“There’s No Place like Home” Review
By Annie Kenney
Let me start by saying that I absolutely loved this week’s episode. It had everything I love about Supernatural in it. Brothers working together, a kick ass guest star and, best of all, no angels and no witches!! Win – Win.
I had been seriously looking forward to this particular episode ever since I read the synopsis and it did not disappoint. Charlie Bradbury is one of my all-time favorite female characters because, more than any other character, she represents the average Supernatural fan (in my opinion anyway.) She is intelligent, quirky, clever and a massive geek. If I could be anyone in the Supernatural universe it would definitely be her! I also really enjoyed the Oz storyline from last season and it was good to see it continued here.
This episode also reminded me a lot of ‘Thinman’, which featured the Ghostfacers. In that episode the facer’s situation mirrored that of Sam and Dean (who were estranged at the time due to Dean shoving an angel into Sam). In Thinman we saw Ed and Harry trying to work through their issues without much success and it was clear that the writers were aiming for a direct comparison with what was happening to Sam and Dean. There’s No Place like Home did exactly the same as Charlie’s situation was very, very similar to Deans. Like Dean, Charlie was forced to face her dark side and – like Dean – she was struggling with the guilt of what the other her was doing. However she also understood why dark Charlie was going after those people. Deep down she possibly wanted revenge too.
The episode grabbed me from the start; seeing Charlie attacking a – seemingly – innocent man was quite shocking and it was obvious that something wasn’t right. Back in the bunker Dean was trying hard to ‘live with the mark’ and that appeared to mean giving up all his vices, getting eight hours sleep and eating healthy food. While this was source for amusement it was also a cause for concern because it soon became clear that Dean couldn’t live with or control the mark and that the brother’s need to find a cure as soon as they can.
Another great thing about this episode was that the brothers were together for most of it and they both seemed to be singing from the same hymn sheet. It is fantastic to see Sam being the strong one for once, to see Sam trying desperately to help and support his brother. Last week it felt as if Sam had been mostly side-lined but this week he was back in action and there is nothing better than action Sam.
Unlike last week the story was straightforward and exciting. There was something unbelievably tense in watching Dean go after ‘bad’ Charlie and their final confrontation was inevitable. It was also good to see Sam and ‘good’ Charlie working together – the two of them geeking out – and bonding over trying to save Dean. One of the most pivotal moments however was that Dean actually trusted ‘bad’ Charlie and let her go into the victim’s office alone. It illustrated that Dean still has some of his humanity but also that Dean hoped Charlie would find a reasonable solution to her problem. Unfortunately Dean’s trust was in vain and ‘bad’ Charlie got her revenge.
I love how Supernatural got involved in Oz and how believable it all is. Watching Sam and Charlie work together and actually find ‘the Wizard of Oz’ was really great and it was such an emotional moment when ‘good’ Charlie had to kill the ‘good’ Wizard to save the day. Meanwhile watching Dean go postal yet again and really hurt Charlie was almost painful. While ‘bad’ Charlie laughed at her beating, good Charlie really suffered. When Sam carried ‘good’ Charlie out of the house and laid her down next to her nemesis I actually had tears in my eyes. It is quite unusual to see Sam being ‘protector’ and Jared was absolutely fantastic in this scene. Sam hugging Charlie has to be a ‘freeze frame’ moment and it was so tender and so plausible.
At the end of the episode the writers hinted that we would see Charlie again and I hope this is the case. It would be good to see someone else help Sam ‘cure’ his brother. Of cause we know that Castiel will be involved but I don’t want him to be the one to remove the mark from Dean. I want it to be Sam and everything is crossed for that resolution.
Tonight’s episode proved that Supernatural is still one of the most original programs on television. It can take fictional things like ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and make them become almost credible. It can make us emotional, upset, worried and concerned. Tonight the episode was about the brother’s Winchester and their complicated lives. This is why I started watching and this is why I will continue watching. I understand that a lot of people love the angels, that a lot of viewers have taken to Rowena, that some viewers want Castiel to be Dean’s savior, but I am not one of those people. I am an old-fashioned Supernatural fan/viewer and I want to see Sam and Dean work through this together. I want to see them come out of this united and I really want to see them remain friends and allies.
Will I get my wish? I’m cautiously hopeful, but I’m sure there are going to be ups and downs along the way and there are still going to be episodes I don’t like and episodes that I absolutely love!
That’s Supernatural and that’s why I keep coming back week after week…