“Well, ‘and beyond weird’ is kinda our thing. This is a case, so let’s work it.”
In the wonderful world of television, there have been episodes of silence, musicals, and those where characters were puppets. Many other unique episodes have aired on the wonderful world of television but never would I have imagined that a Supernatural/Scooby-Doo team up would ever grace the airwaves.
To quote another famous TV character: “Surprise, surprise, surprise.”
Anytime a show starts off with the heroes fighting a life-sized Godzilla-like plush, then you know it’s about to get weird. Even after setting demonic Barney on fire, it seems as if the resolution to that is a bit too fast. Fear not, dear viewers; we soon discover that it’s all connected and the Scooby phantom is behind it all.
A quick summary of the caper is that Scooby and the gang is challenged to stay in a haunted house in order for Scooby to collect his portion of a million dollar inheritance from the deceased Colonel Sanders (no, that’s not a typo). The catch? His mansion is haunted. For those who’ve never watched Scooby Doo (are there really those that haven’t?), it begins by the numbers. That is, until Sam and Dean (and later Castiel) have to keep the Scooby gang alive because this phantom is the real deal, not the real estate developer dressed in a mask. Long story short, our Supernatural trio keeps the Scooby gang safe while at the same time sussing out the truth behind the ghost. Spoiler alert: they get it done.
As fun and flighty as the plot was, the most important aspect of a successful crossover was whether or not the interactions between characters worked (and whether or not Dean would be able to add Daphne to his diary of depravity). While the latter did not come to fruition—though Sam did get lip-locked by “it’s always the quiet ones” Velma—the chemistry between characters is where Scoobynatural scored.
To start, our Supernatural boys sure know how to roll with the punches. Of course, saving the world multiple times and facing what they’ve faced (including the Trickster (aka Gabriel) warping them into several TV shows, being dropped into a cartoon isn’t too big a deal. But when the Scooby gang is faced with the truth, only Dean’s able to snap them out of an impending nervous breakdown. And it’s only when both groups work together that they’re able to trap the phantom.
Despite all the fun and laughs, Scoobynatural does have a downbeat. The phantom turns out to be a little boy who’s tied to a pocket knife. He’s being used by Jay, a seedy real estate developer, to scare people out of their businesses so he can purchase them on the cheap. It’s a sobering moment that even dead cartoon characters don’t hit and is a reminder that, even when we’re having fun with the show, there’s often a sad tale just below the surface.
The animation was straight out of a Scooby Doo cartoon but, considering the advancements in animation, Scoobynatural (purposefully, no doubt) showed a bit of age that, as a purveyor of high-end video games and anime, was visually a letdown. Yet, the character interactions saved any negativity in the visual presentation. Dean’s back and forth with Fred, trying to one-up Daphne’s ascot-wearing beau was my personal highlight in the episode and truly could have used more screen time. As always, Jensen Ackles channels his character’s inner child as good as any actor out there. Every performance is reminiscent of Andy Serkis in Black Panther, where you can feel the actor having a ball being on screen.
All in all, Scoobynatural is a most unique filler episode that, unlike most fillers, can be watched just for the fun of it. And while it may not be lauded for its unique idea, it’s a Supernatural that, ten years from now, many people will remember with fondness.
The Good, The Bad, The Supernatural
- Again, this isn’t one of those Emmy-winning breakthrough episodes. The characters didn’t have deep emotional moments or brilliant execution of poignant dialogue and yet, despite my initial lack of excitement when I first read about the crossover, Scoobynatural is one of my favorite episodes of Season 13. It was just so much fun and, if Dean and Fred had more time to cultivate their rivalry, it would have been even better.
- There were some fun lines littered throughout the hour, with almost all of them courtesy of Dean. Some of the best ones included:
- “Dude, it’s over. Be like Elsa: let it go.”
- “It’s like I’m wrapped in hugs.”
- “Scooby gang does not have nervous breakdowns!”
- “It was a shady real estate developer after all.”
- Though it was a standalone episode, the brief mention of the Trickster/Gabriel was a good one. It was a reminder to our last visit to Asmodeus’s prison where the archangel was imprisoned, stitched mouth and all.
(It was Scoooooooby fun!)