Supernatural 10×11 Review: There’s No Place Like Home

Charlie1

I’ve got to be honest, I am a Felicia Day fangirl.  Any time she shows up on Supernatural is a treat for me and I’m incredibly grateful that writer Robbie Thompson has crafted such an amazing character for her.  I was worried that her heading to Oz last season was going to be the end of her story, but that wasn’t the case.  We got her back for another fun episode filled with the lovable Charlie-quirks I love so much.  The best thing about episodes featuring Charlie Bradbury is that they are constantly deepening her character and revealing more about her besides what’s presented on the surface level.  She’s more than just a one off side character.  She has a deep back story that Thompson seems eager to expand on.  I’m glad that they continue to give him these episodes to explore her character more because it’s truly something special.

The “good!character/dark!character” trope isn’t exactly a revolutionary idea, but it always leads to interesting opportunities for character examination.  In this case we get to explore the deepest darkest parts of Charlie.  We already know the tragedy that killed her parents affected her deeply and changed the course of her life, but dark!Charlie reveals an extreme amount of rage over the incident that the usual sparkly ray of sunshine has never expressed before.  This version of Charlie is willing to kill in the name of revenge, which is something our usual Charlie would never do.  Even when the good Charlie took a life at the end of the episode, it was for the greater good and not as a selfish act of vengeance.  Dark!Charlie was the id stripped raw and it was a really intense thing to witness.

When you take the dark sides out of our usual Charlie, you get to see just how much of her personality actually straddles the line with dubious moral behavior.  Instead of checking out the bartender, her good self wants to “sip club soda and send her to college.”  Checking out a bartender seems like a rather innocuous thing, but it’s clearly part of her id that left her when she split in two.  Likewise, her dubiously moral hacking habits have left her even though she clearly has the knowledge of how to do it.  Our Charlie has always had a bit of a dark streak, but it’s not something that you really notice because it is expressed in such subtle ways.  Being able to see the character on such a complex level and watching Felicia Day stretch her to such extremes was a really enjoyable experience.

Charlie2While Sam and Dean were mainly supporting the Charlie story for much of the episode, they weren’t without their own developments.  There’s been a continuing theme of mirrors with Dean since last season that popped back up this week.  When Dean sees himself in a mirror he seems to have a moment of clarity about his situation and (forgive the pun) reflects on what the Mark of Cain is doing to him.  This time he spotted his reflection in the mirror above the bar and we are reminded once again of just how much the Mark is effecting him.  Sam’s plot revolves around being worried about Dean, making two separate phone calls with Castiel about his ongoing condition.  I love Sam and Castiel’s friendship and seeing them both worry over Dean seems to be deepening their bond.  Overall, this was a definitely a brothers-lite episode, but they did make incremental steps towards the inevitable conclusion for the Mark of Cain arc.

I fear that every episode is Charlie’s last and I’m always pleasantly surprised to learn that I’m wrong.  I hope we see more of Charlie, hopefully bringing back Dorothy and expanding on their relationship.  Robbie Thompson has crafted a beautiful side story here and I can’t praise it enough.  I’m dying for more.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel 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 is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.


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About the author

Angel 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 is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.

Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree more. Loved the episode and I always love how much Robbie allows us to dig more into the back story of Charlie. She is a complex character and I love learning more and more about her. And gosh that moment of Sam carrying out Charlie all beat up and Dean realising what he’s done….so sad 🙁 Despite the feels, my partner turned to me after watching the episode and said “Supernatural is always more fun with Charlie” and I couldn’t agree more. It was an angsty episode, but I always find moments to giggle with Charlie. I just love the creative team between Robbie and Felicia. Definitely one of my fav eps of the season….actually this whole season so far has given me lots of episodes that I would rewatch including the MOTW/standalone ones. I’ve loved the eps with the Bitten werewolf, Donna/Jody, Charlie, the musical episode. Lots of rad side characters/guest stars that have kept me entertained while the Mark of Cain & Cas’s grace storylines move slowly.

    I also loved the little moments we got between Sam and Charlie in this episode, and Sam and Cas (even if it was just by phone). I like to see Sam connecting to other characters especially in his search for help and support in curing Dean. I like that the bros are not in it alone.

  2. This review summed up what I really enjoyed about the episode. The writers also have an annoying tendency to let the brothers come down with a case of Casnesia (forgetting Castiel exists) when Castiel is off screen, so it was pleasantly surprising to me to see Sam talk on the phone to Cas not once, but twice! I wish they had shown us this in season 9.

    There were a couple of moments I didn’t like (such as Dean not standing closer to Dark Charlie allowing her to kill that guy more easily and losing sight of Dark Charlie in the bar which allowed her to steal Baby) but overall I thought the episode was enjoyable and loved the deeper look we got into Charlies’s character. It really the emotional beats well, touching on the ongoing issues with the brothers and both Jared and Jensen gave us solid performances too.

    I look forward to Charlie’s return and hope she FINALLY will get to meet Castiel later. 🙂

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