This post contains spoilers for Supernatural's episode 3.16 "Scoobynatural"
When the “Scoobynatural” episode was first announced at SDCC, there were more than a few “ruh?” noises from the crowd, but let’s be honest; the Venn diagram of people who watched Scooby-Doo as a kid, and the people who grew up to watch Supernatural is probably pretty close to a circle. Chances are, if you fall inside said circle, you spent the entire episode grinning like a fool. The first twenty minutes are dripping with nostalgia in a way that leaves you charmed rather than annoyed. Then things get bloody.
Sam, Dean, and the Scooby gang find themselves in a classic Scooby-Doo gag, but there’s just one little problem: things aren’t as cartoony as Dean remembers. Not only have they found themselves in some strange world where the Mystery Machine can beat Baby in a race, but people around them are actually dying. This realization does nothing to put a damper on the gang’s groovy mood. Despite the bodies falling around them and the ghost making more than one spooky appearance, everyone carries on as if it were just another real-estate agent trying to scam innocent folk out of their money. If you were sad that the Scooby-Doo theme didn’t start playing when “Scoobynatural” flew across the screen, worry not! You get your classic Scooby running gag, music and all.
The episode somehow manages to seamlessly blend the light-heartedness of Scooby-Doo and the dark reality of Supernatural. The balance only falters when the Scooby gang realizes that Sam and Dean were telling the truth about demons and monsters. Ever watch your childhood heroes have an existential crisis? Strangely enough, I highly recommend it. The gang’s panic is calmed by a rousing speech from Dean. Even Sammy chimes in after being strangely aloof throughout the episode. They get right back to the hijinks once everyone’s back on board, and take on the ghost Scooby style.
Because it’s a blend of two of the best mystery solving teams around, things aren’t quite what they seem. The ghost isn’t a vengeful spirit at all. Instead, he’s a scared little boy who just wants to cross over and be with his dad. After kind promises from Team Free Will, the little boy agrees to help them fool the gang enough to find their equilibrium again. With their villain unmasked, the ghost returns Team Free Will to their dimension, but not before Velma steals a kiss from Sammy. Get it, girl!
When the boys return home, they deal with the real baddie: the scam artist of a real estate agent who would use the ghost of a child for his gain. Thankfully, Mr. Real Estate hasn’t paid his taxes in a long, long while. Pity, he would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for those meddling kids. Yes, he says the line. Yes, it’s perfect. Yes, it’s when Dean is wearing an… ascot?
“Scoobynatural” is an utter charmer from start to finish. Dean’s trying to get Daphne, Velma’s trying to get Sam, and somehow Cas fell in love with Shaggy and Scooby. It’s sweet, weird, and perfectly ridiculous in every way imaginable. You also don’t have to be caught up with the main story to watch! If you find yourself with forty minutes to spare, seeing this would be doing adult and child you a favor.