There's nothing more that I love than Dean in full military dress (except maybe when he’s mother-henning his little brother or gossiping with Charlie).  He finds Charlie, decked out in a costume that's equal parts "Tombraider's" Lara Croft and "Terminators" T2 duds.  Dean and Charlie blast the supervamps with sexy gusto, working through the levels of the game and protecting the patients: Sam and Charlie's mom. Dean finally realizes that Charlie's fear, her inability to let go of the things she can't control, her guilt, is what is keeping her trapped there.  "This poison is designed to to put your mind into an endless cycle while your insides turn to mush.  It's fuel is fear.  The only way to break the cycle is to let go of the fear and stop playing the game.  You're afraid of losing [your mother], but she's already gone,” Dean explains.  Of course he'll have a harder time taking his own advice.

I wasn't remotely prepared for Charlie's tearful confessions that she can't let go of any part of her mother because her parents were driving over to the sleepover to get her because she got scared and wanted to come home.  She just wants to be able to apologize to her mother and tell her she loves her.  Felicia Day is a hilarious and talented actress, and it was a thrill to watch her dive into more of the darker moments, and it definitely left me misty-eyed.  Nothing bonds the Winchesters to other souls like childhood trauma.  

Once saved, Charlie finally decides to set her mother free, reading her "The Hobbit" one more time as the world's sweetest goodbye.  It's no mistake that she's reading a passage about a hobbit hole's being a place of comfort.  It's a subtle nod to the Winchesters' first home ever and the love that resides there.  

The State Of The Brotherhood

Cyncially, I thought the show would gloss over the consequences of Sam's hellacious journey in "Taxi Driver."  They have before, but I was delightfully mistaken.  At the top of the episode, a mussy-haired Sammy weaves and winces out of his bedroom after sleeping for nearly a day and a half.  He's groggy and a little weak.  In the beginning, it's a two parts funny and 18 parts adorable with Dean ripping on Sam's unkempt hair and tossing him a beer which Sam is too out of it to catch.  "This is why we don't have nice things, Sam,"  he gripes.

But when Sam starts stumbling and his reflexes are severely slowed, Dean's mocking turns to poorly reined in fear and restrained mother-henning.  He doesn't catch Sam when he sways, and reduced his nagging to a few epic eyerolls.  Of course Sam wants to "play through the pain" as Dean suggested Kevin do earlier in the season.  But he may be encouraged that Sam is still ornery enough to ignore Dean's orders to rest, beat Dean to the coroner's office, and kill the second Djinn (a recently turned teenager who was too hungry to cover its tracks).  

Before she leaves, Charlie gives him a mini pep talk: "You know you're going to be okay, right?  If anyone can get through those trials, Sam, it's you."  The episode ends with Dean hugging a defensive Sam for the second episode in a row (*sniffles*), and Dean doing to a bit of letting go himself, pulling Sam off the bench because they "have a prophet to find."  

Charlie adds a ray of plucky sunshine and color into the Winchesters' lives.  In this episode, she acted as their own personal cheerleader, reminding them of how many people they had already saved, how blessed they are to have each other and how together, they can do anything.  It's always bugged me that the Winchesters never had a sister, but I think now they finally do.  From A to F, "Girl With The Dungeons And Dragons Tattoo" to "Ghostfacers," this episode was an eccentric A-.

What was your favorite moment or quote in the episode?  Sam punchng Dean?  Charlie's manufactured montage?  Sam's "close enough"?  Sound off below!

Prepare yourselves for next week's episode as it appears that everything hits the proverbial fan!  Check out the promo below! 


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