Supernatural is here for week four, and they’ve brought back everyone’s favourite guest star Felicia Day as Charlie Bradbury! And by “everyone,” I mean, “people who apparently exist and who definitely aren’t The Resident or Dr. Improbable.” Because, seriously guys, we're all for fighting the patriarchy and recognising that women can hold their own with the menfolk, but can we all just acknowledge that Ms. Day is not a terribly great actress? And that all of her lines are terrible? And that she ruins the perfectly brilliant co-dependent vibe of the Winchesters?
And what exactly has Charlie been up to while the world was ending? Fighting a teenage vampire and some ghosts. Because she's totally a Hunter, you guys! A girl Hunter! That's totally never happened before. Except it has. Ellen was a Hunter. Jo was a Hunter. You are standing on the shoulders of giants, missy. Okay, /rant.
Anyway, the boys argue about whether they’ll ever find a home and then they settle down to watch Game of Thrones (because of course Sam likes GoT). Charlie gushes to Sam about wanting magic and adventure in her life, because apparently the mundane reality of the Supernatural Universe isn’t good enough for her, even though that’s half the fucking appeal of this show, idiot. (Other half: pretty boys with doleful eyes.) Sam, who has been at like the epicentre of all major magical quests in the entire world for the better part of nine years, doesn't share her concerns.
In the midst of this mini-family reunion we are treated to some flashbacks to the early 1950's, where (when?) the Men of Letters are being decidedly misogynistic towards Dorothy. As in the Dorothy, she of the stolen shoes and catchy tunes, who is apparently famous even among the Hunters and Men of Letters. Homegirl helps them battle the Wicked Witch of the West, who has travelled to our world via a portal from Oz. (I double-checked and we’re definitely watching Supernatural, not Once Upon a Time.) Dorothy traps the witch's soul in a jar, along with her own, when no other option seems available.
Of course, sixty-some-odd years later, Sam and Dean manage to break this jar while messing around with the ancient computer that magically runs their batcave. As in, literally, they don't know how it runs without electricity. Tesla? Merlin? (Same difference.) Instead of checking the MSDS for proper spill protocol (good thing the Men of Letters didn't have a Quality and Regulatory department or they would have been pissed), Dean haphazardly places the broken jar on a shelf. They call in Charlie to help with the computer and notice that said jar has oozed out a tasteful carbonite cocoon. Dean, being his blockhead self, cuts it open and Dorothy emerges like a heavy metal butterfly.
Dorothy quickly explains that the witch is likely free too, since they were trapped together. Our intrepid band sets off in search of Elphaba, who is decidedly less green in this iteration. In fact, the only thing green about her is the colour of her mind control magic. Meanwhile, Elphie’s chatting…erm, screeching… with Crowley, asking him for a key. He bargains this information to the Winchesters for a bit of a stretch. Besides no longer being chained by the neck for a bit, I’m not entirely clear on what he gained from that. He's still held by the Devil's Trap, and he doesn't have Kevin to emotionally torture this week.
But this is family issues week, apparently, because we also get a little glimpse into Dorothy's past. Her problem is that her dad, also known as Frank L. Baum, spent so much time writing make-believe stories about her “adventures” in Oz (which weren’t nearly as peachy as the Judy Garland version) he never paid any attention to what she was truly struggling with. Which was... growing up? Being a Hunter? Having two X chromosomes? It was vague, but I like to imagine it's like Indy's relationship with his dad in The Last Crusade.
The witch sneaks about trying to murder the Winchesters (join the club, lady). She nearly ices Dean, but Charlie literally dives in to save him, icing herself in the process. Sam runs in to see she’s dead; Dean calls for Zeke, who shows up and magically fixes everything, yet again prolonging his stay in Sam’s body because the writers are going to milk this for as long as they can. (Come on Doc, who doesn't love wooden Padalecki?) (Why would you set me up so perfectly for an erect penis joke, Res?)
The WWotW eventually commandeers the boys’ bodies to attack Charlie and Dorothy while simultaneously opening a portal back to the decidedly unlovely and polluted Oz. Charlie helps Dorothy realise that her bookworm father was leaving her clues for fighting the witch when he wrote the Wizard of Oz books; Dorothy suddenly recalls she’s still got some “ruby slippers” (gawd, they’re just red patent leather pumps, which are like $15.99 at Target) that can slow down the witch. Anyone else bothered by the subtext here? Women's weakness being shoes? No? ‘K.
Dorothy is delayed by the possessed Sam nearly killing her. Charlie runs off with the shoes and stops the witch by –no joke –stabbing her with the heels. She even says “heel” as a witty one-liner. Oh Christ Charlie is a cliché wrapped in a trope served on a bed of overwrought grade-school acting. Why do they try so hard with her? Stop trying to make Charlie happen; Charlie is never going to happen.
After successfully defeating the witch, the boys are free. Dorothy has to return to Oz to fight the good fight and Charlie goes along with her to listen to AC/DC for the rest of her days and hopefully be done ruining otherwise palatable episodes.
Still so many secrets. Still so many feels ahead.
Next week: DEAN IS DOGE! And Doc promises not to make only shibe pictures!
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