Season One Hits and Misses: Part One
Since the Hits and Misses of season seven got such a good response, I thought why not take a look back at the previous six seasons and talk about what worked and what didn't.
So, in no particular order, here are the hits and misses of season one (part one):
Miss: Meg's first appearance
This may surprise many people or be a point of debate, since Meg is a generally well regarded character. However for me her first appearance was a little too much. She was so blatantly screaming "I'M A BAD GUY, ASK ME HOW" when Sam met her. She was little too clever, a little too witty and little too mysterious. She was also a bit too interested in Sam and Dean's drama. Of course the show doesn't keep secret that she's a bad guy "“ I just can't figure out why Sam didn't get this from his first encounter with her. So yes, Meg, installment one, big miss.
Hit: Sarah, Provenance
Now this is a character I can get behind and I think there is some general consensus out there on this one. Sarah was spunky, clever, resourceful and curious. And she didn't take nonsense from the boys. But she wasn't overly done in any of these areas such that you couldn't like her: she wasn't a know it all. And to top it all off, she helped Sam begin to move one after Jess by addressing some of his fears and insecurities. What's not to like?
Miss: The First Demon
This takes place in Phantom Traveller and I just don't like the way it's done. To begin with, I absolutely cannot believe that Sam and Dean haven't encountered a demon, in 22 years, such that they actually have to research a ritual to get rid of it. Really? You've never seen an exorcism or heard about it from Dad? This doesn't seem right to me. I can accept, I suppose, that the boys didn't have the exorcisms memorized because that's kind of a running thing for Dean and Sam's been out of the game for four years or so by this point. But to have no familiarity at all? No, that doesn't work. Furthermore, the demon itself it's really in keeping with what we will see from demons in the future. I know this is early on in the show when it was still getting its footing, but this episode always bugs me. I don't like that the demon seemingly "picks" it's victims based on fear/nerves, I do not understand it's motives for crashing planes and the fact that the victims have no memory of possession in the end doesn't make sense given what comes later. So overall, this was a miss for me.
Hit: Winchester Family Fun
In Dead Man's Blood you really get a sense of what the relationship dynamics between the three men has been like. We see Sam and Dad go toe to toe and Dean physically gets between them and shoves them apart. This is a short scene but nevertheless conveys what it must have been like, certainly in the years before Sam went to Stanford. Any family insight into the Winchesters is a hit for me.
Miss: Asylum Confrontation
The confrontation I'm referring to here is when Sam is infected by the spirit's anger and rants at Dean before eventually shooting him full of rock salt. It's not the confrontation itself that I have the actual problem with, because in fact I love it and most of this episode. The confrontation tells us a lot about Sam and his relationship with Dean and their father. It was a great way of exposing some of the deeper aspects of this character to us in a new way. All of that I'm on board with. It's that they never address this again that I take issue with. I know technically they brush the subject before leaving the asylum, but I felt like there was so much potential here that didn't come to fruition.
This whole episode is beautiful. I really love the relationship you see between Sam and Dean here because Sam absolutely refuses to let Dean go, despite Dean's bravado and seeming acceptance of death. What I like in particular is this is the first time we see one of the boys employ the supernatural to save the other (yes, it was unintentional, but regardless). It speaks to a more innocent time in the series. Today, knowing what they know and how these situations work out "“ I don't believe Sam would have the same approach. They've learned by now that nothing comes without a price.
Miss: John and Dean
When the boys reunite with their dad, Sam and John get to hash out some of their issues but if I were Dean I'd have had some things to say too. I suppose again these are sort of danced around, but not to fully satisfy this viewer. I like John and as I said, any opportunity for family relationships should be taken. So, this was a missed opportunity.
Hit: Shapeshifter Insight
The shapeshifter in Skin communicated to Sam some of the things that Dean would never say, at least not back in season one. It was good insight into Dean's character early on (much like Sam's possessed rant in Asylum) and let us and his brother get a glimpse inside his head. Character development is always a big hit.
Miss: Route 666 "“ Flashback Opportunity
Okay, I'm not going to go into all the things wrong with this episode, because let's face it they've been dealt with to death. There is one thing I always think about watching this episode though - it would have been interesting to see a flashback to Dean as a vulnerable and lonely young man, telling Cassie what he does and her rejection of him. To begin with, watching Jensen Ackles play the emotions of that exchange would have been phenomenal. Second of all, I don't think the episode really gave us time to appreciate how much that sting would have affected Dean because he doesn't open himself up that way often not to mention that it was kind of treated in more of a teasing way than a serious way. This episode is universally panned as terrible, but it had potential - it was simply never used. Miss.
Hit: Dean and Lucas
This was another beautiful character development moment: watching Sam watch Dean telling Lucas about his mom and his own experiences as a very young child who saw something scary and whose entire life changed in a second. This is another small but powerful scene and definitely a hit.
So that's part one. I hope to have part two up shortly. As we go through these, I probably won't include some of the more consensus-y misses like Bugs or the more obvious problems such as the issue with Dean's line in the pilot about not have asked Sam for anything in "two years" - so don't think I don't consider these type of episodes/plot holes issues, I just don't think they're worth bringing up again.