Guest Stars: Steve Valentine, Al Rodigo, Leslie Jordan
Director: Tim Andrew
Sam, feeling way too cooped up in the Bunker, urges Dean to investigate the death of a taxidermist found crushed to pieces in nearby Enid, Oklahoma. The pair look for the usual signs of witchcraft with no luck. Dean is thoroughly creeped out nonetheless, by all the dead animals staring at him, and the taxidermist’s BFF who collects and disposes the animal guts.
The Winchesters focus on a symbol left on threatening graffiti left on the taxidermy shop and discover it belongs to a local animal rights group. Sam and Dean follow the clues to a vegan bakery and I swear, one could almost see Dean burst into flame when he steps foot inside. The owners are while sunglasses indoors, a very suspicious and douchebag move, according to Dean. It doesn’t take long to learn they are not the suspects but victims too: both received a good dose of venom in their eyes from our resident Cowboy Hat Snake Man (Steve Valentine).
Cut to Cowboy Hat entering an animal shelter, having a silent conversation with the stooge behind the desk. Since we don’t know names, let’s call him Dingleberry. It appears Cowboy Hat and Dingleberry have an arrangement in place but ‘berry wants more from the Hat. He slides him a folded Benjamin and access is granted once more. Sadly, Dingleberry won’t have a chance to spend that c-note because he catches Cowboy Snake Man feasting on a few flea-riddled mongrels.
Now Cowboy’s eyes look like a cat’s, and he grows claws to tear Dingleberry apart. Wait, wasn’t he a snake man? No matter, we’ll figure it all out eventually.
Sam and Dean check out the shelter and learn the same dog was at both crime scenes. Dean has an idea (not always a good thing) and they take Colonel with them. Sam calls Kevin for a spell to talk to animals and with one pluck of a dog hair, the concoction is complete. Dean chugs it like a boss and waits. Nothing happens for hours until he and Colonel (now endowed with the voice of Al Rodigo) suddenly get into a fight about Styx. Holy crap, it works! Although a little too well because Dean now shares some of Colonel’s traits like chasing after things, barking at mailmen and the compulsion to feel the wind in his hair.
Sam Dean and Colonel return to the shelter to interview the dogs. They don’t get anywhere but a rather talkative Yorkie (voice of Leslie Jordan) says he’ll tell them everything he knows, for a price.
The boys learn Cowboy Hat may have a connection to a restaurant named Avante Garde. They sneak in later that night and discover a drawer full of drugs, a fridge stocked with animal organs and name for their suspect, Leo. Aw, I liked calling him Cowboy Hat.
While split up, Leo sneak attacks Sam in the doorway thanks to his handy chameleon trick and slashes him good on the neck, a grave injury Zeke easily heals. This intrigues Leo and he easily knocks Sam and drags him back to the kitchen. Dean tries to put the drop on him but Leo smells the dog on him and he’s quickly taken care of as well. Boys, really? C’mon now! While bound, Leo reveals his entire reason for collecting and eating all manner of animal parts: he had late stage carcinoma and nothing as working until he experimented with shamanism. When he eats certain organs, he acquires their natural abilities. Being a chef, he began combining parts in his dishes to acquire more powers. Now that Dean knows all of this… he must die, of course.
Dean does break free but not before Leo takes a health bite out of a wolf heart and basically gains the ability to grow a nasty pair of teeth.
They run around, make it outside and it looks like Dean is done for, yet the cavalry arrive – the shelter dogs Dean freed – making quick work of Leo. Personally, I don’t know how a Yorkie is able to tear limbs off a supernaturally possessed killer, but hey… maybe there’s more to toy dogs than I suspect.
Sadly, Sam and Dean give up Colonel to the vegan hippie couple who already have plans to feed him plenty of gluten-free treats. Colonel and Dean have a moment, expressing their mutual respect and admiration and all that gushy stuff. The Colonel admits that dogs aren’t “Man’s Best Friend” and was going reveal their true purpose on the world… but Dean’s spell wears out. Shame. Not only didn’t he learn the secrets of dogkind, but he didn’t get to sniff one butt.
With season nine beginning in such a serious and dreary tone, ‘Dog Dean Afternoon’ was the light, entertaining fare needed to shake things up and harken back to the early seasons. We definitely needed a break from the doom and gloom because it was getting a bit heavy so early into the run. It’ll return to grey clouds and avenging angels next week, yet it was fun to watch the Winchesters back at their old antics.
Plus that dog was damn adorable. Seriously, he better turn into a recurring character.
- “I always knew I’d find the source of all evil at a vegan bakery.”
- “Hey, you know who wears sunglasses inside? Blind people and douchebags.”
- “Dennis DeYoung’s not a punk. He’s Mr. Roboto, bitch!”
- “Hey dick move, pigeon!”
- “My sack is emptier than Santa’s after Christmas.”
- “Don’t make me lick your damn face.”