Blogger Kell Harker casts her verdict on episode fifteen of Supernatural’s fifth season. (WARNING: contains spoilers!)
5.15 “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”
Written by Jeremy Carver
Directed by John Showalter
THE ONE WHERE Sam and Dean explode some zombie heads when Death rides into Bobby’s hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
VERDICT You know the end is seriously effing nigh when the dead come back to life and attack the living. And what would a good apocalypse be without zombies?
Although it starts off with the undead not posing any real immediate threat to the town folk, it’s quite predictable that they’ll soon start craving human flesh. But it’s the anticipation that makes it so enjoyable to watch! The scene where Sam is leaning in closer and closer to a whispering zombified old lady Jones - you just know she’s going to attack him any second - built up the tension perfectly and then shifted everything to a faster pace with more action and scares.
A potentially offensive scene for some might be the zombification of the sheriff’s little boy. It was creepy seeing him gorging himself on his father’s stomach insides and then needing to be killed by Sam (although they chose not to show it) was morbid. But it was entertainingly morbid. It was an intense scene filled with suspense, gore, and sadness and it was perfectly done. I’m still having flashes of the image of that little boy standing in the middle of his living room drenched in blood and clutching an intestine in his hand. Great stuff. Zombie children are always spookier than zombie adults, aren’t they?!
The one thing that doesn’t work in favour of this episode was the blood spatter on the camera lens. When did it become a documentary?
Of course there’s lots of action, frights, witty one-liners and funny moments (like when a zombie confesses to murder), but it’s the emotional dialogue from Bobby’s character that is most memorable and special for this episode. Bobby doesn’t shows his true feelings (like inner pain) often in the series, so when he has to kill his wife for a second time his melancholy is utterly heartbreaking and believable. The trauma that Bobby suffers rightly ends the episode very dark and depressing (with sad violin music accompaniment.)
EWW! GROSS! This is every zombie fan’s dream episode full of blood spatter, bile, and flesh eatin’. The only thing missing is Bill Pardy as the town sherif.
ZOMBIES WITH BRAAAIIINNNS! A laugh-out-loud scene when Dean realizes that these particular zombies are smart enough to know how to pick the lock on a door.
INBOX Death has a message for Bobby so Karen Singer is resurrected - with zombie side-effect - in order to deliver it to him. It’s a shame though that the message from Death didn’t have a bigger shock value, or perhaps Bobby isn’t telling Sam and Dean everything.
THINGS ARE LOOKING GRIM Death doesn’t actually interact with the Winchester boys or Bobby so we only get a vague description of him from Karen as being “thin like a skeleton.” It will be interesting to see whether or not he’ll be carrying a scythe which is the typical Western depiction of the Grim Reaper.
Dean: “You’re a zombie.”
Clay: “I’m a taxpayer.”
This is a personal article by Kelly Harker. SFX's Jordan Farley will be reviewing this episode in issue 196, on sale 5 May.