Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie is the 14th episode of Season 7. It aired on February 10th, 2012.
|There was something about being there... It felt pure.|
This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.
DO NOT CHANGE!
Sam is forced to confront a childhood fear when a case takes him and Dean to Kansas to investigate Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie, a local pizza chain that hosts children's birthday parties. Sam and Dean discover that the victims' children had recently been to the restaurant and drawn a picture of their worst fear, which then came to life to kill their parent. While Dean confronts the man behind the magic, Sam is left to deal with some very angry clowns.
Sam is running in terror and gets to the car, insisting that they can't hurt him. "It's okay, they can't hurt you... They CAN hurt you.. if it bleeds you can kill it. Yeah. If it bleeds you can kill it!" Sam mutters to himself. He turns around and looks, and sees a clown waving to him. It charges at Sam and he runs toward a warehouse, and just manages to slam the door shut. However, it smashes in and advances on him, and another one comes up behind him.
Sixty Hours Earlier :
Sam and Dean are waiting at a phone booth. Frank Devereaux finally calls them with an update on the status of the Leviathans. Sam has come up with something and they head to Wichita, Kansas. Brian Harper has been killed by a 30' long octopus that bled him out, but the coroner dismisses it as a fetish attack. The brothers go to talk to the widow, Debra Harper, and they ask if she has noticed any supernatural signs. They then ask if Mr. Harper had any enemies and she finally tells them to talk to Stacey, their nanny, who was there the night he died. As they leave, a young girl watches them from the top of the stairs. Outside, Sam wonders why Mrs. Harper would have summoned an octovampire to kill her husband even if she could.
Dean goes to talk to the nanny, who insists that there was nothing going on between her and Brian. She explains that they threw a birthday party for the Harper's daughter, Kelly, at Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie, a local pizza joint. Brian was only there for five minutes and left, and Debra was out of town. Kelly freaked out when another kid said that her parents didn't love her. Dean asks if she noticed anything weird and the nanny admits that Kelly thinks that there are monsters in her closet.
As Dean leaves, he tells Sam that they should talk to Kelly because she was angry at Brian for missing her birthday party. Sam approaches the house and Kelly remembers him from earlier. Debra calls to her daughter and Kelly says that Debra will get mad at her because she told the police that she warned Brian that the monster would get him. Debra comes out and orders Kelly inside. As she leaves, Sam notices that she's been drawing an octopus-like monster on the sidewalk with chalk.
That night a unicorn is chasing a man through the forest. He climbs over a fence into a baseball field and seemingly evades it, but it rams its horn through a wooden board and impales him from behind.
Sam tries to fight off the clowns and shoots one of them, but the bullets have no effect only releasing puffs of glitter confetti. They knock the gun out of his hand and beat him around.
Thirty-Six Hours Earlier :
Sam and Dean get the call on the murder. Dean goes there and confirms that the police have no idea what ran the man through. The dead man did have an eight-year-old son, Billy Pogue. Dean talks to the widow, Mrs. Pogue, and asks if Billy had a birthday recently. She says that he didn't, but that her husband took Billy to a friend's birthday party. Dean then calls Sam at the motel and asks him about Plucky Pennywhistle's. Sam insists that he hated them and that Dean dumped him there when he went looking for chicks. Dean tells him to check out the local Plucky's while he talks to Billy. When Sam refuses, Dean realizes that it's Sam's fear of clowns kicking in and assures him that if it bleeds, it can be killed.
Sam goes to Plucky's and the attendant, Howard, greets him. He asks for the manager and notices another attendant, Libby, asking her son to stay at a table while she works. Sam notices a board where the children have drawn their worst fears, and an empty slot where Kelly's picture was. The manager, Jean Holiday, comes over, and explains that they don't post the really horrible stuff. He wonders why they ask the kids to draw creepy things and Jean explains that the owner is obsessed with aiding children's development and helping them overcome their fears. Sam asks her about Billy and Jean explains that Billy's father pulled Billy out before the cake was served and who then threw a fit. As Sam calls Dean, the janitor calls him over and says that they're being watched but that he needs to talk to him after closing.
Afterward, Sam goes back to the motel and tells Dean what he's learned, and that the pictures that belonged to Billy and Kelly weren't there. Dean explains that he talked to Billy, who drew him a picture of a unicorn.
The janitor, Saul, is leaving for the night but Jean tells him that he has to clean puke out of the ball pit. As Saul goes to work, something moves through the pit behind him and bites his leg. He tries to get out but it pulls him under and then spits him out.
Sam and Dean arrive at Plucky's to meet Saul and see the police out front. The brothers check the body and confirm how he died. The police think that the ball washer did it, but the bite marks are those of a 20' shark. They go inside and confirm that the picture belonging to Omar Cooper is missing. Sam figures that Omar is afraid of sharks and that whoever is responsible wanted to silence a whistleblower. The brothers search the place and scan for EMF.
The next morning, Libby arrives for work and gives her son, Tyler, some money so he can take the bus to school. They leave the car, with Tyler leaving his sketch of a giant robot with laser eyes on the seat.
The clowns continue to beat Sam until he grabs a tire iron and fights back.
Four hours earlier :
Back at the hotel, Sam and Dean try to figure out what's responsible but don't come up with anything. They didn't find anything at Plucky's and Sam suggests that he go back, play bad cop, and lean on them. Dean isn't impressed with the plan but Sam tells him to hang back, act normal, and follow anybody who reacts.
When Sam arrives at Plucky's, Jean tells him that they've roped off the ball pit area but not even death can slow the birthday fun at Plucky's. He insists on talking to Jean privately. As they go in a back office, Dean watches them and tries to blend in. However, a young girl with a giant slinky soon catches his attention. He goes to the prize counter and talks to Howard trying to purchase the slinky, who insists that he can only get a prize with tickets, not cash.
Sam demands answers from Jean, who states that she was by the cash register at the time of Saul's death, which can be seen on the security cameras. When she mentions that she's new at the job and recently promoted, Sam asks if there was a lot of competition and Jean admits that she had to write an essay. He continues to pressure her but gets no more useful information.
Dean is playing skeeball for tickets when Jean comes out. He follows her and sees her light up a joint (marijuana) out in the back lot whilst on her break. While Sam interrogates Howard, Tyler sees a kid cheating at skeeball and tells him to stop. The kid is unimpressed until Dean comes over and yells at him. Libby serves her son some pizza who complains about it with her quickly going back to work, Dean notices and suggests that Tyler cut her some slack. He explains that he understands as his dad used to haul him places too and that Libby is trying her best, working hard. Dean notices that Tyler is drawing a robot and the boy admits that he's scared of them, as they have laser eyes.
Sam interrogates one of the mascots in a lion costume, Cliff, and the guy cracks, throws his stuffed head at Sam, and runs out the door. Dean and Sam run after him and finally tackle him, and the guy insists that his brother was the one running a meth lab in Butte, that they just have the same fingerprints. Cliff has no idea about people dying from children's worst fears, but mentions that there's a sub-basement and that he and Saul found out about it. They heard spooky stuff through the vents coming up from the boiler room.
Libby is taking her son home and he complains that someone stole his sketch. When Tyler sees Dean, he apologizes to her and they leave. Dean confirms that the drawing is gone and figures that Libby will be the next victim. Sam goes after Libby while Dean goes to check out the boiler room. He breaks in and finds a glowing brazier covered in occult symbols and various children's sketches on the wall. Howard comes in behind him with a gun and explains that he can draw on the children's fears, toss their sketches in the fire combined with something that the parent owns, to manifest the spell. He insists that he's just doing what he needs to, and Dean manages to disarm him. He rips apart Tyler's sketch, but Howard says that he has bigger plans and had torched Sam's business card, and chose a special picture from his collection just for Sam as he found Sam jumpy around clowns.
Sam gets out of his car and finds himself face-to-face with a maniacal clown.
Right Friggin' Now :
Dean notices that Howard has a collection of handmade Plucky dolls. Howard complains that management passed him over and glances nervously at the dolls. The man insists that the parents deserved what they got, and that a good parent puts their children first. Howard figures that the children would have been better off in the long run, and Dean realizes that Howard's brother is dead. One of the sketches shows him drowning and Howard insists that it wasn't his fault and that his parents didn't listen to him shouting for help. He insists that his parents let his brother die.
Sam continues to fight off the clowns.
Dean grabs the sketch and taunts Howard, saying that he's found what he's afraid of. He throws the sketch and one of Howard's dolls into the fire. Howard opens fire but Howard's dead brother appears, soaking wet, and advances on Howard with the bullet wounds, that he absorbed, closing up. Howard insists that it wasn't his fault but his brother touches his hand and Howard falls to the ground, drowning as water pours out of his mouth.
The clowns charge at Sam... and disappear in a burst of glitter confetti.
Sam, covered in confetti and seltzer, drives back to find Dean at Plucky's. Dean can't stop laughing, telling him he looks like he's been through a round with a couple of strippers. As they get ready to leave, Dean apologizes for psychologically scarring him by ditching him at Plucky's when they were kids. Sam admits that it was somewhat therapeutic and figures that a clown can't do anything worse to him now. He then gives Dean the giant slinky that he won and which Dean had been hankering for since his youth. Dean has a Plucky doll for him but Sam leaves it behind on the ground of the Plucky's parking lot as they drive off.
(As the credits roll, the doll winks at the camera/audience and laughs in an eerie recorded voice.)
- Jakob Davies as Tyler
- Michael Blackman Beck as Howard
- Jennifer Spence as Jean Holiday
- Dagan Nish as Cliff
- Caroline Cave as Libby
- James O'Sullivan as Saul
- Ali Skovbye as Kelly Harper
- Caitlin Stryker as Stacey
- Lini Evans as Debra Harper
- Laura Jaye as Mrs. Pogue
- Garvin Cross as Mr. Pogue
- Will Verchere-Gopaulsingh as Clown #1
- Trevor Lerner as Brian Harper (uncredited)
- Timothy Wallace as Balloonist (uncredited)
- Will Wood as Clown #2 (uncredited)
Featured Supernatural Beings
- Amazons (mentioned only)
- Angels (mentioned only)
- Constructs (Clowns, Unicorns; Giant Vampiric Octopus, Giant Robots, mentioned only)
- Fairies (mentioned only)
- Leprechaun (mentioned only)
- Vengeful Spirit (Howard's brother)
- Witch (Howard)
- The last episode where the Winchesters go to Kansas was Hello, Cruel World.
- Last time Sam's fear of clowns was mentioned was in Everybody Loves a Clown.
- When looking at the pictures, Dean remarks that leprechauns are deadly, a reference to the brothers encounter with the fairies in Clap Your Hands If You Believe.
- The brothers are still on the trail of the Amazons from the previous episode, and Dean makes mention of his late Amazon daughter.
- Antagonist: Howard.
- The title of the episode is the same as the title of Howard's place of employment.
- The name "Plucky Pennywhistle" is a reference to Pennywise, who is a monster that takes the form of a clown in Stephen King's "It."
- The death of Saul is reminiscent of the iconic shark attack scene from Jaws.
- Sam refers to the clowns that attacked him as "juggalos", a term that refers to fans of the Insane Clown Posse.
- The opening splatter is in clown paint instead of black goo.
- With the countdown, this episode is parodying the show 24, where Misha Collins portrayed Alexis Drazen for 7 episodes.
- When Dean answers the phone in the booth, he says 'I am the eggman.' - this is a line/reference to the Beatles' song I am the Walrus.
- The unicorn stabbing the second victim's heart through a wall mimics Salvador Dalí's "Unicorn" sculpture.
- The line "If it bleeds, you can kill it" is a reference to the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, Predator.
- At one point, Dean comments to Cliff that they don't care if he "broke bad or whatever." This is a reference to the AMC series Breaking Bad about a high school chemistry teacher who starts producing meth to make money after being diagnosed with cancer. Jim Beaver guest stars in several episodes of Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul as Lawson, a gun dealer.
- Dean brings up the Iron Giant, a character from the 1999 animated movie of the same name.
- During the scene where Dean helps Tyler stop a kid from cheating on the Ball Toss machine, the score on the machine changes up and down for each frame it's seen in.
- Dean: A few simple rules, okay. No babies. No baby mamas. No bars, no booze, no hot chicks of any kind.
- Dean: Seriously, Frank, Pay phones? Come on, I'm getting the clap off this thing just touching it.
- Sam:"So we got dick on Dick?
- Sam: Yeah, they think the ball washer did it.
- Dean: The what?
- Sam: The ball washer.
- Dean: The what?
- Sam: The ball ...
- Dean: Yeah, and judging from the radius, I'd say 20 ft at least.
[Sam looks weirdly at Dean]
- Dean: Shark-week, man. How do you not watch that? Whole week of sharks.
- Sam: Alright, I'm on the nanny.
- Dean: No, I'm on the nanny.
- Sam: I thought you say no hot chicks.
- Dean: We don't know that she's hot.
- French: La Ménagerie Enchantée (The Enchanted Menagerie)
- German: Es... sind schon wieder Clowns (It... is clowns again)
- Hungarian: Fóbia (Phobia)