What a fun episode! I am constantly surprised and impressed by this little show of ours. It’s been nine seasons, but the writers, actors and crew are still as imaginative as ever. I was pretty excited going into the episode. The Wizard of Oz was a favorite story of mine growing up. Mostly because it amazed and disturbed me all at once, kind of like Supernatural. So basically, they are a match made in heaven.

What I’m most impressed with is the way the writers were able to weave the story into the Supernatural universe. Dorothy’s father is one of the Men of Letters while Dorothy herself is a slightly rebellious hunter. She stowed away in her father’s bag on a trip to Emerald City and finds herself stranded there. She meets up with three freedom fighters who are convinced that she is destined to kill the Wicked Witch. She is unable to, and the freedom fighters are cursed by the witch and turned into the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion. Dorothy manages to bring the Wicked Witch back with her in hopes that the Men of Letters will know of a way to kill her. The witch possesses one of the men and goes off in search of a key to Oz. Dorothy is forced to perform a binding spell to lock their souls together forever. I’m sorry, but that is just cool. I have no doubt that there are some holes in the story, especially if you’re a die-hard fan of the book. But for the most part, I think Dorothy was able to explain these holes away by revealing that her father wrote the books the way he wished things had been for her. I think my main question is why no one tried splashing the witch with water? Or maybe Dorothy already tried that?

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Another awesome element of this episode was Charlie. I love her character and having her around is like watching Sam and Dean with the sister they never had. Charlie has been struggling to establish a life for herself ever since Dick Roman found his way into her world. We knew that she had taken an interest in hunting but it seemed like she was strictly interested in the research portion, something I think she’d be great at. However she revealed to Sam and Dean that she has taken on a couple of cases since they last met. This did not make them very happy. What I found most interesting about Charlie’s relationship with hunting was that she expected it to be magical. Sure, she’s into LARPing and fantasy, but she’s been on actual jobs with Sam and Dean. She has to know it’s not glamorous, right?

Charlie: “Saving people, hunting things, the family business. I am down. But I was raised on Tolkien, man. I mean, where is all of this? Where’s my quest?”

Maybe what Charlie is looking for is a purpose rather than the “magic” of hunting? She needs to feel like she’s contributing to something. Deciding to accompany Dorothy to Oz gives her the purpose she craves and the quest she’s been looking for.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing Charlie again at some point, but it won’t be for a while and that bums me out. I’ve really grown to love her character and what she means to Sam and Dean.

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Before she left, Charlie was able to rig the angel table so that it can be used to track angels. I’ve been wondering about that table since the season 8 finale and I’m glad we’re finally getting some insight into its potential. If Sam and Dean can track the angels, they can help keep Castiel safe. Something he will really need since he’s out on the street fending for himself at the moment. I’m very interested to see how they plan to use the table now. Maybe Kevin will monitor the activity and report back to Sam and Dean?

It sounds like poor Kevin needed some recovery time first though. I was happy that they finally told us where he was. I spent all last week wondering why episode 9.2 ended with Dean convincing Kevin to stay and then 9.3 started and he was M.I.A. the entire episode. Well, this week Dean dropped him off at a motel for a little R&R and not a moment too soon from the sounds of it.

Dean: “He stared at the angel tablet and repeated the word ‘falafel’ the entire ride.”

Dean was hoping that he and Sam could also take a little time to rest up. The fact that he bought take out and season one of Game of Thrones made me so happy. I really do love knowing that every once in a while Sam and Dean have a normal night. Or at least they fully intend to.

The obvious theme of this episode is the idea of home and what it means to have a home. Since Supernatural functions as a road trip quest, the idea of home has always been unconventional. The Impala has really been Sam and Dean’s physical home for much of their life. But on a larger scale, home is wherever they’re together. I know, it sounds corny, but it’s true. Now they have the Men of Letters bunker. It took no time at all for Dean to make himself at home. He decorated his room, started using the kitchen, the robes and the slippers. Dean is home. But Sam has been hesitant to settle in from the beginning and I haven’t fully understood why. In this episode he finally gets the chance to explain it.

Dean: “Why haven’t you moved in?”
Sam: “Is now really the time for this, Dean? Look, I never really had what you had with mom and dad, okay?
Dean: “What are you talking about?”
Sam: “I don’t have any memories of home. And whenever I try to make a home of my own... it really hasn’t ended well.”
Dean: “Yeah, well a lifetime of abandoned building and crappy motel rooms, I mean... this is   about as close to home as we’re gonna get...and it’s ours.”

We all know how young Sam was when his life crumbled around him. And he certainly hasn’t had much luck since then. So it makes sense that he’d be hesitant to allow himself to feel at home in the bunker. On the other hand, Dean craves that feeling of being at home and settled with family. The bunker is the first time he’s had this chance with Sam, so he’s jumping at it. I do hope Sam is able to settle in a bit. I’m not sure what it would take for him to embrace the bunker as home. He did seem to warm up toward the idea at the end though. What did you guys think?

Now it’s time for the elephant in the room. Let me start by saying that I think there was the perfect amount of Zeke in this week’s episode. It was just enough to keep us intrigued but not so much that it took away from the monster of the week. Dean’s lies are starting to cave in around him. First he’s telling Sam that it was Castiel’s idea to leave the bunker, that he’s doing it for their safety. Does Cass know why he had to go? Did Dean come clean about Ezekiel? I’m guessing no. That lie could very easily come back to bite Dean in the butt. And on top of that, Sam heard Dean call to Zeke for help. Dean was able to smooth that over for the moment, since Sam was knocked out but Sam’s not stupid. He’s putting the pieces together. And if I was Dean, I’d start thinking about coming clean. Sure, we want Sam to heal completely before he ejects Ezekiel from his body. And if he knows, it’s possible he’ll choose to eject Zeke and suffer whatever comes with that. But now that Sam is starting to catch on, I think it would be in both of their best interests for Dean to find a way to tell him. If Dean is able to tell Sam in a non-confrontational way he can really explain his reasoning to Sam much like he did in the church last season. I think Sam would be much more inclined to listen and maybe even takes Dean’s advice on this one. What do you guys think? Is it time for Dean to come clean? And if he does, what do you think Sam will do?

So what did you guys think? Were you satisfied with this standalone episode? I think I made it pretty clear that I loved it. We were do for a little monster of the week and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Sure, it was a little cheesy but it hit me right in the feels. Next week looks like another good one. I can’t wait to see Dean mind meld with a dog. I see some excellent comedic potential in that plot.

There were plenty of quotes and interesting moments worth mentioning.

9.4 Wicked Witch

I think it was a really good decision to make it so that the Wicked Witch couldn't talk. She was much creepier that way in my opinion.

I have got to know what is running all the machines, lights, computer, etc. in the Men of Letters bunker. Is it a spell?

Dorothy: “Yes, despite all my lady parts I managed to catch the wicked witch.”
I really liked Dorothy. I wonder if we’ll ever see her again?

Dean: “You really can’t delete those from the internet?”
Charlie: “Not even I can do that.”

Dean: “Pace yourself, Toto.”

Crowley: “Big fan. Love your work”
Crowley would be able to recognize the Wicked Witch, wouldn’t he?

The idea for the poppy bullets was so creative. If you can’t kill the witch, get her stoned.

Charlie: “Stop ruining my childhood.”

Crowley whistling Somewhere Over the Rainbow. He’s such an ass and I love it.

Dean: “I think you’re aired out enough.”
Crowley: “Rude.”

Dean: “Damn it, I just cleaned in here.”
Sam: “Really?”

I loved that there are two ways to get to Oz; a natural disaster or the key.

Sam: “My brother calls it home. Me, I don’t have that much luck with homes.”

Charlie: “You keep your porn meticulously organized, but not...”
Dean: “Don’t judge me.”

Charlie take the hit from the witch for Dean. There is no way Dean could have let Charlie die saving him. I knew he would have to have Zeke bring her back. But it was interesting the Zeke told Dean that this means he’ll have to be in Sam longer than he would like. It seems like Ezekiel is anxious to be healed?

Dorothy: “Don’t worry about it, you’re not a real hunter unless you’ve died.”
How true it is!

I liked the idea that Dorothy’s father wrote The Wizard of Oz as a set of guidelines for her with hidden clues.
 
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Sam and Dean’s Batman voices were kind of scary. Have we ever seen them both go bad at the same time?

Anyone else want to see a Winchester on one of those motorcycles?

Charlie: “Sorry about the nards, Dean”

Charlie: “Ding dong, bitches.”

Was anyone else weirded out by the fact that Sam was double possessed at one point? How does that even work??

Crowley: “Really? After all I did with Miss Defying Gravity?”

Dorothy: “You have no idea how odd it is having a series of books written about you.”

Dorothy: “Come help me find my damn dog.”

Dean: “Think she’ll be back?”
Sam: “Of course. There’s no place like home.”
 

Comments  

m1tchells
# m1tchells 2013-10-30 13:46
Loved the episode but mostly love them all so nothing new there. :-)

I'm still on the fence about Ezekiel. It sounded to me like he was anxious to leave as well. And I’m anxious to see what the fallout is going to be. Quote:
If Dean is able to tell Sam in a non-confrontational way he can really explain his reasoning to Sam much like he did in the church last season. I think Sam would be much more inclined to listen and maybe even takes Dean’s advice on this one.
I'm thinking this was as well. They are both in such a different place now. Sam wanted to survive the trials and show Dean the light. It just feels different to me than past deals. Sooo – anyone else wondering if the new angel locator is going to locate Zeke? :-*
Maely
# Maely 2013-10-30 14:04
I typically love Charlie episodes. The LARPing ep is on my Top 5 SPN episode lists. But this episode was just a little too off-the-wall, and it did not really feel like SPN to me. The concept just seemed too...goofy & did not work at all for me.

I really miss the one-off episodes where the boys were hunting wendingos or shifters or just plain ghosts. I miss the spook. I miss how grimy & dark the show used to be, even a few seasons ago.

I also was not thrilled with Sam's "home" issues. I have always considered the Impala Sam & Dean's "home," and while not a house or structure, I always thought the show in the past has a done a good job showing this - the Impala as the brothers symbolic home. Chuck/God, in the Season 5 finale, when referring to the Impala & the boys even says: "they [Sam & Dean] were never in fact homeless."

Maybe SPN was going for the more classic definition of house/home here or maybe they were just trying to really tie in the "there's no place like home" quote, but I feel like SPN is beginning to miss more and more little bits of its previous canon. And it is kinda frustrating & disappointing. The whole Sam not seeing the bunker as "home" seems a bit contrived.

I also thought the acting & dialogue & pacing was...off this episode. I didn't feel like the "emotional hits" like I felt I should have. Sam & Dean/J2 usually have such a easy back & forth banter between one another, but I just felt some of their interactions to be almost awkward. It was weird!

I really did not intend for this comment to be so negative!
sofia
# sofia 2013-10-30 14:45
Quote:
Loved the episode but mostly love them all so nothing new there. :-)

I'm still on the fence about Ezekiel. It sounded to me like he was anxious to leave as well. And I’m anxious to see what the fallout is going to be. Quote:
If Dean is able to tell Sam in a non-confrontational way he can really explain his reasoning to Sam much like he did in the church last season. I think Sam would be much more inclined to listen and maybe even takes Dean’s advice on this one.
I'm thinking this was as well. They are both in such a different place now. Sam wanted to survive the trials and show Dean the light. It just feels different to me than past deals. Sooo – anyone else wondering if the new angel locator is going to locate Zeke? :-*
Yes! I love the idea that this angel tracking table is going to track Zeke. Dean needs to just tell Sam ASAP!
sofia
# sofia 2013-10-30 14:52
I typically love Charlie episodes. The LARPing ep is on my Top 5 SPN episode lists. But this episode was just a little too off-the-wall, and it did not really feel like SPN to me. The concept just seemed too...goofy & did not work at all for me.

I really miss the one-off episodes where the boys were hunting wendingos or shifters or just plain ghosts. I miss the spook. I miss how grimy & dark the show used to be, even a few seasons ago.

I also was not thrilled with Sam's "home" issues. I have always considered the Impala Sam & Dean's "home," and while not a house or structure, I always thought the show in the past has a done a good job showing this - the Impala as the brothers symbolic home. Chuck/God, in the Season 5 finale, when referring to the Impala & the boys even says: "they [Sam & Dean] were never in fact homeless."

Maybe SPN was going for the more classic definition of house/home here or maybe they were just trying to really tie in the "there's no place like home" quote, but I feel like SPN is beginning to miss more and more little bits of its previous canon. And it is kinda frustrating & disappointing. The whole Sam not seeing the bunker as "home" seems a bit contrived.

I also thought the acting & dialogue & pacing was...off this episode. I didn't feel like the "emotional hits" like I felt I should have. Sam & Dean/J2 usually have such a easy back & forth banter between one another, but I just felt some of their interactions to be almost awkward. It was weird!

I really did not intend for this comment to be so negative!

I agree that this was certainly a little more of a goofy episode. Take the Wicked Witch for example, she is nothing like the witches we've come to know over the seasons. She was very much a storybook witch. That's why I was so happy that she didn't talk.

I do miss some of the more spooky monster of the week stuff, and I think there's still potential there. It does have to get difficult to come up with fresh ideas that keep the fans guessing though. We're pretty much professional hunters at this point. It's too easy for fans to spot a vengeful spirit or a vampire or a shape shifter. Not like it was in the earlier seasons. But like I said, there's still plenty of potential for that. They just need to get really creative!
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-10-30 15:25
Quote:
....
Yes! I love the idea that this angel tracking table is going to track Zeke. Dean needs to just tell Sam ASAP!
In the latter part of S8 (Pac-Man Fever ?), didn't they mention that the MOL bunker was in some sort of Bermuda Triangle? Just wondering if Zeke could truly be tracked if he's in the bunker.
EireneS
# EireneS 2013-10-30 15:53
Wish in the poll above, #8 and 9 could be reversed. I thought the episode was thoroughly entertaining, wildly imaginative and enjoyable, but I wanted to give the episode a 9 as far as I liked it. The fact that we saw new rooms in the bunker did not equate with a 9 on the poll to me.
m1tchells
# m1tchells 2013-10-30 16:33
Quote:
Quote:
....
Yes! I love the idea that this angel tracking table is going to track Zeke. Dean needs to just tell Sam ASAP!
In the latter part of S8 (Pac-Man Fever ?), didn't they mention that the MOL bunker was in some sort of Bermuda Triangle? Just wondering if Zeke could truly be tracked if he's in the bunker.
Good Point! I do think it would be a fun way to bring it to light though. Dean...you got some 'splainin to do! :o
ML
# ML 2013-10-30 17:00
I really enjoyed this episode, it was a well needed break after the heaviness of the last three episodes. Didn't see Charlie dying coming at all, that was an "AH!" moment for me. Not really sure how I feel about Zeke but I'm glad he was around to bring her back (ditto for bringing Cas back last week). Though Dean sure is going to have some explaining to do real soon, Sam's not an idiot. I can't help but think of "what's dead should stay dead." Not that I'd want Charlie, Cas, or Sam to be dead because I adore all three of them but Dean is treading a slippery slope every time he brings one of his loved ones back.
Fiona
# Fiona 2013-10-30 17:40
Hmm. I was a little underwhelmed by this episode. It had
some good moments and I love Charlie but the pacing was really off and it kind of diminished the 'ta da' moments. Also, I'm a little confused. Ezekiel can bring back Cas and Charlie from the dead, but he's got to occupy Sam to heal him from being almost dead. I'm also starting to feel a little sorry for Mr Ackles having to keep playing the same scene over and over...."Sammy, sammy...NO!" "Cas, Cas...NO!"
"Charlie, Charlie...NO!"

I still love Supernatural though, even when it makes me go "Duh".
leah FFFC
# leah FFFC 2013-10-30 18:37
Hi sofia, thanks for the review. I am in agreement with you that this was a fun and entertaining episode! I really don't hold the goofy ones to the same standards as I do the heavy dramatic ones. This one did a good job of being light while reminding us of the serious stuff just simmering below the surface. We were reminded that soon Dean will have all his deceptions crumble around him and it is not going to be pretty. "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." Yes, he did it out of love, but it is becoming a tightening web of lies.
DeanColt45
# DeanColt45 2013-10-30 21:32
I loved it. I've enjoyed all the episodes Felisha Day has appeared in and this is no exception. Did anyone else think that Dean was extremely worried and sad about her going to Oz. Sam seemed happy for her as she walked away.

As for Dean and all the lies he's telling - I'm getting intensely worried about how all of this is going to unfold. Will Sam understand? Can he? What a horrible position for them both to be in. Dean isn't going to say anything until he's sure that Sam is healed. He's terrified if he tells him the truth, it'll kill him. So, more lies are on tap, I'm guessing.

I'm curious why Crowley can't tell there's an angel in Sam. Does he know or doesn't he?

Just a side note about the actors. Jared gets all the well deserved kudos, but I have to say, Jensen is doing a fabulous job of showing us Dean's growing panic and guilt over what he's doing - just by expression along. They are both amazing.

(sorry if this double posts. I'm having a few technical difficulties here, but hopefully, I've done it right this time.)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-10-30 21:33
Fiona I think Sam's damage was far greater than a stab wound or witch's blue blast of death. According to Cas his damage was at the subatomic level and has been going on for presumably months. I would guess that it will take as much time to heal Sam as it took to bring him to the brink of death. I love watching Dean digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole with no good way out. I think Jensen is doing his usual stellar job of portraying Dean's impossible situation. They do have to stop killing and healing someone as an excuse to bring out Zeke. That is getting a little old.
On my first watch of this episode I wasn't exactly thrilled with it but when I watched again today I absolutely loved it. I find that sometimes with scripts that have a lot going on a re-watch is almost required.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2013-10-30 21:55
SOFIA,

Please explain to me how did DOROTHY get back on this side and become alive again. the witch killed her in OZ. when she came back on this side she became a hunter but HOW THE HELL DID SHE GET BACK

I have seen this 6 times and still don't get it. TYVM
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-10-30 22:07
If I understood correctly, Dorothy got killed by the witch in oz but Charlie mentioned Dorothy being protected by the good witches kiss. Dorothy captured witch but couldn't kill her so she brought her to mol. When witch got loose and went after Dorothy, she had conjured a spell that bound them together. They were trapped in that big jar. When dean knocked over jar and it broke the two got out....hope that helps.
Ginger
# Ginger 2013-10-30 23:01
I found the episode on par with a beginning-level fanfic writer; i.e., insert 'a very special character I dreamed up' into the Winchesters world and let her be smarter, wittiest, savior of the day, and both Winchesters adore her. As such, I have decided not to watch any more episodes written by Robbie Thompson -- a place not even reserved for the Lemming & Buckner duo. I simply cannot stand Thompson's Charlie worship any longer.
Alice
# Alice 2013-10-30 23:13
Eirene S - Just so you know, I wrote that poll, not Sofia. I guess my grand experiment of putting the poll into each review has already hit a snag! Unfortunately, the program I use sets the results back to zero if I try to change things, so I'd vote whether you give the episode an 8 or a 9 and not what the options are. Sorry!
Fiona
# Fiona 2013-10-31 05:42
[cheryl42 2013-10-30 21:33
Fiona I think Sam's damage was far greater than a stab wound or witch's blue blast of death. According to Cas his damage was at the subatomic level and has been going on for presumably months. I would guess that it will take as much time to heal Sam as it took to bring him to the brink of death]

Good point Cheryl. I'm happy to go with that.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2013-10-31 06:23
:eek: NAPPI no. 14-- thanks for helping me out.
no.16 ALICE, the captions you have with the numbers are WHY I LOVE THEM SO. ;-)
sofia
# sofia 2013-10-31 08:36
Quote:
Hi sofia, thanks for the review. I am in agreement with you that this was a fun and entertaining episode! I really don't hold the goofy ones to the same standards as I do the heavy dramatic ones. This one did a good job of being light while reminding us of the serious stuff just simmering below the surface. We were reminded that soon Dean will have all his deceptions crumble around him and it is not going to be pretty. "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." Yes, he did it out of love, but it is becoming a tightening web of lies.
I have to agree. I hold the more goofy and imaginative episodes to a different set of standards as then the really serious arch-heavy episodes. It's nice to just have fun with the show sometimes and not get too caught up in everything.
sofia
# sofia 2013-10-31 08:39
Quote:
If I understood correctly, Dorothy got killed by the witch in oz but Charlie mentioned Dorothy being protected by the good witches kiss. Dorothy captured witch but couldn't kill her so she brought her to mol. When witch got loose and went after Dorothy, she had conjured a spell that bound them together. They were trapped in that big jar. When dean knocked over jar and it broke the two got out....hope that helps.
This was my understanding too. The kiss of the witch of the North is what saved her.
EireneS
# EireneS 2013-10-31 19:58
Thanks Sofia for the information on the polls. I will vote the number and not the explanation on the polls.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-11-01 08:14
Thanks Sofia for the review. I too thought this was a very enjoyable episode. I don't know if this counts as Sam & Dean being bad at the same time, but when they were both under the sirens spell, they weren't super nice, well not to each other anyway. :-) Unless you were wondering about possession? Boy, that was quite a few people in Sam's nogging. He's like a Volkwagen Beetle, how many more can we cram in there! :lol: