Photos credit: Diyah Pera/CW NETWORK
Last night Supernatural took a break from the angels and demons and did a very fun little screwball caper around the Men of Letters headquarters. Things kicked off with the discovery of a ridiculously antiquated computer straight from that Tracy/Hepburn film Desk Set. It had the vacuum tubes and the blinking lights. All it needed was a set of punch cards for an operating system.
Dean calls in their cute lesbian hacker pal Charlie (Felicia Day) to try and get the thing working again. She uses her Surface RT to troubleshoot. (That loud thud you heard was a product placement.) In the course of repairs, Dean knocks over what looks like either a relic borrowed from Warehouse 13… or the actual Bottle City of Candor. Whatever it is, the busted bottle releases Dorothy and the Wicked Witch who had been trapped within for seventy five years.
Charlie and a hopelessly antiquated computer. Also, the big one with the blinking lights.
A highlight of this episode was the nicely interspersed black and white flashbacks featuring two 1935 Men of Letters. One is ridiculously cute and… dies way too soon. The other is the butler from ABC’s summer reality series Whodunnit. Love him! I kept waiting for him to make some eye roll inducing murder puns, but he never got around to it.
Supernatural’s version of Dorothy is all grown up and sort of a motorcycle riding Amelia Earhart-type. The Wicked Witch is…. Carol Kane. Seriously. Anyway, she has Carol Kane’s mannerisms, but we’re not sure of her voice because back in the thirties Dorothy cut her tongue out. So all she can do is shriek, turn into green smoke, do mind control, and shoot deathly spell bolts from her bony fingers. Also, she’s kind of funny.
The Witch seemingly can’t be killed and she’s on the hunt for a special key which turns any door into a portal to Oz. It’s a chase around the Men of Letters Headquarters to see whether she can find the key before Dean, Sam, Charlie and Dorothy can.
Predictably, the key is packed away in Dean’s porn stash. Dean and Charlie find it first, but the witch swoops in and aims a fatal spell blast at Dean. Only Charlie gets all heroic, jumps in front of him and is struck down.
This happens right before a 2 minute commercial break and I’m gobsmacked thinking did they really just kill off that cutie Charlie mid-episode? Supernatural is simply murder on supporting characters.
I totally forgot about Ezekiel though and his revivifying powers. The angel inhabiting Sam doesn’t want to waste the divine energy to revive Charlie, explaining that if he does he’ll be weakened and stuck in Sam for even longer. Dean tells him to do it anyway. So I guess Ezekiel’s staying awhile?
The witch mind controls Sam and Dean into murderous slave monkeys so it’s up to the now revived Charlie and Dorothy to save the day. Girl power! They manage to break the Witch’s spell with, get this, the ruby slippers. Only they’re more like stilettos. Charlie goes all Single White Female on the Witch’s ass and stabs her in the head with them. “Now heel!” Quips Charlie. Also, “Ding Dong, Bitch!”
In the end, Charlie heads off to Oz for hot fantasy adventure in the company of Dorothy who, like Charlie is maybe, kinda gay?
Let’s hope so, she’s a good match for Charlie
So that was last night’s plot, but honestly the most interesting part of the episode was some meta commentary towards the end. As a parting gift, Dean gives Dorothy an original copy of Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz. Dotty complains how weird and unsettling it is to read someone else’s account of your story.
Sam says he knows exactly how she feels, but “At the end of the day it’s our story— so we get to write it.”
Whoever came up with that line of dialog for Sam (the episode’s credited writer Robbie Thompson?) almost seems to be staking his claim that the official Sam and Dean (and Destiel etc.) characters are the exclusive province of the show. “It’s our story”… the unwritten corollary being… it’s not your story, so you have no right to complain if the story doesn’t unfold as you’d like.
Maybe I’m reading too much into that. Not sure, and would love to hear reader’s thoughts on that line. But it did seem to be a noticeably pointed bit of dialog, and not really integral to the rest of the episode. If an admonishment to slash fandom really was the purpose of the dialog then it also seemed oblivious to a major irony– this week Supernatural tells a tale (a very entertaining one) that totally appropriates characters created by L Frank Baum! I’m not sure Baum would have entirely approved of a Carol Kane-like wicked witch and a vaguely lesbian Dorothy. (Though I’m not complaining. I thought they were charming.)
So what say you Supernatural fans? Did you enjoy last night’s episode?
Note: Regular SPN recapper Arik Littrell has the week off. Never fear, he’ll be back next week.