“Peace Out, Bitches”: The Story of ‘Supernatural’s’ Charlie Bradbury

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It is hard to believe that we are gearing up to watch the remaining episodes for the final 15th season of Supernatural. There have been many ups and downs and people coming and going, not to mention being resurrected in the Winchester’s lives during this legend worthy journey. One of those memorable people includes the IT girl turned hunter Charlie Bradbury. Her character is brought to life by the multi-talented Felicia Day.

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We were first introduced to Charlie during season 7, episode 20, “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo,” when Sam and Dean find out that Frank’s hard drive is, as Dean said, “in the Death Star,” meaning that it is in Dick Roman’s office. Then we see her ride up to that building on a yellow scooter and break out in a dance to “Walking on Sunshine” as she rides up in the elevator. With getting to know her, that is the perfect episode title for a character introduction. Later in the episode is when Roman himself comes in and gives her the special project of breaking in and finding what is on that hard drive. Unbeknownst to her, Frank had a security system in it, and it alerts the brothers that someone is trying to get the information. They hack her webcam, showing them what she looks like. Now they can find her. When she takes a break looking for her supervisor, she sees him get eaten by a monster, the leviathans. She runs home with the intent to pack a bag and leave. Charlie notices some of her bobblehead figurines move, so she moves quickly to the door knowing that someone is inside her apartment. Dean closes the door before she can leave. Charlie thinks they are shape shifters and hits Sam with a cosplay sword. Charlie Bradbury has now officially met the Winchesters.

While explaining everything and the importance of getting the hard drive back, Charlie realizes that she is pretty much the only one who can hack into Roman’s email. As Sam tells her that she doesn’t have to do it, as it is dangerous and they can find someone else, she volunteers. The boys look both shocked and impressed by her – that’s our girl. Dean helps her flirt with the male security guard because he is not her type – yay for LGBTQ+ representation. We even fond out that she has a tattoo of Princess Leia riding a dice, “I was drunk … it was Comic-Con.” Getting her first taste of being in the Winchester’s lives, she gets injured trying to leave the building. They drop her off at the bus station. That is where Charlie says that she doesn’t want them to contact her again because well, danger, and lets it slip that this is not her first time disappearing. Charlie even asks them if they thought her name really was Charlie Bradbury. “She’s kind of like the little sister I never wanted.”

The next time we see Charlie is in season 8, episode 11, “LARP and the Real Girl.” The brothers are investigating the deaths of some LARPers, which leads them to the magical fictional kingdom of Moondoor. They get directed to go talk to the queen since the victims were members of her court. The queen turns out to be Charlie.

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Her initial reaction to seeing the boys was not a happy one, as it meant that monsters are near. She puts the crown on Dean’s head and gets ready to leave. When she learns that her friends have died, then she tells them she will help. That is one thing Charlie always did. She would do whatever she could to help her friends and those she cared about, even if it put her in danger. Charlie goes missing and meets and makes out with Gilda, the fairy bound to the Book of Spells. As the Winchesters are fighting, Charlie takes her blade and stabs the book freeing Gilda. This Winchester interaction went better than the first, with even Sam and Dean joining her on the LARP battlefield.

It isn’t until “Pac-Man Fever” that we get the tragic origin story of Celeste, and no, that is not a typo. That is Charlie’s real name, Celeste Middleton. Charlie finds a case and brings it to the boys and sees the bunker for the first time. During catching up, she lets it slip that she has been doing more research to be aware of what’s out there, so she will help out. Dean tells her if she can hit the target with the gun, he will consider it. Charlie hits the target, and then we get a montage of her trying on clothes for an FBI outfit. They discover that the monster is a djinn. Charlie gets kidnapped by the djinn when she goes to a hideout she has and sends money to a hospital for a patient named Gertrude Middleton, Charlie’s mom. In the djinn state with Dean, he tells her that she has to let her mom go and face her fear to get out of the djinn coma. The episode ends with Charlie signing the papers and reading to her mom one last time. Cue the Kleenex.

“I just want to tell her that I’m sorry… and that I love her. And just have her hear it again. I just need her to hear that one more time, but she can’t. She, she can’t.”

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Charlie has gone from reading about hunting to becoming a hunter, much to the Winchester’s disapproval. But she still feels like something is missing. She wants to find a quest. While helping at the bunker with tech issues, The Wicked Witch, and eventually Dorothy, from the books about Oz, are somehow alive and in the bunker. In one of the fights against The Wicked Witch, Dean gets knocked down. Charlie sees that the witch is about to strike again and jumps in front of Dean, taking the brunt of the powerful blast. Charlie didn’t survive the blast, but thanks to Ezekiel, she gets resurrected. Later, when Dean and Sam are under The Wicked Witch’s spell, she uses the ruby heeled shoe and kills the witch, closing the door and stopping the creepy flying monkeys. Having found her quest, Charlie accepts Dorothy’s offer to go with her to Oz. This episode had fans thinking it would be the last we would see of the geeky hunter since she left to a different dimension and was thankfully alive.

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Luckily, it was not. Now, what would you say if I told you Charlie slashed the tires to the Impala, tortured people, killed the guy who drove into her parents, beats up Dean, and even steals the Impala? Crazy, right. Well, that is what Charlie did. Not our Charlie, the Dark Charlie that came to be by using the Inner Key of Oz that split herself in two. Not able to go back to Oz, she goes on the hunt to find the Book of the Damned that can help with the Mark of Cain. Charlie being Charlie, she, of course, locates and brings the book back. But that is not the only thing that comes back with her. The Styne family wants the book. Charlie has killed one of the family members before calling Dean and Sam for help when she is injured from a bullet wound. The Stynes find them at the cabin and attack. Charlie fights off and kills another member of the Stynes as Sam throws the text on the fire. The best part of this episode is that Charlie finally gets to meet Castiel. She hugs him and says, “I thought you’d be shorter,” then asking if they just became best friends after he healed her bullet wound and carpal tunnel. One thing is for sure. We were robbed of Charlie/Castiel interactions and a hunt.

In the episode “Dark Dynasty,” Charlie (semi reluctantly) collaborates with Sam, Castiel, and even Rowena behind Dean’s back, trying to figure out how to remove the Mark of Cain. The two redheads clash as Rowena points out they are alike and lists their similarities, much to Charlie’s dismay. Needing some space, Charlie goes to get some air and to work on her own in her motel room. The change of scenery must have been what she needed because Charlie manages to break part of the codex. But the happiness is short-lived. This is Supernatural, after all. Eldon from the Styne family shows up and wants the book, so she calls the Winchesters to tell them where she is. The boys jump into the Impala and race to her. As they are on their way, Charlie locks herself in the bathroom with her tablet, and she emails what she was able to solve. On the way, Dean tells her to give what she has over to Eldon, but she says that she can’t do that and smashes her tablet on the sink. As Eldon breaks into the bathroom, Charlie slowly backs up with her knife, preparing to fight. The boys get there and find the motel room a mess and head to the bathroom, cautiously calling out Charlie’s name. They discover Charlie, lying in the bathtub, bloody. Charlie was brutally stabbed multiple times by Eldon. Charlie Bradbury, IT, geek, and hunter, is dead. Charlie brought light to the world around her and did not deserve to go out the way she did. It has and will remain a sore spot in the fandom.

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In season 13, when Dean and Ketch go to the Apocalypse Universe to find Mary, they come across some angels about to kill some resistance members. When Dean sees one of the people they captured, he is shocked. Meanwhile, the fandom freaked out, seeing Felicia Day on our screens again as an AU version of Charlie is revealed. They rescue her, and while walking back to the rift, Dean tells her about his Charlie. The AU Charlie is hardened from fighting in the war, losing the woman she loves, and watching people she cares about die. Gone is the carefree Charlie we are familiar with. AU Charlie is a soldier and a warrior.

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A few episodes later, they are through the rift and back in Dean and Sam’s world. It is revealed that Rowena and Charlie are on a road trip. Oh, to be a fly on the wall on that adventure; you know they got up to no good.

The last time we see AU Charlie is when she calls Sam for help on a case. They spend a lot of time together in a truck doing a stakeout. Charlie tells him more about her old life before the Angel War and that after this case, she wants to retire and live her life, not fight for it. So far, in the few episodes, we’ve seen in season 15, we’re not sure if she’s done that. I truly hope she gets the recognition, tribute, and sendoff that her character deserves.

You can watch the rest of Supernatural season 15 when it returns on Thursday, October 8 on The CW.

Sarah

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As a Ravenclaw and introverted tattooed cat with purple hair, Sarah enjoys reading, writing, and watching hockey (Go Leafs Go). You can follow Sarah on Twitter at @WyldeFandom

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