Supernatural, S9 Ep04 – Slumber Party

Supernatural, s9 ep04--Charlie and Dorothy fighting possessed Sam and dean

I’ve noticed a lot of fans seemed to love this episode, so I feel kind of weird saying that I was pretty underwhelmed by the whole thing. It wasn’t bad, but the writing felt a little weak. Maybe I’m not used to episodes that aren’t filled with soul-crippling angst anymore—though I usually love the fun, lighter episodes. But this wasn’t as fun and light as I’d expected. And that’s disappointing because the last three episodes have been pretty good, with a few issues here and there, and usually I love Charlie’s episodes. But this one didn’t quite do it for me. Maybe it was because Oz was a little too over-the-top—it’s Supernatural, it’s kind of hard to get too over-the-top, but discovering that Oz is real was weird. I liked that they made it part of the fairy realm, that at least ties it into the mythology in a reasonable way, and that they toned down the Wicked Witch to fit more with Supernatural’s idea of what witches are like. I also liked that Dorothy was a hard-nosed hunter, a great twist to the story. (Speaking of Dorothy, we never found out how she came back to life.) But the concept in general just felt like it went too far.

Supernatural, s9 ep04--Charlie and Dorothy walking down the yellow brick roadThat said, I loved seeing Charlie again. And it’s interesting that this is her second fairy-related case. Does she have some sort of strange connection with the realm? Or does Robbie Thompson just enjoy writing about it? I also loved that Charlie was called in as their tech expert. But one thing: did she figure out how to track angels or not? That would be really nice to know.

Another thing I liked about Charlie’s role in this was how there were some interesting twists on gender roles. Charlie and Dorothy saved the day, while the boys were at the Witch’s mercy, and Charlie did it with high heels (cheap red pumps that didn’t exactly look like the usual ruby slippers, but maybe L. Frank Baum just loved exaggerating). She and Dorothy make a great pair—as friends or as something more—and I wish the spin-off was going to be about them kicking ass as freedom fighters in Oz. They worked great together, and a fantasy/supernatural show with two women as the leads fighting a magical war in another realm has been on my wishlist for years.

My favorite part, though, was that Charlie didn’t die. I mean, she did, but only for a little while. The episode ended with Charlie getting the magical quest she’s always wanted. I like to think this isn’t the last we’ll see of her, but even if it is, this is a far better send off than what most characters on this show get. She didn’t die, lose her memory, or get trapped in Hell. Her dream came true—an extremely dangerous dream, I’ll give you that, but she can take pretty good care of herself. This could be the only happy ending any of the characters ever get, so I’ll take it. But I do hope it’s not the end for her. She and Dean have a lot more LARPing to do.

Speaking of her temporary death, Zeke is getting to be too much of a deus ex machina, more so than Castiel ever was. He’s saved the day in the past four episodes, saving Sam’s life, Castiel’s life, and now Charlie’s. That must be why the writers felt the need to have him mention that he needs to recharge his batteries, so no more bringing back Dean’s dead friends from here on out. And I really hate how Dean has to lie more and more about it. I’m glad that Charlie caught on to something hinky going down, but what about Sam? He heard Dean call out “Zeke,” so is he going to figure things out soon? I hope so, because Dean fumbling for an explanation each time Zeke pops out is getting to be too much like a sitcom. It’s overplayed, and we’re only four episodes in.

Supernatural, s9 ep04--The two Men of Letters members from the 1930s flashback

Hello, old sport.

I think I was also expecting something more from this episode about the Men of Letters. We had been promised a flashback to when they were still up and running, but we only got a few glimpses of what it was like back then. It’s cool that they’ve expanded their sets to include a kitchen, garage, and computer room, and good job on bringing one of those random objects Dean had been going through last season into the mix, but I’m still waiting for some more origin story development on these guys. In the early days of the show, hunters were these mysterious guys who’d just happened to figure the supernatural world out, rogues and outlaws fighting the dark forces on their own and only held together in a loosely knit group. The mystery about hunters worked because, as we saw, hunters often figured things out after being hit personally by supernatural forces. But where did the Men of Letters come from? We’ve gotten some info, but I’d love more. Hopefully that’s what we have in store for this season, but I was disappointed we didn’t get much in this episode.

I was also hoping for more about Cas, because the last episode had him coerced into sex under false pretenses, tortured, murdered, brought back to life, and then kicked out by the person he cares about the most. And all we get here is a couple sentences of Dean lying about why Cas left. I hate when this show shunts off characters for a standalone episode, not giving the much needed emotional and informational follow up needed to explain what’s going. Where did Cas go? Did they at least pack him some clothes and food before tossing him out? And don’t get me started on Kevin.

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