TV REVIEW: Supernatural Season 8, Episodes 11 and 12 – “LARP & the Real Girl” and “As Time Goes By”

Sam-Castiel-Dean-supernatural-16744455-1280-800The boys are here again for your weekly double dose of all things Supernatural, and this week we have the return of an old friend and a surprising family reunion.

 

 

 

Episode 11 – “LARP & the Real Girl”

A man torn apart by horses in an apartment and “Garthing” brings the boys back into the world of LARPing (Live Action Role Play) and a reunion with Charlie Bradbury (played by Felicia Day). Charlie was last seen in Season 7 helping the boys with their Leviathan issue.  Charlie is now Queen of Moordoor – the fictional world of the LARPers.  The boys immerse themselves into the world in an attempt to find answers.  The trail eventually leads to a kidnapped Fairy, forced to kill thanks to a LARPer taking the whole thing a little too seriously.  The boys and Charlie free the Fairy and the evil LARPer gets his just desserts. We close with Dean, Sam and Charlie leading a charge into an epic battle…(of LARPer’s)

Once again we have a funny episode, but it’s not down to the gags or poking fun at the LARPers but the great comedic performances of Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Felicia Day.  Indeed we have Dean, the gruff alpha male type, really embrace the LARPing experience.  Once again Felicia Day is the adorable, fun and feisty Charlie.  While we don’t move the overall arc of the season forward with this episode, it is great fun none the less.

Best Lines

“We’ve been Garthed”, “Interactive-literalist”, “the pornstar?”, “no laptops in Moordoor, no Geneva Convention either”, “Ebay”, “Call me…maybe?”

Episode 11 Rating: 4/5

 

Episode 12 – “As Time Goes By”

A mysterious group, a coming initiation and brutal slaughter of said group lead us into this episode with a dapper man just making his escape.  As he escapes, he tumbles through a closet door leading straight to Sam and Dean.  The man is looking for John Winchester – his son.  The man in question is Henry Winchester (played by Gil McKinney) the father of John Winchester and grandfather of the boys.

As far as they knew, their grandfather ran out on their dad when he was four.  Henry is no ordinary man but part of a group called the “Men of Letters” – a group of intellectuals who use their knowledge and intellect to fight against evil, passing on their information to select hunters, who Henry describes as “apes.”   As the boys and their grandfather get to know each other, they are pursued by Abaddon – a Knight of Hell that is so powerful that she is immune to the Demon Knife – who seeks the key to the Men of Letters headquarters (i.e. the “motherload” of collected knowledge, spells and weapons of the supernatural).

The group find that the Men of Letters are no more and Henry attempts to return to his own time of 1958 to undo leaving his son.  However, Dean forces him to stay after Abaddon kidnaps Sam.  As they make the exchange, Henry is killed but, before dying, shoots Abaddon in the head with a devil trap carved bullet.  While not dead, Abaddon is trapped with Dean revealing they will cut her into pieces and spread her across the country as true torture.

This is a great episode as we add yet another mystery to season 8 while filling in some holes in the Winchester history.  The boys were meant to be “Legacies” of the Men of Letters as was their father and while they still would have had a life in the Supernatural, it would be far less brutal than the upbringing they endured.

It is interesting to see the path not taken with the Winchesters’ lives and you can see it in the characters.  Gil McKinney is excellent as the sharp suited Henry Winchester and a contrast to John, Dean and Samuel.  Abaddon (played by Alaina Huffman) is dangerously wicked as she displays new demonic powers and cuts a swathe in her path.  Now the boys have the key and we wonder what they will do with it – I think there are a lot more interesting things to come.

Best lines

“Not going anywhere 007”, “Guess the Mayans were wrong”, “Dude!, time travelling through closets? that’s what we’ve come to?”, “rusty on my boy bands”, “Yoda’s to our Jedi’s”.

Episode 12 rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Steven Stone

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