There are many reasons I love Supernatural. There’s the balance between stand-alone stories and the show’s on-going mythology. There’s suspense and comedy. There are strong emotional bonds between the established characters and a never-ending parade of new and wonderful guest stars. And this week’s episode, “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo,” had all of that and more.
After several weeks of ignoring the Leviathan storyline (because the boys were busy dealing with the return of Cas and Ghost Bobby), it’s back in full force. And we meet Charlie Bradbury, a hacker and world-class elevator dancer played by Felicia Day, a character who also happens to be gay in one of the most refreshingly non-exploitative uses of a lesbian on a TV show.
Sam and Dean are trying to wrap their heads around Dick Romans plans when Ghost Bobby shows up to tell them everything he knows, and it’s a lot. The Leviathans are trying to cure cancer and all other diseases so they can have a pure food source, because they’re also planning on eating all of humanity and knocking them down one rung on the food chain.
Just then Sam gets an e-mail notification from Frank, sort of. Frank is dead (probably) and someone is trying to hack into his hard drive. Cut to the adorkable Felicia Day as Charlie.
We see a life in the day of Charlie Bradbury, computer genius for Richard Roman Enterprises. She loves Stars Wars, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and she can hack into anything. She’s kind of perfect.
Dick Roman wants her to crack Frank’s hard drive. This is where Supernatural gets interesting in a philosophical way. Sure, the Leviathans could clone Charlie and steal all of her memories and thoughts, but that wouldn’t work because she’s special. Charlie has the spark of ingenuity, that magical bit of humanity that makes people more than just flesh and bone and firing neurons. And you can’t clone genius.
So even though she gets three days, she seems to crack it in one. Unfortunately, her curiosity gets the better of her and she reads Franks detailed files about Leviathans. At first she thinks it’s crazy, but when she sees her boss get eaten, she knows she’s in trouble and runs back to her home.
Just as Charlie is ready to flee, Sam and Dean barge in. After threatening them with a fake sword, the situation is diffused and the brothers explain everything to Charlie. The brothers need help figuring out what Dick Roman is up to with his archaeological digs, so they enlist Charlie to help hack into Dick’s e-mail and help them out. She doesn’t want to, but since the Leviathans are threatening to eat everyone (and she kinda likes her friends), she’s in.
This is where Supernatural turns into an episode of TNT’s Leverage, and I mean that as a compliment. We see a traditional heist as Charlie sneaks in after some surprisingly specific Harry Potter references from Sam (Dean calling his brother a “Dumbledork” nearly killed me from laughter).
Charlie also needs help flirting her way past the male security guard because she’s into girls, which is a fantastic little character trait. I love that Supernatural puts gay characters in just because the show knows that world happens to have homosexual people in it. There was Corbett, the Ghostfacers intern, and the fake Sam and Dean LARPers from the fan convention, now Charlie. I love that the show doesn’t feel the need to force any sort of pro-gay agenda down our throats, it’s just that these people happen to be gay in addition to being a number of other awesome things.
Anyway, Charlie gets in with an assist from Dean (who is very good at picking up men) and succeeds in getting Dick Roman’s e-mails and erasing Frank’s hard drive.
Charlie notices that a package is arriving from one of the dig sites that night and gets the boys to intercept it, swapping it out for a Borax Suitcase Bomb to explode when the Leviathans open it. That is so Leverage. The package just seems to be a giant chunk of red clay, but we’ll get to that next week.
Dick Roman shows up while Charlie is in the building. She almost escapes, but he locks her in. That’s when Ghost Bobby (who hitched a ride with her in his flask) comes to the rescue. And by rescue, I mean he starts to turn into one of those scary vengeful spirits the boys have had to kill so many times. I’m starting to think Dean’s going to be burning the flask before the season is over. However, Ghost Bobby shuts down Dick long enough for Sam and Dean to save Charlie and escape.
Charlie gets on a bus to disappear, asking the brothers never to track her down again. I hope they do, because if not, then I’ll have to write my own fan fic where Charlie meets up with those witches played by James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter.
In many ways, this episode reminded me of season 5’s “Hammer of the Gods,” the final episode with Gabriel where he told the brothers about the Horsemen’s rings. It was funny, it worked as a stand-alone mystery, and it established the ground rules for the final arc of the season. The brothers have to use the red clay to stop the Leviathans and they need to deal with Ghost Bobby turning into a Vengeful Spirit.
Next week on Supernatural: The angels (including Cas) are back in a major way.
(Image courtesy of the CW)