Supernatural "Slumber Party Review: Angels and Witches and Hunters, Oh My!

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Oct 30, 2013

Supernatural S09E04: "Slumber Party"


Soooo... okay, "Slumber Party" could have been better. The flashbacks to 1935 served a minimal storytelling purpose at best, and Supernatural re-he-healy needs to stop whipping out Ezekiel's magical angelic undo shortcut everytime someone we like bites it. That's two episodes in a row, guys, and that's kind of ridonkulous. I know, death has been pretty meaningless on this show for awhile now, but srsly? Stop it. STOP. IT. 


But hey, at least one side of the Winchester co-dependency tag-team decided to be proactive about the "Poor human Cas is totes gonna get shanked if someone doesn't help and hey why can't he chill in the Batcave, Dean?" situation when Sam thought it would be super-nifty to hack the Men of Letters' ancient security system/mainframe/robot butler (idk) to track angels and steer moral Castiel away from danger. Dean was initially apprehensive about the idea, what with an angel tracker in their clubhouse surely going to reveal the probably-evil angel hanging out in their clubhouse, but then he came around to it. I like to think the reason Dean hesitated was that he's already sick of Ezekiel's shenanigans, but there's also the possibility that he just couldn't come up with a convincing lie on the spot—not that any of his insta-lies have been convincing lately. SRSLY, SAM, U R LIKE THE DENSEST. 


Whatever, the point of repurposing the Bat-computer in "Slumber Party" wasn't so much about outing Zeke and sending Sammy into an angst-and-betrayal spiral (soon, my pretties, soon) as it was an excuse to invite Charlie Bradbury to sleep over. No, really. They marathoned Game of Thrones and everything and Sam whined about spoilers and Dean guilt-tripped his little bro over his refusal to consider the Bunker a home because we haven't had that argument yet this season and at four episodes in, we're running a little behind schedule. 

It makes perfect sense that Dean was so quick so alphabetize his porn stash and slap some posters on the walls while Sam stuck to the usual Winchester philosophy of "This is just a place where I sleep and summon demons sometimes," and Sam himself actually did a pretty solid job of explaining his reasoning. Dean remembers having a real home. Sam only really remembers squatting in abandoned buildings and dumpy motels. Anytime Sam has tried to commit to a real home, it's typically ended bloody and sad. You can make a case that the same notion applies to Dean—because it totally does; I mean, look at Lisa and look at Mary—but I think that the difference between Sam and Dean's philosophies really comes down to Dean being the oldest and having, however briefly, that boring civilian normalcy that Sam's never had. Even at Stanford, or with Amelia, Sam had the knowledge of hunting in his head, tainting everything. 


Sam has always wanted "normal," but his idea of normal is much more rigid than Dean's. Dean has experienced both worlds, and at this point in the series, realizes that the two can overlap. Yes, living in a supernatural bunker with a demon chained up in your basement is weird, but you can still have friends over for movie night and take delight in having a clean kitchen and all of that terribly mundane stuff that Sam wanted for the longest time. Dean just has insight that Sam lacks, and it'll be interesting to see the writers (hopefully) bring the brothers to a sort of understanding.


SO, once upon a time, Dorothy (Tiio Horn)—of reluctant Wizard of Oz fame—was actually the daughter of L. Frank Baum, a Men of Letters nerd who really liked his job. Baum's Oz books are similar to Carver Edlund's Supernatural books in that they're mostly true accounts, but Baum's are more heavily sanitized. Turns out, Dorothy followed her dad into Oz one day and ended up being recognized as the prophesied leader of the rebellion and sworn enemies of the Wicked Witch. Dorothy also became a hunter because daddy issues. When the witch escaped from Oz and ended up in our world, Dorothy tracked her down, and when the Men of Letters failed to come up with a permanent way to off the witch, Dorothy locked them both in a jar where they stayed for decades and decades until the jar broke during Dean's attempt to bust open the Commodore 64 (the name's sticking, I don't care how inaccurate it is) and this is pretty much the exact reason why the Winchesters aren't allowed to have nice things. This right here. Also the demon chained up in the basement. That too. And probably just the fact that they're Winchesters. 


The Wicked Witch's jailbreak prompted a lot of basic running around, all of it centered on a key to Oz that Dean had stashed in his sock drawer and the witch mind-whammying both brothers (WHAT GOOD ARE YOU, ZEKE?) until Charile kicked Dean in the nads and saved the day because "Slumber Party" wouldn't've been a Charlie Bradbury episode  of Supernatural unless her story ended with the only-marginally-angsty warm fuzzies. IDGAF. Still <3 her. Yay for going to Oz with Dorothy and being all girl-power and happy and whatever. "Slumber Party" was so girl-power and it didn't even know it—except for the part where Charlie died and went to heaven and was actually kind of enjoying it until Dean dragged her back, which is a running theme with Dean. But anyway, she got to see Oz and we got our obligatory reminder that Sam is currently possessed against his will. Sam's starting to wise up, though. He remembered Dean calling him "Zeke" before he blacked out. Now wise up a little faster, boo. I'm sick of looking at Dean's constant guilty-face. 

However, I'm never sick of stories involving the Men of Letters bunker, and this was a great one for showcasing a ton of features within its vast levels: the garage (OMG THE GARAGE), Sam's not-a-room, the kitchen, the computer system that apparently literally runs on magic, and even a glimpse, via flashback, of the bunker's early history—particularly the operations of the Men of Letters in its heyday, solidifying Sam and Dean's roles as the sole (as far as we know) legacies and caretakers of the new-and-improved (hey at least they aren't as sexist anymore?) organization. It's all very Luke-Skywalker-rebuilding-the-Jedi-order and I dig it. More of this—with or without the case-of-the-week vibe—and less guilty-face. 


What did you think of "Slumber Party"?


NOTES FROM THE APOCALYPSE

– What up with the bunker-hate, almost-everyone-in-this-episode? Windows would be nice (but really, really impractical and a definite liability of some sort), but I think "dump" is kind of harsh. Dated, sure, but retro is so in right now. 

–  Smart Winchester Sighting! I applaud the decision to only let Crowley write with crayons. I'm sure in time he'll figure out how to maim someone with a Crayola, but for now, better safe than sorry, right?

– "Magic and quests suck." Jeez, Sam. Where are your angel anti-depressants? Just last week you were all "LAAA EVERYTHING IS SO GREAT, DEAN, I'M HIGH ON LIFE AND NOT ON DEMON BLOOD YEAH" and this week you're stomping on the dreams of darling fangirl self-inserts and generally just moping around like it's Season 5 or something. 

– Poppy extract... so.. heroin bullets?


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  • alcalde Dec 06, 2013

    I think the next season is going to be the last and they're beginning to wrap up story arcs. With that hypothesis, this episode was a great send-off for Charlie. We should get the redemption of Crowley this season. I also think Castiel is going to become the new God. I'm starting to see a Jesus pattern, including incarnating on Earth as human. He'll probably sacrifice himself to save humanity this season, we'll get a final return of Chuck, and Castiel will be redeemed and implement a kinder, gentler heaven. Crowley will somehow end up helping them seal the gates of Hell, and maybe there'll be some way to end the supernatural scourage on the planet and the Winchesters can live Happily Ever After by the end of Season 10.

  • Jeroenvander Nov 30, 2013

    Awful episode. Just plain awful.

  • MichelPilgrim Nov 04, 2013

    The episode wasn't bad but could have been really better. Something was off with the way it was directed. Maybe the soundtrack wasn't good enough - except for AC/DC at the end. I also felt like the actors lacked some energy or something. Anyway, hope we'll see more of Dorothy and Charlie. Oh and I don't know if it was deliberate but the "Don't judge me" Dean utters about his well organized porn collection is the same sentence Charlie used in the first episode she appeared on, when Dean notices that she's singing before going into the building. IMHO the scene would have worked better with Dean giving a silent awkward smile instead (and with a funny music).

  • Zelli42 Nov 04, 2013

    I was so happy when Dorothy turned up in the present. She was awesome from the beginning.... I really thought Charly and Dorothy would make up part of the team now.....buut they didnt, so that sucked.
    Otherwise I enjoyed this episode but then again I am a sucker for crazy television and twisted fables.
    Also I can't get over how amazing of a guy Zeke is. I really hope we don't get ulterior motives there. However his arc is pretty boring...
    Are they ever gonna do something about this or is this just gonna be the weekly guilddose to complete the supernaturalexperience?

  • vampman87 Nov 02, 2013

    I actually thoroughly enjoyed this episode,I don't know why it's getting so much hate. I loved the Men of Letters eps from last season, and this episode helped expand the mythology of that storyline while featuring a fan favorite, Charlie. Having the entire adventure be in the bunker reminded me of the Doctor Who episode "Journey to the Center of the TARDIS," except this episode was, you know... GOOD! (Only reason to watch Journey to the Center of the TARDIS is due to hottie hot hot Jenna Louise Coleman.)

  • Muderboy Nov 03, 2013

    Your comparison of this episode and Journey to the Center of the Tardis was perfect--especially the part where you said, "Except this one was GOOD." It WAS good, and well-written. The French Mistake always serves as a reminder that Sam and Dean do not dwell in our universe, and this episode was a very clever diversion to illustrate that fact. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I've never seen a bad episode of this show--some are better than others, sure, but a visit from the Winchesters is always welcome. Needless to say, I loved it...

  • alcalde Dec 06, 2013

    You've never seen one bad episode of Supernatural? And you've seen all of them???

  • Muderboy Dec 07, 2013

    Yup...

    Not one that pissed me off, anyway.

  • vampman87 Nov 04, 2013

    I dunno... seasons 1-5 had "weak" episodes (Anything with Bella in season 3 especially) but the post apocalypse seasons had some truly bad episodes. I can't stand any episode with Lisa and Ben, and the first 9 episodes of season 8 were almost unwatchable because the stupid Sam/Amelia flashbacks!

  • coolhandkate Nov 02, 2013

    Well then. I am a big fan of the show but this episode... I think this might be one of my least favorite things they have ever done.

    Things I liked: The focus on the bunker, including Sam and Dean's ever-at-odds mentality about family and homes. Exploring the Batcave was great, although I feel this point could have been far better served up by doing an episode with a more classic feel. Imagine what they could have done with a ghost or a poltergeist haunting the bunker and given it a spooky spin (and just in time for Halloween!)

    Things I did not like: Everything else! Despite liking Felicia Day quite a bit I have never bought Charlie as part of the Supernatural universe, and then to add Dorothy and cheesy black-and-white flashbacks on top of it? Everything about the story (and the acting) came off as way too earnest and on-the-nose. The LARPing episodes and Becky character if not entirely great were at least clever ways to be meta. But they referenced Becky, LARPing, the books, Games of Thrones, and the Charlie characters--all as call-outs to fans--was overload.

    I thought the episode might take a turn when Charlie died but nope, Zeke brought her back and death yet again became cheap. Refusing to save Charlie could have been a nice character moment for Zeke and put him at odds with Dean for later episodes but that was a missed opportunity, too. At least she's shipped off to Oz for now.

    I'll shut up now. And go wait quietly in the corner for the next episode where hopefully something will die bloody and awful.

  • jenniferlmelv Nov 01, 2013

    I love it when Supernatural does tongue in cheek (intentionally or not) and this one worked for me. It was good to have Charlie back for an episode and I do hope she pops back from Oz from time to time. The garage is awesome and yes Baby looks sweet in there. I wasn't sure about Dorothy to start with, I was kind of expecting her to have come out the jar either possessed by the witch or a split personality type deal. All in all I enjoyed it.

  • Latoyab Nov 01, 2013

    .... am I the only one that thought this episode was beyond mediocre? All of the characters just seemed off (Witch!Dean and WItch!Sam? Worst acting I've seen from these two in like, ever), the dialogue was clunky as hell, Zeke and his super powers are ANNOYING, and why did it seem like Dean was much more emotional over losing Charlie than he was when Cas bit it last ep? I mean, she's awesome, BUT COME ON.

  • ogechiwosu Nov 01, 2013

    Poll

  • MicahSmith3 Nov 01, 2013

    Am I the only one who kind of wished this was a backdoor pilot episode for a Oz series? ABC has been butchering fairy tails for a few years. Time for the CW to step in and do it right!

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