ZOMG! They shot Charlie! How dare they shoot Charlie?!? Who do these people think they are????
That was my precise reaction within the first few minutes of this week’s Supernatural, which, in case you missed it, saw the return of the most adorkable hunter (now with a sword!!): Charlie. Yay Show! You brought her back for an episode! But, bad Show! No more killing off female characters!
Thankfully, Charlie doesn’t actually die from her wounds – in fact, she seems rather unconcerned with them. Her shooting – by a group of men who have been following her around the globe after she picked up a rather nifty Book of the Damned – seems more of a contrivance to get her calling everyone’s favourite brother duo rather than a significant plot point, but whatever. I’ll forgive you, Show. But only because Charlie’s back!!
Sam and Dean jump into action when they get Charlie’s call for help like true knights in shining armour. Problems arise, however, when they get Charlie hidden away with the book and the Mark of Cain turns out to have a serious boner for the book. The book ‘calls’ out for Dean and Dean, wisely, demands that they burn the book – it may have the cure for the Mark within it’s pages of unreadable text which is also in code (because duh, also write your secrets in both obscure language AND unbreakable code), but the pay-off for using the book will be biblical. And not in the good way either.
This, naturally, causes tension between Sam and Dean. Dean’s taken up the mantel of sacrificial brother for this season with Sam riding as the brother willing to let the world burn, if only to protect his somewhat awkward “brotherly” bonding moments. The constant reiteration of these roles is getting beyond tiresome, and it is seriously time for the writers to pull out some new trick, but I’ll stick it out just to see the fallout.
Things go from bad to worse, however, when the well-dressed badass bad guys (Kudos to guest star Jeff Branson for his portrayal – one of the best villain-of-the-week in a good while) turn up and start to lay all sorts of hurt out for the brothers and Charlie. Sam is forced to burn the book in order to stop it from falling into the wrong hands – or is he?
Meanwhile, Castiel and Metatron decide to star in possibility the worst dynamic duo pair-up in the history of bad dynamic duo pair-ups. Metatron begs Castiel to be his BFF forever (Puh-lease, Metatron – everyone knows Castiel and Dean are totally soul-bonded and no one or thing can come between them) and waxes poetic about the miracle of food and the path it takes through the human body. Castiel, for his part, calls Sam to see if he can kill Metatron. Right now. Pretty please. With a cherry on top.
Over the course of the episode, Metatron proves – once again – that he is not to be trusted, and Castiel proves – once again – that he’s a bit on the naïve side. It’s Castiel, so he manages to escape Metatron with his life and even reclaims his lost Grace (in a frankly horrifying mass-destruction of books. Moment of silence for all the books), but fails to escape the torture of Metatron belting out Alanis Morissette as Castiel almost chokes to death. Metatron – instead of killing the only being around that knows his master plan – manages to escape with the Demon Tablet, which is sure to cause all sorts of headaches for the future.
The end of the episode sees a rather shocking twist. Sam never actually burnt the book, instead hiding it away and then going to Public Enemy Number One – Rowena – for help in decoding the cure for the Mark. You’d think that the boy who once accidently opened the Gates of Hell probably would’ve figured out you don’t trust the bad guys by now, but alas, where would we be if the brothers weren’t constantly making stupid decisions?
All in all, the episode is a strong standout in a season of mediocre offerings. There was a nice balance of action and heart, and Sam’s confession to Charlie that he doesn’t want to go on without Dean was touching. Things are definitely heating up for the season finale, so it’s time to strap in (and maybe give Sam a knock around the head for being so brainless!).
Review by Hannah Fitzpatrick.