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Supernatural - Dog Dean Afternoon - Review

You know you’re entering into a very un-Supernatural-like episode when the previews start with all of the weird stuff they’ve done – like Chuck, fairies, the Trickster, talking teddy bears …

And then the first scene set the mood – taxidermied rodents dressed up as Game of Throne characters. The episode was a weird mix of old-school Supernatural, Dr. Doolittle, The Matrix, and Men in Black. Going into this, the previews sounded like the dumbest storyline ever. Dean talking to dogs? But I laughed. (Dean barking at the mailman.) I cried. (Dean checking out the poodle. Bestiality? Again? Really?) Overall, I liked it despite some obvious critical points, mostly because of its simplicity. It was a refreshing change to just get back to Sam and Dean hunting a messed up, creepy monster – in this case a freaky-assed mega snake monster.

The Highlights

After reading some news reports, Sam and Dean head out on the trail of a freaky-assed mega snake monster, who we later learn is a chef with stage 4 cancer, who has started eating animal organs to take on their characteristics to postpone his death.

Because Bobby is not around to act as deus ex machina, they call Kevin instead for some solutions, and he sends them instructions on an untested spell he read about in the Men of Letters archives from Intuit Native Americans who found a way to mind-meld with animals. Dean tries this spell so that he can speak to Colonel, an orphaned dog belonging to the first victim, who was a witness to two of the murders. He soon finds that he’s not only talking to dogs, he’s talking to all animals, and he adopts the behaviors and smell of a dog.

This is a world in which animals not only have a universal language, they also apparently speak telepathically, because Dean hears them when they’re not making any noise. Also in this world, dogs know things like chocolate isn’t good for them and mice know they have collapsible spines.

The Good 

Sam and Dean just being Sam and Dean. I don’t dislike the recurring characters, but watching this episode made me miss Sam and Dean out on the road – just the two of them – working a case. These two have great chemistry together, and it’s the thing that keeps me – and I think a lot of fans – watching when other parts of the show disappoint.

The dog being a Sam girl. [Correction:  Apparently the dog was actually a Sam boy and had a male, not female voice.] The scene of Sam rubbing the belly was hilarious. I’m guessing that the dog knew which Winchester brother liked dogs.

Some of it was really funny. I found myself laughing through most of it. My favorite parts were Dean unwittingly playing fetch with Sam, and Dean trying to shoot the pigeon.

The Bad

Did I mention already that this sounded like the dumbest story idea ever?

We saw the last shreds of Dean’s dignity stripped away when Dean started scratching behind his ears, presumably for the same reason dogs scratch behind their ears – because they have fleas. No, scratch that (no pun intended), the last of his dignity left when he started ogling a poodle.

We have a whole episode around dogs and no mention of Riot or Dean’s rules about no dogs in the car? Continuity, people, continuity.

Sam gets knocked out for the big action of the night. Wait! The writing team stole that from Adam Glass! The writing team, by the way, was Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder, back from some time away after writing a few season 6 episodes, including You Can’t Handle the Truth, Mannequin 3: The Reckoning, and My Heart Will Go On.

This premise screamed for brotherly teasing. You know Sam had some zingers floating around his head. Where were they in the dialogue?

Another convenient Zeke-save to prolong his stay in Sam.

The dog has better taste in music than Dean.

Matrix-style bullet dodging.

Unsolicited exposition from bad-guy Chef Leo, a.k.a. freaky-assed mega snake monster. He tells Sam why he can blend into walls even though Sam never asked and never even knew he had walked right past him.

Kitty eating is not cool. Ever.

The Speculation

So let’s have it – I want to hear theories on what the dog was about to tell Dean before the spell wore off. Why were dogs really put here, and what did he mean when he said they were not really man’s best friend?

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