If that truly is the end of Charlie Bradbury, I’m heartbroken. Not just because our favorite nerd has joined the show’s former leading ladies in death, either. I’m heartbroken because a character who has meant so much to Supernatural – and the Winchesters – deserved an ending that was better executed (no pun intended). Charlie’s exit felt rushed at every turn. First, there was the ominous warning from Rowena that Charlie’s loyalty to Sam and Dean would be her undoing. That brought back memories of poor, doomed Kevin Tran. Then, the Stynes tracked her down immediately after her abrupt departure from the safety of Castiel’s company. Next thing we know, Charlie is dead in a hotel bathtub following a confrontation, and then cut to black. What an ignominious way to go.

“Dark Dynasty” reminded us of the love that Sam, Castiel, and Charlie have for Dean. They will go to any length to save their friend from the Mark of Cain, even if their plan for saving him involves going behind his back, working with Rowena, and messing with the Book of the Damned. Sam’s solution was FUBAR from the start, and his friends repeatedly called out the stupidity of his plan. But we know how stubborn the Winchesters can be when it comes to saving the other. Sam laid the guilt trip on Charlie and Castiel, and they finally agreed to help. The only way to justify this latest round of Winchester treachery, especially after Charlie’s apparent death, is if you truly believe the Book of the Damned is the only way of rescuing Dean. Even then, the cost is extremely high.

I’ve written before about times when I thought the Winchesters’ bond was broken beyond repair. That hasn’t been the case up until now, but I think Charlie’s death could be the final straw I’ve been crying wolf over since last season. Charlie and Dean had a special bond that rivaled the kinship he shares with Sam. If she truly is dead and Sam’s betrayal caused that to happen, Dean will never be able to forgive his brother. Nor should he forgive Sam. If their relationship doesn’t deteriorate following such a gut-wrenching loss, I will lose a tremendous amount of respect for the Supernatural writers. The fallout from this moment has to be show-altering. Otherwise, Charlie died in vain.

I don’t mean that in the short term, however. Charlie died heroically in order to safeguard the decryption she conveniently discovered right before the Stynes kicked down her door. She will have an enduring legacy if her work can get the Mark of Cain off Dean’s arm; not that she didn’t already. Speaking of the Stynes, I really enjoyed the reveal tonight that their family actually changed its name and went underground following the release of a famous novel – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Their penchant for adding and subtracting fresh body parts helps explain how members of the family have lived for centuries and can jump from third story windows without dying horrifically. I’m strangely reminded of the failed Supernatural spinoff Bloodlines after spending more time with the Stynes – maybe it’s the whole “family of monsters” thing – but I hope to see more of them going forward.

Who knows if I’ll get my wish, however, as we look forward to these final two episodes of Season 10. Dean will move Heaven and Earth to burn the Styne family to the ground. There may not be any members of the family left for Season 11 once he’s done with them. You have to imagine Sam will be working frantically to decode the Book of the Damned before the Mark of Cain causes Demon Dean to resurface. The bloody path laid out before Dean promises no hint of peace. This mission of revenge might very well put Dean back to where he started the season – black eyed and badass.

Only two episodes left until the finale. What do you think? Are you excited to see how it all plays out? Have the Mark of Cain and Rowena provided enough substance for an entertaining season? Where does tonight’s cold open rank in terms of grossest Supernatural scenes? Sound off in the comments below and, until next week, say a little prayer for Charlie Bradbury, Queen of Moons.

Rating:

Lines of the week

“Nice grouping!” – Crowley’s human dartboard

“My God, he ripped it off.” – Dean

Next week on Supernatural

Is that the Colt we see Dean holding? If not, what a tease!

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