Supernatural: Pac-Man Fever


Charlie: "Real life role-playing is hard."

That was just lovely.

I've talked before about how this freaking show can't hold on to a good female character, but their luck may have changed. You wouldn't think a character like Charlie would fit in so well in the Supernatural-verse, but does she ever. And it made sense that exposure to the boys would make her start hunting. The only real difference was that while Charlie lost her parents tragically when she was a child, she didn't lose them to monsters. (Although one could argue that drunk drivers are a special type of monster.)

There was this lovely little sister vibe going on between Dean and Charlie as he took her out shopping for her very own FBI duds ("Montage!") and on the job with him as special agents Hicks and Ripley (I sure knew where those names came from). She got the hang of it remarkably fast; she even pulled off asking a djinn for fashion advice.

And how nice that the boys got a local case so that they could hang around the Batcave, which gets more awesome every week. A gun range? A dead zone for cell phones? I also liked revisiting good stuff from previous episodes, like the Carver Edlund books, the djinns, and the dream potion. And while they were on the job, Charlie held the FBI badge upside down, like Castiel did the first time he worked a job with Dean.

In the end, after defeating the djinn together, Dean and Charlie were both able to "let go" of their loved one. The hugs at the end -- Dean and Charlie, and then Dean and Sam -- actually got to me. It was way past time for Dean to let Sam make his own decisions. And when Charlie went into her mother's hospital room, all I could think of was, please don't let something jump out at her. Please don't let her mother be possesed by demons or something. Just let it be a nice, touching ending. And it was.

Charlie uses famous writers' last names as aliases: Bradbury, LeGuin, Tolkien. But apparently, her real surname is Milton. Yes, John Milton, another famous writer, but do you all recall that Anna the angel's last name was also Milton? Notice a physical resemblance? Was this just eight-seasons-too-much-stuff-to-keep-track-of, or was it deliberate? And if it was deliberate, what does it mean?

At any rate, I want more Charlie. Couldn't she come back next season and dig through the Men of Letters archives?

Bits and pieces:

-- The djinn's name was Jennifer. Or possibly Djinnifer.

-- The title of the episode should have clued me in that the opener was a dreamscape, but no: I thought we'd gone back in time again and that it was somehow related to the Men of Letters bunker.

-- Loved the eyepatch and bandoliers.

-- Yes, I enjoyed Charlie's little fashion show set to "Walking on Sunshine". But honestly, does Jensen Ackles rock a costume, or what? He looked better than a recruiting poster in that uniform from 1951.

-- This week: in and around the bunker in Kansas.

Quotes:

(Dean tosses Sam a beer. Sam misses it. Beer and glass everywhere.)
Dean: "That's why we don't have nice things, Sam."

Charlie: "Did those books really happen? Wow. That is some meta madness. Thanks for saving the world and stuff. (To Sam) Sorry you have zero luck with the ladies."
Sam: "We need to find every single copy of those books and burn them."
Charlie: "They're online now, so good luck with that."

Charlie: "What about Castiel? He seems helpful and dreamy."

Dean: "Charlie, talk to the witness."
Charlie: "But I don't want to miss the bro-ment."

Dean: "Who the hell is she, Jason Bourne?"

Djinn: "You're not going anywhere."
Charlie: "Wilhelm scream."
Djinn: "Do you know what I smell on you?"
Charlie: "Deodorant? A little pee, maybe?"

Charlie: "Come with me if you want to live. I've always wanted to say that."

Charlie: "It's an infinite loop, like Pac-Man without level 256."
Dean: "Level what?"
Charlie: "Nothing."
Apparently, if you survive to level 256, the game crashes.

Charlie: "I love you."
Dean: "I know."

Outstanding. Four out of four Wilhelm screams,

Billie

11 comments:

sunbunny said...

I hadn't seen any previews for this one, so I too thought we'd be getting a time travel ep! Of course, the title really wouldn't have made much sense if it was time travel...

'Djinnifer?' Hilarious.

I was so, so scared Charlie was going to die. But she survived! And got even closer to our boys. I love the Winchesters' created family. She is such a good little sister for them. Brave, but vulnerable, fun, and crazy smart. I'd say I wish they would have her around more, but that would drastically increase the likelihood of her death.

Felicia Day totally made me cry, I am unashamed to admit. She's Alyson Hannigan-esque in her ability to make me cry. I mean, that scene reading The Hobbit to her mom? Did it remind anyone else of "A Hole in the World?"

Billie Doux said...

Yes, Felicia Day definitely got to me. Her last two times on this show were mostly comedic and it was a nice reminder of what a terrific dramatic actress she is as well. And I just realized that thing about the Hobbit starting by describing a lovely hole in the ground could have been a nod to the MoL bunker, too.

Anonymous said...

Marvelous ep, way better than the other two featuring Charlie. Her backstory was poignant and sad, and I cried when she was reading to her mother at the end--and when Dean and Sam hugged. Loved the gun range in the Bat Cave, and that Sam, weak as he was, saved the day.

This was one of those eps I'll watch over and over.

Love,
Robin

Jenne said...

Outstanding episode. I just love Felicia Day. She's a member of my personal Holy Trinity of TV Cuteness (the other two being Alyson Hannigan and Amy Acker). And she fits with the Winchesters like their sister or something - the hugs at the end were definitely sibling-like. The Winchester seriously need a woman in their lives who won't die after a couple of episodes - fingers crossed!

I loved the other stuff too. The video game dreamverse was cool, but the best moment was the shopping montage - I kept laughing all the way through!

And Billie, I thought Charlie's last name was Middleton, not Milton. And apparently, the almighty wiki thinks so too: http://www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=Charlie_Bradbury
So she might not be related to Anna after all. But the resemblance is definitely there, I agree with that! :)

Mark Greig said...

I'm not going to hide it, I cried. More than once. Great episode.

Jess Lynde said...

Yeah, I cried, too. Granted, I'm pretty easy on that score, but when Charlie pulled out The Hobbit and said, "One last time" (or something close to that) I just lost it.

I'm glad that we got to return to Charlie this way. After the last outing, I was less than thrilled when I saw the promo for this one, thinking we'd get another goofy one-off. But this was anything but that, and I'm so pleased to have been wrong.

Katherine said...

I have to give kudos to TPTB in T V land for putting this stuff up on Netflix. It drew me into Lost, which drew me to your site (which I prefer btw), and also it Once Upon a Time and now Supernatural.

I was motivated to find out what channel CW was and set up the TIVO to record, I even sat through some of the commercials, which seem to have gotten more entertaining since the last time I let one glance off my eyeballs.

Your writing though gets my highest praise. You manage to review, but not spoil. The producers of these shows must be deeply gratified to have such an intelligent, grown up group looking at their work. I hope in some way they are able to reach out to you to say, “Thank you”.

My daughter is a big Felicia Day fan and of course I have read The Hobbit to her and I cried at the end. I can’t wait to watch this with her.

Thank you for this site and your writing.

Billie Doux said...

What a lovely, lovely comment, Katherine. Thank you *so* much.

Your Modest Guru said...

Still blows me away how they've kept the show so consistently good for so long.

Felicia Day as Charlie works so well. And yeah, even before Dean said it a season or two back, I thought it was a perfect little sister dynamic.

As fun as Bobby's cabin or The Roadhouse were, I love the hell out of the Men of Letters HQ. The brothers have been through hell and back, the least they can get is a cool, untraceable, resourceful crib.

Anonymous said...

I completely loved this episode. It was really funny, I especially loved the "Montage" to Walking on Sunshine music yet it was completelu heartwarming with Charlie´s background. Those hugs and the ending just made me cry.

PS - Jensen is smoking hot in that uniform.

ChrisB said...

I'm not entirely sure why but this one got to me. I cried through a lot of it. Sam being sick; Dean being overprotective; the dream with Sam in the bed all made me weepy.

The end? I completely lost it. Charlie reading to her mom and Dean hugging Sam -- I'm welling up just typing this.

Like Robin, this is one I will watch over and over again.