Supernatural 10×21 Review: Dark Dynasty

supernatural1I try to be as level headed as possible with my reviews.  Even when an episode angers or offends me, I attempt to lay out my frustration as rationally as possible.  But this week?  Oh man, this week is hard.  It is taking an extreme amount of restraint to not break the site rules and launch into a long string of profanity, but I want this to get published so I’ve to keep myself at least somewhat contained.  The last time I felt this much anger was way back at the season 7 premiere when Cas turned into a black pool of goo in the lake just a few minutes into the episode.  After that episode I rage quit and didn’t return for many months.  Things are different now, though.  We’re so close to the end of the season and I’m committed to sticking with the show, so rage quitting probably isn’t on the agenda this time, but man I am upset beyond belief.

People die on Supernatural.  That’s a fact.  The Winchesters died. Castiel died.  Charlie died before Wednesday’s episode and was brought back almost immediately, marking her as a true Winchester.  Each death hurt really horribly, but was soothed over by timely resurrections (except for Cas in season 7, anyway, but he did eventually come back).  There’s something very final and very brutal about Charlie’s death, though, that makes it harder to deal with.  The only characters that are truly ‘safe’ on this show are the Winchester brothers, at least until the final episode (and let’s not think about that just yet, okay?) so if a character dies and isn’t resurrected in the same episode, it’s a decently safe assumption that it’s permanent.  There have been very few exceptions to this rule. So at this point, Charlie is considered perma-dead, and our anger is rightly justified until proven otherwise.

The event hurts even more because Charlie has been such an important character to so many people.  This season has been much better than previous seasons in regard to the treatment of women.  Charlie, along with Jody, Donna, and Claire, have all been seen as a great sign for creating a sustaining positive female presence on the show, even inspiring the idea of an all female spin off.  Though Charlie isn’t part of the core group of women brought up in many of the spin off ideas, people have wanted to see her as a guest star.  She’s also added some vital queer representation, which has thus far been very limited on this show.  Let’s be real, Felicia Day is just pretty awesome and fun to watch on screen, so most of us want to keep her around just because we love her as a person, but now much of that good will that’s been building up this season has been undone for so many of us fans.  If any of the other amazing women who’ve taken on a larger role this season die before the finale is out, I will definitely be rage quitting for a while like I did back in Season seven.  Mark my words.  Jody, Donna, and Claire? Please stay far away from the Winchesters until this Mark of Cain thing is fixed.  Thanks.

supernatural2Lying never ends well. Cas knew it. Charlie knew it. But once again there was lying between the brothers, and once again people lost their lives in the process.  Don’t take this as me laying blame at the Winchester’s feet.  They want to save people.  I know this, and I don’t blame anyone except the people who actually murdered them for their deaths.  But many of the people who have chosen to fight alongside the Winchesters have died and a lot of the dangerous situations directly resulted from them lying to each other, so while I don’t saddle them with the blame it is getting really draining watching the same results from the same behavior over and over again.  This was pretty much exactly what happened to Kevin last year.  They need to just stop lying.  It’s not only eliminating many incredible characters, but growing incredibly repetitive and tiring.  Can the writers do something a little different please?

I need to find at least one positive thing from this episode, because otherwise… what’s the point?  Cas and Charlie were great together.  Charlie calling Dean her ‘buddy’ was great.  Her saying she’s not a witch but a ‘nerd’ was also a pretty fabulous line.  Sam and Dean were gorgeous as always, but that’s pretty much every episode so that doesn’t really make this one stand out.  That’s pretty much it.  The rest of this episode?  Nothing redeeming.  Looking back I know what the plot of the episode was, but I can’t even properly analyze it because I was so angry over Charlie’s death.

This is going to be an episode I have to skip on rewatch.  It’s too painful.  It’s not the good kind of emotional pain like ‘Swan Song,’ but a horrible pointless pain like Kevin’s death.  There’s definitely a difference between the types of pain and what they bring to the story.  Killing off a beloved side character to cause the leads pain while recycling the same themes over and over again? Bad pain. It’s pretty straight forward.

Author: Angel Wilson

Stephanie “Angel” Wilson is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and has essays published in Fandom Frontlines.



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