So when I saw the title “Plush”, all I could think of was the depressed Teddy Bear from a very early season. So, I knew that the episode would have some playfulness. My reaction to the first viewing was that besides the book end scenes which address The Darkness arc, the rest of the episode was filler- plushy toy thing filled with polyester to distract and comfort;the writers do play with our knowledge of Supernatural, the series. It is cute and horrific at the same time as show often does. I didn’t really want to watch it a second time, but forced myself and I am glad I did so. What follows is my reaction to parts of it rather than a play by play review.
The montage opening digs deep into the boys’ history. Flashes of Sam and clowns, a bit of Garth, but none of it made sense until after the episode. On review I get it.
The seriousness of the first scene with Sam on his knees in his bedroom praying to God for understanding for his visions of the cage is dark. It is interrupted by Dean’s “Really?” and “If you wanted privacy, close your door!” A brotherly discussion down the hall of the bunker leading to dead end clues on the Darkness is interrupted by a phone call from Sheriff Donna. The boys are off to Minnesota and not for cheese!
Sheriff Donna is back!It seems a large bunny masked human has killed and she calls Dean and Sam as it seems out of her wheel house. Her hugs and issues made me think about Garth and how at first the Winchesters could not accept Garth as a hunter. This episode had the same vibe,hugs and facial expressions.Sam’s reference to her as “fat sucker Donna ” is offensive, body shaming. Donna was in another episode where she saved Dean’s bacon by cutting of the head of a vampire and Sam reverts to this one? Doesn’t work for me either time I watched it.
Donna is a strong ,self aware,female character with baggage, dedication, kick ass attitude, and an appreciation for the “poopy” filled life of the Winchesters. Some of her lines just miss being funny enough-not sure if it is the script or direction. She does face her fear of Doug- a plus to the characterization. “You had me at curd” is a line to listen for. She is folksy.
Sam attempts humor again with his Roger Rabbit line which falls flat as seen by Dean’s reaction. Are we being told that Sam is not the funny one? Duh! How about write a funny line for him. On the other hand, the writers give Dean a few quips about rabbits and those fall flat for me as well. It always comes back to the writing. I expect so much more from the writers as J2 can both carry comedic lines. Appreciate the try.
At fist glance Dean’s interrogation of the “Wraskily wabbit” seems wreckless, but it shows how the brothers trust each other and work so well in tandem. I needed that second look! YES!
This episode becomes a vengeful ghost story and it is good to see Supernatural go back to its original premise while the main arc is left dangling. The director plays with long time fans by almost copying scenes from earlier episodes where someone is taking out the garbage, or isolated in a gym before the murderous act. The clue is that who the viewer thinks is going to be the victim is changed up and like the brothers we are challenged to connect the dots. I like being part of the hunt!
A ghost story about a children’s party entertainer and his costumes,(plushy as they are) ensues. At first we and the brothers think”cursed object”. Remember those ballet shoes in s8? There is a back story of possible child molestation by the entertainer which leads to betrayal, loss of innocence, and sibling trust. Depression, suicide, and being off are topics which are brought up,and all I could think of is the AKF campaign,(this isn’t Dr. Phil’s show, so the issues don’t go deep). Is there is a piece missing from editing or does it tie back into Sam’s mental state when he tangled with Lucifer?. Then, clues all points to a spirit who possesses innocent people so he can seek vengeance. One of its incarnations is a clown mask.
The long time fan is aware of Sam’s baggage with clowns and once again, he has to face his fear in an elevator to escape, but not before he almost loses consciousness. I enjoyed Sam’s POV being shown. This elevator scene is well done but I find myself amused by it not horrified! Where’s the glitter? OOPs wrong episode.
This is an episode in how to gank a vengeful spirit: rock salt gunshot, salt circles, burn the possessed object. Donna’s use of salt against desserts falls flat for me as once again the writers use a fat reference. Are the fat references supposed to be funny? Lesson on ghosts for new hunter,Donna.
Donna appreciates the Winchester’s schooling but when it comes to her personal life, she tells both to mind their beeswax. (As if they are so well schooled in personal relationships!) These scenes feel forced to me. The timing of Dean’s interrogation and his reactions also seemed off in timing which if is intentional, I ask why and if not, then it is poor direction. The editing is not as clean as usual. In one scene, Dean is on the floor when we come back from commercial and I never saw how he went down. Sam, who had been elsewhere suddenly appears in the scene. Not smooth. Dean tells Sam to burn the last mask(remember the book of the damned?) and Sam goes outside but not before he gets his head clunked into Baby’s trunk. Just enough time for Dean to get his ass kicked and almost expire(Dean, really?) and then for Sam to succeed. Matches- no lighter in this episode. I started thinking about “Bambi’s mother and the hunter.
There is a great shot of the brothers as they walk into an interrogation. Again, it is Baby’s POV. This scene works for me both times I see it! She is a hunter!
And then the final scene of the Winchesters driving away from the hunt in Baby as the other bookend- Sam explaining why he prays, the Cage, and strategy and Dean’s cautionary comment- we are not going there. Let’s all remember Sam’s trip into depression and insanity on his way to and from the Cage. Dean reminds him that it would be suicidal. Now, I see the themes of sibling betrayal, depression,self sacrifice for the greater good, innocence lost, childhood fears and comforts,+ facing fears, that sprinkle “Plush” are connected to the main arc. Have the writers played us? Missed it the first time!
So on second view I have a much higher rating for this episode, but I think the outtakes might make better viewing. Just a feeling! My expectations are just to high after the last few episodes of season 11. And now I could use a truly comedic episode….okay let’s hope 11.8 goes there!
Enjoy your turkey and try not to talk to imaginary friends while we take a week away!