Anyway, to lighter topics, let's actually talk about the episodes....because it was ridiculous and funny....
THEN: We've been ridiculous before, follks.
NOW: A taxidermist making little Game of Thrones themed mice - CUTE! But then he is ATTACKED! Well, actually, first someone breaks into his shop, and the dog just barks but stays by the bench....which, okay, disclaimer time: OBVIOUSLY, we're meant to throw out all sense of believability for this episode. But to indulge the more pedantic among you, here are a list of things we will henceforth be ignoring:
1. Dog behaviour - German shepherds would attack anything attacking their owner.
2. Cat behaviour - You can't put that many cats in a bag without getting clawed up.
3. Dogs and Cats, if they spoke, would not be sound like that.
4. Owls are actually stupider than other birds, because their eyes take up so much room they have smaller brains - mind you, maybe those small brains are super smart, what do I know.
Anyway, so taxidermist has a shotgun in easy reach, but is spooked by his own stuffed bear - which I thought was pretty hilarious, actually. Especially when he added the "every time" line. But then he's CRUSHED by a weird guy in a cowboy hat that has a snake tongue.
Cut to the men of letters bunker, where Sam and Dean have gotten Kevin back from Branson, but now Kevin is hungover from partying too hard - I love the excuses they have for not paying Osric Chau to be in more episodes.
Sam's found the strange death and wants to go check it out. Dean doesn't want to because he thinks Sam needs more resting time... of course, the problem is that EZEKIEL needs more resting time, but Dean can hardly explain that to Sam, who feels perfectly fine and has been getting 8 hours of sleep every night for the past week. So, it's off to Ohio (I think) where there is INEXPLICABLY MOUNTAINS! (Are there mountains in Ohio? I don't think so, but what do I know, I've never been there and I don't actually know where Ohio is without looking at a map - I am Canadian and my elementary school accidentally skipped teaching me US geography (or history for that matter).)
ANYWAY... I liked the dude that was the taxidermist friend. I liked his bizarre speaking cadence. So, the weird cowboy snake-dude ate all the entrails from the taxidermist shop. GROSS.
Oh hey, before they actually went into the taxidermist shop though, there was the spray-paint on the door and the symbol scrapped into it - which was an upsidedown equilateral triangle with a dog-paw inside it. "Gay Dogs?" I guessed, and then laughed like a dork at my own joke.
So, the gay-dog symbol leads Sam and Dean to a local animal rights group run from a vegan bakery...which might be Uprising Breads Bakery which is in my neighbourhood (this is what my friend thought), but I haven't been inside it, so I can't confirm or deny. She wasn't certain, so who knows. Might be worth an investigation.
The vegan bakers are wearing sunglasses inside. I liked Dean's line of "Do you know who wears sunglasses inside? Blind people and douchebags." And then I liked that once they talked to the vegan bakers, the vegan bakers echoed the line when they complained about having to look like douchebags because they were "maced".
But of course, it wasn't mace! It was SNAKE VENOM.
So, the boys don't know what their up against, because it's weird...
Meanwhile, cowboy-hat dude is slipping $100 to the dude at the animal shelter...nothing good can come from this. He goes after the cats. Me and my friend both quickly check to make sure her two cats aren't watching the TV at the moment - because sure enough he EATS one! Nooooooooooooooooo...save the kitties.
Sidenote: The animal shelter dude had really interesting eyes.
Also, who the heck gets a job at an animal shelter who cares so little for the wellfare of animals? Sigh.
Anywayyyyyyyyyyy... the shelter dude gets killed when he witnesses the cat-eating, thanks to CLAWS TO THE NECK!
So, Sam and Dean are confused. Because now the snake dude is stealing cats and the human victim has giant cat scratches. But then Dean recognizes the dog from the taxidermist place.... and the dog barks at the cop who is wearing a hat...and Dean realizes that the dog isn't a suspect, he's a witness.
Sam sicks Kevin on researching a way to talk to animals, and Kevin finds one - an Inuit spell. Now, I know "eskimo" is still okay to say in the US, but it's not okay to say in Canada, so I was really glad that Sam only said it once...because yeah, let's try not to be super offense here, folks. Also, the words Dean says aren't like any Inuktitut I've ever heard, but then, he might just be horribly butchering the language... I've only ever heard Inuktitut spoken by native speakers, after all... and I don't even know how universal the language is among the Inuit, there may be multiple languages they use and Inuktitut is just one of them. ANYWAY.... I should listen to myself when it comes to being pedantic about the believability of this episode.
Jensen was great in this episode. He's so good at comedy, and Jared is very good at being his straight man. I loved when he says that the drink doesn't look so bad, then drinks it, and just looks at Sam and says "I was wrong."
The spell doesn't work right away and they lose hope - until the dog tells Dean to change the station on the radio and starts complaining about Styx. Again, the comedic lines in this episode were great. I loved Sam's "Why are you arguing about Styx?!" And then Sam is trying to throw out his napkin and Dean keeps fetching it out of the garbage while he talks to the dog.... and then the mail man comes and Dean barks at him through the window... and yeah, we learn that while Dean's mindmelded with animals, he'll exhibit their behaviour.
So, cue comedy. I have to say that the bit with the poodle reminded me of the Torchwood S2 episode with Captain John checking people out as they drove through town - "look at the arse on that one." "That's a poodle."
They return to the shelter to interview the other dogs, and the Yorkie talks to them in exchange for belly rubs from Sam. Adorable.
Still, if you like animals, even with the comedy, it's a hard episode to watch, because shelters are sad places. And Dean agrees, and lets all the dogs out at the end of their visit... and honestly, I did not realize this was setting up a later scene.
Based on the info from the Yorkie, it's time to go to a local restaurant where apparently our monster is the head chef. Yeah, that bodes well. The little mice were cute. I also liked their reasoning for being eaten: "We have collapsible spines!"
But then there's noise in the main part of the restaurant so they go investigate to find that there's a private function going on - which they cancel while pretending to be health-inspectors. I was actually in a restaurant when it got surprised inspected (or at least, it seemed to be a surprise)... it's kind of disconcerting when you're sitting in a restaurant and you can hear the health inspectors making disapproving noises in the kitchen and the head waiter/owner dude looking increasingly frantic.
But I digress...
They get rid of the staff, but the chef is still about, so they split up to track him down. Guys. Nothing good happens when you split up. Sure enough, the dude ate a chameleon and has now gained the ability to blend into the wallpaper. He sneaks up behind Sam, who doesn't get a shot in time and gets throat slashed!! Zeke comes forward and heals him, because yeah, THAT won't be hard to explain, but the effort of it all makes Samzekiel pass out.
Now, of course, this just intrigues the chef and now he wants to eat Sam in order to gain whatever power he has.
No worries though, it's Dean to the rescue! Only he doesn't get a shot in time either (seriously, boys? SERIOUSLY!?) and the Chef ties him to a post after telling him he smells like a dog and wondering what exactly their mother was smoking when she gave birth to a dog-boy and a healing-super-power boy.
Dean counters with the fact that he can smell that the dude has cancer. I'd like to point out that the ability of dogs to smell terminal cancer was also a plot point on Teen Wolf - I guess this is a new dog-themed-thing trope!
So, we learn all about dude and his terminal illness and turning to magic and eating animals in order to keep living. Dude decides to eat a wolf heart in order to destroy Dean, and Dean escapes and leads him out into the ally, where he whistles for his pack! Hilarious. Just earlier today I was talking to a commenter on AO3 about how Dean would be sorted into Hufflepuff, and I think this is just more proof...dude's been a dog for a day, and he already has a pack that will come to his rescue! :)
Anyway, ripped apart by dogs is a good way to kill someone who was killing kitties!
Then Dean frantically tries to get Sam to wake up... "don't make me lick your face!" - no, make him! I'd have loved to see that, though I'm sure Jensen and Jared wouldn't have been too thrilled about having to act it out. (Another thing I learned from Teen Wolf fandom: Dogs will obsessively groom ill loved ones.)
Anyway, Sam wakes up. They take the German shepherd to the vegan bakers to have him be looked after. And the dog goes to reveal that dogs were put on the earth to- BARK BARK! And the spell has worn off. Dean is no longer a dog.
Sam is confused - what did the chef mean when he asked Sam what he was? Personally, I'd be more confused at waking up to find myself covered with my own blood but have no visible wounds, but hey, that's just me! Dean tells him that the dude was insane and eating animals to take their power - and that it was basically like being possessed, and when you allow yourself to be possessed, then eventually...the thing will just take over.
Oooooooooo....ominous reason not to trust Ezekiel? Is he simply biding his time? So far he's been pretty willing to sacrifice power in order to do whatever Dean asks him... the most suspicious thing has been his desire not to be found by any other angel, nor have Cas around... possibly because he's not really Ezekiel?! That's a possibility I've seen floated... the plot thickens....
Anyway, fun episode. Not that much substance, mostly just ridiculous hijinks with very little effort put in to having anything seem realistic.
Next week looks to get back into some serious stuff, so perhaps this was our little reprieve.