8.11 LARP and the Real Girl

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Sn811promopicep.jpg
Title LARP and the Real Girl
Episode # Season 8, Episode 11
First aired January 23, 2013
Directed by Jeannot Szwarc
Written by Robbie Thompson
On IMDB LARP and the Real Girl
Outline Sam and Dean meet up with Charlie Bradbury again after people in a LARPing community starts to die for real. They now have to fit in between the LARPers to stop the killings.
Monster Fairy
Human
Timeline
Location(s) Farmington Hills, Michigan.
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Synopsis

Ed Nelson enters his apartment talking on the phone. He is having an argument about the game. When he hangs up, he starts getting text messages. Later that night he is asleep in bed and the image of a rooted tree appears on his forearm. He wakes to the sound to horses; and then is drawn and quartered by an invisible force.

Sam and Dean are driving and talking about where they are at with the demon tablet and how to use it. They are frustrated and Dean thinks they need to take a break – have some fun. Garth calls, giving Sam and Dean a case. He had been tracking them and matched them to assign it.

At the crime scene, Sam and Dean split up. Dean uses the EMF and Sam speaks with Sheriff Jake Miller over the body. Sam finds the tree on the victim’s forearm and chainmail armor. The sheriff tells Sam as Dean walks up about the texts the victim received that night. They were strange threats sent by Lance Jacobsen. Sam and Dean take first crack at Lance’s interrogation. He is an emotional mess, but manages to explain to the Winchester about the LARPing game Moondoor. In real life, Lance and Ed were friends. The texts were sent while the men were playing; their characters were angry with each other.

Sam and Dean research the game on its website and see a video of the Queen. She is Charlie Bradbury. Still in the interrogation room, Lance feels a tree symbol appear on his forearm. It is the same one as Ed had. He coughs and vomits blood as his eyes bleed and he dies. Sam and Dean watch the security footage playback and decide to check out the game.

At Moondoor, Boltar the Furious is punishing a Shadow Orc. Sam and Dean interrupt, but Boltar tells them that their FBI role playing isn’t allowed. He knows they have fake badges. Regardless, he takes them to the queen – Charlie Bradbury who is now known as Carrie Heinlein. When the boys find Charlie, she has just won a battle and is speaking about Greyfox and Thargrim’s disappearance. The three of them all head to her tent, and she is angry to be drug back into their world of monsters. Charlie starts to leave but Dean tells her that Ed and Lance are dead.

Going over the details of what happened, Charlie is able to identify the tree on the victims’ forearms as a Celtic magic symbol. Also, other members of her army have been suffering freak accidents. The Shadow Orcs are a common enemy among all people in Moondoor. Charlie shows the boys her map of the game and explains. Dean helps her strategize. Sam and Dean then argue about Charlie’s future involvement, but regardless, she insists on staying to help. Sam gets a phone call from the lab telling them that Lance was killed by belladonna, a poison, but there was no trace of it in his system – just like how there were no ropes found in Ed’s apartment. Sam splits to do research while Dean and Charlie prepare to canvas the area for clues.

Dean tells Charlie about what they have been going through lately, even admitting to the text he sent Sam pretending to be Amelia. Dean and Charlie head out and ask around about the symbol. The last group they need to ask in the Shadow Orcs, so they head to the player Dean saw in stocks when he arrived. He tells Dean the tree is the Shadow King’s family crest.

Sam heads to the technology tent and with help from Maria aka Gholandria the Wicked, finds the other victim profiles. Maria tells him the tree symbol is connected to the Shadow Orcs, and that they are the only group to not be affected by these accidents. Sam finds the tree symbol online. It is part of evil fairy magic. Sam thanks Gholandria for her help, but declines her offer to spend more time together.

Looking for the Shadow Orc King, Dean and Charlie run into Boltar in the woods. He convinces Charlie to head back to camp where it is safer; the two of them will continue the search. Charlie is kidnapped on her way back to camp by a tall black caped figure with a stag skull head. Dean and Boltar find nothing and head back to camp. They decide to collect the Shadow Orc prisoner from earlier to use as bait; Dean finds Sam, but not Charlie. Charlie wakes up on a bed in a new tent. The stag skull figure is there. She tries to leave but real magic will not let her. The figure comes closer to her and Charlie screams that she just wants her old life back! This make the figure stop and she removes the stag skull head. The figure is a beautiful woman – a fairy, and she tells Charlie that she too just wants her old life back.

Sam, Dean, Boltar, and the prisoner Shadow Orc head back into the woods and draw out the Shadow Orc King. Dean becomes frustrated waiting for information and pulls out his gun, threatening the king player. The Shadow Orc King turns out to have the tree on his forearm, he was the first victim, and still has no idea where Charlie is. The prisoner Shadow Orc, now realizing the real severity of the situation, pipes up to say he noticed a new tent earlier on the path that they hadn’t checked.

Gilda tells Charlie she was summoned by a spell, brought to do her master’s bidding, and is forced to hurt people. In order to break Gilda free of the spell, someone must take her master’s book of magic and destroy it.

Sam, Dean, and Boltar head to the tent. They walk in on Charlie and Gilda making out. Gilda reacts – Boltar is her master. Gilda is commanded to destroy Sam and Dean’s guns. They turn to feathers. Boltar explains himself. He compelled Gilda to help him win the Moondoor battle and convince the Queen to make him her King. Gilda forms a sword for Boltar, and they all begin to fight. Dean fights Boltar when Sam is strangled by a knight. Charlie finds and destroys the book of magic, freeing Gilda and rendering Boltar powerless.

Charlie says goodbye to the Winchesters. She offers to help them if they ever need her. She is ready to stop running and face reality, even if it includes monsters. Dean asks Sam what they should do next. He understands that Sam needs time after giving up Amelia. Sam responds that that is true, but having fun will help both of them. Sam and Dean head in to the battle. Dean readies the troops with an inspiring speech and they fight. The Queen of Moons is victorious.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "China Grove" by The Doobie Brothers
(plays in the beginning when Sam and Dean talk in the car)

Quotes

Sam: We have the most powerful weapon we've ever had against demons, and we can't find a way to use it.
Dean: Yeah, well, Kevin's on it. And when he finds something, he'll call. So we wait. Look, we have both had a rough go over these past couple of weeks. And, uh... I know what you gave up wasn't easy. Maybe we ought to take the night off – go see a flick, hit a bar or two, have some fun. You remember fun, don't you, Sammy?
Sam: Look, it's bad enough that you're tracking us, but it's even worse when you say we've been "Garthed."
Sam: Huh. So, anything... missing from the body?
Sheriff Jake Miller: You mean aside from the arms and legs? Uh... [chuckling] nope. All there – twig and berries, too.
Sheriff Jake Miller: The two of them talked together for 15 minutes, and then Lance sent Ed here all kinds of angry texts. Some of them were your typical threat stuff, but some were a little weird.

Sam: Weird how?

Sheriff Jake Miller: Like, uh... "You shall bleed for your crimes against us," followed by the emoticon of a skull. And, uh, this beauty – "I am a mage. I will destroy you." These kids today with their texting and murder. My men just brought Lance into the station for questioning.
Lance: Those texts weren’t from me. They were from me, but they weren’t from me me.
Dean: Did you really think that sentence was gonna clear things up?
Charlie: So, I'm droppin' my sword and walkin' off the stage, bitches.
Charlie: You sent Sam a phantom text from his ex? Dick move, sir.
Sam: Nice outfit.
Dean: You love it.
Gerry / Boltar: Greyfox and Thargrim became part of the honor guard. They got close to the queen, but they did it by breaking the rules – paying off other players with real money, rather than Moondoor currency. They were cheating.

Dean: Oh, and using magic isn't?

Gerry / Boltar: Magic is a part of Moondoor.
Charlie: If the last 24 hours have taught me anything, it's that escaping isn't what it used to be. No more replacement characters for me. I got to face reality from now on. Sadly, reality actually includes monsters, but what are you gonna do? If I can ever be of help to you guys, let me know.
Charlie: Apart from the fact that you blocked me from banging a fairy and I’m about to go lose my crown in battle thanks to my army being decimated, yeah, totally good.

Trivia & References

The episode title “LARP and the Real Girl” is a reference to the 2007 movie Lars and the Real Girl starring Ryan Gosling, about a guy who develops a relationship with a Real Doll.
LARPing previously featured in the episode 5.09 The Real Ghostbusters.
Dean and Sam use the aliases Agents Rosewood and Taggart, which are characters in the 1984 Eddie Murphy comedy Beverley Hills Cop.
Dean: Well, the FBI is all work... no play.
Dean makes a play on the famous phrase "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" which was typed many, many times by Jack Nicholson's character Jack Torrance in the 1980 movie The Shining.
When Charlie takes off her helmet and shakes out her hair it recalls the image of Eowyn in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Sam: So? Do you believe Dungeons & Dragons?

Dean: He didn't put a whammy on us. Those weren't crocodile tears, man. That's not our guy.

Dungeons & Dragons is a tabletop role-playing game, where characters are sent on imaginary adventures/quests.
Crocodile tears are an insincere display of grief.
Dean: You saw the chain mail. This could be "Fifty Shades of Greyfox" for all we know.
Dean is making a reference to the BDSM romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. The book had its origins in Twilight fanfiction.
Sam: Maybe they had matching tattoos. I mean, they were brothers in arms. You recognize it from anything?

Dean: A Tim Burton movie? Aside from the, uh, mark of the creepy here, the only thing these guys have in common is LARPing.

Reference to the image from the posters for the movie Big Fish.
Charlie: Greyfox and Thargrim are missing. We pray to the goddess they have not fallen victim of foul play. In their absence, the honor guard's ranks are weakened. To join... Oh, blerg. Uh... The queen needs some royal "we" time. Talk amongst thyselves.
This saying indicating annoyance or frustration was popularized by Tina Fey's character of Liz Lemon on the TV series 30 Rock.
Charlie: Charlie Bradbury is dead. She died a year ago. You killed her. My name is Carrie Heinlein. Oh, and guess what. Now you killed her, too.
According to writer Robbie Thompson, Charlie's aliases are made up of the name of a Stephen King character for her first name and the surname of a famous science fiction writer.
Carrie Heinlein refers to Carrie, the eponymous hero of Carrie and Heinlein refers to writer Robert A. Heinlein.
Charlie: Have fun storming the castle.
This is a quote from the 1987 movie The Princess Bride.
Dean: Well, there's no laptops in Moondoor. There's no Geneva Convention, either.
The Geneva Conventions outline humanitarian conditions that should apply during war, first ratified in 1949 signed by a number, but not all, countries.
Sam: But the medical examiner said his body showed clear signs that he was killed by belladonna.

Charlie and Dean: The porn star?
Sam: The poison.
Charlie and Dean: Oh.

Belladonna is a porn star actor and producer. Amongst her films is My Ass Is Haunted
Charlie: Okay. I'm gonna need the full wiki on where you guys have been. But first, you're gonna have to ditch the suit if you're gonna walk and talk with the queen.
A wiki, such as the Supernatural Wiki, is a comprehensive, multi-authored source of information presented in a readable and often entertaining way. Totally a shout-out.
Charlie: For role-play, I prefer a tabletop. D&D, Gamma World, Car Wars. That's why Cthulhu invented multi-sided dice, right?
Charlie is referring to a number of tabletop role-playing games, which are played with a multi-sided dice. In 7.20 The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo, Charlie revealed that she had a Princess Leia in her slave girl bikini astride a 20-sided die, which she got at Comic-Con.
Cthulhu is a supernatural tentacled deity created by H.P. Lovecraft.
Dean: I’m noticing a lot of these maidens checking you out.

Charlie: What? I can’t shut this down. It’s good to be queen.

This is a riff on the line "It's good to be the King" from the Mel Brooks movie History of the World Part I.
Charlie: Uh... hi. I'm the, uh, queen... of Moons. Nice to meet you. Great costume, bee tee dubs.
"Bee tee dubs" stands for by the way (btw).
Charlie: I’m just an IT girl, standing in front of a monster, asking it not to kill her.
This is a twist on the quote "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her" spoken by the Julia Roberts character in the romantic comedy Notting Hill.
Star Wars references:

LARPer: I love you.
Charlie: I know.

The lines are spoken between Leia and Han Solo as he is about to be frozen in carbonite at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. Watch it here. It is also said between Charlie and one of her co-workers in 7.20 The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo.

Dean refers to Charlie as "Your Worshipfulness" which is a Han Solo line from Star Wars, where he says to Leia "Look, Your Worshipfulness, let's get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me." to which she replies "It's a wonder you're still alive!"

Charlie: My name's Charlie. I'm here to rescue you.

This line was originally spoken by Luke to Leia in Star Wars "I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you." Watch it here.
The call of "Kuh-Kaah!" that the Orc LARPers do in the woods, is a shout-out to the call used by Dignan (played by Owen Wilson) in the 1996 Wes Anderson comedy Bottle Rocket.
Charlie destroying the spellbook by stabbing it is a reference to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in which Harry Potter destroys Tom Riddle's diary in a similar manner using a basilisk's fang. Harry Potter is one of Charlie's favorite series.
Charlie: Call me...maybe?
"Call Me Maybe" was the title of a song by Carly Rae Jepsen which was a smash hit in 2012.
As she did in 7.20 The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo, Charlie makes the Vulcan salute popularized by Spock in Star Trek when she farewells Sam and Dean.
Dean's speech to Charlie's army is taken from the speech given by 13th century Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, in the movie Braveheart. You can watch the scene here.

Minutiae

Andrea Brooks, who played Maria / Gholandria the Wicked, previously played Katie Burns in 2.06 No Exit.
Michael Teigen, who played Max Hilby / Shadow King, previously played Teacher in 1.05 Bloody Mary and Teddy the Suicidal Teddy Bear in 4.08 Wishful Thinking.
The victims of Gerry / Botar the Furious were:
  • Ed Nelson 31, Insurance claims adjuster. Lives alone. Game name: Thargrim the Difficult. Drawn and quartered.
  • Lance Jacobsen 30s, Accountant. Lives alone. Game name: Greyfox the Mystic. Poisoned by belladonna.
  • Phyllis Morton. Hobbled
  • Jaime Parker. Beaten with his own mace.
  • Max Hilby. Attorney. Game name: King of the Shadow Orcs. Became sick.
  • Michelle Bump
  • Matt Karlson
  • John Fraser
  • Jennifer Robinson
Ed was killed on the night of January 23rd, the night the episode aired. Dean's birthday is on January 24th as was Jessica Moore's.
The shot of Ed's phone, with a message from Lance, was actually a shot of VFX Coordinator Ryan Curtis's phone with a text from colleague Adam Williams after he changed his name (and the date) in his phone. It was then shopped onto the phone the Sheriff is examining.
When Sam is in the technical tent -- which has the sign "Beware, this is a gateway to the future" on the outside -- some of the LARPers can be seen to be playing Dragon Age 2: Mark of the Assassin, a fantasy action role-playing video game. Also seen is the character of Tallis, an elven assassin based on the appearance of, and voiced by, Felicia Day who plays Charlie. The character originated in a web series called Dragon Age: Redemption written by and starring Felicia Day.
Over recent seasons, as the length of Sam's hair has increased, many fans had speculated (wished?) that he may eventually end up wearing his hair in a ponytail. In the final scene, during the Battle of the Kingdoms, this finally happened. See Sam's Hair for a pictorial map of the evolution of Sam's hair.
Over a freeze frame of the Battle of the Kingdoms at the end of the episode, a title crawl reads in a cursive script:
"This episode is dedicated to the men, women, elves, demigods, magi, druids and chamber pot servants who gave their lives fighting and winning for the Queen of Moons in the Battle of the Kingdoms. Go bravely into the next world, fallen soldiers."
They are read by Bob Singer. The script type is also used on the credits for Bob Singer and Jeremy Carver.
This episode was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the "Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBT character)" category in 2013. However it lost to an episode of Elementary.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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