This week I’m counting down Supernatural’s Favorite Episodes, Number 90 to Number 81! I won’t re-hash all the details about this epic project (which were described in “The Road So Far” introduction), so I’ll just quickly remind you that this list of Favorite Episodes is based on the rankings submitted to me from several participants, including admins and staff writers from The WFB, as well as admins from websites Fangasm and Super-Fan-Wiki. Each individual’s rankings were tallied to determine Supernatural‘s Top 100 Favorite Episodes (seasons 1 to 14), and a friendly reminder that “tallied” means my computer-expert hubs took the excel spreadsheet and applied his math-genius skills, resulting in a formula that weighted and ranked the final results.
So let’s get to this week’s countdown!
#90: “Pac Man Fever” (8.20)
Listen, I loved this episode! In this one, we find Sam and Dean helping Charlie, who is affected by a mother-son Djinn duo. We learn a lot of Charlie’s backstory, like she hacked NORAD as a kid, she did her own research into monsters, and she even discovered the Carver Edlund books! We also learn that her parents were killed in a drunk driving accident as they were on their way to pick her up from a slumber party; sadly, this accident left her mother in a coma. Charlie pays for her care, visiting her and reading to her whenever she can. So when the Djinn-duo prey upon Charlie, she finds herself trapped inside a video game scenario – one where she can’t win. Ultimately, Dean joins her inside that game, and helps her break free.
Our participants had much to say about this episode, beginning with Journalbookbinder as she squee’d, “This is the best Charlie episode! I love how it really cemented the Dean/Charlie close friendship.” Nightsky echoed that by saying, “I loved the tenderness of this episode. Amid the harshness of our zombie killing, machine-gun toting warriors, both Dean and Charlie helped each other face their love, and losses, within their families. That heart-felt, surprise hug Dean gave Sam at the end of the ordeal was epic and said it all.” Lynn loved the episode as well, calling the ‘inside-a-video-game premise’ very innovative. She also said “the ending scene made her sob uncontrollably, watching through tear-filled eyes as Charlie finally lets go of her mother, and reads to her from ‘their’ book one final time.” Well, listen, I need some tissues now.
And lest we forget, Sam is struggling in this episode…
(insert here Nightsky laughing every time Sam watches that beer sail by!)
…and that iconic moment between Charlie and Dean:
Charlie: I love you.
Dean: I know.
Oh. My. Heart.
#89: “The Vessel” (11.14)
To recap: In this episode, Cas!Lucifer helps Dean travel back to 1943 to board the doomed submarine USS Bluefin. Dean’s on a mission to retrieve The Hand of God, a piece of the original Ark of the Covenant; they need this weapon in order to kill Amara. Meanwhile, Sam thinks Cas is Cas, and he doesn’t realize that Cas is actually Lucifer. Ultimately, Cas is able to take control of his vessel and stop Lucifer from killing Sam, but Lucifer remains inside Cas because they need his archangel powers to bring Dean back safely.
The participants in this project had a lot to say about this episode! Alice loved the set decoration, saying, “It was very authentic for a WW2 submarine.” Kate38 went into more detail, saying she loves it “when the set, lighting, and atmosphere for an episode pull me into the story that way. “The Vessel” did that for me. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was ON that submarine and I felt every second of it!”
Gail enjoyed the whole premise of the episode, especially the acting of Jared and Misha, saying, “It was a terrific reveal when Sam found out that it was Lucifer, not Cas.” Nate Winchester said, “This retro episode was interesting in its execution, and Delphine was a pretty cool gal (wish she & Dean had gotten a date together). Episodes like this are why I wish we had a spin-off show examining hunters (and MoLs) from across history and nations.” Ooooh, I’d watch that!
Then there’s the ending, when Dean is distraught that he couldn’t save the sub’s crew, and Sam is powerless to comfort him. Ugh, their faces in that final scene. Yeah, that sound you hear is my heart shattering all over again.
#88: “Playthings” (2.11)
Okay, listen, this episode is just full of creepiness! Sam and Dean investigate mysterious deaths at an Inn run by a single mom… an Inn full of creepy dolls! Even Jared and Jensen thought the dolls were creepy! Although Journalbookbinder thought the entire episode was so beautifully shot, even she admitted the dolls were Creepy!
Through the course of their investigation, Sam has a wee bit too much to drink, which led to a very sassy Sam telling Dean exactly what he thought:
You’re bossy. You’re bossy. And short.
Of course, big brother Dean eventually offers Sam some hangover relief:
You know there’s a really good hangover remedy, it’s a greasy pork sandwich served up in a dirty ashtray.
We also had some fabulous banter between the boys in this episode, including this line from Sam as they find the Susan’s mother in an upstairs room:
“What are you gonna do, poke her with a stick? Dude! You’re not gonna poke her with a stick!”
Nightsky and I completely agree – the scene of Sam jumping into the pool to save the little girl was just so… so… swoon-worthy! Hero!Sam is definitely one of our favs (although Drunk!Sam is Nightsky’s favorite scene of the episode!)
#87: “Moriah” (14.20)
Okay, okay, I know this is the most recent episode, and it’s probably still a fresh wound for most of us. Sam and Dean struggle (and argue) about Jack, whether to kill him or help him, and their struggle was difficult for most of us to watch.
But, as Gail reminded me, this episode was full of all the right elements, including suspense and humor, like in the hilarious scene in the office, where everyone could only tell the truth.
Oh but let’s not forget the big twist – God is back, and he’s pissed! Big kudos to Rob Benedict for his portrayal of Chuck/God, moving from “buddy” to “aloof” to “all-powerful” right before our eyes!
Chuck: I’m a writer. Lying’s kinda what I do.
Dean: No, we’re done talking. ‘Cause this – this isn’t just a story. It’s our lives! So God or no God, you go to Hell.
And how about Sam?! He actually shot God!
And then, well, Chuck is 100% Done.
Chuck: Fine! That’s the way you want it? Story’s over. Welcome to The End.
It is important to note that Nightsky is somewhere rocking back and forth in a fetal position, as she has just found out that this came in at #85 on the list – before we know its true outcome! Kate38 is reserving any sort of final opinion on this episode, at least until we see how it develops in the upcoming final season. As for me, listen, I loved the episode. The acting – by everyone – was perfection. And Angry!God, oh yes, let’s see where this goes!
#86: “Scarecrow” (1.11)
It’s our first trip in the Way-Back Machine this week, all the way back to season one! In this episode, we find the boys apart from one another as Sam has gone off on his own to look for John, while Dean is on his own to investigate a series of missing persons. Ultimately, Dean is captured by the townspeople, to be served up as their next pagan sacrifice. Thankfully, Sam returns, and saves him.
As Elle said: “This is classic Supernatural storytelling at it’s best! This episode has all the hallmarks of Supernatural that made me fall in love with the show – humour, subterfuge and – of course – horror and high-level creep factors. I will never look at a scarecrow the same way. And let’s not forget Meg. Well played, demon, well played.” Kate38 agreed, adding: “The final scene with Meg (when she killed the man in the van so she could make her ‘phone call’) is perfectly underscored by the music, “Bad Company,” playing in the background.”
Nate Winchester agreed, adding, “What makes this episode great is not just the foreshadowing of later story developments, nor the introduction of Meg (still the show’s best femme fatale), but that it showed the audience why the brothers are stronger together than apart.”
And of course, there were some memorable lines from Dean, including this little gem:
Hope your apple pie is friggin’ worth it!
#85: “Appointment in Samarra” (6.11)
Tissue Alert! This episode was brilliant, start-to-finish, but it was a hard one to watch. Dean is desperate to help Sam get his soul back, so he makes a deal with Death – he has to actually be Death for a full 24 hours. The deal means that Dean joins Tessa for a day of soul-reaping, and he truly struggles with making the decision as to who dies and who doesn’t. Ultimately, Dean fails in the task.
Meanwhile, Sam is also struggling. He summons Balthazar, who gives him a spell… a spell that requires “the blood of his father, but the father doesn’t have to be blood.” So what does Same do? He decides to kill Bobby!
As the episode ends, Sam is locked inside Bobby’s panic room, and Death is there to restore his soul. Death tells him a chilling message: “Don’t scratch the wall.” As Alice said, “watching Sam getting his soul back is gut wrenching.” Gut wrenching for sure, but also a Mack-truck-punch-right-in-the-feels.
#84: “All Along the Watchtower” (12.23)
Listen, this episode was rough. I mean, ROUGH. Everyone comes together to battle against Lucifer, and the end results are just sickening.
Lucifer pulls Mary into the rift and into the AU. (cries)
Crowley sacrifices himself in order to finish off Lucifer. (sobs)
Lucifer stabs and kills Cas. (ugly crying)
Our participants had a lot to say about this episode! Gail thought “Crowley’s death was senseless, and she still has trouble watching the scene of Cas’ death, but it was a good cliffhanger.” Nate Winchester thought this “finale was strong, with Crowley going out like a boss.”
Kate38 said this episode left her “shocked and devastated as she watched three of her favorite characters die.” She also added an important point, saying, “I think both Winchesters, who often doubt whether they’re good for humanity or not, needed to see what the world would’ve been like (the Apocalypse World) if they hadn’t sacrificed all they did to save it.”
And Elle summed it up like this: “Can words even speak to this episode? I think I’m still recovering from this one. As finales go, this stands among the top. Not only did it crush me emotionally, over and over, it left us with one of the biggest unknowns, as those Nephilim eyes glowed in the darkness. Crowley. Mary. Cas. Those last 10 minutes. Yeah. Still recovering.”
I’m just gonna go cry in the corner now, OK?
#83: “First Born” (9.11)
There is just so much to love about this one! Great story, great acting, great fight scenes, great lines! To (very) briefly recap, Sam and Cas are at the bunker where Cas is trying to extract Gadreel’s grace from Sam… and it’s so painful to watch!
Of course, we also get a little bit of bonding between Sam and Cas. Let’s not forget that scene where they discuss food and what it’s like to eat:
Cas, about the peanut butter and jelly sandwich: “This tastes like molecules.”
I’m most definitely not a cook, but at least no one has ever said my food tastes like molecules. I think.
Meanwhile, Crowley takes Dean to meet Cain and thus retrieve the First Blade and the Mark of Cain. Nightsky’s love of this episode came from “watching the genius of Timothy Omundson introduced as Cain.” Lynn agreed, adding, “Tim was charismatic as Cain, from the first moment we meet him!” Lynn also said Dean’s fight to prove himself worthy of The Mark and the First Blade was “breathtaking.” Amen, Lynn, amen. I know I had a lot of trouble breathing during that scene. Listen, Lissssten, give me Badass!Dean All. Day. Long. (Okay, maybe not literally all day long, because I really don’t want him to get hurt, but you know what I mean.)
And then there’s the lines from Crowley, such as:
Crowley to Dean: “Your problem, mate, is that nobody hates you more than you do. Believe me, I’ve tried.”
We all know this about Dean, and we all know he needs to hear it, and deal with it, but UGH, just rip my heart out!
And I’m just gonna say it. Quite possibly one of the best lines in the entire history of this Show is in this episode, said by the one and only Mark Sheppard, a true gift to this Show:
“You’re good. But I’m Crowley.”
#82: “Dog Dean Afternoon” (9.05)
A MoTW episode, full of grossness and comedic relief! In a nutshell, Chef Leo has cancer, so he’s out there eating animals, like combining different animals and eating them, so that he can stave off the cancer. Okay, um, grosssssss. In the process of their investigation, Sam and Dean ask Kevin if the tablets offer any spells for communicating with animals (the only witnesses to the crimes). Alas, such a spell exists, and now Dean is able to communicate with animals. Cue the comedy! Lynn agreed, adding that she literally laughed out loud while watching the comedic scenes in this episode! Nightsky called the episode “a comedic gem. Jared and Jensen’s game of fetch is hilarious, as is the fight with the birds and Sam’s embarrassment. This is a go-to-feel-good episode.” It’s almost as if Lynn, Nightsky and myself share the same brain… wait, is that weird? That sounds weird.
However, when Sam and Dean confront Chef Leo, Leo is fascinated with Sam and determined to eat him. Sam is left confused, wondering why Leo was so interested in him, wondering if something is wrong with him (Sam is still inhabited by Gadreel). It’s kinda sad to watch Sam question himself like this.
#81: “Reading is Fundamental” (7.21)
To refresh your memory, in this episode, Kevin Tran is introduced, the young prophet who can read the tablets; Cas has been in the hospital (with Meg at his side) and he suddenly wakes up, but is not in his usual state of mind; and Sam blames himself for Cas’ mental state – he feels guilty that, in healing Sam, Cas took on Sam’s insanity (Lucifer and Hell hallucinations).
Nate Winchester gave kudos to Misha’s performance as Castiel pieced his mind back together.
Cas: “I don’t fight anymore. I watch the bees.”
Nate Winchester and Gail agreed that Kevin was a good character, “someone you wanted to root for.” Nate went on to say that Kevin’s character had an “under-examined arc of the ordinary Joe thrust into world-changing events by circumstance.”
Kate38 summed up this episode by saying, “This was a major turning point toward the end of season 7. With only two episodes to go before the season finale, there didn’t seem to be a solution to the leviathan problem, Castiel was broken, I was reeling from Bobby’s death, and then BOOM — suddenly we have a new prophet (the first one since Chuck in season 5) and a possible solution to the Dick Roman problem!”
And lastly, let us not forget what is one of the most famous lines, most-often used gifs from the show, a moment that Nightsky says defines a good part of her life, Lol, Same:
So that’s episodes 90-81 in the Top 100 Favorites list! Did any of these make it onto your list? Let us know in the comments!
If you missed the earlier parts of the countdown, go back and catch up on Episodes 100-91, and the great stories that just missed the coveted Top 100: Honorable Mentions!
Be sure to join us again as we continue the countdown with episodes 80-71!
You can find them all with the tag Top 100 Episodes!
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!