LARP and the Real Girl Recap

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Recap by Spnfanforever

This episode opens with a man entering his apartment. He’s having an argument on his phone with someone called Lance. He tells him that they’ve both cut corners to get close to her but that it wasn’t cheating, and he tells Lance it’s just a game…

Later in bed, he’s asleep and a black tree appears on the inside of his arm, as if being drawn by someone or something. The sound of horses’ hooves and their neighing is heard and the sounds wake him up. Then his arms and legs are pulled wide and marks, as if he is bound by ropes, appear on his wrists and ankles. He starts screaming and his arms and legs are stretched more and more, until they are pulled off, and blood spatters the walls…

It’s night and Dean is driving while Sam is reading a map. Dean asks if Sam is OK and he says that they have the most powerful weapon against demons they’ve ever had and they can’t use it. Dean tells Sam that Kevin is onto it and he’ll call when he has something, so in the meantime they wait. He says to Sam that they have had a rough time the last couple of weeks and he knows what Sam gave up (meaning Amelia) so he suggests they have the night off, watch a film, hit a couple of bars, have some fun… He asks Sam if he remembers what fun is? Sam looks at Dean but doesn’t reply, and then his phone goes… It’s Garth. He speaks to Sam and then rings off. Sam tells Dean that they have to lose the GPS on their phones because Garth’s been using it to track them and other hunters to assign cases. Dean’s impressed and says it’s a ‘total Bobby move’. Sam tells Dean that there’s a case nearby in Farmington Hills, Michigan – a man was torn limb from limb in his locked apartment. There’s a massive understatement from Dean when he says, ‘that’s not good!’ Sam says that while they’re waiting on Kevin, working a case will be their fun. Dean just looks at him…

They go to the murdered man’s apartment and meet the Sheriff. Sam goes off with him while Dean looks around on his own, checking for EMF. The Sheriff tells Sam the victim was Ed Nelson, an insurance claims adjuster who lived alone, which he said wasn’t surprising because of all the ‘toys’ he has around – they are models, like in “World of Warcraft”. He tells Sam there was no forced entry and the victim was tied up and pulled apart; he died of massive blood loss or shock. Sam sees some chains on the bed and the Sheriff tells him it’s actual chainmail. He says that there were clear rope burn marks on the victim’s wrists and ankles. Sam looks at the body under the sheet and sees the tattoo-like tree on Ed’s arm. Sam asks if he neighbors heard anything and he tells Sam that a neighbor downstairs heard the sound of horses stomping their feet and galloping but the Sheriff dismisses that as her hearing a TV or having a bad dream or being “high as balls!” He tells Sam they have a real lead from Ed’s cell phone. He says that according to the phone records Lance Jacobsen, an accountant, was the last person to call Ed. Meanwhile Dean has come up behind the Sheriff and he shakes his head at Sam to say he’s found nothing. The Sheriff goes on to say that Lance talked to Ed for about fifteen minutes and then sent him all sorts of angry texts, some of which were weird. Dean asks, “Weird how?” and the Sheriff reads a couple of them out: “You shall bleed for your crimes against us” and “I am a Mage, I will destroy you.” The Sheriff says, “These kids with their texting and murder” – one of the funniest lines in this episode – and he tells them his men have picked Lance up for questioning and Sam says they need to talk to him first...

The scene changes to the police station and The Boys enter the interview room where Lance is. They say they’re from the FBI and Lance starts sobbing, saying he can’t believe this is happening or that Ed’s dead. A really funny conversation follows… They both try and calm Lance down and Dean asks him about the texts he sent Ed last night. Lance says he didn’t send the texts and when Sam says the phone records say otherwise Lance says they weren’t from him, they were from “Grayfox the Mystic” to “Thargrim the Difficult”. He explains that they are the names of their characters in “Moondoor”, a LARPing (live action role play) game they play at Heritage Park every other weekend. He tells them the information is all on their website and there should be pictures posted there from last night’s feast which he attended. Sam asks him what that has to do with the texts and Lance explains that in the game he is a very powerful Mage and Ed was a warrior – they were like Merlin and Lancelot – and he says that the two of them were named to the Queen’s Honor Guard before the Battle of the Kingdoms this coming weekend and he thought Ed had broken protocol so he accused him of cheating and challenged him to a duel – “wands and swords at dawn”! When Dean asks if he means magic wands, Lance says, no, unmagic wands, because what he really wants in a duel is an unmagic wand! – He goes on to tell Dean they are fake wands and it’s only a game! Then he calls out, “Oh ye Gods, Thargrim the Difficult has fallen!” and Dean’s eyes start looking up and rolling around! (this is really funny visually too!)

The Boys exit as Lance starts crying again and Sam asks Dean if he believes him. He says yes because Lance didn’t “put a whammy on them” and also they weren’t crocodile tears. Sam says they should check out the Moondoor Site to check Lance’s story. He logs onto the Site and says, “over to Moondoor – Michigan’s largest LARPing game” and they see Lance at the feast, like he said.
Dean says, “hah, actually it looks kinda awesome” and Sam just looks at him while Dean pretends he’s not really interested. They watch the video which explains something of the game, the four kingdoms and the battle to control Moondoor and to protect the “Queen of Moons”. Dean is smiling – he likes the idea of the game – but then they see the Queen of Moons is none other than Charlie Bradbury (Season 7: “The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragon Tattoo”).

…Back in the interview room, Lance’s arm starts itching and he scratches it, then he rolls his sleeve up and he sees the same black tree on the inside of his arm as his buddy Ed Nelson had. He starts coughing and sees blood on his hand; then he sprays blood from his mouth all over the mirror and he starts screaming as he sees blood running from his eyes too. He falls to the floor… Dean and Sam see him being brought out on a stretcher. He’s covered over. The Sheriff shows them the footage from the video camera in the room. He thinks Lance had some disease and goes off saying he’s going to dip himself in hand sanitizer. Dean tells Sam there’s no EMF, no sulfur, no hex bags – he’s got nada, but Sam tells him to watch the video again and he points out that Lance had the same tattoo as Ed. He asks Dean if he recognizes it but he replies “a Tim Burton movie?” He says to Sam that the only thing they have in common apart from the “mark of the creepy” is Larping . Sam says, “lucky we know the queen.”

At the Moondoor game site Dean and Sam are watching the LARPers LARPing. They introduce themselves as FBI agents to one of the prominent LARPers – Boltar – but he recognizes their badges are fake and tells them they aren’t doing the whole “genre mash-up” this weekend. The Boys look confused and Boltar says they have fake IDs and cheap suits – he says he gets that they are supposed to be FBI agents who’ve somehow traveled to Moondoor but it’s a straight-up Moondoor weekend. Sam says they aren’t fake badges but Boltar clearly explains what’s wrong with them to Sam’s chagrin and he says it’s a tournament weekend and they have to follow the rules. He “resumes” his role in Moondoor and asks The Boys if they want to join the Army of Moons. Dean tells him they would like to see the Queen now and Boltar says her calendar is booked up but they can see what’s in store for them if they join her army because she’s overseeing new squires now…

The scene changes to two people dressed as knights who are fighting with fake swords. One of them defeats the other, sending him to his knees; when she takes her helmet off it’s Charlie. She says Grayfox and Thargrim are missing and the ranks of the Honor Guard are weakened, but she stops talking when she sees Dean and Sam looking at her from the crowd. She says she needs some “royal me time” and walks off into her tent. Dean and Sam follow, but Dean stops to pick up a sword on the way, saying, “nice balance”. Sam tells him to come on and they go inside...

Sam says, “Charlie” but she’s angry. She says Charlie is dead – they killed her – and she’s Carrie Heinlein, and now they’ve killed her too. She talks about last year when Dick Roman went down and his company went belly-up and she thought she was fine, she’d got her life back but now they’re here so there must be monsters. She asks if she’s some sort of monster-magnet but then says never mind, she doesn’t care. She cares about not getting her arm broken, or dying… She says, “I’m dropping my sword and walking off the stage, have fun b*tches” and she walks to the doorway of the tent, dropping her crown on Dean’s head as she goes past him but Dean tells her Grayfox and Thargrim – Ed and Lance – are dead. They sit down and tell her about the deaths. Dean says they haven’t got much to go on except the symbol and they’re LARPers. Charlie recognizes the tree as a Celtic magic symbol… from one of her video games… Sam asks her about Ed and Lance. She tells The Boys they were good guys, two of the best of her ever-shrinking army. Dean asks about that and she says her kingdom’s had a lot of bad luck lately and maybe it’s tied to this symbol. She tells them about a number of accidents members of her army have had lately. Sam asks if they have any enemies in common and she says no, not in real life but in the game, lots…

She walks over to the table where the Moondoor game is laid out and explains about the “Battle of the Kingdoms”’ – the Followers of the Moon (her army), the Elves, the Warriors of Yesteryear and the Shadow-Orcs – to see who will wear the “forever” crown. The game is on this weekend and she says the other armies are definitely the enemy of her and her army… Dean starts giving Charlie battle strategy advice and they start having a discussion about where to place her soldiers but Sam calls them back to the present. Sam asks what if someone from one of the other armies got hold of some real magic and is using it to weaken her army while Dean surreptitiously re-sites a siege weapon to Charlie’s approval – they exchange satisfied glances – and she asks why don’t they come after her directly and why has the trouble escalated? Dean says they will go and canvas the kingdoms and she should leave but Sam wants her to stay as she knows Moondoor much better than they do. Dean argues that they can take care of a bunch of accountants with foam swords but Sam says people are dying, which Dean says is why Charlie should leave and go somewhere safe and have a normal life. Charlie interrupts and says she wants to leave… But the queen has to stay… She says Sam is right, people are dying and that can’t happen on her watch. She says she’s tired of running; she likes her life here and wants to fight for it…

Sam gets a phone call to say the toxicology report on Lance was negative but the medical examiner says the symptoms were of belladonna, to which both Dean and Charlie says, “the porn star?” Sam looks at them and then says, “the poison…” and they both say, “oh” (funny moment!) Sam goes on to say there was no trace of the poison in his system and Dean says just like there were no ropes in Ed’s apartment. Sam says he’ll go and dig into the accidents and the tree mark and Dean and Charlie can go and canvas people He leaves and Charlie tells Dean he’s going to have to ditch the suit if he’s going to walk and talk with the queen… To be continued by SFF...

Editor’s note:
I think this is a very good episode. Dean dressing up in costume is always fun but the story does have the lightness of touch of humor mixed with horror reminiscent of earlier seasons and it's good to see Charlie make a return after Season 7.

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Latest page update: made by spnfanforever , Oct 26 2013, 9:39 AM EDT
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