Felicia Day assured me that “LARP and the Real Girl” was a celebration of those who dedicate their weekends (and spare cash) to role playing, and after viewing the episode for myself, Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) weren’t the only ones converted into thinking this is a pretty fun lifestyle.
Give me a sword, I’m going to Moondoor!
Note: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t yet watched Wednesday night’s “LARP and the Real Girl.”
The basic plot of “LARP and the Real Girl” was that Dean and Sam had to enter the world of LARPing after two players died mysterious deaths. As luck would have it, Charlie (Felicia Day) happened to be a key part to the game, and they relied on her to help deliver them answers. Though she was reluctant to help them at first (you know, because the last time she helped them she had to go on the run and change her name), it was soon evident that there was no avoiding it. Besides, she could be the hero in the real world again, and that’s a victory better than being the hero in a game.
Dean entered the world of Moondoor, acting as the Queen’s “handmaiden” while Sam did his usual research thing in the “tech tent.” They both effectively came to the same conclusion: that the Celtic tree tattoo on the victims was actually a mark of pain to come. But, it was Charlie who really got the details when she was kidnapped by a fairy who had been summoned by one of the players to take out his competition.
Now, you might think that portraying one LARPer as someone who has so lost touch with reality and what’s important that he would actually kill real people just to win a game might be just as concerning as having an overzealous fan kidnap and drug the “character” she has a crush on (I will just never get over how far Becky fell). Yet, in actuality, it seemed to have the opposite effect this time. “LARP and the Real Girl” displayed all of the passion one must need to devote so much time and energy to such a lifestyle, but it also spotlighted the sense of community, belonging, and positive escapism that seems to be key in that world — and in the world of the Supernatural, as well — on-screen and off.
Think about it: there is a heaviness looming in the boys’ mission with these demon (and now angel) tablets, but diving into the world of Moondoor, diving into this case in general, allowed them to escape and have a little fun for a change. Things are still bound to get very dark very fast, for the Winchesters and the audience by extension, but it’s when you know that’s coming that it is nicest to just push it aside for a little while.
“LARP and the Real Girl” was extremely touching, mostly because of the relationship that has evolved between Dean and Charlie. They’ve both clearly been outsiders, and they’ve found their own unique ways to cope and places where they feel like they fit in, but Dean seemed to learn a lot from Charlie in this episode, even going so far as to let his hair down (so to speak) and not worry too much about looking silly in a costume as he entered Moondoor.
But it was the way that Dean’s fearless heroism rubbed off on Charlie that makes this episode the most successful. Week after week, Supernatural asks us to watch two manly men fight demons, monsters, even angels at time. They come away with a few cuts and scrapes that never permanently scar, and the way they’re able to take them without backing down makes the audience swoon. I’m guilty of that, too; I admit it. But the women have always come and gone, more often than not as sacrifices the story had to make to keep the Winchesters going.
Until Charlie. Consider this my official plea to keep her around — at least as recurring as Kevin or Castiel. Charlie knows the dangers out there now, and she has made her peace with them. She has offered to help Dean and Sam, should they need her. And let’s be honest, why wouldn’t they need her? She’s a killer computer hacker, but in “LARP and the Real Girl,” she proved to be just as badass with a sword and a magic book, too. And television needs more heroines like that.
OMG!: So the fairy kidnaps Charlie, and she is turned on enough by the dark act that she makes out with her? I mean, I get that the fairy didn’t want to kidnap her, but still; that’s a special kind of Stockholm syndrome!
Thank you, TV gods.: I just love it when Supernatural explores Dean’s love and knowledge of pop culture. And they did it again on this episode, kind of subtly, by using a Lancelot/Merlin comparison to help him understand a key relationship in Moondoor. They did it again later with “50 Shades of Gray”…but I try to ignore that that’s even a thing.
Awk-ward: Did that Celtic tree tattoo remind anyone else of the way the hunter’s mark spreads on The Vampire Diaries?
Hotness: Swordplay is sexy! Seeing Dean go at it with the fairy’s “dark master” was a new kind of fight sequence for this show and one that was too short, if you ask me!
Fab-u-lous: Sam’s ponytail. Did you catch it at the end there, when Dean was giving his Braveheart speech? If you missed it, catch it in our clip above. It is… screencap-worthy, for sure!
Can. Not. Wait.: How will Dean and Sam’s new fantasy skills help them with future cases!?
Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 9 — From the amazing one-liners (like Charlie’s version of Liz Lemon’s “Blerg” to her telling the fairy to “Call me…maybe”), to the unique methods of murder, to still repairing Sam and Dean’s relationship, this was a one-off episode at its best.
What were your favorite moments from “LARP and the Real Girl?” Let us know in the comments below!
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