Supernatural: Slumber Party (904)

We shall start the discussion with this Public Service Announcement:  The old speech pathology student in me wants to let you know you can still speak when your tongue is cut out.  You still have your larynx/vocal folds/voice box to give voice, and individual words (actually “phonemes”) are formed by the shape of the entire mouth.  Without the tongue, you can still be reasonably well-understood, with practice.  Then again, they probably don’t have speech therapists or pathologists in Oz.

Dean sees an arm emerge from a cocoon-like structure.

Wall, cocoon, arm? Um, That’s not good.

It’s interesting how expectations can sometimes affect one’s appreciation of an episode.  If I haven’t watched, but have read unfavorable comments, I tend to be pleasantly surprised.  But, in the case of “Slumber Party,” when my expectation are high, I’m sometimes let down.

“Slumber Party” had all the makings of a great episode.  Felicia Day returned as loveable hacker extraordinaire Charlie Bradbury.  It was written by Robbie Thompson, one my favorite writers, and directed by Robert Singer.  Add to that the significance of the Men of Letters bunker as “home,” and a newly introduced heroine who’s wily, competent, feisty, and smart—oh, and from 1935—and you should have yourself a winner.

Sam wipes the cobwebs from Dorothy's hair.

After 75 years, girl’s gonna have a few cobwebs.

The Wizard of Oz tie-in didn’t particularly appeal to me in last week’s previews, but it was actually clever.  The wily new heroine is Dorothy, a hunter, and daughter of L. Frank Baum, who just happens to be a Man of Letters.  Oz really existed, but was in the throes of a “good vs. evil” rebellion.  In 1935, Dorothy brought the Wicked Witch to the Men of Letters hoping to find a way to kill her.  When she couldn’t, she used a spell to seal the witch and herself in some goo.

Unfortunately, the Winchesters knock the bottle of goo over while checking out an old Univac computer.  They discover Dorothy, no worse the wear for 75 years.  Unfortunately, so is the witch.

With all this goodness, what happened?  For me, Supernatural has always been about people, not monsters.  There were so many golden opportunities to explore the more intimate moments of relationships that fell short.

The most troublesome is Charlie’s death.  Charlie saves Dean from the witch’s green lightening bolt, but dies.  Dean, who’s grown quite fond of Charlie is devastated.  His voice breaks, he mutters “Charlie!” over and over again, yet I wanted more from Jensen Ackles.  He seemed to hold back, much as he did in the church scene with Sam at the end of “Sacrifice.”  Perhaps Jensen’s tremendous talent and One Perfect Tear have spoiled me.

Charlie Bradbury helps the Winchesters with an old computer.

Dean saves Charlie via SamZeke. Charlie saves boys from Wicked Witch and Univac.

Dean calls on Zeke to save Charlie.  C’mon, show!  You just did this last week!  Supernatural is usually quite deft at timing its episodes for maximum benefit, but this one was a giant misstep.

I would have loved a deeper conversation about Charlie’s realization that she died, but this show is not about Charlie Bradbury,.  Besides, we got a beautiful back story with “Pac Man Fever.”  That should be enough.

Dorothy said she had died in Oz but not how she came back to life.  Surely an inquiring mind  like Charlie’s would want to know more.   Perhaps Dorothy will tell Charlie more while they travel through Oz.  Alternatively, I’d not be adverse to Dorothy and Charlie returning to the show for further back story.  But leave the flying monkeys in Oz, okay?


4 responses to “Supernatural: Slumber Party (904)

  1. I kind of felt something lacking in Charlie’s death, too, but I couldn’t pinpoint it. It wasn’t Jensen, I don’t think, but maybe you’re right. I’d have to rewatch. I didn’t mind the repetition because it set up a few things: Dean wanting to use this tool that’s available to him but he’s really playing with fire with all the bringing-back-from-dead stuff, getting too obligated to Zeke, and risking blowing it all wide open with Sam’s suspicions. So I’m okay with it.

    Also? Jared’s transitions to different characters is always great. He’s come so far from the days of flared nostrils=intense emotion. LOL

    The speech thing–totally get what you’re saying, but it was a fresh cut (she never really got a chance to adapt), she wasn’t really interested in communicating with her captors anyway, and she did make somewhat recognizable sounds when she came across Crowley.

    I’m wondering if they have plans to do webisodes or something of Charlie and Dorothy’s adventures in Oz. 🙂 You know, like they did with the Ghostfacers? (Boy, I miss them!)

    • Oooh, webisodes of Charlie and Dorothy in Oz would be fabulous! I missed the Ghostfacers webisodes. (And I was one who really enjoyed them, too.) Perhaps it was when I was working 12+ hour days in IT and spend all day on the computer. When I got home, I had no desire to turn on the computer.

      When I rewatched the episode, I noticed Dean’s reaction to Sam asking about Zeke. When they split up, Dean’s face was “Oh, I am so playing with fire.”

  2. I didn’t know you could still speak with your tongue cut out! But we can admit that the idea of the witch speaking through those she possess is kinda cool though, right? I did notice that there was something off or lacking in Charlie’s death, something missing. I’m wondering if Dean is just that… done. Thank you for your recap. It’s amazing as always.

  3. Pingback: Supernatural: Season 9’s Top Seven Episodes | SciFi Chick (s)

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