Supernatural: Dog Dean Afternoon
November 6, 2021 5:25 AM - Season 9, Episode 5 - Subscribe

When the only witness to a couple of mysterious murders is a dog, Dean performs a risky spell to help him communicate with canines.


Dean: Wait a minute. Can I hear all animals?
Colonel the Dog: Yep. Animals have a universal language -- like Esperanto. But this one actually caught on.

Pigeon: And I'm just getting started, too. Brewing a real big one. Ha. Bet your ride's gonna look sweet in white.
Sam: What's he saying?
Dean: You -- he's being a douchebag!
Pigeon: Who are you calling "douchebag", douchebag?
Dean: Oh, shut it, you winged rat!
Sam: [notices people staring] Dude...
Dean: What?
Sam: Hey. Just calm down. Just get in the car.
Pigeon: Ha ha. That's right, Sally. Go cry to Mama.
Dean: [pulls out his gun] Oh, that's it, you son of a bitch!

Colonel the Dog: By the way, as an honorary dog, there's something you should know. Dogs aren't really man's best friend.
Dean: What are you talkin' about?
Colonel the Dog: I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory... but the real reason we were put here was to -- [starts barking]
Dean: Put here to do what?
Colonel: [barks again]
Dean: Oh, you gotta be kiddin' me. *Now* the spell wears off?

Dean: You really think the power you hold over other people's lives can make up for what you lack in your own?

Dean: Always knew I'd find the source of all evil at a vegan bakery.
Sam: What's that smell?
Dean: Patchouli. Yeah, mixed with depression from meat deprivation.

Dean: How long am I gonna have the urge to...
Colonel the Dog: Sniff butts?
Dean: Oh, whoa. Hey. I don't have the urge to sniff butts.
Colonel the Dog: Yet.

Sam: I think it's probably best to just leave the Colonel in the car.
Dean: Excuse me?
Sam: Well, all the windows are open.
Dean: You think we like that?
Sam: "We"?
Dean: You think because the windows are open that that's some sort of a treat, huh? No, the dog's coming in.
Colonel the Dog: Respect.

Sam: I read this book once about this guy who tried to teach his dog to speak after it witnessed a murder.
Dean: It worked?
Sam: No.
Dean: But he still wrote a book about it?

Yorkie: I saw everything! And I'll tell you, but it'll cost you.
Dean: What? Are you kidding me? [to Sam] I'm being extorted by a dog. [to the Yorkie] Well, what do you want, huh? What? Beggin' strips? Snausages?
Yorkie: If I'm gonna rat someone out, it's got to be worth my while. I want... a belly rub.

Sam: Do we even know how to kill this guy?
Dean: [looking at his gun] Well, empty one of these in his head. See what that does.

Collie: Damn cataracts. And you know no one's going to pay for my surgery. Just another casualty of the system, I guess. I don't belong here, you know. I'm pedigreed.

Sam: I think the spell worked. Fact, I think it worked a little too well.
Dean: What?
Sam: I think... you might be a dog.
Dean: [Scratching behind his ear] What?
Sam: You're scratching your head. You're... barking at the mailman. You're playing fetch.
Dean: Ruh roh.


While interviewing the dogs at animal control, several of the dogs make reference to famous prison movies, including The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption.

It has been established in previous episodes that Dean is allergic to cats, and does not particularly like dogs (especially in the episode "Man's Best Friend with Benefits" (ep. 8.15)). Ironically, in this episode he starts feeling like a dog, empathizes with them, and stands up for their rights.

The rock aliases for this episode are Michaels and Deville. Bret Michaels and C.C. DeVille were in the band Poison. This could also allude to the fact that the brothers were meant to be vessels for Michael, the archangel, and the devil, Lucifer, in earlier seasons.

In the taxidermy shop there is a mounted bald eagle. Stuffing a bald eagle is illegal in all 50 states.

When Sam says the restaurant is in violation of penal code 8.14, he is referring to the laws regarding domesticated dogs and other animals.

Sam tells Dean about a book in which a dog witnesses a woman's death, and the widower tries to teach the dog to speak, to tell him what happened. Sam is likely referring to Carolyn Parkhurst's 2003 best-seller, The Dogs of Babel.

The episode's title comes from the 1975 Al Pacino film Dog Day Afternoon.

Jensen Ackles was also in the Dark Angel episode "Dawg Day Afternoon" (ep. 2.18).

In the opening scene a taxidermist has small animals dressed up like characters from Game of Thrones. In the late 1800s a taxidermist named Walter Potter set up stuffed baby animals in anthropomorphic tableaux. These oddly popular dioramas included baby bunnies in school, kittens getting married, squirrels playing cards, and robins at a funeral.

Dean says "ruh roh" when he and Sam figure out that Dean's a dog. He is quoting the 1970's TV cartoon character Scooby-Doo. Supernatural did a "crossover episode" with "Scooby-Doo" ("ScoobyNatural", (ep. 13.16)) in 2018, and the actor Al Rodrigo, who voices Colonel, also played Ezekiel Gallows in the 2009 live-action TV movie Scooby-Doo! the Mystery Begins.

Enid, Oklahoma is very flat, not mountainous as it is in the background behind the Diamond Times Motor Inn right at the first of the series.

Sam says Enid, OK is a couple of hours away from the bunker but actually it is about 5 hours away from Lebanon, KS.

If the spell only extends the animal powers to the user, Chef Leo's clothing should not have changed patterns when he was camouflaged into the wall before attacking Sam. There would have been a "floating" chef uniform that Sam surely would have spotted.
posted by orange swan (11 comments total)
This episode gave me such a fit of the giggles the first time, and it's still fun on a second watch. Dean's bitch fight with a pigeon, his leering at a French poodle, the aggression towards the mailman... it's all hilarious.

I'm glad they went with Dean doing the animal communication spell rather than Sam, as Jensen Ackles has the comedic chops for this sort of thing while Jared Padalecki doesn't.

And Sam gets pimped out for a tummy rub.
posted by orange swan at 5:27 AM on November 6, 2021

The rock aliases for this episode are Michaels and Deville. Bret Michaels and C.C. DeVille were in the band Poison. This could also allude to the fact that the brothers were meant to be vessels for Michael, the archangel, and the devil, Lucifer, in earlier seasons.

This is an absolutely delightful coincidence and I have zero doubt that it sparked a serious chuckle when one of the writers noticed it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:40 AM on November 6, 2021

I'm not a vegan cook, at all, but if I had to bake something for a vegan, the easiest-to-adapt thing I make is fruit pie. If I leave out the pats of butter I put in the fruit mixture (just to add a bit of richness and smoothness) and don't brush the dough with milk (which I usually forget to do anyway), the pie is vegan.

The reason I'm saying this is that we know Dean's dessert obsession is pie, and while I can understand him being suspicious of a vegan bakery, I'm sure he would find the pies more than acceptable, especially given that he regularly eats mass-manufacturerd and plastic-wrapped pies from gass stations. [shudder]

I think it was orange swan (and if it wasn't apologies to the actual MeFite) who posted an observation that whenever Sam starts to feel settled, he gets a Dean-replacement dog. Now that Sam is feeling settled (I won't say "home" after the previous episode, although, let's face it, it is becoming a home to him) in the bunker, somehow he winds up with a dog-replacement Dean, which I take as more evidence the original observation and conclusion were absolutely correct.
posted by sardonyx at 8:19 AM on November 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

There's a vegan bakery here that does really really good cupcakes, but their cookie dough is my favorite thing in my fridge. (The cookies if you bake them are good too, but...why wait.)

A chef who goes around eating animals to absorb their properties (or something, okay “owl wisdom powers”) and then starts killing people is actually a perfectly fine little horror premise, but the Dr. Doolittle stuff doesn’t land for me at all. I think it’s partly the writing and partly that they went so cartoony on the animal voice actors.

Do you think the belly rub dog got overwhelmed over multiple takes and they had to swap them in and out and there was just like, a locker room of backup dogs waiting for their belly rub from Jared Padalecki, for that day possibly the luckiest man on earth?

The more I think about this season as Sam experiences it, the more it sounds like the beginning of a horror movie. Losing time here and there, then little things don't add up, then occasionally a conversation will stop making sense in the middle, then Dean's calling for people he’s never heard of, then bigger things don't add up and he's waking up covered in blood he can’t explain. Sam is a smart guy but I think he means it when he says he's trying to enjoy just being happy (which is an improvement over four episodes ago when he actively wanted to die.) But Dean is very aware that Sam will eventually start asking questions he can't bullshit answers to and it would be very good if Ezekiel is on the other side of the planet when that happens.
posted by jameaterblues at 9:18 AM on November 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

Ackles definitely has better comedic chops than Padalecki.

I think he means it when he says he's trying to enjoy just being happy

This is certainly a thing with depression, when meds start kicking in (or whatever, organically recovering); feeling normal/ happy can bring about a sense guilt or "copping out" after a prolonged period of depression. Many people have a hard time accepting not being depressed anymore. Similarly when recovering from PTSD. Same goes for people under a long period adversity when the adverse situation becomes resolved.

The vegan bakery was actually a really cool bakery in Kits at the time. iirc, the space got taken over by a bar for a while? The entire block has since been redeveloped.

Dean: "Inuit spell?"
Sam: "Yeah. Who knew the Men of Letters had its own Eskimo section."

That tracks. For a show made in Canada. Sam being an American Americans, despite probably a Lib Arts pre-law education. Who wants to bet that the original script didn't have "Inuit" in it? I find it interesting that Inuit don't associate themselves with First Nations. Genetically, it bears out, in addition to their histories and culture.
posted by porpoise at 6:41 PM on November 6, 2021

I laughed so hard at the depiction of Enid. I mean, it was utterly ridiculous. Would it have taken them any longer to make a still that showed a flat, grassy terrain? I don't think so. They just didn't care about American geography.
posted by Quonab at 8:02 PM on November 6, 2021

I laughed so hard at the depiction of Enid.

Where half the animals talk like Tony Soprano. You know, Oklahoma!
posted by jameaterblues at 8:45 PM on November 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

Okay, this is the last episode I've seen. From here on in, I doubt I'll be participating--or at least I'll be participating a lot less. I will, however, still come back and read the threads as I watch, just to get everybody's take on what I've seen.

When I started watching this show, I never expected to find a community here doing the same. This has been a really nice bonus. Thanks to orange swan for taking the lead and posting such comprehensive recaps, and for keeping up a relentless posting pace. Also, thanks to everybody who has contributed. You've made the watching experience so much richer and more enjoyable.
posted by sardonyx at 10:11 PM on November 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

I think it was orange swan (and if it wasn't apologies to the actual MeFite) who posted an observation that whenever Sam starts to feel settled, he gets a Dean-replacement dog.

Yes, that was my comment. And your comment that in this episode Sam gets a dog-replacement Dean is hilarious. Hey, if Dean won't let him have a dog, Sam needs to scratch that itch somehow!

Jared Padalecki seems to be quite the dog lover in real life, and Jensen Ackles evidently likes them too. The Padaleckis have three dogs, and the Ackles have two.
posted by orange swan at 4:58 AM on November 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

Regarding the "keeping up with the pace of posts" thing, I think no one need feel obligated to do that. I know it's more fun if you can participate in an active conversation as it happens, but reading other people's comments and leaving one of your own at the end is pretty good too. I've found that when I do that, people who have contributed to the original conversation often see my comment and pop back into the thread to respond to it.

This is my second run through the series. My first watch, which began in September 2020, was a popcorn watch. I basically zipped through the series as quickly as I could, which was in about six months. I didn't do any supplementary activities such as reading up on it online or talking about it to anyone. Even though I thought I'd start reading/contributing to the existing Supernatural FanFare threads once I got to episode 9.21, I didn't. I found I was too impatient to take the time to do that; I just wanted to watch the show. And then once I was done, I was left wanting more.

My rewatch has been a completely different experience. It's been a slower, more meditative watch and a deep dive into the show, because I've been taking the time to do google research and learn a lot about the nuts and bolts of each episode and about the actors themselves, and to discuss it all with you people. I am pretty sure once I'm done this second run through the show, I'll have reached satiation point with it and will never watch it again, but even though this second watch has been a huge time-hogging indulgence I shouldn't have allowed myself given how I struggle to get anything done in life due to my chronic fatigue issues, it's still an experience I would have hated to miss and one that I am not at all willing to give up.

I'll also just say that the process of writing Supernatural posts has taught me a lot about how to write a post for FanFare. From now on I'll be using the format I've devised for my Supernatural posts for all my FanFare posts. Including quotes and trivia gives people something to chew on and informs the resulting discussion.
posted by orange swan at 6:18 AM on November 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Jensen Ackles is a really good actor, and he happily threw himself 100% into whatever the writers wanted him to do. This episode is one of the ones I point to when I'm making that point. I like to imagine the writers figuring this out about him and sitting around cackling and rubbing their hands together as they try to come up with ideas.

My 14yo is really into Supernatural. He got into a fight with his friends about whether Ackles or Padalecki was sexier, and came to me for support. I said that of course it's Ackles, because he has that uncannily appealing mix of bad-boy and prettiness. My 14yo agreed with me.
posted by Orlop at 9:52 PM on November 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

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