The Winchesters are feeling glum after last week's sacrifices, so Dean decides they should take the night off to have some fun. They could see a movie or hang out at a bar for a while, since they're still waiting for Kevin to decode the tablet. Alas, they get a call from Garth, who interrupts their plans to put them on a case. A man has been pulled apart as if by horses, from within the safety of his own apartment. On one of his errant arms is a tree tattoo that catches the brothers' eyes. Sam and Dean question the victim's friend, who boohoos in a ridiculously over the top way, as if he somehow knows he's in a "comical" episode. He and the victim were LARPing (live-action role-playing) for a story that takes its cues from Tolkien's Middle-earth. After the interview, the friend mysteriously dies when a tree tattoo suddenly appears on his arm.
Sam and Dean track down the other LARPers, who are currently fighting in a public park over ultimate control of "Moondor." Their leader is the Queen of Moons, who just happens to be Charlie Bradbury, geek girl extraordinaire. The Queen's subjects are reluctant to talk to the brothers, so Dean has to dress up in leather and mail in order to blend in. He's totally into it, too, and takes his role quite seriously. He and Charlie set off to question the Shadow Orcs, who seem like the most likely suspects, but Charlie is abducted by an ominous figure wearing black roles and a stag's skull.
Luckily for Charlie, her kidnapper turns out to be a beautiful fairy named Gilda. She's been summoned by someone to perform evil deeds against her will. She and Charlie hit it off and are in mid-clinch when the Winchesters and the Queen's helper find her. To nobody's surprise, it's the helper who summoned the fairy, because he was enraged at the cheating going on within the game. He bought a spell book off eBay and sought his revenge because nerds are nothing if not super dedicated. While the Winchesters fight him, Charlie destroys the book and sets the fairy free. Unfortunately for Charlie, this means the fairy then returns to her own world, instead of sticking around for more kissing.
At the end, Dean and Sam prepare to continue on their somber journey of sacrifice after sacrifice. To Dean's surprise, Sam suggests they take the day off. This means they both get to play dress-up and wield pretend swords and play-fight for Moondor while the real world slowly falls apart.
Oh, all right. It was a little fun. It's just that it renders the angst of the previous episode even more contrived, and will most likely make future episodes seem even more so. This show, like over-invested LARPers, has a hard time finding a good balance between reality and fantasy. Stay tuned for the full recap.
THEN! The Winchesters met a feisty computer whiz named Charlie Bradbury who helped them against Dick Roman. This proved to be more than a little inconvenient for her, as she had to start a new life with a new identity. Sam's relationship with Amelia finally fizzled and sputtered to an end when he decided to dedicate himself fully to whatever this season's quest is. Something to do with demons and angels... again. At the same time, Dean broke things off with his vampire buddy Benny because both brothers have to be miserable and friendless so that they have nowhere to turn but to each other. They'll be stuck in that Impala together forever, stewing in their mutual angst and roadside diner flatulence.
NOW! Some nerd walks into his apartment, arguing with someone on his cell. We know he's a nerd because the camera focuses on a display of action figures and models. Also, there's a Lord of the Rings poster on the wall, to prepare us for all the Tolkien-inspired roleplay ahead. "How dare you, Lance!" he says into his phone. "We both cut corners to get close to her, but that wasn't cheating! It's just a game!" Nerdlinger sets his phone down, exasperated. This Lance person sends a text message in all caps: "YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS!"
Later that night, Nerdlinger is sleeping cozily in bed when a wispy black mark appears on his forearm. The mark grows until it looks like a twisted tree with exposed roots. From somewhere nearby, horses neigh and stamp their hooves. Chains rattle. Nerdlinger wakes up and looks around with a frown, as if wondering, "Am I having another My Little Pony dream?" Some invisible force pushes him back down and pulls his arms and legs out to the sides. Indentations appear around his wrists and ankles, as if a rope were digging into them. Indeed, the creaking of jute as it strains can be heard above Nerdlinger's pained cries. The horses neigh. The unseen ropes pull tighter and tighter until Nerdlinger's limbs are yanked from their sockets. Blood sprays against the wall, as is its wont. Supernatural!
Elsewhere, the Impala is speeding along some unknown highway. Inside, the Winchesters are between bickerings, so things are pretty quiet. Sam studies various printouts related to the Word of God. Dean casts a worried look at his brother. "You okay, man?" he asks. I steel myself for a mopefest about the shot at normal life he's just lost, but he's thinking about the job. "We have the most powerful weapon we've ever had against demons, and we can't find a way to use it." Dean reminds him that Kevin's working on it and will call as soon as he learns something, probably sometime during February sweeps. He says that they've both had a hard time recently, and knows that what Sam gave up wasn't easy. "Maybe we ought to take the night off," he suggests. Does Sam know at this point that Dean has dropped Benny? Because all the concern seems to be over what precious Sammy has sacrificed. Dean thinks they should see a movie or hit a few bars. Have some fun, you know? "You remember fun, don't you, Sammy?" Sam just stares at his brother. We don't get to find out what he might have answered, because Garth calls him with an assignment. Sam listens for a few moments then wonders how Garth knew where they are. Turns out Garth has been tracking all the hunters by cell phone GPS so he can assign them cases. Dean thinks it's a "total Bobby move," just in case you missed the message that Garth is the new Bobby. Anyway, the GPS tracker was how Garth knew they were somewhere near the guy who just got torn limb from limb. Sam sighs. "Working a case. As long as we're waiting on Kevin, that'll be our fun." Dean gives Sam another worried look and drives on.