Let me just start on this right away so I don’t take too long to get it out - considering all the gifs I want to make at this point.
We start with the "now" where Dean is already in Charlie's dream. And I have to include this because Dean in uniform is pretty hot.
He goes out into the hall and finds everyone dead. The 1951 newspaper tells of an experiment gone wrong.
Dean gets to the elevator and finds a bunch of zombie like monsters coming at him...
And then back 24 hours...
Dean is coming home from a supply run, groceries in both hands. He plops it all down on the table, takes out the beer and opens one up to drink as he checks out the computer which is divided into four screens and looks like surveillance footage.
In comes Sam, all scruffy and half-asleep.
DEAN:Y— Man, I'm telling you, give me five minutes with some clippers, and...
SAM:Oh, shut up. Uh, what time did I lay down?
DEAN:You took a siesta around noon. Yesterday.
(Our little adlib moment :D)
Dean throws him a beer but he totally is not prepared to catch it - his reflexes are really bad. According to Dean, he has been sleeping for a day and a half. The second trial has really hit him hard, although Sam says it didn’t hit him till later.
Sam wants to go out and look for Kevin but Dean tells him they are going to stay in the bunker and get Sam better before going out to look for Kevin. Garth is now looking for him and they’ve done enough for now. So we have another mention of Garth, who is not as MIA as I thought last ep. I need to keep track of references to him to see when it is that he was bitten.
Anyway, Sam’s like, I’m not sick. I’m fine. I can still hunt. Aww. he looks cute with those puppy dog eyes and Dean looks very paternal.
Dean takes him to the shooting range in the bunker, shoots a few rounds in the heart and gives the gun to Sam.
Sam can’t even hit the target. The shots are way off. I am assuming Dean knew this from how he was unable to catch the beer, because how else would he know if Sam had been sleeping all this time right? He tells the disgruntled Sam that once he can hit the target, then he can go hunt.
Sam goes to check out the feed and finds that there is an e-mail from Charlie, saying that she has a case for them. She tracked their phones but the bunker is hiding them so she doesn’t know their exact location. They go out to meet her, and she tells them some bull about a convention in Topeka.
CHARLIE:What's up, bitches?
Sam and Dean think there is something off, but they bring her back to the bunker.
I've also noted in my reviews of Season 9 at the comm about Topeka, since this is a town that I instantly connect with Steven King's Dark Tower series, and the writer of the Charlie eps(Bobbie Thompson), I've heard, likes to make Steven King references in the eps. For those who know what I'm talking about, Topeka would be the place where Charlie the Choochoo is located and where the Gunslingers start on their scary train journey. Dean calls Charlie "your highness" which reminds us of the previous Charlie ep LARP and the Real Girl.
When they get back to the bunker, she tells them that she has been obsessed with monsters and the Winchesters since they last saw her. She tells them she read the Carver Edlund books and asks if it’s all real.
CHARLIE: Well, after you guys left, I dug into all things monsters. I'm a wee bit obsessive. If "wee bit" means completely. I also found this series of books, by a Carver Edlund? Did those books really happen?
I know what THAT's like XD
CHARLIE: Wow. That is some meta madness. [to DEAN] Thanks for saving the world and stuff.
[to SAM] Sorry you have zero luck with the ladies.
SAM: We need to find every single copy of those books and burn them.
CHARLIE:They're online now, so good luck with that.
They need to go check out the case but Dean says Sam is staying home because he’s sick and he’s going to go on his own. Charlie says, no, I’m going with you. Dean’s like no way. Hunting and reading about hunting are totally different things.
But he takes her to the range too, and she shoots two bullets in the head -
Dean has no choice but to take her. First, she needs to get some clothes.
Cute Pretty Woman montague ensues. Dean gets tired of the music and turns it off and they talk a bit about Sam and the Trial situation, like they did while Dean was getting into gear in the previous Charlie ep. Same kind of mirror work which is totally cool, seeing Dean sitting on the couch in the mirror as Charlie tries on the clothes and looks at herself.
Charlie also tells Dean that from reading the books she knows that Sam and Dean can do anything if they work together and that they are lucky they have each other - she is an only child.
CHARLIE:If it's any consolation, having read your history, there is pretty much nothing the Winchesters can't do if they work together.
Dean then asks her for her phone so he can call Sam, since his phone isn’t working. He is actually turning on her GPS here, feeling that there is something off about her. Sam is still disgruntled and, when he gets a slightly better result on the shooting, decides to go work on the case despite what Dean says.
Dean and Charlie go to the coroner, and find out she is a stickler for paperwork. She won’t let them near the body without the papers.
Dean tries to charm her, but it doesn’t work, and Charlie is acting all nervous and looking so not FBI. They decide to go back and break in at night, which makes Charlie nervous again, having only broken into somewhere physically once with Sam and Dean’s help and getting her arm broken in the process.
Hacking into computers is so much easier in her opinion.
Meanwhile, two kids are walking down a road at night, playing a game together and almost miss a body laying on the ground in front of them. One of the guys pokes the bloated body with a stick (totally reminding me of Dean way back when) and gets splattered with guck… which is when they both decide to scream. Quite funny.
Charlie and Dean arrive on the scene and Charlie is practicing her FBI swagger on the police there when they find out that Sam is already there.
Dean and Sam have an argument about how Sam should be at home resting and Dean tells Charlie to go talk with the witnesses. She grumbles a bit, not wanting to miss out on the “broment” LOL. She is actually a good choice to talk to these boys, being a gamer herself and able to get friendly.
When Charlie gets back they are still arguing and Sam insists that he is not going to go home.
CHARLIE:You guys fight like an old married couple.
CHARLIE:Does this mean we don't have to break into the coroner's office anymore?
SAM:That's a good idea.
Dean just leaves without Charlie and Sam, hoping to dissuade Sam from coming after him. Charlie notices that Sam came in Charlie’s car.
CHARLIE:Is he leaving? He's leaving!
SAM:That's alright. I stole your car, I think I know where he's going. Come on.
CHARLIE:Cool. Wait, you stole my car?
The coroners office -
SAM:What took you so long?
DEAN:I stopped for gas. Shut up. Body's in here.
Dean doesn’t like being reminded that classical cars have less mileage XD
They hear a sound and Charlie goes to investigate - she finds the coroner there and decides to take her on as the boys go check out the body. Charlie tries to charm the coroner and ask for a blank copy of the form since the FBI office burned down LOL and then when that doesn’t take enough time, starts talking about power suits to keep the coroner occupied.
Meanwhile Sam and Dean find the bodies are gone. They have been cremated already, which is noteworthy but not necessarily weird. It just looks like they are being extra careful of disease control. Charlie keeps trying to prevent the coroner from going to the bodies to give the boys time to get out but when the coroner gets there, she finds that they’ve already gone.
Back at the bunker, they are researching together and Sam is totally jealous of Charlie’s software for crossing out possible monsters,
SAM: I hate that thing. I want one.
Then Dean brings out a journal with information on a Djinn that turns people to jelly, and leave a blue handprint. Now Charlie is jealous of Dean’s little toy.
CHARLIE: I hate that thing. I want one.
Dean looks so smug.
Now that they know what it is, and how to kill it, Charlie decides it’s snack time. She’s going to go get some - and is not going to forget the pie like Sam (which produces the following face by Sam XD), and a calculating face by Dean. After she goes out, the boys look at each other and agree that yeah… she’s a little off.
Charlie has gone to do some money transfers to her mom in the hospital, pretending to be other people. But the Djinn has followed her trail of fear and found her.
Sam and Dean phone Charlie to see what is keeping her and don’t get a reply so they decide to go look for her.
We don't like that cough of Sams...
They track her to the motel room where they find her alias’ and her computer where they see her donations to the hospital.
Dean goes to check out the hospital, while Sam researches the Djinn whom they know has got her.
At the hospital, Dean hears that the lady in a coma was in an accident going to pick up her daughter from a sleepover. Dean knows that this person is Charlie’s mother - it all fits in with her talk of hacking when she was young. He tells the unconscious mom that he is going to find her daughter.
DEAN: You've got one hell of a daughter, Mrs Middleton. I promise you I will find her.
When he gets back to Sam, Sam has found out more about the coroner and how she had covered up some deaths and they realize that she is the Djinn. They find out the address of a warehouse she owns and go to rescue Charlie.
Meanwhile Charlie is talking with the Djinn, and the Djinn is telling her that she is a type of Djinn that feeds off of fear, and that she’d be happy if Dean came to the rescue because he had fear too.
Now this is the point I focused on this time around. Yeah, I had gotten the idea that Dean wasn’t ready to let Sam go, from previous viewings, but I had not really focused on this particular bit of information before - that Dean was scared. And we know that Dean wouldn’t be scared of a monster so… what was he scared of? HE WAS SCARED OF LOSING SAM. This is the KEY THEME of this ep. Not just that Dean is not going to let Sam die, but that he is scared that he is going to lose SAM.
Another important thing the Djinn tells her is that there are two of them and Charlie’s fear was enough to feed two. She grabs Charlie’s arm to feed on her, and Charlie goes unconscious.
Sam and Dean find the warehouse, and as Dean finds Charlie, Sam runs into the Djinn and is flung across the room. He is very week and not himself. Dean comes up and knifes the Djinn from behind.
DEAN: You’re welcome.
Then they both go over to Charlie and give her the anecdote but she doesn’t wake up. They decide to drink some dreamroot and try to get her out of the dream from the inside. Of course Dean is the one who takes the dreamroot. I’m thinking though that it was probably smarter for Sam to do so because his physical strength wouldn’t be important in the dream world - then Dean could have kept watch just in case. Dean asks Sam to knock him out, but it takes two tries.
So now we are back to what we saw at the beginning of the ep. Dean in a uniform and white coat waking up at his desk at some sort of military research facility. A record is on and a table is blocking the door. He turns the record off (and the music continues to play), then goes over to the door, slides the table away and breaks off a leg as a weapon as he opens the door to go out into the corridor. In the corridor he finds lots of dead bodies, one which has a newspaper with the date . He goes to the escalator but the button does not open it, and as the zombie like creactures almost are on him, ding, the escalator opens and Charlie to the rescue.
CHARLIE: I’ve always wanted to say that.
They do some mutual badassery -
and finally get to the hospital room at the end. Charlie explains that she has been through this so many times but the stage just keeps repeating after she saves the patients. Dean is like, what patients? When they get to the hospital room, they lock the door and Dean goes to one of the beds to check it out. He finds Charlie’s mother there and tells Charlie that he knows who the lady is.
Charlie tells him how she just wants to say she was sorry one last time but she couldn’t because mom wouldn’t wake up. Charlie opens up the other curtains and finds Sam there.
Dean realizes here that it’s not the fighting that scares Charlie, it’s the loss of her mom - because he has the same fear for Sam. And wow reminiscent of the scene in Season 9 aye? He tells her that she has to let go, and the monsters would stop attacking and they could get out of the dream. After a little cry, she agrees, and they get out.
Sam is like, what happened? And Dean just turns to Charlie and is like, I’m sorry for making you do that, I’m sorry for your pain, and Charlie runs to him sobbing. She’s so tiny and Dean’s so big, it’s like a little kid hugging a parent - not even hugging, being held.
Last scene, Charlie says good bye to Sam first -
CHARLIE: So... thanks for saving our bacon.
SAM:Any time, your Highness.
CHARLIE:You know you're gonna be okay, right? Those books portray you as like, one tough customer. If anyone can get through the trials, Sam, it's you.
SAM:Thanks. You know, you really should come back and dig through our archives. You are definitely a Woman of Letters.
And again, Sam is so big LOL! Sam goes back to the bunker then, which is a bit odd, but I guess he senses that Charlie needs to talk with Dean alone about what happened in the dream. Charlie asks Dean if he can let go, and he’s like, nope.
CHARLIE: That’s my boys.
After Charlie leaves, Dean goes quickly back into the bunker and Sam’s like, I’m sorry I went out when you said I shouldn’t but… and Dean’s like, Hug Time.
And basically clings to Sam. We see his very real fear and also determination not to let Sam go. He’s not going to see Sam die. He’s going to do everything he can to save him. He is not going to let go. And Sam is like, what's wrong with Dean? :')
Then we see Charlie going to her mom and reading to her one last time. Very sad :'(