Unicorns, laser-eyed robots, killer sharks and cranky clowns all have an impact on this latest installment of Supernatural. Unfortunately, Sam is on the business end of a brutal beating by the things he fears most. Meanwhile, Dean finds something he loves: a giant Slinky.
Over the last seven seasons of Supernatural, we've learned a lot about Sam and Dean. We've learned their likes and their dislikes. We've learned their favorite lingo and what they like to eat and wear. But since this is a horror show, we've also learned what they're afraid of. For instance, we know Dean hates to fly. Season 1's "Phantom Traveler" had him face that fear to hilarious results. In Season 2's "Everybody Loves a Clown, we found out something about Sammy: He has a great big fear of those circus freaks called clowns. This latest episode had the youngest Winchester battling that fear once more. And by battling, I mean getting his cute self beaten, battered and bruised. Poor Sammy.
I don't mind saying I was dreading "Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie" (aka "PPMM") for a couple of reasons. 1. Typing that long ass title takes forever. So it's only going to happen once. 2. Much like Sammy, I hate clowns. However, I did make it through "Everybody Loves a Clown" back in the day, so I had high hopes.
Of course the episode didn't waste any time getting to those carnival monstrosities. Sam's running away from them in a scene that's reminiscent of Dean's own fleeing escapade that went down in Season 4's "Yellow Fever." But Sammy has something real to be afraid of while Dean only thought he did. His tormentor was a cute little doggie. Not the second coming of Pennywise, the scary clown from Stephen King's book and subsequent mini-series called "It."
What I loved about "PPMM":
-I like the fact the recap showed Sam's coulrophobia (fear of clowns) from Season 2. It seems so long ago, right?
-The Supernatural title page was tailored to fit the theme of the day. Unexpected and very cool.
-That Plucky/Chuck E. Cheese-type place looked appropriately annoying for any adult to enter.
-The Jack Bauer/24-ish countdown clock with accompanying sound effect was a nice touch.
-Dean having a cryptic conversation with Frank on an actual pay phone: "I am the Egg Man." Loved Sam's reaction to hearing it too.
-Dean mentioned being out of the hot chicks game for a while. A good move considering what happened to him in the last episode with his one-night stand and the "daughter" who tried to kill him. That's enough to get anyone to put a halt on all hookups right away. Even Dean Winchester. Wonder how long his moratorium will last?
-We find out the genesis for Sam's phobia. It seems when Big Daddy Winchester was probably away, Dean used to ditch Sam at Plucky's so he could go pick up girls. I don't blame Sam for developing this fear. What else was supposed to happen?
-I love Sam reciting the mantra Dean told him: "If it bleeds, you can kill it."
-Loved all the different names for the nightmares that came to life: "Vamptopus;" "Octopus;" "Dractopus;" "Land Shark" "Seabiscuit the Impaler"
-Is it me or did the vibe between the brothers seem a bit more relaxed? Sam was smiling more at Dean's jokes. More than ever before. Even the bad ones. I liked that.
-The death by unicorn scene was great. Guy thought he was clear of the danger. Then the horn comes piercing through the man's chest. Awesome. Loved when the unicorn was running and rainbows were coming out of its ass. too
-I like that Sam was able to get some punches in. Those clowns deserved it.
-Of course Dean wants to buy a giant Slinky. Of course he does.
-Love Sam trying to get tough with the Plucky employees. Love Dean trying to help out that kid and then not being able to eat the Plucky pizza because it tastes like "butt."
-I never expected a Breaking Bad reference on this show. How cool is that?
-When the kid mentioned the robot had "laser eyes," all I could think of was Ronald from Season 2's "Nightshifter" and the fact that he originally thought the scary shape-shifter was a Mandroid.
-Kooky Plucky employee Howard was the culprit. He had all these nightmares come to life and off parents because he was clearly screwed up -- he blamed his parents for his brother's death. But the trigger was also the fact that he didn't get the manager's job. Could you imagine him as manager? I think not. This episode was an argument against art therapy for kids.
-Cliff was the Plucky employee in the lion suit. I wonder if they named the character after the show's bodyguard Clif Kosterman.
-After the 24 clock runs out, here's how they let us know we're in the present: with a lower third in big type that says: RIGHT FRIGGIN' NOW. Of course the local CW channel covered a lot of it up with bugs and stuff like that. Boo.
-Sam got glitter'd as well as bruised up. But he faced his fear. Good for Sam.
-Loved loved loved that last scene between Sam and Dean. Dean was full-on laughing. I remember him doing that with Castiel in an episode. But I don't ever remember such a full body laugh when he was with Sam. Maybe "Hell House" from Season 1? It was nice. It was also nice that Sam got Dean the giant Slinky he wanted so much. Of course, Dean takes things a little too far and gets Sam a stuffed clown. Not cool, Dean.
-I love anytime the boys can talk about some of their experiences when they were growing up -- good or bad. And we got some of that in this episode. Dean even mentioned how dad used to haul him from place to place when he was a kid.
"PPMM" was a fun episode. We needed something like this. The Winchester brothers haven't had much in the way of fun in a long time. It's been a lot of depression and loss and grief this season. And I get that Sammy probably doesn't think being beat up by clowns is his kind of fun but if it resulted in that final scene, I'm okay with it. And from the looks of the sneak peek for the next Supernatural, all the fun is gone. And drama and Sam's hellucinations are back. Plus, Dean looks like he's in quite the scary predicament. Bring it on. But first, I may have to watch "PPMM" a couple more times.
-Did Dean actually say "no booze?" Is he going to stop like that? I mean, I get it. He had been imbibing when he had the one-night stand. But still. Let's see how long his "no drinking" act lasts.
-Are both Sam and Dean turning into Danny Glover aka Roger Murtaugh from the Lethal Weapon franchise? In "The Slice Girls" Dean says he's "too old for this." Now it's Sam's turn in this episode.
-Oh and apparently Fred Savage from The Wonder Years is a Leviathan now. Love that.
Some Favorite Lines (courtesy of writers Andrew Dabb/Daniel Loflin)
-"I am the Egg Man. Seriously, Frank. Pay phones? I mean, come on. I'm getting the clap off this thing just touching it."
-"So what are we looking for? An octovamp? A vamptopus?" "That's crazy even for us, right?" "It does push the envelope."
-"Cops have a theory?" "Yeah, they think the ball washer did it." "The what?" "The...ball washer." "The what?" "The ball..."
-"Close, but no Seabiscuit."
-"That's a shark bite." "Yeah." "And judging by the radius, I'd say a 20-footer at least. (Sam gives a look) Shark Week, man. How do you not watch that? Whole week of sharks."
"You scared of robots?" "They have laser eyes!"
-"Yeah, we don't care that you uh, you know, broke bad or whatever."
-"So what do you think?" "I think the bitchy mom plus uh, sad kid, plus uh place mat with something nuts written on it equals wacky corpse."