Tuesday, May 01, 2012

CW's "Supernatural" and Its Hail Mary with "The Girl with the D&D Tattoo:" A Television Review

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Director: John MacCarthy.

Writer: Robbie Thompson.

Before stepping in with the “Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” for this latest episode of "Supernatural," some viewers may want to make sure their geek cred is up to spec. This episode is unabashed in all of its references. From Princess Leia (in her slave outfit, and straddling a d20) to He-Man, just who else would want to wield a tiny short sword and hope it will grow? Felicia Day of course! She stepped into the fame wagon as Vi in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." These days, she has moved on to give geekdom the sexiness it deserves.

This particular brand of sub culture has shot to fame many actors who have crossed the science fiction, fantasy and comic book entertainment genres. With their name everywhere, just how geekier can anyone get? Two rites of passage include going to the San Diego Comic Convention or getting lampooned in mainstream entertainment.

While Day is having fun in playing Charlie, an unabashed geek with some serious hacker talent, everyone else is standing around, looking very impotent.

Sam and Dean may well think that this situation is surreal. The best line from this episode has to come from the older brother when he called the Headmaster of Hogwarts Dumbledork. That made for better laughs than to focus in on Charlie.

While Day is a fitting choice to pull off this character, she comes through as maybe even too nerdy for her own good. This actress could have toned it down than to pump it up. Her little Cyndi Lauper moment where she dances into work is a nice touch, but just how much of the 80’s culture do viewers really need as well?

At least Bobby Singer’s story is getting a dramatic turn for the worst. He gets a chance to meet his killer, Dick Roman, face to face. And true to speculation, Leviathans have no ability to defend against a ghost. Singer may turn into a very vengeful spirit and that is a concept that is very disconcerting to the Winchesters. The flask is what keeps this ghost around and Dean is reluctant to destroy it. Bobby might as well be a djinni trapped in a bottle.

But there is also a mystery to the object the Winchesters have stolen from Dick Roman. The red clay they found looks more like it could be hiding an object within its slimy substance. And it came from Iran, the birthplace of such cultures like the Persians and Cimmerians. But before anyone can shout, “CROM!” no, hopefully the writing team is not preparing to insert a bad "Conan the Barbarian" moment into this show.

There may be a Mesopotamian ritual that can put these water dwellers back into their place in purgatory. If that’s the case, yet another magical spell and primeval location will be required to send them back. When a series starts to rely on standard formulas to wrap a season up, that becomes a sign that writers are running out of ideas. The series was smartly refreshing in its first few seasons, but now, the spark is gone. A complete U-turn is going to be required if the series to last into season eight.

Overall: 6.5 out of 10.

More on "Supernatural" at the CW:

The Supernatural Homepage

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