Open to the creepiest taxidermist in existence making Game of Thrones characters out of stuffed rodents. You know it’s going to be a good episode then, folks. His dog barks – someone’s in the house! He investigates with his trucker hat and shotgun – and an evil cowboy with a snake tongue crushes him to death.
At the Men of Letters bunker, Sam’s hankering for some hunting action, even with Dean begging him to take it easy. Sam’s on the taxidermist case, though, and since Dean can’t tell Sam why he wants him to lay low, on to Enid, Okla., it is!
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Agents Michaels and Deville are on the case, talkin’ to the locals, askin’ weird questions. It’s going be a poisonous case (get it?). The only thing missing is the entrails from the insides of the squirrelly Targaryens.
They find out that an animal rights group with Wiccan ties might have done for the poor dead guy – are they witches, or are they just hippies? Dean posits the question on all our minds: “What’s the difference?”
They approach the activists (hippies with sunglasses), who reveal that they heard a noise when they were spray-painting the taxidermist’s business the previous night. Something that hissed attacked them and sprayed them in the eyes (thus, sunglasses). The hippies thought it was mace. Sam and Dean are thinking big bad snake monster.
Big bad cowboy snake monster walks into a kennel where the taxidermist’s dog is. But he takes a cat. And another cat. And … yeah, all the cats. The front desk guy gets suspicious. Don’t do it, front desk guy! He sees the cowboy eat a cat. With snake eyes. And claws. Goodbye, front desk dude.
Sam and Dean come to the crime scene and recognize the taxidermist’s dog. Dean thinks he’s a suspect. He rubs a silver coin on the dog – not a shapeshifter. The dog starts barking at people in hats. Looks like Sam and Dean are adopting a dog. To speak to it. They work an Inuit spell to make a “human-animal mind-meld.” Dean volunteers to try it. It’s seemingly unsuccessful, despite all of Dean’s snark.
Oh wait, the dog’s talking. And he doesn’t like the same music Dean likes. He tells a little bit about the evil snake monster – mostly what he smells like. It turns out, the dog can talk to Dean, but Dean’s taking on some canine characteristics – fetching, scratching, yelling at mailmen. They can only hope that the side effects wear off when the spell does.
Uh oh, Dean can now hear all animals. Including a pigeon, with which he has a very public conversation. Only in Season 9. This is embarrassing, dude. He talks to all the dogs in the kennel, looking for information. One agrees to talk – in exchange for a belly rub from Sam. They find out the monster eats cats, and that he had a sack with the words “Avant Garde Cuisine.” Dean frees all the dogs.
They break into the restaurant and find a bunch of prescription drugs. Dean hears little squeaking voices. Rats. They direct him to a ghastly refrigerator with organs of different animals. Apparently ingesting certain organs along with spells and spices gives the consumer certain powers. And snake dude’s been dabbling.
They walk into the kitchen and find out the chef (the monster) is having a private party. They chase the staff away with faux health code violations and go look for the chef. He must have eaten a chameleon, because he pops out of the wall and slashes Sam across the throat. Sam goes all angel-powers, and neither he nor the monster can explain why he’s suddenly no longer bleeding. Snake dude decides he wants some of that and kidnaps Sam.
Dean attacks. They fight and snake dude manages to tie up Dean. He’s very confused about the Winchesters. Dean, thanks to his doggy nose, figures out snake dude has cancer and he’s been doing all this to try to stave off the terminal disease but he’s become crazy and predatory in the process. He’s going to kill Dean and eat Sam for his healing powers. Evil dude eats a wolf heart to overcome dog Dean. Run, dog Dean, run! He runs outside and the pack he let free comes running. Sorry, wolfie. The pack goes Call of the Wild on the big bad monster dude.
Dean gives the taxidermist’s dog to the hippies. As a parting gift, he’s about to tell Dean what dogs were really put on earth to do … and then the spell wears off. Back at the Impala, Sam’s got questions, and Dean’s running out of ways to explain – and the will to do it.
As far as filler episodes go, this was no Ghostfacers, but, hey, who doesn’t like talking dogs? Note to “Supernatural” writers: Everyone over 9 years old.