Supernatural has been slow to introduce new elements to the series with its introduction of a multiverse. Although opening doors to other realms could’ve completely flipped Supernatural on its head, the series has stayed relatively normal. Yet in “Bring ‘Em Back Alive” there was a huge surprise for Dean (and the audience) in the Apocalypse World as a new version of Charlie Bradbury was introduced. Apocalypse Charlie wasn’t the first time Supernatural has introduced a new version of an old character. However, she is the first example of a Apocalypse World character who needs to cross over to the main world.
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Repairing the Past
One of the biggest mistakes Supernatural ever made was killing of the original version of Charlie, especially the way it was done. Supernatural is a bloody show and almost every character has died, at least once. Yet the series does have an unfortunate habit of killing off female characters in casual ways and never bringing them back to life, unlike their near-immortal male counterparts. Charlie, though, was one of the most egregious examples.
Charlie’s death was done for nothing but shock value. She was a beloved character who didn’t get any kind of heroic send-off. She was killed off-camera and Dean had to discover her bloody corpse in a bathtub. Furthermore, Charlie’s death had extraordinarily little to do with the overall season. If Charlie was going to die, her death should’ve meant something. Instead, it was just shameless.
Supernatural is a little less without Charlie. She was a perfect counterbalance for Sam and Dean. In a short time — Charlie only appeared in seven episodes — she felt like a part of the family. Supernatural very believably turned Charlie into the little sister Sam and Dean never had and it padded out their world considerably. A Charlie-less Supernatural has felt less alive. Fortunately, the arrival of Apocalypse Charlie gives Supernatural a chance to correct their error.
Apocalypse Charlie is the first character from the other world who feels like she belongs in the main continuity. There are alternate versions of Bobby and Kevin Tran, who are both beloved characters who were killed off. Yet neither feels like a natural fit in “our” world. The Apocalypse Bobby is a lot different from the original and, unlike Charlie, Bobby’s story came to a satisfying end. Kevin, meanwhile, is crazy and unstable, being driven to that point by Michael. Charlie, though, is recognizably the Charlie that Sam and Dean lost.
Charlie, no matter the universe, has the same charm and fiery spirit. She even, though their relationship is just beginning, has a bond with Dean. Actress Felicia Day has been able to imbue Charlie with an immediate and inherent likability. Charlie is a character you feel sympathetic for, as much as she continually proves she doesn’t need anyone’s help or empathy. The moment that Charlie appeared in the Apocalypse World, it became immediately clear what Supernatural had lost in killing the character originally and why she needed to come back.
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“Bring ‘Em Back Alive” did end with Charlie staying in her own world, even though Dean urged her to return. Although Sam and Dean currently don’t have a way to get back to Apocalypse World, that’s obviously going to change — if for no other reason than having Sam and Dean return to the world to rescue Mary and Jack will give season 13 some overall arc and purpose. The Winchester Family, including Jack, will be reunited before season 13 ends. The reunion should include Sam and Dean’s adoptive sister, Charlie, even if the new version has only just met them.
But do you agree? Do you want to see Apocalypse Charlie join the “real” world on Supernatural? How do you feel about the original Charlie’s death? Was it meaningless or did it have some purpose? Do you want to see Apocalypse Bobby or Kevin cross over instead?
Supernatural season 13 airs Thursdays at 8/7c on the CW. For more SPN updates, follow BuddyTV’s Supernatural Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of the CW)