After years of fighting demons, ghosts and angels the Winchesters have seen it all. But how will they react when they come to head to head with something they have avoided their entire lives: their own fears.
Sam is running scared. With two clowns hot on his heels his worst nightmares have become reality and after heading into an empty auto body shop, things may have just gotten worse. Sixty hours earlier and Sam and Dean don't have any news on the amazons or leviathans so they decide to take on another case in Kansas. It's there that they find the first victim; a father that was attacked and killed by a thirty foot squid. After talking to the family and the nanny, the boys are directed to the local pizzeria: Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie. At Plucky's, they discover that the children have a wall where they can draw their own fears on for the sake of their psychological development. This may not be all fun and games for the kids but Sam since he is terrified of clowns and after another victim is found after being mauled by a shark in the ball pit, he won't be able to dodge his fears for much longer.
Even with the ridiculous title, Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie managed to be a very entertaining episode. Supernatural playfully touched on the idea that everyone says but never makes an episode about: child restaurants are creepy. The best part of the episode was how they never took it seriously and the cheesy value went through the roof as the hour went on.
Sam's scene as an interrogator was hilarious. From breaking down the manager to the guy dressed as a lion, everything just worked. To cap the interrogations off, Dean was had to football tackle the guy into a huge stack of tires and that stunt looked like it actually hurt. The best aspect of the show was definitely Jared Padalecki and his fear of the clowns. Padalecki is a big guy and we usually see him taking down demons or lecturing Dean on opening up about his feelings but this time he was almost childlike in his fear. It showed a surprising amount of flexibility from Padalecki and hopefully we can see more range in the rest of the season.
The drawback of PPMM (that title is way too long!) is that while Supernatural has had some good episodes the past few weeks, the episodes have become quite formulaic. Each week they hear about something off, dress up as FBI agents, talk to a quirky coroner, get beat up and manage to come away unscathed. Sometimes it works well but other times we get things like The Slice Girls and I would rather not watch something that bad again. It's time for the show to mix it up and hopefully have some characters that aren't so forgettable.
PPMM had the right amount of humour, action and camp that made it an enjoyable episode. It won't be remembered as my favourite of the season but I appreciate the fan service of returning to Sam's fear of clowns for the sake of a laugh. We'll see what happens next week when Supernatural moves away from the gags in this week's Repo Man.