[Note: This week’s post was all set and ready to go, so this weekend’s big (and happy) news will have to wait until next week.]
Season 7: a wedding (ugh), Leviathans (blech), Bobby’s death (boo!), and Castiel’s redemption (sort of). Oh, and Sam got his head fixed. (More on that in a moment.) According to IMDB, TV.com, and TV Fanatic, the top 5 episodes for the season are:
- Time After Time (712)
- Meet the New Boss (701)
- (tie) Death’s Door (710) and The Born Again Identity (717)
- The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo (720)
How close did these episodes come to my favorites? Pretty darned close, although it wasn’t an exact match.
Time After Time
You know what would make a terrific Supernatural spin-off? Way better than that cross-monster thing the CW tried to pawn on us a couple years ago? A series set in the 1940s featuring supernatural hunter Elliot Ness! But only if Ness is played by Nicholas Lea. He was perfect in that role! I’ve seen him in other Vancouver-based shows (Continuum, Arrow, and Once Upon a Time), but this is the role he was made to play.
I just read Vivisecting Supernatural—Don’t Make Me Use My Mom Voice a few days ago, so when Jody Mills said this to Sam, it made me smile. Sam and Dean are separated by nearly seven decades and yet manage to work together. Plus, we had a lovely homage to Bobby and Rufus, and Jensen Ackles in natty 1940’s fashion.
The Born Again Identity
I’m surprised I haven’t written anything about this episode. I love it! It may be on my all-time favorites list. (I’ve never stopped to compile such a list. Maybe I should.) Sam has been unable to block out Lucifer in his head, and it’s reached an intolerable threshold. While Sam’s hospitalized, Dean desperately searches for help, finding it in a faith healer named Emanuel—who turns out to be Castiel. Even with Misha Collins listed in the opening credits, I was surprised to see him.
Sera Gamble wrote this episode, and she did a nice job of redeeming Castiel. I might even forgive her for what she did to Cass in season 6. (I won’t forgive her for impounding the Impala! As I recall, neither did Jensen Ackles. 😉 )
Even near the end of his sanity, being bombarded by megaphone and firecrackers, Sam still manages to perform a hunt, putting a ghost to rest. Dean and Castiel’s conversation in the car is poignant. And Christopher Lennerz’s haunting score transverses scenes from Sam to Dean, tying their mutual despair together. Hell, I even like Rachel Miner’s Meg here.
Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie (714)
Why do I love this episode more than, say “Meet the New Boss” or “Death’s Door”? Easy! Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are perfect. They hit every single comedic note with amazing accuracy. “Shark week,” “ball washer,” and Sam’s clown phobia couldn’t be played better. And then there’s death by land shark in a ball pit, and Seabiscuit the impaler (complete with a rainbow coming out of its ass). Lion suit kid trying to open the door with his paws has me rolling on the floor every time. How can you not love this?
Yes, there is. Honorable mention goes to:
Hello Cruel World (702)
Mostly for the brotherly exchange toward the end of the episode, where Dean shows Sam what’s real by squeezing his hand.
Slash Fiction (706)
Are you surprised this is on my favorites list? It shouldn’t be, since it’s the episode in which we lose the Impala. But we do meet Frank Deveroux, although his stint on the show was remarkably short. What I enjoy is the opportunity to see Sam and Dean as… well, not!Sam and not!Dean, complaining about cheeseburgers and psychotic minds.
The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo
I unabashedly love Charlie.
What about you? Agree? Disagree? Which episodes from season 7 did you enjoy most?
Now we’re into territory that makes it hard for me to comment. The first five seasons I’ve seen over and over. I always start at the beginning and work my way through, so those first seasons are practically memorized. I think I only saw season 6 twice (plus whatever episodes from then on that I watched alone and then again with my husband). Season 7 was just once.
But I think I agree with all of your favorites and comments. In fact, you mentioned moments that made me go “ooh!” so I might start binging from season 6 now that I’m winding down Doctor Who. 🙂
“Now we’re into territory that makes it hard for me to comment.”
Yep. For me, it started with season 5. Even though it was part of Kripke’s master plan, I never cared much for it. That’s when I stopped buying the DVD sets. (The exception is season 8, which I LOVED!)
Many episodes during those seasons are hard for me to remember. Which is why I’ve been sorting through the TNT episodes before making my lists. I don’t watch all the episodes, but I do watch the “top-rated” episodes to see if I missed something that made everyone like them. Plus my own favorites (to make sure I still like them), and a few others which I think I might like, but don’t remember a lot about. In general, I find my ratings remain the same. So at least I’m consistent. 🙂
Consistent, and dedicated! Not that it’s a hardship to rewatch Sam and Dean even in the less-good years… 🙂
Thanks for linking 🙂 Time After Time After Time is I think one of the best s7 eps- I absolutely love the way the 1940s scenes are filmed, and any Jody/Sam interaction makes me happy. And yes, they’re so in sync even over several decades!
I love The Born-Again Identity. I’ve managed to mention it in practically everything I’ve written. Some of JP’s finest work on the show I think.
I really like the Godstiel phase. And Cas’s betrayal. It got me in the feels. Is that weird?
I actually miss Sera Gamble- as a writer if not showrunner. I loved the soulless phase.
Your take on Castiel (and Godstiel) are so interesting—and refreshing. They’re not like the norm. You seem to have caught nuances that I missed during that time.
You may know this, but Sera Gamble is working on the new David Duchovny series Aquarius. I watched a couple of its episodes, but couldn’t really get in to it. Charles Manson gives me the creeps (which he’s supposed to do, but still…) Personally, I preferred Raelle Tucker, who wrote my all-time favorite, “What Is and What Should Never Be.” She went on to True Blood, which I stopped watching after the 2nd or 3rd season. I’m not really a vampire fan, even on Supernatural.
The soulless phase was indeed interesting. JP said he loved playing soulless Sam. Incidentally, I watched “Sacrifice” last night, and I still LOVE Jared in it. Personally, I think it’s his best episode ever. Mark Sheppard was terrific, too. I think they both deserved Emmy noms for their work in it.
Thank you! Idk, I just liked it so I poked it a bit and… yeah.
I didn’t know that… I might look it up.
WIAWSNB is heartrending.
I’m not a vamp fan, but I like those episodes on SPN usually because they always end up mirroring the Winchesters in some twisted way. Like Alex Annie Alexis Ann with the whole cult-like family… so sick and creepy.
I can imagine that JP would have enjoyed the break that SS provided. And oh my God, Sacrifice- I LOVE that episode- JP makes me cry in it, seriously. I think he was also great in s10, particularly the first three episodes, where he had the weight of protagonist-hood basically on his shoulders…
And Mark Sheppard in Sacrifice breaks my frickin’ heart. The bit where he says ‘where can I even begin to ask for forgiveness’… I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it, this is crazy.