Supernatural "Pac-Man Fever" Review: I Dream of Djinn-y

Supernatural S08E20: "Pac-Man Fever"

Full disclosure: I love Charlie Bradbury. I know she's one of those characters that you either love or hate, and if you're not a Charlie fan, or a Felicia Day fan, you've probably been bracing yourself for this episode since Felicia Day's casting was announced. It's cool. There are certain other characters I feel that way about. Just not Charlie. So "Pac-Man Fever" was already off to a pretty good start even before it began. It was a bit unfortunate that the episode fell back on some of my least favorite Supernatural habits this late in the season—and after a return from yet another hiatus—but still: Charlie Bradbury, ladies and gentlemen! 

Since Kevin went crazy/got kidnapped/whatever, my favorite theory is that at the end of "Taxi Driver," Dean and Sam retreated to the Batcave to regroup and, in Sam's case, to recover from the second trial. Bro wasn't looking so hot, ya'll. Was that a faint? Yeeeeah, that was a faint. Almost. Whatever, we round to the nearest display of physical ailment around here. When Charlie randomly showed up with a case for the brothers, Sam was ready to chug a bottle of Day-Quil and hit the road, but Dean made him prove his hunter-worthiness in the shooting range (THEY HAVE THEIR OWN SHOOTING RANGE, YOU GUYS) and the results were pretty suckass. Sorry, Sammich.

SO, dudes were showing up with their insides liquefied. Charlie thought it sounded like a Winchester thing and she just so happened to be in the area for a comic convention in Topeka (or so she claimed), so it was no big deal to drop by the cave and let the bros know about it... or to, you know, totally tag along and learn the fine art of federal agent thrift store shopping from the master himself, Dean Winchester. In her very first appearance at the end of last season, Charlie appeared to gravitate toward Sam because of their matching Tolkien fanboy/girl squealing and mad hacker skillz, but mommy issues trump all on this show and if there's one thing Dean can't resist, it's picking up stray orphans to bond with.

The case itself was pretty straightforward, especially after the uncooperative coroner crashed the B 'n E party that Sam, Dean, and Charlie were throwing in the morgue. Oh, and all the ooey gooey corpses with the matching blue handprint were conveniently cremated before anyone could get a closer look at them? At the coroner's orders? What does it mean?

But the case wasn't really the point, which is why I'll let yet another case-of-the-week slide when all I really want to do is find Cas and Kevin and the tablets and have Sam do whatever it is Sam needs to do to (theoretically) slam the gates of Hell shut. I mean, you've got a whole lot of 'splainin to do, Supanatural, and only three episodes left to do it*whispers* This is why we can't have nice things. 

For what it was though, "Pac-Man Fever" was a fairly nice installment. I don't think Charlie Bradbury's overwhelmingly sad origin story was a necessity, and a small part of me is slightly disappointed because half the fun and appeal of Charlie, to me, was not knowing who she really was or why she did the things that she did. But I do enjoy a good dose of crippling depression now and then, and dead moms + guilty kids are kind of Supernatural's bread and butter. 

However, in Dean's guidance of Charlie, encouraging her to let go of her vegetative mother in order to escape—first from her nightmare headspace and then from the cycle of constant running and identity-switching in her real life—I was getting less Mary Winchester baggage and more Sam baggage.

So much of Dean's angst surrounding Sam and the trials stems from the belief that Sam won't survive, and that saving the world—and Sam—is Dean's responsibility numero uno. It's been Dean's driving force since pretty much the beginning of the series; over the years, we've witnessed that singular mission lead Dean to some pretty dark places, both physically and mentally. So has Sam. So has pretty much everyone the brothers have ever come in contact with. Dean's entire life has revolved around saving strangers and saving Sam, much like Charlie's had kept her circling around her comatose mother, making sure her mom was cared for, and condemning herself for the role she played in putting her mother in such a condition—even though it was completely accidental on her part and she was just a child at the time. 

I can't say that Dean would have followed his own advice if he were Charlie and faced the reality of taking his own mother—or brother—off life support (in fact, I doubt he'd be able to do it), but since the revelation about the toll the trials are taking on Sam, he at least seems to be working toward accepting the idea of a life outside the well-worn pattern. Sam sees his shouldering of the burden of the trials as a way to break Dean's own cycle of sacrifice and guilt, something that Dean initially didn't see, then didn't accept, especially once Sam's potential death became more clear. While Dean is by no means okay with the apparent cost of closing the Hell gates, he at least appears to be moving toward understanding the fact that there are things beyond his control and while that's not his fault, he must rise above them in order to live his own life. 

The parallels between Dean and Charlie were more pronounced in "Pac-Man Fever" than they've ever been before, with Charlie driving the point directly home with, "Is this my nightmare or yours?" when an unresponsive Sam appeared in their briefly shared dreamworld. Dean knows what decisions led to him becoming the man he is today and he saw that same fate threatening to overtake Charlie as well. He saved Charlie, and along the way, realized that it isn't too late to save himself... and he did it all while wearing a really spiffy uniform and gifting us a surprise bro-hug. No one even died to make it happen. Is that a first? I think it's a first. 

What did you think of "Pac-Man Fever"?


NOTES


– Smart Winchester Sighting: remembering that dream root is a thing, and realizing they could use it to get into Charlie's Djinn-induced nightmare land. Gold star, boys. 

– We got confirmation that Sam and Dean are LARPers now and it wasn't just some one-off, case-related thing. I like. 

– "Man, I love this place." Me too, Dean. Me too. #SaveTheBatcave

– Agents Ripley and Hicks. Aliens. Awesome. 

– "...montage!"

– "I love you." "I know." Kripke always said that Dean Winchester is Han Solo. 

– "Deodorant? A little pee, maybe?" Truth. When I think of what fear smells like, pee is usually one of the first things I come up with. 

– Where do you think Kevin is hiding?

– How do you feel about Charlie Bradbury: Woman of Letters?

Comments (145)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
I love charlie she's one of my favourite guest stars on this show , she should be used more though
Reply
Flag
If I'm not mistaken, that's a yellow AMC Gremlin: my dream car.
Reply
Flag
Hey, thank you for that information. I've been looking for what kind of car that is for the past two hours. I've been so hung up on it... you just saved my life. Thanks.
Reply
Flag
What yellow car was she driving? Is it an old classic Honda?
Reply
Flag
Couldn't dream root be used by Charlie to see if she could communicate with her mom?
Reply
Flag
Love the character of Charlie, and I was thinking "Hello Scully" during the pant suit trip. I was half expecting Dean to excuse the inverted badge as a "first day on the job" ala Cas. Was a rather sad backstory, but it fleshes Charlie more. Also loved the Pac-Man reference that Dean missed (game glitches after a certain level), it would've been caught by Sam. Glad they'll be back on track with Cas and Crowley returning (the actors are really awesome in person), as Cas is always fantastic, and Crowley's always a great snide bastard of a villain.

I vote for People of Letters for sure, can get enough hero types to join up, even underused Garth!
Reply
Flag
I always appreciate when a show keeps up with its own continuity, so it's been nice the last few episodes, unlike the majority of seasons 6-7, that they are acknowledging previous story-lines--this time with Carver's books.
2
Reply
Flag
I liked this episode and other than it was creating a stable support network for Dean if anything happens to Sam it was kind of a random episode. She is a lot like Sam In terms of interests and general nerdniness but she is kind of more like Dean in terms of how she deals and well in terms of well dorkiness. So basically if they had a sister she would be it.
4
Reply
Flag
I loved this episode. I thought he had a really good mix of lightheartedness and emotion and ended up telling a really good story. I also liked that they referenced the books again and she pointed out that Sam never has any luck with the girls. All in all this could be my favorite episode of the series. It also helps that I am a big Felicia Day fan. The Guild forever.
2
Reply
Flag
I liked the episode. Charlie was a good addition to the team and I wouldn't mind seeing her more often. She's like the sister they never had. I like the side stories in Supernatural. Just following the Winchesters hunting monsters and meeting people all around the United States is entertaining enough for me.
10
Reply
Flag
I really loved that they explored Charlies Backround! because that gives us SPN fans hope that she mya just become a suporting character... Sinse before she was mostly a fun-episode character and episde guest star. BUT NOW, there is hope for Charlie!!

Also, am i the only one REALY NIOT digging the bangs? Seriously. Its bad. What were you thinking FD?
1
Reply
Flag
I hate everybody who says they don't like Charlie because shes ' too nerdy' or 'overdone' because you know what? Thats the same being a bully. You don't like her because she is a quirky female super nerd. WEll, you know what A$$WHOLES, THOSE ARE THE EXACT REASONS THAT I LOVE HER AND FD. So please, if you don'[t like Charlie (or/and Felicia Day) You better watch your food closely. *somebody* may have *acedentilly* poured rat poison in your cereal. Because all people who complain about SPN not having a female character in the show who isent just a love interst, but hate the independantfemale characters, don't deserve to EXIST.

...OK, thats was a bit mean. BUT I DEFEND FD AND CHARLIE WHOLE HEARDELDY, SO JUST GTFO IF YOU DISS HER.
1
Reply
Flag
First, they should make Djinns an Arab or from Arab descent actress, God knows they need the job.Kidding aside,I think that each time Charlie is brought back, she is closer to the boys.I am having the feeling that by next season she will might be joining the bros more permanently.By revealing that she and they both have lost their mothers early in life is not simple coincidence and nothing in an airtime episode is not there unless TPTB decided that it has some significance.Also, Charlie being made into an FBI agent is unprecedented as far as I recall. Of course they cooperated with fellow hunters as FBI agents on some episodes, but I think it's the first time they actually accepted an outsider from joining the team in that way.I may be wrong, but I still have that nagging feeling.
Reply
Flag
Dean tried to get Cas to be an FBI agent and it was a disaster, but other than that I don't remember any times either. He's usually trying to warn people off of hunting and to stay put while he and/or Sam take care of it. So I think this shows how much they respect (?) her, and that she is getting closer to them.
1
Reply
Flag
Not to diminish your comment in any way, but I considered that Cas doesn't count as he is an angel not a human being.I have thought of this further and the end of the episode where she tells him that she loves him seems significant as well.Without getting on her sexual orientation precedently revealed, this avowal seemed more sentimental than platonic. I may be wrong here, but it still shows that we might see her more next season; maybe replacing Cas????
Reply
Flag
That's a good point about Cas being an angel, so he probably doesn't count. I know Misha is going back to series regular next season and I'm stoked for that, but I hope Charlie comes back often too.
2
Reply
Flag
Don't think Winchesters was smart in this episode,because while Charlie was taken and had only certain amount of time before she will be killed,Sam decided to give Dean full run down on background of Djinn's past. One would think,Charlie is in trouble,we know where she is,LET'S GO GET HER....not...she did this in past,what then...worked there,bodies were burned,but no one ordered it,where she might be now,who owns whatetc....GET IN YOUR F-ING AMAZING IMPALA AND DRIVE!!!!
Example: Let's go to the car,time is running out,I will explain on the way,no time to argue. Djinn has 2 properties and one is abandoned. We know where she is,now let's save her and hope we are not too late!!!

These 2 will close gates of hell?!?!?!!?!? :D
1
Reply
Flag
YESH. CHARLIE COMES FIRST ALWAYS. *starts dancing*
Reply
Flag
...were smart*....
1
Reply
Flag
I absolutely hate Charlie. Perhaps it's a woman thing. I miss the older characters they used to have as semi-regular, the Bobby's and fellow hunters and psychics, all replaced by uber-young and uber-quirky sassy things I'm supposed to love. But I don't. If I want sassy young things, I'll go for the two brothers who I still think are the stars of the show, not the side characters they're increasingly foisting on us. I still find Kevin's mum more interesting than Kevin, and ANYONE more interesting than Charlie. No, didn't like her on Eureka, either, but It's both actor and character in this show I dislike. Almost (almost) puts me off watching Supernatural, after eight years...
5
Reply
Flag
You are a horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE person.
1
Reply
Flag
that's a terribly personal thing to say about someone who is simply expressing a view about a character.
1
Reply
Flag
I agree, well said.
1
Reply
Flag
I don't like the episode, it was way weaker than older Supernatural episodes.Also may be I'm a minority here but Charlie annoys me so much, every time she's on screen I stop the sound.
5
Reply
Flag
i just really dont like her altogether...even before she was on the show. i like most of the nerd/geek girls on the scene, but not FD. Hated her on Eureka too.
also when she tries to be sad/crying...it's hard to look at. it just looks horrible. it's like a smiling reptile or something
2
Reply
Flag
You make me want to cry. CRY. (P.S Felicia is BEAUTIFUL, so ef you, you heartless basterd.)
3
Reply
Flag
How can you say that Charlie's back story was not needed when quite obviously it was important to her Djinn induced dream place? Without her back story the dream place becomes utterly pointless and may as well have been a regular Djinn happy place AND it had already been pointed out that these were ba@#&rd off shoot Djinns. Even though we have some of her back story we still don't know it all, she still has an element of mystery about her. I love Charlie and I hope she is in a couple more episodes before the end.
2
Reply
Flag
I don't even know what Supernatural is about anymore. Becoming more of a drag every episode. Too many side stories.
I'm I the only one who feels this way?
4
Reply
Flag
Well, they are having allot of side stories... But I think its a good thing! Dont get me wrong, I love Dean and Sam episodes, but i mean cmon! Sometimes you need more characters so that the story can be more expansive and interesting instead of just " SAVE SAM" and/or "DEAAAAN" all the time
3
Reply
Flag
no, i kind of agree. it's kinda like the X-Files where they only had a few shows a season dealing with the main storyline and a crap-ton of side stories.
6
Reply
Flag
Yes, you are.
3
Reply
Flag
You are awesome.
1
Reply
Flag
Thanks.
Reply
Flag
But I love the Lying Cat Tshirt
1
Reply
Flag
I know! Saga is the best and I’m stoked it got represented on TV. Go Felicia!
1
Reply
Flag
Always a great read... :D

Just one minor (VERY minor) nit pick...

"Agents Ripley and Hicks. Alien. Awesome. "

It was actually ALIENS, not ALIEN.. Ripley was in Alien (of course) but Cpl "It's a bughunt" Hicks was in ALIENS.

Like I said.. A very minor nit to pick...
2
Reply
Flag
And, of course Aliens was the better movie...
2
Reply
Flag
Staff
It's cool. Fixed! Thanks for the heads up.
2
Reply
Flag
I had hopes for this season but overall, it's not back yet. The short arcs are way too obvious ( the blue van or the coroner might as well have been neon signs) and some of the dialogue makes me cringe.
Taxi Driver and Pac-man Fever reminded me more of Doctor Who (which is a bit silly and pat for my taste) than Being Human (which I adore). I'm jonesing for more angst, unexpected endings,messy choices, loose ends. I'm hoping the long arc story proves worth sticking with.
Reply
Flag
I loved this episode! I love any episode where we get to see Charlie or Felicia Day because they are both awesome!
8
Reply
Flag
Did you notice the fake names on her computer? All had writers names as last names.

The ending was a bit of a tear-jerker.
5
Reply
Flag
And all the first names were Stephen King characters. Have to admit I didn't catch that one myself, but it was on the Supernatural Wiki.
1
Reply
Flag
Staff
I caught Tolkien and loved that it was on a UK passport. What were the others?

The ending really hit hard. It went from lulzy to sad real fast.
Reply
Flag
Loved it.
Wish Charlie was a regular (lol, montage--adorable)
POL = People of Letters (bring Charlie in as a regular)
9
Reply
Flag
The Supernatural folks must be good buddies with Felicia Day by now, by the looks of it. While I may not be such a great fan of Charlie Bradbury, I do find the character somewhat likeable (maybe besides the moments where the writers try a little too hard at providing all the nerdy references, and end up overdoing it). She does share a sort of natural chemistry with the boys (an awkward sister-like, non-sexual).

It wasn't a great episode on any account, but it largely did manage to concoct this specific Supernatural mixture: wackiness mixed with sentimentality, silly laughs coupled with genuine emotions. It made me at least partially forget about all the horrible missteps of the previous episode (I suppose they haven't fired Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner yet? No? Then I shall continue hoping).

Not everyone might appreciate the addition of Charlie's origin story and the "tugging at your heartstrings" moments with her mother, but I thought it worked alright. It didn't feel nearly as forced as I feared it might.
Mother and son Djiins were nothing special, but it's still worth noting that Sam and Dean largely skipped through the whole "we are punchbags" part that the show likes to overdo, and stood on their own.

This story started with some hilarious stuff going on between the brothers, and finished on a positively emotional note. That felt good.
Here is hoping that the final episodes of the season will go for the sort of quality we glimpsed this year with the Men of Letters plot, rather than for the incoherent mess that the "Taxi Driver" was.
More+
2
Reply
Flag
Staff
Yesss! I personally didn't think Charlie's origin story was necessary. I didn't feel like she as a character was lacking or anything without it. I didn't hate it either though. I agree that it could have come off as really forced, but managed not too, which was awesome.

Oooh "Taxi Driver." Such a travesty. It still burns when I think about it almost a month later.
1
Reply
Flag
Any excuse to have Felicia Day on is good enough for me...
1
Reply
Flag
I thought it was a fun episode but I feel like this season isn't really at a point where they should be doing a fun/nerdy episode. Felicia Day is great but I would prefer something that focuses on the main story arc and moves it forward more.

I want this kind of anticipation again:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx_q5CBiahI
6
Reply
Flag
I know exactly what you mean (that was the best promo ever) but I've still got hope. One of the best finale's ever was the season 1, and in fact all 3 of the last episodes that season were great, but look at "Provenance." While it was a good episode, it was filler. I think with 3 left there's room to safely salvage this season as long as they bring their A-game for all 3, and don't burn down the batcave (#Savethebatcave!)
Reply
Flag
Staff
Oh man, I watched and rewatched that promo SO MANY TIMES heading into the S5 finale. Such a kickass promo.
3
Reply
Flag
This season is certainly not focused. That's why at times it greatly elevates itself over Season 7, and at times it falls to the low levels of that period. Keeping some of the poor writers on the team clearly hurts the effort, especially when these writers are allowed to pen an important non-filler episode (vide the "Taxi Driver").

I wish the kind of anticipation you mention (link) was possible again. But not this season, not likely.
3
Reply
Flag
awesome episode no complaints!! I wish the Felicia join the cast but the CW in most likely can't afford to
6
Reply
Flag
I wonder when Sam and Dean are going to recruit Men of Letters members. I'm not sure but this is the first time they shared the hideout with anyone right? I think they showed it to Prometheus too. I know Supernatural is about the brothers but seeing more regular characters who aren't villains, is going to be refreshing.
7
Reply
Flag
Staff
Depending on how the closing Hell thing goes and how far it overlaps into season 9 (if at all), I think rebuilding the Men of Letters would be an AWESOME arch in the upcoming season. I really enjoy interacting with people who aren't villains too. Like, a lot.
6
Reply
Flag
Men of Letters was a secret society of researchers of the Supernatural. Henry died in the process of keeping it from getting into the wrong hands. The brothers will probably only show their HQ to those they trust.
1
Reply
Flag
That was one of the best things about Bobby, Ellen, Jo, and Rufus. It's one the reasons I was bummed with the Campbell cousins all dieing.
2
Reply
Flag
I know it's a worn-out subject but as Charlie teamed up with Dean as an FBI agent, I for one was expecting some X-file references, what with her being a redhead and all. Maybe not "Agents Mulder and Scully" but maybe something more subtle like "what's next, Aliens?" or "did you notice that strange guy over there with the cigarrette?".
5
Reply
Flag
so this season has 23 episodes because at the top it says its episode 20 and on my count it should 2 episodes left
Reply
Flag
Staff
Nah, there's 3 episodes left. Season finale is on the 15th.
1
Reply
Flag
unless I'm missing something my math should be 3 not 2 left
Reply
Flag
So, Sam and Dean are living in a Hobbit hole? Montage was great, and so was Dean in a uniform!!! woooo hooooo!
7
Reply
Flag
I like Charlie, I really do, but this episode kind of bothered me. We're three episodes before the finale and we get a simple Monster-of-the-Week episode? Yeah, we get to see more of Charlie's character than just the brilliant LARPing lesbian, but still, I wish she could've contributed to the overall storyline better, like she did with her debut episode in finding Dick Roman's secret. I was half expecting Crowley to show up at the end of the episode and offer her a deal. With Kevin AND Charlie as hostages, that could've made for a very entertaining finale.

That being said, "...montage!" was the best line of the entire episode and second best in the season, next to "Shut up, Meg."
1
Reply
Flag
I agree that they should have tied Charlie into the overall arc, there have a few stand alone episodes this season that could have been dropped in favor extending some of the episodes to 2 parters (breaking bobby out of hell and escaping purgatory could have been at least a 2 episode story) or tying some of the characters into the series arc.
As there has been a lack of Garth for back up, they could have used this episode to bring Charlie into the cave and set up a digital reference library or at least help find Kevin or Castiel.
Remember the Titans and Mans best friend with benefits could both have been dropped in favor of moving the seasons arc forward.
This is still a good episode, i was just hoping that we would see more of Charlie in this and the next series
1
Reply
Flag
What a gorgeous last few paragraphs. Just YES YES and YES. That's exactly the deal with Dean, poor babu.
2
Reply
Flag
It was kind of anti climactic for me. I like Felicia, she is great, she should have been a bigger part of the series this season because she does a good job. And this season has been lacking.

However, I vote Dean gets that 5 minutes and some clippers to help Sam out with his hair.
7
Reply
Flag
Staff
I will concede that Sam's bed head was pretty ridonkulous. That is all.
5
Reply
Flag
Buzz cut!
Reply
Flag
I love Felicia Day but Charlie has been kinda iffy to me. Sure, I thought she was adorable in her into dancing to "Walking on Sunshine" but I feel they pushed the geek angle a little too much with her. However, they found a great place for her this time and now I can fully accept her into the SPN fold. Maybe we didn't need a tragic back story, but it made her human (and explained her deep ties into geekdom) and she had great chemistry with Dean. I think Dean was also written very well in this episode, acting like the big brother/adult they sometimes forget to write him as. I see they often relegate Dean to the immature one when he and Sam are being "serious" on a case. Dean is perfect when they find that middle ground between grump and goof.

Also, like many, I enjoyed the bottle toss. I think it was Jared and Jensen's faces in that that sold it. Dean was "Hey Sammie! You're awake! Have a beer!" (though after a mini coma, how about coffee?) and Sam was "Uh, who are you throwing that to?"
4
Reply
Flag
I've never watched this show but want to. My concern is that the two main guys seem so dull. I have no idea but overall being into 8 seasons means something good. I saw Felicia in Eureka but think I enjoy her youtube channel stuff more than anything. But yeah, ultimately the two main guys seem so so serious so not sure.
Reply
Flag
Nah, deep down they're born comedians. Whenever they are not pretending to be these cold, serious hunters, that is.

If you decide to start from the beginning, you should quickly notice that dull is the last thing the Winchesters are. The show has a number of potent (and amazing) drama moments in its history, but it also knows how to light up the mood.
6
Reply
Flag
This show technically is a drama, but trust me, the guys are not always serious. If you really want to give it a try watch any of the following episodes (they are stand alone so you don't need to know any back story and they are prime examples of the humor in this show) s1 ep17, s2 ep18, s3 eps3/13 or s4 ep 5. That's not to say that the show doesn't have it's serious or dark moments, but there's a lot of humor inter-woven into the show.
5
Reply
Flag
I Love Felicia Day, normally though I'm kind of meh about Charlie as a character as they really overdo the whole nerd culture angle and up til last nights, couldn't go 5 minutes screentime without reminding us "HEY!! DIDJA HEAR?? SHE'S A LESBIAN!!" Last nights was a bit better as it gave Charlie some long overdue backstory to make her a bit more likable to me.

The Morgue doctor being the djinn was pretty obvious as soon as she was insisting on forms, a new roadblock they never run across. I guess the twist was there being a second one, which wasn't much of a twist when she commented that Charlie would be enough to feed 2...

Now the wtf moment for me was when she was walking off, there was a fence.. and just over that fence, what looked like a busy industrial park? Really? the Men of Letters lair is in plain sight of a busy part of the city? that really took away the batcave feel to me as from all the angles I've seen of it, it looked to be in the middle of the woods/nowhere which made it more believable no one ran across it.

Fun episode and now, I finally look forward to seeing Charlie again.. which is weird, cause again, Love love love Felicia Day, but this is her first role I never really liked.
More+
3
Reply
Flag
There were some industrial buildings shown in the neighborhood, for sure, but I did not see any indication that the area was bustling with life. For all we know it could be all abandoned. However, up until now I also believed it was in the middle of nowhere (and perhaps it was when first built).
1
Reply
Flag
Of all the characters in all this series shows, Charlie is the one character I would like to see as a regular cast member. The winchesters need someone to ground them in the reality of what they do, and now that Bobby is gone, something is missing from the show. I think Charlie is that something/someone.
12
Reply
Flag
I would have a very hard time seriously taking characters like Charlie or Garth as series regulars. They are too much of a comic relief, there is way too much awkwardness about them. They also largely serve as carriers of various pop culture references. Be it the way they are being written or the way they are being played, it would just spoil the atmosphere of the show for me. What works in small doses doesn't necessarily have to work in large ones.

Personally I believe that Supernatural had a good opportunity for a series regular with Jo, all these years ago. But of course they had to give in to the whining of rabid (mostly female?) fans. Shame.
I saw Alona Tal on "Broken City" recently. A really good performance (which's been noted by many) in an otherwise average movie.
1
Reply
Flag
I agree with you about Garth, But it seems to me that Charlies character is deepening as they are opening holes into her past and doing some prety seriouse (sad) scenes with her. I think she could totally be a supporting character...Just not yet. We need more serious Charlie episodes before that can happen.
Reply
Flag
Especially and she is cataloging all the stuff she is learning about monsters, i thought the fact that they couldn't be traced while in the batcave would have led to Charlie being interested in staying - but it just led nowhere
2
Reply
Flag
I loved this episode! Sam's bedhead, Sam's oblivious "wuh?" at the tossed beer, Sam's sucky target practice and declaring it "close enough!", Charlie's discovery that it's really hard to role play in real life "But… F.B.I!" and Dean maturing to the point that he doesn't yell at Sam in the end. Progress!

I liked Charlie fine in the previous 2 episodes, a tad on the indifferent side. But this cemented her as my new side character favorite. I don't think I could take it if she and Garth are in the same episode, I love them separately and in doses.

Mostly I love that Charlie is human and her tragedy is a human tragedy, not brought on by supernatural means. The parallel between present state Gertrude and possible future state Sam was abit heavy handed and anvil-ish, but necessary since Dean is on full-set refusal to give up on Sam. Charlie has absolute confidence that Sam will win the trials and the Winchester brothers will triumph in the end and save the world. Charlie's belief and faith in the Winchesters is pure and almost child-like. A welcome relief from all previous side characters telling the brothers no no no you will NOT succeed! (Cas, and yes even Bobby, I'm looking at you)
More+
7
Reply
Flag
I like Felicia Day a lot, and I still loathed Charlie up until this episode. In this one she seemed more like a real character and less like a way to make (occasionally wrong) references to nerd culture.

That said, this was bad for a Djinn episode, and the "Previously on" section made me hope we'd finally get more of that entire "Chuck is God" thing, so I was still kind of annoyed with the episode.
2
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
And you're telling us, why?
1
Reply
Flag
Charlie has grown on me, and I love seeing her backstory, that it jives with Dean and Sam (losing her parents in a childhood tragedy) but is different (it wasn't a supernatural cause) makes me love it even more.

the problem I've had with introduction of new characters this season has been a) they are not a natural fit, teen wolves, witchcops and baby demon hunters are all things we've seen on other shows - and they've fit in like square pegs in round holes. Where we want to see new characters come up are people that fit into the uniqueness of the SPN verse, where people enter into the dangerous life of hunting because of personal tragedy, not as a lifestyle choice.

Aaron and his Golem need to come back, because their story was new, intriguing (not ripped from some other CW show) and Aaron had a legacy which dovetailed into the Men (and now Women) of Letters.

Charlie has become a natural fit, she and Dean have great chemistry, they geek out together, and Sam also stands in for a brother as well, she's now got a well rounded backstory, and I adored that both Sam and Dean were up for another weekend of LARPING. Charlie also knows all about their history, having read the Winchester Gospels, and even thinks Cas is dreamy. Can't wait until that pair team up.

As long as show remembers where they've come from, that its about family, and about saving people and retcons with a sure footing in what's come before - not adding anything superfluous - because Chuck knows by now they've got plenty of material to work with - we can get another two great seasons.
More+
2
Reply
Flag
Welcome back Charlie! Charlie is awesome and her relationship with the brothers is great. Supernatural better get working on bringing her back next season, either as a regular or on a recurring status - no less than 10 episodes. I love the chemistry she has with both Sam and Dean, and I loved the end when she told Dean she loved him and he said I know. It was simple yet so sweet. I also loved the hug between Dean and Sam - when was the last time we saw that? Sam's health is rapidly declining, and Dean will do whatever he can to save his little brother life. I can't wait to see how the last episodes of the season unfold.

I understand that you were frustrated MaryAnn about the case of the week format but we did get a throwback to a djinn and African root. There are only 3 episodes left I am pretty sure those will focus solely on Castiel, Naomi, Kevin, Crowley, Sam's last trial, and the tablets. We got little mentions (Kevin jumped ship and Cas is MIA) so we don't need to put all of the focus on that right now. They have no idea where they are, and the episode would have been nothing but Sam and Dean running around TRYING to locate one or both of them. No need to worry we know they will be back before the season ends.

Agents Hicks and Ripley - AWESOME SAUCE!!
More+
3
Reply
Flag
Can they make me cry more, poor Sam. I agree missing the beer bottle was funny and so was the joke about cutting Sam hair, which I agree he really needs a hair cut its too long. It was great to see Charlie again she always is official now shes a woman of letters congratulation Charlie. Yey we got to see a new area of the bat cave which I hope the writers won't set on fire or blow up, It was funny that Dean tested Charlie on her gun firing skills and she rock she didn't even wait for him to finish talking. The return of the dream root that was cool and very smart to use its been awhile since we saw the dream root. Is it just me or is Sam looking more paler and I almost cried when I saw Sam having trouble walking, why are they doing this to Sam.
1
Reply
Flag
"Can they make me cry more, poor Sam" - in the next episode they have Sam sitting a chair stroking a puppy for the whole episode, while watching Marley and Me
1
Reply
Flag
Yea right, Sam won't sit anything out next episode.
Reply
Flag
For a filler episode it was quite enjoyable. I especially enjoyed how Charlie was a ride along commentary of the brothers/show having read the books >.<. I think my favorite moment was

"but I don't want to miss the bro-moment..."

I also enjoyed Sam missing the beer. Obviously that is why they can't have nice things.

Did the dream root utility belt moment really bug anyone else? Seriously, that transition from WE NEED SOME DREAM ROOT.. Oh look we suddenly have some dream root ready to go was a bit jarring. Why would they even carry that tea around with them (boy scouts to the end I suppose).

Overall I did enjoy this episode and it served a very important purpose. It wrapped up the whole Dean not wanting Sam to do the trials and accepting it. While I think it was concluded a bit too neatly, at least it wasn't dragged on like this show liked to do in the past.
4
Reply
Flag
Thanks for the review. It's really useful because I will never in my entire life watch this episode yet I want to know what happens. I'm sorry. This is the first episode of Supernatural I won't see. I hate Felicia Day with a burning passion. A mediocre mind in a mediocre body that achieved fame by catering to the most desperate male demographic: neckbeards who fantasise about dorky girls. And her character is just as anoying at her "look at me I'm quirky and tomboyish and logical yet I have boobies and female organs!". The last two episodes she was in were just pointless filler catering to the queen of the neckbeards with 0 acting talent,

I wish I could see this episode, but I dont want to have to claw my eyes out.
4
Reply
Flag
I strongly suggest that you eat something. Right now.
I. Dare. You.
Reply
Flag
That's harsh. And rather judgmental of Felicia Day. I can see where you're coming from, even if this amount of hate seems off the charts to me. While I'm far from being a fan, I do know quite a few; and they are nowhere close to being "neckbeards", as you put it.

If you managed to swallow the infamous episode with the infamous Becky Rosen in the previous season, then this one should be a cake in comparison. At the very least you may want to fast forward through all the Charlie scenes in order to see some good Winchester interactions.
1
Reply
Flag
I agree, for me this was the least enjoyable episode of the season. It was just off and unlike others I don't think Charlie/Felicia is an interesting addition to the show. In fact, I could hardly watch it because she kind of rubs me the wrong way. Why is she so popular? She's not especially clever or captivating, yet she was given a lot of screen time.Is it because she is a lesbian and the producers feels like its time to introduce a gay character? I can think of no other reason this actress would be elevated in the way she has been, because in my opinion there is nothing special about her and I think she ruins the chemistry between Sam and Dean. Bring back Cass please, he adds to the show and the three boys together are great.
1
Reply
Flag
I feel the same way about Cass, there is nothing special about the actor and he ruins the chemistry between Sam and Dean.

In my opinion, Charlie has great chemistry with both brothers, she got the shared geek fanboy thing with Sam and the little sister thing with Dean. I really hope Charlie becomes Woman of Letter as Sam suggested.
3
Reply
Flag
It's interesting how we all have different feelings about the different characters. I just have not liked her since I saw her in the "Renaissance Festival" episode. I don't remember her in the other one she was in.
2
Reply
Flag
Here fans complain about not having new interesting female characters in the show (that are not love interests) and having been given a non-stereotypical one, they can't even give her a chance. No wonder J2 and M are always aghast that female fans just hate on female characters.
1
Reply
Flag
I can see that the majority of fans seem to like the Charlie character and I knew that when I posted my comment, but I really do hope that she is not given more episodes next season. I don't hate her, but I feel like she is corny and overdone always acting confused and incompetent.
3
Reply
Flag
I didn't care for Charlie in the first 2 episodes she was in, but this episode has cemented her as one of my favorite guest stars. The chemistry between her and Sam and her and Dean was spot on, it's not something to 'ship on, it's like a sister/friend thing; very reminiscent of Jo. In fact I wouldn't mind seeing her on more hunts.

I don't mind case of the week episodes, it's how the show was set up from episode 1, so I really enjoyed this episode. I would love to sit here and count the ways I loved it, but there were simply too many. So I'll just ask one question: Did anyone else get all choked up when Dean hugged Sam at the end? I was sitting there fanning myself with both hands like a crazy fan-girl.

P.S. I hate that thing...But I really want one.
4
Reply
Flag
Loved the episode for the reasons mentioned in the review. Charlie's back story was necessary so we could have her utter the line about whose nightmare was it, to draw parallels to Dean's formative years, and for Dean to "save" Charlie. It also showed how determined Sam is to be in the hunt even if he is sick. The uniform, the hugs, the quips, the rejoinders to past episodes- the FBI badge upside down as well as the others mentioned in this review, all worked for me. For a one off with only slight mentions of the trials, it had be going in another direction with the title and then this quiet, contained, well acted, well scripted episode. On the rewatch list already.
1
Reply
Flag
Though the djinn plot is pretty predictable, but I like this episode thoroughly. They used djinn plot, African dream root plot and Charlie's back story mixed with games & hacking & larping. I think it's one of the most engaging episodes. Hate to see Sam like though :(. The bat cave gets cooler day by day, zero tracking network & shooting range? Super frigging awesome
1
Reply
Flag
I enjoyed this episode though I really wanted to know where Kevin was, where Cas was, what Crowely was doing, that kind of thing. At least I felt like this kind of dealt with some stuff. I mean Sam was so sick from being trail guy that he couldn't shoot anymore and getting up too quickly made him start to fall over. It's something.

It was nice to see a Djinn again. We haven't seen one in awhile. I like when we meet a monster we've already done. The stuff with African Dream Root was a nice little throw back to the past. The books were a nice reminder of the past as well.

Dean called the Bat Cave home! Did anyone else catch that? When Dan was trying to get Sam to go he said he needed to go home. They have a home now guys! It's going to die in fire isn't? I will not stand for it! #SaveTheBatCave

I like Charlie. I enjoyed the shopping montage scene between Charlie and Dean. I also liked their bond that they seemed to share. Charlie had mommy issues to heal from and Dean had Sam issues. The two ended up mirroring each other well.
More+
4
Reply
Flag
This episode was an emotional one, and thats something Supernatural hasn't dished out since Season 7's Death's Door, and this one trumped that in quality I believe. There was just no reason to dislike the episode. I wouldn't dislike it if Charlie and Dean end up together by the end of the series, if the boys are actually going to live their lives post hunting, and not end up dying.

Of course the batcave's signals can't be traced. We need an episode explaining who did all this, that'd be nice. Otherwise it's just because the writers say so, which I guess is how TV works.

Charlie's a great character, and when she shows up on SPN she seems to humanize the boys a bit, and that's always appreciated. But this time, Dean was the one to help her move past her mommy issues, and with it give the audience a taste of her origins, which was great.

I'd give this episode a 9. Very good
1
Reply
Flag
Best episode in the last 2-3 seasons, Felicia Day's acting was brilliant. I love Charlie, and I love the bond Dean and Charlie shared. I hope she comes back as a season regular!

Please Supernatural, make it happen!
3
Reply
Flag
Load More Comments

Like TV.com on Facebook