Here it is, part two of my list of “Supernatural” go-to episodes. You know, those special episodes in my heart that are always one of the first I watch when I’m pulling out the “Supernatural” DVDs. I’ve forced myself in this exercise to pick just one for each season. That was nearly impossible for the first seven seasons, which I shared in part one. In the next seven, picking was a challenge for a different reason. There were some seasons where I literally couldn’t pick one. I managed to find at least one gem per season though so my list is complete. Here are my picks for seasons 8 through 14.
“Everybody Hates Hitler”
I got to ask Ben Edlund in an interview before this episode aired how well did the idea of “Nazi Necromancers” go over in the pitch meeting? Apparently very well!
I rate “Sacrifice” as one of the best of the series, but that’s another hard one to watch. That requires a special mood and a whole crop of Kleenexes. This could have easily been “The Great Escapist” as well (S8 was an amazing Edlund year) but nothing gives me more of thrill than seeing the boys visit the Men of Letters bunker for the first time, especially Sam. His joy over the library was a “walking encyclopedia of weirdness” dream come true.
“Everybody Hates Hitler” has wickedly funny dialogue and a completely off-the-wall story about a wayward young Jewish man and his giant Golem smacking Nazis around that strangely works. There was some long missing physical comedy too, like Dean enduring a Golem toss with an, “Ow, my spleen” moment. Or there’s Aaron Bass thinking that Sam and Dean might be psychopaths when witnessing Sam warm his hands during a torch and burn of a corpse. Or, there’s undead Nazis constantly getting their heads bashed in. Great times! It had a brief appearance too by a legendary TV star in Hal Linden, which added some legitimacy to this show’s long run.
Then it all ends on a happy note! Sam and Dean enjoying their new found status as MOL legacies in their new home with some really fine whiskey. Light hearted episodes with brilliant stories and great guest characters have been few and far between in the later seasons and I consider this to be the last great one. The show has not recovered since Edlund’s departure at the end of season eight.
“Do You Believe in Miracles”
Season nine is one of my least rewatched seasons. I hated most of it. I had to struggle to come up with something! In the end, only the closer resonated with me. Why? I liked the direction of Metatron’s story here after a lot of misdirection. He just wanted to be the next God. That finally made his actions logical, somewhat. OMG, he killed Dean! You bastard! Sam had to finally eat his words from the most contrived of episode 13, “The Purge.” Also, it was one of the better brotherly death scenes. It was definitely the best brotherly resurrection and Crowley’s speech before Dean was resurrected as demon Dean was golden! It setup some frightening possibilities for season ten that unfortunately went nowhere.
“The Werther Project”
Season ten is one of my least rewatched seasons. I hated most of it. Oh wait…
Actually, there were a pretty good run of episodes with “The Inside Man,” “Book of the Damned,” and “The Werther Project.” The latter was the strongest of the three. I think it’s because it stressed in a captivating way something we have known the whole time, the brothers are stronger together than apart. Sam’s insistence to go behind Dean’s back, something he had been doing all season, nearly cost him his life in this one. “The Werther Box” tapped into that desperation and really messed with his head, showing again how vulnerable he is when Dean is in trouble. Talk about foreshadowing. It was nice to see the box try to use Benny to get to Dean, who luckily saw the truth in time before Sam bled to death. Unluckily, the season fell apart after this.
Honestly, is there any contest? This Robbie Thompson gem is one of the best of the series. That says a lot coming from a season later in the series. I’m not sure why it took eleven seasons to do an episode from the POV of the Impala but it was pure brilliance. Sam and Dean have their regular drama on top of this road trip, but there’s faithful Baby, steady as a rock in the middle of our heroes’ turbulent lives, throwing a few small twists their way (aka a misplaced hair pin) to help along with one very weird hunt. It’s a long, overdue intimate look at Sam and Dean on the road, giving us a rare glimpse of moments like those long personal conversations at night in Baby that we have constantly imagined happening. Sam having visions and nightmares again makes for an engaging topic!
Baby goes through a few adventures herself, like being taken for a joy ride by a rogue teenage parking attendant and taking a massive blow to the front of the car to help save Dean from peril. Best scene hands down though is Sam getting laid in the back seat with a local waitress and Dean giving him crap for it, all to the most incredible “Night Moves” sing along and montage. “Out in the back seat of my brother’s 67 Chevy” indeed!
“Workin’ on our Night Moves…”
Even putting aside the story, this is a massive technical achievement alone. Mounting cameras and equipment in numerous positions inside a small space to provide the different angles needed to sell this story pushed the camera operators and crew to new heights in creativity. Man did they deliver. The directing by Thomas Wright is the best of the series.
“Who We Are”
Season twelve is the one season I will not touch with a ten foot pole. It is the worst of the series. Still, there are a couple episodes I liked. However, there was only one classic gem worthy of multiple rewatches.
This episode had everything. Brotherly moments galore from the word go. Sam and Dean are trapped in the bunker losing air. What better opportunity for Dean to FINALLY use that grenade launcher! It was classic, badass Dean Winchester. Sam rose to his potential too, leading a strike against the British Men of Letters, ending that atrocious arc once and for all. It was very satisfying to see them all killed and blown up. Dean took on another mission, saving Mary Winchester from her mind wipe. It had a very tender scene between the two we had been dying for since Mary was brought back.
But it all ended with the big guy pulling his brother and mother in for a family group hug, signifying that all was forgiven. It was a beautiful moment of healing, closure and reconciliation, giving us warm fuzzies galore…until the next episode.
I’m stunned to say that season thirteen had a few of good choices. “The Big Empty,” “Advanced Thanatology,” “Breakdown,” and “A Most Holy Man” are all worthy items on my rewatch list. However, none are more wildly innovative and fun than “Scoobynatural.”
Come on, it’s a dream come true! For those that remember the celebrity crossover episodes that Scooby Doo did in the 70’s, who better to do a modern take of that than Sam, Dean, and Castiel? Thelma is a Sam girl! Who knew? Castiel made a perfect threesome with Scooby and Shaggy (not in that way!). Dean got to live out his long fantasy and woo Daphne, but Fred kept innocently getting in the way. My favorite part though was that all the cartoon safety mechanisms were off and antics ended up darkly real. In other words, “Scooby Doo” done “Supernatural” style. People were really dead and bloody and Shaggy actually broke his arm when he fell. Who knew that was funny? But my favorite part was this…
Dean finally gets that bigger mouth!
Ugh, another unworthy season of rewatching. This and “Peace of Mind” are seriously the only options from S14 and this episode still had a few cracks in the foundation. But you can’t go wrong with a full blown Winchester family reunion. It only took 300 episodes to happen! John and Mary together again! Dean and Sam having their moments of closure with John that they waited for since the early part of season two! (Okay, mostly Sam). A poignant family dinner before John had to go back!
The premise was believable too thanks to another MOL bunker artifact that delivered an outcome they weren’t expecting. Once you tossed out the time wasting story of the local kids finding out about ghosts and that Sam and Dean were hunters, it ticked all the SPN fan boxes. It could of been more (I would have loved to see them all fighting together and kicking ass) but it also could have been far less. I had tears in my eyes at the end, so mission accomplished.
Thanks to you all for again enduring the strong opinions of your friendly neighborhood red-headed admin. Okay, your turn. What are your choices?