Episode 9.5

“Dog Dean Afternoon” Review
By Annie Kenney


Now I’ve gotten that out of the way let me say that this week’s episode, for me, was classic Supernatural and everything that I started watching the programme for and more. It had humour, pathos and a good story, it had gore and an evil villain and it had talking animals – what’s not to like?

For the first time in, what seems like, ages Supernatural actually had an almost standalone MOTW episode. Not only that but, for the first time in ages, the two brothers were up front and centre. There was no Castiel, no Crowley, no Kevin or Garth and, as much as I like these characters, I was really, really glad to see Sam and Dean as a twosome again ‘Saving People, Hunting Things, the family business’.

What was doubly refreshing is that this episode, while being funny, also had an actual plot. It was fantastic to see Sam researching again and to be the one actually suggesting the hunt. Although we know better, it is also nice to see Sam looking so well and being so enthusiastic about life. For the first time in a long time, Sam isn’t worrying about anything and it is good to see the old Sam back in action.

The plot device of letting Dean communicate with animals wasn’t new by any stretch of the imagination but the twist of having him act like the animal he was communicating with was fantastic. His game of fetch with Sam’s screwed up paper was classic and showcased how good Jensen is at comedy. However Jared is no slouch and his facial expressions throughout (his reaction to the taxidermist’s hideous creations was hilarious) were spot-on.

I am a dog person so it was doubly funny to see Dean acting like one. His barking at the mailman made me laugh out loud and the fact that, at one point, he actually whimpered only made things funnier.

According to his Twitter, Jared didn’t like the animal voices, but I have to say they weren’t an issue with me. I was more interested in what they were saying and the little Yorkie with a bit of a crush on Sam was a wonderful touch. Talking animals themselves are neither that funny nor that original but, as usual, Supernatural’s take on them added a new and innovative twist.

The villain (and why are the villains always English?) was genuinely chilling and his ability to take on animal characteristics unsettlingly weird (although at one point I couldn’t stop thinking about Rob Schneider’s film – The Animal). The scene of him eating the cat was creepy and Yuk and had me looking away from the screen. I also liked the fact that the writer’s gave him a reason to do what he had been doing so that he became much more three dimensional.

As always with – what I like to call – classic Supernatural, the humour gave way to pathos when Sam was almost killed by the villain. Watching Sam turn from Sam to Zeke to Sam again was, as always, impressive (Jared is doing such an excellent job, so much so that I am convinced Zeke actually exists!) Once again Sam is getting more and more curious as to what is happening to him. His questions to Dean were more and more insistent and it was painful to see the fear in Dean’s eyes as he tried to explain Zeke’s appearance away.

I’m not sure that everyone enjoyed last night’s episode but it was one of the best Supernatural’s I have seen for a long time. It made me laugh, cringe, scream and hide my eyes. It made me hark back to the days of ‘Bad Day at Bad Rock’ and ‘Changing Channels’ and it made me wish that the writers would do more episodes like this. I like my brothers together and I like the fact that scares can be laced with humour and humour can be laced with scares.

For me this was the best episode so far and I’m hoping that there is much more to come.