Just looking at the previews told us that “The Girl With The Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” would not be an angst ridden, gut wrenching, emotional powerhouse while finally unfolding the long stagnant Leviathan plot.  It even hinted that Sam and Dean would have to surrender a lot of the spotlight to this week’s guest stars.  Previews set the expectations, and I do have to admit my expectations were very low.  I’m kind of shocked that the episode wildly exceeded them by many miles.  I’m thrilled actually. 
 
I absolutely loved “The Girl With The Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo.”  Pleasant surprises have been few and far between in “Supernatural’s” season seven.  For one, the stunt casting of a big named guest star has usually not worked in this show’s favor.  If you recall in the past, big named guest stars have not been treated with the greatest of care.  “Shut Up, Dr. Phil” was lackluster and not something brilliant that James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter could sink their teeth into (even though they were very fun to watch).  DJ Qualls brought a lovable character to life in Garth, but the two episodes he was part of were easily two of the season’s worst.  I remember Michael Shanks’ nonexistent role in “99 Problems” and we won’t even talk about Paris Hilton. 
 
“The Girl With The Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” was the best use of a big named guest star ever in this series.  I’m not very familiar with Felicia Day’s work, although I did  see Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and loved her in that.  Perhaps it’s personal preference, but I love geek humor.  I do work in IT after all.  Robbie Thompson got it pretty much right.  Cubes decorated with all sorts of geeky pop culture objects, posters, and yes, even Batman and Wonder Woman mugs.  Believe me, they weren’t overdoing it.  The dorkier references were plentiful and they were dead on each time.  Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of The Rings, and my husband really geeked out over the WarGames reference.  Those brought back serious memories for him.  
 
It isn’t just the geek stuff, which is what made me a huge “Chuck” fan from the word go.  Charlie was written as smart, quirky, a quick thinker, and had a real strength of character.  I love her quick realization that she had to help everyone she knew.  “What sort of a douchebag stands by for that?”  She was real though.  She did quiver in the presence of Dick Roman.  He frightened her.  She had real fears before breaking into his office, but one recollection of her hero Hermione Granger fixed all that.  Come on, who hasn’t drawn inspiration from a pop culture hero to get through a crisis?  Lord knows enough of us think of Sam and Dean overcoming odds during times of strife.  
 
I’ve only seen one episode of “Leverage” but it was enough for me to get why that show would be compared to this episode.  I was thinking a scaled down version of Ocean’s Eleven myself.  “Supernatural” has had a lot of success in trying to pay homage to genres that are not the norm, and this episode is no exception.  It was brilliantly done at all levels, very slick, and there was an amazing attention to detail.  I loved it when Sam took a small moment to mention that all that fancy surveillance equipment was setup by Charlie.  I smile that the writer Robbie Thompson imagined all the discussions that could have happened on the boards suspending disbelief that Sam and Dean would know how to do all that just by watching Frank.  

 
Speaking of Sam and Dean, I’ve read the complaints of disappointment that the boys were once again pushed to supporting characters.  That’s true, but you do have to remember the premise here.  They were out of their element.  They still brought their strengths, and that was finding Charlie and convincing her to help.  They do have some powers of persuasion!  They also had her back and were there to protect her.  And that’s where Bobby came in too.  His smile while riding the elevator with Charlie was so wonderful to see.  He did his part and kept that watchful eye, getting Charlie out of that jam in Dick Roman’s office.  
 
They were all team, and that’s what I loved the most about this episode.  It’s exactly why I’ve been groaning a lot this season that Bobby and Castiel have been missed.  When those four work together as a team, each bringing their A game, it’s usually awesome.  I don’t mind Sam and Dean playing supporting players once in a while as long as I’m entertained.  Too often lately, I haven’t been.  
 
Come on, admit it, you laughed at Sam and Dean in the van.  The humor was back!  I absolutely loved Sam channeling his inner Harry Potter fanboy to help Charlie through her fear.  I really died when she tried to go into the rant about how Hermione ended up with Ron and Sam shut her down.  Spoken like a true fan girl.  Dean’s reaction, “You go Dumbledork,” made me very glad I wasn’t drinking anything at the time.  There would have been a huge mess.  But I don’t think you’ll see anything more priceless than Dean talking a lesbian through flirting with a guy over the phone, all with Sam laughing right next to him.  When Charlie repeated Dean’s, “Shut up Sam,” I did lose it.  I saw it before on the preview clip, and it’s funnier in full HD.  

 
It wasn’t just Sam and Dean making me smile though.  Dick Roman was at his snarkiest and I loved it.  There was his “Good talk!” to Charlie after threatening to fire her if she didn’t decrypt the drive, his comment that the world is his dinner plate, and his line to the courier that was afraid that he would bib him.  “Why would I waste a perfectly good meal?”  CHOMP!  So perfect.  And Charlie’s tattoo is Princess Leia riding a 20 sided die?  Why didn’t we see that!  Comic Con is a perfect excuse.  I’ll tell you one thing I definitely appreciated in the humor, thank you for ditching the dick jokes this time around.  They were getting stale.   
 
This episode for me though finally addressed something that honestly should have been revealed episodes ago.  Heck, this should have kicked off the second half of the season.  The Leviathan are building a bio chemical plant in that empty field in Wisconsin.  Their intent is indeed to turn the entire human race into soylent green.  They want to cure people from all the big diseases and then send every human to slaughter so they can eat well and take over the earth.  Given all the clues that have been dropped and the time wasted not telling us this, fans long ago pretty much figured that out.  As a result, this wasn’t that shocking a reveal.  Dare I say it but I must, another missed opportunity.  This really could have been a great plot to ride with the entire second half of the season.  It was almost an afterthought making it the teaser in this episode, though none of that blame falls on this episode’s writer.  That sequence set the fast paced tone for this ep early and it never let up.  
 
It’s intriguing to see Dick Roman himself noticing the flaw in the plan to wipe out the entire human race.  They can copy a human, steal the memories, but they can’t replicate the abilities.  The human spark that makes people unique.  I absolutely love the conversation between him and Charlie when he was trying to figure out what made her tick.  “I guess you can’t clone me,” Charlie told him.  “Don’t think that doesn’t piss me off,” replied Dick.  What will his world be like without the Bruce Springsteens and Eli Mannings (he should have said Peyton too!).  He’s learned to really appreciate finer things in this new world of his.  This is consistent with his love of classic firearms from “How To Win Friends and Influence Monsters.”    
 
Dick’s lament also compliments the dissent among the ranks too that we saw in “Out With the Old.”  Dick Roman has created a tyrannical hierarchy because he does think so little of his people.  That’s bound to lead to some rebels who have that instinct of self preservation on their side.  If he keeps bibbing and eating enough of his subordinates, there’s going to be no one left!  Dick’s dissatisfaction with his own race is just another hiccup in this grand plan that will likely work to Sam and Dean’s advantage in the end.  
 
Going back to Sam and Dean, who didn’t love them posing as baggage handlers at the airport!  They cleverly switched the packages and calmly walked away with Dick Roman’s valued possession.  I was so happy I didn’t even question how they were able to throw together a borax bomb so quickly.  This is the Sam and Dean I remember from prior seasons.  These weren’t the FBI guys doing the standard line of questioning.  They’re professionals adapting to the situation and look damn good doing it!    

 
The only headscratcher I have in the episode was Sam and Dean’s treatment of Bobby.  It did seem harsh but upon reflection, it does make sense.  These are guys that have been hunting ghosts their entire lives.  There’s just that inbred knowledge and bias that ghosts usually end up going bad, no matter what.  I don’t know how many of you are “The Vampire Diaries” watchers, but they played out that conflicting dilemma well with Caroline’s dad.  He was a lifelong vampire hunter and had to live with the fact that his daughter was now a vampire.  He didn’t take it well and he did some awful things to her to make it right in his eyes.  In the end, after a lot of strife, he had to accept who she was.  I see this sort of process happening with Sam and Dean right now.  
 
I think Sam and Dean are very afraid of Bobby at this time.  He’s not stable, that’s for sure.  He doesn’t have control over his ghost abilities and they were right that the natural framework triggered those vengeful spirit tendencies.  I do wish that at the end Sam and Dean acknowledged that Bobby did help by cracking the glass, but it is always possible that fact wasn’t given to them or they didn’t see it.  Sam brought up the problem if anything to make sure he and Dean were on the same page.  I was really glad to see Dean back to not wanting to let go.  That made more sense to me that his reaction last week.  
 
I would be really remiss if I didn’t mention what an amazing job first time director John MacCarthy did with this episode.  He’s been a First Assistant Director for several years on “Supernatural” and did he run with his big break.  I’ll probably end up doing a full recap on this episode later this week to point out all the amazing goodness in both the direction and the dialogue (the ep isn’t available on iTunes yet for me to dissect).  Even the editing was awesome this go around.  The most stellar technical scene that comes to mind is the montage of Charlie reading the info about the Leviathan once she cracked Frank’s hard drive.  So well done and a very interesting way for someone to catch up on a lot of backstory in a short time.  
 
I do have a few random notes.  First, I’m on the train that Frank is dead.  Eaten.  If he does show up somewhere, he’s been replicated and that won’t be good.  Also, what did you think of the teaser for Sucrocorp?  I do believe we have another Niveus Pharmaceuticals on our hands.  More to come for sure on that.  For those wondering about the car of the week (yes, still not loving this concept), it was another very shameful POS (piece of *fill in the blank*).  The AMC Matador, which is of the same vein and era of the equally as shameful Chevy Vega and Ford Pinto.  Poor boys.  Baby needs to come back soon.  
 
Overall grade for “The Girl With The Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” is an A.  A very enthusiastic A on my part.  This episode reminded me of the high I got from watching “Slash Fiction.”  I’m sure its no coincidence they both came from the same writer.  Next week, Ben Edlund writes and directs what seems to be one very intense angel story.  I cannot wait.
 
 
 
 

Comments  

Alice
# Alice 2012-04-28 15:23
Sorry for the lack of screen shots that I normally like to do with these reviews. Seems the episode isn't up on iTunes yet!
Beverly
# Beverly 2012-04-28 16:15
About the car of the week, I keep thinking it is a great sign of their investigating skills that they are able to find a working POS no matter where they are in this nation. Unless they keep going back to Bobby's junk yard and picking a new one. I know the Leviathans blew up the house but the yard full of cars is still there.

Great episode!!
alysha
# alysha 2012-04-28 17:56
This episode felt fantastic. I'm just upset that iTunes has not placed it on yet for me to download! I've only seen it once! Finally, an episode I want to see again! People love to talk about how Supernatural needs to felt like it used to: to me this was like that. Geeky Sam and creative and quick witted Dean. Other characters that act normal, conpetent, interesting! A great plot, tension, direction. All tying to the main story. That's the way to do it.
eirenes
# eirenes 2012-04-28 18:13
Loved this episode. Really enjoyed the connection between Sam and Dean-very close, respectful and supportive. They are tempering each other, as in Dean griping about sending in a 90 lb. girl to fight the bad guys and Sam reminding him that all Leviathans knew them on sight, but if Charlie needed help, they would go in and save her, which was supported by Dean agreeing. They both knew that if they did that a good chance that one or both might die, but they agreed to do it. They are on each others page. Yeah!
Loved Felicia Day-she was great. Loved the character
Charlie-enjoyab le, free spirited, smart and brave.
I have a problem with the prejudging of Bobby by Sam and Dean. They believe that he will go into a rage any time around Dick Roman. But Bobby wound up using his rage to save Charlie, to crack the window so the guys could jump in and he kept Dick away from the guys until they could get away. But they chose to see the situation as Bobby being out of control and hurting Charlie in that rage.
They have both judged each other and other characters have judged them in season episodes, so maybe it is Bobby's turn. That is one way to learn new life lessons-to believe the old "truths" are right until new "truths" are learned. Maybe this is the journey Sam, Dean and Bobby are on-unlearning incorrect information about someone so they can be with that someone in a new way of understanding. Maybe Sam and Dean will be able to accept that Bobby is more than the myth of uncontrolled ghost rage.
Loved the script, the direction, the music, the editing-all great. And of course, Jensen, Jared and Bobby were great together.
Dick Roman-what a great name for a bad guy-is really swarmy, arrogant, frightening, a bad nightmare in real life. The actor playing him is really good!
A for this episode.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-04-28 18:39
A+ episode and an A+ review. Thanks Alice!!! :D
Gwen
# Gwen 2012-04-28 19:02
This episode was very entertaining. I really enjoyed it. I hope Robbie Thompson returns for S8, I've loved all his episodes this year.
I loved seeing the boys working together again this week. Also, the connection between them, the closeness, was much in evidence.
Loved that Sam is a Harry Potter fan. Dean calling him 'Dumbledork' was priceless.
Sam in fits of giggles while Dean teaches Charlie how to flirt with a guy was fabulous. It was so good to hear Sam laugh. Loved Dean's coaching of Charlie too. Such a fun scene. :lol: Plus we got a 'Sammy' there from Dean.

I liked the continuation of Bobby's story. I'm not surprised they are afraid that Bobby will go 'bad', it's what they've learnt and seen over their many years of hunting. The harshness was, imo, from the boys being overwhelmed with fear about what might happen to him and what they might have to do then. In the last scene Sam seemed almost near panic, worried about Bobby one day maybe not being Bobby anymore, 'and then what are we supposed to do?', looking to Dean for answers. Then we got Dean telling Sam what they were going to do right then, getting Sam's mind back on track. I got a nice big brother/little brother vibe from that scene which I loved.

I'd never heard of Felicia Day before this episode but I liked her and Charlie immensely. I'd like to see Charlie back, what with her being a geek goddess who loves her computers and with Sam being a 'walking encyclopaedia of weirdness' (or whatever it was Dean called him once :D ) who loves his computer I think her and Sam could become great friends. In the past I've not liked it when the writing has been too heavy handed with the cultural/pop references but somehow I didn't mind them in this episode.

Loved the airport scene, it was great to see them dressed up as something other than Feds.
I like the Leviathans so I was very pleased to finally see that story moving along with some speed.
I'm still hoping (probably futilely so) that Frank is not dead. I really liked Frank. Poor Frank.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-04-28 19:35
This episode was fantastic. I loved all the geek references. But my family speaks in movie quotes and references, so it felt completely natural to me. (But Charlie is wrong Hermione was meant to be with Ron-duh).

I remember Day best from Dr Horrible-loved it. And I thought she was absolutely perfect for the role. I agree that for me the witch episode wasn't the best utilization of big guest stars (I'm still on the fence on Qualls), but I loved Jewel Staite as Amy Pond, in fact that was the main issue without that episode she was SO likable and real - seeing Dean kill her was really hard. With a less likeable actress I'm not sure there would have been the uproar.

I found the boys being able to build the borax bomb so quickly much more believable they Sam finding a uniform that could fit him.LOL.

They were harsh on Bobby, but I think its all out of fear. I think the thought of having to "take care of" Bobby is terrifying to them and they'll do anything not to have to go through that. But I want them to reconcile with him, I feel so bad for him, he's trying his best and it could likely to help him to remain Zen.
Susan Thoompson
# Susan Thoompson 2012-04-28 22:48
Great review on a wonderfully entertaining episode, Alice!

Not enough Sam and Dean, but I think they must have in their contracts to have a lighter load on occasion, seeing as how they were about worked to death in earlier seasons.

I liked Charlie a lot. Loved her dancing in the elevator. I hope we see her again sometime, even though she seemed to mean it when she said she never wanted to hear from the Winchesters again.

What the heck was that slab of clay all about??

Dick Roman is the worst boss ever. Not that I need to point that out.

Loved that Dean was mostly worried about the Impala when Frank’s email said his hard drive had information on the Winchesters, including where the Impala is being stored. No one touches the baby!

One of my favorite quotes from Dean:
“This is awesome. You know what, new plan: From now on, we just sit in the van and send in the 90 pound girl.”
BagginsDVM
# BagginsDVM 2012-04-28 23:32
Loved this episode! All the geek references, the boys' banter & kidding in the van, their switcheroo of the cases at the airport, the rescue of Charlie from Dick, Bobby's frustration with his ghostly limitations & initial jealousy then warming up to Charlie & helping her, Dean's face when he realized Baby could be in danger of discovery... the list goes on.

Thanks for identifying the POS of the week, Alice. I knew it had to be an AMC but wasn't sure of the model. My grandparents had a '78 Matador but this one appeared to be an earlier '70s style. It's fun to see these old cars, but I do wonder why it wouldn't be more practical to "borrow" a more reliable common model from the past decade or so. Nah, too boring!
Nitewoman7
# Nitewoman7 2012-04-29 00:53
Holy Batman! I’m the first to comment, now is that SPECIAL ? First help what is FTW? Can’t tell you how much pleasure and fun reading your reviews. I love the way you write, your sense of humour and the way you look at SPN. I can always count on a couple of smiles and a few laughs so thanks.
I loved the episode. It was filled with so much fun and awesomeness. Loved Charlie and her interaction with Dean and Sam. Dick Roman (the dick hehe) is just so smarmy he's great. I'm not real happy with boys and the way they are treating Bobby. He saved their asses to many times for this crap. Great examples of the worst cars Dean and Sam can drive BUT I WANT BABY BACK SHE'S BEEN GONE TOOOO LONG now it is just ridiculous. I am also in the group that liked S6 and I've loved S7.
As I have done for last 6 seasons at episode 19 of the season I stay away from spoilers and even the promos. I like it better not having any idea of what is coming.
I’m in that geek group too. I have posters and my photo ops from Torcon all over my desk and my coffee cup is the supernatural mug with the devil’s trap that morphs into Dean and Sam’s faces when hot liquid is in it. .Being an obsessed Dean fan I have the throw blanket on my bed, 3 SPN calendars around office, my bedroom and my kitchen, lots of t-shirts and most important all Dean’s jewelry.
Only three episodes left wailing NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO O! Bring on next week’s Ben Edlund episode.
Holy Batman! I’m the first to comment, now is that SPECIAL ? First help what is FTW? Can’t tell you how much pleasure and fun reading your reviews. I love the way you write, your sense of humour and the way you look at SPN. I can always count on a couple of smiles and a few laughs so thanks.
I loved the episode. It was filled with so much fun and awesomeness. Loved Charlie and her interaction with Dean and Sam. Dick Roman (the dick hehe) is just so smarmy he's great. I'm not real happy with boys and the way they are treating Bobby. He saved their asses to many times for this crap. Great examples of the worst cars Dean and Sam can drive BUT I WANT BABY BACK SHE'S BEEN GONE TOOOO LONG now it is just ridiculous. I am also in the group that liked S6 and I've loved S7.
As I have done for last 6 seasons at episode 19 of the season I stay away from spoilers and even the promos. I like it better not having any idea of what is coming.
I’m in that geek group too. I have posters and my photo ops from Torcon all over my desk and my coffee cup is the supernatural mug with the devil’s trap that morphs into Dean and Sam’s faces when hot liquid is in it. .Being an obsessed Dean fan I have the throw blanket on my bed, 3 SPN calendars around office, my bedroom and my kitchen, lots of t-shirts and most important all Dean’s jewelry.
Only three episodes left wailing NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO O! Bring on next week’s Ben Edlund episode.
Nitewoman7
# Nitewoman7 2012-04-29 01:10
That last post was not meant for here all tho it fits but this is the one I meant to post

Loved this episode for all the things you wrote so I won’t repeat the wonderful parts. I loved Charlie, I know Felicia Day she is fantastic in Eureka actually the same kind of genius geek.
I’m not happy with Dean and Sam in regards to Bobby. He knows what happens to spirits so I’m hoping the boys are just getting a handle on the situation, I think they will come around to seeing Bobby is trying to control things. Not really sure they knew it was Bobby who broke the glass and give them time may come to realize Bobby saved their bacon.
Regarding Frank this isn’t my idea I read it someone’s comment. Not really sure Frank is dead because if he was food a steak dinner for a leviathan they all his knowledge about the boys, where the Impala is and passwords etc they would have absorbed and since Dick needed Charlie to break into the hard drive tells me Frank maybe in hiding despite the e-mail message. I also had no problem with Dean and Sam working behind the scenes. It was just such a well written episode and direction was perfect. Can’t wait for Ben Edlunds episode
As I have done for last 6 seasons at episode 19 of the season I stay away from spoilers and even the promos. I like it better not having any idea of what is coming.
Amara
# Amara 2012-04-29 08:23
I was super excited about this episode because I have been a Felicia Day fan since Season Seven of Buffy--she plays Vi, pretty much the only Slayerette who was at all interesting or well-acted. For anyone who enjoyed her and wants to see more--her web series The Guild is all available online. She created, wrote, and stars in it, and it is hysterical. If you love geek jokes and an awkward heroine, check it out.

Alice, I loved your review, as usual. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's really annoyed that they dumped all the major plot points on us late in the season in a thirty-second conversation. They did the exact same thing last year with Cas in The Man Who Would Be King--great episode, but it was also a plot dump of information that we really would have liked to know earlier on.

That's my main complaint about the last two seasons and my main hope for (please, gods) Season 8: more of the clever, well-crafted, well developed plotting that they had for the first five seasons but was woefully absent in Seasons 6 and 7.
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2012-04-30 03:16
Thank you for the enjoyable review.

I also thought that this episode was very entertaining to watch. I particularly liked Charlie - her dancing (!), her interactions with the Winchester Brothers and her quick thinking on her feet. :)

And I have to confess - I used to be fan of Felicia Day's "The Guild" back in the day when I dabbled in World of Warcraft :P
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2012-04-30 03:47
I HAVE NOT READ EVERYONES COMMENTS, SO I HOPE I DONT REPEAT ANYTHING.

I STILL BELIEVE FRANK FAKED HIS OWN DEATH. silly me

I DIDNT READ IT ANYWHERE BUT I KNOW THIS WAS A 'TO SERVE MAN' KINDA EPISODE FROM THE GET GO.

I GUESS I AM A GEEK. I NEVER THOUGHT OF MYSELF AS ONE BECAUSE I AM NOT COMPUTER, SMART PHONE, GAMER SAVY. I AM HOWEVER A SCI-FI FAN SINCE A CHILD WITH JONNY QUEST & THE JETSONS. SO I GOT ALL THE REFERENCES!!!!

I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT OF LEVERAGE. EVERYONE OF THEIR EPISODES FOLLOW THIS FORMAT. AND LEVERAGE IS JUST A TV VERSION OF THE 'OCEANS 11' MOVIES. ROBBIE USED THE SAME FORMAT IN TIME AFTER TIME MAYBE ALL HIS SCRIPTS ARE LIKE THIS. ONE THING FOR SURE, THE MAN HAS A WAY WITH WORDS. BE IT GEEK OR 40s JARGON.

HAS ANYONE ELSE NOTICED THAT SPN HAS A THING FOR PETIT, PALE, RAVEN HAIRED WOMEN. NO PROBLEM SOME SHOWS LIKE BUSTY BLONDS.

I WATCHED BUFFY, ANGEL & FIREFLY. I ONLY KNOW DAY FROM WATCHING EUREKA. LIKE HER ALOT. SOMEONE ASKED IF CHARLIE WAS MORE THAT HUMAN...WHAT IF SHE IS A FEMALE CHUCK??? SEEMS LIKE SOME PEOPLE ARE SPECIAL WITH A SPARK, & DICK LOVES/HATES IT.

I NEVER LIKE TO SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE BUT ITS THE LAST FEW EPISODES LETS STAY DEAN & SAM HEAVY. I LOVE SPN WITH ALL MY BEING & WILL RIDE OR DIE FOR IT, I THINK THIS IS MY LEAST FAVORITE SEASON.

IN NOLA, WE DONT GET TO SEE THE PREVIEWS OF THE NEXT WEEK. THEY SHOW EVERY DAMN THING BUT SPN, SO I HAVE NOT SEEN THE CLAY TABLET BREAKING, SOUNDS A LITTLE INDIANA JONES TO ME. ANOTHER +

THANKS, THIS IS WAY TO LONG BUT I HAVE BEEN GONE FROM THIS SITE FOR TO MANY EPISODES.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-04-30 10:30
I will be looking forward to your full recap of this delightful episode. I was so happy with it, I watched all three episodes written by Robbie Thompson together. I hope he sticks around for season 8. And kudos to John MacCarthy, I loved the spy caper vibe to the episode. It reminded me of the Bourne series & the Oceans series together, both of which I love.
Gerry
# Gerry 2012-05-01 19:16
Spn is such a rich show, there's always a huge range of ways to enjoy it! I loved last week, but didn't care much for this week's. Felicia Day was fine, but to me it's ridiculous to give away an episode to a guest star this late in the season. Sam and Dean were supporting players to Charlie's lead character, when we need to see Sam and Dean take control of all the story threads spun all season.

I don't think we need to see Charlie have chilling yet strangely enjoyable conversations with Roman, we need to see Sam or Dean have them, just as they had them with previous Big Bads. It's crucial that they have them, in fact, so we get invested.

We also need much more development than we got this episode with Sam, Dean and Bobby. Bringing Bobby back was risky, because his goodbye episode was so brilliant. Already, his last words to his boys are robbed of power because they are no longer his last words. If the writers are going to alter the loving relationship we saw in Death's Door, they better take us every step of the way, so we understand, just as we understood in season four why Dean would fight with and leave Sam and shy Sam would let him. There is no room left in this season to push Sam and Dean to the background.

I also thought that while much of the directing was fine, the opening scene with Sam, Dean and Bobby was atrocious. Embarrassingly so. Info dumps are boring and flashbacks are really weak story telling. They can work as a collage to a huge emotional scene when they've been earned (cf Swan Song) but as a way to give a static info dump some punch, they are bad, bad, bad.

I'm really hoping the next three episodes are absolutely fantastic, so the wasted time in this episode doesn't seem crucial to the arcs' development. If this episode had come earlier in the season, I'd have been a lot happier with it. Not with the flashbacks, though (-:
Gerry
# Gerry 2012-05-01 19:18
Sorry, that should read "why Sam would let him"--season four Sam was not shy!
Malafyn
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