‘Supernatural’ Writer Spotlight: Robert “Bobo” Berens


Images courtesy of The CW/Warner Bros.

Robert “Bobo” Berens has written some magnificent and iconic episodes of Supernatural.  He has been writing for the series since the season 9 episode “Heaven Can Wait,” an episode that gave us a look into Castiel’s human life without his grace.  Berens gave us that intense fight between Cain and Dean in “The Executioner’s Song.” More recently, he wrote the season 14 episode “The Scar” that gave us Jody, the return of Dark!Kaia, and a pretty important line about Claire’s first love. Lets check out some favorite episodes written by Bobo.

Season 12, Episode 22 – “Who We Are”

Sam (Jared Padalecki) leads Jody (Kim Rhodes) and other hunters against the British Men of Letters. Image courtesy IMDB.com

Emotions ran strong in the season 12 episode “Who We Are.” With Dean injured, Sam took on a role of leadership. He delivered a speech that was honest — honest in his mistakes and what needed to be done. He had a way of making everyone listen. It was such an important moment for Sam because he no longer is just following along with Dean’s plan. The fact that Dean sat by quietly whilst Sam ran things, and then told Sam he was ready to lead, was a huge part of the scene.  Dean has always had the urge to protect and keep him safe, but now Dean trusts Sam enough to protect himself. It was growth in Sam’s character that is still being used in the series today as he continues to lead several hunters.

Then there was the scene between Dean and Mary. Dean decided to stay back and try to bring Mary, who at the time was under control of the British Men of Letters, back to them. That involved going into her mind.  It felt like 12 seasons of pent-up emotions came rushing out in one of the most heartbreaking speeches Dean has ever given. “I hate you. And I love you.” Dean pleaded for Mary to fight and come back, and it worked just in the nick of time.  That hug at the end with Mary and her boys was an absolute turning point in their relationship. They were a family once again.

Images courtesy of The CW/Warner Bros.

This was such a brilliant episode Bobo gave us. It had everything we could ask for: intense actions scenes with many close calls for our favorites, emotional lines that brought us to tears, incredible pride in the growth of the characters and their relationships, and the underlying tone of family that has always been a part of the series.  It also brought us a bit of closure as well. Tensions had been building since the beginning, of Mary’s return, and it was all hashed out with this episode. It created a turning point for Mary and her sons and closed the distance between them. If Supernatural had happy, comforting endings for season finales, “Who We Are” would have been the perfect way to end Season 12.

Season 13, Episode 10 – Wayward Sisters

Berens co-wrote the backdoor pilot “Wayward Sisters” with Andrew Dabb during season 13. For years, this was a pilot the fandom had hoped for, and it was finally coming to fruition, thanks to the brilliant minds of Berens and Dabb.  The pilot had everything: strong female leads, diversity, love, heartbreak, action, and a cliffhanger that kept us wanting more. We even got a line mirroring something that Dean said to Sam in the original pilot of Supernatural. Instead of John being missing, it was Sam and Dean’s turn. With a call to Claire, Jody told her that Sam and Dean had gone on a hunt and they had not heard from them in awhile.  It felt like Supernatural was passing the torch to with that single line.

Images courtesy of The CW/Warner Bros.

When the series devastatingly did not get picked up by the network, the fandom rallied together to try and save it. And while that still was not successful, the spirit of #Wayward continues to live on.  The fandom continues to draw hope and inspiration from those words on a script delivered beautifully by talented actresses.

The episode gave us many wonderful moments.  We got to see Jody, Donna, Claire, Alex, as well as Wayward newcomers Patience and Kaia fight alongside each other. We got to see the first sparks of love between Claire and Kaia, later confirmed by Jody in another of Bobo’s episodes, “The Scar.”  Not only was the action amazing, but we got to see new creatures as well. It gave the episode that “monster of the week” vibe that early seasons of Supernatural were known for. Another passing of the torch, if you will.

There were moments of humor as well. Like when Donna rolled up in her own version of Baby, a sleek black truck with a license plate saying “D-TRAIN” and a huge weapons stash. Her response to why she has so many weapons? “I’m from Minnesota.” Little moments like that helped break up the more tense and emotional scenes.

Speaking of emotional scenes, the majority of those revolve around Jody and Claire’s relationship with each other.  Claire has always been the rebel hunter, doing her own thing at any cost. With a vision from Patience of Claire’s death, Jody just wants her to take a step back, but Claire is not one to back down from a fight. Sam and Dean have done a lot for her and she would do anything to help them. What continues throughout the episode is this struggle of Jody wanting to protect this girl she sees as a daughter, but also knowing when to let go. At one point, Jody breaks down to Donna, saying, “I cannot lose another child.” Eventually Jody does allow Claire go through the rift along with Kaia, and when Claire comes back through completely heartbroken, Jody is right there for her. She cradles Claire in her arms and does her best to comfort her.

The episode left on amazing scenes that had viewers excited for more. There was a family dinner showing us that “family don’t end with blood” would be a continuing theme had Wayward Sisters been picked up. Claire’s voice over  showed her own growth in character, saying she was staying because she needed her family, as well as using the term “we” when promising they will find the thing that killed Kaia. This from a girl who constantly ran away, and almost always worked alone – she’s now set on working with her family.

A successfully written pilot episode would not be complete without one epic cliffhanger to keep viewers interested and coming back for more.  The hooded figure coming through the rift, pulling back that hood only to reveal someone identical to Kaia was shocking. It also left many questions to be answered, which I know many viewers including myself, were hoping would be answered within season 1 of the series.

Season 14, Episode 9 – The Spear

Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Castiel (Misha Collins) face off against Dark Kaia (Yadira Guevara-Prip). Image courtesy IMDB.com

Bobo’s talents would not be complete without mentioning his most recent episode, “The Spear.” It was an intense winter finale that left fans anxious for the return of Supernatural. From a personal standpoint, it almost felt like the hiatuses between seasons, leaving me impatiently waiting to find out what happens next.

The first thing to note is the Christmas theme the episode started on, complete with Christmas trees and music. And in true Supernatural form, werewolves and gore. The Christmas theme was complete with a reference to Die Hard, which I am sure Dean himself would consider a Christmas movie!

“The Spear” also saw the return of a fan favorite, Garth! While he had been mentioned a few times within the past few seasons, this is the first time in awhile he has actually been on the screen. We get to see Garth go undercover to get information on Michael, who is currently in another vessel and working to create more werewolf/angel hybrids. Unfortunately, Garth can not escape being turned into one, and eventually gets knocked out by Sam and put in Baby’s trunk.

The episode also gave us a sweet moment between Castiel and Jack. They had a heart to heart over a bowl of cereal on the topic of Castiel’s deal with The Empty, and bonded over the little prize in the cereal box. It was absolutely adorable and possibly one of the most humans moments an angel and a nephilim can have. It really showed viewers just how much of the father role Cas has taken on with Jack. In a way, it also shows us how much Jack sees not just Cas as a father figure, but Sam and Dean as well.  The way he begs Cas not to tell Sam he is eating something not healthy is adorable. It really is quite honestly one of the sweetest scenes ever written for Castiel and Jack.

Images courtesy of The CW/Warner Bros.

We all know happiness is always short-lived in Supernatural. While Cas and Dean are off making a deal with Dark Kaia for her spear, Jack is kidnapped by Michael. Of course, Sam manages to get him back before Cas and Dean can even arrive. What follows is a good plan gone horribly wrong.  Just when Team Free Will 2.0 have the upper hand, Michael possesses Dean once again. They didn’t foresee that Michael had left the door open in Dean’s mind. Michael quickly destroys the tools that would have trapped him. And with the snap of his fingers, the screen goes black leaving fans wanting more. It will be interesting to see what happens when Kaia returns to collect her spear, only to find out it has been destroyed.

Needless to say, Bobo is a talented writer who has already give us countless of memorable lines and scenes, and so many gif-able moments.  He is fantastic at leaving viewers on the edge of their seat, but also delivering us heartfelt lines. He has a way of writing for characters that make us relate to them in some way or another. I’m sure Bobo will give us many, many more amazing episodes to come!

Stay tuned for the next in our series tomorrow, where we’ll be showcasing some of our favorite moments from Meredith Glynn!

When Melanie isn’t writing for Nerds and Beyond, she’s doing her best to make professional fangirl a thing. She loves writing fan fiction, drawing fan art, reading comics and binge-watching like it’s a professional sport. Her list of fandoms just keep growing, and will always cite Supernatural and Psych as her first forays into fangirldom. Though Nancy Drew will always be her first real fandom. Melanie works hard at making her art a career and has dreams of becoming a published author someday. You can find her on Twitter @FangirlLanie.

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