'Supernatural' recap, 'Pac-Man Fever': Game over
Last night’s Supernatural gave me all the feels, people. And I doubt I was alone.
My assumption going into the hour was that the audience was in store for LARPing Part II: The Video Game Edition. (For the record, that would have been fine.) Instead, we got an episode that turned guest star Felicia Day’s Charlie into much more than a plucky nerd with a sharp wit. Oh, and then there was the hug…
In the episode, Charlie was in town (more on that later) and brought to Dean and Sam something she thought to be a case. But with Sam sidelined from hunting because the trials had taken a terrible toll on him (think bad flu), Charlie took his place next to Dean during the investigation. At least that was the case for the length of one montage.
Soon enough, Sam was on the case, insisting he was well enough to participate even though he’d just failed Dean’s gun range test. Stubborn dudes, those Winchesters.
Eventually, the gang discovered they were hunting a special species of djinn that fed off fear and turned people into “jello.” Sounds creepy? It was. And having had their fair share of encounters with djinn, Sam and Dean became worried when Charlie suddenly stopped answering her phone.
Yup, she’d been captured. (The Djinn, by the way, was the coroner they’d met earlier in the episode. Good cover.)
Dean and Sam tracked Charlie’s last location to an apartment where they found a stash of fake IDs and some suspicious info that tied Charlie to a patient at a local hospital. The importance of the latter info? That patient was her mother, who had been in a coma for 16 years after a crash that also killed her husband. Charlie had been in town because she often visited her mother after hours.
One dollar goes to every liar who says they say that coming. Up to this point, Charlie has been built up in almost a cartoonish fashion — an embodiment of all things quirky and geekcentric. But this fantastic backstory brought a character, who seemingly lived in her own world, back to Earth. Well done, writers.
And there was even more of the story to come.
The djinn had captured Charlie, put her into a djinn sleep, and fed off Charlie’s fear of losing her mother. (Charlie had been paying for her mom’s hospital bills even though there were no signs of life.) After Dean and Sam tracked and killed the djinn, they realized bringing Charlie back from the brink of death was going to have to be done manually. Bring on the African Dream Root!
The result? Picture this: Dean stuck in a video game, shooting super-soldier vampires while suited up in a ridiculously hot soldier outfit. (Um, was this Charlie’s dream or MINE?!) You see, Charlie’s greatest fear was getting stuck in a first-person shooter video game that she had stolen from a company as a teen. And it was in this dream reality that Charlie confessed to Dean that she blamed herself for her parents’ crash. The night of the accident, Charlie had been in a sleepover but got scared and called her parents to come pick her up. Charlie explained that she had been keeping her mother alive all these years in hopes that she’d wake up so Charlie could apologize.
Realizing that Charlie’s fear was losing her mother, Dean encouraged Charlie to “stop playing the game” in her dream. “I know that your fear is creating all of this,” Dean said. “You’re afraid of losing [your mom] but Charlie, she’s already gone.” With that, Charlie put down her vampire-killing gun and she and Dean were able to escape.
Once out of dream land, they woke to find Sam had killed a second Djinn, and all was well with the world. Well, almost everything. Charlie still had one thing left to do: She was going back to the hospital to say goodbye properly. That scene where Charlie read The Hobbit to her mom? I may have lost it.
I also had take a few moments to compose myself during the Dean-Charlie farewell scene (quoted below), and yet AGAIN in the scene that followed. After saying goodbye to Charlie Dean had marched into the Batcave, looking like he was ready to fight with Sam about his bad choices in this episode. Sam, too, thought Dean was going to confront him and even started defending himself. But Dean said nothing. He just gave him a hug. Um.
This episode was just a surprise all around. From all the unexpected feelings, to Charlie’s backstory. Do you agree, readers?
Also, did you love all the references to the Carver Edlund(/Chuck) books? Did you love Sam’s face when Charlie mentioned they were all online? Was anyone else as happy as I am that Dean’s maroon shirt came out to play? And are you hoping that we have an episode next year that takes place at the mid-year jubilee?
All your thoughts welcomed!
“I’m telling you, give me five minutes with some clippers.” — Dean to Sam and Sam’s bed head
“Too bad they got wiped out — though, that’s what they get for the sexist name.” — Charlie
“Sorry you had zero luck with the ladies.” — Charlie to Sam
“What about Castiel? He seems helpful and dreamy.” — Charlie
Sam: Play through the pain, right?
Dean: Don’t quote me to me.
“I hate that thing…I want one.” — Sam re: Charlie’s monster info-loaded iPad
Djinn: You know what I smell on you?
Charlie: Deodorant? A little pee maybe?
Dean: Okay, I’m going to have to go to sleep fast so…punch me
Dean: Look, man, I know you don’t want to but..
Dean, still standing: Well, man you’re a little off your game there because that was…
Dean: [no longer standing.]
“Nut up, Winchester.” — Charlie
“I always wanted to get TRON’d.” — Dean
Charlie: I love you.
Dean: I know.
Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as the Winchester brothers, hellbent on battling the paranormal forces of evil.