Supernatural

Tuesdays 9:00 PM on The CW
Supernatural
TV Fanatic Works Better with Prime Instant Video
40,000 other titles are available to watch now.

Supernatural Review: Return of the Queen

by at . Comments

Supernatural Season 8 has been pretty dark when you really think about it.

Crowley's stepped up his game by killing people with the snap of his fingers, the angels are potentially being controlled into not doing heavenly good things, Bobby is gone and the brothers have both taken paths that have left some heavy emotional scars.

This is especially the case considering the final moments of "Torn and Frayed," with Dean letting Benny go and Sam deciding to leave Amelia behind. These two have been through the ringer when it comes to heavy stuff, even towards each other, so the real question lay in what the journey forward would be.

"LARP and the Real Girl" was a nice break from all of those huge problems, simply giving Sam and Dean the chance to have a little fun, with the recognition that even though they can't erase the past, they can build towards a better future. Just probably not with foam swords all the time.

Ready to LARP!

This was the kind of goofy, enjoyable episode that the season needed to remind fans and viewers that the show doesn't have to be trapped within crazy drama and overly powerful supernatural beings - it can be entertaining when dealing with the regular hunt and a regular person caught in the middle. And it a lot of ways, it really reminded Sam and Dean that they, too, can partake in fun in between saving the world.

The only other time I've really seen live action role playing (or LARP) was on the movie Role Models, which also sort of spoofed on the particular world. There was no KISS battle scene or a mouthy kid here, but there was plenty of jokes about the game itself.

And it was rather enjoyable seeing Sam and Dean - normally so natural in their element - be a bit off put by all the orcs, elves and magi. It was even humorous that their fake IDs were noticed right away, from someone you never thought would possibly question their FBI status.

Of course, bringing back Felicia Day as Charlie was a fantastic idea and she fit perfectly into the world and the episode itself. What better way to make her return then by making her queen of the LARPers?

I enjoyed Charlie back when she was helping fight the Leviathan in "The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo," although I was less enamored with the heist type setup that played out.

Still, her return felt so natural and her rapport with Sam and Dean felt so honest, that it was hard not smiling anytime she was on screen. Did anyone catch her Star Wars references, from replying "I know" to an "I love you" or exclaiming to the fairy that she's here to rescue her?

It was even nice seeing her give a candid outside perspective about Dean tricking Sam with the text or Dean letting Benny go. She wasn't judging the situation, but rather acting as his friend.

Really, Charlie has a lot in common with Dean. She did recognize the porn star name at the exact same time as him, right?

Although, it was funny that Dean was the first to really start getting into the game and becoming the hand maiden. Even trying to fight Gerry with the foam sword only to watch it get chopped in half added to the comical situations of the episode.

It was interesting to see Sam get hit on by the girl, especially because we usually see Dean in that role more often. And I knew he'd never go for her flirtation or invitation because he did just let the love of his life go, so maybe it was just me... but it felt like he had more chemistry with her than he did Amelia.

I know the whole Amelia and Sam relationship is its own bag of worms, but I think he recognized - and at the same time this episode sort of pointed out - that even when he and Dean try to escape that monster hunting life, it's where they truly belong.

Plus, if they weren't on regular jobs like the LARP one, they would never get to see babe on fairy babe action. That just doesn't happen in the normal life. It's nice to see the boys having fun again, isn't it?

And, sure, Sam needs time to be able to move on, but it was a great step in the right direction by acknowledging that they both need a little fun to be able to do so.

I can only imagine how many times that final scene had to be done because it was hilarious. Dean's passionate Braveheart speech interrupted by the random frisbee player followed by a slow motion charge of the Winchester brothers in full LARP garb? Priceless.

I'm sure everyone must have had a ball making this episode.

As much as I really enjoy the major mythology stuff, I'm glad that the hour sort of reinvigorated the fun aspect for Sam and Dean. I get it, their life is hard, their choices are hard, their journey is hard, but it's still nice to see the brothers enjoy themselves once in a while.

I wonder who won that final battle?

What did you think of the episode and the return of Charlie? Was it fantastic fun or do you want to get back to the angel conspiracy? Sound off below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
  • 4.2 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (152 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

Tags: ,
Avatar

I thought this episode was adorable. I loved that the boys re-centered...forgave each other; found each other. It's what siblings do. Sometimes they have terrible fights, sometimes they separate or don't talk for a while...but they don't stop loving one another.Forgiveness and love win the day. Personally, I think Garth is great. Just in small doses. He's the perfect desk jockey for the community. I think he totally found his calling. And...I think it was entirely normal for Dean to relate to Charlie as he did. She is, in his world, what we would call an "old friend." One who knows who he is, what he and Sam do. One he can be completely at ease with. Who is still alive! There are not many of those people in the boys' lives. So glad they found one. I have to admit, I replayed the "Belladonna" bit several times. Sam's nonplussed look and pause is simply priceless. And the moment of Dean looking at the war board and instantly knowing how to improve the battle tactics was golden. It said so much about his skill-set and talents. Reminded us, even in a humorous moment, just how lethal, well-trained and dangerous this man is. And, in total agreement with the reviewer, I am simply in love with the last scene. Even though Sam's remark to Charlie, "that's the only speech he knows", seemed to be a little dismissive, surely Sam has to admit, the one speech Dean knows was perfect for the occasion. And seriously, how many of us know even ONE speech that we could use to inspire an army? Just sayin'.

Avatar

I thought this episode was adorable. I loved that the boys re-centered...forgave each other; found each other. It's what siblings do. Sometimes they have terrible fights, sometimes they separate or don't talk for a while...but they don't stop loving one another. Forgiveness and love win the day. Personally, I think Garth is great. Just in small doses. He's the perfect desk jockey for the community. I think he totally found his calling. And...I think it was entirely normal for Dean to relate to Charlie as he did. She is, in his world, what we would call an "old friend." One who knows who he is, what he and Sam do. One he can be completely at ease with. Who is still alive! There are not many of those people in the boys' lives. So glad they found one. I have to admit, I replayed the "Belladonna" bit several times. Sam's nonplussed look and pause is simply priceless. And the moment of Dean looking at the war board and instantly knowing how to improve the battle tactics was golden. It said so much about his skill-set and talents. Reminded us, even in a humorous moment, just how lethal, well-trained and dangerous this man is. And, in total agreement with the reviewer, I am simply in love with the last scene. Even though Sam's remark to Charlie, "that's the only speech he knows", seemed to be a little dismissive, surely Sam has to admit, the one speech Dean knows was perfect for the occasion. And seriously, how many of us know even ONE speech that we could use to inspire an army? Just sayin'.

Avatar

@Salt and Symbols. I agree,they need to get brave, intelligent hunters back into the show. They need to stop the Garth rubbish. I agree with you regarding the new characters - I don't like Garth, Charlie, Teenage Tran or Tiger Mommy, either. The show needs to stop trying to force these unimaginative cliched characters down our throats, and give us some characters with substance. Bring back the hunters! (At least Amelia seems to have gone).

Avatar

(cont'd) I know there is a mytharc somewhere within the season -- something about angels and demons and tablets. I want them to move away from the brother angst and onto the story and, wishfully, let the Winchesters at least be the muscle for whichever random support character they decide will carry humanity's banner into victory.

Avatar

While there was so much to like about this episode, one scene ruined the whole thing for me. Charlie, random girl off the street, pointing out what a dick Dean is to Sam and Dean, for the second time, admitting that everything wrong about the brothers' relationship is his fault; i.e., reset to Sam the Reluctant Hero and Dean, Sam's handmaiden. I am not so emotionally sensitive that I need stroking ever so often to calm myself down over all the terrible things the Winchesters have to go through. They manage to get the message across in every single episode that they are doomed to misery, not worthy of a normal life but heroically carrying on. Meanwhile, in this episode, Charlie is the one that stepped up to be the hero and still managed NOT TO MOPE. I wanted Carver to expand the SPNverse, but with believable characters, not village idiots elevated to Bobby status and cutesy Charlie. How about some believable, and actual, hunters. I don't like Garth, Charlie or teen Tran and Mama. Benny was an excellent character, but they've turned him into a needy junkie and I have to ask, what was the purpose of even having him in the season? I know there's a mytharc in here somewhere; something about angels and demons and tablets. I'm hoping they move that story on now and let the brothers at least be the muscle for whichever support character they decide will carry humanity's banner to victory this season.

Avatar

I have to say loved the episode. Really like how Charlie works with the brothers. Just like a the little sister they never wanted. For everyone that is complaining about Sam you are getting just what you asked for and that is for S8 to be more like S1 & S2. Sam has always has been and always will be a spoiled little self centered brat. Lets take a look back. Sam went off to college to get away from John. So why didn't he keep in touch with Dean? Oh yeah he had a safe life with Jessica away from Dean and of course she also knew nothing of his real life. He was going to ask her to marry him. So how is it that he found something with Amelia he had never had before??? So what now Jessica is chopped liver? I guess normalcy and safe are different.but really. I think we tolerated it more because he was younger and had that boyish puppy dog charm. Not the same as he has grown older he does seem to care more of the soulless Sam with him then we had hoped. But none the less, Sam has always loved his brother but never really expressed. Everything good or bad has always somehow been Dean's fault or because of Dean. Sam's character has always been a bit boring and Dean's more playful even though Dean has always been the one to carry the burden. If you go back through the years you will continue to see Sam pouting and brooding. Dean has always asked or told Sam they need to have some fun along the way. Good gosh in the third episode which is quite ironic Sam said to Dean, people don't go missing people just stop looking for them. Dean referring to the waitress told Sam now that's fun. Remember in the episode where the teenager takes over Sam's body and he and Dean kill a witch then go for drinks and burgers they were actually drinking together it was mentioned that they have not done that in a long time. Or in The eps when Dean was bitten by a vampire they were a the Black Rosé and Dean commented on them having a beer together. Dean has always been the humor on the show sadly most of the time the joke is at his expense.
Lets also remember Dean did not force Sam back into hunting, Sam left Amelia because her dead husband came back. He mad the choice, Dean just happened to be at Rufus's cabin when he got there. Unlike when Sam pulled Dean back into hunting when he was with Lisa and Ben,even when he told Sam he was out. And again Sam deliberately let Dean think he was dead for over a year until he needed for Dean to know the truth. I think Sam is more pissed that Dean is back then he was upset that Dean was dead. Sam is no longer his own man to make decisions for himself he now has to answer to Dean like when he did before. So S Sam is still the same guy just a little older and a little a little more boring, not so much boyish charm. Sam was never really happy to begin with.

Avatar

I have to say loved the episode. Really like how Charlie works with the brothers. Just like a the little sister they never wanted. For everyone that is complaining about Sam you are getting just what you asked for and that is for S8 to be more like S1 & S2. Sam has always has been and always will be a spoiled little self centered brat. Lets take a look back. Sam went off to college to get away from John. So why didn't he keep in touch with Dean? Oh yeah he had a safe life with Jessica away from Dean and of course she also knew nothing of his real life. He was going to ask her to marry him. So how is it that he found something with Amelia he had never had before??? So what now Jessica is chopped liver? I guess normalcy and safe are different.but really. I think we tolerated it more because he was younger and had that boyish puppy dog charm. Not the same as he has grown older he does seem to care more of the soulless Sam with him then we had hoped. But none the less, Sam has always loved his brother but never really expressed. Everything good or bad has always somehow been Dean's fault or because of Dean. Sam's character has always been a bit boring and Dean's more playful even though Dean has always been the one to carry the burden. If you go back through the years you will continue to see Sam pouting and brooding. Dean has always asked or told Sam they need to have some fun along the way. Good gosh in the third episode which is quite ironic Sam said to Dean, people don't go missing people just stop looking for them. Dean referring to the waitress told Sam now that's fun. Remember in the episode where the teenager takes over Sam's body and he and Dean kill a witch then go for drinks and burgers

Aries93

I don't think I've ever been so bored with an episode of Supernatural.

Avatar

This episode was irritating and stupid. What about Cas killing Samandriel, and the Naomi story. There should have been a follow through. This episode was badly placed. Also, it started off with the mention of Garth - an ANNOYING character (it is offensive that the writers think he is a good replacement for Bobby). Also, why would Dean tell Charlie all about his and Sam's diagreements? It is offensive that the writers think that we will symapthize with Sam who was committing adultery. Amelia went back to her husband and wanted a relationship with Sam at the same time - sorry writers, but that story sucked. No more Charlie, please. And no more Garth. Also, fairies are supposed to be evil, remember, not "damsels in distress."

Avatar

@Fifty. A fun episode does work, but it needs to be a good fun episode. The earlier seasons had good fun ones, such as the Christmas one, the Chuck ones and the Trickster ones. This Charlie one wasn't a good episode, as it was a bit tacky and forced. The timing of the episode was bad, (they slotted it in a part where they should have explained Naomi), and there was no mention of Cas (Sam & Dean should have been a bit worried at least). Dean should have been more upset about Benny, as he and Benny WERE friends as opposed to Sam & Amelia (who had nothing in common). In reference to your "dark theme of S8" - I fail to see the dark theme coming together. I hope you weren't referring to the Amelia rubbish. I hope you were referring to the Naomi scenario, which is slow in coming together.

× Close Ad