Written by Robbie Thompson.
Directed by Robert Singer.
Air Date: April 24, 2013.
Concerned about the physical toll the second trial took on Sam, Dean benches his brother from hunting until he heals up. So, when geektastic hacker Charlie stumbles upon a case and tracks down the boys to enlist their help, Dean decides it's time to teach Charlie how to be a hunter-in-training. While happy to see Her Highness again, the boys suspect Charlie is hiding something: a secret that could get her killed.
For this episode = 2 humans and 2 djinn.
For the series so far = At least 889 humans (of which 7 were witches), 132 demons, 59 angels, 50 vampires, 48 ghosts, 36 Jefferson Starships, 20 gods, 19 zombies, 10 hellhounds, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 djinn, 5 shapeshifters, 5 werewolves, 4 ghouls, 4 Leviathan, 3 dogs, 2 Amazons, 2 arachnes, 2 kitsunes, 2 reapers, 2 rugarus, 2 Thule, 2 vetalas, 1 crocotta, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 familiar, 1 Khan worm, 1 lamia, the Mother of All, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shojo, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 Titan, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, and 1 wraith.
- Adult Fear: What Charlie is really afraid of is having her mother never wake up.
- Abandoned Warehouse: On being told the djinn owns an abandoned shipping warehouse, Dean notes sarcastically, "Of course she does."
- Artistic License Gun Safety: After showing Dean she is in fact a good shot, Charlie rests the pistol on the bench with her finger still inside the triggerguard.
- Badass Bandolier: Video Game Charlie wears a bandolier of shotgun shells. Which never seem to run out.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Charlie has to dress in one to be a hunter, and later asks the coroner for advice on wearing a power suit. Dean also gets in on the action when he wakes up in Charlie's video game dream, which has him looking damn fine in a 1950s-era US Army Medical Command dress uniform◊.
- Blood-Splattered Innocents: Two kids prod the body with a stick and get splattered by its liquefied organs.
- Bring Me My Brown PantsJennifer: You know what I smell on you?Charlie: Deodorant? A little pee, maybe?
- Closed Circle: Dean assumes they have to win the game to get out of the dream, but Charlie says that she just keeps looping back to the start with the difficulty level increased.
- Come with Me If You Want to Live = I Always Wanted to Say That
- Commonality Connection: Dean notes that Charlie's mother was also taken too soon, just like theirs.
- Continuity Nod:
- Throughout the episode, Dean and Sam refer to Charlie as "Your Highness" and Charlie asks them if they're still going to come back for the Jubilee celebration in Moondoor, referencing their time as LARPers in "LARP and the Real Girl" (S08, E11)
- Charlie's been digging around on the internet for information on monsters and has discovered the Supernatural book series. She thanks the Winchesters for saving the world and lampshades Sam's Cartwright Curse.
- The music that plays during Dean and Charlie's shopping montage is "Walking On Sunshine", which played during Charlie's entrance in "The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo" (S07, E20)
- Dean and Sam make use of the African dream root from "Dream A Little Dream of Me" (S03, E10)
- Dean calls Charlie "War Games".
- Converse with the Unconscious: The episode ends on Charlie reading her comatose mother The Hobbit. Dean also speaks to her, congratulating her on raising an excellent daughter and swearing that he will find Charlie.
- Cry into Chest: Charlie to Dean.
- Diegetic Switch: In the teaser, "Night Hop" by Benny Carter is playing. When Dean removes the needle from the record, resulting in a Record Needle Scratch, the music keeps playing because it is background music.
- Disposing of a Body: Being coroner comes in handy for a djinn, who arranges for the corpses to be cremated citing fears of a virus. Turns out her inexperienced son had started killing openly, driven by Horror Hunger.
- Dirty Communists: A poster in the teaser says "Fight Communism. No Reds in America!"
- Double Aesop: Dean also has to put aside his fear of losing Sam.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: Sam is showing flu-like ailments from the strain of undertaking the second trial, but he stubbornly refuses to remain at home and joins up with Charlie and Dean on the case instead.
- Eyepatch of Power: Spoofed when Charlie wears an unnecessary eyepatch that she removes after her Big Damn Heroes moment.
- Fashion-Shop Fashion Show: When Dean makes Charlie buy a suit, a montage ensues of Charlie trying out outfits with Dean turning them down, complete with music. When Dean turns off the music playing on Charlie's phone, she lampshades it.Charlie: [pouting] Montage!
- The 50s: There is a portrait of Harry Truman hanging behind the desk Dean wakes up on in the teaser. Dean then finds a newspaper for July 12, 1951.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: The djinn have glowing blue eyes. It matches their tattoo.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Despite being openly lesbian, Charlie's take on the Castiel described in the Supernatural novels is:Charlie: He sounds helpful...and dreamy.
- In Medias Res: The episode starts with Dean "awakening" in Charlie's dream.
- Improvised Weapon: Dean breaks off a leg of the metal table used to barricade the door for a club.
- Invulnerable Knuckles: A weakened Sam winces after punching Dean.
- Ironic Echo:
- Charlie has an iPad that Sam is jealous of. Dean has John Winchester's journal, which Charlie is jealous of.Sam: [about the iPad] I hate that thing. [beat] I want one.Charlie: [about the journal] I hate that thing. And I want one.
- Sam tries this to convince Dean to let him in on the hunt.Sam: I need to be out here. "Play through the pain", right?Dean: Oh, come on, man, don't quote me to me!
- Charlie has an iPad that Sam is jealous of. Dean has John Winchester's journal, which Charlie is jealous of.
- Kill the Ones You Love: At the end, Charlie signs the papers to have her mother taken off life support.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Sam and Dean. Charlie lampshades it, name-dropping the trope in the process:Charlie: You guys fight like an old married couple.
- Like Brother and Sister: Dean accepts Charlie's "I love you" entirely in the spirit it's offered.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: Sam and Dean split up while searching the warehouse (which counts as Idiot Ball given Sam's weak condition and Dean's protectiveness). Then when Dean enters Charlie's head, she tells him there's a second djinn Sam doesn't know about.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: Lampshaded but averted; rather than trap the victim in a Happy Place, this species of djinn prefers Your Worst Nightmare.
- Man Hug: After hugging Charlie goodbye, Dean goes and gives Sam a hug too.
- Messy Hair: Sam when he wakes up, which is lampshaded by Dean.Dean: Man, I'm telling you, give me five minutes with some clippers, and...Sam: Oh, shut up.
- Monster Is a Mommy: The second djinn is the monster's son.
- Musicalis Interruptus: Dean turns off "Walking On Sunshine" on Charlie's phone, ending her montage.
- Newspaper Dating: Dean takes a newspaper from the body of a dead nurse, dated July 12, 1951, with the headline "Truman Denies Medical Experiment".
- The Nose Knows: The djinn tracked Charlie because she could smell her fear.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The coroner, who turns out to be the Monster of the Week covering her tracks.
- Properly Paranoid: Dean secretly turns on the GPS in Charlie's mobile, which comes in handy when she goes missing.
- Red Scare: The video game that is the setting of Charlie's nightmare was called The Red Scare; it features zombie-vampire Communists.
- Reality Ensues: The coroner insists on the correct paperwork being filed before she lets the 'FBI' look at the bodies. Charlies gripes that this never happened in the Supernatural novels.
- Rushed Inverted Reading: Charlie flashes her FBI badge upside-down.
- Shadow Discretion Shot: The teaser ends with Dean looking frightened as a growling figure approaches him. Only the shadow of the figure is shown.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Fortunately dream vampires aren't Immune to Bullets.
- Shout-Out: Charlie and Dean recite the "I love you" "I know" exchange from The Empire Strikes Back. It's much more heartfelt than Charlie's previous exchanges of it.
- State Sec: There is a poster for Civil Defense in the teaser which says, "America Calling. Take your place in Civil Defense. Contact your nearby defense council."
- Tap on the Head: Dean needs to fall asleep fast, so he tells Sam to punch him and knock him out.Dean: Alright, I'm gonna need to go sleep fast, so, punch me. [Sam gives him a look] Look, man, I know you don't want to, okay—[Sam punches him. Dean staggers, but isn't knocked out]Dean: Well, you're a little off your game there, cause I was—that was pretty—[Sam punches him again, this time knocking him out]
- Themed Aliases:
- Titled After the Song: "Pac Man Fever" by Buckner & Garcia. Probably, although it could also be named after the video game for the Nintendo GameCube.
- Believe it or not, NOT titled after the trope.
- Took a Level in Badass: Unlike previous episodes where Charlie's first instinct was to flee from monsters, Charlie has been actively researching them and handles a firearm well, though she's still nervous about the Bavarian Fire Drill.
- Took a Shortcut: Played for laughs when Sam gets to locations Dean was headed to before him, twice.Sam: [to Dean] Took you so long?
- Shooting Gallery: Dean won't take Sam hunting unless he can hit a target. He misses completely. When Dean takes Charlie down there, she achieves a Boom, Headshot!.
- White Shirt of Death: Those Labcoat of Science and Medicine and white nurse uniforms really show up the blood.
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Spoken almost word-for-word when Sam completely fails to catch a beer Dean throws to him.Dean: This is why we don't have nice things, Sam.
- Wilhelm Scream: Charlie references this when she wakes up tied to a chair with a djinn in her face, rather than actually screaming.Jennifer: You're not going anywhere.Charlie: [panicky] Wilhelm Scream.
- We Need a Distraction: Charlie keeps the coroner busy while the boys break into morgue. Unfortunately she's the Monster of the Week and it only draws her attention to Charlie as the next victim.
- Your Worst Nightmare: The djinn use their victim's fear to prepare them for eating. Charlie says that the dream she and Dean are in is a recurring nightmare she's had about a game that frightened her when she was young, but Dean correctly deduces that it isn't the game that frightens Charlie, but the prospect that she cannot save her comatose mother.