Supernatural 9.05: Talking animals…there are no words

If I had trouble finding things to say about episode four because  it was a solid if not amazing ep, episode five presented the opposite problem: it was so terrible that there are no words. Not even fun, rant-y words. Just embarrassed silence. 

Here’s a promo for the episode (and here’s another) and here’s a clip that gives you a sense of its subtle humor. Just watch them and get back to me. 


If you didn’t/couldn’t want watch those, here’s the official synopsis. You can tell this is either going to be unexpectedly hilarious or really terrible: 

DOGGIE DEANLITTLE – While investigating two bizarre murders, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) realize there is an eyewitness to both gruesome deaths – a German Sheppard. Anxious to find out if they are dealing with a witch, a skinwalker or other Supernatural monster, the guys look up a spell that could let Dean “communicate” with the dog. Unfortunately, the spell comes with side effects that no one saw coming.

Taken from: SpoilerTV 
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Guess which way it went? 

Soon after, I got the following text message from Jason. I think our text conversation can pretty much serve as a recap, because it hits all the “highlights.”  

Sup #1

Oh, God. Yes, Dean can hear all animals! ALL OF THE ANIMALS!

Honestly, the parts with “Dean acting like a dog” were actually okay, because Jensen Ackles is a very funny comic actor. But dear God…the animal voices and what passed for humor in what the the animals said…Hey, did you know pigeons like pooping on cars? What an original joke!

Sup #2

Oh God…there was this really creepy scene were a dog demanded a “belly rub” from Sam, all the while moaning orgasmically and talking about how hot Sam was.

See how cute this image is?

Now add in the dog MOANING AND COMING ON TO SAM. Ruined it for ya, didnt I? 

And the bestiality didn’t stop there! 

Sup #3

*Lusting after a dog, not listing. I cannot believe is actually just copy-edited “lusting after a dog.” See what I mean about this episode being embarrassing? 

And yes, this episode actually managed to beat the Racist Truck/black-woman-as-a-dog writers for “worst episode” AND “worst episode featuring bestiality.” Impressive! 

Sup #4

Here is the AV Club’s inexplicably positive review of the episode, and here are some more (bizarrely, strangely) positive reviews. 

Seriously, EW? Seriously?: ” “Dog Dean Afternoon” was an episode that easily ranks among the legendary Supernatural funnies…” Really? 




Sup #5


Ben Edlund was a writer of many of the most awesomely “weird” Supernatural episodes (he’s not on the show anymore). This episode reeked of trying really hard to be one of those great “weird” episodes (in case we missed the point, the “previously on” showed clips of all Supernatural’s “weird episodes,” just so YOU WOULDN’T MISS THE FACT THAT THIS WAS A QUIRKY EPISODE — gee, thanks for that, show!)…but it just…wasn’t….good…at…all.



Sup #6


I have to say, the show’s world-building and continuity has been all over the place in recent seasons, so I find it harder and harder to grump that things don’t fit into the world or are sloppy mythology because…so much of it is.

But I agree that the “animals talk!” gimmick felt like it belonged in another show. And rather than adding something new to the world that could potentially be built on in future episodes, it felt like a limited gag we were supposed to forget about forever after it was done. It was lazy in that way: more interested in a cheap, short-term laugh than thinking about how to expand the world and the characters. 



Sup #8


I liked the Wizard of Oz episode; while it was a bit slight, I thought it provided an interesting twist on the Supernatural formula, and you could see how the show could use ideas from that episode in further episodes– for instance, to develop the character of Charlie (and, hopefully, bring back the character of Dorothy, because: awesome). 

This episode, on the other hand, felt like a complete waste of supporting actor talent. It took me awhile to place him, but I realized they had the guy who plays the two-year-old on “Conversations with my two-year-old,” — he had a small role as the owner of a vegan bakery (ha ha, vegans are lame: geddit?). What a freakin’ waste. That actor (whose name is apparently David Milchard) is actually really funny! And he…did not get to do anything funny. At all. 

A Profound Revelation 

I suppose I should be grateful to the episode for making me realize how much I deeply and profoundly hate the “live action animals talking” motif. I didn’t realize the depths of my dislike till this episode, because I largely avoid cutesy “live action animals talking” flicks (Beverly Hills Chihuahua is not high on my list of “must sees”).

 And I realized why I hate them so much: supposedly, this animal is talking, but it’s impossible to suspend your disbelief because you can so obviously tell that the poor animal is NOT, in fact, talking in a cutesy-pootsy voice, but is instead thinking something like, “Cool. Is it time for my snack now?” 



No, this animal is clearly NOT talking in the voice of a New York gangster. He just wants to take a walk. Please stop. 

The whole thing just feels…undignified for everyone involved. If you’re going to have talking animals, use cartoons! Then you can at least show the animals’ lips moving, and make the animals suspension-of-disbelief-level “human.” I mean, would Finding Nemo still have been funny with live-action fish? No. It was have been awful. And terrifying. 

Yes, Virginia, it was ALL terrible 

And honestly? Despite my basic, can’t-get-over-it grump with the premise of the episode…it was also just a badly constructed episode. The exposition was even clunkier than it usually is; the mechanics of the plot were awkward; Sam’s obliviousness to the whole Ez-Sam situation was pushed to a tiresomely unbelievable point (really? you got your throat cut and you wake up covered in blood and you’re cool and have no questions?); and the parallels between the villain and the Dean-Sam situation was eye-rolling clunky. 







And can we talk about the episode’s “solution”? 1) Dean lets all the shelter dogs out of the shelter. Oh yay! So…now…they’ll all die…on the street. Of starvation and disease. Slowly and painfully. Fun! 2) Then the shelter dogs gang up to KILL THE BAD GUY TO SAVE DEAN. So, now…they’re street dogs and they’re murderers? Fun, cute animal story, bro! Nuthin’ like cute lil’ animal personalities who want to have sex with and/or murder humans. 



In conclusion: my least favorite part was everything. 



You know it’s bad when you miss the racist truck