Column: Gods and Monsters: Recap and Review: Supernatural 9.04: Slumber Party


By Paula R. Stiles


[spoilers ahoy for several seasons]


Tagline: Charlie returns for a Wizard of Oz spoof, just in time to promote the movie’s reissue in 3D.


Recap: Recap of Charlie Sue’s escapades that is obviously meant to be cute and instead reminds me how much I can’t stand her. Ugh. The rest of the recap is about the brothers discovering the Men of Letters bunker.

Cut to … not Now but 1935. In black and white, we see two men use the special key to open it up and come down the stairs, in suits and carrying briefcases chained to their wrists. They sit down at consoles across the room from each other, unchain and open the briefcases, and each pulls out an old-style vacuum tube. They insert the tubes on top of the consoles and turn them on. With the “protocol” now in effect, they introduce themselves to each other. The older man with the mustache is James Haggerty, the younger man Peter Jenkins.

At first, Jenkins isn’t sure the protocol worked, but then the lights all come on. Haggerty comments that it took three years to build the Bunker. This precipitates a passionate infodump from Jenkins about how the Bunker is the “epicenter in the War between Good and Evil.”

Cut to six months later, as the two Men of Letters play chess. They are both very, very bored, especially Jenkins. Haggerty is more sanguine about being nowhere near the action, though he is also drinking from a flask.

At that moment, some excitement enters their lives. They get a phone call (on a phone with a pentacle in place of a dial). Haggerty doesn’t want to let the person in at first because she doesn’t have the right password, but she says something to convince him. He identifies her to Jenkins as “Frank’s girl,” which gets Jenkins all excited.

Frank’s girl turns out to be a young woman in an aviator’s get-up. She is Dorothy Gale of Oz and she’s dragging in a Wicked Witch.

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Cue title cards.

Cut to present day, where Sam is entering Crowley’s cell with a piece of paper and a crayon. Crowley tries to negotiate from a position of power, but this is shown up as illusory when Sam just smirks and leaves.

Upstairs, Sam is doing research when Dean enters. Dean has been out installing Kevin in a motel room for the weekend, to give him a break. Meanwhile, Dean got season one of Game of Thrones for their own break. Obvious nerdy in-show plug is obvious, Mr. Thompson.

Sam says he thinks he might have a way to help Castiel. Wary, Dean navigates this conversation as if it were full of gators, especially when Sam starts questioning why Castiel left in the first place. After establishing that it was Sam’s idea (and not Ezekiel’s), Dean listens to Sam’s theory about the map table being a way to locate angels – and how Sam followed some cords underneath it down into a secret computer room. There, Dean discovers that one of the panels is warm and pries it open. The computer is active, with glowing vacuum tubes.

However, Dean falls back from the recoil of opening the panel and lands against a nearby shelf. Neither brother notices that a large jar has been knocked over. After they leave, it pops off the top and pours blue goo onto the floor, which starts crawling up the wall.

Cut back to 1935.

Dorothy fills in the two Men of Letters on all the attempts she’s made to try to kill her, including cutting out her tongue (the only thing that took, for some reason). Meanwhile, the Witch is cutting herself free of iron bonds using her fingernails.

Back in the present, the brothers, despite both of them having not-inconsiderable hacking skills, decide they need an expert. So, they call up probably the last person who would have a clue how to work a 1930s magical computer that tracks angels – Charlie Bradbury. Never mind that Dean, with his analog tech skills (Remember that Walkman/EMF meter?), would probably be much better at figuring out this mystery. They welcome Charlie into the Bunker with literally open arms. I throw up a little in my mouth and drink some frozen daiquiri.

It seems Charlie has once again been fired from her latest job, but of course, sportsfans, it’s not her fault. She found out her company was “outsourcing child labor,” so she outed it on Wikilinks. Dean accepts this as a good thing. Um … sure. Unless the kids in question were the only income source for their families (as happens in places like, say, Afghanistan). If so, she just condemned some people halfway across the globe to slow starvation to assuage her simplistic smug Western guilt for the week, ’cause real life is complicated like that. Nice job, Charlie.

It then turns out Charlie has been Hunting and is, of course, awesome at it [eyeroll], at least regarding the minor MOTWs she took on. But she feels it’s just not fulfilling enough. Sadly, this is not Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s “Nor the Battle to the Strong,” or even “No Exit,” so we don’t get Dean smacking her upside the head and informing her that a job that gives you lifelong PTSD on a good day is not intended to be fulfilling.

Oh, and it seems she read all the books, which are now on Amazon (another shameless commercial plug). And somebody else uploaded the more recent adventures — Becky ‘Winchester.’ Horrified, Sam denies all knowledge of who that could possibly be. Well, Becky’s still alive, so that’s something.

The brothers take Charlie down to the computer. She blathers happily about how it’s got a magical power source and a security system and locked down the Bunker at the end of last season. Oh, and she can hook it up to a Windows 8 laptop. Somewhere, Alan Turing is rolling his eyes.

While they wait for the computer to unencrypt (Um … did Robby Thompson do any research on early computers?), they watch Game of Thrones in Dean’s room, while Dean and Sam spat over why Sam hasn’t yet decorated his room. When Dean, in disgust, gets up to get more beer, Sam questions Charlie about Hunting and rather mildly tells her it’s not the greatest career or hobby option. No, duh.

Back in 1935, the Men of Letters are having little luck finding a way to kill the Wicked Witch, though excellent luck in being chauvinist pigs to Dorothy, including bringing up things she’d rather not talk about, like her dad fictionalizing her rather horrific adventures in Oz. Ugh.

The Witch, of course, soon escapes. Despite this being, in theory, a welcome respite from the boredom so far, it’s so ridiculously executed that it really isn’t all that great. The younger man gets possessed by the Witch (showed by glowing green eyes), attacks the older man, demands in a Witch voice that they get “her” something she wants, gets stabbed, comes out of it, and (presumably) dies. Meanwhile, Dorothy chases the Witch down into the computer (sorry, lab) room and they both end up somehow frozen in what looks like two big cocoons behind some shelves that nobody apparently notices for the next 89 years. I get that the Men of Letters were extinct after the 50s, but what was their excuse for the previous 23 years?

In the present, the brothers and Charlie enter the room to find the shelving and the cocoons behind it (one of them open). Dean cuts open the other one and Dorothy’s arm falls out (She’s still attached to it). The brothers pull their weapons while Charlie stands there like a dumbass and Dorothy wakes up.

Later, Charlie looks in a book and identifies Dorothy, whom Sam is trying to help with a blanket. Dorothy is dismissive at first about their being Men of Letters, but the brothers inform her that they’re Hunters, while Charlie lets her believe she’s a Woman of Letters [barf]. More impressed, Dorothy says she couldn’t kill the Witch, so she used a binding spell on her, which was tied up in the jar that Dean accidentally spilled, that bound their souls together and cocooned them to the wall.

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Meanwhile, the Wicked Witch enters Crowley’s cell for no reason save to give us Mark Sheppard’s obligatory two minutes of screentime in the episode. Oh, and it seems she can’t cross the devil’s trap because … well, who knows? You’d think that might be useful info for trapping and killing her, but it never gets passed on. After identifying her and buttering her up a little, Crowley tells her to write what she needs on his wadded-up piece of paper.

Back in the lab, Dorothy warns the brothers about the Witch wanting something in the Bunker. The brothers go looking for it. When Dorothy wants to come along, Dean tells her to stay behind and rest up, while Sam tells her to help “the smartest person in the room.” Wait, didn’t Dean just leave? Oh, I see. Thompson means Charlie. Who looks smug.

I’ll give Dorothy credit. When Charlie fangirls over an unimpressed Dorothy and whines about Dorothy not being the way she was in the books, Dorothy points out they weren’t accurate, “the ravings of a sad old man,” her father. Charlie then has the brass to lecture Dorothy on how Haggerty (the older Man of Letters) kept her case file open and Dorothy ought to be grateful, or something: “Stop ruining my childhood” (Shut up, Charlie). Dorothy, not recognizing the clear signs of a see-you-next-Tuesday right in front of her, looks guilty. Charlie, with all the humility of a Borgia, struts out of the room, asking if Dorothy is tagging along.

Oh, God. Time for more booze.

The brothers enter Crowley’s cell. Crowley claims to know what they’re looking for and insists he’ll tell them if they let him stand up. When Crowley stalls, Dean shoots him. He shows them the paper, which has the word, “key,” on it. He suggests the key in question might be in the kitchen.

In the kitchen, the brothers run into Charlie and Dorothy. Charlie smugly informs them that she raided their gun store, as if this is some great accomplishment. Oh, and she figured out somehow from reading about Oz that poppy bullets will slow down the Witch. How I wish she would just die.

Dean looks impressed, even though Charlie has only managed to make four bullets. The brothers mention the key, but are smart enough not to discuss Crowley (Thank God Charlie doesn’t meet him, too). Dorothy then gets a chance to infodump about the key – it’s a key to Oz. There are many ways to get there, usually through violent storms, but the key will also do it by turning any locked door into a door to Oz. If she can get back there, the Witch will raise an army to conquer Oz.

Okay, so that’s bad. Check on the macguffin for the episode.

Dean gets Dorothy to show him an illustration of the key, which he recognizes. Remember that weird carving he saw at the beginning of “Goodbye Stranger“? Right after he checked out the Spear of Destiny? That’s the key. Dean has it in his room. Sam and Dorothy go off to do … something, while Charlie insists on tagging along with Dean to his room, despite his protests. Because she’s not as useless as tits on a bull, or anything, and thinks this is now a grand adventure. And he takes her along because the writer insists.

I am going to need an AA intervention after this episode, I swear.

In the library, Sam and Dorothy talk briefly about not having a home and Dorothy expounds on how awesome the open road is. Apparently, Thompson has forgotten that Sam has always wanted to settle down (especially as late as last season) and hates being on the open road. But never mind – this is just an excuse for Dorothy to turn around and see the Witch behind Sam, shoot at her and miss, and warn Sam. Sam turns around, but before he can take aim, the Witch turns into green smoke and goes into the vents. Declaring that the Witch can go anywhere, Dorothy suggests they split up and look for her that way. Because we all know how well that goes in these stories.

In Dean’s room, Dean is looking for the key, while Charlie is looking through his porn instead of standing guard as she’s supposed to be doing. Just as Dean finds the key, the Witch smokes in and Charlie doesn’t notice until the Witch is right behind him. She yells a warning. He turns around, just in time for the Witch to grab the key out of his hand and backhand him into a corner. Then, while Charlie stands there like an idiot, the Witch prepares to greenlight Dean to death. Seeing no smarter alternative, Charlie caps off a series of idiotic decisions by throwing herself in front of the death ray and getting killed.

Dean gets up and shoots the Witch with his poppy bullet. However, it seems Charlie was wrong about it immobilizing her, as she just smokes back into the vent. Dean then goes to Charlie and mourns over her dead body while I think, About damned time!

Sadly, this death will not last long.

Sam runs in and Dean calls to Samekiel, who appears with a flash of blue eyes. Dean begs Samekiel to heal Charlie, but Samekiel says his power isn’t infinite. He can help Dean against the Witch or save Charlie, but not both, and he’ll be stuck inside Sam longer than either of them wants. Dean stupidly chooses Charlie. She wakes up saying, “Merry Christmas!” Supposedly, she was in Heaven (We will find out later this was impossible).

Dean tells a lie to Sam incorporating Charlie being “heroic” and the Witch knocking Sam out. Dorothy enters and the brothers once again stick her with Charlie. Charlie asks her if they can be “best friends now.”

Cirrhosis of the liver, here I come.

In the hallway, Sam asks Dean about calling to “Zeke” and Dean lies. Sam, not believing him, gets pissy and goes on ahead. Sam, now is not the time.

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Dorothy tells Charlie she must have died and nobody is a “real Hunter” until they’ve died at least once. She says she must have been in Heaven (See above about how that’s impossible and more on that later in the season). Dorothy fills Charlie in on the “true” story of stowing away with her Dad on one of his research trips to Oz. She says the three “freedom fighters” who saved her were turned into the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion by the Witch. Then the Witch found her and killed her, too. Obviously, that didn’t take.

Dorothy tells her the books are “revisionist history,” written by a father with a guilty conscience. Charlie, who has never met a persona tragedy she couldn’t stick her foot right into and lecture someone about (despite also being a girl who couldn’t her brain-dead mother die in peace for almost two decades), goes all Dr. Phil on Dorothy, insisting on no evidence up to this point that Daddy wrote his works as “guidebooks” full of clues for Dorothy to follow. Because that makes so much sense and it isn’t offensive at all for someone to tell someone else how to feel about their screwed-up relationship with their long-dead father. She even brings up her brilliant deduction about the poppies, which did absolutely no good whatsoever.

Declaring that Charlie is a “genius,” after all, Dorothy says they have to go to the garage. You know, the one we’ve never seen before. How I wish the episode had written Charlie as mute, not the Witch.

Back up in the library, Dean is asking Sam why he doesn’t see the Bunker as home, since it’s the closest thing they’ve had in over thirty years and it is all theirs. Sam whines a bit about how he never had a real home, unlike Dean (uh, yeah, until age four) and any attempts have backfired. Of course, pretty much all of his attempts have gone hand-in-hand with a hefty dose of selfishness, so it could be that.

Sam declares the library clear and holsters his gun, just as the Witch appears behind him. Dean tries to shoot her, but she uses Sam as a shield, while trying to greenlight Dean. To break the deadlock, Dean rushes them and knocks them over a table. But Sam gets possessed (despite having an angel inside him) and then Dean is possessed, himself. Probably because that’s something Dorothy left out. Could have been useful.

In the garage, Dorothy happily discovers the Men of Letters kept her Indian Runner motorcycle (at least, that’s what it looks like). Rummaging through a saddlebag, she pulls out the head of a tin man (solemnly: “He didn’t make it”) and then two cheap red shoes from Payless. Yes, these are the famous Dorothy Ruby Slippers (and yes, I know they’re silver in the books) and she thinks they can kill the Witch. I have no idea why this did not occur to her nearly a century ago.

As they dither, the possessed Winchester brothers enter the garage. Charlie is such a moron that it takes her a few moments to realize that is not Dean’s normal voice (The stupid, it burns). He grabs her and smashes her into a window, while Dorothy suddenly proves totally ineffectual against a possessed Sam. The Witch Evil Overlord monologues via the brothers about how she’s actually going to call her armies to earth and conquer it (I know; I was so shocked, too, by this unforeseen turn of events), while upstairs, she’s mixing up a potion out of her own blood to open a door to Oz. Once this happens, she uses the potion to summon a horde of flying monkeys from her black castle in the distance. Apparently, they’ve been waiting all this time for her to show up.

While Dean is distracted, Charlie (who apparently has not suffered at all from being picked up and pushed through a window), kicks Dean in the balls. I have no idea why male writers so often choose to have one of their female characters do this to prove she’s “tough,” but I wish they’d stop.

Anyhoo, Dorothy also gets the drop temporarily on Sam and tosses a shoe to Charlie, so Charlie can run off after the Witch. As soon as Charlie leaves, the Mary Sue Effect fades and Dorothy gets her ass kicked by the brothers. Seems the Witch can’t kill her directly, but she can do so via anyone she possesses. You’d have thought she’d have tried that sooner.

Upstairs, the Witch gets offed in mid-triumphant cackle by Charlie and an ugly Payless shoe. Charlie actually says, “Now, heel!” At least she’s barely smart enough to remember to close the door before the Flying Monkeys show up. When she opens the door back up, it’s normal again. The Witch leaves behind two shoes (but, um, didn’t Dorothy only throw Charlie one?) and a black dress. Hmm, is she really dead, then?

Downstairs, the brothers wake up right before Dean knifes Dorothy. Oh, and when they come back upstairs, Charlie is an arrogant see-you-next-Tuesday about having “singlehandedly” killed the Witch. Team Player? Not so much.

Down in the dungeon, Crowley gets chained back into place by Sam with a piece of paper and a crayon.

In the garage, Sam gives Dorothy a copy of The Wizard of Oz and they talk obliquely about having embarrassing books written about them.

Charlie takes Dean aside and pretends she figured out on her own that Dean brought her back from the dead, instead of Dorothy having spelled it out for her, using small words. Dean begs her not to tell and she agrees – though she insists that Dean tell her what happened later.

Dorothy thanks them all and decides to go back to Oz, to continue the rebellion. I’m not quite sure why there’s still a rebellion on when the Witch is, you know, dead, but okay. She asks Charlie to go, too. Dean warns Charlie there could be a lot of weird stuff, but Charlie shrugs this off. She hugs him and skips off to Oz with Dorothy to the tune of AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock” (Yes, they wasted a great rock song on her). Oh, and the brothers are left behind with their grim, sad world. I sincerely hope a disgruntled Munchkin brains Charlie five minutes after she got there.

Dean wonders if she will ever return. Sam says in an unconvincing tone that of course she will. Let’s hope Sam is wroooooonnnng.

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Review: Well. That was painful.

I guess the height of my opinion of this episode is clear from how long it took me to finish reviewing it. Every time I’d think about continuing the recap, my heart would sink. Wow, was “Slumber Party” boring.

This episode was disappointing in a few ways. First and foremost was the shoving of Charlie Sue down the viewer’s throat, in almost every scene in every possible way (and on top of that, I recently happened upon a House repeat with Felicia Day guest-starring in it. Gad, that woman is everywhere). I mean, all right, the idea of doing a story about Oz was three parts daft and one part dumb, but there was some nice potential in there, what with Dorothy and there being a bottle story exploring the origins and environs of the Bunker. Alas, all of it was wasted so that Robbie Thompson could shove his favorite Sue right down our throats again.

Admittedly, the accusation of Mary Sue is also a common one to discredit strong female characters, so it’s important to lay out the real problems with a Sue. A Mary Sue is not really a character type – this explains the profusion of Sue types that you’ll find on sites like TV Tropes. It is also not every single popular female character or every single strong female character, particularly in genre fiction. The original version of the X-Men’s Phoenix? Not really a Sue. Capable of being turned into one, especially in later incarnations like Rachel Summers of Excalibur or Hope Summers the “Mutant Messiah,” but not the original Jean Grey.

A Mary Sue is a specific type of writing flaw that can affect a variety of characters of both genders. The most commonly stated characteristics of a Sue are that everyone loves her (or is at least obsessed with her), for no good reason to the point of fawning all over her, and that she is perfect. Oh, she has flaws, but they are never significant flaws. They are “cute” things that make her look cuter. And people are not obsessed over her for any good plot reason but because she’s just so goshdarned awesome – according to the writer’s Tell rather than any Show in the story, itself. If a character is accurately Shown to be awesome, then that character is a true Badass and not a Mary Sue. For example, there’s Robert E. Howard’s original Conan.

The ultimate problem with a Mary Sue is that she’s conflict-avoidant. And the fact that she is perfect means she magically gets new powers, or things suddenly and inexplicably go her way, whenever some problem arises, which makes her booorrrrring (not to mention difficult to relate to). Bella Swan of the Twilight series is a classic example. She doesn’t think she’s beautiful, but everyone thinks she’s gorgeous. All the girls in her new school are jealous and all the boys are obsessed. In fact, she’s just so goshdarned awesome and beautiful that she’s got a centuries-old vampire who sparkles obsessed with her, which apparently means she doesn’t have to do a damned thing in the story itself, let alone have a brain in her head.

Game of Thrones, mentioned in the episode, has some good examples of what are and are not Mary Sues. Daenerys Stormborn is often identified as a Mary Sue because she is beautiful and men are obsessed with her, but she has several major flaws that have generated conflict in her life. And things have decidedly not all gone her way. She was sold off like a cow at a very early age after a childhood of living off other people’s charity, her husband and unborn son died, her dragons are unmanageable, somebody’s always trying to manipulate her, her decision to end slavery in her part of the world has drastic and unforeseen consequences, and the people of her claimed kingdom Westeros pay very little attention to her. She is a distant threat, at best, so far. George R.R. Martin may spend too much time having her spin her wheels waiting for everyone else to catch up to where she can enter the story full-time, but she’s no Mary Sue.

Similarly, Arya Stark loses almost her entire family and has to disguise herself as a boy just to survive (and actually seems to like playing the boy). She has a kill list of enemies she is working her way down as she turns into a cold-blooded killer. Tyrion Lannister is rejected by his family due to being a dwarf whose birth “killed” his mother, despite being a clever, brave and a good-hearted man. He has to buy the affections of a whore and even his cowed wife Sansa doesn’t like him. While it’s clear Martin favors all three of these characters, that doesn’t mean they fit the Mary Sue trope.

One character who does appear to fit the male version trope (Gary Stu or Marty Stu), though, is Jon Snow. Jon is an acknowledged bastard, but there are hints of a special, royal heritage. He joins the Night Watch, where he must take an oath of celibacy, but when he breaks it (since his vapid brooding charms the furry panties off even faux-tough Wildling amazons), there are few consequences for doing so and he even goes on to become a leader in the Night Watch. He’s got a special sword and a special animal friend, and he is a thoroughly boring character. Gary Stu, somebody just called your number.

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Unlike some fans (and unlike how I felt about Charlie), I liked Dorothy. Yes, she was initially abrasive, but then, she was a female Hunter working with a bunch of Men of Letters who were being douchebags toward her. Plus, people kept bringing up her painful and tangled relationship with her father, as if it were of their damned business in the first place. And she obviously knew her stuff. Who wouldn’t be abrasive under such circumstances?

Further, when she met Sam and Dean, found out they were Hunters, and saw they were fine with her being a Hunter, too, she dropped the ‘tude. Once she met other Hunters, who were Men of Letters yet also treated her with respect, she didn’t need to be abrasive. So, she wasn’t. Seems reasonable to me.

Sadly, rather than developing Dorothy, Robbie Thompson threw her under the Charlie Sue bus, just as he’s done every other female character in Charlie episodes. If there’s one thing that aggravates the hell out of me about this particular writing flaw, it’s that Mary Sue brooks no rivals, so forget her being anything but the only woman left standing in the room.

Dorothy becomes Charlie’s Number One fan and can’t fight her way out of a wet paper bag alone against the possessed brothers (after being badass in the flashbacks and in the first half of the episode), while Charlie goes off to kill the Wicked Witch. Now, wait a damned minute – that was Dorothy’s journey! She’s been fighting the Witch most of her life. The Witch killed her friends, even killed her, and she deserved to have that revenge. Instead, Thompson sets it all up just so Charlie can look awesome. Barf.

Then there is the superawesome angel-finding computer from the 1930s … that Charlie hooks up her Windows 8 computer to and makes work in a few hours. Considering the laughing stock Windows 8 currently is in the computer world, that kind of product placement is already so dated that it’s going to be ten kinds of embarrassing in a few years. It also demonstrates that Mr. Thompson did not do his homework. Anybody who knows anything about the history of computers knows that there is zero chance of compatibility between a laptop today and a massive computer of the 1930s. As in, they are fundamentally different in structure. Even a computer from thirty years ago is not compatible in any way with a computer today (i.e., in the sense of transferring information directly from one to the other). I get this was a way to do an in-story Windows 8 ad that also got across the idea of Charlie being once again the awesomest computer nerd that ever awesomed (aside from the late, lamented and conveniently forgotten Frank, of course), but it looked really stupid.

I will readily admit that Charlie really, really, really irritates me. I get that Felicia Day has found a niche and is exploiting it ferociously (and more power to her making a living in an industry that chews women up and spits them out on the north side of 30), but as a female nerd who was a Trekkie, got her first comic book, and saw Star Wars on its opening night years before Day was even born, I object to the irritating idea that the only way I can be a true female nerd is to be like Felicia Day – or, even worse, like her alter ego Charlie Bradbury. I am so very tired of female characters who are cookie cutter men with tits.

To make matters worse, you have a straight writer and a straight actress portraying a lesbian character as a fanboy with lady parts. And to top it all off, we’re supposed to celebrate this as some big achievement in GLBT television. Are we really not supposed to notice that Charlie is a classic butch stereotype just because she has long hair and occasionally models dresses in show-stopping fashion montages?

It doesn’t help that the Show and Tell for Charlie, as often occurs on this show, do not match up at all. We hear about a few off-screen hunts she allegedly did on her own. Then we get an absolutely ridiculous kill (of the Witch) and an even more ridiculous tech-magic moment (hooking up her computer to the Men of Letters computer). None of these things contradicts the fact that Charlie has been the Damsel in Distress in all four of her appearances so far. Sure, she “saved the day” in true Mary Sue fashion in the climax – but that was after Dean made a much more important decision to get Samekiel to raise her from the dead after she stupidly got in front of the Witch’s death ray to “save” Dean in the first place.

The most ludicrous part of that was that we were supposed to see what she did as a Big Damn Hero moment rather than amateurish and incompetent. You don’t make it the some three decades Dean’s been in the Hunting world pulling that kind of idiotic crap. Get out of the way of the big green death ray, dummy.

And was I the only one who was disappointed when she was brought back? I’ll bet I wasn’t. Also, there appears to be a discontinuity with a major reveal later in the season, but we’ll get to that in later reviews. I just sincerely hope this is Thompson’s way of writing her out permanently without killing off his precious Creator’s Pet because I just don’t know if I can gag down another portion of Charlie Sue, especially since it seems to be getting worse not better each episode.

The Men of Letters black-and-white flashbacks had so much potential. Such a damned shame Thompson wasn’t even remotely interested in doing anything in depth with them. The younger guy was an idiot and the older guy was wasted. Their story was perfunctory and felt as though it just ended, with no resolution. Okay, so the younger guy died after coming out of the possession, but what about the older guy? How did this affect the opening of the Bunker? Why didn’t it occur to them that Dorothy and the Witch might not have just conveniently disappeared? I mean, didn’t they ever use that computer again?

And oh, the Witch. God, she was awful. Cartoonishly, ineptly awful. She couldn’t heal her own tongue enough to speak – but she could possess people with a single touch? Really? And she was indestructible … except when Charlie whacked her with a cheap red shoe from Payless? Oookay.

It saddens me more than a little that Thompson has taken the great, dark, accurate treatment of fairies in “Clap Your Hands If You Believe” and turned it (twice) into a cartoon. Not that Edlund’s constant homophobia jokes in that episode were a wonderful approach, but it’s not as though the perky caricature that is Charlie is much better. I want more fairies. I do not want to see Thompson doing them. Oz … well, I might have been interested in seeing more of that, but it would probably entail Charlie returning as all experienced and even more superawesome than ever. Barrrrrf, no. But Dorothy can come back on her own. Just not written by Thompson.

One thing I did find quite interesting was the scene where Dean begs Samekiel to resurrect Charlie. It’s kind of funny how at the time, people were complaining that it was too easy and how Samekiel was becoming the go-to healing angel. People are not complaining about that now, of course, but I’m digressing forward. Personally, even at the time, I felt that two resurrections in two episodes in a row were not meant to be lazy so much as significant. Granted, it’s a shame those episodes were written by the show’s two worst writers and a pretty good writer who declines considerably when writing his favoritest Author Insert character, but the resurrections themselves are still very important.

Too bad that was both one of the most interesting and one of the shortest parts of the episode.

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Fun lines:

Haggerty: It took three years to build this dump?
Jenkins: ‘Dump.’ ‘Dump?!’ Do you realize where we are? This ‘dump’ is the last beacon of true light in a world gone topsy-turvy. This ‘dump’ is epicenter of the ultimate chess match between Good and Evil!
[six months later] What a dump!

Dorothy [about her attempts to kill the Wicked Witch]: I have tried cutting off her head, burning her, dousing her with holy water. All she did was laugh. Nothing I know of can kill her.

Dorothy [about the Ruby Slippers]: I never actually wore them. Seemed tacky to wear a dead woman’s shoes. Besides, I’m no good in heels, y’know?

Sam: There’s no place like home.


Next Week: When the brothers investigate the death of a taxidermist, Dean takes a shaman’s potion to speak with the only witness – the man’s dog.


You can watch (or download) this episode, in standard or HD definition, on Amazon.com.


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About Paula R. Stiles

Paula is not at all paranoid about government conspiracies after six years in EMS, two years in Africa for the Peace Corps, a few summers with the Park Service, and ten years studying the Knights Templar. She's seen governments in action. They couldn't cover up a toy picnic table, let alone evidence of alien visitation. Writes about science for fun, history for money, and zombies for the company. You can read her sober-as-a-judge book about Templars in medieval Spain, Templar Convivencia, on Amazon. You can find her homepage at: http://thesnowleopard.net.

Paula R. StilesColumn: Gods and Monsters: Recap and Review: Supernatural 9.04: Slumber Party