It's been a while since the Winchester boys had a proper father figure on Supernatural, but for many, many seasons, that position was filled by flannel-wearing, shotgun-toting, idjit-loving Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver).
Until, that is, his gutwrenching death in season seven—which we're still not over, by the way. But in tonight's episode, "Inside Man," Bobby makes his grand return to the show from heaven, and fans couldn't be more overjoyed to see the pseudo-Winchester dad back in action.
Even though it's been some time since Beaver donned Bobby's flannel and baseball hats, that doesn't mean he's been removed from the Supernatural world. Far from it! In fact, he tells E! News that he'll go back and rewatch old episodes "all the time."
"Every once in a while I'll sit down and pull one up," Beaver says. "Usually one of my favorites. And every once in a while I'll have a friend over who hasn't seen the show and wants to know something about it, so I'll show them one. And that's always fun. I love revisiting it."
Beaver counts three episodes as his favorite to film and rewatch.
"There have been three episodes that were fairly Bobby-centric," Beaver says. "‘Weekend at Bobby's' and ‘Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid' and ‘Death's Door,' all three of those were really wonderful episodes to shoot. I had the most fun during ‘Weekend at Bobby's,' because it was the funniest and most charming episode. There was so much great, dramatic, emotional stuff in ‘Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid' and ‘Death's Door.' The actor in me is always drawn to the stuff that I get to reach furthest with, the ones that give me the most opportunities end up being my favorites. My all-time favorite would be one of those three, and it depends on what day you ask me which one."
Even though he's no longer a regular on the series, Beaver will always remember Supernatural as one of his favorite jobs.
"It's been a great gig," Beaver says. "I liked it when I was doing it all the time and I like it when I'm back for a visit. It was always remain one of my favorite roles. I'm happy to do it as long as they let me do it, and it looks like they're going to keep going for the next 30 or 40 years! I'm sure I'll get to visit again. You really can't kill this show! It's the little engine that could."
Returning to the show after being gone for so long wasn't a challenge for Beaver.
"Bobby fits me like a glove," Beaver says. "Some characters I've played in the past I've had to really work at to get into character but Bobby, he's so well written and he just feels natural for me to play. He's an old friend. I love Bobby, and I love playing him. Although it's not always easy doing the things they ask of me, and I've got my share of bruises on this show to prove it. But I really enjoy it!"
So what can fans expect from Bobby in tonight's episode?
"Dean's [Jensen Ackles] got this whole Mark of Cain problem at the moment and Sam [Jared Padalecki] and Castiel [Misha Collins] are trying to resolve that," Beaver says. "They realize that there is a resource in heaven they can draw on, but only if they can get to it. If you need help from somebody in heaven, who are you going to call? Get your go-to guy!"
He continues, "With this psychic, they're able to make contact with Bobby and he helps Castiel sneak in the backdoor of heaven and they try to tackle the task together. It gets a little screwed up because, you know, it's Castiel. But it's funny and adventurous and there's a lot of action. I think the fans will be pleasantly surprised at what Bobby's heaven looks like and what he layout is up there."
Beaver hopes this isn't the last time fans will get to see Bobby back on the show.
"I always hope that," he says. "They always give Bobby a line at the end of these episodes like, ‘If you guys need any more help, let me know!' Or something like that. That's the writers' way of leaving that door open and showing me they're open to it, if the right story comes along. I've been fortunate and it's so meaningful to me that I've been in at least one episode every season since Bobby's death. I hope they keep doing that."
Supernatural airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.