Just like any work of art (and I consider Supernatural to be one in its own form), something that is poignant is subjective and deeply personal. So when I began brainstorming the Top Ten Most Poignant "Supernatural" Moments, I simply thought about those instances in the show where where I gulped down the lump in my throat while something familiar twisted inside myself. And take note; these are moments, not full episodes. Sometimes there are two occurances that happened in one episode, because for me, it only took a few words and a good camera angle to draw the box of tissues close.
Here's my list, and I would welcome your comments with additional moments. They are listed chronologically by episode, in otherwise no specific order.
10. Season 2. episode 17 -- "Heart"
This is the episode where I truly felt like I got to know Sam. In "Heart," he's smart, savvy, and finally turning the tables on his older brother, like I have been waiting for him to do ("...always with the scissors, Dean!"). And hey, the viewers finally got to see some of his great bod during that sexy romatic interlude with Sam's love interest, Madison. But the part that tore my heart out? Sam finally finds comfort and compassion in Madison, and he has to kill her to save her. And Dean has to watch him go through it.
MADISON: Sam…I’m a monster.
SAM: You don’t have to be. We can find a way, all right? I can. I’m gonna save you.
MADISON: You tried. I know you tried. But this is all there is left. Help me, Sam. I want you to do it. I want it to be you.
SAM: I can’t.
MADISON: I don’t wanna die. I don’t. But I can’t live like this. This is the way you can save me. Please. I’m asking you to save me.
DEAN: Sam. I’m sorry.
SAM: No, you’re right. She’s right.
DEAN: Sammy, I got this one. I’ll do it.
SAM: She asked me to.
DEAN: You don’t have to.
SAM: Yes, I do. Please.
9. Season 3, episode 2 -- "The Kids Are Alright"
In this episode, Dean reunites with Lisa and meets Ben for the first time. After practically inviting himself to the party, Dean is visibly shaken after seeing his very own mini-Dean in the backyard. What transpires is the next seven lines:
DEAN: So, I, uh, met Ben. Cool kid.
DEAN: I couldn't help but notice that, uh, he's turning eight. You and me...you know.
LISA: You're... not trying to ask me if he's yours?
DEAN: No. No, of course not. …..He's not, is he?
LISA: What? No.
DEAN: Right. Something wrong with your friend?
So Lisa confirmed to Dean that Ben is not his kid, but this is "Supernatural," right? Land of twists and turns? It was still early enough in the season for the viewers to think, "hey, maybe it really is Dean's son." A big part of me really wanted this for Dean. Remember, Dean has a year to live in this season, and to leave a son behind to carry on his genetic code is what any guy really wants. But Dean, in his caring-but-not-caring kind of way, immediately moves the conversation onto Lisa's friend. He shields himself from the hurt in this moment by switching subjects. Ouch, man. We knew that hurt.
8. Season 3, episode 16 -- "No Rest for the Wicked"
Lillith has Sam trapped and the hellhounds rip Dean apart as his brother is helpless to watch. With Dean's last breath, the last gaze of his eyes, he looks at Sam. He then re-awakens in Hell, screaming his name. Guh! Heart twisting!
7. Season 4, episode 13 -- "After School Special"
In this episode, Young Sam and Young Dean are once again beginning a new school. Dean looks forward to it with relish, but Sam is dreading being the “weird kid” again. While Dean hooks up with the school hottie, Sam has his hands full with a caring teacher, Mr. Wyatt, a new friend, Barry, and a bully, Dirk. Sam only wants to avoid a confrontation with Dirk, but unfortunately, he is pushed too far (“come on, lose-chester!”) and that Sam-temper monster raises its ugly head. The classic playground battle ensues. Sam is clearly the better fighter, getting the best of Dirk, and even christening him “Dirk the Jerk.”
I classified this as a poignant moment because this is not what I wanted for a young Sam (has anyone ever noticed that the word “lawyer” is written on the blackboard behind Mr. Wyatt in one scene?) I found myself to be disappointed in Sam. He's better than this, dammit! He is supposed to be above all this, leaving the scrapping for big brother Dean. Oh, well.
6. Season 4, episode 21 -- "When the Levee Breaks"
I don't know about the rest of you, but when I was a child, I always wanted to do right by my mom. So when Sam's mother, Mary, appears during his delision-filled demon-blood withdrawal, its time to cue the heartstrings. Here's the next poignent moment: "Make my death mean something. I'm counting on you, Sam. Don't let anyone or anything get in your way. Not even Dean," Mary urges her son. She strokes his face gently, and Sam leans into her touch, longing in his eyes. Although Mary's words are warped, we see the yearning in Sam's face to please his mother and to have her love.
Not to mention Dean's profound grief after Sam jumped into hell to save the world... certainly ranked far and away better than Dean's first reunion with Lisa.
And Sam in 6.22 talking to HellSam
Then there is the phone conversation between Sam and Dean in 'Scarecrow'. Dean tells Sam, that he is proud of him and that he should do what Sam thinks is best. Sam knows that Dean is saying goodbye.
In 'the Benders', Dean tells the psychos, what we all know is the 'gospel of Dean': thou shalt not touch Sam, or thou shalt feel the wrath of Dean.
'Mystery Spot', the scene of Sam begging the Trickster to bring back Dean. We knew how dependent Dean was on Sam, this season and particularly this episode showed us that Sam was just as dependent on Dean.
I guess it is hard to pick ten moments out of 100 plus episodes.
But Mainegirlwrites , I loved nine of your choices (I hate Lisa).
I also agree with everyone else's suggestions. I would add the scene in "Like A Virgin" where the brothers really hug for the first time in Season 6; heck, I would include almost any brotherly hug (excepting with Soulless Sam).
These actors totally make you believe in the characters and convey so much with their eyes and facial expressions. It's awesome.
I was rewatching the original Indiana Jones movie awhile back and in the scene where Indy is mourning Marion's death, a thought popped into my head. Jensen Ackles can sooooo "outgrief" Harrison Ford.
In season 3 when Dean tells Sam he knows that he is afraid that he admires him as a boy!
In season 5 when Dean to say Yes and it does not desepcionar Sam !!!!.
Well there are many more !!!!!
of course the last episode Sam and the best quote: "I ??can not leave my brother there." handkerchiefs and a new heart!
1. The boys listening to their father's voicemail message at the end of "Phantom Traveler"
2. Dean's call to his father in "Home"
3. Dean talking about wanting them to be a family again in "Shadow"
4. Sam's talk with Bobby about saving the Impala, the Quija game, and the whole last scene with John and the boys in "In My Time of Dying"
5. Dean railing on Sam about what he's doing being "too little, too late" and then railing on the Impala at the end of "Everyone Loves a Clown"
6. Dean telling Sam that it's his fault his father sold his soul at the end of "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things"
7. Dean's speech about his Mom and "angels watching over us" and Sam's speech at the end of "Houses of the Holy"
8. Sam's speech to Dean about knowing him "better than anyone else in the entire world" (man, when his lip quivers at the end of that line . . .) and the car repair scene ("it's my job, right, to show my little brother the ropes?") in "Fresh Blood"
9. Sam and Dean's fight/argument at the beginning of "Metamorphosis" (oh, Kim, we miss you!)
10. Dean's talk with young Mary about her loving John, getting out of the life, her not wanting her kids to grow up like she did in "In the Beginning"
11. Sam's talk with young John about forgiving his Dad and that he loves and understands him in "The Song Remains the Same"
I'll stop now. I think we could feasibly do a list of the 100 most poignant moments in Supernatural and still miss some of them. These boys break my heart, over and over again. Man, I love this show!
I'd have to say my moments, I'll keep it to ten, run like this. These are in no particular order:
1. Sam dying the first time in Dean's arms in All Hell Breaks Loose. I cry every time. Every. Time. The sheer agony in Dean's voice, the stunned look on Sam's face as he dies, the trust between the two as life expires. It was beautifully written, but what brought it home was both Jared and Jensen's wonderful work in interpreting this scene to the screen. My heart bleeds every time I see it.
2. The look on Sam's face when he realizes that Dean has been returned to him, for real, at the beginning of season 4. Even more than the hug, which is poignant and beautiful, the glimpse of relief that big brother has returned is a sight to behold.
3. Metafictionally speaking (I have an article on it in the works), Yellow Fever being the retelling of No Rest for the Wicked. It just makes me giddy to see how they pulled that one off. I can't really explain why besides that I'm a meta head and geek.
4. When young Dean has to tell young Sam the truth about their life. It's like the first layer of both brother's innocence is stripped raw, tattered on the floor, and stomped on for good measure. Sam breaking down and crying himself to sleep as he realizes he lives in a world where they fight monsters and that this might be all there is for him and Dean is so heartbreaking.
5. The entire episode of Faith. Much is made of Dean's utter devotion to Sam and his sacrifices for his younger sibling, but here we see it in reverse. Sam will NOT stop and his stubbornness rules the day in his drive to save Dean from death. He succeeds, even if the price is a high one. Sam and Dean love each other very very much, and as brothers in arms, they'll give everything time and time again for each other. It is most certainly a two way street.
6. When Sam makes Dean stand down against Gordon. His soft utterance of "just cause" gets me every time. He knows Dean is going to get hurt or worse if he goes after Gordon alone. I think he also knows Dean has sacrificed himself enough and does not want to see him do it again. The fact that Dean does as Sam asks belies his love for his brother in reverse.
7. The entire sequence where Sam puts himself back together in The Man Who Knew Too Much. It was beautiful and moving in more ways than I can explain here.
8. The scenes in The End and Swan Song where we meet Lucifer in Sam's body, otherwise known as Samifer. Probably some of my very favorite scenes for their artistry and dark beauty, I often rewatch just them. Rather we want to admit it or not, Lucifer and Sam do mirror each other in more than just the obvious ways, and seeing them square off in Swan Song full front and center proves why Sam won. Lucifer didn't have Sam's compassion or sense of integrity. He only had the stubbornness and anger.
9. Dean putting the gun next to Sam in The Man Who Knew Too Much. This single gesture is the one moment that I hope makes the brothers true equals as they've never been before. The trust in that one action is profound and moving. Let's see it move on into the future of the story!
10. Finally, when Dean realizes it was his mother and not his father that put him on the hunter path. It was probably one of the best twists, and when you go back and rewatch seasons 1 and 2, you can see the hints and crumbs dropped so delicately. Dad might have been the one shoving them into the Impala and hauling them all over America, but it was their mother that started it all in the first place. What a huge bomb to drop!
Those are my moments at the moment. I do hope season 7 will give us more and I am thankfully staying spoiler free.
Allison, I love each and every one of your choices above, as much as I love the ones listed in my post above. This is why I love this show so much, because we can go on and on about the things we love about it and never reach the end of the list. I especially love the one I quoted here, as it gives me such hope for the future.
Thanks for posting this. You made my day. I'm pulling the DVDs out again tonight (because I so agree with your mention above about Sam/Lucifer in "The End" - I've watched that scene so many times and it gives me chills every time; and the entire episode of Faith; and TMWKTM; and the Christmas episode; and . . . .).
I'm glad I could make your day. Getting caught up---while staying as FAR away from that Sera Gamble interview, thank you very much---has been fun.
I have a lot of hope for season 7, and while I do not have the spoilers that seem to be lighting things up, I'm not worried. The story can't be summed up in the small teasers they're providing in that article anyways.
As for "The End." Damn. I am so lucky that I got to tell Jared personally that those scenes are some of my all time favorites. He seemed rather shocked by that, but it's just the truth. I get such chills, as you do, when I watch them.
You're right. There's so much to love in this show, and that's why I think so much of us are so devoted to it.