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"Dog Dean Afternoon" was a light-hearted, funny episode that was a thrill to watch again! Jared and Jensen had to think they were losing their minds when they read the script. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall the first time they discussed it with each other! Can you imagine their faces??

So what did the writers at The Winchester Family Business think of the episode the second time around?


Nightsky

Overall

I was a bit skeptical when I initially heard the teaser for “Dog Dean Afternoon” back in November. The premise could have gone very wrong very quickly, yet Jared and Jensen pulled it off brilliantly. “Dog Dean Afternoon” is a simple, monster-of-the-week comedy that I believe will be a classic in a long line of good comedic episodes. There weren’t many hidden layers in the dialog (although there were some, which are mentioned below), and except for a few lines at the beginning and at the end, it didn’t advance the season’s heavy arcs very much. There were also at least two scenes that were really too gruesome to watch (cat for dinner and a heart for a snack). Still, this instantly became one of my go-to episodes when I need a little cheer. (Yeah, warped. I know.)

Random Thoughts

All the best comedic moments from so many years put together in “Then”!

9.05 Bros 0427
Sam and Dean moved exactly the same way at the same time when the animal rights couple took off their sunglasses. I have to wonder if that was planned or if J2 were unconsciously moving in sync again. They have often been caught mirroring each other’s body language at conventions.

Sam’s reactions were just as funny as Jensen’s dog imitations! These two actors were hilarious in this episode! They have had several other classic comedic scenes (the Metatron/Megatron bit in “Reading is Fundamental” and the cat jumping out of the locker are two of my favorites), but this was the longest sustained comedy bit that I can remember. The fetch gag, the Styx line, followed by barking at the mailman, then the pigeon and Dean hanging out the window…they really sold it no matter how foolish they may have felt doing it.

Only Supernatural could have a cat eating scene followed by a dog comedy scene.

That wallpaper has to make my next edition of “Top-15 Wallpapers”! Then to have it come to life!! Jerry Wanek must be proud of his work in this episode!

I wonder if the fact that Steve Valentine (Chef Leo) has an accent (Scottish) influenced his selection for this guest spot. The whole episode focused on voices. There were 13 different dog voices plus 3 mice voices. A large part of the complexity of this episode was the audio component. When the chef first spoke, I was struck that his was yet another audio nuance. I know that Jared (and maybe Jensen?) commented that they were unhappy with the choices for the dubbed voices, yet I found them interesting. Who says that animals actually sound as we imagine them?

I finally placed the Collie’s voice!! It reminded me so much of Leslie Jordan, who played Beverly Leslie on Will and Grace! (Thanks to Carrielle - @SingingValkarie for solving that mystery for me!)

“You eat enough predators, you become one”. Back in November I thought that was an obvious reflection on both Sam and Dean. I’d have to go back and reread “Threads” for this episode to recall precisely how I thought it would unfold, but it reminded me of Sam’s demon blood addiction almost turning him into a demon and Dean’s killing spree in Purgatory. Now it seems it foreshadowed the Mark of Cain.

 “For the love of God, Sammy.”  That sounded very odd coming from Dean. People say it all the time, but I don’t ever remember hearing Dean invoke God in a panicked outcry. It really took me out of the moment because it struck me so strongly.

“…Possessed by something he couldn’t control. It was a matter of time until it completely took over.” This was yet another example of where we had previously thought the writers were foreshadowing Gadreel’s intentions, yet now we know the statement also foreshadowed Dean’s Mark of Cain addiction.

…and again for the second or maybe even third week in a row, I was really struck how much Dean had changed by the end of the season, and how cold Sam and Dean had become to each other. Seeing them pre-blowup was so refreshing. They smiled, joked and talked to each other. An amazing testament to Jensen’s acting in the second half of the year (I slowly lost track of the original/real Dean because Dean’s metamorphosis was so subtle yet continuous each week. MoC!Dean was drastically different by the end of the year, yet the contrast wasn’t obvious until compared to the first half of the year.)

On a side note, the entire time I was live tweeting this episode, tweets about cats kept appearing on my Twitter timeline! I even replied back to Kim Rhodes who posted a picture of her cat, almost exactly after the cat eating scene in the episode (she saw the WFB tweet and favorited it!). There were pictures of cats in a Japanese town and cats as pets. Then during commercials, my local news station twice previewed that their “human interest” story was about cats. It was all supernaturally creepy.

Bookdal & Pragmatic Dreamer (as reported by Nightsky)

(These two writers tweeted these observations both during the live tweet session and later in a conversation with me Wednesday morning. I thought their thoughts were so interesting, I wanted to share them with you.)

Bookdal: This episode perfectly foreshadows “Blade Runners”. That final scene was a mirror to the Cuthbert scene except instead of Sam being possessed, Dean was. Also there was the issue of immortality. Actually the villain mirrors Dean, living at any price. In Blade Runners, Cuthbert is in the same situation – living forever in an insulated environment, but instead of eating his victims, he keeps them in a zoo.

Pragmatic Dreamer: Dean’s comment about becoming a "dog" after drinking the potion and doing the Inuit spell - “Oh, well, that would have been nice to know before I downed it! What kind of side effects?” Dean, this was nice foreshadowing about not knowing the consequences before your accept the Mark of Cain.

Gerry Weaver

Rewatch takeaway: “Dog Dean Afternoon” may not have nailed the dog voices, but Jensen Ackles nailed a dog personality. Nailed. I still love, love, love Dean playing fetch and barking at the mail man. And fighting with pigeons. That sequence is hilarious.

And Jared Padalecki holding a blissed out Yorkie in his huge hands, with a perfect put upon expression – Jared doesn’t get enough props for his comedy chops. Jared and Jensen play off each other so perfectly, whether comedy or drama.

This episode is a nice mix of comedy and very sad foreshadowing. The chef asking Sam what on earth he is hits the centre of Sam’s insecurities, which is especially sad given how good Sam has been feeling. That moment will be picked up again in “Rock and a Hard Place.”

Dean gets several resonant moments. We see the boys feeling comfortable with each other, and Dean mothering Sam, fussbudgeting—and Sam is exasperated, but accepting. It’s a call back to the way they grew up—except this time Dean is skirting around what is really wrong. He’s lying to protect Sam, but he’s damaging his own identity as well as Sam’s autonomy. There’s no way this ends well.

The chef tells Dean, “If you eat enough predators, you start to become one.” Dean’s chased a lot of demons . . .

And Dean hears the irony in his words when he says to Sam that the chef was possessed by something he couldn’t control. What he doesn’t realize is the words will apply even more to himself than to his possessed brother.  The lines were more layered than I realized the first time through.

I think the episode’s theme is summed up in the scene in which Dean desperately tells Sam, “Don’t make me lick your damn face!” Because Dean will, if he has to, which is both funny and sad at the same time.

Nate Winchester

Overall

I will not argue Jensen’s comedy chops at all, but when was the last time we got to see Jared stretch his humor legs?  Even "Bad Day at Blackrock" had Jensen running with material here and there.  This is another one of those missed opportunities.  For instance, there is lore (in our world at least, conceptually that would apply in Supernatural too) that angels can converse with animals.  So what if “Zeke” being in Sam gave Sam these abilities?  You’d either have a “3s Company” thing where Sam & Zeke keep switching places through the episode; or they would have needed to have Sam aware of the angel and let story possibilities flow from there.  There are some neat ideas in this episode (like what if there wasn’t an alpha werewolf, but rather just a shaman like this guy that had a ritual go wrong? Or what if there are 2 breeds of werewolves - one of Eve’s line and one of Shaman line? etc.), but I think this is the mark of the beginning of the end for S9.  By this point there are all sorts of rich veins for a plethora of meaty stories and plots yet we never see any of them tapped except in the most shallow manner.  Still, this episode was nonetheless an enjoyable outing.

Random Thoughts

When the recap after a serious segment has to do a recap of all the humorous episodes, it's like "remember we can be funny!"

I still can't decide whether them not addressing the haunting deer head was best, or a brilliant missed meta.

I think the real villain is that cowboy hat.

Another missed opportunity? A story about a Supernatural hunter who stuffs & mounts his kills.

It seems weird for Dean to be so grossed out in this scene given their work. I mean how many decapitations has he done?

I'm impressed Sam ruled out Hex bag. It looks like it would take DAYS to look in all the places you could stash one in there.

Hippies arguing for monster rights against hunters would also be a humorous episode.

Seems weird the villain buys off the animal shelter attendant but didn't bother paying the taxidermist. I mean you probably could have gotten the entrails really cheap.

GOOD comedy episodes can be hardest to comment on.  I mean what do you say? "hahahahaha"?

So how come the Shaman eating the wolf heart is NOT a werewolf now?

Another better Supernatural spinoff: A hunter mind-bonds with a dog (like Dean this episode) & the 2 hunt together.

***

So, other than a few grumbles, a fairly positive reaction from all five of us! There was foreshadowing, but this was so early in the season, it is uncertain if the writers wrote these lines intentionally or whether they were lucky by generally writing to the possession and evil-begets-evil themes.

What do you think of “Dog Dean Afternoon”??

Comments  

Sylvie
# Sylvie 2014-06-25 14:51
I'm so glad everybody liked this episode! I'm rewatching them all on my DVR before erasing them and this episode and the Wizard of Oz episode, I cannot bring myself to erase either one, there too funny! :D I can't wait for the gag reel on this one. Jensen & Jared have great comedic chops and I'm afraid we might not get too many funnies next season. :(
Gerry
# Gerry 2014-06-25 16:17
Hah, I hope there are some gag reel gems! They may be few and far between, though, because according to both the boys and S.E. Hinton, the lead dog was not well trained and almost drove Jensen batty, because the dog didn't do what it was supposed to. A trainer issue, not a dog issue. On the flip side, according to Hinton, the cats were on point! Different trainer.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2014-06-27 07:23
Score one for the cats! :D
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2014-06-25 15:49
This was a funny episode, and Jensen really did a fantastic job but I agree with Nate. So many ways they could have given Jared a chance to show his funny side too. And watching it, all I could think was how in the old days, Sam wouldn't have let so much opportunity to tease his brother go by . Seriously, so much material to rag on Dean with and we got nothing.

Supernatural , "The Land of Missed Opportunities".
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 16:03
Yay another one of my favorites this season. Jensen was hilarious, Jared and the GOT rodent (?), the belly rub and even some angst. It was a fun episode with a little foreshadowing.
Vince
# Vince 2014-06-25 16:11
Flat out, if you didn't like this episode, you are suspect in my mind. I don't know how anyone that has watched Supernatural for any length of time could really hate this episode. Though there is a certain segment of fandom that shall not be named that apparently detests this episode, and they are just crazy.
Nate Winchester
# Nate Winchester 2014-06-25 16:13
What? I don't believe you. I mean I'm the resident curmudgeon and even I thought this was - for the most part - enjoyable. :)
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2014-06-25 16:21
I know seriously. When Dean pulled his gun on the pigeon, my husband laughed out loud.
Vince
# Vince 2014-06-25 16:48
The majority of the negative reactions I've seen for this episode have come from people that ship Destiel, I don't know that is, but that is what I've seen. I guess they pissed off about the poodle bit, because of some weird false equivalency and the gay Yorkie, someone even called Eric Charmelo a homophobe for the Yorkie, and he's gay. So, a really weird reaction from this episode I have to say.

And if I remember right, Ben Edlund said the episode was one of the most cracked out things he saw. So I mean, if it gets the Edlund seal of approval, you know it's good.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2014-06-25 17:25
I am actually a dog owner and believe me it only ups the laughs you get from the episode. My hubby and I laughed out loud to everything that the episode had. (He haven't seen any other episode on season 9) They made Dean act like a dog well, need I say perfectly. Just like a dog would act and think. Did I already mention it was hilarious? The fetching of the ball and barking at the mailman... Oh boy I want to see the gag reel so much.

Anyway, like others have said on second watch there is even these kinds of episodes the foreshadowing of the main story even if it doesn't tackle you and hit you right on your face but they are there. But this episode was meant to give some laughs and in my household it was a success.

Pssst, and I still think my dog is plotting to take over the world... I just know it. :D

- Lilah
Gwen
# Gwen 2014-06-25 18:15
I actually re-watched this episode this morning as I needed something entertaining to watch as I struggled through an Alpine sized heap of ironing. I absolutely love this episode. I'm not a fan of S9 and I have no real desire to re-watch many of the episodes but this is one I could watch over and over again. So many funny moments, some panicked big brother Dean, some Sam angst. Fabulous episode.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-06-25 21:42
loved it....that is all. :D
Rene4
# Rene4 2014-06-26 02:56
This was a fun episode some nice laugh out loud scenes. I had forgotten how light the first half of season 9 was and how well the boys worked together.
As far as a hunter mind-melding with a dog and them hunting together-watch A Boy and His Dog movie with Don Johnson.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-06-26 07:44
I enjoyed this one a lot more upon rewatch, especially in light of how dark and bleak the second half of the season was.
novi
# novi 2014-06-27 03:57
Funny how DogDean reacts to Sam's calls - though Sam doesn't use commanding tone, just says, "Dean" with a hint of reproach, Dean obeys immediately. Sams calls, Dean runs. He would make an exemplary dog. And if somebody has to defend monsters' rights, now we have a newly made monster with makings of a leader to take the responsibility. On a side note, it's impossible to eat a cat like this - the chef would have his face all scratched, so with all my love to cats I didn't feel upset at all. Cats are no rabbits.
mary9930
# mary9930 2014-06-29 08:35
I agree that this could have been ridiculously over the top but all the parties involved really pulled it off. Then when they touched on possession, not finding out the side effect/repercus sions beforehand, and immortality ...... Let's just say it shows the quality of this show that you can get more out of the episodes with each viewing of them.
debbab
# debbab 2014-06-29 14:21
The season is always worth a re=watch when you know that indeed hints were layered into the scripts even into the comedic ones. Agree with the substance of the article. I don't recall anyone commenting on the vegan bakers' line about hunters. if I missed it in your article, oops but i am putting it out there. Yet another hint. The writers kept us so occupied with Sam's possession that we couldn't see the foreshadowing for Dean's metamorphosis which grew once he took on the MoC. It was funnier the second time around and yet so much sadder because i knew what was coming. Jared's expression during the belly rub- priceless. Jensen was a dog and I mean that in the best possible way. The addition of the horror just kept it in the genre so cleverly. Not as funny as changing Channels or Mystery Spot which were oh so impacting on the story lines. In some ways DDA was funnier than French Mistake. FM the conceit was the joke. I barked right along with DDA and considering how Dean feels about dogs in the Impala- well that was a sacrifice.