Supernatural fans needed this episode. After an emotionally draining and depressing season, all I wanted was some light-hearted fun, and “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” delivered. It’s a hilarious, silly stand-alone episode. Sure, it does nothing for the mythology of the season and the big bad is kind of lame, but there was a unicorn that farted rainbows. Can you think of anything more hilariously awesome that a unicorn that farts rainbows?
There’s also a clever, 24-style countdown where we see vignettes of Sam getting attacked by two clowns throughout the entire episode.
But we begin with the Winchester brothers investigating a series of mysterious deaths. One man is killed by a giant vampire octopus and another is gored by the rainbow-farting unicorn. This is strange, even by Supernatural standards, but it all leads to Plucky’s, a kids’ pizza chain full of terrifying clowns.
This is bad news for Sam, because as we learned back in season 2, he’s scared of clowns. Still, he agrees to play bad cop for the Plucky’s employees while Dean plays skee-ball to win a giant rainbow Slinky.
It’s here where the episode becomes slightly more than the just fun. We see that, at their cores, Sam and Dean are stunted children. Sam may be a giant, but he’s still the same little brother who’s scared of clowns and being abandoned by his family. And Dean is still a rebellious goofball who’s able to bond with little boys because they share the same interests. Here, those interests are mocking fat kids who cheat at skee-ball at referring to pizza as tasting like butt.
After some more silliness with a ball pit shark attack and a chase scene with a meth-head dressed as a lion, Dean discovers that the man responsible is an employee bitter over losing a promotion. He’s also emotionally stunted and tries to help kids by killing their mean parents. But Dean is able to turn it around by making the man’s worst fears come true, namely his dead little brother who drowned.
Meanwhile, the two killer clowns are unleashed on Sam, and the result is hilarious. When he shoots them, glitter comes out. They also juggle their weapons, spray Sam with a squirt bottle and, when they disappear, it’s in an eruption of glitter that covers Sam so he looks like he was attacked by strippers on PCP.
In the end, Sam is sort of over his fear of clowns and, most importantly, Dean gets the giant rainbow Slinky he’s always wanted. Basically, it was one hour of fun silliness. There’s nothing too deep or too important to the season, just an episode where Sam gets beaten up by clowns. But sometimes that’s all I really want.
Next week on Supernatural: Things get dark again when Lucifer returns.
(Image courtesy of the CW)