The Morning After

Walker’s thirteenth episode, “Defend the Ranch”, was originally written to be Walker’s first season finale. It tragically concluded several on-going dramas that had been hanging over the heads of Cordell and his family, and ended with a cliffhanger disappointment for its lead character.  Sadly, all of the resolutions were the exact opposite of what I had hoped to see. Let’s first explore why things happened the way they did before getting to what I really want to talk about: the title thread.

As shared earlier, Gail Dunn, SPNFamily member, writer for The Winchester Family Business and beloved Supernatural fan fiction writer, passed away on May 15, 2021. Gail was a sweet, caring person who spread the love and happiness she found in Supernatural by generously sharing her creativity with the SPNFamily. Gail admired Castiel most of all, and the actor who brought Cas to life, Misha Collins, so it seems fitting to extend Gail's legacy of inspiration and kindness through Misha's Random Acts charity.  Consequently, to honor Gail's work and help both her and Misha do more good in the world, a Gail Dunn Memorial Fund has been created on Facebook to benefit Random Acts.

Pick your favorite alter ego of Sam Winchester. Possessed Sam? Demon Blood Sam? Alternate Reality Sam? Mind-Controlled Sam? Discussing the many faces of Sam sounded like an easy topic for my latest Con-tinual panel of Supernatural media professionals... or so I thought until I started listing the many times and ways that Sam wasn't the brother we all know and love!

Odds are that the same one or two images come to mind for all of us when we think of days when Sam "wasn't himself." But when challenged to really consider how often Sam had to fight for control of his body, mind and soul, I discovered that Jared Padalecki played an alternate version of Sam Winchester in at least one episode, and often in several episodes, in nearly all 15 seasons of Supernatural. That's a lot of faces for Sam!
Another hiatus is almost behind us.  This is a pretty special episode.  This was supposed to be the season finale, until The CW graciously gave Walker another five episodes for its first season.  Something exciting is going down!  Here's the synopsis for episode 1.13, "Defend the Ranch."

This week’s Walker decided to deviate from the normal progression of storytelling and instead go deeper to explain what had happened to get all the characters to their current points.  This Walker episode strove to tell the story of two families - at their messiest. Some things they were able to do, others they weren’t.

As I was looking for a way to pass the quarantine summer doldrums, I saw Entertainment Weekly’s list of what it considered to be the 75 most ‘essential’ episodes of Supernatural, leading up to Season 15. Since any excuse for a rewatch is a good excuse, I figured I’d not only invite my Supernatural "Team Free Will North Carolina" (TFWNC) Facebook group to join me, but I’d also recap my thoughts on which episodes Entertainment Weekly (EW) chose, which ones they skipped, and what was left out.  Music plays such a big role in Supernatural, so I also noted which iconic songs were included and which were missed in the skipped episodes. Reporting on all that turned into quite the project, and The WFB was kind enough to let me share it here! (My snarky opinions are my own and don’t reflect those of The WFB.)

Season 15 wasn’t included in the original 75 essentials list, but Entertainment Weekly later ranked all 327 episodes, so in keeping with their pattern for the other recaps, I took the five highest ranked season 15 episodes to be what they would have considered to be ‘essential’.

So come on the journey with me! Start with season 1, then follow the links until you catch up with us in season 15! 

Once again, there were things I liked about this episode, and things I really didn’t. So instead of recapping chronologically, I’ll talk about the good stuff up front, and give fair warning if you want to bail before we get to the parts that have my knickers in a twist.

In honor of "Supernatural" season 15 and the entire series being released on DVD on Tuesday, May 25th, I asked the WFB staff members if they would partake in a little exercise I like to do every now and then.  I call it the "Supernatural" 'go to' episodes list.  What if you only have 1 hour and there's a "Supernatural" season DVD set in front of you.  What episode would you choose to watch?  It usually isn't the best, or the most important to the story, or most critically acclaimed episode.  It's that one favorite that sends you to your happy place, as if it was made just for you.  

What's fun about this exercise is no matter how much you do it, your choices tend to change over time.  I've done several of these lists through the years yet they always tend to shift a little.  This time is no different.  What's really fun though is that this is the first time we've done this for all 15 seasons!  Sure, picking just one is tougher for some seasons than others, but overall there has to be at least one gem each season.  The question is, are those gems the same for all of us?  Let's check out the lists below for the answer.