Supernatural loves combining absurdist comedy with some truly gross-out scenarios. This episode, “Dog Dean Afternoon,” is like a disturbed mash-up of The Shaggy Dog and The Silence of the Lambs. Dean develops the ability to talk to animals, but the monster of the week is a guy who wants to eat Sam’s heart with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
The result is some very messed-up scenes (including a little implied bestiality) paired with some of the funniest moments the show has ever done. If the sight of Jensen Ackles acting like a dog doesn’t reduce you to a pile of giggles, you’re stronger than I am.
Previously on Supernatural…
In a special treat, this week’s “Then” is like a highlight reel of the show’s funniest moments, including “I lost my shoe,” “I’m Batman” and Dean’s hysterical freak-out from “Yellow Fever.” It’s a nice reminder of how damn funny this show can be.
A creepy dude in a cowboy hat kills a taxidermist by crushing him like a snake and then goes to the animal shelter to eat some cats before killing the clerk. At both crime scenes, the taxidermist’s dog, the Colonel, is a witness. Some animal rights activists are red herring suspects, but we all know that vegan hippies don’t have the strength to kill anything.
How to Speak to Dogs
With a dog as their primary witness, the boys find an Inuit spell for a human/dog mind meld. Dean swallows the nasty potion and before long he’s scratching his head, playing fetch with Sam, barking at the mailman and debating the dog about the merits of Styx. From the moment it starts, Jensen Ackles delivers a pitch-perfect comedic performance. He needs to host Saturday Night Live ASAP.
Equally great is the dog’s voiceover, as he’s surly and crude. In fact, all of the animal voiceover work is hilarious, whether it’s a dog requesting a rock hammer in the shelter (a la The Shawshank Redemption) or the rats who sound like they came from Babe.
Rub My Belly
It turns out Dean can actually hear ALL animals, leading to a genius fight with a pigeon who’s about to crap on the Impala. And in one of the more disturbing scenes (in an episode which features eating cats), Dean stares longingly at a female poodle as porn music plays in his mind. I respect any actor who has to ogle a poodle and does it convincingly.
The boys head to the animal shelter for more witnesses of the mysterious cowboy. One dog (voiced by the fabulous Leslie Jordan from Will and Grace and, currently, American Horror Story: Coven) saw the whole thing, but he’ll only talk if Sam rubs his belly. It’s so naughty, but fantastic. Who wouldn’t want Sam to rub their belly? After getting their help, Dean frees all of the dogs.
The Silence of the Dogs
The dog witnesses lead the boys to a restaurant where, with an assist from some friendly rats, they find out the killer cowboy is actually a chef using shaman rituals to absorb the powers of different animals by eating their organs. I should’ve expected that the comedy of Dean as a dog was simply being used to offset the utter disgusting scenes of the dude eating animal organs.
The Chef traps Sam with his chameleon powers and slices his neck. Zeke pops up for a second to repair the damage, but that leaves the Chef with more questions about what Sam is. The Chef has cancer and is trying to cure himself, so he views Sam’s healing ability as a nice trait. His plan is now to go all Hannibal Lecter by chowing down on Sam’s heart.
Dean arrives to save the day, but the Chef eats a wolf heart to go on the attack. Dean runs and then calls on his new four-legged friends. All of the shelter dogs show up and rip the Chef apart. That’s a pretty simple resolution.
The Truth About Sam and Dogs
In the end, Dean gives the Colonel to the vegan hippies. When they say goodbye, the Colonel lets Dean know that dogs aren’t really man’s best friend, they were put on Earth to…and that’s when the spell wears off. Why are dogs here? We’ll never know, but they’re clearly up to something.
The episode ends with Dean once again having to cover up Zeke’s actions to Sam. But this time Dean starts to worry as he explains that the Chef was possessed by something crazy that took over completely. As he says it, you can see Dean start to wonder if Zeke is doing the same thing, and if this possession might not have a happy ending.
Next week on Supernatural: Cas works at a convenience store.
(Image courtesy of the CW)