'Supernatural' Recap: Call Of Duty

April 25th, 2013 10:30am EDT

Supernatural "Pac-Man Fever" had the makings of being a marshmallow-light filler episode before the inevitable heaviness of the season finale, but somehow it became a heartwarming, colorful tearjerker with a side of exploding corpses.
Grab your tissues and let's dive in, shall we?
The Case
Although she arrived under to attend a non-existent mid-week comic convention, Charlie became the first the outsider to visit the the Winchester Batcave, complete with its mystical cloaking device. Since we last saw her in "LARP And The Real Girl," Charlie has been obsessively researching all things hunting and reading all of the Carver Edlund "Supernatural" books, which are now online. "Thanks for saving the world and stuff," she says to Dean, "Sorry about you have zero luck with the ladies," she winces to Sam.
The case she brought them involves victims with "liquified organs." Thanks to her handy tablet, which Sam adorably covets, she’s already eliminated the usual monsters-of-the-week. With Sam out of commission, Charlie literally jumps at the chance to tag along with Dean. After passing Dean's weapons test in the Batcave's gun range and creating her own "Pretty Woman"-esque montage to "Walking On Sunshine," Charlie, rockin' a serious pants suit and a new FBI credentials, heads into the field with Dean. Unfortunately, her field training is much harder than she imagined, thanks to the a corpse-blocking coroner, who not only requests the proper paperwork but is apparently immune to Dean's doe-eyed, pouty-lipped beauty. That alone is reason enough to suspect her, but her cold sourpuss pushed her to the top of the list.
After a few video-gaming tweens discover and pop another bloated body with goo-ified organs, a defiant Sam and Charlie break into the coroner's office and discover that the creepy M.E. had burned the bodies and faked the documents to cover her monstrous tracks. The infinite entries identifies the culprit as a darker species of Djinn that preys on fear.
One of the reasons Charlie is an interesting addition to the Winchester mythology is because she’s cloaked in mystery. We know from "The Girl With The Dungeons And Dragons Tattoo" that she was a nomadic hacker with at least a few aliases under her belt. This episode shed tragic light on her past. Her parents were t-boned by a drunk driver 16 years ago. Her father died, but her mother was left in a coma. She had worsened in the last year. Charlie had been using her hacking skills to funnel money to the hospital to pay for her mother’s care.
The Djinn had smelled and lusted after her fear of losing her mother and attacked her in her crashpad, taking her to an abandoned warehouse where Charlie could trip on the Djinn’s dark blue poison in private. It catapulted into an unfinished video game she'd stolen from the creators, re-designed and released for free as a child. Sam and Dean eventually kill her, but when the antedote7 doesn't work and Charlie literally begins to burn from the inside out, Dean takes African Dream Root to travel through Charlie's subconscious and save her, leaving a weakened Sam to protect them both.

There's nothing more that I love than Dean in full military dress, except maybe when he’s mother-henning his little brother or gossiping with Charlie. He finds Charlie, decked out in a costume that's equal parts "Tombraider's" Lara Croft and "Terminator T2's" duds. Dean and Charlie blast the supervamps with sexy gusto, working through the levels of the game and protecting the patients: Sam and Charlie's mom. Dean finally realizes that Charlie's fear, her inability to let go of the things she can't control, her guilt, is what is keeping her trapped there. "This poison is designed to to put your mind into an endless cycle while your insides turn to mush. It's fuel is fear. The only way to break the cycle is to let go of the fear and stop playing the game. You're afraid of losing [your mother], but she's already gone,” Dean explains.
I wasn't prepared for Charlie's tearful confessions that she can't let go of any part of her mother because her parents were driving over to the sleepover to get her because she got scared and wanted to come home. She just wants to be able to apologize to her mother and tell her she loves her. Felicia Day is a hilarious and talented actress, and it was a thrill to watch her dive into more of the darker moments. Nothing bonds the Winchesters to other souls like childhood trauma.
Once saved, Charlie finally decides to let go of her mother and her guilt and reads "The Hobbit" one more time as the world's sweetest goodbye. It's no mistake that she's reading the very beginning about hobbit hole being a place for comfort or solace. It's a subtle nod to the Winchesters' first home ever and the love that she found there.
The State Of The Brotherhood
If you thought the show would gloss over the consequences of Sam's hellacious journey in "Taxi Driver," you were delightfully mistaken. At the top of the episode, a mussy-hair Sammy weaves and winces out of his bedroom after sleeping for nearly a day and a half. He's weak and hurting and Dean immediately snaps into big brother mode and benches Sam from hunting until he’s better. In the beginning, it's a little funny with Dean ripping on Sam's mussed hair and tossing him a beer which Sam is too out of it to catch. "This is why we don't have nice things, Sam."
But when he starts stumbling and can't even hit a target with his trusty gun, Dean's mocking turns to poorly reined in fear. Sam is still tightly lipped about what he's going through, mumbling that he's fine, even though he’s red-eyed and rubber-legged. He's still ornery enough to ignore Dean's orders to rest, beat Dean to the coroner's office, and even ends up killing the second Djinn (a recently turned teenager who was too hungry to cover its tracks). Before she leaves, Charlie offers her own quirkl pep talk: "You know you're going to be okay, right? If anyone can get through those trials, Sam, it's you."
The episode ends with Dean hugging Sam for the second episode in a row, and Dean doing to a bit of letting go himself, telling Sam they "have a prophet to find." Charlie is a ray of sunshine and color into the Winchesters' lives and in this episode, she acted as their own personal cheerleader, reminding them of what they could do together, how much they had accomplished and who they really were. It's always bugged me that the Winchesters never had a sister, but I think now they finally do.
From A to F, "Girl With The Dungeons And Dragons Tattoo" to "Ghostfacers," this episode was an eccentric A-.
Next week, it all hits the fan.

Related: Felicia Day, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Supernatural, Starpulse Exclusives, Recaps, Television, Video, Comedy, Action & Adventure, Drama, Sexy Celebrities, Successful Celebrities, The CW, Spoilers

Photo Credits: The CW Network

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