Writers of Supernatural:
Series articles seem to be my thing this Hellatus, The Road So Far Series, compilations of each season and their accompanying music, there will be Hellatus checks throughout â€“ if nothing else than my sanity needs a check, Iâ€™m working on the journeys of the boys along the lines of Is Sam Too Stupid to Live and How Dumb is Dean [clunky title no doubt but the title does tell you what the article(s) intend to explore] and nowâ€¦because Hellatus is longâ€¦Iâ€™m gonna do some quickie articles on the writers of our beloved show.
These are not likely to be deeply complex, mind-blowing journeys of literary brillianceâ€¦Iâ€™m not Bardicvoice after all â€“ she so rocks! But they are simply meant to take a look at the writers who have shaped the series and prick your minds and memories of the series thus far. So, this is the first in however many I manage to put together and they are completely meant to spark some discussion and sharing of thoughts and opinions, so I hope you have some fun with them.
As would seem natural, this first article will take a look at all the episodes written by Mr. Supernatural himself, Eric Kripke. For a refresher (and courtesy of Supernaturalwiki with one correction) Eric wrote the following:
In My Time Of Dying
All Hell Breaks Loose II
No Rest for the Wicked
Heaven and Hell, Teleplay by Eric, story by Trevor Sands
So, 12 episodes penned [mostly] by the genius behind this show of which we are obsessed; can you say you have a favorite?
Is The Pilot your favorite? Sure, thatâ€™s a great place to start, we get John and Mary Winchester as a loving family, young Dean hugged happily by his adoring father, the â€˜angelicâ€™ Mary kissing baby Sam on the forehead saying â€œGoodnight, love.â€ Jump ahead 22 years and in a minute (give or take) of dialogue (that Kripke himself says he wishes he had even more time to whittle down or fine tune depending on your point of view) we get the raising and training of those two children into the hunters we know today.
Thereâ€™s the Impala, all the music for the series laid out in one expository scene, along with credit card scams and fake IDs, thereâ€™s Dean in mud, Dean in jail, Sam in denial and Sam in tearsâ€¦Weâ€™ve got work to do. Itâ€™s all laid out, and we have absolutely no idea where itâ€™s going to lead but itâ€™s a great beginning.
Is Wendigo your favoriteâ€¦comfort episode? Itâ€™s one of mine. Itâ€™s simple. Thereâ€™s the hunt, thereâ€™s the pretty girl, the â€˜come along for balance younger brotherâ€™, the arrogant hunter (no, not that kind of hunter) Dean doesnâ€™t do shorts, provisions include a duffle bag and peanut M&Mâ€™s, Dean beat up [a favorite of mine] Sam beginning to show his obsessive ways, and the tag line weâ€™ve all come to know and loveâ€¦ â€œSaving people, hunting things; the family business.â€
How about Home, does Home shoot over Pilot as your favorite? Enter Missouri â€“ who we can figure is still alive and well as weâ€™ve never heard from her again, but then again weâ€™ve never heard from Layla again and Iâ€™m laying odds she did die from her cancer. We see John again for the first time and oh, man does JDM kill me with that final sceneâ€¦I didnâ€™t have angst enough for the boys what with Sam telling Dean about his dreams and Dean admitting he never wanted to go back to Lawrence and then that phone call and â€“ ohâ€¦ *sob* and let us not forget that deliciously dangling apology from Maryâ€¦ â€œSam, Iâ€™m sorry.â€ What? For what?! For dying? For not being there as he grew up? For Jessica? What!!!!
Enter Shadow, Meg returns and this time the demons are the ones doing the hunting and we learn itâ€™s not the first time theyâ€™ve tried to kill the Winchestersâ€¦at least John. More mysteries abound as John admits heâ€™s closing in and heâ€™s working on a way to kill the SOB. Thereâ€™s manly hugs and bloody, beaten heroes, thereâ€™s forgiveness for past anger and just when I think there might be three men to journey with each and every episode reality strikesâ€¦itâ€™s too dangerous for them to all be together and poof, John is off again. Damn you, Kripke.
Devilâ€™s Trapâ€¦so whatâ€™s the best part of this episode? Meg getting exorcised? Azazel/John torturing Dean and taunting Sam? The Impala smashed by a semi *ducks* or the arrival of Bobby Singer and all his brilliance? Tough call.
Onward to Season two:
In My Time of Dying, Tessa the reaper, Bobby reappears, the Impala is linked to Dean, the YED deals with John, Sam talks about hoodoo priests and laying on of some mojoâ€¦and does sense Deanâ€™s presence, the brothers have awesome bro moments even if on different spiritual planes, Jensen in a t-shirt and scrubs the entire episode (yes, I am just that shallow) and John diesâ€¦wow, talk about opening up the season.
We have to wait all the way to the end of the season for Ericâ€™s next installment, All Hell Breaks Loose II, itâ€™s not the full on masterpieces weâ€™ve come to know and expect from him but itâ€™s still pretty awesome, especially knowing that he was kinda figuring the show endeth hereâ€¦but it didnâ€™t thankfully.
Once again the awesomeness of Bobby is fully on display, Ellen returns for her last (?) appearance, sheâ€™s likely hanging with Missouri which is to say safe and sound. Sam is dead (darn you, Sera Gamble, and your murderous ways â€“ youâ€™re like my cat who is on chipmunk number two this season and prowling for more) Dean sucks at deals â€“ as in REALLY sucks, but boy does he get my eyes watering and nose snuffling when he pours out his heart and grief over Samâ€™s deathâ€¦too much unevenness in this one to make it a great with a capital â€œGâ€ but it is still pretty cool.
Then thereâ€™s the stinkerâ€¦everybody has to have one. The Magnificent Seven, cough, cough. So whatâ€™s good here? Well, Kim Manners directed it, Bobby is in it, I really like the Hellâ€™s Bells opening sequence and that final scene does set the theme for the rest of the season, Dean is not going to fight his sentence and Sam is not going to give upâ€¦oh, bring on the angst. Oh, yeah, enter Rubyâ€¦whose storyline is pretty darn cool, especially now that, you know â€“ sheâ€™s DEAD!!!! (okay, okay, now that we know a lot, if not all, of her plan. Yeah, thatâ€™s what I meant.)
Season three is another season where all we get is the season opener and the season closer but wow, talk about a way to close the seasonâ€¦.
No Rest For The Wickedâ€¦apparently this is kinda the tag line that Eric all along has envisioned for the series â€“ yeah, I prefer, Saving people, hunting things; the family business, but thatâ€™s just me *grin*. Lilith is creepy, too much birthday cake IS bad for you, Rubyâ€™s true colors start to show, â€œFamily donâ€™t end with blood, boy!â€ Bobby, youâ€™re so awesome, and I donâ€™t even know about the panic room yet. Sam and Dean sing â€“ and theyâ€™re horrendous but thatâ€™s not why I cry. Deanâ€™s dead, Samâ€™s immune and if thatâ€™s not enough weâ€™re left hanging (sorry for the pun) for 17 weeks with images of Dean chained and meat hooked in hell screaming â€œSAM!â€
Lazarus Risingâ€¦wow, how can this not be a favoriteâ€¦even â€˜theâ€™ favorite, I mean, really, Dean comes back to life â€“ yeah, we knew that was going to happen â€“ but an angel? Samâ€™s been shacking up with Ruby (that stinks about as much as The Magnificent Seven.) Bobbyâ€™s gone all drunken grief over Dean and Sam. *sniff* I love that man! Thereâ€™s pie, thereâ€™s demons, thereâ€™s angels and psychics, eyes get burned out, glass gets blown out and the Impala gets an iPod jack? Really?
Heaven and Hellâ€¦so grace can be held in a bottle, it is an angelic bottle after all. Grace coming into contact with the earth is pure creationâ€¦Deanâ€™s gravesite looked like â€œa nuke went offâ€, I guess one was a battle, the other not so much. Angels and demons, heaven and hell, Godzilla and Mothra â€“ whoever that is. Anna was whiney here and I didnâ€™t much like her reasoning, sheâ€™s improved much since returning to heaven. Dean reveals his time in hell, most of it, and the Impala and Sam are solidly at his back. Bobby is in hedonism (I think it would have been a bit funnier if Dean had said he was on some island or another, as opposed to Dominican but hey–) Ruby almost got gutted (I was so hoping but I got what I wanted in the end so Iâ€™m happy)
Lucifer Risingâ€¦so Dean broke the first seal and was raised from hell to stop Lucifer, Sam breaks the last seal (probably, at least itâ€™s in process) to raise Lucifer. What a season weâ€™ve had. Castiel goes all rogue with Dean, Chuck the prophet returns, thereâ€™s harps and burgers and beer, more blood sucking of demons (and their poor human hosts) Bobby reigns supreme as the awesome father figure/voice of reason in the Winchestersâ€™ lives â€“ how does he do it? Zachariah is proven to be the sinister force behind much of the demons success in breaking sealsâ€¦and to think he blames it on Dean â€“ you, know there Zach, one could figure you orchestrated the whole, get Dean sent to hell so he would break so the first seal could be brokenâ€¦but that makes my head spin so I wonâ€™t go there. The brothers are far apart all episode (and likely allowed Jared and Jensen some downtime whilst filming) but in the end, Eric brought them back togetherâ€¦only fitting since heâ€™s the one that orchestrated the tearing apart.
And now we wait and wait and waitâ€¦Misha Collins said (in an interview I read in early May so he either gave it in early May or late April, I have no idea) that the writers were back in the writersâ€™ room writing. Filming begins in a little under a month and thereâ€™s only â€“ yeah, Iâ€™m not going to start counting weeks and days and hours yet, thatâ€™s just depressing.
Anyway, thereâ€™s a look at the episodes by Eric Kripke, your favorite of all? By season? Favorite season premier? Favorite season finale? Favorite with Mary in it? Favorite with John in it? Favorite with Bobby in it? Do you hope heâ€™ll write and direct the season five premier? Are you just plain going stir crazy?
And just to dare myself I thought Iâ€™d try to rank my least favorite to my favoriteâ€¦here goes nothing.
(Iâ€™m not counting Heaven and Hell â€˜cause Eric did the teleplay but someone else did the story, and I have absolutely no idea how that works, so to make it easy I just kicked it to the side for this exercise.)
So, least favorite to most favorite:
11: The Magnificent Sevenâ€¦just doesnâ€™t do much for me, barely furthers the mytharc, Sam seems all wrong when trying to find out how and why Isaac and Tamara started huntingâ€¦left me fairly cool.
10: Wendigoâ€¦while itâ€™s one of my comfort episodes, itâ€™s not a strong episode. It has great brotherly moments and thereâ€™s hardly any baggage for either brother so it is fun and fluffy and I find myself going to it frequently for that reason but for a ranking that is supposed to have something (at least in my mind) to do with greatness, this hits spot number 10.
9: All Hell Breaks Loose, IIâ€¦I might have to duck some punches from folks but there is just too much that is not that awesome about this episode. Sure, the first half really kicks it big time, and it sets up season 3 beautifully, but as far as me going back to watch it again and again and againâ€¦and then one more time; it misses the mark.
8: Shadowâ€¦this starts to get really hard because from here on out these episodes all do a lot to further deepen the characters, the mytharc and show just how dark this show will go, so itâ€™s a tough placement on each of these and you could ask me again to list them without looking at what I did and they very likely will move around. Shadow heads up at Number 8, the middle to the end is the part that I love the most, when the boys are talking before the big confrontation with Meg, Dean reveals heâ€™s longing for family, Sam reveals heâ€™s done when this is done, the boys get caught by Meg and she reveals sheâ€™s laying the trap for John, then John comes, thereâ€™s hugs and apologies and the Daevas returnâ€¦ah, the angst. This is a great episode but from top to bottom it does not compare with those to come.
7: No Rest For The Wickedâ€¦told you this would be hard, there is so very much to love about this episode, thereâ€™s Bobbyâ€¦ â€œFamily donâ€™t end with blood, boy.â€ Thereâ€™s so many bro moments, Bon Jovi rocking, Dean hallucinating, Sam immune to Lilith, Dean fighting with Ruby [shoulda hit her a little harder] and the endingâ€¦*sobs briefly, reminds self heâ€™s back* but there is a lot of time spent with Lilith the child and cake and candy and Freckles the [dog? Cat?] that keeps this lower on the listâ€¦but it was the worst (and I mean that in the best possible way) cliffhanger ever!
6: Homeâ€¦wow, this was a tough one and I switched it so many times, and likely always will. This one is so hard to place, like Nightshifter and Faith itâ€™s iconic and thus doesnâ€™t belong in any list, but here I am anyway (why did I do this to myself?) I know some of you are thinking how does The Pilot rate higher than home? Home has the emotions and raises so very many questions that The Pilot only hints at, I mean, Home is where we got the whole: â€œSam, Iâ€™m sorry.â€ from Mary, The Pilot didnâ€™t have that? I know, I know, I canâ€™t explain it but Home hits Number 6 because it doesnâ€™t have what the Pilot did have, the job of laying the foundation for what is to come and setting the tone, The Pilot had that responsibility and it did it flawlessly (in my humble opinion),
5: The Pilotâ€¦for all the reasons stated above and because the following four set wheels in motion that we never would have envisioned and showed just how daring this show was to become.
4. Devilâ€™s Trapâ€¦Devilâ€™s Trap ranks higher than Home because it introduces us to Bobby, it shows how far Dean will go to save those he loves â€“ and how much that scares him, [it should Dean for a year from here you went even further.] Devilâ€™s Trap dangles more questions while giving cryptic answers to others, the demon killed Mom and Jess because they got in the way and he has plans for you. Devilâ€™s Trap gave us the first flavor of who and what the YED was to become, JDM brought him to life first and Frederick Lane (Lehne) colored in the lines, but Eric set the stage here. And he wasnâ€™t content to just bloody up our heroic trio, he had the demon attempt to finish them off; the strength of the Impala proved stronger.
3: Lazarus Risingâ€¦Dean is raised from hell and I know I breathed a huge sigh of relief (and amazement) as I watched that footage from Comic Con 2008 when those fabulous fans recorded and posted the images on You Tube [thank you all you fabulous fans who go to these things and then share as much as you can with the rest of us!] This one doesnâ€™t rank higher simply because of the brotherly moments, hard to rationalize when youâ€™re all thinking of the two episodes that remain and saying things likeâ€¦who is she kidding? I know, the boys hug, genuine, mutual give and take full on brother hug, as awesome as Samâ€™s hugging of Dean in Mystery Spot and Deanâ€™s hugging of Sam in All Hell Breaks Loose, II this is the first time the brothers have mutually hugged and it was (and is) awesome. But distrust is rapid and growing between the two.
Bobby and Dean moments are played by me over and over and over and just plain over again as Bobby and Dean are wonderful together. Castielâ€™s entrance ranks up there with one of the best entrances by a character ever and his lines, his delivery everything are spot on superb. Since I have to nitpick, now that weâ€™re at the top, I find the whole Ruby/Kristie scene at the hotel annoying and the tracking of Dean of Samâ€™s cell phone too simplistic and the stakes are just that high here, so Lazarus Rising gets the number 3 spot.
So, two episodes left for me to rank and frankly Iâ€™m not sure I can do either of them justice and Iâ€™m fairly certain you will all eat me alive, so I quake at that thought, but then again this is Hellatus and there is much more time to go. Since we all need things to obsess over Iâ€™ll just jump in and then let you all discuss. Thereâ€™s no right, thereâ€™s no wrong and likely (as Iâ€™ve stated before in an effort to protect myself) Iâ€™d rerank these at any given moment and never put them the same way twiceâ€¦but, what Iâ€™m looking for in my two favorites and why one gets the top spot and the other does notâ€¦here we go.
Brother moments, I have to know these two love and care for each other, that theyâ€™re putting the needs of the other before their own so with that in mind which one gets the top spot if that was the only criteria? Lucifer Rising. Sam [wrongly] believes that Dean is better off without him and heâ€™s willing to sacrifice himself to save humanity and Dean along with. Dean puts his humiliation, his fear of rejection, his pride [finally] behind him and reaches out to Sam and then fights heaven [pretty literally] to get to his brotherâ€™s side. While In My Time of Dying had Sam at Deanâ€™s bedside several times, sensing his brotherâ€™s spirit, talking to him via the Mystical Talking Board and Dean trying to reassure Sam and thanking Sam for not giving up on him, the idea of sacrificing for the other wasnâ€™t there [true thatâ€™s very evident elsewhere with deals etc.] but between the two episodes, Lucifer Rising gets the point.
Answers questions, I need to know some things about what and where this journey is all about, so which episode gives us a better understanding of Samâ€™s abilities and why he was chosen, In My Time of Dying or Lucifer Rising? Neither, itâ€™s a draw. Sure, Ruby reveals that Sam had the power within him all the time but she doesnâ€™t say how or why. In In My Time of Dying Azazel challenges John that he knows all about Sam and the other kids like him and John affirms that but gives no further information; no winner there.
Along the idea of answering questions though there is a clear winner, Lucifer Rising gives us the answer that what Dean is supposed to stop is not Sam, not the apocalypse, not the breaking of the seals (yeah, those are kinda one and the same but three is more fun than two) but that he is to stop Lucifer, so not only does it provide some (not all) clarity to that question since Lazarus Rising but it lays groundwork for Season 5. In My Time Of Dying gave us Azazel agreeing to bring Dean back from the brink of death because he really wasnâ€™t all that much of a threat anyway. In My Time of Dying did have John whispering a secret into Deanâ€™s ear that kept us in suspense for the next eight episodes but even that reveal still left us with more questions, questions that are still not fully answered but much has been revealed.
And last but not least on answering questions, we see Azazelâ€™s beginning effort, 1972, which threads through In The Beginning, The Pilot and all the way to the presentâ€¦yeah, Lucifer Rising wins this point.
Emotional punch in the gutâ€¦wow, hereâ€™s a tough one. We have In My Time of Dying the moments of Sam comparing the Impala to Dean, and Bobbyâ€™s gruff acceptance. Thereâ€™s Sam realizing he doesnâ€™t know how to save Dean but heâ€™s going to keep trying; hold on, donâ€™t leave me with dad. *sob* We have John seated at Deanâ€™s bedside stoic and silent while spirit Dean rails at his father for not doing anything to save him, in the end John dies to save Dean so what a knock in the teeth is that, however, the downside is that Dean does not retain the memories and by the time he does get those memories returned (Death Takes a Holiday) it likely doesnâ€™t hold the same impact as heâ€™s traveled so much grief since then [yeah, and 40 years in hell] however for me it packs an emotional punch and thatâ€™s the whole point. Then, of course, thereâ€™s the ending, JOHN DIES! That hurts.
Now, letâ€™s take a look at Lucifer Rising for the emotional punch, thereâ€™s the full-on awesomeness of Bobby telling Dean heâ€™s a better man than his father and not to be John. Wow, canâ€™t wait to see you again, Bobby Singer. Thereâ€™s Dean convincing Cas that humanity is worth fighting for, and Casâ€™ struggle to understand how and why. Thereâ€™s Dean leaving the emotional message to Sam and Sam listening to the altered one (still angry about that, Zach!) Then thereâ€™s Sam hearing Deanâ€™s voice above all the noise and turning around in hope only to be distracted by Rubyâ€™s shouts and Lilithâ€™s taunts. Samâ€™s apology at the endâ€¦wow. So which one takes the point? Itâ€™s gotta go to Lucifer Rising simply because of the buildup all season to this moment and the tearing down of the brothers to the point where it appeared theyâ€™d never find each other again and in the end Eric gave us both brothers clutching each other as if never to let the other go againâ€¦yeah, Lucifer Rising scores this point.
Finally, which episode do I think Iâ€™ll view again and again to see threads from the past and pointers for the future? Lucifer Rising. That may be an unfair advantage in this category as one episode was written so very much earlier than the other and thus has fewer threads woven in it simply because of quantity but hey, life isnâ€™t fair and neither is arbitrarily ranking episodes. So, the final rankings are:
2: In My Time of Dying
1: Lucifer Rising
Damn you, Kripke!
Thanks for readingâ€¦*runs and hides*