Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
When a slew of werewolf attacks leave victims literally heartless, the new king of hell forces the Winchesters to play his game if they ever want to see Sam's soul again.
When Crowley gets word that the alpha werewolf is in a small town terrorizing its residents, he wants Sam and Dean to play fetch. At first Dean won't budge but when Crowley threatens to send Sam back to the pit, the Winchesters are on the hunt. The trail leads them to the town drunk but when he is slaughtered by the family dog Lucky, Sam and Dean hit a dead end. It's only when Sam plays watchdog that he discovers that Lucky is in fact a skinwalker with a deadly agenda; an uprising to strengthen their numbers by converting their owners. With a family's life at stake and time running out, the Winchesters need to make their move soon before the skinwalker pack is unleashed.
How interesting was it to watch an episode with killer dobermans and German shepherds? Not interesting at all. Somehow Supernatural managed to outdo itself yet again with another terrible episode. The obvious similarities between Sam and Lucky are quite apparent in how the family can no longer accept Lucky after he changes but the execution of this episode was sloppy. Can Dean accept the new Sam without a soul? Apparently not but it would have been nice if it was handled better than it is here. Besides the climax where Sam and Dean are actually winning for a change, "All Dogs Go to Heaven" was glaringly thin on story. Though Sam has shown no concern for everyone around him since the beginning of the season, Dean is still shocked by his apathetic nature as of late. To hear Sam want to get his soul back at the end of the episode was a good moment, it was too little too late.
While it appears Supernatural does have a grand story in mind for the entire season, it has been obscured through a series of fractured episodes. Almost half way through season six, Supernatural has only hinted at a larger plot with the armies of demons that continue to grow. Crowley's motives for desiring control of purgatory are a complete mystery and the pursuit of Sam's soul is no closer than it was in the first episode either. After years of tearing Sam and Dean apart only to bring them back together again, this plot is getting old. Hopefully Sam will get his soul back sooner rather than later with enough time left in the season to make sense of everything else.
While there will never be another Yellow Eyed Demon on Supernatural, the new king of hell is not given the same opportunity to shine. Mark Sheppard has been excellent since his first appearance on Supernatural as a cross roads demon but since he became the latest ruler of the underworld, his best scenes have been in the episode "Weekend at Bobby's". If Supernatural wants to prove he is more than just Sam and Dean's puppeteer, the story needs to reveal something about his grand plan and how he deserves to be the new ruler of hell. Samuel is involved somehow but if it isn't addressed soon, the story will seem rushed.
"All Dogs Go to Heaven" was a very disappointing episode after last week's strong showing. I enjoy it when a show takes a unique twist on myths and legends but it's pointless when the story can't live up to their aspirations. Supernatural needs to find the balance between the effects and character instead of relying on the brief conversations between Sam and Dean before they get back into the Impala. Hopefully next week's "Clap Your Hands if You Believe" will inject some humour into a show that is in desperate need of it.