Get ready, you idjits … Bobby (Jim Beaver) and Rufus (Steven Williams) are back tonight on Supernatural!
The two lovable, late hunters may have died over five years ago and moved on, but in tonight’s flashback-heavy episode, “Safe House,” Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) come across a case that their old friends and mentors once worked. And the flashbacks are full of nostalgic Rufus/Bobby bantering that is sure to warm any longtime Supernatural fan’s heart.
“We finished up this episode in January, at the end of January. And I learned [that I’d be returning] the week before I had to go to work,” Williams tells Nerdist with a laugh. “I got a call and they said, ‘We’re thinking of doing this storyline, would you come back for another episode?’ And I did cartwheels and screamed and yelled like a little child. I really love it.”
The last time we saw Rufus on Supernatural was during Bobby’s big, heartbreaking death episode five years ago when he moved on. But according to Williams, putting that hunter’s jacket back on and picking up the shotgun was like second nature for him.
“There’s something, even more than just playing this character, there’s something about the chemistry with Jim and I, with Bobby and Rufus,” Williams says. “The two guys meet and everything automatically comes back. All of Rufus comes back automatically. When Rufus sends a line back to Bobby or vice versa, they’re just these two grumpy old guys and deadly killers who have so much love and camaraderie between them and so much stuff in common, it all just pops back in, for me. I’m an actor who relates to the words, and the words bring back the character for me, more so than any of the mannerisms or anything like that. It’s the words. Once those words are in my head, I become that character again. So it really wasn’t difficult at all to get back into it.”
While Williams would have loved it if the writers somehow figured out a way to bring Rufus back from the dead, he’s glad he’s able to return to the show via flashbacks that run parallel to the present day story.
“Sam and Dean come across an entity in their travels. They come across this house where this thing is throwing kids and their parents into comas and causing all sorts of havoc,” Williams says. “They learn that Bobby and Rufus had previously worked the case through a journal of Rufus’s. And apparently, Bobby and Rufus didn’t get the job done and completely destroy this entity. It rose again. So we’re fighting the same demon. We fought him in the past, and they’re fighting him now in the present. The cameras go back and forth to show what they’re doing in the present and what we did in the past. And they’re learning what we did in the past through this journal on how to handle this entity. What did Bobby and Rufus do that we can now duplicate and improve on?”
But regardless of what was in the script, Williams would have come back to the show for any storyline, no matter what it was.
“It was a wonderful storyline, but really all I cared about was that I was going back to Supernatural!” Williams says with a laugh. “That’s what rang the loudest for me, that I got to do another episode of Supernatural. I liked it a lot because there’s a lot of screen time there, a lot of interaction between me and Bobby, which I absolutely love. And it lets the fans know a little bit more about their relationship and what went down between them in the past. It gives us a little more insight into their friendship.”
But no, that doesn’t mean we’ll finally learn what went down between these two hunters in Omaha.
“I would love to find out that story of what went down in Omaha,” Williams says. “They’ve got that little tear in their relationship. And I would love to know exactly why or what happened. Apparently we did something wrong in Omaha, Bobby and Rufus. Or he did something terribly wrong in my eyes, and I’ve never quite gotten over it. We don’t know what that is yet and I would love to see that storyline develop and to have us come back to explore it.”
Supernatural isn’t getting into that dark storyline just yet. “Safe House” is a “lighter” episode, according to Williams.
“This storyline was just delightful. It has a lightness to it, it’s not quite as viciously intense in terms of that show,” Williams says. “Normally, there’s a lot of action, a lot of killing, a lot of gore, blood and bad stuff. So there’s still some danger but this episode is a little lighter. And interacting with Jim is just a joy for me.”
As for Williams’ favorite memory from his long time on Supernatural, one episode stands out in his mind in particular: the season six episode “Weekend at Bobby’s.”
“That was my favorite episode, just because of the Rufus/Bobby relationship,” Williams says. “I have the most fun with that. And the very first episode I did, I was shocked that Rufus was an active hunter. I thought he’d be retired, and Dean was just taking a bottle of Johnny Walker to him for some advice and I’d be a reclusive, grumpy old man living in a home by himself. But as it turns out, he’s just as active as the rest of the guys in terms of hunting. I love getting out in the field. What guy doesn’t like macho, action-adventures where you get to kill stuff? And I’m continuously delighted by the fact that I’m Jewish on the show. I lean on my Jewish religion very heavily to get out of work in this episode, and that was pretty fun for me.”
What’s your favorite Bobby and Rufus memory from Supernatural? Tweet me your top picks at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Images: The CW
Supernatural airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.