I started to watch Supernatural again last night, right from the start and it got me thinking about some of my favourite episodes.
The show certainly grew from a slow burner in the first couple of seasons into a great show for the next 3 seasons. With such a tight mythology built into it, it became must-see TV.
So here’s my top 10 (in no particular order up to the end of Season 5)
No Rest For The Wicked (Episode 3.16)
Possibly one of the boldest moves ever for a television show, was the idea of Dean going to hell in the season three finale. It was one of these plot lines that kept fans guessing right up until the moment the hell hounds tracked down the elder Winchester sibling down, and had their merry way with him.
One of the stand-out scenes is the Winchester brothers singing along to Bon Jovi’s ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ seemingly heading into a mission they can’t win.
The episode and thus the season ends with many questions, which keep fans on edge right up until Dean’s resurrection by Castiel in the Season Four opener. After a slow burner of a first season, the plot lines improved as the series progressed, this is the point where Supernatural became must-see TV.
A Very Supernatural Christmas (Episode 3.08)
As this Top 10 will prove no show around does holidays quite like Supernatural, as shown in the this Yuletide themed episode.
Complete with flashbacks of I’m sure one of the many Christmas’ spent by the Winchesters in a motel room, the plot revolves around two pagan gods masquerading as the cheerful and holiday loving Carrigans who started to feast on humans in different towns around the Christmas period.
It features one of the most cringe worthy scenes of Supernatural history, as Mrs. Carrigan removes one of Sam’s fingernails in order to complete a spell.
The flashbacks to add some depth to the episode with many themes floating around such as the fact that this could be Dean’s final Christmas due to his deal with the cross roads demon, and also how one of the most important things around Christmas is family. All together now, Awwwww.
Scarecrow (Episode 1.11)
a lot of the earlier efforts in the first season of Supernatural revolved around a lot of urban legends, some worked, some didn’t, but Scarecrow proved an early blueprint of what was to come.
After receiving a call from John to stop looking for him, Dean does as his father says but Sam sets on a quest to look for him. This episode was one of the first to showcase the conflict and differences between the Winchesters, with Dean very much the obedient son and Sam the independent rebel of sorts.
One of the main reasons horror and Sci-Fi shows work so well is their use and creation of such iconic villains, and the Scarecrow was no exception in this case as he terrorised the town of Burkitsville. Sure the killer scarecrow had been done before, but certainly not with this sort of depth and overriding sense of doom that engulfed the town.
Hell House (Episode 1.17)
More for its comedic value than anything, and the introduction of cult fan favourites the Ghost Facers, this episode makes the list.
The plot surrounds a house haunted by the ghost of Mordecai, a man who killed his six daughters in 1930s, and is now haunting a house in Texas.
The bumbling pair of Harry and Ed who call themselves ‘paranormal investigators’ really steal the show here as their efforts to impress girls often counters Sam and Dean’s attempts to rid the house of the evil spirit.
As we now know this wasn’t the last we would see of Harry and Ed, but this was certainly good grounding for their future adventures with the Winchester boys.
Everybody Loves A Clown (Episode 2.02)
Playing on one of many people’s primal fears, this early entry in the second series certainly rubbed many fans up the wrong way. The story surrounds an ancient Hindu cannibal who disguises himself as a clown, to distract children while it devours their parents.
Showing that even hunters can be afraid of something as well, we also discover in this episode that Sam himself has a fear of clowns which only adds to the difficulty of the case.
Another notable moment occurs as the boys are introduced to Ellen and her daughter Jo after hearing a voicemail to her from their now deceased father. Ellen proves most useful as she identifies what is behind the clown’s mask and set them on their way.
Being the episode directly after John sacrifices himself for Dean to the yellow eyed demon, tensions are running high with Dean exclaiming,
“If one more person asks me how I’m doing, I’m gonna start throwing punches.”
Monster Movie (Episode 4.04)
One of the most innovative concepts of Supernatural finally came to fruition in Season 4, as the Winchesters visit Pennsylvania (although the sign becomes Transylvania after the Impala passes it) and become players in a real life montage of monster movies.
This turns out to be the work of a shapeshifter who imitatesthe mummy, the wolfman, the creature from the black lagoon, as well as a hilarious turn as Dracula.
During one scene where Dean foils his attack on a young lady, the Dracula climbs over a wall with his preferred escape hilariously on a small scooter. Who said Supernatural couldn’t do comedy?
The mythology had been cranked up a notch or two with the introduction of angels, and god himself, so escapist episodes such as this were a nice surprise so early in the fourth campaign.
Its the great pumpkin, Sam Winchester (Episode 4.07)
Another season special from Season 4, saw the appearance of Mr. Halloween himself (no not Michael Myers) Sam Hain.
A witch in a small town is sacrificing people in an effort to raise Sam Hain on October 31st, this calls for the first appearance of a ‘specialist’ angel in the form of Urriel to assist the Winchesters.
Urriel suggests that the town be destroyed to stop Sam Hain, but the brothers don’t see it the same way and go about stopping the demon in their own way.
The episode includes a lot of Halloween mythology including one scene, where the Winchesters hide from Sam Hain by camouflaging their faces with blood to hide their identities.
Dean also learns of Sam’s powers as he manages stop to stop Sam Hain with his ‘ability’ leaving his brother in shock of what he has been doing while he was in hell.
The Monster at the end of this book (Episode 4.18)
In a very surreal, even for Supernatural, Sam and Dean discover that they’re lives for the last four years has been accounted by a comic book writer called Carver Edlund.
The Winchesters also attend a convention for the comic books, which includes many fans who imitate everything about the boys, even the way they dress much to Sam and Dean’s surprise.
After finding Carver and explaining the situation, he also reveals that Lilith has a plan for Sam which could lead to the apocalypse.
Lilith re-appears during the finale of the episode as Carver had prophecised, but despite an ambush by Dean and Carver with his ark-angel in tow she escapes after dispossesing the human vessel.
This episode also includes another angel debut this time, for Zachariah who warns Carver that he cannot escape his destiny and part in the overall picture.
The End (Episode 5.05)
Another mouth-watering prospect is explored in this early episode from the current series, with fans finally getting a glimpse of the planet post-apocalypse.
We begin with Sam telling Dean he wants to rejoin the battle to prevent the apocalypse, and Dean insisting he is better of without his younger brother. Dean re-awakens from a snooze five years into the future, and Zachariah explaining how humans have been infected with a demonic virus turning them into killer zombies.
In this world a future Dean and Castiel, who is now human, are part of a set of mercenaries whose goal is to defeat a certain Lucifer.
This is of course the world after Dean refuses to be the vessel of Michael and thus defeat Lucifer. One of the most significant images of the entire series is Sam’s guise as Lucifer, as he explains to Dean how they are both destined to end up here in five years.
We end with the Winchesters brothers once again re-united in combat, after the images of the future sway Dean’s views.
Lucifer Rising (4.22)
It was pretty hard to determine which episodes warrant which episodes would makes this top 10, but this episode was impossible to ignore, save the best ’til last and all that.
In the final showdown Dean and Castiel as well as the team of Sam and Ruby prepare for the final showdown with Lilith to prevent the apocalypse.
The episode begins in 1972 as a demon finds the ‘cage door’ where Lucifer is being kept, before slaughtering a convent of nuns, and is told by the man from downstairs how to release him: Lilith is the key.
As the end draws nigh, Zachariah explains to Dean, the overall picture and how they never meant to stop the apocalypse – ‘unless senior management’ said so.
We also find out how Ruby has tricked Sam into believing that killing Lilith would prevent the apocalypse, rather than start it. Dean doesn’t get there in the nick of time, but does dispose of Ruby just in time for the cage door to begin to open, as we fade to white.
So there’s my thoughts, agree? Disagree? Let me know.