Considering everything they’ve been going through lately, a regular hunt like the one in the Wednesday, Nov. 18 episode of “Supernatural,” 11×07, “Plush,” may be exactly what Sam and Dean need. That may especially be true considering what Sam thinks his visions mean.
It’s a very straightforward case in this “SPN” episode. When a man is seemingly killed by a killer bunny, Sheriff Donna calls in the experts. As she tells Sam and Dean, the guy under the bunny head is really strong and it took a team to get him in custody, but they can’t get the head off. Furthermore, he didn’t even try to kill the victim’s wife and she was right there during the murder. A few puns later (some better than others) and after confirmation that they’re not dealing with a demon, they manage to get a look at his shirt and tattoo (“Kylie Forever”) to give them a lead on identifying whoever’s under the bunny head.
Kylie tells them that he’s her boyfriend, and he bought the costume at a thrift store. As soon as he put on the head, he started acting weird, staring right at her and then leaving without paying. He didn’t know the victim. When Donna and Doug try to transfer him to a police car to bring him to the hospital to try to get the head off, he stands up and attacks, even though he’s been sedated, and Doug has to shoot him to save Donna. When they check on his body, the bunny head is off. As they burn the mask, Donna points out he was a victim too.
But that’s not the end of it. Someone in a school mascot costume attacks a coach in his office, and he’s only saved because a student who was working out in the gym intervenes. Again, the mask won’t come off, but when the student (who is the stereotypical jock who doesn’t understand why he should know the identity of the mascot) tells them the weight room got really cold, they know what they’re dealing with. Once they confirm it’s ghost possession – and Sam gives Donna a quick Ghosts 101 lesson – Dean shoots the mascot with salt pellets, the ghost leaves and the girl in the costume is left confused. She doesn’t remember what happened after she picked up the costume, which had been donated to the school.
Next, they track down the person who donated the costume: Rita. It was her brother’s, as was the bunny head and several others in various places now (including, to Sam’s displeasure, a clown). Her brother, Chester, suffered from depression and took his own life. Her son wanted to keep the costumes because he and Chester were close, but they made her sad, so she donated them instead. Since they can’t burn his bones – he was cremated – all they can do is have Doug and Donna track down and burn his costumes while they try to figure out his unfinished business.
First, however, Sam has to face his own fear and deal with a killer clown when he runs into it after it kills the coach, who had been in a coma, in the hospital. Fortunately, he manages to get the iron he has on him on the person’s skin, and once the ghost is gone, the mask comes off and it’s just an old man. (He, like the girl in the mascot costume, “escapes custody.”)
Slowly, the truth becomes to come out. The first victim’s wife tells Dean that her husband and the coach were college roommates and accused Chester of crossing the line with their kids. When they went to Rita, she refused to listen, so is it possible they killed him and he didn’t kill himself? Rita eventually admits that she started doubting her brother after the accusations and worried since he was so close to Max. Chester was always a little off, she admits, and he only got along with kids, which was why he became a party performer (hence the costumes). She called the first victim back, and he said he’d take care of it. The two men confronted Chester after work one day, but they were only supposed to scare him. Instead, according to their story, they hung him off the bridge to scare him, and, as he insisted he’d never hurt kids, accidentally dropped him. Worried that she would get in trouble too, she never went to the cops because she didn’t want to leave her son.
Though Rita regrets that she didn’t trust her brother, it’s too late because he shows up – this time, possessing Max, thanks to the deer head that he had left in his car when he had been taken to the bridge. They’re able to free Max from the head, but when Sam runs outside to burn it, Chester knocks him out (the number of times Sam is knocked out is bordering on ridiculous), giving the ghost time to get his hands around Dean’s throat. Sam comes to and burns the deer head in time, and then it’s time for them to leave Donna, with the hope that they’ll cross paths when it doesn’t involve murder. (Not likely.)
Meanwhile, Dean finds Sam praying to God again. Sam doesn’t see why it’s hard to believe that God could be sending him the visions, but Dean reminds him that God didn’t show up for the apocalypse. Well, this is about his sister, Sam points out. Is he supposed to just ignore his visions? No, Dean tells him. Just don’t count on God, “count on us.”
In the car after the case, Sam admits that he’s praying to God because if it is God, he’s showing him something he doesn’t know what to deal with: Lucifer’s cage. He’s worried that the visions mean that he has to go back, that that’s where the answer to beating the Darkness is. Dean refuses to believe that. Anything having to do with the cage is suicide, so “not gonna happen.” But Sam still looks very worried. (And who else is worried about what Sam might do to try to get answers?)
“Supernatural” season 11 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 7 “Plush”?