Episodes Reviewed – LARP and the Real Girl & As Time Goes By & Everybody Hates Hitler

LARP and the Real Girl

I was all ready to be offended by this episode, being a geek and a LARP-curious american.  However, I do commend the writers for pulling off what they often do when it comes to religion: silly but fair.  We all need to laugh at ourselves.

Big points to this episode for not only bringing back the Fae but for giving the brothers a chance to let their hair down and have fun.  Not to mention that it was nice to see Dean come out of the closet and admit that he’s a bit of a geek (no matter how much he tries to deny it).

You know… I’m also a total Charlie/Dean shipper now.  I mean, nobody can resist their sexual powers except each other.  One’s gay according to canon, the other is gay according to the internet, they’re both geeks and have good chemistry.  It’s perfect!  Actually Charlies does demonstrate here how good a semi-regular stable of guest stars can be for the show.  Her expression when the two boys arrive is… well it’s the expression everybody should have when they meet them (she’s just the only one so far to know it).

Great to see the Fae show up again even if we didn’t get to see Robert Picardo.  That was the single best episode of season 6 and I thought it a shame they didn’t try to tape into more story potential there.  With this episode, they can even do a more nuanced, complicated conflict with the faeries since they apparently can have separate agendas from each other.  (Which is the biggest fault of the Demons, Angels, & Leviathans.  That everyone is always on the same page and if there are any schism, it seems to be very small/known exclusively to our heroes.)

And entertaining, slice-of-life character piece.

As Time Goes By

See… this is why I’m wary of series going past their “sell by” date.  Once upon a time, a big deal of the show was that Sam was the special one, Dean the ordinary guy.  Season 4 – Nope!  Dean’s got all this angel mojo and stuff.  Then it was revealed that Mary was the hunter of the family, not John.  The idea that John was pulled into this world against his will is part of the core of the show.

Now we find out, nope, he was actually a part of that world all along too.

Dammit, if the show didn’t make it work.  Why?

One of the things I love about this show (and why it keeps getting passes from me on stuff I’d be harsher with on any other series) is it’s emphasis on the importance of sacrificing for something – especially family but it can also be for a cause.  In a world where most media has it all about “me me me” it’s refreshing.  Of course, sometimes SPN has a bit of a conflict because it wants the family sacrificing to come first when sometimes the cause at stake is one that if shirked, will screw over everybody’s family.  So saving the world is kind of putting your family first (assuming they live on said world).  This episode finally put that to light, even if they couldn’t quite have the characters air it (which is to its detriment).

Still, Henry Winchester was a far more likable person than Samuel Campbell.  I mean it was nice to see someone actually act like a grandfather this time.  In a lot of ways, SPN is like the reverse of Star Trek.  In the latter, conflict was never allowed among the mains.  In the former, conflict is mandated, no matter how nonsensical.  Yes I know the life of a hunter would probably make you pretty paranoid (what with shapeshifters, demons, leviathans, etc etc) but can’t you just… once you know someone is human, can’t you just treat them like a human?  We don’t need Brady level of affection but if family is so important, treat them a bit better, guys.

The other big fault of the episode…

Chuck of SF Debris once did a magnificent review and analysis of the main 7 episode arc of DS9’s dominion war.  As he pointed out at the end, one of the things that made it work so well is that they took a big risk (let’s move all the cast away from the main sets) and ran with it.  In this episode, even the main cast acts and talks like they know Henry won’t survive to the end credits.  SPN should have tried something new here.  Yes I know they tried to have a grandfather in season 6, except they didn’t make him a character, he was just a prop to move the plot along or stall it as needs be.  Henry should have been like Bobby, but in the field.  They didn’t need to do it the rest of the season, but 3, maybe 4 episodes of him traveling with them, bonding with his grandsons, showing them the ways of the Letter, expanding their world some more.  Heck, dangle the possibility that he might go home after all (Dean went to the future and back once, remember?) and even point out that Heaven could still keep Sam & Dean existing (since it is apparently in Heaven’s interest).  Then after a bit, then you kill him.  Let the audience bond with him more and let his death affect us more.  I wanted to be more heartbroken with Henry’s loss, instead I’m just heartbroken over the lost possibilities.

Still, awesome lore, episode and a good move to expand the SPN world.

Hey, I think this was the first episode to say the title of the show.

Everybody Hates Hitler

It’s NAZI ZOMBIES!!!!  How can you hate an episode involving Nazi zombies?

Yeah, lots of fun all around and golems are pretty cool.  Kudos to John DeSantis who did a good acting job.  I like to think that as a golem, he was “running” for so long that he was gaining self-awareness and the ability to speak.  It was actually a bit heartwarming to see his interaction with the kid.  Though with all the talk of “grandfathers” and “legacies”… I guess they were trying to show the brothers’ feelings instead of tell us about them, but I still wish Henry had been around in this one.

Also nice to see the brothers get a “batcave” of their own and start to find roles for themselves as Men of Letters.  This was another good breather episode.

I’m actually kind of looking forward to a “secret society war” season of the show now.  If they can handle it right.

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