Supernatural 8×11 LARP and the Real Girl Recap and Review
We start this week’s nerd-tastic episode of Supernatural in Ed Nelson’s (a LARPer, live-action role-playing) apartment. He seems to be having a cell phone conversation with someone named Lance, who is asking how he will pay for something. The LARPer dismisses it as “just a game” and goes to bed. As he is sleeping, a tattoo of a tree suddenly appears on the inside of his arm. We hear horses galloping in, but see nothing. Suddenly, an invisible force has him tied up and proceeds to drawn and quarter (ie. Horses tied to each limb, pulling them all out at once) him. Opening title sequence rolls.
We see Sam and Dean drive in the rain at night. Sam is complaining that they cannot use their most powerful weapon against demons. Dean suggests they have some fun. Sam gets a call from Garth. Sam asks how Garth is tracking them. Sam suggests they get rid of the GPS on the phone. They have to go to Michigan to investigate.
Sam and Dean pose as FBI agents when they enter the LARPer’s apt where the Sheriff is taking notes. The sheriff explains who Ed was, and isn’t surprised that he lived alone since his place is full of toys. The death is baffling since they found rope burns, but no ropes. The neighbors said they heard horses, but the sheriff doesn’t believe that’s what they heard. They got a lead off the cell phone with Lance Jacobson, an accountant, since he sent angry texts. Sam and Dean decide to interrogate Lance.
Sam and Dean meet with Lance. Lance says that the texts came from his phone, but he didn’t send the messages, his character, Greyfox the Mystic, did. Lance tells Sam and Dean to go to their website. Lance says that there are pictures of him from the last night’s gaming event. Lance describes his and Ed’s character’s as Lancelot to his Merlin. Lance was accusing Ed of cheating, so he challenged him to a duel with fake magic wands. Sam and Dean have seen enough.
They know Lance didn’t kill Ed, but they decide to check out the Moondoor site anyway. They see the pictures. Dean seems intrigued by this group. They watch a video explaining what the game is about. They then see Charlie as the Queen of Moons.
Meanwhile, Lance gets the same tree on his wrist and coughs up blood as more blood comes out of his head. Lance then collapses.
Sam and Dean then show video footage of lance dying to the sheriff. The Sheriff excuses himself to hand sanitizer as he doesn’t take it seriously. Sam and Dean decide to go pay Charlie a visit.
Cut to the Moondoor community. They see a person bound to a wooden chamber like a prisoner. He is arguing with another player when his fake teeth come out. The guard gets it for him and they break character for a second. Sam and Dean look completely perplexed and interview the guard, whose name is actually Jerry, who think they are players in a genre mash-up, noting that they have fake badges and cheap suits. Jerry tells them to follow the rules. Sam requests to see the Queen about becoming new squires.
Cut to a sword fight. Charlie defeats a knight in fake armor. Charlie sees Sam and Dean and looks embarrassed to recognize them. They enter her royal tent. Charlie says “Charlie” is dead, she is now Carrie (who was also killed). Charlie says she’s started over and doesn’t appreciate Sam and Dean’s presence b/c she doesn’t want to deal with monsters. Dean tells Charlie that Lance and Ed are dead. Sam and Dean say they have no leads. Charlie looks at the pictures of the tattoos and says they are Celtic magic symbols. Charlie says that her “army” is shrinking, possibly b/c of her, but maybe b/c of these magic symbols. Charlie mentions that there might be previous accidents in common with this one. This weekend is the Battle of Kingdoms to see who wears the winning crown. Dean gives Charlie some tips, but Sam stops him. Sam thinks someone from one of the other “kingdoms” got ahold of real magic and are using it to win the tournament. Charlie wonders why they don’t just come after her. Dean insists that Charlie leave, which she wants to do, but decides to stay since the Queen has to stay no matter what, even if people are dying. Charlie wants to fight for her new life here. Sam then gets called by the surprisingly quick toxicology report. Nothing strange was noted. But the medical examiner says there are signs he was killed by Belladonna (the poison, not the porn star), but no trace in his body. Charlie says they have a tech tent where a laptop might be found for Sam. Charlie then tells Dean to dress up as knights if they want to continue talking to her.
Sam enters the tech tent and asks a pretty girl, Maria (or Ghlondria, I think that’s how it’s spelled), is there is a player database. She says there is if you have an account on the website.
Charlie then asks Dean why he sent Sam a phantom text from his ex. Dean says that it was worth it now that Sam is more committed and has no attachments. Charlie asks if they are still talking about Sam or him. Dean says no.
Charlie and Dean leave the royal tent. Dean asks how Charlie got into LARPing. Charlie says a friend of her’s introduced it and she stayed for the cute women. It’s a good escape for her since she is nothing in the real world. Dean reminds her that she is a hero in the real world since she saved them before from Dick Roman. Charlie just says it’s good to be Queen when Dean notes what many maidens are checking her out.
Sam is looking up the genre mash up part of the site. Maria sees a player named Phyllis, whom she claims broke her ankles. They notice another layer, Jaime, was bludgeoned with his own mace but there were no signs of forced entry. They see the tattoo in the picture. Sam asks if it’s Celtic. Maria says she’ll look it up.
Charlie asks a young female elf if she knows what the tattoo is. The elf says she doesn’t know and Charlie invites her to her tent if he realizes anything. They exchange suggestive winks.
Sam says that someone is knocking out the Queen’s people. Maria says, that some of the victims are elves, warriors. Only group not to be affected is the Shadow Orks. Charlie says they’re the hardest to find. Sam then finds a website explaining the Celtic symbol. It is the tree of pain. Whoever is tagged with it will be the victim of fairy magic. Maria wonders if fairy magic could be bad.
Dean and Charlie come across Shadow Ork from before. Dean knocks the prisoner with his wooden sword until they get some information about the Tree of Pain from him. It’s the Shadow King’s family crest, and they are located in the forest behind the playground known as the Black Hills.
Sam then gets ready to leave and thanks Maria. Maria then says she’s never done genre mash up play before and invites Sam to her tent. Sam turns her down and goes.
Cut to the forest. Charlie and Dean are walking when they meet up with Jerry. Charlie says Dean is her new hand maiden. Dean then gives Charlie his phone to find Sam with. Dean then orders Jerry to lead him to the Orkers. Jerry tells the hand maiden to speak when spoken to and leads him away.
Charlie is walking away when a black-hooded nerd comes out from the trees. Charlie throws a red bean bag at his head and calls it “dark magic.” This makes the cloaked nerd run away. Charlie turns around and sees a scary, imposing figure in a black cloak with a skull mask and antlers standing over her. She throws a bean bag to him, but he abducts her.
Jerry leads Dean back the village. They decide to use the Shadow Ork prisoner as bait for the Shadow King. Jerry then orders Dean to attend to the Queen’s laundry while he fetches the prisoner. Sam comes and they look for Charlie, but she is nowhere to be found. Dean orders Sam to try contacting her through his phone.
Cut to Charlie waking up in a furnished bedroom tent, complete with fireplace. The Shadow King stands before her, not saying anything. Charlie tries to leave, but magic is being used to have her walking in circles back inside the tent. She tries to work something out with the Shadow King, and it approaches her. Charlie says she just wants her old life back. The Shadow King removes its mask, revealing itself to be Gilda from the Hollow Forest.
Dean, Sam, the Shadow Ork, and Jerry walk in the forest at night when they encounter the nerd, Max, from before Charlie was abducted. They speak in the game language. Dean decides he’s had enough and gets out his gun and shoots a warning shot and tells Max to talk since his family crest shows that he knows where the Queen is Max states that he got the Tree of Pain on his arm, got sick, and liked the way it looked so he made into a family crest. Max begs to be let go and he won’t press charges since he is actually an attorney. Dean lets him go after Max offers his fake ears to him. The Shadow Work then says that there is a weird tent by the creek he doesn’t recognize. The Shadow Ork then says he has a crush on the Queen and wants Dean to put in a word for him since he’s suddenly being so helpful.
Cut to Gilda sitting on the bed with Charlie. Gail introduces herself as a fairy. Gail was summoned by a spell and brought here to do his bidding. Gail says her master is forcing her to hurt people, which faire don’t do. She says a hero must destroy her master’s book of magic to free her.
Cut to Sam, Dean, and Jerry walking in the forest. They find the strange tent and walk in on Charlie making out with Gilda. Gilda then tells Dean and Sam to run from her master: Jerry!
Jerry then orders Gilda to turn San and Dean’s guns into feathers. They ask why Jerry is doing this and Jerry says he just wanted to win over the Queen and win the tournament, until Sam and Dean showed up. Jerry is doing this since the players were cheating by buying each other off with real money instead of the Moondoor currency, which apparently they are supposed to be using. He’s obviously taking this game way too seriously. He also demands to be called Boltar the Furious. Jerry says he got the real book of spells from….eBay, shockingly enough. Jerry then says it’s only going to work out once he removes Sam and Dean from the playing field and clears their memories. Jerry takes a fake sword and makes Gilda turn it into a real sword, then orders her to make the empty knight suit come to life to strangle Sam. A big fight breaks out. Charlie then takes Jerry’s dagger and uses it to destroy the book when it is conveniently dropped on the ground. The swords turn back to fake and Dean punches Jerry out. Gilda then tells Charlie that the Hollow Forest is in her debt. She will also take Jerry back with her to face a tribunal for his sins. Of course, Charlie gives her a good bye kiss. Gilda vanishes.
Sam and Dean say goodbye to Charlie. They then decide to have some fun, so a wig-wearing Dean motivates the army with a speech from Braveheart, which is interrupted with a Frisbee. The armies then converge. Cue freeze frame.
Not being a LARPer myself, I must say this stand alone episode of Supernatural really didn’t do it for me as most of the jokes fell flat and the premise doesn’t live up to its comedic potential. It was nice to see Charlie again, though. On to a hopefully more serious episode next week.
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