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Supernatural: "Dark Dynasty" Review



May 6, 2015

Note: Full spoilers for the episode follow.

We can’t dance around the biggest event of the episode so let’s pull the Band-Aid off. It looks like Charlie’s dead. Now, on a show like Supernatural, death doesn’t necessarily mean someone is gone forever. Charlie could still bounce back. Even if her body’s burned in the next episode, there are deals the Winchesters can make. Or maybe we’ll see her in heaven. I fully understand the options that come with being dead on Supernatural.

And I truly hope Charlie isn’t dead, but right now, as far as we know, she is. It’s not okay. Setting aside mourning for all the energy Felicia Day brings to the series and the different dynamic Charlie adds to the hunter family, there was no reason for her death. She loves the Winchesters and willingly faced Eldon, and I respect her decision to do so (and admire the way she hustled under pressure to upload the file) but also can’t help but feel her death is being used simply to push Dean to the next step. She deserves more. There are other compelling ways to push him over the edge — maybe not many of them, true, but just about anything would have been better (and more original) than killing Charlie.

Problematic ending aside, “Dark Dynasty” brought a new facet of the mythology into the picture by revealing the Styne family is actually the Frankenstein family. Eh. The bioengineering and surgical enhancement angle was intriguing and the family does make a formidable enemy thanks to their numbers and particular skills, but the connection to the familiar story wasn’t necessary. They could have been their own kind of monster, and the concept would have been stronger for it. Plus, for a super smart family that had to change their last name in order to protect themselves, Styne is sort of on the nose.

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photo Gallery:

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

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Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

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Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

Supernatural: “Dark Dynasty” Photos

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The threat they present is real enough — certainly real enough to make you concerned about them getting the Book of the Damned back. It would make the Stynes darn near invincible, possibly on a Sauron-like level. The Mark of Cain will work to Dean’s benefit as he tries to stop them.

Dean has every right to be angry, too. It’s insanely frustrating that Sam didn’t tell the truth to Dean even when pushed. Both Castiel and Charlie called out the ridiculousness of lying to Dean, and I’d wager ninety percent of the audience was with them. The Winchesters lying to each other is a plot point that needs to be salted and burned. The silliest part is despite years of lies, Sam is still terrible at being convincing. How does he not have multiple convincing excuses at the ready when stakes are as high as they are? On the other side of it, Dean should have caught onto Sam’s flimsy excuses earlier on.

Castiel stinks at dishonesty too, but he struggles with all emotion and nuance so he has a valid excuse. Misha Collins’ deadpan delivery of lines like “This call is pointless” were huge bright spots in the episode.

Jensen Ackle’s performance stood out, too. The lighthearted side of Dean is fun, but Ackles brings such intensity to Dean’s anger and indignation. It’s turned up because of the Mark of Cain, and though I don’t like Dean being lied to for so long, I can appreciate the drama and color his reaction to those lies brings to the story.

The smaller character moments really kept this episode afloat. Crowley totally has his King of Hell groove back, and the contrast of seeing him yell forcefully at minions and then turn around and talk to a hamster was brilliant. And then there were all of the amusing arguments between Rowena and Charlie. The scene that cut between Charlie using her laptop and Rowena using magic especially stands out. Hmm. Maybe Rowena can bring Charlie back? I’m grasping at straws.

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