There are two very distinct types of Supernatural episodes which I think explains why the show has managed to survive into its 8th season. There is Supernatural and Supernatural Light. Despite a sense of death which hangs over the show…despite losing all their loved ones and facing down monsters and demons, the producers and writers never let the show lose its sense of humor. They seem to know how far to push the Winchesters to the very edge of despair and then pull them back with a lighter episode at just the right time.
LARP and the Real Girl is one of those episodes. Sam and Dean, galvanized by last week’s events, seem to be on the same page for the first time in quite a while. They investigate the grisly deaths of two avid LARPers (Live Action Role Playing Game), leading them to Farmington Hills, Michigan (just 10 minutes from where I live!). They discover the men played a LARP called Moondoor, leading them to a nearby park where the players dress up as knights, elves, and orcs, acting out their characters in cheesy, nerdy fashion.
They are surprised to find their one-time ally Charlie, last seen in the season 7 finale, is the “Queen” of Moondoor. But behind the role-playing there is true magic going on. One of the players has found an actual book of magic and is forcing a fairy named Gilda to use her powers for evil so that he can gain control of the game.
Sam and Dean are forced to play along when one of the LARPers calls them out on their phony FBI identifications but think they are just mixing genres. As in the western-themed episode of a few years ago, Dean happily dives in donning chainmail and fake sword. Plot wise, the episode isn’t as good as some of the other comedic episodes. It’s certainly not on a par with this season’s "Hunteri Heroici" episode but it did feature one of the great scenes in the history of the show. I place it on a par with Dean dropping his pants and yelling “Pudding!” from a few seasons back. Once the villain has been defeated, the boys decide to join in the fun with Dean, dressed as William Wallace and barking out Wallace’s speech from Braveheart. You could not help but laugh out loud at that.