A wise man once said, “And apparently, clowns kill.”
Sam was right in “Everybody Loves a Clown”, and he is right again 9 years later. In “Plush”, the monster’s not a rakshasa, but it share a few similarities with it : a focus on children, and disturbing face disguises. After the Suicidal Teddy Bear, Supernatural presents the nightmare trifecta known as Evil Rabbit, Mad Jester and Bloody Bozo! Sheriff Donna Hanscum, requesting back up. Officers Sam Elliott and Dean Savage, to the rescue.
Sam and Dean investigate the MOTW : “You know this rabbit?”
“What’s up, Doc?”
Stan Hinkle’s killer is already behind bars. It’s 19 year old Mike Cooks, a Minnesota Tech student who went crazy after he put on a bunny mask he found at a thrift shop. Since then, the mask won’t come off and Mike seems to have acquired superhuman strength. Ask Dean, he almost loses his head when the rabbit man gets a hold of him.
The bunny head finally comes off when Mike is shot dead after attacking Donna. Burning the rabbit mask does little to eliminate the problem. It seems the football team’s mascot has also gone mad. Armed with superhuman strength and a jester mask that won’t come off, they attack coach Phil Evans and put him in a coma.
It’s a ghost possession and all the costumes belong to Chester Johnson, a kid party performer, who according to his sister Rita, committed suicide. Our ghost still has one name to cross off his list. Enters Bloody Bozo, making his rounds at the hospital where Phil Evans is being treated, to finish him off.
“Wrongful death, vengeful spirit.”
Guessing there’s more to the story, the Winchesters demand Rita tell the whole truth. The victims, Stan Hinkle and Phil Evans accused her brother Chester of being inappropriate with their children, leading Rita to question Chester’s very close relationship with her own son, Max. After defending him all his life, she leads Chester into a trap. Stan and Phil were only supposed to scare him…
Sam prays about the mytharc : “What are you trying to say?”
The last time we saw Sam in “Our Little World”, he looked terrified after being hit with a vision of the Cage. The first time we see him in “Plush”, he’s on his knees, praying for answers. He later explains to Dean that he prays because he’s wondering if God’s telling him that the answer to beating The Darkness in in Lucifer’s Cage, which means Sam would have to “go back” to his worst nightmare.
Sam faces the nightmare : locked inside a cage with the monster
Officer Sam Elliott is on the case, in the hospital elevator when enters Bloody Bozo. You can practically hear Sam counting in his head to calm his nerves. Sam fighting the clowns in “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” was amusing. The elevator scene is stressful, even for those of us without coulrophobia issues. When Bozo attacks, Sam disarms him and dispatches Chester’s ghost with iron. Instead of glitter exploding all over Sam, the show effectively conveys the feeling that Sam inside a cage, is no laughing matter this season.
Overall grade : 8/10
I give this one an 8/10. The MOTW was creative. I like the scary mask that won’t come off and the way the ghost animated hosts looked like toys that needed to be winded up when they weren’t killing. The mask that won’t come off also reminded of the Babylonian coin that wouldn’t come off the bottom of Lucky Chin’s well in “Wishful Thinking”. Tiamat? Darkness? You get a parallel, you get a parallel, everybody gets a parallel!
I talked last week about how pleased I was to see the Hunter Winchesters back in action with their tracking, evidence board and detective skills. The week before, I noticed the “Playthings”-like inn, the EMF, the lock picking, and in “Plush”, the show makes good on its promise to go back to the basics. Salt gun! Holy water! Iron! and to top off this tasty throwback sundae, Sam hurriedly rummages through the trunk for supplies. This is all so “Jus In Bello”!
Best Sam moment : the coulrophobia was bad enough, now this?
The elevator scene was really good. I like the way Sam regained control of himself fast enough to snatch the knife away from the clown. I felt so bad for Sam. Stuck in an elevator with a clown with no escape.
I don’t have a problem with clowns, but I did with this one because of who he’s supposed to represent. Sam in a cage, alone and scared, with a monster armed with a bloody knife he’s going to use on Sam?
The clown is Lucifer.
Last week I was panicking and internally screeching about the death omens that were swirling around Sam. Billie the Reaper warned him in “Form and Void” that she was going to drop him into the Empty, “very soon”, and since that episode, the Cage has also been calling Sam’s name. I must be going through the stages pretty quickly, because like Sam, I’ve reached the numbness stage where it just seems like an inevitability that he’s going to end up in a horrible place, “very soon”.
Now they even have him in an actual cage, with a psycho who’s ready to slice him. It’s like a dry run to his nightmare, in preparation of the real thing. Maybe I’m not so numb just yet. Just incredibly sad. Please don’t do this to Sam, again. There’s only so much one can take.
Best Dean moment/Best broment : Dean’s reaction to Sam’s discomfort with the clown picture
“I know what you’re thinking Sam. Why did it have to be clowns?”
The quote’s from “Everybody Loves a Clown” but it still relevant. Look, just a little smile and no snarky comment. Coming from the man who threw a clown doll at his brother in “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie”, this is growth. I approve.
The brangst. Oh, it’s back : “I’m saying, don’t count on God. Okay, count on us.”
“He didn’t feel the need to show up for the apocalypse, why would he give a crap now?”
Unlike Sam, Dean doesn’t think the deadbeat who slept through Armageddon would suddenly care about their new problem. For Sam, the sibling connection between God and Amara could explain why God is talking a personal interest this time around.
I understand Dean’s skepticism. From the moment his mother, who believed in God and angels got destroyed by a demon, he’s had no use for the man on the tortilla. Sam like his mom has kept the faith and continues to pray, which is why I was a bit put off by the way Dean dismissed and shut down Sam’s prayers and visions in “Baby.” In “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester”, Dean told Sam “Don’t give up on this stuff,” if it helps you, and I was starting to think there was more to Dean’s drastic rejection of faith, even for Sam. Then Rita Johnson said something.
“I should have trusted my brother.”
We know every sibling parallel has to do with the brothers and right now, Sam is the poster boy for emotional transparency. Who’s hiding something from their brother? Dean. And I think it relates to his refusal to hear about God and prayers. The bond he has with Amara bothers him, but as long as he’s not talking about it, he keeps it from becoming too real. Sam’s openness makes Dean uncomfortable, because Dean doesn’t want to be reminded of the things he doesn’t want to deal with.
Rita not trusting Chester (who was innocent if you believe Max), resulted in Chester being dropped head first into the rocks that broke his skull. Is this warning for Dean? Will him not trusting Sam with the Deanmara secret result in Sam being harmed?
Juicy Bit : “Sam, no.”
If the elevator going down represents the Cage, all the prison bars that litter this episode represent someone getting locked in. While the scene where the rabbit tries to crush Dean’s skull through the bars encourages us to keep an open mind as to who might be dragged to Hell, most of the foreshadowing points to Sam, and he himself acting like it’s something he would consider in order to defeat The Darkness, brings me closer to answering the question I posed last week. “Whose hand is this, anyway? These aren’t Jared’s longer and slimmer fingers, but it doesn’t mean they won’t be his in a couple of weeks.
I’m scared. Sam, The Tower of Resilience is scared, and I don’t know what to do with that. I feel suffocated by all the prison bars everywhere and I’m more upset than I’ve ever been at the thought of someone going to Hell, probably because in my mind, they were never supposed to go there twice. The Empty starting to look real good.
I liked the episode. I think we’re back to crafting MOTW stories that have an excellent link to the brothers story and relationship. Kudos, season 11.
I liked the mask-shifting ghost, but what I liked even more was the deeper story that was being told here. Sam seems to be bound for the Cage and it seems Dean is being warned, rather strongly, to disclose his secret connection with Amara to his brother while he still can.
At first I didn’t understand why Sam prayed with his door open.
“You want privacy, close your door.”
I’m reading between the bars, and all I have to say is, DEFINITELY NOT. Nobody close any doors on Sam.
Are you as worried as I’m starting to be? I’d reach for a teddy bear for comfort but… ya know…
XI : Winchester Brothers Report
11.01 “We Broke It, We Bought It”
11.02 “That Giant, Crazy Fart”
11.03 “And I have a fake badge”
11.04 “We’re home”
11.05 “That whole sensitive verbal massage”
11.06 “She overpowered me, end of story”