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S09.E05: Dog Dean Afternoon

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When the only witness to a pair of murders is a dog, Dean must perform a spell that allows him to communicate with animals.

 

I have a love hate relationship with this episode. Overall, I enjoy it even if they did try to cram in every dog joke known to man that, in the end, I'm kinda groaning rather than laughing. If nothing else, I enjoy the fetch and barking at the mailman scenes ever so much. Those were pure genius, IMO. I also love how Jensen throws himself into these things sometimes. Plus, it's always nice to see Steve Valentine--even if I kinda think they wasted him somewhat here--so there's also that.

 

However, I'll never get over the choice of animal voices and/or that Dean is apparently is hearing the animals speak, but they actually aren't speaking--so I guess he's hearing their thoughts, but not all their thoughts? I don't know, it's making my head hurt to think about this. I think the episode might've been far more humorous if we didn't actually hear the animals, but Dean is having conversations with them anyway and looking like a complete crazy person while doing it and Sam having to try and compensate like he did in the pigeon scene. I know it would've been hard to write it, but I still think it would've been totally worth it and made the episode more of a corker to me.

 

Anyway, at the end of the day, I'd call it a win, I guess.

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My favorite S9 episode.  Some truly terrible puns (which I love), a break from the angst (well, until the end), some great visual gags, Steve Valentine!  Now, I could have done without the poodle interlude, but no episode is perfect.  ;-)

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I ultimately enjoy it because it's kind of farcical in a way. I just look at it as a one off silliness that did have two minutes related to SamZeke and that Sam is getting closer to figuring out something is rotten in Denmark. 

 

To this day, Dean playing fetch and barking at the mailman are comedy gold. I really do laugh til I cry. I think my favorite part is when Dean is all "I don't know!" and scratching his head when Sam asks him what he's doing. That just cracks me up.

 

I don't ordinarily like that much broad comedy but Jensen is such a master of broad comedy that it took me like one time round of him playing fetch to even ping that is what was happening. I don't get how an actor can be broad and subtle at the same time but Jensen does it so well. Even when he barks at the mailman, at first I didn't ping that was it, until his face kind of looked like a dog staring at the mail man. 

 

I thought the argument with the pigeon was funny but I didn't much like Jared in that scene. I think he broke character and they left it in. I don't know for sure but that seemed like it to me, mostly because I've never seen Sam have that kind of goofy grin even in all the comedic episodes he's done. 

 

I like the voice of Colonel and Beverly Leslie for the little dog Sam had to keep petting.  That was amusing to me.  I wasn't bothered by Dog!Dean checking out the poodle because well it's a pretty dog and it would be very Dean to check out the pretty girl. 

 

And then it got really serious when Sam is nearly killed and Ezekiel has to save him.  I like that Sam was like okay this shit is weird. I do think this episode is when Dean really started questioning what was happening and that it was really terrible for Sam and he needed to tell him.  

 

Overall, I think it's weirdly fun and effective episode. 

 

IPS. it never occurred to me until I saw it pointed out elsewhere that it's almost cruel for Dean to be turned into a dog because hellhounds, which eep.

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catrox14, on 19 Jan 2015 - 10:26 AM, said:

And then it got really serious when Sam is nearly killed and Ezekiel has to save him.  I like that Sam was like okay this shit is weird. I do think this episode is when Dean really started questioning what was happening and that it was really terrible for Sam and he needed to tell him.  

 

Oh yeah, it was about time that Sam started to clue in that there was something hinky going on. Dean has never been good at lying to the people closest to him and his lies have been kinda pathetic about the Angel-In-A-Sam. I still don't know how both Sam and Cass bought his crap about how he took out April the rogue reaper, not to mention his lies in Slumber Party or his single-handedly-taking-down-three-demons-by-himself fib in Devil May Care. Although, I agree that Dean is pretty awesome, so...

 

I forgot to mention my amusement at the running commentary on "hunters" in this episode. And, the whole only douchebags wear sunglasses inside gag cracks me the hell up too. Oh, and, I don't know if it's only Robbie Thompson who has it bad for Game of Thrones or if it's the whole staff, but those taxidermied rodents are absolutely hilarious.

Edited by DittyDotDot
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Anybody know why TNT is skipping this episode in their syndication? They're coming up on Season 9 reruns this week, but this episode is not scheduled to air at all. Is that some sort of fluke, or is it not airing for a specific reason?

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Ditty Dot Dot you are so right about Steve Valentine being wasted.  This ep gave me whiplash.  Usually I don't track so many different moods in one ep, but it started out gross and heartbreaking when Steve was taking the cats and ate one.  I volunteer at an animal shelter and you can find me every Sunday at PetsMart screening adoption applications, so I found the whole walk through death row really heartwrenching. Then we got the jokes about Dean's dogginess, which were all piled together.  I wish they had been spread out.  I did like the fetch and the barking.  I laughed until I cried when Dean was hanging out the window enjoying the view.  And I loved him checking out the poodle.  Talk about committing to a role.  Holy Hannah! I agree that Jared wasn't acting like Sam with all the ducking and waving around the pigeon.  Then the angst at the end just felt overplayed.  When you know Sam isn't going to get eaten it kills the suspense.  You know what I especially liked about this ep?  The boys got out of the house. It was nice to see them on the road again.

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I had completely forgotten about this episode. It was hilarious and near perfect.

Dean playing fetch and the mailman stuff was so funny I was wiping away tears. And yes, Jared totally broke character during the pigeon scene and I thought it was adorable ;)

You know it's a good thing Sam has an angel all up in him because he has near died/been knocked out/needed angelic internation almost every episode! Lol.

In all seriousness he is starting to figure out something's not right and Dean is realizing he can't keep up the lies.

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I haven't binged this show on TNT in a while, but I saw this was airing today and just had to watch it.  The mailman thing gets me every time.  "You! You! Hey, HEY, YOU!"

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Okay - now THIS is how you do a break-from-the-big-story-line-episode!  This was so much fun.  Got a little cheesy in parts, but still not as cheesy as the whole Oz/Charlie-Sue story.  I loved and laughed aloud at so many of Dean's lines.  And Dean's expressions - just priceless.   Even Sam had quite a few good moments (which is refreshing after so much of S8 still sticking in my craw).  Just a few points:

  • I was surprised at Sam's negative attitude toward the idea of the vegan bakery, what with his health consciousness.
  • LOL - Dean knows the smell of patchouli - mixed with meat deprivation.  [giggle-snort]
  • I expected more a reaction or something to the comments about hunters from the douchebags.  
  • Sam as established dog-lover seemed a little off this whole ep.  Maybe it was because Dean had the Vulcan/Dog mind meld thing going on and he was jealous.  But Sam was okay with leaving the Colonel in the car?  Really Sam?  Don't take the break up with Angry Lady out on the poor animals.  
  • So does this mean Dean likes dogs now?  
  • Sam had to be scratching that dog's tummy a LONG time to be getting hand cramps.  hahaha.
  • Felt a little sorry for Sam at the end when he was wondering what the chef meant by asking "what" he was.  I know the chef-guy was talking about the 'Angel Inside', but I thought maybe Sam was thinking back to feeling like a freak for the demon blood thing.  
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+1 Rulerofall, I enjoyed this one so much more than the previous episode.  It made me look up just what exactly "buffalo milk" was, which led me to a site with hangover cures around the world, let's just say I'm glad Dean stuck with this one.  But Dean needs to just back off of Sam, the "you're still recovering" is so worn it's threadbare.

Things that amused me:

  • Sam's expression showing Dean the stuffed weasel (?) and Dean's response
  • Dean stating that douchebags wear sunglasses indoors, then the shop owners admitting they look like douchebags for wearing sunglasses indoors
  • Dean carrying around a silver coin in his pocket just in case he needs to test for a skinwalker/shapeshifter/werewolf
  • How quickly Dean picks up on Colonel barking at the hat, and that he's a witness to both crimes
  • When Dean starts pulling the trash out of the can, I didn't even realize it the first time around he was playing fetch.  Then when he jumps up to look out the window and freaks Sam out.  HEY! YEAH YOU! YOU! HEY YOU!  And his puppy eyes when Sam throws the trash again and he has to control himself to not retrieve it
  • The pigeon.  I laughed so hard at this scene especially when Dean pulls the gun out!  Probably smart that Sam did the driving afterwards.

The MOTW was a neat idea.  Would some birds give him the ability to fly?  But Brad gets the gold star here; instead of freaking out after seeing an ENTIRE CAT disappear down someone's gullet, he's angry: "Dude, you said you were from a perfume company!"

Also, all of these spellbooks they run across during cases shouldn't be left there.  Now that they have somewhere to keep them, I hope they're bringing them all back and cataloging them.  You never know when you might need information on mixing baboon hearts and cheetah livers.

On 7/29/2016 at 9:55 PM, RulerofallIsurvey said:

Felt a little sorry for Sam at the end when he was wondering what the chef meant by asking "what" he was.  I know the chef-guy was talking about the 'Angel Inside', but I thought maybe Sam was thinking back to feeling like a freak for the demon blood thing.  

Poor Sam, he looked so panicked when Chef Leo started asking him questions.  I never thought about the demon blood, but I bet you are right!

Loved the end shot of the Impala leaving down a dark alley.

Edited to add:

Just read catrox's reply in "Slumber Party" and realized that this episode is a continuation on "Dean's world starting to crumble".  He's trying to not panic, keep Sam from thinking something is wrong, and has no one to confide in.  He makes up some excuse about Leo being crazy, checks to see if Sam is buying it, then attempts to reassure him.  I think it's more for him than Sam at this point, telling himself everything is still OK.

Edited by pixelcat
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You know. I can only laugh at Jensen's work being a dog.  It was funny. 

But no,  I don't think Dean suddenly started liking dogs. I mean,why would he? But then that continuity would require the show to fucking remember that Dean went to Hell and was sent there via mauling by Hellhounds.  I don't think Dean ever forgot that.

Edited by catrox14

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44 minutes ago, pixelcat said:

It made me look up just what exactly "buffalo milk" was, which led me to a site with hangover cures around the world, let's just say I'm glad Dean stuck with this one. 

Haha!  I was actually thinking about the Buffalo milk this morning.  I need to look that up.  (Not that I needed it this morning, but you never know when it might come in handy...)  

46 minutes ago, pixelcat said:

Also, all of these spellbooks they run across during cases shouldn't be left there.  Now that they have somewhere to keep them, I hope they're bringing them all back and cataloging them.  You never know when you might need information on mixing baboon hearts and cheetah livers.

Sure and then all that information can be accessible over the internet for them too, right?  ;)  Good point about the books.  I would hope they don't leave them lying around for the next crazy to find.  That reminds me - did they ever go back and visit John's secret storage facility again?  And did anyone ever wonder how John got all that stuff to his secret storage facility without the boys knowing about it all those years?  (That should probably not be in this thread but kind of the same thing, right?)

32 minutes ago, catrox14 said:

But no,  I don't think Dean suddenly started liking dogs. I mean,why would he? But then that continuity would require the show to fucking remember that Dean went to Hell and was sent there via mauling by Hellhounds.  I don't think Dean ever forgot that.

I don't think anyone could ever forget being mauled by Hell-hounds, but Dean did seem pretty fond of the Colonel at the end.  And he let all the dogs out of the shelter cages.  And - I don't know - maybe Dean's smart enough to separate the two?

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I get this episode was somehow supposed to be a comedic one off but it really wasn't in the end. And it's not that Dean would be 'smart enough' to separate this out. 

Just a few months ago, he was pissed that Sam had a dog in the car which violated Dean's rules about no dogs so it seems to me someone considered it then but it was hand waved here in favor of comedy and didn't bother to explain WHY Dean was no longer bothered by dogs if he no longer is.

But this is the problem with anything related to Dean and his Hell time. It's ignored by the show and I don't care if from a character perspective Dean  ignores or pretends to think it's not there anymore because he copes via alcohol or sex, it still happened to him and the show NEVER addresses it. This probably just me being sensitive about this aspect of Dean's story. I mean if you started watching the show in s8...no one would ever know Dean went to Hell and came back. LOL. Sigh. But that's better for bitterness thread.

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41 minutes ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

Sure and then all that information can be accessible over the internet for them too, right?  ;)  Good point about the books.  I would hope they don't leave them lying around for the next crazy to find.  That reminds me - did they ever go back and visit John's secret storage facility again?  And did anyone ever wonder how John got all that stuff to his secret storage facility without the boys knowing about it all those years?  (That should probably not be in this thread but kind of the same thing, right?)

They do revisit John's storage unit later this season. I always wonder whose been paying the bill for these things all these years later. ;)

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4 hours ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

I don't think anyone could ever forget being mauled by Hell-hounds, but Dean did seem pretty fond of the Colonel at the end.  And he let all the dogs out of the shelter cages.  And - I don't know - maybe Dean's smart enough to separate the two?

I think, for the first time, Dean was given an opportunity to have an emotional connection to an animal.  Any animal!  No way John allowed them to have pets as kids (which is why Bones is one of Sam's favorite memories).  

I think the connection to Colonel changed Dean for the better.  Dean seems like a golden retriever or yellow lab type.  Big, sporting/working/hunting -- but lovable -- dog.  Kind of like him.  ;-)

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4 hours ago, catrox14 said:

Just a few months ago, he was pissed that Sam had a dog in the car which violated Dean's rules about no dogs so it seems to me someone considered it then but it was hand waved here in favor of comedy and didn't bother to explain WHY Dean was no longer bothered by dogs if he no longer is.

My interpretation was that Dean's "no dogs" rule had more to do with his Baby than Dean himself in that he didn't want an animal to get their fur, slobber, smell, etc. all over his car. For me, one of the things Dean didn't understand about Sam was his enjoyment of animals. Before this episode, Dean just didn't get it and didn't think that the negatives of an animal being around were worth the bother. He was even short with Sam about it once or twice, especially in "Dark Side of the Moon" when Sam was all excited to see Bones again and Dean pretty much crapped all over that memory for him. And a small part of his venom with "and Sam hit a dog" for me was that not understanding. (The other part was Dean's hurt and anger, but it is interesting that he often focused on the dog part of the equation.)

I'm not saying that Dean's fear of hellhounds should be trivialized, and I'm sure it's there for Dean. I just don't think that it was the main reason for Dean's "no dogs in the car" rule. I also imagine in my headcanon that hellhounds don't look so much like regular dogs that there would be an automatic association via sight. I can imagine a howl or a menacing growl or something like that might trigger the bad memories though. Just my opinion on that.

1 hour ago, Demented Daisy said:

I think, for the first time, Dean was given an opportunity to have an emotional connection to an animal.  Any animal!  No way John allowed them to have pets as kids (which is why Bones is one of Sam's favorite memories).  

I think the connection to Colonel changed Dean for the better...

I agree. I think Dean might have finally understood that animals can be something to have a connection to and maybe understood Sam's attraction to them a bit more after this episode. Or at least enough to decide that the annoyances about them are worth putting up with - at least enough to casually let a dog into the car, anyway.

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The one I've been hoping for every time we got to a random dog episode. The greatest of the random dog episodes. That's a category for this series. Dean pulled a pistol on a pigeon. And Sam's awkward wave to the people in the parking lot is just adorable. Dean checks out a poodle. The Yorkie wants Sam to give him the belly rub. Which is fair, he's more experienced in belly rubs. Just ask Portia. They should've just said they were closing the restaurant because they found mice. Not even a lie. Angel takes way too long to kick in when Sam gets his throat slashed. And where was he when Sam got knocked unconscious immediately after? Steve Valentine's been on basically everything and I always enjoy his work. Aw, Dean had a pack. I really am curious about the dogs' master plan. If they mine that for a future plot line, I wouldn't hate it. Come on, Sammy, figure out something's up! You're supposed to be the brainy one!

Edited by bettername2come
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This was a fun episode mostly though I was squicked out by eating the cat.  But Dean having the dog attributes was great.  And of course the spell ends just before we hear what dogs are really for humans.

Sam really must be wondering what's up and Dean has got to come clean soon.  

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I enjoyed this one a lot more this time around. I feel the need to give credit where credit is due. In most cases I am not a fan of Jensen’s comedy acting, as I often find it too broad and rather amateurish. However, it worked for me this week! The initial scene with Dean playing fetch and barking at the post man was perfect and earned a chuckle from me. The argument with the pigeon was another fun scene so kudos to Jensen for that! 

 

Although, the episode does have its faults. I agree with @catrox14 that while Jensen does a good job with the material given the material itself is flawed. There is no reference to Dean’s dislike and intense fear of dogs. The worst thing is the previously clips even include a ghost fever induced Dean running from the Yorkie showing that someone in production hasn’t forgotten what Nicole Snyder and Eric Charmelo seem to have forgotten. It’s always unfortunate when a characters psyche is dismissed for the sake of a few, albeit well acted, cheap laughs.

 

Another issue with this episode is the fact Ezekiel allowed Sam to remember the chef questioning his humanity. We know he is capable of altering memories, and presumably wiped Sam’s memory of having his throat slashed since he doesn’t mention it again, so why did he allow Sam to remember something that would begin to rouse his suspicions? 

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this was so funny! idk how he did it, but jensen really perfected looking like a sad puppy, i almost broke out an "awww". and his leaning out the window was just too hilarious. oh yeah, and him hauling out his gun at the pigeon. PLEASE. 

5 eps in and the holes in sam is already showing. i don't see why dean can't tell him now. sam wouldn't leave dean like that and reject the angel to die.

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I think this may be the weirdest episode yet. I do think it was funny, especially because JA sold it hard. I thought it was a little inconsistent with past episodes for reasons ready identified here, and O would like to formally put the writers om notice that they have lost the privilege of making jokes about men wanting to sleep with dogs after last season, but overall I did think it was fairly enjoyable. I, personally, enjoyed the Oz story more if we are comparing them, but it wasn't bad and I liked the concept driving it.

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