchester friendship is built on that.

Unlike his friendship with Rufus, which is one of equals, Bobby never has to remind Rufus that he’s vulnerable or needs help. It’s only asking for it, from the exceptionally smug Rufus, that seems to be the problem, and he can accept emotional help from Rufus without embarrassment.  He doesn’t have the same dynamic with Rufus that he has with “his boys”. He and Rufus are equals who will always come to the other’s side.

It’s because Rufus is not Bobby’s moral foundation (his wife) or physical anchor to the world (the Winchesters) that makes him the only person eligible to talk him into leaving it all behind. Rufus doesn’t just show up because the actor needed to do a cameo, but because, as Bobby’s equal, he’s the only person who could convince him to let go.

The trauma that marred Bobby’s life, (the killing of his father) is something he could only have worked through with the aid of the less judgmental Rufus, the same man who was intimately familiar with the trauma of killing his wife. Not John, not his wife, and certainly not Sam and Dean. It is only appropriate that it would be Rufus that would be able to talk him through the only trauma he never shared with another human being, without the shame or embarrassment that would attend, if it were his wife, for example. And the point of Bobby’s walk through is to release emotions, not ramp them up.

But he can share it with Rufus and their friendship would not falter because of it.

And it never did.

Written By: Ikeke …..

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11 Comments

  1. Oh and edited to add: Weekend at Bernies is about two young men trying to make people believe their boss is still alive after an embarrassing death. I first saw this movie when I was a teen, and it was so awful that, was pretty much all I took away from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this. Weekend at Bobby’s was the first episode I enjoyed from S6. I absolutely love the friendship between Bobby and Rufus. They don’t talk about Omaha, they’re gruff with each other “Suck dirt and die, Rufus. You call me again, I’ll kill you”. When push comes to shove they are there for each other and their dynamic was incredibly enjoyable to me. I love them as a team and as individual characters. Jim Beaver gave us the cranky uncle we can help but love and Steven William was just amazing as Rufus. “You do her ear?” LMAO, he was everything in Time Is On My Side.
    This show has so many magical moments, I swear.

    Liked by 1 person

            1. Rufus was an engaging character, when he first came on the scene he was stern, rude and cold. But then Bobby had the bright idea of giving Dean a bottle of whiskey to worm his way in as he knew his friend could be difficult. I liked the pair together and they both had chemistry, and enjoyed Bobby far more when he was with Rufus, they seemed to have something in common with one another and a far more interesting back story to share.

              B xxx

              Liked by 1 person

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