EPISODE REVIEW: Supernatural S13 Ep16 “Scoobynatural” Ruh-Roh!

Sam, Dean, and Castiel get sucked into the cartoon world of Scooby Doo and become embroiled in a classic mystery. But this animated mystery doesn’t exactly go the way Dean remembers it.

Supernatural – “Scoobynatural”, Season 13, Episode 16
Airdate: March 29, 2018
Director: Robert Singer
Writers: James Krieg and Jeremy Adams
Created by: Eric Kripke

What You Should Know:
Brothers Dean and Sam Winchester have spent their lives hunting the supernatural. Sometimes, it gets weird.

What You’ll Find Out:
Dean falls to the ground as a bright green, human-sized, stuffed T-Rex with glowing purple eyes presses its attack. Sam leaps on the plushie, tackling it to the ground, as Dean rolls back to his feet and extracts a bottle of holy oil. Sam holds the volatile stuffed animal down as Dean douses it and sets it afire, moving back moments before the flame engulfs the green dinosaur completely. Then the dino explodes. Burnt clumps of green and once-white fluff scatter everywhere.

The owner of the pawn shop, Allan, pops up from behind the counter, where he’d been hiding, and asks if the fight’s over. Sam assures him it is right before the store door jingles, indicating a new arrival. A smaller man comes in, calling for Allan, saying he’d heard a commotion and was checking to see if everything was okay. Allan greets him, addressing him as Jay, attempting to intercept Jay before he can get too close to the mess of what once was the plush dino. Jay sees the mess and the Winchesters, automatically assuming them to be responsible, which Allan quickly denies. Sam awkwardly explains that sometimes the batteries in such products “just … explode.” To which Dean jokingly adds “never buy anything from Moose-lvania,” earning a pointed look from Sam. Allan offers a proper introduction, explaining that Jay owns half the businesses in their community, before the brothers step back to talk privately.

They’d come into town looking for something other than a giant stuffed dinosaur. While it’s obvious the stuffy was a cursed object, its presence raises questions. Although Dean and Sam agree killing ‘Barney’ was incredibly satisfying, Sam insists they look into the case further. Jay intrudes on their conversation under the pretext of checking on them, and after a moment of awkward stares, the boys offer to take their leave. Allan stops them, declaring that in return for saving his life, they can have anything they want from the store. Sam begins to turn down the offer but Dean stops him in favor of selecting a giant flat-screen television, much to Sam’s disapproval. Jay holds the door open for the brothers as they carry it outside, Dean telling Sam to be gentle with the TV as “she’s delicate!”

A short while later Dean finds Sam again bent over a book, trying to find information on a cursed object that actively attacks people – and failing. Dean brushes him off by instructing him to “be like Elsa – let it go.” Sam looks at him with a horrified expression and Dean drags him away, claiming he has something important to show him. Dean takes him to another room in the bunker and flicks on a light, revealing his brand new “Dean Cave.” Or “Fortress of Deanitude.” He hasn’t fully decided on the name. But it’s ready to go with a foosball table, an all-vinyl jukebox, a work-in-progress bar (which he wholly intends to later equipped with a “kegorator”), two La-Z-Boy recliners, and his recently-acquired, massive television. Before he can turn on the television Sam stops him to demand to know when he could possibly have set it all up, so Dean casually explains that one makes time for the important things in life, before clicking the remote. The screen lights up with a swirling, flickering purple glow, giving the brothers pause, before the light shoots out of the television and pulls them inside.

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Sam and Dean reappear, animated, in an equally-animated world, on the edge of a forest. They turn to look at each other as they attempt to figure out what happened, quickly realizing the other is a cartoon, before then realizing they themselves are a cartoon. Sam declares he must be dreaming so Dean slaps him across the face, leaving Sam’s face briefly askew and a deep hand-shaped imprint on his cheek. Confirming it is not a dream and they are, somehow, in a cartoon. Next, come the theories. Angels are a possibility. Dean even suggests the Trickster. Sam reminds him the Trickster, Gabriel, is dead, and Dean pointedly replies “or is he?” But both deflate, acknowledging that they really have no clue what is going on or how the hell they could have ended up in a cartoon. Dean turns his gaze forward again and finds yet another piece of impossible: the Impala is parked just feet away. Once again Sam is flabbergasted, the lack of any plausible explanation obviously getting to him. Dean takes a breath and decides that while this latest situation is “beyond weird,” that’s basically their life. They’ve landed in another case, so the only real thing to do is to do the job.

They drive out of the forest and eventually find a Malt Shop, which Sam finds ridiculous, but Dean parks anyway. Mid-way through pointing out to Sam that it’s a good idea to head inside to get the lay-of-the-land he spots the vehicle he’s parked next to: the infamous Mystery Machine. Just like that, the brothers know they’re not just in some random cartoon. They’ve landed in Scooby Doo.

The brothers head inside and immediately spot the Scooby Gang dancing beside the jukebox, while Scooby himself sucks down a milkshake at their table. Sam is fairly horrified at being stuck in a cartoon with a talking dog, but Dean reminds him Scooby is the talking dog and leads the way into the shop, calling “dibs on Daphne.” The Scooby Gang moves from the dance floor to join Scooby at the table while Dean and Sam take their time walking through the shop. Dean admits he feels like he’s kind of living out a dream, because Scooby Doo was one of the very few constants of his childhood, and became almost like his childhood friend. Wherever they were when they traveled, Scooby Doo was on TV, always there. The Scooby Gang are practically their role models, minus Fred, whom Dean expressly dislikes since they do nearly the same things. Sam points out how their ghosts are actual ghosts and they don’t travel with a talking dog, which Dean brushes off with a joke about Castiel before straightening his jacket and making his way to their table.

Dean introduces himself and Sam, immediately flirting with Daphne before the brothers join the group at the table. With Sam stuck sitting beside the talking dog. When asked what they’re celebrating, Velma explains they’ve just learned Scooby was announced as an inheritor of a recently-deceased man’s fortune. Daphne adds that they met the man after Scooby saved him from drowning in a fish pond. Sam points out that the man’s dead now and the mood dampens awkwardly as Fred explains it was cancer, and Dean excuses himself and Sam briefly.

Dean tells Sam to pull the stick from his “nether region,” as if minding the fact he’s on a children’s cartoon, and “play along.” Sam shoves the paper Velma had given them into Dean’s face as he argues the difficulty of that, given that there are no words on the newspaper. Instead of responding to that point directly, Dean reminds Sam of the last time they were sucked into a television, and how they eventually realized that to escape they had to play out their roles. He’s assuming this is like that, and they should probably tag along with the Scooby Gang. And, as luck would have it, the Gang’s about to get another mystery.

On cue, Fred tells the group he thinks they’ve stumbled onto another mystery. Dean and Sam return, explaining they’re actually ‘mystery solvers, too’ and ask if they can go with. Once everyone’s in agreement Shaggy and Scooby quickly gather up most of the food on the table for a quick, massive sandwich. Seeing this, Dean jumps in for one of his own, pausing with the sandwich stacked in his mouth to excitedly call to his brother, “Sam! Sam! Look how big my mouth is!”

Back in the car, Dean pulls the Impala up beside the Mystery Machine and Fred suggests Dean follow them to the mansion. Dean tauntingly comments that Baby can’t go that slow and the two agree on a race. Sam, quietly, asks Dean why he hates Fred, and Dean offers standard jealous responses about how Fred thinks he’s so great with his ‘perfect hair’ and “that stupid ascot.” The men tap their gas pedals impatiently until the light changes and the Mystery Machine shoots off, leaving Dean (and Sam) choking on fumes. As the smoke clears Sam, stuttering in shock, can’t believe his brother just lost to a microvan. With an exclamation of pain, Dean tears off after the Mystery Machine moments before a man in shadow with a long coat walks up to where the Impala had just been.

Once they arrive at the mansion and Dean gets a good look at the building he grabs hold of Sam excitedly, realizing exactly what episode they’re in. “The Night of Fright is No Delight.” They continue inside, finding the Scooby Gang already gathered amongst a group of others, sitting before a suspicious-looking older man as the man sets up to explain the parameters for inheriting the money from the late Colonel Sanders. His directions were to play a vinyl record for the five inheritors. On the recording he greets his four relatives and Scooby, explaining they’re all going to receive equal shares of his fortune – providing they all spend a night in his haunted mansion. Any, who can’t stay the full night forfeits their share to the rest.

With the recording done the rest of the group moves to another room while Sam asks why someone would set something like this up in the first place. He reasons it can’t be legal. Velma interrupts their conversation, pointing out that ghosts aren’t real and the rest of the situation is fairly common. Sam begins to tell her it’s only common in a cartoon, but Dean slaps his hand over Sam’s mouth until Velma’s walked away again. Then Dean instructs Sam in no uncertain terms that they are not to going to taint the Scooby Gang’s pure, innocent nature by revealing to them they’re in a “c-word,” let alone telling them anything about the real world. Ignoring Dean’s command, Sam asks why they can’t just skip to the end if Dean’s so familiar with the episode. Dean offers a classic, clichéd, ‘it’s about the journey,’ line, and Sam deduces that his brother wants more time with Daphne.

Once everyone is gathered in the foyer, the lawyer declares he’ll be back in the morning to see who’s still there – “if any!” While he laughs evilly, Dean tells Sam that he turns out to be the bad guy. Sam fails to be surprised. After the lawyer leaves one of the relatives announces that it’s late enough, everyone ought to just turn in for the night. Seeing his chance, Dean moves up to Daphne and suggests she ‘bunk’ with him for the night, since it’s an old, drafty house. He even waggles his eyebrows so they do the cartoon eyebrow noise. Daphne waves him off, thinking him silly, as obviously girls sleep in separate rooms than boys, before turning and calling out to Velma. Leaving Dean stuck with Fred, who wastes no time guiding Dean up the stairs with the rest of the group.

The guys prepare for bed, Scooby shaking in fear, and Fred reassures him that they’ll all be there with him and there’s nothing to be afraid of. Fred then announces it’s time for light’s out as Dean steps out in his sleeping attire – a “sleeping robe.” Which he confesses to Sam is “freaking comfortable,” as it’s like being wrapped in a giant hug. Over in the girls’ room, Daphne finishes brushing her hair as she declares the new guys to be “kinda groovy.” Velma agrees Dean’s not so bad, but the “big lug” doesn’t impress her, what with seeming to believe in ghosts and all. As they prepare to climb into their shared bed Daphne pauses and claims she thought “big lugs” were Velma’s type.

A bit later, a cackling, ghostly figure floats down the hall, finding one of the relatives brushing his teeth before bed. The lights in the bathroom flicker out and the air grows cold around the relative as he wipes off his face and he startles, turning around in time to see the ghost raise a knife. With a flash of purple, the knife descends.

In the guys’ room, Scooby sleep-stretches at the foot of Shaggy and Fred’s shared bed while Sam lectures Dean for eating. Again. Dean tells Sam not to worry, informing him that in a minute or so the Gang’s going to discover Cousin Simple has gone missing and everyone’s going to think it’s a ghost when of course it isn’t. He’s barely done speaking when a horrified scream rips through the air, waking Shaggy and Fred, and Dean and Sam follow the pair in a rush out of the room. Daphne and Velma dash from their room as well, Daphne taking the lead as they race downstairs and burst into Simple’s room. Daphne cautiously approaches Cousin Simple in the bed, placing her hand on him over the blanket and pulling it back in shock. Dean shakes his head, as he realizes this is wrong. He recalls there being “dummy bodies,” but it’s too early in the episode for them. Sam’s kneeling beside Simple now and he declares the body not only to be real but really dead. He yanks off the blanket, revealing a pool of blood and a knife in Simple’s back. In shock, they go around the room with their classic expressions.

“Jinkies!”

“Jeepers!”

“Zoinks!”

“Ruh-roh!”

“Son of a bitch!”

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Regrouping around the body after changing into their regular clothes (or cartoon magic from commercial break), Fred breaks into a smile and declares they have another mystery to solve. The mood from the Scooby Gang instantly lightens as though it’s just another day on the job. Sam covers Simple’s body with a blanket as he says they should show a little respect over the fact that a man just died. Dean jumps on the bandwagon, moving next to Daphne to get her support and saying how Fred can be such a jerk sometimes. Daphne disagrees and follows Fred. Velma, leaving the room, is prattling on about how they should look for evidence – including fingerprints and fluids. Sam is taken aback by the idea of looking for fluids.

Dean grabs Sam’s jacket lapels after they’re alone in the room. This is not how the original episode went down. He insists he remembers everything about Scooby Doo and no one ever ended up in a pool of their own blood with a knife sticking out of their back. Worse, they realize, with the story changing this also means it’s possible to die in the cartoon. To which Dean declares he doesn’t care if he dies, he’s not letting anything happen to Scooby. “I’d take a bullet for that dog.”

Back in the main room, Velma insists there’s a logical explanation at work. Shaggy and Scooby are convinced it’s an evil ghost, and as they voice their fears the lights in the room flicker accordingly before going out. Daphne doesn’t see why a ghost would care about money and Velma agrees, deducing therefore that the ghost theory is impossible and all they have to do is reveal the ‘improbable,’ as that will be the truth. As she speaks, standing beside the large window, the lightning outside illuminates an ominous figure rapidly approaching. Seeing this, Dean and Sam rush to either side of the window, ready to tackle who- or what- ever comes through. The window opens and Fred is suddenly there, tackling them and wrapping them in a curtain. The figure stumbles and falls to the floor, so Dean and Sam run up, poised to fight. Sam removes the curtain as Dean holds his fist high and a warning threat in the air. But when the curtain falls they’re surprised to see the figure is actually Castiel.

The lights in the room come back on as Dean and Sam pull Cas to his feet and Shaggy, aghast, asks how they know him. Sam announces him as a friend of theirs in an awkward introduction. Shaggy decides ‘Castiel’ sounds like the name of an Italian food joint and shakes his hand. Scooby offers his paw with a “nice to meet you,” and Cas, after shaking the paw, looks between Sam and Dean and says, “this dog is talking.”

Scooby and Shaggy move away, so Sam and Dean take the opportunity to quietly ascertain how Cas even came to join them in the cartoon world in the first place. Cas explains he’d returned to the bunker, a satchel full of fruit from the tree of life, looking for them. In the flashback, he announces that the tree was guarded by a pack of djinn. He fought through most of them, and with some bargaining somehow ended up possibly married to their queen, all in the quest of gaining the fruit. He made his way to the Dean Cave, finding himself watching Sam and Dean – as cartoons – on the television. Cas continues his explanation, telling them he “saw purple sparks, a flash of light,” and then he’d arrived in the cartoon, same as Sam and Dean, but too late to catch them on the road. Sam catches on to the connection with the purple sparks immediately, reminding Dean about the eyes of the “killer stuffed dinosaur.” He starts to draw a connection to the pawn shop when Velma comes up, catching the words “killer stuffed dinosaur,” and somehow they end up telling her they’re writing about killer stuffed dinosaurs. Titled ‘Killer Stuffed Dinosaur in Love.’

The lights begin to flicker again and the temperature in the room drops, prompting Shaggy and Scooby to complain about the cold. Velma lights a candle as Sam and Dean click on their flashlights. The group makes their way down a hall cautiously and it isn’t long before the other relatives start shouting from their rooms. One of the partially-open doors slams shut after a suspicious splatter of blood. Sam reaches for the doorknob and his hand is caught – briefly – by the ghost before it exposes itself completely. Panicking, Scooby leaps into Shaggy’s arms. But, equally terrified, Shaggy takes himself and Scooby and jumps into Castiel’s arms. Dean and Sam brace themselves to engage the ghost when Fred comes barreling in, attempting to tackle it to the ground. Fred passes right through. The ghost reappears, swinging, and Sam ducks Fred out of the way as Dean dodges angry swipes of its claw-like fingers. Then Fred tries again and nearly runs face-first into the wall, the ghost again gone.

Castiel dumps Shaggy and Scooby on the ground as the lights slowly flicker back on. Velma suggests the ‘ghost’ disappeared through a trap door in the wall, which Fred checks and fails to find. Instead, he opens the nearest door, claiming that he thought the ghost had come from there, and they find another relative dead. This time in literal pieces, with his arms and torso, hung up to the ceiling, his waist and legs on the floor and his head on the ground, staring out at the doorway. Blood everywhere. Dean claps a hand over his mouth, horrified at the sight. Fred declares it “not good,” before he directs the rest of the Gang away to continue looking for clues. Sam stares after Fred and the others in horror at their lack of reaction to the sight of a gruesome death. Dean goes in for a closer look and deduces, based on the really dying characters, the cold spots, and the flickering lights, that this version of Scooby Doo is their kind of haunted.

Rejoining the Scooby Gang, Dean asks Fred what the plan is, and he says they think the best idea is to split up and search the house for clues. Sam and Dean quickly object, with Sam saying it’s not as safe if they split up, and Velma steps closer to comment on how she hadn’t expected such a broad-shouldered man to worry so much. Sam, Dean, and Cas quietly agree that the only way to keep the Gang safe is to stay close to them, and so agree to the split. Dean immediately volunteers to team up with Daphne, exciting Fred who, of course, was already pairing up with her. Velma jumps to partner up with Sam to check the attic, teasing him about being afraid to get him to agree, and leaving a less-than-enthusiastic Castiel with Shaggy and Scooby.

Velma leads the way into the attic, working on convincing Sam that ghosts aren’t real. As they step inside she requests he not knock anything over with his “linebacker shoulders,” and Sam finally asks why she keeps mentioning his shoulders, causing Velma to blush and look away in embarrassment. Moments later Sam turns his flashlight on an old figure that startles him and he loses his balance, toppling into a dusty pile of boxes and knocking several things down. Velma helps him up, joking that the ghost probably did that, and Sam can’t control himself. He admits he’s not supposed to tell her, but ghosts are real. Ghosts and lots of other things, and that he and Dean hunt them. “We’ve saved the world … a lot.” But Velma disregards his insistence, informing him that most ‘monsters’ are usually immoral real estate workers, as she continues to look around. Sam follows her, arguing until their flashlights alight upon a toy chest that catches their combined attention. Velma notices it as the only object in the attic not covered in dust. Sam notices it because it’s oozing ectoplasm – a substance secreted by ghosts.

Dean, Daphne, and Fred make their way to the library and Dean stops Daphne to ask her, awkwardly, what she looks for in a guy. Daphne looks toward Fred and offers vague descriptions, ending with “and an ascot wouldn’t hurt.” Defeated once more, Dean looks around the room as Daphne walks off, and spots something that catches his eye. A bright yellow book on the shelf, surrounded by dark and dusty books. He calls their attention, directing them to look at “that book,” but Fred doesn’t know which book Dean’s talking about. Frustrated, Dean almost lets the “c-word” slip, but instead grabs the obvious book and jiggles it around expectantly. Nothing happens.

He’s disappointed it didn’t open a secret passage, but before he can finish the thought a trap door opens beneath their feet and all three fall down a series of spiraling slides into darkness. Once he’s landed, Dean calls for Daphne, moving toward the only pair of eyes he can see and offering to “give [her] a once over to make sure” she’s okay. Somewhere behind him, Fred finds a breaker and light floods the room. Dean discovers he’s placed his hand upon the ghost’s thigh – not Daphne’s – and releases a scream of terror before the trio breaks into a run.

Meanwhile, Shaggy, Scooby, and Castiel are creeping down a dark hall. Shaggy complains that it’s still cold as he leads the way, Castiel bringing up the rear. It takes them all a moment to realize the ghost is following behind them, mimicking them. When they finally turn around it flares purple and makes a motion to indicate an attack, prompting Shaggy and Scooby to run away. Castiel turns to properly face the ghost and looks at it thoughtfully, commenting that he’s never seen a spirit wear such a strange costume. He sticks his hand into the ghost, seeming to be surprised when it passes through, but before he can do more Shaggy returns to ‘rescue’ him.

Thus begins the classic fleeing-chasing sequence, with everyone running through varying doors in the same hallway. Scrappy Doo makes a fleeting appearance, running from one door to another as well. The Scooby Gang stops to nail a particular door shut, eventually leaving Daphne to finish that one while moving to another in an effort to trap the ghost, and Dean pauses to admire the view. While he watches the ghost pops out from the door and Dean grabs Daphne and takes off running, the rest quickly joining them. The ghost cuts them off again, forcing them to hide in convenient, large urns along one wall. When it finds them they flee, eventually taking refuge in a large bedroom.

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With Sam and Dean standing between the Scooby Gang and the only door into the room, Fred declares that they really need to figure out a way to stop the ghost. Daphne says they almost had, back when Dean had hold of its thigh, earning him some awkward attention from Cas and Sam. Velma, agitated, reminds everyone that ghosts aren’t real just a heartbeat before the temperature drops enough to cloud over her glasses and the window. The ghost comes in through the door and Fred, again, tries to tackle it. This time the ghost throws him aside, sending Fred into the wall and collapsing on top of a random bust. The ghost then lifts Velma and Daphne and pins them tightly to the curve where wall meets the ceiling, before catching a mid-flight Shaggy and hurling him the balcony window. Sam spots a pair of tall candlesticks made of iron and tosses one to Dean. The brothers wait until the ghost’s back is turned and jam them into its shoulders, injuring the ghost and forcing it to flee.

The ghost gone, Daphne and Velma are released as the lights in the room turn back on. Dean and Sam catch the girls easily as Fred sits up, finding himself disheveled and his nose bleeding. Frightened, Scooby calls out for Shaggy, who is clutching desperately to a slowly-collapsing pillar. Which then falls. Scooby jumps after Shaggy and Castiel leaps after both of them. Castiel somehow manages to slow their fall enough to prevent major injury, but Shaggy’s arm is broken. When the rest of the group makes it outside to ground level Shaggy begins to panic. How could his arm be broken? He’s done way crazier things without any problem at all. Fred voices agreement freaked out at having been thrown across the room. Velma quickly says it had to have been wires, but in a tone indicating she’s as much trying to convince herself.

Sam looks to his brother. It’s time to come clean. Daphne overhears part of the exchange and calls them out. So Dean and Sam explain that the ‘phantom’ that’s chasing them around in the mansion isn’t “a guy in a mask and a costume,” but the real, actual spirit of someone who was once alive. Realizing they’re serious, Velma asks Sam if everything he told her before was the truth, and when he confirms she falls into self-doubt at her own ‘blind stupidity.’ Fred and the rest begin freaking out. Fred bangs his head repeatedly against a tree, angry that they’ve wasted their time on real estate developers when they could have been hunting real monsters. Daphne’s suddenly panicking that she’s going to Hell, because the existence of ghosts means there really is an afterlife. Shaggy and Scooby are both vindicated and defeated, learning they’ve been right all along about ghosts – and they really are “doomed.”

The panic nears critical before Dean yells over them, startling them and gathering their attention. Declaring “the Scooby Gang does not have meltdowns!” Dean proceeds to remind them, in a firm lecture form, of all the good and arguably heroic things they’ve accomplished. Sam throws in another one and Dean beams, feeling victorious at the acknowledgment that his little brother remembers Scooby Doo, too. With his pep-talk done the Gang is pulled back together and emboldened to tackle the ghost, but Velma points out the big problem. They don’t have the knowledge or the weapons for the job. Sam assures her not to worry about that; they have all those things. Dean and Sam pop the trunk of the Impala, revealing all of the toys within, but when Sam goes to hand Velma a shotgun Dean stops him, insisting they can’t give the Scooby Gang weapons. “That’s a Scooby Don’t.”

Deciding instead the Scooby Gang can help by using their own pre-existing skills, Dean has Fred build a trap for the ghost. Daphne lines all but one of the exits with salt and Fred sets it up so that when the ghost enters through the one entrance he’ll make contact with an iron chain, releasing a bundle of coconuts – which Sam doesn’t understand how he acquired and Dean shushes him for asking – and the coconuts will somehow get the ghost to slip and fall on a long soap-trail leading into an open washing machine wrapped in an iron chain. With everything ready to go, they only need the bait.

Castiel takes Shaggy and Scooby out into the hall to lure the ghost out of hiding. Shaggy asks, hopefully, if perhaps the ghost has left, and Castiel assures them ‘not to worry,’ he’s certain it’s still there. The ghost appears before them, startling all three, and they turn to run, with Cas scooping Scooby and Shaggy into his arms as he runs. He leaps over the iron chain to avoid tripping it, the ghost flies right into it as planned. The coconuts fall, as they’re supposed to, but fall harmlessly through the intangible ghost and trip Castiel and his armload up instead. He drops Shaggy and Scooby and together the unbalanced trio go sliding down the soap trail – straight into the washer, which snaps shut as soon as they’re thrown into it.

The ghost continues to roam the main the room as Sam, poking his head out from behind the large taxidermy bear, offers Dean and ‘I told you so’ about the plan. Dean is unsurprised about the plan’s failure and it’s on to Plan B – Operation: Bookworm. Daphne makes an obvious run from the room, prompting the ghost to follow her. She leads the ghost to the library, letting it find her, Fred, and Velma hiding in a corner behind one of the sofas. Scooby (freed from the machine) begins throwing books at it to keep it from attacking the trio and lure it back to him. When the ghost is close enough he hands the stack of remaining books to the ghost, startling it into resting its weight on the ground, and pulls the trap door lever, dropping the ghost back to the basement. Where it lands in an unexpected salt circle.

Unable to escape the circle, it’s face to face with only Dean, Sam, and Castiel. It pounds angrily against the barrier several times, screeching to be released. Dean states his willingness to do so, but only if the ghost first comes clean. After a few more failed attempts to escape, the ghost sags to the ground and the nightmarish image fades away to that of a little boy. When asked why he was trying to kill them, the boy responds that he wasn’t. Or, rather, that he didn’t want to. He’d never wanted to. But “the bad man” made him. He explains how his soul is bound to a pocket knife he’d received from his dad in life that meant everything to him, and that the bad man found it and uses it to make him hurt people. He slips it into objects so that the boy can possess larger objects. He tells them the bad man’s name is Jay and it all comes together – Jay is the man from the pawn shop, the one who owns most of the businesses in town. The boy says all he really wants is to see his dad again, so Dean offers him a deal. If the boy will get them back to the real world, they’ll release him from the pocket knife.

Dean goes to step out into the next room, finding the Scooby Gang panicking again. Fred says something about another trap, Velma offers to get a shotgun, Daphne volunteers to grab two shotguns, Shaggy and Scooby ask to be informed when it’s all over. Dean and Sam duck back into the room with the spirit child and ask him for a quick favor.

Moments later Dean steps out again, calling them in, and he and Sam usher the nervous Scooby Gang into the room to show them a figured tied with rope and covered in a hood on the floor. Dean awkwardly apologizes, saying how they were wrong, and Sam elaborates that they’d been fooled but Velma had never lost faith. The boys step aside, encouraging the Gang to ‘do their thing,’ and Velma hesitantly steps up to tug off the mask. Revealing the face of the original culprit, Colonel Sanders’ lawyer. Sam uses Velma’s earlier logic, explaining the flying away as wires and encouraging Velma to conclude the bodies were “dummies filled with corn syrup.” Dean produces the briefcase with the prize money as the Gang deduces that he’d wanted the money to himself, revealing the money to be worthless, anyway.

Velma punches Sam in the arm, proud to have been right and to prove “there’s no such thing as the supernatural.” Overhearing this, Castiel seems to become offended and moves up behind an oblivious Shaggy, healing his arm with a casual touch. Shaggy immediately notices his arm feeling better and declares it not to have been broken after all, while Castiel walks away with a whistle. Fred decides they should all go celebrate at the Malt Shop. Dean approaches him, telling Fred he’s a good guy, which Fred already knows. Before Daphne can follow Fred out Dean catches her by the arm to bid the clichéd “we’ll never know” farewell, which goes over her head. Castiel hugs Shaggy and Scooby, thanking them for sharing their laughter and good spirits with him. As Sam says his own farewell to Velma she spins him around by the hand and kisses him before walking away exclaiming, “those shoulders!” Once the Scooby Gang is out of sight the spirit reverts to his normal form and Dean, Sam, and Cas circle around him so he can take them home.

In a flash of purple light, the three reappear in the Dean Cave. After gathering themselves, Dean declares that experience to have been the coolest thing that’s ever happened to him. Including “the Cartwright twins.” Castiel asks what he did with the Cartwright twins and Dean gives him an almost wheezing laugh, obviously with no intention of answering, before leaving the room. Sam barely has time to decide he doesn’t want to know before Dean returns with a blowtorch and a hammer. Tossing Sam the blowtorch, Dean gives the TV a sad look and swings hard, shattering it and letting it fall to the floor. It doesn’t take him long to dig the pocket knife out of the debris. As he hands it over to Sam the boy’s spirit manifests, asking about the bad man, and Sam promises they’ll take care of him, too. The boy nods his agreement and Sam burns the knife, releasing the boy’s spirit.

Back in the pawn shop, Allan stares down in frustration at an ominous piece of paper. Jay, standing before him, asks if Allan’s sure of what he’s doing, to which Allan agitatedly replies “you’re getting this place for a steal!” But he adds that he’s not up to it anymore, clearly disheartened, and moves to put pen to paper as the door opens and Dean, Sam, and Cas stride in. Dean wearing a crimson ascot. Jay asks them with fake interest how they are and the boys proceed to explain the sordid details of Jay’s dastardly scheme. He’s been scaring people off their own property, convincing them to sell it for cheap, with the help of his own personal vengeful spirit. He just slips it into an unsuspecting object, like a harmless stuffed dinosaur or a brand-new television, and lets terrified costumers do the reputation-damaging. Castiel lifts the burned pocket knife, declaring the spirit to have been set free, bringing an end to Jay’s scheme as Allan turns a look of disbelief and building anger to Jay.

After attempting to deny it and seeing the lack of belief on Allan’s face, Jay turns back to the boys and reminds them that no one would believe that outrageous story. They agree, and Sam says that very reason is why they also did some digging. It turns out Jay doesn’t like to pay his taxes. Sirens and flashing lights pull up outside as reality sinks in on Jay’s face. Cas, Dean, and Sam walk out to watch the police haul Jay away, and as Jay’s about to be shoved into the patrol car he looks toward them and says the line. “I would’ve gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!”

Dean sucks in a shocked, excited gasp, thrilled that his shady real estate developer villain said the line. He clears his throat, the screen closes in tightly around his face, and he imitates Scooby’s sign-off in a poor, high-pitched voice. Sam asks what he’s doing and Dean begins to explain how that’s what Scooby would always do at the end of every mystery, but Castiel cuts him off, declaring that he’s “not a talking dog” and walking away. Dean looks to Sam for assistance and Sam follows after Castiel. Dean can’t even get them to tell him he looks good in the ascot.

What Does This Mean for the Future?
Dean now has a ‘Dean Cave’ (or whatever he’ll decide to call it), which already needs a new TV.

Castiel, possibly married to the queen of a group of djinn, has retrieved a bushel full of fruit from the tree of life. A key ingredient in the spell they need to open the portal to Apocalypse World.

Dean probably won’t wear the ascot again.

Rating: 6/10

Final Thought: It finally happened. Sixteen episodes into the thirteenth season of Supernatural, I’ve found an episode I don’t like. After all this time I suppose it was inevitable. Unfortunately, I realize mine is the unpopular opinion, so to all the fans who loved this episode, please don’t take my criticism personally. At the end of the day, it just didn’t work for me.

For the first time ever we were thrown right into the episode – a fight scene, no less – without the benefit of a Then (known as a ‘Previously On’ in most other shows). That was sign number one, to me, that this episode really wasn’t particularly important. And while I did get a kick out of the Barney joke, as well as Dean’s Dean Cave (I’m actually surprised it took him so long to build one), that was about where it lost me, too.

See, here’s my double-problem. While I am not nearly too old for cartoons, I am picky about what kinds of animation styles I watch. The Scooby Doo style is not among them. More importantly, though, is that while I enjoyed Scooby Doo for the most part as a child, I’ve very much outgrown my interest. Sad to say, this attempt at making Supernatural *almost* appropriate for Saturday mornings was something just shy of torture for me. I don’t enjoy over-the-top cartoon clichés, characters acting almost completely out of character for no apparent reason other than the change of setting. The only plus I can take away from is that I know the cast had a lot of fun in the making of the episode.

Once Sam, Dean, and Cas realized they were definitely dealing with a real ghost, did they handle it like professionals in order to protect the Scooby Gang? No, not really. Dean inadvertently nearly fondled the ghost and everyone freaked out, running around in a panic. They sort of fought back when the ghost started using its real power, but not until the Scooby Gang got injured did they seem to take it seriously. That really bothered me.

Not as much, however, as the given explanation for how it all transpired in the first place. A cursed object hidden inside a large object? A ghost transporting three grown men not only inside the television, but into an animated world? Nothing in the pre-existing Supernatural lore offers an explanation for this ability. Yet Dean, Sam, and Cas just calmly accept it. Typically when a new, or twisted variation of, a concept is introduced into the mythos it comes alongside a semi-reasonable sounding explanation. We got no such thing here. The only answer we did get was the reveal of the bad guy – naturally, an immoral real estate developer.

I’ve decided that, for my tastes, I would have much more enjoyed a Supernatural/Scooby-Doo crossover where the Scooby Gang is mysteriously transported to the live-action world. Together with Cas and the Winchesters they could work to stay alive and solve the mystery of the case, eventually enabling themselves to return to the cartoon before Scooby-Doo disappeared from history. Or something like that. I would’ve been much more intrigued by that concept.

But it’s never just about me, and in the end, the majority of the fans seem to have quite enjoyed the episode. That’s what counts, right? So, onward!

Supernatural airs on The CW on Thursdays. Check your local listings for times. 


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