Episode Title: "Shut Up, Dr. Phil"
Writers: Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming
Director: Phil Sgriccia
Previously on "Supernatural":
While investigating some strange deaths in Michigan, the Egyptian God Osiris (Faran Tahir) put Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) on trial for his life. Sam (Jared Padalecki) volunteered to serve as Dean's defender in the trial; which temporarily brought Jo Harvelle (Alona Tal) back from the great beyond as an unwilling witness against Dean. Knowing that the next witness would be Sam's kitsune friend, Amy (Jewel Staite); Dean accepted premature judgement (rather than let Sam know that he murdered Amy because he thought she would kill again) and Dean was found guilty by the guilt in his own heart.
Although Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) and Sam found a way to get rid of Osiris for a few centuries, Dean's guilt lingered and he refused to open up to Sam about what he had done. Meanwhile, a Leviathan named Chet (Sean Owen Roberts) pursued the brothers by tracking their credit card transactions. Chet also poured hot cheese on one of his human victims before eating the man.
In a beauty salon, a woman named Wendy Goodson (Alycia Purrott) dies horribly in a freak hairdryer accident. Elsewhere, Dean is haunted by dreams about Castiel's death, Sam's fragile mental state and the death of Amy; which he deals with by drinking constantly. He and Sam soon learn about Wendy's death and another strange killing in the town of Prosperity, Indiana before deciding to investigate. Meanwhile, Chet continues to close in on them, with a human victim locked in his trunk as a snack.
Once the brothers arrive in Prosperity, Dean finds a strange coin behind Wendy's chair and he notices that her picture on a bus bench reality advertisement is surrounded by dead plants. At a construction yard, Dewey Stevens (Jason Bax) is killed when his nailgun begins floating and firing at him while he uses a portable toilet. Once Sam and Dead arrive, the local law enforcement admit that they are stumped over this death. The brothers find another coin like the one near Wendy's chair and they soon learn that the common link is Don Stark (James Marsters), a local developer and philanthropist.
The brothers speak to Don at his home and he notes that the project he was working on with Wendy, Dewey and the other victim simply fell through. While snooping around, Sam finds witchcraft objects in the closet and discovers that Don's wife, Maggie Stark (Charisma Carpenter) recently left him. Downstairs, Don boasts that he is admired in the town, but Sam calls him out on his wife. After some prodding from Dean, Don admits that he had a brief affair with Wendy and that he and his wife are separated as a result of that. The brothers also meet Don's assistant, Jenny Klein (Cindy Busby); who seems overly friendly with her boss.
The next stop for the Winchester brothers is Maggie's home, where Dean sneaks in and discovers photos of all of the victims with blood markings placed over a shrine. Sam alerts Dean to Maggie's return by setting off her car alarm and he sneaks out with Jenny's photo. Inside, Maggie discovers the missing photo and takes out a replacement before reciting a spell. In her kitchen, Jenny begins coughing up blood until Sam and Dean arrive and destroy the coin. They advise Jenny to get out of town and stay away from Don, but she insists that he is just her boss.
At the local community center, Maggie is getting an exhibition of her art ready with her best friend, Sue (Meredith McGeachie) when Don arrives to speak with her. Don accuses Sue of spreading lies about him and he insists to Maggie that Wendy was a one time misstep. He also warns his estranged wife about Sam and Dean's investigation, but she seems fully aware that they are hunters. He tells her to stop the murders now and she basically laughs him off. Outside, the brothers watch Don as he sees the porcelain statue bust of himself break due to Maggie's sorcery. The brothers conclude that Don is the Darren in this "Bewitched" like setup.
As the brothers gather the ingredients for an anti-witch spell, Maggie's art opening gets closer. Sue builds up her friend's ego… until the paintings start melting and Sue is suddenly decapitated. The brothers then realize that both Don and Maggie are witches. But they fail to notice that Chet the Leviathan has caught up to them. Just when Don and Maggie are about to unleash their magic upon each other, the Winchesters arrive and attempt their spell… which fails horribly. As the two witches prepare to destroy them, Sam and Dean act as impromptu marriage counselors and share that Don wasn't cheating with Jenny.
After tossing around the brothers a few times, Maggie and Don reconnect and kiss while the brothers watch in amazement (and under threat from magically conjured bees). Sometime later, the brothers return to their hotel room only to find Chet waiting for them. He easily begins choking both brothers before Don arrives and casts a spell that immobilizes Chet. He then removes two of the curse coins planted by his wife to use against the brothers, saving their lives twice in thanks for helping him save his marriage. Don also explains that his spell on Chet won't last forever and he suggests that they drop him down a bottomless pit.
With Chet in their trunk, the Winchesters prepare to drive off. Sam gives Dean another opportunity to explain why he's been drinking so heavily, but Dean once again says that he is fine.
The highlight for this episode was easily seeing the two "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" alumni, Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters working together again. Unfortunately, their time together in this episode is limited to just a few scenes, but they were still very fun to watch as they played off of each other.
Don's true nature as a witch himself was a nice surprise, although I kind of preferred him as the slightly clueless Darren type who didn't realize just how dangerous his wife was. There was a sense of history between Don and Maggie from the way they reacted to the various magical torments placed upon them. They were both entertaining, but Don had the edge thanks to his hilarious smirk as he ruined Maggie's art exhibition and decapitated a woman that he blamed for poisoning his marriage.
The downside is that Don really overshadowed the Winchester brothers at the end by so easily disabling the Leviathan, Chet. And let's take a brief moment to note how unsatisfying the Leviathans are as the new villains. We could have had a whole season of the Winchester brothers versus Castiel as God instead of these lame super demons who like dunking people in cheese as they eat them. As far as I'm concerned, the Leviathans can't go away fast enough.
This episode also made Sam and Dean look a little like ineffectual heroes; which works in a comedic episode like this. But it was getting a little overboard when they needed Don to save them at the end. That said, the marriage counseling scene was very amusing; especially when the witches began hitting them with spells even when the brothers were being supportive about their relationship.
Jim Beaver's absence in this episode felt odd, since Dean was regularly on the phone with Bobby and essentially reacting to jokes and dialog that only he heard. If Beaver isn't going to be in every episode, why waste valuable story time pretending like he's still there?
If I wasn't so dismayed by the Leviathans as villains, I'd say that the episode did a good job of mixing the stand alone story with the ongoing season-long arc. Small problems aside, this was one of the more enjoyable episodes this season.
Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.