So much for being speedier with these rewatches during hiatus. I'm not sure where the hell my time goes, but it's certainly not towards anything productive.
Anyway, to the episode...
I kind of love it when they start things in Media Res. Mmm... Dean in a uniform. Also, I love how his nametage says Winchester, like, Charlie thought of every little detail, including putting him in uniform as soon as he arrived.
Also, since we know later that this is Charlie's dream - you can just imagine Dean's thoughts here: Charlie is so messed up?!? Why are there dead bodies everywhere and why are we in 1951?!
Back to 24 hours earlier...
Aww, Sam is adorable all sleep mussed.
Dean: "I'm telling you, give me five minutes with some clippers and-"
- I forget where I head this, maybe twitter? But I believe Jensen adlibbed that line.
Sam: "What time did I lay down?"
Dean: "You took a siesta around noon. Yesterday."
- I had forgotten that this episode took place so close to taxi driver. So, Sam is actually FRESH off the second trial, really.
*Dean throws Sam a beer*
*Sam watches as it sails by him and breaks on the floor*
Sam: "Uh, I'm sorry, I..."
Dean: "That's why we don't have nice things, Sam."
- Ha, I just love this bit. But, Dean, seriously, maybe you don't have nice things because you throw beer bottles instead of handing them over gently!
Dean: "You okay?"
Sam: "Sam, yeah, yeah, I'm fine. It's just - you know, I'm going to get dressed, we should go find Kevin."
Dean: "Hey hey hey, easy easy, sleeping beauty. [...] We will do what we can from here, while you get better."
Sam: "I'm fine. Dean, I can still go out there, I can still hunt."
- The tragic thing about this part, for me, is the fact that Dean doesn't realize - or maybe is just in denial about the fact - that Sam is not going to get better. We don't really get to see inside Sam's head, we never do, but part of me thinks that by now Sam's realized that he's not going to be able to keep his promise about surviving these trials... he did them instead of Dean, because he thought his optimism could carry him through, where Dean's pessimism would kill him... but, it turns out (not for the first time), Dean's pessimism was right. Of course, if there's one thing that Dean will be optimistic about, it's the fact that Sam will survive... so, now we get the classic switch in view-points between the two brothers.
Shooting range!! And poor Sam is too unsteady to hit the target. :(
Sam: "It's an email from Charlie - 'In the neighbourhood, found you guys a case.' Found us a case?!"
Dean: "'In the neighbourhood'? How the hell does she know where we are?!"
- Haha, I love how they have objections two different parts of the email.
Dean: "Wait, are you saying that we can make and receive phonecalls from here and nobody can track us? Man, I love this place."
- Ah, a good use for "magic" if I ever saw one.
- But people can track you within a 20 mile radius, and I don't think there's THAT much around Lebabon, KS... though, granted, I have never been there.
Dean: "Your Highness!"
Charlie: "What's up, bitches?"
- I love them... I just, love that she's their Queen now.
Charlie: "You okay, Sam?!"
Sam: "Yeah, I'm good. What are you doing in Kansas?"
- I also love that Charlie talks to Sam. I know that she's more bonded with Dean, as per usual, but out of everyone bonded with Dean, I find that she's the most friendly to Sam.
Charlie: "Uh... a comic convention. In Topeka."
Sam: "In the middle of the week?"
Charlie: "Girl's gotta get her collectables."
- Oh Charlie, you really should have thought of a lie beforehand.
Charlie: "So, you going to invite me into your dungeon, or do I have to answer your questions three?"
- QUESTIONS THREE, PLEASE! Hahaha... or not, knowing the Winchesters, the "questions" would be Holy Water, Borax, and Silver.
Charlie: "Holy awesome! Too bad they got wiped out. Though, that's what they get for the sexist name."
- Hehehe.. I love Dean's face there. He doesn't like the jab, but he also can't argue.
Charlie: "...you guys are still coming to the mid-year jubilee, right?"
Dean: "Wouldn't miss it."
- Well, actually, you're going to - but Charlie's going to miss it too, so I guess you are off the hook.
Sam: "Wait a second, when did you become such an expert?"
Charlie: "Well, after you guys left, I dug into all things monsterous..."
*Dean is not happy*
- It's interesting, because Dean doesn't want Charlie digging into all things monsterous, because he wants her to stay safe. That was Sam's argument back in S1/pre-series - that they were unsafe because they hunted, whereas Dean thought that everyone who didn't hunt, and didn't know about monsters, were the unsafe ones. It made perfect sense in terms of character - because from Dean's perspective, Mary died because they hadn't been prepared - whereas from Sam's perspective, his family wasn't safe because they were constantly hunting monsters. Now, though, and we saw it in S6 too, Dean believes that keeping people ignorant is the way to keep them safe. But, this also makes sense, since everyone that Dean sees get drawn into the supernatural world (since S1, anyway) ends up dying a premature bloody death.
Charlie: "...I also found this series of books by Carver Edlund..."
*Dean and Sam suddenly very uncomfortable*
Charlie: "...did those books really happen? Wow. That is some meta-madness. *to Dean* Thanks for saving the world. *To Sam* Sorry you have zero luck with the ladies."
Sam: "We need to find every single copy of those books and burn them."
Charlie: "They're online now, so, goodluck with that."
- Ah, online - the forever place. Poor Sam. Technically though, I'd like to point out that it was SAM who saved the world, Dean just helped by driving the car close to him and loving him his entire life and...okay, okay, I guess Dean saved the world. :P
- This scene also created the slew of "how did she know about the apocalypse, the books ended at the end of S3!" protests from all the super-detail-oriented fans. To the point where everyone at VanCon last year got this questions, even actors not related to this episode or scene at all. I'm fine with detail-oriented fans, I mean, I AM ONE...but what bugs me is people who can't follow through logically and come up with their own idea of how it might have happened. It's pretty easy to do, given that Chuck was still writing when he dated Becky. Chuck already had another contract for the rest of the series... and Chuck FINISHED typing up the series before he died... and the internet exists. Just because we didn't see Chuck attach the document to an email and click "send" doesn't mean it didn't happen. I mean, we never see Sam and Dean take a leak or charge their phones, but we assume they do, when they're walking around without urine soaked pants and useless phones.
Dean: "...I'm going to go see if there's anything to this crazy case of yours."
Sam: "I'm coming with you!" *stumbles as he gets up*
Charlie: "Whoa! Are you sure you're okay?"
- Giant men stumbling around is never a good thing. You aren't fooling anyone, Sam. You actually do look like death warmed over.
Shooting range! Yay Charlie is awesome.
Shopping montage! Hehehehe... I love it. You know what else I love about Charlie and Dean's friendship? The fact that they're just friends. It's so rare to see Male-Female friendships on TV without some sort of romantic-undertone to them. It drives me a little bit crazy, speaking as someone who's two closests friends are dudes.
Charlie: "Trials? That's never good."
Dean: "Yeah, and our prophet's in the wind."
Charlie: "What about, uh, Castiel. He seems helpful and dreamy."
Dean: "He's MIA with his own tablet doing God knows what. I mean, to be honest, this whole thing is just - I mean, Sam's a tough sonofabitch, but Cas is saying that these trials are messing with him in ways that even he can't heal."
- This is the other thing I love about Dean and Charlie's friendship - he actually TALKS to her. I mean, arguably, Dean doesn't even talk to Cas this much really... not as openly and honestly.
Charlie: "If it's any consolation, having read your history - there's pretty much nothing the Winchesters can't do if they work together."
- I think the problem is that they aren't really working together here. They stopped the apocalypse together - Sam was the one to defeat lucifer and jump into the whole, sure...but he couldn't have done it if Dean hadn't shown up with the car and refused to leave him. The trials though, Sam's doing on his own, and they aren't on the same page about them at all... they aren't on the same page about how important they are, anyway. To Dean, they're not important enough to lose Sam over (unlike the apocalypse), but to Sam, they are important enough to die for.
Charlie: "Must be nice, having a brother, someone to always watch your back."
Dean: "Yeah. No brothers or sisters?"
Charlie: "Actually, I have two, their names are x-box and PS3."
- Awww... Charlie can be a Winchester, and then she'll REALLY have two brothers (plus a dead half-brother, yay!)... of course, if she becomes a Winchester, she'll probably die. :P
And Charlie freezes up when it comes to actually lying IRL.
And we actually get a mogue boss who follows paperwork... that should have been our first clue.
Dean: "What did you hack when you were a teenager?"
Charlie: "Uh, NORAD."
Dean: "Yeah, whatever you say, War Games...."
- I wonder if Dean believes her or if he thinks she's lying to cover something up again, like the obvious comic-convention lie.
Okay, lesson for kids: Don't poke things that are inflated.
Dean: "Charlie, why don't you go talk to the witnesses"
Charlie: "But I don't want to miss the bro-ment."
- Ah, Charlie, this is what happens when you become fans of your friends. :P
Sam: "Dean, you can't take care of the both of us, I need to be out here! Play through the pain, right?"
Dean: "Come on, man, don't quote me to me."
- Part of me wonders about Sam's sentence there. Why can't Dean take care of the both of them? I figure, it must be because Sam KNOWS that Dean took care of the both of them for the first 23 years of his life (minus ages 0-5), and from S1-S5, Sam did his best to try to show Dean that he didn't have to do so anymore, that Sam was an adult and could make his own decisions and look after himself and look after Dean too... and, well, that didn't work out so well for him in S4, but the intentions were good! And I think he's still in that mindset, after S7, when Dean had to go back to looking after him due to the crazies, I'm sure Sam just doesn't want to feel like a burden anymore...no matter what he does, he seems to end up being a burden on his self-sacrificing saint of a brother.
Charlie: "You guys fight like an old married couple."
- Yes, yes they do.
Charlie: "Is he leaving? He's leaving!"
Sam: "That's alright, I stole your car. I think I know where he's going."
- I love how casually Sam says that, like it's perfectly normal to steal your friend's car
Dean: "Wait a sec. Djinn."
Charlie: "Djinn vics don't get liquified."
Dean: "No, not regular Djinn, apparently there is a bastard offshoot-"
- I think that makes the third variation of Djinn that we've seen.
Charlie: "Alright, breakthrough means snack time for me! And I want to just stretch my legs. I will go pick us up some grub and, unlike you, Sam, I will not forget the pie."
Dean: "She seem a little off to you?"
Sam: "Since the second she got here."
*montage of Charlie doing suspicious money-transfer things in an apartment*
- I remember watching this the first time and trying to figure out where the hell they were going with this... by this point, of course, I had completely forgotten how the episode started.
- Of course, why Charlie felt the need to transfer those funds RIGHT THEN, I have no idea.
- It was the pie comment that did her in, btw. Never promise Dean Winchester pie, something bad will happen to you.
And the morgue lady is the Djinn!
Sam: "Whatever it is, it belongs to Charlie, or some variation of her?"
Dean: "Who the hell is she - Jason Bourne?"
- I love how Dean says it like it doesn't actually matter who she is, he still loves her.
And Dean discovers Charlie's tragic backstory... orphaned at 12, then got in trouble for hacking a game.
I have a question about Charlie's mother though - don't people in persistent vegetative states, or well, in this case, completely brain-dead people, don't they lose weight slowly?
These Djinn prefer the taste of fear.... interesting.
Dean: "Gertrude seemed like a cool mom too. Kind, strong, taken from her family way too young - remind you of anybody?"
- Oh, Dean.
Dean: "Coroner's a hell of a cover for hiding kills."
- This is where Sam should have said, "I know, you killed my coroner-monster ex-girlfriend, remember?"
Charlie: "My manly man friend's going to come get you..."
Djinn: "Let him come, he reeked of fear as well."
- Awww, Dean. Dean is afraid for Sam.
Sam: "Well, let's go ask her, according to this, she holds too pieces of property in town..."
- Uh, Sam, not that I don't like the exposition about how you discovered that it was the coroner, but your friend Charlie is currently being killed by a monster, maybe you should have LEAD with the information about where she was so that you could commense rescuing, and THEN explain how you put it all together like a smarty-smart?
Anyway... rescue Charlie... kill Djinn.....
Of course, bastard off-shoot of Djinn means that the antidote doesn't work - so, it's dreamroot time! And I love the fact that they just HAVE some now, whereas before they had to call in Bella to get them some. I mean, I guess you can explain everything away now with the MoL bunker having a supply closet and them just keeping the car stocked out of it.
Sam punches Dean out. I love how Dean says, "I know you don't want to-" and then Sam basically cuts him off with a punch. I know the joke is that OF COURSE Sam wants to punch Dean, but I actually think Dean's right. Sam doesn't want to punch him. Sam VERY VERY rarely punches Dean... but Sam is also someone who knows that he needs to do what is required to get a job done.
And then we remember how the episode started...
I love Charlie coming to Dean's rescue in the game.
Dean: "...Djinn usually send you to your happy place. Now, no judgement, but you got a really strange sense of happy, kiddo."
- Aww... I love when Dean calls people kiddo.
Charlie: "Wait, no, Jennifer said her kind feeds off fear. This isn't my happy place this is a recurring nightmare of mine."
...and we get the story of Charlie copying the game off the company servers when she was twelve, reprogramming it, and releasing it for free, and then getting arrested... all when she was twelve. And that she's been on the run ever since. - Yikes, 12 was a bad year for Charlie!
Charlie: "So how do we get out of here?"
Dean: "I don't know. We gave you the Djinn antidote. It didn't take. And I killed the Djinn."
Charlie: "Both of them?"
- Aw, the twist Dean didn't see coming.
- My question though, why doesn't Dean try suicide? I mean, that's what worked when he was captured by a Djinn... maybe it's too big of a risk for him to try it with Charlie, in case it doesn't work.
And Charlie tells us about her mom, and reading the hobbit... and it's heartbreaking.
Charlie: "She's the reason I love the stuff I love."
Dean: "I'm sorry for your loss."
Charlie: "She's not gone."
- Sad times forever.
Charlie: "Is this my nightmare or yours?"
- So, I think this was a little too hit-you-over-the-head-with-an-anvil. Yes, we get it - Charlie is unable to let go of her mother, and Dean's unable to let go of Sam... but Sam showing up in Charlie's dream doesn't make sense for the dream mechanics. I mean, arguably, it is POSSIBLE to change someone elses dream - it was also implied that it was only possible either through a lot of practice or if you had weird creepy powers, like Sam.
LittleDjinn: "...she always told me not to play with my food."
Sam: "Yeah, you should have listened to your mom."
- Oh kid monster, you did the classic villain blunder of looking away from your kill.
Dean: "...and it's fuel is fear. Now call me crazy, but I think the only way to break the cycle is to let go of that fear and stop the game."
Charlie: "You don't know that?"
Dean: "I know that your fear is creating all of this. But you're not afraid of those super soldier vamps out there, you're not afraid of this game, and you're not afraid of what it did to you. Hey, look at me, you're afraid of losing her. Charlie, she's already gone."
- Dean's brilliant. I love that he puts this together, because this is a recurring nightmare, sure, but Dean realizes that there's only one part of it that's actually scary to Charlie.
Charlie: "I just want to tell her that I'm sorry and that I love her and just have her hear it again - I just need her to hear that one more time, but she can't, she can't."
Dean: "I know, believe me I know. But you gotta let it go. Game over, kiddo."
- Awww... the tears.
Charlie: "So, thanks for saving our bacon."
Sam: "Anytime, Your Highness."
- I love it.
Charlie: "You know you're going to be okay, right? Those books portray you as one tough customer. If anyone can get through the trials, it's you."
- Awww... it's too bad you're wrong, Charlie.
Sam: "Thanks, you know, you should definitely come back and dig through our archives, you are definitely a woman of letters."
Charlie: "I like the sound of that."
- Awww... I love them.
Dean: "Well, thanks for stopping by, Charlie. I always wanted to get Troned."
- I just like that line.
Dean: "What's next for you?"
Charlie: "Going to go back to the hospital. Gotta let it go, right? How about you? You going to let it go?"
Charlie: "That's my boys."
- And here we get the foreshadowing again... the fact that Dean is going to be faced with that choice, and that he's not going to be able to be brave about it like Charlie. The funny thing here is that Charlie says "that's my boys" like perhaps Dean's inability to let go is a good thing... which, I guess is a debatable point either way...
Charlie: "I love you."
Dean: "I know."
*hugs and kisses*
- Seriously, I can't handle these two... they're too adorable.
Sam: "Look, you were right. I should have laid low, I should have hung back. I'm glad I was able-"
Dean: "What do you say we find our prophet."
- I do love that Dean DID take a lesson from Charlie's story, and that he realized that you had to show the people you loved them that you loved them while you still could.
And the end, with Charlie reading to her mother one last time... oh, my heart.
Getting ready to go into Coroner's office... just a cut little "nervous charlie and amused Dean" scene.
Dean and Charlie eating burritos in the Impala while Charlie makes fun of Dean's taste in music, then plays her own tune, to which Dean feigns disgust while slowly getting into it. It's kind of a funny scene to watch, since there is no music playing... ACTING!
And done! I'm not even going to make a promise about when the next one is going to be, because who knows... but, I've only got three more left to do! Yay! I can't believe that my original goal was to have them all done by the end of November. How the heck did I manage that in previous years?