Anyway, TO THE EPISODE!
Warning - I end up being really rather negative about this episode. That's usually not my style around here, so I just wanted to warn everyone. Obviously, that sets the tone for the comments that you might want to leave, but remember that there's a difference between not liking something and being hateful, so be careful,
Dog Dean Afternoon
So, this is one of the ridiculous episode, as evidenced by the THEN, which is basically just a big statement from production saying "Hey, remember how we're ridiculous? Yeah? Good."
When I originally watched this episode, I remember being largely disappointed, despite a few good comedic moments. I'm not sure that opinion will change on rewatch.
Teaser death - any actual dog would be attacking the intruder at that point.
Sam: "How's that kid still recovering from Branson?"
- Haha, I love how they write Kevin out of this episode just by having him being extremely hungover and passed out in some distant room and then only communicating with him by phone.
Dean: "A case?"
Dean: "You sure you're ready for that?"
Sam: "Why would I not be ready for that?"
Dean: "Aren't you kind of running on empty?"
Sam: "Yeah, but for the past 3 nights straight I had 8 hours of shut-eye. For a Hunter, that's like 20!"
- Yeah, Dean mother henning Sam when he's outwardly looking very healthy is DEFINITELY going to raise red flags for Sam... or at least really piss him off.
Dean: "[...] I think you oughta pace yourself. The sooner you heal..."
Dean: "I just want you back to your old self."
- Oh Dean, the problem is that you're a horrible liar. You always have been.
I like Sam's plaid shirt, btw. I think it's new.
The Dave Stevens character reminds me SO MUCH of Ash/Chad Lindberg. I almost think they should have held off casting him for this role and cast him for something Ash-related.
I love Sam's "check this ridiculous thing out!" face. Hilarious, and one of those little things that ground the characters as real people/brothers.
Sam really didn't have time to look for a hex bag - I mean, in a shop that crowded, they'd really have to tear it apart.
Sam: "Now the question is are those bleeding hearts actually witches or just hippies."
Dean: "What's the difference?"
- Haha, awww... I was raised by hippies. Sure, they'd half sold out to the Man by then, but still!
Sam: "What's that smell?"
Dean: "Patchouli, mixed with depression from meat deprivation."
- Ah, patchouli, I don't know why it's so popular among the hippies, but it really is. It's a stereotype because it's true. There's a store I like to shop at near my place and whenever I send things to my mother from there, she always knows exactly where it's from as soon as she gets the package in the mail - because she can smell it usually before she even opens the package.
Dean: "Hey, you know who wears sunglasses inside? Blind people and douchebags!"
- I like Sam's "can't disagree with that" face.
Guy: "His business is funded by hunters and you know how hunters are! They're selfish dicks who define themselves by what they kill."
- Know your audience, dude. Though, he's not wrong - I mean, at least not about defining themselves by what they kill. Obviously, not all hunters are selfish dicks (and I mean both kinds of hunters).
They're back in the same shirts from that morning.
I had to pause to get a screen shot of the shirts, and I have to say I like how the framing of this shot... with Sam seated at the laptop and you see Dean walk in from the side and open his beer, but he's mostly out of shot for the first few lines of dialogue. You can see his torso, his hands and the beer, but it's not until he leans over and takes interest that the camera pans up just a little so that we can see his face. I'm not smart enough to articulate WHY I like it, I just do.
Also, I like that when he straightens back up to walk around the table, his head is once again out of frame... but, that's mostly because then the focus is on his skinny waist and I do so love Jensen's skinny waist.
Ah, the return of creepy guy to the pound. Gross scene! Also, I can't believe that dude at the front would let some guy in to meess with the animals. You'd think people at an animal shelter would care a LITTLE about animal welfare.
Dean: "Come here, boy! Hey, this isn't going to hurt at all, unless it hurts."
- Yup, that pretty much goes for everything in life.
I do like how Dean quickly puts it together that the dog doesn't like hats... and the most likely reason for that.
Dean: "An Inuit spell?"
Sam: "Yeah, who knew the men of letters had it's own eskimo section."
- So, the MoL's are from the early 1900s, so I guess I'll forgive the use of the word eskimo here - but I also know that in America, that's not as taboo a word as it is in Canada. (I know that some people self-identify as eskimo... and that's obviously perfectly fine and I'm not going to question it.) But it sits VERY oddly with most Canadians who have been taught that it's a racial slur. For instance, one of Loudain Swain's albums is CALLED Eskimo, as it one of their songs, in which the word is repeated... and a friend and I were just talking at the Con (while looking at the CDs for sale) about how we weren't even sure if we could bring ourselves to buy it. For Canadians, it's like some white guy named his album N***er. I have the same problem with one of Damian Rice's songs, so much so that I usually take it out of rotation on my iPod. So, yeah, cultural differences here, I guess, but my goodness, I cringe.
Damn. I was hoping that blue plaid shirt was the same as a one-off that Dean wore in S7, but it's not. So, new plaid shirt for Dean, I guess and that one-off remains a barely glimpsed one-off.
Dean: "Alright, I'll do it. You've got enough on your plate."
Sam: "Like what?"
Dean: "Like... you're tired, you're on the mend, okay, plus you - you've got a sensitive stomach. Last thing we need is you chucking this stuff back up."
- So, yeah, Dean's totally not subtle enough to carry out long-term cons.
- That being said, Gadreel isn't helping by, obviously, making Sam feel fantastic.
- Also, I don't think Dean's lying about Sam's sensitive stomach, because Sam doesn't really protest that - so, I think that's a cute bit of information about the brothers, and might explain Sam's dietary choices more.
I don't know what language that is, but it doesn't sound like Inuktitut.
Sam: "Why are you arguing with the dog about Styx?"
- So, okay, I do love this opening to the gag, but I think it'd actually be funnier if we COULDN'T hear the voices - if we only heard Dean's side of the conversation. I seriously want to do an edit of this episode where the dogs don't talk - because I think it'd be hilarious. Mind you, you'd need to pad the episode out with something else, as there'd be a lot of long pauses with seemingly nothing happening...though you could just have Dean carry more of the dialogue.
It's probably personal preference, because I like my ridiculous fantasy to be as realistic as possible, but I don't think, if we could communicate with dogs, that it'd necessarily be in english or that dogs can retain names of band members. Now, I understand that this is more of a mind-meld situation, so Dean's probably hearing voices because that's what's easiest for his brain to understand - but I read this great fantasy series once that had wolf-human communication in it, and the thing I loved about it was that the communication was all in images and feelings. They were INTELLIGENT images and feelings, and the human could understand them, but then when that human went to articulate what was being said to other people, he couldn't necessarily do it exactly. It was more a passing of knowledge than it was about words. The wolves would talk to him, and he'd know there were raiders coming in from the west and their approximate numbers and intentions, but it wouldn't be a communication that could have a transcript.
Anyway, I'm not saying the show should have done that, because that would have been disastrous - I'm just saying that SPN tried to make it funny by making the voices funny, but instead they crossed from funny into hokey, and I think it'd be far more hilarious to have seen the episode from Sam's point of view.
Sam: "Dean, what are you doing?"
Dean: "I don't know!"
Dean: "Hey! Hey! You! YOU! Hey! YOU! Rrr!"
Sam: "Uh, Dean? I think the spell worked. In fact, I think it worked a little too well."
Sam: "I think you might be a dog."
Sam: "You're scratching your head, you're barking at the mailman, you're playing fetch!"
*Dean resists fetching it, but whines*
- See, THAT'S hilarious, no dog voices necessary. Just Jensen doing an impression of a dog - and it's fantastic, because Jensen's hilarious at physical comedy. They really should have played to their actor's strengths instead of relying on a gimmick.
Also, this episode could have been hilarious because what has Sam always wanted?! A DOG! Sam's a dog guy and now he's got a dog for a brother, and it'd been great if they actually remembered that and had Sam treat Dean a little like a dog too... I mean, I'm not talking full-on puppy-play, that's for the kinkmeme - but they could have had FUN with the brother dynamic, which I'm sure everyone would have enjoyed.
Dog: "I wouldn't eat that - chocolate, seriously?"
- So, again, funny joke ruined by me wanting realism and the fact that Dean is still physiologically human. The enzymes in his stomach are exactly the same as they were before he took the potion. If they weren't, he'd probably be throwing up whatever he just ate for lunch.
Dean: "Wait, can I hear all animals?"
Dog: "Yup, animals have a universal language, like Esperanto."
- Again, it'd be fine if Dean could understand all animals, whatever - but saying that animals have a universal language annoys me, since THEY DON'T. AAaaaaaaaaaaarrrrgh.
I do love Dean trying to shoot the pigeon and Sam's little embarrassed head-bob "nothing to see here" thing.
And the poodle thing is way too overthetop... sorry. Also, because male poodles look exactly the same way. It kind of annoys me that they project human sexual preferences onto animals - like, for some reason, because the poodle is all fancy groomed and "made-up" it somehow makes it more sexually appealing to other dogs?! No. It makes the owner think they have a sexy dog (gross), whereas other dogs care more about whether that poodle is disease free and ovulating and that's probably it... and even that is a stretch. Moreover, if we're talking MOST animals, it's the males that have to make sure they actually look nice. Bllllllllllllaaaah...
Oh man, I'm sorry, I'm being so negative about this episode guys. I'm usually not. If you liked this episode, I'm glad! Just ignore me!
Also, it's supposed to be funny, I guess, but the animals in the shelter are actually super super depressing... like, it's supposed to be funny because Dean's getting annoyed at the complaints, but man, all those dogs are just going to die.
And I don't like the fact that they gave the little dog a gay man's voice and personality. It feels like a gay joke to me.
Okay, more complaints, I'm so sorry... just, I know it's a really cool ending and I actually LIKE the fact that they sort of set it up, but letting the dogs out of the shelter and then having them kill a guy isn't actually doing them any favours - again, if you want to ground the show in any sort of reality which it USUALLY IS.
Dean: "Did you hear that? It sounds like kids."
- I like the fact that they made the mice kids, because that plays to Dean's sympathies more than animals actually do.
The Chameleon trick is really cool... also, I love the switch to Gadreel and back, as always.
Chef: "How the hell did you do that?"
Sam: "Do what?"
- It's kind of heartbreaking how confused Sam is.
Chef: "Screw the sharktopus, you're my main course."
- Ha, sharktopus!
Dean: "What did you do to my brother?"
Chef: "Your brother? What was your mom smoking when she had you two?"
Chef: "Sorry, wolf trumps dog."
Dean: "Maybe, but not a whole pack."
- So, yeah, I love the poetic justice of him being torn apart by animals... but, all those dogs are now technically people killers, so... if there's enough evidence tying them to the crime, they're all being euthanized! But, we'll just pretend that Dean piles them into the car and drives them all out of town to some farm somewhere where they live happily ever after.
Dean: "Hey, for the love of god, Sammy! Hey? Sammy!? Zeke?! Whoever the hell you are! Come on! Don't make me lick your damn face!"
- I love that line. Animals exessively groom injured family members... so, yeah, realism!
Lady: "Oh, you must be starving! Lucky for you I backed some vegan doggie cupcakes!"
- So, FYI, dogs aren't meant to be vegan. While it's debatable whether they're obligate carnivours or not - they're still primarily designed for getting most of their nutrition from meat and that's the diet that's healthiest for them. Again, as much as the writers and Dean mean well here, I can't help but feel that by leaving the dog with vegans, Dean's most likely condemning him to a life of having poor nutrition... and yeah, it just kind of takes me out of the show - but again, this is possibly my own personal bias about the best way to care for a pet. Maybe there ARE people out there who successfully keep their dogs healthy on vegan diets.
Dog: "I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but the real reason we were put here was- BARK BARK!"
Dean: "Oh you gotta be kidding me, NOW the spell wears off!"
- Again, it's a funny line, but dogs evolved from wolves thanks to generations of domestication and selective breeding. Unless the dog was about to tell Dean why WOLVES exist... well, then he's got nothing, besides telling Dean why German Shepherds speficially were bred - my guess from the name is that they were bred to be shepherds... in Germany.
Dean: "You okay? Stetson-man got you pretty good!"
- Hahaha, the guy really didn't have a name. They're just calling him Stetson-man. That's hilarious.
Sam: "Yeah, I'm fine. I just uh, I can't stop thinking about what he said."
Dean: "Oh come on, Sammy. Guy was out of his freakin' gourd!"
- Dean's called Sam Sammy a LOT in this episode. He usually doesn't do it in so casual a context as here. It's kind of nice.
Dean: "He was all jacked up on juice! He was possessed by something he couldn't control, it was...."
- And Dean realizes what he's saying.
Dean: "...it was a matter of time before it completely took over."
- This end scene is just so well done by Jensen, I have to say. There is so much in the way he tones the words, the way he looks at Sam, but really Gadreel, as he comes to the realization that he can't trust "Ezekiel"
- But it DOES kind of amaze me that Sam never brings up the fact that his flesh was torn and suddenly it wasn't. That he woke up covered in blood that didn't seem to have a source. Maybe Gadreel altered his memory, who knows...
Okay, I'm sorry I was so negative about the episode!
I might be able to knock out an episode tomorrow, we'll see - but if not then, then it won't be until the weekend at the earliest.