It's a tale of two Charlies but after fighting in a war for the Emerald City, is she still the same person?
It's been a while but the effects of the Mark of Cain haven't let up. In an attempt to stay clean he has even sworn off alcohol and fast food; a first for Dean Winchester. While he and Sam are researching for any leads, Sam stumbles on some disturbing video of Charlie attacking someone so they decide to check things out. The boys talk with the victim, Peter Harper, but they know he's holding back. Charlie asked for a name and eventually Dean gets it out of him. Peter was a lawyer assigned to a case he was forced to drop where a young girl's parents were killed by a drunk driver; that girl was Charlie. It's then that Sam and Dean put the pieces together that Charlie is hunting the person responsible for killing her parents. After getting the name out of Peter, the boys head to the home of the next potential victim, Barbara, and are promptly stonewalled when they ask about Charlie. During their stakeout, Barbara is attacked by Charlie. The boys manage to stop Charlie from killing her but Charlie also beats the crap out of Dean while making her escape. They think they've hit a dead end but just then, Charlie pulls up in a yellow car, dressed differently and seeming a lot like the Charlie they knew. Charlie tells them everything about what happened in Oz and it's not good. In an effort to save the Emerald City, Charlie made a deal with the Wizard who split up Charlie's good half side and dark side into two different people. The Emerald City was saved but dark Charlie went too far and now she can't be stopped. Now the Winchesters have to try and save the man responsible for killing Charlie's parents and find a way to reverse the Wizard's spell.
With any luck, There's No Place Like Home will be Supernatural's last foray into the world of Oz because L. Frank Baum must be rolling in his grave. Besides how much Supernatural has overused the character Charlie, these stories have next to no substance. What's even worse is how poor the writing was throughout, especially for Dean. It takes a great deal of effort to write characters that outsmart one another in believable ways but it's lazy to write them as stupid to make your story work. Robbie Thompson did that in spades with Dean this week. Even after good Charlie had told them that dark Charlie did horrible things in Oz and was attacking her victims with a knife, he stood outside the room as she killed her parents' killer. In the end, there was little payoff to having the Wizard of Oz make an appearance. It was so brief and Carter Kinsella's performance fell flat.
Though she has been charming in previous episodes, Felicia Day's dual performance was quite laughable at times throughout There's No Place Like Home. As good Charlie, Day is practically playing herself as the sharp and witty nerd who was dragged into the world of the Winchesters. As dark Charlie, Day is laughable. Day could have given the darker Charlie a lot more pathos if she hadn't played the part like a 90s super villain. Every line was delivered with an acerbic sarcasm that eventually has no affect when that's all there is.
There's No Place Like Home is another Supernatural story that doesn't work. Like what we have been given so far this season, the story was thin and little focus is being given to whatever central story is coming together this season. Whether or not this will turn around later this season is anyone's guess but I doubt it will happen in next week's About a Boy.