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Supernatural: Playthings

Dean: "Of course the most troubling question is, why do these people assume we're gay?"
Sam: "Well, you are kind of butch, but I think you're overcompensating."

Sam was a lot of fun in this one. He's usually the serious, dedicated brother, the straight man, pun intended, for Dean's wisecracks. Faced with an extremely scary possible future, he got heroic, drunk, freaked and then heroic again. And for once, he got the best line.

I'm not much for horror movies, but The Shining is probably my favorite scary book and I've seen the movie. They've mentioned it before, but this episode was probably the Shining-est – with the old hotel controlled by evil spirits who wanted the family to die and stay with them, a kid who was able to see the spirit, Room 237, and the scene with Sherwin behind the bar. And that huge, amazing dollhouse. (I know there was a model house in the book; I don't remember if there was one in the movie.) I would have loved a dollhouse like that when I was a kid. Probably without the hoodoo death dolls, though.

Dolls can be creepy, because hey, any representation of a human that isn't quite right is creepy. The dolls (of course) represented dead people – not only the ones that Maggie killed, but Maggie herself as well. Dan and I guessed immediately that Maggie was a spirit masquerading as an "imaginary friend," but the ending, with Grandma Rose giving her life to protect her family and spending eternity playing with her sister, was unexpected and touching. What will happen to the two spirit sisters when the hotel comes down?

This episode may have been the pinnacle of Dean and Sam's masquerade follies. They were mistaken for gay antique collectors, and they pretty much just went with it. Loved how Dean got Sam with that story about Sam's doll collection. Sam's face, as he was forced to admit he collected dolls and dressed them up in tiny outfits, was just priceless.

Bits and pieces:

— Sam made Dean promise to kill him if he went dark side. All well and good, but I don't think Dean is capable of killing Sam. See "Croatoan."

— Maggie was played by Conchita Campbell, who also played the little girl in The 4400.

— Tyler's mother thanked both of them in the end, but she only hugged Sam. Sam's warmer. Dean is less warm, as well as bossy and short. But cuter.

— This week, we went to the Pierpont Inn in Cornwall, Connecticut. The story opened with them still in Peoria, hoping to find Ava. Good luck with that, guys.

— Dean checked in as Mr. Mahogoff. According to Google, Jack Mahogoff was listed as a musician. I have no idea who he is.


Dean: "Just figured after Ava, there'd be, you know, more angst and droopy music, staring out the rainy windows. Yeah, I'll shut up now."

Sam: "So I'm not giving up on her, but I'm not going to let other people die, either. We gotta save as many people as we can."
Dean: "Wow. That attitude is just way too healthy for me. I'm officially uncomfortable now, thank you."

Dean: "Dude, this is sweet. We never get to work jobs like this."
Sam: "Like what?"
Dean: "Old school haunted houses, you know? Fog, secret passageways, sissy British accents. Might even run into Fred and Daphne while we're inside. Mm, Daphne. Love her."

Dean: "Wow. This is a lot of dolls. And they're nice, you know. They're not super creepy at all."

Sam: (drunk) "You're bossy. And short."

Dean: "You know, there's a really good hangover remedy. It's a greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray."
Sam: "Oh, I hate you."
Dean: "I know you do."

Dean: (about the immobile Grandma Rose) "You know, she could be faking."
Sam: "Yeah. What do you want to do, poke her with a stick? (Dean is obviously considering it) Dude, you're not gonna poke her with a stick!"

And yet another good episode. Three out of four stars,

Billie Doux adores Supernatural which is a good thing since apparently, it's eternal.


  1. Sam also saved her and her daughter's life. That would count for something in my books!

  2. The house was definitively creepy but this another one of my least favorites. I don´t know but something is missing here.

  3. only in the world of television is 6' considered short.

    I went where you did with the dollhouse. I gasped when I saw it. Gorgeous.

  4. Yes, Room 237! It was referenced in the season premiere, too: when one of the patients was coding, the room was 237.

  5. "Sam's warmer. Dean is less warm, as well as bossy and short. But cuter."

    God, this made me chuckle to myself. Well done, Doux :)

  6. I'm really late to the Supernatural party as I'm just now making my way through the show on Amazon prime... but I'm totally not getting this show. I know it's well respected and loved, but I actually fast forwarded through the drunk scene because I'm so tired of the "dad" storyline.

    Maybe the show just isn't aging well, or perhaps it's not good for binge watching (I didn't enjoy Person of Interest during a binge watch while I LOVED POI when it first aired on network TV). When I watch Supernatural all I can think is if I'm looking for my X-Files / Fringe fix then maybe I should just watch those shows for the umpteenth time. I also think the show struggles from not having a POV character that represents the viewer at home. There's no Scully disbelieving Mulder or Olivia being shocked by Walter... Dean and Sam know everything so the viewer just watches it play out instead of being along for the ride.

    So I rant all that to say... IF Supernatural seems like it would be the perfect show for my tastes but isn't, what should I be watching instead to get my X-Files / Fringe fix?

  7. Dr. Johnny Fever, everyone's mileage varies. I'm not sure what to recommend, other than to keep trying to find what works for you.

    If it makes any difference, you're only a couple of episodes away from the two that made me decide I had to review this show -- "Born Under a Bad Sign" and "Tall Tales."

  8. First... thank you for this site. I came here for Buffy/Angel and have never left. Douxreviews has a permanent place in my daily newsfeed!

    I understand it's tough to recommend stuff but thanks for encouraging me to hang in there for a few more episodes.

  9. Dr. Johnny Fever, thank *you* for sticking around at Doux. I recognize your name and always enjoy your comments, and of course, I know where you got that name. I watched every season of WKRP.

    Supernatural does have an initial arc that is complete at the end of season five, fwiw. Some people say they should have stopped there. Not me, of course, but I do understand that fifteen seasons can be too much of a good thing.

  10. Did anyone else think the love for Daphne was a tribute to Sarah Michelle Gellar aka Buffy? Or was it just me who read it that way?

  11. I came really late to the Supernatural party Buti absolutely am a fan. The acting, stories, feeling, directing and cinematic quality of the show is outstanding. I have seen lot of tv shows over my years and nothing compares with Supernatural. This episode gave the viewer a mini version of The Shining ambience . Padalecki gave a wonderful performance. These actors draw the audience into their lives. So happy that I get to enjoy it over and over!

  12. I read a book called The Dollhouse Murders in which the dolls moved around by themselves when I was eight or nine years old and found it very scary. I also happened to have a large dollhouse in my room at the time, which I promptly made my mother remove. I think that is why I found this episode extra creepy. I still really enjoyed it, though.


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