Supernatural 5.15 “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” Review

Supernatural returns this week with none other than the corporeal undead themselves — ZOMBIES! Because, really, who doesn’t love zombies? I mean, except the poor souls whose intestines have become a midnight snack for some flesh-feasting fiend. We’ve seen zombies before, in Season 2’s wonderful ‘Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things.’ The current modus operandi for killing them apparently differs because in Season 2, it was nailing the beastie back in her coffin. However, I think Kripke and Co. saw Zombieland and went “Oooooh! GORE!” (as did I) and decided the most entertaining way to get rid of zombies is to blow their heads off. I can’t say I disagree, especially when I saw the lovely little splatter of red ooze on the camera lens after Sam took out a particularly juicy corpse with his 12-gauge, complete with the “splurt!” noise. It’s the little things. But still: inconsistent.

Faced with the need to incorporate the zombie tale into the Apocalypse arc (it’s actually better blended than most of the other “Monster of the Week” episodes this season… I’m not sure that’s saying much, actually), the writers decided to bestow the Fourth Horseman, Death, upon Middle Earth, though we never get to see him. And you know what’s one of the first things Death does? He raises 15-20 corpses in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which, despite the boys’ claim that it is a “po-dunk little town,” is actually the most heavily populated city in South Dakota and a thriving center of commerce and culture. Is it really that hard to Google these places, guys? Anyway, these corpses look pretty damn normal for zombies — no obvious appendages missing, no slurring, no snot leaking out of orifices… and they move pretty damned fast. Well, at the beginning. Among the living dead is the local sheriff’s young son, a thief whose partner killed him (his name was “Clay” and he emerged covered in mud… hee), and, drumroll please… Bobby’s supposedly-cremated wife! Except she’s not even played by the same actress who played her in 3.10! For the record, Carrie Anne Fleming is much better (and IMDB says she was in 2.01, but I have no recollection). So the boys, having encountered Clay and the sheriff (who thinks that zombies running around town is no big deal), show up at Bobby’s house to find his wife making pie. Good pie. Lots of pie. Dean is happy. So is Bobby! Really, really happy. (Sam’s just pissy. Again. Some more. But with better hair this week!) Don’t get me wrong, Bobby’s been through stuff this season, but I think that this episode was terribly out of character for him. I get where the writers were going with it — he’s got nothing else to live for, he just wants this one thing to make him happy for a little while, he knows it’s not gonna end well, yadda yadda. But I just think that such an attitude is so diametrically opposed to Bobby’s sense of self, in all of its cold, logical, survivalist glory. I really don’t think a man who spikes his beer with holy water and has iron room in his basement would ever allow a zombie into his house, much less let it make pie for him. Even if it looked like his dead wife and the pie was delicious. Just… no.

The monster-hunting aspects of the episode were solid. This episode and ‘My Bloody Valentine’ have been among the grossest episodes to date. The makeup on the first zombie Sam encountered — the old lady in the bed — was awesome. That whole scene, actually… ew. I was cowering behind my pillow for most of it, peeking out occasionally because I didn’t really think Sam was that much of a dumbass to get within biting distance. Turns out he actually is. He deserved every once of that zombie snot. And then there was the little kid zombie… awww. I actually wish we’d gotten to know the sheriff a bit more because she reminded me of Officer Kathleen in ‘The Benders.’ I was very heartbroken when Sam had to pull the Ol’ Yeller on her zombie spawn, even if she called Bobby a drunk. ‘Cause it’s kinda true. Dean and Bobby’s fight in the junkyard was all kinds of badass, though I have a hard time believing they got ALL of Bobby’s ammo into the van. Surely there has to be three or four backup closets? Or perhaps that lovely detox room that Sammy is so fond of? However, I was happy to sit back and watch the effects team run wild on this one, so kudos there.

… Wait. Now that I think about it, we didn’t have any ramifications from Sam falling off the Demon Blood Wagon last episode. It’s like it didn’t even happen! And here I was thinking that this episode was mostly okay. That just pisses me off.

Sigh. Okay, let’s get this over with so I can go brood by myself. The scene at the end between the boys and Bobby was lovely, and then my CW affiliate must have known that I was leaning in to get the scoop on what Death told Bobby’s wife and… nothing. The goddamned sound cut out. Screw you, KVCW!! I did get that Death was probably trying to take him out because he’s the Winchesters’ support staff — what a novel concept, right? Or not. See, if I’m Lucifer, the first thing I do when I touch down on Earth is take out EVERYONE the Winchesters have ever met. Cut them off, isolate them, make ’em desperate. So every time the writers try to have someone else do it this late in the game, it just brings attention to what crappy strategists the leaders Hell actually are. And that makes me want to bang my head against the table because it doesn’t make for tension-filled writing. It’s more like, “Hey, I wonder who’s gonna screw up more?” Laaazy.

Oh. Back to my point. If anyone could tell me what Death told Bobby’s wife, I would appreciate it muchly. Next week we get to see what crappy strategists the leaders of Heaven are! So tune in. I know I will, with the aid of my bottle of vodka, of course. Twenty bucks says God looks like Morgan Freeman!

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