As our preview clip the other day suggested, this week's episode of Supernatural is a particular toughie for Bobby: not only is he still wheelchair-bound, but he gets involved in a high-stakes poker game that has very serious consequences for one of the brothers. Our resident Supernatural expert Lara Martin hooked up with Jim Beaver, who plays the brothers' ever-reliable mentor, to find out more.
This week's episode is a big one for Bobby – he ends up getting in a bit of trouble. Can you talk us through what happens?
"Bobby basically decides to engage in a very high stakes game of poker which has a drastic affect on his age. Sam and Dean have to run in and save him from the fire."
I've read elsewhere that you're going to be in more episodes this season than any other season. Does this mean Bobby is going to be quite pivotal?
"I don't know if pivotal is the word I would use. There's nothing in the scripts I have read so far that I would describe as 'pivotal' for Bobby. I think the next episode is an important one for Bobby in terms of storytelling. Also episode ten is powerful and the fans will be left reeling."
Does this mean the usually level-headed Bobby might start getting a bit reckless as he battles his frustration at not being able to walk?
"I don't know about reckless, I hadn't looked at it that way before. I definitely think he is frustrated and angry because of his limitations. He can't just go running into battle any more. There's an episode coming up where the others are off fighting and he is stuck at home manning the telephones. I think it will also affect Sam and Dean as well because they are used to seeing him a certain way."
Bobby's been in a wheelchair for a few episodes now. How are you finding that experience?
"It's been a challenge but I've only been doing it for a few episodes so it's still quite fun. I like rolling around and doing wheelies on set and stuff. But I do take this very seriously. I can get out of the chair at the end of the day and go home and I recognize that, so many people can't and I have to be considerate to them and respect that."
We saw in the opening episode a demon-possessed Bobby telling Sam to "lose his number". Even though he apologized do you think there is still an underlying tension?
"Call me an idealist but I think when Bobby apologized to Sam he meant it. I think that the issue was cleared and we can take that moment at face value. I suppose there is potential for it to come up again in the future. There's not really drama in everyone being friendly and nice to each other, but I like to think he meant it."
There's also potential for another clash between Sam and Dean in their newfound positions as vessels for Michael and Lucifer. What do you think about that?
"I think that seems where it is heading but I honestly don't know how that is going to pan out. Again it would make for great dramatic television, but I only know what's going to happen when I get the script in front of me!"
Who would Bobby choose between Sam and Dean if he was forced to make that decision?
"That's a good question! I guess he would have to come down on the side of whoever was doing the right thing, but as this show tells us, the right thing is not always clear and easy to identify. There is an old saying, 'It's not about making the right decision, it's about making a decision and sticking to it.' So I think Bobby would side with whoever he felt was right."
There have been rumors that a couple of characters will die this season and you posted a rather cryptic message on your Twitter account that worried fans. Should we be worried about Bobby?
"This is Supernatural! Of course you should be worried! There are some things I can say and some things I can't say and that is one of those things. I'm not sure exactly what will happen this season but Eric Kripke and the other writers usually manage to throw something at us. I do know that some really gut-wrenching stuff is coming up but I can't tell you what character it will happen to!"
You've played this beloved father figure to Sam and Dean for five seasons. What's your relationship like with Jared and Jensen in real life?
"Bobby is a mentor and a guide and an advice-giver and I'm not sure I am any of those things to Jared and Jensen! I think they've probably given me advice on more occasions than I have given it to them. We're friends and colleagues and we enjoy each other's company. I do have a couple of years on them but that's never been an issue."
There's been constant speculation about a sixth season – what's the current situation as you know it?
"I will have to give you my standard answer on this and say I don't know. My gut feeling is that the show will continue but nothing has been confirmed yet. The last time I spoke to Eric Kripke he was still open to a sixth season but nothing is set in stone. I just have a gut feeling and belief that it will happen."
Source: Digital Spy