Supernatural Favorites: Season 5

The real March Madness is in full swing, and I’m not even half-way through my top 32 episodes.  Plus, new Supernatural episodes have resumed, so now there’s that delay too.

Season 5 was not a favorite of mine.  In fact, it was the first time I didn’t buy the season DVD set.  Thank goodness for TNT reruns.  If I’m on the ball, I can record my favorites when they come ’round.  Better still, I can now buy individual episodes OnDemand to enjoy any time I want, without commercial interruption.

My go-to sites say the top episodes of season 5 are:

  1. Swan Song (522)
  2. Two Minutes to Midnight (521)
  3. (3-way tie):  Dark Side of the Moon (516); Point of No Return (518); The Devil You Know (520)

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Supernatural: The Executioner’s Song (+2, or 3)

Your thoughts on “The Executioner’s Song?”  Here’s mine.

Dean Winchester does battles with Cain.  Yes, that Cain.

It’s the Battle of the First Borns.

1.  Jensen Ackles is back, baby!

In the past I’ve called him the most underrated actor in Hollywood.  But recently he hasn’t overwhelmed me.  His performances haven’t been bad—I don’t think Jensen’s talent or work ethic would allow that—but they haven’t been as riveting as I’ve come to expect. It was wonderful to see him back in full form again.  Every single one of Dean’s scene in “The Executioner’s Song” was magnificent.  Even before his confrontation with Cain, Dean’s fear and sorrow drew me in and didn’t let go.

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The Best of Supernatural Season 5, Part 1

Season 5 was the first year I didn’t buy the season DVD set.  Which means, if I missed the episode on TNT, there’s nothing to go on except my memory.  Could be scary.

#1.  The End (504)

This episode gets 5 stars.

Dean runs from those infected by the Croatoan virus.

Run, Dean, run! The future is none too bright.

My how time flies.  When “The End” first aired, 2014 was a long way off.  Now it’s only 3½ months away!  Should we worry?  Nah, According to the episode, the Croatoan virus starting hitting the big cities in around 2012.  Haven’t seen that around here.  Maybe in NYC or LA?  And to my knowledge, the Army still doesn’t allow the drinking of bourbon while driving a tank.

The episode was a tour de force for Jensen Ackles as he played 2009 Dean and 2014 Dean, often face-to-face.  His voice and mannerisms for each character were just slightly off.  He was the same person, and yet future Dean was cold and ruthless, while present Dean still had some humanity.  I’ve maintained for many years that Jensen is one of Hollywood’s finest actors, and this episode did nothing to dispel that thought.

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Supernatural: ‘Swap Show @ Midnight’

Swap Meat (512)

This episode gets 3 stars. Hey , there’s actually a SciFi Chick(s) review of this episode.  That makes my work here much easier.

Sam fnds an occult book in Gary's school locker.

Sam looks good in blue

There’s not much new to add. I still chuckled at the first scene of Gary-Sam admiring himself in the bar’s mirror. Jared Padalecki did a great job of channeling his inner teen.  I initially wondered why Gary chose Sam’s body for the swap when Dean is considered more classically good looking.  Of course, the question was later answered.  I doubt Gary would want to swap bodies with someone on the devil’s kill list.

Idle thought of the episode:  Gosh, it didn’t take long for “salad shakes” to become passé.

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Supernatural: Sharks, Children, Escapists

Jump the Shark (419)

This episode gets 4 stars.Wow, lots of things happened between “After School Special” and “Jump the Shark.”  We learn Dean broke the first of the 66 seals, Sam is drinking demon blood, and Chuck the prophet has been recording the Winchester gospels for posterity.

Speaking gospels, this episode had a lot of detractors before it aired.  How could the creators blaspheme the sanctity of the Sam/Dean relationship by adding another brother?

Sam and Dean's half-brother Adam has a family resemblance.

Jenson + Jared = Jake?  [credit Glogster]

It helped that Jake Abel, who played half-brother Adam Milligan, looks like (as one reviewer noted) the love child of Jenson Ackles and Jared Padalecki.

When Dean and Sam learn of Adam’s existence, Dean is certain it’s a trap.  But Adam appears to be simply a young man distraught over the disappearance of his mother. Although Dean is jealous that Adam got to spend some “normal time” with John Winchester, he’s also determined that Adam stay out of the life of hunting monsters.  Sam, on the other hand, wants to prepare Adam for what’s out there.

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Supernatural 516: Dark Side of the Moon

Oi.  Another depressing season 5 episode.  Even the good episodes deterred me from buying the season 5 DVD set.

Dean and Sam meet with the gardener-angel Joshua.

Dean and Sam meet with Joshua in the Garden of… Cleveland?

It wasn’t so much Dean’s disappointment that Sam’s “best” memories were those without his family.  It wasn’t that Zachariah messed with their heads (especially Dean’s).  It was that God apparently wants nothing to do with saving the world.  For me, that just didn’t make sense.

I did enjoy seeing Ash, and Pamela again, especially Pamela—with eyes.  Traci Dinwiddie has such beautiful eyes, it was a shame they burned them out in her first appearance.  I thought Pamela could have added a nice dimension to the show, a resource for the Winchesters to use now and then.  Which, granted, they did for a couple episodes, but not to the degree I’d have liked.  Instead, we got Ruby 2.0 and Anna (whom I liked, just not as much as Pamela).

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Supernatural 510: Abandon All Hope…

Ellen, Jo, Bobby, Crowley, Meg, Lucifer.   So many guest stars, so little time.  (Castiel was a regular by now.)

Ellen, Dean, Sam, and Jo search the disserted town.

Just before all hell breaks loose

Remember when Crowley was just a crossroads demon (albeit a senior one)?   Who knew he’d come to play such a big role in the coming years.  Of course, much of Crowley’s longevity has been due to Mark A. Sheppard, and his clever performance.  Heck, Crowley was almost likeable at the time, being almost simpatico with the Winchesters.  He wanted Lucifer dead too, citing self-preservation, believing Lucifer would wipe out demonkind once he’d finished with humankind.  But I wonder if this was all just a ruse so he could become the self-proclaimed “King of Hell.”

It’s a rather depressing episode.  The Winchesters fail to kill Lucifer, Lucifer accomplishes his goal of raising Death by  sacrificing (read “murdering”) an entire town, and Ellen and Jo die.

Lucifer traps Castiel and a ring of holy fire.

Just a couple of angels, talkin’

And yet, it’s very well done.  When Jo is gravely injured by a hell hound, the pace becomes frantic.  The camera is jerky, the cuts are rapid and shaky.  It serves well to heighten the sense of desperation the characters feel.

Over the years, Supernatural has brought tears to my eyes many times.  But this is the only time I have actually sobbed.  Alona Tal  and Samantha Ferris were superb at portraying the mortally wounded daughter and the distraught mother.  When Jo wept, I wept.  When Ellen sobbed, I sobbed.

One of the best episodes of the season, but it’s hard to give it five beer mugs for the sheer hopelessness of it all.

[Photos courtesy the CW]