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.
Trivia time! What movie was featured that’s in my list of top 10 favorites? I can even tell you why it’s a favorite, but that tale would belong under Sea Stories.
Terrible episode title; not too bad actual episode. After the preview of the “teenage girl” monster, the episode actually had a lot of substance. But I’m not here to discuss substance. I am here to make a list.
We got a new Claire earlier this season. This time it’s a new Amelia. I don’t remember the old Amelia, but this one seemed appropriate given her emaciated appearance. Living on angel juice for two years probably isn’t calorie intensive.
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.
Young Mom, you’re so beautiful.
“I’ll Just Wait Here,” inspiring a song 5 years later.
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:
Swan Song (522)
Two Minutes to Midnight (521)
(3-way tie): Dark Side of the Moon (516); Point of No Return (518); The Devil You Know (520)
And here I thought they were more of a soft rock band. Either way, my love for them has been renewed, and I now have another song to download. Bonus question: Do you know what ELO stands for?
Sam? Or Sam?
2. I’m a Sam er, Jared uh … Sam girl.
After years of proclaiming myself “bi-bro,” turns out I was more excited to see Sam than Dean. Granted, that might be because of my new fascination with Sam Heughan, who looks remarkably like Jared Padalecki in some (but not all) photos. Unfortunately, with Dean having the mytharc story this season (which is awesome), Sam is relegated to support status, which seems to mean doing research on his laptop.
Since Natalie “complained” that my review of Sleepy Hollow‘s “The Midnight Run” was all recap and no commentary, this review will be all commentary and no recap. 😉
Can Misha Collins make blue vests sexy?
Jeremy Carver said this year Supernatural would feature B and C-plots. I wasn’t happy then; I’m a little less unhappy now. (Yes, double negative. Figure it out.) Having a secondary story isn’t as bad as I’d feared, but I’d rather have Castiel integrated with the team. Having two plots makes Castiel feel isolated from the brothers. But that’s probably the feeling they’re going for.
Dean and Castiel have a somewhat awkward reunion. Dean wonders why Cass doesn’t greet him with open arms, then chastises him for working as an attendant at a gas station/convenience store. Well, geez, Dean, maybe if you weren’t such a judgmental jerk. I wouldn’t have handled it as well as Cass did, saying there’s a type of dignity in it. (Yes, there is.)
The key to enjoying Supernatural is to not worry about changing canon. Used to be reapers could only be seen from the “astral plane.” Now they pose as taxi drivers, inhabit young women, and die like angels. Maybe they’re a subset of angels that help dying souls move on. (That’d make sense, right?) Don’t think too much about it. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
Where’s the sheep to count?
The last we saw of Castiel, he was chugging down a bottle of water after stealing some clothes and leaving the trench coat behind. Since then he’s been living in homeless shelters and hanging out with the unsheltered homeless. Misha Collins and the show do a terrific job of showing Castiel’s awkwardness in the human world as he makes observations on things we take for granted. From dental hygiene, to a literal interpretation of counting sheep, to the wonder of burritos; it’s all delightful fun. Add a moral lesson or two along the way (those with the least to give are often the most generous, and the meaning of faith), and you have truly compelling food for thought.
The best-rated episodes for the second half of season 4 follow. If we didn’t count my own personal ratings (the stars) the order of the episodes would have been different. “The Rapture” would have been #3, “When the Levee Breaks” #4, and “It’s a Wonderful Life” #5.
#1. The Monster at the End of This Book (418)
Dean and Sam discover a series of books by “Carver Edlund” (a mash-up of writers Jeremy Carver and Ben Edlund) which chronicle their lives. It’s the classic case of predestined destiny; even as the boys try to change the outcome, circumstances keep pulling them back on track.
“I’m sitting in a laundromat reading about myself sitting in a laundromat reading about myself.”
The first 15-minutes contain some of Supernatural‘s most humorous moments as the Winchesters confront author Chuck Shurley (Carver Edlund’s real name) and realize their lives are literally an open book. The episode also provides an opportunity for Eric Kripke and company to poke fun at the fans, who, as Dean says “… for fans, they sure do complain a lot.” (That comment is still true today. Just read any episode thread at the Television Without Pity Supernatural forums.)
After that, however, the episode becomes darker. Chuck’s most recent story has Sam meeting Lilith in a motel room. Sam is anxious to have a showdown with the uber-demon, but Dean wants nothing more than to avoid the situation. Dean attempts to go “off-book” while Sam and destiny thwart him at every turn. Eventually Dean resorts to prayer (and threats) to successfully alter the outcome.
It’s time to look at the 5 top-rated episodes from the first half of season 4, as determined by IMDB, TV.com, and me. (The stars are my ratings only.) There was a tie for fifth place, so we’ll actually look at six episodes.
#1. Lazarus Rising (401)
It’s not just season 4′s best episode, it’s one of Supernatural‘s all-time best. Some say it’s the best episode ever. It’s certainly one of my top 5, maybe top 3. It’s even the reason I bought a wide-screen television!
After Dean was sent to hell at the end of season 3, fans waited impatiently for September 2008. At Comic Con that summer, Eric Kripke and company showed a clip of the episode—Dean discovering a hand print burned into his upper arm. It only heightened anticipation for the season premiere. And “Lazarus Rising” did not disappoint.
The good old days, when Pamela still had her eyeballs.
The first seven minutes or so contained little to no dialog, yet we sat on the edges of our seats. Throughout the episode, strange happenings let us know a powerful force was at work. This force had leveled a forest and produced a high-pitched, glass-shattering whine (not to mention burning eyeballs out of skulls). When it finally appeared, in the form of a trench-coated Misha Collins, it was immune to every demon-warding symbol, rock salt, and Ruby’s demon-killing knife.
The season 6 title card caught me by surprise. How did breaking glass tie in to it? The Supernatural Wiki says it’s a reference to film noir, the genre season 6 was going for. Ok.
Live Free or Twihard (605)
Every Supernatural fan has her (or his) own reasons for liking the show, and that’s no more apparent than in the wide range of ratings any episode receives. TV Fanatic and TV.com gave this episode very high marks, yet it’s one of my least favorite episodes. I’m not a big fan of vampires—nearly all of Supernatural‘s vampire-centric episodes are on my unremarkable list. Or perhaps it’s because season 6 was mostly forgettable.
Dean Winchester: Vampire-hunting vampire
We know something is off about Sam, but don’t yet know what. He watches (and even smiles!) as Dean is turned into a vampire. Fortunately, their grandfather Samuel shows up with a vampire cure. How convenient!
Samuel, still one of the good guys at this point, chastises his namesake for not telling Dean of the “old Campbell recipe” for curing a vampire. He says it’s as if Sam wanted Dean to become a vampire in order to search for the alpha. The line inititally passed (by me) unnoticed. We learned about the shapeshifter alpha in “Two and a Half Men” (which I haven’t covered yet), but was this the first reference to the vampire alpha? Now that we know the key role the alpha vamp played in season 6, and what was wrong with Sam, Sam’s motivation is clearer. Letting Dean be turned and not curing him was cruel. But it worked. By entering the nest, Dean learned how the alpha communicated with his minions, and what his plans were.