Episode: Supernatural 8.11 – “LARP and the Real Girl”
Original Air Date: January 23, 2013
Screencaps by spn-caps
Dean plays dress-up, Sam wears a ponytail, and Charlie is queen of the kingdom. Put them together and you have one of the funniest episodes of Supernatural in a while. With the long line of depression and end-times problems that forever haunts the Winchesters, it was nice to take a break and get a fun, gruesome case to work on.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
LARP-ing, or Live Action Role Play, has been featured on the show a few times now. In “The Monster At The End Of This Book” Dean and Sam get mistaken for LARPers in the comic shop, playing the characters of Sam and Dean Winchester, and in “The Real Ghostbusters” they got to see their cases played out in real life with members of the Supernatural convention portraying their old friends, enemies, and even the Winchesters themselves. So, to this point, they hadn’t had much good experience with the events. However, all that changed in this episode, when the LARPers weren’t connected to the Winchesters, but instead re-enacting some old school Renaissance. The case draws them to the fabled land of Moondoor and their old friend, Charlie, the beloved queen. For two guys who have had to go through some hard choices in the past few weeks, this was just the type of case they needed to catch a break, take a breath, and remember that sometimes hunting can be fun as well as challenging.
Charlie was a favorite character of mine from her first appearance. She is a strong woman who equals Dean and Sam, something that we don’t often get to see in the show. Added to that, she’s almost like the female version of Dean himself. I was so happy to see them bonding more in the episode, allowing Dean to talk to someone else about what’s been weighing on his mind with Sam and Benny and all the other crap that’s been thrown at them lately. Plus, Charlie and Dean have similar tastes in many aspects of their lives, from women to their knowledge of porn. It’s almost like she’s the honorary Winchester sister and for that I’m very happy. I hope that she gets to return again because it’s always interesting to see her working with the boys, and this time she even got to save the damsel in distress.
The case itself was interesting, given to them by Garth. It’s both creepy and caring that he, and apparently other hunters, has been tracking the boys in order to assign them cases. Garth’s trying to fill Bobby’s shoes the best way he knows how and doing a fairly good job at it. The hunting community needs someone like him and I’m glad Garth is there for them. The case he gives to the boys is just what they need to lessen the stress and get comfortable with each other again.
Over the course of the investigation, the boys run into quite a few interesting characters. There’s Gilda, the unwitting fairy accomplice, and Boltar the Furious/Gerry, their killer. Gerry actually made an observation that I’ve often wondered about with the boys taking on their respective law enforcement roles. He notices that their badges are fake because the numbers are outdated. A normal person probably wouldn’t notice, but Gerry’s an observant one, so of course he calls them out on it. The Winchesters’ lives have been hectic over the years, so it’s possible they’d slip a time or two and forget to keep up with the current law enforcement regulations. The sheriff, though, is not as observant as Gerry and lets them slip right into the investigation. In the face of such gruesome deaths, one guy getting torn apart limb from limb by invisible horses and the other guy bleeding from every orifice on his body, the sheriff is calm, cool, and hilarious with his one-off lines. Just another example of great secondary characters in the Supernatural world.
Dean is like a kid in a candy store throughout the whole episode. He gets such a thrill when he gets to dress up and this time was no exception. He’s a warrior, and apparently a fine handmaiden, but whatever role he takes on he does it with conviction. I love seeing the look of boyish glee on Dean’s face when he gets to do these kinds of undercover roles and I get the feeling Sam’s a fan of seeing his big brother take such enjoyment in his work, too. The last scene, when Sam gets them both into the battle, just made me smile so wide. Getting to see Dean play the fearless leader, reciting the Braveheart speech, while Sam’s over there in warpaint and a ponytail… such glee. This was a great tribute to the Winchesters, a great treat for the fans, and a great way to head off into the second half of the season. Together, these boys can do anything.
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars