This episode was not perfect, but Felicia Day’s character was so cool and so well played that I have basically forgiven everything I didn’t like.
The episode opens with the Winchesters trying to figure out what Dick Roman is up to. Bobby ghosts in and tells them that Roman’s plan is to cure humans of all diseases, dumb them down with Turducken-style foodstuffs and then march them all to the slaughter.(I guess this is what we’ve been waiting for, Bobby the exposition ghost.) Meanwhile, Sam gets a posthumous email from Frank alerting them that someone is trying to hack into his hard drive, which inconveniently holds information about Sam and Dean’s hangouts and false identities. The drive does have a GPS though, and they see that it is right in the middle of Roman Inc.
Here we are introduced to Charlie Bradbury, a super hacker who works at Roman Inc. Dick asks her to hack into Frank’s hard drive for him, and says several very creepy/awesome things like “You’re kinda completing me right now, Charlie.” Charlie gets to it, and finds it to be a little more difficult than she anticipated.
Meanwhile, the boys are heading off to Chicago. They (try to) leave Bobby behind, worried that he’ll go all vengeful spirit when he meets Dick. Charlie has broken into the drive and finds Frank’s notes about the Leviathans and Dick Roman. She goes to tell her supervisor, and accidentally sees him get his identity stolen (oh, and he gets eaten too.) Freaked out, she runs to her apartment where the Winchesters are waiting. They cook up a plan to get the hard drive out and break into Dick’s email, to find out what he has been digging for.
Some break-in hijinks ensue, and they end up planning on the fly to steal whatever it is Dick has been looking for. It’s actually a pretty clever segment, reminded me of a classic heist film (or just an episode of Leverage) where you don’t really know how they pulled it off until afterwards. In any case, they get the package which just looks like a big piece of red clay. Dick realizes that his property has been stolen.The boys are trying to extract Charlie, and Dick and his crew put up a fight. Bobby is there to help, and distracts him while the living escape. Afterwards, Charlie leaves on a bus and tells them to never contact her again. Good move.
I really liked this episode. It’s the first episode in awhile that I have honestly enjoyed watching. I think it shows how important compelling secondary characters are to the show. We had a lot of discussion last week about how the show is getting less and less about Sam and Dean and their relationship (and I think that’s true) but I think we would feel that loss less if there were some interesting characters for the boys to interact with. I mean, Bobby’s a ghost, Cas has been basically OOC and everyone else is dead. My favorite parts of this episode were with Charlie and Dick, just because they were cleverly written and performed.
I also just want to take a second to talk about Felicia Day’s performance in this episode. It makes me wish that she played characters with teeth a little bit more often–she did it well. Even though Charlie was a nerdy girl, she wasn’t a cowed, socially awkward doormat. She was a woman who obviously had more to her story (that I want to know, hint hint) and who had real skills to offer. I like that she disappeared at the end of the episode–if Felicia Day didn’t want to become a series regular it wouldn’t have made sense for the boys not to call her every time they needed to know anything.
My problem with the Bobby storyline is that there is no suspense. I know how this is going to end. Dangling him becoming a ‘vengeful ghost’ in front of me does not change the fact that eventually they are going to have to burn the flask and send Bobby to wherever it is that ghosts go. This in-between state is going to irritate viewers more and more as time goes by, and unless they want to call him Dennis and put him in Cordelia’s apartment, I don’t see how he can stay for any long period of time. He was useful in the episode for some exposition, but he was doing that before anyway.
There are three episodes left in this season, so I’m assuming that next week we’ll get to start to finally wrap up some of these storylines and see where we’re headed next.