Welcome back to The Winchester Family Business‘ countdown of Supernatural’s Top 100 episodes for the Road So Far, i.e. seasons 1 to 14! This week I begin by revealing the Top 100 list starting with episodes 100 to 91!
Before I get to these episodes, let’s recap how this project came to be. Administrators and staff writers from The WFB, Super-Fan_Wiki and Fangasm each ranked their favorite episodes from 1 to 100, then I tallied all of those votes to determine the consolidated ranking of the Top 100 episodes. And when I say I tallied the votes, what I really mean is that my hubs applied some high-level math wizardry to an excel spreadsheet, successfully tallying, formulating, weighting and ranking the final results. Remember, folks, it’s all about the Math and, say it with we – Math Don’t Lie. The participants represented a broad cross-sampling of groups within the Supernatural fandom. You can learn more about the project, participants’ backgrounds, the voting process and the final, warded results in last week’s introduction to this ambitious project! It also revealed a few episodes that didn’t make the list, but were so close they deserve Honorable Mentions!
So shall we get to this week’s episodes?
#100: “First Blood” (12.09)
There’s so much to love about this episode that it’s hard to pick out just a few highlights! Much of the episode is a throwback to the 80’s movie, “Rambo: First Blood,” as Sam and Dean escape from their imprisonment by the Secret Service. In the course of their escape, Dean had some great lines, again, a throwback to Rambo, including this one:
Dean to Agent Camp: “We’re not trapped out here with you, you’re trapped out here with us.”
Jensen’s delivery is bone-chilling! Those agents had it comin, and our boys were gonna give it to them!
And Sam, absolutely nailing it when he says to Agent Camp:
We’re the guys that save the world.
Damn right, Sam! I’m pretty sure I actually cheered rather loudly, and scared my dogs in the process. #notevensorry
Let’s not forget that their whole escape even happened because Dean made a deal with Billie. Really, Dean? Really? Have you not learned anything about deals? Basically, the deal meant that a Winchester would die, but only one Winchester, so the other could continue the fight. Wha, what?! I don’t want any Winchesters to die! So um, yeah, that’s a Big Nope from me. But thank Chuck for our beloved angel, Cas, stepping in to save the day, by stabbing Billie! And then he delivers such a powerful, rip-my-heart-out speech:
You know this world, this sad, doomed little world, it needs you. It needs every last Winchester it can get, and I will not let you die. I won’t let any of you die. And I won’t let you sacrifice yourselves. You mean too much to me. To everything. So yeah, you made a deal. And I broke it. You’re welcome.
Listen, reliving these episodes, geez, my heart cannot take this.
Fortunately, I can find solace in the comments from the other participants in this poll. Journalbookbinder wrote, “It was interesting to watch how Sam and Dean each coped with solitary confinement.” And she’s right! It was very difficult to watch the boys struggling to cope with their circumstance; I was torn between wanting to hug them and bring them some pie, to wanting to call my local Senator and demand their immediate release. And Alice reminded me that, “This was another great episode showing their brotherly bond.” Truer truths have never been spoken, Alice. Amen.
#99: “Hollywood Babylon” (2.18)
We’re stepping into the Way-Back Machine with this episode! You remember this one, where Sam and Dean travel to Hollywood to investigate a series of deaths on a movie set. Yeah, this is the episode that blessed us with Dean the fanboy, as he was just beside himself with utter joy to be on a horror movie set, and a set starring one of his favs! Listen, we can all relate to that, am I right?
Alice said, “This had to be a fun one to write. It was a chance to poke fun at all the shallowness of Hollywood, plus make fun of shooting a horror film. The whole ep is loaded with lots of perfect inside jokes.” Lynn (Admin from Fangasm) agreed, adding, “Supernatural has always had guts, and this episode is just another example of that – and it’s brilliantly done!” This episode has that amazing line, “the best PA ever!” and let me tell ya, I quote this line to Lynn all the time. Imma need that on a shirt someday.
And then there’s that final scene, of Sam and Dean walking into the sunset. No, no, Nope. I can’t handle this thought right now… what if the final scene of the final season is another sunset shot… Nope. I’m not ready for that. My heart cannot right now.
#98: “Book of the Damned” (10.18)
Don’t panic, y’all, this isn’t that episode with Charlie. No, no, instead this is the episode that shows us Badass Charlie, the girl who scours the earth to find the Book, and then runs across the world to get away from the Styne family, then she gets shot and keeps on going! I think Nate Winchester really sums it up well when he said, “This was a fun episode, bringing Charlie back with style, but also with a vulnerability that made her part in the family clear – this is probably the most I’ve ever liked her as she felt more real, and more Winchester-y.” Yep, I couldn’t agree more, Nate. Charlie is definitely a Winchester now.
Meanwhile, we’ve got an odd buddy-comedy brewing with Cas and Metatron as they hunt for Cas’ grace. Kate38 and Gail made similar comments: they both “loved that Cas got his Grace back” / “by using his mind and literary knowledge” / and the “Behind Blue Eyes montage at the end was wonderful!”
Elle said this was “one of the best episodes of season ten: quick paced, dramatic and intense. This episode did so much to advance the twisting plot of season ten. Definitely one of those episodes that you can’t take your eyes off of. And can you really go wrong bringing Charlie and Cas together?” I could not agree more!
And then there’s Sam. Nate Winchester commented, “Sam is at the top of his game in this episode, both in fisticuffs and wit.” Oh yeah, you betchya. I mean, come on now, that scene between Sam and Charlie, the one where he explains to her what it’s like to live the hunter’s life, and then he says this:
But I can’t do it without my brother. I don’t want to do it without my brother.
Holy broken hearts, Sam just killed me. Kate 38 described it like this: “I didn’t expect to hear him talk like that, and found it a refreshing change from the angst about his responsibilities we were used to from him. It was such a poignant moment.”
And then there’s that one scene when Dean tells Sam they need a vacation. At a beach. With sand between their toes. I squee’d then, and I’m squee’ing now. Listen, if these precious boys don’t get a friggin vacation in their final season, Imma riot or something. Just. Sayin.
#97: “Ask Jeeves” (10.06)
To be fair, I want to point out that one of our participants thought this episode was “ a downright squirm-inducing portrayal of “cougar” women – not funny – and frankly, offensive.” I’m sure other fans felt the same way. However, I loved it! What a fun episode! To (briefly) recap, Sam and Dean learn that Bobby is the beneficiary of a deceased heiress’ fortune, so they go to the mansion to see what he inherited. Unfortunately, they end up as suspects in a whodunit mystery. The entire episode was such a brilliant display of homage to the board game and feature movie, “Clue”! The music was spot-on, the set décor was perfect, and there were so many Easter eggs buried in the scenes, I had to watch this one several times to catch everything!
And Awkward!Sam was so completely adorable.
And Flirty!Sam was just, guh. Yes, please, give me more of that!
#96: “Hello, Cruel World” (7.02)
Tissue Alert! In this episode, we watch Sam struggle with the broken wall in his head, which causes him to have hallucinations. We watch him struggle to figure out what’s real and what isn’t. Alice said, “Sam’s meltdown was so well done and seemed realistic.” Alice is so right, and omg it was so hard to watch.
On top of that, we also watch as Dean struggles with worrying about Sam. The whole episode culminates in an abandoned warehouse, where Sam is hallucinating, and Dean has come to save him from himself. Dean grabs Sam’s cut hand and presses hard on it, making Sam feel the pain. Then Jensen delivered such a powerful dialogue as he said,
I got you, Sammy. Believe in that. Believe me, okay? You gotta believe me. You gotta make it stone number one and build on it.
Ugh, my heart. That was the scene that did it for Nightsky. This Show, reminding us to find that thing that sustains us, that thing that gets us through another day – find it and make that Stone One and Build On It. #akf
#95: “Phantom Traveler” (1.04)
Another trip in the Way-Back Machine! This time, we’re heading back to Season One as Sam and Dean investigate a mysterious plane crash, ultimately leading them to board a doomed flight in order to exorcise the demon. As Alice put it, “It was the introduction to demons, and an emotional story. It’s very crude by today’s standards, but wasn’t seeing Dean’s fear of flying precious?” Precious, LOL, yeah right. To this day, I refer to the gif below every time I fly.
Lynn (Fangasm) also reminded me this is the first time we see the boys in suits. Insert any gif of swooning here, as I think most of us surely fainted at the sight.
Should I bring up the use of the word ‘Christo’ and then speculate as to why it’s not used more often in the show? Yeah, let’s just leave that one for another day.
#94: “Meet the New Boss” (7.01)
Well, well, well, here’s a new twist – the wall inside Sam’s mind has collapsed, leaving him a mental mess, and Cas is the new God. So no worries, right? God!Cas will just heal Sam and everything will be okay. Yeah, that’s definitely not what happened. Cas not only went way overboard with his new God powers, but he also refused to help Sam. Refused!
While Cas is off playing God, Sam is left to struggle with his memories of Hell, and he begins to have hallucinations of Lucifer. Dean is obviously worried about Sam, but he is powerless to help him. Ultimately, Dean and Bobby call upon Death for help, in an attempt to expel all the souls from Cas… but, alas, the Leviathans hang on, taking over Cas. When Cas looked at the boys and said, “This is going to be so much fun,” I was legit creeped out by it.
Elle said, “This episode is one heck of an opener, with some seriously dramatic story-telling. The first few moments of this episode are INTENSE.”
Kate38 particularly enjoyed “the juxtaposition at the end between that emotional moment when we thought Cas was dead and the sudden emergence of the leviathans – it was perfectly done!”
Gail said she “was happy to see Cas targeting the haters and the hypocrites and the abusers of religion at first, but when the power began to corrupt him, I was ready to have the old Cas back.”
Nate Winchester summed up this episode like this: “The episode was an interesting start to the season that swerves on the promise of the finale. There’s a lot of potential here that I think was undercut by its own efforts to be ‘relevant’ politically.”
So it seems we all agree, more or less, I mean, I think we’re all kinda saying the same thing, right?
#93: “Hunter Heroici” (8.08)
Sam, Dean and Cas investigate a series of mysterious deaths and find themselves in cartoon-land! Much like episodes “First Blood” and “Ask Jeeves” were shout-outs to well known movies, this episode is full of homage to cartoons, complete with falling anvils, hearts literally beating outside of a person’s chest, black holes that magically provide entrance into a bank, plus so much more! Nightsky commented, “This is an all time favorite of mine! I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons so Supernatural’s step into the cartoon world was the perfect intersection of my childhood and adult lives. So many one liners crack me up in this episode (e.g. Castiel on the cake exploding, and the “I’m not through with you” to the cat), plus the guest star was Mike Ferrell from “M*A*S*H*”, another TV classic of my life. It doesn’t get much better than this.”
Dean has some fun lines, as he quotes a variety of cartoons throughout the episode, including “X marks the spot” and “It’s wabbit season.” Of course, a very stoic Cas tells Dean, “I don’t think you pronounced that correctly.” Lol, it’s okay Cas, auto-correct doesn’t like the word wabbit either.
Personally, I didn’t like the Amelia storyline with Sam, so the flashbacks he had during this episode were distracting for me. But the flashbacks did lend to the backstory, perhaps even insight, when Sam explained to Fred,
Look, it can be nice living in a dream world. It can be great. I know that. And you can hide, and you can pretend all the crap out there doesn’t exist, but you can’t do it forever, because eventually whatever it is you’re running from – it’ll find you. It’ll come along, and it’ll punch you in the gut. And then, you have to wake up, because if you don’t, then trying to keep that dream alive will destroy you.
Sam, honey, are you talking about Amelia? Or something else?
And lest we not forget, Castiel did, in fact, interrogate the cat. The gif(t)s just keep on coming.
#92: “Free to Be You and Me” (5.03)
Flashback to season five! In this episode, we find Sam working in a bar, struggling with his mistakes. When a group of hunters confront him, he tries to avoid the fight, but they hold him down and force him to drink demon blood – it’s a painful scene to watch, but brilliantly acted by Jared. Lynn said she hated watching that whole scene because what had happened wasn’t his fault. Agree! Lynn also reminded me of the wise words from the bartender working with Sam, as she told him
No one has ever done anything so bad that they can’t be forgiven.
Wise, wise words.
Meanwhile, Dean and Cas are working a case. At some point, Dean realizes that Cas is a virgin, and he decides to take him to a brothel. Journalbookbinder thought this whole scene was funny, and Lynn and I agree that this version of deadpan Cas is funny… but I’m not sure the Cas-as-a-virgin bit worked for me. Color me 50 shades of confused.
Journalbookbinder also loved seeing Jessica again, and I agree, it was nice to be reminded that Sam had experienced true love. But, but, but then Jessica told him there’s something dark inside of him? No, no, no. The look on Sam’s face as she says these words to him. He’s so hurt, so devastated. Just NO.
#91: “Time After Time” (7.12)
Wow! This episode really worked! The scenes of Dean in the past, combined with scenes of Sam and Jody working in the present day, sprinkled in with some ingenious communication between the boys and a dash of feels! I think Nightsky said it perfectly: “Robbie Thompson’s writing is brilliant, combining the hunters from two different worlds: The Untouchables and Supernatural. Add in the time jumps back and forth between Dean and Sam, plus Jody’s class and wit, and that detail of Bobby’s whiskey – it was all an imaginative, intricately woven masterpiece.” Yeah! What she said!
Can we talk about the relationship between Sam and Jody. I love that Jody comes to help Sam… and she doesn’t even question any of it. Not the boxes she retrieves from the storage place, not the abandoned house where Sam and Dean are staying, not the idea of an ancient god, none of it. Jody just helps, ya know? It’s what she does. And Sam is so receptive of her help, kinda leaves you feeling that maybe he needs to lean on her a little bit. It’s a sweet, comforting thing to watch. And when they agree to drink that bottle of Johnny Walker they found, “because Booby would want us too” guuuhhhh, my heart simultaneously broke a little and was healed in that moment.
Lastly, the whole episode really took on the 1940’s. From the confusing lingo used by both Eliot Ness (bunny, stoolie, lettuce) and Dean (awesome, talk to me) to the actual sets that were wonderful! And who will ever forget Dean as he emerged in his, um, suit.
So that’s episodes 100-91 in the Top 100 Favorites list! Did any of these make it onto your list? Let us know in the comments! Be sure to join us as we continue the countdown with episodes 90-81!
Need a little help compiling your Top 100 Favorite Episodes? Karen and Nightsky are sharing their Top 10 episodes of each season, to coincide with the #SPNSummer2019 Hiatus Rewatch. You can find those lists, and all of WFB’s Top 10 articles in WFB’s Article Archives!