I have my favorite episodes of all time; the episodes that I watch every second of and enjoy each and every time. Then I have what I call my Comfort Food episodes. These are the ones that I pull out just to watch and relax. They may contain bits I skip over just because I like other bits more (and I’m a little impatient at times, truth be told.) I call them Comfort Food episodes because they are to me what pancakes are, or meatloaf: I know what I’m going to get; it’s not fancy, but it hits the spot each and every time.
Let’s take meatloaf. Ground beef, onions, egg, parsley, bread crumbs, some assorted additional spices, ketchup, mash it all together, form a loaf, and bake in the oven until done. Fancy? Nope. But there is something mouthwateringly good about sinking my teeth into each bite, the moistness of the meat; the tang of the ketchup…my mom makes the best. Bet yours does too. 😉 Same thing with pancakes: Before I developed an intolerance to gluten, pancakes were what I would order at a diner for breakfast, each and every time. Didn’t matter which diner either; they always tasted the same – delicious.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that I have certain episodes of Supernatural that I like to just sit back with from time to time and enjoy. They aren’t the best and brightest, they rarely move the mytharc forward, they don’t have massive reveals or even especially complex stories. More often than not they’re simple monster of the week episodes that pack some fun moments or more likely, some great brotherly moments. Take these that I’ve compiled here from Season 1:
“Wendigo”, “Scarecrow”, “Faith”, and “Something Wicked” are all in this basket.
Why “Wendigo”? I don’t know, there’s just something I enjoy about Sam and Dean hiking in the woods. As Kripke has suggested, it isn’t particularly riveting. There are no twists, no hidden reveals; just people walking in the woods and talking. And yet, I love it. I love the scenery. I love seeing Dean trying to encourage Sam after Jessica’s death and telling him that hunting things, saving people is the family business. I like that everyone lives at the end…well, almost everyone. I like Dean saying he doesn’t do shorts (“After School Special” says different) and that he brings Peanut M&M’s as provisions. There’s rock and roll, the brothers are searching for dad, heck, Sam even drives the Impala at the end. What’s not to like?
“Scarecrow” gives us a great heart to heart moment as Dean tells Sam on the phone that he admires him, admires how he always knows what he wants and goes for it. It’s a great moment between the two. I love that Kim Manners directed it, and his signature is stamped everywhere. I like the introduction of Meg and how she plays off Sam’s mindset and struggle for independence, but that he isn’t about to be swayed from his love and devotion to Dean – and later shows he’s no fool for her popping up again in Chicago during “Shadow”. “Dude, you fugly.” “I hope your apple pie is freaking worth it!” The Impala being escorted out of town by the sheriff, only to zoom back in after dark…it’s just comfortable. Never changes either.
“Faith”, well, sure, heart transplants are common nowadays – although I’m still not sure someone like Dean could get on the transplant list and get moved up high enough for it to matter, but that’s logistics, and I’ll skip those. “Faith” is the episode when the show first dipped its toe into Christianity, and kept the politics out. Roy LaGrange was a good man, who had no idea the evil his wife was enacting. He honestly and earnestly gave God all the credit, and believed God called him to certain people. It is a powerful moment when LaGrange tells Dean that God chose him, not LaGrange, and that he (LaGrange) simply looked into Dean’s heart (it’s implied that God did the revealing here) and saw a young man with a purpose, an important job that wasn’t finished yet. It’s a beautiful moment of confrontation for Dean, to think he has a purpose for one, and later, when Layla shows him what true faith is: “I guess if you’re going to have faith, you can’t just have it when the miracles happen; you have to have it when they don’t”. It touches on the idea of saving the one you love through whatever means necessary, a theme the show continues to play with ten years later.
Plus, I adore the Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper” and how it is used here:
Finally, for Season 1, “Something Wicked”. This episode uses Michael and Asher, parallels to Dean and Sam, and gives us flashbacks of Dean taking care of young Sammy, while John hunts a shtriga, explaining to us and Sam why Dean follows Dad’s orders so closely. I love the moment when the flashback ends and we see Sam sitting right next to Dean. At the beginning of the scene, the brothers were across the room from each other, but during Dean’s recitation of the memory, Sam moved across the room to sit next to his brother in a supportive position. I remember the first time I watched it how I hoped that’s where Sam would be as the camera panned back, and there he was. I enjoy a scene or two later, when the brothers are watching the surveillance camera in Michael’s room, and Sam tells Dean he understands, and Dean growls that he hopes they’re not going to hug. Well, they didn’t, but we’ve since been rewarded with some wonderful brother hugs over the years…”AHBLII”, “Mystery Spot”, “Lazarus Rising”, “Sacrifice”…and many others. The brother hugs are comfort food too. I love each and every one that we’ve been given…but “Mystery Spot” is probably my favorite…but that’s for a different article.
That’s it for Part 1 of my Supernatural Comfort Food episodes…Part 2 coming soon.
As always, thanks for reading, Elle2