Here it is, our #1-5 choices for the Ten Worst Episodes of “Supernatural.” We know you all have been waiting in deep anticipation. All three of you! (I’m joking!).
For those that didn’t catch Alice and Nate’s choices for The Ten Worst Episodes, #6-10, they can be found here:
All caught up? Not jumping ahead, right? Great! Let’s continue the list!
5 – I Believe the Children are our Future (5.06)
I will admit that this episode is very charming and entertaining – in the beginning. Yet by the end it’s all just a mess. How exactly can a demon (a former human soul transformed) & a human make a child more powerful than archangels? Two humans make more humans all the time and the results are never that powerful. This also goes against the general theme of both S5 and the show as a whole as Sam is much more of an antichrist figure. (Especially if you remember the concept that Christ is supposed to be “God with us” and is His vessel to walk among humanity – so Sam being filled with Satan and allowing Lucifer to walk among humanity is perfect as an inverse parallel. Heck even both of their mothers made agreements with spiritual beings.) The episode also has an insult at the Bible which isn’t even true. Of everything Kripke’s done, this is the episode I would most wish to jettison completely from his run. (You could fit 11.04 Baby in here with little changing.)
4 – The Prisoner (10.22)
“So. Charlie died last episode.”
“Are we… going to ask Cas for help? You know he can resurrect people, right?”
“Too late – would rather watch pretty flames.”
And that’s pretty much how the episode starts! It then goes downhill from there as Dean faces off against a secret society yet again which has somehow not had any problems despite all the world disasters that have happened in the show. But you see it was all very important we introduce that society so that… Dean could kill them all. That’s still not the worst thing about it. See, there’s this thing in writing that basically if you make a promise to the audience, you better pay it off. It has numerous terms like chekov’s gun or the gunrack rule – basically it means don’t lie to or cheat the audience. Well earlier in S10, Cain warned Dean that the latter would kill “first Crowley, then the angel.” That is essentially foreshadowing and promising the audience a path Dean’s character would take. So in this very episode we see… Sam try and kill Crowley. Then later on we do get to see Dean… not kill Castiel. Not even because Cas barely escaped or Sam stopped Dean. Nope. Dean just stops himself from killing Castiel all on his own. Meaning the show lied to us and there was no reason to trust anything Cain ever told us. It’s this repeated failure on basic storytelling principles that I consider Carver’s seasons to be the show’s worsts.
3 – Bloodlines (9.20)
This is one that seems to break my rules, but actually that is only because it is such a failure and ends up being memorable by it. Had this episode succeeded, it would definitely be canon as the cornerstone of the spinoff. A spinoff which – had it gone on for very long – Sam & Dean would be having annual crossovers with. All of that would have made it impossible to ignore. This means had this episode succeeded, canon would be broken even harder than it is now and as well as just the spirit of the show. Thankfully it failed. For additional irony, the episode had to go and break its own canon within itself which is a special kind of failure.
2 – Stairway to Heaven (9.22)
Like Red Sky, part of this episode’s problem is that I can barely remember what happens in it. But I do remember that this was the episode that made me swear I would never have any of Carver’s seasons on disc enter my home. (It’s a testament to the quality of 11.04 “Baby” that I nearly broke that rule.) I also picked this episode because it was just endemic of S9 as a whole – an awful, awful mess. Remember how Metatron was encouraging, almost forcing, Castiel to become a leader? Well now Cas is a threat. Maybe. Castiel’s group has a mole within it – even though we saw earlier that Castiel’s actions were sort of dictated by Metatron’s typewriter. So what does the mole even do? Why is he/she needed? Remember how Metatron started off the season by kicking angels out of heaven? Well now he wants them back in! Why? And to top it off, let’s kill Tessa! Why? Doesn’t matter, stop bringing those logical challenges here. If you told me this entire episode was improvised and there was no script, I would honestly believe you. Everything about this episode – this entire season – is just a mess.
1 – Taxi Driver (8.19)
Oh… oh my Chuck how I hate this episode…
For one thing, this is an episode where Sam goes into Hell to save a soul. All within the span of One. Hour. The very idea is one that demands you splitting it into a two parter at MINIMUM. For any sane group of writers, this would be a mini arc within the season covering 3-5 episodes in total. Then in the middle of this huge idea, we get “rogue reapers” added to the SPN universe. An idea which flies into the face of everything we were ever told about reapers, was implied about them, and basic common sense. Such a creature could take up an entire stand-alone episode just to examine and explain the concept. Following that, we find Bobby in Hell with an explanation that breaks all common sense with the show’s canon and rules. Oh and don’t forget the random celebrity cameo! Everything about this episode just gets worse and worse the more you think about it. And for me, there is no worse sin a story can commit than to demand you avoid thinking. But! But to make it all just the extra salt in a twisted knife wound – so many problems in this episode are easily solved with just a moment of thought and remembering plot points which had already been established within the show. This episode stands as a monument to laziness and apathy in the crucial middle of a season long arc that could have been one of the show’s most compelling.
(Coming on Page 2 – Alice’s Choices)