Have you ever heard the saying “Hindsight is 20/20”? It means that we are all wiser about the past once we know the future. Last year the WFB writing staff tested this theory with a new review series called "DejaVu Reviews". We would like to share a few more of these "looking back" insights with you for season 10, starting with "There's No Place Like Home"!

For this DejaVu look at 10.11, several WFB writers rewatched the episode then combined observations into one commentary. These reflections will be much more informal than our usual, detailed reviews. Instead of analyzing, theorizing or explaining, we will offer random thoughts about the episodes. It should be fun to see our different perceptions, styles and biases all in one place! Some of us see meta while others focus on canon. Some are serious, some are sentimental and some are, well, full of snark! We may overlap each other and have the same observations, or we may contradict ourselves but that by itself should be revealing!

Why this episode, this week? In the United States, local TV affiliates usually rerun the entire Supernatural season during Hellatus. The CW stopped these reruns for the foreseeable future last week, replacing them with short run summer series. Rather than lose our beloved Supernatural completely, I continued live tweeting a rewatch of the season 10 episodes, picking up where the CW broadcasts left off. This week the #WFBRewatch party enjoyed 10.11, "There's No Place Like Home".

During the rewatch, we all perceived events, dialogue, characters' motivations, lighting and just about everything else in the episode differently than the first viewing because we knew how each plot was going to end. There was so much foreshadowing we couldn’t detect the first time around! Here's what three of our reviewers saw:

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Alice's Second Look Review

Every once in a while, I like to look back at an episode earlier in the season and see if it stood up to the rest of the season as it played out. When I wrote my first review, it was pretty glowing.  I loved the story, maybe because the previous two episodes got me so angry I was wondering where my Sci-Fi show had gone.  This episode reminded me of the things I loved, characters that connect with the material, a stunning chemistry between the lead and guest actor, an actual Sci-Fi story, and something with a lot of heart, an attritube that used to dominate this show but it's been ominiously lacking over the last few years.  

Since then, I've read a lot of criticisms of this episode.  It rubbed some fans the wrong way.  I can honestly say that in second viewing, I still didn't overanalyze or look for any hidden arcs or meanings.  I just thought it was a fun story.  Yeah, it still annoyed the crap out of me that Sam got to play Damsel in Distress, but hey, he was also the shoulder to cry on this time, so it wasn't all bad.  

As for Dean, it was a pivotal moment.  He was still trying to cope and maintain control.  At this point, we were still holding out hope and rooting for him.  He made a major mistake here, but he was forgiven for his actions.  Dean carries a lot of guilt and this kind of forgiveness was crucial for him to maintain control.  I took the ending as a message of hope, that perhaps Dean could triumph.  Sadly, but predictably, as the rest of the season unfolded, control was not going to happen.  The MOC was too powerful and proved to corrupt some very strong figures, including Lucifer himself, so his descent from such a moment of hope (not to mention a deep show of love) to the angry dude off the rails disappointed me a lot.  Where was my hero? 

I liked where both boys got to interact with Charlie.  I thought the two Charlies were rather inspired, even if the story did create some plot holes big enough for the Impala to drive through.  It wrapped up an Oz storyline that I was very glad to see go, but I should have figured it also meant an eventual demise for Charlie.  Back then I gave the episode a B+.  In retrospect, I would give it a B-.  All in all, it was a nice story that really didn't give a lot of relevance to the overall season ten arc.  

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Nightsky

GoodCharlie: “We were gonna lose, so I made a deal with the wizard . . . He said for us to win, I had to unleash my true darkness, which he meant literally. He used the inner key of Oz. It opens a door to your soul and lets THE DARKNESS out”.

When the episode first aired, we thought the Dark vs. Good theme was meant to parallel MoC Dean. Surely it did that, but we didn’t know about the darkness yet. GoodCharlie’s explanation above directly and deliberately foreshadowed the season’s finale! Sam, Dean and Cas were going to lose their battle with the Mark, so Sam made a deal with his “wizard”, i.e. a witch named Rowena, who had access to supernatural powers and spells. She cast a spell which used a key to literally unleash THE Darkness. Now that I’m listening for it, I’ve heard references to the Darkness several times in the past few episodes. This reference was extremely specific, though. The shadows and lighting of this episode also reiterated a “darkness” theme.

Dark Charlie: “You know what I learned about being dark? It sets you free”

Given that both the Wizard and Charlie found their evil or “dark” sides, what if the foreshadowing didn't stop with Good Charlie's explanation? What if Dark Charlie's observation is also foreshadowing? What if the Darkness “opens a door” to people’s souls and frees their darkness? I’m positive they won’t do this to the brothers, maybe because of their anti-possession tattoos or because they have both beaten back their own dark sides (Sam with Lucifer and Dean with the Mark). Without talking about spoilers, I have no doubt the boys will remain “normal”. The world slowly becoming more amoral one person at a time is a definite possibility of the Darkness being set free, though. What do you think? The hints are too obvious to be ignored!

Lastly, in possible foreshadowing of season 11, Dark Charlie was “eliminated” or defeated by being reunited with pure goodness, in the form of GoodCharlie. Do you think that will work on a larger scale for THE Darkness?

Did you notice that Clive was captured by a coven of witches. Witches again! Obviously Rowena and witchcraft is going to be a plot arc next year, so it is interesting to start listening for references to witches and witchcraft in our rewatch of season 10 episodes!

Overall, this was a pivotal episode in telling us what would happen in season 10! Do you think it may also be giving us the answer to season 11?

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Robin's Rambles


Turns out that the Wizard of Oz divided Charlie into two separate people, one good, the other bad. The latter Charlie is seeking revenge on Wellington, the driver who killed her parents many years ago, and is working her way through everyone who covered for him. Sam and Dean go chasing after BC (Bad Charlie) with GC (Good Charlie) in tow, trying to prevent the evil alter ego from committing murder. When computer hacking needs doing, Sam has to do it with GC instructing him; she's too good to do something that illegal herself.

On to the week's questions:

1.  I thought Felicia Day did a marvelous job playing two different versions of herself. The hairdos and clothes cinched the deal. Do you agree?

2.  Once again, we had Jensen's amazing portrayal of a man battling himself as the Mark tried to make him a violent weapon. It surprised me how he whaled on DC knowing GC felt everything he was doing. Were you as surprised as I was? And for the second time on their watch, Charlie ended up with a broken arm.

3.  So DC murdered the man who killed her parents in a hit and run and got away with it all these years. There's going to be an investigation, of course, and Charlie will get away with it. Just one more case of murky justice on Supernatural. Sometimes it sort of bothers me. How about you?

4.  DC tells Dean, "Being dark sets you free--and part of you knows that's right, too." He sure does--the Mark of Cain part! Both Winchesters have known personal encounters with darkness. Do you think either brother has ever felt "set free" by it?

5.  Who else laughed at the idea of Dean giving up booze and bacon-cheeseburgers for health shakes and kale? LMAO! I gathered he never drank that shot at the bar, although I wasn't sure. He figured that control over the lesser appetites would give him control over the overwhelming need to murder brought on by the Mark. Was Dean kidding himself, or did he deserve an A for effort?

6.  When Sam gathered a crying Charlie into his arms, I began to cry, too. It was so touching. The relationship shared by the three of them is so lovely, I always enjoy her appearances on the show. I also held my breath when DC and GC were reunited. It was a wonderful special effect for a TV show, as good as anything I've seen in a movie. Do you like the Charlie/Winchester bond? What about the special effect of re-joining Charlie to herself?

This was a great episode. I rate it a 9. It had action, emotion, made me think, laugh and cry. I can't ask for too much more from an episode of Supernatural.

Love,
Robin
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If you missed last week's show, rewatch 10.11 then come back and read our ramblings!

Watch your own recordings or on-line streaming anytime or join us for the #WFBRewatch party every Wednesday night at 8pm Central time. Many fans have a rewatch ritual during the off-season anyway, so let's all experience the season over again together, but this time through the wisdom of hindsight!

...and let us know what you think of Alice's, Nightsky's and Robin's DejaVu reviews before you go turn on your Supernatural reruns!

All of our original reviews can be found in the Season 10 Episode Guide!

Comments  

Jen
# Jen 2015-08-13 06:03
WOW I'm first to comment LOL -- Love what Alice wrote, how insightfull Do you really think people read the show as well as you guys and if so do you believe the 1,000's of SPN followers, picked up all those possible hints for S11 and the writers do they really write with delibrate little hints, how clever.
I like to watch the show closely and after joining WFB I try to watch and see what you see, and I defiantly watch a Ep more than once, but I don't ever see the little possible hints, If you have someone else to watch with or chat with you would pick up on a lot more I guess throwing ideas back and forth

GoodCharlie: “We were gonna lose, so I made a deal with the wizard . . . He said for us to win, I had to unleash my true darkness, which he meant literally. He used the inner key of Oz. It opens a door to your soul and lets THE DARKNESS out”.

What you have highlighted here is definatly the way I see the darkness playing out. There is no way that it would have unleashed 50 million demons. We humans all have a dark side This is what the Darkness wont's and it will TAKE GOOD TO BEAT IT Yes I agree that people that our easily swayed will take up the fight for the darkness and it will take The Boys & heaven with all its goodness to re - balance the world.
This, if correct is a nice little hint very Obvious now There is alot of reference to wizards (male witches ??) We have a witch Rowenna she will have a BIG part this season

Robyn's Rambling ------ Do you think either brother has ever felt "set free" by it? NO both brothers felt GREAT PAIN and GUILT with their darkness - they ultimatly have goodness inside and wrong is wrong they rather die then stay evil or dark !!!
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-08-18 16:24
Quote:
If you have someone else to watch with or chat with you would pick up on a lot more I guess
Actually, 99% of what I detect in episodes is found when I'm alone. It has to be quiet for me to concentrate and get deep into the dialog, settings, meanings, etc. My husband comes out with very insightful comments that I've missed the remaining 1% of the time. ;)
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-08-13 09:37
Other than a few bits and pieces I did not like this episode. Like Alice and Robin I enjoyed Felicia Day's portrayal of Dark Charlie and I did enjoy the humor of Dean dabbling with a healthier lifestyle, but that's about it. So I haven't re-watched it since the season ended, but I do find it interesting that, in hindsight, a lot of the language in it foreshadowed the Darkness story. For one thing, it makes me happy that TPTB didn't just pull that plot twist out of their ears at the last minute! But I also am intrigued by the hints as to how the story might unfold next season. So thanks for pointing out the foreshadowing Nightsky! I think The Darkness story has a lot of potential and I'm really looking forward to S11.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-08-18 16:27
You're welcome!

Actually, there were several references to "the Darkness" in the ep where Dean is confronted by Cole in the alley. I think Dean said something like "Once you've touched that Darkness..." I caught it when I was live tweeting but I haven't gone back to track it down or document it. So I think the writers knew about the Darkness even before 10.11.
spnlit
# spnlit 2015-08-13 20:09
I found the Wizard of Oz episodes to be too fantastical and farfetched and thus did not feel invested in the story. On re-watch I found the concept of totally splitting a person in two: all darkness vs all goodness to be interesting. It explored the definition of good and evil and the need for balance. I still think the Good/Evil storyline was meant to parallel Dean's struggle to be good. Dean's good attempts were highlighted in this episode. On re-watch I saw a bit more on the parallel and the foreshadowing of how Dean would be destroyed by the MOC if it was not removed. "Good Dean, the regular dean we saw was outwitted and out maneuvered by "Bad Charlie" several times and it culminated in the murder of a human man by Bad Charlie on Dean's watch. But MOC Dean took over and we saw how powerful that Dark side was because it then overpowered and pummeled even Dark Charlie. That, in retrospect foreshadowed how MOC, Darkside Dean was going to destroy Dean. Nothing to do but get rid of it (MOC).
Nightsky, I enjoyed your thoughts of foreshadowing as to the unleashing of the Darkness. The key to OZ unleashed the pure darkness of the soul. The MOC was the lock and key to the Darkness of the Beginning of Time. I am not convinced there was a plan by the writers. Based on the season and how all the canon on the MOC was blown to bits by the fact it was really a lock and key, leads me to think that maybe they came back to this episode and stole or used the key unleashing darkness concept to move on with the MOC story to season 11.
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Lastly, in possible foreshadowing of season 11, Dark Charlie was “eliminated” or defeated by being reunited with pure goodness, in the form of GoodCharlie. Do you think that will work on a larger scale for THE Darkness?
If this was an intended parallel then it is possible that goodness will be used to overcome the darkness. But that could be said about any scenario. Good conquers evil. Light over Darkness. Good guys vs. bad guys. God did beat back the darkness before with his archangels. But I do not think Dark Charlie was eliminated or defeated by Good or Light Charlie. They were reunited and thus BALANCED. They were two extremes: Bad Charlie, murdered and Good Charlie could not drink, lust or hack into a computer. Bad is demons + Good is angels = balanced is human. I hope season 11 may be about the humans including and represented by Sam and Dean, battling the good and evil in themselves and finding a balance to win.
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DC tells Dean, "Being dark sets you free--and part of you knows that's right, too." Do you think either brother has ever felt "set free" by it?
This is an interesting question. Yes. I think there was a question early in season 10 of whether Dean was choosing to be a Demon and the answer seemed to be that he did enjoy being set free by the darkness to the extent he did not care. Dean was set free from the guilt, worry, sorrow, sadness, obligation, responsibility, ..... he just did not care. Sam seemed to be set free by the demon Blood to an extent. Sam was set free from being Dean's little brother. He felt stronger than Dean (4.16 on the Head of a Pin) and more in control (4.18 the Monster at the End of the Book) and overall more powerful; he could save some of the people possessed by the demons.