Episode: Supernatural 5.15 – “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”
Original Air Date: March 25, 2010
Allow me to be blunt: This episode was boring. Zombies? Really? Didn’t they already do zombies, or is it just that everyone’s doing zombies lately? This was the Death episode, and that in itself was disappointing twofold. One, they didn’t show Death. Two, Death was being referred to as a “he” the whole time. Really, the only element that brought my rating up to a 3 instead of a 2 was Jim Beaver portraying Bobby’s heartache. Other than that, big ole bowl full of meh. Way to come back from that ridiculous hiatus, Show.
Zombie Guy crawls out of grave. Zombie Guy breaks into Lemmy Wannabe’s place incredibly stealthy for a zombie. Zombie Guy kills Lemmy Wannabe. Title card.
The brothers roll into Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where Bobby lives and the zombie murder happened (okay, how many of us were secretly hoping Bobby lived in Deadwood for an awesome reference moment?) to look into the zombie case. They can’t get ahold of Bobby and we get the sense that they’ve been trying and leaving messages for him a number of times. They decide to talk to the eyewitness, a man who calls himself “Digger,” who recounts the opening scene for them. He also reveals that the Lemmy Wannabe killed the Zombie Guy (whose name is Clay) five years ago in a “hunting” accident. Digger speculates that Zombie Clay crawled out of the grave to get revenge. That’s when Fargo (a.k.a. Sheriff Mills) runs into them and wants to talk to their FBI supervisor. Too bad she recognizes Bobby’s voice when he decides to answer one of his many phones. Busted! She tells them to lock it up and stop doing whatever it is they’re planning on doing.
At Bobby’s, the boys confront him about not answering the phone when they’d tried to call him.
Dean: “Where’ve you been?”
Bobby: “Playing Murderball.”
He claims that nothing’s going on and it feels like a boldfaced lie, but it’s Bobby so it has to be the truth, right?
Dean obviously isn’t buying what Bobby’s trying to sell. He makes a stop by the cemetery to verify that Zombie Clay is in fact still in his grave like Bobby says he should be before the brothers head out of town. Good call because the coffin is empty. Why would Bobby lie to them about something like this?
That leads the Winchesters to break into Zombie Clay’s house, where they find him, tell him they’re FBI, and somehow manage to get him to confess to not only being the walking dead but also Lemmy Wannabe’s murderer. So they play FBI and take Zombie Clay into custody. Fargo shows back up and busts them for real this time since they’re both carrying firearms and at least one of them (Dean) looks like he’s gonna use it. So the local 5-0 being totally alright with a ZOMBIE walking around seemed a little suspicious to me.
Zombie Clay: “I can’t believe you were going to shoot me!”
Dean: “You’re a zombie!”
Zombie Clay: “I’m a taxpayer!” (which I don’t think is technically true since he’s been dead and not working for the past five years, right?)
Bobby bails them out and has to admit that he lied/didn’t exactly tell them the whole truth. The dead have been rising from the grave for a week. Weird part is, he’s all very calm and nonchalant about admitting this. Which is strange for Bobby. He tells them there isn’t anything here for them to take care of because there are zombies and there are zombies. Whatever that means. One way or another, if it was dead and it comes back from the dead, it’s going to be bad news in a legendary way.
He takes them back to his house to explain. Boy, is that a jaw dropper! The reason there are many subtle layers in the zombie category is because Karen, Bobby’s wife who he had to kill because she was possessed by a demon, the reason he became a hunter, his DEAD WIFE has also returned from the great beyond. And she’s baking pies.
Dean totally eats the pie. He loves him some pie. As soon as Karen leaves the menfolk to enjoy her delicious baked goods, the boys fly off the handle on Bobby. As per his usual self, he insinuates that the brothers are idiots if they think he didn’t test her every way he knew how (silver, holy water, the usual). Nothing worked on her and he isn’t sure what she is. Bigger shocker: she didn’t rise from a grave. She had been cremated, but her ashes were buried in the cemetery where all the other zombies are coming from (there are about 15-20 on the list Bobby compiled). Sam asks if there were any omens, and Bobby has to concede that, yes, the lightning storms were an omen. There’s also that passage in that arcane and obscure version of Revelations they all have copies of that mentions a pale horse with a rider that carries a scythe. Dean makes a “Another Horseman? Must be Thursday” comment, and this show is turning into Buffy Lite with way more women in refrigerators piling up in the basement.
It’s pretty heartbreaking, watching Bobby talk about how Karen doesn’t remember being possessed, or that he had to kill her, how she hums when she cooks, and how he thought he’d never hear that again. He tries to talk the boys into believing that Revelations doesn’t say anything “bad” happens after the dead rise from their graves, just that they rise. It kind of sounds like he’s trying to convince himself too. He’s just so desperate to hold onto her, the love of his life returned to him in one piece, albeit in a slightly more greyish color than she might have been before. It’s sad to watch because you think about all the ones you’ve lost that you’d like to have returned to you and how desperate you hold onto that illusion that it’s really them. It gets heartbreaking when you know that the actor himself lost his wife in real life, and you just have to wonder how he can do what he’s doing for the entertainment of others. It’s just sad.
After leaving Casa Singer, the boys decide to split up. Dean goes back to Bobby’s to make sure Karen doesn’t mistake his face for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and Sam takes on the list Bobby complied. While he’s watching the house, Karen sneaks up on Dean and gets him to come inside for more pie. He really can’t say “no” to pie. Why doesn’t Michael offer him some pie in exchange for being his vessel? Worth a shot at this point, if you ask me, but I guess angels don’t think outside the box very often. Karen’s also smarter than she’s been letting on. She knows they’re all hunters, and she remembers everything that happened before she died. Dean doesn’t get why she wouldn’t just tell Bobby this, and she basically says that because she loves him she won’t. She couldn’t cause him that kind of pain on top of what he already carries.
Sam’s door-to-door first leads him to Fargo’s house where she, her husband, and their Zombie offspring are having family fun time. Next, he moves onto an old, creepy house where he notices blood on the front stoop. Using his big gorilla hands to muscle the door handle open, he walks in to find Zombie Mrs. Jones laid up in bed. She’s coughing those really juicy, been smoking for 20-odd years and won’t stop ever kind of coughs, making hand gestures for him to come closer. Dude, no. First of all, the cough. You know if you get closer, there’s a good chance you’ll get zombie phlegm on your face. Speaking of faces: Two, her face looks like the backside of Baron Harkonnen, and there’s a good chance one of those sores could ooze some thing gross onto your face. Two in the head, one in the throat, and back to Bobby’s is how this should have played out, but Sammy needs to give us our gross-out scene.
Yeah, Sam. You weren’t the only one who regretted that decision.
Back at Bobby’s, things don’t go that great. The brothers are a little perturbed about Zombie Mrs. Jones spitting up all over Sam’s face while trying to gnaw it off. They are adamant about killing all the zombies in town before they all turn, and that plan doesn’t go over well with Papa Bear. He actually pulls out a revolver and tells them to get off his property. He’s not going to let anyone else take out Karen if she turns (he’s still trying to convince himself she’s not like the other zombies). The whole time, Sam seems to understand what Bobby’s going through while Dean seems to just not get it.
As it turns out, Dean’s not liking this because he’s not willing to leave Bobby alone with Karen to possibly die. He tells Sam and he and Dean are Bobby’s family, and it finally makes sense why he’s acting like Bobby’s being completely out of character. He doesn’t want to lose anymore people he cares about. So Dean resolves to stay and take care of Karen whether Bobby likes it or not, and Sam goes to save the town on his own (if he can’t convince Fargo to help him).
That turns out to be easier that initially thought now that her Zombie Kid has turned and started eating his father. They decided to get weapons and take all the non-zombies in town to the jail to better protect them. But first, Sammy has to go back into Fargo’s house and give the Zombie Kid a head shot. Brutal.
Everyone’s turning at the same time! Karen is herself enough to tell Bobby that she remembers everything and that he needs to kill her again before she completely goes native. She also mentions that Death personally was there when she came back and he had a message for Bobby. I’m a little confused on why Death would bring people back to life. Granted, they aren’t exactly the same before they died, but still seems backwards in comparison to the other Horsemen. Dean shows up right after Bobby kills Karen, and it’s a good thing he wasn’t willing to leave him alone as there isn’t time to mourn. Things are about to get nasty.
It’s a Zombie Blitzkrieg at the Singer Salvage! All the zombies in town are trying to take out Dean and Bobby. Good thing Sam’s a smarty pants and figured out what was going on when none of the zombies came after the townspeople. He and Fargo show up to save Bobby and Dean (who were trying to hide out in a closet). I think they should equip Bobby’s chair with some sort of machine gun or something. An ammo storage unit at least. I’m just saying, that could have been handy.
The next day, the zombies they killed are cremated and everyone that’s left in town is just stunned and freaked. The Apocalypse is starting to be a real downer for everyone. Bobby cremates Karen on his own. Dean tries to make him feel better by saying at least he got another five days with her. Bobby tells him that makes everything a thousand times worse. “She was the love of my life. How many times do I have to kill her?” Just break what’s left of my heart there, Bobby! Turns out Death came specifically for Bobby, in a roundabout indirect way since “he” never actually showed up. The message Karen got to deliver was that this was intended to get Bobby out of the picture, one way or another, to stop the continued delay of the Big Showdown.
So after four and a half seasons, we finally got a proper Bobby episode. Why do I get the feeling like they’re going to kill him off just like everyone else who’s been awesome on this show?
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars