Recap of Supernatural Season 4, Episode 12
Criss Angel is a Douchebag
Written by Julie Siege.
Directed by Robert Singer.
Air Date: January 22, 2009.
Sam and Dean attend a magician's convention where it seems that real magic is being performed. Their investigation leads them to Charlie, Jay, and Vernon, three friends who were famous magicians in their day but have now been replaced by flashier, younger magicians. However, a magician performs an execution-style trick on stage and comes out unscathed, while another magician dies at the exact same moment. One of the magicians has made a deal to acquire real magical powers, but the price was extremely high. Sam and Dean must figure out a way to reverse the spell before others are harmed. Also, Ruby visits Sam with a proposition.
For this episode = 4 humans.
For the series so far = At least 283 humans (of which 5 were witches), at least 61 demons, 25 ghosts, 10 vampires, 6 changelings, 3 gods, 3 shapeshifters, 3 zombies, 2 werewolves, 1 cat, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 2 dogs, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 rugaru, 1 shtriga, and 1 wendigo.
- Asshole Victim: Patrick Vance and Jeb Dexter.
- Bondage Is Bad: Dean gets sent by the magicians to a gay leather Dom in the back of a seedy bar. Subverted in that the Dom is rather professional, quickly establishing such boundaries as safe words and presumably letting Dean leave once he realizes it was a mistake.
- Bittersweet Ending: Jay stops Charlie and saves the brothers, but is racked with guilt over killing his best friend, to the point where he doesn't accept Sam and Dean's gratitude, and he's been abandoned by their other friend, Vernon. He's last seen depressed and seemingly giving up magic, and even the Winchesters don't feel good about how it all ended. The only thing that keeps it out of Downer Ending territory is that the one murderer was stopped.
- Bullet Catch: Charlie catches a bullet with his mouth.
- Chekhov's Skill: Jay's finesse with card tricks.
- More specifically, his ability to slip cards into other people's pockets without them noticing.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "With rings, and doves...and rings"
- Exposition of Immortality: Charlie mentions that he is old enough to have met Barnum.
- Genius Bonus: Vance dies from ten stab wounds. The Tarot card found on his person happens to be the Ten of Swords, but it's never referred to by name in the episode. And the card in Charlie's pocket at the end? The Magician.
- Goth: The only way to describe Jeb Dexter.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Charlie and Jay.
- Lovely Assistant: Jay's young female assistant.
- Magicians Are Wizards: Charlie was a stage magician who was given a real black magic book.
- Martyrdom Culture: Discussed. As a hunter, Dean fully expects to die during a hunt, preferring death to becoming a hermit or mental hospital patient. Sam, in contrast, wants to retire and grow old peacefully.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Jeb is dressed very similarly to Criss Angel.
- Subverted because of the episode's title and Jeb himself expresses some vitriol towards Criss Angel.
- Pick a Card
- Slipped the Ropes: Boys, this is why you don't tie up professional escape artists.
- Stage Magician
- Take That: Well... the title.
- Tarot Motifs: Charlie uses Tarot Cards to cast spells.
- Throw It In: In one interview, Sera Gamble said that the title was simply a joke that was passed around the writer's room, and was a little surprised that it made it to air without being changed.