Supernatural is back, and so is guest star Felicia Day as Charlie! Some fans seem to be annoyed by the wacky lesbian hacker, but I love her and the funnier episodes of the show.
But oddly enough, though there’s plenty of comedy, “Pac-Man Fever” turns out to be far more emotional. We learn all about Charlie’s tragic past and it all leads to a great big bro hug. Who knew an episode of television that references the Pac-Man kill screen could also make you cry?
Following the second trial, Sam is feeling pretty bad (almost as bad is his increasingly out-of-control hair). Dean puts him on immediate bed rest until he recovers. This gives us a chance to learn more about the Men of Letters HQ, like the fact that it has its own shooting range and is completely untraceable. Supernatural better keep this place around for season 9, because it’s a pretty phenomenal set.
Charlie the Hunter
Charlie, lesbian hacker extraordinaire, brings the boys a case about some guy whose insides were liquefied. She’s been reading up on monsters (and the Winchesters, thanks to the Supernatural book series), so with Sam on the DL, Charlie tags along with Dean as his partner for the case of the week.
But first we learn Charlie is a great shot and loves montaging wardrobe changes Pretty Woman-style. She and Dean meet the coroner, using the aliases Hicks and Ripley. It’s nice that Sam and Dean use classic rock stars, but Dean and Charlie use the names of characters from Aliens.
The coroner is a tough chick who won’t budge on the rules, which instantly makes it obvious to people who’ve been watching this show for eight seasons that she’s the bad guy. Another victim with a blue hand print leads to the discovery that they’re dealing with a djinn, aka creatures that give people reality-altering hallucinations.
Charlie scampers away from Sam and Dean quickly after learning about the djinn, making them suspicious. While Charlie is captured by the djinn (who is, of course, the coroner), Sam and Dean do some research.
They learn that Charlie has a place nearby because her mom is in a coma in a local hospital, having been in a car crash 16 years ago that killed Charlie’s dad. They also figure out the coroner is the djinn, and she happens to own an abandoned warehouse.
Djinn: The Video Game
This particular species of djinn is all about fear, so instead of sending Charlie into her dream, they send her into her nightmare, a first-person shooter video game about super soldier Communist vampires.
Sam and Dean show up and kill the coroner djinn, but Charlie won’t wake up, so Dean goes inside her dreams (with the same herb they used to do the same thing with Bobby back in season 3). Unfortunately they don’t know there are two djinns, and one of the nerds who discovered the second victim is the coroner’s son. Sam kills the kid, but inside Charlie’s nightmare, she and Dean are busy killing Commie vamps.
The Moral of the Story
Dean realizes the only way out of the endless video game loop is to stop playing and let go of the fear. This means Charlie needs to accept that her mom is gone and it’s not her fault. Gee, learning to let go of a family member. That’s some pretty ironic advice coming from Dean.
She does and they escape the game. While saying goodbyes, Charlie believes Sam is tough enough to withstand the trials. She also asks if Dean will take his own advice and let go of his brother.
“Never,” Dean replies with a smirk.
“That’s my boys,” Charlie responds.
Dean heads back to give Sam a big hug while Charlie visits her mom in the hospital to read her The Hobbit one last time before letting her go. Who knew a Charlie episode could be so darn emotional?
Next week on Supernatural: Things are looking pretty bad as Kevin is ragged, Sam passes out and Castiel appears to be tortured by Naomi and the angels.
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(Image courtesy of the CW)