“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like…”

The loveable ginger Charlie returning and getting her torture on to some helpless judge? That’s not something you see every day. Neither is an egg-white omelet-making Dean who’s shunning booze and burgers (most likely boobs, too, but we don’t need to go there) to get every possible advantage to better control the Mark of Cain. Despite all the research, the boys have been striking out left and right. They get a break in the research when a phone cam video shows Charlie delivering a bully beat down out in the open. They pack up and head to Topeka and find that the victimized D.A., Peter Harper, was the judge in the drunk driving case in which Charlie’s parents were killed. After discovering the files had been sealed and all records of the case have vanished, Dean gets a bit persuasive and finds the name Harper gave up: Councilwoman Barbara Cordrey.

The councilwoman isn’t too forthcoming with any questions though she ends up getting a visit from Charlie. Sam and Dean come face to face with their friend only to find she’s seriously off the rails. She’s vicious, cruel, and relentless, traits Dean finds out first hand when Charlie takes him down long enough for her to escape with the information she’s wanted all along. And then Charlie drives up in her Bumblebee’d Gremlin.

Wait, what?

Good Charlie and Clive–the good aspect of the Wizard of Oz

Sitting down with this new Charlie, the brothers find out she made a deal with the Wizard of Oz, one requiring her to unleash her inner darkness. Though it helped Dorothy and the Resistance win the war for Emerald City, it unleashed the dark side of Charlie. Though they are still physically connected (feeling the other’s pain), and Dark Charlie singlehandedly won the war, Good Charlie wants nothing to do with her darker half. So, what better way to reconnect—in Dark Charlie’s mind—than to find their parents’ killer? From the bank statements, they tap Russell Wellington as the man behind the cover up. In order to stop Dark Charlie, they’ll need to merge her with the Good Charlie. Problem being, the Key to Oz was broken and it’s the only way to combine the two Charlies into one body. The three split up, with Dean tracking down Wellington while Sam and Good Charlie head back to the Bunker for a bit more research on the Keys.

Dean finds Russell Wellington but can’t get him away before Dark Charlie shows up. She convinces Dean to give her time with the man that killed her parents then covered it up. “This was never about revenge,” she says, “I want him to see my face. I want him to see what he did to me. To us.” Seeing the Charlie he knows and love, Dean lets Dark Charlie get her wish. For his part, Wellington breaks down, admitting to his part in the heinous cover up and, for a moment, it appears that’s all Dark Charlie wanted. Alas, it’s never that easy. With Dean’s guard down, she locks him out of the office and takes a knife to Wellington’s heart.

On his way back to the Bunker, Dean gives Sam the news on Dark Charlie. The good news is Sam and Good Charlie may have found an answer to the Key problem. It’s Clive Dillon, the former Man of Letters who first discovered the Key to Oz. Unfortunately, Oz steel can only be forged and repaired in that realm. It’s not too long into their conversation that they realize Dillon’s had the same thing happen to him as Charlie. In fact, his darker half just so happens to be the Wizard of Oz. The same wizard ruling Emerald City by her side. There’s only one way to get the wizard’s attention: Clive mortally wounds himself, forcing the wizard back into our world.

Before joining Sam and Good Charlie at Clive’s, Dean is commiserating with an untouched drink when Charlie shows up. He’s pissed that she lied to him but she doesn’t see it that way. “You lied to yourself,” she tells him. Their conversation veers into Dark Charlie’s assertion that “being dark sets you free. And part of you knows that, too.” The scary thing is, Dean knows it all too well. He’s trying to fight the darkness calling within him and this Charlie’s words are a painful reminder to what’s inside him. But he puts aside his own issues to help a friend, arriving at Clive’s just in time to hear a gunshot…and moments before Dark Charlie arrives. She wants only to talk to her better half but Dean refuses to allow her in, ready to put Dark Charlie down if need be.

It’s clobberin time!

Dean goes off on Dark Charlie–despite her counterpart feeling every blow

Dean goes toe to toe with Dark Charlie while Sam is powerless at the hands of the all-powerful Oz. Good Charlie, feeling the pummeling Dean’s giving to her darker side, must look past what is good, shooting Clive which kills the Wizard. Sam carries the bloodied Good Charlie to her incapacitated other self. Before they are re-connected, Dark Charlie commends Good Charlie for killing the Wizard. “I knew you had it in you,” she says before the two are merged using the Wizard’s Key.

Back at the Bunker, Charlie’s slowly recovering and Dean’s in his own world of misery at what he almost did. But Charlie’s not going to let him sulk. She reminds Dean of who he is—a Winchester—and offers him forgiveness. She challenges him to prove how sorry his is by moving forward. She’s off to Tuscany to look into this book of Lore that may be able to provide more answers for Dean.

“She right, Dean. You can do this,” Sam tells him. “We can do this.”

Dean’s reply is simple. “The let’s get to work.” The question remains, does he truly believe it?

Two Sides to a Coin

  • There are fillers and then there are fillers with purpose. “There’s No Place Like Home” is firmly entrenched in the latter. Charlie’s dilemma with her two-selves is a mirror image of Dean’s predicament. He may not have a second persona outside himself but the fact he has a storm warring inside of himself is even worse. As a hunter, Dean is more in tune with the darkness in the world more so that most people, real or fictional. But one thing we all must understand is that everyone has darkness within them and sometimes that darkness comes out. The question we must ask ourselves is what do we do to keep it at bay? Sam’s words from last week come to mind. He told Dean that a powerful force was needed to keep the Mark at bay and much of that had to come from Dean himself. It all comes down to believing in one’s self and, ‘to thine own self be true’.
  • It was fantastic to see Felicia Day return as Charlie. She’s a little ray of sunshine in the dark and violent world of ‘Supernatural.’ Like Castiel, she’s a change of pace in the Winchesters’ lives and we can only hope she’s back before season’s end.