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Supernatural

Supernatural Review: Return of the Queen

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Supernatural Season 8 has been pretty dark when you really think about it.

Crowley's stepped up his game by killing people with the snap of his fingers, the angels are potentially being controlled into not doing heavenly good things, Bobby is gone and the brothers have both taken paths that have left some heavy emotional scars.

This is especially the case considering the final moments of "Torn and Frayed," with Dean letting Benny go and Sam deciding to leave Amelia behind. These two have been through the ringer when it comes to heavy stuff, even towards each other, so the real question lay in what the journey forward would be.

"LARP and the Real Girl" was a nice break from all of those huge problems, simply giving Sam and Dean the chance to have a little fun, with the recognition that even though they can't erase the past, they can build towards a better future. Just probably not with foam swords all the time.

Ready to LARP!

This was the kind of goofy, enjoyable episode that the season needed to remind fans and viewers that the show doesn't have to be trapped within crazy drama and overly powerful supernatural beings - it can be entertaining when dealing with the regular hunt and a regular person caught in the middle. And it a lot of ways, it really reminded Sam and Dean that they, too, can partake in fun in between saving the world.

The only other time I've really seen live action role playing (or LARP) was on the movie Role Models, which also sort of spoofed on the particular world. There was no KISS battle scene or a mouthy kid here, but there was plenty of jokes about the game itself.

And it was rather enjoyable seeing Sam and Dean - normally so natural in their element - be a bit off put by all the orcs, elves and magi. It was even humorous that their fake IDs were noticed right away, from someone you never thought would possibly question their FBI status.

Of course, bringing back Felicia Day as Charlie was a fantastic idea and she fit perfectly into the world and the episode itself. What better way to make her return then by making her queen of the LARPers?

I enjoyed Charlie back when she was helping fight the Leviathan in "The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo," although I was less enamored with the heist type setup that played out.

Still, her return felt so natural and her rapport with Sam and Dean felt so honest, that it was hard not smiling anytime she was on screen. Did anyone catch her Star Wars references, from replying "I know" to an "I love you" or exclaiming to the fairy that she's here to rescue her?

It was even nice seeing her give a candid outside perspective about Dean tricking Sam with the text or Dean letting Benny go. She wasn't judging the situation, but rather acting as his friend.

Really, Charlie has a lot in common with Dean. She did recognize the porn star name at the exact same time as him, right?

Although, it was funny that Dean was the first to really start getting into the game and becoming the hand maiden. Even trying to fight Gerry with the foam sword only to watch it get chopped in half added to the comical situations of the episode.

It was interesting to see Sam get hit on by the girl, especially because we usually see Dean in that role more often. And I knew he'd never go for her flirtation or invitation because he did just let the love of his life go, so maybe it was just me... but it felt like he had more chemistry with her than he did Amelia.

I know the whole Amelia and Sam relationship is its own bag of worms, but I think he recognized - and at the same time this episode sort of pointed out - that even when he and Dean try to escape that monster hunting life, it's where they truly belong.

Plus, if they weren't on regular jobs like the LARP one, they would never get to see babe on fairy babe action. That just doesn't happen in the normal life. It's nice to see the boys having fun again, isn't it?

And, sure, Sam needs time to be able to move on, but it was a great step in the right direction by acknowledging that they both need a little fun to be able to do so.

I can only imagine how many times that final scene had to be done because it was hilarious. Dean's passionate Braveheart speech interrupted by the random frisbee player followed by a slow motion charge of the Winchester brothers in full LARP garb? Priceless.

I'm sure everyone must have had a ball making this episode.

As much as I really enjoy the major mythology stuff, I'm glad that the hour sort of reinvigorated the fun aspect for Sam and Dean. I get it, their life is hard, their choices are hard, their journey is hard, but it's still nice to see the brothers enjoy themselves once in a while.

I wonder who won that final battle?

What did you think of the episode and the return of Charlie? Was it fantastic fun or do you want to get back to the angel conspiracy? Sound off below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
  • 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (152 Votes)

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

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I agree with many opinions that have been posted here. For me it hasn't been the same since season 5 but I stuck with it because I'm such a fan of the show and for the first 5 seasons it was only Supernatural for me. Even though I didn't like where they were taking the show in season 6,7 I just couldn't give up on it. That was until season 8 started, the funny thing is I really like season 8 because the cases and the whole vibe of the season reminds me of So 1&2 but the bond between the brothers is not there anymore, the chemistry between the actors is not there anymore...so no matter how good or enjoyable a storyline is...it's just not enough. Carver has been with the show for a long time so he must know how much the fan base cares about the brother's bond. To have Sam give up on his brother without a good reason it's just stupid writing. I feel like he is not even happy Dean is alive because that means he and Amelia can t be together. I really hope a fan has the chance to ask the boys during a con what they think of Sam's decision.

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It's not even close--Sam and the blonde LARP CHICK (played by the beautiful Andrea Brooks) clicked naturally. None of the force stilted quality we have with Sam and Amelia. Sam should have went with Larpy! I was hoping Sam would change his mind & meet up w/her later -She had a lot more personality than Amelia! How did the writers screw this one up? It genuinely puzzles me. Especially since imo much they have done is working very well.

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I loved this episode for all its goofiness it showed that Sam and Dean can still have fun even if they have all these problems with Crowley etc. I wish they bring back the likable Sam not this "douche" as we are seeing him. Deans always cool but Sam was so much better before. Writers pick up your pens *sigh. Charlie and Dean's (friendly) chemistry was fun to watch, hope they bring her back :) Overall fun Episode, oh I want to watch the next episode yesterday already lolz

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addendum - I don't believe Jeremy C and the writers are that clever. It doesn't look like we're going to get an explanation as to why Sam didn't look for Dean. Dean disappeared in Time After Time in Season 7 and didn't "lose it." He was proactive in getting Dean back, contacted Jody Mills so she could assist, so I don't buy some fans' theories that he was grieving. Dean had disappeared, Sam didn't know what happened to him, whether he wsa dead or alive, but according to Carver, Sam was, "Yay, now that Dean's gone, I'll live my normal life." Not good enough, Carver. Sam always had a streak of self-absorption, but you were never in doubt that he cared for Dean. In Mystery Spot, Sam cared about Dean. The magic has gone from Supernatural. It's going to die horribly, just like the X-Files. Such a shame.

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@Richard. Yeah, pretty much. People sit down to watch Arrow and leave the TV on. If I was a new viewer who started fresh in S8, I would be an ex-viewer by now! And yes, if Spn were still showing on Friday nights, this show would be heading for cancellation - which would be well deserved. It's sad to see this show going downhill, and so quickly. @Danna, I'm blaming the writers for the deterioration of Sam's character. Why they are writing Sam so hateful, I have no idea. I've been finding Jared's performance difficult to fathom, but perhaps he hates his storyline? The Js are still friends. However, who knows what is going on behind the scenes? I'll stop watching if Jared is forced off the show. Maybe there is a reason for Jared's below par performance, and and there's a reason for Sam being so awful, which will be revealed before the end of the season. I'm not holding out much hope, however, because I don't believe the writers, or Jeremy Carver, for that matter, are that clever. This show has had the life sucked out of it. I did enjoy parts of 8x11, but the magic has gone, that's for sure.

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It's getting so hard to keep watching this show. Sam is just awful, I don t know if it is the actor's fault or the writers. No matter how they justify it I can t get past the fact that Sam just gave up on Dean...For me Sam has always been selfish but now with this sullen never ending attitude he is just boring, no fun, simply unwatchable character. Also are the actors fighting in real life because I swear I don t see any chemistry between them anymore...I had high hopes for this season with Carver but it has been such a disappointment.

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@ Tiddlywinks So because SPN follows Arrow, those who watch Arrow are forced to watch SPN to artificially prop up SPN's ratings?

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A mildly amusing episode that provided a few laughs. It would have been better if repellent Amelia had not been mentioned at all. I HATED that scene where Charlie tells Dean that he's a dick for sending a fake text message. Please. Why would Dean spill his secrets and can the show stop blaming Dean for everything that goes wrong for Sam? In fact, can the show simply drop mentioning the ghastly, vile Amelia and pretend it never happened? Can the show PLEASE redeem Sam and make him likable again? Is it really that difficult to not write him as a self centred douche? He is a hunter. Please make him one, not this wet rag. Where is Sam Winchester these days? Memo to producers and writers - it is ONLY Arrow propping up Supernatural. If it had remained in its Friday slot, Supernatural would be dead. Please improve, show. And FORGET AMELIA. PRETEND SHE DOES NOT EXIST. Even when she is not on screen, she is horrible.

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this was a pretty good episode the bravehart bit at the end i just found irritating but aye overall an enjoyable episode. 8.5/10

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What was that? Come on S8, lift your game. There were a few funny lines, and some good acting, but this episode was very ordinary. If a newcomer saw this episode, they wouldn't watch the show. Please writers, give us the goods! Also, please stop trying to put an argument that Sam was starting to have some "normalacy" to his life - he was committing adultery. He had no choice, he had to move on because Amelia's husband was back (from the dead like Days of Our Lives). He and Amelia had nothing in common, and his "romance" was boring. She knew nothing about him or his hunting. His desertion and indifference to Dean's disappearance was dishonourable as a hunter, and John Winchester would have been ashamed. The star of the show should be a hero, so please write Sam as one.

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