Supernatural: The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo
October 6, 2021 7:15 AM - Season 7, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean discover that Frank's hard drive, containing everything on the leviathans, is now in Dick Roman's corporate headquarters. To retrieve it, they enlist one of Dick's employees, a young computer hacker.


Sam: It's an e-mail. From Frank.
Dean: Frank's alive?
Bobby: That jackass, always stealing my thunder.

Sam: [reading from an email from Frank that he prearranged to arrive in the event that anyone tried to hack his hard drive] Sam and Dean. If you're reading this, I'm dead. Or worse. This email was sent because some prince is trying to hack into my hard drive right this second. So, unless it's you, you got trouble. Um, okay. My drive is full of compromising info, your new aliases, hangouts, where you stored your car...
Dean: Baby?

Frank Devereaux: [journal notes on hard drive] The leviathans are using their shapeshifting abilities to replace people all over the globe. Celebrities, government officials, FBI, MI6, prolly March of Dimes, too. Things are everywhere. That guy I saw at the post office today? Prolly a Leviathan. Shifty looking dude.

Bobby: They're not hunting anymore. They're engineering the perfect herd. Now, we've gone up against plenty liked to eat a few folk in the woods. This ain't that. This is about knocking us off the top of the food chain. This is about them levis living here forever, one-percenter style, while we march our dopey, fat asses... down to the shiny new death camps at every corner.

Bobby: Dick is about to get into the soylent green business. That site'll show you they're building a biotech lab, right? Yeah, biotech my ass. That sucker is a state-of-the-art slaughterhouse. And we're the beef.

Sam: Let's see where Frank's drive is. [GPS shows it's at Dick Roman Enterprises]
Dean: Perfect. It's in the middle of the Death Star.

Bobby: I could ghost through the joint. I mean, it's not like Dick can kill me twice.

Dick Roman: Tell me, how does a high-school dropout become one of the brightest minds at Roman, Inc.?
Charlie: Honestly, historically I've had this problem with authority. No offense.

Dick Roman: Charlie, I've been running things for, well, feels like since before the dawn of man. Always had a vision. I'm close to realizing that dream. I don't want to brag, but the world is my dinner plate.

Dick Roman: You have that spark, that thing that makes humans so special. Not everyone has it, you know. Those people, they can be replaced, but people like you... are impossible to copy.
Charlie: Copy?
Dick Roman: Take the compliment.

Dick Roman: Nothing's safe. I like that. But, that isn't what I'm asking, Charlie. Your spark. It's one in a million. Believe me that when you got it you invent guns and iPads and viruses and, holy crap, you can be crafty. What is that, Charlie? Cuz I can feed every fact in your brain into someone else, they still wouldn't be able to beat you.
Charlie: I guess you can't clone me.
Dick Roman: Don't think that doesn't piss me off.

Dick Roman: [to Pete] Bruce Springsteen, Eli Manning, our own Charlie. You know what they are? Irreplaceable. You're more of a Tim Tebow, Joe Biden type. You got no spark in you. In fact, there's nothing in you... except Daryl's dinner.

Harry: Why do you insist on breaking the law on company property?
Charlie: Faster Internet connection here.

Harry: You hooked up at a charity benefit?
Charlie: If you can't score at a reproductive rights function, then you simply cannot score.

Harry: I love you.
Charlie: I know.

Charlie: Dick Roman gave me an assignment.
Harry: Is that good?
Charlie: It means the Eye of Sauron is on me.
Harry: Well, if you need anything I'll be back in the Shire.

Harry: Did you go home last night? I'll get us some coffee. I'll assume you want some crack in yours.
Charlie: Yes, please.

Computer: How about a nice game of chess?
Charlie: Wait a second. Seriously? "WarGames"? Shall we play a game, bitches?

Charlie: I should have taken that job at Google.

Dean: Charlie, are you singing?
Charlie: I sing when I'm nervous; don't judge me!
Dean: Judgement-free zone.

Sam: Did Hermione run when Sirius Black was in trouble? Or when Voldemort attacked Hogwarts?
Dean: Seriously?
Sam: Shut up.
Charlie: No of course not.
Sam: What did she do?
Charlie: She kicked ass! She practically saves Harry in every book. And then she ends up with the wrong...
Sam: Stay on track. She kicked ass, right? So what are you going to do?
Charlie: I'm gonna kick it in the ass.

Dean: You're gonna flirt your way past.
Charlie: I can't. He's not my type.
Dean: You're gonna have to play through that.
Charlie: As in.. he's not a girl.
Dean: Oh..oh.. Pretend he has boobs.
Charlie: Worse.

Dean: All tattoos are sexy.
Charlie: Mine is princess Leia in a slave bikini straddling a 20-sided die.
Dean: ...
Charlie: I was drunk. It was Comic-con.
Dean: We've all been there.

Security Guard Bill: Burning the midnight oil, huh?
Charlie: Just like you. I mean, you're not at the gym. What do you... work out with all of your free time?
Security Guard Bill: I try to get to the gym at least 3 days a week. Trying to get back to my fightin' weight.
Dean: [In Charlie's Bluetooth] It shows, you look amazing.
Charlie: It shows, you look amazing.
Sam: ...
Dean: [to Sam] This never happened.

[after Dean has coached Charlie through flirting with the male security guard]
Charlie: I feel so dirty.
Dean: You and me both, sister.

Charlie: [hacking Dick's computer] Your password is "winning" with two 1's? Fail.

Dean: 15 minutes ain't a lot of time.
Sam: No. She said if it took longer to hack his desktop, then she deserved to be eaten.
Dean: I like her.

Charlie: No! Why didn't you kill him?
Sam: We can't. Yet. But, we will.
Charlie: The really evil ones always need a special sword.

Charlie: Good luck saving the world. [holds up her hand in the Vulcan salute] Peace out, bitches.
Dean: [to Sam] She's kinda like the little sister I never wanted.


The episode title is a play on the book The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson. It is the first book in the series revolving around a female protagonist with exceptional hacker abilities, which ties to Charlie in this episode.

When Charlie is coming in for work and walks through the building, she is listening (and dancing) to "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves. This scene is a homage to a scene from the 1987 movie The Secret of My Success, in which Brantley Foster (Michael J. Fox) is walking through his workplace building with the same song playing in the background.

When Harry says "I love you," Charlie replies, "I know." That's what Han Solo said to Princess Leia after she told him that she loves him in The Empire Strikes Back.

When Bobby says Dick is about to get into the "Soylent Green" business, he is referencing the 1973 American science fiction thriller Soylent Green, a film about a corporation that distributes food rations called Soylent Green to the now overpopulated Earth, food rations which are is revealed to contain human remains.

Just before the break-in at Richard Roman Enterprises, Sam asks Charlie what she's going to do. She replies she's going to "kick it in the ass". This phrasing is a nod to Supernatural producer/director Kim Manners, who died in 2009.

While hacking into Frank's computer, a voice asks, "How about a nice game of chess?" and a list of games comes on the screen. The list and the game of chess question is from the 1983 movie WarGames.

When Charlie incorrectly guesses the password for Frank's hard drive, "Nice try, zero charisma" flashes on her screen. That is probably an allusion to Dungeons & Dragons where Charisma is a character property in the game. It also could be a reference to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, wherein Elliot trades barbs with his brother's friend by calling him "zero charisma", or an allusion to the 1995 movie Hackers.

This episode originally aired in April of 2012. When Dick Roman says to Pete, "Bruce Springsteen, Eli Manning, our own Charlie. You know what they are? Irreplaceable. You're more of a Tim Tebow, Joe Biden type. You got no spark in you. In fact, there's nothing in you...except Daryl's dinner." He's referring to Eli Manning, quarterback of the New York Giants, defeating the New England Patriots in the NFL Super Bowl XLVI earlier in February of 2012 for the second time and Peyton Manning (Eli Manning's older brother) replacing Tim Tebow as quarterback of the Denver Broncos for the 2012 NFL season.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden are both mentioned in this episode: Biden in the dialogue, and Trump in one of the emails Charlie is reading on Dick's computer.

At the end it is revealed that Charlie's name is not, in fact, Charlie Bradbury. Her alias is a reference to Ray Bradbury, sci-fi author. Charlie's real name is Celeste Middleton.

As Charlie is entering Dick Roman's office, she says, "The eagle is landing." Charlie is paraphrasing Neil Armstrong from the Apollo 11's safe landing on the moon in 1969.

When the hacker is hacking Frank's hard drive, the word "scavenge" is misspelled as "scavange".
posted by orange swan (7 comments total)
The actor who plays Dick Roman is disturbingly good at playing him. Poised, urbane, yet smarmy and repulsive.

I first saw this episode in early 2021 after Joe Biden had been elected, so the "Joe Biden as an example of someone negligible" joke was a delight to me. I'd forgotten what episode it was in or who said it, but didn't forget that joke and was looking forward to coming across it again. It still plays well, and has even acquired some nuance.... Dick Roman isn't nearly as prescient as he thinks he is.

Good thing Bobby hitched that ride. Charlie would have died if he hadn't. Not that she had any idea what saved her. Leviathans were enough of a shock to her without knowing that Sam and Dean have a ghost riding shotgun with them.

I've been googling Felicia Day, and she seems quite a bit like Charlie in real life: exceptionally smart, quirky, geeky. She says she's from a tech family, that her grandfather was a nuclear physicist with a love of gadgets. She began her acting career at the age of 7 when she starred as Scout in a local production of To Kill a Mockingbird. She studied operatic singing and ballet, performing at concerts and competitions nationwide. Home-schooled throughout much of her childhood, she began college at the age of 16. She was a National Merit Scholar and graduated as valedictorian of her class. An accomplished violinist, Day was accepted to the Juilliard School of Music but chose to attend the University of Texas at Austin on a full scholarship in violin performance. She double majored in mathematics and music performance, and graduated at the age of 19 in the top 4% of her class. She is also an avid player of a wide variety of video game genres, and says she has read more fantasy novels than anyone she knows. She's created/produced/written/appeared on a number of web series, most notably The Guild, and Geek & Sundry, both of which have won a number of awards. She's written a book called Embrace Your Weird, a guide intended to help people unlock their creativity, that made the New York Times bestseller list. She comes across as fun, down to earth, and friendly on her Twitter account. Politically she seems to be good, regularly tweets in support of a number of good charities/political initiatives, is pro-vax and pro-choice, and on January 20th, 2021, she tweeted, "How am I supposed to get work done with joy coursing through my veins?!?"

So she's another Supernatural cast member whom I'm adding to the "seems like a decent person so far as Google tells me" category.
posted by orange swan at 7:22 AM on October 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

Dean has always come off as uncomfortable (to varying degrees) when people assume he's gay or make allusions to the possibility. In this episode, he handles the situation where he has to coach Charlie into flirting with the guard very maturely. It seems that he's grown up a bit, and it's a welcomed bit of character development (and sadly, one that doesn't seem to stick as far as I can tell).
posted by sardonyx at 7:54 AM on October 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

Boy howdy it could’ve gone south on them, but under the circumstances I can understand not stopping to warn Charlie she was carrying around the weird drunk ghost uncle who everybody forgot to mention.

Every single Leviathan loves making food related innuendos, while food can hear them, more than l’ve ever loved anything.

Sam and Dean staying with Charlie at the hospital and then seeing her off the next day with a respectful handshake is only funny because a couple episodes ago we saw the time they tortured a guy half to death and barely slowed the car down to dump him out at the ER.

But legit the funniest thing to me about Charlie’s introduction is, okay, this is someone who knows enough about internet fan culture to at least know Supernatural exists, maybe enough to know that it’s about monster-hunting brothers named Sam and Dean Winchester, maybe even enough to have heard the fandom has a fairly hardcore LARPing scene. And I love that she meets these dudes who CALL themselves Sam and Dean Winchester? who are actual legit real monster hunters and otherwise seem normal enough? But also possible they are at the same time engaged in some sort of extreme Supernatural LARP for some reason and there’s no good way to ask, she just has to live with the mystery.

(No shade on anybody but fwiw Charlie was mainly drawn to fandoms with hyper-competent but relatable female leads like Hermione and Leia, and I have to think might have found the Supernatural books a little beneath her. I would love to know what kinds of conversations got the writers from Becky to Charlie.)
posted by jameaterblues at 12:01 PM on October 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

Charlie was such a great Character.
posted by Faintdreams at 1:21 PM on October 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

'The Guild' is indeed really good, if super cringe-y. Of course, I had/ have a (respectful) crush on Felicia Day.

I kind of read Dean's playing Cyrano a little differently; he knows how to flatter people and being a bit of a pickup artist (with willing potential partners) knows the patter from the other side. Flirting with the security guard via proxy, especially to punk him, doesn't twig any of his hangups.

A minor nitpick with the IMDB trivia entry for 'Soylent Green' - it was based on 'Make Room! Make Room!' (which I love) and in the original story, Soylent was just people-chow; soy and lentils, not actual people. Incidentally, MR!MR! was set in 1999 and posits brutal overpopulation (344M people in the US, lol sob), crumbling infrastructure, and massive wealth disparity.

Ray Bradbury, by today's standards, was pretty racist and sexist - but not particularly so compared to his peers of the era. Regardless, Rachel Bloom (progressive enough to garner a pile of alt-right death threats) wrote and performed 'Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury' unironically (story here). Margaret Atwood (feminist, trans ally) also thought well of Bradbury.
posted by porpoise at 8:03 PM on October 6, 2021

Speaking of nerdy properties with female leads, one of her earliest on-screen appearances was as one of the Potentials in the last season of Buffy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:07 AM on October 7, 2021

Charlie has always been one of my top favorites.

"She kicked ass! She practically saves Harry in every book. And then she ends up with the wrong..."

I hear ya, girl. Too bad JKR was hellbent on making everyone marry into the Weasley family. Seriously, why would you want to be with someone you fight with all the time?

(note: I typo'd that originally as JRK and then thought "That sounds appropriate.")
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:56 PM on October 15, 2021

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