A Guest TV Honey post by Alice Loweecey
The 29 Best Supernatural Episodes.
Or: A completely biased list that pretends Seasons 6-10 never happened, with a few exceptions.
|Art by Risa Rodil|
Supernatural season 12 has begun, and what better way to celebrate my first-ever guest post for The Horror Honeys than by letting my fangirl flag fly?
In case you’ve been in the hills of Assisi living a hermit’s life for the past decade, Supernatural is an angsty drama about two codependent brothers who can’t seem to grow up and who somehow manage not to die in a fiery car crash week after week despite whichever brother is driving staring at the brother in the passenger seat for EONS instead of watching the $@&#!$%@ road.
Wait. Sorry. That was logical me talking. Logical me is rather tightly wound.
Ahem. Supernatural is an action-packed roller-coaster of drama, comedy, gods, demons, angels, hot guys in tight jeans, and sometimes the Apocalypse. Sam and Dean Winchester’s mother was incinerated by a demon when the boys were young. Their father spent the rest of his life hunting for this demon and in the process discovered that pretty much every supernatural creature from every legendary cycle around the world was in fact real.
In other words, kids, there really is a monster hiding under the bed. And it wants to eat you. Or our soul. Or sometimes both. And it doesn’t bother with a knife and fork.
Hie thee to Netflix or your local library and watch it from the beginning. You’ll be hooked by the end of the first episode. I was.
Here are my favorites season by season. Full disclosure: I’m a Sam girl because I loves me a wounded hero, but I promise to give sort of-kind of equal time to Dean and Castiel. Maybe. Expect a bit of ranting about how no female character is allowed to stay long.
Spoilers abound. You have been warned.
Episode 1: Pilot
Sam and Dean are so YOUNG and ADORABLE in the first episode. This helps the viewer overcome the necessary “As you know, Bob” gobs of backstory. Charming “gonna be a lawyer” Sam and his sweet girlfriend are awakened by an intruder who turns out to be Sam’s equally charming older brother, Dean. [Insert necessary backstory of how the brothers are estranged because Sam wants to be normal.] Dean’s invaded Sam’s life because their father has disappeared and Sam agrees to help Dean find him.
The banter between Sam and Dean is so natural you’d think they really were brothers. They’re likeable in their different ways, and they are different. Dean is the good son, who always obeys dad. Sam is the rebel, and when he says something Dean doesn’t like about the family situation, they come a whisker away from pounding each other exactly like brothers do. (Why yes, I have 2 boys of my own; why do you ask?)
|Where are the sprinklers when you need them?|
The first season used a “monster of the week approach. The initial monster was a Woman in White (La Llorona). So creepy. So angsty. If angst isn’t your thing, stop now and go binge watch HIMYM or something.
Episode 9: Home
|You don't mess with this face.|
Sam’s having precognitive dreams and the boys head back to their old home in Kansas. The one where a demon deep-fried mom. That home. We meet Missouri Moseley for the first time, and I love her. She sasses the boys and they obey her like she’s their grandmother.
Somehow the new owner trusts the boys and lets them into the house. How cute that she didn’t shove a 12-gauge up Dean’s nose when he knocked on the door. But it’s only an hour show and plots have to move.
Missouri has great lines throughout, and in the house the boys bring out an EMF meter. Missouri looks at it and says: “Amateurs.” That this woman appears in only a few episodes is a crime.
The boys have a little help saving the day—from mom! Mary Winchester, still in the diaphanous white nightgown she died in, boots the demon and gives the boys a chance to weep manly tears. If I were Mary Winchester, I’d do more than weep over the fact that in every cameo she has (with one exception) she still wearing that cliché horror heroine nightgown!
Season count of love interests who may snog Sam or Dean and thus anger the Fangirl Mafia: 3
(Sam’s fiancée Jessica gets to appear in later eps, but only to increase Sam’s guilt and angst and prevent him from establishing a relationship.)
Episode 8: Crossroad Blues
There are too many recurring themes in Supernatural to hit them all in this recap. Vampires, werewolves, a truckload of entities from folklore all over the world, Supernatural takes ’em all on. (The writers mess with folklore which can grate on a purist’s nerves, but nothing’s perfect.)
We meet the Hellhounds and a bunch of hot demon babes in this episode. The Hellhounds are freaky. The warping POV scenes are freaky. The boys, who think they’re All That when it comes to Hunting, get taken down a whole lot of pegs by practically everyone. And like all good writing, soooo much foreshadowing happens here.
Episode 13: Houses of the Holy
I mentioned I’m a Sam girl. This is one of the bestest, angstiest Sam episodes. The soulful eyes. The deep, intense pauses. The arguments with Dean about how Sam doesn’t want to go all darkside. You can hear the fangirls weeping into their Supernatural-themed bandanas. Oh, and an angel who puts Minority Report (Philip K. Dick. Not Tom Cruise.) into practice: gank the criminals before they commit the crime.
|No flash photography, please.|
Alas, it isn’t really an angel: It’s a dead priest who wants to redeem people. So he gets sent off to Heaven and Sam gets to wallow in his angst some more. Sigh. The boys weren’t nearly as codependent in the early seasons and the overall story arc build up nicely.
Episode 15: Tall Tales
|That was just peanut butter, right?|
The Trickster! I love the Trickster! His episodes are the wackiest, funniest, and have the best creepy undertones. Also, he takes his pranks from the Weekly World News. (The episode uses another name, but it’s the WWN.) I used to read that rag cover to cover. Aliens in your brain! Giant crocodiles in the sewers! Bat Boy!
In the Trickster’s debut episode, he pranks the boys over and over until Bobby intervenes and calls them "idjits." Everyone is happy. The Trickster’s barbed humor is excellent comic relief from the angst. Angst is great in its place, but when we get a break from it, its return hits us all the harder.
My single biggest Supernatural regret is how few episodes the Trickster got.
Episode 21-22: All Hell Breaks Loose
Yanno how I mentioned spoilers at the beginning of this recap. I’m going to say it again:
Supernatural virgins, proceed at your own risk.
So, Sam and his clairvoyant episodes have reached critical mass. In part 1 of this season finale. The Yellow-Eyed Demon who torched Sam and Dean’s mom whisks Sam off to a ghost town with several other young adults with odd powers. Let’s play a game, kids: Winner gets to live! I do like the Yellow-Eyed Demon as an antagonist. He has so much fun being unrepentantly evil and he knows how to push all of Sam’s buttons.
The other players get ganked one by one. Dean and Bobby race to rescue Sam. Sam learns for the first time the Yellow-Eyed Demon infused his blood into Baby Sam the night Sam’s mom died. Now THAT’s a plot point.
The final battle begins: Sam is a wee bit hampered by his essential niceness. Dean and Bobby arrive. Sam runs to meet them—and the last player ganks Sam.
I’d ask if you can hear the legion of fangirls weeping, but TV ain’t an Alfred Hitchcock movie. We know Sam’s going to make it back into the game.
Which leads to part 2, and Angsty Dean. To cut him some slack, his brother did die in his arms at the very moment of rescue. Dean proves he can chew scenery with as much gusto as his brother. But wait! We know about the Crossroad Demons. Like a good self-sacrificing brother, Dean makes a deal: His soul and one final year of life in exchange for bringing Sam back.
Cue epic season finale battle and Dean kills the Yellow-Eyed Demon with a little help from dad’s ghost. Rejoicing all around!
Or not, because Sam figures out he was dead and Dean sold his soul.
Everyone girds their loins. (It’s not often I can use that phrase, and it’s a good one.)
Season count of love interests who snog Sam or Dean and thus anger the Fangirl Mafia: 2
The writers took a stand against the fangirls this season by introducing Ellen and Jo. Ellen worked with the boys’ father but Jo has eyes for Dean. Uh-oh, Jo! Better watch your back.
Episode 8: A Very Supernatural Christmas
Some people are all-Christmas, all the time. When I interact with them, I gain sympathy for Scrooge’s desire to boil them in their own pudding and bury them with a stake of holly in their hearts.
Marge and Edward Carrigan are these people. Dead God, they’re irritating. And then they reveal themselves as cranky forgotten gods who are going to get their annual human sacrifices, if they have to do the sacrificing themselves. They become hilarious as they happily torture (not torture-porn torture; no worries) the boys in preparation to sacrificing them, all the while wearing Ugly Christmas Sweaters in their house decorated like an after-Christmas blowout sale puked its entire contents on them.
Episode 11: Mystery Spot
Supernatural does Groundhog Day, with the Trickster. Dean dies over and over again, sometimes in cartoonish ways. Sam’s freakout ramps up to epic levels. It’s hilarious and scary all at once. The Trickster is behind it, of course, and he gets some depth of character. Maybe he’s not the shallow prankster he seems to be.
A quick shout-out to Episode 12: Jus in Bello, which 1) introduces Lilith, the creepiest little girl demon ever, and 2) gives us one of the best “defuse terror with humor moments in the series. Lilith is going to sacrifice the female cop because she’s a virgin. When the boys are planning a massive demon-busting rescue, the cop says “When we get out of here, I’m going to have so much sex.” A fellow cop looks at her. She finishes, “Not with you.”
Episode 16: No Rest for the Wicked.
Dean’s deal comes due and Sam can’t save him. Pack tissues. Lots of tissues.
Season count of love interests who snog Sam or Dean and thus anger the Fangirl Mafia: 2... I sense a pattern.
Episode 1: Lazarus Rising
The scene of Dean digging his way out of his coffin amidst a circle of blasted trees. The next scene, where he breaks into a mini mart for water, food… and porn magazines. A new faction of fangirls was spawned form this episode, because Castiel appears.
Never tick off the angels. Most of them aren't cuddly little cherubs.
Episode 5: Monster Movie
Classic black and white monster movies get their just homage in this episode. Pity the poor shapeshifter who just wants love and transforms himself into lots of classic monsters to get it.
Also, Dean in lederhosen.
Episode 6: Yellow Fever
Dean being chased by a yappy little dog. Dean screaming like a little girl. Dean air-drumming to “Eye of the Tiger.” This episode is its own highlight reel.
Episode 16: On the Head of a Pin
The angels capture Alastair, the demon in charge of torturing Dean while Dean was in hell. The angels then coerce Dean into torturing Alastair to get information on the Season 4-5 story arc (breaking the 66 seals and releasing Lucifer).
Dean breaks. Terrific acting.
Episode 18: The Monster at the End of this Book
Chuck the pulp writer/prophet is introduced in this episode, and there is much rejoicing.
In the list of best Supernatural moments ever, this is near the top: The boys buy the series of books about themselves, read them, and are freaked out. But then Sam finds the fanfic sites and learns what Sam/Dean slashfic is. Epic.
Season count of love interests who snog Sam or Dean and thus anger the Fangirl Mafia: 2 (The pattern continues, but there is another exception: Anna. How DARE she get it on with Dean in the back of the Impala! Sacrilege! The new story arc of Sam + demon and Dean + angel is both ironic and hawt.
Dean is thrown into the future by one of the dickier angels. Castiel is a hippie drug addict. Chuck is Chuck, advising dean to hoard toilet paper because it’s like gold now.
The humor, and there is lots of it, is nicely offset by the fear and despair. Padalecki’s impression of Pelligrino’s Lucifer is one of the highlights.
Episode 5: Fallen Idols
Paris Hilton lampoons herself. Mahatma Gandhi tries to bite Sam’s jugular. Weepy fangirls. Some episodes have it all.
Episode 8: Changing Channels
More Trickster! He sends the boys into TV show after TV show, where they’re forced to mouth inane dialogue to canned laughter. Dean as “Dr. Sexy.” The ball-busting (literally) Japanese game show.
And the Trickster revealing his real game.
|Let's play Spin the Hunter!|
Episode 14: My Bloody Valentine
Worth watching for one reason only: Nekkid Cupid.
Episode 19: Hammer of the Gods
In a hotel called “Elysium” (hint, hint) in the middle of nowhere, gods from mythologies the world over are meeting to discuss what to do about Lucifer. Supernatural doesn’t take anything too seriously, but at the same time it creates believable gods-as-humanoids to suck you into the idea of a bickering family where no one’s listening to anyone else.
I brought my tissues, because Lucifer kills the Trickster, who’s really the Archangel Gabriel. But his denouement message, in the form of a porn video, is hysterical.
Episode 22: Swan Song
Two words: “Hey, assbutt!”
Okay, and Sam sacrificing himself. And Dean helpless in despair.
And Chuck reveals himself to be God. Writers always knew God was one of us!
Season count of love interests who snog Sam or Dean and thus anger the Fangirl Mafia: 2... again
|That's Mister Assbutt to you.|
Episode 9: Clap Your Hands if You Believe
So yeah: Soulless Sam and the Family. This is the season I started hate-watching a show I used to love. I hated the newfound Winchester clan. I hated how Padalecki played Soulless Sam: Amoral to the point of woodenness. I disliked the writing more with each episode. The bond between the brothers: gone. The humor: gone. The chemistry between Sam, Dean, Bobby, Castiel: vanished.
And yet I sat my butt on the couch every week hoping the magic would return.
This “gank the fairies” episode was the only one that came close. The UFO spotters were a hoot. The fight with the Leprechaun: great stuff. Touching on fairy lore that isn’t limited to Tinkerbell and Sleeping Beauty’s three helpers: Thank You. Dean does comedy well and this episode raised my hopes again.
…only to stomp on them with big clompy feet for the rest of the season. The only nods I give the rest is the reappearance of Death (terrific characterization) and in the final kitchen sink episode. In it we’re treated to the Return of Angsty Sam, Crowley in all his understated evil humor, and Castiel’s acquisition of universe-sized hubris.
Season count of love interests who snog Sam or Dean and thus anger the fangirl Mafia: 5 No one will issue life insurance to a female guest star in this show! Unfortunately, Dean’s real love, Lisa, got written out in this episode too. A waste and a mistake. Her scenes gave Dean’s character warmth and depth. Bah.
I’m still not sure why Meg gets a pass in the anti-female lottery. Her great line about wanting to knock boots and share a pizza with Cas is one of her best.
Episode 8: Season 7, Time for a Wedding!
Superfan Becky’s last gasp, since she dared to try and marry Sam. Blasphemy! I enjoyed how the show made fun of itself. Bringing in Garth helped a lot. I’ve seen him in other movies and he’s a good character actor.
|We're going to be seeewww happeh!|
The question of how many fangirls fainted at the eye-popping sight of Sam tied (presumably nekkid) to Becky’s bed may never be known. I’m sure the collective toppling over of thousands registered on the Richter Scale. I should look it up.
Episode 14: Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie
Only because I hate Chuck E. Cheese’s which I swear was invented by one of hell’s minions on purpose to drive parents bonkers. Also because of the clown sighting epidemic in the news lately. And because of Sam’s fear of them. The sparkles at the end of the episode were a fun touch.
|No more clowns.|
Season count of love interests who snog Sam or Dean and thus anger the Fangirl Mafia: 7. I suppose they needed a substitute for decent writing.
This season marks Sheriff Jody’s first appearance and she actually does return! Probably because her character has no interest in snogging the boys. Can you see my eyes rolling?
But—Charlie! (Rant coming up. Secure the fine glassware.) Charlie was the best thing to come out of seasons 6-10. She was funny, witty, not afraid to give the boys as good as she got, and she was smart! In other words, perfect.
So we all knew she was doomed.
Ugh, this season introduced Metatron. A great idea for a character, but he WHINED. A LOT. I started hitting the mute button the moment he appeared. I still do.
Dean channels his inner Scooby-Doo. One of the few episodes worth watching post-Season 5.
Season count of love interests who snog Sam or Dean and thus anger the fangirl Mafia: 4.
Episode 21: Dark Dynasty
In possibly the worst Supernatural decision since they killed off Bobby, they kill off Charlie. HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET, PEOPLE? Stupider, you say? Why yes! Not only do they kill off Charlie, they kill her off UNNECESSARILY and in a way COMPLETELY out of character. She was great for the show’s dynamic. She was strong, smart, funny. The show appeared to be dragging itself out from seasons of suckitude.
So they kill off one of the best characters in one of the stupidest ways.
I’m tellin’ ya, this episode gave new meaning to “hate watch.”
Season count of love interests who snog Sam or Dean and thus anger the Fangirl Mafia: 4.
Ugh, part 2: Episode 3 introduced us to Rowena. someone should slap the writers for making her a one-note character who screeches and whinges. I cannot hit the mute button fast enough when she appears.
Episode 10: The Devil in the Details
Oh, look. the boys are so desperate to stop The Darkness, they even consider asking caged Lucifer for help. What could possibly go wrong? The only 2 positives in the entire eleventh season thus far: the excellent Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer, and Rowena. No, really: For one brief, shining moment she stops screeching and whining and is actually funny. When Crowley brings Lucifer and the cage up out of whatever depths he’s been imprisoned in, Rowena gets extremely hot and bothered. What makes Rowena salivate? Power. Crowley’s reaction is about what you’d expect when a kid sees his mother snogging his father.
Episode 20: Don’t Call Me Shurley
Another positive moment in this wreck of a season: Metatron shuts up! Okay, only for a moment, but the relief is palpable. The scene is one of the best, too: Chuck AKA God meets Metatron in a diner. Metatron babbles, as usual. Chuck gives Metatron a pair of sunglasses that allow him to see Chuck As He Really Is. There’s even a chorus of angels to accompany the light surrounding God. In a masochistic way, the writer in me also enjoyed Metatron critiquing Chuck’s autobiobraphy.
Episode 23: Alpha and Omega
Yeah, yeah: once again, the fate of the universe depends on the Scooby Gang (and I don’t mean Buffy & Co.). There wasn’t a single surprise in this entire season, but there was some good dialogue. In this episode, both Chuck and the universe are dying (long and not very believable story; trust me) and everyone gives up for a moment. Rowena makes tea and she and Chuck reminisce about Crowley and Adam & Eve. After each tells an embarrassing story, they say in unison, “Kids.”
Season count of love interests who snog Sam or Dean and thus anger the fangirl Mafia: 1.
In the last moment of the episode, God’s sister Amara (really; don’t ask. It’s too silly) brings back Mary Winchester as a thank-you for Dean. And the poor woman is STILL wearing the same diaphanous white nightgown! She needs better writers.
We're in Season 12 now... The whole series needs better writers.
I’ll be live tweeting Supernatural for the Horror Honeys this season and I won’t hold back.
You Have Been Warned.
Author bio: Baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer horror films and Scooby-Doo mysteries, which explains a whole lot. When her three feline overlords allow her a respite from providing them with food and worship, she's hard at work creating trouble for her sleuth Giulia Driscoll and inspiring nightmares as her alter-ego Kate Morgan.
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