Supernatural loves taking its themes and making them literal. Dean Winchester is trying to be good even though the Mark of Cain is making him want to choose evil. He has an internal struggle, so naturally this episode offers an external struggle of someone’s good and evil sides battling each other.
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Charlie returns from Oz (which sounds like an adventure that would’ve made an excellent spin-off), but she’s not alone. There’s a second Charlie, and this one is pure darkness. Can good defeat evil? Can Charlie save herself, giving hope that Dean can possibly save himself? The answer isn’t that simple, especially since both Good Charlie and Dark Charlie are murderers.
Dean’s Healthy Lifestyle
Dean is determined not to let the Mark of Cain turn him to the dark side, so he’s changed up his routine. He’s eating egg-white omelets and kale and has given up drinking. They need to fix this Mark ASAP, because a clean and sober Dean is not natural. He and Sam quickly find a case when they discover that Charlie is back and has gone on a torturing rampage.
Charlie’s Quest for Revenge
It turns out Charlie is looking for revenge. When she was 12 her parents were in a horrible car accident because of a drunk driver, but the case was sealed and never went to trial. She’s torturing everyone associated with the case for information about the person responsible.
Sam and Dean track her down, leading to a fight where Charlie kicks Dean’s ass and escapes. She also deflated the Impala’s tires. Just then, a car rolls up to Dean and the driver is…another Charlie! WTF?
A Tale of Two Charlies
In Oz, Charlie and Dorothy fought a war for the Emerald City. They were losing, so Charlie made a deal with the Wizard who used his magical key to unlock her soul, splitting her into two separate entities: Good Charlie and Dark Charlie. Dark Charlie (who’s torturing everyone) single-handedly won the war, but rather than be reunited with her good self, she broke the key and fled. The two Charlies are also connected, so if one gets hurt, the other does too.
Why the hell wasn’t this the CW’s big Supernatural spin-off? The War of the Emerald City sounds totally awesome and would’ve made an excellent TV series. That just feels like a giant missed opportunity.
Anyway, Sam and Good Charlie go back to the bunker to research a way to fix the key and reunite the two Charlies while Dean tracks Dark Charlie to make sure she doesn’t do anything too wicked.
Dark Charlie and Dean
Dean isn’t able to prevent the inevitable. Dark Charlie tracks down the drunk driver and kills him. So now Dean and Dark Charlie have something else in common. They chat about whether the darker self is really any better or worse than the good version, something that hits Dean at home since he’s struggling with the same question, though it’s an internal debate for him, not external like the two Charlies.
Dark Charlie’s logic almost convinces Dean to give in and take a shot, but he stops himself when he learns that Dark Charlie has hotwired the Impala and is on her way to Good Charlie and Sam.
Off to See the Wizard
Sam and Good Charlie track down the original Man of Letters who visited Oz. He’s an old man now and it turns out while he was in Oz, a coven of witches used the key on him to split him into a good version and a dark version. And his dark version is the Wizard of Oz! Again, why isn’t this a spin-off, because I am in love with all of this Oz mythology.
The old man can’t get back to Oz, but he knows a way to bring the Wizard to this world by mortally wounding himself and forcing the Wizard to show up to save him since they’re connected. He does and the Wizard arrives, but he’s quite powerful. In order to stop him, Good Charlie realizes she must do the unthinkable. She has to kill the old man in order to kill the Wizard as well. She apologizes to him and looks away, but she still pulls the trigger.
Outside, Dean and Dark Charlie arrives, with Dean proceeding to kick her ass. He starts Marking out (is that what we’re calling it?) and can’t stop punching her (which is also hurting Good Charlie) until Sam comes outside and tells him to stop. He does and Sam uses the Wizard’s key to reunite the two Charlies into one.
In the aftermath, Charlie is fine with not returning to Oz. She offers to help Sam track down the Book of the Damned, which might contain information on the Mark. She forgives Dean for what he did, but he doesn’t forgive himself. Dean isn’t so sure he can actually be good. This is going to be a long, hard road for him, but Charlie believes he can do it because he’s a Winchester.
Next week on Supernatural: We already had the episode where Dean turned into an old man, now it’s the episode where he’s turned into a pimply-faced teenager.
(Image courtesy of the CW)