Supernatural Review 9.04 - "Slumber Party"
Posted by Joseph Lee on 10.30.2013
We're off to see the wizard...
The Road So Far: Castiel is living as a homeless man, since he knows very little about being human and doesn't have a job or money. The angels are organizing to find him since they think he's the reason they fell. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean finally track him down just as a reaper (disguised as a woman that Cas has sex with) has him captive. The reaper kills Cas and Dean calls on Ezekiel to bring him back. They all arrive at the Den of Letters and Ezekiel tells Dean that Cas has to leave or he will leave Sam.
Season 9, Episode 4: Slumber Party Directed By: Robert Singer Written By: Robbie Thompson
I can see some long-time fans absolutely hating this episode. For one, it focuses on not one but two guest stars and for another, it brings back Charlie...who appears to have split the fanbase a bit, at least in forums I've been to. For me, I love both Charlie and Felicia Day. I think she has a lot to offer the show in her limited appearances. Personally, I thought I was going to dislike this episode due to the fact it was saying that Oz was real, but I was left pleasantly surprised.
The episode opens with a flashback to the 1930s with two of the Men of Letters being met by Dorothy, who has captured the Wicked Witch but cannot kill her. The witch breaks free and Dorothy is forced to bind their souls together, trapping them in the Den of Letters forever. Cut to present day and Sam thinks he may be able to use the Den's computers to track angels and help Castiel avoid them. This causes them to bring in Charlie to use her technical expertise.
The season six episode about fairies is one of my least favorite in the series. I just think that it's a little too silly for a show like Supernatural. Naturally, bringing a fictional world like Oz to life within this show also seems a little too silly, but the show ended up pulling it off. The important thing is that Oz is only shown briefly. The other is that it drops the more whimiscal aspects of the story, revealing that Dorothy's father is L. Frank Baum and he wrote a more light-hearted tale of her very dark stay in the mystical city. Instead of making Supernatural adapt to the Oz books, it did the opposite.
Charlie has really grown over the course of the series. She started out as just "the nerdy girl" and known is more developed and is her own character. I enjoy her appearances. This episode sees her trying to encourage Sam and Dean to sign off on her hunting hobbies and finding out that adventuring isn't as fun as she thinks it is. There are some that think she's a Mary Sue but I don't see that. She's definitely flawed and entirely in over her head, usually getting away through dumb luck.
The introduction of Dorothy is the only thing I really didn't like this episode. I appreciate grounding the character and the surprise of making her a hunter, but she's not at all interesting. She's bland and stiff through most of the episode. She would be the Mary Sue, as she's a very prototypical female hero only without any of the quirks or flaws that would make her interesting. She's just there to kill things.
The other thing that brought this episode down, believe it or not, was having Crowley involved. I'm not going to knock Crowley himself, Mark A. Sheppard always delivers, but there was no reason to have Crowley in the episode outside of the fact he's being kept prisoner in the Den of Letters. He really doesn't add to the plot this time around and is just there to get around the fact that people will ask why Crowley wasn't in the episode.
Outside of those complaints, however, it was still a decent episode. Maybe it was just because my expectations were lowered but I enjoyed myself and there were some good lines here and there, particularly early on from a snarky Sam Winchester. It's not as good as the first three episodes but it's by no means the first bad episode of the season, either.
Next week appears to have Dean mind-meld with a dog and become more dog-like as a result. It'll either be really funny or too stupid to be any good. We'll see.
The 411: Slumber Party is for sure a step down from the first three episodes of the season, but the Winchester's interaction with Oz was surprisingly entertaining. It had some glaring flaws but was fun enough that it continues Season 9's reign as one of the best of the series so far.