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Supernatural Review: Return of the Queen

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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
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (152 Votes)

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

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Jefferson Starship: Sam and Dean still having fun? Sam wasn't having any fun - he is flat and dull. Dean had fun. Jensen is putting in the effort, but something must be off about Jared - perhaps he doesn't like the direction his character is going (and frankly I don't blame him). Hope they don't bring back Charlie - SPN is not a comedy, it is SPN.
My sentiments exactly!!!!

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Another plot-hole: Why didn't Purgatory reject Castiel in the same way it rejected Dean. Benny could get out of Purgatory because he was once human. Benny said, "take away the fangs and the fun, and I was born human." Castiel is an angel, not a monster, so Purgatory should have rejected him, too. Also, take away the feathers and the fun, his vessel is human. It should have been easy for him to get out. I agree that S8 is failing. I sincerely hope it improves. Agree this LARPing episode was almost silly. Hate the way that Garth is taking over Bobby's role (he is an annoying character, and I don't know why the writers insist on keeping him). Thank God Amelia is gone!

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Agree plot-holes in S8 bad. Also scripts - Amelia said "I hate motels," during her very unromantic post love scene with half-asleep Sam. If she hated motels, then why did she live in one? Sam said he feared the YED had Amelia, which is why he panicked over her text. If YED was burning her on ceiling, how would she have time to send a text instead of just calling? Amelia was nasty to him, so why did he give up hunting to be with her? When her father was rude to him she didn't defend him (btw, was that script supposed to be 'cute' - "don't mention the words moist or irregardless"). When Amelia met Sam in the bar at the end of mid-season finale, he looked horrified (like he was looking at Lucifer). When Dean showed up at motel, Sam asked "long drive?", when he had driven from the same place in Martin's car.

Fifty

Nice break from the dark theme of s08. Jenson was off da hook in this ep and nice addition with the queen as well. Most of the time when Supernatural try to add a fun episode it works like magic. Keep it up.

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IMO S8 is disappointing. S7 was bad, but I am finding S8 very slow moving. Have they forgotten the story arc of closing the gates to Hell (even though I dislike the Kevin character, they need to get to the point of this story-arc). The characters this season are obnoxious and annoying. Kevin is unconvincing as a prophet, and I hope we don't have to see his mother again with her water-pistols. The plot-holes are annoying. Where are the remaining archangels, and why didn't they protect Kevin? Why couldn't the vampires hear or smell Dean on the boat? The scripts are terrible - remember Sam's line to Amelia, "I'll probably go to hell for saying this, but..." Don't the writers know that he has been to Hell? A person who has been to Hell wouldn't say that expression.

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@Silver. What goofiness? Sam and Dean still having fun? Sam wasn't having any fun - he is flat and dull. Dean had fun. Jensen is putting in the effort, but something must be off about Jared - perhaps he doesn't like the direction his character is going (and frankly I don't blame him). Hope they don't bring back Charlie - SPN is not a comedy, it is SPN.
@Tiddlywinks. My sentiments exactly. I struggle to agree that Sam "wanted a normal life" and that he would choose to do it with Dean missing. His "normal" life was a boring life (which robbed me of a large amount of SPN viewing time). I don't watch SPN to see the star of the show fixing sinks or drying dishes.

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This episode was silly, and Sam still dull and half-asleep. Yes, he had more chemistry with the girl who played the LARP chick, though. Charlie talking about Sam's "chance of normal life", and bit about the text message was irritating. They need to stop bringing up the Amelia character, it was an unpleasant story. Also, to have Sam commit adultery was bad writing - he is supposed to be the star of the show, and indifference to Dean's disappearance cowardly. This episode bordered on silly - the William Wallace bit at the end had no place on SPN. The bit about the fairy was against canon - we saw fairies in S6, and they are evil. Also, the motivation to commit murder was unconvincing. The writers tried too hard to be "funny" which doesn't always work. Come on writers!

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cool episode! 5/5 stars.

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it's very splendid Arts very Beautiful the first Number One..
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cont....the boys during a Con what they think of Sam's decision. Also, I still don t understand why Bobby had to die :(

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