TV Recap: 'Supernatural' Episode 820 - 'Pac-Man Fever'



supernaturalSupernatural Episode 820
“Pac-Man Fever”
Written By: Robbie Thompson
Directed By: Robert Singer
Original Airdate: 24 April 2013

In This Episode...

Dean wakes up in a 1950s military hospital. The entire staff is dead.

Twenty-four hours earlier...

Dean and Sam have been taking it easy as of late. The second trial really took a toll on Sam - he has been asleep for an entire day and when he wakes, he is still groggy and unstable. They get an email from their old pal Charlie,  who says she is in “in the neighborhood” and has a case for them: a clerk in Topeka is found dead - with his organs liquified.

Dean refuses to let Sam come out on the case. He is too weak and he can’t shoot. So Dean heads out with Charlie, who is not very good at real-life role playing. They visit Jennifer, the coroner, who is a stickler for rules and won’t let them look at the corpse until they provide her with a chain of evidence form. Dean’s sweet-talking doesn’t work, so they plan to break in later that night. In the meantime, a couple boys playing video games find a bloated corpse in the woods. Naturally, they poke it with a stick (what is it about boys and poking dead things with sticks?) and the body explodes on them.

When Charlie and Dean arrive, they find Sam already there. Dean is pissed and takes off. He goes to the morgue, and find Charlie and Sam already there, waiting for him. Dean gives in - Sam is already here, he can help out. Despite it being the middle of the night, the trio hears something - the coroner is there. Charlie runs interference while the boys go look for the clerk’s corpse. It’s not there. Paperwork shows that the CDC authorized a quick cremation because there were fears of an Outbreak situation.

Back at HQ, the team is trying to figure out what kind of beast they may be dealing with. Dean is the winner: he discovers a “special edition” jin whose eyes glow blue and leave a blue handprint when they dose their victims. Feeling accomplished, Charlie runs out to grab some food, but instead she sneaks out to her crash pad, where she has dozens of fake IDs, passports, and credit cards. She logs into a computer and makes some money transfers when she hears something. Jennifer, the coroner, is in her apartment, and she is the jin.

Dean and Sam start to worry about Charlie, so they track her phone and find her crash pad. They are confused by the dozens of IDs but more concerned about the signs of a struggle. Dean tracks down the money while Sam does some research. The money is going to the life support costs of a woman named Gertrude, Charlie’s mother, in a persistent vegetative state for the past 16 years. Sam discovers that Jennifer has a couple other cases to her name that mirror the recent liquid corpses. Those were cremated way too fast, and it turned out that all the CDC paperwork was forged. Jennifer owns two pieces of property: a normal suburban home, and an abandoned shipping warehouse. Naturally, the house is the first place the Winchesters begin their hunt. (Of course they don’t!)

Jen the Jin has Charlie tied up and attacks her with her glowing blue tattooed hand of death. Her particular type of jin feed off of fear. By the time Sam and Dean get there, Charlie is already unconscious. Jennifer is killed easily with a silver dagger dipped in lamb’s blood. They whip up an antidote from Jennifer’s blood, but it doesn’t seem to help, so Dean goes into her dream in hopes of breaking the infinite loop from the inside.

And now we are where the story began: that 1950s hospital. Big vampire-soldiers appear, but Dean is save by an eye-patch-wearing Charlie bearing a lot of guns. While traditional jins put their victim in an infinite loop of their best dreams, Ol’ Blue Eyes puts her victims in their worst nightmares to intensify their fear. So this is Charlie’s worst nightmare: a video game. Charlie’s mom and dad were involved in a car accident when Charlie asked to be picked up early from a slumber party. Dad died instantly; mom may as well have. Twelve-year-old Charlie hacked a company to get the data on a new computer game they were developing. She ended up hacking the code, putting her own twist on things, and released it to the world for free. After that, the authorities came after her, so Charlie went into hiding and has been running from the law ever since. Anyway, this is that game she created. Dean thinks that if they can fight their way out, maybe that will break the loop, but Charlie insists all it does is return you to the beginning and you have to start over. In order to break that loop, Dean suggests they stop fighting. Charlie is hesitant but agrees, and it works. The “boss level” zone baddies are gone. While Dean and Charlie are trapped inside Charlie’s manic brain, Sam discovers there is another jin - Jennifer’s teenaged son. Sam kills him easily.

With the loop broken, Dean and Charlie wake up and all is well. The two of them have learned important lessons about family and letting go. Charlie needs to let go of her mother and goes to spend one final day with her before pulling the plug. Dean stops trying to be overprotective of Sam - he wants to help, and he will help.

Dig It or Bury It?

Well, Felicia Day guest stars again, so you know it is going to be a good episode. And it is. It is full of funny and sweetness and family bonding. The character stuff was all great, which is good because the plot itself was kind of weak and the monster confrontation was seriously anti-climactic. But this episode wasn’t about the monster-of-the-week; it was about familial ties, both blood and circumstantial. 

Sibling Rivalry

When Sam wakes from his hibernation, Dean greets him by tossing him a beer. Sam is too groggy and doesn’t even attempt to grab the bottle. It shatters on the ground. “This is why we can’t have nice things,” Dean laments. (Bonus: this is an ode to The Simpsons, when Homer feeds Lisa’s grammar robot beer and he shorts it out.)

When Dean is ready to go to sleep to enter Charlie’s dream space, he has to get there fast. He tells Sam to punch him: “I know you are going to argue and --” Boom. Sam slugs him, but doesn’t have the power to knock Dean out. He tries again, without hesitation, and this one works.


Kevin is in Crowley’s hands; something about the first two trials changed Sam; and Dean just wants to take care of his little brother.