At the crime scene at kennel, Sam and Dean figure out that The Colonel, a gorgeous German Shepherd with a hatred for men in hats, isn't a their supernatural UNSUB but a witness to both crimes. Kevin hooks them up with an Inuit spell that will meld a human mind with the canine’s. Sam's prepared to take one for the team but Dean bogarts the disgusting brown sludge that contains, at the very minimum, dog hair. "You got enough on your plate. You're on the mend," he says and downs it like a springbreaker does tequila. Nine years in, and I never get tired of Dean worrying about Sam.
Of course with "Supernatural" nothing is ever easy or instantaneous—especially magic—and it seems like the spell is a bust…at least until The Colonel starts ripping on Styx. The following scene is as brilliant as it is hysterical. The Colonel (whose voice seemed gruffer than I would imagine) explains that he witnessed a man in a cowboy hat kill both guys. While they're talking, Sam balls up his fast food wrappers and tosses it in the trashcan. Dean retrieves it and hands it back to Sam, twice. That's right, folks, Dean Winchester is playing fetch. Two seconds later, Dean and The Colonel are barking at the mailman. Ackles' decision to forego the over-the-top dog behavior and opt for a more nuanced half-verbal bark is genius. Sam is amused and thrilled he dodged this bullet.
If you've gotten warmfuzzies by Buzzfeed articles detailing interspecies friendships, then you know that Dean is going to discover that animals have a universal language. When he gripes at the pigeon who poops on his beloved baby, it snarks right back: "And I'm just getting started, brewin' a real big one. Bet your ride's going to look good in white." One zinger later, Dean's pulling his .45 at the poor bird, terrifying the motel patrons. Embarrassed, Sam shoves him into the Impala.
Back at the shelter, the Winchesters are extorted by a Yorkie who trades info for belly rubs. It's beyond adorable how relaxed and comfortable the dog looks cradled in Sam's arms. Sam, however, is 100% done with the little anklebiter. He points the boys in the direction of a French restaurant, Avante Garde Cuisine. Dean cannot leave without letting all of the dogs go free. He's such a softie.
This is when "Dog Dean Afternoon" changes from a light-hearted gut-buster to a cracked out version of "Ratatouille." At the restaurant, a trio of rats point the brothers to the fridge, which holds the entrails of every kind of animal imaginable. Mongoose intestine, anyone? Apparently, the Big Bad is using "Shaman-ism." If you pair the squishy bits of a certain animal with the perfect spell, you get the recipe for temporary superpowers. Only Leo has to get chefy with it by combining different animal parts to take on more powers.