The Breakdown

Dog Dean AfternoonSo, this bipolar ass season of Supernatural continues its pattern of one good followed by one bad. This week was a good week, and I’m thankful for that. Dog Dean Afternoon was cheesy, zany, and over the top. These are all great things. The show as a whole is absolutely bugs on the skin, padded walls, tinfoil hat wearing crazy. It pulls off crazy well, but let’s not mince words. Supernatural is an absolutely insane show. Last week, we saw how wrong that impulse toward the bizarre can go. This time around, we got the opposite. A strong showing that got back to the shows roots as an occult buddy comedy type of thing.

I’m not exactly enthused about the lack of overarching plot in this episode, though. I still think the angels using the Evangelical Church to find host bodies is a pretty cool start to what could be a very compelling story line. I also find myself disappointed in the lack of Castiel (again), but if we had to have an episode that was 100% angel free, I’m glad it was this one.

Dog Dean AfternoonSam and Dean venture off to a small town in Oklahoma after a taxidermist is allegedly twisted into a human pretzel. Soon that goes from allegedly to just regular twisted into a human pretzel. The only witness was the man’s loyal pup, The Colonel. Of course, because this show is crazy, Sam and Dean figure out a way to communicate with the dog and at the same time give the episode some sort of interesting change from being just another Supernatural mystery. The spell they cast makes Dean behave more like a dog than he normally does, which provides a few good lines and one great visual/musical gag involving a poodle.

Big ups to the writers on this episode for sticking with the talking to animals thing, and using it in ways beyond comic relief. Sam and Dean find proof that a suspect is, in fact, the killer when a group of mice alerts Dean to the contents of this dude’s fridge. He’s got a lot of classic ingredients like black widow abdomen, owl brain, and the classic culinary supplement – grizzly heart. He’s a shaman, the kind of shaman that eats animal parts to gain their powers. It’s a good idea for a monster, and it’s executed fairly well. The antagonist is able to give us multiple looks, so we’re never stuck waiting for him to use the same move again (like the witch last week with her two attacks: posses enemy and shoot green stuff).

Dog Dean AfternoonThis episode also takes the time to reinvigorate the series’ comedic element. Whether it’s Dean’s fear of the stuffed owls at the taxidermist’s, or The Colonel’s dirty mouth, the gags in this episode are consistently funny. It’s starting to seem like we can’t get an awesome action packed episode that’s also funny. Apparently that’s not a thing anymore. It was easier in this case because – dogs, but even beyond that, the exchanges between humans were comfortable and funny.

The Analysis

There’s not a ton to say about this episode other than it definitely hearkened back to the halcyon days when this was mostly a monster of the week type deal. I like the more serialized set up of the show, but it forces Sam and Dean to do so much work every week. Those two are at their best when Sam can be the smart one and Dean can be the surprisingly effective jerkwad. That’s how they were this week, and it made for a very solid episode.