Supernatural – Season 13, Episode 16: ScoobyNatural
Starring: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Frank Welker, Grey DeLisle, Matthew Lillard, Kate Micucci
Director: Robert Singer
Writer: Jeremy Adams, Jim Krieg
Reviewed by Sidney Morgan
This review CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. Mork and Mindy and Happy Days. CSI original, CSI Miami and CSI New York. Television show crossovers are always exciting. And networks are aware of this which is why they tease viewers and build up the anticipation to make sure they catch as many viewers as they can. Of course, these happen because of shared universes, and more importantly, shared rights. Angel was Buffy’s lover before spinning off on his own show. Mork began as a character on Happy Days. The three CSI shows are self-explanatory. And a few weeks ago, as I was channel surfing, I came across another crossover episode, this time of Supernatural and Scooby-Doo. Not knowing what to expect, I watched. And wow! Amazing!
In ScoobyNatural, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) stop a living plush dinosaur from haunting Alan (Michael Girardin), a pawn shop owner. Grateful for their work, he offers them to take one item in the shop as payment. Sam initially refuses. Dean convinces him to take a television. Back at their house, they quickly set it up and try it out. But this isn’t any ordinary television set. As Dean begins to channel surf, a purple lightning bolt shoots out of the set and sucks the Winchester brothers in. They’re transformed into two-dimensional animated characters and Dean quickly realizes that they’re in the world of Scooby-Doo! What follows is an almost classic episode of Scooby and the gang.
Dean is a huge fan of Scooby-Doo having watched so many of their episodes. He respects their world and the ‘rules’ that govern it. For starters, unlike in his own world, there are no real monsters here, just people in disguise. And the mysteries they solve all follow similar patterns. So when Fred invites Sam and Dean to tag along and solve a mystery, Dean is ecstatic and has a hoot playing along. Everything is just plain groovy and fun. That is until someone is murdered at the mansion. Failing to understand what’s going on using Scooby-Doo methods, Dean and Sam decide to try à la Supernatural. The first step is to explain some of the truths of their reality to the gang. But it’s easier said than done and has consequences.
In putting these two shows together, the producers had to strike a balance. Supernatural fans would probably be forgiving if the episode played out like a kid’s one. However, producers had to be more careful with Scooby fans, which include children of all ages given its G rating. It couldn’t be too scary or too violent, so no beheadings. And what about monsters themselves, which exist in Supernatural? They don’t really exist in Scooby-Doo, where they turn out to be humans trying to commit some crime and using disguises to scare curious onlookers away. Admittedly, Supernatural made more concessions, but the spirits of both shows are captured and on display, and co-exist perfectly in the final product.
Most of ScoobyNatural felt like a typical Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? or Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode. Most notably is the humour. Dean’s desperate attempts at wooing Daphne (Grey DeLisle) are hilarious. Velma’s (Kate Micucci) own flirting with Sam is just as funny. The whole engine revving, racing scene is a hoot.
Dean realizing that the Mystery Machine can outrace the 1967 Chevy Impala (V-8 engine, 275 hp) is gut-wrenchingly funny. There are also some of the typical Scooby-Doo scenes. The gang and our visitors, run through the halls, go through doors in opposite directions, hide in vases, while the classic Scooby-Doo theme is playing. Inevitably, Sam, Dean, and Castiel (Misha Collins) are convinced to use one of Fred’s (Frank Welker) complex and doomed to fail traps, to catch the villain. And of course, what would a Scooby-Doo show be without Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby (Frank Welker) being scared, goofy and hungry (not necessarily all at the same time)?
Verdict: Watch it! Again. And again. (You get the point!)
I could write about so many more of the scenes, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. Suffice it to say that the episode indulges in Dean’s and the viewers’ nostalgia and it doesn’t shy away from it. It’s a great crossover episode that in the words of Oliver, make me want to say “Please sir! I want some more!”