‘Supernatural’ Reveals the True Story Behind ‘Wizard of Oz’

Published 9 months ago by , Updated February 16th, 2014 at 9:25 am,

supernatural season 9 episode 4 sam 570x289 Supernatural Reveals the True Story Behind Wizard of Oz

As ABC’s Agents of SHIELD is still attempting to drum up enough good will from fans to earn its early season pickup, Supernatural has, instead, decide to cash theirs in – all for the sake of Halloween! This year, a trip from Oz and a time-traveling visit to the Men of Letters thrusts Dorothy and the Wicked Witch into present times.

Unlike previously enclosed tales involving silent films, television tropes and a Golem (among others), this week’s special episode of Supernatural may take a bit of time to warm up to – not because the story is poorly handled or overly-complicated, but because the semi-grounded tone of the series initially makes it difficult to believe that yes, Oz does exist, flying monkeys and all.

supernatural season 9 episode 4 charlie 570x289 Supernatural Reveals the True Story Behind Wizard of Oz

To help Sam and Dean take on the Wicked Witch, Charlie (Felicia Day) makes her long-awaited return. This time, however, the wave of geek references and hyper-active mannerisms that typically fill her dialogue have been better shaped for the tale at hand. With that slight tweak, Charlie’s ever-reaching fangirlisms elevate the episode into an earnest look into hope, magic and feminism.

Over the past nine years, Sam and Dean have proved, time and time again, that they’re able to handle themselves in (almost) any circumstance. And though strong female characters is something Supernatural has worked for all along, there haven’t been many earnest tales which highlight  female perspective. In this episode, as the Wicked Witch is fighting off advances from Crowley (Mark Sheppard), a good amount of time is taken to allow Charlie and Dorothy to simply communicate, woman to woman.

Sure, the conversation between the two is mostly made up of backstory in order to accomplish the task at hand – but at the same time, it’s these conversations between Charlie and Dorothy which help to create a complete tale with fully-realized characters. Not only that, but because of the depth that’s reached with the girls, their return is not only eagerly anticipated but absolutely welcomed. As Sam says, “There’s no place like home.”

All in all, Supernatural made a difficult choice to include a standalone episode just 4 weeks into its ninth season, and for all intents and purposes, their Halloween homage to “The Wizard of Oz” was a tremendous success.

The core seasonal tale of fallen angels may still need a few more weeks before it reaches the heights of this week’s episode, but with all the many interpretations of the “The Wizard of Oz” out there ( and many more in development), it’s a pleasure to see a series so focused on mythology take on such a familiar tale and handle it so well. Thanks to writer Robbie Thompson, Supernatural has created a version of “The Wizard of Oz” that any modern audience would love to see. (Though maybe it’s best to wait until next Halloween to do so).

 

SEE ALSO: SyFy Working on Gritty Wizard of Oz Series

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Supernatural returns next Tuesday with “Dog Dean Afternoon” @9pm on CW. You can check out a preview of next week’s episode below:

TAGS: supernatural

16 Comments

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  1. It was Ok But I really love that show so I’m biased. Im just happy to be watching a new season. Can’t wait for next week.

  2. special effects were awesome. Wish they would put them to use with some of the angel/demon stuff. The monkeys could have easily been demons from far away. pretty goofy episode IMO but the sfx made up for that.

  3. This was a horrible episode and there are very few Supernatural episodes I don’t enjoy. The plot was forced. “This guy already researched this, and he already has poppies we can use as a weapon, and we’ll make them into bullets with no problem very quickly”… Dorothy was in Oz and she never new about these? Her character was good, so was Charlie but I’m biased and am in love with Felicia Day regardless.

    The Witch was pathetic. This was supposed to be THE witch? Meg from the early seasons was more evil and sinister.

    What really bothered me was the directing. Why are we slow-mo throwing the ruby slipper to Charlie? There was no urgency in this sequence to warrent that kind of a shot. When dorothy throws a punch at Sam, only for him to grab her arm, hold her, as Dean SLOWLY walks towards her with a knife… again, pathetic. What made me laugh the loudest was the end shot of them infront of the green screen looking at the ramp out of the garage.

    This episode seemed like it was thrown together last minute. Way below par for Supernatural standards.

    • What really bothered me was the directing. Why are we slow-mo throwing the ruby slipper to Charlie? There was no urgency in this sequence to warrent that kind of a shot.

      It was a joke.

  4. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this episode. SPN is known to blow off the mythology of several stories, but to see a book added to that felt off. Dean expecting Zeke to do what he expected Cas to do, always be there to help, seemed repetitous, especially after the Winchesters were once accused of “using and tossing aside” angels. Jared does well in his chnages from Sam to Zeke and back, though.

    Next week looks like it has some laughs, and that is something SPN writers are good at.

  5. I always thought the Charlie character is misused or miscast. The witch was poor to put it mildly. These stand alone episodes are not my favorites. Next weeks teaser looks like more of the same.

  6. I enjoyed the episode, nothing too special about it for me but PLEASE stop killing characters off and having the possessed Angel bring them freakin’ back!

  7. Charlie can be a little too naive at times (thinks hunting should be magical) but she does offer a nice balance to the brothers’ attitudes to hunting and she is extremely useful in her own ways. She is the much needed female character that the show need. I liked the mixing of popular culture into the Supernatural universe. I’m annoyed with the quick dismissal of Cas. They barely addressed him leaving and I expected Dean to maybe contact Cas and offer an explanation or to check up on him (overall I think he should have been present for at least a moment). Crowley was very funny in this episode in the moments that he did appear. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but Dean doesn’t seem to be expressing emotions very well lately. When Charlie “died” it wasn’t a very powerful reaction given their history. It’s almost as if that since he know Ezekiel is a defibrillator/get out of death free card he knows everything will be okay and is unable to emit emotions in the moment.

  8. Anyone else see the possibility of a spin off?

  9. Charlie (Felicia Day) makes her long-awaited return.

    Long-dreaded, you mean…

    This time, however, the wave of geek references and hyper-active mannerisms that typically fill her dialogue have been better shaped for the tale at hand.

    Indeed. The fact that they didn’t try to shove a hamfisted geek reference in there every couple of seconds made her bearable this time around, because now she somewhat felt like a real character instead of a caricature.

    All in all, Supernatural made a difficult choice to include a standalone episode just 4 weeks into its ninth season

    It was about time. The main plot is going nowhere (Episode 2 was a complete filler episode) and I was getting bored. I really enjoyed the OZ episode.

  10. stop moaning, Supernatural always does a fun episode. At least once every season. Watched this one with my girlfriend and she rated it as the best one she had seen yet. One for the OZ ladies maybe? Still I felt it was just good fun and well put together. I’ve had to watch all 8 seasons so my GF could catch up with the story, which was not the chore it might seem. she’s now a big fan :) wonder if they will ever do a big screen version. 1 hour is too short sometimes.

  11. Was this the backdoor pilot? Wasn’t the CW rumored to be creating an OZ show and a spin-off show to Supernatural? I think this is the combination of those two.

    I love this show, but hate this episode. It was too “Once Upon a Time” for my liking. If this isn’t the backdoor pilot, then I am very disappointed in the writers decision to incorporate Oz into the Supernatural world.

    • The backdoor pilot is supposed to be at the end of the season (episode 21, I think?)

      • Disappointed!

  12. Ho hum… another boring episode. Sam or some other regular character is close to death? Cass or some other angel will make them good as new. Where’s the sense of urgency? What happened to the danger? Why isn’t Dean eating junk food all the time? What happened to this series? What happened to angel proofing? And why oh why do we need the Charlie character? This used to be a lean mean supernatural machine with Death (the coolest character on the small screen) who also loved pie.Every since the mess that was Laviathan, Supernatural seemed to be phoniing it in, although I did like the vampire Benny. And of course he had to go. So long Benny. So long Bobby.

  13. I got annoyed with the directing, way too many shot of Dean looking speechless with Charlie’s comments, too many reaction shots looking very clichéd or boys looking wooden.

    Story was fine, the Oz girl was awesome, just the directing was poor.

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