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Supernatural

Supernatural Review: Hackers, Heists and Princess Leia Tattoos

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Supernatural has its ghost hunting stories down pat, its familial struggles played out to a tee, its humor so charmingly sharp and the never-ending struggle of good versus evil illustrated perfectly.

And even as the show has been able to nestle into its niche, it's never stopped itself from branching out and pushing its genre's so-called boundaries.

Take the ultimate breaking of the fourth wall in the episode "The French Mistake" or even zapping Sam and Dean into versions of real life TV shows on "Changing Channels." The writers continue to find ways to add certain freshness with ideas that work splendidly even though they might not sound like it.

"The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo" falls into the "let's try something new" category whipping up playful antics akin to the Oceans Eleven films or TNT's Leverage with its use of split screens, bringing together the team of specifically useful individuals, and showcasing the crafty switchero that pulls one over on the bad guy.

Felicia Day as The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo

Felica Day as super computer hacker Charlie was a fun, quirky addition to the cast. It's rare that we get to see female characters last on this show, but her nerdy yet endearing qualities made her unique and certainly likable in a way that I wouldn't mind seeing again. I mean, who hasn't gotten a tattoo of Princess Leia in a slave bikini straddling a 20-sided die?

I couldn't help but crack up at Sam rallying her confidence through ultra specific Harry Potter references or Dean working his artful flirtation on the guard.

Of course with all of the easter egg references from Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, War Games, to some I'm sure I didn't recognize, the episode was really amping up that amusing factor. There was a cleverness to the episode that really held out.

Yet, even with the zany caper focus, the episode felt like it was missing a lot for me.

I'm not sure if it was the complete change in tone for the show. I'm so used to the darker feel accompanied by the monsters, but even in the threat of imminent danger, the hour felt as positive as Charlie's song "Walking on Sunshine." Sure, Bobby doing his ghost thing and the Leviathan spending time feeding and copying people was all within the realm of supernatural, but it felt hidden by the mini heist created for the episode.

Maybe it was the fact that Sam and Dean really didn't have a lot of screen time and when they did it was mostly stuck in a van. I know that they couldn't show their faces, but they weren't the hands on hunters we normally see. They felt more like the characters Sam and Dean that we know, placed into a world that felt out of place for them. Computer hackers, private jets, research facilities? Doesn't scream Winchesters.

Perhaps the Leviathan storyline has taken so long to bubble to anything of importance (I'm still not sold on the whole meat packing for world dominance through Turducken agenda) that stealing Dick Roman's slab of clay didn't feel like a big payoff that most capers usually end up delivering.  When you get an entire rundown of the main bad guy during the episode, you know it's been too long since you've last seen them. It's still hard for me to find Dick Roman scary.

I truly want to focus back more on Sam and Dean, and have them focusing away from weekly visits of haunted houses, to finally staring down the big enemy. If we're going to show the Leviathan again, let's finish them off with a bang. Let's give them some credence and menace and not just smarmy manipulative business strategies.

This episode certainly set up for the home stretch introducing the clay tablet and dealing with Bobby's vengeful spirit. I do applaud trying something brand new and certain aspects were entertaining, but it wasn't the extremely fulfilling cup of tea I had hoped for.

With the final act of season seven bearing down, I'm ready to watch Sam and Dean save the world with a gusto as loud as their Impala engine might roar.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
  • 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (90 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Felicia Day saves the show. This is a very HOT episode! I like this testosterone filled/uncoventional episode. Felicia Day brings out her charm and spark. She is witty, funny, smart, and sexy. I love how from the beginning, she plays "walking on sunshine", then (surprise!) comes this pure mayhem of her that makes me feel like i'm with her and different (like romantic) throughout the episode! Sam, Dean, and Charlie ROCK!!! This episode and she totally blew my expectations away!! I would love to see her in more episodes next season. LOVE YOU FELICIA DAY!!

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Just read that 'Baby' (the Impala) will be back in the season finale.

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boo to you. p.s. switcheroo has 2 o's

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loved the episodes felicis was awesome as charlie, awesome references and loved sam using harry potter references. however, my fav part of the episodes was dean calling the impala baby when he realised the car might be in danger

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Loved the episode. It was offbeat, had quite a bit of action, and I loved the music score. As for Dick Roman being un-scary, I agree with Lord of the Night. He was scary in that episode with Crowley, and he scared the heck out of Crowley,,,and Crowleys no lightweight. After last nights episode, I have a feeling he's going to get a lot scarier because now he's really angry. Until last night, Sam and Dean have been pretty much nothing more than a tolerable itch in his side. Now things are different. And speaking of Sam, once again I was disappointed in his treatment of Bobby,,,saying that Bobby is virtually out of control. All Bobby did was shove Roman a couple times,,,which helped them escape. Thats out of control? If I was in his shoes, I would be a bit angry at Roman, also. And I have seen both Sam and Dean (lots of times) far more out of control than Bobby was when he shoved Roman. I think they are being far too hard on Bobby so far, and that may possibly push him into being the angry spirit they're afraid of him becoming. Good grief, all he's trying to do is help and he gets nothing but complaining in return.

Farsia2010

i agree with you Sean, as much as this ep was fun to watch it was also lacking in so many ways. for some reason i found it hard to focus on what was going on, or rather follow what was going on. the atmosphere was a bit hollow, they failed to emotionally raise the stakes for me. it was a light hearted ep which should have been somewhere in the middle of the season not closer to the end when it is all supposed to heat up to the grand finale.
on an up side though, i don't think that Dean will ever forget that he had to flirt with a guy through a gay girl. that is some twisted fantasy right there.
btw, i was happy to see Felicia Day as Charlie, liked her a lot in Dragon Age:Redemption. for some reason she reminds me of a younger Carrie Preston. they have a similar spark.

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3/5? I say this was a 4.5/5 episode. Felicia Day was brilliant as Charlie, loved that she hit Sam with a plastic sword and it broke, lol. And Sam and Dean making Harry Potter references is great, and Dean instructing a lesbian on how to flirt with a man was hilarious, and odd that he knew exactly what to say. As for Dick Roman I thought his speech to Crowley in Slash Fiction was scary, but when he got angry at the end of the episode I thought he was really scary at that moment. He's pissed now, and Sam and Dean are target number one. Also, W1nn1ng? Lol, Felicia was right. Fail. LotN

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I understand why you were disappointed in the episode...the lack of Winchester in the episode, but 3/5? That is just not fair...more like 4.2/5. Felicia Day killed it in this episode. The whole point of this season is how traditional/canon forms of 'monster' and the methods of hunting them are becoming obsolete in the the 21st century. The whole idea behind the Leviathan has a very occupy-wall-street feel to it where the real enemy doesn't really look all that threatening, the real enemy actually cures cancer, the real enemy is rich and powerful and something to aspire to. The enemy trades scary for smarts, and is difficult to identify. this season is an absolutely brilliant political commentary on the issue of corporate greed and political clout. In that respect, one cannot fight a Che Guevara kind of a (hunter-style) war against the opressive forces. One has to evolve even as the antagonist evolves. This is thinly veiled allegory for our times, set to the taste of minimal-cerebral-effort american audiences. And it works. Lets review this season's home stretch, keeping that in mind...

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Very Hot episode. Felicia Day makes this cool and sensual. 5/5 stars.

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I think you're onto something with the Adamn reference. And where the clay was found, Iran. I'm starting to think we won't see the end of Dick till next season.

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