A Supernatural Sunday Seven

I have nothing planned for today’s list, so I’m going to cull from elsewhere.  Two recent posts at SciFi Chicks discuss the best episodes from season 4 of Supernatural (as determined by IMDB, TV.com and me).  Now I’m going to focus on just me.  Here are:

My Seven Favorite Supernatural Episodes
from Season 4

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Sam and Dean say goodbye to Charlie.

A Super Sunday Seven

Let’s continue with July’s Sunday Seven Couch Critic theme with a list of episodes from my other favorite television show, Supernatural.

Supernatural‘s season 8 was one of its best.  Here’s a list of my favorite episodes from this past season—although  I had a hard time narrowing it down to seven.

Seven Favorite Supernatural Season 8 Episodes

  1. What’s Up, Tiger Mommy (802).  Kevin Tran, the teenage prophet who can interpret the mysterious tablet introduced in season 7, wants to see his mother.  When we meet Mrs. Tran, she proves to be totally hip and ready to join the fight.  The second episode of the season included an auction of supernatural artifacts, Thor’s hammer, heaven’s most adorable angel, and a falling out between Kevin and the Winchesters.
  2. Hunteri Heroici (808).  Cartoon physics come to the real world; well, the “real” world of Supernatural.  Painted black holes become tunnels, falling anvils crush humans, birthday cakes explode, Castiel interrogates a cat who calls the angel a “dumb ass.” Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicut of M*A*S*H) guest stars as Fred, an old Winchester friend with psychokinetic powers.  Although I hate the show’s extreme ageist mentality, I love the humorous episodes, especially with guest stars I recognize and remember fondly.
  3. As Time Goes By (812).  The best Supernatural episodes are often the ones involving family, and this is one of them.  Henry Winchester, Sam and Dean’s grandfather, falls out of a closet into the 21 century, searching for John Winchester.  Instead of being the deadbeat dad John  thought he was, Henry turns out to be an earnest young man who teaches the brothers there’s more to the supernatural world than just “saving people, hunting things.”
  4. Trial and Error (814).  Kevin has translated the first of three trials needed to close the gates of hell.  The first trial leads the Winchesters to the ranch of a dysfunctional family in Idaho.  Dean is adamant that he perform the trial alone in order to keep Sam safe.  But things go awry and Sam ends up completing the deed.  In addition to numerous twists and turns, and some delightful characters, we got not one, but two patented heartfelt Winchester brotherly pep talks.
  5. Pac Man Fever (820).  Computer whiz/hacker extraordinaire Charlie Bradbury shows up in Kansas (home of the fabulous Men of Letters bunker the boys now call home), and serves as Dean’s FBI partner while Sam recuperates from the second trial.  Although there’s a monster-of-the-week, the episode is really about Charlie, her back-story and psyche, and her fear of letting her mother die.  It’s funny, touching, and heartbreaking.
  6. The Great Escapist (821).  Castiel is captured by Naomi and tortured for the whereabouts of the angel tablet; then by Crowley, who knows where it is.  Sam and Dean head off to Colorado in search of Metatron, the scribe of God—the angel who wrote the tablets.  And Kevin outwits Crowley, although it takes an angel to save him from Crowley’s wrath.  All three stories are intense and showcase some of the best characteristics of characters we’ve come to love.
  7. Sacrifice (823).  Although Sam has been given the trial to complete, it’s Dean who makes the ultimate decision.  Detractors (aka Dean/Jensen Ackles fans) complained that all the “mytharc” stories go to Sam, relegating Dean to nursemaid status.  But Dean had the final say in this one, and if that’s not mytharc-related, what is?  Jared Padalecki was superb, we have a great set up for season 9, and the Men of Letter abode was not destroyed.  (Phew!)

It bears repeating:  Thank you, Jeremy Carver, for an excellent season!

Supernatural: No Rest for the… Taxi Driver

Only two Supernatural episodes this week.  Tuesday on TNT was dedicated to a Rizzoli and Isles pre-season premiere marathon.  And the CW is once again showing Cult on Fridays. It should feel like a vacation, but this week’s episodes were pretty heavy, significant ones.

No Rest for the Wicked (316)

This episode gets 4 starsSeason finale means “Carry On, My Wayward Son” by Kansas.  Always a nice way to start the show.  It also means “Written by Eric Kripke” and “Directed by Kim Manners.”  Oh yeah, and for season 3, we’re left with the most frustrating cliffhanger ever!

Dean and Sam prepare to take on Lilith in hopes of saving Dean from hell.

The Winchester way? Silent and stoic.

The whole season has been building up to Dean’s date with destiny, hellhounds, etc, and here it is.  Sam tells Dean at the beginning of the episode he’s not going to let Dean go to hell.  But, like so many Winchester promises, he fails.

Ruby’s comments to Sam turn out to be much more prophetic than we ever could have thought possible at the time.  She tells him his demonic psychic powers are dormant, not gone; that she can help train him to use them; and he is the only one who can stop Lilith.  Of course, she fails to mention it involves drinking demon blood, and that killing Lilith also signals the beginning of the apocalypse.  (But then, Dean hasn’t broken the fist seal to set the wheels in motion yet.)

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Supernatural: Sin … and Geeks

Sin City (304)

This episode gets 3 stars.Season 3 crept up on me.  It’s kind of a game changer.  Sam died, Dean sold his soul, the gates of hell opened and let out a slew of demons.  Three events played heavily in this episode.

Sam and Dean think they should leave after the police talk to them.

Seeing favorite scenes from old episodes is like meeting an old friend again.

Two escaped demons wreak havoc on a town in Ohio by playing to human vices and desires.  Dean worries that resurrected Sam is cold-hearted and evil.  Dean views his crossroads deal as “liberating” since you can’t worry about the future if you don’t have one.

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Supernatural: ‘Playthings’ of ‘the Titans’

Ordinarily, my 2nd Supernatural review-of-the-week would have been posted on Saturday, but last Saturday was the Ides of June. And yesterday was Sunday Seven.  So here we go on Monday.

Playthings (211)

This episode gets 4 stars“Playthings” is one of my favorite episodes from season 2.   Halfway through watching it for the first time, I remember thinking I had no idea what was causing the killings.  I like it when this show keeps me guessing.

Sam rescues Tyler, a young girl, from drowning.

Season 2’s money shot, this time with Sam (Jared Padalecki)

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Supernatural: ‘Clown… with Benefits’

When Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki provided commentary on the season 1 DVD set, they talked about how things came together that year and how season 2 would be even better.  I scoffed.  How could you improve something that was superb?  I was wrong.  Season 2 was better.

Everybody Loves a Clown (202)

This episode gets 4 starsOver the years, I’ve written about this episode many times.  I still chuckle when Sam makes his first “bitchface” ever.  Jared Padalecki still moves me when Sam expresses his grief in his final scene.  I’m still reminded of Jensen Ackles’s extreme talent when Dean is beating the hell out of the Impala.

Sam and Dean walk along a deserted road.

Just a couple of brothers, trying to avoid the law

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Supernatural: ‘Wicked/Trial’

What an terrific week of Supernatural viewing!  Four excellent episodes, including two of my all-time favorites.

Something Wicked (118)

This episode gets 5 stars.Perhaps I’m overly fond of “Something Wicked” because it’s the first Supernatural I watched.  But I don’t think so.  I’ve now seen 172 episodes, many of them several times, and “Something Wicked” always stands out for several reasons.

Dean and Sam walk towards Michael, who couldn't protect his little brother.

Dean identifies with Michael, a boy who’s trying to protect his younger brother.

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Supernatural: “Home” & “Tiger Mommy”

Home (109)

This episode gets 5 stars.Man, I wish I had Eric Kripke’s creativity.  And writing ability.  How does he combine tenderness and pathos with comedy, and then throw in a bloody horror scene?  Even now, after many years and several viewings, I still want to fast-forward through the infamous evil cymbal monkey/garbage disposal scene.

Dean tells Sam what remembers about the night their moither died.

Brotherly love:  “I remember the fire…the heat. And then I carried you out the front door.”

Compare that to the affectionate brotherly exchangeat the gas station.  Sam asks Dean what he remembers about “that night.”  When Dean replies he was the one who saved Sam, Sam is genuinely moved.  It shows us how strong their bond is.

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Supernatural Memorial Week Two-fer, Part 2

Whoa!  I almost forgot to post this.  Given that I signed up for NaBloPoMo this month, it would have been a real bitch to poop out on the first day.

Dead in the Water (103)

This episode gets 5 stars.It’s not just one of my season 1 favorites, but one of my all-time faves.  I have no idea why it got such a low rating at IMDB, and a less than “usual” one at Television Without Pity.  (TWoP’s “usual” fan grade is B.)  Sure, there were some incongruities, but the character development, spookiness of the monster of the week, and sheer drama more than  made up for it.  Plus there was that “money shot” of Dean emerging from the lake with Lucas.  (Which also happens to be one of Jensen Ackles’s favorite scenes.)

Dean rescues Lucas from the lake.

The season 1 money shot

Sam seems terribly emo at the beginning of the episode.  But if you put it in context, this was very early in the series, and Sam was still mourning Jessica.

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