And Apparently Clowns Kill (A Review: “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie”)

I always enjoy when the writers of Supernatural can make me laugh. “The French  Mistake” is one of my favorite episodes of all time because of how much I laughed while watching it. “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” made me laugh quite often… most often it was because of Sam’s comical facial expressions while near a clown, but hey, apparently clowns kill, right?

NOW – The episode starts with Sam running from two maniacal clowns while repeating “They can’t hurt you. If it bleeds, you can kill it.” He runs into an old garage and blocks the door, but the clowns get in anyway.

60:00:00 EARLIER – Dean is in a phone booth talking to Frank and finds out that they have dick on Dick. Sam finds a story about a weird death Kansas. They go to a coroner’s office where a man named Brian died by what appears to be a 30 foot Giant Pacific Octopus. After speaking to Brian’s widow, Dean goes to talk to their nanny Stacey – she was at the house the night Brian died. Stacey said that she stayed with Kelly who was pretty upset. It had been Kelly’s birthday and they had a party at Plucky’s. Her dad was only there for five minutes, her mom was out of town, and another kid said Kelly’s parents didn’t love her. Kelly freaked out and it took Stacey forever to calm her down. Stacy also mentioned that Kelly has weird thing about closets. She thinks there’s a monster in her closet that drives everyone crazy.

Sam is on stakeout at Kelly’s house. Dean tells Sam he should talk to her. Sam goes up to her while she’s drawing on the sidewalk. Kelly says that her mom will get mad if she sees her talking to him because of what she told the police – that she tried to warn her dad that the monster would get him. Then her mom comes out and takes her inside. Her drawing is of a giant octopus.

The episode flashes to a man being chased by what appears to be a horse. He jumps a fence and then leans into it only to be impaled. One the other side of the fence is a white unicorn… when it runs away, rainbows shoot out of its ass.

NOW – Sam says again “If it bleeds, you can kill it”. He shoots one of the clowns and glitter sprays out of the wound. They laugh maniacally again and start to beat him up.

EARLIER – Dean is investigating the death. Billy’s mom said that his father took him to a friend’s birthday party the previous day. Dean calls Sam and asks if he remembers Plucky’s – where Dean used to dump Sam while he went trolling for girls when they were younger. Dean asks Sam to go visit Plucky’s, and Sam tries to get out of it because of his fear of clowns. Dean reminds him that 99.99% of all clowns can’t hurt you and if it bleeds, you can kill it.

Sam goes into Plucky’s and asks for the manager. He walks around nervously and notices an employee named Libby leaving her son at a table to do homework. Then he sees the wall of childrens’ artwork. The theory is if they draw their worst fears, the fears will disappear. The manager says it’s to help the kids get over their fears because if you let them run wild, it can affect them long into adulthood. A clown then walks past Sam who looks very scared. The manager tells Sam that Billy and his father had a huge argument before leaving the party. Sam goes to call Dean with this news and is intercepted by the janitor. Saul says that he will talk to Sam after the store closes about some weird stuff that’s been happening.

Later on at Plucky’s, the manager tells Saul that a kid puked in the ball-pit which needs fully sanitized before he can leave (and talk to Sam). He is cleaning the balls when he gets bit by something. He’s drawn down under the balls repeatedly. When he disappears for good, blood splatters everywhere. Sam and Dean arrive at Plucky’s, where they’re supposed to be meeting with Saul, to find flashing lights. They look at Saul’s body and determine that he’s been been bitten by a 20 foot shark. They go inside and look around to see that yet another child’s fear sketch is gone.

Libby and her son Tyler are in their car. Libby gives him money to take the bus the rest of the way because she’s late and can’t take him. Tyler gets out leaving his drawing behind… a gigantic robot.

NOW – Sam is being beaten up by the two clowns. He’s gets in a couple of good shots himself while the clowns laugh at him… Then they rush him…

EARLIER – The boys are in their hotel room and are trying to figure out what kind of monster they’re hunting. Sam decides to go back to Plucky’s to interview the employees with Dean hanging back to watch them as they leave. Sam takes the manager into the break room to interview while Dean tries to figure out how to get a giant slinky. Sam finds out that the manager has only been in her position for two weeks. She says that there was competition for the position and she was chosen because of an essay she had written about what she would do for the kids. Dean follows her outside after her interview where she smokes some pot. Sam then interviews Howard while Dean teams up with Tyler to stop a kid from cheating on the ski-ball machine. Libby brings Tyler food, and he’s mean to her. Dean tells him he should cut her some slack because he’s been where Tyler is and Tyler should take pity on the old. Tyler is drawing his robot on the disappearing fear paper… he says he’s afraid of them because they shoot lasers out of their eyes.

In the break room, Sam is interviewing a man dressed like a lion named Cliff. He runs from the interview and Dean tackles him. They find out that his brother blew up a meth lab. Cliff brings up that there’s weird stuff happening in the sub basement…

Libby tells Tyler that they need to go, but he’s upset because someone stole his robot drawing. Dean is there and gives Tyler a look. Tyler goes without a fuss, and Dean realizes that Tyler’s robot drawing is gone. He tells Sam that Libby got angry with Tyler. They agree that Libby is probably the next victim. Sam goes to keep surveillance on them while Dean goes to explore Plucky’s. In the basement, Dean finds a garbage can with fire in it and a hoodoo set up. Howard comes in and points a gun at Dean. He says there’s power in fear and when a child draws his fear, a little bit of that mojo winds up on the page. Dean tears up the drawing Tyler did. Howard then confesses that he sent the clowns after Sam.

RIGHT FRIGGIN’ NOW – While Sam is getting beaten up by the clowns, Dean finds out that Howard got passed over for the management position. Howard says that the parents deserve what they got because they’re mean. Dean finds out that Howard’s brother drowned when they were children and no one would listen to Howard’s screams. Dean throws Howard’s drawing into the fire. Howard’s brother appears and he accidentally shoots his brother instead of Dean. Howard begs and says it’s not his fault, but his brother touches him and Howard starts to drown. The clowns rush at Sam but turn into million pieces of glitter before they hit him.

Still covered in glitter, Sam meets up with Dean who can’t help but to laugh at Sam’s appearance. Dean apologizes to Sam about leaving him in Plucky’s when they were kids and psychologically scarring him. Sam said that getting his butt kicked by the clowns was therapeutic for him. In celebration, Sam gives Dean the giant slinky he wanted. Dean says he has a gift for Sam too – a clown doll. Dean says to think of it as “a clown phobia sobriety chip”. Sam leaves his clown doll on the ground and they drive off.

MY THOUGHTS – All in all, this was an entertaining episode. I was glad to see the boys solving a case together like in earlier seasons. I was extremely glad to see Dean smile and laugh at Sam’s appearance while covered in glitter. It’s been such a long time since he’s been happy… and it was a good thing that Sam left his clown doll behind because, while I’m not afraid of clowns, the doll winked which is hugely creepy.

What are your thoughts on “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie”? Let me know!

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