I remember when The CW switched “Jus In Bello” and “Mystery Spot” in season three. Even though “Jus in Bello” was filmed first, the switch was done because the show was going on hiatus due to the writers' strike and the network thought that “Jus In Bello” would be a stronger finale, especially since many feared it would end up being the season finale. Eric Kripke called the switch a “happy accident” because “Jus In Bello” was better after “Mystery Spot.” Sam was withdrawn and dire the entire time, which fit after his long ordeal with The Trickster.
This time, the network switched the airings of “My Bloody Valentine” and “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid.” The show was supposed to come back from winter hiatus on January 14, but the network pushed it back a week to January 21. That left the dilemma of them having a Valentine’s Day episode that wouldn’t air during the week of Valentine’s Day so the change was necessary.
Sadly, there were no happy accidents this time. “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” feels really off airing out of order. “My Bloody Valentine” had such an explosive and shocking ending so it was silly not to see at least a minor amount of fallout from Sam’s detox and Dean’s meltdown. The brothers carrying on from that unscathed and back in normal mode didn’t seem right.
Lack of episode continuity aside, when judged on its own this one is a big winner. It is rare when a secondary character is given the chance to shine on this show and the opportunity for Jim Beaver is long overdue. Yes, his struggles were well portrayed in “The Curious Case of Dean Winchester,” but in this episode the stakes are higher and he is given a lot more to work with.
This week’s theme is zombies, but it isn’t your average zombie story by a long shot. This is Supernatural after all. The show often excels with this concept of taking a plot device that’s existed for years in horror and twists it to serve not only the unique story line but to add a believable human element.
As we know about humanity and small towns, there are quirks. So, when a dead person rises from the grave and kills the person that killed him, it’s interesting how we as viewers don’t find the idea absurd, how Sam and Dean Winchester don’t find it absurd (except for the zombie getting away with the murder), and how many of these townsfolk don’t either. Digger Wells is the best example, finding the idea of this type of payback amusing and sharing the story like it's town gossip. I’m very sure this didn’t happen in Dawn of The Dead.