Mark Watches ‘Supernatural’: S07E14 – Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie

In the fourteenth episode of the seventh season of Supernatural, FUCK CLOWNS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of coulrophobia/clowns.

This episode is very interesting in terms of placement, both within season seven and the show as a whole. Aside from one scene at the beginning, “Plucky Pennywhistle’s  Magical Menagerie” never addresses anything going on in this season. It’s entirely a self-contained episode… except it’s kind of not? It entirely relies on “Everybody Loves a Clown” for most of its humor. (That episode title is still a lie, I don’t care, FUCK CLOWNS.)

Still, I don’t think it’s inappropriate to say that this episode stands on its own. It’s unconnected to any greater narrative aside from showing us all that clowns are evil and fuck them all and NOPE. The use of in media res is kind of fascinating, though, since we’re led to believe this will be about clowns, and then the first murder we come across is… a octovamp??? While this is a familiar thing for Supernatural to do, I still think it works really well to keep the audience guessing as to the true nature of the killings here. There are a number of believable suspects trotted out before us, as well as some commentary about parenting along the way.

Actually, let me talk about that, since I think it’s one thing this episode does very well. Both of the fathers killed in the first half of this episode did something that was undeniably terrible, though their children didn’t intend for them to die as part of some revenge plot. So when it seemed clear that Tyler’s mother was next on the list, I was ready to call foul. While it wasn’t fair to Tyler that he was stuck hanging out at his mother’s job all the time, I thought it wasn’t analogous to the other parents. At all! She was clearly trying to do her best in a job where she was stressed and unappreciative. SO CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW GREAT IT IS THAT DEAN POINTS OUT TO TYLER THAT HIS MOTHER IS HONESTLY DOING WHAT SHE CAN? Holy shit, it’s my favorite moment in this episode! (Followed up by that unicorn’s rainbow butt, oh my god.) Since this episode constantly tricks us and obfuscates where it’s really headed, I thought this was a great way to have this subplot do the same thing. And I’ll also state that it’s fantastic that Dean calls out Howard’s bullshit. Because it doesn’t matter that Howard wants to help these kids. He can think he’s helping all he wants, and it doesn’t change the fact that HE ISN’T HELPING ANYONE ASIDE FROM HIS OWN MISGUIDED SENSE OF RIGHT AND WRONG.

And then we’ve got Sam. OH, SAM WINCHESTER, I UNDERSTAND YOU SO DEEPLY. The poor guy, first of all, spends part of this episode trying to be a bad cop, which seems very unnatural to us. BUT REMARKABLY, IT WORKS. I was going to say that might be the funniest part of this episode, but then I remembered Cliff trying to open the door in his mascot costume. Then I remembered the choreography for the clown fight scenes. And the glitter explosion. And then I just felt so bad for Sam, who has his literal worst nightmare come true in the worst way imaginable. I mean: clowns who can fight perfectly while still using all the clown mainstays like the seltzer water in the flower and juggling? Seriously, POOR SAM WINCHESTER. I feel like that’s an ongoing motif for the whole show, though.

I liked this episode, but I don’t know that I’d ever return to it because fuck clowns. However, I found it pretty notable that THERE WASN’T A SAD TWIST ENDING. When does that ever happen?

The video for “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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