The Winchesters old friend Charlie Bradbury (Felicia Day), last seen earlier this season in “Larp and the Real Girl”, returns to help the brothers with a case where several victims have had their insides liquefied. As Sam continues to struggle with the physical effects of his tablet trials, Charlie joins Dean in posing as an FBI agent to investigate the latest victim. This sets up some hilarious scenes as Charlie struggles to maintain her character despite her background in playing live-action roleplaying games.
Sam is trying to shake off the effects of the trials but can’t even come close to hitting his target in the gun range when Dean tests him. Charlie has studied the Winchester’s exploits once she was last seen and has even developed her own computer app of monster lore. She helps the boys discover that the monster is a “bastard offshoot of a Djinn” that feeds on the fear of its victims. In between hunting the Djinn, the Winchesters discover that Charlie has a secret past. When Charlie is infected by the Djinn, Dean has to enter her dream and play out a live-action video game in the year 1951 to save her.
Like many of the episodes this season outside of the main plot involving the Prophet and the angel/demon tablets, the villain in “Pac-Man Fever” was humdrum. Are the Supernatural writers running out of ideas? Several monsters used in previous years have been recycled this season and to less than captivating results. The Djinn wasn’t interesting and you knew right away who the monster was as. The fact that they killed her with surprising ease only served to underscore this fact.
However, the always fun and quirky Felicia Day made the episode rise above the average villain. Every time she appears in the series she steals the show with her brilliant but anxious character portrayal. Her scene as she nervously stalls for time and probes the coroner for fashion tips was one of the highlights of the episode. With her brains and computer hacking skills she could be a tremendous asset to the Winchesters and I hope we see more of her soon. She, along with Garth, brings a zany, dynamic chemistry to the show.
Still waiting for the writers to do a bit more with the whole Men of Letters thing. Other than giving the Winchesters a safe place to crash and a well-stocked library, there’s been little done to advance this plot element.