Season One Hits and Misses: Part Two
 
Here is part two of the Hits and Misses of Season One. Again, these are in no particular order. Enjoy!

Hit: Teaser in the Pilot



As openings go, "Supernatural" has one of the best ones around. We begin with a happy, thriving family. Precocious four year old, charming baby brother and loving mom and dad. Of course, this picture quickly burns away, and we are left with the haunting image of mother Winchester burning on the ceiling and Sam, Dean, and their bereft father watching the house burn from the hood of the Impala. What an introduction - you know this show is going to rock. 

Miss: Why did Dean come to Stanford?



This is more of a missed opportunity, I suppose, than an actual swing and a miss. I've always wondered what motivated Dean to look up Sam and pull him back into the fray. Given everything we know about Dean, I imagine it wouldn't have been his first course of action, to uproot Sammy and drag him back. So, what did he try before that? I'd really like to know.
 
Hit: Brotherly Reunion 



Who doesn't love the moment in the pilot where Dean and Sam reunite? It's shot in beautiful contrasting shadows and light, is mostly silent, and when the boys finally speak, we get an understanding of the dynamics between them immediately. It gives us a great character read in a matter of minutes. Big hit. 

Miss: Nightmare



Now, this episode was not a terrible episode in and of itself. It had an interesting concept, it played again with the idea of people being among the darkest, most evil creatures on this planet and in fact breeding further evil through their actions, rather than supernatural creatures, and it worked hard to make us sympathize with Max and jolted us with Sam's powers. In theory, all these elements should be a hit. But there is just something about this episode that doesn't feel like "Supernatural" to me. I don't care for the way Dean is prepared to shoot this boy (because it doesn't feel in character to me) and in all honesty, the way the lock down of the house happens feels a bit contrived. To be sure, there are large components of this episode that are striking in their own way - Max really is a heartbreaking character, but the pacing and writing of this episode just feel - off and at times disconnect the audience from the story playing out. I'm sure this is not a majority view as far as Misses go, but there you have it.  

Hit: Missouri



I'd be remiss if I neglected to include this wonderful character. She was only in one episode, but Missouri left an impact on the boys and the fans. She was snarky, sympathetic, maternal, and confident. She could give the boys a slap, proverbial or otherwise, when they needed it but also a reassuring smile and arm around their shoulders. For being one cool psychic, Missouri is a hit. 

Miss: Caleb and Pastor Jim



Again, these are missed opportunities that leave me curious. I'd love to know more about the relationship of these characters to the Winchesters. They were obviously close in some way, and I think it's a shame they were killed before we knew more of the Winchester history. As you can see, I'm stuck on this Winchester History thing - but then, who doesn't love a good back story?

Hit: Jess's Death



This entire scene is hard to take because you know, you just know, that as Sam walks in the door and gets a cookie, reading the note Jess has left for him, that this is the last happy moment for the two of them and she isn't even on the screen. And then to have her burn they way we saw his mother do at the start of the episode? That is some powerful imagery and very circular - clearly whatever this thing is, it isn't done with Sam. 

Miss: Shtriga Redux



Don't get me wrong, I love this episode. It gave us some great flashbacks to young Winchesters and dove into the psychology of Dean's relationship and obedience to John. The issue I have with this is minor: I really don't like that it was John who sent the boys after this, particularly if we are meant to assume he means for Dean to "get it right" this time around because he failed before. There is no doubt that Dean carries guilt from the night Sammy was attacked, no doubt that he's thought of that many times in the years since, but I have trouble believing John has held a grudge against Dean for sixteen years, such that he gives him a chance to fix it. Hmm. No, I really dislike this. We know John was hard on Dean and that he shouldered a great deal of responsibility, but somehow, the air of John magnanimously giving Dean a second chance here is just a bit sinister for me. It would have been better for the boys to come across the case themselves- you would still have the emotional turmoil of Dean but without the psychologically abusive overtones that John's present-day involvement teases at. 

Hit: John's Possession



Azazel is one bad ass dude, and like many of the upper-l,evel demons enjoys toying with his prey and manipulating their emotions. We've seen many demons go this route since YED came and went from the "Supernatural" world - but he did it first and he did it best, as far as I'm concerned. Possessing John was a dirty trick and it hit both boys where it hurt. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays dichotomy between John Winchester and YED to a T, making this scene all the more heartbreaking to watch. Hit all the way. 

Miss: A Dummy's Guide to Devil's Traps



Much like the exorcism ritual in "Phantom Traveller," I struggle with the idea that Sam and Dean have never come across devil's traps before and that they need books from Bobby to learn about this particular trick. Years of hunting but this basic knowledge is only just gleaned? I don't think so. Miss! 

++++++

So there you have it - the Hits and Misses of Season One. Certainly there are things I left out of this list, such as "Hell House" and the introduction of the Ghost Facers, other brilliant one-time characters, some further plot holes, the aforementioned "Bugs" - but some of those are a bit more unanimous and need no listing. Let me know your thoughts!

Stay tuned for season two!

Comments  

Bevie
# Bevie 2012-03-10 14:31
Agree again with your hits and disagree with your misses.

Mostly because we don't have enough minutes with the Winchesters to fill out your misses. If only the show was 2 hours instead of 45 minutes we'd be happy with the back stories. Love to know more about Pastor Jim and Caleb but I guess we'll only have fan fiction for their stories.

I can see in Dean's face (as I must have watched the Pilot at least 50 times so far. :eek: ) the reason he came for Sam. Just like he said. "I can't do it alone" meaning "I don't want to do it alone". He misses his brother terribly and more so since his dad deserted him. Dean does not take being alone well! Sam is like his brother and his son in one. But I'm sure he would rather die than admit that in words to Sammy.

Once again, Season 1 is my favourite along with 2 & 3, so there is nothing I consider a miss until we get to season 4. Then maybe I will be able to agree with your misses. Ha! ;-)

Hoping you keep this up for the rest of the seasons as I really do enjoy the article and pics. Thanks. :-)
Gwen
# Gwen 2012-03-10 15:52
Quote:
Once again, Season 1 is my favourite along with 2 & 3, so there is nothing I consider a miss until we get to season 4.
Yeah, these are my favourite seasons too so there's not much that is a miss for me in these seasons. It's only when we get to S4 that the misses start building up for me.

Having said that I do wish we'd seen more of Pastor Jim and Caleb, especially Pastor Jim. I'd like to have seen him talking to Sam about Sam's faith.

Loved the brotherly reunion in The Pilot; loved Missouri - wish we could see her again; posessed John was amazing. Jess's death was fabulously powerful, shocking and heartbreaking - I guess I was rather dense as I never saw that coming at all :lol: . That scene was a definite big hit for me for so many reasons - the sheer power and tragedy of the scene, Dean's desperation to save his brother and then poor Sam's broken teary face by the side of the Impala instantly made me both a devoted Sam girl and a devoted Supernatural fan. All these years later I've made and met so many new friends because of this show and it's all down to that moment of poor Jess's death. :P :lol:

Have to disagree with Nightmare though. I adore every minute of that episode. It was a huge hit for me. :-)
buffsgirl
# buffsgirl 2012-03-10 18:03
Thanks for another look back at the awesomeness that is this show!

I agree with all your hits especially Missoui. She is one of the BEST guest starts of all time! The way she treated Dean and the looks on his face........ priceless! :-)

It was interesting to read your take on Shtriga. I didn't take it that way at all. I think John sent the job to the boys because he knew Dean never forgave himself. I don't think that John had held a grudge for sixteen years but rather loved and knew his son and knew that he could offer him resolution to something that had been haunting Dean all these years. I think John knew this was a sore spot for Dean and wanted to give him the opportunity to kill the monster that almost killed Sam. However, one thing I love about the writing of this show is that a lot of what happens is somewhat ambiguous and is left open to the interpretation of the audience. So it is always interesting to read others views.

Looking forward to S2 Hits and Misses!
Daisymae
# Daisymae 2012-03-10 18:32
I don't know, but I started to really love this show in season 3. That's when it started to get super interesting and the acting improved by the guys. This is when they had to "bring it." And this is when I fell in love. As for 4.1, I was totally blown away the way no ep of any tv show ever did.

Anyway I agree with Bevie that Dean did not want to hunt by himself because he was lonely and missed Sammy. Dean still hasn't changed.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-03-10 19:25
I agree that the Pilot was exceptionally well done. Pilots are hard, but EK nailed this one. I particularly liked when the brothers met up, with Dean sneaking in in shadows, showing he was the mysterious one that still lived in the hunting world, and then Sam met him in the shadows. At this point, Sam is being pulled back into hunting by his brother.

I agree with others in saying that the most important thing to Dean was keeping his family together. When his father dumped him, he went to Sam with the intentions of finding their father and reuniting his family.

What I wished the show would have brought out more is tell more of what Dean did while he was alone. The little bit we got about hunting the two...monsters that I can't remember the name of...in AiB was intriguing.

Missouri was definitely a hit. I loved her at the time. Now, with all that has passed in the Show, though, I find myself thinking of her as being a jerk to Dean without provocation. She treated him like he was the red-headed step-child, while petting on Sam and telling us Sam was special. It wasn't explained until years later why Sam was special, and that reason didn't turn out to be the best thing for Sam. Given my hindsight view on Missouri, I just as soon she didn't come back, despite enjoying her that first time around.

I felt Jess's death was done perfectly. The short time she was on, we saw and believed in the love she and Sam had, and her death, just like Mary's, was a perfect set-up for Sam to re-enter hunting.

I think we can overlook Caleb and Pastor Jim now, since Bobby's role was upped to surrogate father. It would be nice to know about some other hunters that Dean or John, or both brothers now, have encountered in their hunting. One gripe that I have always had is that no one under the sun seems to have heard about the Winchesters...a nd they have done a LOT.

The Shtriga incident: I didn't think of this at the time, but now that John's character has been trashed and that John has been shown to be an emotionally abusive dad (even though I do believe he loved his sons) I agree that this was a miss. It's like rubbing salt into an open wound, the same as yelling at Dean for the rust on the Impala in Dead Man's Blood. John, obviously, took all his frustations about Sam out on Dean while the boys grew up. Again, in hindsight, my views on John have changed. I used to love the guy.

John's possession and his scene with Dean, for me, has been one of the most powerful scenes the show has given us.

I have always bought into the idea that the brothers didn't know about demons until they encountered them in S1. I always thought John kept knowlege about demons from the boys, the same as he kept them away from civilians and other hunters. Now that Bobby has been retconned, though, I agree with your miss on this one. If they spent so much time with Bobby, they would have known about demons...and lots of other things.

This is a fun exercise. That's for sharing with us.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-11 18:52
Quote:
If they spent so much time with Bobby, they would have known about demons...and lots of other things.
If we were still at a point where we were getting to know Bobby, I might be inclined to agree, but we all saw Bobby die in the current season, right? Maybe it's just me, but one of the things I inferred from his memories was that he did spend a lot of time with those boys but purposely did not teach them some things, though John wanted him to. I'm sure he taught them a lot, but maybe not as much as we'd all like to believe because he wanted them to have as many regular childhood moments as possible. I think it's plausible that they got as far as they did without knowing a lot of stuff because John, Bobby and who knows who else intentionally withheld some things probably in hopes of protecting them.

In Dead Man's Blood they are shocked to learn about vampires, which clearly other more experienced hunters knew about. Sam said his dad never told them about them and the way he said it, it was almost like if their dad didn't tell them about it, it didn't exist.

Maybe it's just me. :-D
kaj
# kaj 2012-03-12 02:57
Quote:
Sam said his dad never told them about them and the way he said it, it was almost like if their dad didn't tell them about it, it didn't exist.
I agree. I get the vibe that these two guys lived a sheltered live when they were kids. They don't interact with other ppl much less other hunters. And John is a tad paranoid. I would believe it if he sheltered his boys. They boys everything about hunting solely from their dad. And John did not trust other hunters. He got lot's of falling out with them, including Bobby.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-12 10:13
John seemed to have a falling out with EVERYBODY, didn't he? It's amazing he had anyone willing to help him at all!
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-11 18:56
Quote:
Missouri was definitely a hit. I loved her at the time. Now, with all that has passed in the Show, though, I find myself thinking of her as being a jerk to Dean without provocation. She treated him like he was the red-headed step-child, while petting on Sam and telling us Sam was special. It wasn't explained until years later why Sam was special, and that reason didn't turn out to be the best thing for Sam. Given my hindsight view on Missouri, I just as soon she didn't come back, despite enjoying her that first time around.
Ginger, I think Missouri was responding to Dean's thoughts and internal inclinations at the time. After all, he hasn't had a mother since he was four. There's bound to be some rough edges on some guys who go that long without the maternal touch. ;-D
kaj
# kaj 2012-03-12 03:02
Quote:
Ginger, I think Missouri was responding to Dean's thoughts and internal inclinations at the time. After all, he hasn't had a mother since he was four. There's bound to be some rough edges on some guys who go that long without the maternal touch. ;-D
For a guy who doesn't get maternal touch, Dean is kinda maternal towards Sam. :) just a thought.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-12 10:07
Absotively, posilutely, Kaj. ;-) I debated saying anything at all but if you were standing right in front of me I wouldn't be able to help it so, if I may, I don't think one needs a maternal touch to have maternal instinct. I think they can be separate things. Sam wasn't threatened so no need for Dean to go into that mode. He, on the other hand, is not only not as patient/forgivi ng with himself as he is with Sam, but he could - at the time anyway - still be missing the basics many kids are taught early, like not to put your feet on other people's furniture. He was certainly still rough around the edges then, despite his heart toward Sam.

Alas, I'm sure there's a whole discussion that can launch from that so I'm happy to - ever so politely and I swear with the most sincere smile on my face - debate that with you. :lol:
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-10 19:50
I agree with all your choices again. I think the best explanation for the devil's trap is they same as the exorcism. That their was an increase of activity by demons. So before- maybe 4 or 5 a year with most being taken care of by other hunters. But it is stretching believability just a bit.

I really love the first seasons but I will admit I the fourth and fifth are by far my favorites.
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-03-11 06:10
Thank you for your second part I agree with all your choices although Nightmare would be a hit for me .
I am a big fan of the earlier seasons not so much of the seasons since season 4 and seasons I and 2 are the ones I rewatch the most.