Wren’s Top Five Episodes Of Season One

I plan on doing a post like this for each season, depending on if you guys like this one. (Psych. It really doesn’t depend on that. I’m doing this whether you like it or not.)

1. Pilot

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Not only was this the episode that first introduced us to the Winchesters, it’s gorgeous. David Nutter filled it with lacelike shadows and silhouettes- it’s probably one of the darkest episodes ever. Plus, the Padackles chemistry is clear from the jump. The episode is bookended by blonde ladies burning on the ceiling- such an iconic image. And I felt such satisfaction when the Impala crashed through the wall of the house. If only that had happened on Woman In Black…

2. Faith

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The emotional stakes are high here. Ackles plays Dean’s resignation, and Padalecki Sam’s biting-nails, pull-out-all-the-stops desperation, wonderfully. Somehow, the last line- ‘You can’t just have faith when the miracles happen, you’ve got to have it when they don’t’- doesn’t come across as portentous. I think that Supernatural is such a skeptical show about faith that when it softens a little- with Layla, and Cas’s conversation with the lady in the church in I’m No Angel, which I wrote about here– it’s genuinely touching. The world Sam and Dean enter in Faith is so detailed, with the mud and the leaflets and the blues tinkling on the piano. It contains one of Supernatural’s truly great music cues- here it’s Don’t Fear The Reaper. Plus, all the close-ups of the Reverend’s black glasses and white hands- it’s a very handsy episode- are to die for.

3. Asylum

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This, episode ten, was the point where what I’d suspected all along was confirmed to me; the show really was about the brothers’ relationship. The asylum set is one of the strangest and most intricate they’ve ever done. And tiny Kat with the shotgun defending her boyfriend, and the fact that the ghosts were actually the good guys… it’s the first shadings of moral ambiguity that’ll eventually lead to Season Two’s Bloodlust. The scene where Sam tries to kill Dean is electric; when he pulled the trigger I was shocked that the show had gone there so completely.

4. Devil’s Trap

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The finale, and directed by Kim Manners. Bobby is first introduced, and Meg’s exorcism is wonderfully filmed. Haunting golden eyes on John Winchester, Dean has a Dirty Harry moment, Sam’s loyalties are pushed, and the moment when the lorry slams into the Impala always makes me jump. The camera moves over three unconscious, bleeding Winchesters, Bad Moon On The Rise still faintly playing, and the screen fades to black. Cue the deluge of hate mail onto Kripke’s desk for Impala-slaughter.

5. Bloody Mary

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For the sheer creep factor. I laughed at The Descent, but Bloody Mary… yeah, I still have issues with getting out of bed at night. I couldn’t look in a mirror for weeks. The episode is also incredibly dark, everything thrown into deep shadow. Also, the first incident of Multiplechesters. (Which is totally a word now.)

*

Honourable Mentions:
The Benders, which I hereby award the Wrencollins Certificate Of General Disturbingness. Also, the hot lady cop with the indigo-rimmed eyes. A Jody precurser, methinks.

Skin. Because subversive use of shirtlessness.

Shadow, for visual references to Angel Heart and Meg being evil and awesome.

Scarecrow, which contains THE BEST John Winchester eyelid closeup. (See here.) And for ‘My brother could give you this puppy-dog look and you’d buy right into it.’ Phone call for Brother’s Keeper, anyone?

So obviously this list is pure opinion. C’mon, guys, let’s have a discussion here. Are you in agreement? What are your Season One favourites? I promise I won’t laugh. (Unless you say Bugs. Then I will definitely laugh.)

Read my Vivisecting Supernatural series at http://cobwebqueen.wordpress.com/

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24 thoughts on “Wren’s Top Five Episodes Of Season One

  1. My Top Five Episodes of the First season.

    #1. Pilot
    Though I missed the first 5 minutes when it first aired on WB. I’ve since have watched it countless times, thanks to the TNT and Bluray.
    I love how we get to see the “Normal” relationships of a family.
    The first few minutes is a normal bedtime ritual in any home, we got the average white picket fence house. two loving parents, and their two cute kids. Everyone is just overflowing with blissful happiness. The kids are going to bed, Mom and Dad are going to get it on possibly making another .5 to round out their apple pie life.
    Mom is woken sometime in the early hours by sounds of the baby awake and fussing. The Normal run of the mill wake dad for “Your turn for Poop Duty.” Typical Dad isn’t there so Mom get’s up and goes her bleary way to the nursery and in the dark sees a guy in there, SCORE…Dad is already doing it. Mom makes her way back to bed seeing blinky lights and hears the typical TV snow. Remember back then when TV and cable didn’t go all night long? At 3am you would get the National Anthem, and white noise or snow till 6 am. Kids today just don’t know the struggle. Anyway…Mom figures out it’s not Dad in nursery and runs her assk back upstairs. Screams are heard and Dad wakes, runs upstairs and sees Sam awake and smiley. Reassuring himself everything is alright but there’s something dripping, here’s where it gets abnormal….the drips are from Mom gut stabbed, hanging out on the ceiling, bursting into fire. Now we flash forward 20 some years.
    You have the grieving father that had coined the phrase Tough Love.
    The typical Older Brother that has always done what he has been told, learned that what Dad has said is Law, and to always, always watch out for his younger bother.
    The younger brother that is ready to go his own way, make his own rules and first and foremost be a typical normal man, with normal life.

    #2. Faith
    I love that at this point in the show death isn’t a joke or a running gag. We are given the opportunity to see the guy’s are actually vulnerable to death like all living things. They haven’t always been carriers of the Great Golden Infinite Lives card. I also like that both guy’s learned that their Faith is in each other, not with religion, not even in their Dad but each other. We also see Sam loves Dean just as much as Dean loves Sam.

    #3. Dead in the Water
    What I like about this episode is the guy’s are still new to working the family biz together. Sam is still only into tracking down BigDaddySuksALot than working cases. It was Dean who is all about working to save people while trying to track down BDSAL and convinces Sam too. This is the episode that turned the course, Sam is now focused in helping others and doing his part to help others, than just getting answers from BDSAL and going his own way.
    I love that Dean was shown to be a deeply caring man with a real soft spot for children. He can’t leave a scared little boy {Lucas} all alone without making sure he’s safe and okay. Seeing Dean isn’t just a thrill seeker drawn to the danger of the family biz or because of the peril they are in; but he truly loves helping and saving others.
    One other thing I love is when Dean comes up out of the lake holding Lucas, wow that was such a poignant and touching scene.
    The symbolic references of it are great. You have the death of someone or some wrong life choices sucking you down into the cold, black unknown. Taking everything you hold dear and love away. You need a friend or someone who loves you, who never lets you go, not without a fight; saving you from the things trying to pull you under. Again such a awesome scene, worthy of mentioning.

    #4. Something Wicked This Way Comes
    Again children are involved, but what draws my attention is the children are 2 brothers living with a single parent in a motel setting. The parallels between the two are apparent. Two brothers who live with their mother in the motel, the eldest taking care of the younger brother.

    This is also where we find out why Dean became so protective of Sam and also why he became the good little solider following his Fathers strict rules. It wasn’t because it was his job to look after him by John’s decree it was was where he decided he just wanted to be a kid for once and left to go play the arcade games in the motel diner once Sam fell asleep; and in turn Sam almost died for it. I also love that Dean was particularly bothered by using the older brother as bait for the Shtriga to kill it.

    #5. The Benders
    What’s not to love about this episode. This time the monster wasn’t supernatural in nature, it was worse.. just plain Human evil. Nothing is worse than a Real Monster, unfortunately the monster within is scarier than one of the supernatural.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, always nice to see new faces 🙂 or new gravatars I guess. Love your list.
      Re Dead In The Water and the moment where Dean pulls Lucas out of the lake, I’m thinking possible parallel with Playthings, when Sam pulled the little girl from the swimming pool?
      And uuuuuugh The Benders. I genuinely think it’s THE MOST disturbing episode ever.
      Hope to see you in the thread for the other lists 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The pilot is epic in that it sets up the conflicted nature of the brothers’ separate desires and their commonality all in one episode. The book ends of burning blondes cements the characters. And John not being physically in the episode does focus the viewer on the brothers. Nutter’s direction demonstrates his understanding of the trajectory Kripke would aim for over 5 years. This is the infancy of the series where the sea legs are tried out in a variety of ways on a small budget for special effects. “Faith” changes the direction from a MOW to the focus of the vulnerability of the brothers, what lengths each will go to for the other, and pushes the viewer to ponder a greater question of belief when life goes sideways.( Roy, the preacher, turns up in s9 as the butler in “Ask Jeeves”.). I always loved “Provenence” because it showed Sam’s struggle to move on with his life and how the “job’ has taken much from both Sam and Dean. It shows how Dean wants Sam to be able to enjoy life again. The chemistry between Sam and Sarah( poor Sarah s8) is innocent and sexy at the same time. “The Benders” always creeps me out especially when I read the news about sick people who have held people prisoner for years, locked in houses in plain sight. People don’t play by rules, but monsters do. So this episode breaks the border between reality and fiction, making the supernaturalness all the more believable. There are other episodes that stand out as memorable for good and bad reasons. I salute the writing team for attempting to explore the exploitation of native Americans, but the script, special effects, and edits just didn’t work well. The actors will tell you that it is not a favorite of theirs either for a variety of reasons. The actor who played the son in “Bugs” turns up as Samandriel, I think, in season 8. Bloody Mary fell short because Dean’s bloody tears as a signal of his inner guilt is not clear and has been superimposed by the fandom without verification from Kripke as far as I know. It is easier to find fault in the first year of “Supernatural”, but even the crappy episodes have positive dimensions. For example,” Route 666″ awful episode for me, trite, but Dean and Cassie-another side of Dean and his hope at the time against her vision of reality and how his job could never let him come back to her(I still hope this relationship is re-visited). Sometimes I wonder if it wasn’t a small wonder that the series was renewed, but faith in the product by a wanky network that was about to fold worked into season 2. Looking forward to the article on s 2.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree about Faith changing direction to the vulnerability of the brothers, though I think they were beginning to explore that even in episodes like Dead In The Water and Skin.
      And OMG about the butler! I love Ask Jeeves. It’s so silly.
      I like Provenance. And I could stare at Taylor Cole all day. She and JP
      together is just, like, beauty overload.
      The Benders is incredibly disturbing.
      And oh lord Bugs. Gorgeous cinematography, and awful AWFUL writing. (I noticed about Samandiriel, though- all through the torture stuff I was like, now where have I seen you before?)
      Hmm, I like that they left Dean’s bloody tears up for interpretation. Superimposition is what people like moi are here for 🙂
      OH LORD ROUTE 666. The words ‘racist killer truck’ crack me up every time. I do like Cassie, though, and it’s not that I think the episode was badly written- I do really like some of Buckner & Leming’s episodes, like Blade Runners and Soul Survivor.
      Irritating that they never referred to it again. I think they’re all trying to forget that episode happened.
      I do think Season One has some extremely good episodes- it’s weak in comparison to other seasons, but that’s all. I’m not at all surprised it was renewed.
      And I’m glad you liked it! The s2 article should be up tomorrow. Hope to see you in the thread! 🙂

      Like

  3. Okay Wren here’s Bella’s Top 5!

    This is hard, because there are SO many good ones in Season 1!

    1. Provenance
    This and Bloody Mary I think are the scariest ever on SPN

    2. The Benders
    So well done, Sam being abducted and Dean scared as hell about Sammy. They were so ruthless, and that cage, I thought was Sam going to get out alive? Kathleen lost her brother, sniff!

    3. Faith
    This one is so special, for so many reasons. The relationship really kicks off in this episode and has a strong brotherly feel. You really felt for Sam and that’s the Sam I’ve missed in later seasons, yes Carver I’m looking at you!!

    4. Skin
    I loved the choreography in the fighting during this episode they were both amazing, and you could see how well it was put together and constructed. So moving. And the boys were the most wanted. That shapeshifter caused a lot of trouble for the boys!

    5. Home
    This one let us in to see a part of the boys past, and how they were searching for their dad and why. The ghost that turned out to be their mum was so touching, and had a lasting memory on me. Sam had never seen his mum and was so overwhelmed.

    Honorary mentions:

    Bloody Mary – Still can’t watch it, Bloody Mary three times gives me the shivers. Why did Dean’s eyes bleed? I get why Sam’s did.
    The Pilot
    Scarecrow
    Nightmare
    Shadow
    Salvation.

    Wren, please carry on with this topic through the seasons, good one for the summer. I like you’re write up. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey there Bella, nice to hear from you!
      Provenance. SARAH. *forever crying bc Clip Show*
      I found The Benders so disturbing. I finished it and decided I’d never watch it again. (I’ve now seen it three or four times, so so much for that.)
      Re Jeremy Carver’s portrayal of Sam- I get what you’re saying in application to Season Eight, but Season Ten rectified that, I think. During the Demon Dean arc particularly, with Sam being all ‘I will save my brother or die trying.’
      Aww, Home. I love Mary Winchester.
      Uuuuuuugh Bloody Mary. I’ve just got my ten-year-old brother into SPN, but I’ve told him that he is NOT allowed to watch episode 5.
      Re Dean’s eyes bleeding, I recently read a theory that, as he saw Mary burn up, he blamed himself for not doing anything. It’d certainly be in character.
      Glad you liked it! I’m writing a VS essay today for my own site but I should have my top 5 for S2 up tomorrow. It makes a nice break from the heavy meta.

      Like

        1. I’d say it’s worth watching for the cinematography- it’s a Kim Manners one- and JP and JA do their best to rescue it, bless ’em. But the writing is just so, so bad. There’s this awkward one-liner about bow-hunting that makes me cringe every time I hear it.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Lol. There’s a scene where the boys are in a house that is being BESEIGED by bees and they actually had something like 50000 live bees flying around and all the actors got stung to hell. (Because Kim Manners was awesome, he showed up in shorts in support of the actors.) Then the bees didn’t even show up on film so they had to CGI them in anyway.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. I think Bloody Mary is the best one because I truly believe all their bad luck is because of breaking all those mirrors. Also I love Scarecrow. I just love the whole story behind it. It reminds me of a horror story, along with some paganism.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Skin: one of my favorite episode of Supernatural, period. That’s when I was completely hooked. I adore this episode. Shifer!Dean was everything and I love the way he used every opportunity to mess with Sam’s mind. It solidified me as a Dean/ Jensen stan. The first SPN I ever wrote was about Shifter!Dean. I was obsessed with him. Jensen should be allowed to play evil more often.

    Faith: I love EVERYTHING about this one. Roy Legrange remains one of my favorite one-offs. I still weep for Layla. The Reaper was fantastic. The death transference spell plot, genius. We see Sam as I like him best, determined to save Dean, protective, and unwilling to stop until he reached his goal. He was such a mother hen in this episode too and Dean was just endearing, trying to act tough when he could barely walk in his little back hoodie. It’s also an interesting glimpse at the Sam who’s willing to break some eggs to get the job done. Okay Dean it was sad that jogger had to die, but it would have been him or someone else (I won’t be too broken up about it especially when this allowed you to live to see another day).

    Scarecrow: one of the best MOTWs E-VER. I loved seeing the boys miss each other. Dean didn’t enjoy hunting without Sam but he remained professional! lol. The second Dean gave Sam what he said he wanted, his blessing and freedom to fly, Sam went back to Dean. We’ll see Sam do this again during the course of the show. He needs to express his independence and be allowed to walk away. It makes him come back quicker than trying to guilt him into staying does.

    Bloody Mary: loved the MOTW, one of the scariest episode, resourceful boys saving the day, so many amazing broments. You’re my brother, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I believe you, Sam.

    Hell House: the boys having fun together. I’ll forever cherish this one. We don’t get enough of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Skin too. It was so interesting that Sam could TELL ‘Dean’ wasn’t Dean. (Also, Multiplechesters.) Haha, I bet Demon Dean was your holy grail if you like Jensen playing evil. (Loved that arc.)
      And yes to everything you said about Faith. (Fun Fact: you remember an episode in s8 called What’s Up, Tiger Mommy? and there was an auction to get hold of the demon tablet? The guy who played the old guy who bid for the hammer Mjolnir was the same guy who played the reaper in Faith.
      Re mother hen Sam and sick Dean- the whole arc with Sam getting ill cause of the trials was kind of a reversal of that. I really like that arc, too. Mama bear Dean flows my boat.
      And YES YES YES about Dean giving Sam his blessing.
      Uuuuuuuugh Bloody Mary.
      Oh my God, how could I forget Hell house?!
      ‘You didn’t.’
      ‘Oh, I did.’

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hehe, I love all the Multiplechesters episodes, and you’re right, I LOVE Demon Dean to pieces. Wish he could have made a comeback after he was ‘cured’…

        Yes, SPN loves to recycle actors. The female victim in Scarecrow becomes the Wraith in Sam Interrupted, the guy who calls the boys to help with his plane problems becomes Amelia’s dad, the mom in the Kids Are Alright becomes Benny’s relative in Citizen Fang. Taylor from Hookman becomes a crossroad’s Demon in Crossroad Blues… I can think of a dozen more examples 🙂

        Can’t wait to see your selection for season 2!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Both JA and JP were brilliant in the Demon Dean arc. I loved how in Reichenbach Dean looked so smooth and gorgeous and predatory and Sam looked AWFUL and was obviously losing it.
          I’d noticed all of those ‘recyclings’ except for the wraith! My personal favourites are Adam becoming Samandiriel and the lady with Croatoan virus in s2 becoming the lady who ran over her husband’s face in Southern Comfort.
          And s2 will be up later today! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on and commented:

    Here’s one of my posts from A Blog Devoted To Supernatural. Enjoy, and I expect to be able to DEBATE about this, so leave a friggin’ comment.

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