7.14 Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie

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Plucky pennywhistlepromopic.jpg
Title Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie
Episode # Season 7, Episode 14
First aired February 10, 2012
Directed by Mike Rohl
Written by Andrew Dabb
Daniel Loflin
On IMDB Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie
Outline Sam is forced to confront his childhood fear of clowns when he and Dean investigate a rash of strange murders centered around Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie.
Monster Howard
Timeline
Location(s) Wichita, Kansas
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Synopsis

Now
Sam is running from a deranged clown with red eyes when he finds an auto shop to hide in. He barricades the door, but the clown busts through and advances on him. He turns to run, but is stopped short by a second red-eyed clown grinning at him.

60:00:00 Earlier
Dean answers a ringing pay phone with the code phrase "I am the Eggman." It is Frank Devereaux, and he reports that he doesn't have any leads on Dick Roman or what he's doing in the field in Wisconsin. Dean hangs up and asks Sam if they have anything on the Amazons who escaped them in the last episode. Sam says no, then tells Dean that he has a new case in Kansas. Dean agrees to take it, and they head to Wichita in two separate cars.

At the morgue in Wichita, they examine the body of a man who appears to have been killed by a 30-foot giant Pacific octopus with vampire teeth. They don't learn anything from the victim's widow, but she tells them to talk to Stacey, their nanny. While Sam stays to watch the house, Dean goes to question the nanny and finds out that the victim's daughter, Kelly, was very upset the night of the attack. She'd had a birthday party at Plucky Pennywhistle's Magic Menagerie, but her mother was out of town and her father only showed up briefly before going back to work. Dean asks Stacey if she noticed anything weird in the house that night, and she says no, but that Kelly thinks there's a monster in her closet. Dean calls Sam and tells him to talk to Kelly alone if he can.

Sam can see Kelly drawing on the sidewalk with chalk, so he goes up to her. She tells him that her mom is mad at her because of what she told the police: that she warned her dad that the monster would get him. Before she can say anything else, her mom calls her inside, and Sam sees what she's been drawing on the sidewalk: an octopus with vampire teeth.

Now
Sam, confronted with two evil clowns, pulls out his gun and shoots one of them. Instead of seeing sprays of blood, however, he sees glitter explode from the clown's unmarked chest. While he stares in shock, one clown knocks the gun out of his hand and they both start wailing on him.

36:36:06 Earlier
The next victim of weird circumstances is a man who seems to have been gored by someone riding a horse. When Dean questions the victim's widow, he learns that the man was also at Plucky Pennywhistle's the night he died. Not believing it to be a coincidence, he sends Sam to check out the location while he goes to talk to the victim's son, Billy.

Apparently, Dean used to drop Sam off at a Plucky Pennywhistle's whenever he wanted to pick up girls, and Plucky the clown still really freaks Sam out. Still, he goes to the location alone to question the employees, and he learns from the shift manager, Jean Holliday, that they've started an exercise where they ask kids to draw their worst fear so that they can "watch their fear disappear." He also learns that Billy's dad made an embarrassing scene when they were at Billy's friend's birthday party the night before. Just as he's going to leave, a janitor named Saul beckons him over and says that he has something to tell him if he comes back after closing.

Back at their motel, Sam tells Dean that Kelly and Billy drew their fears and that their drawings were on display, but are now missing. Dean tells him what he learned: that Billy is afraid of unicorns and his father was apparently killed by one. They go back to Plucky Pennywhistle's that night so they can talk to Saul, but they're too late: Saul has been killed by a shark in the ball pit and another drawing is missing from the wall. The killer is somehow using childhood fears to murder whoever he or she wants.

Now
The clowns throw Sam against a car and continue to beat him up while he tries to fight them off.

04:34:12 Earlier
Dean consults John's Journal while Sam looks online for a possible culprit, but they don't find anything. Sam decides to go back to Plucky Pennywhistle's and intimidate all the employees, and he tells Dean that he needs to keep watch and see who acts suspiciously.

Whilst Sam starts with Jean, Dean sits around and looks for a way occupy himself and not raise concern (since he is a fully grown man sitting alone among several children) and he sees a girl walk past, playing with a giant slinky. He goes to the ticket booth and ask Howard for one, but Howard tells him he cannot pay in cash, he must use tickets. Whilst Dean plays skeeball to earn the 1000 tickets he needs for the slinky, Sam learns from Jean that she was recently promoted to shift manager over some of the other employees. He uses a "bad cop" technique to freak her out and, after she leaves, Dean follows her. He sees her lighting a joint in the back alley and texts Sam to let him know that she's not the killer. While Sam questions the next employees, Dean meets and briefly speaks to Tyler, an unhappy boy whose mom has to leave him unattended while she works at Plucky Pennywhistle's.

Sam interviews Howard next, and he learns that Howard was passed over for the promotion that Jean received. Still, Howard doesn't react badly to his tough questioning, so Sam interviews Cliff, who immediately makes a run for it when Sam starts in on him. He and Dean chase him down and find out that Cliff is involved in illegal drugs, but isn't behind the recent murders. He does tell them about weird noises that he and Saul have heard from the subbasement, though. Sam and Dean head back inside with Cliff and are just in time to see Tyler leave with his mom. Tyler and his mom argue, but Dean gives Tyler a look as if saying "cut her some slack" Tyler apologises to his mother, and se accepts, the two then leave. While they pass, Dean hears Tyler mention his missing drawing, and he tells Sam that he thinks Tyler's mom is the next victim. Sam leaves to keep watch on them while Dean investigates the subbasement.

In the subbasement, Dean finds an altar, a spell book, and a few mementos. Before he can do anything, though, he's stopped by Howard, who holds a gun on him and makes him surrender his own weapon. Dean kicks away his gun and Howard advances on him. He tells Dean that he used his hoodoo to cast a spell on Sam, and that Sam is going to be attacked by his greatest fear: clowns.

RIGHT FRIGGIN' NOW
As Sam fights off the murderous clowns, Dean stands off against Howard. He learns that Howard is upset about not getting the new managerial position at Plucky Pennywhistle's and that he's convinced he needs to get rid of unfit parents. Dean also finds out that Howard blames his own parents for the drowning death of his brother, and he uses Howard's own hoodoo against him, summoning his dead brother, who kills Howard by filling his lungs with water. The moment Howard is dead, the two clowns that are trying to kill Sam disappear in a shower of glitter.

Dean and Sam meet up afterwards, and Dean has a good laugh when he sees that Sam is covered in glitter from the murderous clowns. Once he's done laughing, he apologizes to Sam for psychologically scarring him when he was younger and making him afraid of clowns. Sam says that it's okay, getting his ass kicked by the clowns was "therapeutic". He then tells Dean he got him a present, and gives him a giant slinky just like the one Dean wanted to buy earlier. Dean takes it, grinning, then throws Sam a clown doll in return. Sam leaves the doll on the ground and they drive away.

Characters

Definitions

Music

None

Quotes

Sam: So, we got dick on Dick?
Dean: That's a vivid way of putting it.
Dean: Hey, you spawn a monster baby and see how quick you want to dive back in the pool.
Dean: So what are we looking for? Octovamp? Vamptopus?
Cliff: If this is about the meth lab that fireballed up in Butte, it wasn't me. Okay, it was my brother, but, um, we got the same fingerprints.
Dean: I'm sorry, you look like you got attacked by some PCP-crazed strippers.

Trivia & References

The title refers to the chain fast food place in the episode "Plucky Pennywhistle's Magic Menagerie," which is similar to the real life chain Chuck E. Cheese, which combines kids arcade games, entertainment and fast food. The name "Pennywhistle" may be a parody of Pennywise, the evil fanged clown in Stephen King's novel (and subsequent movie) It.
The opening sequence of Sam running from the clowns recalls the opening sequence of 4.06 Yellow Fever, where Dean, infected with ghost sickness which amplifies fear, is running in terror from a Yorkshire Terrier. That episode also featured a countdown clock.
Dean: I am the Eggman.
Dean's code phrase to Frank is a quote from the Beatles song "I Am the Walrus", from their Magical Mystery Tour album, which ties in with the fantastical theme of the episode.
Following the scene with Sam's fight with the clowns at the beginning of the episode, the episode returns to sixty hours earlier, with a digital clock on the screen, reminiscent of the real time spy TV show 24. Throughout the episode it counts down the events leading to the fight, until the fight occurs and the timestamp reads RIGHT FRIGGIN' NOW - apparently an addition by Bob Singer
Dean: Fred Savage. Really? Yeah I know big mouths are everywhere.
Fred Savage is an actor, best known for his role as a child in the late eighties series The Wonder Years. He is the second actor Frank has said is a Leviathan. The other was Gwenyth Paltrow.
Dean: You got anything on Wonder Woman?
Dean is referring to the Amazons. One famous queen of the Amazons was Hippolyta. In DC Comics' Wonder Woman, Hippolyta is the mother of Diana, also known as the superhero Wonder Woman.
Dean: So what are we looking for? Octovamp? Vamptopus?
In 6.15 The French Mistake, Kripke was said to be writing the movie Octocobra - a shoutout to the SyFy monster mash-up movies like Sharktopus.
Dean: Mom, Dad, nanny. Man, that is a love triangle straight out of Casa Erotica.
Casa Erotica is one of Sam and Dean's favorite porn series.
Dean: Can you get to her without tripping the Amber Alert?
An AMBER Alert, or a Child Abduction Emergency, is a child abduction alert bulletin in several countries throughout the world, issued upon the suspected abduction of a child, in use since 1996.
In 1.15 The Benders, Dean and Deputy Kathleen Hudak used photos taken as a part of the Amber Alert program to follow the car that left the parking lot around the time Sam went missing.
Dean: I can't argue with this. Leprechauns are deadly.
Sam and Dean encountered a leprechaun calling himself Wayne Whittaker in 6.09 Clap Your Hands If You Believe....
Dean: Close, but no Seabiscuit.
Seabiscuit was a famous racehorse in the US in the 1930s and 1940s.
In 2.13 Houses of the Holy, when Dean is disputing the existence of angels, he acknowledges to Sam that there is a lot of lore on them, as there also is on unicorns: "In fact, I hear that they, they ride on silver moonbeams, and they shoot rainbows out of their ass." In this episode as the unicorn canters away, it is seen to shoot rainbows out of its ass, thus confirming Dean's "lore."
The scene where Saul the janitor gets attacked by a shark in the ball pit recreates the iconic first attack in Jaws.
Dean: Shark week man. How do you not watch that? Whole week of sharks!
Both Jensen and his wife Danneel have spoken of their fascination with sharks. Danneel has tweeted her excitement over watching Shark Week, which airs on the Discovery Channel and Jensen has also admitted he loves watching it (Source).
After Dean sees Jean Holliday lighting up a joint outside, he says to Sam "High Times not our gal."
High Times is a magazine dedicated to the legalization of marijuana.
Dean: You mainlined the Kool-Aid, huh?
To "drink the Kool-Aid" means to be brainwashed, a phrase that came into popular usage after 918 followers of cult leader Jim Jones drank Kool-Aid laced with cyanide on his command and died at Jonestown in 1978.
Dean: We don't care if you broke bad or whatever.
Dean is referring to Breaking Bad a series on AMC about a high school chemistry teacher who, after being diagnosed with cancer, starts producing methamphetamines in order to make money.
Cliff: You ever 'shroom in a ball pit?
Cliff is referring to taking what are commonly known as magic mushroom, which have an hallucinogenic effect.
Dean: You scared of robots?

Tyler: (points to his eyes) They have laser eyes!

This recalls the scene from 2.12 Nightshifter where Ronald Resnick shows Sam and Dean the security tape which features a shapeshifter (that Ronald thinks is a mandroid).

Ronald: (points to his eyes) He's got the laser eyes!

When Dean meets Ronald's spirit in 4.02 Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester, he says "Ronald, huh? With the laser eyes?"
Sam: Getting my ass kicked by those juggalos tonight was... therapeutic.
Juggalo is a slang term for followers of the band Insane Clown Posse.
Sam: If it bleeds, you can kill it.
This is a line from the movie Predator.
Dean: No can do, Hermano.
Hermano is Spanish for brother.
Dean: The one guy who was gonna rat, he got Bruced.
The mechanical shark used the movie Jaws was named Bruce.
Dean: Seriously - Dractopus, Seabiscuit the Impaler, Landshark... what's next?.
Landshark was a recurring character in Saturday Night Live sketches.

Minutiae

This episode features the second variant on the Title Card for the season. The first one was the exploding wedding cake for 7.08 Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!.
Michael Beck who played Howard is the husband of Julie McNiven who played Anna.
Sam and Dean are staying at a tiki themed motel called the Tiki Motel.
Sam and Dean use the aliases Agent Johnson and Jones, respectively, in this episode.
Sam and Dean use John's Journal for research.
In 2.13 Houses of the Holy Dean tells Sam, [unicorns] "shoot rainbows out of their ass." In this episode a rainbow is seen shooting out of the unicorn's ass.
With hoodoo, Dean summons an apparition of Howard's drowned brother, who causes Howard to drown on land. Similar deaths occurred previously in 3.06 Red Sky at Morning, caused by a ghost.
From Jim Michaels - "The basement scene in Plucky's for last night's episode was shot underneath the Stages that housed Smallville's sets for 10 years!"

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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