Supernatural's Jim Beaver on Bobby's Ghost Powers and Taking the Fight to Dick Roman

Supernatural Jim BeaverIt’s hard out there for a ghost on Supernatural. Just ask formerly living hunter Bobby, who now “haunts” his surrogate sons, Dean and Sam, while trying to figure out a way to communicate with them (to no avail). But it’s not all terrible.

“Bobby’s going to find there are certain advantages to being a ghost,” his portrayer, Jim Beaver, tells TVLine. He’ll even meet up with a fellow hunter on the otherworldly plane in this Friday’s episode (The CW, 9/8c). And his new skills — once he masters them — will come in quite handy when going up against Leviathan boss Dick Roman, hints the actor.

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TVLINE | I’m impressed that you managed to keep your appearance in the last episode a secret. Did you have to employ any special, extreme measures to keep it hidden?
Mainly just lies. I had a lot of fun creating various fictions about what I was actually doing and making excuses in case anybody spotted me in Vancouver [where Supernatural films]. I had a lot of fun with it. The last few years, I’ve had quite a number of secrets I had to keep on various shows, usually involving my character’s demise. I got killed on Deadwood in February [2006] and couldn’t tell anybody about it until it aired that August.

TVLINE | What was the best lie you came up with?
I think my whole, “I’m making a movie about the abominable snowman” [story]. It was a pretty fun little fiction to create. As I went along, I kept adding little details to the story and sinking the hook a little deeper in everybody’s mouth. … I had to do a fair amount of hiding and disguising myself when we were on location.

TVLINE | What’s Bobby up to in this week’s episode?
Initially, a lot of what we’ll see is Bobby trying to get his feet under him in this new condition. Bobby’s trying pretty hard to hang on to being a hunter even though he’s in this new state. But a lot of his old hunter skills don’t work anymore. When you’re a ghost, you can’t do all the things you could do when you weren’t a ghost. A lot of this stuff is really tough for him to figure out. But it’s going to be some of the fun, seeing how he grows as an effective ghost and a lot of the frustrations that he experiences.

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TVLINE | Are there any special methods he’s using to “communicate,” so to speak, with Sam and Dean?
He eventually figures out that ghosts do have certain skills, but they don’t come easily. And they’re not always reliable. That’s tricky. He eventually does find that there are certain things that he can do. [However], Bobby gets really upset at the inconsistency and the unreliability of some of the tricks that he picks up. But it’s fun, too, because the audience will never know for sure whether Bobby can pull off what he sets out to pull off.

TVLINE | On the show, spirits who linger too long start to become angry and violent, and Bobby was already a bit of a surly guy. Is he struggling with that?
Yeah, very much. He’s well aware of what happens to lingering spirits. He’s convinced that because he knows [about] that he can head it off and outsmart destiny, I guess. That is going to play a substantial role in his immediate future, trying to head off what fate seems to decree for ghosts. Maybe he’ll be successful.

TVLINE | So he doesn’t regret his decision to not move on?
What we first run into with Bobby is he’s thrust immediately into a situation that demands all his concentration and his skills. I don’t think he’s giving a lot of thought to whether he made the right decision or not. … He’s neck-deep in a specific adventure that’s not going to give him a lot of time to ruminate on whether or not he made the right decision.

TVLINE | You have to imagine that his decision was motivated a lot by wanting to stick around and aid Dean and Sam as much as he can. So how will he help them in the battle against Dick Roman from his ghostly plane?
At first, it will be in little ways like we’ve seen – getting messages or weapons to the boys when they need them. As he becomes more in command of his abilities as a ghost, he gets more and more effective in helping the boys and, to a certain extent, taking the battle to Dick and the Leviathan himself. It won’t be entirely just Bobby helping the boys fight Dick. Bobby’s got some fight left in him.

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49 Comments
  1. meleliot says:

    So glad Bobby’s still on the show. I was heartbroken when he died. Glad they found a way to keep him. Hopefully we will get one more season out of Supernatural.

    • J says:

      Me too! I’ll even admit that I kind of got a little choked up at the end of the last ep when Dean said ‘There You Are’ and Bobby kind of lit up.. before he realized that Dean was talking about the flask. KILLED me!

      • I completely agree with you there. Up until the moment Dean picked up that flask, I tho’t… or rather I was hoping had seen Bobby and was gonna go hug him. But when he walked out with flask, and Bobby said “balls”, I don’t know who was more upset… Bobby or me.

  2. KMM says:

    Yay Bobby! I missed him so much.

    /Useless comment

  3. John says:

    I hope that Bobby, with his vague ghost skills, doesn’t become the Winchesters’ “get out of jail free” card moving forward…just providing the guys a convenient weapon or magical insight when the script gets lazy.

  4. Amber says:

    It’s nice that Jim went to all of that trouble to hide that he was shooting scenes for Supernatural. But a little hint for the shows producers? If you’re going to do that and your actor is that committed to the suprise how about you DON’T put his name in the opening credits? With the hints dropped since Bobby died there were very few people who saw his name and didn’t guess we’d be seeing his ghost that episode.
    Either way though – nice to have Bobby back even if he is on another plane.

  5. mac says:

    We got Bobby and Cas back…so we just need back the impala and SPN is fixed again (in my opinion of course)

  6. I think I may actually like this version of Bobby, but I am so going to miss the live one. It’s going to be interesting.

  7. Kat says:

    Thrilled that we get to keep Bobby! He is a core part of the show and it would not be the same without him! And now Cas is back and Sera is leaving which puts things well on the way to perfect! Now, if they can bring back the Impala, the music and a guest spot with Jo and Ellen things would be beyond perfect!

  8. Dee says:

    You are going to have to wait for “perfection” a little longer. Sera is in charge until the end of the current season.

    And Cas is back for only a couple of episodes this season.

    So, so glad Bobby is back.

  9. Pepper says:

    I love Bobby and I’m interested in seeing where they take this ghost thing. But he’s already been acting as a cheat sheet for the boys this entire season, amazingly even more so after he died. I hope his new condition doesn’t exacerbate that and I hope, if the character is in Season 8, that they seriously scale back how much the boys rely on just calling him up rather than doing the work themselves.

  10. Larja says:

    Missed Supernatural soooo much!!! And Bobby to! I was devastated when his character had to die.

  11. Sara says:

    “As he becomes more in command of his abilities as a ghost, he gets more and more effective in helping the boys and, to a certain extent, taking the battle to Dick and the Leviathan himself.”

    Man, I hope this is just Jim Beaver tooting his own horn, because IMO this sounds like the storyline they seemed to be alluding to and setting up for DEAN! coming into the homestretch-but then again, this would be in holding with their usual writing for Jensen/Dean, and their usual treatment of that segment of the fandom. It’s a shame and I will miss Supernatural if they go that route again, but if they do, then it only reinforces what many have believed since late S5-that they no longer care about keeping a good chunk of the Dean fandom as viewers.

    • Ava says:

      I’m a Dean fan and I think he’s been getting plenty to work with this year. I don’t understand what the complaints are?

      • Judy says:

        Dean’s arc this season has been to be depressed, soul search, and drink. If there’s a payoff for the character in the finale, that’s great. But listening to how Bobby now seems to be taking over Dean’s revenge against Dick, where does that leave Dean? I’m sick of other characters being handed Dean’s storylines, instead of the writers actually following through with those storylines for Dean himself.

        • Erica says:

          I’m a huge Dean fan as well but I’m not so sure that this storyline is entirely Dean’s alone. From the get go we were told that no man could kill the Leviathan. Well technically Bobby isn’t a man anymore, he’s a ghost. so makes sense to me. And I don’t think ghost Bobby is taking over Deans revenge, I mean he’s got his own revenge to handle right? Dick is the one that shot him after all. so yeah an eye for an eye ;) Of course I could be way off, just something I’ve been thinking of since we were first hinted of ghost Bobby. I don’t want anything taken from Dean, or Sam or Bobby they all have important roles yet to fulfill. I just can’t wait to see the Metallicar again.

        • Sara says:

          This. I truly hope that they have some kind of resolution in mind for Dean’s supposed “soul-searchin storyline”(a “storyline” that , BTW, seemingly comes up often on this show when they can’t come up with anything more or better to say regarding a real storyline for the character, IMO)-a resolution that makes all of those things concerning Dean more than simply characterizations of his, is necessary in a storyboard sense, at this point, IMO. And I truly hope we get it, or at least the promise of something more and better for Dean in terms of a storyline because I’d honestly hate to have to give up on this show, but three finales in a row in which one of the main characters(and yes, my favorite) is sidelined after we’ve been teased with more for him all season long, will just be too much for me. I’ll keep my ear to the ground, though, and If by some miracle, Carver can fix this mess that was created by both Kripke and Gamble(IMO) by remembering that Ackles is a lead actor and character on this show, I’ll be happy to return, but otherwise, it’s three strikes and Supernatural is out and off my DVR list after this season.

  12. Kalie says:

    Can’t wait! I love Bobby.

  13. Alisa says:

    I am so so so happy to see Jim Beaver back, he is such a great actor. Very exited to see how he gets Dean and sans attention in that haunted house situation? :o I want bobby to stick around for the next series and then he can get used to the tricks and trades and pop up to help the boys when needed….that would be good:)

  14. Lola says:

    Jim Beaver is a lovely man and I was fine with Bobby when the show made it clear he was a supporting character. But suddenly, it’s like Bobby’s an equal lead to the brothers. A lot of this season has revolved around Bobby, he’s had the only real storyline of all the characters, and now he’s taking on Dick? What happened to this being the brothers’ story? And wasn’t Dean, not Bobby, the one who was supposed to be on this revenge warpath against Dick? I’m so not interested in watching the story of Super Hunter Bobby and his two sidekick apprentices.

    • Moe says:

      This. So much THIS!!! I am beyond tired of Bobby coming in and the boys being dumbed down to facilitate Bobby’s presence. What happened to them being capable hunters on their own? It’s like they can’t even do a simple hunt without Bobby coming in and saving the day! Ridiculous! And don’t even get me started on the fact that Bobby has had more of a storyline than Dean has had all season, and now apparently, is taking over the few stories that Dean seemed to have. I am beyond tired of secondary characters coming in, taking over Dean’s story, and Dean being left with nothing but being second fiddle. Dean is one of the leads, along with Sam, NOT BOBBY! Enough with the Bobby worship already!!! I use to like him but now, I despise him. I hope he’s gone after this season, period.

      • Jim Beaver says:

        Gosh, I sure like YOU, Moe. Ah, well.

        • Moe says:

          I’ve got nothing against you, Mr. Beaver, and I wish you well, but I do have something seriously against what they have turned your character into. And that is whom I do not like. You can blame that on the writing!

        • Brandy says:

          Hey there. Just wanted to say I loved tonight’s episode, and I think you do a wonderful job on the show. I’ve been a fan of Bobby’s character since the beginning, and I’m glad you’re back! So thanks for doing what you’re doing. Can’t wait to see more.

      • Ambular says:

        Oh, what a tragedy, Dean and Sam only got five seasons all about them and now they’ve had to move over a little so Cas and Bobby have each had (part of) one. Get over it already. A main cast of two can only stay fresh and interesting for so long. I for one prefer a small ensemble, and I think the four-man Team Free Will makes for a much more engaging story than an endless diet of Two Brothers Against the World. Bobby is love and I hope he and Cas both make it back on at least a semi-regular basis in Season 8.

        • Sara says:

          I’d be glad to have them back on a semi-regular basis, too. But how about a decent supernaturally-themed storyline that’s(and this is important!) carried through on-for one of the supposed lead actors/characters first. SAM got five seasons of this, Dean(and his fans) got a season and a half long red-herring, in that regard-and nothing more. Even with their limited screen-time(and Bobby’s hasn’t been that limited at all, IMO) both Bobby and Cas have been granted better storylines than Dean(and Jensen) has in over two seasons. I need something by the end of the season that tells me that this might change under Carver or I’m gone. I’m tired of waiting.

    • skepticalinquirer says:

      I completely agree with you. I think they’ve gone way too far with Bobby with making him the surrogate father, the “brains” of the operation and someone who can’t be argued with or mocked even when he’s wrong. And I’m not happy that Dean is being shortchanged again, not for Sam this time but Bobby. Being shortchanged is shortchanged, I don’t care who he’s being shortchanged for.

  15. Kay says:

    “Mainly just lies. I had a lot of fun creating various fictions about what I was actually doing and making excuses in case anybody spotted me in Vancouver”.

    Oh Jim Beaver, from now on everything you say, in interviews or not – I’ll just think “MAINLY JUST LIES!” Hahaha…..

    So, why did Bobby have to die, have a long-drawn-out goodbye, do ghostly things, return as a ghost soon enough, when he could just have lived? — confused. I’ll just ignore the fact that he died at all. He certainly doesn’t seem to be dead.

    • rowan77 says:

      It’s called storytelling. Why did Sam have to be murdered in season 2, only to be brought back when Dean made a deal with a crossroads demon. Why did Dean have to die in season 3 only to be brought back by Cas in the season 4 opener? Cas “died” this season and his return is part of the growth and development of his character and his relationships with the Winchesters, not to mention integral to the Leviathons storyline. All deaths lead to further stories and character development. Not on return lessened the impact of the corresponding death. Most shows would not be able to pull that off, so why not just sit back and enjoy what unfolds?

    • Ester says:

      I was thinking the same thing, Kay. What was the point of killing Bobby off? Oh, wait, maybe so Bobby can now have super ghost powers in addition to being the bestest, smartest, most awesome hunter on the show. Because it seems like the brothers sure lose IQ points and their hunting skills whenever Bobby’s around. I hate seeing the brothers take a backseat like that and it just seems to be getting worse as time goes on.

  16. Tim says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Bobby…BUT I’m tired of the “magic-button characters”. It is assumed that the Winchesters are heroes but since season 5 they are all -Let’s call Cas “fix everything” tiel- Let’s call XYZ and now ..a friendly ghost…what’s next? let’s call Santa Claus?? Now Sam is tired and Dean is an emo, drunk, driver and trenchcoat keeper…PATETIC..WHERE ARE THE REAL WINCHESTERS? Sam and Dean are main characters, in theory.

  17. Tim says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Bobby…BUT I’m tired of the “magic-button characters”. It is assumed that the Winchesters are heroes but since season 5 they are all -Let’s call Cas “fix everything” tiel- Let’s call XYZ and now ..a friendly ghost…what’s next? let’s call Santa Claus?? Now Sam is tired and Dean is an emo, drunk, driver and trenchcoat keeper…PATHETIC..WHERE ARE THE REAL WINCHESTERS? Sam and Dean are main characters, in theory.

  18. Lola says:

    I love that Bobby is back! He can help take down the bad guys or just learn how to mow the dang lawn by mind control for all I care as long as he is a part of the show! Without him around, the show lost a lot of its heart in my opinion!

  19. carmen says:

    i am glad bobby is back . the chemistry between the three actors/characters is what keeps me watching. loved yesterday’s esp !

  20. Leanne says:

    It’s so lovely to see Jim back on the show. Jim, you’re an awesome actor and I love Bobby as a character. I think the boys always needed a father figure. It has nothing to do with how capable they are as hunters. Anyway, I can’t wait to see how this develops.

  21. MKS says:

    I guess I while I agree that Bobby was often the “go to” guy, I never had a problem with it. There was more than one occasion where the boys returned the favor. Personally, I’d love to see Bobby brought back to life, and the boys finding the way to do it. I sure don’t want to see them pitted against him and having to destroy his ghost.

  22. silver says:

    I can only hope the show doesn’t bring Bobby back. Having him as a constant reminder of how incompetent the guys have become, not to mention, Bobby gets a seaon long story while Dean still has no story that’s worth anything is an insult to Jensen, Dean and the Dean fans. Bobby can go by way of Ellen and Jo and Rufus. The guys don’t need a deus ex machina, and a grumpy and hypocritical one at that.

    Bobby made a bad choice. Does the show have the guts to have Bobby realize it and leave? Or is it going to once again reward selfishness and conceit by giving Bobby the hero moment and bringing him back? This show has already lost a lot of dignity as well as integrity. Keeping Bobby on is just more of the same, destroying the show in order to cater to one guest star character that should have stayed dead the first time.

  23. Louise Litton says:

    I’d like to see them actually have the guts to terminate Bobby permanently. They’ve played fast and loose with a lot of great secondary characters, now I’d like to see them go there with one of the regulars for once, no do-overs. Let’s see the Winchester man up and move on alone, the way they would in real life.
    This was supposed to be the season of Butch and Sundance, where the Winchesters lose every thing and everyone who supported them but it never did happen, not really.

  24. Sharon Bonish says:

    Bobby keeps the boys grounded, human, just like all of us their is always an elder to refer to so they can get a different perspective. The show is keeping the boys from being super heros, so they are more diverse in their emotions . I love bobby and cass it dose nothing but add to the boys and the show. Good work IMO..

  25. Mrs. Peele says:

    I am hoping Bobby can stay – he’s a hunter and knows the score about the vengeful spirit thing. However, after seeing the April 27th epi ‘Girl with the Dungeons and Dragon Tatoo’ I see that it might not be an option. I don’t know what the boys will do now. Love Bobby and wish he could stay though unless Death might intervene. This show is noted for ‘anything goes’ type problem solving sometimes.

    Having said that my next question is why did Dick Roman need to have Frank’s hard drive decrypted? If the leviathans ‘killed’ Frank wouldn’t they already have all his knowledge after eating him? I am thinking Frank is not dead but staged his demise to escape the levis. After all he knew they were on to him. I think he was staging the event and for some reason was interrupted before he could retrieve his hard drive. I believe he will contact Sam and Dean when he feels safe. He was the most paranoid person out there – I’m sure he would have taken precautions. I was just getting used to his sarcasm and everything. He was growing on me!

  26. jag says:

    I to think the Bobby storyline is getting more direction that the boys. Dean has been in the hole like Elena in the VD. they are center characters which leads to more interesting one. all they do is connect the dots. Jensen is a good actor, he should be given more credit not only on screen time but to an interesting character development. The Dick arch has a good chance for his character to sink in and now he has a 0.5% share to his arch. I hope they find a way to make Bobby’s character a step down this time. Sera, with all respect has done nothing to improve this season. Sorry

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