If you bought the season 1 DVD set, you’ll remember the commentary Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles provided for “Phantom Traveler.” In between the babbling, bumbling, and fake snoring (which may be why they’ve never done another commentary unsupervised), they talked about how the entire Supernatural team grew to know and trust each other throughout the season. Jensen said the show would continue to improve and that season 2 would be better than season 1.
I scoffed! I could not imagine how anything could be better than season 1. Guess what? It was!
[Sorry for the late posting. I enjoyed too much wine and food during the evening, and paid for it Saturday.]
To bide my time until 9:00 pm, the evening began with a Supernatural episode I’d recorded earlier in the day.
Supernatural: Folsom Prison Blues (219)
This under-appreciated gem almost made the top 5, but not quite. It’s chalk full of great lines, such as “Who looks better, me or Nick Nolte?” “Shaddup.” “Really pretty sure.” Dean is at his sassy best, instigating fights and besting cons at poker for the “currency of the realm.” Clif Kosterman, Jensen and Jared’s driver and bodyguard appears as “Poor giant Tiny.” Winchester-obsessed FBI Agent Victor Henriksen makes an appearance. Public defender Mara Daniels and prison guard-family friend Deacon are two one-time characters I’d love to see return. And it’s topped with caper music ala Ocean’s Eleven (the George Cloonry remake).
Aw, look. It’s everyone’s favorite slacker, Andy Gallagher; played by the adorable Gabriel Tigerman. For a character who appeared in only two episodes, Andy left an indelible mark on the Supernatural landscape. One of the psychic kids the yellow-eyed demon had plans for, Andy’s special gift of mind control was so much cooler than Sam’s lame-o death premonitions. Fortunately, Andy used his gift to live a life free of bills and debt collectors, and wasn’t interested in world domination. That was left to Andy’s recently discovered twin brother. (“I have an evil twin,” Andy says in shock.)
The episode is full of classic scenes and Star Wars references that live on in the annals of fandom. The Winchesters break into Andy’s home-on-wheels van to discover classic philosophers, a disco ball, and Moby Dick’s bong. When Andy confronts the brothers and orders them to “Tell the truth,” Dean begins rattling off about the family business, the yellow-eyed demon, and confesses he’s beginning to worry that Sam might turn evil.
“Playthings” is one of my favorite episodes from season 2. Halfway through watching it for the first time, I remember thinking I had no idea what was causing the killings. I like it when this show keeps me guessing.
Season 2’s money shot, this time with Sam (Jared Padalecki)
When Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki provided commentary on the season 1 DVD set, they talked about how things came together that year and how season 2 would be even better. I scoffed. How could you improve something that was superb? I was wrong. Season 2 was better.
Everybody Loves a Clown (202)
Over the years, I’ve written about this episode many times. I still chuckle when Sam makes his first “bitchface” ever. Jared Padalecki still moves me when Sam expresses his grief in his final scene. I’m still reminded of Jensen Ackles’s extreme talent when Dean is beating the hell out of the Impala.
Just a couple of brothers, trying to avoid the law
Are you ready for another “Best of Supernatural” post? Well, here it is.
Best episode: “What Is and What Should Never Be.” Not only that, it’s my all-time favorite episode.
Honorable mention: “In My Time of Dying,” which has won the Supernatural March Madness Tournament of Episodes two years running.
Best song: “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane; or Jefferson Starship, depending on how old you are. I didn’t care for the song all that much when it first came out. (Yes, I am that old.) But the song helps set the dark, ominous mood at the beginning of “Hunted.”
Honorable mention: “Green Onions” by Booker T and the MGs, from “Folsom Prison Blues.” It’s a song I’ve always liked. Incidentally, it was also featured in American Graffiti. Can you name the now megastar who had a small role in that movie? No peeking at IMDB , either.
Best scene: Dean’s graveside talk to his father in “What Is and What Should Never Be.” Dean’s voice cracks, becomes lower when he’s speaking as John, and chokes so he can’t finish.
Honorable mention: Sam almost rapes and torments Jo in “Born Under a Bad Sign.” Creeeeepy!
Best guest character: Sarge, from “Croatoan,” played by Bobby Hosea. Yes, the episode had some good moments, and Sarge was one of them.
Honorable mention: Ronald Resnick from “Nightshifter.” Chris Gauthier played the nutty paranoid perfectly.
Best girl of the week: Carmen from… you guessed it, “What Is and What Should Never Be.” I don’t care if she wasn’t real, she was still awesome.
Honorable mention: Detective Diana in “The Usual Suspects.” No, she wasn’t a love interest, but all my favorite guest stars were filled up. I really did enjoy Linda Blair.
Best monster of the week:Yep, “What Is and What Should Never Be” again. The djinn. C’mon, a creature covered in tattoos that emits blue sparks and drinks blood from IV? You gotta admit, that’s pretty awesome. In an gruesome sorta way.
Honorable mention: The clown rakshasa from “Everybody Loves a Clown.” Just because he was a clown.
Jensen Ackles’ Emmy reel: I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now. “What Is and What Should Never Be.” He submitted “All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 2,” and while his speech to Sam was heartbreaking, I thought the graveyard scene was more subtle, which I think is harder to do.
Jared Padalecki’s Emmy reel: “Born Under a Bad Sign.” Sweet puppy-eyed Sam became incredibly menacing. And dangerous. Jared’s expressions, timing, and body language were perfect.
Finally, how about some little shiny squares from season 2, including 3 from the most awesomely awesome “What Is & What Should Never Be.”